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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Sincubus wrote:

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.

Apparently they are called BESTiaries. I have stared at those books for almost 3 years and never even noticed that.


The correct pronunciation is Best-ee-air-ree. But, I feel like a c*&+ whenever I correct someone on that so I usually call it either one.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Wait... Gunslinger is a playable glass...

Part Five: Rasputin Must Die- Russian soldiers with era appropriate guns fight the PC while surrounded by their dead.
Russian Soldier: Why is the guy with the flintlock out shooting us?!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just wait until the Gunslinger picks up a rifle more modern than the Civil War era ...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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.

The "Ghost Whale" has nothing whatsoever to do with the adventure; it's only a placeholder image. The actual cover will be completely different, and completely on-topic.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have to say that of all adventure paths, this one is by far the one I am anticipating the most!

Silver Crusade

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

I must say, I had a moment where I thought this adventure is just another product of my spirytus induced haze, but I've sobered up and it's still here.

Well played, Paizo.


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

I just hope I can sell this AP to my Kingmaker group that has just finished chapter 5 of that AP. The only problem is that we'll probably be finished before Reign of Winter is fully published.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
spirytus induced haze ...

You're drinking that? You polish are even more foolhardy than I thought. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Perhaps the PCs will join arms with Józef Piłsudski. ;)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey, spirytus is what we use to make our famous nalewkas. I usually produce cherry, walnut and coffee varieties. The coffee one tastes great mixed with milk, goes down so smooth that you won't even notice. Until. Too late.

The fact that spirytus is a vital component and production takes a lot of time and love means we do sometimes have to drink a bit to keep our focus.

Sometimes, it's not just "a bit".

And when I'm running this AP there's totally a tangent where the PCs meet Piłsudski and get to tangle in some shady side treks in Ukraine.


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

Well as long as you're not drinking it pure. :)

I must admit I hadn't heard of nalewkas until now, but I'm not usually one for sweet liqueurs. I'm more of a whiskey guy.


James Jacobs wrote:


One thing to add though... ** spoiler omitted **

In response to your spoiler good sir. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Basil's_Cathedral

It's only like THE most famous building east of the Eifel Tower.


KingmanHighborn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


One thing to add though... ** spoiler omitted **

In response to your spoiler good sir. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Basil's_Cathedral

It's only like THE most famous building east of the Eifel Tower.

Thank you, I was about to post this but thought I should finish reading/skimming the responses. I would have to think that Saint Basil's Cathedral (the look not the name) is more famous than Rasputin to the average person. It is iconic and would be a great site to include in an adventure. Nearly every movie/tv show set near Moscow includes a shot of the cathedral.

They could also include lesser known locations like the Amber Room (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amber_room_) in the Catherine Palace...

Anyway, we shall have to wait and see how it turns out. I am still on the dissenting side. Not every idea is necessarily a good idea...

=Dan


Using Saint Basil's would probably mean you'd have to actually set the adventure in Moscow. That's problematic for a number of reasons. I like/hope that it's set in a retreat in Siberia.

Besides, everyone doesn't know about Rasputin? Really?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
KingmanHighborn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


One thing to add though... ** spoiler omitted **

In response to your spoiler good sir. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Basil's_Cathedral

It's only like THE most famous building east of the Eifel Tower.

Certainly an excellent choice, and it MIGHT have been what we went with if any of us had not thought of Rasputin much sooner.

But also, yeah... we wanted to avoid a large population center for this adventure for reasons that will become clear and for others that should already be clear... ;)

And furthermore... among gamers, I still think Rasputin's a better choice. He's certainly a more interesting one, and certainly a more "flexible for the type of story to tell" one.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

St. Basil's Cathedral Must Be Demolished! just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
KingmanHighborn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


One thing to add though... ** spoiler omitted **

In response to your spoiler good sir. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Basil's_Cathedral

It's only like THE most famous building east of the Eifel Tower.

