Sunday, 31 January 2016

Snow Hunt Walkthrough - Part II


Snowy Wilderness


We have arrived in a bleak, barren land, where Loric of the Lodge saw what looked like a man, in the distance, heading off to the northwest. Durthan also mentioned this area was "frost giant country", so we'll keep our eyes peeled for them, as well. Head west to the south-central part of the map to pick up what could be the trail of your quarry, Nam Eslaf. A lone, non-hostile polar bear roams the region, presumably a candidate for animal empathy. Not having the skill I left it alone, but cruel characters may slay it outright (+30 Exp, Chaotic +1).

The hilly terrain and barrows here remind me of the Burial Isle in the Icewind Dale expansion, Heart of Winter.

The terrain here is gently undulating
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Three southern exits will take you back to the central, eastern and western portions of the Snowy Forest, but I'm pushing on northward to the triangle of barrows, where I have Durthan examine the tracks of our quarry.

The triangle of barrows
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Ok, we have three tombs to explore, so let's delve 'em.

Old Tomb
(southernmost)


Lurking in this tomb is a mob of undead, a mixture of skeletal and cadaverous. Destroy them and pick through their remains for the Sling of Force (Attack Bonus +3, Str +2, Mighty +3) and Bracers of Armor +2.

The skeleton warrior wields (and drops) a melee weapon tailored to the one you have focus in (including Exotic), but only of the tiny and small weapon size. If you don't have focus in such a weapon, then the module seems to default to a random weapon from those size pools; for example, I received the Light Frost Axe (handaxe, Attack Bonus +3, +1d6 cold, Keen).

As far as I can tell, these tailored weapons are of +3 enhancement and "frost-based" (+1d6 cold). In addition, axes are keen, bladed are massive critical (scaled to their size) and blunts benefit from on-hit Freeze (Slow Attacker; Fort Save, DC 10 + Casterlevel Level 5). Refer to the Frost Giant section, below, for tailored weapons of the medium and large size.

(skeleton warrrior +146 Exp ea, skeleton archer +67 Exp ea, wight +204 Exp ea).

Here, I am under the effect of invisibility

Level-up! I reached thirteenth level here, taking my ninth in Rogue for +5d6 sneak attack. Durthan doesn't seem to level-up along with you, remaining at Ranger (10) Dwarven Defender (2)

Disable the central proximity trap en route to the burial chamber (DC-33, +16 Exp). To our dismay the chests and sarcophagi have previously been picked clean by our quarry!

However, activating detect mode should reveal a secret door on the tomb's northern wall, leading to a small treasure chamber. Hah, it seems our quarry overlooked this place! Loot the trapped and locked chest for a thousand gold pieces and an assortment of precious gems and jewelry (DC-22/23, +15 Exp). Scoop up the piles of gold on the ground (~1,200 GP).

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Now, head to the second tomb.

Old Tomb
(westernmost)

Hovering about in this tomb are spectral undead, normal and sneak attacking rogue variants led by a sorcerer. Beware, they will rapidly drain your levels unless you buff beforehand with the undead wards. In addition, the fear aura and IGMS castings can wreak havoc.

(Spectre +40 Exp ea, spectral rogue +44 ea, spectral sorcerer +204 Exp).


Again, detect mode should reveal a secret door on the western wall, leading to another treasure chamber overlooked by our quarry. Loot the trapped and locked chest for the Ironwood Small Shield (arcane spell failure -5%, Weight -40%), Wand of Negative Energy (Negative Energy Ray [1] 2 Charges/Use) and two random scrolls. Each of the two trapped weapon racks hold a random +1 weapon. (DT DC-27/26/25, OL DC-32, +51 Exp).

Ok, head to the third tomb...

Old Tomb
(easternmost)

Here you will meet a non-hostile Revenant and receive your second sidequest of the adventure; this one linked to your search for Nam Eslaf (Quest: Ring of Ghavash).


Exit the cave, and make your way to the northwest as per Loric's lead. Make a butcher's shop out of the seven mounted warriors patrolling the area; then enter the cave of the giants. 

Frost Giant Cave

Inside are four hulking frost giants: two fighters, a priestess and an archer. They aren't in a talkative mood, and it seems that our quarry was wise enough not to step in here (+50 Exp). You can simply flee if you like, but where's the fun in that?


Beware the knockdown. Try to manipulate Durthan's positioning so that he prioritizes the priestess. Having downed her, he simply tanked the three giants as I landed sneak attack after sneak attack to drop them. Sweet.

(giants: +204 Exp ea)


As per the skeleton warrior, one of the frost giants wields (and drops) a melee weapon tailored to the one you have focus in (including Exotic); this time of the medium and large weapon size. If you don't have focus in such a weapon, then the module seems to default to a random weapon from those size pools; for example, I received the Frost Hammer +3 (Enhancement Bonus +3, cold +1d6, on-hit Freeze). Again, the weapons are of +3 enhancement and "frost-based" (+1d6 cold). In addition, axes and whips are keen, bladed are massive critical (scaled to their size) and blunts benefit from on-hit Freeze (Slow Attacker; Fort Save, DC 10 + Casterlevel Level 5).

