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.

 

New Pathfinder Society Scenarios: ‘Reaver’s Roar’ & ‘Mysteries Under Moonlight: Testament of Souls’

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!

10-04 Reaver's RoarScenario #10-04: Reaver’s Roar is a Tier 7-11 Adventure written by Steven Hammond. It begins in Three Pines Ford in Lastwall, with a mission briefing hosted by Venture-Captain Shevar Besnik and Ollysta Zadrian, leader of the Silver Crusade. The scenario quickly moves on to the semi-abandoned outpost of Roslar’s Coffer, and the Sarenite temple known as the Bastion of Light found within. For more information on Lastwall you can check out the Inner Sea World Guide. For more information on Sarenrae you can check out Inner Sea Gods. This scenario features creatures from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary, and Pathfinder Adventure Path: Curse of the Crimson Throne Anniversary Edition (although all of the necessary stat blocks are included within the scenario). It makes use of a vast number of sourcebooks, including the Core RulebookAdvanced Class GuideAdvanced Player’s GuideUltimate CombatUltimate Equipment, and even Mythic Adventures. All of the necessary rules from the Advanced Class Guide and the Mythic Adventures are included in this scenario. It features one custom map, and one custom chase. This mission is of particular importance to members of the Silver Crusade faction as well as any worshippers of Sarenrae.

pfs 10-04 - reaver's roar - uirch of the burning sun - dion harris
Uirch of the Burning Sun from PFS #10-04: Reaver’s Roar. Illustrated by Dion Harris. Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.

This adventure tasks the PCs with travelling to Roslar’s Coffer and retrieving a helmet of religious significance from the Bastion of Light, an important temple to Sarenrae. The temple once contained many relics and rituals vital during the Shining Crusade. Unfortunately, the temple has since become the lair of an incredibly powerful red reaver. The PCs will have to enter the temple, defeat the red reaver, and obtain the helmet. But, this mission won’t be as simple as it seems! For starters, the red reaver has formed powerful bonds with the relics housed in the temple, which have greatly empowered it. PCs will need to find ways to weaken the red reaver, sever its connection to these relics, and outsmart the territorial creature. In addition, orcs from the Twisted Nail tribe are also after the red reaver for (no doubt) nefarious purposes. The cast of characters is rounded out by Gorm Greathammer, a famous Pathfinder and the third prince of the dwarven sky citadel Kraggodan, who acts as a contact and source of information for the PCs. The town of Roslar’s Coffer is appropriately serious and ominous. When the villagers learn of your purpose in town they offer to send a letter to your loved ones when you die a horrible death. How sweet! Haha. It’s a simple but effective way to showcase the ‘friendly’ villagers and let the players know that they might not survive the challenges ahead. I love the atmospheric buffer zone between the town and the territory of the red reaver. There’s a great chase scene in this scenario, and the red reaver is wonderfully challenging. The exploration of the Bastion of Light is a lot of fun, providing characters with danger, a few scares, chances to weaken the red reaver, chances to gain holy blessings, and even chances to make an ally or two. It offers GMs some nice flexibility in the placement of a few encounters, and does a really great job of setting an ominous, suspenseful mood. Perhaps one of the most impressive things? It will make your PCs scared for their lives. A rare thing at high levels of play! The red reaver is a fierce opponent that needs to be weakened in order for your characters to have a chance of defeating it. And even then? It should still be a tough fight! This, of course, makes it a difficult scenario to use with players who prefer to decimate everything, straight-forward encounters, and for most younger players. But the ending? SO worth it! Overall I really liked this scenario, although it’s atmosphere and difficulty are not for everyone. I give it four out of five stars.

10-05 Mysteries Under Moonlight Part 1 Testament of SoulsScenario #10-05: Mysteries Under Moonlight: Part 1: Testament of Souls is a Tier 3-7 adventure written by Alexander Augunas. It is the first of a two part series that takes place in Magnimar entitled Mysteries Under Moonlight. Both of these adventures are intended to be played in order. This adventure’s sequel Scenario #10-07: Mysteries Under Moonlight: Part 2: The Howling Dance is a Tier 3-7 adventure written by Crystal Malarsky and is scheduled to be released at the end of October. For more information on the city of Magnimar you can check out the Inner Sea World Guide, and Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Magnimar, City of Monuments.

Testament of Souls features creatures from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: BestiaryBestiary 2, and the Monster Codex (although all of the necessary stat blocks are included within the scenario) and makes use of a variety of sourcebooks including the Core RulebookGameMastery Guide, and Occult Adventures. It utilizes the new Pathfinder Flip-Tiles: Dungeon Starter Set, as well as Pathfinder Map Pack: Village Sites, and a custom map reprinted from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Undead Unleashed. Although this mission is not tied to any particular factions, if you have any characters who are from Magnimar, have a love of monuments, or an interest in laying spirits to rest, now is a great chance to bring them out to play.

pfs 10-05 10-07 - mysteries under moonlight - inspector theodorus ichonvarde - tadas sidluahskas
Inspector Theodorus Ichonvarde from PFS #10-05: Mysteries Under Moonlight. Illustrated by Tadas Sidluahskas. Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.

Something strange is happening to Magnimar’s beloved monuments, and its up to your PCs to find out what’s going on, and put a stop to it! But, this mystery isn’t as simple as it seems. The honourable Lord-Mayor Grobaras has hired his own investigator to look into the crimes, one who seems to be more than a little biased towards blaming the city’s Varisian population. Your players will have to investigate monuments, question witnesses, confront dangerous enemies, speak with the dead, and dabble in the occult to succeed! The three monuments featured in this scenario are the Cenotaph, Founder’s Flame, and Mistress of Angels. There’s a wide array of NPCs in this delightful adventure including Venture-Captain Shiela Heidmarch and her husband Venture-Captain Canayven Heidmarch, Mystery Cultist Davorge, Inspector Theodorus Ichonvorde, plenty of witnesses (living and dead!), an outsider, and even the ghost of one of Magnimar’s Founders: Ordellia Whilwren! Perceptive PCs can uncover a lovely little tribute to any of your players characters who permanently died during any Season 4 Scenario, or during #7-03: The Bronze House Reprisal, #7-25: Orders from the Gate, #8-01: Portent’s Peril, #8-22: Wrath of the Fleshwarped Queen, or #9-09: Beyond the Halflight Path. It’s a nice little shout-out that’s lovely to see. There’s a lot of unique and interesting social encounters in this scenario, which are really the highlight of this adventure. That said, there’s still a large number of battles in this one, so it’s going to be tricky to fit it all in. I found the final battle properly climatic and exciting, with obvious consequences for failure. The other battles aren’t particularly exciting, though. The occult rituals and objects included in this adventure are fun, and don’t bog down the game with complicated rules. I really enjoyed it (although I admit to being a sucker for the occult! Haha). I really enjoyed this scenario. It’s a fun change of pace that has a lot to offer. My only complaint? If you don’t have a good GM for this one, some sections could become repetitive. Overall, I really enjoyed it! It’s a fun, refreshing adventure that’s right up my alley! I give it four out of five stars.

Thanks for joining us today! Tune in later this week when we take a look at the final Pathfinder Playtest Society Scenario that’s been released: #4: The Frozen Oath!

See ya’!

Jessica