Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–03: The Hellknight's Feast (PFRPG) PDF

4.10/5 (based on 22 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario for characters of 5th to 9th level (Tier 5–9).

War between demons and the civilized peoples of the Inner Sea region has broken out in the Worldwound far to the north of Absalom, but despite the regional implications of an Abyssal victory, many nations are ambivalent toward the cause. The Pathfinder Society, at the urging of Silver Crusade leader Ollysta Zadrian, arranges a formal banquet to be hosted by newlyweds Michellia and Damian Blakros, at which the society's agents can attempt to sway the political opinions of Absalom's movers and shakers. Will the Pathfinders succeed in securing the much-needed military support of Absalom and other nations bordering the Inner Sea, or will the crusaders and Pathfinders fighting on the front lines in Mendev find themselves standing alone before the demonic hordes?

Written by Tom Phillips.

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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4.10/5 (based on 22 ratings)

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I look forward to running this again!

4/5

I had the good fortune of running #5–03: The Hellknight's Feast at GameStorm 2014 a total of four times.

GMs must bring the NPCs to life and players must engage and pay attention to get the most out of this scenario. I love the roleplaying opportunities. The combats are challenging as well! Bring your A-game. Talk. And prepare for a good fight.

To the GMs:

Spoiler:
The scenario is complicated in that relevant details are scattered throughout the scenario. I made the mistake on my first run of not being aware of magic items and spells explicitly stated in the text, but not clarified for their implications and how PCs might get a chance to circumvent them.

Also, be aware of the experience that your players are having. Do they look confused? Bored? Unhappy? Talk to them about the game mechanics if they are lost. Taking the time to explain the metagame before hand allowed everyone to be on the same page and to focus on the mystery of the personalities, not the skill checks. I placed a sheet of paper on the table detailing the names, gender, race, appearance, and companions of each NPC. I openly tracked progress with each NPC. This sheet also served as a convenient way of having the players select their seating arrangement.

To the players:

Spoiler:
This scenario deals with over a dozen full names from Pathfinder Society Organized Play lore. Many of them are important to keep straight for a rewarding roleplaying experience. If your GM is not volunteering this information then you must demand it. As written, you have a full day between the time you are given the mission and when you must arrive at your destination. Travel time is negligible. Use this time to request that you make Diplomacy (gather information), Knowledge (local), or Knowledge (nobility) checks to get background information on the relevant NPCs. The more you know going in, the better your roleplaying.


Found it heavy handed and clumsy

2/5

It felt like it was written for extremely deadly combat and the story was tagged on.




Expect Table Variation

4/5

It is hard to give this mod a specific star rating because it will vary so much from table to table. I would rate the table I played at 5 stars, but I could see it going horribly wrong with a group of players who were not expecting this kind of scenario, or a GM that was not well prepared. I suppose that is true for all mods, but it particularly true for this one.

The players need to know what they are getting into. To his credit, the writer of the mod seems to have made an effort not to make all the social rolls come down to seventeen Diplomacy checks, but you still need some talky characters to make this work. The group I played with had the skills pretty well covered, but still ran into a wall by missing one . . .

Spoiler:
Knowledge: Geography

We also nearly got dangerously derailed by a barbarian who wanted to take his animal companion into the party. It's a fancy dinner - dinosaurs not invited! You need to get player buy in that this is not your typical dungeon crawl, where you can bash heads and throw around fireballs indiscriminately. I like this kind of game, but it's not everyone's idea of a good time.

The GM needs to be well prepared to make this game work. This is not a game you can say, in the middle of a con, we need one more table and just shove the mod into the GMs hand and expect things to run smoothly. It's all about knowing the different NPCs' personalities and how they interact with each other, and that takes some study ahead of time. It also helps if you have a DM who is comfortable ad libbing NPCs who are not fully fleshed out just in case the PCs decide they need to talk to the pastry chef, or assistant butler #3. I thought our GM did a great job with this, and it made the mod very entertaining, but again it's something that is going to vary from table to table.

So, in short, I loved playing this mod but I can understand why some people are giving it 2 stars and some people are giving it 5.


Great game

5/5

Having both played and ran this game I have found both the NPc's character and the social gaming refreshing and this is now one of my favorite scenarios. Would defiantly recommend. Also really looking forward to running again. Although I do agree that the combat is a bit lack luster, that is not the meat and potatoes of this scenario and I think it handled the social parts if the game extremely well.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced for GenCon 2013!

RPG Superstar 2012

Congrats, Tom!

My daughter and I will definitely try to play this one at GenCon. :)

Silver Crusade

Can I play this now?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

taig wrote:

Congrats, Tom!

My daughter and I will definitely try to play this one at GenCon. :)

Lady Ophelia wrote:
Can I play this now?

