Pathfinder Society Scenario #4-EX: Day of the Demon (PFRPG) PDF

3.40/5 (based on 11 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3–7 (Tier 3–7; Subtiers 3–4 and 6–7).

The Blakros family, long an ally of the Pathfinder Society, has come into possession of a manor house in the imperial nation of Cheliax, where a once prominent noble family was known to practice diabolism before the Age of Lost Omens. The Pathfinders' task is simple: clear the abandoned manor of any remaining threats before the Blakroses move in. Unfortunately, the estate hasn't sat empty as long as the Blakroses think it has, and its recent inhabitants were anything but the devil-worshipers who originally built the manor.

"Day of the Demon" is an exclusive adventure to be run only by 4-star Pathfinder Society GMs, Venture-Captain and Venture-Lieutenant campaign volunteers, and Paizo staff for its first year.

Written by Larry Wilhelm.

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.

Note: This scenario has been updated from its exclusive version for public release and is now available as Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–14.

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3.40/5 (based on 11 ratings)

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4/5

Played this with a wonderful judge, had lots of fun. NEED a GM with lots of roleplay abilities I can see why it has to be a 4-star or more to pull it off.

Spoilers below!

Like several of the reviews above. There were so many red flags with the child that she never made it 10-ft from where she started. I think for anyone that's played lots of PFS the setup was too similar to other mods. We EXPECT any major-follow-the-PC's-through-the-mod NPC's met to stab us in the back. The second the kid said, "I'm going with you." Into the dark scary demon filled basement that was it. We knew. I know it's meta, but it practically slapped you in the face. You don't GET to be a higher than 1st level Pathfinder Society member without a healthy, well earned dose of paranoia. After that revelation there's the game of how to you prove the kids isn't what she says she is. All sorts of fun/trouble was (and was had) figuring that out. I don't think that was the writers intention, but it WAS fun.

We did the optional because the GM liked it, it links to year 5 plot nicely and we had two hours left to kill (figuratively speaking). It was a pain, but we slogged along and managed it. Without a daylight spell and without darkvision. It would have been NICE to have those. Three dispel magic's into it we realized that wasn't going to work, but by then the bad guys were cornered.

I gave it four stars because while I don't "think" it went the way the writer wanted, it was fun and very differently paced than any other PFS mod I've ever played with the boss up front (well nearly). It sure made the GM earn his keep.

Kizan


Enjoyable link between seasons 4 and 5

4/5

My perspective on this scenario is as a player. For reference, I played it in the lower tier (3-4). Be warned, spoilers will follow!

I rather enjoyed playing "Day of the Demon" for several reasons:

- The mood & atmosphere of the scenario is amazing, and really helps with the immersion.
- Most fights are alright, though I was a little disappointed by the final one. We certainly were surprised and the fluff part was great, but mechanics-wise it wasn't that interesting. Special mention to the monster depicted on the cover, who managed to gate in another friend! That fight was actually better than the one mentioned above.
- As a lore-loving player, I deeply appreciated the handouts and information obtained about the metaplot. We played "Day of the Demon" in the very last slot of the Con, right after playing "The Disappeared" and while "Fortress of the Nail" was being played on another table. It really was a blast!

Overall, I think this scenario is a very decent and enjoyable link between seasons 4 and 5. I'll give the scenario a 4-star rating (out of five), with a minor disappointment in the combat department.

Story: 5/5
Roleplay: 3/5
Encounters: 3/5
Mechanics: 3/5

Total: 4/5


Decent Scenario

4/5

There was nothing difficult whatoever about this scenario, other than one particular thing (see below). Went through this and found nothing especially memorable.

Difficult:
The most difficult part of this was that no one was able to figure out that the girl was bluffing us and was really a mass-murdering halfling.


Fantastic scenario

5/5

This was a great scenario. The atmosphere was creepy, the encounters were varied and interesting, and the whole thing held together like a cohesive whole.

Sometimes (especially in older seasons, it seems to me) some of the encounters felt pretty random, like the plot only produced maybe two encounters but they needed four, so during a couple of travel/exploration segments you end up with what amounts to (and feels like) a couple of pre-selected random encounters. Not so in this one. You never find yourself in a fight that feels like there's no reason for it to be there.

