Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–11: Library of the Lion (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 48 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

Few societies have so vaunted a tradition of leading crusades as Taldor, yet the constant revisions to its history by scheming factions leaves the truth obscured by countless acts of political modifications. Even the lauded Kitharodian Academy’s texts are riddled with these changes, so when a secretive ally approaches the Pathfinder Society with information about a hidden archive that contains the unaltered histories, the Pathfinders plan a daring infiltration to recover the secrets of Taldor’s past victories so that Mendev might benefit from the discovery.

Content in "Library of the Lion" also contributes directly to the ongoing storylines of the Cheliax, Grand Lodge, and Taldor factions.

Written by Kyle Elliot.

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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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZOPSS0511E


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Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 48 ratings)

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For role play only

***( )( )

It is an okay scenario if you want sit there and role play, but make sure the whole group is up for this and that the GM is the type that will put flavor into things. Personally i did not enjoy this, but I'm more of the type of guy that like the battle side of things, funny enough the character I use was one of the only two out of the six that could actually make the skill checks necesary. There is just no fights worth having here.


****( )


The great history of Taldor

****( )

This scenario isn`t very dificult. Only party of engry barbarians can die here. It`s more about history of Taldor, about secrets of Lion Blades and forgotten past. Very misterious adventure in Taldor atmosphere.


Solid and not the norm.

****( )

I recently got to run this at a Con. My table consisted of 5 players. Most were seasoned players. I was interested to see what would occur considering that this scenario can be run without having even one combat. So let me get to the meat of this:

Pros-
Great concept. I love the idea of something not involving a fight.
Solid puzzles. The clues were great. One of my players understood the clues linked to the Foo Lions right away.
Great hook.
A couple fun role-playing opportunities.
I like the chronicle sheet.

Cons-
Little complicated system for time tracking. Good but could use some fine tuning.
Very skill heavy. If you have a team that doesn't have a skill spread this could be a definite failure.
A couple more opportunities to role-play would have been nice.
A little short. I ran this in about 2:45 in a 4 hour time slot.

My group got out with only a couple minutes to spare. They fortunately avoided searching the main library room. They got everything else they needed and avoided combat.

Now the cipher is incorrect but fortunately several reviews and preps online have the right one. This scenario almost requires a GM to be rather pedantic. You have to assume that if they don't say they cover their tracks, then they don't. This is key. Smart players realize this and cover themselves. All in all a good scenario. Had a lot of fun.


Possibly my favorite 1-5 scenario

*****

Having now played this and run it twice, I've gotten my thoughts in order for this review.

First off, there has never been a scenario like this before, and as of writing this, it is still the only one that exists. That means that Library can be thought of as sort of a “guinea pig scenario” when PFS development was trying something out to see how it was received. And just for attempting that, I’ve got to give them a big hand. After six years of content, to write something that so breaks the mold of what you expect from a scenario, that takes a leap of faith. Lucky for them, authors Kyle Elliot and John Compton really hit it out of the park with this one.

The scenario required the creation of never before used mechanics—clues—in order to keep investigation of the Library of the Lion exciting, and man does it work. I’m reminded of another scenario, where in players have to research a cure for a terrible plague, but it mostly boiled down to X amount of skill checks, meaning Y amount of time, and that was about it. With the clue mechanic in Library, my players instead are very engaged in the actual research, debating over who searches what room, and are always eager to read whatever clues they received aloud to the table, proudly announcing their successes. This is a great thing to see. Especially when I can get players who have non-social PCs engaged in a challenge that’s 100% different from combat.

The restricted time frame the PCs have to explore also added a great element to the scenario, the running minute count I kept on the board served as an invisible hand, always ushering the players to stay on point. That’s also a good thing to have in a scenario like this; without it I can see PCs getting overwhelmed with the amount of rooms to search or even boringly moving as a unit from room to room until they find all the clues. As it is, with a party that works well together and thinks outside the box, I’ve found that all of my tables have been able to find all the clues and make it back under two hours—even with just 4 players present. That is a great feeling to be able to reward your players with.

