The Breaking of Forstor Nagar (PFRPG)

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

Add PDF $9.99

Print/PDF Bundle Unavailable

Facebook Twitter Email

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

Additional Product Images


(click to enlarge)
RIP6805E-A RIP6805E-B RIP6805E-C RIP6805E-D

Additional Formats

PDF

Our Price: $9.99

Add to Cart

Product Availability

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

Print/PDF Bundle: Unavailable

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

RIP6805B


See Also:

1 to 5 of 6 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

***** (based on 6 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

****( )

The Breaking of Forstor Nagar, is an adventure written for a playgroup of 8th level characters for the Pathfinder rules system. Weighing in with 48 pages, losing only 4 pages to non material (front and back covers, OGL and ToC), the remaining 44 pages are formatted to a dual column layout, with the occasional embedded artwork. The PDF is fully bookmarked for separate sections, which is always a good thing. Maps are interspersed throughout relevant sections as appropriate. Crested with a stylized white dragon head and wings, each page is adorned with the thematic graphics one would associate with an adventure in a frozen environment. Across the bottom of the page in the background one can see the skyline of what I assume is the city of Forstor Nagar, framed with what can only be assumed to be the herald standards of the invading legion this adventure presents as the adversary the group has to overcome. So, right off the bat, this PDF is very visually graphic heavy, and would be a nightmare on a home printer. Luckily, the product is available in print, so there is an option to see these pages as they are meant to be seen in print.

Giving us a mercenary legion of cannibals as our main antagonists, this adventure steps away from the classic creature killing adventures that flood the marketplace. The idea that your enemy is in fact human, and still wants to eat you, adds a level of creepiness to the entire product that really takes the story to a new level.

But why are these cannibals attacking Forstor Nagar in the first place? Because of the oracle, an adult white dragon. They want to feast upon his heart, assuming that they will gain his precognitive powers if they do. The fact that their stocking up on supplies, loot and enough to eat for days while working their way through the city of Forstor Nagar is simply icing upon the dragon heart cake for the invaders.
As the city is under siege, the PC's have many obstacles to deal with to even get into the city in the first place, as well as traversing the environment once in. The adventure supplies a few options for why the group would enter this killing field, but they all boil down to one basic concept, its a snatch and grab, they are there on a rescue attempt of one person of importance. Of course, as always happens, the important person in the adventure refuses to leave without dragging as many other people as possible, making what could be handled quickly and easily into an ordeal for the PC's.

Looking over the maps within the PDF, I find that I am really torn. On the one hand, the cartography itself is clear, colorful, and all around excellent. However, nothing ruins a gorgeous map faster than covering it with little circles full of letters and predetermined location markers for a playgroup. These maps are all but useless when it comes to being able to use them for players, as there is no way to hide the icons, short of removing the maps from the PDF and breaking out ones photoshop skills. I understand the adventure comes with Maptools support, but it occurs to me that for groups not using this program, perhaps setting the PDF to have hide-able layers for the maps would have really helped a lot. And in regards to several of the predetermined and marked areas for the PC's on multiple maps, as well as the written assumptions within the adventure of player choices for approach and movement. It feels very much like the PC's are expected to do only what was thought of by the author of this adventure, I know my own playgroup found several variable answers to how to enter the city that fell well outside what was expected of them by the adventure. Now, I will admit, as a GM I have always encouraged non linear thinking from my playgroups, but I can not help but think that marking a map with a white box stating PC's is presumptive, as is stating that only this roof can be landed upon, or this alley walked through. I am fully aware any GM can work around the text on the fly, but a marking on the map becomes an issue all unto itself.

Several times throughout the PDF, NPC's and combatants are graphically represented with top down illustrations, not only can you not see any true detail in an illustration of this nature, the ones chosen are graphically very reminiscent of a cartoonish style and feel. To clarify, there are pieces of artwork throughout the PDF that are amazingly good, the illustration of the remorhaz is amazing. Unfortunately the very next page has a top down, Saturday morning cartoon version remorhaz, which is jarring in how different of an art style is it from the previous piece.

Those using the Maptools program and tools will find the support package an excellent addition, and I have no doubt those with more skill at the program than I will truly appreciate all of the tokens included with the full encounter maps. I, while obviously not being a fan of the art style of these top down tokens, could not help but take note that everything a GM would need to run these encounters token wise was included. And yes, those same maps from the PDF, once covered with tokens as opposed to letters, look a lot better. I'm still not a fan of the white boxes stating PC on them on the maps, but that's a personal choice.