Spoilers below!

The encounters were fairly challenging, depending on what the group is capable of. For instance, if you can hit a high enough Knowledge check before embarking, you can skip the toughest monster. Two more encounters have challenges that a prepared adventurer can probably deal with, so there's some back-and-forth and actions other than each side full-attacking until someone drops.

Super-fun all around!


Best out of all the specials

5/5

I absolutely loved this scenario. It had great atmosphere, lots of storyline advancing information and enough fights to keep my ADD barbarian sated. I understand where people say it's an easy TPK, but any slightly prepared pathfinder group shouldn't have too much of a problem with this scenario.

Our party:
Barbarian 3 (Myself)
Life Oracle 5
Monk 3
Cleric 3 or 4 (Can't recall)
Pregen Rogue 4
Pregen Cleric 4

Detailed information / rating

Spoiler:

I loved the flavor of this scenario. All of the spooky scenarios and modules (Feast of Ravenmoor, From Shore to Sea, Haunting of Hinojai, etc.) are awesome in my opinion. Our GM (Dennis Wheelock. Thanks Dennis!) provided plenty of descriptions of creepy lightning strikes, strange organ music and odd tracks all around the building. Maybe it was all just our haunted Oracle, though.

The advancement in the overarching Pathfinder Society plot was amazing. As someone who played The Disappeared, The Blackros Matrimony and Fortress of the Nail, I loved all the handouts. They gave so much insight as to what was going on, and perhaps what will happen in the future!

The "surprise": Our group completely ruined the "surprise" at the end. As soon as we met the little girl our alarms went off. She was seemed to be sustaining quite well for the lack of food and there weren't any signs of long occupancy, so we were all a little edgy. Eventually, my stupid barbarian walked up to her and just went, POKE! Failed the will save, so it still seemed like I just poked a little girl in the eye. The oracle said "I have a way to tell if she's human or not," and all hell broke loose. Needless to say, she began panicking, which led to initiative and her being grappled by the monk. Boss fight over.

The "TPK": As for the Babau, we had no trouble with him due to our Aasimar cleric. As soon as the darkness went down, daylight went up. People are complaining that PC's need to bring a level 3 spell as a level 3 caster, but you don't. Any prepared PC will have spent either 300 gold on a Potion of Darkvision or 750 on an oil of daylight. We're Pathfinders, not untrained mercenaries.

Story: 5/5
Fights: 4/5
Flavor: 5/5
Overall: 5/5


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Sovereign Court

I just got back from playing this, it was tough, I have trouble seeing how a party of appropriate level standard pathfinder characters can survive this.

Spoiler:
We played this at the low tier although I brought a 6th level character, we couldn't survive the 4th fight because no one could overcome the darkness. I don't see how 3rd level characters which everyone else brought could be expected to be prepared to cast daylight or a similar spell.

This was fun but difficult when not power-gaming.


Matt Seay wrote:

I just got back from playing this, it was tough, I have trouble seeing how a party of appropriate level standard pathfinder characters can survive this.

** spoiler omitted **
This was fun but difficult when not power-gaming.

I've run it three times with no power builds present, including once with essentially all pregens (one was a cleric who was worse than pregen Kyra, the other three were pregen bard, pregen druid, and pregen paladin) and they won every time. The pregen party actually annihilated the scenario, with the surest win of any of the groups (the other two times were touch-and-go, but they were playing up with 5 characters that averaged to level 5 both times and never had any level 7s, and they had to fight the 6 player 6-7 version--

Spoiler:
which has 3 babaus instead of 1.

One thing--it's not deeper darkness, only darkness, so if nobody in the party has darkvision, you can beat it with the 2nd level spells darkvision or alter self, and any character can spend 2 PP for an oil of daylight, which I generally recommend, along with a potion of fly if you're melee, ASAP. Blind-fight is a big help too if you have it--it makes fighting in the dark not so bad.


uncleden wrote:

I just got my 4th star over the weekend. What is the process for this to show up in my downloads?

Den

I am in the same boat; got my 4th star over the weekend. Some folks are itching for me to run this exclusive. Do I need to do something special to get access to this scenario?

