Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–20: The Sealed Gate (PFRPG) PDF

2.70/5 (based on 39 ratings)

Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart
Facebook Twitter Email

A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 7–11.

Following its efforts to set up a base camp in the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, the Pathfinder Society seemed ready to mobilize its forces when Marcos Farabellus received troubling news: something dire had befallen the camp. What’s worse, these events resulted in the disappearance of one of the Society’s most valuable tools as well as two of its esteemed leaders. The PCs must investigate the ruined camp, track down the perpetrators, and recover a powerful relic to prevent this tragedy from ruining the entire expedition.

Content in “The Sealed Gate” also contributes directly to the ongoing storylines of the Grand Lodge and Silver Crusade factions.

Written by Kyle Baird.

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.

Product Availability

Fulfilled immediately.

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

PZOPSS0520E


See Also:

21 to 25 of 39 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

2.70/5 (based on 39 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

Not everyone's cup of tea

4/5

I have run this scenario 5 times now and would like to review the experences running it as a whole. No group has been in hard mode but all parties struggled in at least one part. It was nice to see aproprite chalanges for people who were so use to walking over encounters.

The combat of this scenario is difficult. The creatures have intresting abilites that can overwhelm people that are under prepared or that very one dimensional. The creatures are unique and surprisingly versatile.

The roleplay opertunities are limited. More background, fluff text etc for the cover ncp would have been helpful. That said what is offered can still be fun.

Several reviewers have not been pleased with the opening encounter difficulty but I actualy found the final encounter or optional to be harder fights. I was disapointed which encounter was optional (2nd one should be) but overall found this scenario to be enjoyable to run.

I felt the difficulty was aproprite and would look forward to more scenarios like this in the future.


Wow what a shredder

1/5

You not only go in HOT and I do mean HOT people. HOT= "go in swinging because all hell has hit the fan as soon as you enter" First combat is insanely hard because the bad guys get insane initiatives which is OK but to have them have insane amount of mobs that do distractions and poisons to the party, plus the summoners having insane full round attacks, plus summoners having free attacks that affect the party when they move is a shredder, plus the43 swarms having . I was in a scenario where 4 of the 6 people died and we had to call the scenario off just from first combat. Party was mostly unable to move from the distractions, con dying from poisons while unable to move, massive health damage from the full round attacks of the bad guys type mobs, free damage from the several swarms, and messed up badly from their free radius affects just from each time they moved and being confused where you also can attack fellow party members didn't help the party either. It's a shredder no matter how you look at it. I was using my alchemist that could barely keep up before having to run after 4 party members went down and bosses were barely damaged in the first combat of the scenario.


Everyone else is writing a review

5/5

Since there are only two kinds of reviews, either the “I loved it,” or the “I hated it,” kind, I figured I'd weigh in.

As a player: I loved it and I died.

Plot: Due to some time constraints, we were unable to unfurl the whole plot. It was obvious that, if we had both the time and the appropriate party, we'd have been able to really delve into what was going on with the individual characters.

Combats: We played high-tier, table of five, no adjustment, and not hard mode. The combats were rigorous, but appropriately challenging. After hearing people whine about easy combats for four seasons, the development team really ramped up the challenge rating, and it pays off. Making it through combats that were arduous is like a bragging right, and this truly satisfies. Moreover, it rewards the well-prepared party. At levels 7-11, being poorly or under-equipped is a personal problem; you've been given thousands of gold. If you spend it all on one weapon and one suit of armor (or whatever two-three high budget items you have) you're most likely not going to have what it takes to get through the scenario. It seems like these monsters were written with the splat-book and Ultimate Equipment items in mind, and I love it.

This scenario, through the course of its combats, had a foil for every kind of class. It wasn't a simultaneous foil for all the classes, but each encounter targeted a handful of class abilities and tried them. It was lovely.

As a GM: I'd happily run it many times.

Plot: GMs are exposed to more story then the players can even begin to consider. It's difficult to relay some of the back-story that helps really make the scenario come alive. I'm sure a more talented GM could work it in somehow with various clues and dropped hints, so it's not impossible. Understanding the context for the NPCs' actions helps to make them more convincing and multifaceted. They weren't the standard “I fight till death because that's my morale,” NPCs. That's not to say there weren't creatures with those stats, but knowing individual stories provides depth for the NPCs as they're run.

Combat: Just as challenging for the GM as it was for the players. The combats are mobile, and require an organized and prepared GM. Tracking monsters in large combats, as well as various saves and their DCs was a little heady, but nevertheless worthwhile. Running the monsters fairly can become cumbersome if the GM doesn't fully analyze the stat-blocks. Reading some of the reviews makes me question the GM more than it makes me question the veracity of the players' reviews. Plus, the scenario makes use of some atypical monsters, which is a fantastic switch from the low-tier goblins, the mid-tier giants, and the high-tier cleric-giant-monsters.

