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Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-15: Hrethnar's Throne (PFRPG) PDF

**( )( )( ) (based on 10 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5-9.

The mist-shrouded Gloomspires have defied local seafarers and treasure hunters for centuries, but Venture-Captain Calisro Benarry has nearly unlocked the secrets of the spire where the dread pirate Sevenfingers hid his treasure. Great prizes beget jealous rivals, though, and the PCs must be prepared to fend off all others who desire Sevenfingers's riches—rivals both past and present.

Written by Tom Phillips.

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Product Reviews (11)
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Average product rating:

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***( )( )

I played this with Quentin, and actually had a lot of fun.
The character I played is as dumb as a rock and I certainly played that up.
I can see that this is a tough scenario, and you will need to prepare. The gloomspires has its reputation, and without preparation, you will have a problem.

Also, dont be like us, and let the squishy character go first.
That said, I think people looking for a more difficult scenario then normal, will have a lot of fun with this.

Cruel, even for Gloomspire standards.

(I played half the adventure before we nearly TPK'ed and decided to retreat, resulting in no Prestige and 0 XP gained. This might influence my opinion.)

Okay, first of all, I really liked the setup of the scenario. There's some good encounters and an interesting backdrop. I've had some fun roleplaying with my party and interacting with the environment.

That said, I'm not a big fan of this scenario. Granted, I've only played half of it, but my GM did a flythrough of the rest of the adventure. Where the previous Gloomspires adventures always had a certain kind of lethality to it, it never really felt mean-spirited. This adventure feels like it's out to get you with too many gotcha moments and intentionally sets up unfavourable situations to feel like a fair fight. I'd like to compare it to Thralls of the Shattered God, which was a competently set up adventure with similar gotcha moments, but those feel more deserved than here. It feels like the author had to live up to the Gloomspires reputation and decided to be unreasonably spiteful towards the players.

My character was underequipped (which was my fault), but it wouldn't have mattered much if I had been better prepared, and I'm fairly certain a lot of builds will face the same problem. I'd like to remain objective and say that my negative experience hasn't soured this review, but I can't say it with 100% certainty, so that's why I'm not leaving a star rating. I'd have to play this again or GM this to get a better view of the adventure, but for now all I can say is that this scenario feels overly punishing towards the players, and looking at the other reviews, I'm not the only one.


*( )( )( )( )

I'm not one for sour grapes really and the GM really should have known better, but a scenario that hits a group of mainly 7th level players with a CR8+ and then annihilates them by tossing on 2 more CR 9s... doesn't deserve any higher.

3 L7 (with 2 pregen newbies), 1 L8, 1 L9 survived about an hour before finally 2 Galvos and speed bombing nuked us. Never even saw the Spires. We could have handled the regular encounter despite newbie mistakes, but the Galvos were just a big middle finger to the players. GMS should NOT use them regardless of what the scenario says unless you have a full-up Maxed out party.

*( )( )( )( )

The Devil's in the Details

***( )( )

Played low tier with an overly-optimized group that plowed through combats. So my sense of the difficulty of encounters was impacted by group construction. I enjoyed the story, and I'm enjoying digging through the Gloomspires, but there was something just "off" on this scenario. You're about to read some major negatives below - this is because those are the things that stuck out as hurting an otherwise solid scenario to me. I really wanted to like this one, and I did, but the negatives were that big of a hit to me.

If you're a player, expect this to be tough. If you're a GM, just don't be a jerk when running it; you don't need to aim for a TPK in certain encounters to make it fun.

(From here on out spoilers abound).

Thematically nearly everything about this adventure should appeal to me. The idea of a boarding action is exciting. I'm a sucker for dungeon exploration. I love interesting use of exptraplanar trips.

And when those things worked, they really worked. But the devil's in the details. In every case the execution was sub-par.

Let's start with the boarding action. This should be a real moment of excitement, but instead it felt forced. But why? Mainly because even though I'm willing to accept the Gloomspires have some strange obscuring mist effects, it bothers me that a) your ship is incapable of seeing theirs, while the converse is not true, and b) that apparently a full grapple and boarding action takes less than 6 seconds (as that's all the time you have to react to what's happening). This encounter is something I think many of us have been waiting for in Pathfinder, but instead it feels like a missed opportunity for ranged combat from the rigging, to the placement of the boarding planks. That's not to talk about the opponent you're up against and how quickly he can decimate your party.

Then there's the "worst-trap-ever". The face "trap" IMHO is poor writing at its best. The placement of the face, and the effect were nothing more than a major F-you to the players at the table. There's no benefit to be gained, and it penalizes exploration and wanting to know more about what's going on with the story. Seriously - this is my biggest pet peeve in all of Pathfinder Society - somebody shows up to a game day, and then is forced to sit more than half the game out. This could have been remedied by a lesser effect than a poorly worded (and more severe) feeblemind. This could have been remedied by a "fix" the next encounter in. This could have been managed by making stats a three, but allowing the player to continue to participate (which would still cause the effect of a bumbling idiot, and still make stat damage later on a real threat). But instead I watched one poor player sit and do nothing for the rest of the game. People do not show up to game days to sit on their behinds while everybody else plays (I'm looking at you harpy encounters).

The rest was good - encounters were in a little to tight of spaces to make them interesting - but the theme, especially the ending was exciting. I just wish that this one could have lived up to its full potential.

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