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

***½( ) (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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PZOPSS0413E


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Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 19 ratings)

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A fantastic experience.

****( )

(I played this, together with Richter, see below.)

Richter basically hit it right on the head about this scenario. Very interesting setup, cool story, fun to walk through. I think our GM abridged a few roleplaying encounters (especially since last time it was run it took way longer), but it didn't detract from the whole thing, we simply experienced a very efficiently-run fortress.

But yeah, that final encounter. That thing is definitely under-CRed (on high tier). We lucked our way through it, but if we hadn't we would've been in some serious trouble. Apparently it came from a non-Paizo source, and I see now why that rarely happens. Please stick to Bestiaries from now on, Paizo.

All in all, a great experience. A bit straightforward, but that's not always a bad thing.


Excellent but unfair

****( )

This scenario is amazing on paper, I had the luck to play this with my own hellknight character and a great Gm/party.

Tons of roleplaying, fair combat until the last encounter, oh god that thing is absurd.
We got extremely lucky in the last battle because it failed a fort save it could only fail on a 1 or 2.

Fair warning, do not play this scenario up unless you have a power-built party or a death wish.

Otherwise a great roleplaying experience.


Great social, with a deadly fight

*****

Split into two parts, the social-central first half, and the combat-central second half.

We have just dealing with hellknights so many times, such as "Fury of the Fiend". Not too special itself, however I love the centaur~ Need talktive GM and PCs, don't run it pale.

There's one combat can be deadly, not only the opponent but the environment. Be awared.


****( )


Putting the Hell back into Hellknight

****( )

Somewhat worried by the horror stories in earlier reviews, we embarked upon this adventure today. I'm somewhat conflicted in my verdict.

First, this adventure has a big RP component. With evocative people, in a really cool place. Going to exotic places and talking to interesting people is one of the draws of PFS for me. However, it came down to presenting the same evidence to a lot of people; you don't really learn anything new about the case, there's no development. That was disappointing. It needed more plot. That said, the GM thread has some good ideas to improve the RP within the boundaries of the plot.

Second, there's the fights. I'm somewhat disturbed to notice how many people are proposing diverging from the scripted tactics in the GM thread, in ways that will make this a more difficult adventure. And while not all fights are hard, there is THAT BOSS. He has tactics that are suboptimal but he's still lethally powerful. Certainly over-CRed. His tactics give the PCs more of a fighting chance. I urge all GMs to stick close to the script here.

The fight IS winnable, on high tier. We brought a party of paladin/monk/stuff 9, investigator (melee) 9, gunslinger/inquisitor 8, cleric 9 and wizard 9. The power those classes can bring to bear is quite considerable. Casters giving the perfects buffs to strikers hitting really hard and standing up to brutal punishment. We had a group of people who've played together a lot before. That certainly made a difference.

I do like a hard-fought fight, and it seems it takes somewhat outre monsters to present a fight that's not a walkover. But I'm also not a fan of slapping the wrong CR on a monster and then gleefully inserting it into a scenario because it's appropriate now. Our party was a sort of all-star OP fest and that's what we needed to do this. That should not be the standard for scenarios. Don't dial it down all the way, but this was over the top.

Interestingly, the 4-player adjustment (which we didn't get) for this scenario is actually spot-on, which can be rather hit or miss in season 4.

All in all, I do like the scenario. It scratches a certain itch. But it does have significant flaws.


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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 Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales 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 Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales 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

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

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 Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales 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

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
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, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics 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 Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales 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.

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Now available!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics 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.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

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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