Likewise, the archer giant wields (and drops) a ranged weapon tailored to the one you have focus in (medium size). Having focus in longbow, I received the Composite Longbow +3 (Attack Bonus +3, Mighty +5), and her unspent ammo: Ice Arrows (quiver, cold +1d6). Ranged weapons are also of +3 enhancement, but not frost-based (you have access to elemental ammo). Bows are mighty and crossbows are a combo of mighty/mass crit.

Thanks to Rogueknight 333 for info on this itemization. 

The priestess will drop untailored treasure: the Scarab of Protection +2 (all saves +2), and potion pack. The fourth giant drops a heavy pouch of gold.

Now, to loot the giants' treasury!

The three chests are trapped and locked (DT DC-30/30/29, OL DC-33/32/32, +84 Exp). They are holding the following: Bag of Holding (-100% weight), Gloves of the Longdeath (Attack Bonus +3, +2 cold), Horn of the North (Cone of Cold [15] 3/day), Ring of Cyan, Deadly Frost Trap Kit, Thieves' Tools +10, Elixir of Regeneration (Regenerate [13] 5 Charges/Use), Healer's Kit +10 (x2), Potion of Heal (x2), Greater Restoration and Resurrection scrolls, ~1,000 GP, and assorted gems/jewelry.


Scoop up the gold and loot the other receptacles for scrolls, potions and random knick-knacks; then, take your leave of the cave.

At this point you may like to return to the Lodge to ID your gear and prepare for the final stretch.

Slay the dozen or so mounted warriors en route to the northwestern cave; then, shovel away the snow and descend into the portal cave!


Portal Cave

 Tracks of our quarry; these ones only leading in...


This place is teeming with ice mephits and snow furies; slay them en route to the portal chamber itself.

At the foot of the monolith, buried under a small mound of snow, is a Frozen Book. Loot it and activate its special power. You will need Spellcraft or UMD to unfreeze it (+50 Exp). Now, Lore will enable you to read the ancient text and receive a solid experience point bonus for the knowledge gained (361). Thanks to Rogueknight 333 for pointing this out!

This part was added during my subsequent Wizard play-through
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On the other side of the monolith you will discover the body of the real Loric Lyonson - and have a revelation! (Highly intelligent or wise characters will benefit from an "insight" check.)


Step through the portal without delay!


Make your way towards the cave's exit (remember, we've already vanquished the foes that dwelt here).


Return to the Hunting Lodge by the lake, where our adventure began.


This is it! Buff yourself and Durthan to the heavens; then step into the Lodge for the showdown against the cunning illusionist, now unmasked!

Hunting Lodge 
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No longer disguised as the late Loric, Nam Eslaf (written backwards: False Man) will attack you on-sight, concealing himself, webbing the floor, and wielding his dual-blades with deftness. You know what to do!

(Nam Eslaf: Rogue [3] Wizard [7] Assassin [10] , +347 Exp, +250 qExp).

 
Behead your quarry (+250 Exp) and loot his corpse for the head, Ring of Ghavash (+125 Exp) (Cast Spell: Unique Power Self Only Unlimited Uses/Day, Spellcraft +5, evil only), Green Dagger +3 (Enhancement Bonus +3, Acid +1d6, on-hit: poison DC=16 1d2 Con dmg, assassin/blackguard only), Ichthia's Neck-Knife (Enhancement Bonus +3, Neg-en +1d4, vamp regen +1, evil only), Belt of Strength & Stamina (Str +2, Con +2) and three pouches of gold.

Look at those lighting arrows sticking out of his back - ouch, that's gotta hurt!


It seems Nam slew the occupants of the Lodge; their bodies litter the floor.

As you leave the Lodge Durthan will depart to bury his friends and get ready to assemble a new team of hunters. Farewell, friend.


You now have the choice of returning the Ring of Ghavash to the Revenant, or keeping it for yourself. For this recounting I will be keeping it.

The Evil Ending

Exit the Lodge and head south to the transition point.


On the Road South


Upon arrival here your alignment will shift five point towards evil and you will receive +500 Exp. In the distance you will spy the revenant, now hostile! By duty it will be forced to charge and attack you, on-sight, unleashing paralysis gaze and flame strike before wailing on you righteously with its Holy Avenger. It's also highly proficient at range, able to duel you from afar with its sonic throwing axes.

Vanquish the undead noble and your alignment will shift six further points towards evil (Completed Quest: Ring of Ghavash, +125 Exp).

(Revenant: Fighter [6] Paladin [12], +347 Exp).

Once again, head south to the transition point.

A lethal encounter: paralysis gaze
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Return to Civilization

Deliver Nam Eslaf's head to the city magistrate to receive your well-earned reward (Quest Complete: Bounty Hunt, +1,000 Exp, 15,000 GP). ID your gear and sell off unwanted stuff at the nearby vendor; then, export your character to end the module.


The Ring of Ghavash

You need to be of evil alignment to equip the ring and activate its special ability. You may choose three powerful enhancements to bestow upon the ring, from a pool of eight. Very, very cool.


