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

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

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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.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like the new art style and layout, the whole package reminds me of the new Pathfinder modules (Dragon's Demand onwards). I also like having the magic items placed throughout the adventure, previously I would have to flip through the entire book trying to find where they were placed or if they were included in a monster's gear. I'm hoping the rest of the AP maintains the balance between dungeoneering and social interaction that was achieved here. This is a solid start to what will hopefully be a pretty awesome AP. Well done Mr. Renie. :D


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

Wow, this thing really has more orcs than all previous Pathfinder adventures combined.


Cory Stafford 29 wrote:

Is this available in stores yet?

Feb 25th is street date.

For their monthly items, the date the PDF becomes available is the same date that stores are supposed to have and be able to start selling the product. Subscribers sometimes get their PDF early, it just depends on when their shipment goes out, is why these folks are talking about content.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I got my PDF on Monday, but the physical book still hasn't arrived yet.


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

Here's my review. I'm not the biggest fan of Pathfinder, so keep that in mind going in. Some of my problems with it may not be a problem for you.

There are spoilers (hopefully minor) for the adventure, so - as with all adventure reviews - I advise that players stay away this review! :)

Cheers,
Merric

Dark Archive

MerricB wrote:

Here's my review. I'm not the biggest fan of Pathfinder, so keep that in mind going in. Some of my problems with it may not be a problem for you.

There are spoilers (hopefully minor) for the adventure, so - as with all adventure reviews - I advise that players stay away this review! :)

Cheers,
Merric

Not a bad review. In the GM Reference thread we have been discuss some of the issues we have seen in it. This is a very hard ap with some encounters that can TPK the whole group pretty easily.


I really love the exoskeleton template. I just might have to roll up a necromancer an entomologist soon.


Not really a fan of the first part, hope they get better (for me personally) in the second part.

Orcs and other Bestiary 1 monsters just don't do it for me, also the bestiary is nothing that I can use.

Seeya in part 2.


Pretty unhappy since I re-subscribed for this ( group clamored for it, after having a go at Iron Gods and heartily disliking it ) and neither....... have the .pdf nor the hardcopy Whichseems to be out in the US by now.
Which apparently will be send in April - wtf ?

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

deathbydice wrote:

Pretty unhappy since I re-subscribed for this ( group clamored for it, after having a go at Iron Gods and heartily disliking it ) and neither....... have the .pdf nor the hardcopy Whichseems to be out in the US by now.

Which apparently will be send in April - wtf ?
Sorry to hear that deathbydice. I'd recommend sending an email to customer service (customer.service@paizo.com) or post about this on the Customer Service messageboard, and hopefully they can help resolves this issue for you.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Dire Care Bear Manager

deathbydice wrote:

Pretty unhappy since I re-subscribed for this ( group clamored for it, after having a go at Iron Gods and heartily disliking it ) and neither....... have the .pdf nor the hardcopy Whichseems to be out in the US by now.

Which apparently will be send in April - wtf ?

The subscription was started after we had prepared and finished shipping the February New Releases which this is a part of. It defaulted to combine shipping with the next volume. Generally this is what new subscribers are looking to do since we would usually be shipping the next volume fairly soon and that saves on shipping, (though you should be able to poke through the cart during checkout and change it to ship right away). #92 which was supposed to release in March was delayed due to the strikes at the Port of Seattle which is why it is saying shipping in April.

I've gone ahead and moved this to an order to ship as soon as possible. In the future, if you are concerned or frustrated about an order or confused why it is behaving a certain way, please let us know either in the customer service forums or via email so we can address it as soon as possible for you. I wouldn't have seen this if Liz hadn't pointed it out and I would hate to see problems with orders fester when we could easily help!

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Tonlim wrote:
I really love the exoskeleton template. I just might have to roll up a necromancer an entomologist soon.

Yay! I'm glad you like it. It was the sort of thing that came up one day when Rob and I were taking a break. I was talking about using raise dead on bugs and noted that making a dead bug into a zombie makes a certain amount of sense, but what if you used the skeleton template? That was enough of a spark that I knew that I had to make the exoskeleton template for such a corner case. :)

I'm also really into insects and arachnids.... so that had some influence.


