Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–23: Rivalry's End (PFRPG) PDF

**½( )( ) (based on 24 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3–7.

The Pathfinder Society's conflict with the Aspis Consortium in the frontier region of Varisia has come to a head, and the time to secure dominance of the ancient land is now. But despite mounting victories on the Society's part, the Aspis Consortium still has a few tricks up its sleeves, including several powerful agents from the Pathfinders' past who could prove too challenging an obstacle to surmount. Can the PCs end the ongoing struggle for control of the flow of ancient Thassilonian artifacts out of Varisia's ports, or will the Aspis Consortium succeed in keeping the Pathfinder Society ever in its shadow as it profits on the exploitation of the millennia?

Written by Ron Lundeen.

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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**½( )( ) (based on 24 ratings)

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Whhhaaaaaaaaatttttttt?

**( )( )( )

Out of all of the scenarios I've played to date, this one makes the least amount of sense. As it is the final curtain call for the Shadow Lodge, it should have had a memorable ending, not one that makes you exclaim, "Whhhaaaaaaaaatttttttt?"

We arrive in the Spider's lair. How do we know? It's spider shaped. There's a trap on the rugs before the double doors. Since none of us can remove magical traps we have two options. On one hand we can destroy the traps and alert the Spider we're coming. On the other hand, we can set the trap off and alert the Spider we're coming. We elect to destroy the trap.

Opening the doors we're hit in the face with a confusion spell. Most of the session is spent dealing with it. We were lucky to have had a lyrakien azata familiar - who was lightning immune - tank the lightning wielding kineticist. Otherwise, there would have been casualties.

Once the confusion was past, we searched for the Spider. We didn't find him or her. We didn't even get to see what the Spider looked like since they began the encounter invisible. Not ones to give up too easily we did the best we could to try and find the Spider. We considered different spells and different ways we could collect information by using skills. After hitting a wall we finally used the lyrakien azata's once a week commune ability. We learn the Spider is leaving by ship. Now the problem is that we don't know what they look like. Apparently someone at the lodge does so we return there to find them.

We know Grandmaster Torch is waiting for us to return. We specifically said we weren't looking for Torch - but instead for this other NPC. So what happens? We run into Torch. The conversation went something like this

Torch: How is the investigation going? Have you found the Spider yet?
Us: We're working on it. If you'd excuse us, we're looking for someone.
Torch: Can you give me an update on your investigation?
Us: We're working on it still. We have this lead we're following up.
Torch: You haven't found them yet?
Us: WE'RE STILL WORKING ON IT!
Torch: You've ruined my plans. Kill them my bodyguards.
Us: Whhhaaaaaaaaatttttttt?

In the end the scenario made no sense. It seems like failure was the only option. Did we fail because we couldn't quietly remove the trap at the Spider's door, or for some other reason? Regardless, it just feels like there was nothing we could have done to capture the Spider. Take your 0 pp, 1100 gp and move on.


A memorable ending

***( )( )

I was one of the players in Quentin's game – see the review below. I liked the concept of the scenario. Stopping a high priority Aspis agent from damage the Pathfinder Society any further than she already has, is a good plot. It's simple, yet effective. Sadly though, she was a bit of a weak foe to face. If her first spell fails, she'll likely get run over quickly. It's a bit too hit or miss for an opponent that gets hyped up throughout a season. I honestly expected more of her.

The plottwist at the end though is great. However it is sad that your actions don't really stick. Regardless of the outcome of the fight, the result will be the same. Still, the look on our faces when it unfolded was probably priceless. Us turning the tide due to my mesmerist casting a successful spell combined with a great follow-up from the rest of the party made us lose our minds. It was a moment of 'did we really just do that?' and filled us with pride and sense of accomplishment.

While it was a bit disappointing at times, it definitely is a very memorable scenario. Based on the ending alone, I'd recommend it. Just don't expect one of the best scenarios out there though.


Somewhat of a letdown.

***( )( )

(I GMed this.)

While my players had fun playing this scenario, I still think things could've been improved somewhat. The story was only so-so, the setting was below par, and the combats trivial (though that might also have been due to my extraordinarily bad rolls).

The story: Maybe it's because I'm not completely read up on the storyline, but the introductory text sort of came out of nowhere. "We found the Spider, she's Person X, go find her." I would've preferred a little more mystery in my opening text. And in the end, after the final encounter (which my players solved really well), the conclusion undoes all of their actions. Also, being powerless to act during "that scene" left my players a bit miffed.

