Pathfinder Society Scenario #21: The Eternal Obelisk (OGL) PDF (Retired)

2.60/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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

When the Pathfinder-obsessed daughter of one Qadira's most powerful trade princes goes missing trying to impress the Society, her father angrily demands the Pathfinders track her down or face expulsion from Katheer. Tracking the missing princess leads you to an underground complex filled with traps, tricks, and a creature so powerful, she's lived for a thousand years. Can you save the princess and uncover the power of the Eternal Obelisk?

Written by C. Robert Brown

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 May 24, 2010. After May 24, 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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This product has been retired.

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2.60/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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An RPG Resource Review

5/5

Enthralled by tales of an obelisk deep in the Qadirian deserts that confers eternal life, a young noblewoman infatuated by the whole concept of the Pathfinder Society heads off to find it... alas this results in her petrified head being found clutched in the arms of a dead mercenary. Her father lays the blame at the Society's door, and the party is sent into the wastes to discover the obelisk, find out what happened to the noblewoman and return her remains to her distraught family.

The DM's introduction lays out the true background to this tale, then the adventure opens with the party in the Pathfinder Society Lodge in Kadeera, getting their mission... and then jumps three days (assuming they take the offered camels) to set them at the entrance to the underground complex where this obelisk is said to be located. If you have the time and inclination you may prefer to cover the desert journey in more detail, should a spot of sun, sand and suffering appeal. The complex is well-described and a plan provided for your use, with a selection of puzzles, traps and hostile encounters for the party to contend with as they search for the obelisk, its current owner and its secrets. However the layout is a bit odd, with the plan and main description separated from the 'read aloud' text and encounter notes.

A nice touch is that, if the party wins through to the end, they'll find a text that explains everything - although they may have figured out some of it already. Faction missions are appropriate and offer a two-layered approach: a core task that garners one prestige point upon completion with an addition point available if a follow-up task is also performed. Overall it's a neat adventure, lacking in role-playing opportunities but full of the exploration and adventure that you join the Pathfinder Society to enjoy!


Down Deep, Salty and Blind

4/5

This I liked, unlike many of the other reviewers.

What I was looking for was a small dungeon, with some hard encounters, without much size to it. This is it and that is why I am so positive about it. The end boss is good, the stone monsters allow the medusa to fight on a more even footing the pcs. I liked the grimlock barb rogues.

Some have said it is too hard, I'm actually going to have to make it harder for the pcs, and add more in so they don't go through without a struggle. So I'll be putting in more grimlocks, xorns and xerans and allowing more statues to be animated.

A tight, small dungeon is not necessarily a bad thing. Not everything has to be the greatest and largest quest, or a gigantic story. For old-style D&D!

Thanks Robert Brown.


The (almost) eternal boredom

2/5

I tend to read the faction missions of a scenario first. The missions sounded nice, but ultimately, after reading the summary, all went down to fetch the gizmo.

And every faction has two generic fetch-the-gizmo-crap/ slay x missions with the associated awards. Great.

The nature of the BBEG is not foreshadowed, but constantly beaten over the heads of the PCs. It took my players not even a minute to accurately guess the nature of the antagonist.

The first encounter proved to be mildly annoying for my PCs.

The subsequent encounters screamed lightning bolt/fireball formation and, quite frankly make this scenario a classic kill everything with fire experience. That might be fun sometimes, but there is NOTHING to intrigue a Player or DM. No puzzle, no RP, this scenario is about mindlessly slaughtering everything.

The adventure does not consist of plot-holes, like "The Trouble with Secrets", but is, quite frankly, monotonous.
The final boss, however, is damn cool, lethal and a fun and challenging fight after all the drudgery and the only saving grace of this adventure.
If your players don't feature enough ranged firepower, your PCs will die here. A lot of them.
I'd give this adventure 1.5 Stars with tendency towards 2.


Another of Many Scenarios that leads to TPKs

1/5

Okay this is another horrible scenario, I mean hell this thing was worse than Asmodeus Mirage in the sense of the encounters...and that means its really, really bad. I personally believe that creatures that cause effects that are pretty much irreversible is too powerful in any game. You going to have to provide some countermeasure, otherwise it will lead to a TPK which our game pretty much lead too. I will never purchase and/or run this scenario...I like to make the player's "sweat" but killing all of them...no I don't want that on my hands.


