Pathfinder Adventure Path #70: The Frozen Stars (Reign of Winter 4 of 6) (PFRPG)

4.80/5 (based on 6 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #70: The Frozen Stars (Reign of Winter 4 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 4: "The Frozen Stars"
by Matthew Goodall

Alien Winter
Continuing their search for Baba Yaga, the heroes take the Dancing Hut to the planet of Triaxus, the seventh world in Golarion’s solar system, now in the midst of its decades-long winter. On the hunt for more clues as to the whereabouts of Baba Yaga, the heroes soon find themselves embroiled in a conflict between the alien dragonriders of the Skyfire Mandate and the barbarian armies of a white dragon warlord looking to conquer the lands of humanoids. Will the PCs ally with one of the warring factions to get the information they need, or will their quest come to an end on a distant, alien world?

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

  • “The Frozen Stars,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 10th-level characters, by Matt Goodall.
  • A special double-sized gazetteer of Triaxus, a strange planet of dragon-riding warriors and seasons that last for generations, by James L. Sutter.
  • A look across the Bone Bridge and into the terrifying secret of Irrisen’s magical dolls, by Kevin Andrew Murphy.
  • Four exciting new monsters, by Adam Daigle, Amanda Hamon, and James L. Sutter.

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: 978-1-60125-495-5

The Frozen Stars 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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Average product rating:

4.80/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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4/5

Player review.

After the last couple books this one was a nice change of pace. Zapped off to another world with strange alien peoples and dragons, it gave us a chance to get some tactical play and big combats in. I don't know that the events of this one help carry the plot but was one of the more enjoyable chapters in the campaign.


Aliens! Dragons! Mass battles!

5/5

This adventure is truly good.

Asides the obvious excitement about the adventuring location and all the awesome encounters it enables, the adventure is built really well.

After a forgettable crawl through another version of the Hut, the PCs emerge into a world not their own, a fact that becomes quickly apparent as they encounter aliens riding on the backs of weird, semi humanoid drakes. The adventure quickly ramps up by throwing the PC into the midst of a deciding battle between two warring factions.

Many people liked the battle because the PCs can theoratically choose which side to join, but honestly it seems like much more planning went into designing a fun encounter for PCs who side with the good guys, as the bad guys encounters are rather lame. I would have actually like to see the page count dedicated to something else.
However, I did LOVE the fight and consider it to be the best implementation of placing mid level PCs in a mass combat situation - the battle rages in the background as the PCs round around solving the most serious threats. They get to have a significant impact and feel like they are a part of something bigger, without using mass scale combat rules or anything. I would REALLY like to see more scenarios like this in the future.

The second half of the adventure is a nice little travel section followed by a more than decent crawl with many dragons in it, in a fortress hidden within an iceberg.

All in all a great, unique adventure, that would have stood out in any other AP, but kinda gets overshadowed by part #5 of this one. Still worthy of great praise.


5/5

I've reviewed this on RPGGeek.com.

You can read it here.


Here be Dragons

5/5

Frozen Stars was just the fix I needed after the disappointing 3rd chapter of Reign of Winter. The PCs are zapped (sort of) to a world filled to the brim with dragons and their like, and the dragons, as usual, don’t play nice.

While the premise of the adventure is a simple "go find these two items", the execution of it is awesome. And it’s awesomenes stems mainly (but not only) due to the fact that this is the most open of Reign of Winter adventures so far: this is the environment, here are your objectives, go!

The party can go about completing their objective in any way they see fit and is in their style: good guys, bad guys, sneaky guys, betraying guys, dastardly bastards guys… the options are there, and the adventure gives the GM the tools on how to handle any of these situation. At no point in this adventure is anything assumed as to the actions the PCs might take, and the adventure can run its course not matter what the end result of the PCs actions is. The party might leave Traixus behind in a far better situation than when they came, they might leave it behind with the “bad guys” having a one-up on the good guys, or something in between.

