Pathfinder Adventure Path #68: The Shackled Hut (Reign of Winter 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

4.30/5 (based on 11 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #68: The Shackled Hut (Reign of Winter 2 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 2: "The Shackled Hut"
by Jim Groves

The winter portal has closed, but the heroes now find themselves trapped in the frozen land of Irrisen with an urgent quest—to find Baba Yaga! In order to track down the missing Queen of Witches, the heroes must brave the monster-infested capital city of Whitethrone, where Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut has been captured and put on display. Will possession of the miraculous artifact lead them to the Witch Queen, or will they die a cold death at the hands of Irrisen’s White Witches?

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Reign of Winter Adventure Path and includes:

  • “The Shackled Hut,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 4th-level characters, by Jim Groves.
  • An exploration of the ecology and the origins of the cunning and dangerous winter wolf, by Russ Taylor.
  • A look into the cult of rebels and revolutionaries who revere Milani the Everbloom, by Sean K Reynolds.
  • A dangerous introduction to Whitethrone’s aristocracy in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Kevin Andrew Murphy.
  • Four new monsters, by Jim Groves, Dale C. McCoy, Jr., and Sean K Reynolds.

Each monthly full-color softcover Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the world’s oldest fantasy RPG.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-493-1

The Shackled Hut 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).

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

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

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PZO9068


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4.30/5 (based on 11 ratings)

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That nice, dark, feeling

4/5

Shackled Hut has many elements i really like.

It starts with a journey and some cool outdoors encounter that really set the mood of dark fairy tale, with some moral choices the PCs may choose, and not fearing to punish them should the PCs be not fast enough or skillful enough. Crap happens... deal with it!

Then you reach Whitethrone, and the city gives the dark feel, of a subjugated land in which the players have to tread carefully not to upset the powers-that-be... and there are several powers out there which could easily overwhelm the party should they not be careful.

What I didn’t like so much here, is how the missions (once in the city) are handed down to the PCs (go there do that, no you can go there and do this), and how it just so happens that there is a sub-culture in the city that allows PCs to keep walking around with their weapons and armor and such, even under martial law.

On the whole this is a good adventure with a cool theme, and very nice encounters.


Love story to the Brothers Grimm

4/5

Short version: Either rework how the main quest is introduced to the players or blow through and trust they're having a good enough time not to question it.

I hope you like dark fairy tales, because damn, Shackled Hut does not let up.

This adventure does a great job of taking some thematic threads from Snows of Summer and the Baba Yaga mythos, tying them all together nicely.

And it has more awesome set pieces. Seriously, I can't get enough of the set piece fights in this Adventure Path. More like this, thank you.

The tone of the adventure and seizing control of the titular hut are amazing, but I feel like the plotting falls apart a bit at the end.

Specifically, the introduction of the main quest feels abrupt and forced, which is going to be a problem as that's really the only thing connecting the next two (at least) installments.

Like Snows of Summer, I feel like this is a really great adventure that just doesn't fill its role in the AP.

Years Later: I ran this AP and it actually went almost exactly as I expected. The plot at the end and the main quest introduction were rough, but the adventure was a blast and definitely deserves its four stars.


5/5

I've reviewed this on RPGGeek.com.

You can read it here.


Perfect fairy tale and perfect loot make for a perfect adventure

5/5

First, I want to highlight this adventure for all of the positive reasons mentioned in the reviews by Navior and Lucent. However, I would like to add this review as both a response to their comments, and to take the discussion back to a DM and PC centered perspective. I think the previous reviewers’ emphases on the last section/encounter of the module as being “railroady,” or as “uninspired,” misses the main points of the adventure. I’ve listed them below in no particular order:

1. The organic feeling and background of the adventure provides an amazing flow for the story arc.

2. The PCs end the adventure in control of Baba Yaga’s Hut!

3. This adventure is oozing with a classic, dark, fairy tale aesthetic that goes a long way towards putting the fear of fey back into jaded RPGamers.

4. Players will be very excited about gaining one of the most famous artifacts in both Earth and Pathfinder legend as their new home.

5. Not all BBEGs need to be completely memorable battles.

6. Both DM and PCs will look forward to new configurations of the hut once they travel to another location. I can’t wait to see the layout in the next adventure! And I can’t wait to see the players reactions when they realize, “Oh, this place changes when we travel.”

7. If you think the last section of the four in this volume is too much of a railroad, see the author’s (Jim Groves) extensive comments in the Product Discussion.

8. The players end up in control of an amazing – and very fun – artifact by 7th level!

9. The adventure can be altered so the railroad of the last section isn’t such a “dungeon.” Use your DM's prerogative. There is a lot being said about this already online, so find whichever idea inspires you the most, and tailor the adventure to your campaign.

