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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Sreams of excitment

5/5

This was my first adventure returning to the revamped 3.75 from 4th edition. This adventure rocks!!! It has the best flavors for excitment in a great adventure. My players excitment about rpg's has returned with vigor and this adventure made us all realize what has been missing in our from our games: a good story with a lot entertaining moments that set this adventure apart from a lot of others. Thank you Pathfinder for making RPG nerds remember why they love role playing games.


A Great Reason to Join AP

5/5

I'd been considering the AP plan for quite a while now and have been very pleased with the stand-alone pieces I've seen from Paizo in the meantime. After reading the other reviews and the info on #2 in this series I decided to jump into the AP subscription path.

I have pulled down and read Harrowstone with utter delight. The new and optional mechanics work very well and the entire approach feels pretty much spot on. I am starting a new PF campaign and this will be my characters debutante ball :)

The overall approach consistently provided enough details to hit the ground running and enough openings that I can allow my players a lot of freedom as well.

Beautiful work and highly recommended!


Happy Horror Days- Act 1

5/5

I've been a subscriber to the APs since day 1 and this is the best one so far as I can tell. It's a good old fashioned ghost story, plus new monsters and monster mechanics, a bit of fiction and an expansion on the haunt mechanic with some quick and dirty haunts presented. This is your classic ghost story presented for play in Pathfinder. If you remember Ravenloft fondly and want that type of play back in your Pathfinder experience, pick up this series.


Excellent Start!

5/5

After reading "Haunting of Harrowstone" and dungeon mastering part of the adventure 1, I can conclude that this book is a great adventure.

I recommend for anyone who would like a good amount of role playing and horror action.


Haunting of Harrowstone

5/5

I've been excited since hearing about the Carrion Crown AP. This is the AP that finally convinced me to go for the subsciption.

I like the trust mechanic - a simple variation on the fame mechanic used in CoT. There's a concrete reaction to the things the player's do (or don't do). Rewards (or punishments) await.

I also appreciate the rewards for research. As a long-time player of "research monkeys" in CoC games, it's nice to see that an AP clearly inspired by CoC gives the researchers some love. (And it might encourage some more investment in knowledge skills...)

As a DM that will be running this AP for my players in the near(ish) future I appreciate that the adventure is fairly sandboxy, without being directionless. It gives the players some room to do things their way, without just drifting aimlessly. (Though woe to any group that doesn't piece together that the clock is always ticking and that time, in this case, is NOT their friend.)

A great start to what looks to be a heck of an AP. Now, if only I can figure out how to setup Carrion Hill as a legitimate sidetrip. ;)


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Scarab Sages

Flipped through this today, and probably won't do a full sit-down for some time, but I did want to say a couple words:

First, I was impressed by how the spirit of Call of Cthulhu scenarios are present in this module, from the classic hook of "an old friend has passed away" to the strong element of investigation present in this adventure. I hope we see more investigation-focused adventures from Paizo in the future.

Second, while it is not elaborated on in any any great detail, I was relieved to see a research mechanic introduced to Pathfinder that was not cumbersome and which worked elegantly with the Knowledge rules. I'll certainly be cherry-picking this detail for my own games, and am glad to see it present.

Third, the expansion on animated objects in the Bestiary is a fine idea, and providing GMs with a larger toolbox with which to tinker on existing monsters is a fine idea, and one that I support wholeheartedly.

Fourth, I'm intrigued by the Trust mechanic, but have yet to read it in detail. I do like the idea of an evolving relationship between a group of players and a community based on their actions, so I'll likely be considering how to make this work in my own games as well.

Overall, a very strong first impression. I'm currently committed to running a Serpent Skull game, which means I won't be running Carrion Crown any time soon, but I look forward to keeping up with it monthly via my subscription.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

James Jacobs wrote:

And the mantra of ALL undead being evil does mean that we'll probably never do a good-aligned lich. Which is also partially because that is very much a Forgotten Realms thing, and I'd rather not mix worlds in that spot.

Now and then, non-evil and non-ghost undead will probably sneak into print, but if it's a non-evil undead and it's not a ghost, chances are VERY good I didn't notice it and bringing it to my attention will make me angry and send me off to punish someone here at Paizo who DID IT WRONG!!!! :-P

Heheheh. I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not :)

Out of curiosity, why is it only ghosts that get the "can be non-evil" treatment? I ask because the instance in my spoiler makes perfect sense as a rationale for a non-evil undead creature.

