Pathfinder Module: Cult of the Ebon Destroyers (PFRPG) Print Edition

3.80/5 (based on 16 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: Cult of the Ebon Destroyers (PFRPG)

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An urban, wilderness, and dungeon adventure for 8th-level characters

A malignant cult has taken root in the mystical and magical realm of Jalmeray. Known and feared throughout distant Vudra, the cult of Dhalavei has expertly destroyed organizations and societies from within for millennia. Now a new sect of the sinister Cult of the Ebon Destroyers has its sights set on Thakur Kharswan of Jalmeray, and the magistrates and bureaucrats behind the throne must hunt down and eliminate the cult before the unthinkable happens. If only there were someone they could trust to behead Dhalavei's cult before the assassins do the same to their beloved ruler…

Cult of the Ebon Destroyers is an adventure for 8th-level characters, written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s oldest RPG. In addition to the adventure, this volume also features a brand-new monster and a gazetteer of the city of Niswan, capital of the Isle of Jalmeray.

Written by Matthew Goodall, the winner of Paizo Publishing's RPG Superstar contest, which allows unpublished authors to compete before a panel of celebrity game designers and legions of their peers for the chance to write a Pathfinder Module.

Pathfinder Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, adventures using the Open Game License to work with both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set. This Pathfinder Module includes new monsters, treasure, and a fully detailed bonus location that can be used as part of the adventure or in any other game!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-317-0

Cult of the Ebon Destroyers is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download (240 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Subscription.

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Cult of the Ebon Destroyers Review

5/5

The goal of this module is to stop an evil Vudran cult from taking over. I liked the "Indian"-flavored touches that were present throughout. However, I felt that the last, 10th Level encounter would be a bit too tough for a non-optimized group of 8th Level PCs. PCs can make it easier on themselves if they figure out what special powers and advantages the Big 3 Bad Guys have in advance, before they attack their hidden temple. The encounters are all cinematic set-pieces (no boring 15-by-15 rooms here!); they reminded me of the "Mortal Kombat" movie (which in this case is a good thing).


Perfectly Mechanical Adventure

5/5

I really like this one.
It has very, very well-ordered mechanism for investigation, and battles.
Sidebar is much more helpful to novice DM than Paizo's any other modules.
Villians are all through about everything...it makes sense on reallistic comparison.
Chapter 3-especially boss encounters without rest- are truly brutal, but PCs have many chances to exclude two of them in final battle.

So this is valuable for my full stars.


PFS

3/5

I have played this as part of PFS. I have neither read nor run it.

I enjoyed the challenging encounters and I like investigating but the adventure felt like: go talk to this list of NPCs to proceed and actually figuring anything out was mostly irrelevant.

Due to language barriers most of the players spent the investigative portion of the adventure sitting around bored.

I played an outgoing character with a lot of knowledge and charisma skills and found myself super useful, and personally I had a lot of fun, but the boredom of others dragged me down a bit.


Excellent Flavour, Brutal Combat

4/5

I had the pleasure of playing this mod at the Ruby Phoenix convention in Sydney. I'd travelled from Darwin to attend the con, so I was really stoked that a lot of high quality modules were on offer... including Cult of the Ebon Destroyers.

The lead-in to the mod is excellent. There's a lot of flavour and a real sense of 'you are there' put into the module, with a lot of nice touches like pre-generated divinations and the like. That made my day. It can be frustrating, though... this module has a reputation for being very tough, but the first part really requires a social face, a skill/knowledge type person and someone who can cast divinations. This might suggest that it's a social module where you can bring your "non-combat characters" and have a ball, and for a time it seems like you're right.

Then the combat hits, and wow. It's brutal stuff.

Extremely high AC combat munchkins coming pre-buffed, lots of monks with moderately difficult fort saves (fighter-types need only roll 1s to fail, but there are a lot of them), and you're fighting in their home territory so the terrain is perfectly geared towards maximising their advantages.

We had a very optimized party (although we lacked ranged and/or arcane support) and we couldn't complete the module. We had two PC deaths including our two toughest characters, and the rest of the party were stat-drained/negative levelled to the point they were ineffective.

That said...

