New Pathfinder Society Scenarios: Beneath Unbroken Waves and Betrayal in the Bones

Today we’re going to take a look at two of the most recent Pathfinder Society Scenarios that are currently available for purchase, and let you know we thought. Although you’ll find references to events in each that I liked or disliked, and comments about specific characters, these scenarios are not explored in detail. It’s not my intention to spoil the events in these scenarios, or give summaries and full reviews, but to share my opinions and provide recommendations. That said, if you want to avoid even minor spoilers then I recommend clicking on a different article. Whether you intend to use them in home games of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, sanctioned scenarios for use with the Pathfinder Society Organized Play, or just want to read a nifty new adventure, we’ve got you covered! So let’s get cracking!

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Scenario #9-24: Beneath Unbroken Waves. A tier 5-9 adventure by Kate Baker.

Scenario #9-24: Beneath Unbroken Waves is a Tier 5-9 adventure written by (the amazing and super nice) Kate Baker! It takes place off the coast of the Isle of Jalmeray, in a region of the Obari Ocean known as the Deadly Ocean Passage. For more information on the Isle of Jalmeray, check out the Inner Sea World Guide. This scenario features creatures from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary, Bestiary 2, Bestiary 3 and Bestiary 5 (although all of the necessary stat blocks are included within the scenario) and utilizes the Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Ship, Pathfinder: Flip-Mat: Sunken City, and a custom map. This mission is of particularly importance to members of the Concordance faction.

This adventure gives the PCs a mysterious key that moves of its own accord and tasks them with taking it to its destination, exploring the site, and discovering what it opens. The location is known to be underwater, and involves a lost monastic academy.  This mission makes heavy use of the underwater combat rules so GMs should refresh their memories on those rules (a handy summary is provided in this scenario) and players should select their PC carefully. If you’ve got sailors, swimmers, monks, unarmed fighters, members of the Concordance, or undine, now is a great time to take them for a spin (all for different reasons).  Do not bring someone who relies on ranged combat, slashing weapons or bludgeoning weapons (they don’t work well underwater). This scenario starts with a very engaging mission briefing with a refreshing Venture-Captain (Rashmivati Melipdra of Niswan) who I desperately want to be pals with! Haha. There’s a fun navigation portion to this adventure. The first battle is very interesting, while another had some great hazards in play. The finale is a blast and looks like it could be a challenge. There were plenty of great opportunities for social encounters, and some interesting NPCs you can interact with. All of the enemies have distinct goals that really show in their tactics, which was awesome to see. Overall I thought this scenario was great fun. I can’t wait to play it. I give it four out of five stars.

Scenario #9-25: Betrayal in the Bones is a Tier 12-15 adventure written by Tom Phillips. It takes place in the ossuary of Taal Mornat in the Five Kings Mountains. For more information on The Five Kings Mountains check out the Inner Sea World Guide, or Pathfinder Player Companion: Dwarves of Golarion. This scenario features creatures from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary, Bestiary 2, Bestiary 3, Bestiary 4 and Bestiary 5 (although all of the necessary stat blocks are included within the scenario). It utilizes the Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Twisted Caverns, Pathfinder Map Pack: Evil Ruins, and a custom map. This mission is of particularly importance to members of the Grand Lodge faction.

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Scenario #9-25: Betrayal in the Bones. A tier 12-15 adventure by Tom Phillips.

This adventure tasks the PCs with entering Taal Mornat, and capturing or killing two enemies of the Pathfinder Society: the demoniac Ex-Venture-Captain Thurl, and the assassin Pasha Muhlia al-Jakri. I highly recommend that players bring along any of their characters who have had run ins with these characters in the past, or have gone up against their machinations and plots. Thurl can be found in Scenarios: #2-08: Sarkorian Prophesy, #5-09: The Traitor’s Lodge, #5-24: Assault on the Wound, #5-25: Vengeance at the Sundered Crag, #7-17: Thralls of the Shattered God, #9-06: Shores of Heaven, and the Special: Siege of the Diamond City. As for Muhlia? As the old leader of the Qadiran Faction, she’s been mentioned and featured in a ton of early scenarios, but most notably #2-21: The Dalsine Affair, #3-25: Storming the Diamond Gate#6-05: Slave Ships of Absalom, and #6-11: Slave Master’s Mirror. This scenario is a direct sequel to #9-21: In the Grandmaster’s Name. That said, due to the tier difference, it won’t be played by the same characters. For more information on #9-21 check out my previous blog post here. This is also a great scenario to play any dwarves you have, or characters who have the ‘Hero of the Five Kings’ boon.

