Pathfinder Adventure Path #72: The Witch Queen’s Revenge (Reign of Winter 6 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #72: The Witch Queen’s Revenge (Reign of Winter 6 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 6: "The Witch Queen’s Revenge"
by Greg A. Vaughan

Baba Yaga has been rescued from the clutches of her son Rasputin, but the Queen of Witches remains trapped inside a magical matryoshka doll. Delving into hidden chambers deep within the Dancing Hut, the heroes must open the nesting dolls imprisoning Baba Yaga, but they must also contend with the hut’s most dedicated guardians, including the former queens of Irrisen. When the time comes to finally face Queen Elvanna inside the Dancing Hut’s innermost sanctum, will the heroes defeat her and free Baba Yaga, or plunge Golarion into a new ice age?

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

  • “The Witch Queen’s Revenge,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 15th-level characters, by Greg A. Vaughan.
  • Ways for you to extend your campaign beyond the covers of this Adventure Path and carry on your adventures against the witches of Irrisen, by Adam Daigle and Rob McCreary.
  • An exploration of the mysteries of Baba Yaga and her touch on the world of Golarion and beyond, by Adam Daigle.
  • An escape from Whitethrone in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Kevin Andrew Murphy.
  • Four new monsters, by Shaun Hocking, Michael Kenway, Rob McCreary, and Matt Renton.

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: 978-1-60125-497-9

The Witch Queen's Revenge 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:

4.20/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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Good Ending, Great thereafter

5/5

It's not a brightest part of the Reign of Winter(definetely Rasputin is), but still have good ending and great continuing plot. The Bad Queen is defeated by PCs, however, much more still remains to be done. The Real Big Bad Baba Yaga exist, so if PCs want to save the world, they eventurally showdown with her.
Highly recommend!


Recession review

3/5

Check out the full review here


5/5

I've reviewed this on RPGGeek.com.

You can read it here.


Good end to a great adventure path!

4/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

The Witch Queen’s Revenge by Greg A. Vaughan brings to a close Reign of Winter, which has been a very ambitious adventure path. It has involved a few aspects that some people may not fully like mixed with their fantasy (a little bit of science fiction and some modern-ish technology), but it has done so in often brilliant ways. This final adventure has the unenviable task that all final adventure path volumes have: that of bringing all the loose ends together and tying them off in a satisfying manner, while simultaneously providing a fun and exciting adventure in its own right. For the most part, The Witch Queen’s Revenge manages this wonderfully. It’s an excellent adventure, albeit a touch railroaded, and its final resolution could potentially frustrate some players. There are a couple other issues as well, and as such, it’s not the best of the entire adventure path (that honour definitely goes to Rasputin Must Die!), but it’s far from a weak adventure and it finishes off what has been a truly excellent adventure path overall.


Adventure is a grind, with plenty of saving graces

4/5

As the last adventure in what will be written in gaming history as one of the wildest, weirdest published campaigns ever, "The Witch Queen's Revenge" faces the challenging prospect of being worthy as a finisher.

Well... it nearly is. The outline of the adventure - that is, the basic structure of the story - is really good. The PCs delve deep into the numerous pocket dimensions accessible through the dancing hut of Baba Yaga, collecting the keys to free the Witch Queen from her imprisonment. The nature of the keys is very unique, and should provide a nice backbone to the story of the adventure.

However, unfortunately, the adventure quickly gets lost in a grind of fight after fight after fight after fight. There's really only a single NPC that's not meant to be fought in the adventure, and one part also allows the PCs to ally themselves with a tribe of locals, but that's about it. Every single other creature encountered simply attacks the PCs without provocation or sometimes even without much of a reason. What's worse is that the fights are sometimes very grindy themselves - like fighting 10 (!) CR 9 creatures at once - imagine how long that would take (that fight would have been better designed if the creatures were presented as a troop). Many other fights are very easy - like fighting a single CR 13 creature, for example. These fights are really nothing more than speed bumps in the way of a level 15 part of adventurers - are they just there to give the characters more XP? it's better to just hand it out as story awards.

