Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–05: The Elven Entanglement (PFRPG) PDF

3.50/5 (based on 32 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenarios for levels 7–11.

Nearly every nation has contributed to the Mendevian Crusade, but few are willing to send additional aid to assist the Pathfinder Society directly. Owed a favor the elves cannot refuse, Pathfinders travel to Kyonin to secure a force of some of the finest demon-hunters in Avistan only to find that the hunters are missing in action. Can the Pathfinders extract the lost elves from the depths of Tanglebriar, or will they become the latest casualties of Treerazer’s domain?

Written by Ryan Costello, Jr.

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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Into Tanglebriar we go!

3/5

I played this with together with The Degraded, I was the demon-hating ranger archer. I have wanted to play this scenario for a long time with that specific character. She is an elf with the tanglebriar demonslayer archetype and a background in Kyonin, so this scenario should be perfect for her.And that made it all a bit too easy for me. But that has nothing to do with the scenario itself.

So what about the scenario? It gives a good impression what Tanglebriar is about, with interesting environmental effects and though fights. I really liked the first and the optional encounters, because both are challenging and use some things not often seen. However the map used in the optional encounter is too small for the encounter. Using the regular forest flipmat for this encounter would have been better.

The final encounter has a lot going on for the GM. Unfortunately most of that is just scenery and high-level PCs are probably aware of that. A few twists (class levels on the mooks? and removing some hazards) would have improved the final combat, while reducing the burden on the GM lower.

I rate this scenario a 3: the Tanglebriar background is very good, which would warrant a 4, but that is offset by the things mentioned above.


Behind enemy trees..

4/5

Some scenarios have a reputation to be very challenging, and so I was happy when I saw I’d being playing this scenario on the high tier alongside a couple of player that I consider to be veterans. On paper, we had a phenomenal setup. Three of our characters had the Riftwarden vanity, so it was obvious from the start this is right up their alley. We ended up with a 6-man-party consisting of a level 11 paladin, level 10 melee/strength investigator, level 11 rogue, level 10 ‘I hate demons’ ranger, a level 11 Riftwarden (yes, the prestige class) and a level 10 (chained) summoner with a ridiculously tanky eidolon.

The major focus of this scenario is combat. As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, that alone is not good enough for me as I really need a solid storyline and role-play as well. The role-play was hardly present except for two encounters, but the storyline was actually there. Or rather, there were a couple of nice sidestories present which all led to potentially scary encounters.

The first encounter was by far the scariest of the bunch. The others did not come nearly as close. I do have to admit that seeing that creature run amok and then missing the bite on my eidolon even though it hit AC36 was rather satisfying. I’m proud of my kitty. She even became a glorious mount of the paladin in the final combat where the two bravely flew and charged.. the quasit flunkies. They never got to see the big bad evil as the rest of the party made really short work of that one. Such is the result of haste, a ranger focused on demonslaying, a riftwarden, a rogue and an investigator. It was an absolutely massacre in our favor and I think we cleaned this up in two or three rounds.

That said, I think I liked the optional encounter the most. The enemies could really pack a punch, but there was a neat sidestory behind them. It gave my socially awkward gnome summoner an actual reason to just walk up to the angry monsters and give them in a hug in the middle of combat. Contrary to previous scenarios where she wanted to hug a lich amongst things, there actually was a good reason to do so and we as a party managed to ‘persuade’ the creatures to break free and help us. It was glorious.

You can’t tell, but I’m sitting here with a smile on my face just thinking back to the events that transpired. While I did miss some role-play, I felt immersed and completely satisfied because of all the unique encounters and environmental challenges. I can only applaud the author for that. Even though we had a relatively easy time with this scenario because of our characters, we could tell this is a very dangerous scenario. Combats can and will be lethal, so it’s best to really prepare for this one, but it’s really worth checking it out.


Hardcore Mode On!

5/5

Entanglement is a combat based scenario with several extremely challenging and interesting combats.

After an entire convention of not being challenged in combat at all (over in 1-2 rounds), this scenario took us to our limits (and almost beyond, we were completely out of resources/spells/etc). The combats were extremely tough (but fair) and this scenario would be good for most convention characters that I've seen. This scenario however is not for casual characters/players.

The encounters themselves were masterfully crafted environments, opponents, tactics, and used monsters that are rarely or ever seen. Costello is a master of designing encounters. Nice work. In the hands of a great GM, the encounters really come to life. All of our encounters went 5-10 rounds.

