Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-19: Shades of Ice—Part III: Keep of the Huscarl King (PFRPG) PDF

2.30/5 (based on 19 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters (Tiers: 1-2 and 4-5).

Information in the Shadow Lodge headquarters in Whitethrone leads you into the Realm of the Mammoth Lords in search of an abandoned tower of a lost Ulfen king. The powerful weapon rumored to be there could be disastrous if it falls into the hands of those who plot the Pathfinder Society’s destruction; who will find it first?

Keep of the Huscarl King is part three of the three-part Shades of Ice campaign arc. It follows Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-15: Shades of Ice—Part I: Written in Blood and Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-17: Shades of Ice—Part II: Exiles of Winter. All three scenarios are intended to be played in order.

Written by Jesse Benner.

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world. This scenario is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Average product rating:

2.30/5 (based on 19 ratings)

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excessively mediocre

2/5

Zzzzzzzzz ...


Survival and Roleplay Hidden as Combat...

4/5

Having read the other reviews to this module, it seems like the scenario was meant to be a combat scenario, but was not. This scenario seemed more based on survival and role play than anything else.

The group I ran were focused more on the role play aspects and survival than the fighting.

While the end fight was completely disappointing, the group enjoyed the sharing of their "Tale" far more than most things they have done, and were riveted by the kellids tale in return. After the scenario "ended" they role play the induction ceremony and had a blast. This was a very memorable scenario for them. I think the success of this module would depend on GM preparation and participation.


Suffers by comparison to 1 and 2

3/5

Much as I can believe what people say about this having been produced at short notice and so on, I think people are being a bit harsh on the module.

It suffers by comparison to Shades of Ice 1 & 2 (which are really strong scenarios) and, perhaps understandably, people expected a knockout in part 3, possibly featuring a relative of the final battle from part two.

That having been said, it actually stands up pretty well on its own. Not great, but solid; the final encounter is potentially a lot of fun - one good hit from the particular weapon the BBEG has suddenly makes the PCs a lot more wary of closing in. The 'trap' is pretty original and the big RP piece is a lot of fun. The combats along the way are pretty straightforward and are going to be dealt with easily enough in most cases, but that's no bad thing as it does give time for the RP.

I ran this mod, directly after Shades of Ice 1 and 2, at CrispyCon for a group of 1st and 2nd level characters, one of whom hadn't played PFS before.


Not good, but worse that it was a part three

2/5

That about says it all. You get people hooked with two great lead up scens, then drop a paint by numbers.


Good intentions, bad execution

1/5

So I'm a somewhat new player to Pathfinder, and this game was only my 3rd adventure. However I have to say it was a massive disappointment. I have been told the first two modules of Shades of Ice were good, but this last one had a ton of writing flaws and was just plain too easy. Way too many unnecessary perception checks and the final encounter was a joke.

Spoiler:
We had a party of 7 and managed to get 4 village warriors and the chief to come with us. So we pretty much had a small army and we're faced vs 4 warriors and their leader - who apparently had less health than all of the warriors. We had a gunslinger, two rangers, and a rogue with a crossbow. We took her down before she could even react and the rest ran away.

The lore was pretty well written, nothing to really complain about. However the gameplay itself was quite awful. I had fun but it had nothing to do with the module being fun.


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Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Announced!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

This has a nice "Against the Giants" feel to the title. Presumably, though, the Venture Captains won't be sending their 1st and 2nd-Level operatives against frost giants...

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Speaking of which: What's a "huskarl king"? Huscarls are Norse nobles, something like a king's honor guard of earls. Is a "huskarl king" a combination-rank like a "lieutenant colonel" or more like "the king that the huskarls guard"?

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

This scenario's eponymous Huskarl King was a huskarl who used the riches gained in the service to his liege and set out to form his own kingdom deep in the savage Realm of the Mammoth Lords.

Contributor

Description updated!

The Exchange

And then?...


Doug Miles wrote:
And then?...

I refuse to play your Chinese food mind games!

The Exchange

Perhaps you would like to debate me regarding how intelligent a squirrel is then? I challenge you to a pointless argument!

Contributor

Now available!

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Doug Miles wrote:
Perhaps you would like to debate me regarding how intelligent a squirrel is then? I challenge you to a pointless argument!
Liz Courts wrote:
Now available!

