GameMastery Module TC1: Into the Haunted Forest (OGL)

3.60/5 (based on 14 ratings)
GameMastery Module D0: Hollow's Last Hope (OGL)

Add PDF $3.50

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A treasure chest wilderness adventure for 1st-level characters.

A barroom brawl at a country inn causes the destruction of a priceless relic and the heroes are responsible. Now they must chase down a host of ancient artifacts, lost in a haunted wood, to repay their debt. While the heroes search for the items to clear their name, another group of scoundrels plots their downfall from the depths of the mysterious forest. Only one group will emerge victorious.

Written by Greg A. Vaughan, author of Pathfinder #6: "Spires of Xin-Shalast," numerous Dungeon adventures, and co-author of Wizards of the Coast's Drow of the Underdark and Anauroch: The Empire of Shade.

GameMastery Module TC1: Into the Haunted Forest is also included in the GameMastery Treasure Chest.

This GameMastery Module is a 16-page, high-quality, full-color, OGL-compatible adventure for use with the world's most popular fantasy RPG. All GameMastery Modules include four pre-made characters so players can jump right into the action, and full-color maps to enhance play.

Note: This product is not included in GameMastery Modules subscriptions, but subscribers who purchase this module will receive a free PDF when the module ships.

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

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PZO9500-TC1


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Average product rating:

3.60/5 (based on 14 ratings)

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Servicably Disappointing

3/5

This is a solid module involving an enjoyable romp through the forest. It has the usual high production qualities of all Paizo’s products, full colour, quality editing, and good artwork. But the module underlying it all is just workmanlike. There is nothing particularly wrong with it; it just lacks the spark, the zing, the pizzazz that is the hallmark of most Paizo products. It is disappointing in this case because the module definitely has the potential to be something special.

After the obligatory introductory encounters (involving a bar fight, some missing loot, and a busted work of art), the PCs are tasked to track down the Panoply of Narven. 5 items of renown, the regalia carried into battle by the last forest king, and supposedly imbued with the elements of nature. And when they finally find them? Disappointment.

What should be 5 interesting, evocative, creative wondrous items that ooze flavour and history with a strong connection to the various elements are instead 5 bland, generic, ordinary objects. None of them are actually wondrous items, 2 of them aren’t even magical, one of them is actually a scroll, and for items representing the elements of nature, why are 3 of the 5 related to fire?

The final battle provides the party a nice climax to the adventure, as well as providing the DM with the opportunity to control the challenge of the encounter that makes perfect sense both in and out of game. I ran this with the FlipMat: Woodland, and while they worked very well together, in places the module does feel constrained aby the need to explicitly incorporate the various Gamesmaster items.

Overall, this is a solid, serviceable module that doesn’t have any glaring flaws (mechanical, plot or otherwise). However, while that may be good enough for some companies, I have come to expect more from Paizo than just competent, and there is nothing in this module that really makes it stand out. A disappointing module, but serviceably disappointing.


Awesome one shot

4/5

This made an awesome game. Both in role-playing and roll-playing. The adventure starts out slow and build perfectly to climatic end. I would highly suggest this as a good one-shot campaign or as a starting module for future sessions.


Choo choo! All aboard. Whatever you do, *don't* get off the train!

3/5

The world can always use another good 1st level "kick off" adventure. The art and production values are top notch, as we have come to expect from Paizo, and the author even mixes in some good old fashioned detective work.

So what's the problem? Well, the set up for this adventure is a total railroad. While I understand that this criticism can be leveled against most adventures, especially ones of the low-level variety, there are *way* too many places to come off the rails here.

Spoiler:
There is a (seemingly incidental) magic dagger in the woods that requires a spot check to find (albeit an easy one, but still) that is later assumed to be in the party's possession. If it isn't, then the plot breaks. If the party finds the dagger, but stores it someplace where it can't easily be seen, the plot breaks. If, during the unavoidable Inn fight, the party wins quickly enough to prevent damage to an unrelated macguffin, the plot breaks.

Assuming you manage to stay on the track, things turn into a solid low-level wilderness romp, with cool, varied encounters. I didn't see any glaring stat-block errors on the first read-through, and I really liked the flavor text, names, etc.

Another nipick, more related to the integration of the various TC products than to the adventure itself: A few of the related products feel a bit shoe-horned in (for example, the inn is two stories, but the map pack depicts a single-story inn). The adventure does point out this discrepancy, and I get that most people will buy this as part of the treasure chest. Just read carefully lest you make bad assumptions based on the map tiles, etc. that end up not matching the text.

