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Minireview: The Witch Queen's Revenge (Pathfinder "Reign of Winter" 6/6)

The Witch Queen’s Revenge brings the “Reign of Winter” adventure path to a close, and it’s not a bad ending to a (surprisingly!) good adventure path; while it doesn’t rise to the heights of the previous Rasputin-themed one, it’s still a solid ending. Having rescued Baba Yaga, the PCs still need to actually free her. This requires delving into the intricate pocket dimensions hidden inside the Tardis… err, hut, where Baba Yaga has hidden some failsafes to guard against worst cases like this.

On the downside, it’s very linear and much too much of a combat-fest to my liking. On the other hand, the pocket dimensions are interesting, and the inhabitants can (and probably should) be tweaked to be less auto-attacking monsters and more role-playing challenges. And, of course, there’s the end question: given that the PCs succeed in freeing Baba Yaga, what then? While it may (or may not) end the current crisis, she is still a vastly powerful and evil-tending being. The PCs will need to tread carefully here.

Overall, I enjoyed “Reign of Winter” a lot more than I thought I would. It’s by far the most “gonzo” adventure path Paizo has published so far, but it holds together quite nicely and the individual episodes are mostly very good – the usual D&D problem of “too much combat” does crop up, of course, but that’s game conventions for you. The “PCs visit Earth in historic times and fight Rasputin and Russian infantry” thing should have fallen flat on its face, given the somewhat crazy premise, but somehow it pulls things off in style. This is one of the better adventure paths Paizo has produced, so far.

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