The combats are unique. Flavourful. Interesting. And, one must remember, you're fighting a death cult. They're not weak and soft and squishy -- properly run, they should go for the throat at all times, including coup-de-grace and other such things. They're death cultists and should be played appropriately.

The lead-in was extremely flavourful, the roleplaying was excellent, and the overall story remarkable in its execution. I think the only bad thing I have to say about this module is that it needed to decide if it was a social/investigative or a combat-fest... it tried to be both, and while it pulled it off really nicely, you have to bring a fully optimized party to this or you're going to either get stuck in the first half or die horribly in the second.

But what's the point of playing Pathfinder if there's not a chance of death?


5/5

Honestly having played this it was the toughest and most challenging series of games I have played to date in PFS and honestly the most fun I have had, every single challenge was worthy of our team of adventurers and there was no need to hold back for fear of outshining the combats.

The investigation stage was extremely well written and performed masterfully by the GM, with the party having to work together and pool our abilities to accomplish the task.

The Combats were well ran and extremely well built giving me a new appreciation for the capabilities of NPCs, honestly I havent felt this much of a threat to my PC's survival since I started PFS and I would love it if every game felt this challenging.

All in probably among the best hours I have had playing PFS, I will admit if you arent in to serious challenges maybe you should steer clear of this one, but if you want to have a blast against challenges that will test you to your limits this is definately the mod for you.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
BenS wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
The new cover for this is rather awesome.
Agreed! Also good to know from the blog that Kieran Yanner, who does great work, is a good friend of Hyrum's. Let's hope that translates to more of his artwork in Paizo products!

And I agree with BenS, who's agreeing with Mikaze... this cover TOTALLY rocks! It. Is. AWESOME. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We've updated the product image and description to match the finished product.

Dark Archive

Very nice cover.


Yes, I agree, I love the cover art as well.

Scarab Sages

Any news if this product will be compatible with the Pathfinder Society Organized Play, as the previous published module was?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Yes. We'll have a downloadable Chronicle and guidelines for playing this for PFS credit as we do for Godsmouth Heresy.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Has this shipped to game stores yet?

Dark Archive

John Benbo wrote:
Has this shipped to game stores yet?

No but I got my email saying it will be shipping this week. So I imagine orders will start going out middle of the week. Which means subscribers should be getting their books at home not this week but next. Stores should get it, I am guessing in two weeks are so.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Dark_Mistress wrote:
John Benbo wrote:
Has this shipped to game stores yet?
No but I got my email saying it will be shipping this week. So I imagine orders will start going out middle of the week. Which means subscribers should be getting their books at home not this week but next. Stores should get it, I am guessing in two weeks are so.

Cool, thanks. Looking forward to this one. But I still have Fellnight to play, and Serpent's Skull, and I just got Old Magreve. So many adventures, so little time.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Dark_Mistress wrote:
John Benbo wrote:
Has this shipped to game stores yet?
No but I got my email saying it will be shipping this week. So I imagine orders will start going out middle of the week. Which means subscribers should be getting their books at home not this week but next. Stores should get it, I am guessing in two weeks are so.

The retail release date is the same as the PDF release date: February 16.


Mark Moreland wrote:
Yes. We'll have a downloadable Chronicle and guidelines for playing this for PFS credit as we do for Godsmouth Heresy.

*poke*

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Kyle Baird wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Yes. We'll have a downloadable Chronicle and guidelines for playing this for PFS credit as we do for Godsmouth Heresy.
*poke*

The Chronicle is now available from the product description, and the module will appear the reporting system soon.

Dark Archive

Looks awesome and iconic, just how I like my fantasy.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

Oohh, lots of goodies on the chronicles sheet.

Anyone who plays this as part of PFS will enjoy the rewards.

Spoiler:
Provided they survive :-)

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Say, I'm kind of confused about the maps.

Detail about maps:

So the map of the temple talks like it's on multiple levels; in particular:

B3: Entrance Hall is described as having an upper walkway and exits on multiple levels, yet on the map they're all on the same level and there's no stairs. Should I just ignore the part about multiple levels?

