Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

First Scenario Attempt


Scenario Submission Talk

Taldor *

The Dirty Druid Job

Spoiler:

Introduction: Griss Banyon, retired Pathfinder, recently invested in a lumber operation when word came that a rampaging treant had killed two of his crew and closed the site. Desperate but too proud to call on the Pathfinder Society, Banyon sent for a half-orc druid named Treetalker, recommended by one of his crew. Treetalker and his wolf companion demanded a hefty fee to intervene with the treant, but this was merely a down payment. Over several days, Treetalker returned to Banyon several times, requesting inexplicable items for his negotiations. On Treetalker's final visit, he demanded a particularly expensive material component for a banishing spell known only to druids and never returned. By this point, Banyon's logging operation was so far in the red that he had little choice but to call on the Pathfinder Society. He doesn't know if Treetalker successfully banished the treant and can't risk the lives of his men without knowing for certain that the threat has been dealt with.

Summary: The site of the attack reveals an elaborately staged deception to the PCs, casting doubt on the already shady druid. With the deception revealed, the PCs must return to Falcon's Hollow and question the worker who suggested Treetalker in the first place, the “inside man” for the con, and pick up the druid's trail to recover Banyon's stolen property.

After persuading the recalcitrant worker to reveal what he knows, the PCs must hurry to the deceptive druid's next mark--a Lumber Consortium cutyard--but not before facing some of Treetalker's former “clients.” As the PCs prepare to leave for the cutyard, a hobgoblin war party arrives in Falcon's Hollow demanding Treetalker's blood. If the PCs can convince the hobgoblins that they're after the same person, the hobgoblins leave the town with minimal mayhem.

The hobgoblins handled, the PCs arrive at the Consortium cutyard to warn the site foreman, who is none too pleased to have work interrupted. Before long, a tree splits open and a decayed and mildew-stained dryad(Treetalker disguised) emerges to wreak havoc on the “desecraters of its forest tomb,” and hidden traps cloaked as the elements of nature spring to life, attacking the PCs and loggers. It doesn't take Treetalker long to realize people are on to him. He flees through a cave opening in the trunk of the split tree and signals for his hidden accomplices to finish off the PCs in earnest.

Following Treetalker into a network of clumsily constructed caves, the PCs must fight through a small wave of goblins without being buried alive by the goblins' poor engineering handiwork. Deeper underground, the PCs reach a natural cavern and face Treetalker, who does his best to distract them while his “animal companion,” Drethan, a barghest in wolf-form and the true mastermind of Treetalker's schemes, stealthily circles the PCs. Once Drethan and Treetalker are defeated, the PCs quickly locate Banyon's gold.

Encounter 1: The PCs narrowly escape the “treant” at the scene of the rampage, which is revealed to be a disguised log trap enchanted with illusions. Tracks from Treetalker and the wolf lead conspicuously to bloody rags belonging to the dead lumberjacks(with skilled parties correctly dating the eaten bodies and tracks to the day of the massacre).

Encounter 2: With very few leads, the party must confront the “inside man” from Banyon's crew at (a local tavern) after a tavern fight with several of his lumberjack friends.

Encounter 3(optional): A war party of vengeful hobgoblins come to Falcon's Hollow looking for Treetalker. Diplomatic PCs can get useful information from the hobgoblins about Treetalker's methods and avoid a fight by promising them the druid's head.

Encounter 4: Warning the cutyard foreman prevents a panic and leads to a fight with Treetalker's concealed illusionists and trapmakers.

Encounter 5: The PCs follow Treetalker underground and fight goblin henchman in dangerous dirt passages that could collapse if they're not careful.

Encounter 6: The PCs must fight Drethan, the unexpected mastermind of the gang of con artists, who takes as much pleasure deceiving people out of their money as he does eating the body and souls of the incidental victims.

