Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: The Haunting of Harrowstone (Carrion Crown 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

4.60/5 (based on 32 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: The Haunting of Harrowstone (Carrion Crown 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Chapter 1: "Haunting of Harrowstone"
by Michael Kortes

When Harrowstone Prison burned to the ground, prisoners, guards, and a host of vicious madmen met a terrifying end. In the years since, the nearby town of Ravengro has shunned the fire-scarred ruins, telling tales of unquiet spirits that wander abandoned cellblocks. But when a mysterious evil disturbs Harrowstone’s tenuous spiritual balance, a ghostly prison riot commences that threatens to consume the nearby village in madness and flames. Can the adventurers discover the secrets of Harrowstone and quell a rebellion of the dead? Or will they be the spirit-prison’s next inmates?

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Carrion Crown Adventure Path and includes:
  • “The Haunting of Harrowstone,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 1st-level characters, by Michael Kortes
  • A tour of Ravengro, village of mystery and suspicion, by Michael Kortes
  • Expanded rules for creating and running horrific haunts, by Brandon Hodge
  • An ancient revenge is reborn in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by F. Wesley Schneider
  • Six new monsters, by Adam Daigle and Patrick Renie

Each monthly full-color softcover 96-page 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 standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-308-8

The Haunting of Harrowstone 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 (561 KB zip/PDF).

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

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Bad encounters

1/5

A creature with 10 hardness and a creature with permanent invisibility, both with negligible accuracy and damage to be fought at second level are bad encounter design.


Spooky Goodness

5/5

I loved running this part of the adventure, the setting of Harrowstone is perfect with a eerie Luigi's Mansion vibe throughout Book 1.


Haunting of Harrowstone: How to do it.

5/5

It is a great adventure. So do the extra work to do it right.

The Trust system doesn't work well. So just fix it. Don't subtract a point every day. Find other reasons to give away trust points. Like defeating a random encounter, be seen coming back from the prison with injuries, making acts of good faith in town, etc.

The time limit on the blood written names I too much time. Because its soo much time it does not provide the urgency it was meant to and I fear the point is often lost. Have a letter be written every night. This gives 9 days. Skip a night if they stop Gibs or whoever replaces him.

Haunts: Make sure you really understand how these work. To learn how to destroy the haunts have the players make two checks. One for Knowledge religion and one for Knowledge Local at DC 15s. Maybe higher for more powerful haunts. Remember you can make untrained knowledge checks if you have access to a library (like the professors). Give a bonus to these checks if the characters have communicated with the haunt via linguistics.

Somebody on this thread made their own cards for the results of these knowledge checks. They are great, use them.
Also a company called Legendary Games made a bunch of 3rd party extra material for this. They call it Gothic Adventure Path Plug ins but it is designed specifically for this Adventure Path. Great stuff there.


Good atmosphere but no trust points

4/5

The premise is simple. The PCs are old friends of professor Lorrimor, a researcher of dark magic. When they get word of the professor's death, they can't but attend to the good professor's funeral in Ravengro, a small little town in a remote location. His daughter Kendra is the only living relative and she hosts the party, with whom the characters will become well acquainted during these grieving days.

In the professor's will, he asks our heroes to deliver his most valuable books to the university of Lepidstadt but wait! this can wait for a month. During the month that the characters are stuck in Ravengro, they have the chance to read the old man's research journal and start investigating why and how their old friend died. It is during that investigation that they learn the grim history of the town's old jailhouse and the spirits that haunt it.

I find the logic of the story a bit flimsy. A friend of mine dies and he wants me to stay in town for a whole month? Who seriously expects a complete stranger (as good a friend as he can be) to drop his or her whole life and babysit his daughter for a month before embarking in a perilous journey just for old times' sake? If your players are moderately normal, they'll try to sneak out of the small town to start the mission straight away.

What I find most baffling is that the author felt the need to create a point reward system to encourage talking to the locals and establishing ties with the town. This comes off as weird because 1) The adventure does not take place interacting with locals (except perhaps the adventure hook, the daughter of the dead professor) and there's not a lot of downtime to allow this and 2) There aren't enough encounters to gather those 'trust' points.

Faced with a point system that forces the players to fail, what's the worst thing that could happen anyway? The punishments range from surcharges in shop prices to negative diplomacy bonuses to being chased by an angry mob (in the very worst case). Not too terrible as long as the score is positive. You have to wonder why they bothered creating such a system. I didn't like it much.

