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Pathfinder Society Scenario #48: The Devil We Know—Part IV: Rules of the Swift (PFRPG) PDF

***( )( ) (based on 12 ratings)

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

In the conclusion of the Devil We Know campaign arc, you are called once more to Cassomir, where a mass abduction of the residents of Swift Prison has the entire town in a panic. Venture-Captain Hestia Themis once more partners you with an Aspis agent to see what link the Swift Prison event has to the earlier kidnapping of a Pathfinder agent. You will explore an empty prison, delve the tunnels below, and come face-to-face with the source of Cassomir's troubles in a vile grotto deep beneath the city.

Rules of the Swift is the fourth and final installment of the Devil We Know campaign arc.

Written by Larry Wilhelm

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 (12)
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Average product rating:

***( )( ) (based on 12 ratings)

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Scary and dangerous when played on tier 3-4

***( )( )

At long last I've finished this four-parter. It's been quite a journey and I have to say that the last two parts really make up for the bland start and boring second instalment. Compared to the previous parts, this scenario was pretty scary and lethal. But first I should mention that I was playing this on tier 3-4 and that, due to circumstances, we were being accompanied by a level 7 paladin pregen. Long story short, if it wasn't for that paladin, our party would have suffered several casualties.

I'm not joking. One of the encounters, the second to be precise, is absolutely scary to face. Not only does it have hardness, but it also packs a massive punch that will not only likely hit it's target twice a round, but also hits like a truck. It's a creature that in my honest opinion is a bit too much for this tier. Thankfully we had a beefy frontline and weathered the storm. It was challenging, certainly, and it honestly made the final fight seem like a joke. The setting was nice, but it felt way too easy compared to the other encounters this scenario. As a result it felt like an anticlimax, which as you can imagine, isn't the best way to end a multi-parter.

That said, storywise it is a nice conclusion. The locations were evocative and diverse. I'm still not entirely sold on small corridors for a fight, but this time it was in our advantage. It's a good scenario, yet fails to stand out as a must play. However if you've played the first part and feel slightly demoralized after part 2, I'd say it's worth continuing with The Devil We Know. It gets better, trust me.

**( )( )( )


***( )( )

I GM'd this at a con, having only skimmed the summary sections from parts 1-3, so my own ignorance may be a factor.

The Good:

*The Prison Grounds map was interesting.
*The crazy painter. I prepped a 'map' handout that was as crazy as he was, which amused the players.
*The Derros and the Mite traitors.

The Bad:

*I can only assume that playing the first 3 parts helped with adventure hooks, because there wasn't much provided here. Luckily, some of the PCs were able to make their own fun.

The Funny:

I'm always embarrassed when a PC dies early in a scenario. That happened this time. Usually, the player is (understandably) disappointed and either leaves the table or remains as a 'peanut gallery' with no real impact on the adventure. Not this time. This time, most of the players knew each other, and decided to bring their dead buddy with them on the rest of the adventure, using the corpse to check for traps and such- really 'involving' the dead PC in the goings-on. It was macabre, but hilarious!

Fun story, extremely sketchy mechanics

***( )( )

I just played this with a party of Inqusitor 6 (me, and my pet Roc), Conjurer Wizard 7, Occultist pregen 7, Barbarian 4. We played high tier.

I do like the story in this one. It wraps up the previous parts nicely, and for once the derros actually have a scheme going that's scary.

The fights are badly done though. It starts out embarrassingly easy and then goes way up in deadliness, and then the finale is very easy again.

Part of the deadliness is from a monster that's technically illegal except that Josh Frost says "yeah, but this time I'll allow it". It squeezes the absolute maximum of danger possible out of the system for calculating a CR. And this fight takes place in an area basically set up to make the PCs fail (and cause maximum irritation.) Another fight is basically fair but very dangerous. That was just difficult but a lot of fun because it turned into a "how do we get past this" puzzle/combat.

It is a fun scenario, but you have to bring some serious tanks. And don't be afraid to step back and reconsider your tactics for a fight.

An OK if not bang-up ending

****( )

This one was good overall. Not as good as the previous scenario in the series, but far better than Cassomir's Locker. To really make it work, in the last combat the GM has to play up the descriptive nature of the other things going on in the room in addition to the small part of the combat that the players are actually involved in in order to make it seem an epic struggle. If the GM has set things up right, and particularly if the GM has played up the Andoran faction missions, the ending can make a whole lot of sense given some interactions that the party has had in the previous two scenarios. On the other hand, the last fight can easily come off as seeming anticlimatic. ("That's it? This longstanding conspiracy involving disgraced noble houses of Taldor, cultists of an insane god, people going missing, and so forth, we just do a quick little fight like this and it's all over?") The GM would be well advised to emphasize how much else is going on the room in addition to what the PCs are doing. Also, if the GM can read this one before running the earlier scenarios in the series, he can lay down foreshadowing that will make this one more satisfying when it actually hits.

I was a bit disappointed by one room:

The "rotating room" that mirrors the rotating room from Rules of the Swift looks just like the previous room, but is clearly not the previous room since it doesn't connect to the same things! This was a fumble from my point of view. Hestia Themis should be sending the Pathfinders back to the place that they found previously (or, if it's a new group, that "other Pathfinders found"), they shouldn't just fine a room that makes them think, hey, this looks kind of like a room we saw last time around.)

The denouement ties back in to the first scenario of the series. Hints are that that, rather than the actual overall plot and overall adversary of the series, is what this is really about, as that's the title of the series (which really only makes sense for the first scenario). To my knowledge, no further scenarios after this one have followed up on these two particular NPCs and this plot thread, but if so, I'd love to know about it, so I could play and/or GM those subsequent scenarios.

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