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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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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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks again for the info Mike Silva


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Boreal is in Irrisen: Land of Eternal Winter. Not certain where Winter-Touched Fey is found.

Liberty's Edge

Domovoi CG -- People leave bread crumbs for them so they can help around the house and they also protect it.
Dvorovoi CN -- Mostly the same as Domovoi but for the land around a person house instead of the house itself.
Ovinnik CN -- Live in granaries and are appeased with gifts. Every new year the farmer and his family come to the Ovinnik to learn their fate for the coming year.

Liberty's Edge

Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Boreal is in Irrisen: Land of Eternal Winter. Not certain where Winter-Touched Fey is found.

That's were I though I saw the Boreal template. I could have sworn I saw the Winter-Touched Fey template in another book but I could be wrong and it was made specifically for this AP.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Carnival of Tears?

EDIT:

Spoiler:
Yep, it's called Dark Ice Creature and is spread by the Cold Riders.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This book is as beautiful as Legacy of Fire. Opening up to that beautiful picture book page took my breath away.


I've never heard of winter touched.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yay, I got my email. Boo, I can't download my PDF, apparently there is some maintenance going on and all my downloads are not available. :-/ I hope that is resolved soon.


Yeah I was looking forward to downloading and printing it off while at work. 8(

Liberty's Edge

What's the word on getting Pathfinder Society Chronicle sheets for this AP? It seems rocking-awesome fun!


" I cant wait " im buying it on release!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

F5, F5, F5 ...


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

Argh! It shipped and I can't download. Cruel world!

Dark Archive

I am still waiting for my email.

Liberty's Edge

I too wait for the golden email. Or, blue email, in this case...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The email won't be of any use until they have fixed their download system.


brad2411 wrote:

Theres a way to solo the chapter?

I use a gestalt solo to test run APs before GMing is a consideration. I don't have a group for it.

By the by, this is a tough one. ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Turin the Mad wrote:
I use a gestalt solo to test run APs before GMing is a consideration. I don't have a group for it.

You live up to your name...

Paizo Employee Developer

e_d_1 wrote:


What's the word on getting Pathfinder Society Chronicle sheets for this AP? It seems rocking-awesome fun!

The Reign of Winter Adventure Path is, as of now, not sanctioned for Pathfinder Society play. We're still looking closely at the numbers of reported sessions of Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star to see if sanctioning APs is something we'll be doing for more paths down the road. So right now the word for a Chronicle sheet for this is that it's not on the schedule, though that doesn't mean we won't create one and sanction the adventure down the line.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
I use a gestalt solo to test run APs before GMing is a consideration. I don't have a group for it.
You live up to your name...

Oh, please. Turin lives up to his name because he runs his games like if they were playing Paranoia. At least he used to do that, I remember very well some of his entries in the CotCT Obituaries thread. ^^

Liberty's Edge

Mark Moreland wrote:
e_d_1 wrote:


What's the word on getting Pathfinder Society Chronicle sheets for this AP? It seems rocking-awesome fun!
The Reign of Winter Adventure Path is, as of now, not sanctioned for Pathfinder Society play. We're still looking closely at the numbers of reported sessions of Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star to see if sanctioning APs is something we'll be doing for more paths down the road. So right now the word for a Chronicle sheet for this is that it's not on the schedule, though that doesn't mean we won't create one and sanction the adventure down the line.

Thanking the sage, and with hope in his heart, the hero vows to tread the frozen paths of adventure, anticipating his reward will be crafted by the time he arrives at his destination.

Grand Lodge

Mark Moreland wrote:
e_d_1 wrote:


What's the word on getting Pathfinder Society Chronicle sheets for this AP? It seems rocking-awesome fun!
The Reign of Winter Adventure Path is, as of now, not sanctioned for Pathfinder Society play. We're still looking closely at the numbers of reported sessions of Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star to see if sanctioning APs is something we'll be doing for more paths down the road. So right now the word for a Chronicle sheet for this is that it's not on the schedule, though that doesn't mean we won't create one and sanction the adventure down the line.

As soon as my players finish the first book I will be reporting that session and then on from there. (For Shattered Star that is). I like the fact that they are doing Sanctioned AP's for PFS :)

One thing I am unclear on and it does not say so in the rules for sanctioned AP's - at least not clearly - is how many credits does a GM get for GMing a single book for an AP? 1,2 or 3 credits toward the star system? (just curious is all?)


magnuskn wrote:
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
I use a gestalt solo to test run APs before GMing is a consideration. I don't have a group for it.
You live up to your name...
Oh, please. Turin lives up to his name because he runs his games like if they were playing Paranoia. At least he used to do that, I remember very well some of his entries in the CotCT Obituaries thread. ^^

You should see the Kingmaker and Horror on the Orient Express obituaries. ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Turin the Mad wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
I use a gestalt solo to test run APs before GMing is a consideration. I don't have a group for it.
You live up to your name...
Oh, please. Turin lives up to his name because he runs his games like if they were playing Paranoia. At least he used to do that, I remember very well some of his entries in the CotCT Obituaries thread. ^^
You should see the Kingmaker and Horror on the Orient Express obituaries. ;)

I must admit I stopped reading Kingmaker obituaries after I ditched that campaign. I shall look it up. ^^

Liberty's Edge

Deanoth wrote:
One thing I am unclear on and it does not say so in the rules for sanctioned AP's - at least not clearly - is how many credits does a GM get for GMing a single book for an AP? 1,2 or 3 credits toward the star system? (just curious is all?)

The same as modules - 2.


Mark Moreland wrote:
The Reign of Winter Adventure Path is, as of now, not sanctioned for Pathfinder Society play. We're still looking closely at the numbers of reported sessions of Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star to see if sanctioning APs is something we'll be doing for more paths down the road. So right now the word for a Chronicle sheet for this is that it's not on the schedule, though that doesn't mean we won't create one and sanction the adventure down the line.

