Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–02: The Silver Mount Collection (PFRPG) PDF

**½( )( ) (based on 39 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3-7.

The esteemed Blakros family—famous for their museum in Absalom—receives a large shipment of artifacts from Numeria but fears that the ever-vigilant Technic League will attack to reclaim its "stolen" property. When they request the help of Pathfinders to help guard the collection, the PCs discover that the Technic League is the least of their worries.

Written by Crystal Frasier.

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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**½( )( ) (based on 39 ratings)

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This is a scary module, but I liked it.

****( )

By "scary" I do not mean "haunted" or "ghosts." I mean, this module/scenario has a reputation for being difficult. See the previous reviews. Some will tell you it's unfair or ends in a TPK. To be fair, when I was a player in this module, there was indeed death (but no TPK), so it IS a rough one. However, I just ran the scenario and nobody died. I did do a lot of damage, though, and I wasn't trying hard. Let's talk about some of the details:

Spoiler:
The oozes - when I played in this game, the oozes were scary for being oozes, but the GM wasn't tracking the piercing/slashing damage, and never had the oozes get bigger. So, as a player this fight was so-so. However, running the game as the GM, I tracked this carefully. One of the oozes got bigger twice, although the other oozes did not because the players caught on and began to switch to blunt weapons. Nonetheless, the fight was difficult -- I hit 4 of the 6 PCs multiple times, and I got 3 PCs with grab/grapple/constrict.

At one weird point, all 3 oozes were in negative HP, but I had to keep the initiative running, because all 3 could potentially get back up due to their regeneration, and in fact the big one did. Monsters that can get back up after getting knocked out will always make for a tougher encounter.

If you are a GM, know that this is very difficult to juggle. The growth stacks. So twice I had to increase the monster's STR/CON/HP and I did that live, and I did it badly. The monsters should have been stronger and done more damage -- I was focused on giving the monsters the extra HP and short-changed the other parts. It wasn't intentional, and the PCs needed me to screw up so that the fight wasn't miserable. But if there is an option to pre-print the stat blocks in ALL their expanded forms, I absolutely would do that next time, just to save me the trouble of quickly re-calculating stats on the fly. Also, having to track if the monsters were hit by piercing/slashing/fire/acid was definitely a bit more paperwork. So watch out for this fight.

Pendleton/silver swarm - this fight is brutal, and it's possible that if I had not called the fight, it would have gone very badly for the group, based upon their fight with the oozes. The silver swarm has the ability to fully recharge the gearsman robot that protects it. So the fight isn't just "beat up Pendleton so that you can beat up the silver swarm, but hopefully don't kill Pendleton." Instead, it's that issue plus this damn robot that keeps getting back up. AND it can heal itself too. The amount of hits this boss fight can endure is really high, and it can drag out the final encounter quite a bit.

In addition, you're not really supposed to tell the players that killing Pendleton will cause them to lose prestige points. So this is difficult to suss out in the middle of combat. You'd have to realize who you're up against, which isn't disclosed, AND while Pendleton is possessed by the silver swarm he cannot speak (and the swarm itself speaks a language that no PC will likely have). Good luck even knowing that it IS Pendleton. However, if you get that, you'd still need to figure out a way to harm the swarm without killing Pendleton. Although I didn't run this fight, I told my players about this aspect of it, and one asked, "Well how do you do it?" And I replied that that's the trick. You just don't know so you have to experiment, mid fight. Make knowledge checks, use logic, etc. This is a good way to kill the poor guy if you cannot figure it out fast enough.

In the GM discussion a lot of GMs insisted that the swarm will leave Pendleton once he is knocked out. But this isn't true, and in the GM forum, that misconception was corrected. The swarm won't exit Pendleton until he's dead. So the temptation to kill Pendleton is high. People will lose prestige, and I bet some of the prior reviews will tell you that the product sucks for exactly that reason. It didn't bother me, but then again I had to cut the fight short due to the store closing, so I didn't remove prestige from my players' Chronicle sheets.

Overall, I'd say that the module, at least in low tier, feels like it's on hard mode. GMs, my advice is to remind the players that they are in Absalom, and NOTHING in the module suggests that they must remain in the museum, on a timer. They absolutely can retreat, purchase gear, and try again. Oh! Also, the Venture Agent running my local store says she's run this multiple times and always ended it in 4 hours. There is no way I could do that. I actually had the map on a giant flat-screen TV that we used as a table, and we had fog-of-war over the map, so as they opened doors I'd reveal only that particular room. Going room-by-room on 2 separate maps (with 2 extra not-made maps of the basement and a living area) just took waaaayy too much time. I needed 6 hours. I could have crammed down to 5 hours. For me, 4 hours would require too much hand-holding or railroading. I can't do it fast enough, with everything in the product (2 or 3 social interactions & 5 or 6 fights, 3 of which are HARD -- I can't run all that in 4 hours unless I'm leading the players by their noses). So I'm going to dock 1 star for the length & difficulty. However, I still like it anyway; I really enjoyed this exploration of the museum. If we could do halves, I'd give this 3.5 stars.


