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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OK, so maybe I'm running this for the wrong group...

I dumped it into our current campaign, with the characters heading to the prison to recover a stolen weapon from a doppleganger working for the cultists.

so they check out the sinkhole/pond and the skeletons attack.

My 17 year old daughter's comment: Water-based, flaming kamakazi skeltons practicing fistcuffmanship. Most awesome encounter ever!


What is supposed to be the Average party size for Pathfinder Modules like this one? I know 4 is the usual for some D&D modules but not sure about Pathfinder ones. Any help would be appreciated.

Dark Archive

The general assumption is that the adventure will challenge a versatile party of four with a good mix of abilities and skills. Having a party of five will not unduly off balance a mod.

If you plan to have a party of six then you will need to make some adjustments to make the adventure as challenging, something that should not be too difficult, in fact in the Carrion Crown section of the message boards there are already some threads regarding this.


Were Changeling PCs only meant to have one claw attack? The fluff indicates that both hands turn claw like, and it would seem the vast majority of claw attacks are in pairs. Also, the example has 2 claws.


Just finished playing through this last night.

My players loved it and I'm pretty sure any problems that we encountered were my fault, not the module's.

There was lots of hilarious stuff that occured, there were some severe beatdowns and then there were some wicked lucky moments. No party deaths, but the rogue went down to negative hit points every other combat!

My first time running an Adventure Path and the players can't wait to start The Beast of Lepidstadt!

Excellent job, Michael Kortes and Paizo!


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

Just a small nitpick: shouldn't the product title read: "Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: The Haunting of Harrowstone (Carrion Crown 1 of 6) (PFRPG)"?

Contributor

Yes! Fixed. :D


Hi guys!

I am planning to run this module, it would be my first adventure path. I wanted to ask, does anybody know how many sessions would "the haunting of harrowstone" last?

And, in general, how many sessions are each adventure path module?

Thanks.


It'll vary but 4-5 is a good ballpark. It will likely get longer as you get to the higher level ones (e.g. book 5,6)

I will be wrapping up HoH in 5 sessions (albeit each were 3 hrs or so).

Dark Archive

Depends on a few factors a big one is how long do you guys play at a given time. That can make a major difference.


Vassago Embrace wrote:

Hi guys!

I am planning to run this module, it would be my first adventure path. I wanted to ask, does anybody know how many sessions would "the haunting of harrowstone" last?

And, in general, how many sessions are each adventure path module?

Thanks.

.

.
Vary with the level of experience of the players and GM, the party's size, for how many hours you play, how much of that time is spent playing the game, etc...

2) I love the Changeling for some reasons, I want to hug her and...

Dark Archive

Currently running the Carrion Crown AP campaign. My adventurers are about finished with the 1st book and will be moving to the next book "The Trial of the Beast" duing the next session. As the GM, I love using props and handouts during my game, including pictures of the people the players meet and the monsters they encounter. I have the PDF version of the 1st book and have all 6 of the physical books.

I have found copying the portraits of the NPCs in the PDF doesn't "translate" well onto a full page by itself. And printing the entire page and cutting around the NPC picture provides a handout that is too small for my players to store in their notebooks properly.

Is there a website that Paizo has posted the pictures of this AP that I would be able to download/print clean copies? I have searched on the web and found where others have made their own printouts but would rather using something that has been issued by Paizo.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

~ Thanks!


ckdragons wrote:

Currently running the Carrion Crown AP campaign. My adventurers are about finished with the 1st book and will be moving to the next book "The Trial of the Beast" duing the next session. As the GM, I love using props and handouts during my game, including pictures of the people the players meet and the monsters they encounter. I have the PDF version of the 1st book and have all 6 of the physical books.

I have found copying the portraits of the NPCs in the PDF doesn't "translate" well onto a full page by itself. And printing the entire page and cutting around the NPC picture provides a handout that is too small for my players to store in their notebooks properly.

Is there a website that Paizo has posted the pictures of this AP that I would be able to download/print clean copies? I have searched on the web and found where others have made their own printouts but would rather using something that has been issued by Paizo.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

~ Thanks!

I use obsidian portal as tool for my players adding the pics to the site is great so they can see everyone they have met(end plug), now as far as hand outs its not the same as giving them the hand out but with todays tech couldn't you make an e-file/note book with all the info for them and set it up on a monitor close buy with a click to send on a net work.

You could alwasy go into MS paint and touch it up rescale it and what not.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Short story by Elizabeth Bear (in podcast format) that's relevant to this volume's Bestiary


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Event 5. Smoldering Revenge question (nit-pick, not a game breaker)

Page 25: "When the fire begins, it starts at the five locations
marked on the map (see page 18)—each of these locations
represents an oil lamp that one of the five primary spirits
of Harrowstone targets to start the fire."

