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RPG Superstar 2015

The Breaking of Forstor Nagar (PFRPG)

***** (based on 6 ratings)
PSICB6805

Add Print/PDF Bundle: $19.99 $17.99

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Savage battlecries and screams of pain echo through the streets and off the raw sheer walls that make up the carved stronghold of Forstor Nagar. The cannibalistic troops of The Hungering Legion have breached the gates, and the defenders have been routed.

Trapped in the heart of Forstor Nagar, the ambassador from Ithulandis, the City of Adventure, must be rescued. But the redoubt is cut from the living ice of the Forstorheim glacier, and enemies rip the very life from the inhabitants. Only scant hours remain before the alleys are slick with a crimson slush.

Adventurers must cross the invaders' lines to infiltrate the fortress, locate the diplomatic compound and escape with the ambassador before filed teeth sink into their flesh and the fate of the city is sealed forever. Will they succeed, or just become more corpses for the conquerers' larder? Welcome to the Breaking of Forstor Nagar!

Author: Ben McFarland
Cover Image: Tyler Bartley
Cartography: Jonathan Roberts
Editor: Mark Moreland
64 pages full-color

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Product Discussion (106)
1 to 50 of 106 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Huzzah! Thank you Liz!

Author: Ben McFarland

Editor: Mark Moreland (before he ascended to a higher plane of being)

Cover Artist: Tyler Bartley

Interior Artist: Tyler Barltey and James "Devin Night" Hazelett

Cartographer, layout artist and Developer: Jonathan Roberts

Pages 48 Full Color interior softback .

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Woohoo! It's been percolating for a long time, and I'm glad to see it here! Thanks to the patrons and everyone involved. I think folks will really enjoy it. :)

-Ben.


Great to see this pre-order go up. Ben and the Rite patrons did a wonderful job with the content in this adventure. 8 full colour maps detailing the city of grinding ice and full colour art throughout - this is a pretty book.

Thanks a lot to Paizo for getting this up!

Shadow Lodge

I've seen the pre-publishing PDF and this is an awesome product.

Paizo Employee Developer

Very cool to see this out for public consumption finally! Seems like forever ago that I signed on to this project. I hope people like it and that it does well on the VTTs it was intended to work with.


FYI projected release date is August 2011.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very cool.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Very cool to see this out for public consumption finally! Seems like forever ago that I signed on to this project. I hope people like it and that it does well on the VTTs it was intended to work with.

What VTT is that?

And will there be a print/PDF bundle?

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

bigkilla wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
...I hope people like it and that it does well on the VTTs it was intended to work with.

What VTT is that?

I believe it was being configured for three different ones, and I can't remember their names right now so I'll defer to Jonathan--who was assisting in the conversion, IIRC.

-Ben.


The adventure is being created in FantastyGrounds, Maptool and TTopRPG.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What are the suggested levels for this?

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Whited Sepulcher wrote:


What are the suggested levels for this?

It's set at level 8 with sidebars for increasing the challenge ratings throughout.

-Ben.


bigkilla wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Very cool to see this out for public consumption finally! Seems like forever ago that I signed on to this project. I hope people like it and that it does well on the VTTs it was intended to work with.

What VTT is that?

And will there be a print/PDF bundle?

Repeating BK's second question: will there be a print/pdf bundle?

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Dark Sasha wrote:


Repeating BK's second question: will there be a print/pdf bundle?

I can't answer that one-- that's Steve's purview. Coliseum has a bundle, so I'd guess there will be one, but I cannot make that claim at this time. :)

-Ben.


Cubicle Seven and Rite Publishing are both part of the bits and mortar program this means whenever you buy any print product of ours from Paizo.com you will get the electronic version for free.


Rite Publishing wrote:

Cubicle Seven and Rite Publishing are both part of the bits and mortar program this means whenever you buy any print product of ours from Paizo.com you will get the electronic version for free.

Good to know, thank you Steve!

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

This was released to patrons last night, I think (the days sometimes blend), and looks great! I'm planning on running it at Gencon. :)

-Ben.


I approved the printing proofs today.

Sovereign Court

So, when will it ship ?


Well I saw physical copies at GenCon from cubicle seven that came straight fromt he printers. I expect cubicle seven will send off copies to PSI and then filter through the alliance distribution to paizo 2-3 weeks would be my guess.

Grand Lodge

terraleon wrote:

This was released to patrons last night, I think (the days sometimes blend), and looks great! I'm planning on running it at Gencon. :)

-Ben.

I was in the group that Ben ran through the mod at Gencon. Epic does not begin to describe it. The drama was high, the maps were gorgeous. Great job by everyone who had a hand in putting it together.


