Countdown to Round Mountain GM Remarks

The following remarks are for GMs only and supplement my review of Pathfinder Society Scenario #10-20: Countdown to Round Mountain. As always, I will endeavour to be as vague as possible, but it does contain spoilers.

This scenario doesn’t really conform to any of the typical Darklands adventure themes, tasks, and expectations. Which is fine! There’s nothing wrong with breaking stereotypes, and I do really love the premise and feel of this adventure location. My issue though, is that the mission briefing hints PCs will need to face such dangers –– which they don’t. That’s going to lead to PCs spending coin or prestige points on underground survival gear and magic which will never get used. I doubt players will appreciate it.

I think there’s a lot of interesting cultural and societal details mentioned in this scenario, but they aren’t explored, which means such discoveries will either involve a lot of GM improvisation to make fun, or will end up feeling like a useless skill check. On the topic of skill checks, I found a lot of the DCs in this adventure on the low side, which is an interesting choice considering the tier. Personally, I think it’s too easy.

There’s a few interesting NPCs in this scenario, but I feel like it needed more to make this place feel lived in. I don’t get a sense of the mood or outlook of the populace or their reaction to current events, which is unfortunate. There’s some really great remarks in the beginning regarding communication and teamwork between the PCs and allied NPCs, but the adventure doesn’t utilize either concept particularly well. A bit of a missed opportunity, I think.

Nitpicks aside, I really enjoy the culture and settlement we’re introduced to in this scenario. It’s really great work! But, I don’t think the adventure as written is going to get those same feelings across to a player in game. And I really wish it did!

Now, back to the review!