Furthermore, the NPCs in this scenario are among the most memorable and unique Society has to offer (Grandmaster Torch being a solid exception). Both the Guardian and the librarian each serve both a crucial mechanical point as well as being a delight to roleplay as. I can use the Guardian as a GM to offer hints if needed to the PCs, or to fill in gaps in their understanding of the history of Taldor, while the librarian can serve to give the PCs a more grounded understanding of both the Lion Blades and what service to Taldor truly is under Prince Stavian. By having these NPCs in the scenario, and making them so memorable and unique, it made getting my players to roleplay a breeze. They wanted to try and negotiate with the Guardian and to try and fool the librarian. I’ve never had a scenario so give me the tools I need to make NPCs interesting as this one does.

In addition to all this, Library is literally packed with lore about the Inner Sea. There are detailed tidbits present in the clues the PCs uncover, there is excellent lore regarding Taldor in the scenario, and several of the final rooms are open ended enough to include items from whatever exotic and untapped nations the GM wishes to mention. I found myself pausing the scenario at points to give brief history lessons on the Inner Sea region, having my players make a token Knowledge check as an excuse for me to dish about the rich world that Pathfinder takes place in. I thoroughly enjoyed the ease that I was able to do this with in the scenario, and I believe my players enjoyed uncovering random bits of lore, becoming more immersed with each new thing they learned.

Finally, no investigative, thinking-man’s (and woman’s) scenario like this would be complete without puzzles. And Library has some of the best ones in PFS. I will not detail them at all, as to do so would be to do a disservice to this remarkable scenario, suffice it to say that at one point, a player tried to make a Knowledge check to get hints as to how to bypass one of the puzzles. I smiled and simply told him no—everything you need to succeed in Library of the Lion is right there in front of you. You just have to work your brain a bit.

In the end, I highly recommend Library of the Lion, it is in my top five scenarios of all time and may be my new favorite 1-5. It is a delight both to run and to play, and if you have any questions when prepping it I encourage you to post over on the GM boards. Kyle and John have been consistently on top of answering any and all questions and further explaining the mechanics. My only advice would be for GMs to prep this scenario thoroughly in advance, and to play it before running it if possible. There is more prep work for this 1-5 than any other out there, and I am not exaggerating.

So do your research and draw your maps, because Library of the Lion is worth the extra work. It’s a wholly unique experience and one that everyone should be able to enjoy.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced for December!

Grand Lodge

Big Kyle!

The Exchange

Please tell me there will be a push to get this scenario released before everyone at Paizo leaves for the Christmas break. Otherwise, you should edit the release date to something more realistic like Friday, January 3rd.

Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Adjusted release dates for this and 5-10 based on discussions with the Powers What Be.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thank you! I know the Powers What Be have previously pushed scenarios out early to appease the howling horde prior to the holidays. I just wanted this to be confirmed sooner rather than the week-of. It ruins the impact of the dispensation announcement, so apologies for that...

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Oh gods, who let Big Kyle write a scenario?

Paizo Employee Developer

Due to a combination of holiday travel and the editorial staff's tireless dedication and work in getting Inner Sea Gods out the door, this scenario's release is delayed. I anticipate it being available close to January 1st.

My apologies for the delay. Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-10: Where Mammoth's Dare Not Tread should be available for download later today.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Well I need to quickly change my schedule, thanks for the update John.

Grand Lodge

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

Hoping you guys can work some magic on this one so I have time to prep for Saturday. What flipmats should I be looking for?

Paizo Employee Developer

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Hoping you guys can work some magic on this one so I have time to prep for Saturday. What flipmats should I be looking for?

This scenario uses no Flip-Mats, but it does make light use of Map Pack: Town. Most of the action takes place on a custom map.

Grand Lodge

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

Excellent, easy prep. :)

Shadow Lodge

So far this is the Scenario I've wanted most for Season 5. Can't wait.

Shadow Lodge

Lokks like not running it tomorrow. :(

Sovereign Court

Put off again? It figures because this is a scenario I am scheduled to run on the 18th :(

Grand Lodge

Daengren wrote:
Put off again? It figures because this is a scenario I am scheduled to run on the 18th :(

The 18th? I'm scheduled to run it this Saturday!