It is pretty recognizable, but nowhere near most famous. Consider:

The Sphinx? The pyramids? The Great Wall of China? The Qaba, and associated structures? The Hagia Sophia? The Suez Canal? The Wailing Wall? Angkor Wat? The Taj Mahal? Back then, the Simplon tunnel? St. Peter's in Rome? The Colosseum? The Acropolis? Maybe most famous in Russia, although the Hermitage and the Bolshoi theater are pretty close, plus the palaces and the Kremlin.


Well, assuming KingmanHighborn meant most famous building in Europe* east of the Eiffel Tower, then it's not as much of a stretch. But still though, like you say, there are significantly more famous buildings east of France in Italy, Greece, and elsewhere.

*For the purpose of this discussion, Russia gets lumped in with the Euro countries.

However, since this module doesn't take place in the rest of Europe only monuments in Russia are really applicable when trying to consider what is recognizable for this adventure. That being said, I have to agree that The Hermitage and the Kremlin (or the Red Square in general), as well as Rasputin, are easily more recognizable than St. Basil's. What is famous to one person may not be famous to another. I can count on both hands the amount of people I know who are even aware of the existence of St. Basil's Cathedral. Whereas Rasputin is pretty much known to most people I've met. I'd say it was the right choice.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes when I said East it was Eurocentric, but also not counting Egypt as it's much farther to the south, and the same with India and Middle East sites. You could argue the Colossueum and Acropolis but in terms of beauty and importance to the 'world' the Saint Basil's Cathedral trumps them. <--My opinion though, not something set in stone as fact.

That aside holy...James Jacobs responded to me *passes out*


logic_poet wrote:
KingmanHighborn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


One thing to add though... ** spoiler omitted **

In response to your spoiler good sir. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Basil's_Cathedral

It's only like THE most famous building east of the Eifel Tower.

It is pretty recognizable, but nowhere near most famous. Consider:

The Sphinx? The pyramids? The Great Wall of China? The Qaba, and associated structures? The Hagia Sophia? The Suez Canal? The Wailing Wall? Angkor Wat? The Taj Mahal? Back then, the Simplon tunnel? St. Peter's in Rome? The Colosseum? The Acropolis? Maybe most famous in Russia, although the Hermitage and the Bolshoi theater are pretty close, plus the palaces and the Kremlin.

I am pretty sure most Americans could not tell you what or where most of the second half of that list is. The probably could not name Saint Basil's Cathedral, but I am going to be optimistic and say most of them would know it was in Russia.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Wooooow, this is tremendous. It's usually a hard decision for me on what AP's to run, but 2 of my players are huge Dr Who fans and I think this seals it! The Dancing Hut = Tardis connection just hit me like a ton of bricks!

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'd never heard of St. Basil's Cathedral (recognised the picture though).

Just did an informal check with my fiance and asked her to name the most famous building east of the Eiffel Tower. This is her list:
Sistine Chapel
Leaning Tower of Pisa
St. Peter's Basilica

I asked her to go outside Italy and she said Prague Castle.

She then told me it wasn't fair because Spain had so many and she couldn't name them.

I asked her about Russia and she named the Kremlin and 'The palace in St. Petersburg'

I asked, "What about St. Basil's Cathedral?"

the response, "What's that?"

"The cathedral in Russia with the swirly domes."

"Oh, right, that!"

Obviously just two people, but two fairly well-educated people with an international outlook.


I recognize the name but had to look it up.... East of Paris For me all the buildings in Rome, Greece, Istanbul if asked specifically about Russia I would have said the Kremlin and the Palace in St Petersburg as well.

I am listening to the History of Russia Podcast though ...... I just started..... It's almost as good as a History of Rome podcast.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Sincubus wrote:

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.

Merriam-Webster wrote:

Definition of BESTIARY

1: a medieval allegorical or moralizing work on the appearance and habits of real or imaginary animals
2a : a collection of descriptions or representations of real or imaginary animals
b : an array of real humans or literary characters often having symbolic significance
3: an unusual or whimsical collection <a truly astounding bestiary of airplane designs — Peter Garrison>

So, usually, we're definition 2a, with the occasional 2b thrown in... but sometimes you need to go to 3!

