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Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–98: Serpents Rise (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 14 ratings)

Our Price: $3.99

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 7th-level pregenerated characters.

Years of political maneuvering, espionage, smuggling, and diplomacy have set the stage for the Aspis Consortium's most ambitious attack on their Inner Sea rivals: the Pathfinder Society. All that remains are several key preparations that only an elite team of Aspis agents can arrange, and once the fireworks begin, these same agents must strike quickly and mercilessly to secure objectives—some shared and some connected to deeper plots—and escape without the Society being any the wiser.

In this adventure the players portray agents of the Aspis Consortium using 7th-level pregenerated characters. The events in this story also connect to and expand upon those in Pathfinder Society Scenario #6-97: Siege of Serpents.

Written by John Compton.

Note: Serpents Rise is a limited release scenario. It may be run anywhere, but only by 4- or 5-star GMs. Venture-Officers may only run this scenario if they meet this star rating requirement.

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Product Reviews (14)
1 to 5 of 14 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 14 ratings)

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It's good to be bad...

****( )

.. or at least once in a while. I finally had the opportunity to play this special. I had been waiting a long time for this and it did not disappoint. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I’ll comment on that later.

First I should mention that the pregenerated characters all seemed interesting. They all had an interesting set of skills and/or spells, but also had distinct characters and underlying motivations for being there. It quickly became obvious that you needed each other in order to succeed, more so than in Pathfinder Society. Given the fact there were only four of us, we knew we had to play it smart. We decided early on to go for a sneaky approach, trying to avoid fights as much as possible.

I’ve heard other parties just went on a murder spree, but we took it slow and were successful. We had our first taste of success when we split the party to tackle down some side objectives. The oracle and rogue managed to make quick work of their tasks, whereas the magus initially struggled. Luckily we had a glorious leader who used emotional speech in an effort to get someone to not burn valuable papers. The words ‘embrace nature’ and ‘give it to me and I’ll turn it into ecological toilet paper and dispose of it that way’ were used.

The first fight started badly with us all having very poor initiative, but we quickly had things under control when 3 out of 4 enemies were confused and attacking each other. Traps were spotted, dispelled or disabled, patrols were avoided and a sobstory by the rogue helped decrease the numbers we had to face in a certain tapestry’s room.

So far so good, right? A quick partymember change later, we took the fight to a strong PFS individual, someone who our pathfinder characters didn’t really like. And here’s where it went downhill. You see, it’s supposed to be a difficult and challenging boss fight. We were done in less than two rounds and didn’t take a single point of damage. Grapple, pin, coup de grace. Half of the party didn’t have have a second round.

The problem with that fight is that the four-player adjustment really guts that character. He only has short range spells and has way less defences up and running. It’s much harder to find out the real caster without that adjustment, which means that he will be unleashing hell on you. Now he was less harmful than a random foo lizard. It was a major disappointment honestly. This is the only reason I can’t give it 5 stars.

It still felt good to get rid of that individual and, what’s even better, is that the multitable special finally makes sense after all these months, or even years. No longer do the random mix of encounters in that special annoy or confuse me. They are all explained now and it all comes together. It’s a shame this special is a special. I consider it a mandatory exercise for everyone who has played that special. It’s fun, very well written storywise and the pregens are great. Just be sure to play without the four player adjustment though!


Those Aspis guys aren't so different!

***( )( )

When running an adventure like this at a convention, I think that having "Experience Required:None (You've never played before - rules will be taught)" listed as the experience required might be disingenuous. These pregens are complicated, and not something to be attempted by new players.

Running around as Aspis Agents? Attacking those Pathfinder Murder Hobos? Yes Please! I'll have some!

This scenario felt like the old school PFS ones. Everyone had a secret mission to hide and complete. At the same time, you had to work together to accomplish the big mission. It was most enjoyable, and I played this with a PUG (pick up group), which can sometimes lead to problems.

My complaint on this one though is focused on the combats. If things go poorly, and with pregens it might, then much fun will be lost. Its not the player's fault if they can't overcome some of the challenges when not given the proper tools to do so.

