Pathfinder Society Special: Race for the Runecarved Key (PFRPG) PDF

2.80/5 (based on 18 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Special designed for levels 1-12+

An ancient Thassilonian artifact has been unearthed in Magnimar and is to be auctioned off by the city government. In order to maintain good relations with those in power in the City of Monuments, the Pathfinder Society must obtain the relic without simply stealing it, although employing any other means necessary. It falls to the PCs to infiltrate the auction, sabotage the other bidders' efforts, and call in favors from those in the Society's debt to ensure the Runecarved Key (and the secrets it unlocks) belongs to the Pathfinders when the adventure draws to a close.

Written by Kyle Baird and Tim Hitchcock.

Note: Race for the Runecarved Key is designed for play in the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. It may be run anywhere by anyone, as long as there are 4 tables playing the scenario simultaneously and are in contact with each other. To inquire about access to this scenario, refer to the Organized Play Convention Support Policy.

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZOPSS0400E


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2.80/5 (based on 18 ratings)

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Look at your character sheet. . .

3/5

If anywhere on there it says Paladin or even Lawful Good, take that character sheet and walk away from this scenario.

Its a decent scenario but it exists on the far shadier side of the Society and the law. This scenario, if successful will cost a Paladin 3 pp, you'll gain 2 pp for the mission and spend 5 pp for an atonement at the end, no way around it with anyone who has a decent understanding of the paladin code.

With all that said, this scenario would be an absolute blast with pretty much any other neutral, chaotic or semi-good character. Well built scenario, good combat, good "inquisitive-ness".


[Player] What are you ready to do for the Society?

4/5

My perspective on this scenario is as a player. For reference, I played it in the lower tier (1-2). Be warned, spoilers will follow!

Mechanics
This was my first special, and I loved the format and interactivity of the tables. The joined effort in the penultimate part was particularly thrilling! I also loved the chase scene, and the optional fight(s) at the end. There is a lot of room for player freedom - and there and numerous ways of solving every situation if you're creative.

To roleplay or not to roleplay?
Everyone's take on this scenario depends heavily on the moral conflicts arising as the Society asks you to do some reprehensible actions. In my opinion, it all boiled down to "what are you ready to do for the Society?" - and this was a source of some very interesting roleplaying between PCs, I loved it! Obviously some factions or classes will have a difficult time accepting to break the law, but that doesn't mean they can't do this special, far from it. Where some see difficulties, I see opportunities to roleplay your character fully, and not keep it one-dimensional.

Apart from this, there are numerous roleplaying opportunities present, and I loved all of them.

As a conclusion, I'll give this scenario a 4-star rating for this scenario. We had an excellent time, and it truly was a "special"!

Story: 4/5
Roleplay: 5/5
Encounters: 3/5
Mechanics: 5/5

Total: 4/5


Lawful good characters need not apply

1/5

Pure thuggery. I hate when I have to assure my players that carrying out the mandatory components of their mission will not negatively effect their alignment. Ever since we ran the Runecarved Key, Sheila Heidmarch's villainous streak has become a running gag in my area.


I would give this one zero stars

1/5

Just ran it at a game day in Aschaffenburg.
This is by far the worst adventure I came across.
Mechanically this scenario is sound, allthough tier 3-4 is significantly harder than all the other tiers.
What disappointed me was the plot, the motivation of the PCs and the Society as a whole.
The Venture Captain and the Society are acting like hypocrits, cut-throats, thiefs and liars (plain evil) in this scenario and every PC following their instructions should shift alignment (probably more than once). LG characters and Paladins especially should not be able to fullfil the goal of the interactive.
This Product should vanish in oblivion.


it really was a Special

4/5

POW: Overseer GM

I really had great time with this scenario and lucky for us, the space was available as long as we needed it. It was ran with minimum number of tables but this was also the first run in my region.
It took us approx 8hrs with one 5min and one half hour break

The not as good:
- the Auction is still a bit of a mystery (High bids and low bids explanation) but thankfully it was short and was done cinematically in the end.
- we could have used extra info on what to do if teams fail to outbid others and fail get the 'you know who'. There was one more small thing but we fixed it all so it worked out.

The really good:
- it really felt like a Special event with the scope and all the moving parts
- even though it was combat heavy in the second half, there was more than enough time for roleplay. The players really enjoyed different small missions and it gave the spotlight to smart, skilled characters
- overall, even after exhausting 8hrs of play everyone was having fun and the whole event finished on a high note
- fact that most table had rough time with the encounters but still in the end it didn't stop them from finishing with a feeling of team effort victory.

Last note - it really makes a difference if there is a nice, lifesized prop on display troughout the game. Very much worth the effort.
Its even better with a bit of LARP (having people act out the NPCs).

