Pathfinder Society Scenario #31: Sniper in the Deep (PFRPG) PDF

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

When rumors stir of a hidden treasure ship in Absalom's Flotsam Graveyard, the Pathfinder Society sends you beneath the Inner Sea to investigate. Mayhem, undersea adventure, and chaos are to be had in this rousing rampage beneath the roiling waters of Absalom's harbor.

Written by David Eitelbach and Hank Woon

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 Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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2.50/5 (based on 11 ratings)

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Artificially Difficult


Played this at high tier with a group consisting of a Cleric, Paladin, Zen Archer Monk, Hydrokineticist, a Sorcerer and a second Paladin.

Overall I felt this scenario had a somewhat interesting story with some very interesting, but poorly explained locations; ultimately though, it's just a deathtrap for all but the most cheesed out combat parties.

Heavy encounter spoilers follow.

The first area starts off with a fairly generic bar fight, if the PCs win initiative like we did it's unlikely the enemies will even get to do anything before being killed. I actually had to talk the GM into giving the enemies a surprise round on us to make it at all challenging. This is also where pretty much the entire story happens in the form of exposition from a pile of journals, the rest of the scenario is pure combat.

We actually skipped the cave encounter entirely, having decided as a party that the ship was more urgent, but resolved to come back after that was dealt with, unfortunately we ran out of real life time to complete it. The GM showed us the stat blocks after we finished and I can safely say we would have had a pathetically easy time with the cave; the Sorcerer alone could have ended it in one shot with a fireball, even a poorly rolled one.

The ship contains all the other encounters for this scenarios and in short, is a total deathtrap. The map is two layered and angled sunken ships that makes understanding it through a 2D map almost impossible, I seriously didn't know what was going on till the GM showed us the full map after the game. On top of that pretty much the entire thing is both underwater and considered difficult terrain, so the entire party was shuffling along at 5ft per turn (the GM was nice and let us do this with a move action rather than the full-round it should have taken); this negated any sort of tactics we could have employed and every fight amounted to both sides just standing there trading blows till one of them died. The Zen Archer and Hydrokineticist were particularly useless due to being focused on ranged attacks in an entirely underwater environment.

Finally, what makes this scenario so deadly is that there are ghosts that do level drain in this underwater area, where the players are heavily hindered in their ability to fight and can't even retreat. The ghosts on the other hand are incorporeal and suffer absolutely no penalties to their movement or attacks. They also apparently have no pre-written tactics so a particularly mean GM could kill a player every turn if the ghosts focus on them.

We only survived because we had the Cleric and both Paladins do pretty much nothing but channel energy to kill them for several rounds and our GM intentionally spread out the level drain to give us a chance. I feel bad for any party that isn't heavily composed of divine casters that can deal with undead quickly.

The encounters after this aren't too bad, only made difficult by the level drain the party will still be under and the continued lack of mobility. If you have a few PCs that can take a lot of damage and someone that can heal them then it becomes a straightforward grind with the party 5ft shuffling forward between fights.

Tough Aquatic Fun


GM'ed this for the high tier. Party was Cleric, Monk, Witch and Ranger.

Firstly, it is good to have an aquatic scenario. PFS really needs a few more.

Secondly, this was probably a very very difficult scenario back when it first appeared but these days with the extra books available it is now about just right at high tier.

I enjoyed running this one although it is very combat heavy with little opportunity for roleplay.

You be treasure seeker.


Excellent water based scenario. You know you're looking for something in the Flotsam Graveyard, and looking for something like this to me is an actual PFS mission. It'd be nice if there was a bit more opportunity for role-play in some of the encounters, as there isn't a huge reason that it wasn't put in, and there still would have been plenty of combat with that minor tweak.

The high tier scenario has a particularly deadly encounter in it, so if that detracts for you, beware.

A Deathsentence Combat Scenario


This is quite possibly the worst scenario I've ever played in, in all the PFS scenarios I've played or GMed. Gave it one star, since I couldn't give it negative 7 stars.

The writer of this scenario obviously went through some nerd rage or didn't know what he was doing, when he put the high tier combats together. The high tier version of this scenario is meant to kill PCs without them having a snowballs chance in hell and it was designed for a sadistic GM who wants to exterminate or FAIL his entire party.

DO NOT PLAY at high tier, unless you HATE your players or are going to cheat every fight, in their favor. A half decent GM will wipe out a party, unless the players have cheated and read it before playing and have everything set up to defeat it.

First fight involves a lvl. 10 fighter and 2 thugs and if the GM wishes to kill one PC, the dmg of 2d6+24 should get it done. (This is done with an attack bonuses and power attack, with 19/14 to hit. Str. 20, +4 2H sword and lvl. 10 Fighter and 2 minions, for extra umph.)

Next we move on to 3 spectres, that's right -2 level drain, per touch attack x3, drop to lvl. 0 and you are history. If you fail a perception roll and you probably will since they have Stealth 14, initiative +7. Three of these suckers can drop a PC in 2 rounds and start working on the next one. (Surprise and 1st round.)

This turns a PC into a lesser Spectre in 1d4 rounds. That means, no resurrection, since a PC who is turned into an undead, can never be brought back to life.

Finally, there is another fight before the boss fight. So, unless you've been cheating, or doing your best not to kill a PC, you are probably down 2 PCs. Now remember, this is S1, so only a party of 4-5 PCs. I won't even get into the boss fight, since that will extinguish the survivors of the previous 2 fights, if they haven't given up yet.

DO NOT PLAY AT HIGH TIER. I'm just amazed that this is still allowed by Paizo staff.



So I have ran this a single time, at the low tier. I have played this a single time at high tier.

I think the premise of the scenario is good.

Combats should be a challenging at either tier. As far as CR's this scenario has followed CR mechanincs pretty closly. This should be a staple of 5-9 play. I like scenario's that really set in the hooks for players that want to play up. This is a scenario that offers really 2 tiers of play.

Expect this to be a challenging scenario for your players at either tier. If you are running this I would really look the mechanic's that are presented on page 9.

Critisim, there are plenty of combats in this scenario, this one is likely going to go long as far as time is concerned. I would of liked an optional encouter.

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Am I crazy, or didn't there used to be more than one review of this scenario?

(Those aren't mutually exclusive, of course.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

hogarth wrote:

Am I crazy, or didn't there used to be more than one review of this scenario?

(Those aren't mutually exclusive, of course.)

I just see the one in the database.

It was just my imagination, running away with me...

The Exchange

You're right Hogarth. I remember more reviews as well.

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