Frozen Gardens Winter Special (PFRPG) PDF

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Deadly Gardens is a series of short PDF documents that each feature a brand new plant monster to use in your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game or OGL campaigns. In addition to a new monster, each volume will also feature supplemental material based around the natural wilderness theme.

This special volume is three times the length of a normal Deadly Gardens volume and the material all has a winter theme as well as the natural wilderness theme.

In this volume:

  • Background on The Realm of Eternal Winter
  • 2 Magic Items from The Realm of Eternal Winter: Cask of Ancient Winters, Winter’s Edge
  • 7 Terrain Types: Glacier, Ice, Smooth Ice, Snow, Deep Snow, Heavy Snow and Snow Drifts
  • 6 Winter Weather Conditions: Fog, Rain, Sleet, Snowfall, Snowstorm, Blizzard
  • 6 New Natural Hazards: Blizzard, Crevasse, Frost Wheat Patch, Polar Nexus, Serac and Thin Ice
  • Evergreen Animator CR 12
  • Shivervine CR 6
  • Snow Goon (CR 6) and Snow Titan (CR 12)
  • 6 New Natural Items: Frost Wheat, Living Snowball, Living Snow Boulder, Shivervine Whip, Spiked Pinecone and Yeti Pelt
  • Rules for using Living Snowballs and Spiked Pinecones as Natural Power Components for spellcasting.

Authors: Jan Willem van den Brink, Jesse Winter, Ismael Alvarez, Russ Brown
Artists: Jeremy Corff, Keith Wood
Game System: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game or OGL
Pages: 12

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***** (based on 2 ratings)

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

The second of Rusted Iron Games' extra-long specials in the Deadly Gardens-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, ~1/2 a page editorial + SRD, leaving us with ~11.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Okay, so this pdf begins somewhat different than one would expect, introducing us first to the realm of eternal winter, a demi-plane of eternal ice...and otherwise sans unique planar traits, which is a bit of a missed chance there. The pdf provides two magic items - the first is the Cask of Ancient Winters, which, when opened, spreads lethal cold and enhances associated magic, while the second is Winter's Edge, a frosty short sword that, as a swift action, may turn into a longsword or dagger while also providing endure elements. Rather interesting: The wielder can 1/day perform a melee cone-attack of cold and piercing damage, based on regular attack damage, with creatures beyond the primary target receiving a Ref-save to halve - but this leaves the blade gone...which is no big deal, since it can be regrown as a move action. Same goes for when it's broken. Unique, evocative and cool in both flavor and crunch-departments, both of these items are killer and awesome.

Now, even better than that, we get 7 terrain types for finer graded depths of snow or adventuring on glaciers and 6 entries of winter weather. Beyond these, 6 specific hazards, both supernatural and mundane, await - including crevasses and frost wheat patches. And yes, fields of seracs and how to navigate them...covered. Awesome!

The first creature herein, the Prickly Cold Pine at CR 12 can cause coniferous trees to emit auras of needles, create clouds of them that hamper vision, swing branches or utilize the classic grasping roots - nasty! Oh, and the killer trees can thrown spiked pinecones at foes. The full-color artwork looks a bit goofy, but honestly, who cares - the creature is pretty awesome and a versatile lethal foe - adventurers may well not realize what hit them! Two thumbs up!

The second creature herein is the CR 6 Shivervine, which sports an aura of cold and a nasty death throes-ability. beyond that, they can fire petal spines and perform slam attacks...oh, and the tendrils prevent those grappled from casting spells...ouch! And yes, the slams have the grab quality. On a nitpicky side, while the flavor text specified this, it took me a bit of time to get which of the attacks cause blood drain - it's obviously the melee. Apart from this hiccup, a well-crafted ice-flower of the more lethal kind with a gorgeous b/w-artwork.

This is not where we end, though: The next creature would basically be a killer snowman, the CR 6 Snow Goon, which is a sentient, evil construct that comes complete with crafting information and fatigue-inducing criticals. If that's not your CR-range, well, there also is an upgraded CR 12 version herein that can throw lethal snow-boulders and has nastier SPs. (Yes, again, including crafting-info...) Someone was traumatized by the 5th Battletoads level it seems... ;)

The pdf also contains 6 natural items - the yeti pelt helps you keep warm, while frost wheat can be brewed into perpetually cool beer...yes, I can see that spawning caravans and modules: Escort the beer from the frigid north to the desert kingdoms! Living snowboulders and snowballs and a whip made from shivervine tendrils as well as the spiked prickly cone pine pinecones complement this section - and yes, we do receive well-crafted power-component entries for living snowballs and spiked pinecones.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good - apart from the minor hiccup and one artwork being VERY close to the text, I noticed no issues and these are, honestly, negligible. Layout adheres to a two-column color standard and artworks range from color to b/w, though the shivervine's b/w-artwork herein is by far my favorite. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Russ Brown, Jesse Winter, Ismael Alvarez and Jan Willem van den Brink have crafted a great little pdf: Granted, I was not blown away by the killer snowmen or the demiplane, but everything else is awesome - the magic items are evocative and feel magical and the two plants are both superbly twisted beasts. Add to that the cool mundane natural items and power components and we have a well-crafted book for a more than fair price-point. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


Great Add In for ANY Game - Not just for Cold Environments

*****

I love the fact that this book starts off with an artifact that is basically a Cold Climate Creator Box. Any campaign - wether in the desert or the mountains, can benefit from the contents form this book thanks to this nifty little artifact getting in the wrong hands and bringing snowstorms, animated snowmen, and deadly evergreens rampaging through your PC's town.

The flavor of the monsters was terrific, and Rusted Iron Games has done something that all players would love - They provided attainable loot for all of their wild/natural creations. I can't think of the number of times my players have been disappointing that there was nothing to loot from the creatures attacking with natural weapons, befitting from high natural armor, and utilizing spell-like abilities... But Rusted Iron Games has taken the time to create specific salvageable elements for each of their creations - whether it is the Living Snowballs that can be recovered from defeated Snow Goons, or the Shivervine Whips that can be carefully harvested from defeated Shivervine plants, the Frozen Gardens Winter Special has treats for GMs and Players alike.


Community Manager

Now available!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Thanks for getting this one up on the store so fast Liz!


Congrats on the new book Rusty!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Thanks!


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Thanks for the review, EZG!

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