Not that Pathfinder has such a thing yet (and apparently it never will), but in Savage Species there was an Emancipated Spawn prestige class for undead that could be applied to undead creatures that "awoke" from their status as a spawn and recalled their previous lives. I love that concept, but based on the "all undead are evil" mantra, this could never happen without the awakened creature being evil.

Could we maybe state that in Golarion all undead are evil without clouding the issue in a more global sense, thus allowing for creatures other than ghosts to be non-evil?

(as an aside, your anger over non-evil undead reminds me of my response to adamantine weapons, which in a game I once played in were treated as if they were lightsabers that could cut through anything. As a result my current campaign world has zero adamantine available. There's a rationale, of course, but basically it was because I was so angry about someone with an adamantine two-handed sword acting like Luke Skywalker. Of course, I have since learned that was not a correct interpretation of adamantine weapons ...)

weirmonken wrote:

... I was relieved to see a research mechanic introduced to Pathfinder that was not cumbersome and which worked elegantly with the Knowledge rules. I'll certainly be cherry-picking this detail for my own games, and am glad to see it present.

... the expansion on animated objects in the Bestiary is a fine idea, and providing GMs with a larger toolbox with which to tinker on existing monsters is a fine idea, and one that I support wholeheartedly.

... I'm intrigued by the Trust mechanic, but have yet to read it in detail. I do like the idea of an evolving relationship between a group of players and a community based on their actions, so I'll likely be considering how to make this work in my own games as well.

Whoa.

This sounds like a truly amazing publication; I think I'll have to bump it to the very top of my reading list - those are all things that will have immediate and great usefulness in my current campaign.

Awesome.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Now and then, non-evil and non-ghost undead will probably sneak into print, but if it's a non-evil undead and it's not a ghost, chances are VERY good I didn't notice it and bringing it to my attention will make me angry and send me off to punish someone here at Paizo who DID IT WRONG!!!! :-P

Spoiler for The Godsmouth Heresy:

I wouldn't want to be whoever designed

Spoiler:
Esme Verisi
then.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

gbonehead wrote:

Out of curiosity, why is it only ghosts that get the "can be non-evil" treatment? I ask because the instance in my spoiler makes perfect sense as a rationale for a non-evil undead creature.

Not that Pathfinder has such a thing yet (and apparently it never will), but in Savage Species there was an Emancipated Spawn prestige class for undead that could be applied to undead creatures that "awoke" from their status as a spawn and recalled their previous lives. I love that concept, but based on the "all undead are evil" mantra, this could never happen without the awakened creature being evil.

Could we maybe state that in Golarion all undead are evil without clouding the issue in a more global sense, thus allowing for creatures other than ghosts to be non-evil?

When I say "ALL UNDEAD ARE EVIL," what I really mean is that if you want to make a non-evil undead show up in an adventure for print with us, you have to be a damn good writer and you have to justify your choice with some really cool backstory. See what Rob did with...

Spoiler:
... a certain non-evil undead creature in his adventure, The Godsmouth Heresy, for example of a non-evil undead done right.

Many writers aren't up to the challenge of presenting a non-evil undead, frankly.

Ghosts have always felt like a different case for me. They're the most tragic of undead, and while they can be unrelentingly evil... they can be just as scary when they're NOT evil. I can think of LOTS of movies and stories where the ghosts aren't necessarily evil but the movie is still really scary. (Some examples off the top of my head: "The Eye" (although not so much the remake), "The Others," "The Sixth Sense," and "The Devil's Backbone.") This isn't really the case for other types of undead. Vampires come close... but most movies about vampires that portray vampires not as evil fail at being good movies. The ones that DO work... they have great writers.

I'd rather not see us do an emancipated spawn type prestige class at all. If we decide to write an adventure with an element like that, I'd MUCH rather present the "emancipated spawn" (I kinda hate that term, actually) as a unique entity, not as a template that implies that you can throw this onto all sorts of things, willy-nilly.


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

Sounds like Rob isn't getting to suffer James's wrath, then. Good!

