Pathfinder Society Scenario #16: To Scale the Dragon (OGL) PDF

****( ) (based on 16 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 5th to 9th level characters (Tiers: 5–6 and 8–9).

The last remains of a sage from an age long past rests high atop the snow-covered tips of the Fog Peaks in Southern Galt and the Society wants his bones in order to study them and learn from them. They've sent you into a wintry wilderness of primordial beastmen and snow creatures not seen below the snow line to do just that. With the Aspis Consortium also seeking the bones, the race is on to beat them to the top and, once the bones are recovered, to make it back down alive.

Written by Tim Hitchcock

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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****( ) (based on 16 ratings)

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Up is good, down not so much.

**( )( )( )

I have both played and run this one

A bunch of mostly cool encounters up the ends with a nice climatic foe. Although I'm still not 100% sure how to adjudicate the environmental hazard.

The way back down is ruined by a page long subsystem that requires a specific skill, doesn't quite make sense, and frankly just wasn't fun. I mean it sounded like it should be fun, but it just wasn't.


A Fantastic Theme at a Breakneck Pace

*****

This module is described as a race against the Aspsis Consortium. This description does not do justice to the brilliant pacing of the module. From the initial feel of knowing you're about to scale a massive mountain, to the encounter at its summit, to the race back down again, Tim Hitchock did it again by making a memorable module with a theme that makes the time fly past.

The combats are tough but not overly so, and the challenge of surviving the climb to the top of the mountain feels like it's earned. Even though there is the potential for a group misstep (which can be remedied by a competent GM and a group which understands that there's a time to fight, and there's a time not to fight), the fact remains that the trip up the Dragon is memorable and easily one of the strongest modules I've experienced to-date. I strongly recommend this one to any mid-level group.


AWESOME!

*****

Great location, damn cool "mini-game", challenging encounters. Nothing bad to report.
The rules of the "mini-game" will continue to have a place in my home-brew campaign.
If you think about buying any Season 0 scenario, buy this one.




"Mush!" In a good way.

****( )

I did like this one, although I am not as enthusiastic as my peers. Let me say that the location was exotic and a welcome change from the typical dungeon delve. There are new rules introduced for dog sled operation that are complicated to apply despite the effort to simplify them. They also make the scenario memorable, especially for the number of times the party is thrown from/dragged by/or wrecks a dogsled. The opponents are appropriate and very challenging. I loved Act 2 and the map that goes with it was a delight to draw. The faction missions were mostly typical of Season 0 PFS, lots of flavor text instructions with a very simple resolution. Campaign world flavor is mild. What really makes this scenario stand out is the struggle of it all, appropriately like climbing a mountain. It keeps getting harder and harder. The cost of continuing keeps getting steeper. Fatigue leads to exhaustion, and the characters are literally winded by the time they reach the top of The Dragon. And they still have to get back down the mountain! This scenario is a challenge to complete in 4 hours since there are so many checks that need to be made. But the end result is a sense of accomplishment just to have survived the experience.


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Great adventure and our group had a blast with it. The dog sledding was a great addition and really made for some fun situations. Especially when the party was on it's way back down!

I also took the liberty of making some props that added a lot to the adventure. Here are some pics and descriptions of what I did. Be sure to click on the photo and check out the descriptions for tips on how to do them yourself!

http://s808.photobucket.com/albums/zz10/pic_dumpster/


Penny Sue wrote:

Great adventure and our group had a blast with it. The dog sledding was a great addition and really made for some fun situations. Especially when the party was on it's way back down!

I also took the liberty of making some props that added a lot to the adventure. Here are some pics and descriptions of what I did. Be sure to click on the photo and check out the descriptions for tips on how to do them yourself!

http://s808.photobucket.com/albums/zz10/pic_dumpster/

I love your dog sleds - where did you find the images?

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Penny Sue wrote:

Great adventure and our group had a blast with it. The dog sledding was a great addition and really made for some fun situations. Especially when the party was on it's way back down!

I also took the liberty of making some props that added a lot to the adventure. Here are some pics and descriptions of what I did. Be sure to click on the photo and check out the descriptions for tips on how to do them yourself!

http://s808.photobucket.com/albums/zz10/pic_dumpster/

Holy CoW!!! Those dogsleds are awesome!

Sovereign Court

If I'm signed up to play this with a 1st level character, is it likely the GM will just turn me away? I don't want to be slaughtered, but I'd really like to play in Pathfinder Society and this is the only game Tampa Area Gamers has scheduled for Saturday AM.

Scarab Sages

Warforged Gardener wrote:
If I'm signed up to play this with a 1st level character, is it likely the GM will just turn me away? I don't want to be slaughtered, but I'd really like to play in Pathfinder Society and this is the only game Tampa Area Gamers has scheduled for Saturday AM.

I was at Origins 09 with my first level in this scenario and it was fantastic.

Grand Lodge

Question about the Chronicle:

Spoiler:
I understand that the amulet of health (4000gp) remains available for purchase, that it gives me the +2 version listed as costing 4000gp and that I must bring the 3.5 rules for it to each game. Can it be upgraded to the +4 or +6 version?


Starglim wrote:

Question about the Chronicle:

** spoiler omitted **

Considering the Season 0 scenarios are pretty outdated, I'm no official, but that is probably now a Belt of Mighty Constitution +2, which is in core. (At either rate, you may already have enough prestige for 4000 GP items, so just buy the belt instead? They are both the same item, just updated for Pathfinder.)

Grand Lodge

Marthian wrote:
Starglim wrote:

Question about the Chronicle:

** spoiler omitted **
Considering the Season 0 scenarios are pretty outdated, I'm no official, but that is probably now a Belt of Mighty Constitution +2, which is in core. (At either rate, you may already have enough prestige for 4000 GP items, so just buy the belt instead? They are both the same item, just updated for Pathfinder.)

Wearing a belt of giant strength with this item costs slightly less than a belt of physical might and doesn't tie me in to upgrading both scores in tandem, with the drawback of taking up another slot. It's not a choice every character would make.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It has been awhile since it has been brought up, but Joshua the original lead of PFS said any items that changed from 3.5 to PFRPG you had to buy the PFRPG version.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Had a party entirely unsuited to the task at hand, but we persevered through it all thanks to good item selection and being stacked with healing. Sadly not enough to save the low-man from needing a rez. Great theme, wonky mechanics.

Sovereign Court

Just been smashed to pieces by this scenario.

4 character party (as per season 1 rules)

Spoiler:
Had all of our healing and resources sucked up by the sledding, last little bit dragged out by the Taars.

So, three level 5s and a level 4 pre-gen faced a Remorhaz (CR7 melee brute) in difficult terrain where the barbarian was fatigued (no rage) and everyone was around half hit-points before the fight began.

First round, oracle reduced to -5
Second round, investigator pre-gen reduced to -5
third round, slayer grappled - no chance of escape
fourth round, slayer swallowed and in negatives

at this point, barbarian is fleeing and remorhaz is still on full hit points...

I'm really not convinced that the sled mechanics would ever work for a party of 4 level 5 characters unless they were all druids and rangers with maxed-out handle animal. Nobody at that level has casting which will help much with the mountain (use your one lvl3 spell on communal endure elements, maybe?) and the chances of an optimised party are low with mid-level PFS.

So, yeah, pretty frustrating to have a TPK because of a few low skill checks.

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