Pathfinder Adventure Path #71: Rasputin Must Die! (Reign of Winter 5 of 6) (PFRPG)

4.80/5 (based on 17 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #71: Rasputin Must Die! (Reign of Winter 5 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 5: "Rasputin Must Die!"
by Brandon Hodge

Worlds at War
The search for the Queen of Witches finally ends when the Dancing Hut travels to Baba Yaga’s homeland of Russia on the planet Earth. The year is 1918, and the First World War rages throughout Europe. The heroes find themselves in the wilds of Siberia, where they must face Russian soldiers armed with twentieth-century technology to infiltrate an ancient monastery and rescue Baba Yaga from her estranged son, Grigori Rasputin. Can the heroes kill the “Mad Monk”—who has already cheated death once before—and free Baba Yaga, or will they fall before the horrors of modern war?

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

  • “Rasputin Must Die!”, a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 13th-level characters, by Brandon Hodge.
  • A look into the cultural climate of Russia in the midst of revolution, along with rules for her weapons of war, by Adam Daigle and Brandon Hodge.
  • Revelations on Szuriel, the Horseman of War, and her brutal quest for souls, by Sean K Reynolds.
  • Spiders versus sentient dolls in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Kevin Andrew Murphy.
  • Four new monsters, by Adam Daigle, Brandon Hodge, 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: 978-1-60125-496-2

Rasputin Must Die! 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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3/5

Player review.

I had been looking forward to this one simply on account of the title. I have to say that the story elements and the setting were top notch. Where we all found it lost points was just how overpowered we found most of the fights. Even for experienced players we found them too difficult for the levels.


Absolutely amazing!

5/5

Everything about this book - from Brandon Hodge's introduction to the back-matter to the inside-cover items - was a joy and a pleasure to read!

This is, by far, my favorite book/module/scenario/AP to have read and GM'd - slightly edging out "The Flesh Collector" PFS scenario, even!

My players were having so much fun with this book that I purposefully dragged out RP and certain sections of it so the book took us longer than any of the others, and they loved every minute of it.

Bravo!


Two words : Must-Buy

5/5

It is simply amazing.
There are several 'look so mad' things, but,
actually all of them are perfectly harmonized without way over the line.
Rasputin must Die! is definetly top of the adventure path line.
Highly recommend!


,One of the best adventures I have ever read

5/5

Brandon Hodge was definitely the best choice for this adventure. He expertly handled historical content and mixed the fantasy with real world elements in a way that enhanced the story. I love this adventure and he it gives me hope for seeing more boundary pushing content from Brandon and from Paizo as a whole.


Amazing adventure

5/5

I admit when this was first announced I was at best sceptical of the entire idea however having read and Dm'd it I can say I have never been happier to be completly wrong about a product before. Ths is an incredible adventure path instalment and I cant recomend it enough.


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Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pugwampi wrote:

wat?

Here I was thinking this AP would delve in to Eastern European fantasy tropes in the same way other APs have covered other cultures then I see this! I'm a little taken aback that you guys are going this route, but what the heck I'll go along for the ride!

Honestly, I'd rather have seen a more "strait" fantasy here since Slavic fantasy is a goldmine that I think could fill an AP on it's own. Still, I suppose there's plenty of that in several of the other parts. There's just also planet hopping and travel to WWI era earth as well. Weird.

Tuck in!

Although, I'm not sure which 'strait' you're talking about, the White Sea Throat? :b

Silver Crusade

Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

I'm just wondering if there's some way we can have our adventurers kidnap/rescue Anastasia so Baba Yaga could install her as the next ruler of Irrisen.

Note: I have not been allowed to peek at the adventure notes for this path. This is pure speculation on my part.

(Also, I'd love if this were a way to import Faberge eggs into Golarion.)

Wow, I love you so much.


I think it would be cool to rescue Anastasia, wether she is Baba Yaga's daughter or not.

I just want to know how were supposed to defeat a guy who captured an epic/mythic level witch.


Forgive me if I bring about the Ire of every person who has posted here, but what's the big deal...

I for one find the premise of this entire adventure terrible, of all the places to have of all the reality bending magic at a Wizards fingertips Earth is chosen.

I mean Earth... really? The Earth, I can't even express how utterly wrong that sounds to me.

What's the big deal?

Silver Crusade

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
A Ninja wrote:

Forgive me if I bring about the Ire of every person who has posted here, but what's the big deal...

I for one find the premise of this entire adventure terrible, of all the places to have of all the reality bending magic at a Wizards fingertips Earth is chosen.

I mean Earth... really? The Earth, I can't even express how utterly wrong that sounds to me.