So sadly, the adventure mostly amounts to 6 separate, unrelated fetch quests that involve a TON of fighting and nearly nothing else. The themes of the locations are OK, but nothing mind blowing. While some of the fights are either grindy or speed bumps, some other fights look challenging and unique. All in all the adventure would have been pretty bad because of it's underlining design, except that paizo products are never actually BAD. so the adventure itself gets 3 stars, due to many neat little touches but an overall not very fun adventure.

What pushes me to make a 4 star review are the articles - more specifically, the "continuing the campaign" article, which goes above and beyond previous articles of it's kind to really create an awesome mythic campaign for GMs to develop, one that fits the themes of 'Reign of Winter" very well. It sparks the imagination, and gives an insight to one of Golarion's numerous secrets (how the winter in Irrisen is maintained). This article is superb. As a bonus, Baba Yaga's stat block is nice, and gives us a peek at mythic rules.


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

Kickass Elvanna!


The stuff on Baba Yaga sounds interesting.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Is that a staff made of ice? Really cool...in both senses of the word.


Too bad there are still only 4 monsters, I was hoping on 6 again like old times...

Paizo Employee Developer

Actually, 4 is more common than 6 ever was. Each volume I try to slot in 5 monsters, but sometimes one needs to be cut for one reason or another. Every so often we do double sized bestiaries (Pathfinder #46 for example) or just larger ones (Pathfinder #60 for example).


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have never commented on a characters clothes before but I like her dress. Is it a magic item? And if so is it something new?


Every installment in this AP has introduced new items being used by the villains in the AP. Hopefully Elvanna has a number of unique items.

And yeah, that is a pretty neat dress. The look works for an ice witch or a necromancer.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

With the last being great, and putting forth some interesting ending scenarios, really looking forward to the finale!

Also, Baba Yaga and her mysterious ways!

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Just got my "shipping soon" notice, has anyone got theirs and their PDF yet?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

PDF'S tend not to start shipping till monday at the earliest.


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

Yeah, shipping usually starts on Monday morning Paizo Standard Time.

Dark Archive

Monday seems to be the shipping day at Paizo. I got my shipping e-mail today so I'm crossing my fingers for getting this on Monday!

I eagerly anticipate the finale of this AP, as well as the Baba Yaga statblock with the first glimpse of the final mythic level rules. Any word on who wrote up Baba Yaga's stats by the way?

Webstore Gninja Minion

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Atrocious wrote:
I eagerly anticipate the finale of this AP, as well as the Baba Yaga statblock with the first glimpse of the final mythic level rules. Any word on who wrote up Baba Yaga's stats by the way?

Adam "Mantis Man" Daigle wrote up Baba's stats. Prepare to be suitably intimidated—she's

Spoiler:
CR 30
.
Dark Archive

Liz Courts wrote:
Atrocious wrote:
I eagerly anticipate the finale of this AP, as well as the Baba Yaga statblock with the first glimpse of the final mythic level rules. Any word on who wrote up Baba Yaga's stats by the way?
Adam "Mantis Man" Daigle wrote up Baba's stats. Prepare to be suitably intimidated—she's ** spoiler omitted **.

Holy mother of...

Spoiler:
witches

Mr. Daigle didn't hold anything back did he? There's got to be more than "just" mythic levels going on there.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Atrocious wrote:
Mr. Daigle didn't hold anything back did he? There's got to be more than "just" mythic levels going on there.

Oh there is, dearie. Such a good boy, that Daigle.

Webstore Gninja Minion

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Atrocious wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Atrocious wrote:
I eagerly anticipate the finale of this AP, as well as the Baba Yaga statblock with the first glimpse of the final mythic level rules. Any word on who wrote up Baba Yaga's stats by the way?
Adam "Mantis Man" Daigle wrote up Baba's stats. Prepare to be suitably intimidated—she's ** spoiler omitted **.

