Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–24: Assault on the Wound (PFRPG) PDF

**½( )( ) (based on 38 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3–7.

The Pathfinder Society embarks on its expedition to the lost Sky Citadel Jormurdun with a small army of allies in tow, but they are not the only ones seeking the dwarven fortress. Two of the Society’s nemeses have rallied the fiends of Frostmire to crush the Pathfinders, hoping to buy the villains enough time to secure Jormurdun first. If the campaign is to succeed, the Society’s forces will need bold leadership. Can the PCs lead their motley army to victory deep in the Worldwound?

Content in “Assault on the Wound” also contributes directly to the ongoing storylines of the Silver Crusade and Taldor factions.

Characters can benefit from numerous boons earned during other Season 5 scenarios, so players are advised to bring other earned Season 5 Chronicle sheets to the event—even if those Chronicle sheets are assigned to other characters.

Written by Thurston Hillman.

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.

PZOPSS0524E


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**½( )( ) (based on 38 ratings)

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took a risk, didn't work out

**( )( )( )

Let's start with the positives. I enjoyed the story of the scenario, and I'm told that it sets up Vengeance at Sundered Crag quite well. I also enjoyed the last fight, with an appropriately challenging opponent. And I did enjoy the way that the mass combat emphasized that this was war, and not just another mission.

But while I appreciate the risk of introducing a new set of rules in a scenario, I don't think it worked out here. Let me echo previous reviews on a few counts. (1) The mechanics were a lot to learn on-the-fly, even with an organized GM and plenty of player handouts. (2) Vastly unequal play-time for different players, since each individual mass combat had to be completely resolved before the next player could take a turn. The guys with the slow armies barely got to play for the majority of the scenario, and wouldn't have at all if the GM hadn't steered some enemies their way specifically so they could try out the rules. (3) For most of the scenario, my character wasn't involved at all, and I wasn't really playing the game I'd come to play. Together, not the best experience.

In addition, the troop struck me as a rather too much. For one thing, one new system per scenario, please! And the troop was awfully difficult at 3-4. Wall of fire as a move action plus unavoidable volleys as a standard action that dish out a lot of damage even if you make your save plus automatic melee swarm damage? Ouch, ouch, ouch. I'm surprised we avoided a TPK and don't see how that encounter looked like an appropriate challenge for a group of lvl 3s.

As a final note, I couldn't help but feel silly that a group of level 3 adventurers were sent to take out the commander of the enemy demon army. And succeeded! I understand the need to have the season enders accessible to more than just the high tier, but still. It felt silly.

:-)


Worst scenario I have ever played

*( )( )( )( )

This was the worst scenario I have ever played in PFS. The mass combat rules are ludicrously over complicated and not fun in the least. Look, I play roleplaying games in order to roleplay, not to play a stripped down, badly designed war game. Your character has no relevance whatsover to the mass combat sections of the scenario, which destroys for me the entire purpose of playing this game.

I'm all for adding creative subsystems and minigames. They make the game interesting and fresh. I even like the chase mechanics which seem exceedingly unpopular. This isn't a subsystem though, this is a different game, and one that I specifically chose not to play since I showed up to PFS and not Warhammer.

I noticed that the boon on the chronicle sheet gives bonuses to future mass combat. That implies there will be more of these scenarios, which greatly irritates me. I will not GM those scenarios and I will not sign up to play them.


Good story, but too much "new mechanics" packed in

***( )( )

Ran this scenario "Assault on the Wound" today (Aug 3, 2014). Love the storyline behind it; it ties a lot of scenarios together. But, after reading many posts about it and hearing all kinds of opinions, I found myself nervous about the mass combat mechanic.

I decided to put on a happy face and approach it at the table with an excited, eager demeanor. That seemed to work out, and the players responded well. (They're a great group anyway, so it may not have been me.) It really helped that there were two Silver Crusade players who loved the extra bit they had to do at the end.

We did have one new player at my table, so trying to accommodate his newness, the new rules for all the players, and avoid running seriously over time was a challenge.


