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

****( ) (based on 13 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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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

PZO9067


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Product Reviews (13)
1 to 5 of 13 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 13 ratings)

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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


The Railroad: Choo choo choo

**( )( )( )

+1 to Tim Burgers review. Super-linear adventure. Half the encounters could be dropped as non-essential, wandering monster type encounters and you would not miss any of the story. So, why were they included?


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