Pathfinder Society Scenario #45: Delirium's Tangle (PFRPG) PDF

3.50/5 (based on 26 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters (Tiers: 1–2 and 4–5).

The Pathfinder Society owes Grandmaster Torch a favor and he's calling it in. It seems he misplaced Nuar Spiritskin, the famous minotaur prince of Absalom, and Torch needs you to find the prince before the city discovers that the minotaur is missing. He sends you deep beneath Absalom into a maddening maze of malign shapes, hideous creatures, and secrets that haven't seen the light of day for more than a thousand years.

Written by Crystal Frasier

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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3.50/5 (based on 26 ratings)

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Interesting but mechanically frustrating

3/5

Recently played in a home game (high tier) that has been working through the old PFS scenarios. The setting and overall ambiance worked really well for me, though the details of the plot (beyond "here's a macguffin to recover and a princess to rescue") were not only hard to decipher but also seemingly meaningless to the resolution of the story. I had a lot of fun with the idea that a minotaur could be a damsel in distress, though...

Spoiler:
it seemed that the scenario was written such that the minotaur chooses not to aid the party against its captor? As soon as I spotted it in the final encounter I figured we'd need its help, but our DM left him too dazed to help even after we spent time healing him mid-combat

The beginning and end were both fun (I particularly found the boss chamber to be brilliant), but the mechanics of the middle sections were very frustrating.

Spoiler:
My instinct when reaching the maze was to immediately investigate and make sense of how the maze worked to solve the puzzle. Pretty quickly I got cut off with a mention that there would be no puzzle solving. The maze had prescribed methods for traversal. So we were stuck applying skill checks (and mostly failing them) until the scenario decided we had had enough. It felt very frustrating and ultimately like the scenario was playing itself with our characters merely along for the ride.

This was compounded by the water room, where despite wanting to solve some kind of puzzle and work out a solution, we were again stuck making checks until the scenario was satisfied. I was pretty sour on the overly rigid mechanics by the time we resolved everything.


A Wild Crystal Frasier Appears!

5/5

Have both played and run this scenario.

This scenario is unique and fun, offering challenges that the party might not be accustomed to using mechanics in fresh and interesting ways. One of my players when I ran it happily told me that it made him use something he's never had to use in PFS before. The challenge doesnt match up to modern power-creeped characters, but few season 0 and 1 scenarios do. It takes risks and they almost all pay off in my opinion, which counts as a 5 for me.

With a narrativist GM willing to paint the scene, this scenario has some truly wonderful opportunities. There aren't a lot of opportunities for RPing with NPCs, but those that do come up are with rich characters (the GM should absolutely read the section on our misplaced minotaur in Guide to Absalom to inform his character!).


So close!

3/5

I've GM-ed this, but never played it.

Delirium's Tangle has a lot of potential. Some of the execution was a little... lacking.

The Good:

*Anytime Grandmaster Torch gives you a task, you know it'll be interesting!
*The idea of rescuing a minotaur from a maze is highly amusing.
*Derros are so much fun to use!
*The BBEG, as well as the lock on the final chamber was delightfully flavorful.

The Bad:

*The maze, or at least the options for solving it. The DCs seemed high for some options, and a lot of low-level PCs can't make them often if at all. This scenario is pretty clearly geared for Rangers, Rogues, and other skill heavy and/or Survival types, but players have no way of knowing that before entering. I like the idea of a maze, but this one was clunky and frustrating.


Interesting concept, meh execution

2/5

I liked the premise of this adventure. The BBEG is really cool. However, the maze exploration was a big disappointment.

Spoiler:
We had a bunch of newbies and nobody had Survival, and the other skills you could use to navigate had their DCs too high. So we failed quite a few checks, each one leading to a repetitive encounter that just cost Wand charges. And then after enough failures, we suddenly break through anyway.

Exploring the maze just felt like a stupid grind; there weren't really meaningful choices to be made or puzzles to be solved.

The fights were fun and apart from the repeat encounters, interesting. Not too hard.


