Pathfinder Society Quest: Phantom Phenomena (PFRPG) PDF

***( )( ) (based on 4 ratings)

Our Price: FREE

Add to Cart
Facebook Twitter Email

A series of six Quests designed for 1st-level characters.

Bizarre phenomena have tormented the people of southeastern Ustalav for decades, and these events become stronger and more dangerous every year. Hoping to uncover the origins of these flashes of red lightning and spectral hauntings, Dr. Quolorum from the Sincomakti School of Sciences has set out with a team of able-bodied assistants. Can the PCs help the professor unlock the secret that dwells above Lantern Lake?

Phantom Phenomena includes six, 1-hour adventures that take the PCs to a superstitious village, a lightning-scarred woodland, an ancient Kellid monolith, a haunted manor, an occult university, and finally into the storm-choked mountains. Experience the adventures in any order to create a unique story.

These Quests are designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world.

Written by Brian Duckwitz, Cole Kronewitter, and Nicholas Milasich.

Product Availability

Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZOPSQ0004E


See Also:

Average product rating:

***( )( ) (based on 4 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

Lack of Tactic Details

*( )( )( )( )

There is a lack tactic detail, which for one boss fight resulted in a TPK. For a first level quest, this leaves a bad feeling for the entire table. Especially when it was the first quest done within 30 min at the table.

Spoiler:
University: Greenhouse, MindSlaver Mold does have that if it hears the PC it will prepare with a seed pod attack. Our GM chose to have it use Dominate as the first attack, it had initiative and hit my PC( second in Initiative)with the orders to kill the entire party. Result was a TPK with the exception of one PC that was ruled to be far enough out of range and out of sight they could run away, My PC was then ordered to kill it self. Both of these I would say are self destructive acts which in Dominate Person says would not be followed. In a first level encounter such a powerful and controversial spell effect is not well suited without full detail of when or if it is to be used or setting limits as to what it would desire in a dominating command if used.

If this had been a high tier scenario (closer in level to where a PC could have Dominate) then no hand cuffing of the Dominate power would be needed in the tactic.

(I would highly URGE PFS to add a GM 301 and explain balancing combat tactics with level of Scenario and how desperate (injured)a NPC is before they hit with the largest gun in their bag instead of a opening salvo. Further take on the Dominate Command issue and educate GM's as to what is meant by, Obviously a self destructive command will not be followed)


***( )( )

Review from a player perspective.
Not a bad little scenario. We managed to do everything within our four hour time limit.

There are role play opportunities but mostly it is some investigation and then combat. A little more Ustalev horror vibe would have made it better. I had high hopes in that regard and they didn't manifest.

We had some issues because of a lack of knowledge skills among the characters but although handy didn't spoil the enjoyment.


A creepy introduction to Pathfinder

****( )

Just like the Silverhex Chronicles, I ended up doing the entirety of the Phantom Phenomena in one sit. Every player was allowed to change characters between quests, and so we saw the majority of the occult classes make an appearance. Especially the Spiritualist and the Kineticist were popular.

Harrow was the first one we visited. The group entered the village and one of them even got hit by a horseshoe. It wasn't the start we imagined, but it was fun regardless. What this quest does well, is create a spooky atmosphere. It really sets the tone for the entire series in a dramatic fashion.

Lightning was next and I'm a bit on the fence about it. The idea of exploring red lightning and gathering ectoplasm is nice and throwing in a haunt as well as a silly gnome is a nice change of pace, but if you have a certain pregen with you in the party – Hello Kyra! – it's basically a walk in the park. Without her, I can imagine it being a rather more difficult quest though.

Third up was Manor. Again immersion and atmosphere dominate this quest. I'm tempted to say it's tied with University for best quest in the series. It's creepy, spooky and the combat is fairly eventful. I quite like it.

I can not really say the same about Monolith. The description of the place is nice, but then instead of doing something with the monolith itself, you enter a creepy cave. The misleading title just annoys me and when the first encounter isn't scary at all, it doesn't really attribute to the overall immersion. The last encounter is more challenging, but I can't honestly say it fits the theme of the Phantom Phenomena overall. It felt out of place.

Following that, we played University. I loved this part. From the floating room with the entertaining NPC to the encounter at the end, it is simply a lot of fun. The encounter at the end actually was the most difficult in the entire series. It just went on and on due to some poor rolls on the PC's side, but it didn't really feel boring either.

Epicenter was the grand finale, or at least it's supposed to be on paper. Thematically it is great. Again the creepy atmosphere oozes through to the players, but that final fight was anticlimactic. The four-player adjustment really lowers the scariness by a lot and if you face casters or anything that just targets touch, it's just going to make the GM cry. I myself faced a spiritualist, kineticist, gunslinger and occultist. It hardly felt challenging for the players at all and I was honestly a bit disappointed I couldn't make it feel like an actual tough ending.

Overall the Phantom Phenomena are nice short adventures which all provide a different experience. There's role-play, puzzle-solving, investigation and combat. However players will miss out on a lot of the background and the bits that are available require a vast diversity of knowledge checks. If your party lacks those skills, it's rather difficult to get the overarching plot.

