Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-09: The Heresy of Man—Part III: Beneath Forgotten Sands (PFRPG) PDF

3.40/5 (based on 8 ratings)

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

Beneath the desolate deserts of godless Rahadoum, the Pathfinder Society races against time to beat the traitorous Shadow Lodge to an ancient Jistkan citadel. But their rivals aren't the only obstacle in the PCs' way: the long-lost ruins teem with terrible outsiders set on manipulation and destruction, including a self-proclaimed avatar of the div god Ahriman. Beneath Forgotten Sands brings the three-part Heresy of Man series to a stunning conclusion.

Beneath Forgotten Sands is the third and final scenario in the The Heresy of Man campaign arc and is the sequel to Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-07: The Heresy of Man—Part II: Where Dark Things Sleep.

Written by Greg A. Vaughan and Kevin Wright

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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3.40/5 (based on 8 ratings)

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Great setting with some disappointing encounters


I GMed this in the standard campaign at low tier for a six person party, including The Degraded and Quentin Coldwater. You can find their reviews below.

Starting with a 3 score I adjust that for

+1: Setting potential
The setting has a lot of potential: an ancient Jistkan place buried beneath sand for a few thousand years, a lot can be done with that! Background is solid and makes sense, so we are off for a great scenario right?

-1: Unfortunately not
For me as GM the different encounters felt unconnected, with strenuous ties at best. Off course that also made it hard for my players to feel the connection between the encounters

Thoughts on the serie
I do not really understand what the connection between the series is. I can find some things, but in my opinion a series should have a more clear meta-plot that connects the scenarios.

Other than the location on Golarion they might have been completely separate scenarios. Having played and GM-ed several other three of fourpart series (Shades of Ice / Scions of the Sky Key / Destiny of the Sands / Devil we Know / Faithless or Forgotten / Quest of Perfection) this series ranks the lowest in connection between the scenarios.

Not the worst part of the trilogy, but also not the best


Just like Quentin, I played this scenario under Magabeus and I agree with him completely on every single aspect. The combats are funky and at times frustrating. It was a case of ‘we know we’ll win, but it’ll take time’ at times. Needless to say I’m not particularly keen on having to skip my turn over and over again since it was pointless to do anything else. You know it’s frustrating when your best option as a caster is to ready a grapple.

During the final fight I felt like I had nothing better to do than just look at the scenery and ignore the fight altogether. The sad thing is I could get away with it without it having any consequences for the rest of the party. I believe only half our party participated in that fight, which I think says enough. Like Quentin said: if you have the right party setup, it’s fine, otherwise you’re screwed. A TPK can happen here, but we were lucky I guess en could even mess around a bit.

That’s not to say the scenario was bad. It wasn’t . The location was good and the encounters were thematic and diverse. I personally feel like an encounter that took place after a certain descend was the real big bad evil of this scenario, both thematically and statwise. It’s a shame she just doesn’t hit that hard. That said she is quite nasty, and in my honest opinion the highlight of the session.

Looking back upon this trilogy, I find myself a little confused. Each part is a decent scenario, but I miss an overarching and prominent storyline. As it stands now it feels like three different scenarios were tossed together and were labelled part 1, 2 and 3. It’s not a single story that gets a conclusion. I honestly miss an actual ending, something which is a bit of a shame.

All-in-all it’s a weird ending to a trilogy. It wasn’t necessarily a bad scenario, but it just is lacking in certain departments. Out of the three parts, I’d rate it lower than part 2, but higher than part 1. As such, three stars will be my final verdict.

Anticlimactic ending to a weird trilogy.


(I played this under Magabeus. I expect his review soon.)

I find the combats here difficult to judge. I'd say they're mostly frustrating, as some of them use annoying tactics and are difficult to injure. If you have the right party setup, it's fine, otherwise you're very screwed. I can see how some people complain about TPKs.

There are a few interesting ideas here, but they never really came together, I feel. In fact, I think that's true about this trilogy as a whole. We're doing stuff, but I never really remembered why we did it, or how it came to be like this. Narratively speaking, these scenarios offer just pretty pictures, but no real meat to chew on.

In the end, I feel "meh" about this trilogy. There's never really a climax, and the big bad of this scenario just pops up without any real explanation, so it's not like I feel I really accomplished something. Which is a shame, because I feel trilogies are made for stories that are too big for a single scenario. From my own experience, the only thing that ties these together is that they take place in the same region, rather than being part of the same story.


Great on Crunch, a bit short on Fluff


I give up to three stars in two categories, fluff and crunch. 0 stars is terrible, 3 is extraordinarily good.

Fluff: 1 Star
I really felt like there was nothing really happening here. You're told to explore a ruin, which you then do. There was little NPC interaction overall, and what there was had little impact on the events as they unfolded. That said, there was nothing awful about it either.

Crunch - 3 Stars

The encounters were thematic, challenging, and diverse. The final boss was extremely difficult without having insurmountable defenses or indefensible abilities. It felt like a final boss should for a three part series: tough but fair.

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Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Just a heads-up to everyone eagerly awaiting this scenario: Seattle's inability to adequately clear hilly roads of ice and snow has left our urban editors without a means of getting into the office today. Thus, they can't enter their final edits into the document in time for it to go live on schedule. We apologize for the inconvenience and will have the scenario available as soon as possible early next week. Thank you for your patience.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Psych! Wes pulled an editorial miracle and coordinated the entire staff, whether at home or in the office (there were only 5 of us downstairs today, between the weather and the holiday) and we got them done! While the cover image and item desctiptions didn't get updated before people left for the long weekend, you can purchase the scenario now! Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving!

Frog God Games

Excellent news, Mark! Now get back on your dogsled and mush home for some turkey!

This is an abomination! How could you?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We have updated the Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-09: The Heresy of Man—Part III: Beneath Forgotten Sands (PFRPG) PDF. The changes are as follows:

  • Middle initial "J." removed from all instances of Kevin Wright's name.
  • References to the now-obsolete "Undiscovered Traitor" boon have been removed from the development section of Act 2.
  • Save DCs have been added to Achistem B'rith's spell-like abilities and his caster level in both tiers has been reduced.

Sovereign Court

cant wait to play this series at a con in may, played the everwar series this month and dont understand the cake walk comments, but it sounds like greg upped the ante in this series especailly for a pug group that you tend to find at conventions unless you go into it with your home group. But im sure by the time this hits my table in may anything will be addressed by then

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