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Sincubus wrote:

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.

Merriam-Webster wrote:

Definition of BESTIARY

1: a medieval allegorical or moralizing work on the appearance and habits of real or imaginary animals
2a : a collection of descriptions or representations of real or imaginary animals
b : an array of real humans or literary characters often having symbolic significance
3: an unusual or whimsical collection <a truly astounding bestiary of airplane designs — Peter Garrison>

So, usually, we're definition 2a, with the occasional 2b thrown in... but sometimes you need to go to 3!

Haunted tank!

Haunted tank!

Shadow Lodge

So my Mom was watching Anastasia during dinner tonight and it made me think of you guys.

I lament that movie's lack of Baba Yaga. Though Christopher Lloyd makes a good Rasputin, regardless.

Contributor

As I understand from a friend, the sequel has Baba Yaga in it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Could we get a brief description of the new oracle mystery and what the powers it has will be like?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

zergtitan wrote:
Could we get a brief description of the new oracle mystery and what the powers it has will be like?

Not this far out... and likely not even closer in, since I suspect it may well have some spoilers for the adventure in it.


Consult a planchette to find out!

Liberty's Edge

I guess I am the only one not excited by this. Not a fan of crossing worlds like this. I like my fantasy separate from this world.


Vic Wertz wrote:

So, usually, we're definition 2a, with the occasional 2b thrown in... but sometimes you need to go to 3!

Quote:


stats for several new monsters

+

Several new monsters in the Pathfinder Bestiary

Then these bold words should be changed into something different for this AP, they may be bestiary material, but they aren't monsters (at least not in the sense of Minotaurs/Harpies/Golems and Demons) :p :D

Shadow Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Maybe we know they aren't monsters, but the average guy from Golarian that sees a tank headed toward them is probably gonna think it is one. The fact that humans crawl out if its stomach after you kill it will only help to prove that it's a monster.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

"Slay the metal beast of volcanic death! It has captured hapless men in its belly!"

Character kinda-sorta makes a Knowledge check. "It reminds me of a devourer, liberate the men inside quick!!"

Shadow Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

The poor men inside had been driven mad...instead of greeting us as their liberators, they attacked us!


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Given we have not even a remote idea what is in the Bestiary, maybe we should hold our indignation until it is published?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I hope there are ROBOTS WITH LAZORS in the Robotstiary...I mean, Bestiary in this AP! ;-)


Hey! Play nice.

Contributor

11 people marked this as a favorite.

I can't WAIT for you guys to see the great statblock selection of dog breeds that Daigle has put together for this volume! Statblocks for pugs, mastiffs, dobermans, chihuahuas, and so much more, including rules for constructing your own mixed-breeds like labradoodles, bulloxers, pug-a-peis, and more! The variety is amazing, and you're getting an ENTIRE BESTIARY CHAPTER devoted to enough breeds to make any fan of the Westminster Dog Show or the movie Best on Show envious!!!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Of course, that'll displease all the cat people. You sure Sean won't sabotage Adam's efforts? ;-)


Brandon Hodge wrote:
I can't WAIT for you guys to see the great statblock selection of dog breeds that Daigle has put together for this volume! Statblocks for pugs, mastiffs, dobermans, chihuahuas, and so much more, including rules for constructing your own mixed-breeds like labradoodles, bulloxers, pug-a-peis, and more! The variety is amazing, and you're getting an ENTIRE BESTIARY CHAPTER devoted to enough breeds to make any fan of the Westminster Dog Show or the movie Best on Show envious!!!

Wow! I can't wait. Now I'm excited about this AP!!!