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Muhlia Al-Jakri from Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-25: Betrayal in the Bones.

Now, heading into an ancient dwarven ossuary to get two bad guys isn’t as easy as it sounds. Thurl has drawn a portion of an abyssal labyrinth to the region, making the corridors incredibly dangerous and difficult to navigate. By the time you arrive, many dwarves have gone missing or lost their lives in an attempt to oust the intruders from their holy site. In addition, monsters made from the desecrated remains of the dwarves ancestors have come out of the ossuary and slaughtered a legion of dwarven soldiers. Players who don’t want to try navigating the labyrinth can attempt to enter through the volcanic fissure above the mountain, but its clear that this will likely be an even more difficult task than the labyrinth — especially since no one’s even sure if the fissure can take you to Thurl and Muhlia. Either way, I like that the option is there. Particularly for such high-level PCs.

The next line I’m about to write is a bit more of a spoiler than I normally include, so it gets its own special warning! If you don’t want to read it, skip the rest of this paragraph! The labyrinth portion of this scenario was surprisingly short, and fell a little flat, I felt. Although the battle within was great, it just didn’t feel like you were trapped in a labyrinth. The battle was really well done, though. And I love the… added complications involved.

There were some fun NPCs to interact with, my favourite of which was Borsaget. She’s awesome, although not all groups will end up getting to meet her. Muhlia was very well done! I’m curious to see how different groups handle her (and the arguments that are sure to pop up regarding her fate). Thurl is much more of a classic villain, which will give players someone to unite against and give the characters they bring some much needed closure. Some groups may uncover clues in this scenario that can lead them to the location of another enemy of the society (which is sure to be covered in an upcoming Pathfinder Society Scenario). Overall I thought this was a great, challenging scenario that did an awesome job of wrapping up Thurl and Muhlia’s story. I give it four out of five stars.

Thanks for tuning in today! Be sure to head over to Paizo’s website tomorrow and download the free rulebook for the Pathfinder Playtest! I’ll race you to it!

Jessica

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Falehetu from Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-24: Beneath Unbroken Waves. Illustrated by Nicolas Espinoza.

July New Releases!

School’s out for summer, Canada Day has passed, and Independence Day (for all you American’s out there) has just ended. It’s a new month, with new releases in the gaming world. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited for some of this month’s products!

PZO1141Last month there were some awesome releases, including Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Planar Adventures, Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Realms, the finale of the Dead Suns Adventure Path: Empire of Bones (Dead Suns 6 of 6), and The Reaper’s Right Hand (War for the Crown 5 of 6)! Tricky to top! So what’s on the schedule for this month?

First off, Pathfinder Playtest.

Now, this isn’t out until AUGUST, but if you want to get your hands on a print copy now is your chance. Paizo is releasing the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook in hardcover, softcover, and in a special edition cover. They’re also releasing the Pathfinder Playtest Adventure: Doomsday Dawn and the Pathfinder Playtest Flip-Mat: Multipack. All of these products will be available for free as PDF downloads on August 2nd, but print copies will be quite hard to come by. Preorder or bust! In addition they’re releasing three Pathfinder Society Scenarios for Pathfinder Playtest. One series of quests at tier one, and two scenarios at tier five. An interesting choice! All three will be available as PDFs for free on August 7th. For more information, or to preorder print copies, check out Paizo’s website.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some products you can get your hands on this month!

In the world of Pathfinder there are only two new products up for grabs. The Six-Legend Soul (War for the Crown 6 of 6) is the much anticipated finale to the War for the Crown Adventure Path! Oh, it’s gonna be a good one! I’m SUPER curious! Pathfinder Player Companion: Heroes from the Fringe presents a look at a lot of non-human, unique character options. Examples of this include the Ekujae elves of the Mwangi Expanse, and Pahmet dwarves of Osirion’s deserts, and many more. The part I’m most excited about? Whimsical phantoms for spiritualists! Come on, you know you want to be haunted by a chipper gnome ghost! I’m very intrigued with this product and can’t wait to see what’s inside. Pocket Editions of Ultimate Combat and Bestiary 5 also come available this month.