I have never run an AP, but I have been getting into PFS a lot lately as a GM and a Player. Now I am running some Modules. I was seriously thinking of starting an AP Subscription with the beginning of Reign of Winter, under the assumption that I could run my home group through it and get PFS Chronicles. This statement honestly puts me off quite a bit. Whether this AP is sanctioned or not could make the decision for me on whether I invest in it.

Liberty's Edge

RuyanVe wrote:

Carnival of Tears?

EDIT: ** spoiler omitted **

Nope, much weaker than the Dark Ice Creature template from Carnival of Tears. No fast healing, no ability adjustments, no claw attack.


Mike Silva wrote:

Domovoi CG -- People leave bread crumbs for them so they can help around the house and they also protect it.

Dvorovoi CN -- Mostly the same as Domovoi but for the land around a person house instead of the house itself.
Ovinnik CN -- Live in granaries and are appeased with gifts. Every new year the farmer and his family come to the Ovinnik to learn their fate for the coming year.

Sounds like we might have something that works for nisser.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

It's "nissar," før Søren! Don't let that sneaky west Scandinavian fool you. ;)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kajehase wrote:
It's "nissar," før Søren! Don't let that sneaky west Scandinavian fool you. ;)

Sneaky West Scandinavian fool? Bah! Let me just find my axe and shield and we'll settle what 11 wars between our nations haven't been able to! ;)


Great AP so far, you get to fight a lot of evil fey, I love the giant weasel and the house spirits, finally get stats for a polar bear but does seem week for a CR5.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hm.
Still doesn't appear in my downloads. *sad face*

Ruyan.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Just did a quick read and I am impressed. From the story to the artwork, and all that lies inbetween. Great job!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cool, can't wait for this AP!!! Holdenvie, is the artwork very different from the previous AP's? I hope not!

Losts of Evil Fey sounds really really good, if there are standalone pictures of some of those evil fey and Giant Mantis in there i'm one happy happy fellow, can't wait for the 20st of februari!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I was pleasantly surprised with the artwork. With all the fey I got Froudian impressions, but that's probably just me. The NPC portraits are definitely Paizo. The interior cover images, with only a bit of hyperbole, blew me away.


Releasing new adventure path volumes on valentines day. That's cruel Paizo, real cruel


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Spoilers about Baba Yaga's daughters.

Spoiler:
So Baba Yaga drains her daughters of life to extend her own.

What implications does this have for Tashana's career and what does she do with her grandchildren?

I honestly thought that was a bit of a bummer, to be honest. Turning them into a world-plane spanning army seemed more interesting than the reality.

Spoiler:
Also, we're being promised stats for Baba Yaga and her daughter

Does anyone else think that accurately doing those would require mythic rules or something of the sort to be finalized?


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


Does anyone else think that accurately doing those would require mythic rules or something of the sort to be finalized?

The Mythic rules WILL be finalized "in-house" by the time they are finishing up volume 6 of the AP. They'll just be on their way to the printer, not yet released to the public.


By the time book 6 is going to the printer, I think Mythic Adventures will have been printing for a month. They just sent Ultimate Campaign out to the printer two weeks ago or so, and that's expected in May. So I'd think that the rules will be finalized by the time she's statted up...maybe.

Paizo Employee Developer

Kain Darkwind wrote:
Does anyone else think that accurately doing those would require mythic rules or something of the sort to be finalized?

I think having those rules in place would be a very good idea for something like that.


The Mythic stuff came up at my table last week, where half the table understand the rules to be Paizo's version/take of the Epic Rule-set from that other company. The other half of the table understand it to be just an optional book of variant/additional rules (which, technically seems to be the case, regardless of personal opinion) meant to add some spark to a game. I am in the former group. The latter group complained that the play test rules didn't seem quite "epic", or in this case "Mythic" enough to them... Which of us is correct?


And I apologize if that is too Off Topic for this thread.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

closetgamer wrote:

The Mythic stuff came up at my table last week, where half the table understand the rules to be Paizo's version/take of the Epic Rule-set from that other company. The other half of the table understand it to be just an optional book of variant/additional rules (which, technically seems to be the case, regardless of personal opinion) meant to add some spark to a game. I am in the former group. The latter group complained that the play test rules didn't seem quite "epic", or in this case "Mythic" enough to them... Which of us is correct?

You're both correct.

The playtest has certainly focused things more in the latter, but it absolutely is our take on "Epic" play. The playtest's focus on player content really didn't leave much time, alas, for GM content.

I'm really REALLY hoping it works well in that regard, since I'm relying upon Mythic Adventures to be able to stat up several demon lords for Wrath of the Righteous...

...and even earlier, for Baba Yaga's stats, of course.

Liberty's Edge

Got my copy today in the mail and let me tell you, if you think the art is amazing in PDF it blows it out of the water live in print form. It's the art in this book that makes a compelling argument to continue buying Pathfinder books in print.


Still waiting for my copy of Snows of Summer! :(


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Mike Silva wrote:
Got my copy today in the mail and let me tell you, if you think the art is amazing in PDF it blows it out of the water live in print form. It's the art in this book that makes a compelling argument to continue buying Pathfinder books in print.

I just took a quick glance at the PDF, and I completely agree with you. The art, and the design is some of the best I have seen.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Are there troubles shipping? Havn't even got a shipping confirmation :/

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

After reading the PDF, I'm sold on running this one. Shattered Star (while great quality!) is a little too dungeony for my groups but this one? I have 12 players lined up for this, no idea how I'm going to handle this! *ponders running two groups at once*


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Better make it three or you'll be forced to beef up encounters the whole AP.


Gorbacz: two groups. ;)

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