Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–17: Fate of the Fiend (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for level 7–11.

Years after the Pathfinder Society delved deep into the Jistkan ruins of Rachikan in western Cheliax, archaeological investigations continue to uncover ancient wonder. Reports recently ceased after scholars reported finding a sealed chamber believed to contain cadres of battle golems untouched since the Jistka Imperium’s collapse. The Pathfinder Society hopes to recover the golems for study and possible use in the Worldwound, but can its agents reach the sealed storeroom before the constructs fall into enemy hands? “Fate of the Fiend” is the spiritual sequel to “Fingerprints of the Fiend” and “Fury of the Fiend,” though the scenarios can be played in any order.

Content in “Fate of the Fiend” also contributes to the ongoing storyline of the Cheliax faction.

Written by Larry Wilhelm.

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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PZOPSS0517E


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Some really cool setpieces to explore.

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(I GMed this.)

Note: I was recovering from a flu when I was preparing/running this, so that might have influenced this.

When preparing this, I thought it'd be an average scenario. Some standard roleplay moments, but mostly smacking baddies. However, my players seemed to like it much more than me, so there's that.

From a GM standpoint, this thing is pretty badly edited and laid out. Lots of typos and some important things missing, but worst of all is that there's some pretty important information in not-obvious locations, and some things that should've been box text thrown around in regular text. Finding relevant information is pretty terrible. In the end, I wasn't really able to flesh out NPCs through a combination of mental fogginess, hard-to-find information, and players not really saying the right stuff to properly interact, which is a shame. Also, this is a busy scenario. There's lots going on here, you're bound to slip up somewhere, I think.

From a player perspective, this is pretty interesting. Some cool fights with some scary enemies, and that final map has awesome written all over it. The thing on the cover is really cool if you can sell it well enough, and the final encounter has lots of interesting avenues to explore. One player also remarked how the allies you can earn are actually useful, rather than giving minor boosts.

One downside, though: both the main mission objective and the Cheliax/Dark Archives mission is a bit difficult to understand and obtain. The scenario is pretty vague about what needs to be done, and if the players don't ask the right questions, they might get lost. While some players might immediately ask the right questions, some don't know what to ask and/or are hesitant to divulge their mission with the NPCs. My players lucked into asking the right question by accident, otherwise their mission would've been much harder.

In the end, I wasn't too excited about it (my stone-cold dice probably didn't help either), but my players seemed into the story quite a bit.


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Better than expected

*****

I wonder why only 3 stars? I love dealing with NPCs you don't meet much(morlock, hellknight, lich), and riding golem :)

Combats are cakewalk for power players, but okay for average players, especially the BBEG has a high potential to kill some, but not TPK. The only weakness is the second last fight, lose its charm of battlefield, too easy even with no NPCs' aid. Strongly suggest to enhance the minions...

If you are looking for level 7-11 plots, highly recommended after Fury of the Fiend(Fingerprint maybe too old)


scary at high tier

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This is in response to David Kelk's review. I am going to respond to David directly, but I'd encourage all GMs to read this anyway, to make sure they're running the high tier encounters fairly. Read on.

Spoiler:
David, it sounds like your GM ran this module correctly. Having read the encounter stats, those bulettes do have a demonic acid that does destroy your weapons. And yes, hardness is ignored, so your weapons are vulnerable. So the encounter is intended to ruin high-level gear. Your GM wasn't just being mean -- the module author is the mean one here.

However, while normal weapons are almost automatically destroyed, magical weapons are listed as getting a DC 23 reflex saving throw to avoid the damage entirely. Still, if you hit 2 or 3 times, at your level it's likely you'll fail at least one of those saving throws and end up with damage to your weapon.

Having said that, a +1 corrosive thundering katana has a hardness of 12 (10 base and 2 more for being a +1 magical weapon), and hit points of 20 (10 base and 10 more for being a +1 magical weapon). I don't know how your team came up with 11 HP, but that's just flatly wrong and they need to look at the chart for weapon hardness & hit points again. So taking 15 points of damage would only put the weapon in a "broken" condition (-2 to hit/damage). You should have been able to keep using it!

In addition, even if the weapon were to be destroyed by taking 20+ points of damage, that is not 40,000 GP down the drain! The spell Make Whole will restore a fully destroyed weapon. Yes, that's right -- even if it's completely destroyed, Make Whole will return it to perfect working condition! There is a risk/cost -- the person casting Make Whole must have a caster level "at least twice that of the item." (Your item has caster level 10. The +1 counts as CL 3, the thundering counts as 5, and the corrosive counts as 10. We use the highest.) Since your item is caster level 10, you need a level 20 caster. That might seem impossible or absurd, but at least in Pathfinder Society, it has been ruled that you can pay to have Make Whole cast at any level needed to repair the item. Even level 30 or 40.