The setting is promising, but ultimately had no payoff. We had a bit of fun roleplaying the gambling den, but ultimately it was inconsequential. It then proceeded into a very small dungeon without much flavour. If you throw in a dungeon, at least make it interesting, I would've expected more resistance from The Spider.

Combats were uninteresting as well. They had a good mix of people, so all bases were covered, but due to the four-player adjustment (and consistently bad initiative checks on my part), the fights were trivial. Hardly anyone got damaged, and I got the feeling my players weren't really challenged. I don't want to make it super hard on them, but considering this is the climax to the storyline, I would've preferred it if the players felt like there's a lot at stake here. Encounters with just two or three enemies just aren't that interesting for a decently built party.

Final encounter::
My players masterfully incapacitated Torch with a Hold Person, preventing him from using any of his two means of escape. In the end, the players felt let down that in the conclusion Torch gets away anyway, feeling like all their actions were for naught. They did get a nice boon, though.


Awful, Awful Scenario

*( )( )( )( )

Just played this game tonight at the higher tier. This ranks as my most miserable experience with role playing. The only reason I gave it one star is because I could not give it zero stars.

I am a fairly new to Pathfinder, although I have been involved in roleplaying since D&D came out in three brown boxes. (About 40 years.) I am seriously reconsidering whether I want to participate in further Pathfinder Society adventures and whether I even want to play Pathfinder again. This scenario is really that bad.

For me, roleplaying is about storytelling. This adventure, on the other hand is about whether a GM can wipe out an entire party. As a player, I found that my character really could not take any effective action against any of the NPC's or deal with any of the traps. Her sole role in the adventure was to stand around, taking ineffective actions, while the GM proceeded to slaughter the party.

From a player's standpoint, this was no fun at all.


Bon Voyage to the Shadow Lodge

****( )

I loved this one... I was sad that the shadow lodge faction was retired, we really should have kept it around one more season.(considering I started playing in season 4 and by the time we got to the Rivalry's End, we were having to rush to get to it and still get the story)
But that's not what this is about, instead it is about a really interesting plot twist to retire the Shadow Lodge faction. I believed everything was pretty balanced and since this was supposed to be an epic conclusion, the final two fights were a bit tough to completely succeed at.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced for June!

Grand Lodge

Is this the one I've been waiting for?

Paizo Employee Developer

You don't wait for all of them?

Sovereign Court

Life's too fast to sit around and wait for anything!

...:
Except for Blakros Matrimony, but that came out late and was totally worth the time.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Agh, I'll have to GM this one, my Shadow Lodge character just hit Eight...

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Curious if Grandmaster Torch will be as kind as Amara Li...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Thankfully, I only have two Shadow Lodge characters, and they are both in the range. :)


Did the date on this change or am i just extra full of crazy?

Dark Archive

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

I do think this was to be released the last Wednesday of June, originally.

Paizo Employee Developer

June scenarios are being released a week after the last Wednesday of the month in order to debut at PaizoCon. At the same time, July scenarios are releasing 4 weeks early to debut at the same time. This was always the plan, even if the website didn't know that plan because it's a computer and not clued in to the awesome stuff we have planned for PaizoCon.

Paizo Employee Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Man, they let that guy write another scenario? Sheesh!

Grand Lodge

Still seems like a pretty tight schedule to get it in... and my Shadow Lodge character is at 6th... and holding. Have a choice... play him at slow progression for a level (so that I can do the final two levels of Thornkeep with him AND this one), or use another character for Thornkeep...

Oh, the humanity!!!

Liberty's Edge

Ron Lundeen wrote:
Man, they let that guy write another scenario? Sheesh!

I know! His scenarios sucked as hard as the event horizon of a black hole! Except when they didn't, which was always. LOL

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Without spoilers, are there any scenarios in particular that I should play before this one, to get the full story impact?

Liberty's Edge

It needs to have an obligatory Torch in Bathhouse scene!

I am hoping that Torch sells out to the Aspis

Liberty's Edge

When is the deadline for this one to get the retirement boon? I.E.: when must I GM this one for my players and I to get the retirement boon; sorry, just wanted to clarify my question.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

August 14th, same as Way of the Kirin.

Shadow Lodge

We're going to be so short on time to get to play this to get the pre-August 14th boon; even shorter if you want to play and GM it. Only 6 weekends to play with.

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

What happened to the release date? When I announced my July schedule last week, this was listed as coming out on Wednesday, so my GMs would have five days to prep. Now they only get the weekend.

