Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–18: From Under Ice (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 20 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

Rumors of an ancient settlement and its priceless treasure locked beneath Irrisen’s perpetual ice have reached the Society’s ears. The Pathfinders set out to the Land of the Linnorm Kings with a precious cargo of trade goods to buy their way into the witch-ruled nation, but even approaching Irrisen is fraught with danger. Can the PCs navigate the frozen wastes and recover the relics within, or will the icy climate claim their lives?

Content in “From Under Ice” contributes directly to the Year of the Sky Key metaplot as well as the ongoing storyline of the Grand Lodge and Scarab Sages factions.

Written by Andrew Hoskins.

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****½ (based on 20 ratings)

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****( )


Top-notch, heavily social adventure into frozen lands

*****

Setting, adventure story, and social-first/attack-last setting makes this an adventure for thinking heroes. I just finished running it with my regular Pathfinder Society group, and they blazed right through it - because they leaned on their words, not their swords.

Excellent change of pace from the typical Pathfinder carnage that can emerge during sessions. High recommend it - another commenter stated that the Tier 1-2 challenges aren't very difficult, and I'd agree for the large part (things have the potential to go bad if players aren't very savvy). Still, my players had a great time and enjoyed the non-combat storyline.


A must play of season 6

*****

One of my favorite. Social-central, you don't even run into battle through 2/3 of the scenario. Three memorable NPCs that can make true roleplaying, not roll-playing, as well as quite unique mysterious northland flavor that never deals with in most PFS modules.

Although not combat-heavy, there are two very challenging encounters, potential kill a level 4-5 PC; the low tier just cakewalk and not scale very well, sugguest playing tier 4-5.


Be sure to have a group of likeminded players!

****( )

I ran this scenario earlier today. When I first read this scenario, I was rather eager to guide players through it and, after having done so, I'm still fairly optimistic. The storyline is nice and the mechanics are simple but effective. Sure, the whole 'if X, then Y happens' could have been made a bit more clear, but it is manageable with proper preparation.

That said, I have to say there are two potential problems. The first is when the players aren't familiar enough with the lore regarding to the Sky Key and the tapestry, and also don't have access to the proper knowledge skills. Without being a nice GM and giving them the information regardless, things are left unclear and certain parts of the scenario can be a bit confusing. Newer players might end up missing out on really appreciating it.

The second issue is more prominent. Fact is that you can go through the whole situation without fighting a lot. This diplomatic approach, while viable and fun, has the potential to not be to everyone's liking. Some people just prefer to fight more often, which is fine. The issue is when you have players at the table who prefer to tackle this scenario in different ways. There's a chance that some players will be left without feeling satisfied. The freedom that is being offered to the players to shape the scenario is, in short, a double-edged blade.

For any GM looking to run this, I would thus recommend to make sure a likeminded group of players will be attending. Right now, I feel like I let some of my players down. They wanted to kill things, but things got solved with soothing words instead. It happens, I know, but it doesn't really sit well with me at the end of the day. I'm happy I ran the scenario though. It's fun and offers a lot of options for the players, so you should definitely give the scenario a go. However I do caution that it might not be to everyone's liking due to the choices the group makes.


Be careful when you run it

****( )

I ran this adventure twice. The first run (PbP) was really good and I enjoyed the game. I think also the players enjoyed it so I decided to run it in my local group.

The second run was not as fun as the first one, the players were thinking more than the players in the first run so they (and me) ran into some discrepancies.

Spoiler:

The group in my first game skipped Whiterook entirely, they were able to navigate the ship around the net (thank you natural 20) and they did not stop to meet the guards so they never found out that Uliyara visited the village recently and that during this visit Whiterook was attacked by her aunt's forces. They found out about Haltani's true story when the winter wolf revealed her real identity at Naldak's Point. So they never ran into the 'dilemma' the second group did:

The second group found out about Uliyara on the sailing boat when they travelled upriver to Dalun. They stopped to visit Whiterook and learned about the trade envoy and the attack on the village. I did not manage to find out if Uliyara knew about the attack or not or if she was just 'abused' by her aunt to get into the village. I assume she did not. They players asked her about it, of course. Unfortunately I did not think about that before so I came up with some excuse about her evil aunt. How did her aunt find out about Uliyara as a trade envoy? If Nadya's sister kidnaps Uliyara on regular base, would you tell her that you send Uliyara to Whiterook? I don't think so.

The second thing was: how Nadya comes to the idea that the Pathfinders are spies? Would a spy ask for permission to travel around with her daughter? I think not, they would just take her and run off. And further, why would somebody ask the daughter of Saarbotten's leader who wants to kidnap Uliyara to safe her? Does that make sense? After a few Sense Motive rolls the group finally blieved, that Kiryena is not like her mother and just wants to guide Uliyara back to Dalun safely.

The third thing was: why does Nadya let her daughter walk around without a bodyguard? It seems to me that she's in danger all the time to get kidnapped by the Whiterook guys or her aunt. Nadya obviously knows that her daughter is/was outside Irrisen and even within the Irrisen borders she's not safe. Her mother also knows about her 'alter ego' Haltani, but even when in disguise she gets tracked down.

I think there is some background story missing which leads into some unpleasent situations between the GM and the players. My local players think about the story and the backgrounds and try to understand what's going on. They always find out if something does not make sense.

I read the scenario after the second GM attempt to make sure that I did not mix something up, but I did not.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced!

Liberty's Edge

Woot! Andrew Hoskins!

Grand Lodge

Hey, I know that guy!

Sovereign Court

Looking forward to another scenario set in a cold climate.

Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

Now available!


Thank you! Can't wait to run this on the weekend!

Grand Lodge

I like how it contributes to the storyline of 2 factions instead of just one. My Scarab Sages PC would probably prefer this scenario more than my Grand Lodge PC. I like that we have a choice.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not to be contrary, but I kind of prefer the ones that apply to only one faction better.

Lantern Lodge

Needs to be added to the list on the session creation page, otherwise we can't fully report. Currently the list only goes up to 6-17 for Season Six.

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