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Pathfinder Society


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game


PaizoCon 2016

Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-25: You Only Die Twice (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 12 ratings)

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

The Pathfinder Society sends you into the undead-ruled nation of Geb for an undercover mission, not disguised as undead, but temporarily transformed into a shambling, zombie version of yourself. Can you survive the ordeal to return to the land of the living, or will your final grave be among Geb’s bones?

Written by Hyrum Savage.

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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PZOPSS0225E


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Product Reviews (12)
1 to 5 of 12 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 12 ratings)

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You only die twice, but once is enough

****( )

In the review below by Ascalaphus, he mentions the death of a character. Turns out that my Alchemist was going to have a bad day. It's a risk you take when playing up, but if we hadn't done so the scenario would have been casual stroll in the park. Even now I feel like the first couple of encounters were pretty much non-existant. However that last fight can really be scary.

Now, I'm not entirely sold on the story, or rather, the objective. If a book is that powerful, why are we Pathfinders the only ones actively looking for it? Just because you're undead doesn't mean you stop looking. You got all the time in the world simply because you can not die. That said, the rest of the scenario is excellent. You really get a different perspective on things once you've been undead and visited an undead heavy society. It's an eye-opener of sorts and the creative setup alone makes this a scenario everyone should play.

The only reason I'm not giving it five stars, is the fact that the scenario is written as a railroad and doesn't expect players to deviate from it. However, that's basically our group did with little to no effort: deviate from the beaten path. I could see (and hear) the GM struggling to get us to go in the right direction again since in his words 'this wasn't supposed to happen'. Mind you, he did a great job stitching things back together, but I find it unfortunate doesn't take multiple approaches into account. That said: fun and unique scenario, well worth playing!


Spicy dead meat

****( )

When mustering we had a choice of barely playing up or barely playing own, depending on PC choices. Wanting a real fight instead of a cakewalk, we played up. It ended with one PC dead (but recoverable) and another one nearly so, but we literally managed to snatch a complete victory from the jaws of defeat.

I really liked the scenario. Being turned into undead upsets a lot of standard tactics and interacting with undead turns a lot of alignment assumptions upside down. The closest our party came to having a moral center was 8 year old Yoon; the rest of us were not humans and not good. I think the scenario works a bit smoother with a more good-ish party, although any cleric or paladin is going to do a lot of squirming. Actually, the descriptions of life in Geb had us as players squirming quite a lot.

With regards to other reviewers who ask, how can any cleric/paladin of a good faith go along with this mission: simple. You can leave *evil thing* out there where anyone can use it, or put it in the vaults of the Grand Lodge so we can learn how to fight against it. Easy as that. (Just don't go asking what we really do with it.)

Seen from a distance the fights in this one are relatively normal, but being undead makes things a lot different. And the fights have the potential to really go south. I liked the boss, nice boss speech, short and to the point. He put up a good fight too, and then some.

The reason I'm not going 5 stars is because there's a big weakness in the plot, in the middle. When (something happened) we decided follow the instructions of the VC and stay out of trouble, which wasn't really hard. One wizard cast Invisibility Sphere, the other yelled "Dimension Door!" and passed a Bluff check. From that point on we ran off-script because we lost the connection to the next encounter. Fortunately we had a good GM who managed to figure out how to proceed from there, and he patched the plot back together in an elegant way. As it later turned out, the part that we avoided is actually the "fragile" part of the plot that's just as likely to go totally south anyway.


Tough and straightfoward

*****

Played in tier 8-9.

A very short and fun story, pathfinders disguise into undead and interact with NPCs you don't meet mostly!

Combat-central, the third one is extremely deadly(fine in low tier). With DR15/-, fast healing, lots of immune and special attacks, we just can't do much damage even with three high DPR melee(bloodrager, hunter&AC, battle oracle). The two worms are cakewalk for our team even fight consistently.

Good roleplays too, love the morog, but the "int 8 Pharasma cleric" even don't have a fxxking brain :(


Well crafted flavor, mechanics miss the mark

***( )( )

tl;dr Amazing story couched in bad mechanics, don't play the high-tier without fireballs.

I divide my reviews into two sections: fluff and crunch. Fluff is everything from NPC personalities to room descriptions to narrative flow. Mechanics is how 'level appropriate' and interesting enemies, traps, navigating, and socializing are. Each can have up to three stars, with 0 stars being absolutely terrible and 3 stars far exceeding any expectations I had.

Fluff: 3 stars

The mission itself is really quite cool. It had great atmosphere, and the narrative provides a kind of twisted reflection of the 'save the villagers from the bad raiders' motif. The backstory is cool, the NPCs are interesting, and all of it is very unconventional.

Crunch 0 stars:

Holy crap are the mechanics bad though. The Undead template wasn't my issue (well, there was a small thing, but more on that later). My issues were elsewhere:

1st encounter: We played in the high tier and managed to Diplomacy our way through it. However, after reading the low-tier it becomes clear that a party can't reasonably do that if even ONE PC fails a Will save against one of the NPC's auras. Just a silly way to derail an interesting story element.

2nd encounter: This is actually probably my biggest beef with the scenario, as the party can basically fail the mission by not thinking to do something that Pathfinder rules normally don't allow. A group of NPCs ambush you, and unless you use Diplomacy to talk them down (which is normally impossible or at least ludicrously unfeasible in combat) you will lose the mission. They are the only way to get the required information to reach the remainder of the mission. Our group didn't realize that we were in imaginary made up rules land, and took them down non-lethally on a lark. We pretended to enslave them, and set them free in the woods. Thing is, there was no real reason to believe that they had the information we needed, so we let them go. We played for about another hour (six weeks of game time wandering through the muck) before figuring out that we just needed to go two miles south of WHERE WE FOUGHT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. This kind of narrative bottleneck is just silly.

The Haunt. Oh god, the haunt. Anyone planning to run this should know that this haunt CANNOT reduce PCs to below 1 HP. It works like the heal spell that way, which is not how the in-scenario text writes it. In fact, Undead Anatomy 1 wouldn't make the PCs take any damage from it, as it isn't a cure spell or channeled energy. Technically it should heal the players. In any case, having a 6th level single target touch spell turned into a 30 foot diameter burst with no attack roll THAT GETS A SURPRISE ROUND is just incredibly over-the-top against lvls 8-9 PCs. GMs who don't know about the Product Discussion notes from Mark Moreland (weird place to have that) can (and probably have) TPKed parties in a surprise round.

Encounter 3: (This is REALLY spoiled, so really don't read if you haven't played.) In the low tier, I think this fight is about right. In the high tier, the combination of DR 15/-, fast healing 10, and immunity to precision damage/flanking/crits, mind-effecting, and any single-target effect makes this fight unwinnable for many parties. We basically just stole the thing we needed and ran away, because our party was incapable of damaging it. Essentially the only solutions at this level are martials that completely bypass DR (Clustered Shot archers, Pummeling Style monks, and Paladins, who basically can't play due to the whole 'lying by pretending to be undead and not freeing every human they come into contact with') or AoE blasters like Sorcerers and Alchemists. If you don't have one of those, you can't win. We spent 15 rounds in combat. He had no spells left above 2nd level, and we were all still fine. It just became a war of attrition where nobody had an end-game.

We never played what SHOULD be the final fight, but it looked cool when I read it after we finished.


****( )

Played this at low tier. Party was witch 6, wizard 5, swashbuckler 6, and Arcanist 5.

A clever scenario idea and an little used setting. The encounters were suitably tough and fun to play against. A good fun scenario in a vein that I'd like to see more of.


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