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Pathfinder Module: The House on Hook Street (PFRPG)

***** (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: The House on Hook Street (PFRPG)

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Dreams Turn Deadly!

In Old Korvosa, nightmare-spawned horrors begin stalking the district's shiver addicts, sparking a manhunt to bring those responsible to justice. What role does the strange cult known as the Brotherhood of the Spider play in the mysterious deaths, and why is the veil between the dreaming and waking worlds so thin? To solve these mysteries and others, the heroes must walk the unseen paths of Bridgefront's occult underworld, and even enter the Dimension of Dreams itself to unravel the web of intrigue concealing the cult's deadly machinations. But what will happen when the heroes' own dreams turn against them, and what becomes of those who uncover esoteric secrets too terrible to know? Beset by dangers from their own minds, the heroes must race against time to save Korvosa—and their sanity.

Designed for use with Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Occult Adventures, this adventure is packed with terrifying thrills! Written by fan-favorite author Brandon Hodge, The House on Hook Street is a deluxe adventure for 6th-level characters, and includes 64 action-packed pages of engaging combat, urban investigation, and a new monstrous foe, plus a gorgeous double-sided poster map featuring an overview of Korvosa's Bridgefront neighborhood and a miniatures-scale battlemap.

Players can expect to reach 9th level upon completion of this adventure—if they can survive the nightmares of a menacing dreamscape!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-790-1

The House on Hook Street 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 (344 kb zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Modules Subscription.

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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 4 ratings)

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Fantastic nightmare of a module

*****

I ran this Memorial Day weekend for PFS at Kublacon in the Bay Area. We finished the whole PFS sanctioned module in a run that took about 21 hours. And to do so I had to skip some encounters and simplify others. For a home game this would have easily been 30-40 hours of play over many long sessions.

With that context - this was among the most fun I have had as a GM. It took the most prep I have ever done (I would guess about 20 hours of prep) and even with that there are still encounters and items and combinations of powers and effects I would need to revisit for any future run.

As a module this is atmospheric with tons of opportunities for a creative GM to engage with the party as they conduct an investigation and as they explore the strange environs. It will have moments for all types of characters and players to shine. Though it will reward (and really require) a party with solid damage dealers (close and ranged) and it is best with a party without any gaps in roles. In PFS play I would encourage the party to be closer to the max than the minimum levels. In a home game I would be sure to level as indicated.

If I run this again I would probably also prefer a four or five player group (I ran for a group that was six players with three companion animals which could bog down combats).

If you are unfamiliar with the Occult Adventures rules much of your prep time will be in learning the ins and outs of those rules (PCs do not need to be Occult classes though a party with one PC that has Occult Adventure classes and skills might come in handy)

I also agree with the criticism of how the ending leaves a key NPC in an unclear state. For a home game following up on the loose threads this adventure leaves could spark a lengthy campaign. For a group that has played through Curse of the Crimson Throne this also has some great call backs to that AP and is set years after the conclusion of that AP.


Strong flavor and a consistent theme - great story!

*****

I like adventures that have a strong flavour and explore a defined theme and this one fits the bill perfectly. The atmosphere throughout is creepy and threatening in an unusual way. Conventional characters will be challenged in ways to which they are unaccustomed. The occult theme owes a lot to Dennis Wheatley, Fritz Leiber and H P Lovecraft. Many of the "monsters" are of a particular type and that creates a threatening focus. The clues lead the players through the mystery, step by step but they will need a notebook to keep track of the evidence. I had to make a timeline for myself in order to get to grips with the back story, the cast, and the likely train of events. This is probably the most complex module I have every had to prep, as a GM, but it is well worth it. It is a masterpiece.

Please sanction it for PFS soon. I have a waiting list of players and it has been out since Autumn 2015.


A masterpiece

*****

This is one of my favorite Pathfinder modules to date.
There is a lot of material contained in these pages.
The story is vibrant, alive and terrifying. Yes, the plot is complex, but I see that as a positive aspect. There are many characters and several factions, which that makes this urban setting feel very realistic.
I agree that it would have been nice if the employer's final actions had been described in a bit more detail, but I assume there simply wasn't room to do so, since the module already contains so much material.
It was a pleasure to revisit Old Korvosa and see how its citizens have evolved in the aftermath of Curse of the Crimson Throne.
One of the main NPC's really gives the characters a reason to like her and is so much more than just a generic quest giver.
The interaction of the dream world and the real world was used superbly by the author to foreshadow many of the adventure's memorable encounters.
The House itself is extremely spooky. I especially liked the horrific encounter H6... that is *messed up* (in a good way :) ).
I really, really liked reading the description of the House and discovering its horrors, room by room.
The poster map shows the section of Old Korvosa where the adventure takes place. That will surely be very useful as the PC's investigate the district's various locations.
The other side of it shows the location of one of the adventure's most epic battles.


A solid - if convoluted - adventure

****( )

House on Hook Street is the first time Paizo has put the rules from their Occult Adventures hardback in motion, and it is dripping with nightmarish goodness.

The adventure begins as a slow-burning horror/mystery set in the urban sprawl of Korvosa. The PCs are called to investigate a spate of recent deaths, uncover the new source of a mind-altering drug, and find out just why everyone seems to be experiencing the same collective nightmare. The author really drives home how desperate the impoverished people of the Bridgefront neighborhood are, with even many of the villains being victims in their own way. It's a fun, grimy romp.

The climax has the characters venture into the Dimension of Dreams. I have always been leery about adventures that involve dreaming as an essential element, but House does a pretty good job. Yes - PCs who die in their dreams die for real. No - they can't decide to dream themselves up as dragons and kick bad guy butt with impunity.

PCs do gain a few benefits in dreamland however, and may be able to shape its nature to suit their needs, but that means their antagonists are capable of the same feats. A GM will need to be familiar with the rules for lucid dreaming and the Dimension of Dreams from Occult Adventures to fully take advantage of the weirdness of this setting.

My favorite part of the adventure is the titular House, for it is destined to be explored both in the waking world and the dreaming one. The House is unpleasant enough the first time through, but should be downright terrifying once the PCs revisit it in their dreams. The author has made an effort to reskin standard monsters such that even veteran players are going to have trouble figuring out just what is trying to murder them.

Now for the bad parts. A lot of House's plot felt convoluted to me, with so many twists and turns that it might be hard for PCs to really grasp what is going on. I understand that part of an Occult Adventure is creating a complicated plot that requires PCs to peal back mysteries layer by layer, but this adventure had a few too many layers for my taste. The villains are split into three different factions: a standard cult, some "excommunicates," and a band of mercenaries. Each has their own motives and methods. To further complicate matters, there are two major artifacts in this adventure, and both of them serve as secondary villains with their own goals as well.

My second gripe concerns the PC's initial employer, who happens to have hidden desires of his own. And normally that would be fine. However, the adventure ends with him maybe gaining access to one of the aforementioned artifacts, and then... he's never heard from again. Even a few sentences in the Concluding the Adventure section would have been appreciated. To be fair his ultimate goals are noted earlier in the adventure, but I still felt like this end was a bit too loose.

As long as the players are motivated and interested in solving mysteries (perhaps with the aid of a notebook), and as long as they don't need the plot to wrap up at the end in a nice, neat little package, House on Hook Street should be great fun.


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