Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–13: Fortress of the Nail (PFRPG) PDF

3.70/5 (based on 19 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5–9.

The Pathfinder Society sends a team of agents into a Hellknight citadel to free a wrongfully imprisoned ally. Among the law-bound knights, however, they may find that getting out of the prison isn't as easy as getting in.

Written by Amanda Hamon.

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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Average product rating:

3.70/5 (based on 19 ratings)

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Fantastic mix of roleplay, skills, and combat

5/5

I recently attended a small local convention, and played six slots of PFS. This scenario was the highlight of the entire weekend.

The first half of the scenario shows that Pathfinders need to be more than just killing machines or Diplomancers. You have to actually think, make in-character decisions, and work with some NPCs to get your prisoner release papers signed by the right people and succeed on your mission. Playing through it really made me feel like those of us with "real" characters were having a chance to shine.

Sometimes scenarios with this much roleplay and skill emphasis can have combats that feel thrown-in just to make quota, but the combats in this one felt appropriate. The fight against the big fire monster was brutal, and we had one PC death (I could have saved him had he delayed his turn, but I failed to convince him to trust me that much), but it was exciting and fun.

By the time it was all said and done, I felt like I had really gotten to truly play my character and see him go through these events. It was immersive and super fun.


Very 1 sided

3/5

After reading, prepping and then running this, I can say this definitely could have written differently. The first part of this scenario, I feel, bores the characters that don't have the appropriate skill to complete the task. As well, the map is HUGE! It doesn't describe anything except the locations that the PC's need to go to. The PC's get lost and confused. Then, the back half of the scenario is brutal! I agree that an objective of this caliber deserves a scenario this tough, but I believe it should be spaced out a bit more instead of all at once.


Satisfying As-Is, and Decent Resource.

4/5

GM'ed at the 8-9 Tier with a full table, including 2 PCs with NPC Codex pregens.

K, at least one star of this is because I LOVE anything Hellknight-related, and the map of Citadel Vraid is just BEGGING for me to use in a game now. The remaining three would be for what I feel, for my two cents, is a solidly fun adventure. We had a Cheliax player in the group, and most of the faction missions aligned with their unstated goal.

Is it basically a series of Charisma (or Linguistics, for sneaky folks) checks? Yis! Are they hard? Not really! But can you play up the tension with the right GMing know-how? Always. Put a few folks on the spot for an impromptu Charisma check. Good times.

Also, with basically only a couple fights, it's a good one to run if you know your session needs to be short. And Cheliax faction members will love getting to save their boss' bacon. :D


Underwhelmed...

1/5

Played this scenario the other day, and felt extremely let down. For all the hype about whether a faction will get the boot or not, there is really nothing in this scenario that lends itself to making a lasting impression on the society as a whole. Some of the early RP had potential, but they seemed to boil down to "make your arguments, then keep rolling Diplomacy until you meet an arbitrary number of successes" like a bad 4E skill challenge. A couple of very low-challenge fights allowed the whole XP budget to be dumped into one super creature that seemed under-CRed and has the potential for a TPK on its first action. Finally, most of the faction missions were completely nonsensical, given what we are supposed to know about the factions beliefs and personalities, and at least one of the others has consequences detailed in the scenario that are contrary to explicit declarations in the latest Campaign document.

I went into the scenario playing a character whose faction represents the interests I most strongly support in the PFS, hopeful that the IC decisions he made would have a lasting impact on the future of the Society, but it seems that the only way that would happen is for the entire party to fail the presented mission. Knowing what I do now, the best way to have made the impact I desired would have been to do nothing at all.


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Contributor

Announced!

Dark Archive

HellKnight Citadel ? SWEET!! Finally a reason to buy that hellknight vanity.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wow, I can't wait to see this one.

Liberty's Edge

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

No release dates for 13 - 16?

Contributor

Dragnmoon, the site doesn't display the dates if it's more than three months out (I think). But currently, the release dates for #13 & 14 are Jan. 30, 2013, and #15 and 16 are February 27th.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Dragnmoon, the site doesn't display the dates if it's more than three months out (I think). But currently, the release dates for #13 & 14 are Jan. 30, 2013, and #15 and 16 are February 27th.

Thanks Liz!

Dark Archive

Liz Courts wrote:
Dragnmoon, the site doesn't display the dates if it's more than three months out (I think). But currently, the release dates for #13 & 14 are Jan. 30, 2013, and #15 and 16 are February 27th.

Perfect timing. Well now I know exactly what I'm going to try and run if I can make it down to Owlcon next year.

Silver Crusade

I'm just curious whether it'd be advantageous or incredibly awkward to show up to this with an Order of the Nail Hellknight. I'd guess the latter, but...

Paizo Employee Developer

It will certainly be interesting, but members of any Hellknight Order shouldn't find themselves placed in a situation in which they have to choose between serving the Hellknights or the Pathfinder Society. After all, the lawful thing to do would be to serve both.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I wonder whether a Hellknight would join the Society in the first place - they do not seem to be of the law-abiding type...

