Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-06: Song of the Sea Witch (PFRPG) PDF

2.90/5 (based on 15 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for Levels 3–7.

When an unlucky historian in Absalom uncovers an infernal book from distant Tian Xia, he unwittingly unleashes a terrible evil into the city—the legions of devils imprisoned within its dusty pages. Only the book's holy counterpart can end the threat, and the Pathfinder Society has been called in to assist. Can the PCs locate and retrieve the key to ending the diabolical invasion of the City at the Center of the World, or will Absalom be drowned in the sea of destruction wrought by the Infernal Incantation?

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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2.90/5 (based on 15 ratings)

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Play for speed

3/5

I ran this at tier 6-7 over PbP. I agree with all the other reviewers that the encounters were far too easy. The first was within reason (opening encounters shouldn't be too challenging) but every other encounter was also CR 8. The stated tactics and encounter-specific nerfs make the encounters at most CR 7, too.

Some detail:
One of the encounters involves 4 core class rogues who are an underpowered class at the best of times (as admitted by Paizo, see Pathfinder Unchained). They're glass canons who don't even open with the canon fire. They all throw thunderstones in the first round - which makes it almost certain that any PC caught in the area of effect will go deaf, but otherwise has no benefit to using 4 over 1. Worse, it does no lasting damage at all. The rogues are then in a situation that (due to the map and placement) makes it virtually impossible to provide them with a flank against their opponents, who are also now not flat-footed. Highly sub-optimal tactics and situational modifiers. My guys pretty much one-hitted each of them in the first round.

In all, an interesting enough plot, but with very minimal roleplaying and combats you can do in your sleep. So, why give this a 3 instead of a 1 or 2? Because a quick and easy scenario was exactly what we wanted and sometimes, that's exactly what you need.

Play this if you need a scenario that can be wrapped up very quickly or if you have a group of sub-optimal PCs.


Far Too Easy

2/5

Ran this tonight at the lower tier.

The first encounter is tough but about right. The rest of the scenario is a complete cakewalk with nothing to challenge even the most average of player characters.

I won't give it one star simply because if this was run for inexperienced players it would be about right. But experienced or optimizers will simply steamroller through this without breaking a sweat.


It started with a bang, but it ended with a whimper.

1/5

I ran this at the higher tier. Straight out the gate, the first encounter should prove exciting and challenging. The second encounter is laughable and a complete waste of time for the group mainly due to the equipment of the antagonists and tactics. The third encounter is optional, but I urge any GM to do the encounter because it could make up for lame second encounter and prove challenging, in a good way, for the group. The puzzle is good and can reveal how clever your group can be at solving puzzles. I gave this scenario a one star rating mainly because of the main boss fight. It is excruciatingly easy and lackluster, at either tier. Due to the boss' class-build and positioning on the map, it immediately nullifies its main tactic. He might as well not even be there since he doesn't seem to fit in at all with the scenario. Since faction missions are non-existent now, the players will have no reason to find out more about any of the scenario's NPCs. I actually apologized to the group for giving them an anticlimactic ending to a scenario that started out so well.


mehhhh

2/5

Yeah, it has some of everything, but it's not anything interesting.


Excellent!

5/5

Perspective: player, 6-player table, APL 5, playing Tier 6-7.

This is one of my favorite scenarios so far. The combats were all tough, but not overwhelming. I think they averaged about 3 rounds per encounter. There is a bit of roleplaying too, which is nice. The puzzle was good.


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Dark Archive

So does this mean the witch is a siren or mermaid?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Dark_Mistress wrote:
So does this mean the witch is a siren or mermaid?

Dunno...


Oh Mark you tease...


Does this scenario tie in to the metaplot for this season?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Grandfather, I see a little "sigil of the open road" symbol in the upper-left corner. If the GenCon Special is any indication, the adventures tied to the Ruby Phoenix tournament have the red bird symbol in the corner.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:
Grandfather, I see a little "sigil of the open road" symbol in the upper-left corner. If the GenCon Special is any indication, the adventures tied to the Ruby Phoenix tournament have the red bird symbol in the corner.

The Pic is only a place holder.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

>>SMEK<<

That's the sound of me hitting my forehead with a ruler.


Just to clarify a bit...

From the manuscript I submitted, this adventure does not directly tie in with the season 3 metaplot. Obviously it does deal with Tian Xia (per the description), and I'm sure if Mark wanted to, he could jigger it in editing to fit in without too many issues. :)


I'm sure this is a great scenario, however it always bothers me when low level PCs are brough in to "save the world" or even to save a city as significant as Absalom. I'd prefer if low level characters save villages or small cities, cities like Absalom deserve the attention of high level PCs, the best.

First of all, it makes no sense because heroes would be available to save Absalom, whether they're part of the PFS or not.

Second, what if they fail? The city is overrun by demons? Absalom is the backdrop to many PFS scenarios, so unless you have other heroes save the city (which should have happenned in the first place) that outcome is impossible.

In "Silent Tide", we saved the city as well. However, as GM I overlooked it because the undead were so weak, they'd probably only beat up some senior citizens. So you're not saving the city as much as saving a few people imo.

Anyway, please don't take my feedback the wrong way, I'm sure this is a great scenario, I just wish the city we were saving was something smaller and more remote than Absalom.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Absalom is the headquarters of the Pathfinder Society and the centerpiece of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign, and will thus play stage to Pathfinder Society scenarios for PCs of all levels. Don't interpret the scenario's blurb as them saving the city from an end of the world situation, however. Sure, there are consequences for failure, but nothing that higher level NPCs couldn't clean up if the PCs fail. Sales text needs to sound exciting, so forgive us if we play up the PCs' impact on the world when trying to get people hyped about playing this or other adventures at conventions and game days ;-)

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Absalom is the headquarters of the Pathfinder Society and the centerpiece of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign, and will thus play stage to Pathfinder Society scenarios for PCs of all levels. Don't interpret the scenario's blurb as them saving the city from an end of the world situation, however. Sure, there are consequences for failure, but nothing that higher level NPCs couldn't clean up if the PCs fail. Sales text needs to sound exciting, so forgive us if we play up the PCs' impact on the world when trying to get people hyped about playing this or other adventures at conventions and game days ;-)

Save the City they said... Destroy the incoming legion of Devils they said... I'd rather be fishing... ;)

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Ohhhhhhhhh! What is that in the cover! Please tell!

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

It's a surprise for all the poor, unfortunate souls who stumble upon it.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Well whatever it is I wish I had thought of it! :)

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