Nice setting, but needs a solid GM

3/5

This was the first scenario I've ever played and I quite enjoyed it. It has a nice atmosphere and the setting is pretty nice. However, it's also a scenario that really needs a GM that's good at telling a story, and I was lucky to find myself in a situation just like that. Especially the whole chase scene needs good descriptions in order to not make it feel like simply rolling a dice. The way he described every step we took, made the environment come to live and drew us in closer and closer. It encouraged us to interact a lot in character, which is always nice.

Even though it was quite enjoyable, I can't really give this more than three stars. Due to our composition and size, the first couple of combats were pretty much non-existant. We had 6 mostly damage-heavy players, 2 animal companions and an eidolon, so fights were over in less than a round. I often didn't even get a chance to act before they were dead. Considering I was still getting used to how combat works, this wasn't a big deal for me. For more experienced players though, that can be quite disappointing.

I also can't really comment on the last fight. We were extremely lucky with our rolls and out of the four times we hit him in the first two rounds, three of them were crits. It was over before we knew it. That said, given the description and GM notes, I'm convinced he can actually be rather challenging if he gets going. Fortunately for us, we avoided that danger. Admittedly, it was rather anticlimactic, especially after the penultimate encounter, which I may add is enough on its own to make this a memorable scenario.

Final verdict: it's a fun scenario, but it needs a good storytelling GM. I think it's also best played in smaller parties of 4 or 5, to make it more challenging. Players need to really enjoy roleplaying in order to like this scenario as the combats are relatively easy. If you don't like that, you should consider staying away as you'll likely be disappointed.


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Announced!

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Awesome! Ever since Crystal's started blogging for Paizo I've been eager to see her name on something. I can't wait.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

+1 Yoda. I hope Crystal does the art as well :)

Liberty's Edge

Is there a description yet?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

emperor799 wrote:
Is there a description yet?

{scrolls up} Nope. Not yet.


We typically add the descriptions when the PDF goes live.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Any news about this scenario? It is not visible from the list of Season 1 scenarios for the Pathfinder Society, no date given when the scenario will be available...

Grand Lodge

It was supposed to be available today, but since the folks are on the west coast, I doubt that anyone has made it into the office yet to throw the switch on this. Check back a little later today.

I have to admit though, I was just as eager to see it this morning too.


We don't specify a time when it will release on the day of release.

It should be out later this afternoon Pacific Time.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It might be worth checking what's actually displayed as the release date. Before it vanished from the page, it was saying it was going to be released yesterday in Auckland/Pacific time.

From experience over the last few months I've figured out that that means another day's wait past the given estimate before the release, but people could get frustrated by something like that.


Most scenarios release on the last Wednesday of every month Pacific Time. That's as specific as we can get, unfortunately. This scenario will likely be up in the 3-to-4 hours.

(And I say most because sometimes unforeseen things prevent the release of a scenario on time.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Paul Ryan wrote:
It might be worth checking what's actually displayed as the release date. Before it vanished from the page, it was saying it was going to be released yesterday in Auckland/Pacific time.

Right... we set the release date in the system but, by default, that date begins at midnight Pacific Time. I've adjusted it so that the system now expects a 6PM Pacific Time release for all Pathfinder Society Scenarios. (That's not to say that that's necessarily the time they will be released, but it should at least do a better job avoiding wacky date line issues like the one you pointed out.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
(And I say most because sometimes unforeseen things prevent the release of a scenario on time.)

The unforeseen things have been defeated, and this scenario is now available.


Ross to the Rescue!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

yoda8myhead wrote:
Ross to the Rescue!

Don't give me too much credit. (The 'unforeseen' may or may not have been my fault.)


Can you get Erik to finish Requiem for the Red Raven?


All in good time. And by good time, I mean I won't release him from the cage with the computer in it until that good time has come.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

My very first PFS scenario, up and available for all. One of my friends described it a "steampunk elf bondage with cthulhu overtones," so I hope everyone likes it.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Crystal Frasier wrote:
My very first PFS scenario, up and available for all. One of my friends described it a "steampunk elf bondage with cthulhu overtones," so I hope everyone likes it.