It was a great learning experience too and I'd love to do it on a larger scale next time


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Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

To clarify, there is only one tier for this special (Tier 1–12+). Tier indicates what level PCs may participate in the event. From there, there are 6 subtiers, which are based on APL and determine what set of statblocks and skill DCs the GM uses. In this special, there are: Subtier 1–2, Subtier 3–4, Subtier 5–6, Subtier 8–9, Subtier 10–11, and Subtier 12+. No character can play in a subtier more than 1 step away from the character's actual level. Thus, a 3rd-level PC can play in Subtier 1–2, Subtier 3–4, and Subtier 5–6 but not Subtier 8–9 or higher. A table's subtier is still determined by APL.


And here I thought we'd be throwing the level 12+ stuff at the level ones! Drat!

Grand Lodge

Has there been any official word on the minimum table size yet?

I know I read the policy on allowing these specials somewhere, but if a local game day meets the minimum table size, will they be allowed to run it? Or it reserved for only conventions through the next year?

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Minimum table size is 4 PCs, maximum is 6. At Gen Con, this will run with 6 PCs per table to accomodate as many players as possible, except perhaps Subtier 12+, as we may not get an even multiple of 6 players.

We have not yet determined how many tables and event must be able to run in order to qualify to run this special at a local game day or convention.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sorry, I meant minimum number of tables, instead of table size. But, you answered my question anyway. Thanks! Hopefully we'll find out in the next month or two.

Dark Archive

How much XP is this going to award? IIRC Blood Under Absalom awarded 1, will this be the same? I have a budding level 12 in the works who has yet to play Eyes of the Ten so I don't want to ruin his chances of doing so...


Dezhem wrote:
How much XP is this going to award? IIRC Blood Under Absalom awarded 1, will this be the same? I have a budding level 12 in the works who has yet to play Eyes of the Ten so I don't want to ruin his chances of doing so...

1

Dark Archive

Excellent. Thanks!

Shadow Lodge

I'll be scheduling this for our October Long Weekend Con (that actually starts in September). Roughly how long will this take to run? Will it need a single or double Con slot (~ 5 hr slot)?

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

We're running it in a 5-hour slot at Gen Con.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Michael Brock wrote:
If no one survives to Round 2, drinks are on me. :-)

Oh Mike... don't think I've forgotten about your little promise.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm developing Round 2 right now, and not everyone will die. I'm tuning down the evil a little bit because Kyle and Tim combined is worse than anything we've ever published in terms of lethality, and I want at least a few survivors to tell the horrific tale...


Mark Moreland wrote:
I'm developing Round 2 right now, and not everyone will die. I'm tuning down the evil a little bit because Kyle and Tim combined is worse than anything we've ever published in terms of lethality, and I want at least a few survivors to tell the horrific tale...

Damn you Mark! I want free beer!

Well at least I can promise that no one will survive the table I run. ;-)

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

You're running the table of GMs that gets chosen at random.


Wait. What if I get chosen? ...crap.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

You won't get chosen.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
You're running the table of GMs that gets chosen at random.

NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Dragnmoon wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
You're running the table of GMs that gets chosen at random.
NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think this music is appropriate for the situation.


Dragnmoon wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
You're running the table of GMs that gets chosen at random.
NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This! :(

Shadow Lodge

C'mon guys! You don't want to play at my table for part 2? :(

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Care Baird wrote:
C'mon guys! You don't want to play at my table for part 2? :(

Was I not specific enough?...

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

;)


Michael Brock wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:


We already knew... You gave that info out a long time ago.

Mike, memory problems at your old Age?

;)

Oh, I know I mentioned it before. But, no one said anything so I wanted to reinforce it. By the way, I'm not old. The Core Rulebook, page 169, advises old for a human is 53. I've got a decade to go.

I wonder how old was the one who decided that age! :)


Black Powder Chocobo wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
You're running the table of GMs that gets chosen at random.
NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think this music is appropriate for the situation.

I'd have gone with this.

Shadow Lodge

I'd play at your table Kyle... I've got 10 characters, I don't mind sacrificing one... ;)

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Mark Moreland wrote:
I'm developing Round 2 right now, and not everyone will die. I'm tuning down the evil a little bit because Kyle and Tim combined is worse than anything we've ever published in terms of lethality, and I want at least a few survivors to tell the horrific tale...

Bah!

First off, Night Two is never going to be published.
Second, its only as lethal as the monsters in the Bestiary.
and Third...

PYGON has pleaded to learn the art of TPK, that and he also complained Ruby Phoenix was TOO EASY. Night 2 should be the event, you wish you hadn't won your way into.

The slogan for Night 2 should be:
"Welcome To the PFS Saturday Night Special. We Make Gamers Cry."

Come one heros... chime in. Tell Mark not to work so hard to make things easy on you.
Tell him, you want to be champion. Tell him not to water down they deadly. Tell him you only want one Pathfinder survive round two (which of course will be you, and you alone)

Liberty's Edge Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Care Baird wrote:
C'mon guys! You don't want to play at my table for part 2? :(

Its a pretty good bet that Kyle's table will at least have a little booze to easy the pain of all those poor dead character sheets.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Tim Hitchcock wrote:

Come one heros... chime in. Tell Mark not to work so hard to make things easy on you.

