Pathfinder Society Scenario #7: Among the Living (OGL) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 3–4, 6–7).

Famed Pathfinder Bodriggan Wuthers disappeared from his dig site beneath the House of the Immortal Son in Taldor's gilded capital of Oppara. Once a grand temple to Aroden, the Immortal Son is now Oppara's most opulent theater. Sent to locate Wuthers, the Pathfinders must attend an opera with members of the Oppara elite in order to gain access to the secretive theater's dig site. When a cult crashes the performance and the nobility change into hideous walking dead, the Pathfinders are forced to choose between finding Wuthers or saving themselves.

Written by Joshua J. Frost

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world. This scenario is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with the 3.5 edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

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Old, but still solid

***( )( )

Among the Living was a scenario that was released years ago and I finally managed to play it last weekend. It’s the first part in three-part-series. The second part I enjoyed a lot, the third part is arguably one of the worst scenarios I’ve played to date. I was curious and partially worried in which category this one would fall. Luckily it’s not in the latter one.

The premise is simple and not spectacular, though I do have to admit that the location is a unique one. It’s fitting, in a weird way, and it does make the scenario stand out. Sadly there’s not a lot of roleplay to be had and the combat encounters are a tad repetitive. I would have liked a bit more diversity in that aspect. That said, they did gave our suboptimal party of four (a level 2 oracle, level 2 rogue, level 2 rogue/wizard and level 1 melee-great axe-sorcerer) quite a challenge.

Overall, it’s quite an enjoyable scenario that benefits from its location. Combats can be scary if you’re not optimized, while roleplay is relatively limited. Considering how old the scenario is, it does have some issues, but it honestly has weathered time quite well and still serves as a nice way to lead into Among the Dead. As a closing remark, I have to say that I wish the stone would make a more prominent return in a later scenario, although it could just as well be that I simply missed it so far. I think it’s an interesting artefact that could serve as a great storytelling tool.


Among the Living Review

****( )

Just ran a group of friends through this one. They enjoyed it and had a lot of fun. This one requires PCs to purchase formal attire to attend an opera. Putting together a "fashion and apparel" shop to expedite shopping helps a lot. The wardrobe mechanics make for great RP hilarity, and provides good balance to the combat scenes.


***( )( )


An RPG Resource Review

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In this adventure the party is tasked to travel to Oppara to look for a Pathfinder by the name of Bodriggan Wuthers, a renowned discoverer of artefacts who was working on a dig site beneath the House of the Immortal Son opera house, and is over a month overdue with his report of his findings. As it is difficult to get access to the dig site, it's suggested that they attend a performance of the opera - which requires smart dress and fine manners - and sneak off at an opportune moment.

It starts off well enough, with an opulent setting and a modern opera called Among the Living which premieres that night - perhaps the performers are really that bad, or maybe the party is not well up on what is currently fashionable in operatic circles. Then things begin to get worse...

Copious details about the opera house itself are provided, giving a fine setting for the adventure which is remarkably flexible - of the five acts, as long as the first and last occupy those positions the rest can occur in any order as suits your needs and the party's actions. Despite the opening and setting, this is a combat-heavy adventure without much else to do once the 'fun' starts... and although what is actually going on is detailed clearly for the DM, there are limited opportunities for the characters to find out much beyond 'evil cultists at it again' with a lot of zombies thrown in for good measure. The faction missions provide a modicum of light relief, with faction members given tasks that will seem quite strange to everyone else.

As a convention adventure it works quite well, you may feel that it's a bit limited to incorporate into a campaign unless you want the cult to provide recurring adversaries (at which they'd actually be quite useful) or you want to give your party a spectacular introduction to Taldor nobility. It's growing on me a bit as I think about it, but there's no getting away from there being a lot of combat in this one. And who takes their war belt to the opera?


Not great

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Ultra linear. Little room for Rp. Unsatisfying final battle. Was not tempted to play follow up quests. Good gm made it enjoyable to an extent. We were a mix of 1s and 2s.


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I am running this module in a week. Does anyone have any advice or previously done updates for the monsters in this module? If so, can you post them or tell me where to view them? The module is written in 3.5 rules and the new pathfinder rules do not exactly match up with some of the enemies in the module.

