Pathfinder Society Scenario #55: The Infernal Vault (PFRPG) PDF

***½( ) (based on 23 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 decade ago, the Decklands family, a house of Chelish nobles, were exiled from Absalom for treason. Their fate made for an interesting story and when a Pathfinder agent in Cheliax studying the family's long history and exile from the City at the Center of the World ends up murdered, the Society sends you to the recently discovered Deckland Vaults in Absalom to see what connection their old home might have to your murdered colleague.

Written by Thurston Hillman

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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Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 23 ratings)

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Decent, but unexciting.

**( )( )( )

(I GMed this.)

As others have said, this is a good introduction to PFS. It's fairly standard and hits on some important elements of the game: some puzzle-solving, some roleplay, some traps, a lot of fighting, and so on.

The story's basically nonexistent. Go in here, go fight, get object, get back. There's no explanation other than "she was bad, go spank her." I struggled to make this interesting. The possibility for roleplay halfway through is a nice touch. The puzzle is trivial (as the game expects it to), but why put it there in the first place if it's not supposed to challenge players? It also doesn't help that the solution's already spoiled by the order in which the pieces are listed. My players asked to hear them again and went, "yeah, in that exact order," which is a bit of a letdown.

The dungeon itself isn't that interesting either. It feels bare-bones, having only the bare necessities to make the dungeon work (the first encounter is described as a townhouse in a middle-class area, owned by a wealthy family. Yet there's barely enough room for one person?). Moreover, the dungeon is too small to be any fun. Most fights ended up in five-foot corridors and half of the party not being able to attack or maneuver past the enemy, making for a very static fight. Luckily, my players passed it off as challenging, rather than frustrating, but I would've preferred some bigger rooms.

I like how the enemies teach players to come prepared. A lot of enemies here have different DRs, so it's important to diversify. The Alchemist player was having a hard time, though, because enemies resisted most of her attacks. I also really like how tactics change between tiers, really making use of the enemies' abilities. The 3-4 tier fights seem most interesting to me. The final boss is an interesting challenge, with some quite powerful spells. She's well built, and would've been a bigger threat if she weren't alone.

In the end, I'm debating whether to give it two or three stars. It isn't totally worthless, but I've certainly played better. There's too little information given to make it memorable and the fights can be a slog, especially in the cramped rooms, but they're also pretty entertaining and educational for new players. I finally decided on two stars, purely because it just failed to wow me at any point.


Simple dungeon crawl, good learning scenario

****( )

Most of the scenario is a standard dungeon crawl, with the required straps.
The opportunities for roleplaying are low, although you can improvise a lot with the human mooks.

Where I think this scenario will really shine, is as a learning scenario for new players. There are several devils in this scenario, giving them an insight into monster types and their resistances.
It also has a couple of interesting bottlenecks, which need teamwork and good tactical decisions to overcome.

Summery: classic dungeon crawl. Boring for veterans. Really good for new players.


my first one

*****

This was the first scenario I ever played. I enjoyed the plot and the monsters and found that it was the perfect combo of murder and plotting.
Since I have grown with experience and learned more about pathfinder, I have realized how well this was written.


A pleasant surprise

****( )

I had my hesitations about running this after Assault on the Wound, but I enjoyed the game in spite of my expectations.

The combats are reasonably challenging, particularly at lower levels. The narrow corridors and lack of maneuverability force the party into interesting tactical decisions. The final encounter had the party positively seething as they finally overcame it. A true challenge for their level, without being blatantly overwhelming.

There is not a large amount of opportunity for roleplay in this scenario, but what little is there fits naturally and even caught my group off guard.


Standard dungeon crawl

***( )( )

Pretty average dungeon crawl. There are some interesting storyline elements which sadly never make it to the players. Pretty good if you're into that sort of thing.


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Welcome to the PFS authors' club, Thurston!


yoda8myhead wrote:
Welcome to the PFS authors' club, Thurston!

Joshua bribed me with ice cream...


And poisoned pie.


Well done, old chum.

Sovereign Court

So first off, the maps are awesome. Any chance I could get them without the X's?


I really enjoyed running this scenario as an introductory scenario for 5 newbies - straight forward mission in general, but plenty of twists in the faction missions (I agree with the reviewer that there is some potential for difficulty on that front, but then, they should be *earned*).

The 'dungeon' itself is straight forward but interesting in design. I did get slightly confused as to which stairs were up and which were down.

Two slight errors I noticed, one of which might be worth correcting the PDF:

Spoiler:
The first encounter (Tier 1-2 at least), damage dealt is one too high.
Also, the Oil of Bless Weapon (also only Tier 1-2) on the Chronicle sheet should be listed at 50 gp, not 100 gp. (This was a carryover from 3.5 - price changed for Paladin/Ranger potions since minimum caster level changed). Corrected in 2nd or 3rd printing of Core Rulebook.


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Just a quick pointer- do not read area A2's read aloud text word for word. Trust me. Otherwise we had a great time with this scenario.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

A DM ran this for us this evening- table was a level 2 fighter, a level 1 fighter, a level 1 rogue, a level 1 cleric, and a level 1 witch. TPK. I see the reviews and comments are positive, so I'm assuming this wasn't a typical situation. It was a bit of a pity for me personally since I don't get very many opportunities to play PFS, and this was the first time I've played in about a year. That said, I can only completely speak for myself, but I think most of us at the table still enjoyed ourselves despite the deaths. The judge did a good job. Up to this point the module was interesting, and I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to see it to its conclusion.

Spoiler tag for the deadly part.

Spoiler:
Deaths due to the (I presume) sorcerer with multiple color sprays and burning hands spells, who had a surprise round and was largely inaccessible because her minion blocked the door.


Just played this as my first Non-Pregen character. Absolutely loved the time spent, even though we were four level ones and you tend to burn through the Clerics spells very quickly. Every moment was tough and we finally died/surrendered at the end. Very great job though.

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