Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-19: The Icebound Outpost (PFRPG) PDF

2.80/5 (based on 24 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

The Pathfinder Society discovers an Aspis Consortium base in an ancient Vudran temple now encased in a glacier and sends the PCs to infiltrate it and investigate the extent of the rival organization's regional operations. Can the PCs get in the well-guarded Aspis outpost and escape with their lives and the information the Society seeks?

Written by Jeff Erwin.

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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2.80/5 (based on 24 ratings)

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Very Memorable

5/5

Experience: GM, Subtier 1-2

I love this scenario. Although it has been a few months since I've ran it, I still feel moved by this scenario. It takes place in a very evocative setting (and is a good introduction for players to the Hao Jin Tapestry). I mean really evocative. Plus, the enemies in this one are Aspis Constortium! However, the real sellers on this scenario are the NPCs:

Spoiler:
One NPC uses slaves as bodyguards. The BBEG of the scenario also ambushes the party as they leave the temple, after they think they've already beat the BBEG. It's great!


not bad

2/5

Fairly boring. Combat, largely uninteresting, and proof that a specific archetype is essentially useless in PFS. Good for a very quick run, if that's your goal.


New Classes, Arch Types and a Sandbox.

3/5

I have played this scenario at teir 1-2. I have not read this nor have I GMed it. The GM was poor since he soft-balled most encounters.

Pros

Setting: The area oozed with flavor, it was interesting juxtaposition with a Jungle temple in the arctic area. The verdun culture/area is still somewhat new so kudos for lore for an area. Also using their pantheon was cool too. More please.

Fights: So the fights had the possibility of being pretty awesome but the GM soft-balling killed all challenge. I believe

Classes/Arch Types: Wow, there was a dizzying amount of different classes and arch types. We need more of this I am glad the Ninja made its debut.

Cons

Role Play: Yeah sandbox, the GM needs to work here if they try diplomacy.

Encounters: So every time I go into a scenerio and I hear "aspis consortium" I am thinking "wow a bunch of human-esqu fights, no wonder or amazement" no suprize here, not a single monster. Seriously out of the last three games I have yet to fight a real monster.

Traps/Haunt: So here is the thing with traps/Haunts, they need to effect the person for the rest of the scenario, dealing damage is not the type of thing a trap should do and if it is, it should have a chance of killing them or maiming, I suggest you should use poison to stagger somebody for the rest of the encounter. The haunt had great lore behind it just more substance to the actual effect.

Prize: So one one would think that after tromping around a verdun temple, you might get a bonus to knowledge religion checks when dealing with Verdun stuff. Not so here, I believe every chronicle sheet should have something neat and flavorful. Major disappointment


Average

3/5

I have played this, I have not read or GMed it.

A nice solid scenario with a cool map and reasonable foes. Nothing too special going on but nothing horribly wrong either. I would be perfectly happy if no scenarios were worse than this one.


Awesome Setting/Lore, Lackluster Encounters

3/5

I felt that the flavor and "wow" factor of the setting for this module, as well as the means of transporting there was pretty good. There's a lot of info on one of the more obscure religions in Golarion to be found in this one. The combats were moderately challenging for a 3-player party at tier 1-2, but overall not terribly interesting. I think with 4 players (or more), they would have been quite easy in general. The final encounter as written is... pretty lame. Practically a non-threat. I suggest that a party of 4+ players should try to play the higher tier instead of tier 1-2 in order to get something resembling a challenge as long as most of the party is level 2. A pack of level 1s should stick to 1-2. It should be challenging enough for them.


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Web Product Manager

Announced! Cover image is a mockup.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is my first PFS scenario; hopefully it is a winner!

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Gratz Jeff!

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

You're getting out there Jeff! Congrats, man!


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Way to go Jeff! And "Vudran temple encased in a glacier" sounds very intriguing.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

This month's Pathfinder Society Scenarios have been delayed by a week, and are now scheduled to be released on May 2.

Sovereign Court Contributor

Sad Jeff. As my daughter says "hurry! hurry! faster!"


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Awww.

Contributor

Now available!

Sovereign Court Contributor

And it's out. I'll check back on this thread periodically if anyone has thoughts or questions for the author. :)

Dark Archive

I'll be playing this tonight, will report back once we're done!

Sovereign Court Contributor

Dezhem wrote:
I'll be playing this tonight, will report back once we're done!

How'd it go?

Dark Archive

Jeff Erwin wrote:
Dezhem wrote:
I'll be playing this tonight, will report back once we're done!
How'd it go?

We all managed to survive, heh. That's always a good start. Feedback for the mod from myself and various players:

SPOILERS FOR MOD; YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED:

Mod was played by:

Level 4 Monk
Level 5 Cleric w/ spinosaurus animal companion
Level 4-5 (forget which) Vivisectionist Alchemist (Lots of natural attacks/arms)
Level 4 Sorcerer

- The beginning hook was not received very well. Alright, Aspis Consortium have freely been coming and going via unknown means; sure. But if you're able to teleport directly to the temple via the tapestry, it seems weird that they just wouldn't, I don't know, send Adril Hestram to commando drop in and solo the entire place. I know that's not exactly a unique complaint but several players voiced that. I'm not sure if that was just our GM, but very little emphasis was placed on finding out HOW they were doing it. In fact, one of the faction missions seemed more interested in it.

