Night of Frozen Shadows (GM Reference)


Jade Regent

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This thread is a GM Reference thread for Part 2 of the Jade Regent Adventure Path. Links for the individual threads for each part are as follow:
The Brinewall Legacy (Part 1)
Night of Frozen Shadows (Part 2)
The Hungry Storm (Part 3)
Forest of Spirits (Part 4)
Tide of Honor (Part 5)
The Empty Throne (Part 6)


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Reading through the .pdf now and did have one question. I was not expecting to have reprinted stats for the "Major Four", but I was sort of hoping for suggestions on advancement (even if it was only as vague as add two levels, or keep levels consistent with APL-1). Any thoughts on this? How are you going to handle the leveling of the Major Four, or are you going to leave them "as is" from Brinewall Legacy?

P.S., Looks awesome! This Sunday will be our first session of the actual campaign and it's nice to have a chance to look this over and make any last minute adjustments/tweaks to foreshadow what is to come.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

SnowHeart wrote:

Reading through the .pdf now and did have one question. I was not expecting to have reprinted stats for the "Major Four", but I was sort of hoping for suggestions on advancement (even if it was only as vague as add two levels, or keep levels consistent with APL-1). Any thoughts on this? How are you going to handle the leveling of the Major Four, or are you going to leave them "as is" from Brinewall Legacy?

P.S., Looks awesome! This Sunday will be our first session of the actual campaign and it's nice to have a chance to look this over and make any last minute adjustments/tweaks to foreshadow what is to come.

Those four NPCs aren't expected to advance levels during this adventure; they're still equal to or even still higher level than the PCs, after all. They don't start gaining levels until the third adventure, at which point that book provides advice (basically; the significant NPCs lag behind the PCs in level, so that way the PCs become the ones with the power and the focus and all that).


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Thanks, James! That makes complete sense.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

One thing I don't like at all: Ulf Gormundr cannot be romanced, as in his description it's stated that he keeps any relationship with the PCs strictly professional. The adventure is ok and the illustrations are really good (Asvig is so dreamy...)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
One thing I don't like at all: Ulf Gormundr cannot be romanced, as in his description it's stated that he keeps any relationship with the PCs strictly professional. The adventure is ok and the illustrations are really good (Asvig is so dreamy...)

I think we'll get to that in the next module, when he gets a detailed write-up. As of now, the adventure basically ends when the party finally finds him.

My question: The events in the module seem to happen fairly quickly, however we have twelve separate events as the party gains notoriety. Is it right that there should be about three to four events a day?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Amaranthine Witch wrote:
One thing I don't like at all: Ulf Gormundr cannot be romanced, as in his description it's stated that he keeps any relationship with the PCs strictly professional. The adventure is ok and the illustrations are really good (Asvig is so dreamy...)

Actaully, he can be. We didn't give anyone other than the core four NPCs romance scores because we were unsure of how popular those rules were going to be. Turns out, had I gone with my gut and/or had we used a more reliable method of predicting the future, we WOULD have put in romance scores for not only Ulf, but for other characters as well, like Kelda Oxgutter.

As a result, I suspect that we'll soon be posting a blog post about what additional NPC romance scores and all that should be. Keep an eye out! (Probably won't happen for a few weeks... but hopefully soon!).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
One thing I don't like at all: Ulf Gormundr cannot be romanced, as in his description it's stated that he keeps any relationship with the PCs strictly professional. The adventure is ok and the illustrations are really good (Asvig is so dreamy...)

I think we'll get to that in the next module, when he gets a detailed write-up. As of now, the adventure basically ends when the party finally finds him.

My question: The events in the module seem to happen fairly quickly, however we have twelve separate events as the party gains notoriety. Is it right that there should be about three to four events a day?

The speed at which the events in this adventure, as with most adventures, unfold is to be determined by the GM and the players. They could all unfold in a day or two, or they could spread out over weeks or even months.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
One thing I don't like at all: Ulf Gormundr cannot be romanced, as in his description it's stated that he keeps any relationship with the PCs strictly professional. The adventure is ok and the illustrations are really good (Asvig is so dreamy...)

I think we'll get to that in the next module, when he gets a detailed write-up. As of now, the adventure basically ends when the party finally finds him.

