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Rejected Scenario Submission: An Infestation of Mites


Scenario Submission Talk

** RPG Superstar 2012

I welcome any critiques for my scenario submission. I'm fairly certain I didn't get the feel for Absalom in my scenario.

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An Infestation of Mites

Introduction: The Pathfinders must rescue the Minotaur Prince from a vengeful group of mites, or the Pathfinder Society loses potential delving rights in minotaur-controlled areas of the Kortos Mounts.

After a Pathfinder Society team discovered The Golden Minotaur’s Horn, the Decemvirate decided to present the relic to Nuar Spiritskin, expecting him to allow ventures into the Kortos Mounts when he ascends to power. The simple task of gifting the Horn to the Minotaur Prince fell to Torvis Quinn. He arranged a meeting at the Taurean Embassy, but the details leaked to Gladdan Tumril, a gnome working for Grandmaster Torch.

Mite chieftain Jarvit XXXIV’s minions followed the agent and learned of the meeting as well. Jarvit had previously failed to gain employment in Grandmaster Torch’s information network, and he raged at Torch’s choice to hire such an inferior creature. Jarvit viewed the meeting as an opportunity to exact revenge. Thirty mites swarmed the embassy’s sanctum from hidden locations, killed Tumril, and kidnapped Quinn and the Minotaur Prince. The kidnappers placed unlit torches at the scene as a clue implicating Grandmaster Torch.

Jarvit plans to exploit his captives to make Grandmaster Torch regret his mistake. The Pathfinder Society sends the PCs to investigate the kidnapping and locate the Prince and Quinn, while Grandmaster Torch seeks to ensure the whole affair ends as quietly as possible.

Summary: The Pathfinders question Grandmaster Torch to uncover his involvement in the kidnapping. He admits sending an agent to spy at the meeting. He also points to the clumsy attempt to incriminate him as proof he had nothing to do with the kidnapping. While Grandmaster Torch doesn’t expect this nonsense to harm him, canny PCs might obtain a favor from him.

The Pathfinders insinuate themselves into the investigation at the embassy and discover the mites’ hidden entrance. The party combats rats and their mite handlers inside the entrance. In the warren, the party encounters a mite-set trap, which triggers a tunnel collapse and disturbs a swarm of wasps. The characters must clear the collapse or find another tunnel.

Optionally, Tumril’s relatives who seek those responsible for the gnome’s death confront the Pathfinders. The PCs can convince them of their intentions instead of fighting, and the gnomes leave the tunnels and return to Absalom.

Near Jarvit’s throne room, mites hide behind a mass of webs containing decoy spiders and an insidious trap. The mites set fire to the webs if the Pathfinders pass through, igniting flasks of alchemist’s fire that drop on the characters. After encountering the trap, the party battles the mites who fight to the death. The party reaches the throne room, where the mite chieftain cowers behind his throne and orders his minions to attack the PCs. Quinn lays bound in the center of the room, but the characters may free him to help in combat. Jarvit pitifully surrenders once he acknowledges his opponents have the advantage. He negotiates by promising to free the Prince if the characters assassinate Grandmaster Torch. PCs succeeding at a Bluff check can convince Jarvit they agree to his deal. He attempts to escape through a trapped rear tunnel if the situation sours.

Encounter 1: This roleplaying encounter requires no skill checks, but the Pathfinders must succeed at a Bluff (DC 25/30, depending on tier) or Diplomacy (DC 20/25) check to gain Grandmaster Torch’s favor.

Encounter 2: Stealth or Bluff check to reach the sanctum (DC 12/18). 2 mites and 4 dire rats; or 3 mites (Warrior2) and 6 dire rats.

Encounter 3: Wasp swarm and falling block trap, adjusted to Atk +10 melee (3d6); or 2 wasp swarms and falling block trap.

Encounter 4 (Optional): 3 gnomes (2 Ranger1, 1 Bard2); or 3 gnomes (2 Ranger3 and 1 Bard4).

