Pathfinder Adventure Path #94: Ice Tomb of the Giant Queen (Giantslayer 4 of 6) (PFRPG)

***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #94: Ice Tomb of the Giant Queen (Giantslayer 4 of 6) (PFRPG)

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The Ice Queen Cometh!

Following the trail of the Storm Tyrant's armies, the heroes come to a frost giant village that serves as a training camp, led by a frost giant graveknight who issues orders from within an icy crypt. As the heroes engage in guerrilla tactics to weaken the army of giants and disband the camp, they can ally with a red dragon who seeks to infiltrate the village for her own purposes. Once they've broken the ranks of the giants, the heroes venture into a frozen tomb where they must defeat cultists of the Pallid Princess, morbid tomb giants, and undead war machines before engaging in a climactic battle with the giants' fearsome leader!

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

  • "Ice Tomb of the Giant Queen," a Pathfinder adventure for 10th-level characters, by Jim Groves.
  • A look into some of the most fearsome graveknights in the Inner Sea, by John Compton.
  • Details on some of Golarion's most prominent giant organizations, by Mark Moreland.
  • A tale of shadows and deception in the Pathfinder's Journal, by Clinton J. Boomer.
  • A selection of new monsters in the Giantslayer bestiary, by Benjamin Bruck, Jim Groves, and Thurston Hillman.

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: 978-1-60125-728-4

"Ice Tomb of the Giant Queen" 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.

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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Good mix of sandbox and combat

****( )

The overall plot of this adventure if straightforward: the PCs know that their main villain is hiding in a remote location; they need to find out where. The first step to get this information is to go check out the training camp of one of the baddie's generals, the giantess Skirkatla. Being the training ground for elite troops of an army, the village will need to be dealt with very carefully. If the PCs think they can just storm into this place and kill them all, they're in for a sad (and untimely) defeat. There is a much more interesting way: sabotage and deception.

The action is split in two very distinct sections. Part 1 is a sandbox, where the PCs keep undermining the troops' confidence and morale until they manage to disband the burgeoning army. Once they succeed, they will be able to proceed to part 2 and access the dungeon where the giantess general lives - or more accurately, dwells.

My rating: 4 stars. It's a pretty balanced module. The first half is very open and rewards player creativity. At the same time, it allows for a wide variety of strategies - including combat, if the characters are so inclined. The dungeon, on the other hand, is a more violent affair. Nonetheless, the creatures found inside are interesting, the theme is coherent throughout and it is atmospheric. The triple theme (giant/undead/cold) provides more resilience against well-prepared groups (unlike - for instance - undead-themed dungeons that may end up being too easy for clerics). This may be a blessing or a curse, depending on your kind of group but it's probably an even threat against just any kind of PC mix. I do like it. I only miss a bit more of social interaction in it. This module is one to try for sure.

Read here my complete review.

I like part 4.

****( )

This is written from the perspective of a player. I've not read the module.

I very much enjoyed this module. I don't know if it's typical for this, but my GM just laid out the isometric map of the entire area, and said, "This is what you see when you use Overland Flight to get a bird's eye view. There is nothing set in stone about what you must do, so... ask questions and try stuff." And then we did. We invented whatever we felt might work. At one point, I unleashed about 40 earth elementals just for the chaos of it. That kind of thing would never be possible (or fun) in tight dungeon corridors, but here in an open area, the elementals could Earth Glide unseen and make a mess of things. The GM figured out how that might affect the area, and we got some credit for inventiveness, and then moved on to other fun ideas.

Basically, the whole module (except the end) is pretty much just an idea factory. Think things up, try 'em.

If anything is a weakness of the module, I would say it is the open-ended gameplay itself, which I've just praised! Why? Because with an unfair or unbending GM, this becomes an exercise in futility. A bad GM might freeze up in such an open-ended game, perhaps saying "That didn't work," to anything other than combat. However, for the game I'm in, the GM accepts creative ideas. So we tested a LOT of things. Some worked, some didn't. It was a good experience.

Also, if you ever wanted your character to feel heroic, one nice thing about this module is that there are a LOT of helpless captives you might be able to rescue. I don't mean, "There are a dozen captives, placed in random locations." Instead, I mean, "There are maybe hundreds of captives, and you will likely see dozens killed, but you will also free scores and scores of them." We ended up mapping out an escape route for the freed slaves, and just exploring the surrounding wilderness to figure out the safest route to civilization was an enjoyable self-imposed mini-quest. Nothing in the module mandates that you save everyone. Your mission is actually to do something else. So we just saved people because we wanted to, and the module made it possible, and enjoyable.

Overall, I'd say that modules 1 & 4 in this adventure path have really been enjoyable for me. If you're feeling creative, this module might be right up your alley.

Sabotage and crypts

***( )( )

This time we move onwards to the next giants in the line and frost is all around this one.

I liked the sabotage mechanics in this one and it gets creative players an outlet to try out things on these giants. Though most of the encounters in the camps are quite easy if you just use the basic bestiary giants. There's a few NPC:s you can talk to but your players are probably used to just fighting their way through everything at this point.

I liked that the crypt gave some variety to the encounters and the final fight in this is well though out. As in the previous part there's some nice parts but mostly its just mediocre mayhem with different giants in the mix.

Sandbox Giant Slaying in the Snow

***( )( )

This is one of the better modules of the series. Let me start by breaking this down into a pros and cons framework:

-Sandbox design which allows for a lot of creative solutions to resolving the challenges. My players found many clever and creative ways to deal with this part.
-Interesting environment. I like the cold and undead which owes a few nods to Game of Thrones.
-There is a scene at the front of the module which can have some RP and story implications later in the story.
-There are fun stories around the NPCs that the party can encounter, however its quite tricky to figure out ways by which these can be revealed.

-Too few NPCs for the party to speak with. This is a problem with Giantslayer in general but this module is not as bad as some of the others.
-The encounters were not particularly challenging with the exception of the final boss fight which was very creative.
- There is a serious lack of maps for some of the encounters. This proved rather frustrating.