My question: The events in the module seem to happen fairly quickly, however we have twelve separate events as the party gains notoriety. Is it right that there should be about three to four events a day?

The speed at which the events in this adventure, as with most adventures, unfold is to be determined by the GM and the players. They could all unfold in a day or two, or they could spread out over weeks or even months.

At least the transition from the raid on Asvig to Snorris funeral is on a definite timer. Afterwards the players have more leeway in determining how fast they proceed, but I can see few groups which won't be urged into fast action by the increasingly dire attacks on them.

BTW, I really would have appreciated a bit more detail on what the four important NPC's are doing in Kalstadt, as well as some character development for them, especially Ameiko.

As far as the adventure tells us, they don't do anything of note this time, besides supplying the caravan and when the eleventh event happens, Sandru and Shalelu are supposed to stay still and do nothing?

I'm not sure how I can sell this to my players, when the last time something happened to Ameiko, they refused to even entertain the notion of leaving her alone.

Thirdly, I hope "something bad happens to Ameiko" isn't getting to be the recurring theme for every module. I can see many groups turning on the character if she's reduced to the eternal damsel in distress.


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magnuskn wrote:

Thirdly, I hope "something bad happens to Ameiko" isn't getting to be the recurring theme for every module. I can see many groups turning on the character if she's reduced to the eternal damsel in distress.

No reason you can't swamp Ameiko for Koya or someone (or something) else. "Ninjas attacked the caravan at night. They were going after Ameiko but couldn't get to her because of x, so they took so-and-so in desparation." Next day a street urchin delivers a note, "Go back to Sandpoint or the old bag dies." Of course, Sandru believes they'll kill her anyway, and insists you go save her. There's ways to work around it.

I mean, she's sort of a MacGuffin here, but even then she's not required. The real trick is to give the PCs a strong enough reason to go to Ravenscraeg; whether it's Ameiko or the sword or something else, I don't see that it really matters... as long as they go.

But, all that said, yeah... if she's constantly the damsel in distress, the party will just modify the "Never Split the Party" maxim to include "... and Never Leave Ameiko Alone". And that just creates headaches for the GM and breaks immersion for the players. (Or one of my players will have his character simply kill her out of frustration, given how obviously useless and inept she is at protecting herself from harm.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:

As far as the adventure tells us, they don't do anything of note this time, besides supplying the caravan and when the eleventh event happens, Sandru and Shalelu are supposed to stay still and do nothing?

I'm not sure how I can sell this to my players, when the last time something happened to Ameiko, they refused to even entertain the notion of leaving her alone.

Thirdly, I hope "something bad happens to Ameiko" isn't getting to be the recurring theme for every module. I can see many groups turning on the character if she's reduced to the eternal damsel in distress.

I certainly hope "something bad happens to Ameiko" doesn't keep popping up too!

As for the rest... since how the NPCs interact with the PCs is really up to the PCs, and up to the GM's comfort level of letting higher level NPCs share the glory, we really didn't want to hard-code any actual NPC interactions into the adventure.

If your PCs are so attached to Ameiko and the rest that they don't want to leave her alone, that attachment should really be almost a self-sustaining source of inspiration for how the NPCs and PCs interact. In fact, if you as the GM are comfortable with it... have those NPCs accompany the PCs more and more often as the PCs start to match and even exceed the NPC levels. It'll give you as the GM more to do in battles... but if the PCs are that attached to the NPCs, it's worth the extra work.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Actually... one GREAT way to combat the "Ameiko is a loser" vibe that having her keep getting in trouble can engender is to have her come in to SAVE the PCs now and then.

If you want to try this, simply up the opposition for the PCs and overwhelm them on purpose, only to have Ameiko and whoever show up at the last second to help them win!


Do the members of the caravan ever level up?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
As for the rest... since how the NPCs interact with the PCs is really up to the PCs, and up to the GM's comfort level of letting higher level NPCs share the glory, we really didn't want to hard-code any actual NPC interactions into the adventure.

I personally think that this might be a mistake. Leaving the GM's ( that's me! ^^ ) to completely free-form the NPC interactions from only the descriptions in the first module seems a bit off. I personally would have wanted more guidelines how the NPC's viewpoints on the journey and Ameiko evolve throughout the AP, as to have a "battleplan" on how to develop them. That we GM's are supposed to do the heavy lifting vis-a-vis the PC/NPC relationships is expected, but I'd really have liked to see some detailed guidelines for the NPC character development.

