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)
Show Description For:
Non-Mint

Add PDF $15.99

Print Edition Unavailable

Non-Mint Unavailable

Facebook Twitter Email

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.

Product Availability

PDF:

Fulfilled immediately.

Print Edition:

Unavailable

Non-Mint:

Unavailable

This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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

PZO9067


See Also:

1 to 5 of 19 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

3.70/5 (based on 19 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

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.


1 to 5 of 19 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
251 to 300 of 338 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My players are mostly of the "Sunday Sandy Monk/Rogue wooo what does this button do?" type so 6 PC groups are a good idea. Less TPKs ;-)


Gorbacz wrote:
My players are mostly of the "Sunday Sandy Monk/Rogue wooo what does this button do?" type so 6 PC groups are a good idea. Less TPKs ;-)

'less' ... yeah, that's the ticket, 'less' TPKs! ;)

Dark Archive

Yeah after reading through it this looks quite hard especially compared to Shattered Stars first chapter.


*sigh* mine hasn't been shipped yet :/


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Downloading! Wooohooo!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Holy S***! The pic on page 4 is just, just... *shivers*

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It did come out gorgeous. I can't wait to see the next one!


RuyanVe wrote:
Holy S***! The pic on page 4 is just, just... *shivers*

Sets the tone, don't it? :D

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yay! Got the pdf!

Love the giant weasel, but the treasure entry is a bit off; should read "odd collection of socks".


I tried to favorite the foreword by Rob.

It didn't work out too well, but that's how much I enjoyed reading it.


massive spoilers:
Reading the beginning, I almost want to side with the villain of the story, since she and her sisters are all merely sacrifices to keep Baba Yaga alive and immortal.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Odraude wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

You can either......

Spoiler:

1. Save the hag.
2. Doom the world into an eternal ice age.

Beware though if you choose option 1 things will be back to their same old schedule. Choose option 2 and the whole world becomes Irrisen, but even worse.


Your choice.


Third option:
You save the hag, then imprison her again using the same ritual that her rebellious daughter and Rasputin used.

But I'm guessing Paizo already thought about that and made it not work out so well.

Sczarni

Cheapy wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

But I'm guessing Paizo already thought about that and made it not work out so well.

Or maybe that'll be an option in the "Continuing the Adventure" section of Book 6. Een if it isn't, I do hope that there's something there for groups that want to play straight-up "Big D*** Heroes" and do something besides restore the status quo ante.

Sczarni

I'd like to make a special mention of the portrait of Councillor Ionnia Teppen on page 63. That's a wonderful piece of art. I love seeing a picture of a middle-aged woman who's realistically beautiful, but not in a "hot babe" way. Such a well done portrait!

Silver Crusade

OMG!!! The best artwork of any AP yet! Truly stunning!


RoW is so far stacking up to be seriously hard core AWESOME.

Again, three knives up to Neil Spicer and the development team for making part 1.

^_____^


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Whoaah, watch the knives, gentlemen!


RuyanVe wrote:
Whoaah, watch the knives, gentlemen!

If you can't take the damage, get on with your stoneskin!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's what my DR 10/magic is for.


RuyanVe wrote:
Whoaah, watch the knives, gentlemen!

I most certainly am. They are going exactly where I wanted them, yeeessssss.

Grand Lodge

I can't gush enough for both the individual AP book and the story line. Both look awesome.

I do, however, have a complaint on one of the maps.

Map Issue:
Is there any way to remove the shadows that appear on the ice that mark the dangerous spots on MAP F? Or are those discolorations on the ice supposed to be obvious to the player characters? It would seem like a good spot to use some kind of a letter/tag thta could be turned off and on with the MAP TAG OFF button in the interactive maps, for instance, to avoid tipping off the PCs.

Just my two bits. Like I said, super small thing. LOVE. THIS. BOOK.


