Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-99A: The Solstice Scar—Version A

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A Pathfinder Society Special designed for levels 1-11.

The world-renowned Blakros Museum has outdone itself, gathering an unrivaled collection of relics from the Shining Crusade, a holy coalition that felled the greatest lich to threaten Golarion. When trouble befalls the exhibit mere days before its debut, the Pathfinders intervene, only to discover that one of the relics is key to averting a far greater disaster that has laid in wait for a millennium.

The Solstice Scar is a multi-table interactive adventure in which each group's actions can affect neighboring groups and contribute to the entire room's success. This is an ongoing adventure that will be updated and rereleased incrementally several times each season, collectively telling a longer story while also presenting exciting stand-alone chapters.

Written by Andrew Hoskins.

Note: The Solstice Scar is a limited release scenario. It may be run anywhere by anyone, as long as there are 3 tables playing the scenario simultaneously and are in contact with each other. To inquire about access to this scenario, refer to the Organized Play Convention Support Policy.

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PZOPSS0899AE


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Standard scenario

****( )

I played this at 5-6 and ran it at 3-4

The progression from encounter to encounter felt very much like a scenario, very little RP and lots of combat with rest in the middle.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it makes it go quicker if the players are on a time line and don't have too many decisions to make. 9-00 made the players discuss, and that made them loose time, but this one allowed them extra time to do extra encounters.

Spoiler:
The final encounter was confusing when I played and also when I ran for my players, we thought we had to attack the shrine at the end, and so did my players when I ran it


A modular approach with room for improvement

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The idea of a special that is modular in the sense that it gets updated over the course of time is an interesting approach to tell an overarching epic story. You can, however, still tell that Paizo is new to this. The three parts were exactly that: three completely different parts. They felt more like quests that simply required more time, than as parts of a single story. I, as a GM, struggled to really make it feel like one cohesive story. This is a complaint I have with normal quests as well and I still consider it one of the things Paizo can really improve on.

When I look at the parts separately though, I think they were fun and diverse. The first part, namely the museum with the museum had a fun ‘difficult’ challenge and some rather interesting and diverse opponents. Everyone could contribute. It probably was my favourite part of the three. Then again, the museum is always a nice place to visit and this time was no different.

The second part was a bit awkward. While I like the fact you have to influence multiple leaders, I feel like the time to really role-play that out was far too limited. It honestly punishes players who really try to role-play more than it rewards them. The different combat encounters and objectives made sense and allows the GM to really cater towards the party.

The third part had a good role-playing portion with the influence system. It was probably the highlight of the special for me. The combats however on tier 3-4 were really disappointing. The maps are gigantic and you get zombies that are staggered and have to make their way to the PC’s. That takes ages and just a waste of time. This is just a big disappointment and issue considering this is a special and thus has a really harsh schedule in terms of time per encounter. In the final encounter, you suddenly have to field skeletons with 4 hit points each. I’m sorry, but that’s not even worth calling fodder. A single cleric will just laugh. This made the final fight extremely disappoint and anticlimactic.

Overall I’m not impressed with this special. I agree with others that it wasn’t epic enough. Certain portions were too easy, others too rushed. I will, however, say that the modular approach is a good thing and I can see it work. Finally, I’d like to point out that the biggest improvement was that it was relatively easy to prepare and that there were no unnecessarily difficult mechanics in the background to keep track of as was the case in a different special.

I’d like to advise Paizo to pay closer attention to balancing things out when version B comes out. Role-playing sections require more time than was given now and some fights need less time or actually challenging opponents that aren’t a waste of time. I also would like to see more table-interaction that’s obvious for the players and not just for the GMs. For a first attempt at a modular special, this wasn’t bad. There is, however, still room for improvement.