'Salt on the Wound

*****

I loved Assault on the Wound. How many times have we played the same scenario, our characters scrambling to complete some objective and having the requisite 2-4 boring, anything-but-challenging combats with a little roleplay occasionally thrown in to spice it up? This scenario worked differently.

The mass combat rules made their debut. The rules are akin to a simplified version of Warhammer or a similar game, and they are not difficult to grasp. In this case PCs are given armies to control and pitted against some truly nasty armies in the Worldwound in the fight for Jormurdun.

As a GM, I enjoyed teaching the players the new rules and watching them learn mass combat. I also enjoyed challenging their PCs with a new monster type ( troop - yes, it's kind of a swarm on steroids) and a final fight against a worthy adversary.

Unfortunately, I played this at Paizocon and had a terrible GM. He clearly didn't understand the simple rules himself and combat was frustratingly slow. We did not complete the scenario in the slotted time. I wish I had sat at a different table to get the full experience, but while prepping and running it I came to appreciate the scenario for what it was---different, complex in some ways but accessible to players and GMs with half a brain, truly devious tactically, and a hell of a lot of fun.

My Favorite Bits:
1) This scenario ties in with other season enders, particularly Vengeance at Sundered Crag, which happens at the same time as Assault. Both also directly lead up to this year's GenCon special.

2) Chronicles from other season 5s can be used to give PCs access to some powerful unique armies. This is one of the few scenarios where anything from your PC's past actually matters.

3)

Spoiler:
A nasty, nasty trap and a boss with a penchant for trickery and hydraulic push.

4) MAMMOTH RIDERS. And stone golems, those are nifty, too.


*( )( )( )( )

No problem with mass combat in its own place but in a short scenario at the expense of roleplaying this is not it. Lets remember that one of the reasons 4th ed. lost a lot of players was because it was more of a war/board game than a roleplaying one.
For two hours the only part of my character that had any relevance was my charisma.
Troops - another opportunity to completely screw over a party. Lets take the hated swarm and make it worse. Ok weapons can at least harm them but there is no logic to a sword strike hitting one element harming a troop while a damage spell hitting the same does nothing. And ranged damage that ignores AC - Several of our group lost half of their health before they did anything and potentially would have taken the same attack again before doing any damage themselves and would have to pass through another damaging effect of the troop on the way.
Lets remember that in con play not every party is going to be balanced.


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Announced for July!


Another Thursty adventure - I can't wait!

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I wonder who these old nemeses are and why they are showing up here? What is their agenda?

Or perhaps do they just want to...*puts on sunglasses*...put salt on the wound.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If one of them isn't

Spoiler:
Tancred Desimire
I'll eat my hat. But then, they have often pleasantly surprised me...


My two cents, I believe the two old nemeses will be:

Spoiler:
Tancred Desimire and Thurl. And I imagine you won't actually encounter them in this scenario. That encounter will be in 5-25: Vengeance at Sundered Crag. Especially since I believe the scenarios are supposed to take place concurrently (in time).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I forgot about the other guy's name UE. And I totally agree with your prediction. I thought this was going to be a Tier 7-11 for some reason. No way you'd face the actual recurring villains in a 3-7, right?


Derek Weil wrote:
No way you'd face the actual recurring villains in a 3-7, right?

I sure hope not! But who knows, maybe it's a suicide mission?

Silver Crusade

My money is on...:
Tancred Desimire and Thurl. If it's anything like Portal of the Sacred Rune, Vengeance at Sundered Crag will bridge season 5-6 together, and Thurl has connections to Numeria in his backstory.

Silver Crusade

Hrothdane, where did you find said backstory? I seem to remember seeing it somewhere, but for the life of me I can't find it now...

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

After an update from the Golem regarding this scenario, I think I need to preface the release with an offer:

I'll be at PaizoCon this year, so swing by to punch me in person.


Thurston Hillman wrote:
I'll be at PaizoCon this year, so swing by to punch me in person.

ISWYDT.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thurston Hillman wrote:

After an update from the Golem regarding this scenario, I think I need to preface the release with an offer:

I'll be at PaizoCon this year, so swing by to punch me in person.