10. Baba Yaga’s hut as loot for the players!

11. This volume could easily be mined as a “heist adventure” for a home-grown campaign (great idea Jim, and great AP debut!).

12. Did anyone mention that the players will be world- and plane-hopping in their new spoils after killing the BBEG? Woohoo, Baba Yaga’s Hut!

If you haven’t bought this yet, get it! And on that note, subscribe—because all the adventures for this path are going to EPIC!


Great adventure with mediocre ending

4/5

Read my full review on my blog.

In The Shackled Hut by Jim Groves, the second part of the Reign of Winter adventure path, the PCs set out to find Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut as the next step in their quest to rescue Baba Yaga herself. Much like The Snows of Summer, the first part of the AP, The Shackled Hut is a very linear adventure, but one that nonetheless feels natural in its progression and thus PCs won’t likely feel overly railroaded by it. The adventure contains a wonderful mix of dark fairytale elements and interesting characters. Although many of those characters are there and gone in only a short amount of time, they all have fully detailed backgrounds and motivations, making them feel a part of a living and exciting world. This is not a perfect adventure (indeed, I have a few issues with its resolution in particular), but it is still a very good adventure and a great continuation of the adventure path.


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Liberty's Edge

Jim Groves wrote:
It's gonna be great though, I promise you that.

Oh, of that I have NO doubt! :-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

At PaizoCon they did say you'd be planet hopping using a hut...That may have changed though.

Liberty's Edge

Cheapy wrote:
At PaizoCon they did say you'd be planet hopping using a hut...That may have changed though.

We'll find out when we find out! :-)

Dark Archive

Any idea on when we will be seeing the final cover of this book?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Sooooooon! :D

Webstore Gninja Minion

So soon, it was today! Final description and cover image added.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I'm sure Jim will be quite pleased.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh my. Jim Groves, Russ Taylor, Kevin Andrew Murphy, and Dale McCoy Jr.?

Can't wait.

Silver Crusade

CALLED IT!

:D :D :D

The Dancing Hut actually being shackled is quite a fun image.


Nice cover, like the ice trolls, they have hair.

Dark Archive

Sweet!!!


Mere shackles cannot contain the Dancing Hut! MUAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Cheapy wrote:

Oh my. Jim Groves, Russ Taylor, Kevin Andrew Murphy, and Dale McCoy Jr.?

Can't wait.

Where did they get that new monster designer from? I hope he does a good job.


And Feiya's wearing somewhat weather-appropriate gear. Yay!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kajehase wrote:
And Feiya's wearing somewhat weather-appropriate gear. Yay!

I'm tellin' ya Paizo, you can sell more action figures that way!

I really do enjoy seeing the familiar iconics in new clothing appropriate for the situation. :)

edit-looks more closelier at the background

Looks like the other iconics are getting in on Arctic Action Dress-up as well!

edit2-I really like the border on the mural for this AP. And the blue back. It's all so fresh. Minty.

Contributor

That is one pretty outfit.

And I love the borders too.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

MILANI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

I love everything about it.

It's funny, I take a day off from the boards and the post it. I found it a nice surprise when checking the boards while having a restless night.


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

Awesome cover! I wonder who she is...

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Zaister wrote:
Awesome cover! I wonder who she is...

claps hands over his own mouth, straining like Roger Rabbit trying not to respond to 'shave and a haircut'

Lovely isn't she? I love that owl too.


Feiya's fox needs a little sweater coat. The kind you dress your pets up during the holiday and take pictures of because they look so ridiculous. It'd add a festive spirit to the scene!


Gorbacz wrote:
MILANI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Really looking forward to see exactly how wrong I got it in Wayfinder.


Cheapy wrote:
Feiya's fox needs a little sweater coat. The kind you dress your pets up during the holiday and take pictures of because they look so ridiculous. It'd add a festive spirit to the scene!

SQUEEE!!!!


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

Is that the Iconic Inquisitor aiming a bow at the hut? If so, it's about time. ;)


Cheapy wrote:
Feiya's fox needs a little sweater coat. The kind you dress your pets up during the holiday and take pictures of because they look so ridiculous. It'd add a festive spirit to the scene!

Dangit! Now I know what I should have submitted to RPG superstar!! :p

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

*looks over cover to 67 and 68*

So it's Valeros, Lini, Feiya, and Imrijka? Plus Droogami and Daji? Is this the first AP with two major animal companion/familiar characters, given we never see Harsk or Seelah with companions, Seoni's lizard Dragon only ever shows up as a tattoo, and Alain's horse is always just off-panel?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cool cover and no pun intended. I am looking forward to this AP more than any since Carrion Crown.


