Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-04: The Kortos Envoy (PFRPG) PDF

2.90/5 (based on 11 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for Levels 7–11.

The centaur tribes of the Isle of Kortos have long been an enigma to the people of Absalom. But the Pathfinder Society needs the help of one of the horsemen’s greatest heroes, in it falls to you to negotiate an agreement between the Decemvirate and the centaurs of the plains.

Written by Benjamin Bruck.

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:

2.90/5 (based on 11 ratings)

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Seriously long scenario

2/5

This scenario is hard to run in regular time slot 4-5 hours. At higher tier's (7-11)combats can take much longer. Time management of this scenario is perhaps the main fault I had GM'ing this one.

I could see at least one encounter, removed due to time. There is also an optional encounter. This is surprising since there already is so many encounters presented.

I think of adding another optional encounter or removing an encounter or two would of really increased playability and reviews.

This scenario has a good plot and a good story. As well as a player favorite of a sand box approach. As well as a nice in game mechanic consisting of favor points. Which surprisingly is tied to an optional encounter that may not be realised.

I would definately recommend this scenario to be ran in a home game where time is not so sensitive.

I liked the creature selection and CR's presented. I appreciate the authors attempts to create fully unique creatures, using at least 5 books as source material, which luckily included the creatures abilites in the scenaro. This also is a problem do to the number of encounters as well as the different creatures presented between tiers.

If you are trying to run this and plan miniatures for the correct style of creatures, including sizes. You will be packing allot of minatures 20+


Yet Another Slugfest

2/5

Simply put, this module has way too many combats, and that's all it consists of. It gets a second star for a neat mechanic at the very end, as well as for not pretending to be anything but a slugfest.

That being said, this module is another example of what's wrong with Pathfinder Society.

-Matt


4/5

I can see what the other reviewers are talking about with the story, but if you are following this year's megaplot, you understand that this story isn't ended at the end of the module (and didn't start at the begining of the module - which could be the tricky part to convey if you are not following the metaplot), and that there is more to come.

I think the fight that can possibly split the party by design was the only one that was an issue, if only because the person split off took 8 more rounds than the rest of the party did dispensing everything else.

It is a more dangerous mod, but with people screaming that PFS is too easy, i don't see that as a bad thing. Not for the feint of heart, but still able to be defeated without any deaths by 4 underoptimized characters if they are played smart - my gnome is living proof.


Old School Iconic Meat Grinder, way too long

2/5

Point of view: GM twice.

Old school combat oriented scenario with strong foes but a weak introduction that could leave your players frustrated and considering "degenerate" solutions. The players have to go with the flow to get the scenario moving in the direction intended. Though the weak setup and player motivation issues are fixable with extra GM prep there remain a number of issues with the scenario.

There are three sub missions two of which have 2 encounters and one of which has 1 encounter. This makes 5 core encounters which at this power level - where encounters take longer - is too many. Three of these encounters can fill a 4 hour slot. There is also a further optional encounter which will rarely if ever be played except in home games.

Role play opportunities are only really partially limited to one of the encounters as written so make the most of what you are given.

I have run this twice and both times have run out of time with the number of encounters in anearly five hour session. If I run it again I think will have to cut both pre-encounters to make it fit in a 4 hour slot. This would also reduce the large prep overhead of this module.

The encounters are however strong and memorable being mostly iconic and potentially deadly with most of them having some sort of "nova" capability that could kill a PC if they are unlucky.

I found that compared to other scenarios, even tier 5-9 scenarios, I had a long list of things to look up before I could run this scenario. Partly this is the price of running high level scenarios, partly the choice of creatures and powers and partly the number of combat encounters.

As mentioned in other reviews a combat character light party or just an unlucky party will struggle with this so be prepared.

This is the scenario to roll out when you have a couple of slots to run it in, you want a hard fight with iconic monsters and you are comfortable with the possibility of PC death - though you need a strong GM who will spend the above average prep time and comfortably handle the issues to do it justice.


Harsh but fun

3/5

Be warned folks this is not one for the faint of heart! One of the encounters is especially harsh and is a potential TPK in a can to a non optimised party.

The story was really just an excuse to string some encounters together, however it was nice to see the adventures in season three referencing the ongoing plot.

The encounters themselves are memorable utilising classic monsters and making them a credible threat to a pathfinder party. Be warned however, they are not cakewalks and players should be very cautious about playing up on this one. We lost one PC and I was a lucky diceroll from becoming the second PC death.

All in all it's a memorable module but that's largely due to the power level of the encounters.


6 to 10 of 11 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

First! Hey Ben, I'm keen to see an adventure with your name on it.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Thanks Matt!

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Totally!!

Go, Ben, go!


This one didn't come out today with the rest of the GenCon scenarios?

Shadow Lodge

Good job Ben! I hope it is awesome!

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Sniggevert wrote:
This one didn't come out today with the rest of the GenCon scenarios?

