Pathfinder Module: Dawn of the Scarlet Sun (PFRPG)

3.00/5 (based on 28 ratings)
GameMastery Module D0: Hollow's Last Hope (OGL)

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An adventure for six 5th-level characters.

The coastal city of Magnimar is no stranger to crime, yet recently, a series of murders has sent a chill through the early morning streets. Someone—or something—is stalking and killing worshipers of Sarenrae, the goddess of the sun. The city guard is prepared to ambush the murderer, but they need help—help of the kind that adventurers are so good at providing. What is the sinister truth behind these violent acts?

Dawn of the Scarlet Sun is a Pathfinder RPG adventure for six 5th-level characters—such as the six iconic heroes provided. In addition, this adventure can be integrated into the Shattered Star Pathfinder Adventure Path, and uses the villains featured in the Pathfinder Battles Champions of Evil Encounter Pack.

Written by James Jacobs.

This special 16-page Pathfinder Module was initially made available for Free RPG Day on June 16, 2012.

Note: Due to the special nature of this product, it is NOT part of the Pathfinder Modules Subscription.

Dawn of the Scarlet Sun is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The Chronicle Sheet for this module is a free download (123 KB zip/PDF). Pregenerated characters are available here (1.9 MB zip/PDF).

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Average product rating:

3.00/5 (based on 28 ratings)

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Easy to Customize and/or Convert.

4/5

Converted this module to 4e and scaled it to a Level 4 rating. This adventure has a great story line and can easily be customized to most heroic tier adventure parties, to avoid a high probability of a TPK. Yes, the pregen characters are not of much use to play the encounters, as is! My rating is based on running this adventure as converted above, and having a blast. It is a rare occasion when an adventure is ideal enough to be a perfect match for all playing groups, given the diverse character builds. One character was lost, and another was a close call. Hey, these things happen!


Weak at best

2/5

The primary reason to acquire a module (even if it is free) is to save on creation/prep time. This module fails at this.

The story progression is weak. There are no fleshed out NPCs or role-playing encounters (yes I can make stuff up, but once again, the reason for a module is to give at least enough core content that I can run an adequate game). In fact, the ONLY NPC with any role-playing notes in the module is one you can only encounter should you be lucky with your dice!

The story progression mechanisms are poor. The city guard wants to hire you to do a job they are exactly perfect for, but think they are no good at, but require you to do it their way. Yes, I can recreate and make this better, but the module as written is weak sauce.


I'm Glad I Didn't Runaway Screaming From Pathfinder

2/5

This was the first Pathfinder game I ever played and I'm amazed I'm still playing. This was terrible. Unlucky rolls of the dice can lose you the entire module before the party comes to the first encounter. The pre-gens are basically useless. Worst of all, the final boss is absurdly overpowered and has the potential to haunt a player for the entirety of that character's career. It's AC made is practically impossible to hit for almost everyone in our party.

Avoid this module. It's not even close to being worth your time.


well ....

3/5

Look, this wasn't HARD, per se, it was just ... aggravating. The pregens had a strong tendency towards useless. When the big bad has huge DR and only one player has the means of bypassing it, you have a serious problem. I think it's cute that the adventure isn't necessarily designed to have the heroes win, but ... I don't know. Any module presented for PFS play in which the players can completely fail by random chance before the first combat encounter is ... absurd.

I do like the chronicle sheet, though. I won't say what about it, but I do like the idea of long-term negative repercussions of failure. Even if the failure is pretty easy to come by.


Fun,some issues

3/5

Ran this with a group using the pregens as a one-shot. THe beginning investigation worked well with some good RP. The party smoked the first encounter but ran into trouble in the final act. Though prepared for the boss' DR the fact remains the boss as written can easily take the party. A GM can work around this with playing up her ego. Regardless, the final battle pressed on and on. Definitely requires a group of six to avoid TPK.


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Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Michael Brock wrote:
You can use the pregens provided with the module for this module only for PFS credit. You may not use the pregens in this module for any other PFS event besides Dawn of the Scarlet Sun.

Stop Changing your mind Mike!!!! ;)

You might want to post that here., since you said we could not in that thread.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Shhhh, Dragonmoon!

If he changed his mind here, there's a shot my Quixotic campaign will succeed! :-)

Edit: I forgot, thank you Mark and Mike.

Sovereign Court

Print edition coming, or .pdf only ?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Stereofm wrote:
Print edition coming, or .pdf only ?
Product Description wrote:
This special 16-page Pathfinder Module will initially be made available for Free RPG Day on June 16, 2012. Print editions will be available exclusively on paizo.com beginning June 18, 2012. A FREE PDF will also be available on that date.


