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Pathfinder Society Scenario #7: Among the Living (OGL) PDF

***( )( ) (based on 26 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 3–4, 6–7).

Famed Pathfinder Bodriggan Wuthers disappeared from his dig site beneath the House of the Immortal Son in Taldor's gilded capital of Oppara. Once a grand temple to Aroden, the Immortal Son is now Oppara's most opulent theater. Sent to locate Wuthers, the Pathfinders must attend an opera with members of the Oppara elite in order to gain access to the secretive theater's dig site. When a cult crashes the performance and the nobility change into hideous walking dead, the Pathfinders are forced to choose between finding Wuthers or saving themselves.

Written by Joshua J. Frost

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world. This scenario is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with the 3.5 edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

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Product Reviews (26)
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Average product rating:

***( )( ) (based on 26 ratings)

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Not great

**( )( )( )

Ultra linear. Little room for Rp. Unsatisfying final battle. Was not tempted to play follow up quests. Good gm made it enjoyable to an extent. We were a mix of 1s and 2s.

An acquired taste

**( )( )( )

GM'ed, never played.

I incorporated some description from Phantom of the Opera to add a little atmosphere to the opera house. The players seemed to appreciate it.

The Good:

*By the end, the PCs have a very clear idea of how Taldor's ideas of status and culture works.
*Taking PCs out of their comfort zones (adventurers at an opera???) can open the door to interesting RP.
*A mouthy, spoiled NPC allows the PCs a chance to work out some frustration with few consequences (as long as they don't kill him).

The Bad:

*The main map is a sandbox, but a total lack of hints results in an attitude of "we wander around killing things until we happen across where we're supposed to be..."
*Like a lot of Season 0, the combats don't hold up well, but that could be overlooked if they weren't often repetitive as well.

This 1-7 scenario didn't suffer much from level spread, so if you really need to field a table of lvl 1s and lvl 5-7s, this would be a decent choice.

I'm glad I ran it, but am not especially interested in the sequels.

A bit simple, but also funny

***( )( )

I recently played and ran this and had fun.

The fights are a bit old-fashioned, with relatively simple monsters with a couple of potentially nasty abilities. They don't stand up well to modern classes like gunslingers.

The plot is a bit thin, in the "those crazy cultists again" category. But the location has a lot of funny potential. This is season 0, where Taldor is always the butt of the jokes. The nobles are foppish and ineffectual. They need the PCs to save them, but can't resist making snooty comments all the while. I had them applaud and boo the PCs in the middle of a huge brawl.

A note about the map: the map is very big. I used the opera flipmat instead, which was a mistake. You need that huge map to justify the encounters not all bumping into each other.

An opera to die for

**( )( )( )

Four normal, non-twink characters with an average party level of 2.75 (rounded to 3) go to the opera to find a dig site.

"It's the opera" the bloodrager says, "I won't need my gear."

After fighting the first group of zombies we try to exit the opera house so we can get the bloodrager's gear. "Overwhelming abjuration magic" prevents us from leaving. The walls and doors are invulnerable to attack and conveniently enough there are no windows.

Both the module writer and DM don't seem to care that people might actually go to the opera without their combat gear. It's the OPERA - not the combat arena. People sing and dance. They don't murder each other in gory combat every time. Regardless, we are forced to continue.

The battles with the zombies and Zyphus cultists get repetitive. Zyphus's clerics are especially annoying. They have heavy picks that do x4 damage on a crit. Fighting them is all about luck. They also have potions of cure moderate wounds that drag the fights out.

We encounter this selfish nobleman who demands that we drop everything and rescue him. The encounter went something like this:

Noble: I demand that you escort me out of here now.
Us: No.
Noble: I am a very important person bla bla. Stop whatever you are doing and escort me out of here.
Us: No.
Noble: I move in high society. I'll report you to bla bla they will punish you bla bla
Us: Are you done?

In retrospect this was probably a roleplaying encounter. It's a pretty poor one though. Who wants to save - or even talk to - a selfish noble who threatens you in the middle of the zombie apocalypse? We leave him there.

We eventually find the dig site and it's large undead guardian. This guardian one-hits three party members into unconsciousness. Two of its attacks hit for 18ish damage. The third crits for over 40.

A cleric appears out of nowhere and hits the 4th party member for 20ish points of negative energy damage. This player didn't even get a perception check to try and detect the cleric.

The adventure ends here. One party member escapes while the other 3 are turned into undead by the cleric. Making the characters undead guarantees their deaths are permanent. Raise dead doesn't work on anyone made undead. The more expensive resurrection has to be used. There is no way that 2nd and 3rd level PCs can afford resurrection.

Net result: 3 permanently dead PCs and one fled.

The dice hate is strong in this scenario

**( )( )( )

If you are the type of GM that likes to be a jerk, stacking the deck against the PCs and then increasing the penalty for failure, then you've found your scenario.

As other reviewers have mentioned, the NPCs use picks. On a confirmed crit, it is highly likely that a PC will die.

The strategy used on the end fight also gives double the normal penalty.

will cast Animate Dead on anyone who dies. This is bad for two reasons. First it can cause a cascade failure since it turns an ally into an enemy. That greatly increases the chance of a total party kill. Secondly, it means you need to pay for a resurrection if you want the fallen back -- which costs a little more than twice as much.

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