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

James Jacobs wrote:

When I say "ALL UNDEAD ARE EVIL," what I really mean is that if you want to make a non-evil undead show up in an adventure for print with us, you have to be a damn good writer and you have to justify your choice with some really cool backstory. See what Rob did with... ** spoiler omitted **

Many writers aren't up to the challenge of presenting a non-evil undead, frankly.

See, this is what gives me absolute faith in Paizo. Even when you guys say something that sounds like an absolute, there's always a ".... when it makes sense" clause attached. I had the same issue with the discussions about epic level caps until I realized what was really being said.

James Jacobs wrote:
I'd rather not see us do an emancipated spawn type prestige class at all. If we decide to write an adventure with an element like that, I'd MUCH rather present the "emancipated spawn" (I kinda hate that term, actually) as a unique entity, not as a template that implies that you can throw this onto all sorts of things, willy-nilly.

Personally, I don't think that having such a thing means it'll be used willy-nilly (I like the concept of the prestige class, yet I've used it once in 5 years), but I definitely see your point - in reality there's no need for it, because anyone can give (for example) a shadow 5 levels of sorcerer and say it's because the shadow recalled it's former self - no need for a prestige class for that.

And yes, yes indeed, the Emancipated Spawn name is terrible.

Dark Archive

Zaister wrote:
Sounds like Rob isn't getting to suffer James's wrath, then. Good!

Have you read the adventure? It's probably the best 1st-level adventure written so far for PF (including the AP modules). Without spoiling anything, Godsmouth Heresy features some very well-written encounters against undead...

spoiler:
plus a tragic protagonist who is indeed a textbook example of a non-evil undead "done right".


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

Not yet, just flipped through it, and looked at some statblocks, and thus noting the "inconsistency" if you will. I will read it now.


I received this in the mail yesterday and it looks absolutely decadent. The layout is gorgeous, the art is excellent, I love the maps. The appearance of the whole thing is luscious. Kudos.

I did notice one odd thing. The cover seemed flimsy, very different than the other AP books. It seemed much more like a magazine than a book. Was this a conscious decision? I can't help but think that it will affect the durability of the module over time.

Paizo Employee CEO

Barbarossa wrote:
I did notice one odd thing. The cover seemed flimsy, very different than the other AP books. It seemed much more like a magazine than a book. Was this a conscious decision? I can't help but think that it will affect the durability of the module over time.

We are using the exact same paper stock on our adventure paths that we have from the beginning. We have never changed the specs. Not one little bit. Why mess with something that is doing so well? My guess is that it just "seems" to be flimsy to you. It feels the same to me. :)

Of course, your sense of seeming may vary...

-Lisa


Lisa Stevens wrote:

We are using the exact same paper stock on our adventure paths that we have from the beginning. We have never changed the specs. Not one little bit. Why mess with something that is doing so well? My guess is that it just "seems" to be flimsy to you. It feels the same to me. :)

Of course, your sense of seeming may vary...

-Lisa

Hm. I don't know whether to feel mildly disturbed that my perceptions are out of wack or mildly insulted by the insinuation that they are.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Barbarossa wrote:


Quote:

We are using the exact same paper stock on our adventure paths that we have from the beginning. We have never changed the specs. Not one little bit. Why mess with something that is doing so well? My guess is that it just "seems" to be flimsy to you. It feels the same to me. :)

Of course, your sense of seeming may vary...

-Lisa

Hm. I don't know whether to feel mildly disturbed that my perceptions are out of wack or mildly insulted by the insinuation that they are.

Or it could be the gnomes that cut off your hands while you slept and replaced them. So everything now "feels" different to you. It happens a lot more than most people think.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Barbarossa wrote:


Hm. I don't know whether to feel mildly disturbed that my perceptions are out of wack or mildly insulted by the insinuation that they are.

For what it's worth, I can verify that my copy of this issue is of the exact same quality and durability as all my other AP issues. If it seems that obvious to you, maybe it's possible that you just got a random, weird printing error? I dunno...


Dark_Mistress wrote:
Or it could be the gnomes that cut off your hands while you slept and replaced them. So everything now "feels" different to you. It happens a lot more than most people think.

Well, it wouldn't be the first time. Although with St. Paddy's day coming up, I tend to blame the leprechauns.

I did compare HH to an SS module. The cover did seem the same, but the book felt floppy, as if it were heavier maybe.