James Jacobs wrote:
If your PCs are so attached to Ameiko and the rest that they don't want to leave her alone, that attachment should really be almost a self-sustaining source of inspiration for how the NPCs and PCs interact. In fact, if you as the GM are comfortable with it... have those NPCs accompany the PCs more and more often as the PCs start to match and even exceed the NPC levels. It'll give you as the GM more to do in battles... but if the PCs are that attached to the NPCs, it's worth the extra work.

Well, in this particular instance my complaint was that the NPC's seem to sitting around and letting the players go rescue Ameiko... there wasn't even a section on how Shalelu, Koya and Sandru react to her kidnapping.


magnuskn wrote:


Thirdly, I hope "something bad happens to Ameiko" isn't getting to be the recurring theme for every module. I can see many groups turning on the character if she's reduced to the eternal damsel in distress.
SnowHeart wrote:


But, all that said, yeah... if she's constantly the damsel in distress, the party will just modify the "Never Split the Party" maxim to include "... and Never Leave Ameiko Alone". And that just creates headaches for the GM and breaks immersion for the players. (Or one of my players will have his character simply kill her out of frustration, given how obviously useless and inept she is at protecting herself from harm.)

If that's the way your group(s) would react to Ameiko being in peril...maybe Jade Regent is the wrong AP. Afterall, all of the set up in the Player's Guide is that these NPCs are your friends/family. Personally, I'm not going to murder my little brother because he keeps getting into trouble. Ameiko IS the "package" to deliver afterall, so it makes sense to me she is going to be the target most of the time. As a GM I am kind of excited that the PCs are working towards a bigger than themselves plot, rather than get the gold and riches, me, me, me etc. There is still plenty of room for personal glory for the PCs, but they also (gasp) might have to think of someone other than themselves :)


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chrids wrote:
If that's the way your group(s) would react to Ameiko being in peril...maybe Jade Regent is the wrong AP. Afterall, all of the set up in the Player's Guide is that these NPCs are your friends/family. Personally, I'm not going to murder my little brother because he keeps getting into trouble. Ameiko IS the "package" to deliver afterall, so it makes sense to me she is going to be the target most of the time. As a GM I am kind of excited that the PCs are working towards a bigger than themselves plot, rather than get the gold and riches, me, me, me etc. There is still plenty of room for personal glory for the PCs, but they also (gasp) might have to think of someone other than themselves :)

Not at all. In fact, Jade Regent leaves itself quite open to being played by a group of evil PCs (or just plain pragmatic ones). Once they discover the seal, they become scions. If anything, there's actually a greater incentive to be evil than to bother protecting a major liability that's only going to attract attention while you journey across the world.

Yet... my players are not running evil characters. Two are good, one is neutral but good-leaning, while the fourth is simply brutally pragmatic. I could see him reaching a certain point where he says, "Forget it. She keeps attracting unwanted attention. She let herself get caught. Leave her. Our first priority is to free the people from this tyrant, not install some useless nitwit on the throne when she can't even decide whether she wants to be a barkeep or an adventurer." That's different than personally killing her, so I should have been more careful in what I said, but I can see a group running this AP with a very dead Ameiko and it working perfectly fine with a little tweaking by the DM.

Regardless, magnuskn's fundamental point about the recurring damsel in distress thing is true. I'm just saying there are different ways to approach it, some of which may run quite counter to any "white knight" intentions in the design (which may or may not be there; I always get in trouble when I make assumptions about what designers intend).


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SnowHeart wrote:
chrids wrote:
If that's the way your group(s) would react to Ameiko being in peril...maybe Jade Regent is the wrong AP. Afterall, all of the set up in the Player's Guide is that these NPCs are your friends/family. Personally, I'm not going to murder my little brother because he keeps getting into trouble. Ameiko IS the "package" to deliver afterall, so it makes sense to me she is going to be the target most of the time. As a GM I am kind of excited that the PCs are working towards a bigger than themselves plot, rather than get the gold and riches, me, me, me etc. There is still plenty of room for personal glory for the PCs, but they also (gasp) might have to think of someone other than themselves :)

Not at all. In fact, Jade Regent leaves itself quite open to being played by a group of evil PCs (or just plain pragmatic ones). Once they discover the seal, they become scions. If anything, there's actually a greater incentive to be evil than to bother protecting a major liability that's only going to attract attention while you journey across the world.

