Pathfinder Adventure Path #91: Battle of Bloodmarch Hill (Giantslayer 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

3.90/5 (based on 9 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #91: Battle of Bloodmarch Hill (Giantslayer 1 of 6) (PFRPG)
Show Description For:
Non-Mint

Add Print Edition $22.99 $11.49

Add PDF $15.99

Add Non-Mint $22.99 $17.24

Facebook Twitter Email

Enemy at the Gates!

The Giantslayer Adventure Path begins! In the human town of Trunau, a beleaguered settlement surrounded by the brutal orcs of the Hold of Belkzen, the heroes must investigate a mysterious death. Before they uncover the truth, however, Trunau comes under attack by an orc army, and the heroes must help defend it—only to discover that the situation is worse than anyone realizes. For even the fearsome orc raid is just a distraction allowing a giant chieftain to recover the relics of an ancient giant hero from a tomb long forgotten beneath the town.

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path begins the Giantslayer Adventure Path and includes:

  • "Battle of Bloodmarch Hill," a Pathfinder adventure for 1st-level characters, by Patrick Renie.
  • A collection of lore on the behavior of giants, Golarion's largest humanoids, by David Schwartz.
  • A giant bag of feats, spells, equipment, and other rules tailored specifically for giants, by Stephen Radney-MacFarland.
  • An unfortunate gnome's encounter with an ogre family in the Pathfinder's Journal, by Richard Pett.
  • A pack of dangerous monsters, by Tyler Beck, Adam Daigle, and Patrick Renie.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-725-3

"Battle of Bloodmarch Hill" 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 (1.1 MB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

Product Availability

Print Edition:

Available now

Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 5 business days.

PDF:

Fulfilled immediately.

Non-Mint:

Available now

Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 5 business days.

This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO9091


See Also:

1 to 5 of 9 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

3.90/5 (based on 9 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

The Battle for Bloodmarch Review

3/5

Warning: Potential spoilers.
Written from a GM's perspective. I ran this with four PCs.

I've written reviews for several adventure paths and modules now. This one unfortunately may be the first one where I have criticisms that amount to more than just nitpicks. A general summary of my opinion of this adventure would be that it thematically worked well. However, the balance and the pacing were off enough to be noticeable for the players and for me to have to be very careful as the GM.

First I will start with the positive aspects of the adventure. I liked the setting for this adventure a lot. There is a lot of information that the GM is given for Trunua that really fleshes out their culture in ways that were easy to portray to the players. The general ride or die attitude of the Trunuans was able to lead to interesting RP encounters between PCs whose backstory had them raised in Trunua and those who had just recently arrived. The story also felt well put together. The hook was designed to get the players invested and everything felt like it flowed naturally. Finally, the author did a good job designing fluff for encounters so that they would be memorable where they might not have been otherwise. For example, the final act is almost nothing but back to back fights with orcs. However, the way the scenes are described stops them from feeling too repetitive.

Now for the negative aspects. By far the biggest problem with this adventure is the difficulty level. The players I ran this for tend to be fairly invested in their characters and prefer games to that are not high lethality. However, this book almost seems designed to kill players. Despite leveling the party early for act III and desperately pulling punches in a few places, I nearly TPKed the group three times and I did end up killing a PC with the final boss. There are two places in this book that have the potential to be extremely lethal.

The first is the assassins that attack the PCs in the middle of the night. If this encounter is run word for word and the perception penalties for sleeping are applied as per the rules, this is almost guaranteed to kill your entire party before they can even act. I made this fight a lot easier by automatically waking up the highest roller, giving them a chance to warn the others, removing the enemy's poison and having the assassins avoid killing blows probably to an almost implausible degree considering they were...well...assassins. The PCs still barely made it out alive.

The second deadly area pretty much the entirety of acts III and IV. There are around 17 encounters between these two acts combined. Most of these encounters cannot be avoided and the PCs do not get a chance to recover resources via rest at any point during them. As a positive side note, this did give the battle a real feeling of life and death urgency that is often lacking during tabletop encounters. But it ultimately went too far with this. Towards the end it was clear that the PCs were just slogging their way through, especially the casters who were all out of resources and stuck just slinging at things for several encounters. Honestly, I thought this was a shame, because as I mentioned above in the positives, some of the battle encounters were really well designed. Unfortunately, many of these fights fell short of their potential due to the PCs not having the resources to fight them in equally interesting ways.

