Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-01: The Frostfur Captives (PFRPG) PDF (based on
Paizo Publishing, LLC
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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for Levels 1–5.
Tasked with escorting a group of goblin prisoners from their camp to civilization for interrogation by the Pathfinder Society, you must protect them not only from the beasts and hazards of the wilderness, but themselves.
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.
I think there's a typo concerning the record sheet. The tier 4-5 gold is listed as Tier 3-4. Also, herding goblins wasn't exactly what I had in mind as a pathfinder. While my character thinks of it as an example of why the Shadow Lodge is gaining prominence, out of character I thought it was hilarious.
Also, herding goblins wasn't exactly what I had in mind as a pathfinder. While my character thinks of it as an example of why the Shadow Lodge is gaining prominence, out of character I thought it was hilarious.
It's interesting that you should say that. It's generally not considered good form to remark on feedback, but... I'm sort of curious which faction you played. That's a rhetorical question, but I'm curious nonetheless.
This will not spoil the adventure, but I am going put this in spoilers tags anyway.
The Shadow Lodge faction actually touches upon what you're saying.
During the tower encounter the PC's got ahead of themselves and forgot to watch the goblins at the end of the battle. 3 goblins swallowed alchemists fire (2 lived, 1 died right then and there from spontaneous combustion). PC's had no clue why until they got to town and the goblins lit the inn on fire. Oh what fun!
I played Andoran but it doesn't matter. It wasn't a comment on the specifics of the adventure at all. The Shadow Lodge in Season 3 tries to make sure individual Pathfinders are misused or mistreated. Being forced to babysit, as they were described in the blurb of the We Be Goblins module, "Pathfinder's most popular psychopaths" starts to feel like abuse...quickly.
The Scenario's are now going with two tier's from now on instead of three? Just curious? :)
I think so, yeah. Pretty sure I heard that somewhere; something about reducing subtier option confusion or something like that.
I don't speak for Mr. Moreland, but I can tell you this as an author, if you're only working with two tiers you have a larger word count to work with. That can be a big deal.
We have a set word count, and certain elements are absolutely mandatory. If we're working with just two tiers, that is one less set of statblocks per encounter. Those statblocks count towards your total, even if they're not "text" in the strictest sense of the word. That word count can be re-invested in better and more interesting encounters and set-up.
Mark's reasons may be entirely different, but that is the practical upshot for the author.
Had an absolute blast running Frostfur Captives this past weekend!
The intro to the scenario says to remember that they are horrible beasts. It's pretty hard to keep that in mind when running them. My players and I love the PFRPG versions of the little freaks. I definitely downplayed the "evil" a little bit on their end. Since the PC's treated them better than they'd ever been treated previously, they were a little reluctant to be handed off at the end of the adventure, one of them going to far as to give his favorite caregiver a "playful" bite on the leg for 1d4 dmg!
My favorite improvised bit was how they "helped" in the last scene. The players forgot rule #1 and had them locked in the storeroom, but never thought to take the torches out of the sconces. Not wanting to leave them in the dark, they left the Initmidating half-orc rogue as a gatekeeper. So when the two Blackravens attacked, the goblins began grabbing torches off the wall and "helpfully" hucking them at the Blackravens while the rogue engaged in melee. Any Blackraven that fell to the ground for any reason immediately had to contend with five torch bearing goblins.
It was humorous, creepy, and bizarre all at the same time. Definitely a scenario where the GM should be allowed to "flex" a little and remember that he has as much right to enjoy the scenario as the players!
I played and judged Frostfur this past weekend and really enjoyed it. The goblin hijinks were a blast and it was an otherwise unothodox PFS mod.
** spoiler omitted **
I judged frostfur last weekend, used Chris's goblin personalities from this post (warning spoilers)Here
They were so much more well received. Dung hurler followed any impressive shot with an improvised ranged attack of his own (and rolled a 20 twice). Corpselicker was asked to lick the heads of the defeated goblins, and Ankleknocker decided to try to drill a hole in the head of a goblin caught and tied up during the first encounter
I believe that her name should be Ragna Lightfoot. Sverrir is only referenced once as is Lightstep. Go with...
N female Ulfen ranger 7
I didn't notice this question when it was posted, but I can clarify now- or rather confirm.
Ragna was originally Sverrir. The gender balancing was a bit off and Sverrir was made female in development and given a female name. That reference must have been missed.
Adventures should have a healthy mix of genders, but as my first adventure that hadn't quite sunk in yet (something I've since addressed). Mark did a course correction and made the ranger female, as was appropriate.
TRIVIA: The Blackraven leader at the end was named Osric, because that sounded like a good and proper Ulfen name. Plus, I wasn't trying to easter egg, but as a Chronicles of Amber junkie (by Roger Zelazny)- I was always intrigued by Benedict's mysterious older brothers, Osric and Finndo. "Osric" had a nice ring, and it sounded culturally appropriate.
But my diligent and sharp-eyed developer Mr. Moreland pointed out, "I don't think you did this on purpose, but you realize that OSRIC has become an an acronym, haven't you?"
And there you go ladies and gentlemen; that's why Developers and RPG Superstar judges tell you to google your names. Sometimes you don't even realize you're doing it.