Dark_Mistress wrote:


Or it could be the gnomes that cut off your hands while you slept and replaced them. So everything now "feels" different to you. It happens a lot more than most people think.

Dark Mistress may just have invented a new creepy villain here, the insidious replacer of arms with a gnomish prosthesis. Now what should we call it?


Dark Sasha wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:


Or it could be the gnomes that cut off your hands while you slept and replaced them. So everything now "feels" different to you. It happens a lot more than most people think.
Dark Mistress may just have invented a new creepy villain here, the insidious replacer of arms with a gnomish prosthesis. Now what should we call it?

Gnomes? I think you mean Derro. "We are not Gnomes. We are Derro."


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jeff de luna wrote:
Dark Sasha wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:


Or it could be the gnomes that cut off your hands while you slept and replaced them. So everything now "feels" different to you. It happens a lot more than most people think.
Dark Mistress may just have invented a new creepy villain here, the insidious replacer of arms with a gnomish prosthesis. Now what should we call it?
Gnomes? I think you mean Derro. "We are not Gnomes. We are Derro."

That definitely makes it more creepy.

Dark Archive

Dark Sasha wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:


Or it could be the gnomes that cut off your hands while you slept and replaced them. So everything now "feels" different to you. It happens a lot more than most people think.
Dark Mistress may just have invented a new creepy villain here, the insidious replacer of arms with a gnomish prosthesis. Now what should we call it?

I just call them minions. :)

Dark Archive

Dark Sasha wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:


Dark Mistress may just have invented a new creepy villain here, the insidious replacer of arms with a gnomish prosthesis. Now what should we call it?
I just call them minions. :)

Substitute "dwarven" for "gnomish" in that sentence, and you have my nephew in all his fiendish glory! ;)

Liberty's Edge

This AP is outselling the Inner Sea World Guide!

As good as this AP is, I'm kinda shocked that this would happen.

Dark Archive

Brandon Hodge wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:

Thanks, Brandon and James! This helped a lot...

I agree, fireball may not be the best choice for a haunt. However, the idea behind "Fireball Haunt" was not that of a ghost that just casts a fireball and vanishes; rather, I had thought of a burning, tormented soul who has died violently in a fire, and manifests as a scary-looking, mad figure engulfed in flames... flames that slowly start spreading around the room to engulf player characters.

Thanks!

I'll take your imagery one step further: when the haunt manifests, it replays the psychic residue of those souls who died in the flames, replaying their last final seconds as the flesh melts from their bones. The PCs (on a failed Will save) actually experience the physical and mental anguish of the victims that died in the fire, and see themselves as the scorched, blackened dying as the flames -in full conflagration -roar around them. Just as fast as they appeared, they vanish, yet the blackened skin remains.

Of course, I'm not necessarily saying there isn't already a haunt like this in some later chapter of Carrion Crown. Could be...could be... (!)

Hey -whaddaya know...I CAN write decent haunt flavor when the sun is shining! =-)

Brandon

Wow, that's amazing; I'm definitely stealing that for the next session! Thanks, Brandon! It doesn't matter even matter if Carrion Crown features an "identical" haunt, because I'm probably going to run it for another group. :)

(here's a tip: there's no better source of inspiration than a few whispered prayers to Asmodeus -- or an Inquisitor standing right behind your shoulder, with a whip in his hand! Well, moving into Pett's attic might help, too, but even if you could avoid being devoured it would surely cost you your last shreds of sanity... ;))

Scarab Sages

Finished reading through this the other night. I loved it. For me, it invoked thoughts of Ravenloft, Dark Shadows, and Cthulhu mythos style stories.

Loved the expansions on:

Haunts - very versatile use of undead. I think they've become one of my new favorites. That article had some great examples.

Animated Objects - to me have a lot of potential for not only something that's deadly serious and dangerous, but that can also be fun. Imagine being attacked my the contents of a kitchen.

The Trust rules were...interesting. Not sure how I'll really feel about them until I get to use them in game play.

The article on the town was excellent. Seems like an interesting place.

Liberty's Edge

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Or it could be the gnomes that cut off your hands while you slept and replaced them. So everything now "feels" different to you. It happens a lot more than most people think.

Or more likely he got really drunk and then he was convinced by a friend of his to make a deal with the Robot Devil!