Yet... my players are not running evil characters. Two are good, one is neutral but good-leaning, while the fourth is simply brutally pragmatic. I could see him reaching a certain point where he says, "Forget it. She keeps attracting unwanted attention. She let herself get caught. Leave her. Our first priority is to free the people from this tyrant, not install some useless nitwit on the throne when she can't even decide whether she wants to be a barkeep or an adventurer." That's different than personally killing her, so I should have been more careful in what I said, but I can see a group running this AP with a very dead Ameiko and it working perfectly fine with a little tweaking by the DM.

Regardless, magnuskn's fundamental point about the recurring damsel in distress thing is true. I'm just saying there are different ways to approach it, some of which may run quite counter to any "white knight" intentions in the design (which may or may not be...

I expect my group to take any needed rescue of Ameiko in stride, they are great roleplayers and are very good at being the white hats. Hell, they diplomacied every bandit encounter up until now to death in Kingmaker.

But I know that this style of play is not the only one. I've seen many a recap of some scene from the perspective of evil groups of AP's I've run or read. And I am pretty sure that if Ameiko continues to be rescued all the time, it will grate on some peoples nerves.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Joey Virtue wrote:
Do the members of the caravan ever level up?

Officially, not until the 3rd adventure, at which point the PCs are higher level than the NPCs. We wanted the PCs to be the first to reach 7th level and above. Further, by limiting the NPCs to leveling up behind the PCs, the PCs increasingly become the ones who are the more important.

If you're fine with the PCs being overshadowed for a longer period of time by higher level NPCs, that's fine—go ahead and start leveling the NPCs earlier.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
One thing I don't like at all: Ulf Gormundr cannot be romanced, as in his description it's stated that he keeps any relationship with the PCs strictly professional. The adventure is ok and the illustrations are really good (Asvig is so dreamy...)

Actaully, he can be. We didn't give anyone other than the core four NPCs romance scores because we were unsure of how popular those rules were going to be. Turns out, had I gone with my gut and/or had we used a more reliable method of predicting the future, we WOULD have put in romance scores for not only Ulf, but for other characters as well, like Kelda Oxgutter.

As a result, I suspect that we'll soon be posting a blog post about what additional NPC romance scores and all that should be. Keep an eye out! (Probably won't happen for a few weeks... but hopefully soon!).

Please do! I think it's one of the cooler elements I've seen for developing npcs in games, and I'm quite curious if there's a formula (or other guidelines) for estimating such scores, as I'll likely want to introduce this sub-rule into other APs I'm running (in my Carrion Crown game, several players kept courting Kendra, for example).


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Grendel Todd wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
One thing I don't like at all: Ulf Gormundr cannot be romanced, as in his description it's stated that he keeps any relationship with the PCs strictly professional. The adventure is ok and the illustrations are really good (Asvig is so dreamy...)

Actaully, he can be. We didn't give anyone other than the core four NPCs romance scores because we were unsure of how popular those rules were going to be. Turns out, had I gone with my gut and/or had we used a more reliable method of predicting the future, we WOULD have put in romance scores for not only Ulf, but for other characters as well, like Kelda Oxgutter.

As a result, I suspect that we'll soon be posting a blog post about what additional NPC romance scores and all that should be. Keep an eye out! (Probably won't happen for a few weeks... but hopefully soon!).

Please do! I think it's one of the cooler elements I've seen for developing npcs in games, and I'm quite curious if there's a formula (or other guidelines) for estimating such scores, as I'll likely want to introduce this sub-rule into other APs I'm running (in my Carrion Crown game, several players kept courting Kendra, for example).

Here, here! Although I complain a lot about wanting more detailed RP opportunities in those two modules, the general idea about important NPC's is great!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
One thing I don't like at all: Ulf Gormundr cannot be romanced, as in his description it's stated that he keeps any relationship with the PCs strictly professional. The adventure is ok and the illustrations are really good (Asvig is so dreamy...)

