Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–06: Hall of the Flesh Eaters (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-5.

Shrouded in thick fog, the shifting Gloomspires north of the Shackles have long frustrated explorers. However, a recent discovery by the Pathfinder Society has revealed a brief opportunity to navigate the columns safely and search for the lost treasure of the legendary pirate Sevenfingers. The only problem is that the Pathfinders are not the only visitors to the Gloomspires.

Written by Tom Phillips.

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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PZOPSS0606E


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4.00/5 (based on 32 ratings)

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3/5


Fun and Creepy Adventure

5/5

I really enjoyed running this last weekend. It was fun, creepy and very challenging for even my 7 player table. A great thematic dungeon crawl with lots of variety.


Too easy for tier 1-2

2/5

I ran this over PbP* and I was really trying to talk up the freakishness for the characters. I even went back and re-read some Lovecraft to help my descriptions. The adventure does precious little (save for the "odd geometry" description) to help out with this. The main dungeon may as well just be a carved slab of grey with flesh eaters in it.

* It's not quite finished: just one room to go, but no challenge in that one. They have just done the BBEG.

The characters had an APL of 2 and slightly above-average builds (in my opinion) and they walked over every single encounter. Only the first went beyond 2 rounds - including the surprise round! I can see the potential for it to get really nasty, but the stated tactics and nerfs included in the adventure made it a complete wash for the good guys.

Lacking in "out of the box" atmosphere, somewhat inventive encounters that have been pitched far too low at tier 1-2 and other reasons (below) make this a below-par scenario.

Detailed review with spoilers:

The first encounter with the cannibals makes use of an old (out of print) map-pack map. They have a watch set up, but there is no reason characters wouldn't go right and bypass the watch set up and get up behind the cannibals. I railroaded them to the "proper" encounter site. The encounter itself was appropriate enough level-wise, but the listed statblock was awful. They had the buffed versions in there without explicitly saying they were buffed. The “mind-immunity” was listed in the non-buffed kind of way, but it was part of the spell and only continued re-reading stopped something bad from happening to a PC. I had one cannibal pass his save to get “buffed”, and it was a pain in the butt to get his stats out. Just put the base stats in and then include the spell. Much better than having to reverse engineer things for the surprise round (if the PCs get in first, or the buffing barbarian rolls lower on initiative).

The whole top plateau looks shoved-in to the bog-standard map that was provided. The other "encounter" sites kind of add color, but provide no challenge (or even CR) and you get the distinct feeling they were plonked there just to populate more of the otherwise encounter-less map.

The first trap on the way in and the way it was triggered was interesting, though the PCs bypassed it using their digging equipment to widen the hole (very fortuitous the way they did it!). Not the fault of the adventure and I liked the trap.

The second trap was probably one of the most interesting traps I’ve ever seen. It had a hag effigy with illusory eyes used to draw characters in and get close, and then they had to save or chow down on a corpse. In tier 1-2 however, it’s a DC 13 save (which you get to make every round) with a 24 hour reset! The first PC passed his first save and then it was over. I was so disappointed at not getting to use that trap. Make the perception and/or disable device DC lower - or change the reset to “automatic 1 rd”, reduce the save DC and then make it 24 hour immunity for each character with a successful save. That way, you should get at least one PC scrambling to eat corpse with his fellows trying to stop him.

The second encounter was with a leech. I thought it might be tricky, but only 25 hp and a tactic that basically makes it have AC 10 while grappling means it is going to get killed in 1 round by any team of competent adventurers. And it did get killed. 1 str damage and a few hit points is all it did. Waste. I’d recommend putting in a young leech swarm or something like that instead. Swarms are hard (see Crypt of the Everflame for that!), but a swarm that has to stay in the water can be avoided… and it will make them think about how to bypass it (eg. the provided folding boat, climbing, tunneling, etc).

