Pathfinder Module: The Dragon's Demand (PFRPG)

4.20/5 (based on 23 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: The Dragon's Demand (PFRPG)

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Founded by a famous dragonslayer, the small town of Belhaim has become a sleepy rural community just off the beaten path, a settlement where everyone knows everyone and strangers are the talk of the town. But when Belhaim’s peace and quiet is shattered by the sudden collapse of the last standing tower of its founder’s castle, things quickly bloom out of control. Why were there bodies of kobolds amid the rubble? What’s the sinister secret behind the strange sounds of flapping wings in the night? And what’s happened to local wizard Balthus Hunclay, who’s not answering knocks on his door? The collapsed tower had long been an eyesore to the cantankerous old man—could he have had something to do with its destruction? And what of the rumors of strange stirrings in nearby Dragonfen? Has Belhaim’s ancient draconic nemesis returned?

"The Dragon’s Demand" is a deluxe super-adventure for 1st-level characters, and includes 64 action-packed pages of adventure and new monsters, plus a beautiful double-sided, full-color poster map of the town of Belhaim and an important miniatures-scale battleground! Players can expect to reach 7th level by the time they complete this epic adventure—if they manage to survive the wrath of a dragon when his demands aren’t met!

Written by Mike Shel.
Cover Art by Lars Grant-West.

Pathfinder Modules are 64-page, high-quality, full-color, adventures using the Open Game License to work with both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set. This Pathfinder Module includes new monsters, treasure, a double-sided poster map, and a fully detailed bonus location that can be used as part of the adventure or in any other game!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-527-3

Bring your campaign to life!
The Dragon's Demand SoundPack from Syrinscape is a complete audio solution when playing The Dragon's Demand adventure.

The Dragon's Demand is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download (356 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Subscription.

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4.20/5 (based on 23 ratings)

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Really Appreciated the all the GM Support for this Great Module (GM review)

5/5

To start, the foldout map of the town was great to have. Between the Syrinscape sound pack, the Face/Item/Quest cards for Dragon’s Demand that I could give my players, and the Hero Lab encounter library from Lone Wolf Development, I was free to focus on just learning the module, tailor it to my table, pick pawns, and decide on maps, which was fine considering how much extra time I had. I was able to learn the setting and its people, so that I did not need to reference the book very much during play. Having a town with the right amount of detail (shop names, npc names, mannerisms, etc.) it was easy to elaborate on the setting and bring it out. So, the module greatly enabled me to focus on bringing the setting to life at the table, rather than focusing on the mechanics of it all, from the resources in the module itself and the external support.

The players thoroughly enjoyed it, and the bulk of character development (personality) took place in this module. Though the PCs are advised to be from out of the town, I found it helpful to have 2/5 characters be from the rural outskirts: foresters. This made the players more motivated to protect the region. Though this module is set in Taldor, Golarion, it can easily be adapted for any medieval fantasy setting. SPOILERS!: you can see pics with description of our play-through on our group Facebook site in our Golden Watch, the Next Gen album (contains SPOILERS!): https://www.facebook.com/darkjusticeinc/


Some high spots, some low spots--player review

3/5

This is based on the first half. I'm not positive we'll see the rest and I really feel like writing a review.

Most of the reviews have come from GMs. Our GM seems to be enjoying running this. As a player, though, I liked the first few sessions and then ended up intensely disliking the Manor House arc. A couple of problems:

(1) This arc makes too-heavy use of "put in something the PCs can't handle and then give them the gimmick they need to handle it." I counted at least three of these in quick succession, and by the third I was sick of it. (I have been warned that this continues to the end.)

(2) The GM chose to play buying and selling strictly by the rules, meaning there was nothing useful we could buy. So the cash awards came across as a useless tease, and the well-equipped friendly NPC came across as an even worse one. I'm told that this reverses later, but short of the GM flatly telling them, the players won't know this.

Having "there's money but you can't buy anything," "there's treasure but you promised not to take it," and "there's treasure but it would offend a valuable ally if you took it" back to back in an arc where the PCs were missing very basic stuff...not that much fun. It might have been a good idea to tell the players "No resupply until much later" right away, as one would for _Serpent's Skull_ #1. I'd have made a different character if I'd known.