What's the big deal?

If the idea of an universe-hopping team of fantasy adventurers who wind up on Earth during WW1 on a mission to rescue Baba Jaga from her crazed son, Rasputin the Mad Monk in order to save their planet from an eternal winter doesn't sound fun to you, well, I hope there are things out there that do kindle your sensations of happiness and joy the way Rasputin Must Die! strokes mine.

Shadow Lodge

What he said.

Sorry it's not for you.


Orthos wrote:

What he said.

Sorry it's not for you.

I suppose not, just I was kind of expecting the AP based on the Winter Witches and Baba Yaga to you know be focused in Irrisen and the like. Not to you know, jump through 5 different setting in 5 books.

Just not what I was hoping in this particular adventure.

But whats everyones big hype behind Rasputin?


He's on Earth. And he must die!


Cheapy wrote:
He's on Earth. And he must die!

But why Earth?

and why Rasputin?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Because he is on Earth. And because he must die. Can't go around kidnapping poor old babushkas, you know.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
A Ninja wrote:
Orthos wrote:

What he said.

Sorry it's not for you.

I suppose not, just I was kind of expecting the AP based on the Winter Witches and Baba Yaga to you know be focused in Irrisen and the like. Not to you know, jump through 5 different setting in 5 books.

Just not what I was hoping in this particular adventure.

But whats everyones big hype behind Rasputin?

Different Strokes. I personally think this AP spends *too much* time on Golarion.

Dark Archive

A Ninja wrote:

I suppose not, just I was kind of expecting the AP based on the Winter Witches and Baba Yaga to you know be focused in Irrisen and the like. Not to you know, jump through 5 different setting in 5 books.

Just not what I was hoping in this particular adventure.

I believe that someone from Paizo (who I can't remember) said early on that RoW was *not* an Irrisen AP. It was a Baba Yaga AP that had important parts happen in Irrisen.

I'm with ya, though! I'm still holding out hopes for some awesome Viking vs Winter Witches Irrisen AP greatness! But this AP isn't it.

RoW does still sound amazing and can't wait for it to start. :)

Shadow Lodge

Jenner2057 wrote:
A Ninja wrote:

I suppose not, just I was kind of expecting the AP based on the Winter Witches and Baba Yaga to you know be focused in Irrisen and the like. Not to you know, jump through 5 different setting in 5 books.

Just not what I was hoping in this particular adventure.

I believe that someone from Paizo (who I can't remember) said early on that RoW was *not* an Irrisen AP. It was a Baba Yaga AP that had important parts happen in Irrisen.

Yes, this.

Between the planet-hopping, the weird artifact, Rasputin in all his mad glory, Baba Yaga, a wild trip to Earth, and who knows what's gonna happen in the last chapter, it's caught my interest in a way an Irrisen-only campaign wouldn't, mostly because I don't play on Golarion, I adapt APs to my own homebrew setting.

If it were solely an Irrisen campaign, I probably would ignore it entirely; I've had a cold lands/frostfell/winter-based homebrew campaign in the works for years now (after running a basic version of it on my old NWN server), and choosing between the two I'd pick mine. This however, with all its bizarre outside-the-box events, is different enough to be worth running and not feel like it's doing something I've already planned to do.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Some points to consider:

There is somewhat a tradition of Baba Yaga being an extra-dimensional figure running throughout the history of D&D. Dating back to it's first write up by Dragon Magazine editor Roger E. Moore (Dragon Magazine #83). She's an Earth based folklore figure that has consistently been depicted as a traveler to many worlds. I'm not speaking directly for Paizo, but in one respect they're really honoring that tradition by incorporating her in their own setting. She and the Hut really do hearken back to "Old School AD&D", especially with the extra-dimensional and plane/planet hopping weirdness.

Strictly my opinion here, not speaking for Paizo:

I love Irrisen. I really do. That being said, in its current form I think its one of the more complicated nations to work with in the Inner Sea for an entire Adventure Path. I prefer not to get into the specifics. Nevertheless, when I compare it to Cheliax it can be a hard setting on low level PCs. It can be a hard setting on middle and high level PCs! Rebellion and revolution in Irrisen is a long, complicated, deadly, and I hate to say it—thoughtfully slow and careful process. There's not a lot of margin for error. Everything about the environment is pitted against you. I'm NOT saying it couldn't, can't, wouldn't, or shouldn't be done. But it doesn't strike me as being very easy without some changes to the nation. (Of course, I don't have the decades of James's experience either!)

