Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–09: The Blakros Matrimony (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 32 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3–7.

The eldest daughter of the prominent Blakros family is set to wed an influential Hellknight, and the Pathfinder Society is invited to the festivities. Dressed for a wedding befitting royalty, a team of Pathfinders attend the ceremony on behalf of the Decemvirate, but will their presence ultimately strengthen the Society's relationship with the influential Blakroses, or will events at the wedding bring the already tenuous alliance to a breaking point?

Written by Thurston Hillman.

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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****½ (based on 32 ratings)

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*****


***( )( )

I played this tonight at the lower tier. Party was bard 3 (me), rogue 3, fighter 4 and ranger 3.

This is an unusual scenario. About 75% of it is good hard core role-play. In our party this meant that my bard was doing nearly all the talking and sorting the other characters faction missions because they were not built as diplomatic characters. Nice if you are a role-player but quite frustrating I'm sure if you are not.

Now, I would have given this 4 stars but for the last 25%, which is combat. The problem is that the party, being at a wedding, are not properly attired when the combats kick off and we almost had a TPK. Only a timely and well thought out solution by the GM allowed the three downed characters to survive.

All in all this is a fair scenario but it needed a bit more of a balance between the role-play and the combat. However, it is a scenario I would recommend.


Exllent matrimony but depends on GM

*****

I enjoy Matrimony a lot, but not giving a 5 star.

Social oriented, good roleplays, but the module doesn't give enough instructions, need GM to do lots of work, with roleplay it takes more than 7 hours(too many influence checks I think), without roleplay can finish within 4 hours but nothing charming. Overall, the most rely-on-GM module I've played.

You don't get into combat within 2/3 period. Only two combats, and the BBEG can vary from average to monsterous depends on team makeup, much more deadly in 4-man party than 6 players. (Our team made of Bloodrager7(natural weapon)/Bloodrager7(two-handed)/Wizard7(with dazing spell)/Sorcerer6/Bard6/Cleric5(my Varasian, counters the BBEG a lot), just smash them off, but doesn't mean it's easy, I've heard (nearly) TPKs.

Good roleplays with one big combat, love it, but too rely on GM whose good at acting and knowledge about Innersea. 5 stars with well-prepared GM, 3 stars without.

Suggest in 4-man-team, or it may take too much time talking. Both tiers are okay, but beware that 10d6 aoe damage is too deadly for low tier PCs.

Rise to 5 stars if involve in faction missions.


Matrimony Has Lost Some of Its Charm

*****

Matrimony is a roleplay and skill based scenario punctuated by a challenging combat.

Now that we no longer have faction missions, I feel that Matrimony has lost some of its charm. When playing this in season 6+, I would seriously consider giving out the faction missions for added intrigue and knowledge. I had to explain a lot of the characters, background, and Golarion lore to my players so they understood the context, and they had a great time as a result.

If your character doesn't have social skills (like mine), you might feel like there really isn't a lot to do. However, the scenario was designed so that the checks aren't that high and alternate skills can be used, so it isn't true. Matrimony is really great in this respect.

I was actually surprised at how challenging Matrimony was, especially given some of the environmental conditions. Our GM actually needed to softball our (competent) group. When I GMed my group also needed to run.

Detailed Ratings:

Length: Long. When I played it was 4 hours, when I GMed it was 5 hours (and we cut the last encounter short).
Experience: GM with 4 OK PCs (2 pregens) at 6-7. Player with 6 good PCs at subtier 6-7. Several diplomacy monkeys. We were nerfed by the environment and this made things more challenging than normal.
Sweet Spot: Both subtiers are good, subtier 6-7 has easier skill checks.
Entertainment: Depends on GM, depends if you have a character that excels in this environment. (9/10)
Story: A good story with plot twists and interesting NPCs. (10/10)
Roleplay: Lots but GMs need to make the influence point mechanic more organic. (9/10)
Combat/Challenges: Can be boring without a social character, combats can be deadly because of the wedding environment and challenge level. (7/10)
Maps: Average. (7/10)
Boons: Although it's kind of vague, there are enough of them that we actually used it in a scenario we played later. (8/10)
Uniqueness: We've seen similar scenarios in the past but Matrimony has some quirky plot twists. (9/10)

Overall: Matrimony is still a great roleplay scenario but when faction missions were removed, it lost some of the fun.