No offense but isn't that a CORNUGON on the cover? I'm trying to suspend my disbelief that a CR 16 monster is in a adventure for SIX 5th level PC's.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I believe it's a gargoyle, actually.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Berselius wrote:
No offense but isn't that a CORNUGON on the cover? I'm trying to suspend my disbelief that a CR 16 monster is in a adventure for SIX 5th level PC's.

Don't worry, you won't need to suspend any disbelief beyond the norm, because it's not a cornugon at all.

Web Product Manager

Pregenerated Characters are now available for download!

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Pregenerated Characters are now available for download!

Excellent

Liberty's Edge

Thanks!!!


Vic Wertz wrote:
Stereofm wrote:
Print edition coming, or .pdf only ?
Product Description wrote:
This special 16-page Pathfinder Module will initially be made available for Free RPG Day on June 16, 2012. Print editions will be available exclusively on paizo.com beginning June 18, 2012. A FREE PDF will also be available on that date.

Is there any way to preorder the print edition?

There isn't really any Free RPG day event anywhere near Buffalo and I'd love to get a print copy to play in the future.

(Unfortunately, Buffalo has lost all of its good game stores....)


are the pregens out yet for us to print? or will the GM provide them tomorrow?

Grand Lodge

Hakken wrote:
are the pregens out yet for us to print? or will the GM provide them tomorrow?

Yes. They are on the product page.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks Mike.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Was really looking forward GMing this as a sidetrek in a running campaign this weekend and just saw it's only going to be available starting Monday. *sad face*

Ruyan.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
RuyanVe wrote:

Was really looking forward GMing this as a sidetrek in a running campaign this weekend and just saw it's only going to be available starting Monday. *sad face*

Ruyan.

If you have a game store near you that is involved in Free RPG day you could try and stop by to get the print version.


RuyanVe wrote:

Was really looking forward GMing this as a sidetrek in a running campaign this weekend and just saw it's only going to be available starting Monday. *sad face*

Ruyan.

I'm taking for granted this is because people were exploiting the free PDF download on RPG Day by getting and knowing the adventure when they went to play it at stores? I seem to recall that I downloaded "We Be Goblins" on Free RPG Day last year. I don't remember whether that one was a sanctioned PFS adventure though either. Perhaps that's the reason for the delay this year?

I'm confuzzled!


Just ran this at Jetpack Comics in Rochester NH. Went great with 5 players and a tag along NPC Cleric.

We were able to finish it in about 3.5 hours and no one died. Had a good group of experienced players though. I was worried the end could lead to a TPK.


That's funny...I just played this at Jetpack Comics in Rochester, NH! Great fun, great group and an awesome GM!

Spoiler:
In the end our brilliant yet unplanned tactical move was to let the Paladin take a quick nose dive to stop the Succubus from using him as a healing potion!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sub-Creator wrote:
RuyanVe wrote:

Was really looking forward GMing this as a sidetrek in a running campaign this weekend and just saw it's only going to be available starting Monday. *sad face*

Ruyan.

I'm taking for granted this is because people were exploiting the free PDF download on RPG Day by getting and knowing the adventure when they went to play it at stores? I seem to recall that I downloaded "We Be Goblins" on Free RPG Day last year. I don't remember whether that one was a sanctioned PFS adventure though either. Perhaps that's the reason for the delay this year?

I'm confuzzled!

You didn't download it officially on the day, it's always been the Monday after that it can be downloaded. I suspect this is actually just so that people go and pick it up at free RPG day itself. Also, although releasing the PDF is automatic, I expect that Paizo prefer to have people in on release day just in case something goes wrong.

Shadow Lodge

I believe a part of it is the contract that Paizo, the distributers, and Free RPG Day have. Our VC mentioned something about this as their local FRD fell through and why they couldn't still run it even though the store wasn't an actual participant of FRD. (Special dispensations were allowed for PFS Gms to get the pdf early to prep the mod for use as demos for PFS today. So since it fell through they couldn't legally run it until tomorrow I believe.)


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I just got home from running this for four players at my FLGS. I had two deaths and one PC run away with the other dominated to chase and kill him. The players didn't really enjoy this module.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

James Jacobs: You included that red-haired <spoiler omitted> . It had too much fun with my party.

Spoiler:
I was Seelah the paladin and down eleven HP when she hit me with several attacks with vampiric touch for 60 points of damage.
This was fun otherwise.

Sovereign Court

Chris Ballard wrote:
James Jacobs: You included that red-haired <spoiler omitted> . It had too much fun with my party. ** spoiler omitted ** This was fun otherwise.

If this is the one I ran up at Wyvern's Tale (and from the spoiler I think it was) ...

Spoiler:

The 25 points from that held Vampiric Touch definitely hurt, but if the confirmed crit with the flame blade had not happened, you would have most likely dropped but not died outright. All the decent rolls I made came during that combat ... the 1s and 2s from the earlier encounters would have certainly been better for y'all during the last encounter.