The third encounter was full of ghoulish possibility. I really enjoyed the concept, but the descriptions in the adventure was a little lacking. I did my best to really make it grotesque (and I think I succeeded). The new cool concept was the Necrotic Polyp, that the undead couldn’t help but gorge themselves on was also no mention of how holy water damaged it - a tactic that was alluded to in an earlier message - and the rules around it (notably what knowledges would be helpful and how) were completely missing. It was only able to be defeated by simply bashing past its hardness for 300 hp. Snore. It had some cool effects - none of which became or could possibly become apparent to the PCs, unless they died.

The creatures around this polyp were so nerfed that the PCs got 1 surprise round and 1 normal round attacking them with no response from them. The second round, they’re forced to go at initiative 1! That means 1 surprise round to close (and attack if you have ranged and/or the sandals in the previous room) and 2 full rounds to completely destroy them.

The fourth encounter involves 6 hours of mining. This can be somewhat hand-waived, but I really tried to impress upon my players just how tiring it would be (because characters would realize this even if the players don’t). They stopped shortly after starting and moved on to the final encounter. Not sure how this will go, but there is a lone ghoul. How hard will that be for a party of 6? I’ve heard complaints that the stated tactics in this particular encounter can cause a coup-de-gras situation, but the GM would have to be a complete a-hole to do it like that. The AoOs alone would mean that the thing couldn’t do it unless a lone PC dug out the entire cave-in and went in without his companions. Also, it’s just one hungry ghoul. Oh, and it’s not scaled for tier 4-5 at all. Not even an easy advanced template (the “ghast” upgrade).

The final encounter has a whole lot of stuff written into it about how to use diplomacy. Great if the bad guy wants a chat - I love that (and did that). But it ends up mostly moot as he demands human sacrifice in return for doing anything (unless the PCs turn an unfriendly to helpful in one check). In the end, the big final boss is just a ghast (vanilla ghast) and with just 19 HP and blowing his chance at a surprise round by talking, combined with some good tactics and lucky initiative… two (just two) arrows later… and he was down. So anticlimactic. At least he has rogue levels in tier 4-5. It’s a genuine CR 4 encounter for tier 1-2, but the stated tactics ruin the chance of the all-important enemy surprise round. Without it, they’re not punching at their weight.

I also found the encounters getting very repetitive. I know it’s the “hall of the flesh eaters” but it’s like the author tried every level appropriate flesh-eating option he could find: cannibal, leech, ghoul, festrog, ghast. Three of the five encounters total involved some kind of ghoul.

Aside from that, the worst part of this adventure is that it requires players to write written notes and draw a map with no prompting that this is the case. The player handout says the characters should do it, but not the players. Since we’re playing over PbP, I’ve ruled that the players have written enough and waived the map requirement. They’ll no doubt meet enough of the other success conditions anyway. It’s a complete d*ck move from the author / developer. If you require players to put pen to paper, say it explicitly. Maybe some players would write notes unprompted, but who on Earth would hand-draw a map when the GM has already pulled out a detailed tactical map?

Conclusion: consider this at tier 4-5, but overall I’d give it a miss. For an APL of 2, you’re just going through the motions for the 1 XP. Maybe you like that. I don’t.


A tedious grind with good atmosphere

2/5

I played this today was seven players. Cleric/Wizard 5, Barbarian 4, Gunslinger 3, Barbarian 2, Wildsinger Druid 1, Magus 1, and Bloodrager/Lepidstart Inspector Investigator 3. We played up tier, and it was a challenge. Just not the good kind.

While the atmosphere of the adventure is really cool, a lot of the encounters rely on numbers for difficulty on top of stuff low tier characters might not be able to handle. Our lower levels healed or cantriped as best as they could, but a lot of the adventure put them in danger of being mobbed. At one point, I had 16 attacks on me during one round, all with a chance to disease or paralyze.

I was one of the lucky ones in that I didn't die or take ability drain. Essentially, this scenario (for high tier) is mob, ambush, mob, optional encounter with significant difficulty.


