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Please provide me with some peer review on this submission (rejected scenario)


Scenario Submission Talk


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would appreciate any feedback you folks might offer on this submission.

Everyone else is using spoiler tags, so I will follow the same format.

My Submission:

Home Is Where The Heartwood Is

Introduction
The voyage to Arcadia is not to be taken lightly, but the opportunity to plumb the secrets of an unexplored continent is enough to inspire a brave few. Thus it was that the Pathfinder Venture Captain DeHernando was motivated to undertake a journey aboard the good ship Providence. Given the gravity of the mission, the Pathfinder Grand Lodge maintained a regular schedule of updates with DeHernando. Sending spells tantalized the Decemvirate with news of epic discoveries, including a Fountain of Youth and City of Gold. The halls of Skyreach were anxiously awaiting his return, when suddenly communications failed.
A series of divinations were undertaken to determine the fate of the missing ship, but the only response was the cryptic refrain, “She has returned to the home of her heartwood.” Eventually, the vessel was given up for lost along with its cargo of native peoples, animals and artifacts. Months later, a glimmer of hope returned when reliable reports came in from Andoran indicating that savage skraelings and Arcadian bison had been spotted roaming the outskirts of Falcon’s Hollow.

Summary
The mission begins with the PCs meeting the Pathfinder contact, Clovis, in Falcon’s Hollow. Clovis guides the PCs to a skraeling camp, but betrays them during the encounter. After the battle, the PCs learn that the Providence is nearby and under the control of a skraeling skin-walker named Nunyunuwi. While traveling to the ship, the PCs are attacked by a number of Tupilaq, avenging constructs in the shape of bison. Finally, upon their arrival, the PCs must fight their way through a series of defenses before confronting Nunyunuwi and the spirit trapped within the ship itself.

Encounters
1) Clovis leads the PCs to a teepee encampment full of skraelings and advocates a vicious assault. However, these skraelings are disgusted by Nunyunuwi’s evil and may be easily convinced to ally with the PCs. As Clovis was cursed with lycanthropy by Nunyunuwi, he will attack the PCs in his hybrid werewolf form at some point during the encounter. Regardless of the method, the skraelings will eventually provide the PCs with much information, including the location of the Providence.
Tier 1-2: six first level warriors and a werewolf.
Tier 3-4: six first level warriors and a werewolf with 2 levels in ranger.
Tier 6-7: six second level barbarians and a werewolf with 4 levels in ranger.

2) A number of Tupilaq charge the PCs while they travel through the forest. These beasts will look like bison zombies, but spot checks will reveal that they are bison skin with a wooden frame beneath. The Tupilaq are the equivalent of large animated objects with the trample ability.
Tier 1-2: one Tupilaq.
Tier 3-4: two Tupilaq.
Tier 6-7: four Tupilaq

3) The PCs find the ship in an open field but must fight through a mob of Bakaak to reach it. The Bakaak are equivalent to human bloody skeletons with a fly spell in effect.
Tier 1-2: two Bakaak.
Tier 3-4: four Bakaak.
Tier 6-7: eight Bakaak with bows.

4) The upper decks of the ship are in a state of serious decay beyond what a few months could naturally accomplish. Plant growth and rotten structures make the terrain difficult. The spirit of the ship animates remnants of the rigging to attack the PCs with constricting attacks.
Tiers 1-2: medium animated object.
Tiers 3-4: large animated object.
Tiers 6-7: two huge animated objects.

5) In this optional encounter, the hold is defended by Flying Heads.
Tier 1-2: one vargouille.
Tier 3-4: two vargouille.
Tier 6-7: four vargouille.

6) In the final cabin the PCs encounter Nunyunuwi communing with the angry spirit of the forest. Having spent its anger on returning the ship’s lumber to its home and punishing the crew, Nunyunuwi must work to keep the spirit awake and hostile.
Tier 1-2: a werewolf with 1 level in druid
Tier 3-4: a werewolf with 1 level in druid and the spirit is the equivalent of a shadow.
Tier 6-7: a werewolf with 4 levels in druid and the spirit is the equivalent of a greater shadow.

Conclusion
Defeating Nunyunuwi and recovering the captain’s log ensures future Pathfinder missions to Arcadia. However, the spirits of the forest will still feel the pain of their lost progeny, and who knows what further allies those spirits might find in the untainted wilderness of Arcadia. If the PCs fail to triumph over Nunyunuwi, then nature’s vengeance blossoms anew in the region of Falcon’s Hollow.

Thank you in advance!

* RPG Superstar 2012

I offer the usual caveat that this critique is coming from someone who has (yet) to get a submission accepted.

To start with, this has an excellent premise, and it involves the Pathfinder Society. You laid out the scenario very well, and it flows nicely. I personally like how you evoke some (I'm guessing here) Inuit mythological creatures and use standard monsters to represent them.

The one thing I think caused this to get a pass: It reads like a scenario that should have been in another setting, and you've forced the scenario to fit the Open Call's location. I think when Josh asks for a specific location, he's looking for something that plays to that location.

A couple of minor things: Clovis's condition could be mentioned in the introduction or the summary. I was scratching my head as to why he would betray the party because I didn't have that information up front. The only other concern is the all-combat encounter selection. I'd say drop in a trap or hazard for one of the encounters.

Overall, this is good stuff, and I wish you luck in future submissions!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you for your thoughts Taig.

I did plan with Falcon's Hollow in mind, but wasn't sure how much to get involved in the established NPCs and plotlines from previous works. So, I just stuck with the issue of logging and the conflict of civilization versus wilderness.