Adam Daigle wrote:


I'm also really into insects and arachnids.... so that had some influence.

And yet, there are no Pyrausta (insect/dragon) in pathfinder... How come? :-p


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Having paged through this, one thing that struck me straight away is that the quality of the interior art seems to have dropped significantly, when compared to other recent APs. Does anyone else feel the same way?

Dark Archive

Callum wrote:
Having paged through this, one thing that struck me straight away is that the quality of the interior art seems to have dropped significantly, when compared to other recent APs. Does anyone else feel the same way?

I thought so too at first but it is just a different art style and now that i got used to it i kinda like it.

The art is not crisp and clean like in Iron Gods but has a more rugged edge to it which is ok for a classic campaign.

Having read through half of the issue and all of the spoilers for the next issues i feel my concerns for a rehash of "Rise of the Runelord" put to a rest mostly.
At least part 2 should feel a lot different, as has part 1.

So far it looks to be a very nice AP.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Callum wrote:
Having paged through this, one thing that struck me straight away is that the quality of the interior art seems to have dropped significantly, when compared to other recent APs. Does anyone else feel the same way?

I'm not too keen on the cover illustrations (specifically the NPC in the foreground, the backgrounds are fine), but the interior art is good. A little more cartoony maybe, if that's the right word to use? The use of colour is certainly more vibrant.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I really have to say that I am disappointed that we don't get a picture of ALL of the new, unique animals. I understand why (limited space, art is expensive, etc), but I am a very visual person, so it helps me greatly if I can see what's being described. After all, don't want to take an exotic animal companion if it doesn't look cool. ;)

Other than that, this looks pretty solid. I love the "Giant Primer," and the "Triumian* Giants" on the inside covers.

(*I know this is wrong. Even if it is not the wrong word somehow, it HAS to be speled wrong.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nate Z wrote:

Other than that, this looks pretty solid. I love the "Giant Primer," and the "Triumian* Giants" on the inside covers.

(*I know this is wrong. Even if it is not the wrong word somehow, it HAS to be speled wrong.)

Vitruvian :-)


I'd like to know how much information on Trunau is in this book before buying it. Does this give more details about Trunau than its entry in "Towns of the Inner Sea?" A better map of the town, more info on the NPCs, pictures of the NPCs, etc.?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Millefune wrote:
I'd like to know how much information on Trunau is in this book before buying it. Does this give more details about Trunau than its entry in "Towns of the Inner Sea?" A better map of the town, more info on the NPCs, pictures of the NPCs, etc.?

Most of what you just asked for is available for free in the Giantslayer Players Guide.

Dark Archive

Millefune wrote:
I'd like to know how much information on Trunau is in this book before buying it. Does this give more details about Trunau than its entry in "Towns of the Inner Sea?" A better map of the town, more info on the NPCs, pictures of the NPCs, etc.?

No the towns of the inner sea write up has more.


I gave Giants back their own type (instead of them being a Humanoid subtype), basically the way 3.5 did it, so how would Will of Giants work for them? Probably nothing I guess.


mikeawmids wrote:
Millefune wrote:
I'd like to know how much information on Trunau is in this book before buying it. Does this give more details about Trunau than its entry in "Towns of the Inner Sea?" A better map of the town, more info on the NPCs, pictures of the NPCs, etc.?
Most of what you just asked for is available for free in the Giantslayer Players Guide.

The Player's Guide info on Trunau is a cut and paste from most of the Towns of the Inner Sea book entry on Trunau. :(

brad2411 wrote:
Millefune wrote:
I'd like to know how much information on Trunau is in this book before buying it. Does this give more details about Trunau than its entry in "Towns of the Inner Sea?" A better map of the town, more info on the NPCs, pictures of the NPCs, etc.?
No the towns of the inner sea write up has more.

I was hoping for more, but oh well. Thanks! :)

Grand Lodge

I'm not sure I like how the three firsts books are coming together in April, instead of one a month. Looks like they are trying to sell them in the same packaage for subscription members.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Roger Corbera wrote:
I'm not sure I like how the three firsts books are coming together in April, instead of one a month. Looks like they are trying to sell them in the same packaage for subscription members.

