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Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-02: Before the Dawn—Part II: Rescue at Azlant Ridge (PFRPG) PDF

***½( ) (based on 15 ratings)

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

With supplies in hand, you rush from Bloodcove to the Pathfinder expedition site at Azlant Ridge only to find it under siege. You must brave the newly discovered halls beneath the ridge in order to find the key that might save everyone.

Rescue at Azlant Ridge is the second and final scenario in the Before the Dawn campaign arc and is the sequel to Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-01: Part I: The Bloodcove Disguise.

Written by Joshua J. Frost

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 (15)
1 to 5 of 15 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 15 ratings)

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3.5 stars for plot

***( )( )

The plot is excellent, and the faction missions make sense for once.

However as other posters have noted, some of the combats get a bit silly or tedius. There is one super cool trick that almost makes this a 4 star, but It cant make up for combat-by-numbers.


Meh...

***( )( )

It almost felt like if you make to a certain point you can't fail. Which is bad, I don't want to fell like no mater what I do I can't go wrong.


KAIJU BATTLE

*****

I have not run this--I have only played it--but oh man was it fun.


Highly Memorable but many rough edges means extra prep to do well

***( )( )

Point of view: GM 6 times.

The basic premise is good, and there are highly memorable moments for players and GM. However there are weak parts and several faction missions are not well thought out.

As a GM this is a difficult scenario to run (by low level scenario standards) and requires significant prep to do well.

The first encounter is difficult to make any sort of challenge for the party at both the lower sub-tiers, though there is a potential PC killing scary single moment.

Then there is a pacing issue while the main event is happening that is tricky to get right.

And the faction missions are all over the place. You need to come up with edge cases to justify some of them.

Overall this is "one that got away" as far as it being a well rounded scenario goes. Could have been epic...

With a heavily prepped GM this is potentially a 4 star player experience.


Rescue from Rushed Editing

***( )( )

Rushed editing. Those are the two words that come to mind when I think about this scenario. Like so many other flawed scenarios, it has a great concept, but it suffers from a lack of development in the details. I get the feeling the entire scenario was rushed out the door, which is a shame.

The lack of editing is apparent from the start, major plot elements don’t match in both part 1 and part 2 of the series (does teleportation not work because of an intentional Dimensional Anchor or is it because of the orb?), although most players won’t care or will miss it.

The main problem with this scenario is the sheer number of combat encounters. There are too many combat encounters, they’re too repetitious, and they’re potentially too hard (especially if the PCs did poorly in the scenario before). If the PCs messed up before, chances are they won’t finish this scenario because they TPK or a lack of time. Either way, not fun.

A lot of really basic things didn’t make sense in this scenario either, which will bother thinking players and GMs.

”For example”:

The caravan is supposed to be a wagon and it’s supposed to go through jungle, including switchbacks trails up a mountain. First of all, how is the wagon supposed to go anywhere without roads? If there are roads (which take massive commitment in both time and manpower, making the area not secret at all), how is this dig site supposed to be secret with tracks leading up to it? LOL.

Second, have any of the developers ever been to a jungle? I’ve been to both the Amazon jungle and the jungle in Thailand, and I can tell you that horses SUCK in both jungles I’ve been in. You definitely cannot gallop through the jungle.

Also, switchback trails up jungle mountains have a lot of moisture and rock slides, resulting in extremely thin sections, too thin for even donkeys (we had human porters in Peru), and this is in modern times with modern construction techniques to fix these trails. Wagons wouldn't even fit on the largest jungle switchback trail I've seen.

So what am I saying? The caravan should be a string of 10 donkeys, not a wagon. What’s the point of all of this? The point is, the group and the Aspis shouldn’t be racing to the site, the party should be tracked, or else the Aspis should have no possibility of finding them at all.

The Aspis consortium was supposedly heading us off (supposedly cutting through the jungle, LOL), but how is that possible if:
A) They don’t know where we’re going.
B) They should be FAR behind us.
C) Horse can't cut (quickly) through raw jungle.

