Pathfinder Society Scenarios: Countdown to Round Mountain and Slaver’s End

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 I recommend you check out a different article. Whether you intend to use these scenarios 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!

10-20 - Countdown to Round MountainPathfinder Society Scenario #10-20: Countdown to Round Mountain is a Tier 7–11 adventure written by Jerall Toi, with art by Tadas Sidlauskas and Jesper Ejsing, and cartography by Jason Engle. It takes place in the Darklands beneath Tian Xia and continues the ongoing Hao Jin Tapestry storyline. Although it involves Round Mountain this scenario doesn’t actually take place in Round Mountain, which is important to note for managing player expectations. The Venture Captain is Amara Li. Countdown to Round Mountain features creatures from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: BestiaryBestiary 2Bestiary 3Bestiary 4, and Bestiary 6 (although all of the necessary stat blocks are included within the scenario) and utilizes the Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Winter Forest and Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Bigger Bridge.

This adventure tasks the PCs with finding and exploring a Darklands cavern that was the original home of Round Mountain. The PCs need to conduct a survey of the area, collect what historical artifacts they can, and convince any possible residents to leave, before a magical ritual returns Round Mountain –– and the creatures taking refuge in it –– back to its original location. In a lot of ways, I love this adventure. Its an easy read, has a really cool premise, and has a creative location to explore. I really like that this adventure is on a timer and has a lot at stake, but I don’t think it quite got the timing right. There’s plenty of promising ideas and details in the adventure, but I don’t think many were explored fully, resulting in either a missed opportunity or a lot of GM improvisation, depending on the situation. This scenario is very heavy on skill checks, and would have benefited from some further social aspects. I like the enemies the PCs come across, and I really enjoy the finale. I have a few more vague GM related comments to make on this one, but it contains more spoilers than I am comfortable letting slip without hiding it behind a spoiler tag. The following link is for GMs only. For everyone else, let me finish by saying I enjoyed this scenario, but I think it’s got a bit of kinks to work out. I give it three out of five stars.

10-21 - Slaver's EndPathfinder Society Scenario #10-21: Slaver’s End is a Tier 5–9 adventure written by Vanessa Hoskins, with art by Jesper Ejsing and Teresa Guido, and cartography by Sean MacDonald. It takes place in Sedeq, a city in Qadira, and builds off of events from #38: No Plunder, No Pay and #10-21: Treason’s Chains. It features creatures from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: BestiaryBestiary 3, and the Villain Codex (although all of the necessary stat blocks are included within the scenario) and utilizes the Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Docks, and a full-page custom map. This mission is of particular importance to members of the Liberty’s Edge faction. Venture-Captains are Wulessa Yuul and Karisa Starsight.

This adventure tasks the PCs with tracking down the traitor Phlegos Dulm and bringing him in alive. This is a really fun, challenging, entertaining scenario, with great enemy tactics and placement, map layout, and story. I adore the scripted dialogue in this one, and the social encounters! So great! Slaver’s End allows for multiple ways to approach and overcome the encounters, and gives characters the chance to make decisions that could have further ramifications outside this scenario. I absolutely loved this adventure and can’t wait to play it! Really great job! I give this scenario five out of five stars.

Pathfinder Society Scenarios: ‘Treason’s Chains’ and ‘Mysteries Under Moonlight Part Two: The Howling Dance’

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!

Pathfinder Society Scenario 10-06 - Treason's ChainsPathfinder Society Scenario #10-06: Treason’s Chains is a Tier 1-5 Adventure written by Adam Meyers. It takes place in Katapesh, a city (and nation) where commerce is king and coin can move mountains. For more information on Katapesh check out Dark Markets: A Guide To KatapeshLegacy Of Fire: Player’s Guide, or the Inner Sea World Guide. In addition to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook this scenario makes use of the Advanced Player’s Guide. It features creatures from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary, and the NPC Codex (although all of the necessary stat blocks are included within the scenario) and utilizes Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Pub Crawl and two custom maps. This mission is of particular importance to members of the Liberty’s Edge faction. Characters (or players) who have played Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-03: The Ghenett Manor Gauntlet, #7-01: Between the Lines, #7-11: Ancient’s Anguish, or #7-12: Twisted Circle will have a personal (or at least passing) connection to some of the characters featured in this scenario. Finally, any players who have the special GM Boon ‘Goblin Patronage’ will want to give this scenario a whirl.

Katapesh is a strange place, and the city itself if home to not one, but four Pathfinder Lodges. The most senior Venture-Captain is Roderus who runs a lodge out of his inn and handles all missions that take place outside of the city. The most secure and respected Venture-Captain is Aurora Steelbloom, who runs the grandest lodge in the city at the ruins known as the Twilight Gate. Jurisdiction for the rest of the city is split between Venture-Captain Wulessa Yuul, and Venture-Captain Phlegos Dulm. Unfortunately, these two bicker and fight constantly. So, when the aged Venture-Captain Roderus decides its finally time for him to retire, he’s more than a little uneasy! How can he leave the fate of Pathfinders in Katapesh in the hands of a pair of agents who can’t even follow one of the three main Pathfinder creeds: COOPERATE? This adventure tasks the PCs with working at Roderus’ retirement party. They’ll have to serve drinks, entertain guests, clean up, keep order, and perform other menial tasks. Using their mundane duties as a cover they’ll need to spy on the Venture-Captains in question (Dulm and Yuul), ferret out the truth from rumours, and determine if these two Pathfinders can work together, or are trying to sabotage one another. If the PCs uncover any wrongdoing they’ll need to report to Roderus and delve deeper into the investigation, until the facts come to light and Roderus has enough peace of mind to retire. Players and GMs looking for more information on the featured Venture-Captains can check out Seekers of Secrets or (to a lesser extent) Dark Markets: A Guide To Katapesh.