Most of the module is a great dungeon with a creepy horror mood looking for some ghosts and unraveling the backstory of the whole place. Really good, except for the glitches outlined above,

My rating: 4 stars. It’s a good adventure with a lot of character and atmosphere. Some minor things detract from it: a faulty trust point mechanic that needs to be fixed and pointless events that distract from the mission without adding anything in return.

Read my whole review here


Great Time at PFS Event

5/5

A bit of a challenge to prepare, since the Pathfinder Society starts the sanctioned event at the middle of the Adventure Path. With that said, the scenarios are challenging and fun for everyone in the party. There is a good blend of various creatures, haunts and other undead to allow everyone to find a role at the table. The mechanics are not overtly complicated and are easy to run.

The storyline is intriguing and you will want as much time as possible to explore the Harrowstone prison grounds as well as interact in the town of Ravengro to build the suspense. Seven hours passed by quickly, but good times nonetheless.


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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

As soon as Serpent Skull #6 ships, then sign up for the Adventure Path subscription. The last(?, next to last) page will give you the option to start with SS#6 or CC#1.

When CC#1 ships, you get access to the PDF.

-- david
Papa.DRB

Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Does that mean that I will not get the early shippment/pdf?


Just want to say that I really like that cover art. Feiya looks great, but Daji seems a trifle large for a fox.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

awww March? I was really looking forward to this in febuary... so mean!


Dave, *loved* your AARs! Sounds like one that woul be great fun to either run *or* play in!


If PDF becomes available March 16th, does that mean that we, subscribers, get PDF two weaks earlier, i.e. March 2nd?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
If PDF becomes available March 16th, does that mean that we, subscribers, get PDF two weaks earlier, i.e. March 2nd?

More or less. Subscribes get their PDF the moment their package ships, which should be around 2 weeks from the street date.

But don't treat that date religiously - if, for example, you combine your shipments for monthly or add some random stuff from the store to your AP cart you might have a slight delay while the package is being prepared.


Do we know when the Player's Guide will be released? Just curious as I plan on running this when it comes out. Already got all the copies pre-ordered through my local retailer :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Exitilus wrote:
Do we know when the Player's Guide will be released? Just curious as I plan on running this when it comes out. Already got all the copies pre-ordered through my local retailer :)

Soon. We don't have a date yet.

Dark Archive

I call March 4.

Or March 8.

Place your bets


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:


On a related note, so one one is surprised, the iconics no longer appear in Pathfinder Adventure Path as of volume #43. In that volume the space is repurposed to present the Carrion Crown Adventure Path's campaign outline.

Personally I think this is a great idea. Especially at the beginning of an AP, the outline is an invaluable tool in helping me guide my players in character creation so that they will be able to have an excellent experience throughout the campaign. Even if the extra 2 pages became a summarised and condensed version of each individual book, rather than the overall path, that would be fantastic.

While I do have a soft spot for the beleaguered iconics, I applaud the fact that you guys have listened to the community and put the space towards something that will definitely see use.

Thanks for the brilliant work Paizo - keep it up! ;)


Blakeus wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:


On a related note, so one one is surprised, the iconics no longer appear in Pathfinder Adventure Path as of volume #43. In that volume the space is repurposed to present the Carrion Crown Adventure Path's campaign outline.

Personally I think this is a great idea. Especially at the beginning of an AP, the outline is an invaluable tool in helping me guide my players in character creation so that they will be able to have an excellent experience throughout the campaign. Even if the extra 2 pages became a summarised and condensed version of each individual book, rather than the overall path, that would be fantastic.

While I do have a soft spot for the beleaguered iconics, I applaud the fact that you guys have listened to the community and put the space towards something that will definitely see use.

Thanks for the brilliant work Paizo - keep it up! ;)

+1

Sovereign Court

Working on character creation, and was wondering if anyone knows how long agp Harrowstone Prison burned down? I was hoping to have my characters father be an inmate, to help tie him into the story and get integrated with the group. But I want to keep him fairly young, so if it is many years it will be problematic.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Wesh Theron wrote:
Working on character creation, and was wondering if anyone knows how long ago Harrowstone Prison burned down? I was hoping to have my characters father be an inmate, to help tie him into the story and get integrated with the group. But I want to keep him fairly young, so if it is many years it will be problematic.

50 years ago...in 4661 AR. Current year is 4711 AR.

Scarab Sages

Wesh Theron wrote:
Working on character creation, and was wondering if anyone knows how long agp Harrowstone Prison burned down? I was hoping to have my characters father be an inmate, to help tie him into the story and get integrated with the group. But I want to keep him fairly young, so if it is many years it will be problematic.

sounds like it'll have to be a grandfather or an uncle.

