Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-10: Fury of the Fiend (PFRPG) PDF

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

The Pathfinder Society once again sends a team of agents into the deadly ruins of Rachikan in western Cheliax. This time, however, the Pathfinders must infiltrate a Hellknight encampment to gain access to the lost city's lower levels. Can they work their way past the suspicious soldiers and survive the ancient terrors that lurk below? Fury of the Fiend is the spiritual sequel of Fingerprints of the Fiend, though the scenarios can be played in any order.

Written by Larry Wilhelm

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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So... I used a GM star to replay this. Go figure.

3/5

In Pathfinder Society, you are only supposed to play a module once for credit (2x if you play Core). I had some GM stars and decided to use one for a replay of this module, since all my friends were playing it.

So let me first say that this is not a module worth a replay. I used a star as an excuse to hang out with my friends.

Having said that, I now have the ability to review this module twice, with a 3 year gap between each play through. So let's show you how the module was very, very differently presented by 2 GMs, and the parts that were the same.

Playthrough #1, 2014

Spoiler:
This was a nightmare. This was a 1 star scenario. As other reviewers have hinted, the module is for higher level characters, but is easily defeated by higher level spells, and doesn't really have a way to stop that... other than GM fiat. So my first time through, the GM just constantly said, "You can't do that," or "That doesn't work for an unknown reason." The hellknights were turning against us, but we had a person with a +25 to Diplomacy and a full battery of charm spells and erase memory spells. And it just didn't work, any of it. Why? Because module said so. (Or: the module was pushing for conflict, so the GM couldn't envision any way to ad-lib an alternative.)

Finally, we gave in and said, "You know what? We hate these guys. They're jerks. We murder all of them." The GM panicked, because while the module apparently wants to provoke a fight, it doesn't know what to do if the PCs decide to exterminate the entire camp. The GM finally declared that each hellknight was level 15+ and couldn't be defeated (this is not in the module). We were all put into the brig (or solitary or whatever the module provided).

We never made it to the denouement. The module ran long, and we simply ended with the haunts defeated, and nothing more.

Playthrough #2, 2017

Spoiler:
The module must really want the hellknights to antagonize the PCs, because it happened in this playthrough too. Our disguises worked. Our knowledge checks helped us to have a great backstory that was plausible for the hellknights. And yet they still acted hostile and suspicious. We were told to bugger off at one point and agreed and the module really doesn't know what to do about that. They essentially took it back (or ignored/downplayed our agreeing to leave) so that we could be there, but then they were suspicious of us anyway.

We didn't end up in the jail, thankfully. The GM just let that storyline peter out.

We had a weird moment of GM fiat or module fiat. We were told that fixing the elevator would take 3 or 4 days. We had a bunch of casters who had Mending & Make Whole on their spell lists, and a bunch of PCs who had Knowledge (engineering). When we announced our spellcasting and offered to help, we were given jobs to fix the elevator but it still took... 3 or 4 days. The module insists (??) on that timeline, even if you can bypass it.

Eventually we fixed it, took the elevator down, and were ambushed. As others have mentioned, it's not a well-done ambush. There isn't a map for it, and it seems like a lot of it is just hand-waved. For our game (I'm not sure if this happened for other groups) movement and AOO didn't really exist. It was all theater of the mind. The morlocks had AC 13, if I understand it correctly. This is just too easy for level 10 & 11 PCs.

We got to the lower area and easily defeated the haunts (two clerics and a paladin in the group). We found the columns and the "boss" spellcaster, but the other reviewer is correct: we had Air Walk on and Dimension Door'd right up to her and floated in mid-air while we just slaughtered her. Too easy.

We raced on to rescue the hostages, and met up with the final boss monster/spider/thing. Haste was thrown down, and everyone surrounded the monster in a single round. By round 2, it was dead. It got 1 move action and 1 hit on round 1, and then nothing on round 2 (it died before it could act). So it was thoroughly unimpressive.

I do not blame the GM for this. In fact, this GM sorta "resuscitated" this module for me, so that I could like it enough to give it 3 stars. However, it is very clear that this is a season 2 module that isn't built to handle well-made season 8 Pathfinder characters. We had gunslingers, adamantine weapons, spells to bypass all the obstacles, etc. It was fun to see payoff as we cast spells and utterly wrecked the module. However, it might have been nice to have a combat encounter that lasted 3 or more rounds.

My suggestion? If you're going to play this (or run this) limit it to 4 players, max. Maybe 3 players with a pre-gen. That would get this module back to being a challenge.


Good/too many encounters

4/5

DMed this one for high tier tables. I and my players loved the story. Unfortunately, there was way too much to do in this scenario than a 5 hour PFS session allowed. The interactions with the Hellknights was a lot of fun but very time consuming with four other tactical combat encounters. I had to completely skip the haunts encounters and then abbreviate the last two big fights.


Should have been for level 3-7

2/5

The premise of the scenario is fun, having to infiltrate and trick a group of hellknights, plus an interesting (albeit overly long) setpiece battle against a horde of enemies.

The problem is that this is just not the kind of mission level 7+ characters should be doing. Conceptually, intrigue with a bunch of low-ranking soldiers fits more with low level groups (such as in The Disappeared or Faithless and Forgotten I). Mechanically, there are common mid-level abilities that should be able to bypass most of the scenario, and the writer hasn't taken that into account.

Spoiler:
In particular, using Feather Fall should easily bypass the whole wait for the elevator plus its setpiece battle. The scenario relies on the party avoiding a fight with the hellknights or the morlock horde, but neither is particularly a threat to high-level characters. For that matter, nor are haunts or caryatids. The final battle is fun if the party has to race against time to cross the bridge, but a hasted monk or flying mount will get there in one round, as will anyone with Dimension Door.

Rather than giving reasons why that wouldn't work, the scenario relies on liberal applications of GM Veto. It would work much better to place it at low level, where such abilities aren't available yet.


4/5


Another aspect of hellknights

5/5

The main plot is definately dealing with the hellknights. Short but with varied personalities, lovely Rulla :)

Repeative combats, the 32-morlocks and the BBEG could be fun to deal with, but don't expect too much.

I love the season 2 flavor, short but unique, a roleplaying scenario overall. However I wish there are more ways other than bluffing especially for those team with a real hellknight.


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Announced!

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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 Franchise Manager

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!

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