Agreed, there's some very cool art in this one. Ugh, pun not intended.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The items in this book are pretty awesome. Given the author, I did find it pretty funny that one of the items was one you attuned to and let you communicate long distances. I never thought I'd have flashbacks to this year's RPG SS wondrous item voting :)

An excellent book and suddenly playing a cold-based character is near the top of my list!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
The items in this book are pretty awesome. Given the author, I did find it pretty funny that one of the items was one you attuned to and let you communicate long distances. I never thought I'd have flashbacks to this year's RPG SS wondrous item voting :)

Don't think for a moment that I didn't ruminate over including those elements for awhile before I went forward with it. Attunement really seemed appropriate for how the attentive mirror would work. And, in terms of communication, it isn't the item so much that enables it. All it can do is send an alert to the person who attuned themselves to it before giving it to a minion to carry. They still have to use the Irriseni mirror sight spell (as opposed to the item) to actually enable the long distance communication.

So, in the grand scheme of enabling an attuned wondrous item to aid long distance communication, I felt like this was the most appropriate way to do it. One of the things the judges always talk about during Round 1 of RPG Superstar is knowing when and how to bend the rules a bit while still doing something awesome. I'm totally biased here, but from a flavor and mechanics standpoint, the way I approached this design just felt intuitive and right to me, for some reason. I liked the final outcome and I think it adds a lot to the campaign setting to see how the White Witches of Irrisen use them. It kind of gives them (and their agents) an "edge" that other organizations lack. That's what I was striving to create, at least.

Just my two cents,
--Neil


And I found it a wonderful way to pull it off. Requiring a spell to use it is a really nice touch, and I feel there's some mythological precedence for witches using magical mirrors to communicate. Thanks for the peek behind the designer's veil; it's always fascinating.

Contributor

Cheapy wrote:

And I found it a wonderful way to pull it off. Requiring a spell to use it is a really nice touch, and I feel there's some mythological precedence for witches using magical mirrors to communicate. Thanks for the peek behind the designer's veil; it's always fascinating.

Oh, there's plenty of mythological precedence for witches with mirrors. The wicked queen from "Snow White" is the most famous, but in this case, Irrisen mirror magic pulls most heavily from the trolls' mirror right there at the start of Andersen's "Snow Queen."


Mirrors? Maybe some mirror monsters in next bestiaries of these ap's? hope so!!


Animated mirrors that cause something like a pugwampis unluck aura when they're destroyed?

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sincubus wrote:
Mirrors? Maybe some mirror monsters in next bestiaries of these ap's? hope so!!

Stay tuned!


Trinite wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

But I'm guessing Paizo already thought about that and made it not work out so well.

Or maybe that'll be an option in the "Continuing the Adventure" section of Book 6. Een if it isn't, I do hope that there's something there for groups that want to play straight-up "Big D*** Heroes" and do something besides restore the status quo ante.

Spoiler:
Yeah, actually kinda like the whole greater of two evils thing... one of the reasons I love Chronicles of Riddick. At the end when Riddick sits down on that throne and says "You keep what you kill." you just got to wonder... did they make a mistake in trusting Riddick? Of course, I also agree though that a "continuing the adventure" option should be there to take the fight to Baba Yaga herself too, for those that DON'T like having to side with the lesser evil against the greater evil idea.

Overall, just having read what I have in a few minutes I am totally psyched to run this! However, I'm going to wait for two reasons.

1. I am already running a White Wolf game that I don't want to just end, I want to finish out my campaign plotline.

2. If I wait, I can have all 6 books plus the Poster Maps Folio, which usually doesn't come out until the end of the Adventure paths run... :)

Still doesn't mean the waiting isn't going to drive me crazy! :)


I have NOT purchased this one yet (at the rate my group plays, it will take another three years to finish our current AP). I did download the Player's Guide and was perplexed about the match - or mismatch - between the sort of characters who would thrive in the setting and the starting point of the campaign. Does the 1st scenario make this work?

