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Pathfinder Society Scenario #7–19: Labyrinth of Hungry Ghosts (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 13 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3–7.

Following a successful mission into the mist-shrouded and shifting Gloomspires, the Pathfinder Society sent another team to explore the tomb of the legendary pirate Sevenfingers. Unfortunately, this team never returned. The spires have momentarily halted, allowing a new team to brave the tomb’s many dangers, hopefully rescuing their allies in the process.

This scenario is a sequel to Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–06: "Hall of the Flesh Eaters".

Written by Tom Phillips.

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Product Reviews (13)
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****( ) (based on 13 ratings)

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A nice challenging dungeon with a few annoyances

***( )( )

Like Hall of the Flesh Eaters, this scenario is a real stickler for theme. Lots of things that could be classified as "hungry ghost". Since this dungeon level literally had that name on the door (as described in Halls), it's one of the rare adventures where it's not that metagamey to buy equipment based on the name of the adventure you're going on.

That's probably why the high-tier first encounter is annoying. It doesn't fit with the theme at all. It's otherwise interesting and challenging, but it just doesn't fit in with the adventure.

When I ran this my enjoyment was a bit marred by an overly argumentative player with a trip-oriented build who kept trying to argue rules about why he should be able to trip things. Given the name of the scenario, guess how that went.

Another thing that irritated me both while GMing and while playing was that the labyrinth is basically a bunch of rooms, with very little hallway leading up to them. In both cases, you're spending minutes, hours or days trying to navigate the maze and these rooms represent the spots where you encounter something particularly interesting. The way the map is laid out, there isn't really much room for players to position themselves outside the rooms, and the encounters tend to start with the assumption that the PCs just burst into the room and then the encounter reacts to them. But in both runs, the players kept asking for a way to "hear it coming" and be able to approach those rooms more cautiously. This could have been handled more elegantly somehow. Lesson for next time I suppose.

The labyrinth navigation has been rather maligned by some people. I found the system a bit clunky, with a few too many layers of checks on top of each other, that could have been simplified to "assign one lead navigator, everyone else can aid, and these are the checks you can use". But on the whole it's a major improvement over the navigation rules in Delirium's Tangle where it felt like you were rolling on the Wandering Damage Table. This was much less grindy.

The encounters themselves I liked; each one was different and several of them quite challenging. They had some startup problems due to players queuing at the door though.

I didn't really like the mechanical design of the main boss; it felt like a bit too much of a custom monster with random extra defenses piled on to the point where it's really a crapshoot if you can affect him. I think I actually liked the "filler encounters" more than the main thread, which was a bit overused cliche.

Solid combat scenario

***( )( )

This scenario is primarily about combat, and it throws a number of well-written and tactically engaging battles at the party. Danger is tangibly present and your party will need to cooperate well, and the enemies are interesting.

Other than that, the setting doesn't really materialize. The encounters appear to be unrelated to each other, and the titular labyrinth doesn't really do anything. Your characters walk through nondescript corridors for some time, then enter the next room and roll for initiative. I suppose this was meant to be creepy and atmospherical but it really isn't; and there's no tie-in with the other scenarios at the same location. There's no real opportunity for roleplaying, and no chance to explore the dungeon as there's never a choice of where to go next.

Play this for an evening of good fights and showing what your character can do mechanically. Skip it if you're interested in story.

Challenging, creative but sadly not that creepy

***( )( )

Hall of the Flesh Eaters left a permanent mark on my memory. It was creepy and thematically really solid. Upon hearing that there would be a sequel, I was happy. I couldn’t wait to see if this next instalment would live up to the expectation it’s prequel had set. Sadly it does not.

The location is still the same and there are spirits involved, no surprises there. While it maintains a certain hint of mystery, it completely failed to maintain the creepy sensation however. Only the monsters were able to create that creepy feeling I enjoyed in the previous part. Speaking of the monsters, they’re nasty in a good way. They are, at times, incredibly challenging, especially on the low tier I’ve heard. Just like Halls of the Flesheaters, this scenario can be brutal for the unprepared. You may consider that a warning. Let’s just say I was happy to have my funerary priest/haunt expert of Pharasma with me.

To elaborate: it felt like certain rooms were just randomly there and were in no way whatsoever tied to a single storyline. They felt out of place. Don’t get me wrong, the rooms themselves are all thematically fun, especially the feast one. However I fail to see how it all comes together. It’s like a bunch of cool ideas were just tossed together and explained by the presence of a labyrinth. I’m sorry, but that’s not enough for me personally. It makes no sense. I feel like either I missed something, which I doubt, or that the story and background of the place doesn’t get revealed enough to the players.

In the end I have to give a mediocre rating. I can see the potential it has, but it just doesn’t deliver. The encounters show up, but the setting itself fails to be coherent or explained enough. It’s a shame though. Still, I would say it’s a fun scenario and I would still recommend it even though it has a tendency to run long. Certain parts are just too good to pass up on, others are just madly challenging. That said, I am left wanting more adventures in the Gloomspires and I’m more than curious about what’s next, preferably something that combines the uniqueness of the encounters of this scenario with the creepy atmosphere of Halls.

***( )( )

GM'd this tonight for the middle tier. Party was a sorcerer, witch/wizard, fighter and a (chained) summoner.

I was quite stoked for running this as I had thoroughly enjoyed running the previous scenario, Halls of the Flesh Eaters. Unfortunately I found it rather lacking. The creepy atmosphere just wasn't there this time, and rather than being a regular dungeon level it is just a series of four rooms with a random bit of maze exploration in between (and you don't even need to try and explore it).

The encounters can largely be dealt with through roleplay which is what happened with my group this session, but combat is a possibility. At the mid tier we found the combats far too easy though.

A nice continuation of the Gloomspires storyline but I had hoped for something more atmospheric and creepy. Looking forward to the next step though.

Brilliant Follow-Up


I loved this scenario - it's a great follow-up to Hall of the Flesh Eaters. Like the Blakros Connection, do not expect this to run in 4 hours and get all the story. Atmospheric and interesting encounters.

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