****( )


Serviceable

***( )( )

I ran this at Tier 7-8 at Gen Con. This felt like three quests and a special got together and had a baby. Echoing the thoughts of many, it did not feel epic enough to warrant a special. Each part was a fine story that would have made a decent scenario if expanded a bit. There didn't seem to be enough time to do the encounters, but I think that was a Gen Con problem rather than a problem with the special. It also may not have helped that for me, it followed Assault on Absalom.


It was different

****( )

I like the idea that this scenario will evolve over the seasons. I'm hoping there is a good mechanic so it doesn't feel like a flash back for 2 of the 3 parts.

I did like running some of the encounters especially those that made party go oh @#$¥.

My gripe is that getting maps that are out of print isn't fun. As much as I run scenarios I'm actually burnt out on drawing maps.the cost of ink to print them is straining my wallet too. I rather just buy the pregen printed maps.


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Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's a convention exclusive for the spring conventions/gamedays. A lot of people have played the GenCon specials by Feb/Mar/Apr. This gives smaller, spring conventions something exciting to draw players.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
James Martin wrote:

A 15 session convention is not impossible by any stretch. Our local game store has hosted mini-cons for PFS that feature more than 15 sessions.

Friday Evening - 3 games
Saturday Morning - 3 games
Saturday Afternoon - 3 games
Saturday Night - 3 games (or 3 tables of the Special)
Sunday Morning/Afternoon - 3 games
TOTAL: 15 games

Just find a local venue (FLGS's are wonderful!), recruit some GMs and go to town!

This is exactly the sort of mini-convention that I had in mind when writing this scenario and I think what John had in mind when he asked me to write it. We run a little convention like this at a local gaming cafe each year. It allows us to run one of the older interactive specials (with a lower table requirement) and a chance to get that quarter's GM boon. If you get the word out to surrounding areas, it's pretty easy to have a mini-convention of your own. Only 3 tables per slot! That's 12 participants minimum (assuming each table has 1 GM, 3 players, 1 pregen).


So after reading all the commentary about intent and trying something new, I'm curious as to why, if it is intended to be available to a wider number of players with a smaller table count requirement, I have yet to receive it in my downloads as both a VL and a 5-Star.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Because it is not available to general convention play until after GenCon.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

And even then it isn't automatically put into your downloads - convention-only scenarios have to be explicitly granted to convention GMs, even VOs and 4/5-star GMs.

Silver Crusade

Question: since I have version A in my downloads already, will that be updated to version B, or will B onwards be separate documents?

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
Although the The Solstice Scar will be convention-only, its requirement is very low compared to past specials: a 3-table minimum. Remember that the convention requirement can be fulfilled by running 15+ sessions over the course of a weekend—even at a game store. Just submit an event support request.

Following further internal discussion, we're updating the policy for running The Solstice Scar to not require a 15+ session event. So long as you arrange an event where you can meet the minimum table requirement for the adventure, you'll be able to run it during that version's window.

Much as Version A has remained exclusive from PaizoCon 2017 to Gen Con 2017, new versions of the special will have a modest window of exclusivity for a number of major conventions. After that window, the latest version will be available for general use for any event that can meet the minimum table count.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
John Compton wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Although the The Solstice Scar will be convention-only, its requirement is very low compared to past specials: a 3-table minimum. Remember that the convention requirement can be fulfilled by running 15+ sessions over the course of a weekend—even at a game store. Just submit an event support request.

Following further internal discussion, we're updating the policy for running The Solstice Scar to not require a 15+ session event. So long as you arrange an event where you can meet the minimum table requirement for the adventure, you'll be able to run it during that version's window.

Much as Version A has remained exclusive from PaizoCon 2017 to Gen Con 2017, new versions of the special will have a modest window of exclusivity for a number of major conventions. After that window, the latest version will be available for general use for any event that can meet the minimum table count.

Will the previous version remain legal during that period of exclusivity? That way there's always a version a smaller convention can use.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

John, I could give you a hug for that news. That is fantastic....

Silver Crusade

John Compton wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Although the The Solstice Scar will be convention-only, its requirement is very low compared to past specials: a 3-table minimum. Remember that the convention requirement can be fulfilled by running 15+ sessions over the course of a weekend—even at a game store. Just submit an event support request.