Spoiler:
Futurama reference

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

The Paizo Golem delivered my copy today along with some other stuff. Can't wait to find some free time and read it.


weirmonken wrote:
Fourth, I'm intrigued by the Trust mechanic, but have yet to read it in detail. I do like the idea of an evolving relationship between a group of players and a community based on their actions,

I'm really looking forward to going over this as well.

Scarab Sages

I am so excited to be ordering this story line! As well as the Inner Sea World Guide.
I have never been someone to buy modules, but then I purchased the Osirion-set "Entombed with the Pharaohs" & "Stone Pact Pyramid".
Those have been it for me until I came here & saw Feiyi, the iconic Witch, in the art for this storyline. I want to order it all just for that.
I am glad that this iconic is being included. Such a great party lined up. Perhaps I will get to run this campaign some day, but for now I get it for the story and the art. Thanks Paizo!!


I just got my copy today. It looks awesome. My only problem is not with the module but the group I DM. They won't let go of 3.5 and I've gotta convert it back to run it... for now.
Hopefully they will only resist my needling for so long before they give in.


MrSambo76 wrote:

I just got my copy today. It looks awesome. My only problem is not with the module but the group I DM. They won't let go of 3.5 and I've gotta convert it back to run it... for now.

Hopefully they will only resist my needling for so long before they give in.

Just houserule all of Pathfinder RPG and run it as though it's 3.5e. ;-)

"OK, guys, I'm going to introduce a few house rules. From now on, feats are every two levels. Oh, but I'm changing some of the feats so I'll get together with each of you to discuss your feats soon. Oh, another rule, now more healing cantrips or orisons, but that's because I'm allowing unlimited casting of level-0 spells."

Introduce a few new Pathfinder house rules to the game very session and before they know it, they'll be playing PRPG. ;-) Convert one of the PCs to the Pathfinder equivalent character before each session. (This could be a problem if they're using non-core 3.5e feats/classes though.) You don't have to justify using Pathfinder creatures and CRs as 3.5e DMs can introduce their own monsters anyway.

========================================================================

On another note, I just got my copy of Haunting of Harrowstone and I too noticed that it was "floppier" than some of the previous AP volumes. It also "seemed" thicker though, so not sure what the deal is there. This isn't a complaint at all, just saying it's not quite the same as the others in my perception.


Wow.

Best. Adventure background. Ever.

Tweaking hardcore.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:

Wow.

Best. Adventure background. Ever.

Tweaking hardcore.

I just finished reading the Adventure Background. I'm hooked. I want to run this right now.


John Benbo wrote:
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:

Wow.

Best. Adventure background. Ever.

Tweaking hardcore.

I just finished reading the Adventure Background. I'm hooked. I want to run this right now.

I know....it's compelling as hell.

One of my soon players said he wanted to
Spoiler:
do an ingame flashback to the prison riot.........I do to....


Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:


One of my soon players said he wanted to
** spoiler omitted **

That is a really great idea! Thanks for sharing that.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
John Benbo wrote:
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
Wow. Best. Adventure background. Ever. Tweaking hardcore.
I just finished reading the Adventure Background. I'm hooked. I want to run this right now.

I know....it's compelling as hell.

One of my soon players said he wanted to
** spoiler omitted **

If I were you guys...

Spoiler:

...I'd take a page from how Erik Mona ran a session in his Age of Worms campaign, whereby he had the players set aside their regular PCs for the evening and handed out stock NPCs for them to play. It was a scene where they were all doomed to die, falling victim one-by-one to the horrors unleashed that evening. Then, when they reverted back to their regular PCs the next session, they all got to explore the aftermath of that location where all the murderous activity took place.

I could easily see an awesome game of "Haunting of Harrowstone" playing out that way, too. Just give the players some NPC guards to play at the prison during the riot. Have TSM and all the other baddies totally ruin their day. Maybe even add some ghosts or haunts from the deaths of these NPC guards for the players' regular PCs to experience when they eventually visit the haunted prison 50 years later.

If I were a player in a game like that, I'd have an absolute blast. That's because it immediately invests the players in the backstory of the location and the individual stories of all those evil ghosts, haunts, and undead filling the place. You just need to make sure you can trust the players to keep their knowledge separate from that of their PCs, of course. But, in the end, it could make for one of the most memorable game experiences of your roleplaying lives.


