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PaizoCon 2016

Pathfinder Society Scenario #31: Sniper in the Deep (PFRPG) PDF

***( )( ) (based on 8 ratings)

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

When rumors stir of a hidden treasure ship in Absalom's Flotsam Graveyard, the Pathfinder Society sends you beneath the Inner Sea to investigate. Mayhem, undersea adventure, and chaos are to be had in this rousing rampage beneath the roiling waters of Absalom's harbor.

Written by David Eitelbach and Hank Woon

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 Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Product Reviews (8)
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***( )( ) (based on 8 ratings)

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An RPG Resource Review

***( )( )

Like many of these adventures, it all begins with a missing Pathfinder and the artefact he was hunting when he disappeared. There's the customary background story for the GM, laying out what is really going on and a summary of how the adventure should run, then the briefing from a rather brusk and obnoxious Venture Captain to be read out to the players gets the adventure underway.

Once they've had this rather impatient briefing, it's up to the party how to investigate the matter, although they are told which inn he is staying at, so that makes a good starting point. Things go downhill rapidly and it is almost impossible to avoid a good tavern brawl. Fortunately there's a good floorplan for the inn (and you can use Paizo's GameMastery Flip-Mat: Waterfront Tavern if you want, as the plan here is based on it). Rather oddly, to progress the adventure, it's assumed that the party manage to question people and it's not clear how they find out where they need to go if they do not engage in conversation instead of or at least as well as having the brawl. Although the missing Pathfinder has obligingly left his notes behind, not everything they need to know is in them.

That aside, presuming they do find out where they need to go, there's a sea cave and some underwater exploration ahead. This is all well laid out and exciting, with sharks and other less natural foes to deal with as they complete their quest. The Faction missions are quite convoluted and require Faction members to be on their toes as several of them need them to sieze the moment to do whatever it is that they must accomplish.

Apart from the need to ensure that the party actually discover the information they require, it's an exciting adventure with plenty of action abover and beneath the water.


Not impressive undersea dungeon

**( )( )( )

Played in high tier.
battle oracle 8
gunslinger 8
wizard 7
grappling monk 5
paladin 8 (GM said it can be too deadly, just put in his character only channel and lay on hands)

Another all-combat module, one of which is very challenging, be with GMs strickly follow the tactics, it's not overwhelming.

Just a kick-butt game, nothing too memorable escept the one combat many commends have mentioned.


Artificially Difficult

**( )( )( )

Played this at high tier with a group consisting of a Cleric, Paladin, Zen Archer Monk, Hydrokineticist, a Sorcerer and a second Paladin.

Overall I felt this scenario had a somewhat interesting story with some very interesting, but poorly explained locations; ultimately though, it's just a deathtrap for all but the most cheesed out combat parties.

Heavy encounter spoilers follow.

Spoiler:
The first area starts off with a fairly generic bar fight, if the PCs win initiative like we did it's unlikely the enemies will even get to do anything before being killed. I actually had to talk the GM into giving the enemies a surprise round on us to make it at all challenging. This is also where pretty much the entire story happens in the form of exposition from a pile of journals, the rest of the scenario is pure combat.

We actually skipped the cave encounter entirely, having decided as a party that the ship was more urgent, but resolved to come back after that was dealt with, unfortunately we ran out of real life time to complete it. The GM showed us the stat blocks after we finished and I can safely say we would have had a pathetically easy time with the cave; the Sorcerer alone could have ended it in one shot with a fireball, even a poorly rolled one.

The ship contains all the other encounters for this scenarios and in short, is a total deathtrap. The map is two layered and angled sunken ships that makes understanding it through a 2D map almost impossible, I seriously didn't know what was going on till the GM showed us the full map after the game. On top of that pretty much the entire thing is both underwater and considered difficult terrain, so the entire party was shuffling along at 5ft per turn (the GM was nice and let us do this with a move action rather than the full-round it should have taken); this negated any sort of tactics we could have employed and every fight amounted to both sides just standing there trading blows till one of them died. The Zen Archer and Hydrokineticist were particularly useless due to being focused on ranged attacks in an entirely underwater environment.

Finally, what makes this scenario so deadly is that there are ghosts that do level drain in this underwater area, where the players are heavily hindered in their ability to fight and can't even retreat. The ghosts on the other hand are incorporeal and suffer absolutely no penalties to their movement or attacks. They also apparently have no pre-written tactics so a particularly mean GM could kill a player every turn if the ghosts focus on them.

We only survived because we had the Cleric and both Paladins do pretty much nothing but channel energy to kill them for several rounds and our GM intentionally spread out the level drain to give us a chance. I feel bad for any party that isn't heavily composed of divine casters that can deal with undead quickly.

The encounters after this aren't too bad, only made difficult by the level drain the party will still be under and the continued lack of mobility. If you have a few PCs that can take a lot of damage and someone that can heal them then it becomes a straightforward grind with the party 5ft shuffling forward between fights.


Tough Aquatic Fun

***( )( )

GM'ed this for the high tier. Party was Cleric, Monk, Witch and Ranger.

Firstly, it is good to have an aquatic scenario. PFS really needs a few more.

Secondly, this was probably a very very difficult scenario back when it first appeared but these days with the extra books available it is now about just right at high tier.

I enjoyed running this one although it is very combat heavy with little opportunity for roleplay.


You be treasure seeker.

****( )

Excellent water based scenario. You know you're looking for something in the Flotsam Graveyard, and looking for something like this to me is an actual PFS mission. It'd be nice if there was a bit more opportunity for role-play in some of the encounters, as there isn't a huge reason that it wasn't put in, and there still would have been plenty of combat with that minor tweak.

The high tier scenario has a particularly deadly encounter in it, so if that detracts for you, beware.


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