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Shortest Scenarios?


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

It looks like I may get an extra chance to run a scenario in a couple of weeks. However, the session will only be about 3 hours long. Are there any scenarios that tend to run short?

Most of the players have only played a couple of scenarios (other than the First Steps ones) so any scenarios in seasons 0-3 are fair game.

Does anyone have any advice?

Osirion ****

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Since you say that the "players have only played a couple of scenarios", I'm guessing you're looking specifically for subtier 1-2 scenarios?

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Alex Greenshields wrote:
Since you say that the "players have only played a couple of scenarios", I'm guessing you're looking specifically for subtier 1-2 scenarios?

Sorry, yes. Although other similar opportunities may arise in future, so suggestions for short higher tier scenarios are also welcome.

Sczarni *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Try We Be Goblins. It's pretty quick, and hilariously awesome to boot!

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Los Angeles (Inland Empire)

Slave pits of absalom. Done it 3 times and always ends early

*****

Try #13 The Prince of Augustana. I've played it once and GMed it another time and both times it ended around the three hour mark. Just be warned that it's season 0, which means you might have a bit of extra prep time involved because it's written for 3.5.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, "The Devil We Know, Part I" ends early quite often ...

Qadira ***

I found Silent Tide (#1 I think) to run fast - at Tier 1-2, if you have your maps prepped first and just dive in....

Shadow Lodge

Mists of Mwangi

Spoiler:
...especially if the dpr fails the save vs the mist

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

Chris Mortika wrote:
Well, "The Devil We Know, Part I" ends early quite often ...

lol...not the way he was hoping, I expect

****

Nickademus42 wrote:
Mists of Mwangi** spoiler omitted **

My normal location ran 2 tables of it tonight, the "larger" table had 2 level 6s (including my Gunslinger) and a level 5...we were done in under 2 hours, I think a record for my location.


I find the ones that tend to run short are the mini-dungeon or linear chase types.

Mists of Mwangi = mini-dungeon
Tide of Morning = chase

Silver Crusade ****

Chris Mortika wrote:
Well, "The Devil We Know, Part I" ends early quite often ...

You're a mean man just for suggesting that! :P

Grand Lodge **

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I would also suggest The Infernal Vault - even with a first-round pair of crits killing a pre-gen character, we still flew through it in less than 3 hours.


Another fairly short (mini-dungeon) scenario (in my experience) was Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible.

Andoran **

Chris Mortika wrote:
Well, "The Devil We Know, Part I" ends early quite often ...

Part II can be pretty quick as well. I think the time I played it we finished in 2.5 hours and both times I've run it have come in at just over 3.

Andoran ***

John W Johnson wrote:
Nickademus42 wrote:
Mists of Mwangi** spoiler omitted **
My normal location ran 2 tables of it tonight, the "larger" table had 2 level 6s (including my Gunslinger) and a level 5...we were done in under 2 hours, I think a record for my location.

Isn't that a Tier 1-5 scenario? Having any Level 6 PCs in it is sort of overpowering it, even at subtier 4-5, then...

****

Callarek wrote:
John W Johnson wrote:
Nickademus42 wrote:
Mists of Mwangi** spoiler omitted **
My normal location ran 2 tables of it tonight, the "larger" table had 2 level 6s (including my Gunslinger) and a level 5...we were done in under 2 hours, I think a record for my location.
Isn't that a Tier 1-5 scenario? Having any Level 6 PCs in it is sort of overpowering it, even at subtier 4-5, then...

I didn't set the table up, I just killed everything.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
John W Johnson wrote:
Callarek wrote:
John W Johnson wrote:
Nickademus42 wrote:
Mists of Mwangi** spoiler omitted **
My normal location ran 2 tables of it tonight, the "larger" table had 2 level 6s (including my Gunslinger) and a level 5...we were done in under 2 hours, I think a record for my location.
Isn't that a Tier 1-5 scenario? Having any Level 6 PCs in it is sort of overpowering it, even at subtier 4-5, then...
I didn't set the table up, I just killed everything.

Spoken like a true Pathfinder.

Sczarni *** Venture-Lieutenant, Connecticut—Manchester aka Cpt_kirstov

season 0 has a reputation for being undead heavy, so if you have someone who can channel energy, many of the fights drop quickly

****

Cpt_kirstov wrote:

season 0 has a reputation for being undead heavy, so if you have someone who can channel energy, many of the fights drop quickly

Nope, the fact that I get three shots with a double hackbut pretty negates anything in Tier 1-5 in Season 0. As long as I didn't roll a 1-3, I hit (amazing Dex for the Win).

Spoiler:
Plus I got affected by the Mists. +2 Dex and +2 Str. So, so not fair...to the Scenario.

*****

Callarek wrote:
John W Johnson wrote:
Nickademus42 wrote:
Mists of Mwangi** spoiler omitted **
My normal location ran 2 tables of it tonight, the "larger" table had 2 level 6s (including my Gunslinger) and a level 5...we were done in under 2 hours, I think a record for my location.
Isn't that a Tier 1-5 scenario? Having any Level 6 PCs in it is sort of overpowering it, even at subtier 4-5, then...