I will have to work more in on non-combat next time. And I have to say, I appreciate your question about how much tier specific encounter detail is required. It is tough to fit things in with 750 words. I started out with over 1000 and carved back from there - probably lost a little in the editing, and I spent over 130 words on detailing the tier specific challenges.

Hope I can still get more feedback from some others as well.

Thanks!

Paizo Employee ** Developer

I mentioned this on another submission, but werewolves are probably not a good monster to go with for PFS. Same goes for any lycanthrope. I could be wrong on that, but my gut tells me that it's a red flag for Josh.

The second comment is less about your submission specifically, but rather a trend I'm seeing in general. The listing of each and every tier for all six encounters eats up a HUGE number of words. Act 1 has 40 words taken up by "Tier 1-2: etc." I didn't count the others, but if it's the same for all six acts, that's 240 more words (almost 1/3 of the total pitch) you could be using to evoke the story you're trying to tell. I can't speak for Josh, but I would be less interested in the mechanics of the encounters and more with the play experience across all tiers. A villain's motivations and plans should be the same across the board, so focus on those and not on the specific encounters at each level. If you tell a compelling story, it should be obvious that at whatever level one plays it, it will be tons of fun.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Please take the following comments as a creative critque.

The Good:749 words.This idea is something totally unexpected, it's diffrent and has a spanish explorer feel with the "fountain of youth" and "cities of gold". You have done your homework on native tribes of greenland the norse discovered. This senario was gutsy to me. Good equivilents used for the buffalo constructs and bloody bodies.

The Bad: It feels like you have not read your pathfinder background material. A lot of the ideas in this senario clash with preexisting material and may have caused you the veto. Now on to more specifics...

You mention that Clovis, the guy who leads them to the natives is a werewolf and will attack them. Like Yoda, I agree werewolves need to be handled with care and can lead to a total party wipe especially right off the first encounter. If you give the character a chance to have weapons that will affect the creature early in the senario, I am more willing to like a werewolf in an encounter. Werewolves are much better in home games than a PFS. So, if the players fight the skraelings, does the werewolf change form still(T1=CR3+CR1*6 may be a bit too powerful) In encounter 4, you mention a ship. Is this ship in the Darkmoon river or is this like an air ship? It is hard to picture where the senario fits into the maps of Falcon's Hollow and surrounding areas. In encounter 6, what happens if Nunyunuwi can not work to keep the spirit hostile? Does the spirit turn on Nunyunuwi?

What I would improve on: This falls under the "know your material" and "know your audience" catagories. Your submission has educated me.thanks. I had been looking through my early American history book to try to find a reference to skraeling because the summary made me wonder if you used a native american tribe.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

AngrySpirit wrote:
What I would improve on: This falls under the "know your material" and "know your audience" catagories. Your submission has educated me.thanks. I had been looking through my early American history book to try to find a reference to skraeling because the summary made me wonder if you used a native american tribe.

To be fair, skraeling are mentioned as appearing in Arcadia, but that is very, very far from Falcon's Hollow and the name was one given them by the Ulfen settllers there. Might be a better fit in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. But I think the Native American influenced stuff really fits in Arcadia (or maybe in the Storval Plateau, if used to influence the Shoanti).

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
yoda8myhead wrote:
To be fair, skraeling are mentioned as appearing in Arcadia, but that is very, very far from Falcon's Hollow and the name was one given them by the Ulfen settllers there. Might be a better fit in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. But I think the Native American influenced stuff really fits in Arcadia (or maybe in the Storval Plateau, if used to influence the Shoanti).

This would be a real good Lands of the Linnorm Kings adventure. The fact it was an unknown tribe meaning(large bodiment of settlers undiscovered in the vale)made me think "wouldnt that be too large a civilization to go unknown near Falcons Hollow?" or at least without some detailed explaining of why there is no trade going on, bison being seen, tales of savage tribes wearing ash and blood in Darkmoon vale.

Honestly though, the senario would make a good candidate for the Third Veil Druids type adventure if they could have tweaked it more.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

I also like the overall premise and the creative use of existing monsters. I feel like encounter 4 could use some work (using animated objects for a second encounter seems like overkill).

I think it would be helpful to give some background on the villain and the forest spirit in the introduction so the reader understands the overall aim of the scenario before reading the individual encounters.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you all for your input. I understand your werewolf comments now and will avoid such encounters in future submissions.

I also agree that I burnt valuable text on Tier descriptions. I assumed that it would help Josh get a quick feel on the author's grasp of mechanics, but I think I will skip that in the future as well. My story intent would be more clear if I had used those words to flesh things out.

For any that are interested - to answer some of the questions -

1. The ship is made from lumber cut from the wounded heart of Darkmoon Wood

2. The ship goes on a mission to Arcadia, does a bit of ravaging, and collects Native American type things including an angry shaman, Nunyunuwi

3. Nunyunuwi is able to use his magic to bond with the spirit of the cut wood that makes up the ship and teleport the entire ship back to where the wood was cut

4. So you have a ship sitting in the middle of a forest far from a water source, with an angry shaman ready to seek vengence against the civilization that is working toward pillaging his land.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Had you found the wordcount to include this new detail, I would have greenlit this scenario on the premise alone were it up to me. This is some awesome stuff. Try to replicate the same unique angle in the next submission, but be sure to include it in the pitch instead of the messageboards after the fact.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Congratulations Yoda8myhead!
And thank you for the kind words. You have definitely inspired me to work hard for the next submission.

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