A more minor issue I had with this adventure was the pacing. I use story based leveling for my games and the recommended times for leveling all seemed to be at times where the PCs had to deal with something before resting and would therefore not truly be up to the CR of the encounters. The books seems to imply that the opening investigation would take several days (thus the assassin encounter during the night time). However, my group figured everything out quite fast. Likewise, the story implies that the battle happens during the funeral, the night that the players deal with the plague house. Personally, I moved those events to the next days (the PCs have enough to fight through with no rest, without tacking the Plague House at the beginning). But this put me in a precarious situation where the players essentially figured out that the ambush was coming and very nearly got the town on high alert, mitigating the final act. Also story based leveling recommends leveling the PCs to level 3 right before facing the waves at the barricades. For the love of all that is good and kind, don't listen to that advice! I let my PCs reach 3rd level before the battle and gave them a full nights rest to get all their new stuff. I still nearly TPKed the PCs twice during the battle.

There is one other thing that I will note. For a campaign entitled Giantslayer, the opening mission is probably not you would expect. It has very little combat and requires several skills that your giantslaying PCs might not have built for. This isn't a criticism, the murder mystery is actually reasonably well done. However, it is something that gaming groups considering the campaign might want to know.

Overall, this book was still worth playing. The setting and the story are still fun for players looking for this kind of theme in their gaming. Player's who enjoy challenging meat grinder type game would probably love it. However, GMs running this should be cautious and consider modifying the pace and some of the encounters.


Good introduction to the AP with a compelling mystery

4/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Once the battle begins in Battle of Bloodmarch Hill, the adventure takes on a rather epic quality, which makes it quite an exciting introduction to an adventure path. But even before that, the murder mystery provides a great draw into the world in which Giantslayer takes place. I will admit that, based on just brief descriptions, Giantslayer doesn’t seem the most engaging of adventure paths. However, this first adventure definitely shows how wrong that is. I am looking forward to reading the remaining instalments.


A good start with a few hazards

4/5

This book has a good start for the campaign and I'd probably give some more things to do for the players at the beginning festival to get a better feeling for the NPC:s.

Pros:
- Lots of different encounters and some can be very dangerous
- Trunau is introduced quite well and there's useful information about the city
- Investigation is kinda easy but it's a refreshing start
- The siege shows how chaotic a fight like this could be

CONS:
- A few encounters need some adjustments to not kill the PC:s
- The siege can be brutal and the PC:s need a lot of resources to get through it and after that they should go straight to the final (I recommend that you give some kind of a way for them to gain resources back)


A promising beginning

4/5

This is a good way to begin an adventure path. The light-hearted start gives everyone a chance to feel for Trunau even if not a native. (Side Note: make sure AT LEAST 1, preferably two or three of you players a re natives - in my five person party only one was and it was a struggle to really get the others hooked). Following on is a murder mystery and then an excellent running battle which takes place through the whole town including chances to rescue various NPC's, which gives the whole thing a nice sense of urgency without being an excessively drawn-out combat.

The book ends with a much more standard miniature dungeon crawl which is still fun a flavorsome with some very nice treasure at the end! Consider changing the armor to suit your party best.

Pros: A good AP, lots of different things to do during the adventure.

Cons: Relies on players having an attachment to Trunau - otherwise, none.

Tips: Can be finished very quickly (my group took about two in game days to finish the book) but the story seems to assume at least a week. As a GM be wary of that.
Also - make sure your players are crystal clear about the fate of the final boss and the timing involved, it becomes important in book 2.


Who done the deed or there's war on the doorstep

4/5

A rather interesting start to this campaign. You start off in a murder mystery that seems to depart what appears to be the theme of the game but it is brought around enjoyably to reconnect with the main theme again.

The mystery is an enjoyable one without too many dead ends and confusing twists. One of the better murder starts I’ve seen them do.

The battle that comes next, while yes does sound odd for a murder to lead into a battle but they do it fairly smoothly, is an enjoyable mix of sandbox and scripted events. They manage to keep the size of the area you are working small but it still feels large and imposing with the battles going on around. It also allows players to charge straight ahead or be methodical in their approach.

The end battle is managed nicely leaving a player feeling they are pushed just to the edge of using all their resources but not in emergency mode.

I rather enjoyed this one.

Written from the POV of a player.


1 to 5 of 9 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
151 to 200 of 293 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
Dark Archive

You do have Trunau in towns of golarion and the giantslayer handbook, but I understand I was looking forward to getting the Hold of Belkzen book this month.

Dark Archive

When will the Players Guide be up?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I HOPE that they can put up the final cover page and the description this week! As it will be coming out in a couple of weeks!

Paizo Employee Developer

Marco Massoudi wrote:
When will the Players Guide be up?

Hopefully I'll have it up in a couple of weeks. CERTAINLY before it ships to subscribers.

Dark Archive

Adam Daigle wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
When will the Players Guide be up?
Hopefully I'll have it up in a couple of weeks. CERTAINLY before it ships to subscribers.