The Good Ending

If you return the Ring of Ghavash to the Revenant you will receive +500 Exp and the Amulet of Toughness +3 (Natural AC +3, Fort. save +3), but there is no alignment shift towards good. You will then be time-lapsed to civilization (skipping the south road) where you may collect the bounty as normal. 

Returning the Ring of Ghavash to the Revenant (my Wizard play-through)

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And this concludes our bounty hunter adventure, Snow Hunt!

Final Words

Snow Hunt is a great five hour adventure that includes an intriguing main quest, custom itemization, two solid sidequests, custom mob/boss encounters, alignment shifts, XP scale adjustment for the Henchman, well-written dialogue with lots of checks based on the character, a level-up utility, a tracking mechanic, Henchman interjections, secret doors, traps n locks, implementation of community-made tilesets/placeables, an ending that plays out in two different ways, and solid replayability - all in a month's work?

Congratulations to Rogueknight333!

Snow Hunt combat scenario - Finesse dual-wielding Rogue vs. False Man. This is a tough duel, which I took solo. Left the dwarf companion outside. It's really touch and go, but I got fairly lucky here (he didn't conceal himself). You DON'T wanna get disarmed either. If that happens, you spend time picking your weapon up off the floor and re-equipping it, which often means you will be dead. Also, Freedom of Movement is mandatory.


Where to get Snow Hunt
How to Download & Install Snow Hunt (see end of post)

EoP

11 comments:

  1. I really like some of these screenshots - lots of dynamic battle scenes.

    One thing to note, since you are listing the loot gathered at various places, is that some loot is tailored to a player's feats (e.g., take Weapon Focus in a particular weapon and you can expect to find a powerful magical version of that weapon at some point in playing the module) and others are randomized, so not all playthroughs can be expected to produce exactly the same loot. You do note this in the case of the Frost Giant leader, but that is not the only instance of this sort of thing. E.g., if you had taken Weapon Focus: Heavy Crossbow, the giant with a Composite Bow would have been wielding a lootable Heavy Crossbow instead.

    Five hours was perhaps a pessimistic assessment of how long a playthrough would take, as it rather assumes a player who explores everywhere, reads everything, etc. It is theoretically possible to complete it much faster than that, as amusingly demonstrated in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvgvO1bcHUY

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the info on the ranged drop.

      I'm replaying this for the third time, as a Rogue (1) Wizard (11). My skills as an arcane caster need practice, and I may add-in more comments in light of this run.

      Did I miss any content in this recounting, like secret doors and such?

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    2. Added in the "good ending", polished up both posts, added other comments.

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    3. There is one thing you appear to have missed (at any rate you do not mention it): in the cave where you find Loric's body, at the southwestern corner of the monolith just to the west of the portal, there is a small patch of snow with a lootable item in it. An item that might be particularly valuable to an arcane caster in fact. There are of course also a handful of special dialogue options that you would not expect to come across in just any playthrough since they are specific to particular classes or other specifics of the particular character played (none of them too important, providing at most a little bonus XP).

      That is all that occurs to me offhand, though it has been long enough since I gave much thought to this particular module I suppose it is possible I stuck a secret door or something of that nature somewhere and forgot about it myself.

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    4. I did indeed miss that, yes - added it in, with screenshot.

      The flavor dialogue based on the character is welcome; even in small doses, reactivity like that is always good.. my Wizard benefited from "insight" upon the discovery of Loric's corpse.

      I liked the nods to spellcasters (the warded chests and doors, the frozen book).

      Commendable effort.

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    5. Added in the searchable barrel in the lodge, added insets to some pics.. coverage is fairly thorough now, though there may be other secrets for future players to discover.

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    6. If you want to be pedantically correct and thorough about every detail, one might note that you can get a weapon tailored to one's feats etiher from the Frost Giants or from the skeletal undead in one of the tombs. If, for example, one has taken a Weapon Focus feat in Short Sword, one will find a powerful magical short sword on one of the skeletons, not one of the Frost Giants (giants cannot wield weapons that small). In your playthrough, you record getting a handaxe from the skeleton in question, but it could have been another weapon, depending on feats.

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    7. Ok, I've also added that in. Let me know if you think of anything else.

      I'll write more in my chargen section over the next few days, as it's a lil' skeletal atm.

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    8. I completed the module with ranger/cleric with henchman, now trying to solo the same with dexterous, fireball-throwing, elven Monk (4)/Illusionist (8). Casting spells on these mounted orcs should be fun! A cool thing, by the way, it is possible to take off the very robe from wizard robes available in the shop, thus receiving a nice outfit a monk would find fashionable. Greetings, and yeah, we can't wait for 3rd installment of Swordflight!

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  2. So there were lots of secret doors and lootables that I missed when I played this with my lvl7 Ranger/lvl 5 Rogue, haha! This time I'm gonna use a Rogue/Caster.. Thanks for the complete walkthrough!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, Balisong! - and you're most welcome! I recommend you play Swordflight next.

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