Thanks

Rod

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matt Seay wrote:

I just got back from playing this, it was tough, I have trouble seeing how a party of appropriate level standard pathfinder characters can survive this.

** spoiler omitted **
This was fun but difficult when not power-gaming.

The fight in question:
Let's see...

One-third of playable races in PFS are completely uninhibited by darkness.
Darkvision is a 2nd-level spell, thus not beyond reason to have access to at 3rd-4th level. It's also a mere 300gp as a potion, and anyone with at least 5 Fame (at 3rd level and up, that's everyone) can purchase it as such.
An oil of daylight costs 750gp or 2PP, so anyone could have that as well.

• If anyone just happens to be playing a dwarf, half-orc, tiefling or aasimar, they aren't even slowed down by darkness.
• If anyone has access to darkvision (whether as a spell or as a potion), then they merely need to spend a turn responding to darkness and then they're fine.
• If even one person in the entire party brought an oil of daylight, then the entire party gets to fight in bright light, end of story.


These are trained field agents of an organization whose daily operations include exploring and dungeon-delving. Expecting that after having completed six missions (the minimum before being eligible for this one), such an agent would be carrying a few solutions to common hazards... well, I wouldn't really call that "power-gaming". I'd call that "roleplaying a campaign-appropriate concept".

Digital Products Assistant

If you've received your fourth GM star, and do not have this scenario, please email Mike Brock (mike.brock@paizo.com).


I've read this post a few times and I apologize if I'm taking it the wrong way, but it's comes across to me as: "If you're playing a 3rd or 4th level character and aren't prepared for this hazard, you're an idiot." (Or at least, you're a poor player.) I think that's a bad stance and here's why.

Races:
Jiggy wrote:
One-third of playable races in PFS are completely uninhibited by darkness.

If your point is that one-third of any given party is playing a race with darkvision, I think you're making a false correlation between the numbers and reality. I've played and judged 160+ PFS scenarios and the number of PCs with darkvision has been far less than 33%. And if it weren't for the power creep of the aasimar, I'd have seen even fewer. (Aasimar seem to be everywhere these days.)

If your point is that people should be playing more races with darkvision...well, people are going to play what they like to play. If that's a race without darkvision, it's their choice and shouldn't be penalized for it. (Though they need to understand their limitations and prepare for it.)

Your mileage may vary, but that's what I've seen.

Spell:
Jiggy wrote:
Darkvision is a 2nd-level spell, thus not beyond reason to have access to at 3rd-4th level. It's also a mere 300gp as a potion, and anyone with at least 5 Fame (at 3rd level and up, that's everyone) can purchase it as such.

It's not beyond reason to have the spell, but how many 3rd or 4th characters are going to tie up a 2nd level slot -- their highest spell slot -- for something that might come up?

PCs can buy a potion of darkvision, but that's roughly 10% of a 3rd level PC's gold. And you're talking about an item that is a contingency item; most of the time, an ioun torch is just fine for dark conditions.

By 3rd or 4th level, most PCs are going to be looking at purchasing a wand of cure light wounds, masterwork weapon(s), masterwork armor, potions of cure light wounds. Magic armor, magic weapons, and a cloak of resistance are in the realm of possibility, too. All that stuff can be used all the time -- not just some of the time -- and at 3rd or 4th level will quickly beggar a character.

What about other contingency items? Have a run in with harpies (Silken Caravan)? Well, you might think you need a potion of fly and/or some form of protection from evil. How about an allip (Black Waters)? Getting a magic weapon (or the ability to make your weapon magic) is high on your list, unless you want to be useless against incorporeal creatures.

My point is this: There are only so many PPs and so much gold to spend at low levels and a lot of things that happen occasionally, that it's hard to be prepared for all of them.

Oil:
Jiggy wrote:
An oil of daylight costs 750gp or 2PP, so anyone could have that as well.

See above.

Responding to the hazard:
Jiggy wrote:
If anyone has access to darkvision (whether as a spell or as a potion), then they merely need to spend a turn responding to darkness and then they're fine.

In general, you're right. If a PC has access to a potion of darkvision, they'll be a round behind, but overall, OK.