B10: Grand Training Hall is portrayed as being on the same level as the rest of the complex, but with a huge 40-foot deep pit in the center (with, I guess, 40-foot columns scattered about it), and at the center of that is a 60-foot deep pit with a secret trapdoor 20-feet down that goes into a tunnel that leads to the upper area of the B11-B14 complex, at least according to the map on page 26. And the upper level of B11 is reached by twenty feet of "steep stairs", so I'm thinking the upper level is at least 20 feet and more likely 30 feet or more above the lower level. All of this puts the lower level of B11 a minimum of 80 feet below the ground level of B10.

Yet, the lower level of B11: Fighting Arena is portrayed on the main map as being at the same level as ground level in B10: Grand Training Hall.

How are the parts supposed to fit together?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

gbonehead wrote:

Say, I'm kind of confused about the maps.

** spoiler omitted **

How are the parts supposed to fit together?

Spoiler:

The map for this complex was originally much more complicated and we had to trim and rearrange things between when the art was ordered and when the adventure went through development in order to fit the dungeon on a single page. Most of that was getting rid of a huge, multilevel maze as well as a few other levels and stairs throughout.

Area B3 was one such area, and unfortunately the reference to the upper level was missed in editing and development. You have two options: remove the upper level and just go with the room as a single level chamber (doing this requires a change to the monks' tactics in the room, as they can't leap down from a nonexistant level) or add in a second level 10 feet above the ground floor, supported by the columns, but without passages leading away. Simple ladders and trapdoors in several places around the wall can lead from the first to second level.

For the connection between areas B10 and B14, we didn't map out the tunnel connecting the two, so it can be as steep as necessary to get PCs or enemies from one level to the next. Your calculations on the difference in elevation looks correct to me, in any case, so consider putting a winding ramp, twisting passages, long ladder, or steep staircase in if anyone uses this passage.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Cool beans.

Mark Moreland wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Area B3 was one such area, and unfortunately the reference to the upper level was missed in editing and development. You have two options: remove the upper level and just go with the room as a single level chamber (doing this requires a change to the monks' tactics in the room, as they can't leap down from a nonexistant level) or add in a second level 10 feet above the ground floor, supported by the columns, but without passages leading away. Simple ladders and trapdoors in several places around the wall can lead from the first to second level.

Okay, I can deal with that. Having a large room with a second level that doesn't connect anywhere else isn't really that unusual, and I can leave all of the passages at ground level. That works.

Mark Moreland wrote:
For the connection between areas B10 and B14, we didn't map out the tunnel connecting the two, so it can be as steep as necessary to get PCs or enemies from one level to the next. Your calculations on the difference in elevation looks correct to me, in any case, so consider putting a winding ramp, twisting passages, long ladder, or steep staircase in if anyone uses this passage.

Good point. There's no reason the passage has to be level; a ladder or steep stairway makes sense.

Thanks!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

Map Spoilers:
The easiest solution, as Mark said, is to keep everything on one level. You can change the boxed description of area B3 to something like this:

A pale, magical light, radiating from the air itself, shines throughout this pillared hall. Passages lead from both sides of the hall, as well as from entranceways at either end.

For the passage from B10 to B14, I'd imagined it as a sloping passage.

The only thing you might notice about the maps is that there isn't a map of the basement room A6 in the Silk Mill. It's not a big deal; it's a simple rectangular room the same size as the one above it.

Hope that helps.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

So, Matt, how awesome is it to have your module out in the wild?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

Adam Daigle wrote:
So, Matt, how awesome is it to have your module out in the wild?

It is pretty cool to see what the developers at Paizo have done with it. I'm really interested to see what people think of it both to read and to play. I'm really excited that it is part of PFS. I know that a lot more people will not only play it, but also report on it. Let me know what you think, any feedback can only help me improve.

Grand Lodge

First, congrats to Matt. I'm really looking forward to running through this.

Second, our PFS group just recently bought Godsmouth Heresy, and I will assume will quickly buy this one up as well. I apologize if this isnt the correct place for the question, or if its already answered someplace else, but with mods like this and Godsmouth, does the person GMing it receive credit just once, or can they get credit every time, and apply it to a new character every time?