I'm running this, so I think I'll buy you a beer.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Now available!

Shadow Lodge

On the Chronicle Sheet, The Taldor Boon reads:
[Include 2 check boxes here] Legacy of Porthmos (Taldor):

That should probably be:
[] []
Legacy of Porthmos (Taldor):

:)

Grand Lodge Global Organized Play Coordinator

Please do not run this until July 4.

Shadow Lodge

That's odd. I'm guessing all those scenarios where not supposed to have been released yet?

I will not run them early, I honestly just saw new stuff and grabbed it, assuming it was just coming out. I can't see the release dates, but when does Scars of the Third Crusade become good to go?

Grand Lodge Global Organized Play Coordinator

DM Beckett wrote:

That's odd. I'm guessing all those scenarios where not supposed to have been released yet?

I will not run them early, I honestly just saw new stuff and grabbed it, assuming it was just coming out. I can't see the release dates, but when does Assault on the Wound become good to go?

Thank you for understanding. July 4th is a good date for the first time it can be run.

Grand Lodge

First #5-24 was scheduled for release July 30, then June 27 it was "available today." At the moment, it's not listed at all. Is there any information? I'm scheduled to run this scenario, not terribly soon, but would like to get my hands on it sooner rather than later.

Shadow Lodge

I'm kind of curious as well. Doesn't matter to me, as I'm not scheduled to run it until I feel like it :P, just wondering why it was made available, then removed, and can't be run until later?

Grand Lodge

This. They should have been held until July 4th for Paizocon.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

Huzzah, it's back up again!

Grand Lodge Global Organized Play Coordinator

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Huzzah, it's back up again!

This scenario is the suq. It haz no llamas in it ;-)

Paizo Employee Designer

Michael Brock wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Huzzah, it's back up again!
This scenario is the suq. It haz no llamas in it ;-)

Now Mike, it's not Thursty's fault that we switched the giant llamas for demons. That's just rubbing a salt on the wound.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Mark Seifter wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Huzzah, it's back up again!
This scenario is the suq. It haz no llamas in it ;-)
Now Mike, it's not Thursty's fault that we switched the giant llamas for demons. That's just rubbing a salt on the wound.

ISWYDT

Grand Lodge Global Organized Play Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Huzzah, it's back up again!
This scenario is the suq. It haz no llamas in it ;-)
Now Mike, it's not Thursty's fault that we switched the giant llamas for demons. That's just rubbing a salt on the wound.

There is no excuse for not including atl east one llama that yells, "CCCAAARRRRLLLLLL" and enjoys the taste of hands.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

I guess I really need to include a millipede on the Moonscar...

Paizo Employee Designer

Thurston Hillman wrote:
I guess I really need to include a millipede on the Moonscar...

Only if you want to play the part of Abbott.

Grand Lodge Global Organized Play Coordinator

Thurston Hillman wrote:
I guess I really need to include a millipede on the Moonscar...

That's at least a start but it in no way replaces llamas with a taste for human flesh or depressed unicorns.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Meat conveyor! I vote for a meat conveyor!

Or a rift in space and time the ejects baby hands! Wait...I could've used that! Dangit! I missed my opportunity! Where's Paul?!

Shadow Lodge

I truly enjoyed the mass combat. It's kind of confusing at the beginning. I would love to see a few of these each season. Sure it takes away from roleplaying but that's ok, having something change every once and awhile is a good thing. Only thing I could ask for is to have have a super easy gimp encounter before the first real bad so how its supposed work can be visualized.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I believe the first encounter is supposed to be the easy training wheels example to get you ready for the second (real) challenge.

Liberty's Edge

I spotted that there is a formatting typo on the chronicle; is the PDF expected to be updated in the next week or two? Or should we work with it as it is now?

Is there any chance of getting an easily-printable version of the first map with only the player-friendly markings and labels, i.e. one that can be blown up to ~A2 size?

Liberty's Edge

The tier is off. Two of the armies come from 7-11 missions and one other from 5-9. Even if all of the others were 1-5, the chances of still having your character in 3-7 after all this time is fairly remote. Also not sure why junior Pathfinders would be leading the charge... Oh. Wait a minute, what was the alignment of the Ten?