Teeny tiny spoiler (not really, but I wanted to comment on the review)
I just wanted to affirm what you said about time and length. I was warned by my friendly neighborhood Developer that it looked like it could run long, but I wasn't sure. I like me some role-playing. I'll make note of that in Scenarios going forward.
I played this tonight for the first time and was completely frustrated. I was Grand Lodge faction and my faction quest stated "Don't let a single goblin escape". When getting this at the start of the session, you know only that you are escorting goblins - no idea what your encounters will be. The sense you get is that you are to kill the goblins you are escorting. Since you are unaware how the quest will finish, you don't really know if you are to kill the goblins (or allow them to be killed) or not.
How we played out the game was based on my interpretation that they were to be killed but the DM then stated otherwise when the moment came for their probable death. This confusion led to the death of PCs, including my own.
I certainly don't mind a PC dying because of the gameplay (especially at level 1) but when there is confusion like this because of badly worded material, it seems quite unfair to the players involved.
The tower section really needs a change of monsters or the quest more clarified as to WHICH goblins are to die. Even after playing and completing the quest, I still don't know what the original intention is.
I'm sorry you didn't have a good time with the scenario! Just to explain:
The overall scenario goal is to deliver your goblin captives to the extraction team alive. The Grand Lodge faction leader is literally the one who gives out the overall objective.
The phrase "allow no goblin to escape alive" should be more nuanced. To understand his meaning, its helpful to remember that no goblin is to escape your custody. Neverthless, the overall scenario requires you to deliver live goblins to the extraction team, a total number equal to half the number of PCs +1. So, a party of six PCs needs to deliver at least 4 live goblins at the end ((6/2)+1). So it is possible to lose a couple goblins, either from getting killed due to their own foolishness, or by having them run away from the PCs.
Its okay for an extra goblin to get killed, but some entirely different to allow one to run away and tell the Society's enemies what they're up to. What Ambrus is saying is "don't allow any of the goblins to escape alive."
Why? Because they could get back to the remnants of the **old** Shadow Lodge and warn them that the Society is still searching for them. It sounds like the overall objective and the faction mission contradict each other, but they don't really. You can satisfy both by just not allowing any goblins to escape your custody alive. And they can do that! They can sneak away, run away during a fight, or jump on the back of a wolf and ride away.
As for having two different groups of goblins, perhaps there was too much description based upon the race of your captives, rather than on the fact that they are your prisoners. You could play this same scenario out with modern rules and nothing but humans, and it would still be a valid story. In fact, I think its a common movie plot. Imagine if the goblins were part of the Mafia, and you have to deliver them as confidential witnesses- you might have to protect them from everyone, including other members of the Mob. Does that make sense? Also with it being Irrisen, where goblins have the rights of citizens, a competing goblin tribe makes a valid challenge, especially at the CR. Differing goblin tribes are notorious for hating each other on Golarion. They're extremely territorial.
I don't like to criticize GMs, but it sounds like the GM could have helped to explain this a little bit.
I hope that helps a little, and again, I'm sorry that it was confusing for you.
The faction missions were a bit off for my taste but this was the first adventure I ever wrote. I looked at the faction missions towards the end of my plotting out the story, these days I try to think them up as I do the main plot and before I start writing the text.
I'd have loved for there to be some negative consequences to that one encounter, but there just wasn't room. The best I think of at the time was to have the NPCs respond to the threat of those potential negative consequences as if they were real.. because they would be without the metagame constraints set scenario real time duration and length.
First, goblins have +10 in the Ride skill. Wolves are suitable mounts for goblins. They prefer goblin dogs of course, but wolves acting as mounts for goblins are time honored tradition that is even reflected in Bestiary 1 (check the organization entry). The differentiation between goblin dogs, wolves, and worgs is also a matter of what the sort of CR you want to end up when you're making the encounter.
Wolves are not suitable as mounts for most creatures, (again, I am citing the Ride skill and not Handle Animal) but they are for goblins.
Now I suppose one could argue that wolves are not "trained" to be mounts, even for goblins. If you want to take that tact, you're correct. As GM, I would probably hand waive that for the sake of story. It doesn't negatively impact the players directly. Of course, as the scenario's author I can also be said to be biased.
Secondly, they're goblins. They're not seriously intended to succeed. They're crazy and homicidal and certainly self-destructive. That's the underlying point of goblins, and certainly the underlying point of this specific scenario. They blow themselves up and set each other on fire if given the chance. Trying to ride a creature they're ill-equipped to handle is actually par for the course. And if you make it too easy for them to ride away, you're really unfairly screwing the players out of a chance to complete the mission.
I think they may have added something since you wrote it. The text is as follows:
The Frostfur goblin are unafraid of the wolves, as the
two races have an affinity for each other. The goblins wail
at the slaughter of the wolves (even if the wolves are trying
to slaughter them in return). If the PCs are distracted
in combat, an unrestrained goblin tries to jump on a
wolf ’s back and escape by riding away. This can only be
accomplished with the Subtier 4–5 wolves (of Medium
size), but that won’t prevent the goblins in Subtier 1–2
from trying and failing miserably. A goblin need to
succeed at a DC 20 Ride check to stay on the unwilling
mount’s back and a DC 20 Handle Animal check to get
the wild beast to actually ride away with the creature on
its back. Any goblin who attempts to ride a wolf and fails
attracts the wolf ’s attention, and it diverts its next attack
to that goblin.
So they can make that ride check, but not the handle animal check.