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Pathfinder RPG: The Breaking of Forstor Nagar

The Breaking of Forstor Nagar

First up, it's a cracking adventure in its own right. The Adventure Background opens with an evocative account of a dying city, detailing how it has come under vicious attack from the Hungering Legion, a bunch of mercenaries that you really don't want to meet on a dark night. But meet them the characters must, them and those who defend the city so desperately, if they are to complete their quest. Even here, though, are the chances to make this adventure your own, a living breathing part of your campaign world, not just something plonked down because you fancy running it and it's the right level for your players... a series of questions about fundemental motivations and underlying facts, replete with ideas. You could even take this as a starting point to build a campaign around, this adventure could be a culmination or just a waypoint in your plot. Or just run it as is, with as much or as little of the wider background as suits your style. A few 'hooks' to suggest why your characters might get involved and we're off.

Off indeed, in an in media res first encounter that has the characters already having struggled through snow and ice and tunnels to reach the very gates of the beseiged city. Descriptions and advice to the GM help create vivid images - and this is if you are presenting the game conventionally, rather than using the extensive resources provided for users of the MapTools virtual table top system. Attention must be paid to the hostile environment, the cold is at least as much of an enemy as the... well, enemy is! They are, however, very active on their own account.

Being at least partially a 'location-based' adventure, there are lots of options available at every point, all laid out clearly so that the well-prepared GM can cope with whatever decisions the characters make. There's even advice on how to handle some more exotic ideas for spell use that devious wizards might come up with! The action continues as the characters (hopefully) manage to enter the city and find their way - using combat or guile or negotiation - to where the person they have been sent to find might be. Clever use is made of difficult terrain and fog - both the meteorological sort and the 'fog of war' - to ensure that the party will end up passing through certain locations (where of course encounters will happen) without feeling that they are being led by the nose to get there, the sense of being free to explore the city, a city in the dying throes of a bitter siege, is strong. Despite the confusion, everyone and every creature has a reason for being where they are encountered, and their motivations and likely reactions are provided in such a way that whatever the characters do, you should be able to work out an appropriate response to their actions.

The adventure culminates in a dramatic escape attempt, replete with thorny moral questions to challenge the characters as they pick their way through difficulties that transcend the physical, causing them to question what they are doing as well. Or at least, that dimension is available for groups who seek more than the exercise of sword-arm and spellbook against a defined enemy. Those who prefer it kept simple can be challenged as much or as little as you see fit without deminishing the adventure - but if you seek a truly epic tale, make them think about the choices that they make!

Now to the extra twist to this tale: if you use MapTools you get (along with the download if you have bought the PDF or via the Bits-and-Mortar program if you bought it in print) a customised set of maps and tokens that are both spectacular and practical. Even better, if you are new to MapTools, tutorials are available on the Rite Publishing website to show you how to use the resources provided to best advantage. The visual effect is such that if there is any way to run your game where you can access the Internet, consider whether you might use them even if everyone is in the same room!

Be that as it may, here is a good, tough and challenging adventure, with plenty of material to enable you to run it effectively no matter what the characters do; moreover one which will make them think about more than just how to overcome the next obstacle.

Return to The Breaking of Forstor Nagar page.

Reviewed: 28 August 2011