Pathfinder Module: Carrion Hill (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 17 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: Carrion Hill (PFRPG)
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A dark urban horror adventure for 5th-level Pathfinder Roleplaying Game characters.

The strange city of Carrion Hill has long loomed over the surrounding swamps in eastern Ustalav, yet its rulers have shifted many times through the centuries. Often enough that only a few sinister scholars and curious minds know the true nature of the hill’s original inhabitants—vile and depraved cultists of the Old Gods. Yet this morning, a dreadful recrudescence rises from the depths of buried nightmare in the vaults below Carrion Hill. A monster stalks the twisted alleys of the city, spreading panic before it and leaving destruction in its wake. Can the Carrion Hill Horror be stopped?

Carrion Hill is an adventure for 5th-level characters, written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s oldest RPG. The adventure features a mix of urban and dungeon sites, and draws its inspiration from the popular writings of H. P. Lovecraft.

This adventure is set in the sinister country of Ustalav in the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting, but can easily be adapted for any game world.

Written by Richard Pett

Pathfinder Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, adventures using the Open Game License to work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set. This Pathfinder Module includes four pre-made characters so players can jump right into the action, and full-color maps to enhance play.

ISBN 13: 978-1-60125-206-7

Carrion Hill is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download (217 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Modules Subscription.

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Product Reviews (17)
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****½ (based on 17 ratings)

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Carrion Hill Review


Warning: Review contains spoilers
Written from a GM's perspective
I ran this for 6 PCs

Carrion Hill is a module with a clear goal. It draws heavy inspiration from the works of H.P. Lovecraft in order to create a sinister mystery and an inevitable fight with an ancient horror. I would highly recommend it to any table looking for that type of game.

One of the strongest aspects of Carrion Hill is the mystery itself. Investigations can be difficult to pull off in RPGs, since you have to tread the line between revealing too much, too soon and frustrating your players with a lack of information. Carrion Hill did a great job of keeping the PCs constantly moving in the right direction, while not undermining the overall suspense of the final encounter. One of the main reasons this works so well is because of the monster itself. The descriptions of the carnage it leaves behind makes it genuinely frightening for a group of fourth level PCs and details like the noxious sludge it leaves behind and the blood drained corpses just add even more texture to the initial crime scene investigation. Most importantly, the creature does manage to be an appropriately difficult encounter, without becoming so powerful that it is unfair.

Overall, my game was able to run without an significant issues. However, I have heard some minor complaints about the module, that we didn't encounter, but I can understand. First is the difficulty level. A lot of the fights are on the weaker side as. The zombies are not much of a threat if you have them trip into the vats. Most of the asylum residents do not pose a threat to the PCs. Keeper Hyve is fairly weak as a mini-boss. For my table, this was not an issue for a few reasons. First, with a table size of six, I was already putting in the effort to beef up the encounter strength. But more importantly, I see Carrion Hill more as a role playing adventure than a combat one. The zombies and the asylum patients might not have been difficult encounters, but they certainly were memorable. On the flip side of the difficulty scale, I have heard a lot of people point to the the chaos beast as a potentially deadly encounter. My PCs ended up not fighting it, as they found a pretty direct route to the final area. However, I can definitely see why the Corporeal Instability power would be cause for concern. GM's who run this should definitely be careful with it.

Another complaint I have seen about Carrion Hill is that it doesn't inherently capture that Lovecraftian feel. However, I really think this one comes down to the GM. The module provides the brushes and the paint, but like with any other adventure, the GM has to use them to paint a picture. Before running the module, I listened to an audio book of the Dunwich Horror, the H.P. Lovecraft story that the author cites as a huge inspiration. From that, I got a feel for the type of descriptions that were expected. Generally, I am a big fan of quickly getting PCs to a point where they can participate, instead of bogging things down with descriptions. However, for this game, I really took the time to prepare a fairly long introduction that would make the setting feel inherently sinister, while not overtly evil. So, while it takes a bit of work on the GM's part to create the right feel, I personally believe that the module provides a strong framework to build upon.

Overall, I give this module full marks. Even if it takes a little work to get it right, the foundations that it is built upon are strong.

Lovecraftian Adventure

***( )( )

Ran this for PFS.

Call of Cthulhu meets Pathfinder in this nice non-linear adventure. The atmosphere is about right although the combative nature of Pathfinder meant that some of that was lost as the module went along.

What stops me giving Carrion Hill 4 stars is a real lack of proper investigation. A bit more in that area and this module would have been spot on.

Awesome flavor horrid repitition

****( )

Ok, this adventure runs you through this creepy lovecraftian city and outer planes creatures. You need to venture through the city to stop something horrible from coming into the world.

Lots of flavor and interesting ideas, but once you figure out what to do. It is a hunt this guy down, and then this guy, and then this guy, and then this guy. As you burst into their homes and places of work to kill them for the error of their ways.

They make it open ended by deciding who you want to murder first, but beyond that it is pretty linear.

Excellent non-linear adventure


Horror + Investigation + Non-linear plot + Interesting final match

So very totally cool, 5 stars!

good stuff!

****( )

High quality. Strange, disturbing, repulsive ... awesome. Loses one point for predating APG (if you've run it you know exactly what I mean).

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