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

godsDMit wrote:

First, congrats to Matt. I'm really looking forward to running through this.

Second, our PFS group just recently bought Godsmouth Heresy, and I will assume will quickly buy this one up as well. I apologize if this isnt the correct place for the question, or if its already answered someplace else, but with mods like this and Godsmouth, does the person GMing it receive credit just once, or can they get credit every time, and apply it to a new character every time?

Looks like your question has already been answered in this thread: http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderS ociety/general/godsmouthHeresyCultOfTheEbonDestroyersOtherFuturePFSApproved Mods

thanks
sara marie

Grand Lodge

Yea, cause I asked in a seperate thread, too, lol.

Thanks for the help though.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
And we're unlikely to do a Vudra book (this adventure doesn't actually take place in Vudra, after all).

After reading the adventure, with its various bits of Vudran culture, I'd really like a Vudra book.


Matt Goodall wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
So, Matt, how awesome is it to have your module out in the wild?
It is pretty cool to see what the developers at Paizo have done with it. I'm really interested to see what people think of it both to read and to play. I'm really excited that it is part of PFS. I know that a lot more people will not only play it, but also report on it. Let me know what you think, any feedback can only help me improve.

I don't play PFS at all, but we run in a homegrown setting, and I am running this as a sequel to my Pathfinder-ized version of Necromancer Games - The Grey Citadel and the linked House of Bones/Ebon Union thieves guild. It came out just in time as I needed a death cult for the players to follow up on. Titles worked out nicely too. Ebon Union/Ebon Destroyers. Couldn't have asked for a better linkage. Making some changes to it, primarily cosmetic, name changes etc to link it to The Grey Citadel.

Sovereign Court

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

I just picked up my copy today.
It looks great from my quick skim of it. I didn't want to read to deeply in case I get to play it first.

Funny double take though...
While skimming thru the mod I saw teh Wandering Monster table, and the first entry "Monk Swarm"
On the doubletake I saw it was "Monkey swarm"

*now to find a tiny lawful creature, give it a level of monk, and the swarm template.*


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ohhh, Tim, Tim, Tim....
You should know Monk Swarms just are not possible. All, most excellent, B-rate kung-Fu movies clearly indicate that such swarms create a movement hindering circle about the hero, but then only engage the hero one monk at a time....
It's clearly part of the archetype.


How much Vudran culture and general Jalmeray setting information does one get in this module?

How much Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom flavor is there?


Mazym wrote:

How much Vudran culture and general Jalmeray setting information does one get in this module?

How much Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom flavor is there?

Vudran Culture info = best source so far (the only other major ones are Escape from Old Korvosa, the old CS and almost identical material in the Inner Sea Guide). You could probably transplant info from EfOK to make a Jalmeray campaign of sorts.

Indiana Jones and the ToD? Not as much as you might think. The adventure consists of an investigation (think pulp mystery) and later a dungeon crawl/temple raid. The last part probably won't play too similarly to the film in the absence of mine carts and captured PCs. I think a stronger influence might be The Deceivers.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

Glad you liked the Vudran culture Jeff. I tried to put most of that in places that the PCs can actually find it out or experience it. I hope people like the Niswan city entry, it hopefully gives a good feel to the capital of Jalmeray.


Matt, good job, I have recently played this mod, love the atmosphere. I plan on running it now that I had my chance to play it.

Lets get something else out of you...


Red-Assassin wrote:

Matt, good job, I have recently played this mod, love the atmosphere. I plan on running it now that I had my chance to play it.

Lets get something else out of you...

Thanks mate,

Glad you enjoyed it. I have been doing a few things. The most recently released is Wrath of the Accursed for Pathfinder Society. I've stuck links to the other products on my profile, if you're interested.

Silver Crusade

Do these modules get playtested at all before they go into print? The encounters don't seem very well thought out as far as likely outcomes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ThornDJL7 wrote:
Do these modules get playtested at all before they go into print? The encounters don't seem very well thought out as far as likely outcomes.

Playtesting is the responsibility of the adventure writer once the text comes in to Paizo, we don't have time to playtest them. The information that a playtest should reveal is something that the adventure's developer is responsible for fixing.

