Pathfinder Module D4: Hungry Are the Dead (OGL)

3.40/5 (based on 9 ratings)
Pathfinder Module D4: Hungry Are the Dead (OGL)
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A dungeon adventure for 6th-level characters.

The logging town of Falcon’s Hollow has been through rough times—first a kobold tribe abducted the town’s children for an evil ritual, then an unknown force reanimated the defeated kobolds to attack the town. Now a horde of zombies approaches and a mysterious evil gathers power in the north, tainting wildlife and the buried dead, its presence hinting at ancient evils better left undisturbed.

Hungry Are the Dead is a dungeon adventure for 6th-level characters, compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game. Within its pages you’ll find an introduction to the town of Falcon’s Hollow, a detailed overview of an undead-filled tomb hidden under an abandoned monastery, and a new ghoul-like monster that crosses the line between man and beast.

This adventure is set in a remote forest in the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting, but can easily be set in any game world. It can be used on its own or combined with other adventures in the D series to create an even greater campaign arc.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-120-6

Pathfinder Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, OGL-compatible adventures for use with the world's most popular fantasy RPG. This Pathfinder Module includes four pre-made characters so players can jump right into the action, and full-color maps to enhance play.

Written by Tim Hitchcock

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

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Just read through this from a friends collection

4/5

We're currently involved in D1.5 and I will be DMing through the next mod. We like to rotate DMing.

I was curious after reading through D4. Will there be a continuation from this, or is this were the House takes over? If there will be no further continuation following D4, then we'll just battle the Lumber Consortium and bring law and order to Falcon's Hollow, and tame the wilds of Darkmoon Vale and the Mountain Range.


Hungry Are the Me... to run this thing.

5/5

I know Tim Hitchcock personally but that won’t affect the honesty of my review, because frankly I don’t really like the guy. I gave Hungry Are the Dead five stars not because Hitch needs the boost but because it, according to my tastes, amply deserves it.

I don't want to give away content, as much has already been revealed in this thread, so I’ll speak to the design. The idiot proof tactics (Please don't ever overestimate my abilities at any given moment... I adore a good idiot proofing) advised for monsters will without question give players a good scare and spark uproar. Such game advice is a huge help in shaping the dynamism and feel of play, because the writing here quietly assaults the players’ eyes, ears, and schnozzle, firmly ensconcing this adventure in the horror genre. Tim is a GM's writer who understands that giving tools to help GMs master their table is easily as important as the particulars of an interesting story.

And Verrin… what a loathsome, uniquely creepy little man.


Lots of character!

5/5

I will state that I play 4th edition(sacrilege!). So I look at these adventures differently than the normal 3.5 player. I ignore mechanics like Challenge Ratings traps etc. I look for story, characters, and things that would spark my players' imagination.

Usually in an undead adventure there are little opportunities to role-play since so many undead are unintelligent. This adventure avoids that. The characters are fleshed out enough to capture my attention and get me intrigued enough to plan how I will act out each one. In my opinion they need a tad more personal touches but the seed of personality is definitely there to make me want to do that.

Spoiler:
It starts out with the classic scene of zombie hordes unleashed on the unsuspecting town. The party has to stop them from eating the commoners. I absolutely love that type of zombie scene and wish it showed up more often in modules. The party then has to travel to an ancient tomb created by holy knights to imprison a great evil presence. Seems like it might fall into being a dungeon crawl but there are lots of NPC encounters and characters amply mixed throughout.

My favorite encounter is with the mage transformed into a worg. A voice calls out from behind a tree stating "Please do not attack me, my appearance may disturb you" it just sparks the imagination like no other way.

Another of my favorites is a severed undead head in a magic cage that enables the head to speak. It is a dwarf who figured out all the traps in the tomb. I think it's awesome that the party has a good chance to carry around an angry dwarf head that knows all the secrets of the dungeon but might be unwilling to help.

The main villain has an ability to be able to see and speak through all of his minions. This allows for a constant dialogue of threats, taunts between the villain and the party. I absolutely love this, I haven't seen any other adventures where you get to dialog with the main villain the entire time

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The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Thing is, the adventure (which I did like, and am happy I bought) *is* pretty flawed. See a post way up in the thread for several editing issues that hit the module. Most of them can be fixed on the fly, but the quality of editing doesn't fit my expectations for a gaming product. I'd rather have this product's combination of a good adventure with editing flaws than a bad adventure with flaweless editing, but neither one is my top choice.

