Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–10: Feast of Sigils (PFRPG) PDF

2.80/5 (based on 11 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 7–11.

In Kaer Maga, the mysterious and dangerous cliffside City of Strangers in untamed Varisia, the Pathfinder Society will come face to face with a sect of the cult of Lissala who prey upon the city's most vulnerable denizens to increase their own power. To what end do they conduct the ancient Feast of Sigils ritual, and can the Pathfinders stop them before their evil plans come to fruition?

Written by Dennis Baker.

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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Tough, but Adventurin' Ain't Easy!!

4/5

NO SPOILERS

I played Feast of Sigils recently at a convention using the Iconic Gunslinger, Lirianne. It was a very challenging scenario that nearly resulted in a TPK (and probably would have if the GM didn't pull a punch here and there, I think). On the other hand, the reward on the Chronicle is *quite* nice. The story is very well-written and suitably dark, but best run if you have a mature GM and group of players, as otherwise things could get into "dumb offensive jokes and behavior" territory quickly. It strongly ties into the Season 4 meta-plot as well, and offers some interesting world lore even if much isn't made out of the setting. Overall, it was an original, enjoyable adventure that I would like to run myself one of these days.

SPOILERS!:
Although the scenario starts in Magnimar with a briefing by Sheila Heidmarch, Feast of Sigils otherwise takes place entirely in the city of Kaer Maga. I've already expressed my certainty that City of Strangers is the best Pathfinder book ever, so I was pretty stoked to finally play an adventure there. Unfortunately, the scenario doesn't make much use out of the city, as the bulk of it takes place indoors and could be set in the rough-and-tumble area of pretty much any city. The reason the PCs are sent to Kaer Maga is that the Pathfinder Society has gotten a lead that a group of cultists who worship Lassala (the ancient Thassilonian goddess of runes and sigils) are at work trying to wake Runelord Krune from his centuries of slumber. The lead came from a sex worker in Kaer Maga, and the PCs are asked to make contact with her and then track down and destroy the cult. The stakes are thus pretty high in this scenario (probably the highest I've seen outside of a special), as Golarion does *not* want a Runelord running around!

The journey from Magnimar to Kaer Maga is handwaved, and the PCs presumably start at a brothel called the Blushing Rose in order to meet their contact. Miss Feathers is a transgender sex worker, and I'm impressed at how well the scenario handles both facets of her life. Neither is treated with derision or condescension, and I think it's great to see some genuine diversity in RPGs. Miss Feathers explains to the PCs that several fellow sex workers have gone missing after attending a notorious drug den in the city. The drug of choice for the establishment is lethe, a powerful narcotic which allows people to temporarily forget painful memories.

Presumably, the PCs head to the lethe house. The scenario has been pretty straightforward and railroady so far, but once in the lethe house, things get more complicated. The PCs see about a dozen users circulating the lobby of the place, while a foul-smelling dwarf named Drollis waddles around giving away samples of lethe. Of course, Drollis isn't doing this out of the kindness of his heart: he wants to lure lethe customers into taking part in a "wholly consensual" religious ceremony in the back room--a ceremony that just so happens to steal pieces of their souls! The most interesting part of Feast of Sigils when I played it was, as a group, trying to figure out what to do once we got into the lobby of the lethe house. It was clear something was up, but should we attack? Should we try to sneak into the back room? Should we wait around and volunteer for the ceremony? There are a lot of ways to approach things without one obvious answer, which I always like in scenarios.

If the PCs do stick around to participate in the ceremony, or otherwise spy on it, they'll see that participants sit around a table marked with the infamous seven-pointed sihedron star. A ritual knife is used to draw blood and coat a wafer, but the participants don't realize that they've just been magically drained of some of their life-force in an ancient ritual called the Feast of Sigils. The cult of Lissala is collecting the "sigil wafers" in a bid to restore Runelord Krune once he awakens, because whoever eats a sigil wafer gains the drained life-force. When I played the scenario, some of us did participate in the ritual and the GM did an impressive job describing it and making it suitably creepy. It's a reminder to myself that adding detail and atmosphere to the literal writing of a scenario makes it that much better.

