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Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–02: The Wardstone Patrol (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 21 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario for characters of 3rd to 7th level (Tier 3–7).

All-out war has erupted on the long-contested border between the crusader nation of Mendev and the demon-infested Worldwound. With the magical defenses that once held the demons at bay failing, defense of the region now falls to small patrols of mobile soldiers to resupply, reinforce, and communicate between the border's many fortresses and outposts. With so much at stake, the Pathfinder Society has enlisted many of its agents to assist in the war effort, both to protect its own interests and to prevent the onrushing tide of demonic attackers from plunging the entire Inner Sea region into chaos. On one such wardstone patrol, however, the party may find itself facing an enemy of an entirely different nature.

Written by Alex Greenshields.

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 (23)
1 to 5 of 23 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 21 ratings)

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A thrill to run


I GM'ed this last weekend and it seems TheDegraded was one of my players. I'd been looking forward to running this one for a few months, due to various scheduling mishaps, but it finally happened. And I wasn't disappointed.

This scenario has a story to it that has to be pulled off in order to really drive the scenario home. That wasn't easy but the scenario does give you some good material for it. And when you use that, the story makes sense to the players at the end.

It really helps if the players are of a mind to engage with the primary NPC. The faction missions help with this, and good knowledge/gather info checks can also help. But other than that, at the beginning the guy is a bit uninviting. I had to nudge a little to get the players over their initial "oh, if he doesn't wanna play ball, then we're not gonna play ball". After that things went easier.

I think what this scenario really needed is one or two small scenes designed for conversation with the NPC. If you really look at it the text closely, you kinda get zapped from encounter to encounter, but it's supposed to be the time between encounters that you do the talking.


Okay, so much for the gooey stuff. On to the gore.

This scenario doesn't have a lot of fights, but they count for a lot. The party had to play up with 4 player adjustment, just barely. The jump in difficulty is quite steep here.

The barbarian that TheDegraded mentioned was played by a friend of mine. This was one of his first games at higher tier, and he suddenly discovered that he was no longer able to solo/oneshot encounters. Instead, he found himself 1-2 turns of movement ahead of the rest of the party, facing multiple casters with extreme synergies, standing just beyond his reach. Well, it turns out Superstition only goes so far in protecting you. But I was cheering just as hard as the rest of the party when he survived that pileup with a natural 20. After that, it was still a bitter fight, but the party triumphed.

I didn't have time for the optional encounter, and I don't mind in the least. That one is really the weakest part of the scenario, but it could've done in the party.

The final encounter was also quite epic. I don't want to spoil anything. However, it's one of those cool fights where there's much more on the table than "can we kill them before they kill us". My players were searching through all their chronicles to scrape up boons to find some +2 to this or that to make it. When they won, it was a true triumph.


Story and setting: this adventure is built into the S5 metaplot and into Golarion quite nicely. It showcases an exciting area. I think that if you have a longer timeslot you can have a lot of fun embellishing the scenery some more. If you're comfortable adding some more background to the main NPC, it'll also be easier to set him up for RP.


Factions: this is one of the first "new style" faction missions, from season 5. That is to say, not every faction gets a mission, but you get actual special rewards for them rather than prestige. Clearly at this point they were still working out the kinks of the system.

The faction rewards for the relevant factions are pretty cool. However, for some of the factions you basically have to guess what your faction mission might be. They're mentioned in a faction letter distributed over the internet some time ago and preserved on the forum. However, you have to know which half year's faction mission to get. This is quite awkward.

My advice to GMs: get the relevant faction letters and make the players of those factions read them before the session. They contain sufficient hints to get players going.

Challenging, fun and potentially lethal

****( )

Oh boy, oh boy, what a fun scenario this was! And no, that's not sarcasm. Let's start by saying that the scenario does an excellent job grabbing your imagination from the start and pulling you in instantly. You just feel immersed rather easily, which is always a good thing. Too bad that the main NPC is just pretty bland and rather tough to actually role-play as for a GM. A few more notes would have been appreciated as that would have significantly improved the role-playing portion.

And then there's the encounters. Now, I was warned in advance that we would struggle playing this on the high tier with a level 3 and two level 4's around. The GM wasn't kidding. The fights were extremely tough and challenging, but it did give quite a few memorable moments, which itself means the scenario is solid and entertaining. To give an example: our level 6 barbarian almost died in the first fight. He was unable to move and a coup de grace happened. By sheer luck he somehow managed to live. A natural 20 was never a more pleasant sight.

All-in-all, this is a fun meatgrinder that definitely is dangerous and lethal. Compared to other scenarios, I'm left with a feeling that I actually accomplished something important. As a result, I'm fond of this scenario and would still recommend it.


Read KestlerGunner's review below. I fully agree with it. I love this scenario, but see how it could fall completely flat with either the wrong GM or the wrong players.

I played this once as a PbP, and the GM pulled it off. It was a great and memorable scenario, and I really cared about the NPCs I was supposed to really care about.

I GMed this once, and it went pretty well. I don't know that I'm a great GM, but the players were the right kinds of players, and during the "big choice" towards the end

For GMs and those who've played it:

Whether to go on the rescue mission, or to listen to the depression of Sir Ilvan and give up

there was some legitimate debate amongst the PCs as they didn't think it was obvious which was the right decision to make. I love that kind of thing.

This one is atmospheric, the combats are interesting, and the story is great. It's a wonderful taste of what it would be like to be the Pathfinders cautiously venturing into the morass that is the crusade at the Worldwound. But, it's essential to have a GM who is able to play the NPCs, and it's essential to have players who are at least open to caring about NPCs as people (as opposed to viewing there characters as the equivalent of gamepieces in a board game achieving an objective).

I always wondered?

If the party cleric was so inclined what was stoping the party from finding the body of wizard who made the stone and just use speak with dead and a very good spellcraft roll and circumvent the whole planned plot?

Thumbs Up!

****( )

GM'ed at low tier.
I picked this scenario because it was recommended as suitable for a cavalier PC with mount, so that one of my regular players could actually get the use out of his chosen class.

I was not disappointed and neither was he. Lots of opportunity for mounted combat and lots of open area to expand what the party could do rather than confined to tight dungeon corridors.

I also liked that about half way through the scenario forks and the players get to make decisions or actions that alter the end of the story. More like this would be good.

1 to 5 of 23 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

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