The coastal city of Magnimar is no stranger to crime, yet recently, a series of murders has sent a chill through the early morning streets. Someone—or something—is stalking and killing worshipers of Sarenrae, the goddess of the sun. The city guard is prepared to ambush the murderer, but they need help—help of the kind that adventurers are so good at providing. What is the sinister truth behind these violent acts?
Dawn of the Scarlet Sun is a Pathfinder RPG adventure for six 5th-level characters—such as the six iconic heroes provided. In addition, this adventure can be integrated into the Shattered Star Pathfinder Adventure Path, and uses the villains featured in the Pathfinder Battles Champions of Evil Encounter Pack.
Written by James Jacobs.
This special 16-page Pathfinder Module was initially made available for Free RPG Day on June 16, 2012.
Note: Due to the special nature of this product, it is NOT part of the Pathfinder Modules Subscription.
If you enjoy running games where everyone has a fun time, a little mix of investigation, challenging combat and a feeling of achievement, don't run this module.
If you enjoy it where you watch PCs flail helplessly against your overpowered boss, and laugh as the flesh is seared off their bones, then this is the module for you!
Joking aside, this is not fun:
I ran this as a Pathfinder Society scenario, for 5 very experienced players (who are also PFS GMs). Three were killed outright by the end fight, two managed to run away. Here are my main gripes:
1) Very limited info at the start requires a lot of prep from the GM to ease players into the adventure and create some tension or interest in what the players are doing.
2) The boss fight is impossible. I don't care what people say about it being fine, it's not. It's stupidly hard.
3) The mechanic wherein the PCs set up an ambush, choose their positions, tactics, set it up and wait and then...Nothing happens unless the dice are happy, completely breaks the pace of the game. It just requires the party to fast forward 24 hours and hope the dice are better this time.
4) That boss fight. Seriously...If you're unprepared it's impossible. If you are prepared it's impossible, unless the boss rolls 1s and the party is rolling 20s. Even then, only MAYBE the party has a chance.
All in all, I'm a GM who loves killing players. I just have a deep resent and loathing for everyone, and even I felt guilty about killing the players so easily.
This module can be pretty short and fun, but it is deadly for the unprepared party... Even the prepared party may have issues. Which from what I've read can be pretty hard.
Not a lot of us carry around cold-iron, silver, or good weapons. In addition, as meta-gamey as people will say, I still think there should at least be some items to help such as weapon blanch or even a cold iron weapon. The Pre-gens included are no match for them, even with more than 6 players, two of which were not pregens.
If you run it, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you do it with experienced players, and those that are ready for it. I do NOT recommend running this for new players.
Converted this module to 4e and scaled it to a Level 4 rating. This adventure has a great story line and can easily be customized to most heroic tier adventure parties, to avoid a high probability of a TPK. Yes, the pregen characters are not of much use to play the encounters, as is! My rating is based on running this adventure as converted above, and having a blast. It is a rare occasion when an adventure is ideal enough to be a perfect match for all playing groups, given the diverse character builds. One character was lost, and another was a close call. Hey, these things happen!
The primary reason to acquire a module (even if it is free) is to save on creation/prep time. This module fails at this.
The story progression is weak. There are no fleshed out NPCs or role-playing encounters (yes I can make stuff up, but once again, the reason for a module is to give at least enough core content that I can run an adequate game). In fact, the ONLY NPC with any role-playing notes in the module is one you can only encounter should you be lucky with your dice!
The story progression mechanisms are poor. The city guard wants to hire you to do a job they are exactly perfect for, but think they are no good at, but require you to do it their way. Yes, I can recreate and make this better, but the module as written is weak sauce.
I'm Glad I Didn't Runaway Screaming From Pathfinder
This was the first Pathfinder game I ever played and I'm amazed I'm still playing. This was terrible. Unlucky rolls of the dice can lose you the entire module before the party comes to the first encounter. The pre-gens are basically useless. Worst of all, the final boss is absurdly overpowered and has the potential to haunt a player for the entirety of that character's career. It's AC made is practically impossible to hit for almost everyone in our party.
Avoid this module. It's not even close to being worth your time.