I noticed that, I'm not really sure what's going on.

Venture-Captain Kyle Baird wrote:
Good job Ben! I hope it is awesome!

Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So no word on why this one is unavailable, which is ok. I'm more concerned with when it is going to be available. Any idea?

-Skeld

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

An 'i' was undotted and a 't' uncrossed. Now available.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ross Byers wrote:
An 'i' was undotted and a 't' uncrossed. Now available.

Thanks Ross

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Skeld wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
An 'i' was undotted and a 't' uncrossed. Now available.
Thanks Ross

I aim to please.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

So anyone on the boards get a chance to play/run this yet?

Dark Archive

Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
So anyone on the boards get a chance to play/run this yet?

I'm waiting to find out myself. :D

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.

We ran this for many tables at Gen Con, so I know there are people out there who played it. Feedback and reviews of higher-tier material is always slower to come in than that for low-tier scenarios, though. So be patient, Mr. Bruck!

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

It's in the top sellers list so someone is playing it.

Dark Archive

Dennis Baker wrote:
It's in the top sellers list so someone is playing it.

Well, Scenarios 5 and 6 are in the top sellers list and they aren't even available.

Dark Archive

I am prepping to GM this and spotted the following possible errata (avoiding names to minimize spoilers):

Act 2/Encounter 2/subtier 10-11/page 15: The stat block only shows one "pet" - I think it needs 3 pets at this level for the stated CR.

Act 4/encounter 2/subtier 7-8/page 21: Only one of the lower CR creatures is listed in the stat block - it says 2 in the text at the bottom of page 19. I think 2 are needed for the overall encounter CR.

Act 4/encounter 2/subtier 10-11/page 22: The lower CR creatures don't have any tactics listed.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

ZomB wrote:

I am prepping to GM this and spotted the following possible errata (avoiding names to minimize spoilers):

Act 2/Encounter 2/subtier 10-11/page 15: The stat block only shows one "pet" - I think it needs 3 pets at this level for the stated CR.

Act 4/encounter 2/subtier 7-8/page 21: Only one of the lower CR creatures is listed in the stat block - it says 2 in the text at the bottom of page 19. I think 2 are needed for the overall encounter CR.

Act 4/encounter 2/subtier 10-11/page 22: The lower CR creatures don't have any tactics listed.

I haven't seen the finished product yet (still waiting on my contributor copy), but I went back and compared the developed document with my turnover and notes, and here's what I've got:

Act 2/Encounter 2/subtier 10-11/page 15: It looks like the (2) got dropped somewhere along the line, but yeah, there should be two pets. I also notice that the first monster is listed as CR 8 at this tier, which is wrong (that's it's CR for the lower tier), it should be CR 11. That's probably why your calculations are giving you three pets.

Act 4/encounter 2/subtier 7-8/page 21: Again, it looks like the (2) was dropped. There should be two of these things.

Act 4/encounter 2/subtier 10-11/page 22: This one is my bad, it looks like I didn't include any tactics for them in my turnover.

Tactics:
They should focus on flanking PCs in melee, dealing sneak attack damage with their natural attacks. Otherwise, use the same tactics as the brimoraks from subtier 7-8 (summoning reinforcements once Dahruun enters the maze, and teleporting away once the minotaur is defeated).

Hope that helps!

Dark Archive

Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:


Act 2/Encounter 2/subtier 10-11/page 15: It looks like the (2) got dropped somewhere along the line, but yeah, there should be two pets. I also notice that the first monster is listed as CR 8 at this tier, which is wrong (that's it's CR for the lower tier), it should be CR 11. That's probably why your calculations are giving you three pets.

Thanks. So 3 pets would have been a bad assumption at least for the players...

Quote:
Hope that helps!

Yes. Thanks.

A few more questions/observations:

Is the camp set in a particular place in the mountains - or is it just a generic point in the mountains? as I would like to use the map from Vision of Betrayal

Spoiler:
also where is mount Ganog and the pass?

I note the travel times listed in Vision of Betrayal to get to/from the foothills - are they in line with your thinking? Though PCs of this level usually have very fast transport available.

I also note the lack of any trade routes mentioned in Vision of Betrayal which might lead to a backstory continuity error/conflict.

Do we know the

Spoiler:
ship travel time to Goka? - assumed about a month
though I suspect most high level groups would be able to circumvent that - so I am thinking of imposing a
Spoiler:
teleport deadline instead

Can you have a

Spoiler:
potion of feather fall? The spell targets falling creatures and it is a standard action to drink a potion - not an immediate action

Dark Archive

I feels like the players don’t have enough context at the start of this scenario with the setup as described. It feels very old school and the players seem to have to “go with the flow” to make the scenario work with little motivation provided by the introduction.

I felt that there are also several potential issues that the GM needs to address:

Spoiler:

Natasha comes off as being dishonourable at the start as she appears to be already breaking the terms of her agreement. So there is little incentive for the PCs to be honourable either, and I can see some parties coming up with “degenerate” solutions because of that.

