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Pathfinder Society Scenario #27: Our Lady of Silver (OGL) PDF

****( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 5th to 9th level characters (Tiers: 5–6 and 8–9).

You and your fellow Pathfinders are sent to Katheer, the shining capital of Qadira, to witness the wedding of Pathfinder Faireven to the wealthy and beautiful Lady of Silver and bring back a trove of relics given to the Society as part of the wedding dowry. When the wedding is disrupted by unscrupulous thieves, you soon find yourself dodging double-crosses, accusations of grave robbery, and worse. You must find the relics soon, or risk facing the eternal expulsion of the Society from the treasure-filled deserts of Qadira.

Written by James F. MacKenzie

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 (5)

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Interpretations of the Rules make or break games

**( )( )( )

Hey all,
So I played this scenario a few days ago and I've been struggling to find a way to express how what I think and feel about it. You see for the first time in over a year of playing PFS I failed to complete a scenario. Its wasnt a TPK but it was SO close to one its not even funny.

When I read about this scenario in these reviews I was a bit excited, it sounded like there would be a fair amount of social interaction. I like social interaction so I was eager to see how it would play out... it did not happen! the social stuff started but we never got past the initial parts of the adventure, more about that later in the spoilers.

That being said I could see the potential for real role playing. It just didnt happen, we got caught up in the fighting instead. I think in the right hands this scenario could be so much better than the experience I had and after I do the spoilers Ill try to offer some advice on ways GMs and Players might avoid this being such a bad game.

My first spoiler will be used to discuss some of the encounters in this scenarios:

Spoiler:
We went through three encounters in this scenario, the first and the third are the ones that stand out in my mind.

The first encounter took place at the Wedding ceremony as several circus animals broke loose and attacked. At first this seemed like a reasonable encounter but when one of the elephants broke loose and started trampling us the encounter quickly seemed to be gratuitous.
Not only did the elephants trample us twice but it did 25-30 points of damage each time and even when I rolled a 22 on my Reflex save to avoid being trampled it wasnt enough to help.
Of course one of the worst things about this encounter is that we are told its a wedding and we shouldnt wear armour or carry big weapons in. Which promptly leaves us vulnerable to this viscous encounter, which is such a dirty trick. No wonder players dont trust GMs.

The third encounter was against 2 Erinyes and it was what broke us. The Erinyes started by summoning 36 Lemures, then Charmed 2 of the 4 players and then proceeded to whup our stupid arses.
Strictly speaking the GM never broke the rules although he did use the 3.5 version of Erinyes as written in the scenario book, which as I understand it is what he was supposed to do under the Rule 'Run as Written'.
My problem isnt that the GM broke the rules, if anything he was too efficient with them. The problem in my mind is that the fight dragged on too long, that single encounter took about 2 hours.
It was boring and frustrating. A better encounter could have been chosen, that while still challenging might not included flight, invisibility, massive amounts of summoned creatures and massive damage all at the same time!

So heres a question for you that came up in the session: If you cast Unholy Blight on a PC that happens to be a Good aligned Native outsider does that mean you do 1d6 per caster level with a max of 10d6? Or do they take 5d8 like other good creature because the rule that Unholy Blight does bonus damage is meant for Outsiders with the Good subtype?

During the session one of players, an Ifrit of good alignment, took 10d6 damage multiple times. It was a contributing factor to our failure since I, as cleric, and the Ifrit player had to heal that character so many times most of our spell slots were spent on healing.

My second spoiler regards the rewards for the scenario:

Spoiler:
The rewards for this scenario are really nothing special. As you may know I dont like being put through a difficult scenario and getting crappy rewards, its akin to saying my suffering is worthless or meaningless.

The rewards for this scenario are: the usual 1 xp, the usual 2 PA (if you succeed), and we got 824 gp since we failed to complete the scenario (we would have gotten either 1677 for low tier or 3673 gp at high tier if we had succeeded).
There is also a boon called Defender of Katheer which gives you a +1 to Diplomacy when dealing with humanoids from Katheer. In my opinion this is too specialized for such a small bonus, you're not going to get to use this bonus often and when you do chances are its not going to make much of a difference.

So here I go with some advice that may be useful (I hope):

1) if youre playing this, or any scenario really, do not opt to play up a tier when you only have 4 players and only 1 of them is in Tier. Dont listen to the other players if they say you can do it, they dont know that. Only play up Tiers if youve got a full group of 6 and the majority of them are in Tier. This is especially true if the Tier is 7+.

