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Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: The Haunting of Harrowstone (Carrion Crown 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 31 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: The Haunting of Harrowstone (Carrion Crown 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Print Edition Out of print

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Chapter 1: "Haunting of Harrowstone"
by Michael Kortes

When Harrowstone Prison burned to the ground, prisoners, guards, and a host of vicious madmen met a terrifying end. In the years since, the nearby town of Ravengro has shunned the fire-scarred ruins, telling tales of unquiet spirits that wander abandoned cellblocks. But when a mysterious evil disturbs Harrowstone’s tenuous spiritual balance, a ghostly prison riot commences that threatens to consume the nearby village in madness and flames. Can the adventurers discover the secrets of Harrowstone and quell a rebellion of the dead? Or will they be the spirit-prison’s next inmates?

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Carrion Crown Adventure Path and includes:
  • “The Haunting of Harrowstone,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 1st-level characters, by Michael Kortes
  • A tour of Ravengro, village of mystery and suspicion, by Michael Kortes
  • Expanded rules for creating and running horrific haunts, by Brandon Hodge
  • An ancient revenge is reborn in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by F. Wesley Schneider
  • Six new monsters, by Adam Daigle and Patrick Renie

Each monthly full-color softcover 96-page Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-308-8

The Haunting of Harrowstone is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (561 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

Product Availability


PDF: Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Print Edition: This product is out of print.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO9043


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Product Reviews (33)
1 to 5 of 33 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 31 ratings)

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Spooky Goodness

*****

I loved running this part of the adventure, the setting of Harrowstone is perfect with a eerie Luigi's Mansion vibe throughout Book 1.


Haunting of Harrowstone: How to do it.

*****

It is a great adventure. So do the extra work to do it right.

The Trust system doesn't work well. So just fix it. Don't subtract a point every day. Find other reasons to give away trust points. Like defeating a random encounter, be seen coming back from the prison with injuries, making acts of good faith in town, etc.

The time limit on the blood written names I too much time. Because its soo much time it does not provide the urgency it was meant to and I fear the point is often lost. Have a letter be written every night. This gives 9 days. Skip a night if they stop Gibs or whoever replaces him.

Haunts: Make sure you really understand how these work. To learn how to destroy the haunts have the players make two checks. One for Knowledge religion and one for Knowledge Local at DC 15s. Maybe higher for more powerful haunts. Remember you can make untrained knowledge checks if you have access to a library (like the professors). Give a bonus to these checks if the characters have communicated with the haunt via linguistics.

Somebody on this thread made their own cards for the results of these knowledge checks. They are great, use them.
Also a company called Legendary Games made a bunch of 3rd party extra material for this. They call it Gothic Adventure Path Plug ins but it is designed specifically for this Adventure Path. Great stuff there.


Good atmosphere but no trust points

****( )

The premise is simple. The PCs are old friends of professor Lorrimor, a researcher of dark magic. When they get word of the professor's death, they can't but attend to the good professor's funeral in Ravengro, a small little town in a remote location. His daughter Kendra is the only living relative and she hosts the party, with whom the characters will become well acquainted during these grieving days.

In the professor's will, he asks our heroes to deliver his most valuable books to the university of Lepidstadt but wait! this can wait for a month. During the month that the characters are stuck in Ravengro, they have the chance to read the old man's research journal and start investigating why and how their old friend died. It is during that investigation that they learn the grim history of the town's old jailhouse and the spirits that haunt it.

I find the logic of the story a bit flimsy. A friend of mine dies and he wants me to stay in town for a whole month? Who seriously expects a complete stranger (as good a friend as he can be) to drop his or her whole life and babysit his daughter for a month before embarking in a perilous journey just for old times' sake? If your players are moderately normal, they'll try to sneak out of the small town to start the mission straight away.

What I find most baffling is that the author felt the need to create a point reward system to encourage talking to the locals and establishing ties with the town. This comes off as weird because 1) The adventure does not take place interacting with locals (except perhaps the adventure hook, the daughter of the dead professor) and there's not a lot of downtime to allow this and 2) There aren't enough encounters to gather those 'trust' points.

Faced with a point system that forces the players to fail, what's the worst thing that could happen anyway? The punishments range from surcharges in shop prices to negative diplomacy bonuses to being chased by an angry mob (in the very worst case). Not too terrible as long as the score is positive. You have to wonder why they bothered creating such a system. I didn't like it much.

Most of the module is a great dungeon with a creepy horror mood looking for some ghosts and unraveling the backstory of the whole place. Really good, except for the glitches outlined above,

My rating: 4 stars. It’s a good adventure with a lot of character and atmosphere. Some minor things detract from it: a faulty trust point mechanic that needs to be fixed and pointless events that distract from the mission without adding anything in return.

Read my whole review here


Great Time at PFS Event

*****

A bit of a challenge to prepare, since the Pathfinder Society starts the sanctioned event at the middle of the Adventure Path. With that said, the scenarios are challenging and fun for everyone in the party. There is a good blend of various creatures, haunts and other undead to allow everyone to find a role at the table. The mechanics are not overtly complicated and are easy to run.

The storyline is intriguing and you will want as much time as possible to explore the Harrowstone prison grounds as well as interact in the town of Ravengro to build the suspense. Seven hours passed by quickly, but good times nonetheless.


Haunting of Harrowstone or good start to a race that goes nowhere.

****( )

Haunting of Harrowstone is a good start to the Carrion Crown adventure path. Unfortunately, it’s only a good start and the rest of the adventure path drops the baton, falls on its face, or wanders off the path so far they end up in a horse pasture trying to figure out how to get back.

Some of the combat at the beginning can be a bit frustrating for players but the hauntings do help bring a creepy element and a very misleading theme that the game forgets.


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