Holy mother of... ** spoiler omitted **

Mr. Daigle didn't hold anything back did he? There's got to be more than "just" mythic levels going on there.

She's one bad-ass witch. I <3 her.

Paizo Employee Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
BabaYaga wrote:
Atrocious wrote:
Mr. Daigle didn't hold anything back did he? There's got to be more than "just" mythic levels going on there.
Oh there is, dearie. Such a good boy, that Daigle.

Thanks, dear Grandmother.


BabaYaga wrote:
Atrocious wrote:
Mr. Daigle didn't hold anything back did he? There's got to be more than "just" mythic levels going on there.
Oh there is, dearie. Such a good boy, that Daigle.

...you just answered a question, straight up.

*watches for signs of instant aging*


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
BabaYaga wrote:
Oh there is, dearie. Such a good boy, that Daigle.

...you just answered a question, straight up.

*watches for signs of instant aging*

Actually, the question was whether Mr Daigle held anything back. Dear Grandmother simply confirmed that there was more than mere mythic levels to her power, which was not posed as a question.

Paizo Employee Developer

agnelcow is correct.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Begins the task of reloading page to until his pdf appears


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When someone has it, inform the rest of us when you can.

P.S. Spoilers please.

P.S.S. My post is the same number as the AP volume. :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

OH CRAP POLUDNICA.

Whoever wrote her, that person made my week.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Still waiting... >insanity levels rising<


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'll probably get mine later in the week, but I can't wait to see how this turns out. I voiced my concerns about how the campaign ends a few months ago and I am really interested in how the module handles the ending.

Dark Archive

Waiting is so aggravating, especially when Liz and Daigle hyped it so much. Especially annoying is the fact that I'm on my vacation and I have nothing better to do...

I'll just go check my downloads again....


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Got it! What do people want to know? Will use spoiler tags, so no worries for those who don't want to know.

Shadow Lodge

New monsters (with some info on their abilities, not just names please =) )

Baba Yaga


Does Elvanna have mythic tiers or any artifact items?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is there any good action art in it?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The picture on page 64 of Valeros, Feiya, and Imrijka...

Woah.

Dark Archive

Baba Yaga, why is she:

Spoiler:
CR 30?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
Is there any good action art in it?

The picture I just referenced on page 64 is not action art per se, but it is really cool!

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Atrocious wrote:
Baba Yaga, why is she: ** spoiler omitted **

-Because Daigle loves us.

-He hates us.

-Either way he wants us to die.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

We wants it!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

>Continues the long, boring task of waiting< Please be sooooooooooooooon

Paizo Employee Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Lazaro wrote:
Atrocious wrote:
Baba Yaga, why is she: ** spoiler omitted **

-Because Daigle loves us.

-He hates us.

-Either way he wants us to die.

I aim to please. ;)

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adam Daigle wrote:
Lazaro wrote:
Atrocious wrote:
Baba Yaga, why is she: ** spoiler omitted **

-Because Daigle loves us.

-He hates us.

-Either way he wants us to die.

I aim to please. ;)

And he's got the Deadly Aim feat to boot. :-D


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Orthos wrote:

New monsters (with some info on their abilities, not just names please =) )

Baba Yaga

I had this all written out, and my internet connection failed. I lost it all! :-(

Am now retyping. Sorry for the delays guys.
Bestiary:
Crone Queen: CR 15 undead daughters of Baba Yaga. They have cold related spell-like abilities, witch style cold magic, and each has unique powers as well. The older ones are easily awakened, but they tend to be more powerful than the younger ones.

Hag Eye Ooze: CR 3 ooze that a hag makes and places one of hag eyes in. It can used as a familiar and spells may be cast through it. When a coven with one of these things is destroyed, the ooze can consume the dead hags and incorporate their eyes, resulting in a large ooze with eye ray attacks and the ability to absorb bodies much as the Blob.

Poludnica: CR 10 female fey powered by the sun. She kidnaps and lures farmers and children away to try and create normal families. At night they vanish into the ethereal plane, and can only watch families together at night with envy. She uses a scythe, but prefers trickery to achieve her ends. She has an aura of heat about her than can be quite debilitating.