Overall, this one was fun.


Revenge

*****

Rise is an awesome mix of roleplay, investigation, and combat using some excellent evil pregen characters that have very interesting back stories, motivations, and side missions.

If you've ever wanted revenge on Pathfinder society NPCs, this is the scenario to do it.

Players should arrive early to read the fluff and mechanics of their pregen.

Details:

Length: Medium (4 hours). We finished in 4 hours with a late start. I wish we had more time.
Experience: Player with 5 PCs.
Entertainment: Lots of room for creative solutions. (9/10)
Story: Great story being Aspis. (10/10)
Roleplay: Some roleplay. (8/10)
Combat/Challenges: Tough but fair. Nice way of compensating for PC death. (9/10)
Maps: Hard to say since everything was drawn during the session. (7/10)
Factions: Great side missions. (9/10)
Boons: Nice boons, plus this scenario makes it possible to gain boons on other chronicles. (10/10)
Uniqueness: Certainly was fun switching roles. (10/10)

Overall: A "must play" scenario for season 7 in terms of both fun and boons. A scenario worthy of exclusive status. Locally I've heard that this scenario hasn't been run many times and that's really a shame.


Great concept, some balancing required

****( )

Yessssss, this is what we've been waiting for!

This is a great 'deep cover' mission for the Aspis Consortium to strike a decisive blow against the hated Pathfinder Society. It's full of chaos, incredibly damaging strikes and plenty of chances for murder and mayhem. There's even a incredibly significant boss battle thrown in for good measure. Some secondary missions are amazing (lanterns), others are not so hot (hey guys, whatchoo doing?).

My only problem is that the 4-player adjustments are a little too generous. The tigers lose a lot of their teeth with these adjustments, meaning what should be a very tough mission suddenly feels... easy. If these adjustments had been tweaked a bit, and the mission was less military style efficiency, and more the glorious fun of being evil, this'd be 5 star scenario.

As it stands, get a party of 6 together and definitely play this. It's great value. And the cert is lovely too!


What it feels like for a Serpent

*****

This was an absolute blast to play. The premise is great: you may have just played/GMed Siege of Serpents and now you get to ensure in the villain flashback that that's what happened. It's not your fault the rest of the Consortium couldn't finish the job properly.

Clearly, this scenario should be played after Siege of Serpents. Also, what another reviewer said, you really need The Leader (wizard) as one of the pregens chosen. That said, from across the table it looked like a really solid pregen. The divine caster is also good to have. I think the martial pregens are slightly more interchangeable; they're all fine but none of them indispensable.

The rest of the pregens are also well done. Each of them is competent at his/her job. Nobody feels like the Lump that is blocking the rest of the team from a successful stealth mission. Conversely, no single pregen can do everything, so everyone gets some spotlight time. While some of the pregens are evil, not all of them, and there are no strong incentives to sabotage the rest of the team. All the hate and bitterness is focused outwards. I think that's a good design to pull off an "evil" adventure without hurt feelings.

The PCs are all effective at their job, but also relatively balanced with each other. Good use of pregens, that. There's also been some thought put into the question of how to keep the adventure moving if a PC dies, which is entirely possible. The Pathfinder opposition may be NPCs, but some of them are quite dangerous.

It should also be kept in mind that while decently-built, these pregens are far from the optimized-to-the-gills PCs we normally see running around. I think they're slightly behind the ACG pregens but ahead of the CRB pregens. And with a much more coordinated set of abilities as a team. I think that again is a decent design choice: it limits the amount of information to digest before you start playing, but leaves you with someone you can still take seriously.

The boss fight in particular was impressive: this is what it feels like to be on the receiving end of an arrogant controlling caster with a suite of spells and tactics to really make you miserable. Just like our PCs do to the Aspis every other time. It's a welcome change from all the sad mad cultists just waiting in a dank basement for the pathfinders to come and kill them; this one intends to make a stand and win.


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