Liberty's Edge

Frank Williams 892 wrote:
I am running this module in a week. Does anyone have any advice or previously done updates for the monsters in this module? If so, can you post them or tell me where to view them? The module is written in 3.5 rules and the new pathfinder rules do not exactly match up with some of the enemies in the module.

I ran it a week or so back without any modification and it worked fine.

Grand Lodge

I ran it 2-3 weeks ago and I ran it with minimal changes. All I did was figure out the CMD and CMB on the fly. Very free flowing mod. #49 Among the Dead deals with its fall out.

If you have the time you can really make this really scary. Due to some bad rolls it was almost a TPK, but due to a member of the party getting creative, saved all of the party. (and I didn't have to bend the rules!)


I guess here are more specific questions I had...

they contain minor spoilers so people who have not played this mod should not read them.

Spoiler:
Should the ogre zombie use a weapon or slam attack? Obviously the weapon is WAY more dangerous than the slam.

and...

Spoiler:
I am trying to create the ogre, bugbear, minotaur, and grey render zombies using the pathfinder rules. Do you feel these monsters transfer to fair, fun, and balanced fights using the pathfinder rules?


Don't convert them. Run them as their 3.5 equivalents calculating CMB/CMD on the fly if needed. You can find the 3.5 stats here.

And

Spoiler:
The ogre zombie would likely use his greatclub.

Shadow Lodge

PFS Character 'inspired' by this scenario and since Josh wrote the scenario, a parting tribute to him.


We played this recently with a 6 person party with two pregen's played by inexperienced players. This slowed down the play quite a bit in the early going. I personally did not like the way this adventure railroaded us in the early going.

Specifically:

Plot Spoiler:

We were told that without proper clothing we could not attend - we would literally be thrown out. Brand new characters like our Pregen's did not have enough money to even buy the lowest attire! Our GM was kind enough to permit rental when one of us thought of that option (although at a steep 1/3 normal purchase price) and he also allowed us to take all of our gear under oversized clothing. A bit unrealistic but not irrational given the railroading.

I personally liked the module despite the railroading. The adventure aspect of it was a bit predictable but it flowed naturally and without too much goofy nonesense.

One thing that bugged me about the railroad was:

Plot Spoiler:

The fact that we could not save anyone except for the specifically called out NPC. Also the lack of money and items on the dead made no sense.

Another area that can be a problem in society play is that at a low tier you can end up in trouble in a module like this:

Spoiler:

The DR of Zombie's seems minor but when you have no control over a party and what they bring to the table it can suck. We started with six characters but the pregen character's players had to leave early. The real problem came when we realized that the remaining characters were geared for anything but Zombies. The brawler's primary attacks were unarmed (bludgeoning), the crossbowman (piercing), the cleric (bludgeoning). Luckily the fighter had an Axe (Slashing) and the brawler had a short sword (slashing) and a dagger (slashing). However due to the way the terrain was laid out there was a lot of difficulty bringing concentrated firepower to bear on the problem and the evil clerics healing the zombies and making more was not good given our situation.

On top of the difficulty that some of the encounters could pose for a 4 person group, the terrain at times made for some challenges as well:

Spoiler:

The difficult terrain in the subterranian space was a major problem. Not being able to 5' to reposition in combat without an AoO was a huge issue. My fighter with a 23 AC fighting defensively took AoO x4 crit and went down just trying to stay out of flanked position. The tunnel sections limiting movement and bottlenecks caused which allowed for missile weapons to be shot at us didn't help either.

GM Question:
One question - our GM was unable to find the Death Touch ability defined anywhere - does anyone know what it was supposed to do? He winged it and I think it was fine but it would be nice to know.


GM Question - Answer:

I found out what the Death Touch was:

It's a D&D 3.5 Death Domain ability:
Death Domain
Granted Power
You may use a death touch once per day. Your death touch is a supernatural ability that produces a death effect. You must succeed on a melee touch attack against a living creature (using the rules for touch spells). When you touch, roll 1d6 per cleric level you possess. If the total at least equals the creature’s current hit points, it dies (no save).

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