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

***½( ) (based on 23 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 (23)
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Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 23 ratings)

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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.


****( )

I am torn between 3 and 4 stars for this scenario.

We played it this afternoon with 5 players in low tier, one person at the table completely new to pathfinder, two others played 1 or 2 scenarios, and I was there to support the GM in helping to promote Society play.

Party composition:
Elven ranger 1, Halfling ranger 1, Human barbarian 1, Half-orc bloodrager 2, Human Fighter 2

The introduction and reason for going to the Operahouse were done efficiently, introducing the newer players to how most scenarios start.

Then came the first roleplay wave, finding a way to get into the opera with as much of our gear as possible. We managed to get the weapons from the fighter and the barbarian in, by having the fighter pose as a noble who wouldn't go anywhere without her family weapon (heirloom trait, coupled with dressing up as a member of minor noble house from Absalom) and the barbarian as her bodyguard. For the others we simply procured weapons after the zombies started coming in.

Even though it's really easy to simply walk straight to the BBEG here, that kinda means you're ignore the explore part of the Society credo. Normally you don't get to visit the Operahouse, so why not take the time to explore it.

The story itself is rather short, but the location makes up a lot for it in my opinion.

The reason I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars is that while it's a great scenario for introducing pathfinder society play to new people, the x4 crit weapons have a (tiny) chance of simply killing one of said new players. Killing new players is a bad thing, as it may result in them not coming back.

Overall though as long as you have players who aren't going in as murderhobos intent on killing everything as fast as possible, but are willing to roleplay, this makes an awesome scene.

Zombie Apacolypse at the Opera

**( )( )( )

While this adventure tries hard to give the feeling of a classic zombie movie the combats just aren't challenging enough to give it the proper flavor. The PCs never really feel as if they might be overwhelmed by the undead hordes. Unfortunately, failing in it's main objective just doesn't leave much of an adventure other than a few role-playing opportunities.


***( )( )

This is quite a good adventure. I like the enclosed environment and the strong zombie movie feel. As a player I found it rather tough but we had a weak mix of classes. Running it as a GM I found that with the right party mix it works just right. My only grumble was the map lay out. There really is no need for awkward shaped rooms.

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