Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–18: The Stranger Within (PFRPG) PDF

3.80/5 (based on 13 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5–9.

Guaril Karela, a close ally of the Pathfinder Society and the leader of the Sczarni faction, made dangerous enemies during his bid for territory and influence, and several of the rivals that he once thought defeated have returned with every intention of ending Guaril’s little empire and his life. The PCs must travel to the dangerous city of Kaer Maga, track down these assassins, and sabotage their efforts in order to save one of the Society’s most reliable spymasters.

Content in "The Stranger Within" also contributes directly to the ongoing storylines of the Andoran, Qadira, and Sczarni factions.

Written by Sam Polak.

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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3.80/5 (based on 13 ratings)

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Easily My Favorite


This is easily my favorite scenario ever- I've played it once and run it 6ish times, and I always have it prepped and ready to go in case someone wants to play it! The investigation feels open, the NPC's are interesting and memorable, and the fights have serious teeth! One of the few scenario's I've killed PC's with, and more often than not when I run/play/ hear about it, someone dies. It's perfect!

Not as good as City of Strangers


I always enjoy a trip to Kaer Maga, but sadly, this is not the adventure that City of Strangers was. Some of the NPCs make little sense, and the plot can be a bit difficult to follow. Still, there's a lot of fun to be had here if your players are willing to engage with the city.

The Danger Within


You won’t like where this investigation is taking you... (Perspective: Played once, GM'ed once)
Kaer Maga is one of the fan favourite locations for Varisia and the Inner Sea setting. It's definitely a city which has far more imagination in it than some I.S. nations have in their entire borders. The author has taken every opportunity to squeeze every drop of flavour from this locale in a long and harrowing investigation. It ends with a tough and grisly finale that shows off the author’s skill in writing an encounter that can challenge a number of parties.

-Battles were very memorable and fell into the sweet spot of being scary but not impossible.
-Great use of the locale. Selling the sizzle of Kaer Maga.
-Beautiful artwork, and lots of it.

-Way too long. We could have done without Vargun and the Sweet-Talkers pretty easily.
-Little storytelling opportunities to describe the history between Guaril Karela and the Gael family. This should have been included in part on some player handouts or knowledge checks.
-The free men scene rubbed me the wrong way. Let’s decide our future by playing darts? Really? Who are these guys? Why are they strategically important? Are you making this up as we go along? I wanted to know more about Andoran corruption! Please don't let that storyline die.

Only in Kaer Magna


I absolutely love it when a scenario makes such good use of the background that the scenario could only happen in one place, and this definitely does it. There's nowhere else on golarion you could run into such an oddball pairing cast of characters as you do running around this scenario.

The fights were fun but nothing crazy hard. Both groups I've run this for have died laughing over the

Pot zombies
leading to the first fire the entire town wanted to run TOWARDS.

If the scenario had just had some random bad guy it would have been a 5 star. But this is a confrontation with the person trying to kill a faction head thats been building all season. The players have no idea WHY she's trying to do that. If you're running this, be sure to have the

troll diviner
toss in few hints, or maybe have them give a party member a potion to send them on a hippy visionquest where they see things through her eyes.

Had a blast with this scenario


I just ran this yesterday (Sunday, June 29, 2014). We had a ton of fun; the scenario has some role-playing gold in it!!! I ran it for 7 players at tier 5-6: 2 Sczarni, 2 Osirion, 1 Cheliax, and 2 Silver Crusade.

Because there were so many players and because there was so much opportunity for RP, I intentionally split up the party for the "gather information" part of the scenario. I had the Sczarni find the lead from Miss Feathers, three of them encountered the Sweettalker, and the last two found Vargun.

We had a blast with Miss Feathers. The Ulfen barbarian was beside himself listening to Miss Feathers go on and on and on for an HOUR (in game, not real time).

We had a brilliant wizard who was able to relate to the Sweettalker.

But Vargun, the troll, was my favorite. The looks on the players' faces when she read from her own entrails was PRICELESS! It made my whole day!!!

Splitting up the party for this part of the scenario was the right choice with such a big table. Everyone got a chance to RP without being overshadowed by the "face" character. And even the low-CHA PCs were able to contribute.

The final encounter was tough. But with 7 players and a cleverly placed spell, they prevailed.

The wizard dropped one of the vampires into a pit. When the vampire got out in a subsequent round, the wizard hit him with a ring of the ram and dropped him back into the pit. It's a much easier fight for the party with one less vampire in their faces.

I think we laughed for more than half the scenario. Call me naive, but I think we all really enjoyed ourselves. ;-) This scenario is going into my list of favorites!


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced for April!

Cousin Karela ! Hang on ! We are going to save your hide !!!

The Exchange

Penny an' I look forward to the new sights to see.

Liberty's Edge

Yes! The Sczarni metaplot has been my favourite this season. Happy to see another scenario my Sczarni character can play (just barely).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4

Great news. Go Sam!

Dark Archive

Great, I'm looking forward to returning to Kaer Maga. Thanks for doing this!

Shandor "The Beast" wrote:
Great, I'm looking forward to returning to Kaer Maga. Thanks for doing this!


Grand Lodge

Shandor "The Beast" wrote:
Great, I'm looking forward to returning to Kaer Maga. Thanks for doing this!

Kaer Maga is one of my favorite locations!

Digital Products Assistant

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Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I kinda want to play this just to meet that lady on the cover <3

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Was rather disappointed in this scenario to be honest, as it felt a lot like a redone City of strangers part 1... though not as well done. Which is sad because Kaer maga has so much fun to offer players. Then again I only played in it and haven't read the full thing, but that was our general impression at my table.

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