(3) I know it's standard for modules, but still, I hate going up a level every session, especially when the events are so crowded together. We went from 1st to 5th in 4-5 days, and the whole dynamic of interacting with the townsfolk became bizarre.

Rapid advancement with no downtime has a sort of cartoonish feel. Which could be okay, but the NPCs should be more broadly drawn, like cartoons, to support the flavor. Instead they were relatively realistically drawn, and this was jarring. (I acknowledge, though, that a lot of players like rapid advancement and for them this will not be a problem.)

So, a lot of griping. I did like the early parts quite a bit. GMs may want to carefully read through the Manor House and see if it's likely to be a bad fit for their group as it was for ours.


5/5

Writing this review while its still all fresh in my head..

Party: Occultist, Paladin, Samurai, Inquisitor of Iomedae, and Rogue.

An easy recommend. I GM'ed the module over the course of about 3 months, with fortnightly games. And I think the players really got a kick out of it as well.

The module itself is very classic high-fantasy adventure, with the backdrop of a mysterious accident to get the ball rolling, the PCs explore caves, tombs, and abandoned monasteries. And there's even a Dragon! Or is there...

The entire thing felt very cohesive plot-wise, with each dungeon feeding into the overall plot. Admittedly the players didn't quite pick up on the entire backstory, but I've found that tends to be the case with most RPGs.

NPCs were memorable and the players found themselves checking in on certain villagers every time they came back from an adventure.

The only bad thing I can say about it is that it has ruined Paladins for me. We had one in the party, and in the space of a single round (with a few buff spells) managed to land 3 critical hits against the BBEG. There wasn't a lot left of the poor BBEG after that. Not to mention he had passed all the saves and blocked every attack sent against him. And just for reference the Samurai got killed in round 2 of the same fight. That said, the final boss did get to use all their "tricks" which for me as a GM is deeply satisfying.

Like I said, its a great module, and if you feel like you can't commit to a full AP, then this adventure is a good alternative.


The Perfect Intro

5/5

Picked this up my first module to run as a DM. Everything was well laid out and easy to follow. The pacing was good and even allowed for some additional encounters to be added in. The map of the town was nicely detailed. I recommend this for any group, but it is a superb intro to the pathfinder world for both DMs a players, covering a large variety of creatures, terrain, and experiences.


Awesome as a module or a short campaign

5/5

I really enjoyed this adventured, I GM'd for a group of 5 players, 1 brand new, and 2-3 who haven't played Pathfinder before. I highly recommend this module, the encounters were good and the plot was pretty solid. I do have some minor annoyances, but they are greatly outweighed by the quality of the adventure.

1. The maps - They were great, they were all distinct and looked great. Unfortunately most of them were hard to draw and since the GM is only one that really gets a good look at them in the book a lot is wasted. Some of them are nice and easy to draw, but some of them are just a map drawn and then a grid overlay thrown on top, it would have been nice if the artist had at least kept mostly to a standard grid line just so it's nice and easy to make. The crypt of Tula is nice with it's room types (oval and circular) but it doesn't translate too well into a drawn board. The monastary is HUGE, I had a Chessex Mondo mat (4.5'x8.5') and two mega mats (3'x4') and the Monastary took up most of that (and I had to fit some rooms on there by making up space). I really like drawing everything, so if you don't it's not a big deal. I wish they offered a printed map pack of it. The only included combat map is pretty much the most useless map in the whole adventure.

2. The story - Good story, adventurers come into town and investigate some problems, root around and find a dragon, kill dragon, save the town, become ultra wealthy. There were good NPCs there, though the guidance on much of it is pretty ambiguous, so some of the background I didn't feel I utilized well. The plot for the town was very nice, and I hope that makes it into more modules.

3. Loot - Starting at the tomb your players will get a TON of loot, and some of it's super expensive. So if you're planning on continuing the adventure after this module you need to take that into account. But the players love it.