Sovereign Court

Ah, I thought that might be the case, need to shift my background up a little then I suppose, C'est la vie! Thanks very much for the prompt response Neil, very much appreciated. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Neil Spicer wrote:
Current year is 4711 AR.

You kids and your gothic horror/haunted prisons. Why, I remember back in 4708 AR, the only adventures we had were killing goblins. And we liked that just fine! Next you'll be telling me you're going to Japan or some rubbish...

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Generic Villain wrote:
...Next you'll be telling me you're going to Japan or some rubbish...

Hai! ;-P


Generic Villain wrote:
Next you'll be telling me you're going to Japan or some rubbish...

You will join the fold gaijin.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Wesh Theron wrote:
Working on character creation, and was wondering if anyone knows how long agp Harrowstone Prison burned down? I was hoping to have my characters father be an inmate, to help tie him into the story and get integrated with the group. But I want to keep him fairly young, so if it is many years it will be problematic.

Alternatively, if your character is one of the longer-lived races, it could still work. It's probably more hassle to change your plan for another race than for a different generation, but this way you can have interacted with the inmate rather than it being some storied ancestor.


Oooooh! I want this AP in my collection! It looks freakin' sweet!

Sovereign Court

I ended up changing things up considerably with the information from the Player's Guide anyway. Teenage druid with a werewolf mother, should be fun to play surly, lol. Cannot wait to get started!

Liberty's Edge

Wesh Theron wrote:
I ended up changing things up considerably with the information from the Player's Guide anyway. Teenage druid with a werewolf mother, should be fun to play surly, lol. Cannot wait to get started!

That sounds more interesting anyway. Everything out of this AP sounds great. I've set my mind on running RotRL but it's going to hard with these coming out the next few months.

Dark Archive

Mike Silva wrote:
Wesh Theron wrote:
I ended up changing things up considerably with the information from the Player's Guide anyway. Teenage druid with a werewolf mother, should be fun to play surly, lol. Cannot wait to get started!
That sounds more interesting anyway. Everything out of this AP sounds great. I've set my mind on running RotRL but it's going to hard with these coming out the next few months.

Not to derail this topic, but Anyone know where the art for Mike's avatar image is from? Thats a very cool pic.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Mike Silva wrote:
Wesh Theron wrote:
I ended up changing things up considerably with the information from the Player's Guide anyway. Teenage druid with a werewolf mother, should be fun to play surly, lol. Cannot wait to get started!
That sounds more interesting anyway. Everything out of this AP sounds great. I've set my mind on running RotRL but it's going to hard with these coming out the next few months.
Not to derail this topic, but Anyone know where the art for Mike's avatar image is from? Thats a very cool pic.

It's a snowcaster elf. She's from Pathfinder #17.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
Mike Silva wrote:
Wesh Theron wrote:
I ended up changing things up considerably with the information from the Player's Guide anyway. Teenage druid with a werewolf mother, should be fun to play surly, lol. Cannot wait to get started!
That sounds more interesting anyway. Everything out of this AP sounds great. I've set my mind on running RotRL but it's going to hard with these coming out the next few months.
Not to derail this topic, but Anyone know where the art for Mike's avatar image is from? Thats a very cool pic.
It's a snowcaster elf. She's from Pathfinder #17.

Really? Hmm guess I just forgot about that art. Of course with the sheer amount of cool art and books stuffed full of said cool art. i guess it is understandable I would forget some art from 2 years ago. :)

Oh yeah and thanks James.

Liberty's Edge

Yes the arts so good I often forget about a picture and later when I'm going through the book I see it again and fall in love with it all over.

The Art for Carrion Crown so far looks amazing. I really love that ghost/revenant on the cover.


Got my "In a week or so" email yesterday, which means I should have the PDF early next week. I'm really stoked about this AP! I've only been a subscriber for the last two cycles, but I think I'm even more excited about this one than I was for Kingmaker!


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I just signed up for the AP subscription service recently just so I could get on board for Carrion Crown and Jade Regent. I regret that I wasn't able to get on board for Kingmaker and Serpent Skull and I don't want to miss out on the next two.


James Jacobs wrote:
So... what do folks use those stats for, anyway?

My players don't use them, mainly because 1.) They like to create their own characters, and 2.) if I catch them sifting through any part of the Adventure Path books I'll remove their dice-rolling hand at the wrist. That having been said though, I use the stat blocks and would be deeply saddened if they were ever removed.