A pointless argument is now available?! Sign me up! This'll be even better than those epic level rulz warz.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

I got a chance to play this story arc, finishing with the third act just yesterday. I truly enjoyed the scenario with the story it provides and the game play elements implemented. This third arc, in my opinion, completes the story introduced in the first act which i enjoyed as it tied together from where we started. I also liked the expanded role-playing element with the story-telling aspect introduced in the third act as most scenarios, some scenarios more than others, favor combat over RP and I liked the balance with this story. Awesome job guys and keep up the good work!!


the Haunted Jester wrote:
I got a chance to play this story arc, finishing with the third act just yesterday. I truly enjoyed the scenario with the story it provides and the game play elements implemented. This third arc, in my opinion, completes the story introduced in the first act which i enjoyed as it tied together from where we started. I also liked the expanded role-playing element with the story-telling aspect introduced in the third act as most scenarios, some scenarios more than others, favor combat over RP and I liked the balance with this story. Awesome job guys and keep up the good work!!

+1 to HJ

I ran this for the first time yesterday. definitely the best of the trilogy. You can combat it, you can RP it, you can do both

Silver Crusade Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Novalord, Jester...
Mad love for you both.
Thanks for the kind words, they are appreciated and I'm glad you and your Pathfinders had a good time and--hopefully--survived.
-JB

Shadow Lodge

There is one small error that I noticed in the PDF edition:

Spoiler:
The Beasts of Bygone Days has the map labeled as being part of the Temples map-pack, however the mushroom cavern is actually a part of the Caverns pack

Liberty's Edge

One question I had running it:

Spoiler:
If the PCs decide to give the axe back to the tribe, should I cross it off their chronicle sheet? That seemed correct, but nowhere on the sheet or in the adventure did it mention it, so I didn't.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Spoiler:
If it does not tell you to cross it off, do not. Chronicle rewards are a bit abstract, as shown by multiple people being able to have the same unique item.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I've just run Shades of Ice 3 a second time, after going through 1 and 2 with the same group. I just thought I'd reiterate what I said in my review: I think people are being unnecessarily harsh with this one. It's not as good as parts 1 and 2, but it is still a solid scenario. I've run two groups through it and they've both enjoyed it; some unfortunate rolls made it much more challenging for the second group. The impression from the reviews is that this is one to avoid and I simply don't think that's fair.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Running Shades of Ice while home in Ohio for the summer, my group consisted of my childhood best friend, his brother, my wife, my brother, and my brother's friends. They thought the entire series was a blast and enjoyed the huge amount of roleplay in this final installment. The problem of easy combats was mitigated by their party being varied in levels and having to play the high sub-tier. Table variation may be the culprit, but I have no complaints with this scenario.


Ooog... I don't plan to run this, I just want to use it as fodder for a solo campaign for my wife, the Barbarian Mammoth Rider yet-to-be (level 1).

I came across one part that I thought odd...

Spoiler:
The Snowmask Clan plans to use this area as a trap. What the heck? Does it bother to mention why the Kellids wanted to screw with the party and THEN invite them to parlay? Damaging your food base just to haze some stupid newbs? That doesn't make sense to me.

I hope Season 5 does more with Kellids and the threat of the World-Wound from the East. For my solo campaign, my wife has to decide if she's going to get a chunk of the Broken Shield of Aroden to the Pathfinders, try to remake it and claim it for herself, ditch the wood and pursue her own goals, fight the demonic threat in the East or what. Pre-written encounters I can use to get my Level 1 wife a good start are happy for me. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Romaq wrote:
I came across one part that I thought odd...

Spoiler:
Once the PCs survive the trap, the Kellids realize these outsiders aren't going to be dissuaded and seek to parley with them. If the Aspis agents hadn't outright attacked them when challenged the PCs might have been spoken to in the first encounter rather than attacked. If the PCs have spared or saved other members of the tribe in earlier encounters, this might also have helped convince the Kellids that they should finally speak with this separate band of outsiders.

Ah. I didn't quite read through the scenario at that point. In any case, I hope to see more Kellid material in Season 5. That might also force Paizo to come up with more "Mammoth Lords" map material. I'm not so enthused about the current winter offerings, but I lack the expertise to make up my own just yet. Thank you for commenting, TriOmegaZero! :)

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