Storm Hag: CR 7 hag with lightning and weather control powers. She prefers to eat young children and hates gnomes & halflings with a passion.

Baba Yaga:
Baba Yaga: We get her history, and it is beautifully detailed about how a young girl named Yanca would be mentored by a primeval norn and would become a witch of great power. As people bothered her for more and more solutions to their petty problems, she became the testing wise witch of legend. Yanca became Yaga amongst the Rus, and they began to refer to her as Grandmother out of respect: Baba.

We are told why she has never risen to divinity (who wants to be bothered answering peoples' prayers?) and about the dark, Russian folktale-like kingdom refuge she has built for herself within the First World (The Thrice-Tenth Kingdom).

And why is she CR30? Well first off she has a specific method to be killed, much like an artifact. Her Dancing Hut is her familiar (yes, that is what I said). She is a female venerable advanced human witch 20/archmage 10 (that's 10 Mythic Tiers people). Her touch AC is 31 and her initiative is +19. She has over 700 hp and has a regeneration rate of 20. She knows every witch & sorcerer/wizard spell in existence. She has a number of permanent spells and mythic hexes.

That should put the fear of the old Grandmother into you. >:-)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zhangar wrote:
Does Elvanna have mythic tiers or any artifact items?

Queen Elvanna:
Although she has no mythic tiers herself, she has mythic potential. So she is CR 20 and 20th level (her wealth, equipment power and 20-point build give her a +1 CR). She is a 10th level witch (winter witch archetype)/10th level winter witch (prestige class) with winter as her patron.

As for artifacts: YEP. The Icecrown of Irrisen is a major artifact.


Does Baba Yaga in fact age a year in an instant every time she answers a question?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
Is there any good action art in it?

There are a few art pieces with some action in them, the best (IMHO) is on page 70, which should be titled "This was a really bad idea!" But overall, most of the art is portraiture and simple images (although very well done).

Dark Archive

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Does Baba Yaga in fact age a year in an instant every time she answers a question?

If that's true, it looks like she's answered a few in her time...

Also, my mind, blown. Baba Yaga sounds wicked.

By the way, what is Baba Yaga's patron?

And

Spoiler:
Can she actually prepare and cast spells from the sorcerer/wizard spell list that aren't on the witch spell list?

Sounds like Daigle didn't hold back one bit.

And I still don't have my copy...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Does Baba Yaga in fact age a year in an instant every time she answers a question?

Baba Yaga aging:
The way Daigle presents it she is completely immortal. Instead of aging one year, she gains an additional wart or wrinkle.

.
Sort of a reverse Nanny McPhee with a REALLY bad attitude! :)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Atrocious wrote:


By the way, what is Baba Yaga's patron?

Fate, a new patron detailed in this volume.

Your Spoilered Question:
Atrocious wrote:


Can she actually prepare and cast spells from the sorcerer/wizard spell list that aren't on the witch spell list?

Yes, yes she can...including arcane versions of divine spells such as heal(!).

...Oh, did I forget to mention that she can create artifacts? The Dancing Hut is just the most famous.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yikes! I can picture how fighting her would go...

Okay guys, roll for initiative. Actually, don't bother. Baba Yaga goes first, aaaaaaand you're all dead. Good effort.


Finally. Now to devour!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Feros wrote:
And why is she CR30?
Feros wrote:
kingdom refuge she has built for herself within the First World (The Thrice-Tenth Kingdom)

This was totally intentional, right? Because if it wasn't, you should pretend that it is. And that is addressed to both Feros and Mr Daigle.


^^^

Very much what agnelcow said. First thing I thought of when I read that she is CR30. :)

Paizo Employee Developer

No strange numerology required. The Thrice-Tenth Kingdom is not some weird easter egg in itself other than being a direct representation of an element of Russian/Slavic folklore. That our CR currently caps out at CR 30 is why Baba Yaga is where she's at power-wise.

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