Just completed my first draft of the review and will have it ready for the non-patron release on Thursday. :)


All Encounter Text In Program: All the encounter text in the pdf is already built into the maptool campaign. Each button shows the corresponding section of text for the GM for quick reference - with read aloud sections clearly marked.

Preview Image #1

Preview Image #2


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

This product is HOT!


Elorebaen wrote:
This product is HOT!

No this product is Cool, ice Cool! :)

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Print/PDF bundle now available!


Reviewed! Nice work to all involved!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice review Dark Dawn. :)


Nice review, Dawn! Mine will follow tomorrow! :)


Thanks Dawn that really made our day.

Quickstart Video Tutorial on YouTube (for GMs who have never used maptool) now with British accent narration :)


Thanks Dawn. Some really great comments in there. Thanks for the thorough review and the 5 stars!

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Dark Sasha wrote:
Reviewed! Nice work to all involved!

And I'll second Jonathan's note-- thank you for the thorough review!

-Ben.


Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice a single glitch and the pdf is extensively bookmarked. I already commented on the stunning two-column layout, though I'd like to say that it's draining on the printer - I suggest you get a full color print copy of this devilishly handsome book if you want to run it. I'm jaded, let's face it. I've seen and read so many RPG-books, it's hard to excite me and especially adventures often fall short of my own high expectations. I won't have to modify Breaking of Forstor Nagar.

I'll change diddly-squat. This pdf is Ben McFarland's roaring rampage through an insidiously well-crafted, yet simple plot, taking flying, invisibility and similar tools at the PCs disposal into account, while providing a huge amount of awesome ideas. The tour de force through the city of grinding ice along its harrowing conclusion and nail-biting, exciting escape has me asking for more. This pdf is a stellar example of peak performance of all the talents that go into crafting a good book - from formal criteria, cartography, editing, writing, art, layout, writing and innovation (this being to my knowledge the first PFRPG-adventure that has specifically been designed for use with VTTs), Breaking of Forstor Nagar would be a prime candidate for 5 stars even without the support. With it and facing the raw quality of the combination of stellar performances by the individual participants who collaborated in this book, I can only say that I'd give this 6 stars if I could. My final verdict will be 5 stars, the Endzeitgeist seal of approval and the knowledge that this adventure will be sure to reemerge in my third party publisher's top ten list of 2011, it's that good.
Sometimes life as a reviewer is good.

Endzeitgeist out.


Reviewed here, on DTRPG, RPGaggression and sent to GMS magazine.

Cheers!


Now that's a fantastic review to wake up to. Thanks so much!

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed here, on DTRPG, RPGaggression and sent to GMS magazine.

Wow! Thank you for taking the time to do such an indepth review!

-Ben.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Two five star reviews! Ben McFarland, kicking ass and taking NPC names!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's a great time to be reviewer - First Citadel of Pain and now Breaking of Forstor Nagar - my top ten list of 2011 will require some very hard thinking...

Excellent work, Ben and a very cool (pardon the pun) patronage experience!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice review End.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rite Publishing wrote:
Quickstart Video Tutorial on YouTube (for GMs who have never used maptool) now with British accent narration :)

All I can say is... OMG!

The video gives a great introduction to running the module using MT and Jonathan references the main site for tutorials at the beginning of the video for folks wanting more details on the VTT itself.

The framework that Jonathan put together to run the module in MapTool is very nice! It's all of the little touches that integrate nicely with the VTT that make it such a sweet setup: links to the PRD for combat maneuvers, spells, and so forth; statblocks with just a single click; spell effects programmed as macros (just click "fireball" to see the damage and save DC)...

Congratulations to Jonathan, Rite Publishing, DevinNight, and the entire crew on a job well done!


Thanks Azhrei! The module wouldn't have been possible without the hard work that's gone into building maptool into the tool it is today. Hopefully this will help to show off the stable 1.3 release.


Thanks Megan for the fantastic review! Wow, two 6 star ratings :)

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

JonathanRoberts wrote:
Thanks Megan for the fantastic review! Wow, two 6 star ratings :)

Yes! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! :D


The Breaking of Forstor Nagar video trailer

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Added some preview images for the MapTool setup - enjoy!


Thanks Liz


Bought the .pdf, read it, contemplating running it, have some questions.

1) What is the point of the fireboat? If it blows up, it kills the attackers and defenders both. Okay, it's a suicide mission... but then what's the point of destroying this exit, other than to deny one possible exit to people in the city? I can't make sense of this.

Also, "Each round a square of deck burns, the adjacent squares must make a DC 15 Reflex save". That's fine, but what is the ship's Reflex save bonus?

2) Why keep repeating similar or identical environmental information? "The temperature is very cold: Those not wearing winter clothing or without endure elements or cold resistance of some kind must make a make a DC 15 Fortitude check every half hour" That phrase gets repeated eight times. Why not just say it's the default, instead of repeating it at the beginning of each section?