Following further internal discussion, we're updating the policy for running The Solstice Scar to not require a 15+ session event. So long as you arrange an event where you can meet the minimum table requirement for the adventure, you'll be able to run it during that version's window.

Much as Version A has remained exclusive from PaizoCon 2017 to Gen Con 2017, new versions of the special will have a modest window of exclusivity for a number of major conventions. After that window, the latest version will be available for general use for any event that can meet the minimum table count.

Glad to hear it. Our local store has run 5 table specials in the past, but we can't reserve the whole store for long enough to hold a convention. This means we'll be able to run this thing at the store every 6 months or so.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

These are some typos that could be corrected in Version B.

Solstice Scar Version A p. 4 wrote:
They vowed to return with it before winter solstice, for it was not a point of pride but a matter of life and death for all living creatures in their territory.

“the” should be inserted before “winter solstice”.

Solstice Scar Version A p. 32 first paragraph wrote:
After 60 Minutes: Once the House has had 60 minutes in which to explore areas H and I, the Overseer GM should make the following announcement to indicate the area J is now accessible.

"the" should probably be "that".

Solstice Scar Version A p. 32 boxed text wrote:
Medda rides by, calling above the din of the raging battle, “The path is clear—we can reach the valley that golds the stone circle.

"golds" should probably be "holds".

Solstice Scar Version A p. 34 Twinhorn Camp wrote:
The Twinhorn following has numerous tents made of thick animal hides (hardness 2, 10 hit points), and they have creates a partial palisade around the camp’s core to provide a windbreak and make the site easier to defend. The palisade is 10 feet tall.

creates" should probably be “created".

Solstice Scar Version A p. 38 Planar Opportunists wrote:
Creatures: Many of these shadow creatures are looking to carve out their own territory or just cause mayhem among the mortals, but first they must first fight in the vanguard of Eshimka’s army. They show no mercy.

Delete one of the “first”s.

Solstice Scar Version A p. 40 Concluding Part 3 wrote:
After about 90 minutes, the Overseer GM should read the following aloud to conclude Part 3—and the event as a whole in if this is the final part of the adventure.

Delete “in”.

Solstice Scar Version A p. 31 Twinhorn Allies sidebar wrote:
Bloodied Convoy: Run the encounters in area C as written.

Should "area C" be "Part 3"?

On page 31 there is a reference to "Twinhorn Comrades", however I don't see it referenced anywhere else in the scenario. Is that supposed to be "Twinhorn Allies"? If so, that is something which could be fixed in the next version of the scenario.


Okay, maaaaybe I'm just being thick and misunderstood Tonya's explanation at origins, but I've got a chance to play this one at PBP game day and I'd like to put it on the same character as the one I attached my GM credit to for Origins. So, just quick clarification:

Can I do that? Or do I have to wait for the update for part b/2 whatever we're calling it before I can play the character?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No, it is the same chronicle sheet. Per the guide: "A character may have no more than one copy of a Chronicle sheet"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

You will be able to do that with Version A and Version B, but not two Version As.


Gotcha, Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Can we run a slot 0 for GMs that will be running tables at the event?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When will session B be available I am running a A Convention the 1st part of April and was wondering if the second part would be ready?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Session B is currently con exclusive, but will open up for general play soon. I don't have the schedule on hand to give exact dates.

Grand Lodge

Got a quick question. If our VC gets a copy of this, will he have access to the current one and all the previous ones? Or, when you access it, you only get the newest version?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

He should only get access to the version he requests to run, which will probably be the most recent one.

Grand Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
He should only get access to the version he requests to run, which will probably be the most recent one.

So he couldn't in any way collect all of them? That's mainly what I'm asking.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

At the moment, no. Hopefully after all parts have had their run, there will be either a compilation or general release, but it has not been announced yet.


Have the maps for Part C been announced yet?

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