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Pathfinder Adventure Path #92: The Hill Giant's Pledge (Giantslayer 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

***½( ) (based on 5 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #92: The Hill Giant's Pledge (Giantslayer 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

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A Giant Spurned

The orcs attacking Trunau have been defeated, but the danger remains—the hill giant chieftain Grenseldek still wants the treasures of the tomb beneath Trunau. In order to protect their chosen community, the heroes must leave it and travel by riverboat through the orc-ruled Hold of Belkzen to the abandoned border fort that the giant has claimed as her lair. Yet even putting down Grenseldek and her squabbling monstrous minions may not be enough to save Trunau. For the hill giant has sent a fateful letter, and a storm is brewing on the horizon...

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Giantslayer Adventure Path and includes:

  • "The Hill Giant's Pledge," a Pathfinder adventure for 4th-level characters, by Larry Wilhelm.
  • A detailed look at the various drakes that soar throughout the Inner Sea, by Russ Taylor.
  • A collection of exciting additional encounters set in the Mindspin Mountains, by David Schwartz.
  • A perfect ambush goes awry in the Pathfinder's Journal, by Michael Kortes.
  • A host of new monsters, by Benjamin Bruck, Thurston Hillman, Mikko Kallio, and Larry Wilhelm.

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.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-726-0

"The Hill Giant's Pledge" 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 (1.1 MB zip/PDF).

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

Product Availability

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

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

PZO9092


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Product Reviews (5)

Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 5 ratings)

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Good adventure

****( )

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

The second part of the Giantslayer Adventure Path, The Hill Giant’s Pledge by Larry Wilhelm contains a wide assortment of interesting NPCs (both villains and allies), each with fairly detailed back-stories and motivations. It makes for a wonderfully dynamic adventure that can play out in a multitude of different ways depending on what the PCs do. There are a couple of inconsistencies here and there that don’t work quite so well, but on the whole, it’s a very good continuation of the adventure path.


A mix of different things

***( )( )

The second book continues quite well from the first book even though it's kind of a mixed bag why they would send a small group to take over an entire fort.

I liked the march and the Vault of Thorns as locations and there's a diverse mix of encounters in this part of the AP. The boat ride can depend a lot on the group but for us it was kinda neutral thing. There's a few NPC:s you can get to help your party which is a nice plus.

For negatives I kinda expected something more out of the Vault of Thorns loot. The Fort was an alright locale but if the PC:s head straight to the top it can be very brutal. Also starting from the end of this book the hook points towards the next place just use the same idea to get you to move forward.


Much more than giant slaying

****( )

As a quick summary, the three parts of the adventure are diverse and well-thought. The last part is rather difficult to prepare, but it's worth the hassle. There are some giants of different types, although we faced enough other opponents to don't get bored. It's not just hack'n'slay, the group meets a few interesting neutral / friendly NPCs in each part. Some encounters feel a bit tacked on or dull, so I give 4 of 5 stars.

Spoiler:
It starts well, with some hints how to deal with enchanted giants and oversized weapons and armor. The first third of the adventure consists of a boat journey with very diverse challenges (probably too diverse for some tastes) and much roleplay potential with the crew. My group learned to like the grumpy captain and enjoyed roleplaying their work on the ship.

The marsh and vault were ok. I am not a big fan of fey (anklebiters, don't feel like worthy foes), so I spiced it up with a succubus causing havoc all over the vault. Some of the original encounters were still good though, especially the rough fight against a big plant creature. The reward was disappointing, so I replaced it with custom weapon upgrades (giant bane makes a difference).

Phew, the fort. I had quite some trouble to prepare it, given the many rooms and especially the connections between them. The room numbering is quite confusing, and I am not so fond of the risk that the party encounters the boss very early. After printing the map and putting notes on it I finally got it handled. The feuding factions are an awesome concept, the friendly NPCs are good and the fort has potential for several good battles.

Can't say much about the additional content (missions in the area, drake ecology, pathfinder journal, bestiary) - it was an ok read, but didn't find its way into the actual play.

I have some general issues with the format of the AP books:

Spoiler:
First, the adventure could have used more distinct markers for its three sections. Second, new sections and subsections simply begin wherever the last unit ended. So it's easy to miss them, and you have to flip pages more than necessary. I really prefer the Bestiary format here, even if it needs heavy use of extra text, images and sidebars to start new content at a new page. Finally (and most importantly), some information is scattered all over the book. Major information about the boss can be found at page 7, 34, 39, 55 and 60 - that's quite annoying, especially when reading the PDF.


Good adventure but ulnae cover art

****( )

I enjoyed this adventure. The story arc has three distinct and interesting parts that allow for the characters to gather some experience and find their way to the hill giant fort. I think the fort itself is a real challenge as it involves a lot of moving parts, yet that can be managed with a good GM. I felt a little overwhelmed, but was able to make it work once the characters found an approach to it that made sense.

My only complaint is the cover art. As I said in my review of the first installment of this path, the art is over the top. Why hill giants need be deformed and so ugly I do not understand. They are humanoids not inbred freaks. Ogres already have the honor of being freakish on Galorian and the giantess on the front of this book is so bizarre looking that it makes it utterly improbable that she was leading anyone in some great vision of hers. I do not get why it needs to be this way. It is not inspiring, nor scary, just sort of freak show sad. It made for a far more pathetic looking enemy than my players thought they were dealing with. So I did to show it to them.


Very bad beginning, good middle, mediocre end

***( )( )

THE GOOD:
Part 2 of the adventure - Ghostlight March is great - especially the Vault of Thorns.
The 4 new monsters in the Bestiary section are all very usable and have fantastic backstories and ecology.
The Ecology of the Drake article is interesting with a few cool Drakes on Golarion examples.

THE BAD:
The 5 new magic items are underwhealming and won´t see much use outside of this adventure.
You have to draw a map of Redlake Fort for the Players if they find it.
The battle at the end of part 1 can well become CR 8 for a level 4 party - very hard!
Also the boss battle can be higher than CR 10 for a level 6 party.
Redlake Fort is pretty confusing sometimes.

THE UGLY:
On the cover Grenseldek looks like a mutant but on page 61 she looks like a normal Hill Giantess without any mutant abilities - artistic freedom but not cool.
Part 1 - Rivers of Belkzen is full of errors:
-the boat is not a keelboat (to large and too many decks), it is stated as 120 feet long but is 160 long when you count on the map, it is stated as 30 feet wide but is 40 feet wide on the map and it is stated that the ceilings are 5 feet high which makes no sense.
Also there is not enough space for 8 horses on deck.
The horse problem continues on page 20 map C - the stables are too small for 2 horses or dire wolves.
Also K8 is not a dam but a sluice or watergate.
-Melira´s backstory makes no sense at all - she would need a week or more to get from Freedom Town to Trunau - she should have been in Trunau the whole time in AP 91.
-Handout 1 makes no sense either: she can not know where the heroes are going as Silvermane and Halgra are the only ones who know and the letter can´t reach Tark in time with conventional means.

All in all a mediocre adventure which needs some serious work from the gamemaster to fix the errors.
Not as good as AP 91 but not bad either.


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