BASIC-4: A Miraculous Time (PFRPG) PDF

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It isn't just the weather outside that's frightful!

Now that winter has arrived in full force and the predators of the wild have grown desperate, it's more important than ever that shipments of vital supplies be given proper escort – especially around the Midwinter holiday, when such shipments become all the more frequent!

A sleepy town on the far side of a mountain range is counting on you to make this Midwinter a joyous and healthy one!

Some greedy and cheerless monsters may have other ideas...

"A Miraculous Time" includes:

  • The fourth leg of the BASIC series
  • The return of Ronius, Willow, Meeris, and Kale, fully upgraded for level 4 play.
  • Magic items that give reference to prior adventures
  • A spin on an oft-overlooked character in the Christmas tradition
  • A grading system to let you know how well you've done!
"A Miraculous Time" is the fourth chapter of a series of seasonally thematic modules that can be run to completion in 1-2 average sessions.

by Kevin Mickelson
Cover art by Amanda Mickelson
Interior art by Amanda Mickelson, Tim Tyler, and Storn Cook

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

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Good time


The fourth installment in the AAW games Basic series is a fun holiday themed romp. The PC’s find themselves on a train protecting various supplies from marauding fey called Kramps. The module comes with a scoring guide that rates the PC’s performance to further their prestige at Exallizar Prep. It also comes with 4 pre-generated characters that have been raised to level 4. I would not suggest using these characters and instead have your PC’s use ones they made themselves.

The first encounter takes place on a train that is going around 100 mph. This is a very cool setting for a battle and smart PCs can make a perception check to hear the Kramps scurrying on the roof. If your PC’s are like mine, they won’t wait around for whatever is scurrying on the roof to attack. If the PC’s choose to go to the roof to investigate they must make an acrobatic check or be blown from the roof of the train. There is a problem here with the module in that, although it tells the DC for the check it does not go into detail about what happens if a character is blown off. I did some research and came with the conclusion that if a PC was blown off they would take 3d6 of damage or 2d6 if they made a tumble check. Then based on the number of rounds it took for the other PC to defeat the other Kramps I would figure out how far behind they were.

Once the PC’s defeat the Kramps on the train they find out the train is broken and the fire elemental that was harnessed to power the train tells them of a cave that will provide them with a short cut to the village they were travelling to. At this point, one of my PCs felt railroaded because this was the only option they had. I’m not sure what he expected but maybe a backup in case the PCs wanted to wait in the warm train would have helped.

Once inside the cave the Kramps were hyped up in the module to be a hard challenge. However, my PCs made short work of the whole village using little to no tactics. This made me a little disappointed because I was hoping they would deliver a little humility to my PC’s. I think the problem with the Kramps was they did not do very much damage. They used either a switch to hit the PCs or coal, and although funny and fitting either one did much damage.

The only other hard challenge came in the form of 2 nutcracker golems. Depending on the parties’ rolls this can be a pretty hard encounter and my PCs did not role well. The party then gets a chance to use an object they find to defeat a trap, I really liked this. Then the PCs get an opportunity to use diplomacy/bluff/intimidate on a white dragon. My players and I really liked this role playing encounter and the party gets a chance to make a friend with a white dragon. The final encounter against a trio of steam mephits proved no problem for my party. After all, they are in an ice cave but it does provide multiple ways to handle the encounter.

Overall, everyone really enjoyed this scenario and it offered many unique encounters that even in pathfinder are not encountered on a regular basis. Although there were a few minor issues it was nothing that a half way decent GM could not overcome. Plus, it comes with 4 unique magic items that although my PC’s sold 2 of them they are all still very cool and interesting.

An review


The fourth adventure for Pathfinder's beginner's version is 26 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 22 pages of content, so let's take a look!

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

All right, still here? Exallizar's promising students are up for another adventure - and this one already kicks off with an interesting first set-up: They are actually aboard a magical, fire-elemental train on their way north guarding a shipment of toys and candy. Suffice to say, we get a fully mapped, beautiful rendition of the train - and not all is going according to plan. Much like previous BASIC-series modules, we kick off with starting equipment choices - and the PCs will need these, for a new critter, the so-called Kramps, are trying to highjack the train, scrambling across the train's roof. Not only are they interesting combatants trying to destroy the candy-shipment (the timer's ticking!), the leader also gets missile toe boots - yeah - boots that can shoot eldritch projectiles.

Hopefully, the players manage to defeat these menaces, but with or without the support of the train's friendly fire elemental, the PCs will probably have to retrieve some cargo - from the Kramp's nearby base, where they may actually use the critter's ability to detect joy against them - and defeat not only the Kramps, but also acquire Battering Ram-style arctic-blast inducing items, bells that can be used to kill foes (you've guessed it - Slay Bells) and fight against steam mephits as well as nutcracker golems - and realize that they are not the only ones fighting.

There's also a white dragon here - and by this point I was groaning, for it is by my counts to oomphteenth white dragon in an AaW-module - but this one's different: Not nearly as evil as most of its kind and can be reasoned with! Depending on the PC's reasoning, they may actually befriend teh dragon and make it tag along for the festivities! Now THAT is some Christmas Spirit for you! It should be noted that the kramp-lair is also fully mapped and comes with a player-friendly version.

The pdf concludes with 4 pregens with their own artworks.


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard in full color with a parchment-like background and the artworks are ok. As almost always in AaW-books, the maps are glorious. The pdf comes in two different versions, with one being more printer-friendly than the regular one.

So, this is the fourth of holiday-themed modules for Pathfinder's beginner's version and author Kevin Mickelson has this time around created one module that is indeed fun to play - after the mediocre predecessor, this one again breathes holiday-spirit, teems with puns and is appropriate and fun gaming not only for younger audiences, but also for more mature players looking for a fun innocent ride to celebrate the holidays. This is a nice, cool little Christmas module with a neat final confrontation that can be resolved sans shedding blood. If I had one gripe, then that the locations are awesome - but don't feature that much in the respective combats - why are there no simple rules for fighting on the train's roof, pushing foes off the train etc.? There is a DC mentioned to not be blown of the vehicle, but not what the consequences of being blown off are - and since this module is intended for younger audiences (and probably inexperienced DMs), being left without this information is an issue in my book.

This, combined with the relative brevity of the module, make me settle for a final verdict of 4 stars for a well-made little module.

Endzeitgeist out.

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

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