Actaully, he can be. We didn't give anyone other than the core four NPCs romance scores because we were unsure of how popular those rules were going to be. Turns out, had I gone with my gut and/or had we used a more reliable method of predicting the future, we WOULD have put in romance scores for not only Ulf, but for other characters as well, like Kelda Oxgutter.

As a result, I suspect that we'll soon be posting a blog post about what additional NPC romance scores and all that should be. Keep an eye out! (Probably won't happen for a few weeks... but hopefully soon!).

I'll be on the look out for that post. Thank you for replying!

Lantern Lodge

I have a couple questions about this adventure:

1) "The Brinewall Legacy" mentions a reward from Kelda Oxgutter should the PCs take her to Kalsgrad, but I haven't found any mention of that reward in "Night of Frozen Shadows." I can always improv this part, but I was wondering if I either missed it in the Adventure Path, or it was left out and there was something specific planned for this piece of the adventure.

2) About how long, in distance, is Kalsgrad from Brinewall? I want to make sure I have the correct number of days that the PCs will take to get to the city.

Lantern Lodge

Ignore my second question. I found the answer to my own question (~440 miles).


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Zach M. wrote:

I have a couple questions about this adventure:

1) "The Brinewall Legacy" mentions a reward from Kelda Oxgutter should the PCs take her to Kalsgrad, but I haven't found any mention of that reward in "Night of Frozen Shadows." I can always improv this part, but I was wondering if I either missed it in the Adventure Path, or it was left out and there was something specific planned for this piece of the adventure...

P.11 of Frozen Shadows:

Spoiler:
a scabbard of vigor (see APG 309).
Liberty's Edge

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WOW, this AP has REALLY great ilustrations.

Lantern Lodge

SnowHeart wrote:


P.11 of Frozen Shadows: ** spoiler omitted **

Thanks SnowHeart. I somehow didn't see that in the AP.


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Happy to help. I lose stuff like that all the time, so it's nice to be able to help someone else with a similar issues now and then.

Scarab Sages

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At last, death to the Jade Ravens! A nice, subtle Easter egg.


Am I the only who thinks the idea of a Half Troll/Half Spriggan is a bit silly...?


Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Am I the only who thinks the idea of a Half Troll/Half Spriggan is a bit silly...?

No, you are not. When I see stuff like this from, IIRC, the Advanced Bestiary (Green Ronin), I find myself less and less interested in getting that product.


logic_poet wrote:
At last, death to the Jade Ravens! A nice, subtle Easter egg.

Err, wha? Clue me in please.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Zaranorth wrote:
logic_poet wrote:
At last, death to the Jade Ravens! A nice, subtle Easter egg.
Err, wha? Clue me in please.

This one is for the long-time Paizo fans; the Jade Ravens were a rival adventuring party in the Savage Tide AP that wrapped up Paizo's run on Dungeon Magazine.


Demiurge 1138 wrote:
Zaranorth wrote:
logic_poet wrote:
At last, death to the Jade Ravens! A nice, subtle Easter egg.
Err, wha? Clue me in please.
This one is for the long-time Paizo fans; the Jade Ravens were a rival adventuring party in the Savage Tide AP that wrapped up Paizo's run on Dungeon Magazine.

Ah, cool. I figured it was something along those lines, I just had my timeline off thinking of RotRL and up. Another victim of me being out of the hobby for most of a decade.

Liberty's Edge

Is it just me or does this read like one long frustrating investigation? I mean as a GM I'm going to have to go to great lengths to make sure the clues to the next spot are made very very obvious to my players. For example finding a feather after the Elemental attack seems a bit loose.

Also all the dead ends read sorta frustrating, I cant imagine my players will take well to them.

How are others finding this?


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J-Bone wrote:

Is it just me or does this read like one long frustrating investigation? I mean as a GM I'm going to have to go to great lengths to make sure the clues to the next spot are made very very obvious to my players. For example finding a feather after the Elemental attack seems a bit loose.

Also all the dead ends read sorta frustrating, I cant imagine my players will take well to them.

How are others finding this?

Eh, I found the clues super-obvious and the whole module mostly reads as a lead-you-by-your-nose railroad. Especially the "you must do a night raid against Asvig!" part, which, I am pretty sure, will not work out that way for 75% of groups who run the module.