Kvantum wrote:

*looks over cover to 67 and 68*

So it's Valeros, Lini, Feiya, and Imrijka? Plus Droogami and Daji? Is this the first AP with two major animal companion/familiar characters, given we never see Harsk or Seelah with companions, Seoni's lizard Dragon only ever shows up as a tattoo, and Alain's horse is always just off-panel?

I believe Harsk is stated to select the non-AC ranger path. Don't know about Seelah.

Liberty's Edge

I believe Harsk is given a badger AC in certain sources.


Do we get to see a type of lesser, NON-EVIL, Winter Wolf monster block in this book that could be used as a Witch's familiar?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looking forward to hearing about Milani. Also, wonder if the winter wolf article will include Irrisen's shape changing variant, or if that will be in Land of Eternal Winter?

Sovereign Court Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DeciusNero wrote:
Looking forward to hearing about Milani. Also, wonder if the winter wolf article will include Irrisen's shape changing variant, or if that will be in Land of Eternal Winter?

The "shapechanging" winter wolves of Irrisen are not really a variant - their ability to take human form is a result of powerful magic in certain locations in Irrisen. But it is talked about in both the winter wolf article in this volume, as well as in Land of Eternal Winter.


graywulfe wrote:
I believe Harsk is given a badger AC in certain sources.

He switches for some reason. In 3.5's Curse of the Crimson Throne, he has a badger named Biter, but that was back when rangers always got animal companions. When stated out in Kingmaker, he has companion bond instead. But then in the NPC codex, he goes back to having a badger named Biter.

I'm not sure if we've ever seen this elusive badger, however.

Sovereign Court Developer

Mechalibur wrote:
I'm not sure if we've ever seen this elusive badger, however.

Page 62 of Pathfinder #24: The Final Wish. There might be more, but that's definitely Biter in that pic.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I just want to say, that I had the pleasure of entering this book's contents into Herolab, (I'm a contractor) and that it is Awesome! I love the flavor of a certain race in a certain town. Keep up the good work Paizo!


This says PDF available on the 20th of March, but under Shipments it says shipping by the 19th of April?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Pezmerga wrote:
I just want to say, that I had the pleasure of entering this book's contents into Herolab, (I'm a contractor) and that it is Awesome! I love the flavor of a certain race in a certain town. Keep up the good work Paizo!

I am delighted to hear that! Thank you!

I can't wait for people to receive it. I loved writing it. The moment I was done I was sad and wanted to do more.

Rob McCreary did an excellent job fine tuning it, and deserves no small amount of credit. As does Adam Daigle who put the polish on the monster I wrote.

And Russ's ecology is top notch. :D

Oh heck, now I want to praise Keven and Sarah and Andrew... The whole thing is wonderful.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cheapy wrote:
This says PDF available on the 20th of March, but under Shipments it says shipping by the 19th of April?

The subscriptions page was a bit on the fritz earlier, Sara-Marie says it's fixed now.


Hurrah for SM!


Ooh, an article on the ecology of the winter wolf? I'll be getting this just for that.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looking forward to Milani, and her herald :3


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

VIVA REVOLUTION MILANI!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Well, aside from Milani and the winter wolf, give the adventure a look, too. This is Jim's first foray into the Adventure Paths and he worked pretty hard on it. So give that half of the book some attention, as well. ;-)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looking forward to that too, Mr. Spicer; sometimes the eyes dance over the cherries before moving onto the whole cake!

Dark Archive RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations Jim!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

James Thomas wrote:
Congratulations Jim!

Thank you Sir!

I'm not Nick Logue, but I like to think I brought my own special sense of humor to it.

(No worries though, folks. Its not written for laughs.)


Jim, do you think this part of the AP could be played as a stand alone ?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lev wrote:
Jim, do you think this part of the AP could be played as a stand alone ?

Interesting question.

Yes, with a caveat.

It follows the plot established by Chapter One, and the motivations for why the characters are doing what they're doing are an extension of Chapter One...

But.. the encounters themselves for the most part are not super-hardwired to to the whole arc.

Let me take this to spoilers (very minor, only as needed)

Spoiler:
If the question was:

"Could I run this chapter like a "heist film" where the goal is to steal the Hut and then head off on some merry adventures of my own creation?"

I would say, yes.

You would need address why the Hut in Irrisen without Baba Yaga, why some "other people were hanging around it" and there are some small mechanical issues that pertain to the Black Rider's mantle that would be need to accounted for. Although, the mechanical issues aren't all that tough to either remove or adjust.

But it's not really the encounters you have to re-jig, it's the plot, and some of the NPC's motivations. I don't think it would be that difficult though.

AND, as James and Rob often say—this is the understated value of the Adventure Path products. Its your book, you bought it, you're more than welcome to adjust it and enjoy it however you see fit.

Dark Archive

So anyone have there copy yet?

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Yep. :-)

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