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

3.80/5 (based on 49 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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3.80/5 (based on 49 ratings)

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Original Premise and Gameplay

5/5

NO SPOILERS

Library of the Lion is a really cleverly-designed scenario that has both an original premise and original gameplay. This is not your traditional "Act 1 Encounter, Act 2 Encounter, Act 3 Encounter, Act 4 Encounter, Conclusion" PFS scenario. It's a scenario that truly shines a spotlight on characters good at underused skills like Disguise, Bluff, and Stealth, as well as on those good at research and knowledge skills. In fact, it may be the only PFS scenario I can think of where combat may not happen at all--at least if things go well for the PCs. I would peg it as one for more experienced groups and GMs, but overall it's a great scenario, especially when hacking and slashing have lost a bit of their charm.

SPOILERS!:

Library of the Lion takes place in the middle of the Season 5 "Year of the Demon" story arc, which sees the Pathfinder Society enmeshed in demons pouring out of the Worldwound. To help combat the threat, the Society needs information on previous campaigns (successful and unsuccessful) to seal the threat in. Enter the secret archives of the Kitharodian Academy, a storehouse for historical records and confidential intelligence files produced by Taldor's legendary Lion Blades. In a joint briefing in Oppara provided by Venture-Captain Muesello and Lady Gloria Morilla, the PCs are asked to infiltrate the secret archives during an extravagant orchestral performance for the Grand Prince, which will make a lot of noise and provide an excellent distraction--but it only lasts two hours. Although the PCs' primary mission is to find records on the Shining Crusade that will help in current efforts to stem the tide of the demon armies, their secondary mission is to do it without leaving any trace of their presence! Early discovery could be fatal to the mission and potentially fatal to the PCs themselves.

Getting into the main (non-secret) library in the Academy is easy, as the PCs have a secret weapon--permission from Princess Eutropia, who is cooperating with the Pathfinder Society. But from there, the PCs have to slip away into the secret wing (once they find the hidden door). As an aside, I love that (quite naturally) large and exotic animals aren't allowed in the library. In another scenario, I once saw a player try to bring a giant cockroach animal companion into a fancy opera house!

The core gameplay mechanic is to search the various rooms of the secret archives using skills like Linguistics or Knowledge (history), but there are also room-specific skills that can be used--so in the recital hall records, for example, Perform skills could be used. Success turns up either clues to help bypass traps and secret doors or pieces of the historical information the PCs are seeking. It's really smart how the writers allocated which rooms have which bits of information, with some randomness seeded there as well. All of this has to be done within the two-hour (in-game) time limit, and the duration of various tasks are set out clearly for the GM. I love how characters with the right aptitude can listen to the music from the orchestra (playing above them) to get clues as to how much time has passed or when a really loud crescendo is about to play, which then helps them coordinate anything noisy the PCs need to do. This is all against a backdrop of a library attendant in the non-secret room making periodic checks to notice anything suspicious.

The scenario does have a couple of role-playing opportunities, in the form of a intelligent object that guards the library (Glorymane) and a blind caretaker--each of them could sound the alarm or be bluffed or persuaded into cooperating with the search. The necessity of the PCs carefully covering their tracks is represented by the accumulation of "Discovery Points"--including, in a bit I love, that *not* taking magical items as loot helps contribute to the group's success here. If the PCs are discovered early, they'll have to fight successive waves of Lion Blades and capture is treated as the equivalent of character death (unless the player wants to spend some Prestige Points). High stakes!

I've glossed over a lot of the details and additional flavour the scenario provides, but suffice it to say it's excellently written. My only regret playing it is that I brought a deranged dwarf spouting prophecies of doom instead of my professional scholar PC--but that's the fun of PFS, you never know what a mission might involve. Anyway, I highly recommend Library of the Lion.


For role play only

3/5

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.


4/5


The great history of Taldor

4/5

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.

4/5

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.


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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.

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 Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

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

Grand Lodge

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

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

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

Holiday work schedule delays most like.

Webstore Gninja Minion

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Holiday work schedule delays most like.

In addition to illnesses, yes.

Grand Lodge

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...

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

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

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

Grand Lodge

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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

Spoiler:
"MUHLIA AL-JAKRI.."

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