Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–12: Scions of the Sky Key, Part 1: On Sharrowsmith's Trail (PFRPG) PDF

***½( ) (based on 26 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

Weeks have passed since Venture-Captain Nieford Sharrowsmith departed for the Bandu Hills, and having not heard from him since but learned of an Aspis Consortium expedition bound for the same destination, the Society and local allies have grown worried for the aging explorer’s safety. As the PCs travel south on Sharrowsmith’s trail, they must track the venture-captain to the ruins he sought while also dealing with the aftermath of his actions.

“On Sharrowsmith’s Trail” is the first scenario in the three-part Scions of the Sky Key campaign arc. It is followed by Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–14: Scions of the Sky Key, Part 2: “Kaava Quarry” and Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–16: Scions of the Sky Key, Part 3: “The Golden Guardian.” All three chapters are intended to be played in order.

Content in “On Sharrowsmith’s Trail” also contributes directly to the ongoing storylines of the Exchange faction.

Written by Robert Brookes, RPG Superstar 2014 finalist.

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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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZOPSS0612E


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***½( ) (based on 26 ratings)

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Multiple Plot Holes - Bad Design & Development

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I'm glad we had an experienced GM who rolled with the multiple plot holes we experienced; we still managed to have a good time due to his heroic efforts. Unfortunately, he was forced to cover numerous oversights, both in the plot and in the mechanics.

My biggest gripe is that the entire scenario is predicated on Sharrowsmith having caused a tribe of kobolds to attack the fort-town, but there is absolutely no evidence that he did any such thing. The PCs are immediately put on "trial" but the premise is ridiculous, as we get zero evidence to incriminate Sharrowsmith and the Pathfinder Society as a whole, either before or after the results of the "trial". In fact, we nearly used a simple Charm Person on the "judge" instead of having to put up with the sham; since the PCs don't get any information unless they win this social encounter, why didn't the author think to account for a basic 1st level spell?

Its clear that the entire plot was rather poorly thought out. Among other plot complaints:
- The guards at the front of the fort demand to know our business, but we acted on several clues that Pathfinders weren't particularly welcome, so we lied instead of telling the truth, which the scenario decided was the wrong course of action, resulting in higher DCs. Why make so many hints if it was deliberate misleading?
- The opponent in the trial stated that if we simply killed the kobolds, it would create a power vacuum and make everything worse. So we saunter into the final lair hoping to make a deal with them, and instead its a fight to the death. Again, what was the point of that deliberate clue?
- We asked who was in charge of the mining outpost so we could make a contact once we arrived, but there is no name. Seems like an obvious question, particularly since we made it a point to comply with local authority to redeem the Pathfinder name.
- None of the encounters were relevant to each other. I kept trying to make connections, but it was simply a case of the entire scenario wanting to be an exhibition of various random monster encounters.
- Obviously once we knew about the kidnapping, we made as much haste as we could, but if the prestige for the scenario relies on us getting to the end as fast as possible, why isn't there a push to prevent us from delaying in the fort-town?
- If none of the miners at the outpost have seen Sharrowsmith, how do the kobolds have his bag and journal?

Mechanically, as stated in other reviews, the fights were too easy (we played low tier). Also as mentioned, the positioning of enemies in the final fight is ambiguous. There is one section that isn't tier-adjusted and needs to be. There is a potential to take between 1-6 d6 of damage for a failed climb check. Six D6: that's instant death for 1st level characters. What were the developers thinking? Why was the number of d6 random?

I don't even have a problem with the fact that we didn't find Sharrowsmith. We followed the best clues we could to stay on his trail and still managed to accomplish something heroic. But each step of the way was a ham-fisted perversion of logic that left me feeling like all the NPCs were taking crazy pills. Perhaps its just the jungle, but I suspect its bad writing.


Love This Storyline

****( )

The three Scions of the Sky Key scenarios went over really well when I ran them. This one is good, one of the players was saying it was one of the best she had played, but the following two are even better. Personally, I didn't like how reliant the entire scenario was on the interview with Praetor Sylien, but it didn't seem to be a problem for the players. As for Boons, there are a couple of interesting ones for the exchange faction, but that's it.


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Hope the next parts can be better

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One of the worst I ever played.