But don't expect a developer to give an answer to this, they seem to have completely abandoned reading this forum. Which doesn't bode very well for the rest of the AP, IMO.

Frog God Games

One poster says frustrating investigation and will have to make the clues obvious for his players, the next says the clues ARE obvious and the whole thing is a railroad. There is a lot of ground between those two statements about the same adventure.

I'm sorry it's not to your liking, though. What response are you looking for from a developer that you think you won't get? I'm happy to talk with you about it.


Greg A. Vaughan wrote:

One poster says frustrating investigation and will have to make the clues obvious for his players, the next says the clues ARE obvious and the whole thing is a railroad. There is a lot of ground between those two statements about the same adventure.

I'm sorry it's not to your liking, though. What response are you looking for from a developer that you think you won't get? I'm happy to talk with you about it.

I for one really like the adventure and I like the clues I like how its a mystery but it has a direct route the mystery takes you through


magnuskn wrote:


But don't expect a developer to give an answer to this, they seem to have completely abandoned reading this forum. Which doesn't bode very well for the rest of the AP, IMO.

I think that is a tad dramatic, though it is your opinion as you say.

My opinion:

My opinion, is most AP's don't play out exactly as the book reads anyway. They usually come out close, but occasionally some improvisation is required by any GM at some point when your players go off the 'rails' or start missing clues.

Really there are only 1 key goal to make it through the AP as I see it. Some encounters very well may be skipped if players do not follow the trail, that's ultimately okay. Sure they will lose out on some exp, it really doesnt matter all that much though.

You ultimately need Ulf. Without him, you will be crossing the top of the world alone, which unless you have a super survivalist in your party, is most likely going to fail. Suishen, while nice, can most likely be left behind, and if it could not be left behind, it should be easy enough to adjust future AP's to not require its input.

If the party looks for Ulf, they will find Ukrshakalakahblablbah. She will lead them to Asvig's. If they approach Asvig's during the day and get into a fight and aren't willing to back down when they see that they are facing 17 dudes + boss NPC's, it may be a poor tactical decision, but they are taking it on themselves at that point. They get what they get. I would try to note the AP's advice not to just slay them for the decision, but it could be a good chance to have your NPC's come save the day and earn cool points with your players. The decision for a night raid is just a (smart) decision, not a required one. Even infiltration is a possible option here with clever use of magic or disguise.

Asvig's leads to the boat, if the players don't bite on the boat for some reason have the tracker girl get a tip that someone saw Ulf being drug into the Rimerunners guild. She sends a message to the PC's and have her proceed to get kidnapped at that point instead of at the Shrine.

That should be enough to get the players going in the right direction for the ultimate attack on Ravenscrag. If it isn't, then don't force it. Perhaps the NPC's clue in on some info instead of the PC's and launch their own dramatic rescue of Ulf in Ravenscrag. Invite the PC's along for the ride and let them play second fiddle and divide up all the exp and loot. Because at that point, they /are/ playing second fiddle since they haven't had the initiative to get the job done themselves. Especially considering they are being attacked and threatened constantly, if they refuse to be proactive, they are just asking for trouble at that point.

If that seems too harsh, then let your players come up with an alternative solution to their guide problem. Adjudicate it as you see fit, take some notes about the frozen shadows ninja clan, and be prepared to stalk them throughout the rest of the AP's as any good Ninja clan is capable of. Let them be under-leveled as well.

Greg A. Vaughan wrote:


One poster says frustrating investigation and will have to make the clues obvious for his players, the next says the clues ARE obvious and the whole thing is a railroad. There is a lot of ground between those two statements about the same adventure.

Generally that is a sign you landed somewhere in the middle of the two. Which is a good thing. The harder something is to puzzle together, the less likely the 'average' group is going to be able to figure it out(and that said, just as hard for the average DM to run it). Everything you guys create has to cater towards the middle ground in order to appeal to the widest audience possible. I think you guys hit the mark here as well.


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Greg A. Vaughan wrote:

One poster says frustrating investigation and will have to make the clues obvious for his players, the next says the clues ARE obvious and the whole thing is a railroad. There is a lot of ground between those two statements about the same adventure.