I notice on page 18 that there are no such markings (nor on the interactive .pdf map).

I've run a fire/stress scenario once and they're great fun, so I was just curious as to what the optimal placement for the oil lamps might be.

Also, what was the optimal number of town folk people might have played on this piece (I can't imagine having 60 town folk in the building like the AP mentions. That would just be crazy).


Will physical copies of this ever be available again? Maybe non mint?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Sky Howl wrote:
Will physical copies of this ever be available again? Maybe non mint?

Unlikely. If there were non-mint copies available, they would be listed.


I'll just have to become a subscriber for future adventure paths. Missing out on these sucks!

President, SmiteWorks

The Fantasy Grounds version is available for just $6 now if you already own the PDF here at Paizo.com and synced your account.

Carrion Crown AP 1 for Fantasy Grounds

The rest of the Carrion Crown series is available as well.


Alright campers, here's the skinny if you want to keep the number of deaths down in this campaign and first book:

You need a Ranger, preferably with Disable Device as class, who concentrates on hunting undead. Check out the Duskwalker race, this will save the party because the first book expects you to somehow use enchanted arrows to take out incorporeal undead even if you don't have a party archer, and comes in handy later.

You need a Paladin (angelkin aasimar preferred). They are immune to disease and have very high saving throws and additional healing powers. This is VERY handy later on in the campaign!

You need a Cleric of Pharasma (standard aasimar preferred). Yes this is specific, but it is going to pay off dearly later. Our Cleric in both campaigns was running on fumes most of the time, tapped out of spells and channels. To that end, always have both Cure Light Wounds wands (happy sticks) and Lesser Restoration wands handy, even if you have to get the party to pony up for them.

You need a Wizard (elf preferred as the bonus against SR is very useful) with LOTS of knowledges and the ability to craft wondrous item, magic arms and armor, and forge ring would be great. There are lots of enemy spellbooks you can find throughout the campaign. GMs, allow the party Wizard to exchange spellbooks for a time with the NPC daughter of their deceased sponsor, give them access to as many spells as possible (equal to the number of spells she has in her spellbook). They need it.

For items, concentrate on Ghost Touch, Holy, Undead Bane enchantments on your weapons. Everybody needs to have a Cloak of Resistance as high as possible except the high Charisma Paladin. You will thank me later.

Everyone who isn't a Cleric or a Paladin must take Iron Will at first level. No joke. This will save your butt so many times during the campaign that it was easily the most valued feat ever. Maybe even Improved Iron Will. Because of the sheer lethality of this campaign, I recommend you take Improved Initiative and Toughness as soon as you can! Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration is very handy later on. Try to take Great Fortitude early on if you can, this will help against undead and disease/curses.

GM, I pasted in the Carrion Hill adventure (quite nasty but rewarding for Wizards) right after the first book. Rule of Fear is handy for learning that obviously nonhuman PCs might not be welcome, and for knowing where the cities are. Even if they follow all of my recommendations as to character construction etc, they are likely to die frequently. The last book in the campaign kinda sucks, in that it's nothing more than a series of fights in an isolated and difficult to retreat from locale. Horror Adventures Sanity rules are nice, but the net effect is that the party will get lots of wands of lesser restoration, max out their will saves asap, and may take more time to get through the campaign. They are still really neat rules though.

Ways to Cure Werewolfism by the book, summarized:
Wolfsbane: 500 gp. Grants a new saving throw in first 3 days. DC 16 poison, 1d3 con damage, 1 save to cure.
Remove Disease from NPC Cleric CL12: 360 gold. 90% likely to cure ordinary lycanthropy in first 3 days. Must be in appropriate town.
Remove Disease from CL 12 scroll: 900 gold. 90% likely to cure ordinary lycanthropy in first 3 days. Must have someone who can use it.
Remove Disease from CL 12 potion: 1,800 gold. 90% likely to cure ordinary lycanthropy in first 3 days.
Remove Curse from CL 12 scroll: 900 gold. 90% likely to cure ordinary lycanthropy when victim is transformed, if the spell connects. It is a touch spell and grants a will save and a spell resistance check. Must have someone who can use it on transformed victim.
CL 14: Add 1/6 to above costs. Spells are 10% more likely to cure.
Vilkacis lycanthropy: Spells are 15% less likely to cure.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Use spoiler tags please, especially if you're dropping this in the product description.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, spoilers, dude. It's fine to go spoilerific without warning in GM threads, but not in product threads.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Spoiler Tag Added.


I couldn't. I didn't know how. I would have rather put it in the reviews section for GMs to see, but for some odd reason, I couldn't do that.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It's easy! Do what I do but take the space I put in after spoiler

[Spoiler =]Put your words here [/spoiler ]

:
See, super easy! :-)

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