4. Combat - There's a good mix, from the traditional dragons and kobolds, to the unusual, running through a wizards house. Good mix of everything, I enjoyed it, there were some encounters that were really easy, and some wern't. I added more to pump experience into the players because to hit the experience marks the module wants you is pretty tight with 4 players. In the end my players made it to the last fight at level 6 instead of 7, but they ran the encounter very well and wern't at risk (only one death). You have access to some DM NPCs to act as a release valve should stuff get too tough (and they are pretty darn powerful).

5. Overall - I'd highly recommend it, and wouldn't hesitate running it again, Mike Shel wrote an excellent adventure.


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For future reference, the default XP Track is medium.

Liberty's Edge

I knew the default for adventure paths was medium, Was'nt sure with this new module format, since this takes you from 1-7.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

Question about the Monastery:

Map Question:
With regards to the Monastery of Saint Kyerixus, I know the white rectangles represent doors but what do the blue rectangles represent? Glass windows or archways?

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

We finished the whole story, just wanted to say, my players really enjoyed this module, and it was a blast to GM.

Silver Crusade

I just killed my first two PCs ever, in this module.

Plot:
Our party was as follows:

Cleric of Iomedae
Shield & Bastard Sword Fighter
Halfling Bard
Rogue
In the Kobold Lair, after breezing through every previous encounter, the party encountered the kobold cleric. She used her skeletons and the statue to block the melee, and wound up getting off a hold person (against the fighter, he failed), spiritual weapon, and all 4 channels. I rolled max damage for the second to last channel, and 10 damage for the last channel. By the end of the fight, the bard was dead, the rogue was dead, the fighter was dying, and the cleric of Iomedae was duking it out with the kobold cleric, whittling each other down until eventually the good cleric won out. It was a lot of fun.

Contributor

the Haunted Jester wrote:

Question about the Monastery:

** spoiler omitted **

Glass windows.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber
Mike Shel wrote:
the Haunted Jester wrote:

Question about the Monastery:

** spoiler omitted **

Glass windows.

Thank you sir. My group and I are loving this module and are nearly to the end.


Is there any reason this does not show up on the list of modules allowed for Pathfinder Society? The page I am talking about is here.
http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/pfsproducts/sanctionedModules

Den

Webstore Gninja Minion

uncleden wrote:

Is there any reason this does not show up on the list of modules allowed for Pathfinder Society? The page I am talking about is here.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/pfsproducts/sanctionedModules

Den

Oversight on our part—it's been added. :D


Liz Courts wrote:
uncleden wrote:

Is there any reason this does not show up on the list of modules allowed for Pathfinder Society? The page I am talking about is here.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/pfsproducts/sanctionedModules

Den

Oversight on our part—it's been added. :D

Thank you!

Liberty's Edge

Love the module. But the maps are brutally complex. I've drawn some tough maps in my day...but the sheer size of the monastery....ye gads. Perhaps this would make PFS play difficult? Just sayin'.

That said - the span of levels 1-6 for PFS play is a great option for players looking for something akin to a campaign. I hope we see more of these multi character-level modules - but with slightly easier to draw maps. ;)

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

For the monastery, I printed out a smaller map and uncovered it for the PCs as they went along and only drew the rooms if combat started.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

The last encounter area is massive though.

Liberty's Edge

the Haunted Jester wrote:
The last encounter area is massive though.

Indeed. Good call.

I don't mind complex maps or even big ones...but there are a lot of big/complex maps in this module. It's crying over spilled milk now, but in the future, I hope the folks here consider downsizing the maps to something more reasonable for a GM to draw...particularly if the maps might be used for a PFS sanctioned table/home game. :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Important thing to remember is that the modules are not designed specifically for PFS play. In fact, sanctioning them for PFS is a relatively recent development.

I personally love the maps in this adventure, and hope that the maps in the module line continue to reflect the needs of the adventure versus the fact that modules have begun being sanctioned for PFS.

Liberty's Edge

Joseph Wilson wrote:

Important thing to remember is that the modules are not designed specifically for PFS play. In fact, sanctioning them for PFS is a relatively recent development.

