Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-EX: The Midnight Mauler (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 12 ratings)

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

The Decemvirate sends members of the Pathfinder Society to the former crown jewel of Ustalav's royal courts, the decaying city of Ardis. Tasked by the Society to look into the fate of Absalom's former Master of Blades, Vonran Vilk, what they find will lead to exploration, diplomacy, murder, haunted pasts, and tragic love. Can the PCs stop the rampage of the Midnight Mauler before he kills again?

The Midnight Mauler is an exclusive adventure to be run only by 4-star GMs and Venture-Captains for its first year.

Written by Crystal Frasier

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.

Note: This scenario has been updated from its exclusive version for public release. Purchasers have access to both the exclusive version released as Pathfinder Society Scenario #2–EX and Pathfinder Society Scenario #3–16, but as of February 29, 2012, only the latter is legal for Pathfinder Society organized play. Except for minor changes involving faction missions and general copyediting, both versions of the scenario are the same; only the legal version of the scenario contains a Chronicle sheet.

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PZOPSS02EXE


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****½ (based on 12 ratings)

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great plot, crud encounters

****( )

this story was excellent, but at subtier 1-2 i found the encounters waaaay too easy.


A masterpeice

*****

It plays like a universal monster movie. Lots of twists and turns, great combats, great story and one howling good chase. Only 2 quibbles 1. a bit long. 2. Why put it out to the rest of us in February? This is a Halloween module.


This Mauler is toothless

**( )( )( )

As much as I hate to say it, this scenario was as much of a railroad, if not more, than compared to other scenarios. At least when you're going room-by-room, they’re being honest about it.

In Mauler, you're basically hand fed information to connect-the-dots, from point A, to point B, to point C. No thinking required. Skills were needed, but that doesn't make a scenario interesting does it? I'm not even positive that failed skill checks would mean failing the scenario, you could probably complete it without (I won't know until I read Mauler). There was no mystery (that the players could figure out) basically. Having a murder mystery without plot twists, more than one suspect, or needing to think sucks imo.

There was only one enjoyable scene and that was roleplaying with Vilk's "friend", and that's only because our GM was great at roleplaying.

All of the encounters were incredibly easy as well as uninteresting.

Spoiler:
Most encounters, especially the forest encounter, felt like filler. My group wasn’t even penalized for playing it stupidly (not using ranged weapons on the plants). That's the kind of encounter I want to beat down my group for being cocky, but it just wasn't happening. Did we take 1 hp of damage?

The final encounter wasn't even a challenge, I think we took 3 hp of damage and took Vilk down in 2 rounds. Final encounters should at least be challenging.

We played this at subtier 1-2, maybe it plays better at higher subtiers.

In addition, some encounters made no sense at all.

Spoiler:
For example, the sewer encounter. Seriously, we’re in Ustalav, can't we think of something better than that? And how come Vilk was able to run past it easily and we can't?

The chase mechanic just didn't work for some reason. I think it was because the GM was too slow setting it up, a chase should feel dynamic, with little time to think. It took 5 minutes to setup and then we caught Vilk in the first round.

Honestly, before chasing Vilk we took lots of time to complete our factions missions, we fought in the sewer, THEN we chased Vilk. He should have been long gone. The faction missions occurred at a horrible time.

Also, if Vilk knew we were going to protect the judge, why did he go there when he could have just gone to his real target and killed him without us knowing? (Perhaps the GM took liberties with what he said ("I never intended to kill the judge, she’s not my real target")).

Also, the novelty of homosexual relationships is wearing thin. My table just groaned and rolled their eyes.

Again, this is another scenario where we really could have done without the faction missions. To make matters worse, some faction missions were either highly contentious (Andoran) or extremely difficult (Osirian).

Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed with Mauler, I was expecting some kind of mystery, something where I had to think, maybe with a neat plot twist. Alas, we were just stuck with a mangy dog which we put down in 2 rounds with only a 1st level monk and a ranger. Mauler is serviceable, but not 5 star material.


One of the BEST

*****

BEST in capitals, because this scenario really deserves it. This scenarios breaks from the predictable "encounter-encounter-encounter-encounter-endgame" routine of many PFS modules, and goes for something a little different. It is quite challenging, but in the best of ways.

In order to succeed in this scenario, players must work together, and characters must work together. There is a clock, and it actually is ticking. Players better be ready to ROLE play - there will be plenty of opportunity to try for that monster critical, but if that is your primary concern then you might miss something along the way. Likewise, faction missions can (and maybe should) take a backseat in this module, because time is not on the characters' side.

Make no mistake, this is one tough scenario. But rather than seeing it as a player (penalty to character if losing the mission, possibility of not getting faction award, etc.), consider this from the Organized Play Campaign and a character in the world side of things... not every Pathfinder is going to succeed in every mission they undertake. For some, there are consequences. From the role-playing side of things, this is one mission where I hope they pick up the discussed thread of there being "real world" game changes based on how factions - and the Society as a whole - perform in specific scenarios. I for one welcome a module that we can't ace with our eyes closed - I want to work for my rewards, and want to be drawn into the world!

That said, I will admit that this mod is a rogue's paradise. With so many combat-heavy modules, the skills and the chase mechanic used in this were an awesome change that I (playing a rogue) enjoyed very, very well.

All in all, this mod is excellent, and a very welcomed change of pace!


Race to a Chase

*****

This is one of my hands down favorite scenarios. I cannot wait to hit 4 Stars so I can GM this for folks because it is AWESOME.

One of my biggest complaints about pre-Season 2 scenarios is that they feel like straight combats with little to no opportunity to role play. Season 2 has definitely turned that around in a big way, and I feel that this scenario is the pinnacle of that change.

