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Pathfinder Adventure Path #67: The Snows of Summer (Reign of Winter 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

****( ) (based on 14 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #67: The Snows of Summer (Reign of Winter 1 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 1: "The Snows of Summer"
by Neil Spicer

The Reign of Winter Adventure Path begins with an exciting new adventure from RPG Superstar winner Neil Spicer! Every 100 years, the Witch Queen Baba Yaga returns to the nation of Irrisen to place a new daughter on the throne, but this time, something has gone wrong. Far to the south, winter cloaks the forest near the village of Heldren with summer snows. The heroes venture into the wood and discover a magical portal to the frozen land of Irrisen, whose supernatural winter will soon engulf all of Golarion unless they can discover the fate of the otherworldly witch Baba Yaga—a quest that will take them through snowbound Irrisen to even stranger lands beyond.

“The Snows of Summer” is a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for 1st-level characters. This volume kicks off the new Reign of Winter Adventure Path, and includes a gazetteer of the villages of Heldren and Waldsby, details on the cultural and magical legacies of Irrisen, and several new monsters in the Pathfinder Bestiary. Author Kevin Andrew Murphy launches a new Pathfinder Journal novella in this exciting volume of the Pathfinder Adventure Path!

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Reign of Winter Adventure Path and includes:
  • “The Snows of Summer,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 1st-level characters, by Neil Spicer.
  • A gazetteer of two villages—one in Taldor and the other in wintry Irrisen—to help flesh out the characters’ environs, by Rob McCreary.
  • A look into Irrisen’s legacies and mysteries GMs can use for this campaign, written and compiled by Rob McCreary.
  • An alchemist’s journey to Irrisen’s capital of Whitethrone in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Kevin Andrew Murphy.
  • Four new monsters, by Neil Spicer and James Wilber.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-492-4

The Snows of Summer 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 (639 KB zip/PDF).

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

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Product Reviews (14)
1 to 5 of 14 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 14 ratings)

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Great ideas, love the twists, but too much for level 1...

****( )

Nothing like an eager author, but in this case a little overboard. Word of caution-read the specs on the beasts and consider balance issues and difficulty for level 1 characters VERY carefully. When you total up one battle it is way too high for that level, especially with the very nicely thought out trick that comes with it. Lots here to work with, but running it out of the can is problematic. Not sure what the problem is with lower level adventures-they are SUCH a delicate time for an adventure and to have a wipe, or 3/4 of the party gone and the rest running is boring compared to just a close call or two..or three. But it is a lot harder to write for the latter to happen than just piling it on with minimal consideration...and editing by the staff that is supposed to be doing it. Maybe (someone) needs to start putting some sort of rating on the path modules for how much editing and work a DM will need to do before using them...maybe count it in hours...or days...hmmm.

SPOILER ALERT!

Spoiler: The dragon beast that can pounce and rake, but oops, the terrain is difficult (actually difficult x2), and how does it move and still carry a character around "in its coils" when it moves using the same coils? I realize this is fantasy but that isn't an excuse for things not being consistent. And a CR 1/2 for the exploding frost skeletons is off just by looking at it, but even though d20pf lists it both as 1/2 but then "add 1 CR" to a template-well you get the idea. Anyone that thinks something with an extra d6 elemental damage that then blows up at the end is a CR 1/2 is..confused? I'm chalking it up to over eager. And then you wipe out the bandits but then have to deal with 10 zombies to get out, after being tired from all that? AND with a cleric radiating 2d6 of negative energy 5 different times? Great idea at a higher level, overwhelming for this unless you have a very specific type of party (like maybe super high cha cleric, a paladin, a tank and a witch?). The elemental aspect of it all is a bit odd also without an easy way to get some endure elements going-sure you can crank out some scrolls, maybe buy a bunch if they are stocked, but then when you consider how long the trek actually takes to the lodge it all gets tedious unless you are just really into that sort of stuff ie. making a foray in, calculating how far you can go, maybe camping nearby and having a 25% chance of an encounter every 3 hours (?...did he mean then only check once per day, twice per day? Another thing left out or overdone).
Unfortunately if you are just to take out some of the pieces like the frost skeletons it effects the mood and some later parts from what I can tell...but tell me, how does the cleric navigate that little room with two skeletons radiating cold 5' out? You'd have to time your movements VERY carefully to make sure you don't end up next to them at the end of your turn. Overlooked? Looking forward to finishing this, but with a part of 5 on the fast track and at level 2 when they hit the lodge.


Well done craftsmanship.

