Pathfinder Adventure Path #67: The Snows of Summer (Reign of Winter 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

3.70/5 (based on 19 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #67: The Snows of Summer (Reign of Winter 1 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 1: "The Snows of Summer"
by Neil Spicer

The Reign of Winter Adventure Path begins with an exciting new adventure from RPG Superstar winner Neil Spicer! Every 100 years, the Witch Queen Baba Yaga returns to the nation of Irrisen to place a new daughter on the throne, but this time, something has gone wrong. Far to the south, winter cloaks the forest near the village of Heldren with summer snows. The heroes venture into the wood and discover a magical portal to the frozen land of Irrisen, whose supernatural winter will soon engulf all of Golarion unless they can discover the fate of the otherworldly witch Baba Yaga—a quest that will take them through snowbound Irrisen to even stranger lands beyond.

“The Snows of Summer” is a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for 1st-level characters. This volume kicks off the new Reign of Winter Adventure Path, and includes a gazetteer of the villages of Heldren and Waldsby, details on the cultural and magical legacies of Irrisen, and several new monsters in the Pathfinder Bestiary. Author Kevin Andrew Murphy launches a new Pathfinder Journal novella in this exciting volume of the Pathfinder Adventure Path!

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Reign of Winter Adventure Path and includes:
  • “The Snows of Summer,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 1st-level characters, by Neil Spicer.
  • A gazetteer of two villages—one in Taldor and the other in wintry Irrisen—to help flesh out the characters’ environs, by Rob McCreary.
  • A look into Irrisen’s legacies and mysteries GMs can use for this campaign, written and compiled by Rob McCreary.
  • An alchemist’s journey to Irrisen’s capital of Whitethrone in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Kevin Andrew Murphy.
  • Four new monsters, by Neil Spicer and James Wilber.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-492-4

The Snows of Summer 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 (639 KB zip/PDF).

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

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO9067


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Average product rating:

3.70/5 (based on 19 ratings)

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Terrible premise

1/5

I’m a player that bailed on a game 80% of the way through this.

This book has a premise of having the players save the world when Golarion is full of very high level NPCs that any sane party would pass that torch to. This adventure path requires (among lots of other retcon surgery) that it not be set in setting like Golarion.

This book was a succession of “Why am I even here?!?” questions. Leave this one on the shelf unless you have lots of time for major plot rewriting.


Not standing up to the test of time.

2/5

I am a big fan of Paizo APs (I have played/GM'd 7 including this one) and this has been my least favourite.

Book 1 is just one long rail road with little motivation apart from "the world is in danger" for a basic party. The plot hook just isn't developed enough for myself.

There are too many encounters that are unnecessary (out of the first 13 encounters, 11 are combat based. One of these is 1 encounter that combines 3).

The GM was advised in the book to put us under a compulsion spell to make sure we stayed on the path the adventure wanted us on. I do not think this is good AP planning to encourage good roleplay.

I do love Paizo APs but this one just doesnt stand up to some more recent APs whose quality are outstanding.


3/5

Player review.

An interesting start to a campaign. Lots of role play and some interesting encounters to keep the combat types happy. I have two grumbles though. One is that the encounters seem arbitrary, just set to sow off the events taking place. I'd have much preferred to just get on with the story than keep having to have unnecessary encounters when GM description will do. Secondly, like most AP's, there just isn't the opportunity to sell stuff and buy equipment. After several AP's this just gets old.


A heavy-handed introduction to a most promising campaign

3/5

I just finished taking a group of 4 PCs through the module. While we had a lot of fun, I still had some gripes with a few things.

The trek through the Border Wood is a string of seemingly disconnected encounters. Yes, I get that most of them are there to illustrate the transformation of the woods but it felt like a theme park ride from one "Here is a strange monster, kill it!" to the next.

I definitely recommend to significantly condense this part down to the major encounters.

I also did not like the way the Black Rider just forces the PCs to take up his mantle. Sure, good-aligned characters might have some issues with trying to help a supposedly evil witch, but this solution seems too imposing.

Lastly, as written, the book fails to adequately introduce its final villain. The entire time the PCs think they are going to face a certain character but then end up fighting their out-of-office replacement who has not even come up in any way in the adventure. There is a line late in the book about how he scries on the party and how that should introduce him to the players but I don't really see how that would work.

But it is absolutely not all bad.

Plot-wise, this is the most epic exposition to an Adventure Path I have run so far. The PCs are sent off by the herald of an almost divine being to find out what happened to his mistress when they have just barely hit 2nd level!

Also, Neil Spicer added some really nice touches to the encounters. Even the ice elementals have first names! Everything has a reason and a motivation for being where it is, they are just not very likely for the PCs to find out about, so in the end it just seems random to them (see above).