Oh, the pressure! :-)

Shadow Lodge

Oh now this sounds like fun! :D

Dark Archive

Sounds like a mod for a charisma based pc. I wonder if they will look down on you again if you wear armor at the banquet like the snobs at the Blackrose Matrimony did?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Maybe not the best scenario to play with a goblin?... or... perhaps it's the BEST scenario to play a goblin!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Raymond Lambert wrote:
Sounds like a mod for a charisma based pc.

Nope! All PCs should be able to contribute during the social interaction scenes.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Kyle Baird wrote:
Maybe not the best scenario to play with a goblin?... or... perhaps it's the BEST scenario to play a goblin!

Depends on the goblin ... but, sure, goblin Pathfinders would work just fine. But be warned, there are dogs. Several dogs. And possibly a horse or two.

Shadow Lodge

You see Tom, now you HAVE to go to GenCon this year...

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

TPK Games wrote:
You see Tom, now you HAVE to go to GenCon this year...

I wish! With a son due this October, expenses are a bit too tight right now to justify such a trip. Possibly next year though! :-)


Tom Phillips wrote:
I wish! With a son due this October...

Congrats! Best job there is. :)


My Gencon GM for this ran it about as suboptimally as possible, but I could tell there was a really great adventure here, covering a number of possibilities and playstyles. It's one I hope I get to run for the local crowd.

-Ben.

Silver Crusade

Hi there! So, there is an issue with the PDF: It reads "The Waking Rune" on the heading scenarios. Other than that, he adventure looks amazing!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

This was fun to write. And major kudos to John Compton for polishing it up and making me look good ... and to Qunicy Boyd for his brilliant art and Sean Macdonald for his wonderful cartography.

terraleon: I'm sorry for your game experience. I hope you have a great time when/if you get to run it for your local group. Post a review if you can!

Balkin, Zahir: Thanks for the very kind reviews. :-)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

And thank you, Mike Welham for the kind review!

I hereby officially and formally forgive you for beating me in the final round of the 2012 RPG Superstar contest. :-)

Dark Archive

Ran this (and all the other season 5 mods) this weekend at Animefest and must say I enjoyed this one the best by far. The social part took my players a few minutes to get into but once I explained how the mechanic worked to them immediately took to it like a fish to water.

The Dinner scene alone had the women at my table rolling and the men groaning as soon as I described it as doing a seating chart for a wedding reception but that made it work.

I'll spoiler this part but

Spoiler:
This was a BRUTAL mod and TPK'd my whole table at high tier with the 4 player adjustment. The advanced wraith eating 8 points of con a round with the 5 minute paralysis from the Mohrg terrified them and killed all my arcane casters. The succubus brought back nightmares of dawn of the scarlet sun when she one shot the cleric and then methodically went down the line 1 round killing every other party member. Invisibility + 5 attacks a round + 3D6 SA + 6D6 Vampiric touch is BRUTAL).

Had a blast with this, just the right amount of social with quick intense battles makes this an absolute joy to run. Prep is significant but the more you do the better it is.
4.5 Stars (the map is the only drawback, the rooms are too small for the number of bodies present in each scene. Claustrophobic close and makes the fights hard on the PC's.)

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

Tom Phillips wrote:

And thank you, Mike Welham for the kind review!

I hereby officially and formally forgive you for beating me in the final round of the 2012 RPG Superstar contest. :-)

Hooray! Mission accomplished!

I had a great deal of fun running this scenario, and everyone at each of my tables had a lot of fun too. After one session, one of my players told me he never hated an NPC more than he did one of the NPCs I played.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My funniest moment running this scenario:
One of my home players, Cathy, gets a lot of flak for never spending her gold. It's good-hearted, mind you. Before this session began, she uncharacteristically announced considering buying X (spoiler omitted). We all encouraged her to buy X, particularly because the role composition in our region lacks players good at X. She hummed and hawed and chose not to after all.

The adventure starts, we get to interacting with the NPCs, and she has a convincing argument with solid roleplaying, earning a +2 to her role. She stumbles onto the NPC's advantage, getting an additional +4. An ally aids, granting her another +2. She rolls her influence check and is short of the DC by 2. As it happens, this NPC has a special influence note: Any PC with X gets an additional +2 bonus to influence checks against this NPC. Cathy`s decision not to buy X was directly responsible for her character failing to influence an NPC on her first try.

X=

Spoiler:
Medium armour

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

In regards to the latest review on this scenario, it seems that someone's GM missed this line:

Spoiler:
Each PC can attempt a Bluff check (to pretend to be friendly), a Diplomacy check (to be genuine), or a skill check mentioned in the NPC’s social stat block.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

That was very nice to run. Loved it, my players loved it as well (I think).

I had taken the time to setup the ground floor with some 3D dungeon: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5804/23215001796_d6540a7c00_b.jpg

Without limiting my player's time it ran 8 hours, but we didn't mind. I could have cut some stuff off, but... it would have been an injustice.

Sovereign Court

Running this one soon. Anyone know what that thing on the cover is? Doesn't look like any of the referenced monsters...


Have fun! The creature is a:

Wraith

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