In short, if the players needed a GM for the table, I'd do all I can to run it. If the players needed another body, and the table (as well as the GM) looked trustworthy, I'd even strongly consider using a star to replay it. I don't build good characters at all, but being put through the wringer was quite fun!


Extraordinarily 1-sided

1/5

If I could give this 0 stars, I would. The party didn't have a chance. In my view, it's extremely unfair to literally start off in the extraordinary circumstances that basically did not allow the party to act in any sort of reasonable defense.

Boo.


A complete waste of time

1/5

Well, that was the worst adventure that I`ve ever spent in PFS.

2 1/2 hours to finish the first encounter. 4 dead, 2 fled (at least 1 mainly through GM mercy).

And the GM was partly softballing.

Amazingly, if you throw enough save or suck effects at a group from all but guaranteed surprise then characters will fail some of the saves. I think I made on the order of 20 saves in the first 2 rounds of combat.

Only play this if you have at least 2 supremely twinked out characters who can survive long enough to actually act. Together with at least reasonably optimized support characters.

Admittedly, we were somewhat punching above our weight. 6 characters averaging to 8.8 or so. But that isn't all that unusual in my experience, especially for tier 7-11 scenarios.

This is for mini-maxed combat optimized characters only. And they had better be mostly in tier.

Edit: adding the following
I went through Bonekeep. I went through Waking Rune. Both of those I knew going in were going to be very hard. This was harder.

It is wrong, in my opinion, to have massively different challenge levels in different scenarios, especially without advance notice.

I have characters who are more than competent enough to handle the normal challenges in PFS scenarios. I do NOT want a character who can one shot them. I like a challenge. That means that I do NOT build over twinked characters. There is no challenge in playing normal PFS scenarios with those characters.

I also, personally, have no interest in playing twinked out uber characters in very hard scenarios. I'm not badwrongfunning anybody but that is just not the game that I want to play. It is also NOT the game that PFS usually is.

This scenario is a very significant outlier in difficulty. That is the core problem. Non hard mode should be easier. It should NOT assume 6 well built characters all of them in tier. That is NOT the norm and its not what I've been trained to expect in PFS. I don't care what happens in hard mode :-)


21 to 25 of 39 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>
Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced for May!

Silver Crusade

I stand ready.

Grand Lodge

I cannot wait. I bet Kyle Baird and Paizo's staff have quite a challenge for us with this one!

Grand Lodge

Kyle's back, maybe for another deadly scenario?

I'm a bit disappointed by the blurb to be honest, I thought this would be the scenario where the Society would at last explore Jormundun.

Paizo Employee Developer

They can't explore Jormurdun until they lead their army from this base of operations to its gates. Then they have to actually gain entry into the chambers within. One step at a time!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

By "the disappearance of one of the Society’s most valuable tools" do they mean Drendle Drang?

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

They certainly don't mean he's one of the esteemed leaders...

Grand Lodge

Yep, going to use this one to level my druid to 12. Should be fun, Kyle Baird always writes a nice adventure.

Liberty's Edge

Really wondering what tool we lost and who the esteemed leaders are.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Worst-case scenario (and with Kyle, you know you want to plan for that): Aram Zey, Marcos Farabellus, and the Hao Jin Tapestry?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Nari Burnsong wrote:
Really wondering what tool we lost and who the esteemed leaders are.

Tool: Trusty Buddy

Leaders: Mike and John

Dark Archive

Kyle Baird wrote:
Nari Burnsong wrote:
Really wondering what tool we lost and who the esteemed leaders are.

Tool: Trusty Buddy

Leaders: Mike and John

NOOOOOOO!!!! Not Trusty Buddy!

Really looking forward to this one, Mammoths was awesome, and I'm interested to see how it follows up.


Damn. Kyle wracked up a body count with a level 1, we're going to need a bigger cart if he's writing 7-11s....

Paizo Employee Developer

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Damn. Kyle wracked up a body count with a level 1, we're going to need a bigger cart if he's writing 7-11s....

How do you think he started his writing career with PFS?

Shadow Lodge

John Compton wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Damn. Kyle wracked up a body count with a level 1, we're going to need a bigger cart if he's writing 7-11s....
How do you think he started his writing career with PFS?

WITH BLOOD! (and Caubo's tears)

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

There are some extraneous words in the blurb, which I have bolded below (IMO they should be removed).

