Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-01: Portent's Peril (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

Even in an age where prophecy rarely comes true, many in Varisia hold the mysterious Harrow cards and their predictions in high esteem. The Pathfinder Society’s ally Zeeva Foxglove recently received a Harrow reading as repayment for her generosity, but a rare card appeared and portended imminent doom. Now that these terrible predictions are coming true, Zeeva realizes she cannot weather this storm alone. It’s up to the PCs to save this friend and philanthropist—perhaps by changing fate entirely.

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild 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.

Written by Scott Sharplin.

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PZOPSS0801E


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***( )( ) (based on 19 ratings)

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A Horrible Nonsensical Story

**( )( )( )

Peril is a mix of combat and investigation (if you call following non-logical clues from location to location investigation).

There are two main problems with Peril. First, not much happens in the scenario, and it doesn’t happen fast.

And then there's the story. The story is not conveyed well to the players, I had to ask my GM the story at the end. Even worse, once you hear the story it makes absolutely no sense and it’s just a bunch of contrived coincidences.

The investigation doesn’t leave the players anything to figure out, everything is solved by skill checks. No meaningful choices.

And last, none of the challenges were fun. The last encounter was long, but not in an enjoyable way. A very forgettable scenario. My GM didn’t have harrow cards so maybe that changed the experience, but I doubt it.

”Detailed Rating”:

Length: Short (3 hours). We probably skipped the optional.
Experience: 6 under average PCs at subtier 1-2.
Sweet Spot: tbd.
Entertainment: Turn your brain off for this one. Just do it. (2/10)
Story: Stupid story on par with “Shadows Last Stand 1”. (1/10)
Roleplay: There was some but it was not interesting at all. (3/10)
Combat/Challenges: Not fun. (2/10)
Maps: OK. (7/10)
Boons: Really good, maybe too good. (8/10)
Uniqueness: This story could have been a winner. (1/10)
GM Preparation: TBD.

Overall: Nonsensical, forgettable, turn your brain off for this one. (3/10).


Huge work for GM

****( )

Runned, not played yet.

Great setting of Korvosa, even better if played Curse of the Crimson Throne AP and season 4 scenarios.

However the guide of Harrow is hard to display, PCs might fall into confusion, don't know what to do. And the final fight is difficult for low level groups, with too complex tactics.

Not recommended for new GMs, I wish I could run better the next time...


Not the easiest to GM, but great fun.

****( )

(I GMed this with little prep time as I had to fill in for someone.)

I love this scenario. It just hits all the good points. Fun story, cool things to do, interesting characters with little quirks, and so on. My only real problem is that Paizo editing is still a thing, and information is sometimes hard to find. Maybe I overlooked it, but I found some character motivations difficult to portray, but otherwise it went great. Final encounter can be bit of a slog, though.

One thing I'd like to point out is how natural the story felt. There are clues spread out over multiple locations, and while it might be a little obvious, it felt great to see the players' face light up with realisation about what's going to happen. One part of the story might be a little hard to figure out, but that might've been my underpreparedness.

Not that long of a review for me, but if everything's working fine, there's not much to criticise. We all had fun, and I can't really imagine this being a bad time for anyone.


Lots of fun!

****( )

Played this at low subtier with three PCs and a pregen. First, loved the use of the Harrow and the Yellow Sign... I mean, Prophet... even though my PC didn't believe in "that Varisian folktale", it provided a unique connection to the events.

Spoiler:
Each challenge was interesting, and as it evolved we could see how our actions were both causing and resolving the "prophecy" of the cards. The pseudodragon was a cool NPC, and its flight and stinger really helped us on the last fight, as it got to the baddie quickly and helped us keep track of her amongst the crowd.

Now having read it, this looks like it requires more prep than the average scenario, due to the number of NPCs and the complicated plot. Our GM only had a bit of time to prep and did a great job, but I can see who people might get lost in some of the details without knowing the scenario well.

I'm pretty surprised at the number of 1-star reviews - I suspect this has more to do with the GM than the scenario. There's lots of meat here, some great Varisian flavor, and a mystery that isn't either insanely complex or too easy. I felt like I had accomplished something by figuring it out, and even though we failed in one of the tasks, we managed to earn both prestige.

Highly recommended, but don't try to run it cold.


Fun mystery with a tense finish

****( )

I played this at GenCon and GMed it for a group a few weeks ago. I enjoyed playing + running the initial encounters; there's lots of room for roleplaying and getting to know the different groups while doling out some more details about the overall mystery.