I personally love the maps in this adventure, and hope that the maps in the module line continue to reflect the needs of the adventure versus the fact that modules have begun being sanctioned for PFS.

Nothing wrong with the maps reflecting the adventure. I just don't see why the maps need to be so big. When one looks at the monastery map, there's a lot of green space there...I mean, a lot.

A few squares removed here or there wouldn't hurt the story at all. BUT it would make it easier to fit on grid-chart paper. That's all.

As an aside, even Rise of the Rune Lords maps (again, not originally intended for PFS play) had far easier maps.

Lastly: if the maps are too hard to draw, then really, only the GM ever enjoys them. Full colour, complex, big...great. The players never get the sense because the GM has to alter the maps to fit the battle...so what are we gaining here? :)

BTW: How did you manage to run the final encounter on that huge dragon lair map? Did you draw it precisely or did you alter it? :) If you altered it...well, it kind of defeats the purpose of having the maps reflect the story, right? :)

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

I have not run the final encounter yet but I did convert the map using PosteRazor which broke down the map across 8.5 x 11 inch sheets. This basically broke it down to 76.5" x 99". I plan to attach these to 12 sheets of 20x28" poster board as the main encounter will be run on my living room floor.

Grand Lodge

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would be sorely disappointed if Paizo were to start tailoring their Modules line to PFS play. That's what PFS Scenarios are for, after all. The Modules should be bigger and more complex (maps as well as adventures) because they fill a different niche in the Pathfinder game-space. Not everything needs to be PFS compatible.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah I hope the move to big modules means big maps. I like a lot of area to play in.

Grand Lodge

Most of the maps worked fairly well when enlarged and printed out. Had a little bit of an 8-bit video game feel when printed to scale, but my players had a laugh and then never noticed it again. I loved that the maps were sprawling. Except when I was printing, cutting, and gluing them together. Still, it was worth the time spent.

Liberty's Edge

Skeld wrote:

I would be sorely disappointed if Paizo were to start tailoring their Modules line to PFS play. That's what PFS Scenarios are for, after all. The Modules should be bigger and more complex (maps as well as adventures) because they fill a different niche in the Pathfinder game-space. Not everything needs to be PFS compatible.

-Skeld

I'm not suggesting the maps be tailored to PFS play.

I'm suggesting the maps be planned in such a way as to make them easier to draw.

Example: I've drawn a 5-foot scale model of the Monastery. It takes a little over 4 poster-sized sheets of grid paper. That's fine..it isn't the size that bothers me - it's the awkward nature of the size. (The reason I mention the poster-sized sheets is: it seems paizo had them in mind during previous map designs since they almost always fit on a sheet or a multiple of said sheet.)

Even on 4 poster-sized sheets of paper, the entire monastery does not fit neatly! There are whole rooms (and parts of rooms) that simply don't fit. This means, I have to draw, cut and tape even more extra parts onto an already huge and complex map.

I love beautiful maps. Full agreement. But if a GM can't draw them accurately, the maps remain in the realm of the GM's imagination - thereby being accessible only to the GM. The players never fully experience the maps - which begs the question: why bother with maps no one can ever see?

As a final note: because Dragon's Demand comes with a lovely town map at the back, the Monastery map was hidden from view at time of purchase. Had I known there would be that many huge and complex maps, I wouldn't have bought it.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

Those of you who've finished the module: how many sessions of what length did it take?

I'm thinking of running a game starting in May with this module. I originally hoped we'd have 7 or 8 sessions to get through it, but it looks like we may only have all of the players for four sessions. I suspect that four sessions won't nearly be enough. I'm curious, though, if 7 sessions is even enough. (One level gained per session is really fast; typically in my home game, it's more like one level gained per three sessions.)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

For my group it is roughly 20 sessions with each session consisting of 5 hours. It has been fun but definitely has been longer than I thought it would take. No complaints though ;)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

its been 4 sessions of 5 hours each for my 4-person party and they just finished part 2.
I expect part 3 will take them 3 or 4 sessions.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Silverhand wrote:
Skeld wrote:

I would be sorely disappointed if Paizo were to start tailoring their Modules line to PFS play. That's what PFS Scenarios are for, after all. The Modules should be bigger and more complex (maps as well as adventures) because they fill a different niche in the Pathfinder game-space. Not everything needs to be PFS compatible.

