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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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.

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3.70/5 (based on 19 ratings)

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5/5

I've posted a review on RPGGeek.com.

You can find it here.


Great adventure, but could use a better hook

4/5

Read my full review on my blog.

The opening adventure of Reign of Winter, The Snows of Summer by Neil Spicer is fairly tame compared to what is to come. Indeed, it’s kind of a run-of-the-mill adventure in many ways, one that starts with only a touch of the unusual, much like many adventures will start. But it gradually reveals more and more snippets of information to the PCs, slowly making them realize that what starts as a rescue mission is really much, much more. Overall, The Snows of Summer is a very good adventure—not the greatest ever, but one that should sufficiently whet the PCs’ appetites for what is to come and make them eager to save the world.


Excellent, but not a very good FIRST adventure

4/5

This adventure is excellent. Well designed encounters, good thematic style and really an all around cool (pun intended) experience. I'm sure any group could have great fun with this.

My only issue with the adventure is that it fails to fill it's part as the first installment of an AP. Sure, it sets the tone of the "winter" theme quite nicely, but fails on many other fronts. Here are some examples:

1) plot hook - the plot hook that should get the AP started, the one that should send the PCs to explore the forest where the first part of the adventure takes place, is VERY thing. I mean it's nothing more than, "someone you [the PC's] never heard about before is in trouble, and there's money in going out to help her, so...". In comparison to previous APs, this just really isn't all that impressive. The first moments of the game should involve players, but it with something like an immediate action scene or by being about something the PCs personaly care about. This is a weak opening to the campaign.

2) first encounter - unlike in previous APs, when the first encounter was a great chance for the party to start learning to work togather, and was almost always some kind of cool little, action packed fight, here the first fight is... a couple of zombies shuffling in a locked caraven. Yep. That's the first time players in your campaign will be rolling initiative, to fight a 100% random, filler combat. There are so many fun, innovative encounters in the adventure that I wander how such a blend one gets the spotlight of being the first.

3) Boss fights - I am sad to see that this adventure uses the faulty mechanism of solo boss fights. I guess some people like it but as far as I'm concerned this is bad design. Bosses should be encounters with a group of mooks, or in an environment they can interact with to generate an advantage and disable the PCs, whereas in this adventure they kind of just wait for the PCs in 10x10 rooms, alone. Kind of disappointing.

Again, let me stress that this adventure is EXCELLENT as just a fun Pathfinder game. As a first adventure in a campaign it fails to deliver in multiple fronts.


Kill Zem, Kill Zem All

5/5

Gentlecritters,

Unlike the FAR better known Endzeitgeist who primarly reviews 3pp stuff, my collection centers more on what wierdness catches my interests.

As such Reign of Winter's first chapter latched on like a bloodthirsty paragon weasel on a one-critter blood drive. Guess what, my DMPC is the targeted critter and oh boy is his sorry rear end in for a WORLD of pain.

The usual blatherings about page counts, talking about the fiction stuff, blah de blah de blah ... meh, who cares.

What I really care about is two-fold

  • does the Chapter's adventure have the potential to make an itenerant old coot care about saving the sorry NPCs from horrible fates that he is possibly able to thwart - aka "can a long term player of the game since 1982 get hooked" on the adventure/module in question; and
  • (b) is there some really cool 'mess my old coot up' stuff in the adventure/module?

The answer is a resounding YES. When I'm seriously considering an AP or module to run as a GM I do a "dry run" with a fairly tough gestalt solo character to get a feel for how the AP will run. Over time this gestalt DMPC (such as it is) is refined based on (a) what is thematically appropriate to the AP based on the players' guide; and (b) what doesn't bork over the gestalt. Short version, I used a 13/13/15/16/13/13 human gestalt Fighter (viking)/Alchemist (crypt breaker grenadier) to "solo test" the first chapter of Reign of Winter.

This has been, in one form or another, an ongoing process for most of the AP Chapters since Rise of the Runelords more than 10 years ago (excepting Skull-n-Shackles). This is the FIRST EVER CHAPTER where the test guy was almost killed in the first part of the first chapter. AWESOME!!

This Chapter will test your characters' mettle right out of the gate. To quote/paraphrase HackMaster: "This adventure is not for the wuss of heart." The artwork fits the AP oh so sweet, the baddies are viciously nasty and there's plenty of wiggle room for the over-head-count GMs to toss in a plethora of level-appropriate baddies without skipping a beat.