That sounds ... disturbing.

goes to check it out


I did not prefer this module. It felt as though a 4th edition writer tried their hand at writing a Pathfinder mod. Instead of writing within the mechanics of the Pathfinder system the writer attempted to create many rules that either circumvented or completely ignored the base mechanics of the game, much to the dismay of the players I ran through it. Players who create their characters in the spirit of the game will be dismayed that their hard earned skills will be considered pointless.

I was, however, happy with the story that was set forward, only the delivery of that story missed the mark.

Silver Crusade

I enjoyed the scenario and will be running for my PFS group shortly.
The villain was definitely memorable. As was the objective and the path leading up to it.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ran this at a local con this last week. It was a blast to run and the boss fight at the end was a bear!

Liberty's Edge

Ran this one, and I though the Tier 1 was a little under powered. The group of PC's breezed through the lead up, and had the final fight finished in 3 rounds. Honestly was tempted to fudge up the rolls to make it a bit more interesting, but since this was the first one I ran, I wanted to see what it was like 'out-of-the-box'. Satisfied, but could have been better.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Odzmye wrote:
Ran this one, and I though the Tier 1 was a little under powered. The group of PC's breezed through the lead up, and had the final fight finished in 3 rounds. Honestly was tempted to fudge up the rolls to make it a bit more interesting, but since this was the first one I ran, I wanted to see what it was like 'out-of-the-box'. Satisfied, but could have been better.

This one has one of the best end fights of any scenario I have ever run. Every time I have run this at Sub-Tier 1-2 (have not run it at 4-5) the end fight has been difficult and challenging. It is a very complicated encounter but if done well and right it can be very challenging.

Crystal Frasier has become my favorite scenario author.


Dragnmoon wrote:
Odzmye wrote:
Ran this one, and I though the Tier 1 was a little under powered. The group of PC's breezed through the lead up, and had the final fight finished in 3 rounds. Honestly was tempted to fudge up the rolls to make it a bit more interesting, but since this was the first one I ran, I wanted to see what it was like 'out-of-the-box'. Satisfied, but could have been better.
This one has one of the best end fights of any scenario I have ever run. Every time I have run this at Sub-Tier 1-2 (have not run it at 4-5) the end fight has been difficult and challenging. It is a very complicated encounter but if done well and right it can be very challenging.

Single enemy encounters can be a bit hit-or-miss. The tier 1-2 group I was in got through the module without any difficulty, which suited me fine. I thought the encounters were creative and interesting, which is the important thing to me.


I've run this a couple of times and enjoy running it. The end boss can be a lot of fun if the GM makes good use of his abilities. The first time I ran it I thought the maze skill checks were too hard, then I reread it and caught the find print. If 3 players make aid another checks and aid a 4th making the survival roll, the DC is pretty reasonable unless you have a party where everyone is WIS 7. I think transparency with the skill check options is key.

Grand Lodge

Played this yesterday at Tier 1-2 with a table of 6 PCs.

5 level one PCs and one level 2 PC.

Spoiler:

We cleared the entire scenario without taking one point of damage. 6 PCs and two pets. Not a single one took a point of damage. We got hit with Fascinate and Grappled by a chain. That was it.

The maze was a series of 11? skill checks. I think we failed three times out of 11. Never by enough to trigger a trap or encounter. One PC had a perception of +14 and another had a Survival skill of +11. Needless to say with 5 other PCs assisting we had a minimum of 20 to 28 before adding in the D20 roll.

The fight with the giant leech was a laugh. The environment and setup was great. Our GM spiced that section up with great flavor and role-play. But the leech went down in 2 rounds.

The only part of the adventure that ended being challenging was the water flow chamber. Two PCs got trapped together in the chamber without the wand of Water Breathing.

In summation, the skill checks were great but the combats were not challenging enough.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Unexpectedly played this tonight. Good fun, although my oracle found herself ill-prepared for most of the challenges. Thankfully my wife's winter witch did the heavy lifting!


Played this tonight as part of a group of four. Skill checks and the pacing of the adventure was exhausting. It was the most stressed I'd ever been in a pen and paper game. I wouldn't recommend it.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Is this scenario still valid in light of 4–23: Rivalry's End?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yes.

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