Spellcasting services cost "caster level × spell level × 10 gp." So 20th level caster x 2nd level spell x 10 gp = 400 GP. Yes, your completely destroyed item is fixed for a mere 400 GP!!! We saved you 39,600 GP!!!

If you thought that fight was brutal and sad, you would be correct. However, if you thought your amazing magical weapon (and all the money you invested in it) was lost, you would be incorrect. Head to a town, hire a wizard, get Make Whole cast for 400 GP, and get your item back, completely restored.

Hopefully any GMs reading this will run that fight as brutal and mean as it is intended to be, and let the players be struck by utter disappointment and sadness, but then -- importantly -- tell the players how easily their items can be brought back to life!!!

Thanks to Paizo customer Majuba for helping me with the item caster level calculations.


The slime! The terrible fearsome slime!

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To clarify: Outshyn is correct. The weapons weren't destroyed in one hit and weren't destroyed forever. I have no complaints with the DM of the scenario. The DM did a fine job. The problem is with the scenario itself.

I played this at Gencon and was literally stunned at what happened.

After getting the mission briefing we entered Rachikan for some reason that I can't recall. Right away we encountered bulettes covered in slime. We fought them. *Whomp* my samurai's +1 acid thundering katana was destroyed. It had 11 hp and took around 15 points of damage that ignored hardness. We're adventurers and are suppose to be brave right? The reflex saving throw to protect out weapons couldn't be that outrageous, could it?

*Snap* *snap* the magic katana and wakizashi wielded by my friend's samurai were both destroyed. *Snap* my masterwork cold iron katana was destroyed. The other people at the table either lost weapons or didn't attack. Arrows melted in the slime covering the bulette, doing no damage what so ever and so-on.

In two rounds, about 40,000 gold worth of magic weapons were destroyed by these awesome bulettes. We didn't have any mages so all of our attacks were weapon based. From what I understood at the time, we hadn't even done 1 point of damage to them. The DM insisted he was running the scenario as written. So being brave - but not foolish - we agreed to run away. Our good weapons were gone and we didn't want to continue the adventure with no weapons or crummy back-up weapons.

Well, we tried to run away, but the DM wouldn't let us. We moved away a few squares then the DM put us back in melee combat with the bulettes because some other morlocks showed up. He said that the scenario required it. The DM rolled some dice then moved us on the map again. (Because the scenario said so?) These new morlocks beat up the bulettes and the other bad morlocks (that we didn't detect) rather easily and then talked to us. I didn't bother to ask why the morlocks weren't affected by the bulette slime. The scenario probably said they were immune.

The morlocks asked us for help I think. This is the part where I was in the stunned daze I described at the beginning. The slime. The terrible, terrifying slime. If the morlocks could beat up the bulettes and bad morlocks with no casualties, why do they need our help?

We went with them. For every encounter that followed all we wanted to know was if the monsters had slime on them. We followed the morlocks around and tried really hard to remember why we were here. Something about golems right? Golems covered in slime? We fear slime. There were some hell knights. Don't remember what happened to them. After that were demons hiding behind pillars. Did they have slime on them? Maybe they were morlocks. We were too traumatized to care. At that point we just wanted this awful session to end.

It did end eventually. Beyond the sketchy details of the previous paragraph I don't remember anything else about this scenario.

Anyway, this scenario is probably fine if you deal with the slime correctly. If you don't, then you're in for a really rotten time.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced for March! Cover image is a mockup.

Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.

If this scenario does not include at least one form of incredibly dangerous high-speed underground travel, I, for one, will be greatly disappointed.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Agreed - I loved the mine-car chase especially. Nice to see this area being revisited!

The Exchange

I'm excited for this one. My tiefling alchemist played fingerprints and fury as his last 2 scenarios and I am waiting for this one to retire him.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Agreed, Alexander. My rogue played both of the previous ones as well.

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Now Available!

Liberty's Edge

Will be playing this online on Friday. Can't wait!

Shadow Lodge

Can't wait to get some battle golems to augment my forces.

Liberty's Edge

Just played this last night.

One thought about how this scenario connects to its spiritual predecessors:

spoiler regarding chronicle:
I love the idea of revisiting scenarios that are spread over multiple seasons! I only wish there was a boon on this chronicle that rewarded players (and GMs) who played the previous two scenarios. I played both older scenarios and loved them. Having a boon that rewards dedication to the story would have been a very nice addition. Nothing big...but something!

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