Compare that Wrath of the Righteous. I'm not privy/knowledgeable enough to discuss that AP, but what James has said publicly on the message boards about Wrath of the Righteous does suggest that the nation may be significantly altered by events of the AP. One has to ask yourself, if you have a full AP in Irrisen, what do you want it to look like afterwards? Do you want a full AP in Irrisen and not feel like you accomplished anything in the end? Or make it completely unrecognizable? James, Rob, and Adam make some very complicated and important decisions when they put an outline together.

I have some thoughts about Irrisen AFTER this AP is concluded, but quite sincerely I don't know much about the follow-up. Above my pay grade. :) I'll be as interested as everybody else. That's not smoke, I mean that quite sincerely.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's an AP focused on Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga is FROM Earth. QED.

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Pretty much what everyone else is saying, but I'll repeat it here again, officially:

Reign of Winter is not the "Irrisen AP." It is much more the "Baba Yaga AP." Although the AP does spend some time in Irrisen, since that nation represents Baba Yaga's closest ties to Golarion, it quickly moves beyond just one country, because Baba Yaga is much more than just "the witch who founded Irrisen."

As others have stated, Baba Yaga has a history in both mythology and in previous editions of the game (something I briefly delve into in the foreword to Pathfinder #68. That mythology ties Baba Yaga to Earth (of course, all of our mythology is tied to Earth, because it's where we live), so it's not much of a stretch to go to Earth in search of Baba Yaga.

This AP is probably not for everybody. But you could probably say that about most, if not all, of our APs. Not every adventure ticks off all the boxes for everyone. And that's okay. But I am pleased to see that most of the responses so far have been positive.

But for everything else, you'll just have to wait for the AP!


I wasn't too much interested in running this AP myself, until this arrived! Now, I can't wait to see it and determine the feasability of inserting this concept into a current campaign of mine. I want to see the faces of my players when they discover their characters are actually in WWI Earth. That mental image alone is priceless. Someone above posted their potential player reactions to modern (relatively speaking) warfare artillery exploading around them. I laughed so hard, I about spilled my coffee.

Now I see how persons who were not expecting this elbow turn might be disgruntled. However, this is your AP if you choose to run it, not Paizo's. Change this part to some other adventure you belive fits better. It really isn't that hard to do, (IMO). Consider it a challenge to design your own!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
A Ninja wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
He's on Earth. And he must die!

But why Earth?

and why Rasputin?

Ninjaed by Rob!

One thing to add though...

Spoiler:
the reason we went with Rasputin is because of the fact that we wanted a "touchstone" for the setting that gamers would immediately recognize. If we were to set the adventure in 1930s New York, we'd use the Empire State Building. Had we decided to set the adventure in Victorian London, the iconic image could be Big Ben. There's not really an iconic architecture for the early 20th century Russia that has the instant resonance of a recognizable landscape, and so we were struggling to figure out "What do we put on the cover of this volume that immediately tells people we're not only on Earth, but in early 20th century Russia?

When someone (I forget who... I think it was Erik) in the meeting said, "Rasputin," the entire room of us burst into applause and delight, and that pretty much was that.

I'll echo Rob though.

This AP isn't for everybody. But that's no different than normal. Sorry for all the people who are turned off by us going to historical Earth (even though it is an alternate history), but to them I can only ask "Please check out the volume anyway—I like to think we're pretty good at taking unusual and/or risky choices and making them fun."

And if that doesn't work... there's a whole realm of demons needing a fight coming next!

Assistant Software Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
I think it would be cool to rescue Anastasia, wether she is Baba Yaga's daughter or not.

Maybe granddaughter? If Rasputin is her son, and he did spend a lot of time around the Tsarina...


The only thing that I'm really worried about with this adventure path is that I'm finally going to have to figure out what my gun houserules are. Then again, part of the assumption of this book might be that low level guys with guns (as opposed to ones near level 13) will be able to actually hit the heroes because of the touch attack rules.... which would make implementing game balancing houserules more difficult.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

And another echo (echoing James' echo of Rob?)

I approached this task with great care and respect for not only those who would LOVE this concept, but also those that I knew might instantly reject it. I've seen the word "gonzo" tossed around a little bit regarding the concept, and anyone who knows me and my writing knows that I'm far too serious to take this subject matter lightly. This is a grand adventure that stays as firmly bedded in reality and history as a story about adventurers from another world crossing over into ours to rescue an immortal personification of Mother Russia can be. So I hope that those wincing at the concept will at least crack its covers and give it a chance, because I really do think it will surprise you.

But you've got a while to wait, yet. =-)

Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Ross Byers wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I think it would be cool to rescue Anastasia, wether she is Baba Yaga's daughter or not.
Maybe granddaughter? If Rasputin is her son, and he did spend a lot of time around the Tsarina...