I also liked the general atmosphere: The sense of dark fairy-tale and haunted forest comes across very well, right down to the wintery village oppressed by an evil overlord (or overlady, as it were).

All in all, I rate this 3 stars because the plot and atmosphere are nice, but the trek through the forest was just too much of a drag to rate this any higher in my opinion.

However, if you are willing to invest some time as a GM, I am sure you can easily add at 1 star.

All the ingredients for a great adventure are there, you just need to throw them into a cauldron, stir, and cackle.


Such a great beginning...

5/5

GMed this over Play-by-Post.

This book has everything you want from the beginning of an AP. It really sets things up perfectly for the next lot of books, and really gets the characters invested in the plot. Rather than start out 'cold' (tee hee) in Irrisen, it lets them warm up (or cool down gradually) in the south before making a gradual and natural transition to wintery elements and wintery creatures, building nicely on what the players know and have experienced in an easy-to-approach fashion.

The plot itself is incredibly engaging and gives a beautiful glimpse into just how epic the adventure path at large will eventually be. It does all this without seeming unreasonably out of place for low-level character either. Truly great work, and all of my players are now chomping at the bit for the second instalment. So rewarding to see as a GM.

This is (so far) proving to be easily the best AP out there.

Oh, and if you're GMing this, do yourself a favor and pick up the Campaign Setting Irrisen: Land of Eternal Winter. It gives you a lot more insight into the Jadwiga and Irrisen in general and you'll find your players thanking you for all the extra accents and details you'll be able to sprinkle in to your campaign.


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Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The PCs are dealing with a bigger problem (perhaps the return of Choral), or the Bandit Council. The synopsis suggests that the only the one small town is effected by the strange weather, so maybe the mayor of Tatzlford or Oleg's or Varnhold (choose the smallest town in the PC's kingdom) asks for volunteers to find answers.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I hadn't noticed this thread.

::Is ready for a stiff drink now::

Been busy.

Whew.

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

We're gonna have Halloween at Christmas!


Congrats to Neil on finally getting a first installment.Now all I have to do is figure out why a Winter Witch would want to stop this.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I just noticed a little something in the Artifacts & Legends book...

Spoiler:
The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga is going to be in this issue.

Does that mean we might see the owner of this item statted up somewhere in this adventure path? I'm a sucker for high-level celebrities.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There's a lot of stuff from "Earth" coming out nowadays. Saint Cuthbert's Mace, Baba Yaga, Rasputin... Will this AP go to Earth?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Seoni, Valeros, Kyra and Merisiel pop up in 1918 Russia. Now that would be awesome!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Josef Vissarianovich: "Na zdarovya tovarich* Seoni! That was very nice of you to blast those white counter-revolutionaries into the Caspian Sea. I'm afraid we'll still have to put your friend Kyra against the wall, though. The people's dictatorship has no room for old religious superstitions, even ones from another planet who seem to be real."

Merisiel: "STAB!!"

And thus the history of 20th century Eastern Europe turned out a lot nicer than in the real world.

*No idea how those words are usually transcribed into English.

Shadow Lodge

Gorbacz wrote:
Seoni, Valeros, Kyra and Merisiel pop up in 1918 Russia. Now that would be awesome!

I don't remember who the other three are, but I know it's been confirmed that Feiya is one of the iconics for this. I think Valeros is one of the others.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM Wellard wrote:
Congrats to Neil on finally getting a first installment.Now all I have to do is figure out why a Winter Witch would want to stop this.

Speculative Spoilers:
since Elvanna seems to be the BBBEG in this one, you could play a loyalist who hopes to be pretty high on the totem pole when the proper order is restored?
Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

DM Wellard wrote:
Congrats to Neil on finally getting a first installment.

Apparently, that whole "ask and you shall receive" thing is true. :-)

::tosses a snowball into the thread::

Wheee! Snowball fight!

Dark Archive

Neil Spicer wrote:
DM Wellard wrote:
Congrats to Neil on finally getting a first installment.

Apparently, that whole "ask and you shall receive" thing is true. :-)

Shouldn't that be : "ask, work really really hard, for years, on everything they throw at you, smiling all the time, and you shall receive"??

Looks like it from out here ;)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

I thought that was obvious. It's all part of the freelancing definition of "ask"... ;-)

::throws another snowball::

Dark Archive

Ahhh, I see. That makes sense ;)

<throws snowball at the ice overhang above Neil so it collapses down the back of his neck>

<ducks>

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

::shrugs off the invigorating experience::

::casts quickened sleet storm to close off Nevynxxx's retreat, and follows with a maximized cone of cold::

"Dodge that!"


