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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Running any scenario for the first time is a learning experience. This entire scenario felt wrong right out of the gate. Too many times in the scenario I had to interrupt the game to explain the contrived mechanics created to move the plot along, or what the author actually intended the PCs to do in this situation. The motives of the NPCs were vague and illogical. The experience on my side of the screen felt disjointed. The battles were boring to run.

First Act:
The CRs for the first encounter should have been cranked up higher because the PCs aren't taking the full brunt of things. The corridors are cramped, and the [redacted]'s aura stops PCs in their tracks making the bottleneck even worse. Good luck making 4 successful DC 18 Fort saves when you step over the threshold. Enjoy sitting there as the GM rolls attack and damage dice for 10 individual creatures every round.

In its defense, the scenario oozes flavor for the Jeweled Sages arc--but falls short of allowing the players to make any real revelations. "Outside the scope of the scenario" makes players into sad pandas. Finally, the complexity of the final encounter was not fun to explain--you literally have to stop the action and describe how a little paperclip appears next to a PC's head and says, "Hi! It looks like you're trying to avoid a disastrous situation. Would you like me to activate the tutorial program?" I don't know if the players enjoyed themselves, but I felt like they had no chance of succeeding unless the mechanics were laid bare. It was too much to forgive in a scenario.

Top-notch, despite a huge disappointment


First, my frustration:

Osirion Mission:
Much like "The Disappeared", the SS mission here is the main mission for the Pathfinders. This makes the only test of the mission the competency of the Pathfinders assigned to it, not the choices made any faction. I/my character was decidedly against succeeding to improve the fortunes of the Diamond Sage, but even my inaction would have run afoul of the "Don't Be a Jerk" rule. As it worked out, once again I had the single choice to Act against my conscience, or support the group. The Group won, as it should.

Second, brilliant scenario!

  • Great diversity of magical effects.
  • *Tough* choices, that made it feel like we really were deciding the fate of things (though this made my frustration even more hard to accept).
  • Creature type variety was a bit low, but that's okay.
  • Intelligent play is rewarded, and mistakes are punished.
  • Interesting characters to role-play with! (Although one's speech gimick was just too tough for our GM to run with).
  • Fantastic ending room, with lots of hints and clues to catch and connect to future scenarios.

    Matt - you've definitely replicated the success you had with Destiny part 2, an old-school scenario with all the trimmings, with this high-level romp. Thank you.

  • Amazing mix of Combat, exploration and interaction


    Truly epic mix of combat, exploration and interaction where what you do matters to how the scenario turns out full of history and background that's right at the forefront of the adventure rather than pushed into the background.

    The chery on top is the chronicle sheet. FINALLY! Useful stuff on a chronicle sheet for both the treasure and the boons *keels over in shock*

    Challenging and fun!


    This is a fantastic scenario! It should come with warning labels, though. The scenario runs long - it took us 6.5 hours, without the optional encounter. Also, the combats were quite deadly. We had one level 8 playing at the table with us who died, another who came within one hit point of death, and a third who nearly had an unrecoverable death.

    There are options for diplomacy and a very intense in-character decision to be made. My Dark Archive character found the 'plot' and ending incredibly satisfying, and can't wait to see what happens next with the Sages. There are some unique goodies and boons on the Chronicle sheets.

    Bring your true Pathfinders, who both dedicated scholars and deadly in battle, and you will have a marvelous time.

    Great Scenario, defs worth playing.


    Disclaimer: I am not a game reviewer and this is my first review of a PFS scenario. I played this with my Tiefling Alchemist 7 out of tier in a 10-11 game. I had a very charismatic GM and was part of a table of 5, the other 4 consisting of a high level wizard, Zen Archer, Barbarian/Wizard and an Eagle Knight. So these are my subjective responses to the game itself.

    The review:
    This game was a lot of fun. To start with, my GM informed the party that this was probably going to be a bit of a dungeon bash, and to be fair you could play it that way. But like most scenarios, you could play it many different ways. My Alchemist managed to talk her way through most of the campaign, having to only fight through the first encounter and the final 3 encounters (the second encounter could not have been avoided despite a plot hole in the story that the GM had to essentially close himself, the third encounter could have been avoided if we did it differently and the 4th encounter possibly could have been talked out of). So yes this scenario might only need two fights.
    The story was interesting and the expansion of the location, the pillars of the sun was great. The last time the Pillars of the Sun have been used was its discovery in Part 3 of Destiny of the Sands, and that was a lot of fun. It continues the Osirion quest for the jewelled sages and more intrigue is to be found. I highly advise taking your time going through it as there is a lot of information and you're not going to be pressed for time until the end.
    I enjoyed the time sensitive encounter because the pressure made things feel real (especially since none of the characters really knew what was going on/what to do which resulted in hilarity which I will cover in my highlights section).

    Overall there was some great RP, some of it tense and filled with in character yelling, it could be played multiple ways and has fascinating little tidbits and secrets that I'm sure will pop up later. 10 out of 10 would recommend and would definitely play again (or at least GM).

    Managing to get my low charisma but high diplomacy tiefling to talk her way through most of the scenario, including trying to get an enemy to surrender; making an in character friend with an NPC; this quote "it's quite simple actually, it's Hippopotamus BEFORE Crocodile, Reed, Eye, Bananarama" "*Facepalm* OF COURSE! WHY DIDN'T WE SEE THAT BEFORE?!"; sticking one of the baddies to the ground with a single tanglefoot bag (which was assisted by a reflex save roll of a natural 1); watching the wizarbarian try and catch the sun, the zen archer trying to shoot the sun and the eagle knight charging the sun; and then finally managing to avert a catastrophic and probably fatal event with literally one round to spare (in a very similar vein to how the Fifth Element finishes

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    Liberty's Edge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    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

    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.

    Paizo Glitterati Robot

    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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