Conclusion: If the PCs defeat Drethan and Treetalker under the Consortium cutyard, they recover Banyon's money and earns the Lumber Consortium's favor as well. Failure means Banyon's small lumber company never recovers and is muscled out by the Consortium, which holds the PCs responsible for losses at the cutyard.

Andoran ** Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

With the caveat that I have yet to get an accepted scenario:

First off, a barghest scam artist as the main villain--I love this! It's an intelligent creature which would enjoy the suffering it causes. You start off with a PFS concern (one of its former members), and you avoided the "saving the day" trap.

The introduction needs to indicate that an "inside man" led Banyon to Treetalker. It got confusing to read about an "inside man" when the introduction said that Banyon sent for Treetalker. While the introduction brings in the Society, the conclusion doesn't indicate any benefit to the Society for helping Banyon out.

Where are all the illusion spells coming from? "Scooby doo"ing a treant is a clever idea, but it seems like the level of spells to pull that off would put the casters out of the characters' league.

You need a contingency for Treetalker being taken out during the encounter where he's pretending to be a druid, since he's the impetus for the remainder of the adventure. I made this mistake in my scenario.

I hoped the final encounter would have started with Drethan trying to work a con on the characters, since he's the mastermind of the operation. A straight up combat seems anti-climactic for such a promising villain.

Nitpicky stuff: The introduction would read better if you concluded with Banyon calling in the Pathfinder Society. You can get rid of "...and never returned" since you already implied that with "final visit". "a local tavern" doesn't need to be in parentheses in encounter 2. "A war party of vengeful hobgoblins comes to Falcon's Hollow..."

I enjoyed this scenario, and I really thought you had a clever take on the villain. I wish you the best of luck in future scenario submissions!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Congrats on the first senario attempt! Please take the following comments as a creative critque and not bashing.

The Good: I agree with Taig, the con angle is a nice change of pace. A lot of thought went into your "Cons". The backstory leads well to the start, but there is a lot of it.

The Bad:Title needs work IMO. Helping an old Pathfinder is a good idea but I dont think the PFS would send a group to deal with a Banyon's personal problem unless it furthered the PFS some way. I would suggest a stronger tie in to the PFS. There is some confusion to what the players will do. Are they going to look for the treant or are they looking for Treetalker? Encounter 1 starts with the site of the tree, they find its a trap and when they get back to Banyon to tell him its safe, he can go about his business but Banyon is out of whatever money/items he gave the druid. Why would they look for the "inside man"? They dont even know the "inside man's" name? Why not just follow the tracks of treetalker and the wolf to find they are hiding?

Encounter 2: The encounter does not explain why the inside man doesnt just lie to the PCs to get them off his tail. This would be a good chance to roleplay I think was missed. Are the other lumberjacks in on the con?

Encounter 3: What if the PCs get the hobgoblins to come with them to the lumberyard looking for the treetalker? What are the chances of Falcon's Hollow regulars attacking and killing the hobgoblins before the PCs can parlay with them?

Encounter 4: This is more like 2 encounters, one with the foreman and one triggered by the tree opening. I like the idea of the disguised dryad, but I think it is wasted on the PCs(who already know the story from the "inside man" and will more than likely kill the treetalker before he can make his escape). In this case, have a contingency plan to continue the adventure to the wolf in encounter 6. Description of "elements of nature" traps should have been explained here.

Encounter 5: Try to stay away from encounters that have a chance to bury the entire party alive all at once. I dont want read stories of players attacking GMs on the boards, because their characters were killed in a cave in. The goblins by themselves can be a good encounter using some interesting tactics/classes may be good enough.

Encounter 6: I am assuming Treetalker is not a real druid, but a rogue and although I like the idea of an animal companion not being exactly what it seems, it is a little over the top for this senario. Why would the barghest want to cheat people out of gold, or items? Once the players get to this encounter, is there anything treetalker can do other than declare dodge on someone and hope to get a spell off? What I mean is there is no reason why the players would assume treetalker is innocent or let him utter a sound before plucking him with arrows.They may even suspect he isnt a druid or would even let the wolf get a chance to get into flank position. Aside from this have you really considered the barghests abilty to feed? No chance at resurrection? Things could get real nasty quickly with the CR4 + the druid.

