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Pathfinder Society Scenario #43: The Pallid Plague (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 24 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 3–4, and 6–7).

Reports from Andoran's Darkmoon Vale indicate that a new plague is causing the deaths of untold fey. The Pathfinder Society sends you there to aid the nymph queen in stopping the plague and finding and destroying its source. When the plague spreads to the human population of Falcon's Hollow, the need to find a cure grows more frantic. Can you save the many denizens of Darkmoon Vale from certain death?

Written by Mark Moreland

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 (24)
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Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 24 ratings)

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Pathfinders Without Borders

****( )

I find myself struggling to rate this scenario. As is always the case, there’s things I like and dislike about it. The premise, for starters, is a great one and honestly not something I see often in PFS. Sure, there are diseases that you can stop, but they’re never the primary focal point. This time around, you’re tasked to find the source of the disease and, along the way, find a cure for it. It’s simple, elegant and effective as a narrative.

To continue with the good things: There’s multiple factions involved: lumberjacks, townsfolk, fey and of course the bad guys. This means there’s a variety of encounters and plenty of opportunity to role-play certain parts and to show off your creativity. I don’t have to explain why I like that. In fact, every encounter makes sense and adds to the story. In particular I liked the skill challenge. As long as you provide a convincing reason, every skill can be used and end up contributing to finding a cure.

There is, however, also a downside to the encounters. As others before me have mentioned, they aren’t all that challenging. While they thematically make sense and can spread the disease, they are rather easy to dispatch in just a few seconds. They lack the health, items or skill-set to pose a real threat. I was honestly a little disappointed that the Big Bad Evil didn’t last a single round. It was rather disappointing. Perhaps that’s due to the fact that nowadays characters are vastly stronger than a couple of years ago.

And then there’s the disease itself. Again I agree with others that in order for the narrative to work, it has to be infectious and difficult to cure, but I think it’s bit too easy and monotonous to get infected. A bit more diversity could have underlined the scariness of the plague. At the same time, I can see some groups really struggling to find a cure and possibly survive the ordeal. While the DC is high and the skill challenge is indeed challenging, I think that overall it is doable especially if players are able to think outside the box and be creative with all of the skills at their disposal, even those they have no ranks in.

The Pallid Plague is a great scenario in terms of role-play and storyline, while at the same time provides a difficult skill challenge. The combats however are too easy by current standards and are in dire need of a revision or update. If I were to rate it, I’d give it 3,5 stars. Since that however isn’t possible, I’m going to bump it to 4 stars, because I value role-play potentials and opportunities to showcase creativity over challenging combats. As such, I’ll also only recommend it for like-minded players. If you’re looking for scary opponents to fight, I recommend looking elsewhere.

****( )

Plague mechanic is maybe a bit shoehorned, but otherwise fun.

****( )

(I played this.)

I liked this scenario. It's a bit bare-bones on story, but it does what it wants to do really well. The skill challenges are fun and everyone is able to contribute in some way. Combats were a bit on the easy side, though. The fights weren't the real enemy here, but I like to be challenged in some way. First combat started off good (tier 3-4), but the rest was sort of disappointing. The disease was on the tough side, but we didn't really suffer too much from the detrimental effects, maybe we did something wrong there. I've read some reviews complaining about how tough it was, but if you have a somewhat balanced party it's pretty easy to get the cure. I would recommend stocking up on Lesser Restorations in some way, though.
All in all, I thought this was a fun scenario, though the disease is a bit more oppressive than I'd like.

Nice idea, *bad* execution

**( )( )( )

I want to give this scenario a positive review. I like the story; it's not super deep but it makes sense and it's evocative. The encounters have good ideas behind them as well; they all make sense.

Moreover, this scenario features one of the earliest experiments by Paizo with what we nowadays call a skill challenge, and it's fairly well done. There's a chance for everyone to contribute, but at the same time it does reward skilled characters.

However, the scenario has two major problems.

The encounters may make sense, the stats of the enemies just aren't up to the task. They're just too weak to make the combats satisfyingly challenging.

The bigger problem is the disease. Now obviously for this scenario to work, the chance of infecting anyone has to be fairly high. But that's been done with DCs so high that you'll have a hard time getting cured going by the regular rules. It's quite possible that days after the combats are over and all the bad guys shredded, you're still in bed, possibly dying even. If the GM is running the disease as written, you will need someone who can cast lesser restoration over and over again. I really think someone didn't run the math on this part of the adventure before publishing it.

Apart from that, there's some typical early-PFS annoyances: not getting full treasure unless you steal from civilians, and the GM has to improvise a way for you to find out the story behind the adventure because there's no built-in delivery mechanism.

Not bad

***( )( )

Played this at the lowest tier and while it was far far too easy I thoroughly enjoyed it for the role play opportunities.

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