Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–23: Cairn of Shadows (PFRPG) PDF

***( )( ) (based on 21 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5–9.

The innumerable cairns and burial mounds of Barrowmoor in northern Nidal contain untold treasures and terrors, and the local taboos and Nidalese theocracy are typically enough to keep any but the boldest from exploring the site; however, when the Blakros family informs the Pathfinder Society that their shared enemy is in pursuit of a dangerous artifact, the PCs must brave the shadow-stricken region to keep this object from falling into the wrong hands.

Content in “Cairn of Shadows” also contributes directly to the ongoing storylines of the Andoran and Cheliax factions.

Written by Dennis Baker.

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.

PZOPSS0523E


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Average product rating:

***( )( ) (based on 21 ratings)

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Great flavour, troublesome mechanics

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The scenario has an excellent flavour, Nidal is suitably unpleasant and the Cairn is very well described and does a fantastic job of evoking a Hellraiser feeling.

Unfortunately that's about all that's easy to compliment, mechanically the rules for sight, movement, traps and just about everything else are going to cause issues. Not simply in that they seem rather harsh with respect to low tier players, but also they are contrary to how such things usually operate and require both the GM and players to quickly adapt to this, for no real gain that I could see.

There is also an issue with essentially removing treasure from the players after successfully dealing with a trap, which seems rather unfair. The scenario in general also has numerous points where it is very punishing for non physical characters, requiring numerous skill checks from them if they wish to participate and which failing these checks poses significant risk that seems out of proportion to what might be expected.

I genuinely enjoy the atmosphere of the scenario a *lot*, however I can't recommend or highly rate it since all the problems listed create a very difficult environment to enjoy the actual gameplay, there are also some map issues with it seeming like at least one room is not depicted and things that seem to be depicted not mentioned in the text.

Overall a great concept but let down by far too many mechanical problems and the potential to excessively punish many characters.


Don't let the party act.

*( )( )( )( )

5 different ways of blocking a party's line of sight, or moving to the fight, brings combats to an excruciatingly slow halt.

Denying a party treasure for succeeding at an encounter is contrary to the game design.


Hellraiser

*****

Shadows is a horror and combat scenario with a mix of roleplaying and investigation as well.

Without exception, Shadows has the best atmosphere ever created in a PFS scenario. The entire session drips with flavor and the environment (if done right) should make the players very tentative. Nice work. For this reason it is one of the most memorable scenarios I’ve played.

We had an easy time with the encounters (especially the final encounter), so the encounters were only medium difficulty.

The only downside to this scenario is that you need to be thorough to gain all the loot (which is the main reason for the 1 star reviews). If the writing was poor, my GM smoothed it over and made it a great experience.

”Detailed Rating”:

Length: Medium (4 hours).
Experience: Player at subtier 8-9 with 5 powerful characters.
Sweet Spot: TBD.
Entertainment: One of the most graphic and memorable scenarios. Nice moral decision at the end. (9/10)
Story: A good story that was conveyed to the players. (9/10)
Roleplay: A good section to start, a good NPC in the middle. (8/10)
Combat/Challenges: Enjoyed all of the challenges, thought the last encounter could have been more interesting and horror based. (8/10)
Maps: Good. (8/10)
Boons: Very useful and flavorful. (10/10)
Uniqueness: Best atmosphere. (10/10)
GM Preparation: TBD.
Secondary Condition: Good. (8/10)

Overall: The horror environment makes this scenario extremely memorable. (9/10)


****( )

Played this at the lower tier.

First part of this scenario is heavy roleplay with some great moments for those who like to think outside the box. The rest is a fairly interesting dungeon crawl with some cool encounters and a shed load of suspenseful atmosphere.

There are a couple parts which feel like red herrings but we enjoyed it a lot even so. A good fun scenario.


***( )( )


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Nice!!!

Dennis I hope this turns out great!!!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Is there a museum involved?

:)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

What map packs/flip maps will be used in this scenario?

The Exchange

Did the release date get put back?

Paizo Employee Paizo Glitterati Robot

Now available!

Grand Lodge Global Organized Play Coordinator

Please do not run this until July 4.

Grand Lodge

Mike... I have people signed up for this and based on the release date I should have been able to run this.. So now I have people signed up to play this on Sunday and I am going to have to tell them I can't. (running both 5-22 and 5-23). :(

I wish you had pulled it earlier or told us earlier then the day of the release and AFTER it was released at one point even at least so I could have planned it better and rescheduled something else. Now I have GM's and a headache trying to get something everyone has not played. I am upset about this from a coordinators point of view as this is just going to be a huge headache! So many people either not coming or wanting to play something they have not yet. :(

Grand Lodge Global Organized Play Coordinator

Deanoth wrote:

Mike... I have people signed up for this and based on the release date I should have been able to run this.. So now I have people signed up to play this on Sunday and I am going to have to tell them I can't. (running both 5-22 and 5-23). :(

I wish you had pulled it earlier or told us earlier then the day of the release and AFTER it was released at one point even at least so I could have planned it better and rescheduled something else. Now I have GM's and a headache trying to get something everyone has not played. I am upset about this from a coordinators point of view as this is just going to be a huge headache! So many people either not coming or wanting to play something they have not yet. :(

The last four scenarios of the season have been held for PaizoCon for the past several years and it was no different this year. I apologize if there was any miscommunication on our end.

Grand Lodge

Mike I can understand that... but it was on the schedule for release in June AND Friday night (tonight). Not realizing this was one of the 4 scenarios scheduled for Paizo Con I am left in a quandry for both my GM's and myself. Timing with the release date. First it was supposed to be Wed night... Then Friday... it gets released and then pulled and now I am out of luck and have to scramble to find a scenario no one has run before that is signed up. The GM's who are already upset with me because of the lateness of the release are having to scramble based on feedback from the people signed up for my event and then hopefully prep between then and Sunday Morning.

It affects quite a few people.. Apologies are welcome and I TRULY DO appreciate them. It just seems that I am in store for a huge headache this weekend.. as well as my GM's now :( What makes it worse is this was told a June release back in early May.

::sigh:: egads.. I am hoping it pours tomorrow and none of my GM's have plans to do anything and can prep a scenario on a real short notice :(

Grand Lodge

Sorry not trying to take it out on you Mike, I am just frustrated and flustered.

Grand Lodge Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deanoth wrote:
Sorry not trying to take it out on you Mike, I am just frustrated and flustered.
Trust me, I fully understand and cannot apologize enough for the confusion. On the posiitve side, your GMs have the same amount of time to prepare another scenario as these new ones. These last four scenarios are a little more complex than normal scenarios so you are going to want them to have the extra time to prepare them. To make up for the terrible mistake, I would be more than happy to email you a GM and player boon for this weekend's event to try and ease the tension you are going to receive from your GMs. Email me at mike.brock@paizo.com.

Grand Lodge

So all 4 scenarios will be available after PaizoCon?

Paizo Employee Developer

All 4 scenarios should be available online on the first day of PaizoCon.

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