Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–08: The Cultist's Kiss (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 17 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 7–11.

An active cell of the cult of Lissala—ancient goddess of runes and obedience—has been discovered in the Varisian town of Palin's Cove. Seeking a chance to learn about this long-lost faith not from millennia-old relics but from its current practice, a team of Pathfinders travels to the industrial seaside settlement to uncover the secret coven and infiltrate its services in the guise of prospective converts. Will the Pathfinders discover the knowledge they seek, or will the evil cult subvert them with its vile and seductive faith?

Written by Sam Zeitlin.

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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PZOPSS0408E


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****½ (based on 17 ratings)

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Good, but not for every PC

****( )

Played at tier 10-11 with 4PCs. Took about 5h, but could run longer.

Refreshing plot with a story that makes sense and is accessible to the players, for once. Fights are tough but the players have no excuse to not come fully prepared.
Barring issues below, a recommended scenario which does create some roleplaying, good fights, and serious decision points.

GM comments below.

Spoiler:

Good stuff:
Rather easy to prepare. Final map prints well.

Issues:
1) the investigation is really just a series of diplomacy checks until you rescue Tomasz, at which point he tells everything. The city's description is actually pointless. So the GM should either dress up the investigation, or just ask for diplo rolls and speed things up.

2) as with The Disappeared, it makes no sense that the Society would send any random PC on this mission. Paladins and other faithful PCs are a no-go on this, unless they're taking their faith *very* lightly, or not taking the main mission seriously and going to storm the cult HQ.

3) Repetitive monsters.

4) The tattoo seems very cheap for what it is. Its evil nature is really understated, especially if a future GM is not aware that you bear it. For that reason, it shouldn't have been allowed. Normally, you can expect your PC be checked with Detect Evil from time to time, at which point you would register as evil and probably come under *close* scrutinity from the Society. And "Well it's just a tattoo from Lissala, no worry!" wouldn't work so well...


Humor/Horror

*****

I want to place this in Alaska... Palin's Cove.

This is a good scenario. I hope it surprises players.
There is enough in here for every play style. It can be challenging.
The story is good, setting great. The role play will allow allot of give and take with the party and GM. Well thought out combat. I would recommend this for non PFS play.

Story 5/5
Setting 5/5
Role-play-ability 5/5
Combat 5/5
Suitability 5/5


The Cult of Personality

****( )

Ran this for a group of regular PFS players, and I can offer some food for thought, characterized by positives (+) and some potential negatives (-) with every attempt to avoid spoilers.
The scenario is very modular(+) which is often a rarity in organized play. The PCs involvement in the scenario is largely up to them - they'll be presented with numerous leads and avenues to explore. The party I ran actually wound up bypassing quite a bit of the first few acts with some lucky rolls and good guesses. Even with this 'shortcut', the scenario still ran for nearly five hours(-), so GMs must be very aware of time management.
The scenario offers a good challenge(+) without feeling overwhelming, has a very cinematic and horror-influenced feel(+), has signficant ties to the season's metaplot(+) that are cool, and presents an array of great opportunities to roleplay(+) their characters through meaningful decision points. However, many of these decision points may not have the salience that the author indends(-) due to the alignment restrictions that exist within PFS.
Overall, this scenario is similar in tone to the Carrion Hill module, and fans of horror, mystery and intrigue who game with fairly experienced players should fare well.


Good and bad

***( )( )

There are a lot of good points to this scenario. Challenging combat (as you expect from Season 4). The Scenario does a good job of advancing the plot of Season 4 as well, and overall provides a great feel.

I'm not sure if some of my problems come from the way the GM ran it, or the way it was written, but it seems like if you do not have good diplomacy in your party, you will never be very successful at this module. We had some decent people, but our rolls were terrible. We spent way too long in the town trying to figure out how to contact the cult. We are supposed to be infiltrating a cult, so you should not be going around asking "Hey, do you know where i can find this cult?"

I also wondered about the ritual that happens. It seemed to us that it was not optional to go through that, so most of us did so until the end of the party's turn came up.

There also seemed to be some confusing about using Coup de Grace in the scenario. The GM tried to do so to a person with a bag over the head, but you cannot execute a coup against someone who is not at least being held down (pinned after grapple) or held. That needs to be looked into as well.

Overall we had fun, but this ran HOURS longer than it should have, mostly due to the time spent in town.


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Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Just announced!

Shadow Lodge

Scheduled to run it first week in November, which maps does it use?

Paizo Employee Developer

Spoiler:
New map of Palin's Cove, new map of a new location, and Flip-Mat: Prison

Shadow Lodge

Thanks.

Digital Products Assistant

Final cover is up and the PDF will be available tonight!


Good job Sam, will drop in a review this weekend.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I enjoyed this a lot Sam! Wow, well done!

Silver Crusade

Shattered Star GMs really need to check out this scenario. I'm not sure if it's an easy plug-in with the second half of that AP still coming, but there's a lot to mine here.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

spoiler::
Is there a reason that Charitos - a pathfinder - doesn't have a wayfinder? Or is it not something every pathfinder carries?

Grand Lodge

Pg. 7 - Palin's Cove stat block

Minor gripe, but the Base Value of Palin's Cove should be 1,400 gp, not 1,430. According to the Gamemastery Guide, when multiple settlement qualities and disadvantages affect the base value or purchase limit, you don't add them one at a time, but rather add the total percentage increased or decreased among all qualities and disadvantages before calculating. For this stat block, the author increased 1,000 gp base by 30% (Prosperous) to get 1,300, THEN increased that number by another 10% (strategic location) to get 1,430. Instead he should have just determined 40% increase of 1,000, or 1,400.

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