Undoubtedly well worth the $5 price, but not up to Paizo's normal standard. In any event, D0 is a much stronger choice. (***--)


11 to 14 of 14 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge

If i order this do I get the pdf since i have a subscription to the modules/ i thought i read something like that and I haven't been able to find it and how do I get it if i do?

jamie

Scarab Sages

The last line of the description of the product answers you. You will get a free PDF, since you have a subscription, and you'll have access to it the same way as the normal one. That means, as soon as your hard copy (or Treasure Chest, if you ordered it that way) ships and you're charged, you'll find it in the download page in your account.

Silver Crusade

thought I read somewhere the pdf, won't go out till the actual Treasure Chest (module+ other goodies) ships, but I could be mistaken.

Scarab Sages

From what I understand, if you buy TC1 alone, you get PDF when it ships (available soon). If you order the Treasure Chest (and get TC1 as part of it), then you'll get the PDF once the Chest ships (delayed to Jan 08).

Something about the easiest way for them to program the access to a free PDF is to link it to the hard copy charge/shipping.

I might be mistaken though. Vic or someone else, can correct me :)

Silver Crusade

Either way, glad to know that the pdf will be included due to the subscriber tag.

It's funny before I start getting the pdfs for the various Paizo products I wasn't a big fan of pdf game books, now I really like them. They are nice to have as reference, without having to thumb through a book.

(goin through Pf4's pdf now actually, ha ha)

Scarab Sages

Haldir wrote:

(goin through Pf4's pdf now actually, ha ha)

Same here :D

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Djoc wrote:
From what I understand, if you buy TC1 alone, you get PDF when it ships (available soon). If you order the Treasure Chest (and get TC1 as part of it), then you'll get the PDF once the Chest ships (delayed to Jan 08).

Djoc is correct again. Though, to be clear, this only applies to GameMastery Modules subscribers. Non-subscribers do not get a free PDF.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Is there going to be a PDF version of this module for sale? Or do you have to be suscribed to get a PDF version?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hugo Solis wrote:
Is there going to be a PDF version of this module for sale? Or do you have to be suscribed to get a PDF version?

Non-subscribers can purchase the PDF after the product's retail release date, which is December 19.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When is this due out for subscribers? I thought it was already available. Apparently not.

Scarab Sages

My understanding:

The hard copy was changed from "pre-order" to "pending" sometime last week (at least it did in my order where I pre-ordered it, and I suppose my order is now in line for shipping), at the same time as it's status changed in the store.

This item is not included in the subscription though. You have to order it separatly.

The PDF is available to Modules subscribers that purchase TC1, the same way as for other products, that means as soon as you get charged for the hard copy and the order ships.

See the description of the product, especialy the line at the end of that description that says "Note: [...]", for more information.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Djoc is correct, as usual.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I just picked this guy up at my FLGS. Looks pretty cool and different from your typical low-level adventure.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I loved how you made suggestions on what item cards to use... You should do that in all you adventures!! Also suggestions on your other Gamemastery Accessories that could be used would work well to (Like maps)


This module has a problem typical with inexperienced module writers, too engrossed in their own story they steadily flow into the heavy hand of railroading. I was real disappointed after picking up this adventure and will probably avoid this writer in future mods.

The mystery is nice, but needs a good final confrontation with the assailant. Something more than an hp owel. Even for a 1st level party its pretty anti climatic and not even worth setting up the battlemap, and if its not worth setting upt he battlemap its not that important.

Then there's the hunt through the forest for the powerful magic items. (which needs to be clarified what the consequences are a little more clearly). The beginning starts off with the doctor telling the pcs to visit the druid and negotate the borrowing of the items, then for some reason that is never mentioned again as pcs are ushered from one place to the other to fight random animals and good guardians. It's implied that Knu is the one that got away but never really told, as a matter of fact without the druid none of the backstory the writer spent his time on makes sense.

A real disappointment considering how good some of the other modules are.

For any DM running this my recommendations are to do a few things
1. Make that wizard beefy enough to resist and give the pcs a fun challenge

2. add in the druid encounter before the hunting through the forest. perhaps its the spirit of the druid whom still haunts the woods and won't rest which makes the doctors statement make abit more statement. I ended up having the spirit flying aimlessly through the forest, a victim of a turn by the other party. The druid helps them by providing them a more detail map, turning it into a location based adventure. The one party is going in one order and the pcs can go in any. Relieving the feeling of being railroaded. The druid also gives the whole rundown of the story. The party gets his blessing wwith a diplomacy check granting them all woodland stride while in the forest. The guardians do not attack the PCs and are helpful in recovering the items. All of the guardians except the last, who was left uncontrolable after the big spell that killed everyone. That fey is only driven to protect the last piece, regardless of who wants it. He recommends visiting that place last, as they may need the powers of the others to help them.
3. Do what the writer didn't do and make a chart of how the items progress. Because they are weak items, I had the druid grant the pcs the items at their reward, asking our druid to take good care of them for him.

