Remember when Paizo first announced the new 64-page format for the module line back in November 2012? I recall mentally comparing it side-by-side with the 32-page modules from the perspective of a Venture-Lieutenant, store liaison, and event organizer. Those 32 pages were already pretty tough to squeeze into a one-day event. 64 pages would certainly be impossible. I remember thinking back then that Mike and Mark would have to do some clever thinking to find some way to sanction the module for Pathfinder Society Organized Play. I shrugged and just assumed that I would end up writing the boons for the Chronicle sheets but nothing more.
Soon after I started work at Paizo in February, they both asked me what my plan was for sanctioning Dragon's Demand. My how things change over the course of a few months.
The new module format is an exciting opportunity to explore new ways of sanctioning adventures that were not written with Pathfinder Society in mind. On one end we have the 32-page modules that are sanctioned in their entirety, allowing players to earn 3 XP and experience a complete story. On the other end we have the Pathfinder Adventure Path line, which gets sliced up a bit during the sanctioning process to provide players and organizers with a fairly contained play experience that might fill the same amount of time as a 32-page module. Players can experience Adventure Paths in "campaign mode," in which the players just play the Adventure Path as they like and get Chronicle sheets in the end, or they can play in "module mode," in which the players only play the sanctioned sections. I love the versatility that these two options give groups, but I also love knowing that players have experienced the full story that an Adventure Path has to offer.
With 64 pages there's just enough material that it seems in need of trimming, but at the same time the length is so tantalizingly accessible that I wince at the thought of irreverently carving it up for a waiting crowd of Pathfinder Society players. Also the idea that a character could progress a full six levels in one module is both exciting and daunting; it both means that players can zip ahead to enjoy higher level content, but it also means that they can level up a character far faster than is intended. That would probably also mean making six Chronicle sheets!
Well, let me get the bad news out of the way first: Playing through all of Dragon's Demand will not grant a Pathfinder Society character six levels of credit. Now let's talk about everything else, which is all positive.
You can play through Dragon's Demand in either "campaign mode" or "module mode." In module mode, the module is broken into three large chunks that grant respective Chronicle sheets, cover about 75% of the module, and can be played stand-alone. As usual, one can play any legal, level-appropriate character in each sanctioned section—even playing a different character in each.
In campaign mode, one can play through the whole module with a single character (Pathfinder Society legal or not, just like in Adventure Paths). During the adventure, you level up your character following normal Pathfinder rules, just like in a home game. If you play through the whole thing, you not only get the three Chronicle sheets, but you also gain a fourth sheet. Each one represents 3 XP and 4 Prestige, so playing the whole story not only means that you get to enjoy the whole story; it means your character's XP value in Pathfinder Society more accurately reflects the challenges you overcame.
I'm sure someone will ask, so here are the planned level ranges for the Chronicle sheets and sanctioned portions.
- Chronicle sheet 1: Level 1–3
- Chronicle sheet 2: Level 3–5
- Chronicle sheet 3: Level 5–7
- Bonus Chronicle sheet: Level 2–6
Enjoy the scenario, and you'll have a 4th-level dragonslayer with a Chronicle sheet ready to apply once you gain a level.