I'm sorry it's not to your liking, though. What response are you looking for from a developer that you think you won't get? I'm happy to talk with you about it.

It is mostly about the four important NPC's or better said, the lack of them in the second module. You can find a pretty extensive discussion what I ( and several other people ) find problematic about their lack of use in NoFS in this thread here. Although the discussion begins exactly opposite from what I am criticising, it quickly turns around to the main problem I ( and several others ) am having with the module. I'd really love some feedback on that, so I would be very grateful if you could give us some advice there. I fear I got a bit frustrated that no developer seemed to be looking at the threads on this AP's board for more than a week, so read some of my criticisms with that perspective, please. ^^

As for my criticisms here, I am not opposed to the story railroading the party, although I was taken aback that the module really seems to stress that the raid on Asvig should be a night raid. I know that was done for the scene set-up, including the raucous party and so on, but it seems to push the players noses into it just a bit too much for my taste.

Frog God Games

magnuskn wrote:
Greg A. Vaughan wrote:

One poster says frustrating investigation and will have to make the clues obvious for his players, the next says the clues ARE obvious and the whole thing is a railroad. There is a lot of ground between those two statements about the same adventure.

I'm sorry it's not to your liking, though. What response are you looking for from a developer that you think you won't get? I'm happy to talk with you about it.

It is mostly about the four important NPC's or better said, the lack of them in the second module. You can find a pretty extensive discussion what I ( and several other people ) find problematic about their lack of use in NoFS in this thread here. Although the discussion begins exactly opposite from what I am criticising, it quickly turns around to the main problem I ( and several others ) am having with the module. I'd really love some feedback on that, so I would be very grateful if you could give us some advice there. I fear I got a bit frustrated that no developer seemed to be looking at the threads on this AP's board for more than a week, so read some of my criticisms with that perspective, please. ^^

As for my criticisms here, I am not opposed to the story railroading the party, although I was taken aback that the module really seems to stress that the raid on Asvig should be a night raid. I know that was done for the scene set-up, including the raucous party and so on, but it seems to push the players noses into it just a bit too much for my taste.

Sure. I haven't been following the Paizo frequency of posts, so I wasn't sure what you meant by that. But no problem.

You make good points. This chapter of the AP is essentially NPC-free (as far as teh necessity of using them goes). I believe they get more involved than this and followign chapters. But that said, I would tend to write the NPCs out anyway. Not that you can't use them, but that you don't have to rely on using them. I think if you bring an NPC or two along with the PCs (maybe even all of them), other than possibly beefing up an encounter here and there, it shouldn't be a big deal.

And the event described in Fame and Fortune doesn't really have to happen because the PCs will have to go to the final location to get Ulf anyway. So I tried to wrap them into the story without driving the story or even being necessary. But I think you can easily go wiht or without them. James had mentioned that they aren't expected to level up until the next adventure anyway, so I think the core assumption was that they wouldn't do much this time.

The raid on the farm is timed at note as you correctly noted for the whole atmospheric effect. Plus it ties in with the timing of the next event with the ship. However, I think it could be modified as necessary. In my campaign I'd probbly just make sure that the PCs arrived at night (rain slows them down, get lost, etc.), but if that's not to taste. You could modify for some other time. The key is to set them up for the ship so they're in time to get to it but not able to get to it before it's ready (if you know what I mean in a spoliery way).

I did try to build soemthing of a time framework into that part of the adventure, but I think you can adjust it as needed without damaging the intent of the plot. I actually wnated this one to flow pretty freely once the PCs reach town other than the farm-ship-temple series of encounters which built off each other.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks, Greg, that helps a good piece. I'd still like to know why no reaction from the NPC's for Ameikos kidnapping was included. You'd think there should at least be one paragraph about why they won't insist on coming with the PC's to rescue her.

And, again, I'd really like to see some character development for Ameiko, Shalelu, Koya and Sandru. While that is out of your hands now, I hope the other writers and editors will do something about that in the next modules. I really dislike having to do the whole character arc for those four characters all by myself... especially since the number of important NPC's will still be growing.


magnuskn wrote:

Thanks, Greg, that helps a good piece. I'd still like to know why no reaction from the NPC's for Ameikos kidnapping was included. You'd think there should at least be one paragraph about why they won't insist on coming with the PC's to rescue her.