- The snare trap by the tree was hilarious. Could have used more traps! We ended up making so much noise (and through a ludicrously high Str Alchemist just shunted the tree away), that there was absolutely zero hope of surprising anyone. Despite that, the first encounter went pretty smoothly; Mooks dropped one unconscious (more due to GM rolling well) but were cleaned up pretty quick. Seemed odd since we had made SO much noise that they weren't better prepared.

- The general toughness of the encounters, I felt, and the other players felt, was overall fairly weak. High rolls notwithstanding, I feel that the various bad guys could have easily been bumped up 1-2 levels to provide more of a challenge, at least for Tier 4-5. Having said that, 2 of the PC's were fairly optimized. The tactics of the NPC's could have done with some tweaking too, I think.

- The small environment was both a pro and a con. I hadn't adventured in such a small environment before so that was new to me. It's a nice change from having to travel 5000 miles to get to your mission. However, the small environment also led to some weird situations. Assuming party makes ungodly noise (and combat is pretty loud as is), it feels like all the encounters should have triggered at the same time or something. Weird suspension of disbelief moment there. It also seems like you could almost finish the mod in an hour or less if you have a group that excels at combat.

I hope that's constructive feedback for you! We did enjoy ourselves and spent a lot of time RP'ing our characters, which is a big plus in my book. I think had the temple complex been expanded a bit more and some more traps/exploration element been added it would have been received better overall.

Sovereign Court Contributor

Interesting.

Spoiler:

Actually, it seems like the society had a good team (your party) for the mission, considering... and the way the Aspis people were doing it is in the adventure, too. But the clues discovered in the mission lead to other scenarios which direct the society to the actual Aspis portal.
There are some rationales written in the scenario for when and why people might come running; I don't know if they were implemented effectively, and I may need feedback from a different group to judge.
I don't know how your GM interpreted it, but yes, mistakes like setting off traps or noise are supposed to be part of the challenge.


Jeff de luna wrote:
This is my first PFS scenario; hopefully it is a winner!

I just ran this module last night and our group went through it in a different way then I expected. Well, we had 8 people and the module was for 4-6 so had to make some adjustments. Now a lot of my friends have said I am a pretty good tactician, and I definately did some prepping, but things didn't work out the way I wanted, but played high tier.

Spoiler:
Group: Lvl 4 Wizard, 2 Cleric,4 fighter, 5 paladin, 4 barbarian, 4 ranger, 4 monk, 3 Alchemist.I was so looking forward to use the scrollmaster (Transmuter) chick, and I managed to get off a couple of nasty spells, but I wasn't able to use her full potential. Otherwise, I could've killed 2-3 members minimum, I guarentee it. I loved her the second I saw her capabilities. Like that Scroll of Dimension Door for example. She never stood a chance. ^^"
All in all, great first module! I liked some of the tactics. Keep up the good work! :)

Shadow Lodge

Question SA, was this for PFS? Because 8 player tables are not legal, nor is it legal to make adjustments...


Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Question SA, was this for PFS? Because 8 player tables are not legal, nor is it legal to make adjustments...

yes it was for PFS. and...how are 8 player tables not legal if I may ask? That's just...our group. sometimes we only have 4-5, others we have a full house. it just depends.


Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Question SA, was this for PFS? Because 8 player tables are not legal, nor is it legal to make adjustments...

and by adjustments, I merely increased the hitpoints. that's all. Otherwise we wouldve finished an an hour. I just made it a bit harder hp wise. is that wrong? I didnt change anything else, just added some hit points.

Dark Archive

Pasted from the current Guide to Organized Play:

Spoiler:
Legal Table Size
The minimum table size for a Pathfinder Society
Organized Play session to be considered legal is four
PCs. Table size is capped at six PCs. In cases in which
you simply cannot seat four players, you may run a table
of three players, and play an official level-appropriate
pregenerated character in order to meet the minimum
table size of four PCs.
Conversely, if seven players show up to an event,
rather than turning someone away from the campaign
altogether, consider adding a seventh person to the table.
These situations should be extremely rare and should only
be used as a last resort to sending someone home without
the chance to play. Seven-person tables often overpower
otherwise challenging adventures and limit the amount
of time each player gets to shine in the given scenario, and
many players prefer not to play at all rather than play at
such a large table. Check with the players to determine
their preferences before running a seven-person table.
One alternative to a seven-person table is to split the
group into two tables of three players, and ask one of the
players to serve as Game Master for the second table, with
each GM running a pregenerated character to fill her
table out. Under no circumstance should a table ever have
eight or more players.

Consider getting one of your players up and running as a GM, in my opinion. As for changing what's in scenarios; it's frowned upon and the developers have asked people not to do it.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just for clarification, the 7-person table limit and restrictions on modifying mechanics in scenarios only really applies if you're giving out Chronicle sheets for Pathfinder Society credit. If this is just an adventure you ran for your home group but you aren't playing it as part of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign, then you can run it however you want. Really, if you only ever play with this same group and you want to use Chronicle sheets to track wealth and advancement, you can use them, but if players then go to conventions or game stores or what-have-you, the assumption is that all the games in which they've played with their PC thus far have been PFS-legal, and altered scenarios or ones that held less than 4 or more than 7 PCs don't qualify as such.