I hate being so critical but i hate having to do so much work with an adventure.

Without the good guardians to fight, new bad guys have to be created, so i added an evil fey faction that the goblin to challenge the party at all of the places visited by the bad party.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I disagree.

We ran this as an introductory adventure, and it worked well from start to finish. The highlight was the brawl in the beginning and one big battle at the old inn at the end.

Spoiler:
The final confrontation was not just between the PCs and the Wood Spirit, but while they were fighting the WS, I had the Black Banners move in and attack.

Not much change there. Also, since the PCs dallied, I had the Banners kill the nixie, rescue Pudge and take her stuff.

DonDM wrote:
This module has a problem typical with inexperienced module writers

That's funny, since Greg "Prince of Demons, Skeletons of Scarwall" Vaughn who wrote this.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Don DM wrote:
This module has a problem typical with inexperienced module writers,

Ha! OK, that's funny.


Rauol_Duke wrote:
Don DM wrote:
This module has a problem typical with inexperienced module writers,
Ha! OK, that's funny.

Never said the module writer was inexperienced, but the module is written like many by inexperienced writers. Too much railroading, no broader advice for the DM.

If your group just wants to get together and go through an adventure it doesn't matter what you run. You can run the three bears and they'd like it. But if you got a group in a campaign that doesn't like to move along from one random point to the other this really was below par.


Don DM wrote:

Never said the module writer was inexperienced, but the module is written like many by inexperienced writers. Too much railroading, no broader advice for the DM.

If your group just wants to get together and go through an adventure it doesn't matter what you run. You can run the three bears and they'd like it. But if you got a group in a campaign that doesn't like to move along from one random point to the other this really was below par.

It's a 16-page adventure, with 4 pages taken up for pregenerated characters, a new monster, stats for the enemy group, and the credits page. That's 13 pages of actual adventure... not very much to flesh out any type of adventure other than a Dungeon Crawl. For the length, I think that Greg did a great job.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Don DM wrote:

Too much railroading, no broader advice for the DM.

also remember, this was written to be used with the other items in the treasure chest, including the map - limiting the atmosphere of the final battle, tips had to be included on how/when to set the treasure chest stuff up (for those who don't use minis normally) further cutting into the page count.


Mactaka wrote:


We ran this as an introductory adventure, and it worked well from start to finish. The highlight was the brawl in the beginning and one big battle at the old inn at the end.

Ran it with my group as [a then] PF Alpha 3 playtest - and also found it easy and fun to run. My group also loved the bar-room brawl and the last stand at the inn... played up the atmosphere throughout [tis the Haunted Forest after all] and my players really ran with it.

Greg really packed in all the elements you'd want from a much larger adventure [plot, new monsters, setting, decent encounters, new magic items] into far less pages... so kudos to him


Haldir wrote:

Either way, glad to know that the pdf will be included due to the subscriber tag.

It's funny before I start getting the pdfs for the various Paizo products I wasn't a big fan of pdf game books, now I really like them. They are nice to have as reference, without having to thumb through a book.

(goin through Pf4's pdf now actually, ha ha)

Oh, man, I am PDF all the way. When it comes to moving day, ugh, the books I have to move, between computers and gaming. I like to keep great reads, and reference books, but I dislike to have every single scrap that I might have used once here or there. Plus, I tailor the content to an extreme degree IMC to fit in a Transylvania-Moldavian campaign setting. So all the names are different, and some classes/races are restricted for my campaign world based on Karameikos, Mystara (Known World)


Couple questions...first, where does this adventure take place in the world of Golarion? Second, how difficult (mechanically as well as thematically) would it be to place this adventure in Darkmoon Wood? Lastly, what is the new monster statted out in this adventure?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Fraust wrote:
Couple questions...first, where does this adventure take place in the world of Golarion? Second, how difficult (mechanically as well as thematically) would it be to place this adventure in Darkmoon Wood? Lastly, what is the new monster statted out in this adventure?

This is set in Arthfell Forest in Andoran. You'd have very little trouble moving this a bit farther north to Darkmoon Vale, though you might need to change some of the story elements involving the history of the wood, as Forest King Narven was really Arthfell based rather than Darkmoon based. The new monster is the wooden protector.

The Exchange

Is this pfs-able? I did not see a chronicle sheet?

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