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.

Pathfinder Society Scenarios: Scourge of the Farheavens and In the Grandmaster’s Name!

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 #9-18: Scourge of the Farheavens, by Jason Own Black.

Scenario #9-18: Scourge of the Farheavens is a Tier 1-5 adventure written by Jason Owen Black which takes place in Iobaria. For those of you who don’t know, Iobaria is located northeast of Brevoy, just off the map of the Inner Sea. It’s a place they’ve rarely focused on for Pathfinder products. As far as I know the only other adventure that takes place there is Pathfinder Adventure Path 69: Maiden, Mother, Crone (Reign of Winter Part 3 of 6), while Pathfinder Adventure Path 33: The Varnhold Vanishing (Kingmaker Part 3 of 6) features a gazetteer on the region. If you’re curious, check out this nifty map of Iobaria! But, if you want the short, short summary: Iobaria’s cold, sparsely populated, generally ‘uncivilized,’ and prone to devastating plagues. It was once home to a Cyclopian nation, as well as an Ulfen one, and some of its people have ties to old Sarkoris. Sounds fun, right? Right! More specifically, this scenario takes places in an independent city-state called Mishkar, as well as a ruined village in the Norinor Forest.  It features creatures from Bestiary 3 and Bestiary 4 (although all of the necessary stat blocks are included within the scenario) and utilizes the Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Bigger Forest, and Pathfinder Map Pack: Ruined Village.

The Pathfinder Society has recently gained access to some old Sarkorian ruins, and wants to get the assistance of Sarkorians (or their descendants) to help them interpret the ruins and culture, before it is lost forever. To that end, the PCs are sent to Mishkar to meet with a refugee by the name of Nelket, whom the Society hopes to ally with. It’s a delightfully fun romp, that has a wide variety of social encounters (some of which could be quite challenging). It gives you a bit of a glimpse into Iobarian culture, but Mishkar didn’t feel very different to me, which is a shame. That minor nitpick aside, I thought it was a great scenario. Now, I ADORE adventures where you get to explore exotic locales, ruins and cultures. So, it should come as no surprise that I loved this scenario. Admittedly, I might be biased. Haha. I give this scenario five out of five stars.

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Dolok Darkfur from Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-18: Scourge of the Farheavens. Illustration by Sebastian Rodriguez.
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Scenario #9-21: In the Grandmaster’s Name, by Jenny Jarzabski

Scenario #9-21: In the Grandmaster’s Name is a Tier 3-7 scenario written by Jenny Jarzabski. It takes place in Druma, and is of particular importance to members of the Grand Lodge Faction. It features enemies from Bestiary 2, Bestiary 4, and the NPC Codex, and uses a single custom map. It features subterfuge, reconnaissance, infiltration, and trickery, so be sure to choose your PC wisely!

Now, it should be noted, that Grandmaster Torch does not appear in this scenario. (I found this very disappointing! Haha.) Instead, the PCs are tasked with impersonating some of his couriers. They must deliver a message to another courier, this one serving two one-time allies turned enemies: Ex-Venture-Captain Thurl, and Pasha Muhlia al-Jakri. If the PCs are successful, the message will (hopefully) cause Thurl and Muhlia to leave their defensible hide-out and move on to a new location, giving the Pathfinder Society the perfect opportunity to strike against them! If you’ve got characters kicking around who have met these characters before, now is definitely the time to bring them out to play! No idea who those two are? 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, #6-05: Slave Ships of Absalom, and #6-11: Slave Master’s Mirror. But enough about the past! What’s up with this scenario? In an effort to prevent too many spoilers, I won’t go into detail, but I will mention that it involves Kalistocrats and Blackjackets! Exciting! Finally, the events in this scenario directly lead to another upcoming scenario, #9-25: Betrayal in the Bones, which is a Seeker level mission. All that excitement aside, I found that this scenario fell short of what I expected. In the end, I’m only giving it three out of five stars.

Thanks for joining us today! We’ll see you again soon, when we take a look at the two newest Starfinder Society Scenarios!

Jessica