Ok, let me clear this up. I'm not trying to make a debate about it. I ran this game at my house, and I didnt make changes to the scenario itself. I ran it as it said, we had a large group which consisted of my dad, brother, and his gaming buddies and they went through the module a different way than I was expecting. It's the same group I play with all the time. it was merely a Saturday night game. Point is, I liked the module, I just wished I could've conducted some of the tactics better. That is all. :)

Shadow Lodge

Whether you ran it in a private home game or a public game at a game store, if you're running it for PFS credit, you need to follow all the guidelines. The scenarios are made for 4-6 characters, so by playing outside those targets things are going to not work. It sounds like you guys are big enough now you could/should split the group. This would allow you to run separate scenarios, or two of you run the same for both groups. Getting too big isn't a bad thing, but trying to squeeze 8 into a scenario made for half that number isn't good for the group in the long run.


Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Whether you ran it in a private home game or a public game at a game store, if you're running it for PFS credit, you need to follow all the guidelines. The scenarios are made for 4-6 characters, so by playing outside those targets things are going to not work. It sounds like you guys are big enough now you could/should split the group. This would allow you to run separate scenarios, or two of you run the same for both groups. Getting too big isn't a bad thing, but trying to squeeze 8 into a scenario made for half that number isn't good for the group in the long run.

Fair enough, however this group has always been fairly large for many years. Almost as old as I've been alive if not longer if I recall. between 7-10 people. Now, if we have a 2nd person to run, then yeah we split it into two, however most of the time, noone else if prepared to run said module or whatever type of game we may be playing. It merely depends. most of the time we have 5-7 players due to varying circumstances. Some we have 8, others on the rare occasion we have 9-10 just split into a table of 4 and a table of 3, or 2 tables of 4. =/ It really just depends on circumstances ^^". Plus, we, the Waterdeep Boys Club are quite the eclectic group. We have a blast and there's lots of camaraderie between all of us lol.


Question:

How is it that Isehkta has Improved Natural Attack when she has a +2 BAB and the feat requires a +4 BAB?

Shadow Lodge

So I just ran this tonight with 5 predominantly new players, two of them being the fighter and rogue pregens. First encounter was tough for them, and it only got worse with the second. Three people ended up dying and two fled. Has anyone else had a group of all new players go through this? When I read through it prior I was actually thinking this could be a TPK. :-/ Even if they survived the second and third encounters I wasn't optimistic about their chances with the BBEG at the end. I really don't like killing PC's and even gave them tactical combat advice to help out. It also didn't help that I rolled well and they in general rolled petty bad.


I have been asked to start putting up reviews/comments on scenarios. So even though this is an old one, here it be.

We played at the low tier with 5 PC's. Granted they were all 2nd (almost 3rd) so geared pretty well. But the fights were just ridiculously easy. I think almost everyone went down on the first hit. One of the guys who kept rolling poorly in initiative never even got to do anything except move toward the fights before it was over.

But really, I can't see anything that should have kept all the fights separate either. They should have been able to see/hear if on guard. Then if all of them had swarmed us, it probably would have been too hard for 1st level PC's.

Also it was all combat. There were these vast detailed descriptions, we were listening and taking notes since we expected that to mean something. But it was just a series of easy fights.

I doubt I would consider running this unless it was a bunch of newbies who wanted an intro to combat.

I have no experience so far with the high tier.


ElterAgo wrote:

I have been asked to start putting up reviews/comments on scenarios. So even though this is an old one, here it be.

We played at the low tier with 5 PC's. Granted they were all 2nd (almost 3rd) so geared pretty well. But the fights were just ridiculously easy. I think almost everyone went down on the first hit. One of the guys who kept rolling poorly in initiative never even got to do anything except move toward the fights before it was over.

But really, I can't see anything that should have kept all the fights separate either. They should have been able to see/hear if on guard. Then if all of them had swarmed us, it probably would have been too hard for 1st level PC's.

Also it was all combat. There were these vast detailed descriptions, we were listening and taking notes since we expected that to mean something. But it was just a series of easy fights.

I doubt I would consider running this unless it was a bunch of newbies who wanted an intro to combat.

I have no experience so far with the high tier.

Nice comments! If you looks at the tabs near the top, there's a review tab where you can post this same text and even give a star rating; it'll make it more visible.


Ah, missed that. Will do.

Grand Lodge

Pg. 6 - Poisoned snare trap

Better late than never. Two snare traps are on this page. The first snare trap is listed as CR 3. The second snare trap at the higher subtier is the exact same trap, but just adds malyass root paste to the trap. The Subtier header lists it as CR 6, but the trap itself lists itself as CR 3 again. In my opinion it should probably just be CR 4. Adding poison but not increasing damage and not increasing the Perception or Disable Device DCs shouldn't warrant a +3 CR increase. The poison only deals Dex damage anyway.

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