And yes, it did have fun with your party ...

Spoiler:
dominate person is freaking evil.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Jeffrey Fox wrote:
I just got home from running this for four players at my FLGS. I had two deaths and one PC run away with the other dominated to chase and kill him. The players didn't really enjoy this module.

Did you raise them to lv six like the module suggested if using four players?


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
John Templeton wrote:
Jeffrey Fox wrote:
I just got home from running this for four players at my FLGS. I had two deaths and one PC run away with the other dominated to chase and kill him. The players didn't really enjoy this module.

Did you raise them to lv six like the module suggested if using four players?

Nope, it was a Pathfinder Society game so I couldn't do that.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Abciximab wrote:

Just ran this at Jetpack Comics in Rochester NH. Went great with 5 players and a tag along NPC Cleric.

We were able to finish it in about 3.5 hours and no one died. Had a good group of experienced players though. I was worried the end could lead to a TPK.

Thanks for running it. It was a good time and luckily Harsk the Healer with his wand was able to keep everyone alive.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jeffrey Fox wrote:
John Templeton wrote:
Jeffrey Fox wrote:
I just got home from running this for four players at my FLGS. I had two deaths and one PC run away with the other dominated to chase and kill him. The players didn't really enjoy this module.

Did you raise them to lv six like the module suggested if using four players?

Nope, it was a Pathfinder Society game so I couldn't do that.

What levels were they? The module was written for 6 level 5s.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:
Jeffrey Fox wrote:
John Templeton wrote:
Jeffrey Fox wrote:
I just got home from running this for four players at my FLGS. I had two deaths and one PC run away with the other dominated to chase and kill him. The players didn't really enjoy this module.

Did you raise them to lv six like the module suggested if using four players?

Nope, it was a Pathfinder Society game so I couldn't do that.
What levels were they? The module was written for 6 level 5s.

Three pregens at 5, one magus at 4. And while it was written for 6 level 5's for pathfinder society it's for 4-7 characters 4-6 level characters. And the venue wouldn't have liked it if I canceled the scheduled sessions instead of running it with a legal table.

more info:
Anyway the biggest problems was the rogue pregen getting one shotted by the death attack. That sucked. The other big problem is that the players needed a 15 or higher to hit her while she generally needed a 2 or higher because of flame blade. There was no way for them to win that war of attrition. And if they had six it I still think I would have trounced them. Valeros is pretty much a pawn once Dominate Person comes out. Even giving him a save at +2 every round he attacks an ally cause it's not in his nature wouldn't help cause he needs a natural 20 to save. And why he can't do much to her with his two weapon fighting, he can really give the others beating.

In fact he was the one who killed the paladin. I don't see it going much better with six characters because one of them [most likely valeros] becomes her pawn and the rest can barely hit. And once she does get hurt she has her vampiric touch.

It just seems that a win would be more based on luck than anything else. I think that the boss would have been better had she not had her 4 points of AC from armor.

Liberty's Edge

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

All I can say for the game I ran...

Witch + Slumber Hex + Failed Saving Throw = Short Fight for end boss

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
zylphryx wrote:
Chris Ballard wrote:
James Jacobs: You included that red-haired <spoiler omitted> . It had too much fun with my party. ** spoiler omitted ** This was fun otherwise.

If this is the one I ran up at Wyvern's Tale (and from the spoiler I think it was) ...

** spoiler omitted **

And yes, it did have fun with your party ... ** spoiler omitted **

That's me.

I'm not worried about it. Things happen.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

All I can say for the game I ran...

Witch + Slumber Hex + Failed Saving Throw = Short Fight for end boss

Well yeah... That's equals a short fight for any monster really.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

All I can say for the game I ran...

Witch + Slumber Hex + Failed Saving Throw = Short Fight for end boss

No surprise there. In fact there are several PFS-legal 5th-level character builds that could reduce the threat level considerably.

The problem is that the pregen party included in the module aren't likely to have anywhere as near an easy time of it.

At my FLGS we ended up light on players, so I ended up not running it. While we eventually had four players at the table, only two had any familiarity with Pathfinder. There were probably several contributing factors to the low turnout: it was an extremely hot day, the store was running a first-come, first-seated policy with no guaranteed seats, and at least one potential player elected not to show up because his PFS character was only 4th level, and from what he'd seen on the forums he wasn't sure about the risk/reward ratio.

No matter - we did our "Free RPG Day" bit and pulled out last year's module instead, and a good time was had by all! I'll run DotSS as a PFS game at one of the other local venues, so the regulars will get their chance at it.

Liberty's Edge

We just finished the module 2 hours ago all six of us played the pregens and it was a TPK. I don't mind difficult games but I like to feel like I have a chance in a fight. The pregens are totally outclassed in the end fight. I felt like I was in a sealed cylinder slowly filling with water knowing there was nothing I could do about it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I just watched my wife and her friend play this at a table of all six pregens.