-Skeld

I'm not suggesting the maps be tailored to PFS play.

I'm suggesting the maps be planned in such a way as to make them easier to draw.

Example: I've drawn a 5-foot scale model of the Monastery. It takes a little over 4 poster-sized sheets of grid paper. That's fine..it isn't the size that bothers me - it's the awkward nature of the size. (The reason I mention the poster-sized sheets is: it seems paizo had them in mind during previous map designs since they almost always fit on a sheet or a multiple of said sheet.)

Even on 4 poster-sized sheets of paper, the entire monastery does not fit neatly! There are whole rooms (and parts of rooms) that simply don't fit. This means, I have to draw, cut and tape even more extra parts onto an already huge and complex map.

I love beautiful maps. Full agreement. But if a GM can't draw them accurately, the maps remain in the realm of the GM's imagination - thereby being accessible only to the GM. The players never fully experience the maps - which begs the question: why bother with maps no one can ever see?

As a final note: because Dragon's Demand comes with a lovely town map at the back, the Monastery map was hidden from view at time of purchase. Had I known there would be that many huge and complex maps, I wouldn't have bought it.

I get what you're saying. However, "easy to redraw" and "fits neatly on a big sheet of graph paper" shouldn't be the concerns that drive the design and layout of the maps. The size/complexity of the maps is dictated by the encounters. I would much rather have interesting encounters that take place where there is plenty of room for characters to maneuver than something easy to draw.

-Skeld

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Skeld wrote:


I get what you're saying. However, "easy to redraw" and "fits neatly on a big sheet of graph paper" shouldn't be the concerns that drive the design and layout of the maps. The size/complexity of the maps is dictated by the encounters. I would much rather have interesting
encounters that take place where there is plenty of room for...

I'm with you there.

That said - there are always practical limitations when it comes to designing encounter maps for RPGs. The dining-room table is only so big, right? :)

I'm just saying: I'd like future maps to bear in mind those practical limitations. There's a happy-medium to be achieved between creativity and practicality. The maps in Dragon's Demand are creative enough - but not practical enough. Happy-Medium please. :)

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
rknop wrote:
Those of you who've finished the module: how many sessions of what length did it take?

I'm not done yet, but we're starting session #7 this coming Friday with the family crypt.

Granted, my group has been goofing off more than usual during this module because we're playing through it as an intermission between chapters 5 & 6 of our RotRL campaign.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Silverhand wrote:
Skeld wrote:


I get what you're saying. However, "easy to redraw" and "fits neatly on a big sheet of graph paper" shouldn't be the concerns that drive the design and layout of the maps. The size/complexity of the maps is dictated by the encounters. I would much rather have interesting
encounters that take place where there is plenty of room for...

I'm with you there.

That said - there are always practical limitations when it comes to designing encounter maps for RPGs. The dining-room table is only so big, right? :)

I'm just saying: I'd like future maps to bear in mind those practical limitations. There's a happy-medium to be achieved between creativity and practicality. The maps in Dragon's Demand are creative enough - but not practical enough. Happy-Medium please. :)

I get around this by using a flip-mat and drawing one room at a time (plus maybe an adjoining room/hallway/etc.). I generally don't pre-draw areas and my drawings are fairly rudimentary.

-Skeld

Liberty's Edge

Skeld wrote:


I get around this by using a flip-mat and drawing one room at a time (plus maybe an adjoining room/hallway/etc.). I generally don't pre-draw areas and my drawings are fairly rudimentary.

-Skeld

I see your point. The room-by-room is good...but as you said, it has limitations (often rudimentary etc...).

To my way of thinking, the room-by-room negatively impacts the sense of place. The map becomes a quick battlefield to be erased shortly after the conflict. All the gorgeous detail of the map gets glossed over. IMHO.