Actually it's due to the dock strike delaying certain shipments causing an unfortunate bunch up.


I really like it. This seems to be a good start to the new Adventure Path, but there are some weird things about it.

The Knife:

Spoiler:

Brinya's Love seems to be an odd design. It's a neat item, definitely, and quite unique, but it has little direct use in this part of the adventure. The creatures it seems specialized in dealing with are found before it. The benefits it give are kind of counterproductive to what it's meant to fight. Unless there's more such creature's later in the path and it gets upgrades (as it is hinted in the path). Given the nature of its origin and what it was originally meant for, I think I'll retcon it in personal games to have a use of Gentle Repose instead (which will be activated and can trigger on being used on a corpse or when it kills a target). As a note: In my games, Gentle Repose counts for all Rez spell timers... including Breath of Life.

The Orc Assault:

Spoiler:

VERY nice, but there are a LOT of fights, and the adventure as written encourages the DM to not allow the player's to rest. That's... kinda bad for lowbie characters. I mean, I know there's more common optimization, but... yowch.

The Titan's Toolbox
Yeah, it's "Giants Toolbox", but I prefer alliteration. Anyway, I love all these various new feats and items. The burning boulders and exploding decaying pigs are among my favorites. Now we have rules for launching decaying livestock from catapults! Wooo!
The Boulder Bag is great for Giants, and fairly sub-par for players, unless someone's made a PF version of a Hulking Hurler they want to use. For those of us with inclusive 3.X/PF home games, this is gonna be brutally fun. And, of course... Magic Beans!! Which brings me to...
Beanstalk is a hilarious spell I know will come in handy later. It seems rather high for something that is effectively a giant ladder, though, but I guess that's because of the duration. Will make a 'lesser' version as an alternate. I like the idea behind Thunderous Footfalls, but it's written in a confusing way. EACH time the creature moves overland adjacent to another creature? So, big 10x10 stomps by some 5x5's and they have to make anywhere from 2-4 rolls until they fall or the biggun stops moving adjacent? Eep! Probably a quick errata of 'no more than one save per target per round' should be squeezed in there. I'm sure Summoners will love this one, though!
I love the Awesome Blow feat. But it makes me question... did Brutal Throw or an equivalent get reprinted in Pathfinder?? Brutal Throw was a 3.X feat that allowed you to use your Str bonus instead of your Dex on thrown attacks. Pretty much essential for Giants. Will of Giants is a neat feat, but has to go through Iron Will to get it, requires good Wisdom, and renders both rather obsolete for lower level effects. Going to houserule that all Giants get a straight +2 bonus against such spells if they only target Humanoids. The weak ones can have that boost for free, the higher level ones can buy the feat but still get shafted with non-type-specific spells. Stone Soul will be fun, and pretty much mandatory on Stone Giants. No reason for NPC ones to take it more than once, though.
The Centered on Giants definitively answers a long standing question ("Does Anti Magic Field extend from a single point or have its radius determined based on the caster's space?") and introduces the other side's view as an optional rule.

Art:
The new art is really good, I like it. But... it's a bit too 'clean'. A rampaging horde of Orcs determined to wipe out the town and loot it and the ruins below it? Why are the pictured ones clean? The one with the three sleek-looking dogs is probably the worst offender here. The problem is that the art is TOO good and too clean. It's a running gag in our games that all the Heros look like movie stars simply because of the prevalence of Prestidigitation, and the same go for most civilized people in cities bigger than a Thorpe. The Orcs have no excuse. Fortunately, the Gryff and the various Giants are all played straight. And the Vitruvian Giants are neat!

Exoskeleton:
A solution in search of a problem. The Skeleton template already did this, it never specified that the skeleton had to be on the inside. Having said that, I really like this, and welcome the addition of it to my massive list of templates. Great for Necromancers. And here I have an entire nation of people who live and work with giant insects... so it's going to be interesting seeing this turned around on them. Also... I love insects, so any more stuff like this will always be welcome! Just one problem: Is the cost in onyx for an Animate Dead supposed to be calculated on the BASE creature's Hit Dice, or the FINAL calculated Hit Dice?

