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Frozen Wind (PFRPG) $1.49 $1.03
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Joseph W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/25/2011 06:12:07

The art is generally pretty. There is an albeit pleasant picture of a Chinese garden house in there amid all the Japanese stuff, for anyone who cares about cultural authenticity.

The background story's identity twist is no surprise for those with elementary knowledge of youkai. It would be the equivalent of suspecting that a European kingdom's custom of sacrificing virgins at a cave mouth involved (surprise, surprise!) a dragon. That said, the twist isn't a requisite for fun.

In many Japanese ghost stories, the hauntings are the result of a previous tragedy, a woman wronged, a love never fulfilled, etc, two of the most iconic being "Yotsuya Kaidan" and "Banchou Sarayashiki." Some are instead monster stories of careless tricksters (tanuki, kitsune, noppera-bou) or people turned killers through obsession (“the Goblin of Adachigahara”). My point is that this adventure's themes of otherwise motiveless demonic power-lust and a monolithic "the forces of Jigoku" attempting to war with kami and humanity feels extremely "Devils vs Heaven" Christian Medieval European and "evil-cult-story" D&D in outlook and behavior, not like a Buddhist/Confucian/Shinto Japanese ghost story at all. Culture is in world-perspective and its resulting behavior, not in surface paint over the same old game.

For those who don't care what culture it is as long as it's fun, it's a standard find-and-defeat-the-pillagers'-boss scenario, but there's something of a countdown: things get worse the longer the party takes, adding some fun urgency. There is an appreciated chart included to track this.

I found the pregenerated character "Special Missions" the most interesting. Exploring is what solves them. Each one is different, some overlap, and two, though not opposed to each other, imply 2 player characters may secretly work for opposed powers. All readily suggest ideas for further adventures. This format of having a shared danger with each player character on a personal mission tangential to it promises some much-desired drama, intrigue, and future story hooks. I hope to see it in more adventures, maybe even as the focal tension.

Liked: Character Special Missions, the fact that the set changes as time progresses Disliked: The monsters' motivations and plot behavior felt very European, not Japanese.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Frozen Wind (PFRPG)
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