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Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-15: Shades of Ice—Part I: Written in Blood (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 11 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters (Tiers: 1-2 and 4-5).

When the Decemvirate sends the PCs to the Viking city of Trollheim in the frigid northern Lands of the Linnorm Kings to deliver a package to an allied scholar there, the Pathfinders soon find themselves unwelcome visitors. Forced to navigate the rugged, isolated city and interact with the standoffish natives, can they deliver their cargo to its target, or will they find themselves exiled from the city... or worse?

Written in Blood is the first scenario in the three-part Shades of Ice campaign arc. It continues in Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-17: Shades of Ice—Part II: Exiles of Winter and concludes in Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-19: Shades of Ice—Part III: Keep of the Huscarl King. All three scenarios are intended to be played in order.

Written by Joshua J. Frost.

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world. This scenario is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Product Reviews (12)
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Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 11 ratings)

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And a Half Stars

***( )( )

Hi there,
I played this and part 3 of Shades of Ice recently at ArcanaCon in Melbourne Australia. I think this is a fine little scenario and I love the Land of the Linnorm Kings, I learned a lot about the country when I was preparing to run Jade Regent for some players.

In general I think this a cool game, I could see that some effort had been made to establish some flavour and unlike some scenarios time was made for some role playing and even some planning. I do however think a little more flavour could have been pumped into the story, maybe the GM running the game could have used an accent or maybe an event could have been placed into the story to highlight the barbaric sense of honour common to the Ulfen people.

For example instead of just having some baddy declare a bloodfeud for a rather loose reason maybe the first encounter in the scenario could have been some Ulfen bandits, then you could have the BBEG be the brother of one of the bandits and he would have had a personal reason to declare bloodfeud against the pcs after they slaughter his brother.

I have a few observations and advice concerning the scenario that ill use spoilers for:

The first encounter was an interesting mixed message when you consider the way the enemies were built. They were simple warriors with throwing axes, shields and light armour (Maybe scale mail).

The reason I say this is a mixed message is that when you really look at it you might think that the axes were chosen to lessen the threat they might pose to a PC, after all throwing axes only do D6 damage and only have a x2 crit multiplier as compared to the potentially lethal x3 on a handaxe. Thus I'd say the game designer was trying to minimize random PC deaths, something I appreciate.

However the Game designer also gave them heavy shields, a reasonably high dexterity and decent armour. The enemies had about 17 Ac and the leader of the group had 19. This has pros and con. For an optimized character 17-19 AC isnt to much trouble but for a less optimized character this could mean rolling a 14 or so to hit the thugs and a 16+ for the leader, an unpleasant task.

For the new player this is a good time to learn tricks like flanking and using buff spells. However I cant help but think its a hard way to learn these tricks, meaning the GM should be highlighting these advantages anyway so pushing them onto the players by using high ACs in a level 1-2 game is harsh.

Also I think this encounter suffers from the game designer trying to customize the game so that even optimized characters will find is somewhat difficult to hit without using flanks and buffs therefore making it doubly hard on those that don't fully optimize their characters. A frustrating proposition.

I think this problem could have been avoided by simply changing the gear around a little, light shields instead of heavy for example. Leather armour instead of studded leather or studded leather instead of chainshirts, etc.

Next I'll discuss the last encounter

The last encounter is also a mixed message of sorts.
I rather liked it, except for one thing. When you rock up to the building you find a pair of Ulfen guards out front and after a brief talk they let you in.

Then you fight some Goblins. Then you hear the BBEG moving outside. You fight the BBEG and a handful of his friends. All the while the guards do nothing, they refuse to help, saying its your problem. That seems weak to me. I would suggest that instead the guards are either dead when you get there, perhaps killed by the goblins or that they run off to fetch reinforcements. Instead the guards seem lazy and incompetent.

As for the BBEG fight itself it came off feeling like we were fighting other PC characters, not just one but a whole group of them, and that was pretty cool.

So all in all this was an enjoyable game for me. I'd recommend it for new players, as long as they are at least a little aware of the rules of Pathfinder or have a GM willing to help them a little. If you have an Ulfen character I highly recommend you play this scenario with them and use a accent (say an Arnie or Skyrim type one :P).

I could see the last encounter being difficult depending on class mixes an such but it basically a rock, paper, scissors situation (As long as you have a good solution and a plan you'll pull thru. Oh and a little luck.)

The reasons I've withheld a star and a half is that I felt a little more effort could have been put into flavour for the scenario, more opportunities could have been put in for role playing and the design of the encounters should have been balanced a little more in the players favour (Ie: not so high on the AC).

not too shabby


Fun NPCs with interesting quirks (Frost's strong point, I think we can all agree (*cough*Miss Feathers*cough*)), decent combats, a good mix of roleplaying and fighting ... on the whole an ideal scenario.

Nordic Vengeance hooooo~!

****( )

This scenario has run overlong every time I've run it, but heck, I still love it. From the opening scene to the tough final battle, this scenario perfectly captures the feeling that you're trapped in a foreign city with nefarious forces after your head (and the masterwork axes required to collect it.) If you have an Ulfen character, I feel this is a must-play. If only to get a chair hurled at your head.

Cant go wrong with Joshua Frost

****( )

For a part 1 of three, this does a lot more than most, which often just act as a wasted scenario to set up the 2nd and 3rd scenarios - this one actually can stand on its own.

Who done it

****( )

I like mystery at the beginning, not knowing what to expect is great.

Combat was challenging but not overbearing.

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