Just my two cents,
--Neil

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Neil Spicer wrote:
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
John Benbo wrote:
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
Wow. Best. Adventure background. Ever. Tweaking hardcore.
I just finished reading the Adventure Background. I'm hooked. I want to run this right now.

I know....it's compelling as hell.

One of my soon players said he wanted to
** spoiler omitted **

If I were you guys...

** spoiler omitted **
Just my two cents,
--Neil

Awesome. Truly awesome. I think I'll use something like that in my Friday night epic game - they're about to go up into a long-abandoned Lovecraftian plateau infested with mu-spores (the players don't like plateaus much) and will discover that it is even worse than they thought.

I love the idea of them playing some of the precursor dwarves trying to stave off the horror on Day One - the day the mountains fell on the city and Other things arrived ...

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

It's very good - I should like to DM this - hmm.

One question - what is the river called that cuts through the town - I cannot find that info anywhere?

Thanks

J

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Fleanetha wrote:

It's very good - I should like to DM this - hmm.

One question - what is the river called that cuts through the town - I cannot find that info anywhere?

Thanks

J

It's barely even a creek. It should be called Ravengro Creek, as a result. ;P

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Neil Spicer wrote:
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
John Benbo wrote:
Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
Wow. Best. Adventure background. Ever. Tweaking hardcore.
I just finished reading the Adventure Background. I'm hooked. I want to run this right now.

I know....it's compelling as hell.

One of my soon players said he wanted to
** spoiler omitted **

If I were you guys...

** spoiler omitted **
Just my two cents,
--Neil

Cool, idea. Thanks! Reading it also makes me want to run ala it "Ghostbusters."


Nice one Neil!

That sets the stage and takes it up to 11! It also lets the GM get their horror on without ending the campaign in a sudden TPK. Awesome on several levels.


I was immediately hooked at opening scene.

Spoiler:
At the cemetery, with PCs as pallbearers, and the scuffle with concerned townsfolk.
Simply beautiful as it is not about heroes vs evil, but about human beings vs death.

I've had a concern regarding timing of events.

Spoiler:
With over 30 days to spare, it's hard to imagine players not going to Ravengro withing first three days. The motivation to accrue Trust points is pretty low, too, as after the initial scene the PCs are likely to focus on investigating professor's letter than trying to solve mysterious occurrences at the town.

So, the question here is why would the PCs not to try taking the shortcut?

I have three additional questions, as I run games for gals and guys who care about such details:

Spoiler:
The large body of water filling sunken cemetery is on the same level as dungeons. Why aren't the dungeons flooded?

With so many haunts in place, and with players being low on supply of ghost traps, what would be the best course of action for players to learn means to resolve haunt challenges? The spirit plank works once per day, and the challenges happen more often... of course, one could use haunts to keep the players from progressing too fast, but the truth is that players are quite likely to ignore non lethal haunts.

Finally, is there a way to explain how Mrs V. became the secondary guardian of the prison? I know her case, but her gaining this ability to resolve problems immediately after her ex-husband disappears, is somewhat difficult to fit into d20... after scenario, me and my players have this custom of talking over adventures, and asking about details.
I'd like to be able to provide logical and believable background.

Regards,
Rumere


ruemere wrote:


I have three additional questions, as I run games for gals and guys who care about such details:

Regards,
Rumere

I'll take a shot at a couple of these:

Re: Water Logistics

Spoiler:
Q. The large body of water filling sunken cemetery is on the same level as dungeons. Why aren't the dungeons flooded?

A. While the chamber was once level, there's now a depression where the pooling has occurred in area U1. The water is seeping away on the eastern side where it is draining into the water table below - the path of least resistance.

Re: Vesora

Spoiler:
Q. Finally, is there a way to explain how Mrs V. became the secondary guardian of the prison? I know her case, but her gaining this ability to resolve problems immediately after her ex-husband disappears, is somewhat difficult to fit into d20... after scenario, me and my players have this custom of talking over adventures, and asking about details.
I'd like to be able to provide logical and believable background.

A. It's not quite immediate. The PCs need to connect her to her husband's legacy. He's a powerful symbol as Hawkran has held the prisoners in check for a very long time. The PCs are to bring a symbol of her husband's office - Vesora recommends his badge of office (area U8). She becomes the new 'sheriff in town' so to speak. She finds new purpose by taking up his legacy instead of continually mourning the tragedy of their past. Though I take your point, it's not a d20 game mechanic, it's just hardwired into the storyline.