Ending thoughts.....An interesting setting, with a unique situation in that the PC's find themselves with a task to achieve in the middle of a siege. Maps that I want to love, I do, but I am having a hard time getting past the letters all over them....artwork that goes from truly beautiful, to the topdown map tokens. And, I want to be clear, in regards to the top down tokens, where as I am not a fan of them myself, it is not because they are not well drawn, it is simply a personal taste issue in regards to the style they are done in. As far as, is the storyline a decent challenge, and a good story for a group to play through? Yes, there is a story here that is well thought out and very playable. I would like to have seen more attention paid to how the Oracle is imprisoned, and how it managed to get free. It felt like there was in the end, more attention paid to various options pertaining to the Hungering Legion's history and motivations, than to details of the Oracle's that would of helped make the encounter with the dragon much more detailed.

So...all things taken into account, art, maps, the absolutely flawless formatting (I couldn't find a single formatting or grammatical error), story and playability I am going to go with a four star rating of this adventure. The feel in sections of “forcing” a group into a predetermined set of circumstances (the white box location markers), and the travesty of marring the maps with large white circles filled with letters (a layered PDF with the option to hide layers would of easily solved this) kept me from giving this a five star.


Great high concept adventure

*****

When I first bought and read this, I had a lot of questions and some quibbles -- see the discussion thread for details. But when I actually ran it, the result was a bunch of guys saying "wow" and "best session ever". This module had my players alternately awed, cowed, and doing high-fives over the table.

I ran it as a disaster movie -- can the PCs rescue the civilians? WHO WILL SURVIVE?!? And it worked really well.

Congrats to Ben McFarland and Cubicle 7 -- well done.


A very "cool" adventure

*****

The Breaking of Forstor Nagar by Rite Publishing

This product is 48 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits, and ToC. (2 pages)

Adventure Introduction (2 ½ pages)
This is a adventure for 8th level PC's. This section starts off with a background, summery and general information about the adventure.

Part 1: A Bridge Over... (6 ½ pages)
The first scene is when the PC's first arrive it is a action packed encounter with a serious time pressure. There is also notes on how to handle some spells being used that can dramatically change the encounter as well as if the PC's decided to do something unexpected like look for another way into the city.

Part 2: Into the City (4 ½ pages)
A small encounter that gives a feel for what's happening in the besieged city. This encounter is likely to be a RP encounter but can turn into a combat one.

Part 3: A Fleeting Paradise (4 pages)
This a encounter as the PC's make their way threw the city to their destination. There is a interesting encounter, but one some PC's might find annoying. It introduces a NPC's that is very hard to keep alive, which might frustrate the PC's with the reason why.

Part 4: Knock Knock (6 pages)
Arriving at their location the PC's will have a encounter, how they get there and exactly how things might turn out are slightly effected by previous encounters.

Part 5: The Diplomatic Compound (3 ½ pages)
This encounter is purely a RP one. Once in with the defenders left in the city, they have to convince the man they came to see to leave and likely have to agree to escort the rest out as well. There is notes to handle things like if the PC's use charm and diplomacy checks etc.

Part 6: Flight into Ruin (3 ½ pages)
This encounter is about the PC's fighting their way out of the compound with the NPC's in the direction they need to go in the city to escape. Since the NPC's inform them of a better way to escape the city if they can get to it.

Part 7: Safe Passage (3 pages)
As the PC's travel threw the city they run across more survivors but not everything is as it seems. This encounter can go a few ways, from pure RP to a fight and the PC's might end up with a lot more NPC's to protect and lead out of the city.

Part 8: The Oracle of Forstor Nagar (5 pages)
The PC's arrive at the temple with the secret way to escape the city. After dealing with one encounter and meeting a oracle which is sure to surprise the PC's. They can then engage in some RPing in this section before more combat encounters take place.

Part 9: Escape from the Grinding Ice (3 ½ pages)
The PC's head under the temple and have to make their way to the escape point in the city. While fending off pursuit and likely protecting NPC's.

Appendix (3 pages)
This has a conclusion for the adventure a what happens next wrap up. 5 new magic items, 1 new template, and 4 pregen characters.

It ends with a OGL and back cover. (2 pages)

Closing thoughts. The art work is color and good. Editing and layout was good, I didn't notice any obvious errors. This product also uses maptools, extensively bookmarked as well. The adventure set up and concept are top notch and very cool. There is a real feeling of urgency and for any good aligned PC group there will be added pressure of trying to save as many people as possible. The encounters are well done, the encounter maps show you everything you need an there is a few twists and turns in the adventure to keep you on your toes. I really liked the adventure.