The first (although you may run it second if it so fits your group) adventure is to help defend/attack/sneak into a fort under siege. Some very good possible role-playing situations there, and very cool combat encounters as the PCs run around the battlefield scoring (hopefully) victories for their team, or trying to avoid being captured cause they snuck in.

Next part of the adventure is sort of a dungeon crawl, but one that feels alive and has some interesting NPCs to interact with. It’s not overly long (which is good in my book), has good encounters, and excellent NPCs.

The gazetteer very nicely expands and enriches the area the adventure takes place in and the planet of Triaxus in general. And the monsters are very cool and appropriate (and got me itching to try them on my party).

All in all: a very good book.


Great fun on an alien world!

5/5

Read my full review on my blog.

The Frozen Stars is an excellent product. As one of the middle adventures of the adventure path, it has the difficult task of keeping the overall story-building moving along without losing the PCs’ interest, a task it succeeds in with a compelling adventure in its own right. Indeed, with a bit of work, gamemasters could use this adventure as a stand-alone. All they need is a means to get the PCs to Triaxus and a reason for them to acquire a pair of objects (the two-headed eagle and bearskin, or whatever GMs decide to replace them with). While Reign of Winter as a whole took a small dip in Maiden, Mother, Crone, it has risen back up and I eagerly look forward to reading the next instalment.


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Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Double-gazateer of Triaxus? Sweet!

Now to await my pdf-availability! Can't wait to see what is coming next!


What are the new monsters in this ?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, it would suck to go all the way to Triaxis just to fight goblins.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

mikeawmids wrote:
Yeah, it would suck to go all the way to Triaxis just to fight goblins.

I know Adam Daigle and Rob McCreary have worked hard (with the authors) to try to utilize the new AP monsters in the actual adventures, even if it means that they appear in a later chapter.

The fact that Distant Worlds author James Sutter and Adam himself contributed monsters is a good sign we'll have some Triaxis coolness. (Not to dismiss Amanda in anyway)


Too bad it was a small bestiary of 4(well 3 monsters+ one 0HD race) monsters instead of 6+ bestiary we sometimes see. Though I am sure there is info of what monsters you could use on the planet and maybe some advice on re-skinning them to fit the planet.


Well what are the monsters then?


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Are we there yet?


Sincubus wrote:
Well what are the monsters then?

You'll find out once subscribers get it. Till then, gotta wait.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sincubus wrote:
Well what are the monsters then?

Scary monster, dangerous monster, horrible monster, interesting monster.


Even if its just a joke, I can't place that 0HD race in any of those catogories...

Its not scary, dangerous, horrible and all that interesting.

:-p <-- Watch the smiley


So has anyone gotten there PDFs today?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
So has anyone gotten there PDFs today?

Still awaiting mine :/


:D I GOTS IT!!


SPILL.


So what are the Triaxian's stats, traits, abilities, etc.?

What are the other monsters like?

Grand Lodge

Still awaiting my PDF...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just got mine, the new monsters are...

STORMGHOST: Matching the color of snow and ice, this menacing creature
stands on four pointed legs like those of an insect. A conical head
ringed with tiny eyes and sporting gnashing teeth sits atop this
creature’s humanoid torso.

TRIAXIAN: This warrior looks like an attractive humanoid with pointed,
featherlike ears and eyes shaped into long, horizontal slits.
Though he has no true hair, his entire body is covered in short,
sleek white fur.

URSIKKA: This enormous, insectlike creature is covered in downy white
fur, broken only by glossy black claws and portions of its
exoskeleton. A pair of iridescent eyes gleams above a horrid
three-part mouth that drips viscous f luid.

WOLLIPED: This shaggy, multi-legged creature has a f lattened face with wide nostrils and four eyes. Ivory tusks jut downward from its mouth.


I don't understand any of those monsters spare for the Triaian, I think I have to see pictures of them.

Insect-like can be anything, beetle, Wasp, Mantis, mosquito, moth, even spiderlike creatures like scorpions and crabs, so what insects do they resemble?

