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Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-06: The Heresy of Man—Part I: The First Heresy (PFRPG) PDF

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

For more than 2 millennia, the nation of Rahadoum has lived under the Laws of Man that decreed "let no man be beholden to a god." While this has led to relative peace without religious strife, it has left the nation devoid of divine healing and magical methods to provide succor to those ravaged by disease or injury. When a new and mysterious plague begins ravaging the coastal villages of Rahadoum, you are sent by the Pathfinder Society to escort a cleric of Sarenrae into the heart of the plague in order to protect a secret Pathfinder research project. Getting there means smuggling the cleric in as contraband and when the Pure Legion, Rahadoum's defense against religion, get wind of your arrival, you must fight not only to protect the cleric, but to keep yourselves from being executed for violating the First Heresy.

The First Heresy is the first scenario in the The Heresy of Man campaign arc. Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-07: The Heresy of Man—Part II: Where Dark Things Sleep is the sequel.

Written by Greg A. Vaughan and Kevin Wright

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 (5)

Average product rating:

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The introduction to the mission was nice, but I felt like there wasn't much plot beyond insertion. Also, the encounters were outright pathetic. The final encounter took about 15 minutes real time, 2 rounds in-game. We actually didn't realize it was the final encounter until the GM started filling out Chronicle sheets, as we had only been playing for about 90 minutes, and hadn't been rushing either. A real cakewalk, this one.


***( )( )

Played part 1 at the lower tier. Most of the scenario is good entertaining fun but there was one scenario (more annoying darkness) that almost ended with a TPK. At this point I'm fed up of so many PFS scenarios featuring this overused encounter element. Other than that though, this was an ok adventure.
I'm hoping that part 2 is better.

My first PFS review

****( )

This product is 24 pages long. It starts with a cover, intro and credits. (3 pages)

This Pathfinder Society adventure is for 5-9th level characters. It starts off with a NPC dialogue and advice for questions the PC's are likely ask and what the answers would be. As well as advice on running the NPC that goes with the PC's on the adventure. (1 page)

Act 1 – Night Shoals (1 page)
The bases of the adventure is the PC's are to smuggle a NPC cleric into Rahadoum. They go from boat to the shore of the country. This is where the adventure officially starts. The first act is getting from the boat to the smugglers tunnels where there contact is to meet them. There is 3 water hazard encounters in this section.

Act 2 - Qassabah Heb Amar (12 pages)
This act is about the PC's entering the smugglers caves by row boat to meet their contact. There is 4 encounters with a optional 5th encounter depending on how well the PC's are doing on time. At the end of this section it also deals with how to handle it if the PC's fail as well as the faction missions.

Next there is a OGL and player hand outs. The faction mission handouts. (3 pages)

It ends with 2 pages of ads and a scenario sheet for the GM to fill out. (3 pages)

Closing thoughts. It is a pretty simple and straight forward adventure. I have never run or taken part in a Pathfinder Society adventure myself, but I understand the point of them. All of the fraction points for the missions seems fairly reasonable to attain to honestly down right easy. The adventure is well written with good art, maps, layout as you would expect from Paizo.

But there is two possible issues with the adventure. First one if fairly minor and I think easily dealt with by a experienced GM who has read the adventure. The second problem could be more sever. Since these are spoilers I will discuss each below in spoiler tags.

Spoiler One:

One first entering the smuggler caves there is actually two ways in, the larger more obvious one and a smaller one that can be reached by climbing up a ladder from the water. Now the adventure as is, does not make it one hundred percent explicit to the PC's which is the right way. But in my honest opinion a GM who has read the adventure and understands the point of these adventures will make sure to nudge the PC's along the right path or even just at the start when the NPC sends them off the main ship tells them their contact is on the beach, to avoid any confusion. A oversight by Paizo yes but I think a minor one.

Spoiler Two:

One of the encounters could be very deadly to some groups who don't have a way to combat one of it's special abilities. With the lower tier group this is especially true, with the higher tier group it would be a lot less of a issue. In a normal adventure the PC's could just by pass the encounter and explore the rest of the adventure or leave and come back later. But with this one there is no way around it nor time to leave and come back. That is what makes this potentially a problem for this adventure in the Pathfinder Society format. Not all monsters regardless of CR is always equal. Still with the NPC cleric along, a GM could have them help out enough I think to make the fight manageable, even to parties not equipped to deal with it. Which is even suggested in the adventure the in the adventure if things get tight to have the NPC help out.

So it seems like a solid interesting adventure, but one the GM should have read completely before hand and be ready to tweak things to keep it going. So whats my rating? Well with a good GM I would give it a 4 star. With a bad GM and a party not well suited for this adventure it could leave some players very unhappy, feeling they was put in a unfair situation. So I would only recommend this for GM's willing to do their homework ahead of time and ready to use every tool the scenario provides to insure it is a fun time for all.

No good roll goes unpunished

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I played The Heresy of Man, Part 1: The First Heresy at tier 5-6 with a well prepared GM at U-Con. I think we had a good balance of characters at the table, but not necessarily an optimal or power build table. This review is based on playing the adventure, I have not read it.

I enjoyed that the opening encounter was skill/role-playing oriented instead of combat oriented.

Detailed info in spoiler


Unfortunately, in this adventure, my good perception check really hurt us in the end. As we approached the caves, I made a good perception check and spotted the tunnel to the right, up on the wall. We took the small tunnel and never had an opportunity to explore the cave to the left. In the end we learned that we had missed out at earning about 50% of the treasure and both prestige awards for the Andoran faction.

My PC generally has a difficult time earning PA for the Andoran faction, but I never got the opportunity to even try to earn it. Even though we skipped several encounters in the caves, I still feel as if I was cheated of the opportunity to earn the gold and PA. Also, I don’t know how we would have finished in our 4-hour slot if we had explored the cave.

In the stairwell/tower, our group had no good way of fighting the Deeper Darkness that we were enveloped in. I’m not sure if it was our group make-up or the adventure, but it seems that even if we did have spells to fight Deeper Darkness, (I haven’t read the adventure) the critter’s Deeper Darkness power would have just drained us of the spells until it’s power prevailed. I spent most of this encounter felling completely helpless.

In the end, I just didn’t have fun. It wasn’t the GM, he did a great job, it was the adventure. We’d played really hard, made some good skill rolls, but still lost a PC and earned no PA and only 50% gold.

Final Thoughts

After reading the Undiscovered Traitor boon, I felt as if I had been slapped in the face. It has no purpose being on the Chronicle. Simple crossing off the An Agent Uncovered boon should have sufficed.


Behind the Book—Starspawn,

Mummy's Mask and PAX West,

Feast On These Modules,

Two Cave Creatures,

Encounter the Unspeakable!,

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