But I didn't think it was perfect I do have two nitpicks about it. One is one of the encounters it is very hard to save a NPC and some players I think will be annoyed with how it happens as they can do almost nothing to stop it. The other nitpick is I wish there had been a overview map of the city. I wouldn't have had to have been a detailed one just a vague one to give the GM a sense of the size of the city and help give a better sense of describing the flight threw the city. Second one is a bigger issue, while the adventure is great. It could have been one of the all time great 3pp adventures for Pathfinder, it still might be. But having the map would have helped. So what's my rating? Well despite the two issues I mentioned it is still a outstanding adventure so I am going it a 5 star review.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


An RPG Resource Review

*****

First up, it's a cracking adventure in its own right. The Adventure Background opens with an evocative account of a dying city, detailing how it has come under vicious attack from the Hungering Legion, a bunch of mercenaries that you really don't want to meet on a dark night. But meet them the characters must, them and those who defend the city so desperately, if they are to complete their quest. Even here, though, are the chances to make this adventure your own, a living breathing part of your campaign world, not just something plonked down because you fancy running it and it's the right level for your players... a series of questions about fundemental motivations and underlying facts, replete with ideas. You could even take this as a starting point to build a campaign around, this adventure could be a culmination or just a waypoint in your plot. Or just run it as is, with as much or as little of the wider background as suits your style. A few 'hooks' to suggest why your characters might get involved and we're off.

Off indeed, in an in media res first encounter that has the characters already having struggled through snow and ice and tunnels to reach the very gates of the beseiged city. Descriptions and advice to the GM help create vivid images - and this is if you are presenting the game conventionally, rather than using the extensive resources provided for users of the MapTools virtual table top system. Attention must be paid to the hostile environment, the cold is at least as much of an enemy as the... well, enemy is! They are, however, very active on their own account.

Being at least partially a 'location-based' adventure, there are lots of options available at every point, all laid out clearly so that the well-prepared GM can cope with whatever decisions the characters make. There's even advice on how to handle some more exotic ideas for spell use that devious wizards might come up with! The action continues as the characters (hopefully) manage to enter the city and find their way - using combat or guile or negotiation - to where the person they have been sent to find might be. Clever use is made of difficult terrain and fog - both the meteorological sort and the 'fog of war' - to ensure that the party will end up passing through certain locations (where of course encounters will happen) without feeling that they are being led by the nose to get there, the sense of being free to explore the city, a city in the dying throes of a bitter siege, is strong. Despite the confusion, everyone and every creature has a reason for being where they are encountered, and their motivations and likely reactions are provided in such a way that whatever the characters do, you should be able to work out an appropriate response to their actions.

The adventure culminates in a dramatic escape attempt, replete with thorny moral questions to challenge the characters as they pick their way through difficulties that transcend the physical, causing them to question what they are doing as well. Or at least, that dimension is available for groups who seek more than the exercise of sword-arm and spellbook against a defined enemy. Those who prefer it kept simple can be challenged as much or as little as you see fit without deminishing the adventure - but if you seek a truly epic tale, make them think about the choices that they make!

Now to the extra twist to this tale: if you use MapTools you get (along with the download if you have bought the PDF or via the Bits-and-Mortar program if you bought it in print) a customised set of maps and tokens that are both spectacular and practical. Even better, if you are new to MapTools, tutorials are available on the Rite Publishing website to show you how to use the resources provided to best advantage. The visual effect is such that if there is any way to run your game where you can access the Internet, consider whether you might use them even if everyone is in the same room!

Be that as it may, here is a good, tough and challenging adventure, with plenty of material to enable you to run it effectively no matter what the characters do; moreover one which will make them think about more than just how to overcome the next obstacle.

Can I give it 6 Stars?


A premium product if there ever was one

*****

This adventure is 48 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial and ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 44 pages of content, so let's check it out!

Disclaimer: I'm a latecomer patron this project.

The first thing you'll notice when taking a look at this adventure is its layout - Jonathan Roberts, cartographer extraordinaire, has also provided the stunningly beautiful layout for this pdf, which actually surpasses most rpg-books I've seen. It's really worth a mentioning if the layout appears like some kind of extra piece of art. Oh yeah, art. Cover and interior artist Tyler Bartley along his co-illustrators Jonathan Roberts (again, what can't the guy do?) and James "DevinNight" Hazelett provide some of the most eye-boggling, stunning pieces of artwork I've ever seen in any 3pp-product: The 5 pieces of original artwork are so beautiful it almost hurts and rank on the same level as Paizo and similar first party publishers, if not even surpassing them. James Hazelett provides a plethora of easy to use paper-counter-like mini-artworks like the ones you might e.g. know from his Dark Forest pack. Have I mentioned that each and every locale featured in the adventure gets its own map by Jonathan Roberts? If there ever was a beautiful rpg-book that screamed "I'm a high-quality" premium product when looking at it, this is it.

The Breaking of Forstor Nagar is an 8th level adventure, but that is about all I can say prior to going into details, so from here on to the conclusion,

SPOILERS REIGN!

If you intend to participate as a player, stop reading and jump to the conclusion NOW!
...

Still here? All right!