Shadow Lodge

I was scheduled to run it last Sat. . .

Grand Lodge

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

Me too.

Shadow Lodge

Turned out ok, I ran my first module, but still, starting to run low on 1-5 material that we can run every time we get a new player.

Sovereign Court

I wonder what the holdup is? Are scenarios usually released this late?

Grand Lodge

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

Holiday work schedule delays most like.

Webstore Gninja Minion

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Holiday work schedule delays most like.

In addition to illnesses, yes.

Grand Lodge

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

Roll a Fort save.

Grand Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Roll a Fort save.

I think they did and Nat 1'd it.

Paizo Employee Developer

Hey folks, we're just about done with this scenario, and have some final checks left to perform tomorrow morning. We'll have it available for download as quickly as possible so that you can begin preparing it.

Shadow Lodge

I for one would rather have it right than have it fast. So no worries.

:)

Liz Courts wrote:
In addition to illnesses, yes.

Hopes you feel better soon.

Sovereign Court

Thanks John for letting us know the latest...I too would rather have it be right...

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

This product is now available! :)

Shadow Lodge

Wow, interesting. That "Expelled by the ____________" is simultaneously awesome and nasty for some.

Dark Archive

Hey John

The text on the product page should be amended to reflect your authorship as well ;p

Thanks again awesome sir!

Contributor

Chris Lambertz wrote:
This product is now available! :)

And there was much rejoicing...

Grand Lodge

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

Had to throw this one together tonight after the home campaign fell through due to player absence. Possibly one of the best scenarios in awhile. Just like The Disappeared, you're either going to love it or hate it.


After reading the discussion above, I now understand why this is the case, but I was pretty disappointed when reading the scenario. Several typos slipped by the editors that are fairly obvious. What with illnesses being the cause, I'm not angry or upset. I'm excited to run this tomorrow night and hope that it will be as much fun as I think it will.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, am I missing it, or does the Scenario give the answer to the Grand Lodge faction mission?

Grand Lodge

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

It does not.

From the GM discussion:
It should be #2, which reads "has the Bell of Obedience."

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

Very nice adventure. Big thumbs up for Kyle and John!

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:

It does not.

** spoiler omitted **

It would, except that the cipher text contains an error.

If you plan on GMing this you might want to make the single character adjustment when you give it to your players so that they can actually solve the coded message without confusion.

The required minor cipher fix:
Change the 6th last letter from "F" to "G", i.e. the cipher should end with "G-G-C-Q-F-C". As it stands, the best solution for the cipher gives you a final word of "o-b-e-C-i-e-n-c-e".

FWIW, I've only encountered 2 scenarios with ciphers — the other being The Disappeared — and BOTH have errors in their cipher text. The error in The Disappeared was much worse, but *any* error is problematic in a cipher.

Perhaps a dedicated puzzler should be recruited as a volunteer for editing these things? Yes, I am in fact channeling Eddie Murphy's Shrek character, Donkey... Pick me! Pick me! :P

The Exchange

I typically run Jade Regent for a group of players every other friday, but we'd just finished book 4 and while I'm prepping the next installment one of my players ran this scenario for us last week with our PFS characters.
I really liked the adventure. it has a good roleplay, and a different kind of investigation for an investigative mod, but I don't think it should be a tier 1-5 game; the mechanics of the skill challenges involved and the particular skills involved aren't common and most people won't choose them at early levels, or will be very poor with only one rank or so. We were lucky to have 3 PCs and one pre-gen (Ezren) with the skills needed in our group of 5. With a tier 3-7 group I think you might see more players with the skills needed, and all that remains is to adjust the encounters for the tier.
Our GM said the mod needed some editing, I'd have to read it to see what he's referring to exactly but he grew frustrated with a couple of rooms not being very clear or having conflicting information. I think I'd enjoy running this game with some editing - hopefully Paizo can clear up some of these issues. Some slack in the time requirements might be needed (adventure is on a clock) for table size.
I'd give it a 3.5/5 stars; with editing probably 4.5/5.

Grand Lodge

Rankest speculation on the first part of a certain strip of paper:

Spoiler:
"MUHLIA AL-JAKRI.."

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