Here's what I mean:

The Player's Guide makes it very clear that being capable in the frozen wastes is very important. BUT the players are not from the frozen wastes. They are from the much warmer lands to the south. This would be an apparent mismatch between scenario start and the sort of PCs who would do well. What are winter witches or whatever doing in the warm lands of southern France...er, Taldor? Doesn't this just make for PCs who are all oddballs where they live?

And another thing - has the Horizon Walker prestige class been deprecated? I don't recall seeing anything mentioned about it in the Player's Guide. Seems like this would be a good time to mention it, if there is any good time.

Liberty's Edge

Mazym wrote:

I have NOT purchased this one yet (at the rate my group plays, it will take another three years to finish our current AP). I did download the Player's Guide and was perplexed about the match - or mismatch - between the sort of characters who would thrive in the setting and the starting point of the campaign. Does the 1st scenario make this work?

Here's what I mean:

The Player's Guide makes it very clear that being capable in the frozen wastes is very important. BUT the players are not from the frozen wastes. They are from the much warmer lands to the south. This would be an apparent mismatch between scenario start and the sort of PCs who would do well. What are winter witches or whatever doing in the warm lands of southern France...er, Taldor? Doesn't this just make for PCs who are all oddballs where they live?

It does, 4 of my 5 PCs are from Northern Countries and are just in town. I have a line about fate that I have an opportunity to play up about halfway through the book that I will use. But I definitely scratched my head when all the builds were passed by me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Just got my physical copy, and saw something AMAZING in the artwork that I missed in the PDF...

The artwork in the inside of the front and back covers.

It looks like an Irriseni children's storybook full of pro-White Witch propaganda, as if illustrated by an evil Jan Brett!

I LOVE IT!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I bellieve that was Adam Daigle's idea. He wanted storybook art similar to what was done in the Legacy of Fire AP, only steeped in the Russian folklore style for something like a Baba Yaga-themed AP should have.


Has anyone tried playing through this yet? I have heard rave reviews of the art. Maybe it is too soon.

Speaking of art, does Paizo sell the various "cover quality" art pieces from publications in any sort of collection? I get to play so little that at this point adding more things to my library is just for reading and art pleasure - I only am able to play 4 or 5 hours a month.


The art reminds me of Ivan Bilibin's artwork. Good stuff!


Adam Daigle wrote:
Sincubus wrote:
Mirrors? Maybe some mirror monsters in next bestiaries of these ap's? hope so!!
Stay tuned!

YES! I take that as a yes!

I really hope to see a Fetch (D&D) like creature! Something that comes from a mirror, some mirror demon or devil or maybe a hag that does so.

A creature like the Nerra or a doppelganger that hunts from mirrors is also a good thing.

And then there is Bloody Mary and the Candy Man.

I hope the artwork of the creature makes it step/craw/merge out of the mirror, there isn't even ONE artwork to be found on google or deviantart about a demon/monster/character which steps out of a mirror, and the black/white artwork of the 2nd edition Fetch doesn't apply, so pathfinder needs to be first!

Paizo Employee Developer

Odraude wrote:
The art reminds me of Ivan Bilibin's artwork. Good stuff!

Yay! That was precisely the thing we were trying to evoke with those pieces.


Adam Daigle wrote:
Odraude wrote:
The art reminds me of Ivan Bilibin's artwork. Good stuff!
Yay! That was precisely the thing we were trying to evoke with those pieces.

Good job. Also here's a little Reign of Winter music for your gaming usage.

Baba Yaga ends at 3:20, but The Great Gate of Kiev starts right up and is just an amazing piece.

Enjoy :)

Paizo Employee Developer

Something's weird with your link, so re-linked!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My prediction was fulfilled! My gamers went totally Godzilla on this module after...

Spoiler:
...they realized what the doll meant.

They do plan to get the girl brought back to life...I said when you can cast wish get back to me...their mage wrote my comment down in her ingame journal! (okay, I now have another adventure thread for them!)

