Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–04: Beacon Below (PFRPG) PDF

4.30/5 (based on 21 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 7-11.

Thousands of years ago, a defeated order of Osirian sages sought refuge in the perilous Pillars of the Sun in central Osirian. Until recently they were presumed lost, but recent exploration has uncovered the fortress sanctum they left behind. When the PCs delve into one of its sealed halls, they find the sages’ millennia-old projects dormant but not dead.

Content in “Beacon Below” also contributes directly to the ongoing storylines of the Dark Archive and Scarab Sages factions.

Written by Matt Duval.

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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4.30/5 (based on 21 ratings)

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Lovely flavor

5/5

I played this with 4 others during a gameday on saturday, which meant we had 7 hours to play it, which we almost needed.

party:
Human Bloodrager 8 (abyssal bloodline), Tiefling Eldritch Knight 7, Human Cleric 7 (Gozreh), Half-orc Druid 7, Human Fighter 8, a nice wellrounded party, both in terms of combat and skills, going through low-tier.

We managed to get through it while avoiding most fights. We fought twice, the first fight was unavoidable due to the nature of a few combattants and bear's balance on my bloodrager and the second fight was because we tried to be clever by taking a circular route :)

Otherwise we managed with some trickery (sleight of hand) and lots of talking/diplomacy to avoid all the fighting. Because we aren't the group to just simply roll for it, but also try to play it out the diplomacy takes easily as much time as the combats.

So for parties who don't roleplay as much as we do, the talking route will definately shorten this scenario.

At a certain point during the adventure the GM got confused about the location of a certain item and after a few minutes of searching the pdf he decided that we had it in order to progress. Besides that minor point we had a very good time.

Players who are willing to negotiate and have some idea of the morals of their character will definately like the dilemma(s) this scenario will present.


great scenario

5/5

I played this as my 33xp scenario with my Champion of Irori. Great retirement scenario (I've already played Eyes :-( with a different character). It felt like a very fitting ending to his regular PFS career.

As others have stated, the scenario oozes flavour and has both interesting roleplaying opportunities, interesting moral dilemmas, and interesting combats.

For a moment another player was trying to tell me how my paladin "must" act but the GM was very quick in squashing that and allowing me to play my character in the way that made sense to me. Which was a lot of fun :-)

The final fight was one of the more interesting I've had. A real challenge without being overwhelming. The group were quite well built but weren't twinked out monstrosities and the final victory was definitely a group effort. I quite enjoyed the fact that my character was half convinced he was fighting on the wrong side :-). He kept trying (in character, NOT as a player) to convince the others to flee.

It was reasonably apparent that not fighting the last fight was possible but unfortunately sometimes the diplomacy dice just don't cooperate (we tried fairly hard and probably used a good approach, but I rolled something like a 3 followed by a 2 on my reroll :-( )

My only caveats are
1) I've heard from 2 different GMs that this is VERY hard to prepare
2) At least when we played it, there is at least one fairly serious ethical dilemma. Don't play this with a GM who is very strict on what he considers alignment infractions. Some of the GMs one hears about on the net would likely autofall a paladin. That said, with a reasonable GM and with a good handle on your characters motivations the dilemma was a lot of fun and one of the highlights of the game for me.


Diplomacy or Die

5/5

I really love how this scenario is laid out. First, it gets one star for being a great continuation from the Destiny of Sands series.
The plot seemed to pick up right where that left off, and there were many interesting things that a good Osirionologist would be interested in.

But what I love about this one is, it allows for some diplomacy on encounters, but it doesn't force the diplomatic discussion on you. So when I ran this, we had two different tables. One table had a bunch of heavy handed fighters that tried trampling over everything and had an enjoyably challenging combat experience without even realizing you could talk to any of the creatures, or that there was stuff to explore.
The other table took their time to investigate everything had discussions with some of the creatures, and enjoyed more of the story. So you had a completely different experience based on the disposition of the players.

So as a GM, I would gladly run this again, because I know I can make it totally different each time, based on what the players are showing more interest in. If they want more fights, there's plenty of challenging fights. If they want to explore, there is plenty of artifacts, role play, and story to give them. It's not forcing them to play it one way or the other, I can base it on what their reactions to the encounters are. It's this ability to cater the story to the group that I'm giving this one 5 stars for.


Experience the Lore of Osirion

5/5

I have played and run this scenario. This is a creative, immersive scenario that goes deep into Osirion lore. Everything made sense to me from a plot point of view as a judge, and it was far more apparent than usual to the players. My chief regret is that I did not have a 6-hour time slot, because this deserves one and can't be run in 4 hours without cutting a large hole in the play experience. And forget about the optional encounter unless you have a two-slot time frame to run the entire scenario.

