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)
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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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3 stars for how my GM ran it, but 4 stars because I know it could be awesome

4/5

So first, I want to agree & disagree with Matt Baker's review, right before this review.

Regarding the artwork, Matt is correct. On this cover, I stared at it for a while trying to figure out if the featured enemy on the cover had bone armor on. It took me a while to puzzle out that the bones were an unrelated background scene. I also couldn't figure out what the flying humanoid was -- I thought his shoulder was his head, so it took me a while to find the face and realize it was probably a leaping dwarf. On the 2nd module cover, the same issue happens -- the background scene is just... unrelated to the fat giant on the cover, so it's difficult to discern what's going on. This artwork problem is not doing the modules justice.

Having said that, I do not mind that the artist (or the art director who guided the artist) has envisioned giants as creepy mutilated freaks. In fact I like it.

Now, one thing to cover that was mentioned in the product discussion (but not yet here in the reviews) is that there is a 100% TPK moment in this module. Here, let me explain:

Spoiler:
There is a scene with 4 rogue assassins. They "stealth in" while the PCs are asleep at an inn (DC 25 to hear it, so most characters will remain asleep and oblivious). The author seems to have them all attack a single character at a time and use their "Gang Up" feat to ensure that each one gets sneak damage. Even if you don't have them do coup de grace attacks, that's 8d6 damage + 8, against sleeping 1st-level characters. They can't survive that unless you roll all 1s or missed -- but how likely are you to miss sleeping, probably unarmored characters? If you use coup de grace rules, it states that the attack is an automatic hit AND is a critical hit. So this is just ridiculous. If you play this out by the book, almost every Giantslayer campaign should end here, with, "The giants win. The end."

So it's going to be up to you as a GM to stop this stupidly unbalanced encounter, without blatantly nerfing it. There are ways. When the main NPC is murdered and the PCs begin their murder investigation, you can easily have many NPCs say things like they wonder who will be murdered next, and maybe that they feel the inn is no longer a safe place to be, and so on. The halfling innkeeper, Cham, can also freak out about the unknown stranger in her inn. If you added something about a key missing or something, it might fool the players into fearing that the murderer might come back. So there are ways to make the players feel like they need to post a watch at the inn, even if they normally wouldn't give it a second thought. Or, in my own case, I just allowed the Pathfinder system for hero points into the game, and gave them a whopping 1 hero point each. Every single player used their point to avert disaster.

...So even the best team may be dead before the half way mark, and if you have players who put all their time into their character creation only to have to create new ones almost right away, well that may earn you some sour, unhappy players. So watch out for that.

Other than that, the module is fun. My GM flew through encounters and railroaded the entire 2nd half (the town defense), but I could tell instantly that it was supposed to be a wide-open tension-filled scene with lots of things for the characters to tackle, in ANY order. So that's how I came at it when I ran it -- a desperate race to solve problems before they all blew up in the PCs' faces. Also, there is plenty of room in the module for fun NPCs, interesting ties to the community, etc.


Great Start

4/5

This adventure is fun to run and play in. My only complaint is the cover art in this series. Read on to see a much more detailed account of why I feel that way. But first the story.

The story and the town feel real and the characters and mystery are motivating. I alter things as I go that do not seem to fit and add a few as well. I always can tell a good adventure path when enough backstory has been done to allow my own imagination to run with it. I added several ideas that allowed the characters to become even more connected to the town and its future. They now care about the place and see it as their adopted home.

My only complaint is the cover art. Jesper Ejsing is an amazing artist, and technically is fantastic. I am not sure if it is the art director or Jasper but I literally have a hard time figuring out what is going on in these background action images for this series. The rest of Jasper's art on line is much more accessible visually.

I am not sure what Paizo is doing but this continues in the rest of the series as it goes on. It is very disappointing. I run a good art school and I am usually very impressed with Jasper's work, but although it is technically perfect as always, in this series, it is often visually just overcrowded and sometimes downright macabre or demented in the way the giants are presented. I do not get it. In so much of the rest of Jasper's work there is a subtle nobility and depth to the figures, as if they are being treated with respect. Strange as it sounds, it just feels like the images and the way they are being laid out do not respect the characters or enemies in the story line. I know, it sounds strange, but look at the rest of Jasper's work on line and you will see the difference. It has to do with how the people are portrayed and the way to is staged.

I would suggest a difference approach in the future. Too much "action" in a scene does not make it exciting, it just makes it busy and inaccessible. And too much ugly demented looking enemies is a real turn off. I mean, I always thought giants were humanoids, not inbred freak shows like the ogres.

The worst cover is the next one in the series with the hideous looking female hill giant chief. The next worst is the Ice tomb of the Giant Queen in which I literally cannot figure out what the hell is going on in the background other than some kind of upside-down battle. And because of the demented nature of the other giants on the other covers I did not even know the Queen was supposed to be undead. She just looks messed up.

I hope future covers are a little more tame or balanced in some fashion and less confusing. It seems a waste of Jasper's remarkable talent to assemble poorly balanced macabre works in what could have been inviting and inspiring images like almost everything else he has done.


A Solid Start - But A Bit Disjointed

4/5

The adventure is a combination of a well-written mystery and a dramatic battle sequence that kicks off the overall campaign. Both are strong sections and worth playing; however they do not link together as tightly as one would hope.

The first half of the adventure is a well-written mystery. There are ample leads and clues that the PCs can independently follow, and there's no linear progression required. The NPCs encountered are well-fleshed out, interesting, and engaging. Characters are rewarded for following clues, and not just combat or brute force.

The second half is a tense battlefield. This is a bit more linear than the mystery, but players can move through it, fight their skirmishes, and affect the outcome of the fight on their own terms. It is written as an ongoing battle, and presents more choices than the PCs simply getting orders from NPCs and rushing from fight to fight. There are even non-combat interactions available, if the PCs pursue them.

The real problem is that regardless of the outcome of the player's investigation, the battle will play out in much the same fashion. The switch between the two will likely feel a bit jarring. This section of the adventure may need to be reworked to be a bit more natural, which can be frustrating. This would be the main downside of the adventure.

One modest complaint is that information about the town is found in several other sources. Nothing critical is lacking from this book, and other information is available in the free player's guide, but it still is referenced in the adventure itself as useful information.

Overall, this is a strong start to a campaign that has a "classic" feel and will likely engage PCs in the area and the story.


A great start with some memorable battles!

4/5

THE GOOD:
Very detailed starting town.
A good mystery with great research options.
Cool battles with diverse enemies.
Lots of useful stuff can be found.
An incredibly good feats section for giants and strong (large) characters.

THE BAD:
The order of battles is not always logical - players will do other things sometimes. Lighting the beacons is illogical in the end.
Very hard in some cases.
A few variant animals of Belkzen and undead vermin - nothing awesome.

THE UGLY:
Some prerequisites for the new feats are wrong/they are not of the right type.
The spell "beanstalk" should also be a druid spell.
The time between this first installment of the campaign and issue 2 is 9 weeks/63 days due to the port strikes.

A very solid beginning that is very different from Rise of the Runelords and Attack on Titan (in a good way)!


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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.


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

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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.)


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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 Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook 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.

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

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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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