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Pathfinder Society Scenario #24: Decline of Glory (OGL) PDF

****( ) (based on 13 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 the son of a famous Pathfinder gains control of his father's holdings in Taldor, the Pathfinder Society decides to build a new lodge there as a base to explore the many ruins of that crumbling empire. Unfortunately, the Taldan Phalanx has its eye on the holdings and an ancient curse has turned many of the residents into the walking dead. Can you survive the tangled web of Taldor's politics and fight off the echoes of the past or will you, too, see your glory decline?

Written by Tim Hitchcock

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 (13)
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Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 13 ratings)

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Operates better than it reads.

***( )( )

Upon my first read-through of 'Decline of Glory' I wasn't really enthused about running it. It seems Season 0's first choice of monster anywhere is always ghouls and zombies and I was aching for some variety in monsters. I couldn't see any real variation in the story and aside from an awesome finale, the rest of the adventure seemed pretty dry (despite the constant rain modifiers).

Boy, was I wrong! At subtier 1-2. this is a solid 3.5 star scenario and a great 'character test' of what sort of Pathfinders your players actually are. There are tonnes of moral decisions embedded in the deceptively short word count and during running, all of these 'big decisions' came out swinging.

Pros:

-There are loads of decisisons here. Do we use the last Scroll of Remove Disease on the son of a Pathfinder - or do we use it on a team mate? Do we remain to protect the village or do we venture off into the woods? Do we steal the locked box or do we ask for it politely? They are pretty tough as well... Kudos to Hitchcock.

-The finale is awesome. I love any 'defend the base' situation, and with a potential seven ghouls vs a team of newbie Pathfinders, I am delighted with this one >:)

-A novel and believable realistic situation is the source of conflict, and a lot flows from this into guiding the PCs hands. You almost forget that there actually is a macguffin!

-Amazing gold for a Subtier 1-2 scenario. Yummy :)

Cons:

-Season 0 suffered from undead overload.

-There is very little explanation about why the nearby woods are infested with ghouls. Let us use Knowledge History to know that it's always been like this, or say that some necromancers have moved in recently. Run as written, the undead element may actually detract from the real meat of the scenario, unless properly explained by GM fiat.

-The flooded cavern combat makes it very easy for a party with any kind of ranged capability to deal with 75% of the encounter without taking any damage whatsoever. Bit of a slaughter, really.


Acceptable, nothing to write home about

***( )( )

I ran this for a crew of four PCs at the middle tier. Frankly, they trounced it. It was extremely easy - so easy, in fact, that the boss was dropped in a single hit. The storyline is acceptable, but it does require some GM massaging to make it all come together. There are a lot of fights, especially the first few, which are throwaways and seem only included to take up time. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't really memorable either.


Not too much stands out.

***( )( )

Investigation and tactics rein supreme in this one.


Horrible at Highest Tier

*( )( )( )( )

I'm not sure how everyone else fared but after running this Scenario at their 6-7 I have a new scenario to add to my recommended not to play list. Don't get me wrong, the entire game leading up to the ending was interesting, nothing too spectacular but not bad either. What irked me was the final encounter.

Spoilers:
Not sure if this has been changed, I ran this at Paizocon with a printout but the final boss in their 6-7 is a level 8, (monk 4/fighter 4) with 14 AC, Weapon Focus (Longsword), Weapon Specialization (Longsword) and an amulet of mighty fists. He was so poorly designed that my table (who was playing up) ruined him in a couple rounds (and that only because we got a couple bad rolls). The scenario isn't bad but the entire thing is building up to a cool bossfight at the end which turns out to be easier than ANY other encounter in the scenario. At least for 6-7.


Glory Awaits!

*****

This simple scenario has a really nice mix of investigation, combat, and roleplay.

Length: Medium-Long. At Gencon it took 3.5 hours, in my home game it took almost 5.5 hours.
Sweet Spot: It seems the most realistic at subtier 3-4, it can be very challenging at subtier 1-2, and it doesn't scale well at subtier 6-7 (avoid).
Experience: GM and player at tiers 1-2
Entertainment: It was fun, everyone had a role to play. (9/10)
Roleplay: Medium roleplay, depends on the group/DM. (8/10)
Combat/Challenges: Challenges were simple and deadly (maybe too deadly for some tier 1 groups). Finale was epic.(8/10)
Uniqueness: It was simple but interesting. I made some changes.(7/10)
Faction Missions: Better than average, depends on DMs interpretation. (9/10)
Overall: Good time, nice mix of everything (9/10)

Spoiler:
I really emphasized:
1) The betrayal of Kretchmoor as Becher's former friend, emphasizing the dog-eats-dog world of Taldor
2) Kretchmoor trying to make a deal with the PCs
3) The grande finale of course!
4) The after effects on the town, which most PF DMs usually don't do.

The only bad thing I can say about this scenario is the TPK potential for level 1 characters.

My players were very happy with this scenario. This scenario should definitely be updated for the PFRPG.


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