Silver Crusade

Only got a chance to look through the gazetteer and the race entry so far, but I think I'm falling in live with the Triaxians. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Why the heck am I checking if it's showed up in my downloads when it's 3:30 in Seattle?

Because I can always hope that one of the warehouse-raptors have switched teams.


Thanks for the info Mikeawmids.

Will anyone tell what the Triaxian's stats, abilities, traits, etc. are?

Grand Lodge

Triaxian stats:

Spoiler:
+2 con + 2 wis -2 str, low light vision, keen senses, bonus feat.

A really nice entry! after a first read i think that this is going to be one of the best APs!


spoiler:

Is the bonus feat set or is it like a human's were you can choose?

Keen Senses, is this a bonus to perception or something else?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Regarding the Triaxian stats ... is that all, or is there more? I'm asking because otherwise - from the information supplied - the Triaxians look like a 7 RP race at the most.

According to the ARG:

Spoiler:
Low-light vision = 1 RP,
Keen senses (like an elf) = 2 RP,
One completely open bonus feat = 4 RP.


Thanks for info guys, I am surprised they don't get some ability to help them in what season they were born in though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

F5, F5, F5!


Actually Dragon, everyone is forgetting their Seasoned Racial Trait

Spoiler:
Seasoned (Ex) Triaxians suffer no harm from being in hot or cold environments depending on whether they are Summerborn or Winterborn. Summerborn Triaxians can exist comfortably in conditions between 90 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit without having to attempt Fortitude saves. Winterborn Triaxians can exist comfortably in conditions between 40 and –20 degrees Fahrenheit without having to attempt Fortitude saves. When in conditions of severe cold or heat, Triaxians only have to attempt Fortitude saves once per hour instead of once every 10 minutes. Transitional Triaxians do not have this ability.

This makes them 10 RP


Sincubus wrote:

I don't understand any of those monsters spare for the Triaian, I think I have to see pictures of them.

Insect-like can be anything, beetle, Wasp, Mantis, mosquito, moth, even spiderlike creatures like scorpions and crabs, so what insects do they resemble?

It's hard to explain...but they have insectoid characteristics, but don't really map onto any real life arthropods.

The lower parts tend to remind me of tauric creatures like drow, but the upper parts are...well alien and rather unique. I like them. Best comparison I can make is one is a monstrous humanoid with an insectoid like lower body and humanoid torso, with a humanoid head with a mouth and no eyes.

The other one has a lower part that has claws like a scorpion, but it's surmounted by this stalk like torso with a head that looks like a cross between a bug and a sinspawn...sorta.

Silver Crusade

After reading about why the Stormghosts do what they do, I can't help but think that these things have Dominion of the Black written all over them. :O

Also, as if that information and their appearance and methods for killing weren't enough to make one go "OH @#$%!", you find out what their actual probable targets on Triaxus are. Freaking yikes.

Sczarni

Tiny nitpick: On the Random Encounters page, it took me a long time to figure out that the Horrid Visitor encounter was a devourer. I had to look up what kind of creature has Essence Points. It was only afterwards that I realized that it said devourer in the table. I'm used to these mentioning the creature type in the encounter text, so I don't have to find it in the table.

Much better thing: The Elven delegation is a pretty cool encounter, idea, I gotta say. :)

Mikaze wrote:

After reading about why the Stormghosts do what they do, I can't help but think that these things have Dominion of the Black written all over them. :O

Also, as if that information and their appearance and methods for killing weren't enough to make one go "OH @#$%!", you find out what their actual probable targets on Triaxus are. Freaking yikes.

Oh, yeah. You got that right.


The Stormghosts are only one system over...not everything outer space = Dominion of the Black, although the bio probe sure hints at that.

I like that at least some of the elves on Triaxus are there for political asylum. makes me wonder if a whole colony of rebellious elves exists.

Really want to find out more about the poet whales mentioned in passing...

Hope this AP does well so we can get more Distant World love :)

Senior Editor/Fiction Editor

MMCJawa wrote:


Really want to find out more about the poet whales mentioned in passing...