What I would improve on: Logical errors. Make a flowchart and make sure the mechanical flow of each encounter has a solid lead into the next encounter. Watch the "deadlyness" meter of your encounters. Give details on your encounters a bit more.

Keep trying, never give up and also bounce your ideas off your friends while you are writing. Good luck next time!

Taldor *

Thanks for looking at this, both of you. Given what Josh wrote about the submissions, the two of you might have been the first to read the whole thing. I followed all of his advice/previous criticism to the best of my ability, but I might well have been one of the 75% he mentioned despite my best efforts. I wish everyone else the best of luck on future endeavors, but I'm going to stick to fiction. Although I was thinking about fleshing this out and trying a hand at self-publishing it as a Pathfinder-compatible adventure, I'm not sure that boring Joshua Frost is a great way to introduce myself to the gaming community.

** RPG Superstar 2012

Warforged Gardener wrote:
Thanks for looking at this, both of you. Given what Josh wrote about the submissions, the two of you might have been the first to read the whole thing. I followed all of his advice/previous criticism to the best of my ability, but I might well have been one of the 75% he mentioned despite my best efforts. I wish everyone else the best of luck on future endeavors, but I'm going to stick to fiction. Although I was thinking about fleshing this out and trying a hand at self-publishing it as a Pathfinder-compatible adventure, I'm not sure that boring Joshua Frost is a great way to introduce myself to the gaming community.

You weren't very far off, to be honest. Without any direct feedback from Josh, it's hard to say.

Like I said earlier, I liked the scenario. Angry Spirit's suggestions may help you get into a more PFS frame of mind for the next scenario.

Anyway, I've submitted a scenario on four different occasions, and I've yet to get a "cease and desist" letter, so you shouldn't worry about getting on Josh's bad side.

Really, I hope you keep on trying, and I wish you luck with whatever you decide to do.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

taig wrote:
Warforged Gardener wrote:
... I'm not sure that boring Joshua Frost is a great way to introduce myself to the gaming community.

You weren't very far off, to be honest. Without any direct feedback from Josh, it's hard to say.

Like I said earlier, I liked the scenario. Angry Spirit's suggestions may help you get into a more PFS frame of mind for the next scenario.

Anyway, I've submitted a scenario on four different occasions, and I've yet to get a "cease and desist" letter, so you shouldn't worry about getting on Josh's bad side.

Really, I hope you keep on trying, and I wish you luck with whatever you decide to do.

Guys, I've got the "collectors set" of all nine rejection emails and he hasn't told me to go jump yet. Keep submitting - I'm sure Josh would rather 51 submissions to choose from than 50*.

Spoiler:
*Submission numbers completely fabricated.
*No children were harmed in the writing of these scenarios.

Andoran ** Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

Dementrius wrote:
taig wrote:
Warforged Gardener wrote:
... I'm not sure that boring Joshua Frost is a great way to introduce myself to the gaming community.

You weren't very far off, to be honest. Without any direct feedback from Josh, it's hard to say.

Like I said earlier, I liked the scenario. Angry Spirit's suggestions may help you get into a more PFS frame of mind for the next scenario.

Anyway, I've submitted a scenario on four different occasions, and I've yet to get a "cease and desist" letter, so you shouldn't worry about getting on Josh's bad side.

Really, I hope you keep on trying, and I wish you luck with whatever you decide to do.

Guys, I've got the "collectors set" of all nine rejection emails and he hasn't told me to go jump yet. Keep submitting - I'm sure Josh would rather 51 submissions to choose from than 50*.

** spoiler omitted **

I'm in good company. :)

I'm glad to hear you haven't gotten discouraged.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Society® / Scenario Submission Talk / First Scenario Attempt All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Scenario Submission Talk

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.