So in theory, in a best case scenario, the author either playtests the adventure himself or has a friend do it, and then the adventure also has a round of development from someone here at Paizo who makes a final pass on the adventure to make sure it's presented properly. If an adventure makes it through to print and it's still got some problems with balance, there's all sorts of possibilities for why that occurred.

When they do, the BEST way to respond is to let us know. But not just by saying, "OMG THIS WAS TOO HARD IT SUCKED!" Because that doesn't tell us anything. Give us detailed feedback why was it hard? What did we overlook? Did we forget to explain something? How could we have improved things?

This way, we can not only learn from our mistakes, but we can also see if the problem REALLY lies with the adventure or if it was just a set of bad die roles or even user error NOTE: I'm not saying anyone who's complaining about a module being too hard is automatically at fault, but it can happen. I've seen bad reviews of modules before by players who had a terrible time with the module, but in reading their comments it's obvious that most or all of their problems were with changes the GM made to the module or obvious errors or even maliciousness on the GMs' behalf.

By pointing out key problems, we avoid that entirely and cut right to the "how can we improve our development process for adventures" part of the feedback.

Sovereign Court

I found it interesting how harshly Thorn and Doug seem to lament the adventure's difficulty. My group and I are playing it now here:

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/community/gaming/playByPost/brOpsCultO fTheEbonDestroyersPFS

And we haven't encountered any 'nearly unwinnable' encounters. Our casters are pretty heavily optimized but that never really came into play.


WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Spoiler:
Background ****

Well detailed adventure background. I love Vudrani culture and history, and Jalmeray is truly a kingdom of impossible wonders. I do wish more details on the celebration of Yolarati were provided. We spent a good deal of time enjoying the festival. This was a PFS session, and I used this festival as their mission. They were sent on a vacation of sorts to detail the festival and take a week off from their regular missions.

Part 1 ***

The investigation section of the module is done very well. It provides the players with just enough information to get them thinking without giving anything away. I don't, however, like that instead of talking to the NPC's (which provide the basis for great role play), the PC's can simply make a few knowledge checks.

The retaliation mechanics worked great.

Tthe encounter with Lankesh went well. It's a great chance to role play and for everyone at the table, it was the first time

The silk mill layout, design, and cartography all fall short.

How is it, with big open ceilings and rafters, that the entire mill isn't alerted by the first battle? How are the CR 9 Garuda and 3 CR 5 rogues only a CR 10 encounter? The Honor Guards hide among the rafters watching for any threats... like the first combat?! The cartography for the looms use crates. Seriously? I drew 126 bushes in the back of the mill. Grr. The party must face a CR 8, a CR 9, and a CR 10 all back to back. The NPCs are well built and the terrain is to their advantage.

Part 2 **

What are the chances that a sleeping PC is going to notice a +28 stealth weretiger entering their tent?

We bypassed the village encounter, which I wish now that we wouldn't of, as it's probably the only saving grace of this part. It provides a great opportunity to role play, but I wish there was more info for the GM to run this encounter.

The ghost encounter is very unique in its setup, but adds quite a bit of time to the module. take 1/4 damage while in a zombie drags this out. The party had a bone oracle, and when I ran out of zombies, I started possessing her minions. :) The encounter started out fun/scary, and ended in boredom. :(

Part 3 *

I actually like the start of this, with the 900-ft cliff face, and the double trap.

This temple contains the following encounters:

CR 7 (traps)
CR 5 (doesn't come into affect if traps are set off)
CR 9 (higher if trap is set off)
CR 9
CR 11
CR 11
CR 10

That's a bit much for a party of level 8's without resting.

"If the PCs attack the temple and then retreat to rest, the cult acts in response. If it is only a minor intrusion, Deepti leads a group of four acolytes to find and attack the PCs’ campsite. If the PCs inflict considerable damage by defeating at least one master or more than half the acolytes, the remaining masters abandon the temple. They order any remaining acolytes to defend the temple to the death and then depart, going into hiding to rebuild the cult at a later date."

Room B3 is described as two-story, but there's no supporting map for this. There's only a vague description, and a really poor one at that. Then the tactics describe some of the monks being up there at the start of combat. This is really poorly designed and frankly unforgiveable.