Scenario Blurb wrote:
Following its efforts to set up a basecamp in the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, the Pathfinder Society seemed ready to mobilize its forces when the Marcos Farabellus received troubling news: something dire had befallen the camp. What’s worse, these events resulted in the disappearance of one of the Society’s most valuable tools and the disappearance of two of its esteemed leaders. The PCs must investigate the ruined camp, track down the perpetrators, and recover a powerful relic to prevent this tragedy from ruining the entire expedition.

Base camp is not a compound word, it is two separate words. It sounds like the original draft read, "the Pathfinder Society received troubling news..." and 'Pathfinder Society' was replaced with 'Marcos Farabellus' without removing 'the'. You could also change "and two of its esteemed leaders" to "as well as two of its esteemed leaders".

So it should read:

Following its efforts to set up a base camp in the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, the Pathfinder Society seemed ready to mobilize its forces when Marcos Farabellus received troubling news: something dire had befallen the camp. What’s worse, these events resulted in the disappearance of one of the Society’s most valuable tools as well as two of its esteemed leaders. The PCs must investigate the ruined camp, track down the perpetrators, and recover a powerful relic to prevent this tragedy from ruining the entire expedition.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Meh. Words are hard.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Thanks for the catch, greysector!

Silver Crusade

Ack! Just noticed the release has been pushed back from Wednesday to Friday...

Say I was scheduled to run this on Sunday...should I inform the event coordinator that we'll need a different scenario, or do you think the Friday release date will stand?

(and I'll hope that Kyle's writing is clear enough that I can figure it out and prep it in a 24 hour time span) :P

Thanks, and sorry to bother.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Running this in three and a half weeks. Can't wait to add some more notches to my GM screen. I'll send a portion of player tears as tribute to Baird the following Monday.


Mike Bramnik wrote:
(and I'll hope that Kyle's writing is clear enough that I can figure it out and prep it in a 24 hour time span)

Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions.

Silver Crusade

Kyle Baird wrote:
Mike Bramnik wrote:
(and I'll hope that Kyle's writing is clear enough that I can figure it out and prep it in a 24 hour time span)
Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions.

Will do - thanks! Looking forward to digging my teeth into this one (and then its teeth into my players)!

Shadow Lodge

*finishes his first read-through*

Dude... just... wow. *rubs hands together gleefully and looks around for a suitable vial for player tears*

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm kind of disappointed in the writing for this one, as I've seen some glaring plot holes that make no sense.

1.) They clearly remind players that when you enter the Tapestry, that you leave a planar eddie where you came in. It states to the players that all they need to do is enter that eddie and they leave the Tapestry and return to the material plane at the spot where they entered. So, if Zay and Li entered the tapestry, how can they not exit via their own planar eddies? There is no explanation for this, and it is clearly in odds with what they remind the players so that they, and the other pathfinders, can leave the Tapestry.

2.) Even more disturbing is the horrible way that Nikolai is presented. It is claimed in several places that he had fallen under the influence of the Alraune. For most of the scenario I assumed that this meant that it had some power over him that was manipulating his mind and making him more pliable. Having seen both stat blocks, the only thing I can see is the Charm Monster power, and having seen Nikolai's stat block, there is virtually no way that he would have failed the Will save to fall under its effect. So either the Alraune is great at mental manipulation, and therefore didn't need the spell like ability to control the venture captain, or Nikolai is just that pliable and arrogant that he easily fell under the manipulations of the creature because of his own arrogance. Either way, the whole thing makes no sense, and given that it is the entire driving premise of the scenario, it makes the whole thing tenuous at best.

Paizo Employee Developer

morbon wrote:
1.) They clearly remind players that when you enter the Tapestry, that you leave a planar eddie where you came in. It states to the players that all they need to do is enter that eddie and they leave the Tapestry and return to the material plane at the spot where they entered. So, if Zay and Li entered the tapestry, how can they not exit via their own planar eddies? There is no explanation for this, and it is clearly in odds with what they remind the players so that they, and the other pathfinders, can leave the Tapestry.

In Response:
The issue that those two ran into was that their connection was disrupted when the tapestry moved (in addition to the disruption of the arcane foci stabilizing the portal they were creating). Thus far the Society's travels into the tapestry have involved the artifact staying on one place the whole time. When the alraune carried off the tapestry, it appears it made Zey's and Li's respective eddies disappear or be disrupted.
Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Brought 'em back alive, every one of them.

Dark Archive

If you take out the reviews from people that complained because their characters died, this is actually a well-liked scenario...YOLO

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's a scenario for REAL Pathfinders™.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Why is the prices of magic items wrong? Do I use the price in the book or on the sheet?

Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–20: The Sealed Gate (PFRPG) PDF All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.