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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

PaizoCon 2016

Pathfinder Society Scenario #22: Fingerprints of the Fiend (OGL) PDF

***( )( ) (based on 11 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 7th to 11th level characters (Tiers: 7–8 and 10–11).

When a retired Pathfinder's nephew goes missing after allegedly discovered the fabled city of Rachikan of the ancient Jistka Imperium, he turns to the Society for help. Now you've been sent to the coast of devil-tainted Cheliax to uncover the missing nephew's whereabouts and to, quite possibly, uncover one of the most sought-after legendary cities on Golarion. But you have to move quick! The Aspis Consortium is rumored to be racing to the site ahead of you and their involvement could spell disaster for the Pathfinder Society.

Written by Larry Wilhelm

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 (11)
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Average product rating:

***( )( ) (based on 11 ratings)

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An RPG Resource Review

****( )

In this adventure, an uncle's plea for a search for his missing Pathfinder nephew lands the party in Cheliax, investigating a dig site that may reveal secrets of the long-lost Jistka Imperium, which once ruled great swathes of Golarion not long after the cataclysm of Earthfall.

The background notes for the DM lay out what's actually been going on, right back to the days of Jistka rule and up to the present day's events. Then the usual 'flashback' mission briefing, given in the Grand Lodge at Absalom, provides the party with the more limited information that's available to them before the action begins with them standing at the base of the Pillars of Anferita on the southwestern Chelaxian coast. And the tide's coming in...

Once they climb up to the top of the pillar they find a dig already in progress, and it will be up to them how they proceed from there. The more obvious options are catered for, and there's a reasonable amount of information to aid the DM if the party comes up with something different. The map supplied is rather small and doesn't cover everything needed, especially for a potential exciting chase scene. Good prior preparation on the DM's part is recommended. It would also be advisable to review the encounters if running this under Pathfinder RPG rules rather than the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 ruleset for which it was written, as the actual challenges posed are a bit variable, with some posing considerable risk and others being a bit of a push-over.

Run well, this has potential to be a running action-packed 'Indiana Jones' style adventure. There's scant opportunity for any interaction, however, the encounters are designed to provide combat and combat alone. The concept is fascinating, but I'm left feeling that a lot more could have been made of it.

It's Okay

***( )( )

GMed this for high tier.

Scenario idea is nice and if you can get the right vibe (thankfully we did for the most part) it has an Indiana Jones feel to it.

Unfortunately this is a prime example of how older scenarios do not stand up to characters who have access to anything past the core rulebook. The first encounter was a nice challenge but everything else was a walk over. The final boss died round 1 before getting to do anything for example.

There is a cool chase sequence but you need to embellish it a bit otherwise it is fairly bland.

We had fun though and that is what counts.

Unusually lethal

****( )

I'm a fan of most of the Rachikan scenarios, and this is no exception, although this one will certainly push a party to it's furthest limits of ability. The encounters in here are cinematic, but deviously challenging, and left my table swearing at their luck, but cheering when they overcame. This scenario is a good challenge for any party that is known for enjoying extreme difficulty.

I typically recommend that newer GMs should not run 7-11 tier scenarios, and this is why. There is a lot of opportunity here for mistakes to lead to butchered players.

Quite Deadly for a Year 0

***( )( )

This adventure features a lot of good PFS flavor and a fun mine cart chase. However, lack of guidance from the author can lead some GMs to run all of the encounters as being one long chase scene without a chance to heal in between, which makes this adventure very deadly. The first encounter can also be very swingy depending on how the party and GM hand it as it features a particularly broken creature with a particularly broken situation. Player should be well prepared if they want to survive this one. I have run this once, played it once and watched another table play it once. In all three tables there was at least one death and 2 tables failed the mission.

Explore, report, cooperate, and be prepared.

***( )( )

No other scenario has taught me the lessons of being prepared as this one did.

In the deadliest encounter in this scenario, our whole 6-person party forgot crucial equipment that would have changed the course of the encounter and instead we only managed to reach and absolutely grueling and unlikely stalemate.

Most reviewers have adequately described this scenario. It has to be said that my rating is based on some great GMing once again, and for GMs with less skill, there could be some fairly serious stumbling blocks along the way.

On the too-easy encounter:
I think there's a specific reason this is too easy (I may be wrong; I haven't read the scenario) but it seems like the goal here isn't just to kill or subdue the bad guy. That encounter is more about creating a diversion. Again, this may have been creative GMing, but even if it was, it was an excellent tool that GMs should speed through. Have players make quick decisions on their turns where possible here.

Later the scenario picks back up in difficulty again, and you could find yourself either in a fairly standard battle or the middle of an apocalypse from a source, or sources, that you'd least expect.

Overall, despite the deathtrap experience I had, I had a good time playing this and I think it was largely due to carefully crafted GMing overcoming the scenario's downfalls, and a little bit of luck from the dice.

There are a lot of variables in this scenario in terms of both difficulty and atmosphere. For any GMs, I'd strongly advise a lot of preparation for this scenario to ensure an enjoyable game - more than usual.

One last mention - it's an excellent precursor to playing Fury of the Fiend soon afterwards, which is where the real meat of this series lies (until Fate of the Fiend is released, at least).

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