As for drawing a room-by-room of the Dragon's lair...I think that would be a very difficult task. The whole sense of scale is diminished by doing a room-by-room here. The battle will end up taking place in a convenient corner of the map rather than where ever the dragon *really* wants to go. :)

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Silverhand wrote:
Skeld wrote:


I get around this by using a flip-mat and drawing one room at a time (plus maybe an adjoining room/hallway/etc.). I generally don't pre-draw areas and my drawings are fairly rudimentary.

-Skeld

I see your point. The room-by-room is good...but as you said, it has limitations (often rudimentary etc...).

To my way of thinking, the room-by-room negatively impacts the sense of place. The map becomes a quick battlefield to be erased shortly after the conflict. All the gorgeous detail of the map gets glossed over. IMHO.

First off, I really love designing maps and often do my best brainstorming messing around with them. Honestly, my map design is often driven as much by aesthetics as encounter demands. But after complaints about map size for Ghennet Manor Gauntlet, I made sure all my future PFS Scenarios fit on a standard flipmat or employed Gamemastery maps.

However, when doing stand-alone modules or AP adventures, I've allowed my love of map aesthetics to guide me, which may admittedly lead to some unwieldy configurations. With something sprawling like the monastery I think TheInnsmouthLooker's idea of printing off a smaller version to reveal and reference along the way, drawing out encounters individually as needed, works well. Using programs to print play maps to scale (as recommended by the Haunted Jester) is also very cool. I recall a certain venture captain doing exactly that with Ghennet Manor at GenCon a few years back; he let me take it home with me. I think it was one of those nice Shackleton boys. It made for a really cool game.

And guys, if you enjoy the adventures, write a review!

Silver Crusade

Ok so I have purchased this, and await its arrival. In the meantime, my group is clamouring for a homespun prequel. Where in Golarion (nation and region wise) does this take place?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The adventure is set in a small town in Taldor, although my understanding is that the PCs should not be natives but new arrivals. If you want to run a prequel, you could perhaps chronicle their journey from wherever they came from to Belhaim?

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

The standard hook for getting them involved in Belhaim also has them arriving completely broke. You could probably modify that to give them other reasons to get involved, but if you want to plan ahead, have them end up on a caravan job that, once they arrive at Belhaim, will have them with no cash at all on them, and with their not getting paid....

Grand Lodge

What about making higher level pregenerated characters based on the various knights from Lady Tula Belhaim's crypt? Maybe tailoring them towards the classes that your current players want to run and having them take out the black dragon, Aeterpax?


Can anyone explain to me how 4 chronicle sheets worth 3 xp each take a character to level 7? This adventure promises to take characters to level 7 but the PDF download which explains how to run it as PFS play clearly says "each Chronicle sheet awards 3xp .... a player who plays plays through the entire modules using the alternate play option and applies all three chronicle sheets to the same character earns a fourth chronicle sheet.. "

4*3xp= 12xp = level 4 not 7.

What am I missing?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dragon's Demand wasn't written with PFS in mind, it was written for home games primarily. The claim that it takes characters from 1-7 is there because the module contains enough experience points to take the characters from level 1 to level 7 using the normal Pathfinder experience system. When it came time to PFS sanction it, John Compton decided that it wouldn't be healthy for PFS to suddenly give out 6 chronicle sheets for Dragon's Demand, so he came up with the current system as a way of recognizing the player's accomplishments without throwing tons of experience out there.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Schmendrick wrote:
What am I missing?

Modules aren't written for PFS, but are intended primarily for home games. The PFS stuff gets tacked on to the back end after the fact.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

Schmendrick wrote:

Can anyone explain to me how 4 chronicle sheets worth 3 xp each take a character to level 7? This adventure promises to take characters to level 7 but the PDF download which explains how to run it as PFS play clearly says "each Chronicle sheet awards 3xp .... a player who plays plays through the entire modules using the alternate play option and applies all three chronicle sheets to the same character earns a fourth chronicle sheet.. "

What am I missing?