Tell him, you want to be champion. Tell him not to water down they deadly. Tell him you only want one Pathfinder survive round two (which of course will be you, and you alone)

While I appreciate the sentiment, Tim, the patient's still open on the table, and at this point getting all the sponges out before sewing it up is more efficient than adding the instant death back in.

And who said we're never going to publish it? We just said it was never going to be offered again for Pathfinder Society credit. Who knows what we'll do with this down the road...

Dark Archive

Is the date available for this incorrect? August 6 of 2013? Or is that intentional? We were hoping to run this at the store I GM for this Saturday. Or, do we have to wait until after GenCon?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
tro1984 wrote:
Is the date available for this incorrect? August 6 of 2013? Or is that intentional? We were hoping to run this at the store I GM for this Saturday. Or, do we have to wait until after GenCon?

The Specials are not available to the public until a year after their debut at GenCon IIRC

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

If a store or convention can meet the minimum table requirement (4, in this case), you can run it during the special's first year by contacting Campaign Coordinator Mike Brock at mike.brock@paizo.com and he'll get a copy of the adventure to your GMs. It will go on sale for everyone to purchase when we launch the 2013 special.

It's not available to be run anywhere until after Gen Con.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Too late Mark, I already ran it for my wife and our three dogs. :-)

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Kyle, you're fired.

Shadow Lodge

You killed your wife and three dogs! You really are a monster!

I mean, you do use "ran it for" and "killed" interchangeably, don't you?


Mark Moreland wrote:
Kyle, you're fired.

Twice in one year?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Eric Clingenpeel wrote:

You killed your wife and three dogs! You really are a monster!

I mean, you do use "ran it for" and "killed" interchangeably, don't you?

Obviously you've never met my wife.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Kyle Baird wrote:
Too late Mark, I already ran it for my wife and our three dogs. :-)

What is the DC for the "Roll dice" trick?

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Kajehase wrote:
Black Powder Chocobo wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
You're running the table of GMs that gets chosen at random.
NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think this music is appropriate for the situation.
I'd have gone with this.

Well, in the end, everyone will need this played.


Black Powder Chocobo wrote:
Well, in the end, everyone will need this played.

I approve this message.

Shadow Lodge

Eight days from now I'll be feasting on the tears of nearly 500 dead PCs!


Added final cover image!

Liberty's Edge

Tim Hitchcock wrote:

PYGON has pleaded to learn the art of TPK, that and he also complained Ruby Phoenix was TOO EASY. Night 2 should be the event, you wish you hadn't won your way into.

The slogan for Night 2 should be:
"Welcome To the PFS Saturday Night Special. We Make Gamers Cry."

GAH! Don't tell them that! They know where to find me!

Dark Archive

Pygon wrote:
Tim Hitchcock wrote:

PYGON has pleaded to learn the art of TPK, that and he also complained Ruby Phoenix was TOO EASY. Night 2 should be the event, you wish you hadn't won your way into.

The slogan for Night 2 should be:
"Welcome To the PFS Saturday Night Special. We Make Gamers Cry."

GAH! Don't tell them that! They know where to find me!

But now we know who to thank!

Thanks Pygon! People have way too many PFS characters. :D

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Black Powder Chocobo wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
You're running the table of GMs that gets chosen at random.
NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think this music is appropriate for the situation.

I think the first half of this would be more appropriate. Followed by the second half at the end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYSbxRiUgOo


Is there a new release date?


Elijah Snow wrote:
Is there a new release date?

No. It is august 2013... The specials are released for sale a year after they debut at GenCon. It lets smaller cons run it too over the corse of the year as a draw.

Shadow Lodge

Just to Confirm

4 tables is Minimum ?


Wraith235 wrote:

Just to Confirm

4 tables is Minimum ?

Yep.

Mark Moreland wrote:

If a store or convention can meet the minimum table requirement (4, in this case), you can run it during the special's first year by contacting Campaign Coordinator Mike Brock at mike.brock@paizo.com and he'll get a copy of the adventure to your GMs. It will go on sale for everyone to purchase when we launch the 2013 special.

It's not available to be run anywhere until after Gen Con.

Liberty's Edge

Lots of fun, I just finished playing it today and all 6 tables had a blast.

Spoiler:
My table won although I'm curious as to how points are determined.

Dark Archive

I spent much of this nightmarish hell-storm prone, nauseated, covered in a mixture of my own stomach acid and the grease spell of multiple enemy spellcasters, then coated in a layer of chilling ice after being targeted with a sleet storm spell. All I could do was groan piteously and be paralyzed by the overpowering weight of my armor as dread creatures stalked the halls and slew my companions.

I lay there, helpless to react.
Carmina Burana is an appropriate thematic choice for music.
:(

Liberty's Edge

This product comes out in August of 2013 how is it being discussed and reviewed?

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