Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–09: By Way of Bloodcove (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3–7.

For centuries the city of Bloodcove has controlled access to the invaluable Vanji River, and for nearly as long, the Aspis Consortium has controlled Bloodcove. If the Pathfinder Society is to move the equipment and personnel it needs into the Mwangi Expanse, it needs a reliable means of smuggling resources through this unforgiving settlement operated by its enemies. It’s up to the PCs to establish a backdoor through Bloodcove—all without being caught by Aspis agents.

Content in “By Way of Bloodcove” also contributes directly to the ongoing storyline of the Exchange faction.

Written by Justin Juan.

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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Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 15 ratings)

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Good story and dynamic structure

****( )

I ran this for four players in low tier.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable adventure that was easy to prepare and easy to run. There is a tiny subsystem to keep track of how the PCs succeed at staying undercover in an Aspis Consortium controlled city.

There are a few ways in which the players can feel like they really made the scenario "their own" with one encounter area that offers plenty of ways for the PCs to accomplish their goal and a final encounter whose timing and place depends largely on the players' actions.

I did not find any glaring plot holes or clunky mechanics (I don't consider it too much to ask that at least one person in the party owns a wayfinder...) and recommend the adventure to anyone interested in a rather open scenario that is not unnecessarily complex.

In case anyone is interested how it turned out for my group:

GMs only:
My group kept failing their checks to stay undercover and by the end of the encounter at the Free Trade Square had blown the roof out of the Awareness scale and had to high-tail it out of the city. At least they managed to get the stash, though!


Horrible Final Encounter Design

*( )( )( )( )

The Scenario was decent for skill based characters and non-melee focused combatants until the end encounter. The last fight didn't feel like it fit with the rest of the scenario thematically or in difficulty. If the GM hadn't kept rolling low, we all would have died. I was told about the 4 player adjustment after we barely lived through the scenario and I couldn't believe that someone thought it was fair for a party of 3rd level characters to get hit by 2 fireballs to start a combat.


Confusing sandbox

***( )( )

Played at high tier, but not really enjoyed...

If you guys don't have a wayfinder, you just can't complete the mission at all(RAW). Just doing lots of messy jobs and what?

Good investigation with challenging combats, but not my flavor, and one huge problem mentioned above.


The Bloodcove Sandbox

*****

Bloodcove is a sandbox investigation and roleplay based scenario. Depending on your choices, there could be hardly any combat.

Bloodcove is very similar to Bloodcove Disguise. If you liked Bloodcove Disguise, you will like this scenario. There is nothing really bad to say about this scenario.

Detailed Rating:

Length: Medium (4 hours). I think we skipped the optional combat but definitely took our time.
Experience: Player at Subtier 6-7 with 6 good characters.
Sweet Spot: TBD.
Entertainment: Relaxing, interesting, smart. (9/10)
Story: Good story. (10/10)
Roleplay: Solid roleplaying although it will be player driven. (8/10)
Combat/Challenges: The challenges we had were on the easy side but enjoyable. (8/10)
Maps: Lots of good maps, mostly flip maps. (8/10)
Boons: If you're exchange, the boon is great. Nothing otherwise, which makes this hard to rate. (8/10)
Uniqueness: PFS doesn't have a lot of sandboxes, so it was welcome. (8/10)

Overall: If you like sandbox investigation scenarios, you will like this. A fun change of pace.


A Fantastic Adventure

*****

I ran this scenario tonight for my players to open up our Gen Con 2015 experience. Honestly, I could not have been happier with how well written this adventure is, how easy it was to prep, the mechanics of the PCs cover stories, and the "sandbox" of Bloodcove the PCs got to play in. Well done!


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Sovereign Court

How well is this connected to the Before the Dawn (#2-01 and #2-02) series? At least this has the same location.


Quick question and excuse my ignorance, but is there some rule or something about only certain star level GMs or venture-staff able to run new games for a certain period of time? Or can anyone run this for PFS once it goes on sale?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

There are certain scenarios that are limited in that way, but they are usually marked -EX. This is not one of them.


Yeah, the -EX ones are generally a little preview of next season, or in some other way special. Other than that its open to anyone as far as I know.


Many thanks for the info, greatly appreciate it fellow pathfinders


Looking forward to running this! But I have a question about a new item in it...

Nifty New Item:
Hematite Sphere Ioun Stone (flawed)

Is it available for purchase in PFS (assuming your PC has sufficient Fame and GP) without the chronicle sheet? (Obviously, it can be bought off the chronicle sheet.) Is there any other write-up for this item?

Some other questions about it...

Cost & Type:
Most Ioun stones come in regular, flawed, and cracked. This one only lists flawed. Are regular or cracked versions available, and if so how much are they & what are their properties?

Mechanics:
When slotted into a Wayfinder, it points toward the nearest other Hematite Sphere. Will it detect a Hematite Sphere if the other one isn't slotted, or do both have be in wayfinders for the location effect to work?

Thanks!

Paizo Employee Developer

Amanda Plageman wrote:

Looking forward to running this! But I have a question about a new item in it...

** spoiler omitted **

Is it available for purchase in PFS (assuming your PC has sufficient Fame and GP) without the chronicle sheet? (Obviously, it can be bought off the chronicle sheet.) Is there any other write-up for this item?

Some other questions about it...

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks!

In Response:
This ioun stone only appears in its flawed form thus far, though I strongly suspect we'll revisit it and introduce cracked and standard versions of it in a future publication. The version on the Chronicle sheet is available for purchase, and I'm sure clever players might come up with uses for it. A sloted version does have resonance, despite this being an atypical quality, and it points to the nearest such stone whether that stone is slotted or not.

John Compton wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

Thanks for the response, John!


Maybe I'm missing something and this is covered in the scenario, so forgive me if that's the case.

Spoiler:
What happens if none of the PCs own a Wayfinder for the stone to be slotted into?


Running this on play by post now... really loving it. Strangely, we're doing Scions of the Sky Key Part 1: On the Trail of Sharrowsmith next with the same group - and this seems to directly lead into that! So cool having the connecting scenario, even if it is just a thread about needing to find Sharrowsmith (no spoiler, it's in the title!).

So far, it's a complex adventure but I'm really enjoying the subterfuge aspect. I'll let you know more when I finish it and review it. ;-)

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