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh, the cat people will get their due in #72's Bestiary, which exclusively features FELINES!!! That Adam's doing one fine job representing enthusiastic pet owners in the AP backmatter articles, isn't he?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Brandon Hodge wrote:
I can't WAIT for you guys to see the great statblock selection of dog breeds that Daigle has put together for this volume! Statblocks for pugs, mastiffs, dobermans, chihuahuas, and so much more, including rules for constructing your own mixed-breeds like labradoodles, bulloxers, pug-a-peis, and more! The variety is amazing, and you're getting an ENTIRE BESTIARY CHAPTER devoted to enough breeds to make any fan of the Westminster Dog Show or the movie Best on Show envious!!!

Do we get Dire Corgis? :)

Contributor

Stay tuned, MMCJawa...stay tuned...

Project Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If there's a dog bestiary, there had better be a cat bestiary. Because no one holds a grudge like a cat (possible NSFW language - I didn't notice any in the tiger entry, but it is Cracked).


Jim Groves wrote:
... 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!)

Interesting, but who said anything about rebellion/revolution? (Besides, Paizo's done stuff like that already. Twice even [CotCT; CoT].) I would expect exactly not that for an AP set in Irrisen. (I'd agree that's the obvious choice, but I'd prefer a not-obvious option - one that works within the confines of Irrisen-as-presented.)

Quote:
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?

Hmmm. This one is probably a little more disingenuous. Probably good that you aren't speaking for Paizo: "Do you want a full AP in Irrisen and not feel like you accomplished anything in the end?" Really? That's what you're going with? I'm pretty sure that "accomplishing something" and "make it look different" (much less "unrecognizable") is a bit of a false dichotomy there. One simply need to look at Carrion Crown (or SS, or even RotRL/SD/LoF etc etc etc - but Carrion Crown especially) to show that you can have an AP in a location, feel like you "accomplished something", and not change the setting (Ustalav is still a crap-hole after the AP - but it sure was a fun romp within the confines of that crap-hole!).

Again: Accomplishments =/= changing the setting. Just to make you aware. Seeing what Paizo's done in the past also clearly shows that the writers are creative enough to make a good AP in Irrisen without botching up the setting - proof is already in past APs. (NOT that I'm saying that this AP should have been the Irrisen AP - it is clearly the Baba Yaga AP, and that's fine and dandy. Just noting that your comments re: a potential Irrisen AP, while interesting, are a bit off. That's it. Maybe your "specifics" might have helped your position a bit more...) ;)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Arnwyn, after I wrote that, I reconsidered and I regretted it. I can and I do see your point. But no one else commented on it, so I was hoping to let it slide.

:)

So, let me change the subject briefly—are YOU looking forward to this AP? Or are you one of the folks that are less comfortable with it? (No harm if you have your reservations)

I'm going to propose a deal here, how about I say I was wrong, right here and right now—and you check out Chapter One (if you weren't going to already)? Just look at it. Borrow a friends or take a look at it at your LFGS. To me, that would be well worth a plate of raven.

"'Cause it's ravens, not crows, Jim." ;)

(inside joke)

EDIT: I removed the first line, because I didn't want to be misunderstood.


Mental.

You've just sold me another 6 Adventure Path issues


Jim Groves wrote:
Arnwyn, after I wrote that, I reconsidered and I regretted it. I can and I do see your point. But no one else commented on it, so I was hoping to let it slide.

:D

Quote:
So, let me change the subject briefly—are YOU looking forward to this AP? Or are you one of the folks that are less comfortable with it? (No harm if you have your reservations)

Well, since you asked...! The general concept looks good (Baba Yaga AP? Cool), but #5 would be completely unacceptable for my players - it just wouldn't work for them and that's exactly the sort of thing they have no interest in (not just no interest, but probably violently rejecting it). The rest of the installments look good (and since I don't play in Golarion and instead adapt APs to our long-running setting, I can ignore all the weird jumping around stuff and keep it focused in one area).

Given that, and a whole host of existing APs and adventures that exist that we haven't gone through, I couldn't justify buying an AP with a whole volume missing that would need to be reworked or completely redone.

So... my answer would have to be "no" - not looking forward to it. (Maybe, sometime far in the future if I were ever desperate enough for new adventures, I would consider getting the PDFs of a couple of earlier volumes, because my players would like those, I think...)

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