Pathfinder Society Scenario #3–23: The Goblinblood Dead (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

More than a decade has passed since the Goblinblood Wars left the nation of Isger in shambles, and the Pathfinder Society uses the many abandoned roads through the county's interior to smuggle valuable relics. But when a series of attacks on the Varisian caravans carrying the illicit cargo puts the route in jeopardy, it falls to the PCs to investigate and rid the region of the threat to the Society's operations.

Written by Jerall Toi.

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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Great for new GM's

****( )

A seemingly fairly straight forward adventure.
We played this in low tier (1-2) last night with 5 players:

party:
Aasimar battle oracle (1), sylph druid (1) with roc companion, human brawler (2), tiefling rogue(2)/wizard(1), pregen ninja (1)

The GM had great fun in portraying the npcs, and while we managed to get all the information out of the snobbish warhero guard, we didn't like him one bit, so he played the snobbish role really well. The others npc's were played great as well, and we had a lot of fun with it.

The final fight was very hectic, because the brawler decided it was a good idea to take 20 to break down a (closed, without lock) door while the rogue was checking the corridor for traps. Said door led to chamber of the BBEG, causing the BBEG to get a few rounds of buffing in and the ruckus alerted another room.

The fight lasted quite a while because we could barely hit the buffed BBEG and the others who joined the fight were hitting hard (GM's dice running hot for to hit), but we managed to take them out of the fight with a wellplaced grease under their feet which they failed to get out for like 4-5 rounds because they kept failing their reflex and acrobatics checks, but not before they put the brawler into the negatives. The poor pregen ninja (who in Rovagug's name thought it a good idea to give him 10 con?) was in danger of dying twice (-9 and -1 respectively) but the battle oracle's healing wand was running hot as well (he consistently rolled 6+ on the die) so we all survived.

In the end a certain NPC we befriended joined us in the fight and was very helpful in the damage dealing department.

We did the optional encounter, we did all the faction missions as well for flavor.

optional encounter:

The haunt was really funny. This was the start of the poor ninja's bad run, as he was the only one to fail to save against it. The oracle saved the day by rolling an extremely high knowledge: religion (28 or something), so I could magehand the skull out of the pit, put it in one of the bags I carried and the druid filled it with water, putting an end to the haunt.


Easy to pick up and run cold

***( )( )

You've seen this sort of storyline in a pen and paper roleplaying game one hundred times before- but you know why? It's because it works. If you have zero prep time but you need something straight forward and simple to run as your adventurers are traveling across the caravan routes, you could do worse by running this one.

Perspective: GM'ed once at high tier.

Pro:
-At high tier the NPC stat blocks for the hobgoblin enemies are fairly enjoyable to use. We have a fighter with whirlwind attack (great against parties!) and a bone Oracle with a few nasty spells and great bufffing potential.
-Isger is a great setting that should be explored more. Nice grim frontier setting where you want to help the common folks (and smugglers) out.
-Love the use of conversation with Worgs.
-Scary scary haunt. Loved having my players wonder how to remove their curse without dehydrating to death.

Con:

-Really cliched mission. Protect a caravan in a scary forest from a necromancer. Not too many points for originality unfortunately.
-Too many NPCs with the caravan with little reason to care for all of them once the faction missions are out.
-Little consequences with the narcotic smuggling aspects of the mission. Could be more interesting stuff here.


Lackluster

**( )( )( )

I only played this one rather than being the GM, and in a fairness I must make the disclaimer that the GM seemed tired. That said, whatever the story behind the scenario was, it didn't come through in playing it. No single encounter was bad, but there wasn't much stringing it together. The dungeon felt arbitrary in the extreme.

There is also this quirk that during the VC briefing, he has a local guard of the area you are traveling to there, but mentions you could talk to another NPC about the mission "if you want to". None of our PC's was a fan of this particular fellow, so we all declined. From how things went, it seems more like he was supposed to be the main source of information. The GM stared at us in a bit of disbelief when we each said, "No thanks!"


A couple of things I didn't like ..

***( )( )

I ran this for the first time last night. While my overall impression was favourable, there were several places where I felt things could have gone better. We were playing in a noisy environment, and my players must have missed catching the mention of the second place to get information mentioned in the VC's briefing. This made meeting up with their contact a little harder than necesssary, but that was fairly easy to work around.

What was a lot harder to work around, though, was the outcome of the penultimate combat. I was rolling well for the bad guys, and <redacted> scored a critical hit on his first attack (after having succeeded at a DC20 will save). The average damage there at subtier 1-2 is going to be 32HP, which will one-shot a lot of characters to below negative CON; my party lost their cleric.

It's also very easy to miss just which is the optional encounter on a quick reading of the scenario; the box calling out what is to be done doesn't show up until several pages beyond the point where the decision has to be made.

Overall impression: Not recommended for a small party of low-level characters. The GM should also read the scenario through carefully, and be prepared to nudge the party back towards the plot line if necessary; there are several places where it's all too easy to miss a key piece of information (which, again, is more likely in a smaller party).


Great for first time GMs

****( )

If you're looking to get your feet wet as a GM, this is an excellent place to start. It's got a better story and more believable premise than the First Steps series, and can be prepared quickly. All tactics and feats are straightforward, and the writing is easy to follow.

There are several opportunities for role-play (one encounter can be entirely role-play) but the adventure doesn't suffer if you don't feel comfortable doing it.

Solid average to average plus adventure. Nothing remarkable, but there's nothing wrong with it, either.


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Web Product Manager

Announced! Cover image is a mockup.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

No Author yet?

That goes for the other ones you just added as well.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Yup. Not all of these have been assigned. We generally don't even announce products until we have a final manuscript in hand from the author (meaning we know for sure who the author is) but we wanted to make sure we had product pages for everything through the end of the season and into the start of next season before their names or details about them showed up on convention event listings (like for PaizoCon or Gen Con).

We'll add the author information when we have it and are ready, but it's still really early to even be assigning scenarios for August.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Author announced!

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Where?... Oh, NM you took that back...

Stop teasing Mark!!!

Contributor

Author is announced...now. ;)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

Jerall, belated congratulations! (I'd have said so earlier, but haven't been paying as much attention to the board for the past month as I normally would.)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Regarding the blurb, is it "elicit cargo", or do you mean "illicit cargo"?

Contributor

"Illicit" and I've fixed the product copy. :)

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