I use them as a quick stat block for level-appropriate NPCs for random encounters, complete with spells, feats, skills and level-appropriate equipment. I also look forward to checking the stat blocks as each new book comes out to see how they have grown as they advanced in level; what new spells, feats, hit points, magic items, etc. they have acquired. And lastly, I use them as a gage to measure against the PCs. I take a look at the Iconic stat blocks and measure that against the PCs to see if I've been too stingy or lenient with magic items and such. If the iconics are sporting average AC's of 24 and my players are still down around 20 when they start that new chapter, that tells me something. If the iconics are carrying around +2 and +3 weapons, but my players are still mostly using masterwork or +1 items, that tells me something too.

I love the Iconic stat blocks, and find them incredibly useful as a generic tool. That having been said, if you needed to cut a little space, we probably don't need to have the exact same backgrounds printed for them every single book... they don't seem to change or evolve or grow with the character, so what's the point of reprinting it in all 6 books of an AP series, and then reprinting it verbatim again when the Iconic makes a reappearance in another Adventure Path down the line?


I know I can't wait for this one to start. I already got the notice via email.


It's Monday already! Where is it! I need my fix. NOW!

;-)

Regards,

Kosta


does anyone know how long amazon usually ships after paizo releases? They are saying it's expected delivery date is April 12th. Don't know how it can be over a month before they will ship, I'd order through paizo but the 10$ in shipping to go to canada + 12 business days is kinda steep. Any info would be appreciated, so I can possibly cancel my order.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Parable wrote:
does anyone know how long amazon usually ships after paizo releases? They are saying it's expected delivery date is April 12th. Don't know how it can be over a month before they will ship, I'd order through paizo but the 10$ in shipping to go to canada + 12 business days is kinda steep. Any info would be appreciated, so I can possibly cancel my order.

It does usually take about an extra month or so before Amazon and Barnes & Noble start receiving and shipping out Paizo products. This is because they don't order directly from Paizo, but rather a distributor. So, they have to wait for their distributor to get the product, and then they have to wait to get the product into their warehouses from them. Kinda convoluted, but that's actually the simple version.

I work at a Barnes & Noble and get a pretty good discount. However, as you notice from my tag, I tend to get most of my gaming stuff directly from Paizo. This is partially because I want to give them as much support as possible because of how much I respect them as a company, but also because I really hate having to wait so long for these awesome products to make their way into my store.

Dark Archive

Parable wrote:
does anyone know how long amazon usually ships after paizo releases? They are saying it's expected delivery date is April 12th. Don't know how it can be over a month before they will ship, I'd order through paizo but the 10$ in shipping to go to canada + 12 business days is kinda steep. Any info would be appreciated, so I can possibly cancel my order.

As Joseph said there is more steps involved. From what I understand it works like this. Paizo ships to their distributor and subscribers. The distributor sends it to the game shops and places like Amazon. So about the time Amazon gets it, is about when it will start showing up in stores. Then amazon has to unpack, stock the items and then start repacking and filling out outs and then ship them to you. So it get packed 3 times before you get it, unpacked 2 times and spends 3 trips in the mail. Thats why it takes so long. Personally even with their discounts I never order from amazon unless it has been out for awhile or it is something I am not in a rush to get.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I want! I want! When is this going to ship! I've been checking my bank account every 5 minutes to see if they've charged it yet so I know it's shipped. I'm so impatient!


Parable wrote:
does anyone know how long amazon usually ships after paizo releases? They are saying it's expected delivery date is April 12th. Don't know how it can be over a month before they will ship, I'd order through paizo but the 10$ in shipping to go to canada + 12 business days is kinda steep. Any info would be appreciated, so I can possibly cancel my order.

Parable,

People have given you some really good advice regarding spending money with Paizo, so I'm not going to repeat them.
However I did figure I ought to comment for you on the timeframe, being a fellow Canadian. You probably won't get it any significant amount sooner ordering through Paizo than waiting for it to come to Amazon. I'm still waiting for Sanctum of the Serpent Skull (last month's shipment) to arrive. I see I can order it from Amazon today. If I did that, I'd probably have it tomorrow. Meanwhile, my print copy is in the hands of Canada Post... somewhere...
In the past 6 months, I have consistently seen Paizo books on store shelves before my subscriber copies reach me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Drakir2010 wrote:


Parable,
People have given you some really good advice regarding spending money with Paizo, so I'm not going to repeat them.
However I did figure I ought to comment for you on the timeframe, being a fellow Canadian. You probably won't get it any significant amount sooner ordering through Paizo than waiting for it to come to Amazon. I'm still waiting for Sanctum of the Serpent Skull (last month's shipment) to arrive. I see I can order it from Amazon today. If I did that, I'd probably have it tomorrow. Meanwhile, my print copy is in the hands of Canada Post... somewhere...
In the past 6 months, I have consistently seen Paizo books on store shelves before my subscriber copies reach me.

