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Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–99: The Paths We Choose (PFRPG) PDF

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

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3-7.

The failure of Mendev's wardstones set in motion not only a new crusade but also catalyzed a change in the Pathfinder Society's various factions. As the Pathfinders prepare to march on the Sky Citadel Jormurdun, members of the various factions scramble to consolidate their gains and neutralize their enemies. "The Paths We Choose" is a special event designed to highlight the changes in each faction over the course of Season 5, The Year of the Demon, and the adventure is different for each group depending on which factions are represented at the table. Content in "The Paths We Choose" also contributes directly to the ongoing storylines of the Andoran, Cheliax, Osirion, Qadira, Sczarni, and Taldor factions. This adventure kicks off Season 6, The Year of the Sky Key and is for character levels 3-7.

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

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****( )

Diverse and entertaining, but poorly structured

****( )

I played this scenario just a few hours ago with a party of 6 on the lower tier. Our GM was Kludde who already voiced his opinion on this scenario months ago and which can be found below. I wholeheartedly agree with everything he has said, especially his comment on the structure of this scenario. That is immediately my only issue with this scenario: it's a bit chaotic and unstructured at times. It's hard to keep track of everything, regardless of whether you're a player or the GM. I firmly believe that if it had been structured akin to the Silverhex chronicles, this would have been solved and made this scenario a must for every player out there.

That aside, I really enjoyed this scenario. I really appreciate the diversity it offers. You get learn about all current factions and get introduced to the city of Absalom and all its neighbourhoods. So many things to do, so many things to see. As for our group, we were planning to do the Sovereign Court, Scarab Sages and Exchange missions due to the characters present.

Starting with the Sovereign Court, I can easily see why people enjoy this part a lot. It simply is a lot fun and we had the right tools for the job. My mesmerist is build for situations like this and provided with enough distractions for the rest of the group to do the dirty work. What can I say, I just love intrigue and diplomacy. Seriously, sidequests like this are what I as a player am looking for, especially when playing my mesmerist. The final speech by lady Morilla actually convinced my character to consider switching from The Exchange to the Court – while at the same time making a different partymember leave this faction and possibly joining the Exchange. It's nice how things directly influence the way my character evolves.

Next up we ended up helping our Osirion friends. We had some initial issues convincing a travelling vendor of goods. Given the fact he had to flee, we had the brilliant idea of summoning a pit right under his feet in the middle of the street. Luckily my mesmerist managed to convinced the crowd that everything was fine and that they needn't worry. We followed the leads given to us and ended up in a nice encounter with some hostile NPC's. It was pretty straight forward, but still enjoyable.

When we were told what the objective was for the Exchange portion of this scenario, we stumbled across a little issue. A few of the characters didn't feel inclined to help because of in character reasoning. Half the party wanted to do this, two were simply against helping that individual and the last person was a bit hesitant as well. Let it be said that it's not a problem with this particular mission, but simply with our own characters and their personalities. Sensing this particular quest wouldn't really be enjoyable for everyone present – which is after all the main goal of playing this game - our GM suggested we'd do a different one instead: namely Liberty's Edge.

As it turns out, the Liberty's Edge quest he proposed was perfect for this group. The premise simply spoke to all of us. The swashbuckler already was part of that faction, while mentioning a corrupt noble was enough for the rest of us, albeit it for different reasons. We were all fired up instantly and didn't hesitate at all. The GM did a great job. As for this sidequest, I have to admit that we were lucky with our first few dice-rolls. This in turn made it end rather quickly. That's not to say it was disappointing as a result: we had a lot of fun with our less than optimal, yet highly successful apprehension of the suspect. Even though it ended early, this wasn't seen as an issue at all.

I could go on for a while more, but this is long enough as is. This scenario offers amazing diversity and will have something that everyone can enjoy. My only issue is the way it is structured, which is why it 'only' gets four stars out of five. Overall I highly recommend this scenario.

It's good to see factions in the limelight

****( )

I ran this module twice on the Paizo PbP boards, for two different sets of faction.

The module really does feel like a follow-up on first steps, and there are definite upsides to that.

- There's a significant social backdrop to everything that is going on. I had quite a bit of fun making with a 'pathfinder party', making oblique references to player's other PC's, referring to past events, and generally playing out the encounters. There's plenty of 'time' for this in a PbP, though I'm not so sure how it would pan out in RL.
- You'll be using less than half of all quests, so it's a good idea to ask what factions you'll have at the table before preparing the run.
- There's not really a bigger story to any of the quest, nor a significant wrap-up. Such an encounter would probably have come at the cost of making the individual quests shorter, so I actually support the decision
- It's a real delight to have factions at the centre of attention, rather than being the - sometimes forced - afterthought to a scenario.
- The quests I ran were Silver Crusade, Osirion, Grand Lodge, Liberty and (my favourite) Sovereign Court. They were each quite interesting set-ups, especially for their shortness.

Looking at the structure of the scenario, it actually bears close resemblance to the silver hex chronicles: these were all 1 hour - or so - quests that have been put together as a scenario. They could have been put in a format similar to the silverhex quests, and this would have allowed some more flexibility in running the 'paths'. I'm secretly hoping for something along those lines in the future.

I certainly applaud the effort to put more depth into the various factions.

OK, but not a really cool end-of-season spectacular

***( )( )

This module feels like a higher level version of "In Service to Lore" - you get to meet the faction leaders and then go do an assortment of random tasks for them. That works for 1st level characters, and feels a bit weird for a level 3-7 mod.

There were some interesting challenges, and a couple of entertaining moments (like my gnome using "Speak with Animals" on the fish, and then realizing that it could talk normally) but there's definitely a lack of over-arching plot, and it certainly doesn't feel like the cool transition between Season 5 and Season 6 mod that I thought it was going to be.

Choose Another Path

**( )( )( )

Scenario #5–99: The Paths We Choose is more time consuming to prepare than most scenarios and half its content will not be run. Much of the justification for faction changes could be covered in blog posts and faction letters, much like we saw weeks ago. It's about as climactic as a blog post, too. If this scenario’s goal was to provide a meaningful introduction to the factions post Season 5 it is my opinion that it failed. That said, I approve of what Paizo has done with factions, but I recommend skipping #5–99: The Paths We Choose if you have another option.

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