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Minireview: The Frozen Stars (Pathfinder "Reign of Winter" 4/6)

I wasn’t really expecting The Frozen Stars to be all that good. The previous installment of this adventure path was ok but nothing special, and here we were supposed to move to an alien planet with snow-elves (kinda) who ride dragons. I expected that the designers were biting off more than they could chew, and would just spew out another generic dungeon crawl. I’m happy to report that wasn’t what I got, and that this adventure is pretty damn good.

As noted, the PCs land on an alien planet, after a short dungeon-crawly bit within the TARDIS… err, I mean Baba Yaga’s hut. They are met by aforesaid “space-elves”, and what happens in this encounter can determine a lot. In a fairly unusual twist, this adventure allows the PCs to ally with either the “good” side or the “evil” side, with encounters and a storyline for both. The “good” side is a bit more fleshed out and will probably be the usual choice, but it’s nice to see a design that gives the PCs a lot more latitude than is usual. Their mission, such as it is, is to fetch a McGuffin from a fortress, but how they go about it can vary quite a bit, here. In addition, the PCs get to take part in a mass battle, in another nice piece of design; they have the option of intruding in some critical spots, which will affect the course of the battle. Of course, they also have the option of doing nothing, in which case default events happen – usually, these are not good for the PCs. The whole thing wraps up with a travel segment and a short dungeon-crawly bit.

Very solid design, with lots of different things for the PCs to do. This adventure path is shaping up to be much better than I thought it would be, given the somewhat gonzo premise and all the dimension-hopping involved. Nice work, guys!

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