Similarly, why do we need to be told repeatedly what the "Across the Buildings" checks are?

3) I can't understand the tactical situation within the city as a whole. Obviously the Legion is already inside the walls in force. So why are a group of them still outside with the fireship? And if the Oracle is what they came for, why aren't they concentrating their efforts on the Oracle?

4) My PCs love flying, so I wish there'd been more detail on dealing with flying characters. Basically we just get lightning ballistas (which, if the Legion is inside the city, why are these still manned?) and a Perception DC. But what about invisible fliers? How will the ballista crews respond to an ordinary-looking bird -- a familiar, animal companion, or summoned creature?

5) Does a creature writeup for the Hunger Devils exist somewhere?

6) Mathinder is an Exp9 with 39 hp... and that's all the information about him. Given the importance of Mathinder to the story, it really seems like he should have a bit more detail. If a PC trys to Charm or Dominate him, what's his Will save? If the party decides to tie him up, does he have Escape Artist? If they try bluffing him, what's his Sense Motive? Does he have any useful skills that can help the party -- say, with those skill checks at the end, with the teleport circle? If the enemies target him, what's his AC?

I understand there's not room to give this much detail for every single NPC, but this guy is the McGuffin. Dealing with him is a key part of the adventure, and keeping him alive is the whole point of the adventure. Did I miss something?

Thanks in advance,

Doug M.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

reviewed.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

First of all, thank you for picking up Breaking. I think you'll really enjoy it.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:


1) What is the point of the fireboat? If it blows up, it kills the attackers and defenders both. Okay, it's a suicide mission... but then what's the point of destroying this exit, other than to deny one possible exit to people in the city? I can't make sense of this.

Also, "Each round a square of deck burns, the adjacent squares must make a DC 15 Reflex save". That's fine, but what is the ship's Reflex save bonus?

Well, it's an unattended object. Strictly speaking, I guess it would have a -6 to that check and possibly a +3 circumstance bonus from the sea spray. When I ran it and thought about it, I just did a flat d20 roll because it was easiest.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:


2) Why keep repeating similar or identical environmental information? "The temperature is very cold: Those not wearing winter clothing or without endure elements or cold resistance of some kind must make a make a DC 15 Fortitude check every half hour" That phrase gets repeated eight times. Why not just say it's the default, instead of repeating it at the beginning of each section?

Similarly, why do we need to be told repeatedly what the "Across the Buildings" checks are?

Personally, I find that when environmental information is provided only once at the beginning of an adventure and then never repeated, the information can be easily overlooked or accidentally forgotten. Additionally, the weather changes between encounters 1 and 4, and while the temperature remains constant, other aspects change. We wanted the weather to be as much of an element as the Legion, and by keeping it apparent at the beginning of each section, it remains forefront in a GM's mind.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:


3) I can't understand the tactical situation within the city as a whole. Obviously the Legion is already inside the walls in force. So why are a group of them still outside with the fireship? And if the Oracle is what they came for, why aren't they concentrating their efforts on the Oracle?

Because they're trying to capture as much of the city's population as possible and so by eliminating an escape route, they help ensure more of the citizens fill the Legion's larders. It's not necessarily a suicide mission, either. There's a boat sitting there on the ice shelf. They could easily crash their ship, set it on fire and then escape back into the water on the smaller boat. Once the ship explodes and the gate is breached, they'd be able to go in and either ascend through the ruins, or backtrack and ascend another way.

The Legion's leadership has its goals. Regular and hopeful legionnaires get to eat what they kill or capture and possibly gain the opportunity to become full Hungering Legionnaires. That's a pretty big motivator.

This mission might have larger strategic value to the Legion through the complete demoralization of the populace as it becomes apparent there is no escape, but the party doesn't know, the mission operatives might not know that value, and really, it isn't too pertinent beyond the encounter.

Also, an important point here-- the Legion is crazy. Stable, but crazy. The logic of crazy is not always something the not-crazy can parse. The particulars of crazy-stable and crazy-unstable with regards to the Legion is a topic discussed in the adventure.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:


4) My PCs love flying, so I wish there'd been more detail on dealing with flying characters. Basically we just get lightning ballistas (which, if the Legion is inside the city, why are these still manned?) and a Perception DC. But what about invisible fliers? How will the ballista crews respond to an ordinary-looking bird -- a familiar, animal companion, or summoned creature?

...Your characters are invisible and flying.

Here's the my thought process-- Overland flight is going to be out of reach for most groups at this point, and certainly a mass version would likely be. To me, this means the party is investing a decent amount of resources at level eight to obviate a number of obstacles because travel time between most encounters exceeds any other flight spell's duration.