Decent four-hour dungeon crawl

3/5

I enjoyed this scenario as both a player and a GM. It doesn't provide a lot of room for roleplay or problem solving, both of which can add nice variation within a dungeon crawl, but the scenario succeeds at what it sets out to do. I enjoyed some of the tactical situations the scenario presented, including a battle in a maze and one in a forest of statues. The scenario includes one encounter which I believe was incredibly overpowered, a relic of the imbalance in the 3.5 CR system, but my group managed to avoid a certain TPK by roleplaying the encounter, thanks to a generous GM. All in all, this is an average scenario with room for improvement, but it's far from the worst of the scenarios thus far.


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Now available!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Does a gorgon turn people look upon her to stone because she is so "ugly" or because she is so beautiful? :)

Spoiler:
Remember "Medusa" is the proper name of an individual.

Silver Crusade

Lord Fyre wrote:

Does a gorgon turn people look upon her to stone because she is so "ugly" or because she is so beautiful? :)

** spoiler omitted **

I wholeheartedly support this being the PF standard for medusae/medusas/medusases/medusaseses. I've been running them like that more or less since Tony DiTerlizzi's medusa pic in the 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual.

I am curious if the bit about the "long-lived creature" relates to the cover girl though. I was just about to ask what lifespan people usually went with for them and other iconic monsters.(I have them living longer than elves at the very least)

Unfortunately "gorgon" has already been swiped by those metal-plated moo-cows. I like those critters, but damn do I wish there was a way to divorce them from that name to free it up. "True Gorgon" just sounds awkward.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Mikaze wrote:
Unfortunately "gorgon" has already been swiped by those metal-plated moo-cows. I like those critters, but damn do I wish there was a way to divorce them from that name to free it up. "True Gorgon" just sounds awkward.

Spoiler:
We could call the metal plated Bovines "Gorgonzola"? Or, do I petrify with my cheesiness?

Lord Fyre wrote:

Does a gorgon turn people look upon her to stone because she is so "ugly" or because she is so beautiful? :)

** spoiler omitted **

This is something I've pondered and sometimes debated quite a bit. Even with the likes of Nick Logue.

Greek mythology is not clear, because different authors in different time periods represented Medusa (specifically) differently. Hideous in some writings, still beautiful in others.

Clearly in the later versions of the myth are a morality tale, concerning sex in the temple (of the virgin goddess Athena). The curse is just that- a curse. A punishment. The issue that comes up with RPGs is that the curse becomes a 'super-power', or rather a weapon. The advent of male medusae only waters down the curse element even more (as I'll decribe below).

I can think of no more apt punishment than to be always alone, which the gorgon is. She can take no lover, or at least be appreciated in the sight of one. The curse alienates her, and makes her a prisoner of her own appearance. When you add a male counter-part to the RPG race, that curse aspect is pretty much removed.

Of course, the Pathfinder campaign setting side-steps this entire, as the gorgons (or medusae if you will) are a damned race descended from a union between Lamashtu and a great snake.. or so the campaign myth goes.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Watcher wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:

Does a gorgon turn people look upon her to stone because she is so "ugly" or because she is so beautiful? :)

** spoiler omitted **

Clearly in the later versions of the myth are a morality tale, concerning being raped in the temple (of the virgin goddess Athena). The curse is just that- a curse. A punishment. The issue that comes up with RPGs is that the curse becomes a 'super-power', or rather a weapon. The advent of male medusae only waters down the curse element even more (as I'll decribe below).

[Fixed, and ...]

What was Poseidon's punshiment, b.t.w.?

Spoiler:
As if I didn't already know. (Namely none, as he was much more powerful then Athena.) :)


Lord Fyre wrote:
Watcher wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:

Does a gorgon turn people look upon her to stone because she is so "ugly" or because she is so beautiful? :)

** spoiler omitted **

Clearly in the later versions of the myth are a morality tale, concerning being raped in the temple (of the virgin goddess Athena). The curse is just that- a curse. A punishment. The issue that comes up with RPGs is that the curse becomes a 'super-power', or rather a weapon. The advent of male medusae only waters down the curse element even more (as I'll decribe below).

[Fixed, and ...]

What was Poseidon's punshiment, b.t.w.?
** spoiler omitted **

Err yes.

I was aware, but skipped over the sexist politics for the sake brevity in my post. I suppose I shouldn't have, but you're quite right.

I suppose that is why I am somewhat sympathatic towards Medusa.

However, Golarion's background side-steps that with a different origin story altogether.


I think that that's the danger of having monsters from myth and legend in a role-playing game; the cool thing about Medusa in the stories is that she's just one lady who's cursed and becomes monstrous (whether physically or spiritually or whatever). If you have Medusa as a race of creatures it loses its edge. Having a medusa as a one off baddy that the PCs meet on a specific adventure is way cooler, otherwise it's a bit like calling all winged horses Pegasus. Oh, wait a minute...


Running this tonight. Woot!

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