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

****( ) (based on 18 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 (18)
1 to 5 of 18 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 18 ratings)

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****( )

I GMd this for Ascaphalus and Damanta, see their reviews below, they already said a lot of things.

What I found really interesthing, is that this scenario actually punishes the all out murderhobos:

spoiler:
You start of with an encounter with Taldan Phalanx soldiers. WHen you finally limp into town, the townfolk is convinced you are with them and start throwing rocks and bottles.
You will run into armed townies that question you.

Now, if you go all out murderhobo and attack the villagers, they wont help you. This could even go as far as not giving away the location of the barrel caves, where you have to go next.

Ultimately, this could result in missing items and a lot of gold. While murderhobos could easily still get 1 or 2 prestige, this will penalize them nicely.

Just beware: This scenario runs long due to the bog mechanics, and the ample roleplay oppurtunities. You will be hard pressed to fit this into a 4 hour slot. It will more likely run 6 hours.


Your fortitude save must be at least this high to exit safely

****( )

So I played this last night at high tier, together with Damanta and Carla, with Woran as GM.

I was playing a Taldan paladin with the Remove Disease mercy, and boy did I feel like the right guy at the right place. Also, I have the Title prestige award, which made things even more appropriate; I'm the nobility as it should be, and in this adventure we bump into the grim reality of Taldor's would-be nobility.

Story (5):
The story is not complex, but it just plain works. We have a town of shady people on the one hand, a corrupt officer who wants to seize it for himself on the other. Then there's the man we've been sent to find, who's damaged goods too. As a loyal and idealistic Taldan paladin, clearly we're here to make things better and we're sorely needed. That corrupt officer embodies Taldor as it is, not as it should be. I totally sympathized with the emperor wanting to bring these rogue domains back into the empire, but I did not agree with the method. Time for some righteous strongarming.

And everyone's in danger from the ghouls. Oh yeah, these people definitely need our help, otherwise noone's gonna be alive by morning.

Bonus points: the Taldor faction mission really works for this adventure. It's simple: make sure that the VC for the new lodge will be a Taldan. That turned out to be quite practical; it let me be loyal to my king by bringing this village back into the empire while also putting a better man in place than the corrupt officer.

Roleplaying (5):
There are lots of opportunities for roleplay. The NPCs have rough but evocative backgrounds. RP is the best way to progress through several stages of the scenario and avoid a couple of fights. But the scenario isn't littered with "Diplomacy X here to go on" or even worse "Diplomacy Y here to finish the adventure without a satisfying climax". The NPCs have agendas and personalities that the GM can really work with. One risk is that RP makes the game run late.

Combat (3):

There's good and bad here. Bad is the Bog mechanics. A deep bog has quadruple movement costs, so that basically means that moving a single square costs a Move action.

This made one encounter really dangerous for us, fighting the Shambling Mound. It's got reach and we can't come closer without a lot of effort and provoking (or Enlarge Person and Grace spells, fortunately). It made getting to the monster take a long time, and it made it hard to reach allies in trouble.

Honorable mention here to Harsk who tanked the Mound for quite a while before almost getting killed. His dwarven fortitude also served him well against the violet fungus. He might not be the king of damage in this party (the rest of us were pretty vicious), but he sure could take a lot of punishment.

This was definitely the main course fight in our game. The bog mechanics made it hard, which is good. But they also made it take very long, and that's bad.

After that was a fight against ghasts in a cave. Because the bog slows everyone, the ghasts couldn't gang up on us nor we on them. We made pretty short work of them.

Then there was the fight in the distillery. This scene has great dramatic potential, although I think the writer underestimated the power a high-tier party brings. We're in the building and barricade two entries, so the soldiers come in through two others. We promptly kill almost all of them within a single round. The scenario talks about "what if the PCs hold them off for more than 6 round".

At this point we were about to get kicked out of our gaming location so the GM went into narrative mode to finish up. It was pretty clear that neither soldiers nor ghasts were really a threat to our bunch of extreme aggression melee strikers. So when the soldiers proposed working together to fight the ghasts, what they really said was "please please please save us oh mighty heroes!" :P

On the whole I was fine with the level of challenge. One quite challenging fight that nearly killed 1-2 PCs, a couple of easier fights where you feel badass, all in interesting locations.

The bad stuff was the bog mechanics. (There were also mist mechanics, but those were actually not so bad.) We were literally inching forward and that was just annoying. I think ordinary difficult terrain instead of Very Difficult terrain would've been sufficient to drive the point home.

Miscellaneous (3):

The bad: bog mechanics and the scenario being just a bit too long-winded to properly finish. Also a nitpick about the Taldor mission: it mentions an ideal VC candidate but nobody else in the scenario knows the name so that's kinda weird.

The good: this scenario rewards some things not often rewarded. Due to Harsk being trained in Heal and my Remove Disease mercy we were able to cure those townsfolk infected with ghoul fever, and thereby achieve the secondary success condition.

I'm a fan of Taldor and I'm looking forward to running this scenario myself. But I'll make sure I have more than 5 hours, because I don't want to cut things short like we unfortunately had to. Even so, we had a good evening.


Extra mechanics made combat a drag

****( )

We played this on high tier last evening.

party:
Human Paladin 7, Halfling Cavalier 6 with worg mount, Human Fighter 6, Aasimar Oracle 6, Tiefling Rogue 1/Void Elementalist 2/Snakebite Striker 1 and Pregen level 7 Harsk

This scenario is really well written and an overall enjoyable adventure, if it weren't for nearly all the fights being in very annoying terrain. One fight in such a terrain okay, but 3/4th is just pushing it.

mechanic rant:

You want to play a small race? Here start making swim checks during 3 of the 4 combats unless you happen to be mounted or want to use ranged, in which case you get a -2 to hit and 20% misschance.
You want to tumble out of trouble? Do you have a 40 ft movementspeed? No? Too bad, no tumbling for you in 3 of the 4 fights. Or if you're positioned wrong no tumbling at all.

Now that rant is over, on to the good parts.

The fights themselves were interesting, and though we had to rush the ending due to time we had a lot of fun roleplaying our way through the various bits where we could use social skills.


where did that come from?

*****

This was a fun adventure, some political intrigue, a short dungeon crawl, then wtf out of left field end fight that was surprisingly entertaining.


decent adventure with aome scaling flaws.

***( )( )

from gm side: had a fun time running the adventure but a lot of underpowed encounters on the 3-4 side... several one hit kills and the threat of most monsters diesease or ability damage just didnt add up... as well as a 13 ac bbeg..... just a pitful creature.


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