Why do you guys keep mucking up what is already a difficult job to do? )-:

Paizo Employee Developer

This scenario has always been intended to be released in tandem with its debut at PaizoCon. If you need your GMs to have early access to it, you may consider contacting Mike to have the scenario added to their downloads, as it is done and in PaizoCon GMs' hands so they can prep.

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am going to say something odd, but here goes: I like the fact that my GMs are willing to pay for their scenarios. It makes them care more about the game they are running, and it pays you for your product. I also dislike bothering any of you to give me a handout when I know you are busy.

I'd rather it were simply available when I'm told it will be. Especially one like this, which is highly anticipated and has a time-frame for playing.

Shadow Lodge

Need to read the mod and evaluate my play of it with what was actually written.

Liberty's Edge

Spoiler:

Part of the scenario requires a list of 36 names and then a list of 8 names to match the busts (and the mirrors).

Here's a good online Fantasy name generator:

http://rinkworks.com/namegen/

There's even a Japanese name generator on that site for help with the Lantern Lodge faction mission.

For some added fun, enter the following 10 names into an anagram generator and insert the results into the list of 36 names--one every 8th name:

Ron Lundeen
James Jacobs
F Wesley Schneider
James Sutter
Logan Bonner
John Compton
Adam Daigle
Rob McCreary
Mark Moreland
Patrick Renie

http://www.wordsmith.org/anagram/

Liberty's Edge

casiel wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Here's a list of names that I am using as handouts when I run "Rivalry's End"...

The Ten: (37 names)

Spoiler:

(every 8th name is an identity of one of the Decemvirate)
Roight Riletroth
Durod Blyustust
Dunner Lone
Honurn Briprad
Belah Triaughbel
Aces Jamjobs
Elmrana Didard
Deifcers Shewnley
Nynrak Llaydia
Osem Joosest
Master Jutes
Neach Rhalyeet
Rothkin Scharler
Chesold Choolest
Essardu Imyerbur
Bornean Long
Quabwor Deabves
Rilyh Jouzrak
Jom Coptohnn
Nalvese Nuywor
Imche Miafcha
Serldra Mevesper
Kintan Weillcha
Alga Diadem
Miser Rerilage
Ashond Ceraright
Carry Comber
Wopol Deghine
Inagdan Boentia
Ingut Shiuskdyn
Aleacki Sweswor
Kraal Dormmen
Daos Densaygha
Aldvor Tanrakrak
Carter Pinkie
Stesul Vakelend
Lyeem Peremche

The Eight (busts/mirrors):

Spoiler:

Koig Vesburler (Absalom, 12pm)
Suzukami Yoshito (Goka, 3am)
Noet Whiniss (Egorian, 9am)
Irn Dansaycha (Magnimar,6am)
Kem Toubtin (Sothis, 2pm)
Kinl Schesar (Katheer, 5pm)
Leiq Rodanser (Oppara, 8pm)
Rylt Omendrod (Almas, 12am)

Liberty's Edge

Cool handouts there, I love it.

Paizo Employee Developer

Your list of Decemvirate identities is missing several that have already been revealed in other scenarios, namely the Eyes of the Ten series. Otherwise, a very handy tool for GMs.


casiel wrote:
casiel wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Here's a list of names that I am using as handouts when I run "Rivalry's End"...

The Ten: (37 names)
** spoiler omitted **

Ace Jamjobs

The Eight (busts/mirrors):
** spoiler omitted **

LOL!

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is anyone else extremely disappointed with this scenario? Reading through it, and it just seems very much wtf?!?!? Now do not get me wrong, the scenario itself is good, and this isn't at all a slight towards Ron. I'm talking about the outcome.

Spoiler:

This is what they came up with on how to get rid of the Shadow Lodge, not to mention how to portray Torch, who has gone out of his was to create a network of agents within the pathfinders dedicated primarily to looking out for their own when the jerks of the society fail to do so. Basically anyone with a rank above agent. Secondly, the Shadow Lodge was basically the one way that, out of character, one could play PFS without being uncomfortably a Society slave.

Secondly, why would anyone loyal to the Shadow Lodge give a crap about what the Society wants them to do, even if, if they believe Torch is guilty, (as opposed to finding a new leader and Charlie Mikeing (continue mission)? Instead we are going to just follow some of the most annoying and hated personalities within the Society, Sheila Heidmarch, Drandle Dreng, and Ambrus Valsin? Uhuh? Wait, what?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Added spoiler tag to the above post!

Shadow Lodge

My apologies, it all seemed like common knowledge material, and I intentionally avoided specifics.

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