I guess I will just have to go with Plan A and use my armies to conquer Absalom now that I'm out of tier.

Paizo Employee Developer

EricMcG wrote:

The tier is off. Two of the armies come from 7-11 missions and one other from 5-9. Even if all of the others were 1-5, the chances of still having your character in 3-7 after all this time is fairly remote. Also not sure why junior Pathfinders would be leading the charge... Oh. Wait a minute, what was the alignment of the Ten?

I guess I will just have to go with Plan A and use my armies to conquer Absalom now that I'm out of tier.

In response:
If you have the boons on any of your characters, those boons apply to whichever character you bring to the table.

Also, Marcos Farabellus explains why there aren't a lot of high-level Pathfinders on hand to lead the armies when he gives his mission briefing.

Hope that helps.

Liberty's Edge

I didn't see any notes about the usual A, B, C, or D checkboxes from the reporting sheet in the Conclusion. Did I miss something?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I see a lot of polarized reviews, it averages out to 3, but most of the reviews are 1 or 5, and from reading them I suspect the 1's wish that 0 was an option. It seems to break down to love/hate mass combat == love/hate the scenario. Beyond the boss fight are all the encounters mass combat, or is there a mix?

Liberty's Edge

It's all mass combat except for the last encounter (boss fight), but my players loved the mass combat dynamic. Everyone at the table had a blast!

Shadow Lodge

It is absolutely a love/hate of mass combat rules.

My particular objection is that mass combat means you're not really playing your character (outside of their Charisma modifier) for several hours. You can certainly roleplay "Mammoths! Charge!" a few times, but it starts to get old for a lot of players quickly. Some tables are spending 3 hours on mass combat. I know some of the PaizoCon tables didn't do all the mass combat engagements due to time restrictions (such a single token one for flavor) and it's possible those are the ones actually getting higher reviews since less time is spent in mass combat.

And the mass combat rules are a bit clunky because they don't favor holding strategic locations, so you'll see a lot of tables that simply group up as one large army and run around... typical strategic war-gaming places strategic emphasis and rewards from holding locations. The scenario could've been written with some of this (i.e. simultaneously achieve these 3 goals) which would've allowed more tables to experience more variety (as 6 armies would need to split into 3 armies each composed of 2 players or such).

(To be fair, there's two other parts that will garner love/hate responses as well, but I won't mention those here since that are spoilery)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Ick, that actually sounds uncool, I recently scrubbed the mass combat rules from my Wrath of the Righteous Campaign because it definitely took the PCs out of the spotlight. At the same time, this is a module that sorcerers and bards can laugh at all the folks who dumped Charisma.

Shadow Lodge

The impact of a PC's charisma is somewhat negligible at least at the times I've seen this scenario in play.

The PC armies are rarely routed (usually hot dice mean an army is straight destroyed, and a routed army with 3hp left isn't really much of a factor anyway), and folks don't generally shift tactics such that a morale check is required.

When I ran the scenario, the PCs with the hottest dice were generally the strongest. How hot your dice are matters a lot more than usual in mass combat because damage dealt is the excess in which the OM roll exceeds the DV. When I last ran the second engagement, my dice were rolling very well and the PC army's were grouped up and I grouped up the demon armies in response. PCs were focus firing demon armies, so the demon armies had responded by focus firing PC armies. When running the demon armies, you'd likely attack whichever PC army is being reckless and employing raging brutality, which essentially means their DV may be like 12. With a handful of armies (say 4) all attacking that reckless PC army, if you roll a 14,16,17,19, you're looking at a destroyed PC army the first round.

Sadly, I'm not generally a fan of mass combat since in order to enjoy it, it requires the players to run their armies in a mechanically suboptimal fashion and to create situations on the battlefield ("Oh! My army doesn't need any help with these demons, why don't you go after those others on that hill there...") that are beyond those the scenario presents. Once one army groups up into a "mega-stack", the other army should follow and then it's just a bunch of fairly uninteresting rolls until it's resolved.

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