Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–18: The Veteran's Vault (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

While many Pathfinders meet unfortunate fates in their ongoing explorations of the dangerous world of Golarion, some retire with decades' worth of treasure in their coffers, and their lives still intact. When one such Pathfinder approaches the Grand Lodge with the hidden location of her treasure vault, it falls upon a new generation of Pathfinders to retrieve from within a valuable keepsake. That they can keep anything other than the ex-Pathfinder's locket makes the assignment all the sweeter.

Written by Savannah Broadway.

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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3.50/5 (based on 27 ratings)

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Flavour Elevates a Straight Dungeon Crawl

3/5

NO SPOILERS

I played The Veteran's Vault via play-by-post with one of my favourite Iconics, Quinn the Investigator. As I'm currently running Curse of the Crimson Throne, it was especially exciting to play a scenario set in Korvosa. Although from one perspective this scenario is a pretty straightforward dungeon crawl, the author did a great job incorporating setting lore and some role-playing opportunities to put this one up a notch. It's not a "must-play" by any means, but it's a solid scenario overall (and a good, speedy introductory scenario for new players).

SPOILERS!:

The backstory to The Veteran's Vault centers around an NPC, Sascha Antif-Arah, who has made appearances in some other scenarios and (I think) one of the early Pathfinder Tales stories. Sascha is a former Pathfinder and adventurer who retired from the business some years back. She got caught up in some business involving Eando Kline and drew some very unwelcome attention from the Order of the Nail Hellknights and has had to lay low in Korvosa ever since. In a previous scenario, agents of the Pathfinder Society saved Sascha's life, so to repay the organisation she's offered up the contents of a hidden treasure cache from her adventuring days, currently concealed in an old shrine to Zon-Kuthon in the sewers under the city. All Sascha wants from the cache is a locket that bears purely sentimental value. I think it's fair to wonder why an adventure that takes place purely in the city's sewers is likely to attract the attention of Hellknights, so maybe it would have made more sense for her to come along with the PCs. Anyway, all of this exposition is delivered by the rarely-seen male half of the Heidmarch husband & wife team, Venture-Captain Canayven Heidmarch. There are good pictures of him and Sascha, and excellent interior artwork overall.

Apart from the briefing, the entirety of the adventure takes place in the sewers, with encounters using the excellent Sewer System map pack. First up, and perhaps best, is an encounter with an otyugh (sewer beast) named Togg. Togg isn't quite as memorable as Hats, but role-playing with him could still be lots of fun with the right GM and the right group. There's a fair chance this becomes a combat (Togg is pretty hungry!), but the encounter can also be resolved peacefully if the PCs share some food and make a good Diplomacy check.

Next up, there are a couple of stolen-good-traffickers from the Cerulean Society that are on the run and lost in the vaults. Although these two wouldn't necessarily attack normally, they'll be deceived by a sneaky gremlin (a jinkin) into believing the PCs are hostile, so a fight is inevitable. Still, in a battle of 5 or 6 against 2, the PCs will win this fight pretty easily.

Continuing on, there's an encounter with a "fungus leshy" (also potentially solved through diplomacy) and some patches of harmful fungus and then an (optional if time permits) encounter with an ooze. A couple of traps can weaken an unwary party further.

The big climactic encounter is against a jinkin sorcerer and its darkmantle pet who have taken up residence in the vault where Sascha hid her treasure. I remember this fight as actually being reasonably challenging purely because of the darkmantle's darkness ability, even though on paper it should be a real cakewalk for the PCs. Afterwards, the PCs won't have any trouble finding the treasure cache and making it back out of the sewers with a locket for Sascha implying that perhaps she and Eando Kline had a past romance.

So it's a pretty basic dungeon crawl railroad plot: hit the sewers, fight (or potentially talk) past a series of encounters, get the treasure, the end. It's really the incorporation of setting lore that makes this scenario work for me, with elements like the Cerulean Society, Sascha, and some good faction missions making it more than a purely dry exercise in hacking and slashing.


Was my First Scenerio

4/5

I remember this as the scenario that hooked me to society. What made it great was the perfect mix of players role playing, combat, and a bit of curiosity about what was ahead for my Ranger. Played right, this is an excellent low level scenario with a goofy-but lovable character.


Everyone loves Togg.

4/5

(I GMed this twice and played once.)

I love this scenario. If the GM's up for it, you can have a lot of fun with the roleplay. Togg is a wonderful character if you play her as a goofball. The scenario allows players to murderhobo through it, but there's still lots of opportunity for roleplay if you're looking for it.

Some combats are best roleplayed, as they're not very impressive in a fight. The final combat can get tricky. There's a lot of negative stuff thrown at the players, including one that unprepared players will have a hard time dealing with. I'm not docking points for that, I just want to say that some people will feel hosed.

The scenario feels short. I've run it in 3.5 hours both times, another encounter would have filled that gap. On the other hand, I really liked how small the maps were. They're not cramped, like some other adventures, but I didn't spend excess paper on one fight and then move on again.

I have some small nitpicks here and there, but it doesn't detract from the overall grade. This is a great scenario, especially if you're socially inclined.


Forgettable storyline, fine combats

3/5

I wonder why this kind of scenario exist?

All dungeon crawl with no roleplay (altough my GM put some and we had a good time... make my mind not giving 2 star).

The main factor is the fight, both tiers are well-balaced and deal with enemies you don't meet often. But far too weak stroryline... I don't like this kind of dungeon crawl at all. Pretty weak compare to the "save Paracountess" plot.


Beginner's Vault

2/5

Vault is a short, unremarkable, but solid dungeon crawl. This is mostly a combat scenario.

I think Vault's main strength is to provide new GMs a scenario they can run.

The other reviews lead me to believe there were some humorous moments, and there was one, but it was a short chuckle and lasted all of 10 seconds.

Details:

Length: Short. Finished in 1.5 hours, maybe less, and we weren't that fast.
Experience: Player with 6 players (mostly veterans) at subtier 1-2. I think we had the optional encounter as well.
Sweet Spot: TBD.
Entertainment: Except for cookie monster, ABC D&D. (2/10)
Story: Get the McGuffin from the sewers. Not that interesting. (1/10)
Roleplay: There was some, although it wasn't compelling. "What are you doing here?". (4/10)
Combat/Challenges: Probably the best part of the scenario. (7/10)
Maps: Mostly sewers. (6/10)
Boons: Nothing. (1/10)
Uniqueness: Been there, done that. (1/10)
Secondary Objective: Non-intuitive objective, this one we should have probably known about, like a faction mission. Luckily GMs are lenient. (2/10)

Overall: While there was nothing "bad" about this scenario per se, it just felt like I've been there, done that, and that my time would be better spent doing something else.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced for March!

Dark Archive

Just curious...when should we expect this scenario to be available?

Grand Lodge

Some time today usually... The last Wednesday of the month.

Shadow Lodge

They usually release them at the end of their business day (6pm PST, 9pm EST)

Dark Archive

Thanks. I'll check later tonight.

Digital Products Assistant

Now available!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

With a title like The Veteran's Vault I was expecting a high tier scenario. :)

Grand Lodge

Is this scenario a sequel to another one?


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Which maps are used in this scenario?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

Maps:
This scenario uses Map Pack: Sewer System and Flip Mat: Watch Station. Watch Station has been rereleased as a part of the Flip Mat Classics line.

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