Thank you for your reply.

Spoiler:
The trouble with my players is that they feel uneasy if the world plays using different set rules. I agree with this sentiment.

The pond has been described as overlying sunken portion of dungeons (sunken in mining sense) fifty years ago. As such, the water surface should be pretty level throughout Harrowstone residence.

While I am quite comfortable with previous guardian holding in check inmates (new rule: ghosts at cross purposes can hold each other in a clinch), the wife becoming the new ghostly guardian is somewhat difficult to explain.

Regards,
Ruemere


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

ruemere:
These are just ideas and your milage may vary since they are trying to reconcile story with system.

You could state that V needs the symbol of the warden (and possibly the defeat of the five) as an event that changes her perception of herself and her circumstance. So instead of being controlled by her past, she now feels able to control it instead. Maybe she was always more powerful than she thought but had thought she was weak and unable to help her husband.

Alternatively (and this is really unpolished and probably unhelpful), you could look at inventing a ritual to bind the authority of the badge to her - possibly based on what the Whispering Way was doing with the binding of the sheriff's spirit.


Newbie here but can anyone tell me where I'd find the rules for the new animated object special attack 'Shackle' from this edition?
Thanks


Does it ever say, or is there any guideline on the date when Haunting of Harrowstone begins? I know the current year in Golarion is 4711 (ISWG), but what's the date? Or at least the time of year? I understand that these are written to be open for GMs to play with, but I just don't wanna randomly pick a date and then have a conflict later on.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Haken Aspengrass wrote:
Does it ever say, or is there any guideline on the date when Haunting of Harrowstone begins? I know the current year in Golarion is 4711 (ISWG), but what's the date? Or at least the time of year? I understand that these are written to be open for GMs to play with, but I just don't wanna randomly pick a date and then have a conflict later on.

Nope; as with pretty much all of our adventures, the day it begins is up to the GM.


Ok, maybe I'm just blind...reading through the adventure, I see that in the event involving the map on page 18 there are supposed to be 5 marked locations where the event starts.

I don't see them. Does anyone else have this issue?

If not, could some kind soul explain to me what I'm missing here?

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder

andro101010 wrote:

Newbie here but can anyone tell me where I'd find the rules for the new animated object special attack 'Shackle' from this edition?

Thanks

The shackle ability was cut during development, but it was accidentally left in the stat block. The animated manacles have the grab ability, which replaces it, so just ignore that line.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Spiral_Ninja wrote:

Ok, maybe I'm just blind...reading through the adventure, I see that in the event involving the map on page 18 there are supposed to be 5 marked locations where the event starts.

I don't see them. Does anyone else have this issue?

If not, could some kind soul explain to me what I'm missing here?

Spoiler:
I'm going off of the little decorative points that can be seen on the box around the map. Whether that was the intention, I have no idea. I can't find any other marks either.

The one that gets me is on the second floor of Harrowstone, it says on page 40 that some of the cells hang open, and that those open ones are marked with an "X". I cannot find those X's ANYWHERE! Not a single one on any cell in the whole adventure. Either I'm missing something or Paizo missed something. No idea which.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder

Spiral_Ninja wrote:

Ok, maybe I'm just blind...reading through the adventure, I see that in the event involving the map on page 18 there are supposed to be 5 marked locations where the event starts.

I don't see them. Does anyone else have this issue?

If not, could some kind soul explain to me what I'm missing here?

Those were left off the map, so you can have the skulls appear anywhere you wish. James Jacobs talks about it more here. Each of the Pathfinder AP volumes has its own "GM Reference" thread, where we try to post answers like these.


Rob McCreary wrote:
Spiral_Ninja wrote:

Ok, maybe I'm just blind...reading through the adventure, I see that in the event involving the map on page 18 there are supposed to be 5 marked locations where the event starts.

I don't see them. Does anyone else have this issue?

If not, could some kind soul explain to me what I'm missing here?

Those were left off the map, so you can have the skulls appear anywhere you wish. James Jacobs talks about it more here. Each of the Pathfinder AP volumes has its own "GM Reference" thread, where we try to post answers like these.

Thanks. Nice to know I can still read.

Next time I'll check the GM thread first.

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