Encounter 5: 5 mites and 4 flasks of alchemist’s fire; or 5 mites (Warrior2) and 7 flasks of alchemist’s fire.

Encounter 6: 8 mites, Jarvit (mite Rogue2), 2 giant spiders, and acid arrow trap; or 8 mites (Warrior2), Jarvit (mite Rogue4), 2 giant black widows, and wyvern arrow trap.

Conclusion: If the Pathfinders succeed, the Horn advances the Minotaur Prince’s aspirations of dominion. He expresses his gratitude by promising the Pathfinder Society access to areas he intends to rule. Additionally, the party uncovers relics from Absalom’s past in the mites’ lair.

If the party fails, Quinn dies, and the Minotaur Prince escapes without the Horn. He blames the Pathfinder Society for endangering him, and future negotiations will be strained at best.

Qadira *****

The scenario is generally fine. But two things irk me:

1- No more relics/artifact. There are enough of those. They should only be used as major quest item, not trivial gifts. If the PCs are not to use them, make it into some non-magical art piece of value.

2- The fights don't seem very challenging... War2s vs level 3-5 PCs is a waste of time... Its long and boring. They don't hit the PCs, and go down before they can say hello. If you want to use them. I would anchor them with some type of caster to blast the PCs with damage.
Damage is good.

3- I dislike the fight with the gnomes (even tho gnomes are thoroughly evil). It seems forced and I don't really see why they would such a thing as fighting the pathfinders... harrass, challenge, annoy or insult yes, but fighting? That's far-fetched...

Still I think the adventure and its consequences are adequate for a PFS scenario.

JP

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Katharan al-Zawree wrote:
1- No more relics/artifact. There are enough of those. They should only be used as major quest item, not trivial gifts. If the PCs are not to use them, make it into some non-magical art piece of value.

"Artifacts and relics" are explicitly part of the Society's goal...though not in the game sense of the term. I don't read this scenario as involving either in that sense, the term "relic" is clearly intended in the real-world manner.

Qadira *****

Chris Kenney wrote:
"Artifacts and relics" are explicitly part of the Society's goal...though not in the game sense of the term. I don't read this scenario as involving either in that sense, the term "relic" is clearly intended in the real-world manner.

Yes, I know and understand that... but we are dealing with low-level adventurers here. Do you think the US government would give a group of teenagers the declaration of independence to a group of teenagers saying "You guys go go across town and show it to the Ambassador of Russia." That is the same rationale!

Also Relic and Artifact in D&D have game term significance. It's like saying "the large-sized human bullrushes you and keeps going". It means something in the GAME.

JP

** RPG Superstar 2012

Katharan al-Zawree wrote:

The scenario is generally fine. But two things irk me:

1- No more relics/artifact. There are enough of those. They should only be used as major quest item, not trivial gifts. If the PCs are not to use them, make it into some non-magical art piece of value.

2- The fights don't seem very challenging... War2s vs level 3-5 PCs is a waste of time... Its long and boring. They don't hit the PCs, and go down before they can say hello. If you want to use them. I would anchor them with some type of caster to blast the PCs with damage.
Damage is good.

3- I dislike the fight with the gnomes (even tho gnomes are thoroughly evil). It seems forced and I don't really see why they would such a thing as fighting the pathfinders... harrass, challenge, annoy or insult yes, but fighting? That's far-fetched...

Still I think the adventure and its consequences are adequate for a PFS scenario.

JP

Thanks for your input!

I really meant for the Horn to be a non-magical, ceremonial item, but I wasn't too clear in the writeup. As far as the fights, I went strictly from the rules to determine the CR. Unfortunately, and now that I've had a chance to look at this scenario again, the fights are rather dull. And, again, I wasn't clear about the encounter with the gnomes. The gnomes would be aggressive, but the characters would have had a chance to defuse the situation before it came to combat. It's also why I made the encounter optional, because it was one that could be thrown out.

Thanks again. I'll keep working at it. :)

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