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Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-16: The Midnight Mauler (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 10 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3–7.

The Decemvirate sends members of the Pathfinder Society to the former crown jewel of Ustalav's royal courts, the decaying city of Ardis. Tasked by the Society to look into the fate of Absalom's former Master of Blades, Vonran Vilk, what they find will lead to exploration, diplomacy, murder, haunted pasts, and tragic love. Can the PCs stop the rampage of the Midnight Mauler before he kills again?

"The Midnight Mauler" was originally an exclusive adventure, run only by 4-star Pathfinder Society GMs, Venture-Captain and Venture-Lieutenant campaign volunteers, and Paizo staff for its first year, but has been revised and updated for public release

Written by Crystal Frasier.

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.

Note: This scenario has been updated from its exclusive version for public release. Purchasers have access to both the exclusive version released as Pathfinder Society Scenario #2–EX and Pathfinder Society Scenario #3–16, but as of February 29, 2012, only the latter is legal for Pathfinder Society organized play. Except for minor changes involving faction missions and general copyediting, both versions of the scenario are the same; only the legal version of the scenario contains a Chronicle sheet.

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Product Reviews (10)
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Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 10 ratings)

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A Total Letdown...

*( )( )( )( )

I'll start this review by first noting that I’ve played “The Midnight Mauler” once and skimmed over it once as well. I’ve never GMed it yet (and I don’t want to).

That typed, when I played the scenario it was with a party of 5 at Tier 3-4, and after reading the synopsis, I was really excited. I thought this would be more of a detective-style, clue-gathering/diplomacy mission reminiscent of a Sherlock-Holmes mystery. Unfortunately, what I got was a scenario that lacked depth or any real mystery at all. We knew the culprit from the get-go (the Master of Blades told us the guy’s identity in the mission briefing!). Also, as other reviewers have previously mentioned, this scenario had plenty of railroading from place to place, some extremely easy & flavorless combats, and the most anti-climactic chase sequence I’ve ever had the displeasure of participating in (much like some of the other reviewers, when I played, our chase was over in less than one round).

In my opinion, this scenario was also lacking the local flavor that would’ve really brought a cool Bram Stoker-esque country like Ustalav to life, and the way we received one piece of treasure in-particular felt way too forced.


We’d just saved this judge’s life and we were trying to race after her assailant before he got away – but wait! Before we went after him, the judge had to stop and give us a useless sword that couldn’t help us in the ensuing encounters! The judge had just been fighting for her life. She nearly got her throat ripped out. After all that, her first thought was to give us a paperweight? I just found it really hard to suspend my disbelief here.

Keeping all that in mind, the scenario did have a few strong points. There is some room for roleplaying, and surprisingly, one major encounter in the scenario can be resolved in a number of ways.

I’m a big fan of non-violent solutions – so I appreciated it when they gave you the option to talk down the Mauler instead of bashing his brains in. Don’t get me wrong, bashing the villain’s brains in is still a viable option – but it’s not the only option.

Overall, while this scenario does have its strengths, and bearing in mind that a good group and a good GM can make all the difference to an RPG experience, when I played this scenario, I was extremely underwhelmed by it – especially when I went in with such high hopes in the first place. When I looked over the reviews of this scenario, I was shocked to see that it had a 4-4.5 star average user rating, and while I know that everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, I personally wouldn’t recommend this scenario to anyone. I’m sure it’s not the worst PFS scenario out there, but it’s far from the best.

Well Done Story!

****( )

GM'ed today for table of 4 in 6-7 tier. Players had fun with initial encounter even if it ended quickly. The bits of RP and investigation go well with the theme of the adventure, and they players were quickly into it.

The only complaint is the chase scene. Having run chase scenes before in AP's and PFS, I am familiar with the mechanics but this one seemed off, and was over quickly. Depending on initiative order, the players caught the Mauler before he could even act, so what might have been fun turned out sour.

The final fight was a challenge until the barbarian made a critical hit. The players commented how good the scenario was without an provocation, so I guess that's a good sign.

I recommend, but the chase scene has some issues.

Good mystery

****( )

I love a good investigation, and this one has it in spades. You actually feel like you are getting somewhere with it, and the final fight has some excellent moral questions. The roleplay is rich, with some very interesting NPCs. Ustalav makes for great adventuring.

Great Scenario!


I was asked to GM this at Origins 2014. I had heard of the scenario, but had never played it or GM'ed it.

Prepping the scenario is really a piece of cake, though there is chase thrown in, so a GM needs to be ready for that and understand how chases work.

From a story perspective, I thought it was great. There are some twists thrown in, and one of the best parts is that Pathfinders can meet the mission without having to kill everything in sight.

The writing is quite good, the background story is interesting, and the pace of the scenario is good, too - I never felt there was a slow or dull moment when I GM'ed it.

Brutal Final Fight

****( )

I played this scenario at tier 6-7, and we convinced our party to let myself and my wife play our level 7s and thus force the party to play up. I pledged to protect the lower level characters with my life. Without spoilers, I'll just say it was all I could do to keep my promise. This one is an excellent scenario with an interesting mechanic that rewards having well-rounded characters over super-combat-optimized characters. (Although a little combat optimization never hurt anyone.)
I enjoyed it, and I look forward to GMing it for my local group.

1 to 5 of 10 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

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