The Dragon's Demand chronicle sheet wrote:

Alternatively, you may play the entirety of The

Dragon’s Demand, afterward receiving credit for playing
the sanctioned portions of the adventure as if you had
played a pregenerated character. In this case, GMs
running the module are not bound to the rules of the
Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign (such as
20-point buy, unavailability of hero points, etc.) when
running the campaign or the sanctioned portion of the
adventure. Pathfinder Society characters and characters
playing through this alternative format may not play in
the same adventure.
The Dragon's Demand chronicle sheet wrote:

Players who play through the entire module (not just

the sanctioned portions) using the alternate play option
detailed above and apply all three Chronicle sheets to the
same Pathfinder Society character earn a fourth Chronicle
sheet that must also be applied to that character.

You have two options to get PFS credit. You can play only the sanctioned content, using PFS rules and PFS legal characters. This can award you up to 3 chronicle sheets. The other option is to run it as a home game, with whatever house rules you wish, play through the entirety of the module. If you apply the three chronicles to the same PFS character, then you get a bonus chronicle that you can also apply to that same character.

As others have said, the module was not designed for PFS play. It isn't a PFS scenario, but it has portions that have been approved for PFS play, in the same way that portions of adventure paths are sanctioned for PFS play.


Hi. My group and I are just starting this module (second session) and are already liking it a lot. Just to add to the maps comments - we play on Roll20 and transferring the maps digitally is not working (I'm talking specifically about the map of the maps below the ruined tower). Is there any way to get hi-res maps or will I need to do them all by hand? The maps are beautiful, but scaling them up to flip-map scale is making it so that they're illegible.
Love the module, though!
-Bill

Webstore Gninja Minion

BossArcadelt wrote:

Hi. My group and I are just starting this module (second session) and are already liking it a lot. Just to add to the maps comments - we play on Roll20 and transferring the maps digitally is not working (I'm talking specifically about the map of the maps below the ruined tower). Is there any way to get hi-res maps or will I need to do them all by hand? The maps are beautiful, but scaling them up to flip-map scale is making it so that they're illegible.

Love the module, though!
-Bill

We don't have any high-resolution maps (like Map Packs or Flip-Mats) available for this module, alas.


My home group concluded Dragon's Demand last night. Playing 4 to 5 hours per session, once a week it took us about two months to complete. On a fun-meter of 1 to 5, one being a suck-fest and 5 being an instant classic I would give this module a 3.

Criticism
As the DM I loathed the maps! We're old school and I hand draw my maps and the color choices for the maps (pdf and book) clashed way to much and it made it extremely difficult to reproduce. I'm donating my maps to my local PFS chapter so that no DM will have to experience that level of agony again.

The overall size of the adventuring area is huge, especially the Monastery, that I feel will be a "spatial challenge" for most groups. For the monetary ground level and the final encounter I flipped this challenge to a plus by moving the group to the floor, which was through back to our school days.

Kudos
I thought the opening "title sequence" was a novel idea and I liked it.

The "auction" was also novel and my players and I enjoyed that, probably the highlight of the adventure.

The final battle was a lot of fun as well. Here the large space is an absolute requirement for the BBEBG to really shine.


I usually print out the maps, tiled on large paper and tape them together. The maps in this module are compressed way too much. Blown up to full scale, or even 10' per inch for the bigger ones, like the monastery, they look pretty crapy. Very disappointing. Why don't you guys make high resolution maps downloadable for purchasers of the product? The embedded maps in this one kind of suck.

Whats the point of all these beautiful maps if only the DM ever sees them?


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

The maps in Paizo adventures are not really compressed or shrunk. How they appear in the books is the size that the cartographer created them (and how Paizo commissioned them). In other words, what appears in print is about the highest resolution that the maps exist in.


Joseph Wilson wrote:
The maps in Paizo adventures are not really compressed or shrunk.

Well, actually, they are. If you extract the images from the PDFs (I'm pretty sure they were JPEG - its been a while), you'll notice that the size is less than the size a raw bitmap image would be at that resolution and bit depth. That is the point of compressing them. The distortion in the extracted images blown to scale is the result of the compression.

I am not an expert in publishing or cartography, which maybe you are. But I am a principal engineer at a compression software company.