The mission time limit is imposed on the basis of making a boat trip at the end. At this level they may well be able to circumvent the boat trip completely giving themselves several weeks of leeway. So there needs to be something about the boat trip that is important of itself, or simpler do away with the boat trip deadline and impose a teleport deadline instead.

The hinted at artificial teleport restriction within the mountains will be grating to many as it is limiting a hard earned capability. And is only usable on return journeys anyway as you cannot teleport to somewhere you do not know.

As the scenario doesn’t have a standard VC style introduction, I wrote the following intro to try to address the issues I foresee by providing a deeper context to the players without changing anything in the scenario.

Spoiler:

Master of Spells Aram Zey invites you into his office and closes the door behind you.

Do you know how little we know of the Kortos mountains just a few miles away? There are secrets there waiting to be discovered. Secrets we could uncover if only we had a foothold there.

If any of you have been paying attention to local events here in Absalom, you will know that a particularly nasty conflict between traders and centaurs in the foothills of the Kortos mountains has recently been brought to a peaceful conclusion.

Aram Zey looks at each of the assembled pathfinders, shakes his head forlornly, and then continues:

What is not common knowledge is that the Decimvirate brokered this truce.

One of the terms of this truce requires that centaur warrior princess Nashota Bloodhoof, represents the Pathfinder Society at the upcoming Ruby Phoenix tournament in Goka. The qualifiers start in ten days time.
Your primary mission is to visit her camp in the foothills of the Kortos mountains and ensure that she lives up to her end of the bargain. Get her here within ten days and I will teleport her directly to Goka.

Now the more astute of you may have realised that we wouldn’t normally send senior field agents on such an apparently simple mission. There is of course a catch.

The terms of her participation are contingent on her tribe being safe and secure. Therefore you will need to take care of any local difficulties, and importantly you must do so without undermining her position in the tribe, which is likely fragile after the recent hostilities. It must look like she is calling the shots and you may need to swallow your pride on occasion.

This will be a real test of all the attributes we expect from senior field agents. It will require direct action, gentle persuasion, supporting Natosha’s position and gaining her tribes trust.

We need this foothold in the Kortos mountains. Don’t let the Decimvirate down!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Jadeite wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
It's in the top sellers list so someone is playing it.
Well, Scenarios 5 and 6 are in the top sellers list and they aren't even available.

They're available for sale, just not for PFS play.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Vic Wertz wrote:
Jadeite wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
It's in the top sellers list so someone is playing it.
Well, Scenarios 5 and 6 are in the top sellers list and they aren't even available.
They're available for sale, just not for PFS play.

Huh? Both Scenarios 3-05 and 3-06 are legal for play. I'm so confused.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mark Moreland wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Jadeite wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
It's in the top sellers list so someone is playing it.
Well, Scenarios 5 and 6 are in the top sellers list and they aren't even available.
They're available for sale, just not for PFS play.
Huh? Both Scenarios 3-05 and 3-06 are legal for play. I'm so confused.

I think I was the confused one. Ignore me!

Dark Archive

I just read the reviews. Now I'm shedding the tears of a rapper.

Tell me it's okay, Ben. Tell me the mean reviewers simply have PCs made of glass. :P

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I played this recently and really enjoyed it. Ben, it doesn't deserve the ratings its got. I found it fun and interesting.

Spoiler:
Hanging from a rope on a cliff while harpies and drakes try to bull rush your friends off the cliff top were entertaining and challenging.

I did pre-emptively deafen the rest of my low will save party with blindness/deafness so negotiations with the harpy queen went downhill really quickly because no one could hear what she was saying.

As for roleplaying, we did manage to convince the bandits to leave, (peaceably) after our sexy Scarni rogue promised to 'hook up' with the bandit leader later on in Absalom.

Also the surly Chelish Hellknight was able to quickly assess just how good the Nashota (the centaur princess) was at fighting, round 1: grapple, round 2: pin, round 3: stomp a hoofprint in hellknight armor, all to the laughter and applause of the tribe (and PCs) :-).

The minotaurs were fun as well, we plowed through them, but we did get to use that classic LotR quote: "They brought a rock/cave troll! :-)"

The minotaur diabolist elder was interesting with his maze. Being able to go one on one with a single PC is a scary ability, but given he's a negative energy cleric, it does mean he can't really heal himself.

The only thing I found a bit jarring was having:

Spoiler for Quest for Perfection III:
the bandit leader ride an axe beak. Why would he just randomly tame and ride an axe beak just because Nashota killed his horse? That was a bit of parallel development that could have been changed.


Props to my GM and fellow players for this session. However the fact that I can remember all of this when I played 10 sessions at the con, shows that this scenario has some good stuff going on.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Had a real good time with this one today. Nice variety of encounters let each player shine at different points.

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