Thanks Adam, February 1st would be great. ;-)

Dark Archive

Out in 4 weeks from now but still not finalized... :-(


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Out in 4 weeks from now but still not finalized... :-(

Actually, it's 6 weeks till the street date...and so what? It's the holidays, RPG SuperStar and this month it's about finishing up the previous AP. I'd like to see the updated image too, but in the scheme of things it doesn't really matter if they wait until the street date...some places don't update product images even months after the release dates of product they're selling.

Dark Archive

Sniggevert wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Out in 4 weeks from now but still not finalized... :-(
Actually, it's 6 weeks till the street date...and so what? It's the holidays, RPG SuperStar and this month it's about finishing up the previous AP. I'd like to see the updated image too, but in the scheme of things it doesn't really matter if they wait until the street date...some places don't update product images even months after the release dates of product they're selling.

The street date (when it will be available in stores) is march 10th or am i wrong about that?

The PDF is always available 15 days later.

Of course you are right about the update being not that important and paizo having their hands full.

I´m being curious about this AP is all as it is quite controversial between being a homage to "Against the Giants" and a repeat of "Rise of the Runelords".

Also i can´t seem to remember a time before when it took so long for a players guide or a sourcebook to come out.

In defense of paizo at least the Player Companion is out. ;-)

You are a more patient being than me Sniggevert. :-)


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Street Date is February 25th, but subscribers will start getting their PDF copy once their books ship, around the 15th of Feb (give or take).


Street date (when available in stores) is the same date they start selling the PDF's (so Feb 25th in this case). Subscribers may get it earlier, it depends on when their actual product ships.

The player's guide is generally made available when they begin the shipping run for that month's subscription, so I highly doubt you'll see that till they start working on February's subscription run (and they just started on January's today...)

Rarely do the corresponding source books come out before the actual AP, but it does happen.

I'm eagerly awaiting this AP too, as "Against the Giants" was one of my favorite module's to play or run back in the '80's. I want to see what Paizo does along those lines.

I figure I can't do anything about it, and it'll come out when it comes out. I've got more pressing releases to worry about...like when I will get my next card deck and finish out the Iron Gods AP. ;)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Can I Haz New Cover?

Dark Archive

zergtitan wrote:
Can I Haz New Cover?

The actual cover has been published one month ago in the

"Pathfinder Player Companion: Giant Hunter´s Handbook".

It shows Harsk and Imrijka on the left side jumping from a rock to attack.

Standing in the foreground is an orc with very large tusks.

The artwork looks new to me...


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I know that it's just typically the delay in the upda of a product page has corresponded commonly with the delay of a product release. I'm just hoping that's not what's happening.


I plan on using Trunau as PC hometown as this will be my first time DM. If I do well and players like it, we will continue the rest .

Webstore Gninja Minion

Product image and description updated to final.


Liz Courts wrote:
Product image and description updated to final.

NICE...but is that an Orc ?

Or something else ?

Webstore Gninja Minion

nighttree wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Product image and description updated to final.

NICE...but is that an Orc ?

Or something else ?

If memory serves, that's a cave giant from Bestiary 3.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

That cover art is awesome!!


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

[Eric Cartman]Sweet.[/Eric Cartman]


Liz Courts wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Product image and description updated to final.

NICE...but is that an Orc ?

Or something else ?
If memory serves, that's a cave giant from Bestiary 3.

OH...I think your right

Thanks Liz ;)


So how many is a "pack" of new monsters?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Holy Crap! Pett Fiction!?!

I'mma skeared now...


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Description wrote:
A giant bag of feats, spells, equipment, and other rules tailored specifically for giants, by Stephen Radney-MacFarland.

Wait rules for giants?! Now I am super stoked for this!

Paizo Employee Developer

Dragon78 wrote:
So how many is a "pack" of new monsters?

There are four in this volume. We pretty much always end up with four in the first volume because the Campaign Outline takes up that normally available page real estate.


So two megafauna, a giant and some other monster (please let it be mythology monsters as we haden't one in 6 months, also a mythological giant, so much more needed than just another environment giant.)

I love the cave giant on the cover, it looks cool and its fresh!, but the Skeleton is nothing i'm dreaming about, kinda tired of seeing them together with Zombies, I understand they are easy-low level fits, but rather see someting more shocking or special on the cover.

+

Quote:
A collection of lore on the behavior of giants, Golarion’s largest humanoids, by David Schwartz.

Can't wait for this.

Grand Lodge Contributor

YAY!


As a Trunau native, i kinda wish Oloch was a Iconic for this Path.


nighttree wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Product image and description updated to final.

