Pathfinder Society Scenario #25: Hands of the Muted God (OGL) PDF (Retired)

2.80/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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

When the man who would be the Muted God wordlessly stepped beyond the gates of the Starstone's Cathedral, his thousand and one faithful ringing the Ascendant Court watched with the silent contemplation that is their highest sacrament. When he failed to emerge, many of his penitents abandoned their vows but a small sect remained loyal and worshipful. You and your fellow Pathfinders are sent into the mountains north of Absalom to follow the path of a doomed party and uncover the secrets of the Muted God. His loyal band of followers, called the Hand, will stop at nothing to keep you away from their shrine—even forming an alliance with some of Golarion's most evil denizens.

Written by Clinton J. Boomer

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.

PDF updated 7/10/09.

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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This product has been retired.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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Take the Premise and Run

2/5

NO SPOILERS

I ran this retired scenario as part of my “Roots of Golarion” campaign of odds and ends. It starts with a fantastic hook but then makes a hash out of it, and is probably best used today as inspiration for a better, homebrewed adventure.

SPOILERS!:

Hands of the Muted God is a perfect example of a scenario that starts with a great premise but then tells exactly the wrong story with it. In a briefing by Venture-Captain Adril Hestram, we learn that there was once an aspirant for divinity who called himself the Muted God. But when he took the Test of the Starstone, he never emerged, and his name was added to the Shrine of the Failed and the vast majority of his followers abandoned him. But a small kernel remained steadfast, reasoning that perhaps a God of Silence and Serenity would ascend into godhood without trumpets and fanfare. These loyal followers, the eponymous “Hands of the Muted God”, have stayed in the Puddles District of Absalom ever since. But recently, many of them have started exhibit powerful magical powers which, rumor has it, are traced to their pilgrimage to a mountain called the Weeping Grandfatheg, on which the Muted God supposedly spent a year and a day in meditation. Now that’s intriguing! Did the Muted God ascend? Why are his worshippers gaining power? What are their beliefs and rituals like?

But the story we get isn’t nearly as interesting. It seems that Hestram sent a team of Pathfinders out to investigate the Weeping Grandfather, but they haven’t returned and the PCs are sent to discover their fate. (they’ve only been gone a week, which seems a bit too soon to panic where wilderness treks and mountain climbing is involved!) The scenario then jump-cuts from the briefing to the discovery of the missing Pathfinders’ campsite. The Pathfinders are dead, but their bodies have been booby-trapped with insect swarms to deter pursuit.

The identity of the booby-trappers is spoiled in some of the faction mission handouts, but also becomes obvious in the second encounter once the PCs start ascending the mountain: drow! In an unconvincing backstory, the demon lord Abraxas has had some divination about a source of great power hidden in the mountain and has sent his own cultists to secure it. I think this whole drow-derail was a major mistake in plotting. First, the drow are treated as just more monsters to overcome—we don’t get to see any of the culture that makes them so interesting. Second, I found it a real stretch that drow would be operating so boldly on the surface—one of the distinctive things about Golarion is that the existence of drow are a closely-guarded secret and viewed by most surface-worlders as simply a myth. The scenario sets up this really interesting, original storyline involving a failed(?) aspirant to divinity and then gives us three forgettable encounters against drow (plus a battle against some chimeras, seemingly thrown in just to pad out the scenario some more). The leader of the drow expedition is a drider who, at high subtier, will be accompanied by a vrock. I’m not 100% sure why the scenario was retired, but my guess is that drow sleep poison could be a TPK-generator with some poor saving throw luck.

The epilogue, at least, is interesting. After defeating all the drow, the PCs will gain access to the site of mystic power: the Hall of the Zero Incantation, a vast shimmering cavern of crystal with a serene, silver lake in the middle. The lake is capable of recharging any chargeable magic items, which is pretty powerful indeed! But, there’s a twist that makes perfect sense: if anyone entering the hall makes the slightest sound (e.g., failing a DC 30 Move Silently check) the entire cavern crumbles. This is the Muted God we’re talking about! Though, he has stayed very, very muted since and has never been mentioned again in any Pathfinder product.