There were also a few short roleplay moments and a hilarious NPC. The ending had an interesting moral decision that can change the difficulty of the last encounter.

I really enjoyed this scenario and it was the perfect way to end the convention.

”Detailed Rating”:

Length: Long. We had a strong group, I think we skipped the optional, the GM was fast, and it went 4.5 hours. Was worth it!
Experience: Player with 5 great PCs at subtier 10-11.
Sweet Spot: TBD.
Entertainment: If you like tactical and unique combat encounters, great. (10/10)
Story: For a scenario like this, good. I never want to enter the Tanglebriar again, lol. (8/10)
Roleplay: The NPC at the end was memorable, but this scenario wasn’t about roleplay. (6/10)
Combat/Challenges: Challenging but fair. Not for casual players. (10/10)
Maps: End map was unique and created a great environment that the opponents could use. (9/10)
Boons: Boon that helps with the army scenario in season 5. Considering the difficulty of this scenario, this is a fail. (1/10)
Uniqueness: Tanglebriar felt alive and I got a very strong sense of the location. (9/10)
Secondary Condition: Perfect, made the moral decision difficult while not punishing depleted groups. (10/10)

Overall: Players looking for a challenge that isn’t over-the-top should try this scenario. Difficult scenarios like this definitely have a place in Pathfinder Society, but they should be labelled as hard mode so casual players can avoid them. (10/10)


4/5


Bring your A-game!

4/5

I was lucky enough to play this with a fair-minded GM who knew how to play up the atmosphere, and I had a blast!

We played low tier. It's deadly reputation is not over-exagerated and I would highly recommend playing with an experienced group of team players.

Pros:
Kyonin is a cool place to visit.
Monsters are not the usual suspects.
Varied encounters, with some roleplay.
Challenging.

Cons:
The potential for an early TPK.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced for September!

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Wonderful to see this listed.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Congrats Ryan,

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I am very excited about this for SOOOOOOOOOOOO many reasons

Spoiler:

*the briefing
*Kyonin
*Potential for Treerazer
*Ryan wrote it
*it's going to be awesome!

Congrats Ryan!

Scarab Sages

Only three weeks to go!!
Can't wait.....

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

A Kyonin adventure by a great guy; can't wait!

Scarab Sages

9 days later, apparently I can wait.... Does't mean I Iike the wait.
Is it two more weeks yet? No? Pah!
Dang it - in October it would already be out.

Stupid September.
Sulk.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Soon

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryan. Costello wrote:
Soon

Bad news, Ryan. I had to remove the subterranean sewer horses from your turnover during development.

Liberty's Edge

What? WHAT?! What about the "riding in tight spaces underground and in the darkness" subsystem that went along with it?

Paizo Employee Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Ryan. Costello wrote:
What? WHAT?! What about the "riding in tight spaces underground and in the darkness" subsystem that went along with it?

I replaced them all with talkative otyughs. People just can't seem to get enough of those things!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Talkative otyughs? All is forgiven, sir!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As a person who had to deal with a talkative otyugh at PaizoCon, I applaud the editorial change.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I've never played Pathfinder Society, probably won't get the chance to for the foreseeable future, but I think I'm going to buy this anyway. After listening to all of "Know Direction" over the summer, I'm really curious to read some of Ryan's writing.

Cheers, sir.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

While no motivation to buy this is unwarrented, Nate, I recommend you give PFS a try. Heck, if you're buying this scenario anyway, offer to run The Elven Entanglement at your FLGS. Most regions have a core group of veterans begging for higher tier scenarios.

Contributor

Congrats, Ryan!

Scarab Sages

*chomping at the bit*

Can't wait!

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Soon.

Paizo Employee Developer

Ryan. Costello wrote:
Soon.

This is not an otyugh. I am confused.

*Returns to reviewing otyugh-laden milestones and assigning otyugh-heavy scenarios*

But yes, soon.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's an otyugh druid. He wild shaped.

Paizo Employee Developer

Ryan. Costello wrote:
It's an otyugh druid. He wild shaped.

I want one.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes you do. Not only is it a talkative otyugh, it talks a secret language.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Give it the Wild Speech feat. People so rarely expect an otyugh to talk; it would blow their minds to hear a bear talk and then find out that the bear is an otyugh...that can also talk.

