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Working on an idea


Scenario Submission Talk


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So I've been working on an idea for submission to PFS and would like some advice on what's been over done so I don't accidentally work an overused plot or theme. Right now I'm running of the idea of the PC's being ship wrecked on a penal colony. Any advice or pointers would be appreciated.

Andoran *****

Swarms, Ghouls and Darkness are overdone.

I would also wait until they put up any potential new information on the open call, assuming they are going to have a new open call, before you put any major work into this idea.

Shadow Lodge ****

Best way to learn about what players want/expect from PFS adventures:

Read PFS adventures.
Play PFS adventures.
GM PFS adventures.

The sort of deus ex machina required to have the PCs end up shipwrecked already puts me on edge.

** Contributor

The biggest problem I see with this is that it doesn't have Pathfinder Society interest. Each and every PFS adventure is a specific mission on behalf of the Pathfinder Society.

A mission where the Pathfinder Society heard about a very recent shipwreck on a penal colony and sends the PCs--either to recover something from the ship, or to capitalize on the opportunity to "liberate" someone from the penal colony--has a better tie to the Pathfinder Society, for example.

Osirion

Springheeled wrote:
So I've been working on an idea for submission to PFS and would like some advice on what's been over done so I don't accidentally work an overused plot or theme. Right now I'm running of the idea of the PC's being ship wrecked on a penal colony. Any advice or pointers would be appreciated.

Solo encounters are way overdone. If I had a choice between a Level 5 Cleric or a Level 4 Cleric with 3 Level 1 Warriors, give me the latter. The CRs are the same (both encounters are 4), but the latter one has better action economy and therefore has more opportunities to be tactically interesting.

-Perry

Paizo Employee ** Developer

We should have new guidelines for the Pathfinder Society Open Call in the next few weeks. Until then, reading and playing existing adventures (both within the Pathfinder Society and Pathfinder Modules lines) are great ways to see what we've done in the past and what neat ideas you've got haven't been tried before.

Cheliax *

Mark Moreland wrote:
We should have new guidelines for the Pathfinder Society Open Call in the next few weeks. Until then, reading and playing existing adventures (both within the Pathfinder Society and Pathfinder Modules lines) are great ways to see what we've done in the past and what neat ideas you've got haven't been tried before.

What about those of us who have already made submissions without a response? Do you have any idea of how long before you drudge through the backlog? I wouldn't want to make another attempt without having addressed any issues or criticisms of my past writing.

Thanks for your time,
-Dawson

Andoran

Pirate Rob wrote:
The sort of deus ex machina required to have the PCs end up shipwrecked already puts me on edge.

It's funny that got mentioned, because one PFS idea I also had also involved a shipwreck. After thinking about precisely what you said, I decided to remove that element, and make it a rescue mission for another shipwrecked party instead.

I figured that no matter how low-level the PCs were and how dangerous the storm, there would always be the off-chance of the day being saved by obscure spells, amazing rolls or the party actually being composed of experienced sailors.

Maybe shipwrecks and/or islands are kind of cliché, if we had such similar ideas?

*****

Fredison wrote:
It's funny that got mentioned, because one PFS idea I also had also involved a shipwreck. After thinking about precisely what you said, I decided to remove that element, and make it a rescue mission for another shipwrecked party instead.

This is a much better way of incorporating a shipwreck into a scenario. With all of the traffic to and from Tian Xia, I can imagine that a few travel mishaps will happen.

What seems a little off-flavor is that an entire team of Pathfinders is being sent to recover the first team. Why would the Decemvirate authorize this sort of mission? Did the first team already recover an artifact, or did the first team wisely mention promising ruins nearby when activating a sending effect when calling for help? Either way, there's a natural Shadow Lodge faction mission waiting for you.

Taldor ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia aka Iammars

John Compton wrote:
What seems a little off-flavor is that an entire team of Pathfinders is being sent to recover the first team.

Not at all. One of the party died and needed to spend prestige to get their bodies back. You're the team that the prestige bought. You getting the mission prestige is dependent on getting their bodies back safely.

Andoran *****

Iammars wrote:
John Compton wrote:
What seems a little off-flavor is that an entire team of Pathfinders is being sent to recover the first team.
Not at all. One of the party died and needed to spend prestige to get their bodies back. You're the team that the prestige bought. You getting the mission prestige is dependent on getting their bodies back safely.