An RPG Resource Review

4/5

Perhaps it is wiser not to meddle in the affairs of deities... but a bunch of Pathfinders went out into the wilderness north of Absalom tracking devotees of the Muted God, whose priests have of late been demonstrating quite miraculous powers, and didn't come back, so the party is tasked with tracing their steps and finding out what befell them.

After introductory notes which lay out what is really going on in detail for the DM, there's a quick summary of the adventure and then the scenario itself starts with the characters approaching the Kortos Mountains with their briefing delivered as a flashback. A wilderness journey beset by attacks from local monsters and others questing on the same trail ensues, culminating in a remarkable chamber that proves very difficult to investigate... but not for the usual reasons.

It's an interesting tale of the lengths to which folk will go to gain power, and provides a taste of the rich and strange theological tapestry of Golarion. Encounters are well-supported with notes on the likely behaviour of those encountered and logical developments, although the adventure is quite linear in nature. An interesting feature is that although (as usual) the maps provided are quite small, at least one set combat has been planned out using the GameMastery Map Pack: Campsites available from Paizo, should you choose to make use of it in play.

Overall a neat if basic wilderness based adventure highly appropriate to the Pathfinders, with a few extra twists to make it just that little bit unusual.


Meet interesting things...kill everything.

3/5

This adventure has a cool background story steeped in Golarion fluff. Unfortunately, this story has to be relayed in its entirety as a monologue by the DM, as the players can't really find out more during the adventure. So far: 5 Stars.

There are enough Maps and I like them.

The faction missions are not that great, especially the Taldor mission is annoying at best. Cool fluff, but it's actually a "Search the PIECES of the McGuffin" Mission. Oh joy, several search checks. -.- Minus one Star.

The main antagonist and the adversaries are kind of lame, both my players and I would have preferred to trail the servants of the muted god or battle them to killing them. Minus One Star.

This adventure, especially a showdown in the final hall (trying to not make any sound...), could have been such a great ride, but unfortunately falls short of its promising ideas.

3 Stars with so much potential...


Run up and beat it to death, unless you can't.

3/5

It is a battle royal through this adventure but as with many others it feels like a rope is tied to the players leg pulling them through the adventure. We felt like an army of hammers fighting a village of nails. At the end you were just left scratching your head wondering if you even came close to completing the mission. What was it again? And who are all these things we killed? What do they have to do with the problem we were sent to figure out. Are we the new "A" team?


Mutes of the Handed God

2/5

A very straight-forward railroad uphill to the top of the mountain. Combat encounters are alright, nothing that blows your mind.

I somehow just can't recall almost anything from this scenario, it was just so bland somehow. All the nice things are in the end, where all the real plot things happen. It feels like the journey there is like an 8-hour drive through Nevadan desert.


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Available June 24th!


designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1–2,5th to 9th level characters (Tiers: 5–6 and 8–9).

I'm a bit perplexed by the tiers in this one. I take it the above means tier 1-2, tier 5-6, and tier 8-9?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Navdi wrote:

designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1–2,5th to 9th level characters (Tiers: 5–6 and 8–9).

I'm a bit perplexed by the tiers in this one. I take it the above means tier 1-2, tier 5-6, and tier 8-9?

I would suspect it's a cut and paste error and should be 5th to 9th (Tiers: 5-6 8-9)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Paul Watson wrote:
Navdi wrote:

designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1–2,5th to 9th level characters (Tiers: 5–6 and 8–9).

I'm a bit perplexed by the tiers in this one. I take it the above means tier 1-2, tier 5-6, and tier 8-9?

I would suspect it's a cut and paste error and should be 5th to 9th (Tiers: 5-6 8-9)

Correct on all counts. Fixed.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

Thank you, Vic!

For those interested in discussion on this adventure, head over here!


Hey Vic. Was reading the store blurb and thought you might want to edit this to read that the scenarios are 3.99$ each . Not that I don't know that, but as a disclaimer.

-GKA

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

GreatKhanArtist wrote:

Hey Vic. Was reading the store blurb and thought you might want to edit this to read that the scenarios are 3.99$ each . Not that I don't know that, but as a disclaimer.

-GKA

Hmm. I see what you're saying... it's not an editable thing, though—the price given on the store blog (when there is a price given) is always attached only to the item that's pictured to the left of the price.

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