|Earl Gendron Venture-Lieutenant, Connecticut—Manchester aka Cpt_kirstov|
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BuA Edition ** spoiler omitted **
My group actually broke this encounter at Gencon
Blood Under Absalom was also the 2nd multi table special released. Since that time, they have released 6 more, and they tend to get better each year with more options for the PCs. It also means the scenarios are notoriously hard to prepare for, I think one of the last 2-3 years was over 70 pages of scenario. If you printed out stat blocks, that added another 150 pages to prepare. That's what happens when you ask for more options to be included.
For a PFS scenario I read the scenario an average of 4 times when preparing. (I read through straight through it, then reread it, noting what maps/minis/stat blocks I need to collect, then reread it with multiple highlighters, highlighting skill DCs one color, details I need to ensure I mention another, and Special changes to stat blocks of defensive abilities a third color. These read-throughs are normally done over a month prior to running the scenario. 3 nights before running the scenario, I do another read-through to make sure I have it fresh in my mind when running it.) This is possible because of the fact that PFS scenarios are on average 19-26 pages. This makes running a slot for one of these multi-table specials, on the other hand, about a 20-25 hour endeavor, as it takes multiple times reading through to memorize the hand gestures and other table control used to ensure all GMs are on the same page.
Most scenarios presume one path is taken, and then give a few alternate DCs for skill checks and say "If the PCs try something else, use the above DCs as guidelines to assure you are appropriately challenge the PCs"
All published adventures have to have some railroading. Otherwise you are giving setting books and not adventures. Organized play strives to provide the same basic story hundreds of times around the world.