Neil Spicer delivers an absolutely OUTSTANDING first chapter, one that doesn't involve the cliches of so many previous AP first chapters. If you as a player examine the previous AP first chapters to garner a clue as to what to expect in this chapter ... your character will probably die, horribly, crying for his mommy. And then you can try again with a better PC for this campaign. >:)

There is a lot of basis to ad-lib roleplaying expansions in the base writing without giving away anything of the metaplot. And when things get nasty, they don't play around. Fitting for a "winter" themed campaign.

If the rest of Reign of Winter sticks to the pacing I picked up from the "vibe" of this the first chapter of Reign of Winter, expect a roller coaster ride with barely enough time to gather your breath and pick up 'off the shelf' stuff for those players obsessed with custom items before you go up the next hill and down the next slope into a brutal blizzard of carnage, foolishness, mayhem and violence!

If you are a GM looking for a low level AP chapter to thoroughly challenge your players - in combination with the free PLAYER'S GUIDE - or you're a player that believes that you're all that, a bag of chips and a "dice lord" to boot, this first chapter of an AP will 'bring it'.

The Snows of Summer gets three - yes, THREE - knives up. All clean, gleaming and glistening with oil of magic evisceration. Enjoy!


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Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
scifan888 wrote:
Why are these adventures more expensive than previous Adventure Paths?

Inflation is an ugly thing, and Paizo's put off passing it along as long as possible. Already announced back in November.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
This has probably been asked before, but is the Winter Witch Revisited Blog considered official errata yet?

Sorry I missed this one for so long.

That is the version we are using for the AP. I'd consider it official, and if we happen to sell out of Paths of Prestige and end up reprinting it, the blog version is what would replace that spread.


Any chance of the revision seeing print in the AP?


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
scifan888 wrote:
Why are these adventures more expensive than previous Adventure Paths?

Erik Mona talked about that in a blog a while back.

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Turin the Mad wrote:
Any chance of the revision seeing print in the AP?

The revised Winter Witch prestige class that appeared on the blog will be reprinted in the Reign of Winter Player's Guide.


OMG, I know I am "johnny come lately" with this post after 155 posts alrdy, but this is GREAT! I have been crafting a side campaign in the frozen north since Jade Regent...and now I don't have to work so hard! This has all the elements I was alrdy crafting a piece at a time(I hope). Does this mesh well with the Witchwar Legacy (sorry, don't have time to read all 155 posts on an unreleased product today...I know, I'm a loser)? Cause that would make my campaign even easier yet. Wow, I love all the work you guys do at Pazio.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

It's never too late to say nice things!

:D

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

This reminds me of the City of Galirad in Wolfhound/Волкодав...will we see a Zhadoba? Maybe even Morana, the Slavic goddess of winter and death, will make an appearance too! :D I have to say I am stoked for a Russian Myth AP!!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The question I have is: Why the price increase on the AP isuues? Is there an increase in page count, increased product quality or some other goodness addition?


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Chris Ballard wrote:
The question I have is: Why the price increase on the AP isuues? Is there an increase in page count, increased product quality or some other goodness addition?
Erik Mona wrote:

Pricing Changes

A close look at our budgets has convinced us that we need to make some price changes on some of our product lines to keep up with rising production costs. Starting in February 2013, Pathfinder Map Packs and Pathfinder Flip-Mats will rise in price from $12.99 to $13.99.

Also starting in February, the monthly Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes, which have held steady in price for 66 consecutive volumes, will increase to $22.99 (subscribers will pay the new discounted price of $15.99, plus their other subscription benefits like the Pathfinder Advantage discount and free PDFs). Additionally, the monthly Pathfinder Player Companion line will shift from $10.99 to $12.99.

This is the first time we have ever raised prices on the Adventure Path, and we agonized over the decision. In truth, we probably should have raised the price a few years back when the cost of paper and printing increased with inflation and increased global demand at the end of 2008, but we wanted to hold the line as long as possible. We must do it now to keep the high standard of quality we publish each month, and we hope that you’ll find the few extra bucks well worth the investment.

Keep your eyes on the Paizo Blog for more updates about upcoming products and exciting new releases for 2013. It promises to be a huge year for Paizo and the Pathfinder RPG, and we can’t wait to share some of our exciting plans with you.

Your support has been integral to the Paizo story these last 10 years, and we look forward to sharing the next 10 years with you!