Extra Magic Item Locations:
There are plenty of new things in the back, but I approve of the items being placed where they occur in the adventure path, if they are specific and unique items. Also, enjoy the addition of the Artifact.

Giant Primer:
Hope for more of this. Liked it. Liked the origin myth, liked the explanation of why the different Giant types ARE different. Liked the reference to the Innsmouth Giants (Marsh Giants) too.

On the whole, I'm liking this start, and hoping it adds more interesting things as we go along.

I'll be honest, it's going to be DIFFICULT to get me interested in a path as much as I was Iron Gods. I figured this one would be a complete letdown. I'm happy to be wrong on this, if this first installment is any indication. While I do not like it as MUCH as Iron Gods (and there likely won't be any that does), this still will likely be on my 'favorites' list of Adventure Paths if it keeps up the current quality.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Roger Corbera wrote:
I'm not sure I like how the three firsts books are coming together in April, instead of one a month. Looks like they are trying to sell them in the same packaage for subscription members.

Pre-existing subscribers got the first book in February. Two and three might be coming in April, or it might just be two and the double-up might be in a later month; last I saw, they weren't sure.

Grand Lodge

Joana wrote:
Roger Corbera wrote:
I'm not sure I like how the three firsts books are coming together in April, instead of one a month. Looks like they are trying to sell them in the same packaage for subscription members.
Pre-existing subscribers got the first book in February. Two and three might be coming in April, or it might just be two and the double-up might be in a later month; last I saw, they weren't sure.

Ok then.

Liberty's Edge

Roger Corbera wrote:
Joana wrote:
Roger Corbera wrote:
I'm not sure I like how the three firsts books are coming together in April, instead of one a month. Looks like they are trying to sell them in the same packaage for subscription members.
Pre-existing subscribers got the first book in February. Two and three might be coming in April, or it might just be two and the double-up might be in a later month; last I saw, they weren't sure.
Ok then.

Also, I believe the reason for this is not a Paizo decision. Rather, I believe, this is largely a result of the West Coast Dock wrokers strke and the subsequent fall out.


Why does Storm Soul feat have storm giant as a prerequisite and yet Storm Giants are already immune to electricity?

Why is Flame Warrior and Frost Warrior feats Combat feats but not Storm Warrior?

How come Druids can't cast Beanstalk?


No one who wrote this knows?

Paizo Employee Developer

Hey there! Sorry about missing this post.

Those look like errors to me (at least in some parts).

Storm Soul should have only cloud giant as a prerequisite.

Storm Warrior should probably be a combat feat.

Omitting druids from casting beanstalk kinda looks like an oversight. I'd totally allow it in my games.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I may be in the minority, but I really liked the magic item appendix for organization purposes and for having new things in every book. That said, I guess using the pages for other things could be useful, if it feels like you don't need as many new items for a particular volume. Still, I found a lot of the new items that may not have been "necessary" interesting, and I liked being able to find everything in one place.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Okay, I'm not going to spoiler this deliberately because seriously players should know:

Spoiler:
What is the deal with having a number of assassins equal to the party show up in the middle of the night and simultaneously coup de grace the whole party while they're staying in an inn that was specifically described with bars on the windows and locks on the doors before the second night is out? No first level character is going to reliably beat that Perception DC and very, very few (half-elf ranger that puts his free Skill Focus into Perception) are going to have even close to even odds.

Community Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Added a spoiler tag.

Silver Crusade

How about you don't? That is nonsense, bad encounter design, and designed to TPK the entire party within the first session with no significant chance to fight back; players should know the adventure does that before wasting their time making a cohesive party to start with.

Community Manager

Renegade Paladin wrote:
How about you don't? That is nonsense, bad encounter design, and designed to TPK the entire party within the first session with no significant chance to fight back; players should know the adventure does that before wasting their time making a cohesive party to start with.

If the GM running that particular encounter wants to change it to suit their party better, they are welcome to. Maybe they don't want to change it. Either way, that decision is in their hands, and spoiling it isn't a very nice thing to do. Nothing's going to stop somebody from clicking on the spoiler tag if they *really* want to know, and using the tags is just a polite thing to do for people playing in the campaign.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You could always make a review instead of putting your opinion on the thread. That way it would be easier to find for people who were considering this campaign.