Forstor Nagar not only sounds like an awesome place (or a black/death metal band) but rather is - the city is carved into a glacier and subsequently consists mostly of ice, a beautiful and cool backdrop if there ever was one. But what exactly are the PCs supposed to do there? Well, the city is under siege by the dread Hungering legion, an army of devil-driven cannibalistic barbarians set to consume the heart of the city's legendary oracle to attain its foresight. Meanwhile, via one of the 4 sample hooks provided, the PCs will have to infiltrate the city and convince a certain Mathinder to escape with them - before the Breaking of Forstor Nagar is complete and the last defenders fall to the terrible cannibals. Who are a great looming force - somewhat reminiscent of Fierfly's reavers, several origins to customize them are included, adding to their mystery and making their implementation into any given campaign world a rather easy feat to accomplish.

The adventure drops the PCs almost in medias res, beginning their assault/chase through Forstor Nagar via their descent from an ice bridge to a fireboat's deck manned by legionnaires - it's up to the PCs to take the boat by force, prevent its crashing into the city walls or follow some other, clever plan. A surefire way to tell good design from bad is when an encounter can easily be modified and acknowledge different PC-strategies like using water elementals etc - all in all one of the most memorable first encounters in any given adventure I've had the pleasure of reading.

It is here I'd like to add that extensive information on the locale, temperatures, terrain etc. is included throughout the whole adventure, significantly facilitating play. The second encounter has the PCs, via the rooftops, open or disguised, get behind the line of defense of Forstor Nagar's defenders and their cool lightning-ballista siege weapons. Whether social, stealthy, smart or slaying, a plethora of options is encouraged by the 3 starting positions, Jonathan Robert's beautiful map and Ben McFarland's smart design. the terrain is used to full effect in this encounter, guaranteeing a memorable encounter that is followed up by a cool part where the PCs find the now shattered green houses of the ice city along the intruding remorhazes - after all, what better source to generate sufficient heat in these dread climates? They can even prevent further attacks by these dread creatures and might also meet a multitude of monkeys throwing stinking fruit, a nice nod to one of my favorite 2nd edition adventures of old.

Depending on their actions, the upcoming assault on a barricade of the legion will be one hellish battle with the legion and its infernal hunger devils to offer enough time to evacuate the diplomatic compound, saving further citizens (with sample personalities given, offering the extra mile of information that makes running adventures a joy and easy) and finally making contact with Mathinder...who wants the whole refugees be saved as well.

Thankfully, Mathinder is not lawful stupid and after the nice change of pace the social encounter provides, has a plan. The plethora of refugee-characters make for as many or as few additional complications as the DM desires, and the next encounter has the hungering legion fight more than dirty as the PCs try to take out one of the legion's pitch-casting siege weapons, finally reaching the temple of the oracle, where magical escape is waiting if they rescue more hostages and best some rhino cavalry, that is. Yes. I just wrote "rhino cavalry" as an afterthought - the adventure is that good. Sometimes, life as a reviewer is good to me.

Unfortunately, the oracle is an adult white dragon and the ensuing three-way battle between oracle, legion and PCs makes for an iconic & awesome climax - just to have the main forces of the legion arrive and the characters, hopefully, barricading the temple to flee through collapsing ice tunnels, braving stray, final legionnaires, collapsing sections and seeking to reach the saving teleport circle and escape from the collapsing weight of the city coming down upon the catacombs.

The sequence also comes with complicating factors, a lot of sample DCs and a skill-challenge-style optional encounter to repair the circle.

The pdf also offers 5 new magic items: From the skin-rending "flensing" quality, to arachnid bolas and ghoul nets, we get a nice set of disturbing tools. The pdf closes with the CR+1 hungering creature template as well as 4 pregens.

That's not where the content stops, though: The Breaking of Forstor Nagar was created with full support for virtual table tops, enabling you to play this pdf via the internet and all your friends, wherever in the world they may be via the free maptool (including a youtube tutorial by the guys from RiP), Fantasy Grounds, and TTopRPG - seeing the quality of the artworks and Jonathan Robert's cartography, this experience is sure to not only be pleasing on a content-level, but also to the eye.

Edit: I was just informed that the stationary background trade dress was actually created by James "Devin Night" Hazelett not Jonathan Roberts - credit where credit is due, great work!

For the conclusion, see the product discussion.


1 to 5 of 6 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
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 .


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 Franchise Manager

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

Very cool.

Dark Archive

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?


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?


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?


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!


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


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

This product is HOT!


Elorebaen wrote:
This product is HOT!

No this product is Cool, ice Cool! :)

Contributor

Print/PDF bundle now available!


Reviewed! Nice work to all involved!

Dark Archive

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!


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!


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.


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

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 :)


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

Contributor

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

reviewed.


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.

1 to 50 of 106 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / The Breaking of Forstor Nagar (PFRPG) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.