I'm also aware that editing can't and won't catch everything, and I'm definitely not asking for that. But as a buyer, I hope it's ok to provide feedback when I see an issue. And as a company, Paizo can do with that feedback whatever they wish :)

I do have to respectfully disagree slightly on knowledge checks:
In many cases, you can use this skill to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster’s HD. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster.

Note that "in many cases" leaves the DM perfectly free to disallow identifying a unique creature, but the context of the whole entry does make it clear to me that the knowledge check, if allowed and successful, will both identify the creature and give a bit of useful information. The name the monster is not the "useful bit".

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

{Thing is, the adventure (which I did like, and am happy I bought) *is* pretty flawed. See a post way up in the thread for several editing issues that hit the module. Most of them can be fixed on the fly, but the quality of editing doesn't fit my expectations for a gaming product. I'd rather have this product's combination of a good adventure with editing flaws than a bad adventure with flaweless editing, but neither one is my top choice.}

I admit the adventure has flaws, but that's not Tim's fault. IIRC (and I heard this secondhand, as it was written before I started at Paizo) that this was written as one thing, then was supposed to be updated to be another thing, and only at the end did Tim find out it was supposed to be the cap for the Falcon's Hollow adventures. So as developer (and I think this was my first book to work on at Paizo) I had to ramp up my setting awareness, cut out some stuff that wasn't critical to the plot, write some more stuff to make it fit together with the rest of the series, then do a normal dev pass for checking stat blocks and stuff. It was a bit of a firestorm. I blame... uh... Mike McArtor, he's my designated scapegoat. ;)

In all seriousness, I think if Tim and I had more time on this it would have turned out much better (as is always the case). Given the situation, I think it turned out fine.

{Note that "in many cases" leaves the DM perfectly free to disallow identifying a unique creature, but the context of the whole entry does make it clear to me that the knowledge check, if allowed and successful, will both identify the creature and give a bit of useful information. The name the monster is not the "useful bit".}

Except when you name the creature, you're actually providing *several* useful bits all at once.

GM: You think it's a mummy.
Player: Okay everyone buff up against disease, get ready with fire attacks, and be ready to deal with its DR 5/—.

Better to say "you think it's vulnerable to fire" and (if the roll is good enough) "you think it has damage reduction" and have the players deduce or assume it's a mummy rather than giving away the secret.

Liberty's Edge

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Except when you name the creature, you're actually providing *several* useful bits all at once.

GM: You think it's a mummy.
Player: Okay everyone buff up against disease, get ready with fire attacks, and be ready to deal with its DR 5/—.

Better to say "you think it's vulnerable to fire" and (if the roll is good enough) "you think it has damage...

definitively... to keep the horror you need to describe and not name... this rule I learned from Ravenloft, but its useful anywhere you want to create an air and mood of horror or even just menace...

don't say what the creature is, don't say what are their abilities unless the players learn of them or pass a knowledge check


I own it (I wanted to get all the Falcon's Hollow adventures/books before moving on to the rest of this world), I like it, though the references to 'Tar-Baphon' got confusing at times.

And I especially like the idea of Lucimar the Undead Worg-Necromancer becoming a long-term NPC, esp. with his new abilities (basically becoming an undead lycanthrope).

Hmm, that spell that Mister Reynolds listed elsewhere in response to me might come in handy if Lucimar ever wants company. He'll just have to research an arcane version...

Though dealing with him might well involve a trip to Korvosa. *sighs* Another book I have to get 'right now'.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Just wanted to clarify something in my last post - definitely not trying to assign any blame for what I saw as flaws in the product, and rereading it it looked like I was.

So for everything I liked in Hungry are the Dead (which is a lot, it's good enough I want to run it this Halloween), kudos to the whole product team that worked on it. And for everything I didn't, just consider it helpful feedback, not an attempt to bash.

Contributor

Russ, just blame Mike, you'll find everything becomes so relaxing when you dump it all on him. ;)


Tim Hitchcock wrote:
James from NYC wrote:

I can't fit my review in a measly 2000 character count so I'll post the entire thing here:

Thanks James! Glad you liked the Mod!!!

BtW where in NYC are you? I'm in SI right next to the ferry terminal.