I had actually entirely forgotten about those! I love dropping new creatures into write-ups with just a sentence or two, as it means that when we go back later to expand things, we already have some obvious places to start. :)

Paizo Employee Developer

Trinite wrote:

Tiny nitpick: On the Random Encounters page, it took me a long time to figure out that the Horrid Visitor encounter was a devourer. I had to look up what kind of creature has Essence Points. It was only afterwards that I realized that it said devourer in the table. I'm used to these mentioning the creature type in the encounter text, so I don't have to find it in the table.

Much better thing: The Elven delegation is a pretty cool encounter, idea, I gotta say. :)

Oops. I should have made that more clear. Sorry about that.

Also... Thanks for reading and enjoying that page! I always wonder how many people use/read that page in the APs.

Paizo Employee Developer

James Sutter wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:


Really want to find out more about the poet whales mentioned in passing...

I had actually entirely forgotten about those! I love dropping new creatures into write-ups with just a sentence or two, as it means that when we go back later to expand things, we already have some obvious places to start. :)

Name dropping weird things like that is one of your super powers!


Nice read on the article about Triaxus plus a lot interesting sounding creatures that were mentioned there as well. Also some cool alien monsters and an actual made up type of animal.

Paizo Employee Developer

Wolliped animal companion FTW!

Sczarni

James Sutter wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:


Really want to find out more about the poet whales mentioned in passing...

I had actually entirely forgotten about those! I love dropping new creatures into write-ups with just a sentence or two, as it means that when we go back later to expand things, we already have some obvious places to start. :)

And I love it when you do that! :)


I really enjoyed the URSIKKA monster in the bestiary, its one of my favorite monsters now!

Don't really like the Wolliped's 8 legs, I think its a bit too much that most alien animals should have more than 4 legs...

I do like the Playable Monster's season stuff, and the Stormghost is ok too, don't really like the head in the picture.

But Ursikka makes my day!

Paizo Employee Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sincubus wrote:
I really enjoyed the URSIKKA monster in the bestiary, its one of my favorite monsters now!

Hey, this is my beastie! So glad you like it, Sincubus!


I like all the creatures in this book, wish this one got a double sized bestiary though.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was really happy with this bestiary. I certainly wish it could have been bigger, but that would have taken away from the Triaxus article, something I think had more value to the book than additional monsters (did I actually say that!?).


I like it that Wolf-In-Sheeps-Cloths got some love in this AP

Can't wait for Alraune and Charybdis, my two all-time-favorite Pathfinder beasties to shine in an AP, hopefully with artwork.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

Spoiler:
Glad you like the WiSC, Sinubus. I hope it plays out as more than just a trap monster encounter for your players when you run the AP.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Loved finding the Delegation from Castroval in this issue, the first thing that popped into my head when I saw them was WILD HUNT!

Senior Editor/Fiction Editor

Adam Daigle wrote:
Name dropping weird things like that is one of your super powers!

You say such sweet things, Daigle. :D

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Adam Daigle wrote:
I was really happy with this bestiary. I certainly wish it could have been bigger, but that would have taken away from the Triaxus article, something I think had more value to the book than additional monsters (did I actually say that!?).

Clearly this means we need a hardcover Distant Worlds Bestiary!

:D?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yes we do need a Distant World's hardcover book and a Distant Worlds Bestiary(like the Innersea bestiary).

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
Yes we do need a Distant World's hardcover book and a Distant Worlds Bestiary(like the Innersea bestiary).

I dream of a day when we might have a hardcover campaign setting book and a Bestiary for each of the planets. :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

+2 Dragon78 and Mikaze.


Mikaze wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Yes we do need a Distant World's hardcover book and a Distant Worlds Bestiary(like the Innersea bestiary).
I dream of a day when we might have a hardcover campaign setting book and a Bestiary for each of the planets. :)

Having the entire planetary system covered in hardcover setting books would be kinda cool.

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