BASIC-3: A Giving Time (PFRPG) PDF

2.50/5 (based on 2 ratings)

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The long cold is approaching!

As food grows scarcer, monsters grow more desperate – and before long a peaceful monastery is besieged by savage beasts of the forest.It’s come down to the stalwart heroes-in-training of Exallizar Preparatory Academy to save the day again!

“A Giving Time” includes:

  • The third part of an ongoing adventure path
  • The return of Ronius, Willow, Meeris, and Kale, pre-generated PCs ready for instant play and fully upgraded for level 3
  • A new breed of monster that is sure to be an instant seasonal classic
  • A grading system to let you know how well you’ve done at the end of the adventure
  • Maps for VTT

A Pathfinder compatible adventure for beginner players and game masters, 4 PCs of 3rd level.

This adventure can be run to completion in 3-6 hours.

Written by Kevin Mickelson.

Cover and interior art by Amanda Mickelson
AaW Basic Iconic art by Tim Tyler 

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Average product rating:

2.50/5 (based on 2 ratings)

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Not bad but not great


When I read the other review for this third installment into the BASIC series I almost skipped this one. After reading the other review I decided to alter the quest to address reviewer Endzeitgeist major complaint about the PVP in the beginning of the mission. I had my players face off against the pre generated characters provided in the module. Of course this would not be an option if the players running this were using the pregens but if they have made their own characters this is a great solution. Plus it introduced my players to their rival classmates that I plan on giving a reoccurring part whenever a rival band is called for in a mission.

I do have a few complaints from the GM perspective. First, the main Gnoll boss, Ringdocus, was set up for a coupe de grass. The party rogue easily snuck in and instead of stealing the cursed mask from him while he was a sleep on his thrown delivered a near fatal blow. One more point of damage and he would have missed his save and been instantly killed. Then the rouge could have done the same thing to his sleeping mate and escaped undetected! Even though he survived the coupe de grass he was killed when he tried to stand up from the resulting attack of opportunity. This was a letdown to me because he had a tone of gear and abilities that were never used. The second complaint I had from the GM point of view was that the finale battle where the characters fight the Turdurken was anticlimactically. After a tough battle with the Gnolls this battle was a cake walk for the team. The Turdurken had some cool abilities and attacks but had only 35 hp. The players easily killed it in 5 round and he only got to use his special call 2 times. Looking back I wish I would have included 2 of these creatures instead of the 1 that the module calls for. Finale complaint that I had was I did not see how the players had enough encounters for a level up. Even accounting for the extra xp the players got from the previous mission the module only includes 1500 in xp for each character. The gnoll leader was only listed as 8 xp I assumed that this was a typo and counted it as 800. Even with this I still had to be very liberal in xp for the role playing scenes to make up the 1000 xp per character shortfall.
My players only had one complaint that I felt was relevant. The Gnolls can go into rage and deal 1d12+9 damage. This is a lot of damage even for third level characters to take.

There were quite few things that I liked about the mission. One of the coolest things about the mission was players got to come up with their own solution on how to handle the gnoll fort. The second thing that I enjoyed was the magical items that came directly from the previous mission. This aspect made it fell like what the players had done in the past was important. Finally I really did like the Turdurken and its’ special abilities although it was lacking some much needed hp. All together not a bad mission.

An review


This module for the beginner's version of Pathfinder is 28 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 24 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to skip to the conclusion.

All right, still here? The adventurer-apprentices of the Exallizar Preparatory Academy for young adventurers have already had chances to shine (or fail) twice and the module kicks off with some friendly PvP: After 4 rounds, the sparring match is interrupted (though the DM should probably take care/specify that no one dies in this match - something the module, as written, omits), the PCs are recruited by one Ambrose Neidlum, an old man who wants the PCs to help him defend a cloister of pacifist clerics versus an onslaught of beast-men. His recruitment of the PCs includes a selection of items the PCs may choose from, which includes seeds of the curcubiters featured in the previous module as well as their caps (as shields) and special seeds that make for flaming projectilesThe headmaster immediately teleports the PCs to the monastery and there, they immediately are beset by assaults from the Noctur Gnolls and Ambrose is no help in this fight either.

Once the gnolls have been driven off, the PCs will see their first dwarf and enter the monastery complex - with the collapsed Ambrose in tow. Diran, the dward, quickly tells the PCs what the catch is - Ambrose has been cursed by the gnoll-leader Ringdocus, who, while weaker than Ambrose, has all but made the cleric useless via his sleep-deprivation curse. In order to deal with the curse, the PCs will have to deal with the recently built fort the Noctur Gnolls have erected.

The infiltration of the camp should not be too difficult, though players still should act smart - while the watch-post is sleeping, the gnoll could wake up, which has the potential of having the fort's ballista turned upon the PCs! If they manage to take the sentry down, though, they can turn the siege-weapon upon the numerous inhabitants of the fort. In a sandboxy assault that leaves much up for the PCs to decide, they can slowly empty the fort - though response actions/more interesting responses would have been nice. Once the gnoll-leader has been defeated, the PCs can return victorious from their sojourn - but alas and alack, not even the gnoll's mask suffices to lift the curse.

In order to save Ambrose, the PCs will have to hunt a strange creature only rarely seen and only in the autumn - a gestalt-bird called turducken. The American audience is probably chuckling now, to the non-Americans I suggest looking it up. The creature's lair is rudimentary and rocky, the creature being a moderately tough combatant, but nothing as difficult as the Halloween-module's bosses. Upon their return with the remains of the monster, there is a feast (of course!) and all is well - the magical flesh cures the curse and the PCs may even get some magical meat from the creature to take home.

As all BASIC-modules, this includes 4 pre-gens, advanced further from the last module as well as player-friendly versions of the maps..


Editing and formatting are good, though not stellar. I noticed some minor glitches here and there, though nothing too serious. Layout adheres to AaW's 2-column standard and the module comes fully bookmarked and with two versions, one optimized for being printer-friendly and one for screen-use.

The first two modules of the Kevin Mickelson's series, while aimed at younger audiences, still had a lot to offer to more mature players, with especially the latter being easily modified to provide a nice module for mature players as well. The same, unfortunately, can't be said about this one - experienced players will probably yawn at the taking of the gnoll fortress, while less experienced groups lack any guidance in the beginning PvP-situation: What happens if PCs manage to kill one another? No guidance is given. All in all a module that, while being intended as a thanksgiving-themed module, has not much going for it beyond this potential festive spirit and while not bad, can also not be considered exceptional or good. Thus, my final verdict will clock in at 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2 for the purpose of this platform, also due to its relative brevity.

Endzeitgeist out.

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Reviewed first on, then submitted to GMS magazine and Nerdtrek and posted here and on OBS.

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