Sincerely,

Erik Mona
Publisher

Grand Lodge

Because there are constant increases in production costs, from shipping, to printing, etc. I am sure that it has finally come to the point that they just have to make the increase to keep a respectable margin.

To be honest, I am surprised that they were able to keep it the same for so long. ^_^

EDIT: Ninja'd! >.<

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Ok, thanks. I just like to know for sure what's going on and had trouble finding the answer. I do understand that costs to make various products change over time.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rob McCreary wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
Any chance of the revision seeing print in the AP?
The revised Winter Witch prestige class that appeared on the blog will be reprinted in the Reign of Winter Player's Guide.

Awesome!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Curious, as I havn't got an AP after Jade Regent, but are there still full entrie of important NPC's near the back of the AP still?

Dark Archive

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

That has been the case for Skull & Shackles and Shattered Star. I hope it's the case for Reign of Winter as well as it's a useful feature.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravenmantle wrote:
That has been the case for Skull & Shackles and Shattered Star. I hope it's the case for Reign of Winter as well as it's a useful feature.

Good; love having some detailed backstories/info on the issue's baddies (and allies). Would've been useful with Carrion Crown, especially during Broken Moon with all the NPC's.

Paizo Employee Developer

DeciusNero wrote:
Curious, as I havn't got an AP after Jade Regent, but are there still full entrie of important NPC's near the back of the AP still?

Yup! The NPC Appendix is now a standard feature of the Adventure Paths, including Reign of Winter.


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

This will be the best tasting AP ever! Strange and awesome with a dash of cold and beautiful tsundere ice princesses or ancient hags of power. with the theme of space dimensional traveling right out of doctor who for eccentrics in the pathfinder fan-base. be prepared for Winter is Coming.


Much love for the Slavic inspired Land of Eternal Winter. Thanks, from a Slav ;p


Sorry if this has been answered a thousand times already, but do we know where Heldren is yet? That is, do we know the specific nation or region? I want to build some schemata in my players.

Paizo Employee Developer

Snow_of_Runecliff wrote:
Sorry if this has been answered a thousand times already, but do we know where Heldren is yet? That is, do we know the specific nation or region? I want to build some schemata in my players.

Heldren's default location is in southern Taldor, but it was specifically designed to be easily placed virtually anywhere a GM might want to put it for his or her campaign.


Sooo...is there a reason that the subscriptions page now shows RoW issues 1 and 2 authorizing on March 14 and shipping on March 22? Is that just a typo since Snows of Summer is supposed to be authorizing right now? Everything else still shows a February release date for it, so it seems more likely it's just an error on the subscriptions page, but I still wanted to check.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Phillip0614 wrote:
Sooo...is there a reason that the subscriptions page now shows RoW issues 1 and 2 authorizing on March 14 and shipping on March 22? Is that just a typo since Snows of Summer is supposed to be authorizing right now? Everything else still shows a February release date for it, so it seems more likely it's just an error on the subscriptions page, but I still wanted to check.

My "shipping in the next week e-mail" includes "The Snows of Summer" so it looks like it is an error.


Paul Watson wrote:
Phillip0614 wrote:
Sooo...is there a reason that the subscriptions page now shows RoW issues 1 and 2 authorizing on March 14 and shipping on March 22? Is that just a typo since Snows of Summer is supposed to be authorizing right now? Everything else still shows a February release date for it, so it seems more likely it's just an error on the subscriptions page, but I still wanted to check.
My "shipping in the next week e-mail" includes "The Snows of Summer" so it looks like it is an error.

Nice to know! I figured that's what it was, but my payment hasn't been authorized yet and the subscription page said it would authorize yesterday. I know that it can be a day or two off because there are so many subscribers, but it still made me sweat a bit. Thanks Paul!

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

We've finished adding all the orders that didn't get spawned yesterday. If you still don't have a February order for Adventure Path #67, please let me know via the customer service forum or email (customer.service@paizo.com).

Shadow Lodge

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

Pending... so sad :'(


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

Pending... I can't wait!

Liberty's Edge

I'm counting the hours to get the Player's Guide. :D


there is not players guide for this ap?

Shadow Lodge

So I just picked up the Player's Companion People of the North. To my surprise I find in the last two pages a section titled Reign of Winter Player's Guide. So I take it this means we will no longer have the free Player's Guides for Adventure Paths?


Delthos wrote:
So I take it this means we will no longer have the free Player's Guides for Adventure Paths?