I figured I'd mention that, however long it takes you to get your actual copy, the PDF should be arriving way quicker. This might not be a huge deal for some products, but I'm looking forward to reading this APas soon as possible. It will help with making campaign decisions as early as possible.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Berinor wrote:
I figured I'd mention that, however long it takes you to get your actual copy, the PDF should be arriving way quicker. This might not be a huge deal for some products, but I'm looking forward to reading this APas soon as possible. It will help with making campaign decisions as early as possible.

+1

There's been more than one occasion where I've gotten the PDF and read it cover to cover before actually getting the dead tree version in the mail. Not for things like the Bestiary 2, of course :)


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

I got my shipment email, and I am now flipping through the pages of the PDF.

Dark Archive

Yay! for pinkish purple pages. I just want to say I think the black borders yellow fading to the pinkish purple is hands down prettiest AP to date IMHO. Just wanted to say that, so kudo's to who ever was behind the color scheme.


Downloading...

Dark Archive

Damn, it's still likely going to be a few weeks before my copy arrives at my FLGS... :(

I want spoilers from subscribers, or else I'm sending my imp squad to steal everyone's underwear!

Dark Archive

Starting to read it now, a couple of comments and a question.

First who is the artist of the art on page 6? I absolutely love that art.

I was a bit surprised to see Serenity as a musical suggestion for this.

And to really drive the point home. I just love the color scheme of this book.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Asgetrion wrote:

Damn, it's still likely going to be a few weeks before my copy arrives at my FLGS... :(

I want spoilers from subscribers, or else I'm sending my imp squad to steal everyone's underwear!

I just started reading it and that implies I wear any. :)


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Asgetrion wrote:

Damn, it's still likely going to be a few weeks before my copy arrives at my FLGS... :(

I want spoilers from subscribers, or else I'm sending my imp squad to steal everyone's underwear!

So now, what can I say ... as Dark_Mistress has mentioned, it is quite pinkish ... very pretty ...


Parable: Just for the record...

I live in the States, am an Amazon Prime member and always have things mailed to me with 2 Days Shipping and it still takes a long time for Paizo products (even those that have been out for quite a while, like the Core Rulebook) to reach me. If it's not a brand new product a Paizo product from Amazon will get to me a little bit quicker but not by much. If I order a brand new product from Amazon then it's definitely slower than a purchase direct from Paizo.

It's weird, but it does make me feel even better about ordering directly from Paizo.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lanx wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:

Damn, it's still likely going to be a few weeks before my copy arrives at my FLGS... :(

I want spoilers from subscribers, or else I'm sending my imp squad to steal everyone's underwear!

So now, what can I say ... as Dark_Mistress has mentioned, it is quite pinkish ... very pretty ...

Um ... you are talking about the AP, right?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber
gbonehead wrote:
Lanx wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:

Damn, it's still likely going to be a few weeks before my copy arrives at my FLGS... :(

I want spoilers from subscribers, or else I'm sending my imp squad to steal everyone's underwear!

So now, what can I say ... as Dark_Mistress has mentioned, it is quite pinkish ... very pretty ...
Um ... you are talking about the AP, right?

Yes, of course. :D


Downloaded and sitting in both my color nook and iPhone :). I'll start reading this tonight at the laundromat.

Im really looking forward to this entire AP a tad more than the previous ones. Probably because I spent a good chunk of my gaming time DMing a campaign or three in a certain demi-plane. Im not saying it will be similar in nature, just the campaign flavor is hitting the same taste buds.

Kudos to all involved.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Dark_Mistress wrote:
As Joseph said there is more steps involved. From what I understand it works like this. Paizo ships to their distributor and subscribers. The distributor sends it to the game shops and places like Amazon. So about the time Amazon gets it, is about when it will start showing up in stores. Then amazon has to unpack, stock the items and then start repacking and filling out outs and then ship them to you. So it get packed 3 times before you get it, unpacked 2 times and spends 3 trips in the mail. Thats why it takes so long. Personally even with their discounts I never order from amazon unless it has been out for awhile or it is something I am not in a rush to get.

That's fairly accurate, except that we have more than just one distributor. Though I *think* Amazon actually picks up their orders from our book trade distributor and then redistributes copies to their many individual warehouses themselves.

Also, there isn't really much packing and repacking of individual books going on; we're talking about wrapped pallets being trucked around for much of this process, and even when they do get to breaking down pallets, they're hopefully still moving around entire boxes for the most part.

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