Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-13: The Quest for Perfection—Part III: Defenders of Nesting Swallow (PFRPG) PDF

3.60/5 (based on 17 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for Levels 1–5.

As the Pathfinders approach the village of Nesting Swallow in the Tian nation of Shokuro, they find it besieged by a gang of tengu bandits. Before their contact in the village will aid them in restoring the Iroran relic that brought them hundreds of miles to the isolated town, the PCs must repulse the attackers, using every ounce of tactical mettle and military strategy they possess to train the villagers, augment their defenses, and ultimately face off against the bandits' charge.

"Defenders of Nesting Swallow" is the final scenario in the three-part The Quest for Perfection campaign arc. It follows Pathfinder Society Scenario #3–09: The Quest for Perfection—Part I: The Edge of Heaven and Pathfinder Society Scenario #3–11: The Quest for Perfection—Part II: On Hostile Waters. All three chapters are intended to be played in order.

Written by Sean McGowan, RPG Superstar 2011 runner up.

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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PZOPSS0313E


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Average product rating:

3.60/5 (based on 17 ratings)

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5/5

Terrific ending to this adventure arc. With appropriate descriptions the final battle can be made epic, particularly with the unexpected entrance of the "furry friend". Village defense subsystem was a welcome change that utilised a wide range of character skills.


Win/Win

5/5

I have had the pleasure of not only playing the arc, but GMing the scenarion in PFS and I can assure you its one of the best multi-arc stories I've seen. The third part is not for the dull-witted, and the final showdown is as epic and you can get. I'm looking forward to running it again for a new batch of players. The end boon didn't seem very useful for PFS but to each their own.


Very enjoyable

5/5

I used this as a non-PFS GM as an adventure in my homebrew asian-style campaign and it was very easy to adapt and use. My family had a great time and enjoyed the epic battle defending the poor defenseless villagers. Resource management got a little boring at moments but the defense point system made it as straightforward as possible. I don't fault it for that because I don't think there's any way to really make resource management as riveting as combat. I enjoyed running this and the players enjoyed defending Nesting Swallow.


Poorly Structured, Boring Sub-Systems

2/5

What a dull way to end an interesting arc.

Spoiler:
This scenario is poorly structured and has a terrible sub-system for defending the town that really does nothing other than to force us to sit around and fill out an excel spread sheet. I absolutely hated this part of the scenario.

Then we get to the encounters, which I feel were not explicit enough in telling GMs to not send the entire army, mid-boss and final boss, all in the same battle!

I understand it said NOT to do this, but I think the fact is is that the scenario is set up such that many GMs WILL do this, because there is not much clear distinction between one wave and the next set of encounters. Basically, it's set up to put the GM to doing something terrible, if he or she deviates even just a little bit from what's written.

So yes, this is a scenario where I say, please don't send the entire army in the same battle with no time to rest in between the encounters. It's a bad idea. And shame on this scenario for setting up the possibility.


Be a Super Hero

4/5

Nesting Swallow was fairly innovative and had a great climax. It was fun being a "super hero" at the end. I really enjoyed myself.

It also had the best (and most witty) faction missions I've ever seen. Several of the players failed their faction missions because they just weren't thinking. And the best part is that it didn't revolve around skill checks or McGuffins. Well done.

I can't however give it 5 stars for the following reasons:

Spoiler:

1) The prep work could have been streamlined and simplified more. I think most of the emphasis (and time in the scenario) should have been on the siege, instead of the prep work. Prep work can be interesting for a while, but if it takes too long (and we watched our GM do calculations for 5 minutes each day) it can be a drag.

2) I'd rather be spending my time making decisions on where to place soldiers for the siege and on trap/barrier specifics within the village. And roleplaying with different NPCs. It would have also been awesome if the GM made up siege results based on those decisions and tactics by the enemy. Fluff only, but it would have gone a long way to making this scenario epic.

