Pathfinder Society Scenario #34: Encounter at the Drowning Stones (PFRPG) PDF

3.30/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 7th to 11th level characters (Tiers: 7-8 and 10-11).

Rumored to be the most desecrated site in the Mwangi Expanse, the natives have long feared its malevolent presence. Rumors of suicide, infanticide, murder, and chaos have always been mentioned in the same breath with these mysterious rock formations. The Society sends you there after the location is discovered by a demonologist working for the Aspis Consortium. The Society fears the Aspis have discovered the source of the Drowning Stones' power and its up to you to insure that they don't get their hands on it.

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 Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Average product rating:

3.30/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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Played this at the high tier. Party was cleric NPC, sorcerer 11, swashbuckler 7 and fighter 11/cleric 1.

The scenario is an early straight forward adventure. It is very railroad with the party starting at point A, and the going through point B, point C...etc. While this is usually very dull the adventure does have some role play opportunities and some nice challenging fights.

Not too bad but needs a bit more to it.


An RPG Resource Review


Sending the party into the depths of the Mwangi Expanse in search of yet-another missing Pathfinder Society agent, this adventure deals with an Aspis Consortium associate's plot to find and raise an ancient evil from a long-lost jungle temple... real tomb-raider stuff. The background for the GM describes the temple, called the Drowning Stones because of a couple of effigies that look like they are drowning in a river, and the adventure synopsis lays out what's supposed to happen.

The actual adventure starts in a tavern, to which the party are summoned by an anonymous note. Even amongst the real dives in Absalom it has a bad reputation, but at least one Venture-Captain uses it to pass on orders to Pathfinders. The matter of it being a long way to the Mwangi Expanse is neatly dealt with but once there the party has to deal with the usual hazards of jungle travel including, of course, local tribes. Nicely, there's an opportunity to deal with them through diplomacy rather than combat, but deal with them the party must before they can proceed further.

And then things get difficult. The Aspis crew turn up dead and the party will have to figure out what is going on from what jungle scavengers have left. Then there are further perils before the Drowning Stones are even reached, followed by a delve into the tample beneath... it strikes me that this has the potential to overrun a convention slot with ease, although it could keep a home campaign entertained for several sessions.

What this does do is give a good impression of steamy oppressive jungle with perils around every corner, but the encounters are a little disjointed and there's little sense of life going on irrespective of what the party do. Finding out what's happened depends overmuch on die-rolling rather than reasoning, with the potential for the party being left standing bewildered if they don't make the right rolls to pick up clues. Handled with care, ensuring they do get the necessary information, it could be a good jungle romp, however.

Fun and atmospheric, but not amazing.


(I GMed this.)

In itself, this scenario is pretty unremarkable. Only one stand-out fight, simple story, regular environment. But my players still managed to enjoy them thoroughly with this adventure. It's a bit dated by current standards, but it's still fun enough. There's some weirdness with the map (WHY draw a side-view if it only makes things more confusing?), and one encounter and a few NPCs didn't really make sense to me, but other than that, it's a fun scenario. Enemies are big and scary, and though my players easily outclassed them, they were still on their toes at fist, which I like.

In short, I think this could do with some reworking, but it's a fun romp through the jungle. Don't expect to be wowed, but at the very least entertained.

Kill Some Wildlife, Go Home


I'm not sure what the other reviewers see in this scenario. To me it was a fairly unmemorable romp through the jungle. We killed some wildlife, some natives, and went home. This is what I'd expect for tier 3-7, but I expect more for subtier 10-11. There was an unsurprising surprise (that lasted 10 seconds) but that's it. Nothing really grabbed my attention in this scenario.

”Detailed Rating”:

Length: 3 hours and we were slow. I think we skipped the optional encounter. On a positive note I found my first subtier 10-11 scenario that actually fits into a 4 hour time slot.
Experience: Player at subtier 10-11 with 5 good PCs.
Sweet Spot: TBD.
Entertainment: Wasn't bad it wasn't good, it was just there. (5/10)
Story: There might have been a story, but it was lost in the venue. It's possible we didn't have the skills to uncover the story. Still... (4/10)
Roleplay: The one roleplaying encounter had an annoying NPC and not a lot of information. (3/10)
Combat/Challenges: At subtier 10-11, the combat encounters were extremely easy and what made them interesting or unique had no relevance at all for this subtier. Making the encounters harder wouldn't have improved this scenario. (3/10)
Maps: Average. (5/10)
Boons: n/a (n/a)
Uniqueness: Maybe I've been playing D&D too long, but I felt like I played this 100 times before. (2/10)
Faction Missions: Average. (7/10)

Overall: Standard jungle romp that's not worthy of your limited subtier 10-11 playing time. (5/10)

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Lantern Lodge

Yes!!! I've been looking for more Mwangi expanse material.

Liberty's Edge

I recommend this for a great jungle adventure with lots of atmosphere. I can see echoes of "Heart of Darkness", King Solomon Mines" and "African Queen" in this one. Maybe you can hear the drums beating right now! Just getting by in Mwangi is life-threatening but the adventures has a clever plot device that stops this becoming tedious throughout the whole duration.

We found the plot quite complex although its possible for the players to go right through it without realising some of the twists. We had did a plot reveiw after play had finished so that it wasn't wasted.

There is a good balance between roleplay and combat. A Ranger or Druid will find lots to do. One of the combat encounters has strong possibility of a TPK if your characters aren't suitably equipped and the DM should have a sensitive touch on the "volume control"! Another combat is very easy by comparison and then you really need to let rip so the players have a challenge.

It's true that it is a long one. We played at a relaxed pace and took a full day to play, including the optional encounter. I think it would be a big problem to fit into a normal convention slot without wasting some good roleplaying/story/jungle ambience.

Grand Lodge

Quick correction for anyone wanting to run this:

Pg. 17 & 19 - Fangs of Sifkesh and giant fangs of sifkesh

Reduce the Intelligence scores of both these creatures from 6 to 2. The advanced creature simple template doesn't increase Intelligence scores of 2 or less.

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