The way the temple is laid out, the PC's are most likely to head to room B7 first, and then to B10, B11, and finally to B9. The module is written like the PC's will head to B9 and B10 before B11.

The design of B10 needs to be considered for the CR of the encounter. With her +35 to jump and spider climb, the CR needs to be higher than her level minus 1. I do love the room though, but shadowdancers are annoying and hated. The party saw what she was and just left the room. LOL

I really like the design of the web of secrets, however as the GM, this was a pain in the rear to draw, even though in reality I didn't need to draw it. *sigh* The trapezoidal center was a nice touch.

The "final" encounter in B11 is horrible encounter design. Zaafira attempts to negotiate a duel with one of the PCs. Sounds great on paper, but:

1) One 8th levle PC vs. an 11th level NPC?
2) The rest of the party is going to be bored watching this duel
3) What is she trying to negotiate for? What does she want if she wins? What is she willing to give up if she loses?
4) If she loses, do the other masters (assuming they're alive and present) honor the agreement? If not, do the PC's really have to find 2 or 3 masters at once which would possibly be a CR 14 encounter?!

Appendix 1 *

Is this the first place garuda are ever introduced? If so, they're a race of CG outsiders, and the first one the PC's encounter is LE?

Appendix 2 ***

Pretty standard description of the Jalmeray capital, Niswan. Well done, but nothing special.


Hey guys,

Disappointing to hear that your experience wasn't the best. I'm curious about which encounters people found overly difficult. I was hoping to create encounters that were challenging and weren't just monster(s) in a square 30-foot room. I was also hoping have a fair variety of encounters so that different PCs get a chance to shine and where PCs get to use different tactics.

As James has said, feedback - especially detailed feedback, helps all of us improve.

Matt Goodall

Lantern Lodge

One wrote:

As James has said, feedback - especially detailed feedback, helps all of us improve.

Matt Goodall

You got ninja'd. ;-)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

Twice :-)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Can't wait to run through this one.

anything that generates this much talk must have something going for it!


Unrelated, but Matt, could you shoot me an email at:

brickk at gmail (dawt) com

I would like to send you something via email for a game you've played.

-Ben.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

Thanks for the detailed review Kyle.

I accept some of your points and disagree on some others but I think that a much of the issue comes down to this:

Simply, this adventure wasn’t written with the intention of being a PFS adventure. At the time I was writing it I had no idea that it would become a sanctioned adventure. Trying to do the adventure in two normal PFS sessions is unlikely to work, even 12 hours is squeezing it in. I wanted to give the customer as much adventure as I could for their money (in the words I had).

As for the power level, I wrote it for what I thought was an average to good power level. Not super optimized but not a cakewalk either.

Pathfinder Society sanctioned module games have the issue from a power level perspective that you can get 4 random strangers with PCs that won’t be a balanced party, may not work as a team, and may have artificially leveled their PC to play it and so be unfamiliar with the funky things that happen at higher levels.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Re. PFS

I think it is a cool idea to sanction modules for PFS, even if I don't completely agree eith the special rules, but what I am worried about is applying the PFS paradigm to module design. I find it very interesting that the current crop of bad reviews come from PFS play experience, and I don't think that is insignificant part of the discussion.

With "typical" PFS play you are on rushed time schedule, everyone is there to play through to the end within the timeslot, and typically you have wildly different party compositions. So does this effect play experience and is it different from non-PFS? I would say, yes. I would much rather see designers stick with the paradign of normal play then try to cater to a PFS play experience, which, if what I have laid is correct, would make me think that everything created for normal play is not immediately apprpriate for PFS play. Lastly, I think it would be important to know from reviews what sort play experience and party make up.

Anyway, just some thoughts.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Elorebaen wrote:
I would much rather see designers stick with the paradign of normal play then try to cater to a PFS play experience, which, if what I have laid is correct, would make me think that everything created for normal play is not immediately apprpriate for PFS play. Lastly, I think it would be important to know from reviews what sort play experience and party make up.

I entirely agree with this.

The idea that the Pathfinder Modules (not the PFS scenarios) are/could be designed around PFS is very disturbing to me.