3) The locations for fights were extremely generic, basically open fields. I was hoping for something more. (As it turns out, this was my GMs fault. It wasn't "horrible", but more options and a huge map (like the one in Azlant Ridge) makes battles feel much more epic).

EDIT: 4) Run RAW, this scenario is too easy because of the reduction in bandits. When I wrote this review, it was not run RAW.

EDIT: 5) The NPC builds and tactics didn't compliment their abilities.

Ratings:

Length: Easily fits into 4 hours if the optional encounter is removed or the GM is very fast at calculations. When I ran this it took 5.5 with the optional encounter (but the players were slow).
Sweet Spot: Both subtiers are OK, subtier 1-2 is perhaps slightly better.
Experience: Player at subtier 1-2 with 6 decent PCs, GM at subtier 4-5 with 7 good PCs.
Entertainment: Nerve wracking buildup followed by an epic battle where you get to be a "super hero". (8/10)
Roleplay: There were some opportunities (depends on GM) but I wished some NPCs were more central to communicating with the NPCs (especially during the siege and prep). (6/10)
Combat/Challenges: Run RAW this scenario is too easy. When it was run for me, the entire "Willow" came at us in one wave. And the mobs were not reduced correctly. Even so, it was not overwhelming. Run RAW the end could be underwhelming. I recommend using the optional encounter. Reducing this rating from 8 to 4. (4/10)
Maps: The end map could have been better but that's what happens when GMs don't pre-draw their maps (on graph paper) and think that sharpee markers and open fields do a scenario justice. I can't blame the scenario though. (6/10)
Boons: The non-item boon gets a 10/10. The item boon get a 1/10 because of its flawed design, it uses a slot that's needed for the class. Make this item a different slot (or slotless) and we have a winner. (5/10)
Uniqueness: Reminded me of Azlant Ridge, but in a good way. (8/10)
Faction Missions: Best faction missions I've seen. It makes me sad that some GMs will still make missions a gimme by explaining everything to the players in black and white. Why don't you just give the PCs 2 PA at the start of every scenario and stop pretending? (10/10)

Overall: Memorable, cool, and possibly epic scenario. (7/10)

I really liked this scenario, but like most scenarios, the enjoyment will be strongly affected by GM preparation, handouts, and fluff to make the scenario more organic and less mechanical.


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Does the multipart boon allow you to purchase the animal regardless of class, or does it merely add it to the list of available companions for classes with such a class feature? I've currently ruled that my players barbarian needs to take a level in cavalier to gain access to it, but I have other players who would like to know before they multiclass.

Scarab Sages

So the braid boon is pretty much useless if you wear armor right?

Scarab Sages

Also, does the braid give non monks improved unarmed strike? Can the user go from lethal to non lethal damage?

Paizo Employee Developer

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Does the multipart boon allow you to purchase the animal regardless of class, or does it merely add it to the list of available companions for classes with such a class feature? I've currently ruled that my players barbarian needs to take a level in cavalier to gain access to it, but I have other players who would like to know before they multiclass.

It simply adds it to the list of available animal companions/mounts. A character who isn't granted either class ability needs to gain the class ability before this boon can take effect.

Paizo Employee Developer

Indivar wrote:
Also, does the braid give non monks improved unarmed strike? Can the user go from lethal to non lethal damage?

If the braid granted a bonus feat or changed the way unarmed strikes worked, those effects would be listed in the item description. Since neither is listed there, the magic item does not impart those benefits on the wearer.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That's what I thought. Thanks Mark!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So I have a question about the mount. Is it simular to the riding bird outlined in dragon magazine 323? because i've always wanted to run a mounted paladin type character.... though PFS kinda has issues with mounted characters. or at least combat for the most part


Russell Akred wrote:

Since there are so many mini’s needed for this I made a very quick set and am sharing.

nesting swallow minis

These minis are great but the link is dead now. Anyone still have those saved? I forgot to make a local copy last time I ran this scenario.

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