Also, the chase scene is superb! I never knew about the mechanic prior to playing this. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I'm designing such an encounter for a home game of mine. I think that's what I look forward to most when I can finally GM it because it is really unique and really well written.


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Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Now available (to 4-star GMs and Venture-Captains)! Will go on sale for anyone to purchase and/or run next February. Until then, if you want to play this, find a 4-star GM or Venture-Captain and ask them to run you through it.

Grand Lodge

Mark Moreland wrote:
Until then, if you want to play this, find a 4-star GM or Venture-Captain and ask them to run you through it.

I'm very excited to start running this in the Grand Lodge of Indianapolis! Thank you Paizo for this awesome exclusive!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Now available (to 4-star GMs and Venture-Captains)! Will go on sale for anyone to purchase and/or run next February. Until then, if you want to play this, find a 4-star GM or Venture-Captain and ask them to run you through it.

You do know that holding off a scenario written by The Goddess Herself away from general public is a crime, right? That you will BURNINATE in HELL while DEVILS will pour HIGH OCTANE NIGHTMARE FUEL into your SKULL?

Just so you know, Mr. Moreland. You're a bad, bad man.


The Evil Midnight Mauler what mauls at midnight!

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Gorbacz wrote:

You do know that holding off a scenario written by The Goddess Herself away from general public is a crime, right? That you will BURNINATE in HELL while DEVILS will pour HIGH OCTANE NIGHTMARE FUEL into your SKULL?

Just so you know, Mr. Moreland. You're a bad, bad man.

Peace, my son. This is but a small part of my Plan for you all. 4-star GM status is the first step to entitlement.

Also, the scenario will be available to everyone in one year's time.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

WE'RE NOT WORTHY! WE'RE NOT WORTHY!

*scuttles off and gets back to his plan of converting entire Polish D&D fanbase to Pathfinder and kicking off PFS at Polish cons*

Grand Lodge

Tangible Delusions wrote:
The Evil Midnight Mauler what mauls at midnight!

"Keep playing with fire super pants, you don't know how much fire you're playing with!"

Shadow Lodge

Played it today. Enjoyed greatly.

Shadow Lodge

This is one of the BEST MODS EVER!


Is there a place that lists contact information for the Venture-Captains and/or 4-5 Star Judges?


FrozenTundra wrote:
Is there a place that lists contact information for the Venture-Captains and/or 4-5 Star Judges?

A list of venture captains can be found here.

TwilightKnight is the only 4 or 5 star judge that's not a Venture Captain (yet?). He's out of NW Indiana.

Jason Roeder is a 4-star GM and VC, Doug Miles is a 5-star GM and VC.

Sometime around the end of this month, early next month, I'll have my 4th star as well. (Detroit) There are a few other individuals who are also close to their 4th star as well.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is it February yet?

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think Crystal Frasier is becoming my favorite PFS scenario writer.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

To add to the kudos, Venture-Captain Dave Woodfin ran the Midnight Mauler for some of us Austin folk this past weekend, and a good time was had by all. Thanks for running, Dave, and thanks for the fun module, Crystal. ^_^ Playing as a new character at Tier 3-4 made for some interesting and exciting times. ^^;

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Paizo Store wrote:


Product Availability
Will be available for purchase approximately Wed, Feb 1, 2012.

This is a mistake, isn't it?

Cheers,
G.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Guennarr wrote:
Paizo Store wrote:


Product Availability
Will be available for purchase approximately Wed, Feb 1, 2012.

This is a mistake, isn't it?

Cheers,
G.

Paizo Store wrote:


The Midnight Mauler is an exclusive adventure to be run only by 4-star GMs and Venture-Captains for its first year.

Dark Archive

Wow! Can't wait to order this, so it can be ran May 5th or 6th at Demicon 23. So fits the theme of the convention 'Full Moon Fantasy' and is 1st level to boot; perfect. Woot!

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
thrikreed wrote:
Wow! Can't wait to order this, so it can be ran May 5th or 6th at Demicon 23. So fits the theme of the convention 'Full Moon Fantasy' and is 1st level to boot; perfect. Woot!

Sorry to disappoint you but this is a relic and won't be released in this form.

It has been updated for PFS Season 3 here and is going to be level 3-7 not level 1.

Dark Archive

Dragnmoon wrote:
thrikreed wrote:
Wow! Can't wait to order this, so it can be ran May 5th or 6th at Demicon 23. So fits the theme of the convention 'Full Moon Fantasy' and is 1st level to boot; perfect. Woot!

Sorry to disappoint you but this is a relic and won't be released in this form.

It has been updated for PFS Season 3 here and is going to be level 3-7 not level 1.

Yeah, I'm a bit disappointed at this news. I'm still probably going to run it because it fits the convention's theme... However, since my goal is to introduce new players to the game; I guess I'll just have to print off a bunch of the 4th level pre-generated characters.


This version does not appear to have a Chronicle sheet? Are we supposed to be buying the other version for official play?


DMFTodd wrote:
This version does not appear to have a Chronicle sheet? Are we supposed to be buying the other version for official play?

Yes. This version is no longer legal for play.

'Product description' wrote:
Note: This scenario has been updated from its exclusive version for public release. Purchasers have access to both the exclusive version released as Pathfinder Society Scenario #2–EX and Pathfinder Society Scenario #3–16, but as of February 29, 2012, only the latter is legal for Pathfinder Society organized play. Except for minor changes involving faction missions and general copyediting, both versions of the scenario are the same; only the legal version of the scenario contains a Chronicle sheet.


Ah, reading fail on my part. Thanks.

And for anyone as dumb as me: The download has both versions in it. Inside the zip is the extended version and a folder. Inside that folder is the #3-16 version with the chronicle sheet.

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