Digital Products Assistant

This scenario has been pushed out to release tomorrow. Scenario #5-04 will still be releasing tonight.

Liberty's Edge

A small detail. It's still coming soon.

Liberty's Edge

Available now! Woo!
Alright Pathfinders, time to prove your worth. Tanglebriar awaits.

Scarab Sages

Squeee! From a quick skim through, this looks really interesting. Nice job Ryan.

Sczarni

I think I'm gonna buy this and work it into my home campaign -- the PCs just happen to be in the Tanglebriar right now, and in need of building some trust with the elves of Kyonin.

EDIT: And I am a Know Direction/Private Sanctuary fan, and want to throw some business Ryan's way!


Does this scenario have any recommended factions? I haven't seen any mentioned anywhere...yet.

If not, does this mean that Season 5 Tier 7-11 scenarios will follow a slightly different paradigm than the lower tiers have so far, or does this fall under the category of "one does not constitute a pattern"? :P

TIA!

Paizo Employee Developer

OpinionOrSatire wrote:

Does this scenario have any recommended factions? I haven't seen any mentioned anywhere...yet.

If not, does this mean that Season 5 Tier 7-11 scenarios will follow a slightly different paradigm than the lower tiers have so far, or does this fall under the category of "one does not constitute a pattern"? :P

TIA!

Not every scenario will have a faction-related opportunity. It so happens that #5–05 does not have such a faction goal, and I'm sure that there will be others—not all of them Tier 7-11—that will similarly have no faction association.

Shadow Lodge

John Compton wrote:
OpinionOrSatire wrote:

Does this scenario have any recommended factions? I haven't seen any mentioned anywhere...yet.

If not, does this mean that Season 5 Tier 7-11 scenarios will follow a slightly different paradigm than the lower tiers have so far, or does this fall under the category of "one does not constitute a pattern"? :P

TIA!

Not every scenario will have a faction-related opportunity. It so happens that #5–05 does not have such a faction goal, and I'm sure that there will be others—not all of them Tier 7-11—that will similarly have no faction association.

Except, of course, for those of us with Lantern Bearer characters who see this entire scenario as one big glorious opportunity to do some work for their true faction. ^w^


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Any idea what factions are front and center on this? Also, can that information be added to all the Season 5 module adverts?


Soluzar wrote:
Any idea what factions are front and center on this? Also, can that information be added to all the Season 5 module adverts?

It is added to future season 5 scenarios...but John answered this two comments up. There are no faction favors to do in this scenario.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Congrats Ryan! I really enjoyed playing this one...

Liberty's Edge

Thanks lastblacknight. And thanks to everyone who has reviewed the scenario so far. Sorry for those who fell victim to an early encounter, although from one of the write-ups, I can see an error or two the GM made that increased the lethality of the encounter exponentially. I’ve posted some advice for GMs thinking of running this scenario in the thread in the Pathfinder Society GM Discussion forum.

Dark Archive

I'm running this tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to it. I think I might bring a copy of Queen of Thorns to lend to anyone who seemed incredibly into the setting.

By the way, that last fight is ridonkulous.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Typo

Spoiler:
The Briarborn Juggernaut (a not quite advanced version of the Titan Centipede) Didn't have the fact that it can not be tripped in the CMB/CMD section. I assume that the same would apply as it did in the lower tier monster.

Dark Archive

thaX wrote:
Typo ** spoiler omitted **

Alternatively, just give it +196 to its CMD against trip manoeuvres based on its extra legs.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Giggle.

Scarab Sages

I think we broke it.

Spoiler:
Animate Dead on Briarborn Juggernaut. It's a horsey!

You may need to consider how to handle that. Our GM had to take a break to figure out what would happen. And we still ended up effectively ignoring a large part of the module. Official ruling may be necessary.

Liberty's Edge

PathfinderDad wrote:

I think we broke it.

** spoiler omitted **

You may need to consider how to handle that. Our GM had to take a break to figure out what would happen. And we still ended up effectively ignoring a large part of the module. Official ruling may be necessary.

Not official, but...

Spoiler:
Given how many reviews mention that the first encounter led to a TPK, I think this is a just reward for a well fought encounter.

I have personally witnessed that tactic once and read about it happening on two other occasions. It's not a tactic available to every party, and just happens to make a few parts of the scenario easier.

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