To summarise: it has a better plot than the Silverhex Chronicles, but it's a probably too hard to find out about. That said, it's thematically better as there's more of an emphasis on the atmosphere throughout the quests. I do however feel as if there's slightly less room for creativity than is the case in the Silverhex Chronicles. I'd say they're equally good so I'll just echo what I wrote for the Silverhex Chronicles: for a free product it's rather good and serves as a good introduction to Pathfinder. Based on that I give it four stars.


Lots of fun, but give yourself an afternoon

****( )

While it is easily possible to run these each in under an hour, it is a huge waste to do so. There is so much atmosphere and flavor that it would be more fun to just take an afternoon and relish them.

We did not get to epicenter, but will be playing that next thursday.

character choice

Spoiler:

Area affect damage is the bane of many of these quests. Yoon and Kyra between them wiped out almost everything except in university.

Make sure at least one player has some knowledge skills, or a *lot* of background will get lost.


Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

When can I start GMing this for PFS?

Paizo Employee Developer

Immediately! Go wild!

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Will do =)


Looks like fun.....


Tons of fun, and when played with the new occult classes, perhaps even better.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Huh, no description whatsoever of Dr. Quolorum.
What is he and what does he look like?


Pouncin' on that free stuff. :)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Glancing through this I'm really enjoying reading through the adventure and I look forward to running it. I do however have one point of contention. While I really like the idea of handing players the first five handouts and letting them decide which order to play them, the increasingly respectful tone of the letters does imply a growing relationship with Dr. Quolorum and it seems most immersive to hand out the letters one at a time and run quests in order.

Paizo Employee Developer

p-sto wrote:
Glancing through this I'm really enjoying reading through the adventure and I look forward to running it. I do however have one point of contention. While I really like the idea of handing players the first five handouts and letting them decide which order to play them, the increasingly respectful tone of the letters does imply a growing relationship with Dr. Quolorum and it seems most immersive to hand out the letters one at a time and run quests in order.

I do agree that running the adventures from beginning to end can create one of the best experiences for your players. However, in the interest of making this easier to play out of order and facilitate any number of busy schedules, the quests are playable in any order.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

That's perfectly reasonable, John, but I feel that's more of an out of character conversation to have with the players before starting than something I would want decided in character. That and while with Silverhex doing the last entry mid way through play seems viable I can't see doing the last chapter of Phantom Phenomena anything but last.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Really enjoyed reading through these. Great job! This rates "very high" on my creepy presentation scale. I'm running these once this afternoon for Regular play and once tomorrow night for Core. I'll report back with my experiences.

These'll be perfect for Halloween, too.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just finished running today's session. Had 6 players originally signed up on Warhorn but only 3 showed. Played through Lightning and caught the attention of two passers by. They sat down through Harrow and Manor before they had to take off. Finished Monolith, University and Epicenter with the original three. Everyone survived, had a couple challenges (including an extra BBEG in Monolith) and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Working as intended =)


I'm not quite understanding how the GM credit is applied for this scenario. Does it have to be applied to first level characters like the players? And how does earning work for multiple sessions?

Thanks,
allison

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

I have a question about applying credit for this quest.

The section at the beginning of the document says

At any time, he can apply the Chronicle sheet to a 1st-level Pathfinder Society character, but if that character gains XP from another Chronicle sheet, he can no longer earn additional rewards for that character for playing the other Phantom Phenomena quests.

Does this mean I cannot apply the chronicle at all to any character but a brand new first level character with 0 experience? Or does it just mean I can't, for example, complete 3 parts of Phantom Phenomena, play a separate scenario, and then come back and finish Phenomena?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Andrew L Klein wrote:
complete 3 parts of Phantom Phenomena, play a separate scenario, and then come back and finish Phenomena?

This is correct. You can apply it to any 1st level.

Silver Crusade

The chronicle sheet has two lists of reduced prices for the items mention for the boon at the bottom which do you use?

Grand Lodge

Just did the download - looks interesting. So this is designed to take characters from level 1 to level 3?

Liberty's Edge

Do you HAVE to use pregens with this? Thanks!!

Grand Lodge

Hi - Can I use a level 2 to play this or is it a must play as level 1?

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

Helaman wrote:
Hi - Can I use a level 2 to play this or is it a must play as level 1?

These are designed for level 1 characters only.


I am GMing it. Can I apply the GM credit to a character level 1 with 2 XP?

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

gfvelastegui wrote:
I am GMing it. Can I apply the GM credit to a character level 1 with 2 XP?

Yes you can, so long as the character is 1st-level when you apply the Chronicle sheet. You could, in fact, play all of The Silverhex Chronicles, receive credit for Phantom Phenomena, and then play Honor's Echo (the upcoming quest series) and apply the credit to the same character. After that, though, you'd have 3 XP and be 2nd level.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I noticed you listed Silver Hex first in your list, is Silver Hes still listed as needing to be the first chronical on a new player, or is this the new standard for quests; that the character have less than 3 xp to receive credit for them?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Kara Kramer-Rapp wrote:
I noticed you listed Silver Hex first in your list, is Silver Hes still listed as needing to be the first chronical on a new player, or is this the new standard for quests; that the character have less than 3 xp to receive credit for them?

If I could mark this as FAQ-worthy, I would.

Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Society Quest: Phantom Phenomena (PFRPG) PDF All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.