I believe there are other scenarios that explicitly deal with tracking down lost Pathfinder teams. One I specifically remember is Rebel's Ransom.

*****

Andrew Christian wrote:
Iammars wrote:
John Compton wrote:
What seems a little off-flavor is that an entire team of Pathfinders is being sent to recover the first team.
Not at all. One of the party died and needed to spend prestige to get their bodies back. You're the team that the prestige bought. You getting the mission prestige is dependent on getting their bodies back safely.
I believe there are other scenarios that explicitly deal with tracking down lost Pathfinder teams. One I specifically remember is Rebel's Ransom.

Clearly I'm in a Shadow Lodge frame of mind. You're right that there are some rescue missions out there, but I find that many of them are tied to locations where there are known treasures (or rarely when there is a very notable person that needs rescuing). As a result, I can think of a number of scenarios whose missions can be paraphrased as a) rescue Mr. XYZ, and b) also investigate those delicious ruins while you're there, as clearly our first team couldn't manage it.

A few scenarios that fit that model:

Among the Living
Rebel's Ransom
Fingerprints of the Fiend
Fury of the Fiend
Before the Dawn, Part 2
Forbidden Furnace of Forgotten Koor

There are certainly also some scenarios with rescues of either important Pathfinders (like Venture Captains) or non-Pathfinders rescued to further the Society's cause. I'm having difficulty thinking of a scenario in which the PCs are sent to rescue some no-name Pathfinders who weren't already at the archaeological site. As a result, I encourage the prospective writer(s) to incorporate some reason for the higher-ups to care about fishing those Pathfinders' bodies out of the Shackles. The Shadow Lodge performs rescues for the sake of rescues, but I understand the Decemvirate to perform rescues for the sake of major Society goals.

Andoran

John Compton wrote:
There are certainly also some scenarios with rescues of either important Pathfinders (like Venture Captains) or non-Pathfinders rescued to further the Society's cause. I'm having difficulty thinking of a scenario in which the PCs are sent to rescue some no-name Pathfinders who weren't already at the archaeological site. As a result, I encourage the prospective writer(s) to incorporate some reason for the higher-ups to care about fishing those Pathfinders' bodies out of the Shackles. The Shadow Lodge performs rescues for the sake of rescues, but I understand the Decemvirate to perform rescues for the sake of major Society goals.

I also gave that some thought before you mentioned it. What I came up with is that the first team was escorting an important politician (maybe a Tian Xian dignitary) and he's the one being rescued while the original team is more of a secondary concern. There are also intriguing things on the island worth recovering, but that's fodder for the faction missions more than anything else.

Though no matter what, the Shadow Lodge should have a ball with such a mission. I like their presence in PFS, as their perspective makes it much clearer precisely what kind of organization the Society is.

*****

Fredison wrote:

I also gave that some thought before you mentioned it. What I came up with is that the first team was escorting an important politician (maybe a Tian Xian dignitary) and he's the one being rescued while the original team is more of a secondary concern. There are also intriguing things on the island worth recovering, but that's fodder for the faction missions more than anything else.

Though no matter what, the Shadow Lodge should have a ball with such a mission. I like their presence in PFS, as their perspective makes it much clearer precisely what kind of organization the Society is.

That sounds like a great way to incorporate the rescue mission concept while giving you plenty of ammo for faction mission design. I like where this is going.

Feel free to bounce other ideas off of me here or by message.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Compton wrote:
Feel free to bounce other ideas off of me here or by message.

Can we bounce other things off of you as well? Perhaps coconuts or rotten eggs?

*****

Kyle Baird wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Feel free to bounce other ideas off of me here or by message.
Can we bounce other things off of you as well? Perhaps coconuts or rotten eggs?

Save it fer Dragon*Con!

I'm much better at dodging rotten eggs when I can grab Nani and use her as a shield.

Shadow Lodge ***

Teleportaion accident could be the new shipwrecked?

**

Nah, that just leads to Evil Pathfinders.
With goatees.


Sacrifices? I dunno, but it seems like there's quite a few where there's some poor shmuck being sacrificed/kidnapped/etc. Seems like it's overrused.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for the help guys this is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

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