Spoiler:
The Aid Another action and smite evil are very effective in helping to overcome the BBEG's AC. A blessed weapon to auto-confirm crits really helps. When you can get through her SR, the wand of magic missile is brilliant.

It was a long slog of a fight but they eventually took her down and it was encouraging to watch. The final battle really emphasizes and requires teamwork to ensure success. Really well done, IMO.

Liberty's Edge

I agree with Mike. Given the defenses of the BBEG and the DCs involved and the skills associated we had a snowballs chance in Osirion. Really great characters with loads of potential.

Would love to have them as recurring villians/NPCs in a campaign (perfect). For an fight to the death OMG!!! It's a save or die fight. Fun though. Felt like I was playing Cthulhu.

Contributor

Prankster wrote:

I agree with Mike. Given the defenses of the BBEG and the DCs involved and the skills associated we had a snowballs chance in Osirion. Really great characters with loads of potential.

This was my experience running it, as well.

Contributor

Jeffrey Fox wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:

All I can say for the game I ran...

Witch + Slumber Hex + Failed Saving Throw = Short Fight for end boss

Well yeah... That's equals a short fight for any monster really.

I'm surprised they got over her SR, and her save roll must have been a 1.

Shadow Lodge

Slumber Hex is supernatural, so doesn't have to worry about Spell Resistance And

Spoiler:
BBEG will save is only +9. A 6th level witch with an 18 int (most likely 20) would have a 17 save DC if s/he hadn't buffed it more so BBEG would fail on a 7 or lower. Not that hard to do. Not to mention s/he could have the accursed hex feat and try it again if BBEG saved the first time.


The end boss for us was a long drawn out fight that they survived only because they had 2 healers keeping the heavy hitters on their feet and used good combat (flanking & Buffing) tactics. I think the level of experience at the table helped a lot.

Spoiler:
She even summoned the Babau!

I will say the wizard was kind of nerfed with his spell selection (and it turned out to be the same for our next game (Temple of Orcus)). In both games te wizard was reduced to Magic Missile & Caster Level Checks. Every Round. Over and over again.

Contributor

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Slumber Hex is supernatural, so doesn't have to worry about Spell Resistance And ** spoiler omitted **

Ah, I haven't paid much attention to the witch. Still, if you played the adventure with the pre-gens, you had no such ability.

Dark Archive

My table . . .The alchemist saved the day with mutagen +enlarge plu a little bardic music made for some super high grapple rolls! Strange tactic but it worked. Poor Scarlet Sun. . . .

Liberty's Edge

My party of iconics was TPK'd, If you must run this with the pregens, do not use the rogue, ranger or fighter. Between them they did a total of 10 hp damage on the Scarlet Son, the Succubus and her demon, as they just could not overcome the DR.

Fun story, but this thing is a meat grinder.

Grand Lodge

Not fun. Repetitive skill rolls to get things moving at the beginning. The bulk of the pre-generated characters were useless in most of the fights. A knowledgable GM playing the final encounter to maximum effectiveness with the at-will abilities can easily make it nigh unbeatable and extremely annoying.

But, we ran and survived. How many groups was this play tested with?

Sovereign Court

At the table I ran, the fighter, ranger and rogue actually did some decent damage to both.

Spoiler:
Of course, an a early identification of the symbol of Shax and the a knowledge check [planes] roll in the mid/upper 20s had the group asking for (and succeeding) an advance on the 3k and the purchase of a bunch of Cold Iron back ups or ammo ... not that it did any good against the Scarlet Son, but it definitely help in the end battle. Other than that, there were some good rolls made through out the game ... as well as some really bad ones.

Contributor

BurntCornMuffin wrote:

My party of iconics was TPK'd, If you must run this with the pregens, do not use the rogue, ranger or fighter. Between them they did a total of 10 hp damage on the Scarlet Son, the Succubus and her demon, as they just could not overcome the DR.

Fun story, but this thing is a meat grinder.

My table would have been a TPK, but I had the BBEG decide to abandon the lair after her minion cleric went down. I thought the TPK would be too much of a downer for the group to go through with it. One character did die, though.

While I like the overall idea in the adventure, I wouldn't recommend this adventure for introducing new players to the game at the level as written for.


Dragnmoon wrote:

All I can say for the game I ran...

Witch + Slumber Hex + Failed Saving Throw = Short Fight for end boss

Wow! You mean one of the most powerful abilities in the game made something easy?

I'm shocked.

Grand Lodge

Cheapy wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:

All I can say for the game I ran...

Witch + Slumber Hex + Failed Saving Throw = Short Fight for end boss

Wow! You mean one of the most powerful abilities in the game made something easy?

I'm shocked.

I think u mean cheesiest. ;)

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