Pathfinder Society Scenario #52: The City of Strangers—Part II: The Twofold Demise (PFRPG) PDF

***½( ) (based on 13 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 3–4, and 6–7).

A powerful local gang in Kaer Maga demands that you end the threat of the Shadow Lodge at once as the Lodge's very existence upsets the delicate local balance of power. Refusal means both the expulsion of the Pathfinder Society from Kaer Maga forever and your untimely deaths. The choice is yours.

The Twofold Demise is the second and final scenario in the The City of Strangers campaign arc and is the sequel to Pathfinder Society Scenario #51: The City of Strangers—Part I: The Shadow Gambit.

Written by Joshua J. Frost

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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***½( ) (based on 13 ratings)

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A Perfect Way to Turn New Players Away

*( )( )( )( )

In short, this module's combats are way too difficult at Tier 1-2. The ACs are just too high for new players' PCs to touch, and two of the combats feature simply-overpowered foes.

It's really a failure of the Pathfinder itself, though, because of the rules for humanoids with class levels, and how their CR is lowered by one. A Fighter1 with masterwork equipment, 10+Con hit points, 20 points for stats, and a favored class +1 HP, is *not* the same challenge level as a Human Zombie, even though they're both CR 1/2.

But that failure of the system does not excuse the module at all. The author, who was at the time the campaign coordinator, did not have to place such overpowered combats into Tier 1-2. But he did.

Avoid running this module at Tier 1-2.

-Matt


Good finish to part 1

****( )

This adventure was more combat focused and linear than part 1 of the series, however, the PCs still must interact with prominent & re-occurring NPCs although they don't figure prominently into the meat of the adventure. More than other multi-part adventures, the two parts of this one complement each other not just in finishing a story, but also in player activity. Players who aren't as interested in role-playing may have been bored at times with the first part, but they will find their interest in combat satisfied here. Played back to back, these two parts form a strong coherent whole providing time for varying styles of play.

Many of the NPCs which were introduced in the first part reprise their roles here to guide and direct the players. As before, many are memorable and unique enough to help the players make a strong connection to the city.

Combats were varied and balanced with some being standard fare, while others made good use of interesting NPCs and tactics. Initially, combat encounters seemed easy, however others were more of a challenge and that helped to keep the PCs on their toes. Only one of the faction missions really stood out, and while the others weren't particularly noteworthy, neither did they feel out of place or tacked on without connection to the story.

Overall, it was a solid module and while it was lacking a strong plot & role-play, it works well with the first part to provide a strong finish. I definitely look forward to future adventures set in Kaer Maga.


The Temple?

****( )

I've run this one about 8 or 9 times now, and it's still a joy. Most of the time the GM who ran part 1 has left a lot of the City of Strangers unexplored. This allows me to properly introduce the players to the city proper. Be warned, however, that this scenario proceeds at the pace of the players. They may need gentle nudges from time to time to keep them on track.

I've had some memorable moments with this one, and there are a couple of well balanced encounters (and a couple of warts).

This series is definitely one new players shouldn't miss.


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Announced! This is for Tier 1-7.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

On page 24, did the Taldor Faction Mission get left out? The handout makes the mission very clear, but unless I'm seeing things weird on my PDF, it looks like Taldor is missing.

This looks like a really fun scenario. I just ran the first part for my home group tonight, and I think I'm gonna have a ball with this one once I get back from GenCon.


Taldor is on the bottom of page 26.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Yeah, the handout is there, I was just talking about the text that lays out what the players get the PA points for leading into the handouts.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm afraid that just means Taldor players receive no Prestige for this scenario.

Darn. ;)

Scarab Sages

I like this set of scenarios a lot. I have run them many times. They are very challenging and you can spend a great deal of time role-playing and it has some interesting bad guys. This is a dangerous and difficult scenario and I have had parties struggle to complete it, so take the modifications below with a grain of salt and decide for yourself if they are right for your group.

Scenario gothchas that you will want to clarify or at least be aware of and possibly spend some extra time on:

Problem #1 – Todor Spell Book

This scenario has a great opportunity to help an up and coming wizard and falls short. The evoker Todor Mozes has no spell book, not on his person nor back at the HQ. It says he is crazy, so maybe he forgot it somewhere, but that seems unlikely. That shortfall needs correction, for two reasons:

1. Todor has an arcane bond: wand, and according to the text it has not been triggered for the day. It is important to know what is in his spell book to know what options are available to help in the battle.

2. Finding the spell book gives party wizards an opportunity to learn spells for their spell book. Even if only one spell, it is important to throw the players simple, minor rewards when the opportunity presents itself.

Here are the open slots and my corrections to this problem. Feel free to make your own solution or just leave it the way it is.

What if he is captured: If captured and questioned about the spell book’s absence on his person he would reveal its location to his captors in exchange for his freedom.

Where is it and what is in it: Todor left his spell book back at the HQ (prison room #7 which is where the Shadow Lodge members have been staying) and it has the following spells in it (Modify as you deem necessary):

Tier 1-2:
0-Level

All
1st-Level
(open slot) Cause Fear
(open slot) Disguise Self
Magic Missile
(open slot) Shield
Shocking Grasp

Tier 3-4
0-Level

All
1st-Level
(open slot) Cause Fear
(open slot) Protection from Good
(open slot) Disguise Self
(open slot) Floating Disk
Magic Missile
(open slot) Shield
Shocking Grasp

Tier 6-7
0-Level

All
1st-Level
(open slot) Cause Fear
(open slot) Protection from Good
(open slot) Disguise Self
(open slot) Floating Disk
Magic Missile
(open slot) Shield
Shocking Grasp

2nd-Level
Flaming Sphere
(open slot) Gust of Wind
(open slot) Protection from Arrows
Scorching Ray

3rd-Level
Fireball
Lightning Bolt

Why not put mage armor in the book? Apparently he may not have it as he cast it from scroll before the fight. You could make the assumption that he does have it but loaded up with attack spells for the day knowing that he was going into combat. However, if that were the case I would simply have him cast that spell from the wand and not use up the scroll. Seems like a reasonable assumption if you like.

If he didn’t have mage armor, why would he have shield. He might not, it is reasonable to judge that since he doesn’t have one that he doesn’t have the other. However, I would argue that every Evoker knows the benefit of shield and would have it in their spell book. If he has shield wouldn’t he use it pre-combat? Yes he would and I have him cast it from the wand either before combat or during the surprise round.

Why not invisibility? Again, he is loaded with potions for this so it seems reasonable to assume that he may not have it.

Problem #2 – Prison Perception
The base DC for hearing combat is -10. So you will need to decide how you want to handle combat in areas 1-3. In area 3 the baddies in area 7 (Tier 1-2: +5 Perception; Tier 3-4: +7 Perception; Tier 6-7: +10 Perception) are very likely to hear any combat in this area. That being the case you are going to have to decide what would Guarin do if he detects the sounds of combat coming from the hallway or the courtyard.

When I run this scenario, it gets very nasty and deadly real quick at this point. If Guarin is alerted to enemy presence within the prison he sends Kanna to alert Kormiggon and return as quickly as possible, takes two to three rounds roughly. Once alerted Kormiggon releases the golbins from the cell block and waits behind his desk as the Tactics dictate.

Hope my experience with this scenario is helpful to you. Cheers :-)

Scarab Sages

PS I have made counters for these scenarios and am happy to post them on the SCARAB Gaming Convention Forums if you would like.

SCARAB GAMING CONVENTION

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