Pathfinder Adventure Path #50: Night of Frozen Shadows (Jade Regent 2 of 6) (PFRPG) (based on
Paizo Publishing, LLC
Ninja versus Vikings!
Chapter 2: "Night of Frozen Shadows"
by Greg A. Vaughan
A faceless menace stalks the viking empire. For decades a sinister band of assassins has watched and waited, hiding among the rugged people of Kalsgard, capital of the fierce Lands of the Linnorm Kings. In all this time their mysterious prey has lain hidden away, but no longer. With their quarry revealed, death stalks the streets of a city of hardy warriors and viking raiders. Having traveled from distant lands to this notorious city, the heroes prepare to take their first steps on an expedition into some of the world’s most ferocious wilderness. Yet nothing is ever easy in dangerous Kalsgard, and soon they find themselves targeted by mysterious assassins. Can the heroes defend themselves and their friends from the blades of supernatural killers? Or will they meet their ends amid the ice and snow?
This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path includes:
“Night of Frozen Shadows,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 4th-level characters, by Greg A. Vaughan.
A trek through the crowded and deadly streets of Kalsgard, frigid capital of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, by Matthew Goodall.
Insights into the ways and worship of the goddess Shelyn, deity of beauty, love, and music, by Sean K Reynolds.
Murder and mystery in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Dave Gross.
Four new monsters, by Jesse Benner and Sean K Reynolds.
Each monthly full-color softcover 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 world’s oldest fantasy RPG.
Overall, a good adventure and introduces the oni as a real threat. A good mix of Rp, investigation and hack n slash.
The investigation can get murky to the players and even with some massaging not all the links will be clear. Feel this adventure could have benefited from revisions and a better focus (i.e. this is the adventure where you smash a thieves guild). A very memorable final fight ends the adventure on a high point.
Overall, I thought this was an ok adventure to run with my group, but it fell a little short in comparison to the previous adventure. I thought that there were too many instances where the party was outnumbered, but no where near outmatched. Now, it could simply be my inexperience as a GM, but I thought there could have been a lot more to this adventure aside from throwing waves of level 2 NPCs at my PCs.
Overall, I felt like there was something else that could have been done with this adventure, but wasn't. Not that this wasn't a bad adventure, I just feel like it's lacking something.
First, I liked the first module in this series (that one would be 4-5 stars). There were a few encounters in the swamp that I skipped, because I didn't see their relevance to the story, but otherwise the adventure was good. The opposition in Brinewall Castle was disorganized and so it made sense how they responded in a disorganized fashion.
In Night of the Frozen Shadow, the opposition is supposed to be highly organized and highly motivated to kill the player's characters, yet they don't act that way. Logically they should marshal all their forces and wipe out the player characters. The module doesn't give a reason why they mostly sit back and let the player's characters whittle them down bit by bit, while otherwise ignoring them. Granted, I am not looking for a one sided slaughter of the PCs, but there is no reason given for why the opposition acts the way they do.
The investigation portion is linear. My group seriously goofed up one thing, so there were no clues on how they should proceed as there were no alternative leads for them to pursue.
I have found this volume of the AP to be frustrating to run as a GM who likes the opposition to behave according to their abilities and motivations.
Okay I know there seems to be a lot of confusion about the Caravan - and many assertions that there was not enough focus on it in this installment. I couldn't disagree more. The simple fact is they provide the DM with all the tools to make the caravan travel dynamic and emphasized - OR - completely omit it. This is because some groups simply will not enjoy it and other will eat it up.
Now to the review - Overall I would love to give this a 4.5 if I could - but I can't so It gets a 4. The NPCs encountered are well detailed and presented in masterclass fashion. This adventure focuses on the caravan (or not depending on the group) and has some of the most RP opportunities I have seen since Kingmaker.
The expose on Shelyn is well done and very informative. A truly solid installment.