I still haven't quite figured out how to make the last encounter run well (when I played, the GM was a bit smoother than I ran it so we didn't realize it was a

Spoiler:

little bit scripted). Next time I run this I might go slightly into the cut-scene route and have the rogue grapple + force the poison down, but that isn't as satisfying as having the players watch the cranky noble eat the poisoned fruit. My players were able to get the pair's attention relatively early, which meant I played up the noble's sense of disbelief that anyone would poison her, which didn't make her very endearing. If the setup had been a round or two more-advanced, then perhaps that would still give the sense of urgency this encounter really shines at.

The rogue being a single-bad-actor, for the most part, let off potential for a bigger tie-in with something else, so once the plot was foiled it felt a bit of a letdown

The Harrow mechanic was super fun and a cool way to tie in someone's fortune to the event.

I also enjoyed getting to interact with Zeeva Foxglove again; she's rad!


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Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

The Harrow!? Exciting! ^_^

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Maps Appearing in Portent’s Peril:

  • Map Pack: Marketplace
  • Map Pack: Urban Sites

  • Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

    Sounds cool!

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
    John Compton wrote:
    ** spoiler omitted **

    You sir, are awesome! I will be running this 7 times at Gencon. This will make prep EVER so much easier!

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Out of curiosity - any relation between

    Spoiler:
    Jaelle and Tsadok?


    CanisDirus wrote:
    Out of curiosity - any relation between Jaelle and Tsadok?

    Nope, although I am a big fan of Skull & Shackles!

    My turn to be curious: how did you hear about Jaelle? That NPC isn't mentioned in the product description above, and her identity is a bit of a spoiler.

    Scarab Sages

    Ah, kinda bummed that my Kapenia Dancer fortune teller (by profession) is too high level for this. Oh well. I have a Half-Orc/half-Varisian ex-Sczarni Brawler who would be sufficiently spooked by such a portent and who is still in the level range. Sounds like fun!

    Grand Lodge

    I'm GMing this scenario at 08/13 and I'm really excited about it. I hope I'll have enough time to prepare myself.

    Dark Archive

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Huh? Thought it said it would be available at Thursday... Maybe I remember wrong

    Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Unfortunately this is a display problem. This month's scenarios will be available at noon (Pacific time) today :)

    Dark Archive

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Is it just me or does Zeeva not look anything like either of her siblings? .-. I mean, I get that they are all from different sources and its likely that all three had different artists who hadn't seen the other ones, but still


    here again we have another instance of scenario writers putting NPCs together and not even validating them correctly against the rules. Zeeva's stat block is incorrect according to rules and errata.

    problems:
    you forgot to add her patron to the stat block. you gave her locate object as a level two spell when it's clearly a level 3 spell for Witches. you gave her Extra Hex feat but didn't actually give her an extra hex.

    At the top of the block is says she has a perception of +2 then in the skills section it's +8. Well which is it? she can't get to 8. her familar only add +2 with with in arms reach per the alertness bonus feat granted under that condition. it's not a class skill for witch either and with here wisdom score of 10, she could at most have a +6 in the skill.

    Maybe I'm just being picky but when we are supposed to run rules as written and your guys can't even follow the rules as written, that seems like a double standard to me. I know when this conflict happens, scenario trumps, but would it really hurt to do some actual proper editing and scrubbing to ensure these things don't happen.

    Don't get me wrong, i think this will be an awesome scenario to run, which I'm doing tomorrow. I just wish you guys would do some proper editing and ensure things are correct.


    drgnmstr44 wrote:
    here again we have another instance of scenario writers putting NPCs together and not even validating them correctly against the rules. Zeeva's stat block is incorrect according to rules and errata.

    I take responsibility for the errors in Zeeva's statblock. In my haste to submit the scenario in time for GenCon, I copied the NPC's statblock from Scenario #4-06 without running the numbers.

    I should have used Zeeva's reappearance as an opportunity to make updates and corrections; instead, I took the easy route, to the detriment of the final product. Please accept my apologies.

    Hopefully,

    Spoiler:

    if GMs follow Zeeva's stated tactics and use her strictly for support,

    the errors you observe won't drastically affect the outcome.


