Thursday, June 18, 2015

Baba Yaga and the Reign of Winter

I know we are mere days before the start of Summer, but I find my thoughts turning to Winter...
The Reign of Winter to be precise.

Backing up.

I have been doing searches for a couple of adventures or adventure ideas for a couple of different purposes. They have been, for the most part, independent searches. But lately they have grown together and lead me to the same outcome.

Search 1 was/is for a very high level adventure for the Dragonslayers. I wanted something published by TSR. I wanted it to be "old school" but didn't have to be from the 70s or early 80s.  Something like "Throne of Bloodstone" but very specifically NOT that.  I wanted it to be an older module for my own reasons.

Search 2 was/is primarily for more adventures in my so-called "War of the Witch Queens" adventure path/campaign.  The idea was to play through all these witch queen themed adventures to some goal.
These two search lead me to the same end point.  The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga.
It's old. It is part of the "S" series of modules in theory (it is supposed to be S5). It has history.
Plus it deals with the biggest, baddest Witch Queen of them all; Baba Yaga.

Satisfied, I bought the PDF printed it out and put it in a binder with the old Dragon magazine version of the The Dancing Hut and a 4th edition version I bought a while back.  It works perfect as an adventure for the Dragonslayers.

I like the idea that Baba Yaga is in it. I'd also like to work in Iggwilv and maybe Louhi too.

But it got me thinking.  Wasn't there a Pathfinder adventure with Baba Yaga too?
I knew of the Reign of Winter and I thought that maybe the last adventure, The Witch Queen’s Revenge might be a good one to use too.  In the process I also discovered a stand alone (but maybe related) adventure The Witchwar Legacy.

I picked up those three books, but not the first 5 of the Reign of Winter.

Does anyone know if they are any good?  Has anyone played them?

I like the idea behind the adventures, but they are not really something I am looking for.

Plus I would like to fit in all these other adventures too.  I also like the idea that each adventure is from a different game.

Recent purchases

1 comment:

Sciamantis said...

Well, the adventures are pretty unique, as they involve world-hopping in the Dancing Hut (starting adventure 3). Adventures 1 and 2 are grounded in Golarion and pretty setting-connected, so they might not be your thing, though they are quite good in exploring the winter-witch-run land of Irrisen.

Adventure 3 could be of your liking as it explores a megan-dungeon of sorts featuring the 3 faces of Baba Yaga as an archetypal witch: Maiden-Mother-Crone. The dungeon is smartly laid out and there is quite a bit of interesting NPC interaction.
Adventure 4 is based in a different planet with a conflict between two states, one of them being a dragon empire, lots of drakes and some dragons in a wintery alien setting, but definitely not witch.oriented at all in topic.
Adventure 5 is the weirdest thing done by Paizo, it jumps to the Russian Revolution in 1918, taking Rasputin as a child of Baba Yaga. There is some interesting occult stuff, and they play on the Anastasia urban legend, of course, but the forte of the adventure is having Pathfinder PCs face platoons of Russian soldiers, machine guns, cannon fire and poisonous gas. Besides that, the occult element is quite interesting and the rationale for it feels pretty "Earth-compatible", so to speak, that adventure would be lovely if played as a pathfinder-call of cthulhu (or GoA) crossover, with a party of Earth Investigators trying to set right the disturbance caused in Siberia while the outworld heroes attempt to defeat Rasputin to reach Baba Yaga's prison.

So, I'd say they're pretty weird, in a very chaotic world-hopping mode propitiated by the Hut, but quite interesting overall, even if it's just for ideas. Also, PF rendering of the Hut is quite interesting: it changes configurations as it travels through worlds via different "portal keys", e.g. in Irrisen it has one shape, if they travel to the world in adventure 4 it's different, and again different if they move to Earth. Some of the configurations are Easter Eggs alluding to Russian folk stories on Baba Yaga, I caught some of them but surely you'll get more of them (Baba Yaga's cauldron is the steering wheel of sorts), so instead of just a Tardis-like dungeon (bigger inside than outside), it is dynamic and requires PCs to progressively explore and master it in order to access new (and interesting areas) as they travel from world to world or plane to plane.