Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–17: Tower of the Ironwood Watch (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5–9.

On the edge of Varisia's Mierani Forest stand the ruins of an ancient guardtower that once served as the native elves' first line of defense against the threat of invasion from the bordering Thassilonian realm of Envy. Just as the elves fled Golarion to avoid the destruction of Earthfall, so too did they leave behind the Tower of the Ironwood Watch, which the Pathfinder Society now hopes to explore—a task that could prove more dangerous than anyone anticipates.

Written by Sam Polak.

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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Excellent Dungeon Crawl



I played Tower of the Ironwood Watch via play-by-post last year, using my character the Shining Knight. It's fair to critique the scenario as a true dungeon crawl, with very little role-playing. But that being said, it's a *good* dungeon crawl. And a quite challenging one, as were many of these Season Four scenarios. This isn't the adventure for everyone, but if you know what you're getting yourself into, it should prove an enjoyable experience.


Tower of the Ironwood Watch has a pretty involved backstory, but it's an interesting one that adds to the setting's lore. Long before refugees from Azlant came to Varisia and built the empire of Thassilon, the elves had a flourishing civilization. But when humans began to spread throughout the land, the elves built watchtowers at the borders of the Mierani Forest. When Earthfall devastated the land, many of the Mierani elves were driven underground and, over millennia, became drow. Today, most of the ancient civilisation's watchtowers are forgotten even by the elven nations on the surface. But a contingent of drow have (after some complications) found their way to the tower and have been using it as a staging area for attacks in the region. The PCs are dispatched by Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch to investigate the tower, the location of which was recently discovered by cross-referencing Thassilonian records obtained elsewhere (perhaps even in a previous scenario--I'm not sure). As Pathfinders, the PCs know to expect danger when they explore the tower, but they have no idea what's really lying in wait.

After the briefing, the scenario fast-forwards to the tower. Two levels remain accessible on the surface, but there's also underground areas (excavated by the drow, who are trying to find a path back to the Darklands). One of the first encounters is a real surprise, as a trap triggers something akin to an anti-magic field (though less powerful), which the PCs probably won't even notice until they're already in combat with fungal monsters called basidironds. I remember this battle vividly, because the hallucinogenic spores wreaked havoc on the party (with multiple PCs, including mine, dropping their weapons or fleeing in panic). Another trap is really clever--it's simply a teleportation circle that takes you to what used to be an upper level of the tower that has long since collapsed, meaning PCs appear in mid-air and have a long, painful fall ahead of them! On these surface levels, PCs with the right skillset might start to see signs of drow involvement (handled in a really flavourful way).

In the basement, the PCs face their first ambush by drow. It was really something, at least on the group I was with. Drow sleep arrows shouldn't be underestimated, nor should mundane things like sneak attack and magical darkness fields. Thanks to a raging barbarian on our side, we eventually fought through, but it certainly wasn't easy. There are further encounters on the level against demons, plant monsters, and more.

It all serves to wear the group down before they get to the big climax, which makes great use of the Darklands flip-mat. Here, the PCs fight a drow priestess of Shax and her multiple demonic allies. In my group we all learned how poor we were at ranged combat when she started flying and raining down spells on us. One PC died, and again it was a near TPK. But, it was also completely fair and great fun.

Assuming the PCs win the day, they'll succeed in the mission and have discovered valuable information about the pre-Earthfall elven culture as well as hindering a mysterious plot the drow had for the Worldwound (I'm not sure what this was all about, but perhaps it's answered in a later scenario). There is a small opportunity for role-playing with a freed captive, but as I said in the intro, there's no denying this is a primarily a dungeon-crawl--but it certainly isn't a lazy one. There are plenty of great details in the rooms, the NPCs are given interesting tactics and personalities, and the interior artwork is fantastic. It is what it is, but it's really good at it.


Played this.

It was not overly exiting. The combats can be a nice tactical challenge, altough they do have an 'off button', due to written tactics. (obscuring mist against archers, for example)
The setting itself is a bit bland, it could have used the 'forbidden lore' aspect of the [redacted] a lot better for more flavor.
All in all, not a bad dungeon romp.


Seriously. Who could not love this? This entire scenario is one surprise after another. I run for a group that can be a bit jaded. (calling out things like "ah medium sized rectangular room prepare for traps by the door and the second small fight halfway through". This scenario had them all rocking back on there heels. Only some quick thinking kept them from losing to there own hubris. Plus it is outstandingly written and fun to run.

Interesting Encounters


I've both run and played this scenario. Both time I had a group of regular players. One group was more RPcentric the other is a more build focused group that also has some good RP skills. In both cases the game went really well.

First of all I love the history to it. For those Golarion junkies your going to get some decent story out of this scenario. At the end there is also some fun Easter Eggs hinting at season 5.

The encounters were fun. Some unusal monsters are here that you might not encounter too often. Also the NPCs at the end are well fleshed out with fun dialog quirks.

Overall a lot of fun with some great setting and RP moments backed up by interesting encounters.

Tower of Ironwood Watch - Blah


Once again, [redacted] is used to provide a challenge in the final fight, and despite it succeeding at that, everytime [redacted] is used, it ends up just slowing everything to a crawl and being boring as all get out.

Please stop having authors use [redacted]!

Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced for March!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I am going to GM this scenario like nobody's business. This I pledge.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

This promises to be all kinds of fun.

Grand Lodge

Do we have a more round about date for this one yet?

Paizo Employee Developer

Unless otherwise noted, new scenarios are released the final Wednesday of each month.

Grand Lodge

Thank you

Shadow Lodge

That should be enough time to prepare it for Chimaeracon, when I run it on the 6th.

Digital Products Assistant

Now available!

Anyone feel like posting a review? I want to know what it's like.

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