PZO7108Starfinder also has two exciting releases: The Dead Suns Pawn Collection, which has over 100 custom pawns from the Dead Suns Adventure Path, including a bunch of awesome starships! It looks amazing! What’s more exciting than that? A new hardcover book! Starfinder: Armory. Aww, yeah! This book is packed full of tons of new weapons and armour, as well as magical, technological, hybrids and mundane gear. There’s new bioaugmentations, weapons fusions… Every kind of item type has some new choices in this book. Also? New character options which focus on equipment! I don’t have a clue what they’re going to be, but I sure am intrigued!

In the world of Organized Play there will be four new scenarios coming out at the end of this month. Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-24: Beneath Unbroken Waves is a tier 5-9 scenario written by Kate Baker of particular importance to the Concordance Faction. It tasks the PCs with investigating underwater ruins. Scenario #9-25: Betrayal in the Bones is a tier 12-15 scenario written by Tom Phillips which continues the ongoing story of the Grand Lodge Faction. It allows players to finally get back at some old enemies! For more details, check out a previous blog post where we spoke about events leading up to this scenario! Starfinder Society Scenario #1-18: The Blackmoon Survey is a tier 1-4 scenario written by Jesse Benner which tasks players with exploring an ancient Eoxian ruin to determine why the workers on the excavation have been going missing. This one sounds like a ton of fun. Scenario #1-19: To Conquer the Dragon is a tier 5-8 scenario written by Matt Duval which send the players to Triaxus to open a Starfinder Lodge! This scenario builds on events from #1-13: On the Trail of History, and involves starship combat. I can’t wait until I get my hands on them later this month!

What’s left? Maps of course! And this month certainly brings us a LOT. Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Watch Station is a pretty handy map set which gives is a solid dungeon or underground prison on one side, and a moderately sized sheriff’s office/town barracks on the other. It can also sub in as any small building that includes barracks, such as a thieves den, guild headquarters or school. Pathfinder Flip-Mat Multi-Pack: Forest is a useful set of two flip mats which feature woodlands, rocky banks, and small rivers. These two mats each connect to each other in multiple ways, which means that you can continue your game with a rolling scene, over and over again. They look gorgeous. Starfinder Flip-Mat: Asteroid is an interesting map release. One side is an incredibly useful map of a canyon, impact site or crater which is going to see a ton of use. It’s super adaptable, and can even work in Pathfinder play. The other side is a complex built into the interior of an asteroid. It looks quite interesting. Clearly intended to be used in the Diaspora, it can double as a lot of other complexes, including an underground bunker, base, laboratory, military instalment or even a school. Unfortunately, all three map sets are not yet released on Amazon, so if you’re Canadian, like me, or from another place in the world where the cost of having anything delivered from Paizo is ABSURD you’ll need to wait a while before getting these beauties on order.

PZO4073There’s also a whole new type of map being released this month: Pathfinder Flip-Tiles! We’ve talked about these before on d20diaries, but in short, they’re a collection of 6×6 tiles with images on both sides which easily can connect to form a large complex. This month brings us two sets of map tiles. Pathfinder Flip-Tiles: Dungeon Starter Set, includes basic dungeon features including halls, stairs, turns, entrances and rooms. It has a whopping 42 double sided map tiles. The second set, Pathfinder Flip-Tiles: Dungeon perils Expansion Set, is an expansion which works will the Dungeon Set (and will work with other sets in the future). It contains 24 double sided flip-tiles which depict hazards including trapped and lit hallways, chemical spills, chasms, rock falls, magical devices, and fungal growths. They look pretty cool. Much like this months flip-mats, these products aren’t yet available on Amazon. As a brand new product, I haven’t yet seen these in person, so I’m not sure how easy they’ll be to adapt and use in a live game, but I’d love to find out. If any of you get your hands on these tiles, let me know! I’d love to hear what you think!

That’s it for this months new releases! What products are you most excited for? I know my household can’t wait to get our greedy little hands on Starfinder: Armory! Here’s hoping!

Jessica