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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game


Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–11: Library of the Lion (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 48 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

Few societies have so vaunted a tradition of leading crusades as Taldor, yet the constant revisions to its history by scheming factions leaves the truth obscured by countless acts of political modifications. Even the lauded Kitharodian Academy’s texts are riddled with these changes, so when a secretive ally approaches the Pathfinder Society with information about a hidden archive that contains the unaltered histories, the Pathfinders plan a daring infiltration to recover the secrets of Taldor’s past victories so that Mendev might benefit from the discovery.

Content in "Library of the Lion" also contributes directly to the ongoing storylines of the Cheliax, Grand Lodge, and Taldor factions.

Written by Kyle Elliot.

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 (48)
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Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 48 ratings)

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For role play only

***( )( )

It is an okay scenario if you want sit there and role play, but make sure the whole group is up for this and that the GM is the type that will put flavor into things. Personally i did not enjoy this, but I'm more of the type of guy that like the battle side of things, funny enough the character I use was one of the only two out of the six that could actually make the skill checks necesary. There is just no fights worth having here.

****( )

The great history of Taldor

****( )

This scenario isn`t very dificult. Only party of engry barbarians can die here. It`s more about history of Taldor, about secrets of Lion Blades and forgotten past. Very misterious adventure in Taldor atmosphere.

Solid and not the norm.

****( )

I recently got to run this at a Con. My table consisted of 5 players. Most were seasoned players. I was interested to see what would occur considering that this scenario can be run without having even one combat. So let me get to the meat of this:

Great concept. I love the idea of something not involving a fight.
Solid puzzles. The clues were great. One of my players understood the clues linked to the Foo Lions right away.
Great hook.
A couple fun role-playing opportunities.
I like the chronicle sheet.

Little complicated system for time tracking. Good but could use some fine tuning.
Very skill heavy. If you have a team that doesn't have a skill spread this could be a definite failure.
A couple more opportunities to role-play would have been nice.
A little short. I ran this in about 2:45 in a 4 hour time slot.

My group got out with only a couple minutes to spare. They fortunately avoided searching the main library room. They got everything else they needed and avoided combat.

Now the cipher is incorrect but fortunately several reviews and preps online have the right one. This scenario almost requires a GM to be rather pedantic. You have to assume that if they don't say they cover their tracks, then they don't. This is key. Smart players realize this and cover themselves. All in all a good scenario. Had a lot of fun.

Possibly my favorite 1-5 scenario


Having now played this and run it twice, I've gotten my thoughts in order for this review.

First off, there has never been a scenario like this before, and as of writing this, it is still the only one that exists. That means that Library can be thought of as sort of a “guinea pig scenario” when PFS development was trying something out to see how it was received. And just for attempting that, I’ve got to give them a big hand. After six years of content, to write something that so breaks the mold of what you expect from a scenario, that takes a leap of faith. Lucky for them, authors Kyle Elliot and John Compton really hit it out of the park with this one.

The scenario required the creation of never before used mechanics—clues—in order to keep investigation of the Library of the Lion exciting, and man does it work. I’m reminded of another scenario, where in players have to research a cure for a terrible plague, but it mostly boiled down to X amount of skill checks, meaning Y amount of time, and that was about it. With the clue mechanic in Library, my players instead are very engaged in the actual research, debating over who searches what room, and are always eager to read whatever clues they received aloud to the table, proudly announcing their successes. This is a great thing to see. Especially when I can get players who have non-social PCs engaged in a challenge that’s 100% different from combat.

The restricted time frame the PCs have to explore also added a great element to the scenario, the running minute count I kept on the board served as an invisible hand, always ushering the players to stay on point. That’s also a good thing to have in a scenario like this; without it I can see PCs getting overwhelmed with the amount of rooms to search or even boringly moving as a unit from room to room until they find all the clues. As it is, with a party that works well together and thinks outside the box, I’ve found that all of my tables have been able to find all the clues and make it back under two hours—even with just 4 players present. That is a great feeling to be able to reward your players with.

Furthermore, the NPCs in this scenario are among the most memorable and unique Society has to offer (Grandmaster Torch being a solid exception). Both the Guardian and the librarian each serve both a crucial mechanical point as well as being a delight to roleplay as. I can use the Guardian as a GM to offer hints if needed to the PCs, or to fill in gaps in their understanding of the history of Taldor, while the librarian can serve to give the PCs a more grounded understanding of both the Lion Blades and what service to Taldor truly is under Prince Stavian. By having these NPCs in the scenario, and making them so memorable and unique, it made getting my players to roleplay a breeze. They wanted to try and negotiate with the Guardian and to try and fool the librarian. I’ve never had a scenario so give me the tools I need to make NPCs interesting as this one does.

In addition to all this, Library is literally packed with lore about the Inner Sea. There are detailed tidbits present in the clues the PCs uncover, there is excellent lore regarding Taldor in the scenario, and several of the final rooms are open ended enough to include items from whatever exotic and untapped nations the GM wishes to mention. I found myself pausing the scenario at points to give brief history lessons on the Inner Sea region, having my players make a token Knowledge check as an excuse for me to dish about the rich world that Pathfinder takes place in. I thoroughly enjoyed the ease that I was able to do this with in the scenario, and I believe my players enjoyed uncovering random bits of lore, becoming more immersed with each new thing they learned.

Finally, no investigative, thinking-man’s (and woman’s) scenario like this would be complete without puzzles. And Library has some of the best ones in PFS. I will not detail them at all, as to do so would be to do a disservice to this remarkable scenario, suffice it to say that at one point, a player tried to make a Knowledge check to get hints as to how to bypass one of the puzzles. I smiled and simply told him no—everything you need to succeed in Library of the Lion is right there in front of you. You just have to work your brain a bit.

In the end, I highly recommend Library of the Lion, it is in my top five scenarios of all time and may be my new favorite 1-5. It is a delight both to run and to play, and if you have any questions when prepping it I encourage you to post over on the GM boards. Kyle and John have been consistently on top of answering any and all questions and further explaining the mechanics. My only advice would be for GMs to prep this scenario thoroughly in advance, and to play it before running it if possible. There is more prep work for this 1-5 than any other out there, and I am not exaggerating.

So do your research and draw your maps, because Library of the Lion is worth the extra work. It’s a wholly unique experience and one that everyone should be able to enjoy.

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