And, again, I'd really like to see some character development for Ameiko, Shalelu, Koya and Sandru. While that is out of your hands now, I hope the other writers and editors will do something about that in the next modules. I really dislike having to do the whole character arc for those four characters all by myself... especially since the number of important NPC's will still be growing.

Yeah, it seems odd that in an AP that has been advertised as being much more NPC-centric that the NPCs themselves appear to lack any sort of character development or opinions on major events that happen during the AP.

Frog God Games

It's probably as simple an explanation as my fault for not writing more NPC development in, but at the time of my writing I didn't know much about the NPCs and other than their names and any history with the Runelords AP. From what James has said, I get the idea that they get more love in future installments, so hopefully that will happen and this won't remain an issue other than for my adventure. However, as I mentioned earlier, I think it is perfectly acceptable for you to play them up as much as you want. I didn't write up their reaction because I think their reaction would be to go after her, but I didn't want to tie the GM's hands into doing that, so I tried to leave it as open as possible for everyone's individual interpretations. Sorry there weren't more particulars about them.


It's not about blame for me, but more of a hunt for an explanation and a hope that this will be looked out for/considered in the future. Thanks for the insight.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It is particularly frustrating to me that, yeah, apparently the NPC's do get further character development, but in the short run we are completely on our own. Meaning that there will probably be higher discrepancies in what the future adventure asks of us and what we will have done until then.

That's the danger of running an AP before it is completely out, I guess.

And don't get me wrong, Greg ( and future writers and current editors ): I really, really, really appreciate that the NPC's will get further character development in the next modules. I just wish more firm and extensive guidelines had been there in this module and the last one.

Thanks, Greg, for chiming in. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder

magnuskn, I've responded to some of your concerns about the NPCs in this thread.


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magnuskn wrote:


Thirdly, I hope "something bad happens to Ameiko" isn't getting to be the recurring theme for every module. I can see many groups turning on the character if she's reduced to the eternal damsel in distress.

Every group needs an Aquaman.

Grand Lodge

Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Am I the only who thinks the idea of a Half Troll/Half Spriggan is a bit silly...?

Sounds like the consequences of a wild midsummers night to me.

I'm reading Jade Regent comments and more and more this AP just doesn't seem to shine - sure its only 2 of 6 but I haven't seen any one rave over this one yet.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Helaman wrote:
I'm reading Jade Regent comments and more and more this AP just doesn't seem to shine - sure its only 2 of 6 but I haven't seen any one rave over this one yet.

I'd say that functionally it is totally fine. There are interesting encounters and nice situations.

The problem for me is that the word-of-mouth from James Jacobs was for a "roleplaying heavy" AP and as of now it is much less so than Carrion Crown, which wasn't marketed as especially roleplaying heavy ( but turned out to be excellently so ). This AP so far is much more heavily slanted towards combat and dungeon exploring.

The potential for great roleplaying is there with the important NPC's, but the official support for that is near to nil ( and it appears that will continue to be so for the rest of the AP ) after the initial write-ups for them.

Liberty's Edge

magnuskn wrote:


The problem for me is that the word-of-mouth from James Jacobs was for a "roleplaying heavy" AP and as of now it is much less so than Carrion Crown, which wasn't marketed as especially roleplaying heavy ( but turned out to be excellently so ). This AP so far is much more heavily slanted towards combat and dungeon exploring.

The potential for great roleplaying is there with the important NPC's, but the official support for that is near to nil ( and it appears that will continue to be so for the rest of the AP ) after the initial write-ups for them.

I think there are several instances in Night of the Frozen Shadows where the part needs to RP to advance the story. However these are by and large one time only RP situations with no reaccurance to the PCs as at the end of the game the PCs move on from the city. For example talking to the Fynn is pretty much a one time deal. Uksahkka is around a bit more but even with her, she wont be a long term part of the game, unless you work her into a more long term role, so the RP is transient.

There are always the other NPCs from Brinewall but as mentioned they arent written into part II so the GM will have to work them in.

Im guessing it all plays out better than written as is always the case with bits and pieces of APs. A good GM with a good group can make even the worst module fun.

On the positive side, there are NINJAs!!!!

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