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Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–23: Rivalry's End (PFRPG) PDF

**½( )( ) (based on 21 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3–7.

The Pathfinder Society's conflict with the Aspis Consortium in the frontier region of Varisia has come to a head, and the time to secure dominance of the ancient land is now. But despite mounting victories on the Society's part, the Aspis Consortium still has a few tricks up its sleeves, including several powerful agents from the Pathfinders' past who could prove too challenging an obstacle to surmount. Can the PCs end the ongoing struggle for control of the flow of ancient Thassilonian artifacts out of Varisia's ports, or will the Aspis Consortium succeed in keeping the Pathfinder Society ever in its shadow as it profits on the exploitation of the millennia?

Written by Ron Lundeen.

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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Product Reviews (21)
1 to 5 of 21 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

**½( )( ) (based on 21 ratings)

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Awful, Awful Scenario

*( )( )( )( )

Just played this game tonight at the higher tier. This ranks as my most miserable experience with role playing. The only reason I gave it one star is because I could not give it zero stars.

I am a fairly new to Pathfinder, although I have been involved in roleplaying since D&D came out in three brown boxes. (About 40 years.) I am seriously reconsidering whether I want to participate in further Pathfinder Society adventures and whether I even want to play Pathfinder again. This scenario is really that bad.

For me, roleplaying is about storytelling. This adventure, on the other hand is about whether a GM can wipe out an entire party. As a player, I found that my character really could not take any effective action against any of the NPC's or deal with any of the traps. Her sole role in the adventure was to stand around, taking ineffective actions, while the GM proceeded to slaughter the party.

From a player's standpoint, this was no fun at all.

Bon Voyage to the Shadow Lodge

****( )

I loved this one... I was sad that the shadow lodge faction was retired, we really should have kept it around one more season.(considering I started playing in season 4 and by the time we got to the Rivalry's End, we were having to rush to get to it and still get the story)
But that's not what this is about, instead it is about a really interesting plot twist to retire the Shadow Lodge faction. I believed everything was pretty balanced and since this was supposed to be an epic conclusion, the final two fights were a bit tough to completely succeed at.

Nonsensical, out of character actions.

*( )( )( )( )

A review a year in the making

This was supposed to be the farewell to the shadowlodge. There are many scenarios, but only one end to the most beloved faction of them all. That one opportunity demanded an awesome finale to go out with a bang, instead it went out with a "Wait.. what?"

Writing a good scenario is hard, writing a good end is harder but... wow did this fail in the second regard. Badly.


The characters actions make no sense. Torch could just as easily have said "Hey! thanks for dropping off the spider. See you tomorrow at the union meeting" made the same bluff check and gotten the information out of her with the party heading off to celebrate. Instead he shows his hand, kicks the dog and rips her head off in full view of the party because... reasons?

After that, the entire 3 year story arch is summed up with.. oh yeah the 10 helps you get over it. Somehow. There NO idea about how they go about this, what that help entails, never mind that its not actually played out, so its going to be added as an after thought at all. This, even moreso than torches neigh guaranteed escape, takes agency away from the player.

There were a few clues that there were something else going on: Torch was wearing clothes and out of the tub, so unless that balm he got from the faction mission in the lantern lodge finale reaaally did the trick, that was out of character for him. There was a doppelganger corpse in the empty room, so it could have been a fake or someone glugging doppleganger blood. A year later though and, as nothing has come of the possibility, I'm going to conclude its bad writing rather than a fiendish plot.

Loved this one

****( )

I greatly enjoyed the roleplaying and the crazy ninjas. My group and I had a blast fighting off the ninjas.

Solid adventure when reviewed under unbiased lens

****( )

I felt compared to review this scenario upon seeing it's only 2.5 stars. I've both played this scenario and now GM'd it twice (for a total of 3 trips through it).

First, a lot of the negative reviews are colored by this being the retirement of the Shadow Lodge faction, which was a sacred cow to many players. Thus it's viewed under the lens of "did Shadow Lodge end in a satisfying way?" instead of "Is this a good scenario for a gameday for folks to play?".

My review is mostly taking this as a pure scenario and answering the question if in the hands of a good GM if the players can have a fun evening playing through this now that faction missions are a thing of the past and that folks won't be retiring from Shadow Lodge while going through it.

The scenario offers ample time for free-form roleplay in the "first half" of it. In all three of my runs, we spent a solid 2 hours roleplaying through the "sandbox" portion which features creative ways for the Pathfinders to sneak into an exclusive gambling tournament and then participate in that tournament. The scenario lets the GM fill in these details with improvised roleplay, and this has led to some very classic, memorable moments at the tables I've played at. There's some further encounters presented which are intended to be solved via roleplay before getting into the meat of the "dungeon".

This is my favorite formula for scenarios. Half "sandbox" then half "dungeon" to appeal to both types of players.

The "dungeon" side is challenging. The first encounter at the high subtier is a solid challenge with a monster that is not often seen. The main encounter is extremely challenging at both subtiers. It will challenge practically all tables.

Then there's a "twist". A lot of folks don't like this twist, but I've seen 3 tables of filled with folks who weren't emotionally attached to Shadow Lodge lore, and all 3 were shocked and entertained.

Overall, it's a fun run. Good sandbox section followed by brisk, challenging encounters for the tactical wargamer.

Ending Spoilers:

A lot of the negativity stems from how Torch is handled and his "betrayal".

From the get-go, I've always envisioned Torch as mostly a self-serving information broker trying to resolve the wrong perpetuated upon him by the Society.

As a Shadow Lodge member, I'd be pissed if my leader decided to simply move on to his own self interests. But, realistic people do this. They will simply resign from their jobs when they have a path to what they want. A lot of the angst is from Shadow Lodgers who feel like they got the short end of the stick versus a mechanical flaw in the scenario's presentation. This is more an issue with handling faction politics in overarching PFS rather than anything specific with regard to Ron Lundeen's ability to craft an interesting scenario for an evening, which is pretty great.

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