I do so love seeing the younglings enjoying suitable weather.

Dark Archive

::Suddenly becomes very, very still with a frustrated look::

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

::casts endure elements and starts looking for Rasputin::

Daron Woodson
Abandoned Arts


Not sure how relevant it is to this AP, although with Daigle's teasings, who knows, but there is post by everyone's favorite Creative Director:

Quote:
James Jacobs wrote:

For Golden-Esque:

Hark! A dancing hut!
Has it been one hundred years?
Get them mythic rules!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Gosh Cheapy, you're the man who usually puts all the clues together. Especially when I am strangely silent. ;-)

Check out the product description of Chapter Two: The Shackled Hut!


Nice! Hadn't looked at that one yet!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

3 people marked this as a favorite.

"Ah-hah! Trespasser!"

::casts ice crystal teleport on Jim, sending him back to The Shackled Hut thread::

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

::fails saving throw and vanishes in a crackle of ice::


Very excited about this one, looking forward to winter already! Thanks all for making it happen!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

::The Dwarf king Santa Klaus rides into the scene on his sleigh with his army of Gnome helpers and charges into battle with his magic dwarven double waraxe, Naughty & Nice.::

As you can see i would love to make an equivalent of Santa Claus for Galorian to finally bring Christmas to Irrisen.

aka. Christmas theme adventure for the holidays.


Zergtitan, not sure if you're aware but have you seen the trailer for Rise of The Guardians?

It will feature a Russian Santa Claus who also happens to be a bad-a$$ with tattoos. If you're looking for inspiration for a Golarion Santa this movie should help.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

thanks block knight, yeah I've seen the trailer and it does have some inspiration on my idea. I'm thinking maybe have him be some sort of paladin and his helpers be gnome fighter's with craftsman skills.

I choose gnomes for his helpers because a) elves in Galorian don't fit the character need and b) the personality of fun-loving helpers seems to fit.

Dwarf for Santa, because i feel that the jolly belly, red face, and beard fit the character. plus Dwarves are also craftsman as well.


Casts Snowball Swarm


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Very excited about this AP. Can't wait!


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

::Uses Yule Log Aura to defend against snowball swarm and heal ally Gnomes::

This year winter's coming late, but with a bang.


When do the players guides get released? The same time as the AP chapter?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The player's guides are usually released along with the first installment of an adventure path.


Ravenmantle wrote:
The player's guides are usually released along with the first installment of an adventure path.

There was a precedent set with the new format of Player's Guides for Shattered Star that it may come out a week early or so.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Aye that's true but it'll still be tied to the first installment of an adventure path in that it comes out at roughly the same time as that installment +/- a week or so.


Dragnmoon wrote:
Work Horse Neil Spicer Starts it off!

I'm currently running the Carrion Crown AP with one of our groups. We are almost done with the first book and I've been reading ahead. I just finished reading "Ashes at Dawn" today, so I am very happy to see this bit of news. :) I've enjoyed "Ashes at Dawn" tremendously, and look forward to "The Snows of Summer".


Finally something that might convince one of the Russian culture nerds in my group to run an AP so I can get to play.


First price increase ever. Still the best deal for your gaming dollars.

j.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I've certainly aimed to make it worth your while. ;-)

And, you know Paizo has, as well. :-)

Contributor

Same here with the novella for the AP fiction. :)


Why the price increase?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's been discussed by Eric Mona in one of the blog entries.

EDIT: Linky for your convinience.

The Exchange

So the prices are up on the pront version... however according to what I read are the reasons for the price increase, PDF prices should remain the same. Is that true.

The Exchange

Lord Snow wrote:
So the prices are up on the pront version... however according to what I read are the reasons for the price increase, PDF prices should remain the same. Is that true.

there should be a question mark there

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm fairly certain it's been said that the price for PDFs will rise slightly as well. My memory might be faulty, though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd imagine staff enjoys being paid more, too, also other fixed costs might have increased over the past couple years.

The Exchange

RuyanVe wrote:
I'd imagine staff enjoys being paid more, too, also other fixed costs might have increased over the past couple years.

true, dat.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And the economy of today is not the economy of 2007.

Shadow Lodge

Looks like my cold sorcerer will be on hold a bit longer, to see if any nifty traits, archtypes, or spells will be popping up.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Will this AP take the layout of Rise of the Runelords Anniversary edition or stick with the traditional look?

Webstore Gninja Minion

There will be some layout tweaks with the Adventure Paths starting with Reign of Winter.


How is rise of the runelords anniversary edition different from regular adventure paths ?

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