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Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-23: Shadow's Last Stand—Part I: At Shadow's Door (PFRPG) PDF

**( )( )( ) (based on 16 ratings)

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

The Shadow Lodge’s assault on the Pathfinder Society has come to a head in the Andoren city of Almas, where renegade Shadow Pathfinders have taken over the Grand Cathedral of Aroden, holding the Pathfinders and Venture-Captain stationed there hostage. You must gain entry into the overrun Pathfinder lodge and put an end to the open warfare within the Society.

Written by Steven Robert.

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 (16)
1 to 5 of 16 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

**( )( )( ) (based on 16 ratings)

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A confusing mess.

**( )( )( )

(I both played and GMed this.)

There isn't much exciting about this scenario, it's about as bog-standard as they come. I've sort of been going through the Shadow Lodge story arc with a group and so far, it's pretty lacklustre.

The background is boring, there aren't any opportunities for roleplay, except for a little one, fights are mostly bland, and except for the first fight, combat is pretty standard. And oh boy, that first fight. It has the potential to be a TPK written all over it, and it would've been, if I hadn't toned it down a bit. Other than that, though, combats are pretty disappointing. Enemies are interesting in theory, but are so outnumbered they fall due to sheer action economy.

Also, that map. Urgh. The map itself is confusing, there are lots of pointless rooms, and some rooms are just plain confusing without any payoff (the library comes to mind). Also, some omissions (enemy placement, secret doors, and where the PCs are supposed to enter, for instance) can lead to some GM improvisation.

Still, though, we had a good time. Below average, but not a waste of time.

A Tactics Bonanza (Some Spoilers)

****( )

I GM'd this (low tier) at my local game store and all the players seemed to enjoy themselves. If you enjoy tactics, and can use them well, then you will likely enjoy this adventure. If you ignore the special conditions and tactics then you will find this boring and plodding.

Spoilers follow, so if you're going to play this, stop now!

Virtually all the encounters get their novelty by using relatively uncommon tactics. This makes combat interesting and fresh so don't ignore them if you GM, seriously. Luckily my players were the "tactics types" and immediately picked up on how things needed to go. Even the challenging stained glass was handled well, eventually -- they grappled it and tossed it off the balcony. Then dropped heavy things on it.

Roleplay is minimal, but you can get a lot out of the hobgoblins if you put some effort into it (the snipers taunt and run, the BBEG is smug and sinister). The homunculi are also a prime source of roleplaying if you want to inject humor or creepy (whichever you or your players prefer). The atmosphere is thick, with all the old religious iconography; and a sense of tragedy/despair is well represented, with the dead party-goers and destroyed rooms.

The last room is especially tense with the pseudo-time limit in place. This felt very urgent and the players immediately felt the need to hurry. It was also easy to GM as it's a simple countdown. The tactics (feats) and conditions (rough terrain) in this room are very important; pay attention, otherwise the combat is over too soon or very vanilla.

I removed a full star for the terrible map however. Not only are there missing symbols, but the amount of extra "dead space" is annoying. There's nothing worse than players opening door after door with only filler in them. I redrew the map and removed all the extra 5'x5' rooms and reduced the two towers to two rooms. Why spend 30-60 minutes searching emptiness?

As for the tunnel, I had it pre-collapsed by the hobgoblins. My group would've gone into it otherwise!

Pretty fun and novel

****( )

People sure seem to dislike this one, but I was pleasantly surprised. The whole scenario takes place in a cathedral, which was an interesting setting. Though the initial sneaking-in isn't particularly well done, I thought each encounter was interesting:

-An air elemental that uses fly-by attack while the PCs are stuck on a balcony-- he's hard to hit and good at hitting, and your PCs will need to use good tactics (like readying actions) to bring him down. Luckily, he doesn't do much damage, so he's unlikely to wipe them out.

-An animated window that humorously tackles a PC-- getting through his DR is tough for low level parties, but his AC and HP, again, aren't really high enough for him to be truly dangerous (unless your PCs are level 1, perhaps).

-Two goblins that use secret doors to sneak around the PCs-- it's fun for the PCs to have to deal with goblins appearing and disappearing, and the goblins are so weak that they'll go down in a hit or two, meaning the the fight is novel, but again, not truly frustrating or deadly.

-Finally, the boss, whose main goal is to delay the PCs while some NPCs are strangling to death on a gallows; he makes cool use of a feat to keep PCs from advancing. He has pretty robust stats, but since he's mostly worried about stopping them and not working at killing PCs one at a time, dealing with him should be doable (again, good tactics help).

The maps are missing some labels, which is a big problem-- check out the "product discussion" tab here for some help with that.

I do find it odd that people act like the underground tunnel the PCs aren't supposed to go in is a huge problem. I could see it being an issue in a home game where PCs are obsessed with exploring every angle, but... this is a four hour PFS game. If you hint to the PCs that they should leave it alone, they will if they're not morons.

There isn't a ton of plot here, but that seems to be the case with most of the Shadow Lodge scenarios-- there just isn't that much actual information for the PCs to uncover.

A pretty short scenario. You'll probably finish early.

Bland dungeon crawl

**( )( )( )

So, a bunch of hobgoblins manage to take over a Pathfinder lodge and overpower a Venture Captain. What do we do? Let's send in these new level 1 recruits!

Saved from the 1 star bin due to the entertaining Chelish mission and a couple of interesting fights. I have a feeling this scenario would work better as a movie than as an RPG.

Not as bad as the reviews indicate...

****( )

I've both played and GM'd this scenario in the 3-4 subtier. As a player, I had a really great time. As a GM, I both enjoyed running it, and the players had a great time.

There's not a lot of roleplay - which usually means I wouldn't give a scenario more than 3 stars, but the combats in this scenario are unique enough and challenging to set it apart and make it worth playing.

I wouldn't recommend this scenario for suboptimal characters at the 3-4 subtier. They are challenging even for a 6-person party, which is what helps to make this exciting.

It's in the description above, but it is indeed a hostage situation at the Temple of Aroden. GMs should make sure to set up the scene in a quiet early morning, with critical named NPCs (who feature prominently in PFS lore) being held hostage - and it's unknown whether or not they are still alive, or will be much longer. The most likely way in gives the players a good "Mission Impossible" vibe as they drop into a scene of horror that should be described.

There are four major combats, and each is interesting due to the mechanics, especially the last one, which has a real sense of tension and immediacy to it.

Don't let the 1.5 star review fool you. If you've got a seasoned 3-4 group and they like tough fights, this one is actually a gem.

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