Anyway, one way or another, the PCs will realise that across a back alleyway from the lethe house is another building owned by the cult. On the first floor are dozens of unconscious, drug-addled victims whose life-force is being regularly drained. Here, the PCs can rescue the missing sex workers and many others. The place is guarded, however, by some nasty flamestrike traps and lighting bolt shooting "war wisps," and my group was wrecked. Tough fights for groups that aren't prepared and very, very cautious.

We penetrated into the basement below where the head priestess of the cult had her ritual altar. The battle here was more traditional, but a forbiddance spell around the area was a cruel equalizer. It was an exciting and memorable conclusion to the scenario, and I'm still not 100% sure how we all made it out of there alive.

The boon on the Chronicle is one of the very beast I've ever seen: it provides a +2 profane bonus to one ability score (player's choice) for one year of real time. It does shift the PC's alignment one step toward evil unless an atonement is received (on the premise that the character is eating someone else's sigil wafer to gain their life-force), but that's still worth while! Alas, I had credit assigned to my Paladin PC and there's no way he would eat the wafer. I imagine this is one of those Season Four super-boons that I've heard used as an argument against unlimited replay.

All in all, I really liked Feast of Sigils. It has high-level threats for high-level characters, a novel storyline, and some interesting decision-making for players. I do wish it made more out of Kaer Maga and was perhaps a little longer in the "investigation" area (some groups could just plow straight through, combat-combat-combat and be done relatively quickly).

The moral of the story: stay away from drugs, kids. They're a plot by evil cultists to steal your soul!


A bit much

2/5

This scenario has promise, but lumps a lot of very dangerous, nigh impossible to detect or stop effects together with 2 tricked out combats in the same essential location. The first can be debilitating, but you are punished if you don't go straight to the 2nd quickly right afterwards.
Scenarios should challenge players, not actively try their best to murder them.
It was short, painful, and not that fun. Interesting setting, but poor development. Overall, there was too little interesting and fun parts, and the last 2 encounters are a bit much.


3/5


Good boon, bad module

2/5

Played in low tier.

Lack of story/roleplay, all combats. The second combat has a high potential of TPK for not-well-prepared team, but a cakework for whom has been well-prepared.

I don't think Siglls is a good scenario to play, what makes it out of 1 star is the incrediblly overpowered boon...




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Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Just announced!


Congrats Dennis! Please tell me there will be troll augurs, iron golems and most importantly of all... Miss Feathers!


Hooray for another adventure in Kaer Maga! Should be very cool. And even if she's not written in it, Miss Feathers will make an appearance every time I run this scenario.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Miss who?

I've just read the City of Strangers campaign setting front to back, no mention. Did you mean Madam Rose?

I really tried to capture the spirit of Kaer Maga in this one. If you don't have the City of Strangers book, I highly recommend it. Kaer Maga is a place thats a little tough to get your hands around.

Also, I wrote too much for this one and had to cut an encounter. I'm considering writing it up as a truly optional encounter.

Spoiler:
Of course I know who Miss Feathers is. You'll have to wait and see if she makes an appearance though

Digital Products Assistant

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Dark Archive

What was the cut encounter?

Spoiler:
Also, those Will-o'-Wisps... That fight was glorious. I had the archer and the gunslinger both pulling their hair out, and the party was considering a full retreat.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Didn't see this here. Sorry mergy.

What I cut doesn't relly make sense in the current incarnation. It was an encounter which happened before the scenario actually starts. It was quite a bit longer.

Glad you liked that encounter seems like its either easy or really hard depending on prep.

Grand Lodge Contributor

Ran this at a local convention and had a BLAST! The last few encounters were quite challenging, but the party prevailed.

Also, I got to bring everyone cookies. (If you've played this one, it makes sense).

Excellent job, Dennis!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Nice to hear, and doubly thanks for reviewing it also.

Grand Lodge

One thing I just noticed:
On page 11, under where B6 starts, the Creatures paragraph says that the higher subtier has 3 war wisps and 1 ancient war wisps, however the stat blocks on pages 12 and 13 say there's 2 of each.

Also on page 12, the higher subtier's greater glyph of warding trap has the same CR as the lower tier, despite being more powerful.

Grand Lodge

I apologize, but the above post should probably be behind a spoiler. I know its an old scenario but still.

Grand Lodge

Strife2002 wrote:
I apologize, but the above post should probably be behind a spoiler. I know its an old scenario but still.

Thanks to whomever fixed that!

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