Not only would that be overpowered, but characters aren't allowed to play out of tier. They can, in certain circumstances, play up or down one sub-tier, but not if they don't fall in the level range of the scenario.

****

Myron Pauls wrote:
Callarek wrote:
John W Johnson wrote:
Nickademus42 wrote:
Mists of Mwangi** spoiler omitted **
My normal location ran 2 tables of it tonight, the "larger" table had 2 level 6s (including my Gunslinger) and a level 5...we were done in under 2 hours, I think a record for my location.
Isn't that a Tier 1-5 scenario? Having any Level 6 PCs in it is sort of overpowering it, even at subtier 4-5, then...
Not only would that be overpowered, but characters aren't allowed to play out of tier. They can, in certain circumstances, play up or down one sub-tier, but not if they don't fall in the level range of the scenario.

Seeing as in order to seat a legally sized table, we had to use the level 6s on that table. Otherwise, there would have been 4 players that were there that would not have been able to play period. So, unless you're telling me that it's OK to tell 4 players that they can't play, you have to bend that rule from time to time.

*****

John W Johnson wrote:
Seeing as in order to seat a legally sized table, we had to use the level 6s on that table. Otherwise, there would have been 4 players that were there that would not have been able to play period. So, unless you're telling me that it's OK to tell 4 players that they can't play, you have to bend that rule from time to time.

I'm not trying to be a "richard" here; just trying to help out. I hate turning people away, and I've run into similar problems with our group, so I know there are options:

  • You could have some or all of the players play lower level characters, even if they had to make up new level 1 characters. I always suggest that a player should make a new character once their first character reaches the 4-5 level range. It makes it much easier to join a game. Personally, I have characters at level 1, 4, 7, and 9, so I can play any tier.

  • One of the level 6 characters could have played a level 4 pre-gen character. They wouldn't have gotten a chronicle sheet, and it's not as much fun as playing your own character, but it still lets you play. Technically, the only time you can play a pre-gen is if you have 3 players already, and need a fourth to make a legal table. If you only have 3 players, the GM can run the pre-gen.

We have found that scheduling games in advance helps a lot. We use Warhorn for all our events. It's not perfect, but it does help. We now have enough players that like to come to our main weekly events that we've had to tell people that if they don't sign up, they might not be able to play. That being said, I don't think we've had to turn anyone away yet. We also make sure there are at least a couple of spots open at a low level scenario for any new walk-up players.

Another thing to remember is that the rules could very well be there for a reason. I would think that playing at a tier lower than you should would make for a much poorer play experience. If it's not a challenge, it's not as much fun. The rewards on the chronicle sheet are much lower than they should be too.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I want to compliment Myron on an excellent post, which under other people's keyboards could have come across as aggressive or "hard-line jerk"-style.

Nice job.

*****

Chris Mortika wrote:

I want to compliment Myron on an excellent post, which under other people's keyboards could have come across as aggressive or "hard-line jerk"-style.

Nice job.

Thanks! It took a couple of tries, because I was trying to avoid just that.

Shadow Lodge

I agree, nicely done.

As to only be allowed a pre-gen for the fourth player, I thought that was only for the GM. I thought a player at any time could use a pre-gen for no credit simply to try out a new class.

*****

Nickademus42 wrote:

I agree, nicely done.

As to only be allowed a pre-gen for the fourth player, I thought that was only for the GM. I thought a player at any time could use a pre-gen for no credit simply to try out a new class.

Sorry, you're right. That's what I get for focusing on the tone of my post, instead of double checking the rules. :)

Guide to Organized Play wrote:
If you don’t have time to create a new character or simply wish to try out a new character class, you may choose to use one of several level-appropriate pregenerated characters available at paizo.com/pathfindersociety or from your local event coordinator. If you play a 1st-level pregenerated character, you can even apply the credit for its first adventure to a newly created character of your very own.

So, you can play a pre-gen at any time, as long as it's one of the official ones from Paizo. You can only apply credit to your own character if you play a 1st level pre-gen, and it's the first chronicle for a new character.

Andoran ***

Myron Pauls wrote:
Guide to Organized Play wrote:
If you don’t have time to create a new character or simply wish to try out a new character class, you may choose to use one of several level-appropriate pregenerated characters available at paizo.com/pathfindersociety or from your local event coordinator. If you play a 1st-level pregenerated character, you can even apply the credit for its first adventure to a newly created character of your very own.
So, you can play a pre-gen at any time, as long as it's one of the official ones from Paizo. You can only apply credit to your own character if you play a 1st level pre-gen, and it's the first chronicle for a new character.

Okay, anyone know when the new version of the credit rules for pregens is going to go into effect, or am I hallucinating?

New version:
Playing a level 1 pregen stays the same.
Playing a higher level pregen allows credit for the scenario, either as written to a level-appropriate PC, or at 1 XP, 500 GP for a new first level PC.

Shadow Lodge

I do not believe they are changing. The way pre-gens work in modules is under discussion, but nothing has been said for pre-gens in normal scenarios.

