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Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-11: The Penumbral Accords (PFRPG) PDF

***( )( ) (based on 21 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 4–5).

The daughters of Absalom's mysterious Blakros family have long been among the most pursued maidens in the Inner Sea. Now the family's matriarch approaches the Pathfinder Society to help her break a centuries-old pact with the denizens of the Plane of Shadow to save her twin daughters from a life of servitude at the hands of the Onyx Alliance. Heading into the fan-favorite adventuring location of Blakros Museum, the PCs have only a short amount of time to break the Penumbral Accords and solidify the Pathfinder Society's ties to the powerful Blakroses.

Written by Owen K.C. Stephens

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 (22)
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***( )( ) (based on 21 ratings)

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A monotonous string of combat encounters in a very cool setting

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(I have played this as with a level 3 character in Tier 4-5)


The scenario starts off with a premise that may be hard to swallow for Lawful characters, be warned. It then quite nicely sets a gothic horror scene but fails to deliver buy just turning into a string of combat encounters that vary greatly in difficulty.

If this is the only scenario offered, go ahead, there is some fun to be had if you keep your expectations low. If you have other options, take them, you won't miss out on anything here.


First of all: I really, really like the concept of the Blackros Museum and definitely wanted to like this scenario. The Shadow Plane convergence is an awesome idea and I love the idea of the twisted mirror image of the museum. However, 3 out of 5 combats are against fetchlings. That is enough to make it feel repetitive, even though all enemies have different class levels.
The battle with the main villain also was a joke for our group of 6 vs 1. Make sure you play the alchemist well, though, that battle was the most fun of the whole scenario.

All in all, I did have some fun with the battles and mechanically it seems fine, so it wasn't a total train wreck. But it is definitely below par for the Society, at least in my experience, and I would not recommend this to anyone.

***( )( )

Straightforward, flavorful, fun, but a little easy and too simple

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Let's first talk about ambiance. I think the scenario has a very good start; the setting description is flavorful and has the potential to be creepy. However, somehow it doesn't really cross over into being a proper horror scenario. I think the potential wasn't fully exploited. That's somewhat due to the rather simple map used; not enough twists and turns, too many big rooms. It's a bit sad; Shadow Absalom is looking very intrigueing, I wish this was exploited more. Perhaps an idea for a new scenario?

This is clearly an older scenario and it feels a bit dated and simple. That can also be an advantage though if used by a less experienced GM or to introduce new players; in that case it's nicely straightforward.

On the whole I think the scenario's difficulty is on the easy side, when the GM sticks to the rules and scenario as written. There are quite a few suggestions in the GM threads on how to oomph it up and/or interpret some vague rules in the scenario in a harsher way. On the one hand those might make the scenario more interesting/challenging; on the other hand you're on the slippery slope of altering scenarios which you're not supposed to do in PFS. Because some of the bad guys' advantages are rather trivially overcome by simple measures by the PCs, there may be the temptation to block that (going against the scenario). I think the best course might be to run this scenario with 4 players (the amount it was written for) rather than 6, and keep the difficulty as-is.

Little to no role-play and potentially a subpar ending

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I've played this scenario at the lowest tier and as I'm writing this, I struggle on what to make of the scenario. I have to admit that my first experience with the Blackros museum did leave quite the impression. The fact that some more experienced players had their characters instantly facepalm and sigh at the first mention of the museum, says a lot. Clearly there's always something going on at that place and apparently they're always in need of assistance. That really sets the tone for the scenario in a good way. It is relatively easy to feel immersed in the situation.

I, as a character, did struggle with rating the encounters. There are quite a few of them, but it can not be said they're repetitive. Some, however, are clearly harder than others. There's a blatant lack of balance in difficulty in this scenario. My party in particular had issues with one of encounters, but that is to be expected from opponents with damage reduction at the early levels. The fight immediately after that one, however, really put a smile on my face. It was far less challenging, but the opponent itself was hilarious - albeit in part due to the excellent portrayal by our GM. To summarise: the fights are varied, both in opponents faced as well as difficulty.

For those less keen on fighting and more on role-playing, I'd have to say this scenario falls short. There are some opportunities, but they're not exactly worth mentioning. You can certainly interact with some NPC's, but the emphasis is clearly on fighting. On the topic of role-playing: the very last portion of the scenario is pretty subpar. You really need at least one character that's more or less magic-savvy. To make matters worse, you will most likely a lucky dice-roll to understand what you're supposed to do in that situation. Alternatively you can take a wild guess and follow the old saying of 'when in doubt, hit it with a stick', but you won't have any clue to what you're exactly doing. It can make for a rather anti-climactic ending, something that clearly is no fun at all. As someone who favors role-playing and interaction above fighting, I'm inclined to advise against playing this scenario.


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This is based on a 1st level tier playthrough.

The group consisted of one 2nd level ranger, and four first levels--an inquisitor, a samurai (pregen), a monk, and a pyrokineticist playtester.

Just want to say now, that if it hadn't been for the ranger, who just hit 2nd level, picking up a cure light wand at the beginning, this would have been a TPK. The ranger player kept track of how much damage he'd taken. By the end of the scenario, he had taken 80 pts of damage, just by himself, and used 20 charges off the wand to heal the party. The monk had used up all of his potions of cure light, and the inquisitor had used up both of her cure light slots.

This was not written fairly. A construct with DR 5/-, SR 13, AND AC 20 was just stupid. How broken did the writer think 1st level characters could get? Then the next room has someone 15 ft. up the wall lobbing acid bombs that do burning and splash damage, and they have a 50/50 mischance on their AC? Um, what? Again, 1st level! And then to add insult to injury, the other rooms had the easiest fights EVER! We beat them during the surprise round.

Then the worst of worsts. The only way to beat the entire scenario, which ended up being a loss because no one in the party had the skill, was to make a Knowledge (arcana) check on how to stop the events. Didn't even have detect magic to even find what was causing the effects. The GM was even willing to give us a Knowledge (religion) check, but no one had that either. A 2nd level party MIGHT have had a chance.

I think what personally disappointed me the most was there was no room for negotiations regarding encounters. No handle animal checks, no diplomacy, no wild empathy, nothing. The GM allowed us to make the checks regardless, and then apologized during initiative because it was a specific beat-em up. Really?

Overall, very unimpressed by the scenario. Everyone at the table wondered what the point of us even playing was. Even the GM couldn't get over how at higher tiers the encounters seemed easier to deal with.

The venture captain knows our complaints, and next time this game comes up to be played, he will personally make sure that the party is better balanced and higher level.

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