A Brutal Exhibition at the Blakros Museum

***( )( )

When the GM openly said that it wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to bring my level 7 alchemist to a low tier table of this scenario, I was a little confused. As we all know, there’s a tendency for a level 7 to outshine every level 3 or 4, which in turn can make players not have the best of evenings. We trusted his judgement however and I myself tried to only roll for skillchecks when really needed. That I could also pass Infusions to other characters made sure that I didn’t completely stole the spotlight every single time.

And so a party of four went into the museum (why Nigel, why?!) on a 6-player low tier: a level 3 fighter with a polearm, a level 4 investigator, a level 4 bard and a level 7 alchemist. For the record: my alchemist did have shocking bombs, as well as the Technologist feat. At the start of the session, I thought to myself to only use bombs when absolutely needed. Imagine my surprise when the first encounter happened. Those creatures are incredibly rough to deal with and I can understand the low average rating (especially in combination with the need to have Technologist).

I did like the scenario though. While it’s true that it’s somewhat of a railroad going from one fight to the next one, there were a few instances where social skills helped a lot. My alchemist didn’t have any, but the others in the group performed admirably and had a great time. Personally I was happy to see that while I outperformed others in the damage department and certain skill checks, they easily bested me in others. There was a certain balance: we all needed each other to survive this painful experience.

The last fight can be really scary for multiple reasons. I assume that there’s a peaceful way of resolving that situation, but we went for the stealthy approach followed by some good old bashing. Thanks to me having Technologist, invisibility and some really lucky roles, we managed to force the threat to come out of its, shall we say, hiding hole. There it stood out in the open and even my level 7 alchemist had issues hitting the thing straight in its face(s). Luckily I managed to land one shocking bomb to solve that situation, so we could then focus our attention on the other heavy hitting and still scary foe left.

Playing down typically means that the scenario turns into a cakewalk. This is not the case for this scenario at all. Now it gave us a fighting chance and, due to Technologist, ways to succeed at getting the secondary prestige point. If I had brought something that had been in tier, I’m convinced we all would have died due to our party composition. Only one of us would have been able to deal with hardness and the final encounter would have been really hard to deal with, if we even made it that far to begin with. I honestly think we wouldn’t even have seen the second encounter.

I still like having some small technology in my game, but not being able to figure out how to deal with some things can be a major setback. While it is rewarding those with parties with a Technologist present, I feel like it gives other parties too much of a disadvantage. Since you more or less need it for the secondary prestige point, I think that clues should have been more readily available. I also think that anyone with knowledge Engineering should have a chance to identify robots, though a -5 or -10 penalty should be involved.

To conclude: this is a very dangerous scenario when it comes to combat. On the low tier you really need to be prepared in order to deal with some of the things that get thrown your way as they can force a TPK to happen relatively easily. If you have a chance to bring a character with the Technologist feat, you should do so as it can help you figure things out. As a result, I think it’s best to play this at the high tier as it’s more likely you’ll have the tools required, but you should play it only if you really like a challenge.


Too annoying

***( )( )

I can't believe it's a Crystal's module!

Mostly combats, too ridiculous for low tier. A construct swarm with 23 touch AC and infest? High potential of TPK if lacks of AOE...

Fine storyline and mechanics, but nothing impressive, I think the BBEG is not well-balaced, at all.


****( )


Horrifying Scenario

***( )( )

From a GM perspective, I love the scenario, though it desperately needs a sanity mechanic. There is really no reason why the final encounter should ever go in favor of the PCs unless you want it to. The amount of fodder in the last chamber is enough to make 7 PCs run in fear.

If I were to play it, I probably would be able to finish it: There is little in the way of clues given regarding the sort of encounters and the final encounter is specifically written to completely remove fallen PCs, not to mention constantly recharge.

There is a lot to like from a GM perspective, but unless you are willing to greatly help the PCs, the there is little reason to play it.


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Grand Lodge Global Organized Play Coordinator

Announced for August!

Grand Lodge

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

DAMMIT NIGEL!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Return to the Museum?! That would be awesome!

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Another reason for my players to request to burn it down? Sign me up!

Grand Lodge

10 people marked this as a favorite.

The Museum really needs a sign putting up putting up that reads 'XX days since last artifact-related catastrophe'...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Oh nice! My players loved the Blakros museum. I will be sure to schedule this.

Shadow Lodge

Oh my great giddy aunt! A return to the museum? Please tell me this uses the map from Mists of Mwangi and the Penumbral Accords!

I adore the museum and hope to run this for my local society just as soon as the PDF is released.

Liberty's Edge

Mists of Mwangi has been a fan favorite around my local lodge so I am looking forward to return to the museum as well.