Cool! I live in the West Village.

It's great you guys are so active on these boards. You listen to your customers... and you respond!


Dryder wrote:

Oh my, finally all will be revealed...hopefully...

Can't wait to get this in my hands, so I can finally start the Falcon Hollow series.
And the cover looks so cool!

This module works well with an established area if you're just needing some dungeon to populate it as well. I used the initial levels of the under monastery into Ptolus and had no issues, placing the threats above ground later in the gaming chronology.

As it is written, it is a fine way to spend a couple of nights gaming.

Dark Archive

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Russ, just blame Mike, you'll find everything becomes so relaxing when you dump it all on him. ;)

Can I blame Mike for the Credit Crunch too? Or that my favorite shirt is missing? I mean, can I use him as a general scapegoat?

Liberty's Edge Contributor

James from NYC wrote:
Tim Hitchcock wrote:
James from NYC wrote:

I can't fit my review in a measly 2000 character count so I'll post the entire thing here:

Thanks James! Glad you liked the Mod!!!

BtW where in NYC are you? I'm in SI right next to the ferry terminal.

Cool! I live in the West Village.

It's great you guys are so active on these boards. You listen to your customers... and you respond!

Respond? Hell, I was asking cause you live close enough that I could even run the damn thing for you.. except you know all the spoilers.

:)

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Tim Hitchcock wrote:


Respond? Hell, I was asking cause you live close enough that I could even run the damn thing for you.. except you know all the spoilers.

doesn't mean that you can't run a preview for him and yoda8myhead for the next one you write... I'm sure they would love to playtest whatever you need :)

Liberty's Edge Contributor

And presto... the entire thread turns into:

"How to Run Hungry are the Dead for Dummies"

But seriously Sean, thanks for addressing a number of people's concerns with the mechanics an all.

I try to keep encouters as concise as I can, which means you must pick an choose certain elements to retain and exclude. Sometimes that gets confusing, especially when you choose to do something left of center using familiar format- such as using a Trap stat block to flesh out something like a trap, but not really a trap. 3.5 is a real rules heavy game, which means it does get sticky. I am however a firm believer that if a rule gets in the way of your game and makes it unfun, you need to run over the rule with a truck.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Cpt_kirstov wrote:
Tim Hitchcock wrote:


Respond? Hell, I was asking cause you live close enough that I could even run the damn thing for you.. except you know all the spoilers.
doesn't mean that you can't run a preview for him and yoda8myhead for the next one you write... I'm sure they would love to playtest whatever you need :)

I promised Yoda I'd hit up with some stuff and run a PFSociety mod for him...


Tim Hitchcock wrote:


Respond? Hell, I was asking cause you live close enough that I could even run the damn thing for you.. except you know all the spoilers.
I promised Yoda I'd hit up with some stuff and run a PFSociety mod for him...

That would be pretty awesome.

If you run something for Yoda and the PFS, all the seats might be accounted for. I'd hate to take a seat from a regular PFS person.

I organize the NYC D&D Meetup on meetup.com. Yoda is a co-organizer of that as well. If you ever do run a game and there's a spot open I would love to play.

If you need a space better then the two gaming stores in town. I made an arrangement with this bar in Greenwich Village that is themed to be a dungeon. It's got weapons and shields on the wall, life size skeletons in cages, wax figures of werewolves etc. If you wanted to play there with a group I could easily arrange it with Yoda8myhead. We can get the whole place to ourselves for free, we are just encouraged to buy beer. They lock us in the dungeon on Sundays(with a cute waitress too).

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

James from NYC wrote:
If you need a space better then the two gaming stores in town. I made an arrangement with this bar in Greenwich Village that is themed to be a dungeon. It's got weapons and shields on the wall, life size skeletons in cages, wax figures of werewolves etc. If you wanted to play there with a group I could easily arrange it with Yoda8myhead. We can get the whole place to ourselves for free, we are just encouraged to buy beer. They lock us in the dungeon on Sundays(with a cute waitress too).

I was not aware of this, but perhaps it's worth looking into. We had two full tables of PFS last weekend, and another one on Sunday, so there might be interest in a PFS-only event to complement the weekly games at no-longer-Neutral Gound. But that's a discussion for somewhere else.