****( )

I ran this adventure for a group of 5, so some modifications had to be made.

Overall, this one was a very fun experience. Initially, it was a little drawn out, with a more-or-less typical "string of not-so-random encounters on a road" followed a mid-boss fight which honestly didn't really float many boats, but that might have been our fatigue and my bad GMing as well.

Then, after the action moved to Irrisen, things went a lot better. The whole Waldsby part was arguably amazing, with NPC interactions, subplots and some really cool opportunities for improvisation.

Finally, the tower part was an enjoyable dungeon crawl with some memorable moments and a goat.

I'd rate the first part 3/5, the second one 5/5 and the third one 4/5, for a total of 4 stars. I'd also echo the comments about something wonky about how the cold conditions were handled in the adventure - I was really confused here and my group saved the day by spamming endure elements and mitigating the problem altogether.

Nevertheless, good start of what promises to be a turbo fun AP. Two frozen, frost-bitten thumbs up!


Fun adventure, but requires GM caution/adjustment

****( )

I divide my AP experience into 3 sections: Adventure, Supplements, and Layout/Art

The layout and art for this volume (and this AP) were as brilliant as ever. I especially like the inside cover material, and use it in my campaign. 9/10

The supplemental material was very useful. I love the expanded NPC/treasure format, and the villages were well presented. The monsters were all useful, though none particularly stood out. Unfortunately, the fiction in this AP did not keep my interest. 6/10

I'm a fan of Russian folklore, so this adventure appeals to me thematically. As usual, Mr Spicer uses Fey liberally and well. The NPC's are engaging, with interesting back-stories (especially Nadya).
While the author is very good at setting up twist encounters, there may be too many in the first 2 books of this Path. One encounter which particularly irked my players was the ravens: there is a setup to hide to avoid them, but it is nearly impossible for an entire low-level party to make the necessary check, and therefore they only make the encounter more difficult for themselves.
The biggest problem I had with the adventure was that it seemed the difficulty of the environmental conditions were not truly taken into account. I feel that those reviewers who said this was too easy were probably handwaving the cold damage, difficult terrain, and wind/snow effects. It seemed many of the encounters failed to take them into account as well.
It may have improved things if there had been a note or side-bar suggesting GM's take the difficult conditions into account when assigning xp, because the cold did more damage than many of the encounters.
Overall, however, it is an engaging story which my group enjoyed playing. 7/10


Great Adventure

*****

I had the opportunity to run the adventure path for Pathfinder Society for Organized Play. Overall great time! I found the scenario to be well written and challenging for a full group of adventurers, especially taking into account the weather conditions. I like the campaign setting overall.

My advice is to allocate as much time as reasonably possible to get through the entire sanctioned content for Pathfinder Society for Organized Play. A 6 hour session will feel rushed and doesn't offer as many roleplaying opportunities. I would recommend between 7-8 hours for an event.


Winter's coming?

****( )

This module starts somewhere in Taldor and its main plot arch is centered around a weather shift happening in the local area where the PCs happen to be.

In the middle of summer, patches of snow and ice start to appear around a particular forest. In the subsequent investigation, the PCs cross a portal to Irrisen in the north. In there, they will be chased by the winter witch's guards.

Eventually, they will need to fight back... this means locating the ice tower where the witch's man in charge lives and defeat him.

It's a very atmospheric module that uses the wintry weather as a very unique way to set the stage for the main plot lines. I like this module. I like the way the winter is thrown upon the unsuspecting PCs and catches them unprepared. I also like the fairy tale feeling of the strange land where you're not welcome, the bad guys are hunting you and you're not even sure why. I even like the ice tower, it makes for a fun dungeon with all the teleporting.

Not everything is positive, of course. I don't love the way the mission is dumped on to the PCs. Giving them the reward first before they actually complete the mission is risky so the author needed a way to force them to go on and prevent them from cheating. Enter the punishing side of the reward: the artifact penalizes the PCs if they stray from the mission. It is a very clunky way of setting up a mission. I believe there are better ways of handling this without threatening the players.

Also, splitting the forest part in two sections sounds repetitive. The way it's done, it's: following a trail, finding a cabin, defeating bad guys. Then, continuing the same trail, finding a camp site, defeating bad guys. I would have preferred to set up the first part as an investigation that gives clues to the second location. Oh, well.

My rating: 4 stars. I really like it but I'm missing a little more social interaction and options for the players. Even so, it's a very nice story in an evocative setting. Definitely one of the better ones from Paizo.

Read my full review here


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