Not necessarily. The same happened with Shattered Star. Varisia, Birthplace of Legends contains a spread called Shattered Star Player's Guide and we did get a regular player's guide for Shattered Star.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

There will be a Player's Guide beyond the spread that appeared in People of the North. Expect it to be available for download early next week. That's the most accurate I can be at this point. But never fear, it's coming! :)


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

Given that for one thing I recall some one stating the updated Winter Witch PrC. would be in the RoW Player's Guide, I'm pretty sure there will still be a RoW Player's Guide.
Last Summer, JJ or somebody said they were going to be having a kind of mini-PG in the back of the Player's Companion that came out about the same time as the start of the AP, but would still have the actual Player's Guide as a free PDF & a number of people howled & whined then as well.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

After Kingmaker I had to unsubscribe from the Adventure Paths, because, with a student's income I couldn't justify the expense. But the innovation with this adventure path - Baba Yaga's hut, interplanetary and time travel - I'm back on board for at least this ride. Once again, Paizo's creativity made me a loyal (subscribing) customer.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Or perhaps I should amend the above statement about "time travel." I think "alternate planet/time travel" is more appropriate. Epic stuff! Woohoo!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

Has anyone received the "shipped" email yet?

Shadow Lodge

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

Nope; Still in pending limbo :'(


Players' Guide is live and hoppin'.

Casual Skim Impression: Neil Spicer, GREAT WORK!!

The Great Solo Test Run PC is probably going to have a great time in Chapter 1.

I love what you did with this Chapter!

Spoiler:
Mantle of the Black Rider is awesome. For those running 1, 2 or 3 PC groups, this is The Great Equalizer. I LIKE IT!!

With that in mind, I have "B.A. keeps whacking us with frostbite damage, it's frickin' BRUTAL man!!" ringing through the drunken haze that my initial read through of this chapter.

Hopefully, the Mantle and similar elements pile up and become Something Awesome when the AP wraps up.

Liberty's Edge

First quick read through looks amazing. Art is fantastic. Plot looks a bit different than I thought. Art is Fantastic. Bestiary is great (Giant moongoose for the win).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Just got it! It's downloaded and opened, but I had to come be excited about it here first before actually looking at it. *rolls eyes at myself*


I thought it was a giant weasel or do we get both a weasel and a mongoose?

So what are the monsters like? are the two house spirits fey or something else?

Liberty's Edge

Dragon78 wrote:

I thought it was a giant weasel or do we get both a weasel and a mongoose?

So what are the monsters like? are the two house spirits fey or something else?

Sorry, Yes it was a Giant Weasel. It comes with a fantastic piece of art of the Giant Weasel standing over a deer it just killed!

All the monsters:
Polar Bear CR5
Giant Weasel CR3 (with companion stats)
Timber Wolf CR2
Frost Fir CR1

House Spirits!!!!!
Domovoi CR3
Dvorovoi CR4
Ovinnik CR2

Witchcrow CR1

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Mike Silva wrote:
Witchcrow CR1

Witchcrows actually include a greater version of them, as well. It's CR 3.


What is a Frost Fir?

Timber Wolf? Isn't that much like Dire Wolf/Worg/Winter Wolf?

Really like the House Spirits! That is good news for the Fossegrim, its chances of being in these AP's bestiaries just rose.

Too bad no Kikimora tho, it would be very good with Domovoi as its the Domovoi's wife.

Do all house spirits have a picture? Or only one of them? And which one did get the picture?

Dark Archive

Theres a way to solo the chapter?

Liberty's Edge

Frost Firs are NE Medium plant(cold). They exude a sticky resin that gives them a bunch of defensive abilities.

Timber Wolves have better abilities:
STR 17 DEX 19 CON 19 INT 2 WIS 16 CHA 10

The Domovoi is the only one pictured.


So are the house spirits fey or something else?

Wow polar bears!

I always thought standard wolf stats were too week for use as timberwolves.

Liberty's Edge

House spirits are tiny or small Fey with tons of spell-like abilities.

Liberty's Edge

I also love the idea behind "Toolkit" chapter and I hope we see it for future "Chapter 1" APs. As I was glancing through the adventure I kept thinking to myself "Damn, now I need to figure out were I read the Boreal Creature and Winter-Touched Fey Templates" because of all these creatures seem to have said templates. Very nice to see them reprinted right in this book.


Too bad the Frost Fir is only CR1...

Are all house spirits neutral? Or are they also evil?

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