Silver Crusade

I will, but I want to finish playing through the book first.

Spoiler:
For the record, we were saved by demanding to know what the heck happened to the bars on the windows and convincing the GM to go back and let us have Perception checks for the required hacksaw. We'd have been seriously annoyed since we'd made an all-dwarf party with detailed background as a strike/recon force from Janderhoff on a mission into Belkzen, and to have all that work erased in a couple of die rolls would have gone over less than well - which our GM assures us is what would have happened if played as written.


Is anyone here interested in a character creation guide that doesn't get specific on plot points, but does allow a PC group to take advantage of the items and appropriately face what is thrown at them?

Dark Archive

Piccolo wrote:
Is anyone here interested in a character creation guide that doesn't get specific on plot points, but does allow a PC group to take advantage of the items and appropriately face what is thrown at them?

I read your other recent posts, which got some flag for being spoilery and found them entertaining, even if i didn't agree with everything. ;-)

For instance, you suggested some races which are more powerful than the basic ones and in the case of "Strange Aeons" (which i am gamemastering atm) discouraged to be taken in the players guide. ;-p

Just put it in spoilers and i'll read it. :-)


I will try to put it in spoilers, but this would be my first time, and I don't really know how. To be frank, I don't care about the races bit. Most of the so called "more powerful" races are merely specialized into certain classes, but really weak for everything else. I don't think it makes much difference, and I only use Pathfinder races, not 3rd party.

After playing through the whole campaign, I personally found it boring after the first 2 books. Giants are really simplistic to run, and they die fast once the PC's adapt properly. But the players seemed to enjoy romping through all the encounters at high speed. I got rid of the campaign later.

:

The first 2 adventures are really nasty, especially the first. To survive, the players will need to think defensively a LOT, and increase their endurance (toughness etc). Perception skill was totally needed to have high in the first book. Climb was painfully essential later on in the campaign, so getting class access or having Spider Climb on is very nice.

Because of a certain 2 handed weapon later on in the campaign, you really do need a Fighter, standard version. This is because Fighters get Armor Training, and can get rid of the ACP and then take Acrobatics as a class skill to get close to giants without taking attacks of opp. Mithril full plate is perfect. I thought a standard Orc was best, given their ferocity and +4 Strength. I did negate the Wisdom penalty and give him a free Endurance feat though.

We also found that a elf Wizard Evoker with the Admixture School from the APG was freakishly handy, as he could take out frost and fire giants with ease. The fancy magic item for the Wizard in the later campaign really wasn't needed, so I instead replaced it with a Manual of Intelligence. Also, because the campaign has you in the middle of the mountains, with noplace to sell gear, we came up with a solution. First the Wizard took the spell Secret Chest, and eventually bought a Portable Hole as a party item. Then he used Teleport to get to a city and back with the loot. Giant armor is massive, and sucks up a lot of space! So the Wizard could craft on the go, he used the Portable Hole or inns at the biggest city to craft in. He got himself a Ring of Sustenance and his familiar one, so that they could craft magic items really fast via the Valet archetype. However, he found that using Will save spells was pretty nasty on giants and was Reflex save spells, as did the party Bard.

We also had a Ranger specialized against giants. He would use a bow and just cut loose, with the Bane (giant) and Holy enchantments on it, as well as infinite ammo. I think the party Bard did the same with his heavy crossbow. I think I had used the ARG to modify the Ranger elf to get a bonus to Strength instead of Intelligence, and give him a penalty to Int and not Con, then take the woodsy knowledge skills instead of elven magic.

Because giants can do some really nasty damage in a heartbeat if they get through your AC, everybody concentrated on upping their AC and hit points. Note that this means a Barbarian is basically screwed, so don't take one! They are already down 2 points for raging, another 3 for heavy armor lack....they rarely use shields...

We did have a Cleric, because hp seems to be an issue when the giants actually connected. Most handy in the early books though. Not many nasty conditions to remove in the campaign though, and there was some undead but not much.

Stealth was painfully essential, to the point of absolute. Invisibility was super handy with the frost giants, but the teamwork feat where you take the BEST Stealth result in the party if everyone has it instead of the WORST Stealth check was soooo useful!

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