So when ya gonna kill all our PCs Tim?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

And, as a follow-up: I don't know about ghouls yet, but in Pathfinder RPG, the zombies are purple!

Contributor

Chris Mortika wrote:
And, as a follow-up: I don't know about ghouls yet, but in Pathfinder RPG, the zombies are purple!

I think you mean, "the zombie shown in the illustration on page X looks purple." :p

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Ah, then, Sean, you think like a mathematician.

[begin joke]
A mathematician and a physicist were flying over Vermont. The physicist looks out his window and writes in his notebook: "There are black sheep dotting the hills of Vermont."

The mathematician looks out his window and records: "There are sheep in Vermont, black on top."

Across the aisle is an astro-physicist, who writes in her journal: "All sheep are black."
[end joke]


Chris Mortika wrote:
And, as a follow-up: I don't know about ghouls yet, but in Pathfinder RPG, the zombies are purple!

I replied to this a few hours ago and my post is gone. I'm guessing the forums ate it.

I said something along the lines of:

I never pictured ghouls as being purple because of that (stupid-looking) ghoul illustration in MM 3.5e. They just look like corpses that have kind of dried out as far as my imagining of them goes. I don't really like for my ghouls to look particularly distinctive from other corpses and I'd pretty much treat ghouls, wights, and zombies about the same description-wise, except that ghouls and wights aren't movement impaired. If you're going to go with a uniform differentiation of the look between ghouls and other undead, the appearance of ghouls in the Pathfinder stuff is distinctive and pretty cool. They're grayish with pointy ears and long tongues. My forum avatar is a ghoul from the cover of Pathfinder AP #2. The Pathfinder ghouls look more closely related to vampires, notably the Pathfinder-style Nosferatu vampires.

D4: Hungry Are the Dead was my first book in my Pathfinder Modules subscription and I liked it a bunch. I've since picked up all the other Falcon's Hollow modules I could. (Hollow's Last Hope was already sold out but it was the PDF of Hollow's Last Hope that caused me to get the modules to begin with.) Undead are my favorite monster type and I'm hoping to see more adventures with undead in prominent roles. I have high hopes for the upcoming modules set in Ustalav. I'm hoping Carrion Hill has some undead tie-ins.

As for the undead worg-thing in Hungry Are the Dead, I would just classify it as a unique undead. If more undead like it start cropping up then perhaps that type of undead will get its own name. Until then, "corporeal undead" is about as distinct as its classification can get in that regard. Unique undead is a perfectly valid classification to me though. Look at demons and devils, many of the named fiends are unique creatures of their basic type. You don't hear people saying "Yes, but what kind of demon is demogorgon?"


Rezzing an old thread, I know. =)
I just picked this module up over the weekend and flipped through it on Sunday (after our Saturday night session where we are just starting in on D1).

Spoiler:
The group has already completed D0 and is just now starting in on my modified version of D1. For point of reference, I am not basing the series in Falcon's Hollow, but in Liberthane in the River Kingdoms. I'm using the town map from Crypt of the Everflame as my basis for Liberthane. But I digress...

I originally planned to run them through D0, D1, D1.5, and then making up something for the lower level because I didn't know about D4. When I found out about it last week I got a copy of it. However, I think 4 modules set in and around the ruined monastery is a bit much for my group, so I'm going to modify both D1.5 and D4 to suit my purposes.

I find it very interesting that the villain from D4 is a MT. I have a villain of my own design who is interested in the powerful magic below the ruins who just happens to be a cleric/necromancer MT! He will stand in beautifully for the D4 villain.

Rather than introduce a new worg enemy, I think I will have the worg from D0 be reanimated by the foul necromantic magic emanating from below the ruins (much like the KK in D1.5). Actually, I will have many of the more memorable enemies the PCs have met be reanimated (including the kobold king after they off him, along with an ogre I inserted into D0 and I'll have to find some others).

I really like the whole Seal aspect, and plan on making great use out of that. I just introduced the Whispering Way cult in the last adventure more as a tip of the hat to the newest AP than anything else, but now I may make the cult more of a focus. I have my own ideas about what powers the Seals that keep T-B imprisoned.

So even though I'm not using the module as written, it has been very inspiring to me. Thanks!

P.S. My condolences to the poor people of Falcon's Hollow. They must be the bravest of souls or the dumbest of dullards to stick around that place hehe.


SKR was right.

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