Pathfinder Society Scenario #12: Stay of Execution (OGL) PDF (Retired)

2.30/5 (based on 8 ratings)

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

When a petty thief named Hadge gets a lucky break and makes off with a powerful divination focus of the Pathfinder Society's masked leadership, you and your fellow Pathfinders set out to the sparsely populated Taldor frontier to find him and recover the focus. When the local governor tosses Hadge into the brutal Porthmos Prison for a minor crime, your mission suddenly becomes a jail break. Will you free Hadge and uncover the location of the focus before the gangs of Porthmos tear him apart?

Written by Alison McKenzie

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.

This scenario was retired from Pathfinder Society Organized Play on November 15, 2010. After November 15, 2010, it will no longer be legal for Pathfinder Society Organized Play and will no longer be available in the Pathfinder Society Organized Play reporting system.

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An RPG Resource Review


Oops! The Decemvirate (the shadowy figures that command the Pathfinder Society) had an artefact stolen from their collection and they want it back! They know who took it - a fellow by the name of Hadge - and they even know where he is right now, so getting it ought to be a doddle for the party, right?

Of course, it's never that easy. Hadge has been incarcerated in the infamous Porthmos Prison, which is located just outside Sardis Township, backwater seat of the Porthmos Prefecture of Taldo. This is not your regular gaol, it's a lawless place run by the inmates with the guards staying outside and having but one mission, to keep the inmates inside. Many of the prisoners have never been convicted of any crime, they've merely annoyed the local lordling, one Thestro Briarsmith, the current governor of Porthmos Prefecture... Hadge, despite his lightfingered ways, is one such unfortunate. Still want the job?

For the brave Pathfinders who accept the mission to reach Hadge, find out what he did with the stolen artefact and retrieve it to spare the Decemvirate further embareassment, the adventure begins with them standing outside the prison after a four-week journey to get there from Absalom. (This could, of course, be played out if you have the time and inclination.) They've been given a contact, a book-loving gargoyle who lives on the prison roof and might be able to get them in... they've even been given a valuable illustrated book to bribe the gargoyle with, but otherwise, it's up to the party what they do.

What follows is an exercise in negotiation and exploration as the party needs to get inside, find Hadge and find out what he's done with the Decemvirate's item. Warring gangs control various parts of the prison. Some might talk, all will fight, and some might be open to bribes or other favours... and some will offer bribes to get whatever it is that they want! And of course, once the party has located Hadge and obtained the information they seek they have to get out again...

There's a lot of brawling, a lot of scrambling around an almost derelict building and the chance to converse with loads of ruffians (if they stop brawling long enough to have a chat). The party needs to be tough to survive. The Faction missions involve the relevant characters in an assortment of quests to find out if certain people are there, pass messages and so on - as always, the trick is to remain discrete whilst undertaking the mission. Breaking out of prison is commonplace, this time the party has to break in first. A memorable adventure.

Masterwork Shank


I have both played and run this.

Roleplaying with the prisoner to be rescued is the high point of this scenario. Other than that there's a prison that doesn't make a lot of sense and some pointless running back and forth.

Despite attempting to give the illusion of choice the adventure feels very railroady and just not fun.

Worst Pathfinder Scenerio I've encountered


Ran it, and was not impressed. The author obviously is used to players who show no creativity or initiative and it's written with that in mind. There are no alternatives to 'what if the party does x.'
Encounters were weak and as a DM I had to do a lot of improv if they left the southwest tower.

Paizo has a lot of Pathfinder Society Scenerios that are actually good or even great. This is not one of them.

Lack of Execution


This adventure is lacking on so many levels.
It's supposed to be a prison break, but getting in is so easy that everybody should have escaped a long time ago.
The way to get into the dungeon made me chuckle for a split-second. That's it.
The faction missions are boring, the prison break is utterly unconvincing as presented and any DM who wants to run this scenario as intended, has to specifically tell his players NOT to do anything creative and just roll with the choo-choo-train. The map is a nice frame for a homebrew prisonbreak. That's about the only positive thing I have to say about this adventure.

Stay of Plot


We finished this in 2 hours. I ran this another time and completely rewrote the plot leaving only the combats untouched. This piece is so unfinished I won't even finish my own revi

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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Now available!

What is the setting? Urban in a frontier city? Is it adaptable to pretty much any town?

The setting is a prison on the edge of the wilderness but near a small town. You could pick Porthmos Prison up and drop it into any relatively corrupt city, though.

Go go go Alison !

*clap* *clap* *clap*

Dark Archive

Sounds like a whole lot of fun.

Liberty's Edge

this sounds fun :)
lets chek it :D

The Exchange

I played it this weekend at Pandemonium in Garden City, MI - it was fun!

Sovereign Court

Is there a floor plan for the prison aside from what little is outlined in the scenario? I'm having a little trouble visualizing things.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

Small typo:

tier 1–2, 4–5, 6–7
should be listed as:
tier 1–2, 3-4, 6–7

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