Edit: Matrimony is a great roleplay scenario. If you're a GM that doesn't do any prep work and just reads the personalities of the NPCs, yes this will be a 3 star scenario. With a good roleplaying GM it is 5.


Not so good if you weren't there...

**( )( )( )

As someone who only joined PFS in early-mid 2014, I was never at the special / grand convocation that led to this scenario, nor was I involved in any of the preceding season 3 lead-up to this.

So, I thought (having run it) that I'd give a review from the perspective of someone who is "coming in cold".

There is a lot of roleplaying to do at the start. You need to influence as many of the guests as possible (while also achieving your faction mission). The faction missions seem unbalanced - some you succeed just by influencing guests (also the main mission) while others involve unrelated side-quests. The roleplaying itself is tedious at times and requires GMs to do a lot of prep-work. Maybe you already know these characters and don't need to... but I didn't. It was very hard to keep so many moving pieces going.

Also, most of the NPCs required 2-3 influence checks, but after a full conversation, there was no roleplaying reason why a PC would go back to chat. Especially in some instances where they use a "secret revelation" or some other trick to give them a bonus. Many of these aren't very nice and put the NPC on edge (while somehow still giving a bonus). Chatting after that would just seem... rude.

So, in all, the big influence-fest did not go well.

That said, the intrigue and combat that followed was very fun. Right up until the bad-guy leaves mid-way through because he feels like it. I know the BBEG in this one could easily kill a party if he didn't leave so early, but it's not very satisfying for players to have little to no chance at defeating him.

Oh, and the boon(s?) provided means little to nothing to me. There's some promise of "maybe something in the future" for each person you influence. This probably means you'll have to play the exact future scenario where your exact person of interest gives you the bonus. After making such a huge effort at squeezing out the roleplay, my players deserved better.

All in all, a disappointment for someone who "wasn't there". If you have been running season 3 and 4, and have somehow managed to play the grand convocation leading up to this, I'm sure you'll find it a worthy successor. Otherwise, skip it.


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Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Just announced!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Quote:
The eldest daughter of the prominent Blakros family is set to wed an influential Hellknight, and the Pathfinder Society is invited to the festivities.

Is this the first time the winning faction of the Grand Convocation has been (apparently) revealed?


Juicy!


I can't wait to run this one. Looks very intriguing!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paz wrote:
Quote:
The eldest daughter of the prominent Blakros family is set to wed an influential Hellknight, and the Pathfinder Society is invited to the festivities.
Is this the first time the winning faction of the Grand Convocation has been (apparently) revealed?

Yes

Lantern Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Olaf was robbed! :)

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Please tell me they're holding the reception in the Museum.


Brainiac wrote:
Olaf was robbed! :)

*sniff*

I liked Olaf. :'(

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lilith wrote:
Brainiac wrote:
Olaf was robbed! :)

*sniff*

I liked Olaf. :'(

Our Hellknight at PaizoCon UK was awesome. (Olaf was very impressive too)

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Wintergreen wrote:
Lilith wrote:
Brainiac wrote:
Olaf was robbed! :)

*sniff*

I liked Olaf. :'(

Our Hellknight at PaizoCon UK was awesome. (Olaf was very impressive too)

:)

VC's say the nicest things.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It is nice to see that the Qadiran faction at PaizoCon UK made a difference.

I was the Trade Prince and after chats with the various members of the faction, we all stood behind a single candidate...and there were a lot of us.

The Chelaxians owe us :D

Though money is preferable to invites to that blasted woman's parties.

It costs a lot to replace clothes as you can never get the stains out.