This scenario had a lot going for it. It has a lot of fun, engaging social encounters that feature a ton of colourful characters. Zig and Yigrig Moneymaker were particular favourites of mine (as I suspect they will be for many players). Zig’s scripted examples of assistance he can lend during the opening retirement party are adorable. There’s a great dynamic evening battle featuring both allies and enemies which promises to be entertaining. Finally, the inclusion of Yigrig Moneymaker’s family is a great segue that can lead to goblins becoming a core race in Pathfinder Second Edition next year. Overall, I really enjoyed this scenario. I give it four out of five stars.

Pathfinder Society Scenario 10-07 - Mysteries Under Moonlight, Part 2, Howling DancePathfinder Society Scenario #10-07: Mysteries Under Moonlight Part Two: The Howling Dance is a Tier 3-7 adventure written by Crystal Malarsky (who also wrote Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-10: Tyranny of Winds Part Two: Secrets of the Endless Sky, Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-03: On the Border of War, and the young adult horror novel Ashwood). This scenario is a direct sequel to #10-05: Mysteries Under Moonlight Part One: Testament of Souls. It begins in the city of Magnimar, but quickly moves to the massive swamp known as the Mushfens. In addition to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebookit makes use of the Advanced Player’s Guide, and the GameMastery Guide. It features creatures from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: BestiaryBestiary 2, and Bestiary 5 (although all of the necessary stat blocks are included within the scenario) and utilizes Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: WoodlandsPathfinder: Map Pack: Forest Dangers, and a gorgeous custom map.

In the previous adventure, Magnimar found its beloved monuments corrupted by some foul source. The PCs worked for Venture-Captain Shiela Heidmarch and the Varisian Council, made an enemy of the occult investigator Theodorus Ichonvarde, saved a servant of the goddess Ashava, discovered the identity of the being behind the corruption (whom we will call only by their name, Tulvhatha, to avoid too many spoilers), and the place they can be found (The Glade of Silver Sparks) which was once a holy site to Ashava. In addition, the PCs were likely granted a blessing, which can be granted to all characters participating in this adventure if they will allow him to do so. This adventure tasks the PCs with travelling through the Mushfens, confronting Tulvhatha, and doing what they can to cleanse the area of evil. Characters who have already played the first in this series of adventures will of course have more reason to participate in this one. But, characters who worship Ashava, have an interest in moonlight, dancing, or putting spirits to rest, or have connections to lycanthropy will all find something special to interest them in this scenario. On a similar note, if you have any characters who have a lot of fears, or who you would enjoying roleplaying their response to their fears at a table, I highly recommend you bring them! This is a spooky adventure, and embracing that atmosphere can be a lot of fun. One final note, if you happen to have a horrible fear of werewolves (like my daughter) or spirits this is NOT the scenario for you!

This scenario had an wonderful haunting tone to it. The environment was appropriately ominous, of course, but many of the encounters themselves often played into the horror theme. Not a gory sort of horror. More of a moody, hopeless, suspenseful sort of horror. I ADORED it. The scenario starts with some minor (but fun) roleplaying encounters. The blessing which your characters can accept is awesome! I adored the first major encounter of this scenario. In addition to bringing back another character from the first scenario in this series, it could cause some healthy discussion as to the fate of your opponents (depending upon the alignments we see on the player’s side of the table). There’s a delightful chase in this scenario, which has very clear repercussions for failure. I absolutely loved it! Although, it should be noted, I’m a sucker for a good, purposeful chase. The haunts in this scenario were exceptionally well-done. Particularly the one that plays upon your character’s fears. Embracing that horror theme with my characters is something I always enjoy as a player, so I can’t wait to toss one of my more expressive characters into this mission! And the final battle with the main villain was both memorable, flavourful, an mechanically difficult. Just awesome. But my favourite part? This scenario features the coolest wolf encounter in existence! It’s going to be so much fun! Overall I loved this scenario. Seriously. Loved it. I give it five out of five stars!

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at this months newest Pathfinder Society Scenarios with me. I know I enjoyed reading them!

Until next time,

Jessica

Marko Horvatin, Yigrig
Yigrig Moneymaker, an enterprising goblin featured in Pathfinder Society Scenario #10-06: Treason’s Chains. Art by Marko Horvatin
Leonardo Santanna -Tulyhatha
The spookiest will-o-wisp you’ll ever lay eyes on! One of the enemies from Pathfinder Society Scenario #10-07: Mysteries Under Moonlight Part Two: The Howling Dance. Art by Leonardo Santanna.