Joseph Wilson wrote:
How they appear in the books is the size that the cartographer created them (and how Paizo commissioned them). In other words, what appears in print is about the highest resolution that the maps exist in.

I am pretty sure that Jared Blando is not creating these maps in a native-JPEG editor at the small size they appear in the module. I doubt any artist would. In many earlier modules, I have extracted and printed them at scale and they are still distorted, but look much better and are totally useable with miniatures. The images in this module are compressed to a higher degree for some reason, and this makes them look worse at scale - to the point where they aren't really worth printing.

Also, I seriously doubt Blando's contract with Paizo says "make us maps that look great small but crappy at scale". If you want to see what his maps really look like, go here, where he sells full-size versions of the maps he makes for another publisher (which Paizo should either let him do or do themselves by the way): The Red Epic

Thanks for submitting your speculation as if you really know what you're talking about, though. I always appreciate when people reply to my posts.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Here's James Jacobs, the Creative Director of Paizo, saying the same thing.

James Jacobs wrote:

Further clarification:

Our cartographers create the maps at the size they are printed in the book; they don't create them at such a level of detail that when you blow them up to 1 inch squares they'll still be crisp and clear. As I said in my last post, doing so could make a map big enough for a horse to use as a blanket. And since the current full-page size is running at 55 MB, I would assume that something equal to 25 pages would be close to 1,200 MB in size. I'm not sure our computers here at Paizo could handle that. I'm POSITIVE the one I work on would explode.

And further down the same thread...

James Jacobs wrote:

One thing to note: I honestly don't know what the capabilities and procedures are for actual map file manipulation. My part of working on the maps is generally limited to asking authors to provide them, sometimes redrawing maps that authors provide that are too ugly or confusing, and then sending the finished map rough drafts to our art director, who then sends them on to the cartographer. I also proof the final maps that come back to make sure they work with the adventure.

SO! I can't really speak with authority WHY we do the maps the way we do, but I can say that changing that procedure isn't really an option while we're overworking our art department as it is by heaping so many monthly products on them AND adding additional giant hardcovers. Currently, the primary focus of what we do at Paizo remains the print product, and if we have to make choices between what is best for the print product and schedule and what might be better for the PDF... the print side wins.

And even if we DID ask for the maps to be done at a level of detail where you could print them out at a 1 inch = 1 five-foot-square ratio, not only would that make for enormous file sizes that would make the process unwieldy (I fear... again, I don't know WHY the files are so big or what happens if we shrink that size, but I suspect we can't due to the standards of publishing requirements), it would also break the bank. Building a map to be pretty and not pixelated at that scale also requires more work on the maps themselves to make them not look barren and sparse and ugly at that scale... but even if we DIDN'T take that extra step, we'd still have to pay the cartographers more since, like artwork, map payments scale with the physical size of the map.

All of which is saying that there are MANY compelling reasons to handle the maps like we currently do. Would it be possible to change those reasons and how we handle maps? Sure! But certianly not this year, when we're also launching a 576 page RPG and a 320 page bestiary. We're too busy!

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Imma rocket scientist, but I'm not an expert on publishing or cartography.

-Skeld


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

Thanks, Joanna. Those are the posts I got my info from as well, I just didn't have time in the moment to go through the quoting process. Hopefully that helps shed some light and clarification for Mr. Monty.


How long does it take to run The Blood Vow Lair for a PFS?


My group is exploring the monastery right now and using 3D terrain to emulate the maps for it. A few pictures of the set-up can be seen here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10204995054296553.1073741834.1247 750500&type=1&l=61d84bf901

We are totally loving this 'mega adventure". Hats off to Mike Shel and Paizo!


Dex Celsior wrote:

My group is exploring the monastery right now and using 3D terrain to emulate the maps for it. A few pictures of the set-up can be seen here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10204995054296553.1073741834.1247 750500&type=1&l=61d84bf901

We are totally loving this 'mega adventure". Hats off to Mike Shel and Paizo!

The previous link is broken due to an unexplained space inserted between the two 7's.

Copy/paste the link but remove that space before pressing enter, thanks.

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