Silver Crusade

*sits at computer desk and waits paitently for this episode's release.*

Sovereign Court

By RAW, every day IS technically "Today."

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Now available!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Damn you got an absurdly cool cover!

CURSE YOU HILLMAN!

If I am Baird's archenemy, then you are mine!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Reading through this it looks like a great RP scenario. But I have to say, the cartographers Jared Blando and Corey Macourek make maps that while artistically clever, really dont lend themselves for use in online games. Im looking forward to running this game twice in the next week and a half both online and at a mini con. Hope it plays as well as it reads.

Starfinder Society Developer

J-Bone. Thanks! I hope the scenario goes well for you in all runs! As for your concern about the maps...

Spoiler:
Luckily, there are only two combat encounters in the module. One map is a battlemat, so that should be ok.

As for the stylized maps, one is the island overview that doesn't need to be used with minis/combat. The other map might be a bit tricky, but is fairly small and basic.

Depending what VTT you use, it shouldn't be too hard to extract the map and section it in half using MS Paint. Though, the areas are known to the PCs, so you could show them off together as an aide.

That being said, I LOVE the cartography. In fact, all of the art for this module is simply stunning!

So yes, it looks like Jim is now my archenemy.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Aww how come no one wants to be my enemy.? (Sad face)


Just a small thing, but the infobox on p. 3 says that Pariol Island is 10 miles off the coast of the Isle of Kortos, while the intro on the same page says it's 20 miles. Who's right, Hillman or Moreland?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Larcifer wrote:
Aww how come no one wants to be my enemy.? (Sad face)

Awwww.. Larry, you're like Thanos, Darkseid, or the Anti-Monitor. You're everybody's archenemy!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

PFWiki Scribe wrote:
Just a small thing, but the infobox on p. 3 says that Pariol Island is 10 miles off the coast of the Isle of Kortos, while the intro on the same page says it's 20 miles.

Good question.

PFWiki Scribe wrote:
Who's right, Hillman or Moreland?

Completely unnecessary addition to a good question.

:|

Starfinder Society Developer

PFWiki Scribe wrote:
Just a small thing, but the infobox on p. 3 says that Pariol Island is 10 miles off the coast of the Isle of Kortos, while the intro on the same page says it's 20 miles. Who's right, Hillman or Moreland?

Just checked my submitted draft. The only reference I had to miles was "the island is a few miles away". So, we'll have to look for Mark on the exact answer.

So yeah, Mark is right :)

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The island is 20 miles from Absalom, but only 10 from the coast of the Isle of Kortos. Geometry FTW!


I would have expected the influence and discovery checks to have different DCs on the different tiers. They are crucial to the encounters like combats in other modules and should be level based.


Even though my group failed the mission so bad we got no PA we thoroughly enjoyed this.
We had 3 Barbarians, a druid and fighter. Its a nice deviation from the norm.
But maybe there is a way combat focused chracters to help. Like send a lone character to go fight some vermin or something to impress them.
We had real problems influencing people.
Or maybe influencing people with feat of endurance and dexterity(Like juggling torches or something)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Wow. Just skimmed this one. Kind of intimidated by it!

Spoiler:
Olaf is back! =D

Grand Lodge

For the Socially challenged characters, any recommendation on items that will assist? Lower priced are better.

Dark Archive

Helaman wrote:
For the Socially challenged characters, any recommendation on items that will assist? Lower priced are better.

My Wizard got a lot of play out of using Detect Thoughts to 'spot' for more social characters ("go ask [x] about [y]").

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I plan on using this scenario as a supplement to my Council of Thieves campaign to add some more social role-play elements. The names and some of the story elements will need to be changed to make it fit in Westcrown.

Spoiler:
However, there is a monster problem with the scenario. At Tier 3-4 the final "boss" encounter is a Young Shadow Demon who starts out possessing a human fighter.

The problem is that adding the Young template to an incorporeal creature does NOT make it weaker.

What could be a good replacement for this creature?

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