Atmospheric Dungeon Crawling

4/5

Had a great time with this as a 5th-level player. While it is certainly a dungeon crawl, the variety of encounters, unity of creepy themes, and unusual environment kept my interest. While I usually enjoy more social adventures, I found this one to be entertaining and engaging, with the right balance of challenging encounters that made me worry for my character's safety. Also, the scenario explicitly encourages characters to act like Pathfinders, which is great.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced!

Shadow Lodge

Oh gods what


I'll be keeping an eye out for this one!


It looks exciting!

Is it an omission or doesn't this scenario contribute to any faction's storyline?

Paizo Employee Developer

Lithrac wrote:
Is it an omission or doesn't this scenario contribute to any faction's storyline?

This scenario does not contribute to any of the factions' goals—at least not directly.


Thanks for the information, John!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Ooooo, a Halloween release! I'd better make this one extra nasty. ;-)

Sovereign Court

I tried to search up where Gloomspires are. Apparently they are a "in this scenario only" type of location?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Doing my research, it appears to have been mentioned in an RPG SuperStar entry. Other than that, I know nothing about it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Which map packs/flip mats are used in this scenario? (I really wish yall would release that info with every scenario once it has been finalized so GM's can see if they have the particular resources.)

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Doing my research, it appears to have been mentioned in an RPG SuperStar entry. Other than that, I know nothing about it.

Submitted by this adventure's author, featuring this adventure's location, and even mentioning the same NPC... hmmmmm... =)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Duncan7291 wrote:
Which map packs/flip mats are used in this scenario? (I really wish yall would release that info with every scenario once it has been finalized so GM's can see if they have the particular resources.)

GM's only:

I used this map for the top of the Gloomspire containing the tomb. Unfortunately, it's currently out of print.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Thanks Tom!

Dark Archive

Refresh...
Refresh...
refresh...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Ugg. I had in my cart, went to buy it and it vanished.

Dark Archive

Duncan7291 wrote:
Ugg. I had in my cart, went to buy it and it vanished.

BWARG

Webstore Gninja Minion

*hides knife*


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
*hides knife*

I need to learn to keep two eyes on the ninja.

Shadow Lodge

You need more eyes than that.


*blink*

Dark Archive

What have I done...


Would this scenario be good for a character on a large mount? I can't tell from the description whether it takes place outside or inside.

Paizo Employee Developer

jmclaus wrote:
Would this scenario be good for a character on a large mount? I can't tell from the description whether it takes place outside or inside.

In response:
It would be challenging but not impossible for a Large mount.
Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

An amazing ride tonight. Thoroughly engaging delve into horror that brings the Society back to the explore part of the motto.

Dark Archive

jmclaus wrote:
Would this scenario be good for a character on a large mount? I can't tell from the description whether it takes place outside or inside.

A bit of squeezing, but nothing bad. Only a few places are only 5 feet across.


Shasfowd wrote:
jmclaus wrote:
Would this scenario be good for a character on a large mount? I can't tell from the description whether it takes place outside or inside.
A bit of squeezing, but nothing bad. Only a few places are only 5 feet across.

I beg to differ; it would be extremely difficult to get the mount where it needs to go.

Grand Lodge

The side column graphics make the module unreadable in the bottom of the columns when printed black and white. Please stop those little graphical background flourishes that add nothing to the content as a playable module but mess with the printing


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Anyone know if their will be follow-up scenarios like the Labyrinth of Hungry Ghosts published, or are anymore Gloomspire adventures not going to happen?


Beowulf Adrinor wrote:
Anyone know if their will be follow-up scenarios like the Labyrinth of Hungry Ghosts published, or are anymore Gloomspire adventures not going to happen?

Yes, this one:

http://paizo.com/products/btpy9k92?Pathfinder-Society-Scenario-7-19-Labyrin th-of-Hungry-Ghosts


Hello, how many level 1 players is this adventure written for?

Thanks in advance!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Like any PFS adventure from Season 4 on, this is written with 6 players in mind, but there are adjustments provided to adjust it for only having 4 players.

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