Entirely possible, and Baba Yaga's rule that the new queen of Irrisen must be her daughter is Baba Yaga's to break. If she wants the new queen to be her granddaughter, who's going to tell her no?

Plus an eight-year-old Queen Anastasia would mean that Irrisen would have ten years of a regency period, and those are always fun.

Shadow Lodge

Man, if that isn't the ending I'd be heavily tempted to run it that way anyway.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Orthos wrote:
Man, if that isn't the ending I'd be heavily tempted to run it that way anyway.

And as a bonus it feels like a fairy tale. Which totally fits the feel of Irrisen. :)


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Elvanna is going to have an absolutely frigid response to that.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.

She'll be giving her successor the cold shoulder treatment for sure.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Hopefully she'll just chill out and listen to her mother.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
A Ninja wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
He's on Earth. And he must die!
and why Rasputin?

Because he is Russia's greatest love machine!

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

These puns are leaving me cold.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dark_Mistress wrote:
These puns are leaving me cold.

Funny. For me they were the icing on the cake.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Snow more, please.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Feros wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
These puns are leaving me cold.
Funny. For me they were the icing on the cake.

Don't you mean frosting on the cake?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dark_Mistress wrote:
Feros wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:


These puns are leaving me cold.
Funny. For me they were the icing on the cake.
Don't you mean frosting on the cake?

Frosting; icing. Either is cool.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Baba Yaga is remarkably cool about puns. Except ones about hoarfrost. You're skating on thin ice there.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

...

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
...

Was that avalanche of puns a bit much?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

From a creative point of view -- in terms of Paizo continuing to push the envelope on writing, storytelling, and tabletop gaming -- this feels fun and risky.

It feels like a kind of Mike Mignola moment. It bends the genre, forces everybody to blink once, and that's really really good.

Also, the fact that Paizo is still comfortable saying "this isn't for everyone" but it's going to be incredibly cool for the right set of players with the right DM?

Priceless.

--Marsh

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am totally on board with this adventure. Great idea.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
...
Was that avalanche of puns a bit much?

It was ice to see all these great puns, it would be a shame to put them all in the coolah.

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
...
Was that avalanche of puns a bit much?
It was ice to see all these great puns, it would be a shame to put them all in the coolah.

I think this post just pushed us past the event horizon.


The 8th Dwarf wrote:
A Ninja wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
He's on Earth. And he must die!
and why Rasputin?
Because he is Russia's greatest love machine!

He's a cat who really is gone.


Ho...ly...S~%#! Planet Earth...in Pathfinder RPG? This...this is gonna be interested. A tip of the hat to you guys at Paizo. I did NOT EXPECT THIS.


What does the Ghost Whale on the cover has to do with real-life weapons and humans?

This part of the AP doesn't sound that interesting to me, its probably devoid of monsters except for baba yaga, and i'm personally not really interested in my own kind. :p

Hoping to see the next chapter to be in the non-real world again.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sincubus wrote:
What does the Ghost Whale on the cover has to do with real-life weapons and humans?

It's a placeholder. The final cover has yet to be revealed.


The description says it has new monsters, and I would guess either they are things with really close ties to Earth or stuff from Slavic/Yakut folklore

Sincubus wrote:

What does the Ghost Whale on the cover has to do with real-life weapons and humans?

This part of the AP doesn't sound that interesting to me, its probably devoid of monsters except for baba yaga, and i'm personally not really interested in my own kind. :p

Hoping to see the next chapter to be in the non-real world again.


Sincubus wrote:

What does the Ghost Whale on the cover has to do with real-life weapons and humans?

This part of the AP doesn't sound that interesting to me, its probably devoid of monsters except for baba yaga, and i'm personally not really interested in my own kind. :p

Hoping to see the next chapter to be in the non-real world again.

Golarion is real to me! >:|

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Hodge has a menagerie of slavic monsters in and about this ancient temple. I mean, Rasputin has magic. Anything is possible.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Super Wooly Mammoths, animated skeletons of creatures long lost to the permafrost of Siberia ,streltsky (come onnnn axe-muskets, ahistoricality be damned!...

If I was a magical man in a world with (presumably) little other magic, and I was keeping one of the most powerful non-deities in the universe captive, by Desna's Read End, I am not going to rely on some flimys bullets and people prone to vodka to defend the prisoner.


The bestiary is hopefully made up out of Slavic mythology, worst case scenario it is filled with tanks, titanic and human soldiers. ;)

But then it shouldn't be called BEASTairy.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No monster section in any adventure path installment has ever been called beastairy. And besides, the Inner Sea Bestiary contains robots.


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