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PaizoCon 2016

Pathfinder Society Scenario #19: Skeleton Moon (OGL) PDF (Retired)

***( )( ) (based on 10 ratings)

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

When Pathfinder alchemist Andrax d'Aponte contracted a mysterious wasting sickness, he set his mind to feverishly researching the disease and its cures. With the rare skeleton moon hanging in the sky above Absalom, the Decemvirate sends you to an ancient siege castle outside the city to recover d'Aponte's research notes and inquire about his involvement in recent Pathfinder deaths in Osirion. What you find, however, is a man changed by madness and paralyzed by paranoia and fear. Will you survive the night of the skeleton moon?

Written by Benjamin Wenham

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.

This scenario was retired from Pathfinder Society Organized Play on November 15, 2010. After November 15, 2010, it will no longer be legal for Pathfinder Society Organized Play and will no longer be available in the Pathfinder Society Organized Play reporting system.

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Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of Retired. This product has been retired.

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Product Reviews (10)
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Average product rating:

***( )( ) (based on 10 ratings)

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An RPG Resource Review

****( )

Like many of the errands handed out by the Pathfinder Society, this one seems quite simple... at least to begin with. The party are dispatched to the home of Andrax d’Aponte, a previously well-respected member of the Pathfinder Society who recently retured to the Isle of Kortos after a major expedition to Osirion searching for the tomb of Razma the Sage, and has broken off all communications with the Society. The Society would really like to see his report.

For once, no long journey is required. D'Aponte lives in Flint Tower, a rather tumble-down siege castle a scant hour's journey from Absalom. Whilst the adventure is quite constrained in its objectives, the party has some leeway in how they go about their visit to Flint Tower as the events and encounters they will face are location-based - so let them roam as they will. The background information lays out what is actually behind d'Aponte's behaviour and some things even he is unaware of, and the resources provided about the various locations in the Tower enable you to provide atmospheric and clear descriptions to the players.

Whilst it is a straight combat-oriented delve, it is possible for those characters who want to engage in conversation to do so if they wish. This is handled neatly, but does require the DM to be fully conversant with the backstory. The Faction missions fit in well, and even interlock in places, a nice touch. Overall, the adventure hangs together well... and there's potential for further adventure returning to the Osirion dig site, for those who'd like such further development.


Completely uninteresting

*( )( )( )( )

I was a player in Skeleton Moon which had been translated from Season Zero rules to Pathfinder. Frankly, if this had been my first season zero module, there is a chance I would have outright quit society play. It is only because the encounters were modified for Pathfinder play that things were bearable.

The story behind the module is muddled and uninteresting. I am actually still unsure what was going on, even after it was explained to me by our GM after the module was over. To those who have their hopes up, I can confirm that it has nothing to do with Groteus, and while normally I'm very interested to go and re-read the modules once I'm done playing them, this is one I have not purchased. To add insult to this injury, there is little to no opportunity in the module for anything more than a little intra-party roleplaying.

The encounters blend together and if you have a group with somebody who likes to move ahead even a little bit, you might find yourself enjoying a module that exists as one massive encounter. Unfortunately though, the worst part of the module isn't its challenge (who doesn't enjoy a good challenge?), it was the fact that it's absolutely brutal and has the capability of one-shot killing characters with almost no chance for recourse. If we had been playing with untranslated 3.5 rules from season zero it would have been a TPK on the first encounter, and who wants to show up to a game and not even be able to live past the first encounter? Another encounter later in the module has a creature capable of outright killing characters in one attack without a critical hit.

More than anything, the module was just uninteresting, but combined with the fact that the fights were not challenging, but rather, just outright awful, I honestly can't suggest this module to anybody. In fact, I've just convinced myself to give the module one star (I was about to give it two).


One scene, One Fight

****( )

The biggest problem with this scenario (as other reviewers have mentioned) is merging encounters, which can be problematic for the players. If the GM isn't careful to take steps to break up the encounters, it can end up like one long battle.

The story is cohesive and entertaining, but doesn't lend itself to much in the way of non-combat encounters.

I also liked the non-linear aspects... in theory. In running them, I found it difficult to remember what encounters trigger where/when. This would have been a serious problem, if not for the sidebar that explained the where/when for me.


Too bunched together

***( )( )

The module was really strait forward which was fine. However the big problem I saw was that some of the encounters are basically right on top of each other. It's very easy for multiple encounters to all be triggered at once without players having any real idea of the implications.

The end result it that half the module felt like just one long extended battle.


Lethal, cool, fun!

*****

This adventure is not 100% linear. That's a plus.
It's got a great feel of venturing in the lion's den and a climatic, darn cool showdown. Fast-paced and fun, for both players and DMs.

However: It's difficult. My players are no wusses and 2 of them nearly got killed while fleeing in the end.

A great scenario for those who think that most of the others are too easy, bland or lacking a cinematic climax.

My only (and minor) gripe with it is its title. "Skeleton Moon" evokes associations of Groetus and there is a distinct lack of the god of end-times in this module.


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