Combats 1/10, all fullish monsters that can't survive more than one turn... the BBEG have its strengh, but a grapple even for whom doesn't focus on grapple can end it quickly, meh.

Story 1/10, delve into a jungle to find a venture captian, go on trip then kill all guys, finding nothing, and don't know what we have done, none of story at all.

Why I don't give 1 star is that I haven't played part 2 and 3, maybe I would raise the rating later.


Easy to Run and Fun

****( )

I recently ran this for a group of 4 players (LVL 1, lower tier), and found it easy to run. It was only my second time running a PFS scenario, and I had no issues or troubles as a gm. Having the creatures in the back of the scenario is a nice touch. The players seemed to be engaged by the plot and setting, and I heard no complaints.

I knocked one star off the rating for a couple reasons:

1) There were some typos here and there, and one of the monsters was missing from the back pages, but the experience wasn't really harmed by that too much.

2) For my own taste (even though I was gm'ing, not playing), the encounters were a little too easy.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced for January!

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

I've really enjoyed working on this scenario. Writing it involved channeling the spirit of old Lucas Arts Indiana Jones adventure games (Fate of Atlantis, specifically) as well as the 1930's flick Stanley and Livingstone. There's also a dash of Skull Island vibe from King Kong, too.

I've had a great time collaborating with Mikko Kallio, Mike Kimmel, and John Compton on this three-parter, and I'm looking forward to hearing people's impressions on it once it is released!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Now to figure out which of my characters will brave this trail.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Now to figure out which of my characters will brave this trail.

The brave ones, duh.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Right, the stupid ones. Got it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Robert Brookes wrote:
I've had a great time collaborating with Mikko Kallio, Mike Kimmel, and John Compton on this three-parter,

Likewise, Robert! Can't wait to play/GM this scenario!

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Is this one still on track for the 28th? I only ask because I have it scheduled at a con next weekend and I am hoping I didn't make a foolish mistake. Ha ha.

Paizo Employee Developer

The ShadowShackleton wrote:
Is this one still on track for the 28th? I only ask because I have it scheduled at a con next weekend and I am hoping I didn't make a foolish mistake. Ha ha.

I foresee no reason why this would not go out on Wednesday as scheduled. Please be mindful that scenarios tend to go live around the end of the business day (Pacific Standard Time), so be sure that is part of your calculations.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Ok awesome. Thanks John.


Is there going to be a trilogy-boon for those who play all three scenarios with the same character?

Paizo Employee Developer

FranKc wrote:
Is there going to be a trilogy-boon for those who play all three scenarios with the same character?

This is a strong possibility, but I am not able to confirm or deny this until I have finished developing the third adventure.

Sovereign Court

Where is it?

Shadow Lodge

Soon.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

We're at now-now.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love the new format! It's going to make GMing so much easier for me. Thanks to the entire development team for making this happen!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I just saw the art! KOBOLDS! I love it already!

Now we just need a "We Be Kobolds" intro module and all will be right with the world.

:)


Don't get me wrong, I love me some kobolds. I'm sure its a fantastic adventure, but, the cover looks like "Jar Jar the Barbarian"...


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

GMd this scenario last weekend at low tier and had a load of fun. Best part ever was the

Encounter:
Party encountered the KRENSHAR and did a knowledge check. After a successful role they asked about special attacks. I told them and they said "thats the lamest special attack ever!" I proceeded to frighten 1/2 the party and all of a sudden it wasn't so lame:). Also had fun with Kobold Blade.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

I'm so glad you and your group had fun!

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

I was at a local hobby store today and had a conversation with a PFS GM who was really happy with the layout changes starting in this scenario. He had high praise for the inclusion of monster statistics in the back of the scenario!

Shadow Lodge

Robert Brookes wrote:
I was at a local hobby store today and had a conversation with a PFS GM who was really happy with the layout changes starting in this scenario. He had high praise for the inclusion of monster statistics in the back of the scenario!

Except for the one spoilered right above.

Scarab Sages

Um... The Exchange faction members make a choice that obviously affects the faction, but do we actually report this choice? There is no A/B in the scenario itself. :\


Just got this, running it with my party on Thursday. I'm going to sneak in Aerosmith song lyrics whenever I talk about Sharrowsmith...

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