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

****( ) (based on 17 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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Non-Mint: Unavailable This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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Product Reviews (17)
1 to 5 of 17 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 17 ratings)

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***( )( )

Player review.

An interesting start to a campaign. Lots of role play and some interesting encounters to keep the combat types happy. I have two grumbles though. One is that the encounters seem arbitrary, just set to sow off the events taking place. I'd have much preferred to just get on with the story than keep having to have unnecessary encounters when GM description will do. Secondly, like most AP's, there just isn't the opportunity to sell stuff and buy equipment. After several AP's this just gets old.


A heavy-handed introduction to a most promising campaign

***( )( )

I just finished taking a group of 4 PCs through the module. While we had a lot of fun, I still had some gripes with a few things.

The trek through the Border Wood is a string of seemingly disconnected encounters. Yes, I get that most of them are there to illustrate the transformation of the woods but it felt like a theme park ride from one "Here is a strange monster, kill it!" to the next.

I definitely recommend to significantly condense this part down to the major encounters.

I also did not like the way the Black Rider just forces the PCs to take up his mantle. Sure, good-aligned characters might have some issues with trying to help a supposedly evil witch, but this solution seems too imposing.

Lastly, as written, the book fails to adequately introduce its final villain. The entire time the PCs think they are going to face a certain character but then end up fighting their out-of-office replacement who has not even come up in any way in the adventure. There is a line late in the book about how he scries on the party and how that should introduce him to the players but I don't really see how that would work.

But it is absolutely not all bad.

Plot-wise, this is the most epic exposition to an Adventure Path I have run so far. The PCs are sent off by the herald of an almost divine being to find out what happened to his mistress when they have just barely hit 2nd level!

Also, Neil Spicer added some really nice touches to the encounters. Even the ice elementals have first names! Everything has a reason and a motivation for being where it is, they are just not very likely for the PCs to find out about, so in the end it just seems random to them (see above).

I also liked the general atmosphere: The sense of dark fairy-tale and haunted forest comes across very well, right down to the wintery village oppressed by an evil overlord (or overlady, as it were).

All in all, I rate this 3 stars because the plot and atmosphere are nice, but the trek through the forest was just too much of a drag to rate this any higher in my opinion.

However, if you are willing to invest some time as a GM, I am sure you can easily add at 1 star.

All the ingredients for a great adventure are there, you just need to throw them into a cauldron, stir, and cackle.


Such a great beginning...

*****

GMed this over Play-by-Post.

This book has everything you want from the beginning of an AP. It really sets things up perfectly for the next lot of books, and really gets the characters invested in the plot. Rather than start out 'cold' (tee hee) in Irrisen, it lets them warm up (or cool down gradually) in the south before making a gradual and natural transition to wintery elements and wintery creatures, building nicely on what the players know and have experienced in an easy-to-approach fashion.

The plot itself is incredibly engaging and gives a beautiful glimpse into just how epic the adventure path at large will eventually be. It does all this without seeming unreasonably out of place for low-level character either. Truly great work, and all of my players are now chomping at the bit for the second instalment. So rewarding to see as a GM.

This is (so far) proving to be easily the best AP out there.

Oh, and if you're GMing this, do yourself a favor and pick up the Campaign Setting Irrisen: Land of Eternal Winter. It gives you a lot more insight into the Jadwiga and Irrisen in general and you'll find your players thanking you for all the extra accents and details you'll be able to sprinkle in to your campaign.


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!


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