When I played Sanctum of the Sages I was hoping for a followup that would expand the glimpse of ancient Osirion into a more vivid view, and Matt Duval has done exactly that. This is a work of art.

By the same token, I must acknowledge the review by one of my favorite judges, Mr. Doug Miles. It is true that there will probably be times when the GM needs to give the players a "clue by four" to the side of the head, depending on the experience and understanding of the milieu of the players. There is so much here that some folks will be a bit overwhelmed. I'm glad that there is so much depth to work with - thanks Matt - great scenario!


Destiny of the Sands, part 4

4/5

Perspective: GM'ed once.

This scenario is a solid effort that puts a great deal of agency in the hands of the players and ups the ‘epic’ gauge considerably. Matt Duval has put in another consistent performance following his excellent work in Destiny of the Sands part 2. It is great to see that Duval’s signature style of dungeoneering adapts to high tier as easily as it succeeded at low tier.

Yet again, we have a rich dungeon environment that:
-Allows alert silver-tongued PCs to talk their way past the baddies.
-Allows a real choice in the PCs hands.
-Utilises flavourful baddies (with synergy!) that make sense for the locale while also packing a serious punch.
-Allows multiple play styles to beat the catastrophe.
-Allows Pathfinders to be Pathfinders and not brainless ravaging monsters.
-Allows the optional discovery of delicious mouthfuls of metaplot to keep players coming back for more.

The only reason why I have not given this scenario the full five stars is that I felt the formatting of the final challenge made it quite difficult for a GM to be aware of all the rules options and DCs available. There are a lot of balls in the air here and more effort could be made to deliver the information succinctly and easily for PFS GMs.

The scenario also suffers from using too many flip-mats. There are additional rooms that are wholly pointless, and it’s up to Duval to flesh out these extraneous spaces with information. These are erasable flipmats we are using here – can't we just use a black pen to cordon off sections of the map? Not all the rooms on the mat need to be used.

If you were a fan of the Destiny trilogy (and who wasn’t?) or solid dungeon design, this scenario is well worth your time and money.


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Liberty's Edge

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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

mmmmm Bacon... oh wait that says Beacon... Damn it!!!

Scarab Sages

You mean there is no Bacon Sage? Dang was almost enough to get me to change my vote...

Silver Crusade

Wonder if these is unofficial follow-up to 5-16? Seems likely. More Mythic?

+1 for Bacon!

Grand Lodge

Hmm wonder if this is where the caravan leader went to...

Scarab Sages

In regards to 5-16

Spoiler:
There were 2 locked doors in the Sanctum of the Sages that were beyond the scope of scenario. As for mythic power, who knows, but last time it was the ending part of an important story arc.

Sovereign Court

Saervic wrote:
You mean there is no Bacon Sage? Dang was almost enough to get me to change my vote...

Bacon Sage would get a lot of new recruits.

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Now available!

Scarab Sages

Shane M. wrote:
Saervic wrote:
You mean there is no Bacon Sage? Dang was almost enough to get me to change my vote...
Bacon Sage would get a lot of new recruits.

Had we started the whole Bacon Sage thing sooner I'm sure it could have been the most popular guild in Pathfinder Online...

Scarab Sages

Really hoping for a more offering using the "Mythic Adventures" sourcebook in PFS. Hopefully, this is in store for this scenario.


Hmmm...looks like cutting and pasting the maps is a no-go, just like the earlier season 6 scenarios. Is this a deliberate change? If so, why? If not, may we please get it corrected? Unfortunately, this is a pretty major blow to usability for people who play on VTTs.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For Windows computer - NitroPDF Reader has an extract all images function that gets the maps out cleanly.


Iammars wrote:
For Windows computer - NitroPDF Reader has an extract all images function that gets the maps out cleanly.

Awesome; I'll give it a try!

I wonder what changed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Iammars wrote:
For Windows computer - NitroPDF Reader has an extract all images function that gets the maps out cleanly.

And it worked like a charm. You, sir, are the bomb.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like how the cover critter is interested in the human female reproductive system.

Grand Lodge

I give this scenario 2 stars... and the only reason it gets that is because it has a pretty good story line. What knocks it down is the length. i signed on to play this expecting a normal 4 to 5 hour scenario and got hooked into an 8 hour session. this was with an experienced group and an experienced GM. there is just entirely too much content in this scenario to complete within the normally allotted time. In the end, i walked away from the table sore, frustrated and annoyed with only a lousy 1xp and 2 prestige to show for it... not happy.

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