Where am I going with this? Act 1 is a terrible first encounter and I wish it wasn’t there at all. I just wish Diaz gave all of that gear to the PCs, saying it was gear from dead Pathfinders that they might be able to use.

”Overly dramatic”:

The other thing that bothered me is that "hundreds, perhaps thousands" of ape-men attacked the dig site. Thousands of ape-men? PLEASE.

According to the scenario, all of the mercenaries left the camp and are dead. Maybe there are a few Pathfinders alive. And several dozen slaves. (Although the scenario doesn’t specify exact numbers, I wished it would have, another editing oversight imo).

In any case, the PCs are scheduled to kill between 15-25+ charau-ka in the scenario. What happens to the other 3000+ charau-ka, did the slaves kill them? This is obviously completely unrealistic and I just shook my head as a player.

When I ran this, I decided that there was an army of 500 charau-ka, dire apes, apes, monkey swarms, and girallons attacking the dig site. It’s still an epic siege that’s against all odds, but at least it’s a little more realistic.

Also, I decided there would be 60 slaves, 20 Pathfinders, and 20 mercenaries left, to help with the siege (and to add roleplaying opportunities).

Faction missions are some of the worst I’ve seen, several of them are confusing (for both player and GM), and/or too difficult. They’re also a distraction and will likely make the scenario go overtime if they are even done at all. This scenario would have benefited from having only 1 mission per faction, or perhaps been more innovative and not had any at all.

There is a lack of roleplaying in this scenario, but it didn’t have to be written this way. Because of the lack of roleplaying, it actually made the scenario seem less dramatic than it could have been. Roleplaying builds suspension. In general I would have appreciated more roleplaying opportunities and less combats.

I think the tracking of Awareness from Part 1 didn't work very well.

”Awareness”:

A) First, it made the encounters too difficult and the scenario, too long. If you wanted to make 1 encounter more difficult, fine, but don’t make every encounter APL + 3.

B) Common sense says that the supplies wouldn’t have an immediate impact. People who are starving don’t automatically recover after eating food for 1 hour (more likely to puke actually). Same thing with the medicine, you don't recover from malaria in 1 hour. And how are weapons going to help a camp without mercenaries or with people who can’t use them?

End result: In the short term, the supplies just don’t matter.

Finally, I believe there needs to be consequences for major decisions that PCs make, even if they are cosmetic only.

”For example”:

The decision to let the Aspis army inside the palisade or not should have had consequences.
For example:
1) Letting them in decreases the number of attacking ape-men by 1 per encounter.
2) Letting them in (without speaking with them, using Diplomacy or Intimidation, and clearing the air) might result in them trying to assassinate the PCs or Diaz near the end.

Also, there were a lot of stat block errors, most notably with the big boss. RAW, the encounter with the big boss is anti-climatic.

”Final criticism, about the weapon”:
If you were going to let a PC get “the weapon”, you should have at least let him have it and wipe out another 1-2 encounters with that thing. It would have been fun, quick (autohit and auto kill) and made sense since hundreds of ape-men attacked.

Length: At least 5-6 hours. When I played it, it took 5 hours and we only finished 4 encounters out of 7. When I GMed it, it took 5.5 hours.
Sweet Spot: Subtier 3-4 is best. Subtier 1-2 is too deadly and subtier 6-7 doesn’t scale well.
Experience: Player and GM at subtier 3-4 with 4 players in each.
Entertainment: RAW, it’s a good idea but not executed well. (7/10)
Roleplay: RAW, very little. (2/10)
Combat/Challenges: Too hard, too repetitious, no interesting choices, too many combats. (3/10)
Maps: Awesome main map. Kudos. (10/10)
Boons: There should have been a boon, but there isn’t. (n/a)
Uniqueness: Despite its flaws, it was a cool idea and unique. (10/10)
Faction Missions: Crapppppppp. (2/10)
Overall: Cool concept, I think it just suffered from a lack of editing and development. (5/10)


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