Grand Lodge

I will be running this at a convention soon after its release. I wish I knew how many hellknight minis would be required and if THESE are the only ones represented. It would give me time to paint them. :-)

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
TwilightKnight wrote:
I will be running this at a convention soon after its release. I wish I knew how many hellknight minis would be required and if THESE are the only ones represented. It would give me time to paint them. :-)

I assumed a GM of your caliber would just have little pieces of paper with Hellknight scribbled on it... ;)

Silver Crusade

Oh to be a Shoanti with an earthbreaker and a head full of mad in that scenario. :)

Grand Lodge

Dragnmoon wrote:
I assumed a GM of your caliber would just have little pieces of paper with Hellknight scribbled on it... ;)

I leave those GM accessories to a GM of your advanced skill :-P

Liberty's Edge

Liz Courts wrote:
Dragnmoon, the site doesn't display the dates if it's more than three months out (I think). But currently, the release dates for #13 & 14 are Jan. 30, 2013, and #15 and 16 are February 27th.

Any updates on the release? Dying for Fortress of the Nail!

Webstore Gninja Minion

This release has been delayed, unfortunately.


Liz Courts wrote:
This release has been delayed, unfortunately.

Do you know if by a day or two, or a week? I have a gameday scheduled for this Saturday with 2 tables of it and would like to have a chance to switch schedules and signups if its coming past this week.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
This release has been delayed, unfortunately.

Any idea how long?

Webstore Gninja Minion

I'm hoping to have it next week, but I don't have a firm date yet.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

But not for this weekend, which is what I needed. Thanks Liz.

Sad about the news tho... high anticipation for this one.

Paizo Employee Contributor

CRobledo wrote:
Sad about the news tho... high anticipation for this one.

This makes me really excited and really queasy at the same time. :)

Spoiler:
I don't have any info about the delay -- sorry!

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Liz Courts wrote:
I'm hoping to have it next week, but I don't have a firm date yet.

Next week is one week late, and understandable.

But you're making me nervous with the "hoping" and "don't have a firm date" parts. We scheduled this for a convention that is running the 14th through the 17th. We scheduled this and #3-12 way back in October, after being assured that the release dates for these scenarios were firm.

Are we going to have a problem?

Webstore Gninja Minion

I've double-checked, and the plan is to have a release date for these on February 6th (one week from today).

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Thank you for putting my fears at ease.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Drogon wrote:
Thank you for putting my fears at ease.

Here I will bring your fear back... maybe I will show up at this convention as an unannounced attendee!! Muhahahahahahahaha!

Sovereign Court

I intend to run this on 7th February GMT+2 17:00, so let's see if this scenario comes out on time. :)

Liberty's Edge

Deussu wrote:
I intend to run this on 7th February GMT+2 17:00, so let's see if this scenario comes out on time. :)

I'm right there with ya! I want to get the maps drawn up tonight then play it tomorrow night. Ye gads...hope this works.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

There is currently no indication that this scenario will not release by the end of the day today.

Digital Products Assistant

Now available!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Now available!

Yay!

Silver Crusade

At last, my preious ^^


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Greetings, fellow travellers.

I'm not a PFS player, but I'm interested in everything Hellknight-related. Could anyone please drop me hint whether what kind of background information and fluff there's to be found in this product? Do we get floor plans, related history to the fortress, the order etc?
Thanks!

Ruyan.

Dark Archive

Well you do get a very nice floorplan of the keep and some generic Hellknight info but other then that not much new information you don't already have.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks!

Ruyan.

Liberty's Edge

I'm scheduled to GM this next Thursday. If anyone runs it in the meantime I'd love to hear your suggestions and advice for this scenario.


This thing of excluding non-4-star and up GMs from the newest scenarios is really crimping my chapter's ability to run content. We keep getting new players, so we can't run the higher-level stuff, since older players keep dropping out to join home games. Lately it's been me and another GM running all the tables, and in order to retain the one veteran player we have, we have to run new stuff, because he's run EVERYTHING prior. This is maddeningly annoying. TAKE MY MONEY PAIZO!

Paizo Employee Developer

There's only one scenario a year that is exclusive to 4- and 5-star GMs and regional coordinators. This one, for example, can be run by anyone who's willing to run it.

Dark Archive

Having recently run this for a convention I have to say this was an extremely entertaining scenario to run (and by my players reactions they seemed to really enjoy it as well).
I will say this is a high role-playing scenario and if you really need to bring your NPC's to life to do it justice. It's along the lines of Blackros Matrimony but far more player focused then that.

I found that playing the NPC's so that they are regularly challenging the players and their evidence/reasoning really helps to get the RP'ing going and once the players get what's being asked for they really ran with it. Think the best parts of courtroom scenes from Law & Order mixed with the back alley plotting of the Sopranos and you'll really make this scenario sparkle.

The BBEG's can easily be some of the most lethal you've ever seen (or a cakewalk if you don't use them as they should be) with high mobility and savage damage coming in.

I was worried about this scenario when I first read it but now it's definitely going on my re-play/run list.
4 out of 5 stars.


I ran this for some pregenerated level 7 players (2 of 5) without even looking at the boon sheet. We did the high tier, so

Spoiler:
Because according to the Guide, pregenerated characters applying credit to a level 1 get 500gp but otherwise all of the chronicle boons, does that mean they also qualify for the 3,000gp free item for rescuing Zarta? I'm leaning toward the theory that they do, because it's a boon and not going to really break the economy in the end, since a free 3,000 gp item by level 7-ish isn't that gamebreaking anyway...

If there's some other way I'm supposed to do this, let me know.

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