2) a word of advice for GMs. In my first spoiler above the GM was well within his rights to interpret the rules that way. The wording of the spell in question is not 100% clear, therefore GM interpretation must be applied.
The problem is that he could have ruled in the players favour until a more comprehensive ruling of the spell could be found. Doing so would have made it clear he was on our side, instead he chose to rule against us in a situation that was already proving difficult and frustrating.
What Im saying is that sometimes you as GM have to remember that you and the players are all there to have fun. You're on the same side.
If a rule is unclear you should think about ruling in favour of a PC instead of against him, itll speed up the game and make things more pleasant... for everyone.

3) as a player dont fall into the idea that you are unbeatable. Always remember there are bigger fish and the GM has them all in his toolkit. Prepare for what you can, as long as its reasonable to do so. And always ask for more information.

4) some advice for Game designers: Try to avoid encounters that are obviously going to be very drawn out and long. Look at the ACs and HP of the creatures and estimate how hard it will be to fight them. Look at spell like powers and think about how they could be used. Select your monsters with care and consider the environment they will be fought in. Use these things carefully, if a fight is already above the level of the PCs consider pulling your punches when it comes to tactics and terrain. Remember that planning is everything, so if youre doing an encounter thats several CRs higher than the pcs consider letting them know its there so they can plan ahead of time - itll increase their chances of success dramatically.

In conclusion this should have been a good game but it wasnt. But I feel sad about that instead of angry, like I usually feel after a bad game. Id much rather be angry than sad any day of the week.
Certainly this experience will colour my opinion of the GM that ran it for me and I will certainly not be playing any more games at his table, not if I can avoid it.
I think both the Game designer, any potential GMs and potential players should take this story as an example of how the GM vs Player mentality can ruin a game, how the need to 'challenge' your players can misguide you and think about it next time they are getting ready to run a game.


Unmemorable


I've played this adventure, but I remember nothing about it other than fighting some circus animals in the opening scene. Obviously I can't give it a star rating based on that, but the fact that it left little or no impression on me is hardly a ringing endorsement...


Make Time for This

*****

This is a great module. I ran it at T8 with a 6 person party of PCs lvl 6-8.

The combats are challenging. I almost killed two PCs as the monsters can pack a good punch if the party isnt careful. You can easily adapt the monsters to good tactics if you have an experienced group.

Where this module shines is the RP. We played up the wedding and trial so well that it ended up dragging this module well beyond what would be expected at a Con game. In fact we had to divide this game into 2 gaming sessions due to the complexity and abundance of RP. I cant figure out how this scenario could be run in a 3.5 hour sitting.


Wedding, Court & Intrigue: Role-playing extravaganza!

*****

This scenario consists of 18 pages, 1 front cover, 1 OGL, 1 chronicle sheet, 2 pages of faction missions and 1 page of credits.

The faction missions, while not perfect, are cool and innovative, one ties in with scenario number 3. Very nice. My players really liked them.

That leaves 12 pages of adventure and I've rarely seen such an awesome scenario. Consisting of a wedding, a trial, cool battles, a conspiracy and some awesome fluff, this adventure is great. It contains enough ideas to actually make it a full-blown adventure or even series of adventures, while it's also possible to play it one time-slot.
It also has 2 handouts for player characters and several nice maps for the encounters.
It's also perhaps the potentially most role-playing heavy scenario of all the scenarios we have played so far. It is outstanding. Great job, James MacKenzie! I'm looking forward to reading more from you!


Author took 'Improved Plot' feat

****( )

Played, then GMed once so far. I think this scenario has one of the best role-playing encounters I’ve seen in PFS so far. There is a lot going on in the first act, but it engaged everyone’s attention even though no combat had broken out. GMs *really* need to prep Act 1 well so it flows smooth. Otherwise the players will metagame the fun out of it. Take advantage of Russel Akred’s nifty prop available here. Great campaign world flavor. Faction missions were appropriate but a bit distracting as everyone wants to complete them right at the beginning. This author understands Pathfinder Society. Now for the bad stuff. The combats are way too easy. Nothing goes more than two rounds before it’s over. The DCs for everything were way too low for PCs levels 5-9. The scenario is looking for a 15 and my players were rolling in the 30s. I had more fun when we weren’t rolling dice. Anyway, despite the pushover fights the story was enjoyable and things actually made sense. I’m looking forward to running this again.



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