 

Pathfinder Society Scenario Reviews: A Case of Missing Persons and the Fury of the Final Blade!

Today we’re going to take a look at one of the most recent Pathfinder Society Scenarios that are currently available for purchase, as well as it’s prequel, and let you know what 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 without further ado, let’s get started!

Libertys Edge
The sigil of the Liberty’s Edge Faction.

Today, both of our scenarios focus on the Liberty’s Edge faction of the Pathfinder Society. This group is run by Major Colson Maldris, and many members are willing to bend and break laws in order to promote freedom throughout Golarion. They tend to utilize diplomacy, sabotage, proselytizing, and trickery to their advantage, and in addition to battling slavers and fighting oppression, they seek to spread hope among the downtrodden, and to inspire others to fight. There’s plenty of Liberty’s Edge related missions out there, but today we’re going to take a look at the brand new Scenario #9-20: Fury of the Final Blade, as well as it’s prequel, Scenario #9-02: A Case of Missing Persons.

These scenarios are heavily influenced by events that occur in other scenarios, and feature a variety of characters who have made appearances in the past.  PCs who have played some of these older scenarios are bound to get some extra satisfaction from playing these two scenarios. To prevent too many spoilers, I won’t say why these scenarios are relevant, but I will mention them! Relevant scenarios include:  #6: Black Waters, #3-16: The Midnight Mauler, #4-16: The Fabric of Reality, #5-03: The Hellknight’s Feast, #5-04: The Stolen Heir, #5-99: The Paths We Choose, #7-05: School of Spirits and #8-06: Reaping What We Sow. Both scenarios also feature Eliza Petulengro as the Venture-Captain.

PZOPSS0902E
Scenario #9-02: A Case of Missing Persons, written by Alex Greenshields

Scenario #9-02: A Case of Missing Persons is a Tier 3-7 adventure which takes place in Woodsedge in Galt, as well as the Verduran Forest. It also features travel through they mysterious Maze of the Open Road, which is an interesting (but brief) addition to the scenario. The Maze of the Open Road is described further in the Pathfinder Player Companion: Pathfinder Society Primer, and is featured in the Eyes of the Ten Pathfinder Scenarios (Scenarios #46: Requiem for the Red Raven, #54: Maze of the Open Road, #2-05: The Red Revolution, and #2-22: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained). Be forewarned: The Eyes of the Ten series is an oldie, but awesome, and I highly recommend experiencing it as a player before reading it.

As the title so clearly points out, A Case of Missing Persons tasks the PCs with investigating the abduction of a group of missing people. I won’t give away much more about the investigation, as following the clues yourself is one of the best parts of a good mystery, but what I will say is that it involves members of Andoran’s Free People’s Council, and the Grey Gardeners of Galt! This missions requires discretion, intelligence, cunning and inventiveness, so choose your PCs carefully! In addition, the amount of time that passes matters, which always ups the ante a bit. Occasionally this can be a source of distraction, but I found it both well handled and integral to the plot line, so I enjoyed it. The investigation itself was enjoyable. It has plenty of threads to pull at and clues to tie together. I was certainly surprised at certain points, which was fun to see! But, my favourite part of the scenario? The DELIGHTFUL fey encounters. SO GOOD! Overall, I give this scenario four out of five stars.

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Scenario #9-20: Fury of the Final Blade, written by Lyz Liddell.

Scenario #9-20: Fury of the Final Blade is a Tier 7-11 adventure which picks up a few weeks after the end of #9-02: A Case of Missing Persons. The difference in tier means that if you want to play them in close succession you’ll want to start as a level six or seven character. This scenario takes place in Rosehaven and Isarn, both of which are located in the nation of Galt, and tasks the PCs with recusing the missing persons from the previous scenario, as well as the leader of the Liberty’s Edge Faction, Major Colson Maldris himself! This means you’ll have to track down the locations of the prisoners, face of against the Grey Gardeners and enact a daring prison break, all before the prisoners lose their heads to the notorious, soul-stealing guillotines: the Final Blades. Once again, time is of the essence, as the PCs must race against the clock if they’re to have any chance of saving the prisoners. The stakes are very high in this adventure, and failure could mean the beginning of an international incident, and war. In addition, the life of Major Colson Maldris is literally in your hands! Whether he lives or dies is entirely up to your players.

fury of the final blade -colson maldris - marko horvatin
Colson Maldris from #9-20: Fury of the Final Blade. Illustrated by Marko Horvatin.

This scenario features some fun investigation elements, which are adaptable enough to allow all of the different members of the party a chance to shine. The infiltration segment is well created, allowing different groups to use different methods for accessing, and progressing through the location. It also has some very unexpected enemies. But, in my opinion, this scenario’s greatest strength is in it’s dynamic battles. Overall, I really enjoyed this scenario, and give it four out of five stars.

Thanks for joining us today on our foray into the recent events of the Liberty’s Edge Faction! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about them as much as I have! Tune in later this week for our sneak peek of the other most recent Pathfinder Society Scenario, and both of the brand new Starfinder Society Scenarios!

Until then, Get rolling!

Jessica