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Thanks to everyone who posted advice. I ran the Slave Pits of Absalom last week, and despite the group getting held up at a couple of points, we were done in 3 hours 10 minutes (including completing chronicle sheets).


Hi there,
Can anyone suggest short scenarios (just as the original question) from Season 2 or Season 3?

Osirion **

I've ran 3-19 The Icebound Outpost in about 3 hours. That's the only one I can think of at the moment.

***** Venture-Captain, Massachusetts—Boston aka Harley Quinn X

3-23 The Goblinblood Dead is also very short. Can be run in 2.5 hours, depending on how some things play out.


Thank you for the advice. :)

2.11 - The Penumbral Accords also seems like one of the very short games.

* Venture-Captain, Georgia—Savannah

S04-19 Night March of Kalkamedes runs short. Even with an unavoidable table disruption and including the optional encounter the table I ran was done in around 3 hours. Skipping the optional would have ended it even sooner, of course.

Probably my favorite 1-5 scenario.

The table I ran ended up accidentally poking the

spoiler:
mother bear

with a stick. Hilarity ensued.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

More short scenarios:

4-11 - The Disappeared
5-11 - Library of the Lion
5-19 - Horn of Aroden

Taldor ***

First Steps part I, In Service to Lore. If you know what you're doing. :)

And if we'd count in retired scenarios, I'd say Stay of Execution. Two hours, and that included heavy role-playing.


John W Johnson wrote:
Cpt_kirstov wrote:

season 0 has a reputation for being undead heavy, so if you have someone who can channel energy, many of the fights drop quickly

Nope, the fact that I get three shots with a double hackbut pretty negates anything in Tier 1-5 in Season 0. As long as I didn't roll a 1-3, I hit (amazing Dex for the Win).

** spoiler omitted **

The double hackbutt is not PFS legal.

Osirion *** Venture-Lieutenant, Iceland—Reykjavik

Ill second 5-19 The horn of Aroden, and after having run and played it now within a few days Its better then the reviews its getting, for newer players. Its a tad too quick for others.

5-11 Library of the lion is also great and quick, as long as you have the right party.

Shadow Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

With faction missions no longer a thing, 4-06 The Green Market ran pretty fast for me earlier today, even with a 4-player party very much not optimized for combat. Less than 3 hours, and that was including the optional encounter!

*

Broken Prince wrote:
John W Johnson wrote:
Cpt_kirstov wrote:

season 0 has a reputation for being undead heavy, so if you have someone who can channel energy, many of the fights drop quickly

Nope, the fact that I get three shots with a double hackbut pretty negates anything in Tier 1-5 in Season 0. As long as I didn't roll a 1-3, I hit (amazing Dex for the Win).

** spoiler omitted **

The double hackbutt is not PFS legal.

A lot of that post wasn't legal. It was also 2 years ago.

Grand Lodge ****

I'd say Shadow's Last Stand Pt. 1 as long as you have the map drown beforehand. Also Mists of Mwangi/The Penumbral Accords (they both use the same map.

It is all a matter of how fast your characters get through combat.

***** Venture-Captain, Wisconsin—Madison aka Mat Black

I've run Penumbral Accords once in under two hours and once in under an hour. Of course, the first time was because the party TPK'ed in the second encounter, and the second time was because the party TPK'ed in the first encounter.

That's probably not the sort of short scenario that you're looking for, though. :)

****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If your up to some prep time and can adjust the Undead to PF standard (using the Beastiary for all but one creature), Black Waters is a fun romp. Just remember, your going into a crypt. It isn't to far out of line to suggest items that would help against undead to the characters by everyone's favorite Ventue Captain, Drendle Drange.

Grand Lodge *

Amanda Plageman wrote:
S04-19 Night March of Kalkamedes runs short. Even with an unavoidable table disruption and including the optional encounter the table I ran was done in around 3 hours.

Interesting... when I played it and when I GMed it this was the longest scenario both nights. I am not sure what the other scenarios being run those evenings were, but I was under the impression that this one was long. (both times it was played at 1-2, the skill challenges might go a lot faster in the 4-5 tier)

Scenarios that seemed to run quickest have been:
5-04 The Stolen Heir
5-19 The Horn of Aroden (depending on the disposition of the party involved)

Grand Lodge ****

dwayne germaine wrote:


Scenarios that seemed to run quickest have been:
5-04 The Stolen Heir
5-19 The Horn of Aroden (depending on the disposition of the party involved)

I think that final caveat on 5-19 applies to both of those scenarios.

Cheliax ****

I would second 3-23 The Goblinblood Dead. I have never seen it run over three hours.

I also think that a lot of the more combat-heavy tier 1-5 scenarios from season 0 are considerably faster now than they used to be.

My personal speed record is held by In Service to Lore, at 29:55, but I think every person in that table had played or run it at least twice before.

***

Jukka Särkijärvi wrote:
My personal speed record is held by In Service to Lore, at 29:55, but I think every person in that table had played or run it at least twice before.

And none of us ever want to play it ever again.

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