Pathfinder Adventure Path #51: The Hungry Storm (Jade Regent 3 of 6) (PFRPG) (based on
Paizo Publishing, LLC
Through Ice and Fire
Chapter 3: "The Hungry Storm"
by Jason Nelson
Though few would call the Crown of the World hospitable, the PCs have no choice but to brave this icy frontier if they are to get Ameiko to Minkai. As they battle their way past the fell beasts that inhabit the arctic wasteland, the heroes must unravel the mystery of the supernatural blizzards that have been plaguing the polar icecap, ultimately confronting the dark and otherworldly force behind the treacherous gales. Will the adventurers survive the terrors of the Crown of the World long enough to remedy the curse that haunts it? Or will they succumb to the icy wastes, as have so many before them?
This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path includes:
"The Hungry Storm," a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 7th-level characters, by Jason Nelson.
A look at the perils and hazards of the treacherous Crown of the World, by Jason Nelson.
An exploration of Oda’s seedier side in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Dave Gross.
Four new monsters, by Jesse Benner, Jason Nelson, Patrick Renie, and Tork Shaw.
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.
In every adventure path, there always seems to be at least one volume that doesn’t live up to the quality of the others. For Jade Regent, that volume is The Hungry Storm. It’s a shame because this was one I was particularly looking forward to (I’ve always liked adventures set in the far north and I was particularly eager to see its treatment of the Erutaki, Golarion’s version of the Inuit). There are a lot of good ideas in it, and it’s the first one so far to make heavy use of the caravan, around which the adventure path is supposed to centre. However, those ideas are either not given enough depth or they just don’t string together well. The Hungry Storm is not a bad adventure—I’ve certainly seen far worse ones out there—but it’s not particularly great either. It’s somewhat mediocre overall, and when compared with the two excellent opening volumes, mediocre really stands out. That said, I do believe that in the hands of a competent GM, this adventure can still be a lot of fun for the players, who may not even notice its shortcomings.
So far my groups favorite installment. They had a blast improving their caravan - interacting with locals - the RP opportunities are extensive in this campaign and if not fully utilized can detract from this installment.
About half way through the PCs will incur the wrath of an unorthodox enemy that stalks and hunts them - eventually forcing them into catacombs where they must fight to survive. Groups more focused on hack and slash will probably not like this installment - that is okay because the DM can throw more random encounters in - or cut out some of the caravan sections. For those groups who like more RP - they will (as I said above) eat this adventure up.
This adventure requires a substantial amount of DM prep - but your group will thank you for it, and my thanks goes to Paizo for delivering on an adventure that my players have fallen in love with.
I think that the title of this review describes fairly well this part of the campaign.
The first part consists in a long trip scattered with encounters that have nothing to do each with other.
The second part is a little adventure with some investigation. After that comes another not so long trip through the North Pole with more encounters with no connection with the story (nor each with other). The part ends with an absurd tower where the point is throwing d20s decently to travel from one floor to another. There is an unavoidable combat in each floor. Very interesting...
The third and last part I have not played yet, but it seems to be somewhat better...
By the way. I had to skip the whole first part because in the beginning I decided not to use caravan rules (rules that have the power of converting a tactical combat with spells, feats and careful movements into a boring sequence of dice results).
Probably the worst thing that Paizo has published so far.
I guess I am of a completely different opinion than the reviewer before me. For me, this is where Jade Regent really kicks it off!
The PCs and their caravan travel into the wide open, and it immediately becomes clear that the wide open is dangerous, cold and *hungry*. The gloves are off, the players are in charge of a risky operation in hostile territory!
Caravan rules come to the fore and the players' skills at managing travel, resources and hazards are put to test. Danger, deadly denizens of frozen wastes and ever-present cold beset them on all sides.
I really like how the AP is going forth. Bonus points for rules for surviving in hostile environments (if you can access the excellent 3.5 supplement Frostburn, it's a great opportunity to use it) and the usual excellent support articles. Two thumbs up.
At first with this AP, I was not liking it, but I thought maybe I was just bitter about the disappointment that was Carrion Crown(see my review of the final adventure of CC to see why i was disappointed, if interested). So, i was trying to give this new AP a chance to grow on me, but this adventure totally shot all that down.
I really wanted to stop reading this one and give up on this AP, and that is sad for me to say, because i used to enjoy pretty much everything Paizo released. The caravan rules for this are just annoying and unnecessary. It is already annoying enough that the rules for the caravan are not in the AP itself. It is very annoying to have to get a PDF just to see what is being referred to. But this adventure way overdoes it. I really dont see how any group would have fun with their characters abilities being superseded or even ignored in favor of caravan rolls. Reading this one I started to cringe every time Security rolls or Resolve checks were mentioned.
Even the article on the Crown of the World was poorly presented. A lot of the rivers and lakes mentioned and other places mentioned were not even labeled on the map, so was a bit confusing some places as to where the place was that was being referred to.