For Day of the Demon, the quarters are tight and drinking a potion provokes an attack of opportunity, as does retrieving it unless you have a handy haversack. In this case, it's from a creature that threatens at 5 and 10 ft., has combat reflexes, and has sneak attack. It's not unreasonable for a PC to get smacked twice trying to pull and drink a potion. That's a lot of hurt. (Average 36 points, including sneak, with two hits from the spear.) (And heaven forbid, you're trying to do this at high tier, with multiple babaus threatening you.)

Jiggy wrote:
These are trained field agents of an organization whose daily operations include exploring and dungeon-delving. Expecting that after having completed six missions (the minimum before being eligible for this one), such an agent would be carrying a few solutions to common hazards... well, I wouldn't really call that "power-gaming". I'd call that "roleplaying a campaign-appropriate concept".

Trained field agents:
It's all well and good in theory to say folks are trained field agents, but the reality is a bit different. These are players who are coming out to play a game, many of whom are only casual players and only play PF RPG rules in PFS settings. And it's the player who decides on what to buy for their character.

I cannot stress enough that until you run into the bad side of darkness, you don't know how bad -- and deadly -- it can be. By then, it may be too late for your character. In Day of the Demon, given the terrain and the fact that the babau can cast darkness at will, you have a recipe for disaster for an inexperienced or unprepared group.

One last thing about PFS play:
You can't count on your party members. Well, to be more clear: You can't count on showing up to a PFS event and having X at your table, whether X is a cleric, a fighter, a rogue, a wizard -- whatever. (Unless, of course, you game with a regular group.) Because of that, you need to have a bit of a lone wolf approach to preparing for contingencies. No one else may have daylight, darkvision, the ability to fly -- whatever -- so you need to be able to take care of yourself. This is both costly (PP or gold) and takes some intiative on the player's part to understand and plan for these contingencies.

You are going to see widely varying degrees of preparedness of the players. (Do you know what it's like to face two encounters in a mod against incorporeal creatures at Tier 7-8 with a 4-person party and with a fighter without a magic weapon? I do. It ain't pretty.) When PCs can't contribute, the fight becomes that much harder for those that can.

As for the mod, I do not necessarily think that either the creature or the hazard in question is inappropriate or overpowering. I don't have a problem with the mod, though I think at low tier you're going to see a lot of PC deaths. I do think that trivializing the danger because there are half a dozen ways around is a stretch.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Jeffrey Stop wrote:
I've read this post a few times and I apologize if I'm taking it the wrong way, but it's comes across to me as: "If you're playing a 3rd or 4th level character and aren't prepared for this hazard, you're an idiot." (Or at least, you're a poor player.)

Good thing that's not even remotely close to what I said, then.

I didn't say "If you're not prepared, you're an idiot/poor player."

I said "If you ARE prepared, that doesn't make you some kind of dirty power-gamer."

"Doing X does not make me bad" is waaaaaay different than "NOT doing X makes YOU bad."

So apparently it's okay for someone to openly criticize people who play the "prepared field agent" concept, but to defend oneself or others with "We're not having badwrongfun" constitutes calling other people idiots or poor players.


Jiggy wrote:
Good thing that's not even remotely close to what I said, then.

Ah, well, then again I apologize. It's not the first time I've been wrong and, sadly, it won't be the last.

Jiggy wrote:
So apparently it's okay for someone to openly criticize people who play the "prepared field agent" concept, but to defend oneself or others with "We're not having badwrongfun" constitutes calling other people idiots or poor players.

That wasn't my intent, but given that I misconstrued your post it's a fair criticism of my post.

Dark Archive

Does this become legal for non 4-star GMs on Jan 26th and legal for regular play?


Mazlith wrote:
Does this become legal for non 4-star GMs on Jan 26th and legal for regular play?

Usually the old EX becomes a regular scenario when the new EX comes out. I don't remember how accurate previous dates have been, but assuming that date is accurate then it should, yes.

Dark Archive

GAR! Release date moved to Feb 26th? I was planning to run this in early February.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Just got my run of it in today, looking forward to maybe a second table before it becomes a regular scenario. All my experience has been at 3-4 subtier, and while the story is pretty awesome, the overall mission is perhaps a bit lackluster. Need to practice this one a bit more I think.

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