With your situation, I would say they get where they want to go without incident. However, this also presumes they know where they're going and can both clearly communicate and properly navigate a foreign city from the air while unable to see their companions. If they are willing to invest those resources, then I'd have no problem with them bypassing encounters. At that point, though, there will probably be additional reinforcements for encounter 5, or an attack in the night before encounter 5.

As far as regular birds, well, you're at a seaport. There are a *lot* of birds. Gulls, albatrosses, frigate birds. I would expect normal birds are ignored. Ordinary looking animal companions or familiars would probably be ignored too. I would say that if the flying creature looks out of the ordinary or strange, then it's going to get lit up on the suspicion that it's a scout for the defenders or the Legion.

And why are the defenses manned?

Because this is their home.

The defenders don't want to just give up. They might not be able to escape, they might not want to accept they can't hold off the attackers until help arrives. They might think they can still defeat the legion. They might not yet realize the city is lost, because the siege has made communication difficult. They might be trying to cover the escape of some other group. There are a lot of reasons why the defenders keep fighting despite the inevitability of their defeat.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:


5) Does a creature writeup for the Hunger Devils exist somewhere?

I think what you want is on page 22.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:


6) Mathinder is an Exp9 with 39 hp... and that's all the information about him. Given the importance of Mathinder to the story, it really seems like he should have a bit more detail. If a PC trys to Charm or Dominate him, what's his Will save? If the party decides to tie him up, does he have Escape Artist? If they try bluffing him, what's his Sense Motive? Does he have any useful skills that can help the party -- say, with those skill checks at the end, with the teleport circle? If the enemies target him, what's his AC?

I understand there's not room to give this much detail for every single NPC, but this guy is the McGuffin. Dealing with him is a key part of the adventure, and keeping him alive is the whole point of the adventure. Did I miss something?

If they're going to charm him or dominate him, he's not really going to forcibly resist them-- he's not that kind of character, and that's discussed to some extent on pages 26, 27 and 31. I play Mathinder very Zen Buddhist Master, a completely mundane sort of holy man who attempts to show his captors the most morally apt path they can strive to follow. He's not going to attempt escaping, he doesn't interfere. He knows when he's outclassed, and so if the party takes him as a prisoner, then he'd go along and make sure the party felt fairly terrible about essentially putting their pacifist grandfather in irons or under a compulsion spell and leaving the innocents to die. He doesn't feel his life is more valuable than anyone else's life, but he's not going to resist, because that might cost the adventurers their lives, and it's not something he wants. He's not wearing armor, he's 50ish, and he's an expert, so he's going to have an AC of about 8. (Putting him in armor is putting an old, friendly dog in a sweater with a traffic cone collar... a big metal sweater he can't really easily move while wearing.)

Once the party learns what they learn from the other refugees, then Mathinder attempts to entice them into acting aptly by showing them the alternate opportunity to escape which also includes a chance to act properly. He doesn't need more than hit points, really, because if he's being attacked like that and he's undefended, then the party has already failed. He's got hit points listed for things like area of effect damage.

I don't figure he has any skills terribly useful for activating the end events for two reasons-- if he did, he would have attempted an escape himself. Apparently an adept isn't enough magic juice to get things going. A PC level caster is necessary-- if anything, that's an oversight on my part for not accounting for parties without casters, in which case you'd need to get the adept and Mathinder to the circle.

And if he's making the checks, then it's not the PCs being the heroes anymore, it's Mathinder, and he's not supposed to be the hero here. He's the characters' opportunity to show courage, strong moral fortitude, and general bad-assery. Not only that, but you might not want him to be that sort of character. By leaving him vague and not completely defined, you have the leeway to customize him as you see fit or swap him out for someone customized to your campaign. If I'd overly defined him, I might have been tempted to make various encounters that utilized aspects of his stat block and I wanted to avoid that temptation.

Please feel free to ask me more questions. These kinds of considerations help with future design.

Thanks again!

-Ben.


Quote:


We wanted the weather to be as much of an element as the Legion, and by keeping it apparent at the beginning of each section, it remains forefront in a GM's mind.

I see the force of that, but over the course of an adventure it does use up a fair amount of room -- those three short paragraphs of description get repeated eight or nine times.

Maybe you could just give the details once, then thereafter say "Cold. See page 2"?

Quote:
There's a boat sitting there on the ice shelf. They could easily crash their ship, set it on fire and then escape back into the water on the smaller boat.

...actually, the text specifically says that they ground the ship and then attack the door. "[T]they set the ship alight just before ramming the shelf, then leap on to the shelf and attack the gate. They attempt to hack down the door before the fireboat explodes."

That doesn't make a lot of sense. I guess you can handwave this by saying they're insane, but...

More in a bit,

Doug M.

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