NICE...but is that an Orc ?

Or something else ?

I didn't think cave-giants were green. It looks like a troll to me, or maybe a half cave giant/troll ?


Actually cave giants are based on orcs just with elephant size tusks.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Giant skeleton does make sense inside a giant tomb. I really like the section on Giant feats etc. Nice way to beef up monsters for later books.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Draco Bahamut wrote:
As a Trunau native, i kinda wish Oloch was a Iconic for this Path.

Good point, but if memory serves, we had decided on the iconics for this AP (and ordered art for them) before we established Trunau as Oloch's home town.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Would have been fun if the Giantslayer party had been all small characters. :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So who are the Iconics for this one?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
So who are the Iconics for this one?

Looks like Imrijka and Harsk for certain.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
Kajehase wrote:
Would have been fun if the Giantslayer party had been all small characters. :)

THIS!! MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!!!

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It would be nice if they announced the Iconics for each AP when they announce the AP itself as well.

But by process of elimination, we know we need an arcane caster, but the fourth could be almost anyone. When was the last time we saw Ezren in an AP, anyway? He'd be my guess for that Arcane spot. Harsk is skill/combat, Imrijka is divine/skill, so maybe a divine/combat specialist? Oloch would have made for a great fit here, but if ACG Iconics aren't eligible, you could make a case for Seelah, even if she's getting a bit overused. Maybe Seltiyel too?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Its Imrijka, Harsk, Ezren and Amiri.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Really? None of the ACG iconics are getting in on this action? It also feels like it's been a while since we've seen Valeros.


Ive always found it interesting that cave giants have always been kind of the ugly cousin that hardly anybody ever mentions, despite their terrifying appearance.

Paizo Employee Developer

spectrevk wrote:
Really? None of the ACG iconics are getting in on this action? It also feels like it's been a while since we've seen Valeros.

While the four iconics used for the art in the adventure are the same throughout an entire AP, I get to use all of the other iconics in art for the articles in each volume. So, you'll still get to see some of the new iconics there as well as Valeros and other older iconics that aren't being used in the AP art. (In fact, I put a rad illustration of Valeros fighting an ettin in the second volume.)


I can't wait for that giant related article.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm dying for the Player's Guide to hit! I check 3 times a day. It's gotta be any day now, right?

Dark Archive

Wildebob wrote:
I'm dying for the Player's Guide to hit! I check 3 times a day. It's gotta be any day now, right?

It´s out.

Also i just noticed that paizo changed the Pathfinder Journal article from a six part story to single 6 stories by different authors...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:

Also i just noticed that paizo changed the Pathfinder Journal article from a six part story to single 6 stories by different authors...

That's how it was in the early APs as well. Can't help wondering if this marks the return of Mr. Eando Kline...

Paizo Employee Developer

The Journal doesn't feature Eando.

Also, the Player's Guide is live!

Dark Archive

Joseph Wilson wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:

Also i just noticed that paizo changed the Pathfinder Journal article from a six part story to single 6 stories by different authors...

That's how it was in the early APs as well. Can't help wondering if this marks the return of Mr. Eando Kline...

Nope - i just checked them all.

The only AP that contains stories by different authors is Kingmaker.
And the heroes in these stories are the same.

Maybe i´m wrong but the previews for the Giantslayer pathfinder journals sound like self-contained stories...

Paizo Employee Developer

Actually, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness, and Kingmaker all have Journals written by various authors, though you're totally correct, the story in those Journals is the same plot.

This Journal does feature six different stories (by six different authors), but they are linked in a way.

Spoiler:
The framing device for all six parts of the Journal is that a group of six adventurers are sharing stories of their greatest adventure the night before they plan to assault a dangerous giant's lair. It's implied that there's a really good chance they might die in the assault and they are sharing their tales to bolster their courage.

Dark Archive

Adam Daigle wrote:

Actually, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness, and Kingmaker all have Journals written by various authors, though you're totally correct, the story in those Journals is the same plot.

This Journal does feature six different stories (by six different authors), but they are linked in a way.

** spoiler omitted **

Thanx for spilling the beans Adam. ;-)

That sounds quite good.

Also the Players Guide is very well compiled and out early enough to prepare players for the AP.

I still wonder if the flying fortress and the main villain are connected to the "Curse of the Riven Sky" Module...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Have we learned any hints as to who the dies mysteriously in Trunau? I'm thinking it may be the old half-orc, Katrezra. Somehow his occasional vision has some merit to it.

The Exchange

That AP cover is super intense!

151 to 200 of 293 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Adventure Path #91: Battle of Bloodmarch Hill (Giantslayer 1 of 6) (PFRPG) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.