Shadow Lodge

6 people marked this as a favorite.

One day, you will be able to play from Level 1 to retirement thanks to the Blakros family.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Sammy T wrote:
One day, you will be able to play from Level 1 to retirement thanks to the Blakros family.

Yeah... Can't wait for that day. ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
Sammy T wrote:
One day, you will be able to play from Level 1 to retirement thanks to the Blakros family.
Yeah... Can't wait for that day. ;)

I see no downside to this. :-D


Actually I would be really interested in what higher level Blakros scenarios would look like.

Echoes of the Overwatch:
Also a great chance to do interplanetary, dominion of the black, or both. Since the gate in the museum is not referenced again as far as I know.


Laugh! My L7 paladin (provided he doesn't die and gets the XP) should make L8 on this scenario. He HATES the Blakros family and part of his RP is digging up dirt while on missions relating to them. He's played most of the Blakros scenarios...I think he outleveled one or two only. Can't wait to play this one on August 30th. I suppose we have to find the stolen R2D2...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have this in my hands as I'm GMing it at a con, I won't speak of details, but there is a flip map begging to be printed in this folio

Shadow Lodge

Interesting Chronicle. Thanks to this one, my Cleric no longer needs to worry about Darkness effects. Ever.

Spoiler:
vial of djezet (200 gp each; limit 6; Pathinder
Campaign Setting: Technology Guide 56; when used
as an additional material component, a dose of
djezet increases the effective spell level by 1, which
stacks with a heightened spell. To function as an
additional component, the spellcaster must use a
number of doses equal to the spell’s original level—
additional doses have no effect)

Continual Flame is a 3rd level spell, so with 3 doses (leaving you 3 to do it again if a DM thinks they can Dispel it) becomes a 4th effective level spell and neither Darkness (2nd) nor Deeper Darkness (3rd) can touch it. :) Cost = 600 + 50 to cast self.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope people really enjoy this one. It was a ton of fun to write. I love blending weird science into my fantasy.

Shadow Lodge

Honestly, my group really didnt dig that part of it at all. A bit suprizing as I figured they would have, or at least not been as against it as they turned out to be, but a combination of the sci-fi and it not feeling like a Blakros Museum Scenario where the two biggest complaints when I ran it.

Its one I would run again, though. I would suggest in the future adding in some more enemy diversity, as I can see a lot of classes being a little peeved at the encounters. One other thing that might have helped a bit on the DMs side, not having any of the books that this one draws so much from, (Numeria, Tech Guide), the motivations and goals of the Tech League that raided the museum seems really unclear and possibly superficial. It might have been a good idea to explain some more about them for the DMs who dont know. If I run it again, Ill study up on them, but I wasnt sure if they where suppossed to be assassins just using the "its our stuff" as an excuss, where somehow the innocent victims, or what the actual deal was.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Played through this one at GenCon.

Happily used the line [Indiana Jones] "These artifacts belong in a museum!" [/Indiana Jones]

Spoiler:
So wanted to burn the place down (a swarm and no AoE spells among the entire party is unpleasant, and so is having no one being able to natively cast remove disease). Seriously enjoyed the scenario nonetheless. :)

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There seems to be something wrong with the maps in this pdf. With most other scenarios you can copy-paste the maps (which leaves the room labels behind) and print the maps out or use them for online games. The maps in this scenario just copy-paste as a black box; I suspect something isn't layered right as I don't know what else would cause that.

Which of course means that for anyone wanting to print the maps or use them for an online game is stuck with the room labels (and secret door labels!) on their map for the players to see in plain view.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm not a PFS player but I might start buying these Season 6 scenarios just for the sake of having more sci-fantasy stuff in my library =D VIVA LA MAGITEK!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mike Tuholski wrote:

There seems to be something wrong with the maps in this pdf. With most other scenarios you can copy-paste the maps (which leaves the room labels behind) and print the maps out or use them for online games. The maps in this scenario just copy-paste as a black box; I suspect something isn't layered right as I don't know what else would cause that.

Which of course means that for anyone wanting to print the maps or use them for an online game is stuck with the room labels (and secret door labels!) on their map for the players to see in plain view.

Had the same problem, coincidentally after installing a beta copy of an OS, embarrassingly I opened a defect ticket before I realized it was this PDF (and just the maps in this PDF) and not the OS.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

When the intro mentioned that Nigel had remodeled the place, I was intrigued. When I saw that the map had nothing to do with the previous maps of the museum, I was baffled.

Liberty's Edge

One thing I noticed about this scenario. There was as much tactical information as I remember seeing in other scenarios which was kinda.. well I liked it.

Also I got to Infest a party member. We dubbed her Cyber/Cyivy. Very cool monster.

Silver Crusade

What faction does this advance?

Shadow Lodge

Darkive and maybe Grand Lodge.

The Exchange

Paizo, any update on the maps? Could someone put them in the product description for download?

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