The ice tower was dropped with lots of grunt work...alchemists fire...and a very busy very small dragonet fsmiliar ( think pseudo dragon with a 1d8 fire breath instead of that silly tail stinger)Yes it's only a 1d8 fire breath...but it's still dragon fire...I flipped a silver dollar and they won the brief debate! It made a better story.

Funny Moment! My gamers discovered that Radosek and Nahzena had separate bedrooms...odd since they were supposed to be lovers...

Then their mage announced that since Radosek was a witch he had to "commune" with his familiar daily to get his spells...and since his familiar was a FEMALE goat, that explained the separate bedrooms...

"No one who 'communes' with their girl goat once a day is EVER going to 'commune' with me!" Kaijia WinterSteel.


Still waiting to pick my copy up from my FLGS but now I'm even more excited for reading this. The feedback so far seems to be fantastic. Way to go Neil!

On another note, since this is the actual product thread and not the GM thread the post above mine should probably be spoilered.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

It's good to see the (mostly) positive reactions to this one so far. Since it's my first low-level adventure for Paizo...with the added pressure of kicking off an AP with such an interesting premise as the Reign of Winter (and doing it justice)...I poured a lot into it. I tried to make it as interesting and immersive as possible with lots of fiddly story bits for GMs to highlight and touch upon. Hopefully, that comes through at the gaming table and widens the experience for the players and PCs. I'm now trying to do the same with my current assignment.


The great thing about what you did with this, Niel, is that it ports extremely well to other parts of the world. I've moved the opening from Heldren to Falcon's Hollow (and Darkmoon Wood) in Andoran and it all still lines up nicely, with the added benefit of having callbacks to the previous modules set there.

I'm a huge fan of this first book and hope it sets the bar for the other chapters to come.


(it also doesn't hurt that a grand-daughter of Baba Yaga once lived in Darkmoon Wood too)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The portability factor was something Rob built into the original outline and the Paizo developers discussed here for quite sometime after the initial adventure summary was posted. So, give kudos for that to their instinctive foresight. My part just focused on including a sidebar explaining why Heldren was chosen as a starting point and then trying to build in connective elements to its location in Golarion that made sense for the adventure...like:

Spoiler:

  • The bandits of the Border Wood and their clashes with the High Sentinel rangers--an organization which originally formed to keep a watchful eye on the forest for Qadiran aggression.
  • Lady Malasene's bethrothal trip to Zimar as the catalyst for calling attention to the bandits and their wintry allies in the forest.
  • The doppelganger intent on replacing Lady Malasene as part of the White Witches' plan to stymie Taldan military responses to their forces emerging from the wintry pocket.
  • Radosek's background as the least child of a Taldan noble who willingly gave him over as a baby to Nazhena's mother in exchange for some witchcraft. Plus, his eventual corruption by Nazhena and the culture of Irrisen, which helped formed his vengeful intent in returning to Taldor as their agent and provisional governor.

I like lining up stuff like that to better round out the rough edges of a plot. And, I think including stuff like that in the adventure gives GMs even more material to work with or play off within the backgrounds of their PCs. In other words, always strive to give folks more plot points which they can customize for how they choose to run their individual campaign. And yet, don't make any of them so integral that they can't be ported into a home campaign or somewhere else in Golarion. The goal is "cool stuff with adaptable use."


Neil Spicer wrote:
The goal is "cool stuff with adaptable use."

Goal exceeded, Neil. :)


Excellent work Neil! I had no problem dropping the module into my setting.

My players are hell bent on vengeance and destruction, I heve a way to cost them a wish later...getting the child brought back...

Plus...I am getting non stop goat jokes from all the players now!

It brought a bit of humor into a grim adventure.

As I said before...Well Played Neil...Very Well Played Indeed!

Digital Products Assistant

Threw a spoiler tag on a post.

251 to 300 of 338 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Adventure Path #67: The Snows of Summer (Reign of Winter 1 of 6) (PFRPG) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.