I absolutely believe that PFS should be entirely ignored when designing Pathfinder Modules.


Elorebaen wrote:

Re. PFS

I think it is a cool idea to sanction modules for PFS, even if I don't completely agree eith the special rules, but what I am worried about is applying the PFS paradigm to module design. I find it very interesting that the current crop of bad reviews come from PFS play experience, and I don't think that is insignificant part of the discussion.

As far as I can tell, none of Kyle's criticisms were PFS-specific. Of course, there's one notable difference -- under PFS rules he's not supposed to rewrite the module substantially. But personally, I think saying that a module is playable after substantial revision is a backhanded compliment at best and a stinging rebuke at worst.

Grand Lodge

Just adding my opinion - I probably should add a review as well.

I did GM the scenario as a PFS game - a group of four level 8. Dwarf fighter, Elf Ranger, half elf Sorcerer and human Oracle of life.

We had lots of fun and I didn't have to go soft (until the last encounter where I made a huge error that resulted in a dead character due to GM error). So it can be played with four level 8 if they work together and aren't underpowered.
I only had one optimised character in that group.

Here are a few points towards Kyles summary:

Spoiler:

Part 2: were tiger Stealth 28 sneaking into a tent?
Didn't they have a watch. The combat says he starts with entangle before attacking. As he has no free movement I did an entangle on all sleeping characters (no tents in my group) and targeted the watch who incidentally also was the only person who accepted the resin.
Yes - I could sneak in a CdG in sleep - but the scenario didn't suggest that.

Last Part:
I agree - my group never would have managed to kill all three main NPCs - but the module allows to be finished as long as you kill at least one of them - and they took care of all the low level ones.
this isn't a PFS game that needs to visit every last room.


@Thod - Only one character used the paste. They spread out a bit in the forest, and slept in separate tents in the thick of the jungle. The person who took last watch didn't actually want to take watch and chose to sleep. Tracking down the scent to particular tent, somewhat away from the rest of the party and the campfire, would you cast entangle? I didn't CdG of course, and I actually turned my attention to the rest of the party after "waking" DougDoug's character up.

@PFS - There were 5 players, four of which "built" their 8th level characters (i.e. made an 8th level version of their character). One was a true PFS character and was 7th level. We played it on the weekend and weren't constrained by time.

Paladin 8
Oracle of Life 8
Oracle of Bones 8
Wizard 8
Bard 7

They were tank light, but are experienced players. The 8th level characters are essential no different than a PFRPG character built to start at 8th level. I don't think the lack of meat was what made it so difficult for them. They did have a few undead minions. The poor paladin with his horrible perception and knowledge: undead was unwittingly fooled by the bard's disguise abilities and the oracle's bluff. (and I didn't want to push it much since I knew they were tank light)

I don't personally feel that the module is "too difficult" for PFS play or in general. What I do think, however, is that there are too many APL+ encounters without a good mix of APL- encounters. It means that you're fighting for your life or are pushed to the edge in every fight. IMHO, this grows old. Fast.


Elorebaen wrote:
the current crop of bad reviews come from PFS play

This is why it's important for everyone to publish detailed reviews. Everyone's experience will average out and help generate a better picture regarding the quality of the product.

Everyone also needs to keep in mind that someone who has a negative experience is far more likely to write a review than someone who has an average to positive experience. That's just another reason to be as detailed as possible.

Liberty's Edge

Overdue, i know, but here goes.

Spoiler:
I ran it for 7 players. We played 3 sessions of 5-4-5hours each. the first one was mostly RP. The players ran around to all the contacts gathering info and meeting people. The only fight was with Bat-boy, which went quick do to glitterdust and terrible dice.


Spoiler:
We started off 2nd session at the silk mill. After scouting aroun the place with invis and fly on the sneakiest gnome alive, they choice a 2 prong attack. 3 through sky light and 4 through front door. A well placed confusion on naga and help, got them in and made it easy work. The other 4 rushed in and fought for a little while against workers. Meanwhile archers was shooting and bird-man statered buffing. Short of it is that both groups converged onto the loft and hedged in bird-man, who tryed to escape and got killed.

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