    Played this a Gen Con. Worst experience I have ever had with PFS. We had a party of 2 level 4s, a level 2, and a level 1. GM only allowed us a Knowledge (Arcana) check to identify the cards. We all failed. So we had failed the mission almost immediately. All of the bad can be blamed on the GM on this, though a bunch of level 1s could have a hard time making DC 18 knowledge checks. Our GM just left us to run around, and gave us no hint we were wasting our time. We never knew about the Unicorn diner (or whatever it was called), and spent 2 days waiting for the enemy to show up at the play. She then kills and NPC we didn't know existed and we lose. Of course he tried to say we could have asked anyone about the cards, but we actually asked multiple times to get pointed to any harrower. I would love to give this scenario a review, but we didn't see enough of it for me to do an honest review.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Poison Dusk wrote:
    Played this a Gen Con. Worst experience I have ever had with PFS. We had a party of 2 level 4s, a level 2, and a level 1. GM only allowed us a Knowledge (Arcana) check to identify the cards. We all failed. So we had failed the mission almost immediately. All of the bad can be blamed on the GM on this, though a bunch of level 1s could have a hard time making DC 18 knowledge checks. Our GM just left us to run around, and gave us no hint we were wasting our time. We never knew about the Unicorn diner (or whatever it was called), and spent 2 days waiting for the enemy to show up at the play. She then kills and NPC we didn't know existed and we lose. Of course he tried to say we could have asked anyone about the cards, but we actually asked multiple times to get pointed to any harrower. I would love to give this scenario a review, but we didn't see enough of it for me to do an honest review.

    Sounds like your GM made a big mistake. There are more ways than knowledge (arcana) to learn about the cards. Even if you guys failed all of the possible knowledge checks, your GM should have given you hints to get you to at least one location. NPCs could have helped you figure out what the other cards mean.

    It's a fun scenario. I ran it four times at GenCon. I'm sorry you had such a horrible experience and wish you'd been at one of my tables.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    The maps on this are giving me a serious headache. I am preping this for sunday, and

    Spoiler:
    Kendall's Auditorium
    and it is terrible. You have multiple textures with vertical or horizontal lines the same color as the map grid, making the map grid nearly impossible to read in those areas. Normally, my solution to this is to just replace the map grid with my own, two tone, grid, which is vastly more readable, but once again whoever drew the grid freehanded the grid, so it isn't even a uniform number of pixels between grid lines.

    I am seriously considering just rebuilding the map.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    To add insult to injury, the map has two doors that open onto a hallway, only the hallway has stairs down half way between the two doors, and the other side of the door is level floor, meaning one of those doors opens on mid air.

    Dark Archive

    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

    ZEEVA FOXGLOVE p. 20

    has no patron listed and apparently no patron spells applied
    she has a familiar so she must have a patron

    Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

    chopswil wrote:

    ZEEVA FOXGLOVE p. 20

    has no patron listed and apparently no patron spells applied
    she has a familiar so she must have a patron

    It is Portents (Ultimate Magic) as originally appeared in Scenario #4–06.

    Dark Archive

    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
    John Compton wrote:
    chopswil wrote:

    ZEEVA FOXGLOVE p. 20

    has no patron listed and apparently no patron spells applied
    she has a familiar so she must have a patron

    It is Portents (Ultimate Magic) as originally appeared in Scenario #4–06.

    then one of the 1st level spells known should be ill-omen, as was done in Scenario #4–06

    Silver Crusade

    John Compton wrote:
    chopswil wrote:

    ZEEVA FOXGLOVE p. 20

    has no patron listed and apparently no patron spells applied
    she has a familiar so she must have a patron

    It is Portents (Ultimate Magic) as originally appeared in Scenario #4–06.

    Well, that's appropriate.


    In the Harrow Handbook (page 6) there is just a glimpse of The Yellow Prophet. Is there any way to get a full picture of this lost harrow card? It would be a great prep to run this scenario!

    Silver Crusade

    Donkey Shot wrote:
    In the Harrow Handbook (page 6) there is just a glimpse of The Yellow Prophet. Is there any way to get a full picture of this lost harrow card? It would be a great prep to run this scenario!

    The PCs never actually see it in the adventure.


    Fromper wrote:
    Donkey Shot wrote:
    Is there any way to get a full picture of The Yellow Prophet card? It would be a great prep to run this scenario!
    The PCs never actually see it in the adventure.

    I know. But I plan to adapt this scenario for my campaign, where my PCs are supposed to see it, instead.

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