Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–17: Fires of Karamoss (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 7 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5–9.

A Pathfinder expedition has uncovered hitherto unknown levels in the Red Redoubt, a millennium-old siege fortress created by the machine-mage Karamoss. A source of Numerian technology in its own backyard piques the Society’s interest, yet informants in the redoubt speak of an aggressive contingent deep below that aims to reactivate Karamoss’s powerful forges. Can the PCs salvage the fortress’s treasure while also preventing a catastrophe that could crush Absalom?

Written by Joe Homes.

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****½ (based on 7 ratings)

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A hidden gem featuring fantasy and technology

*****

Before I played this scenario, I was worried that the combination of Pathfinder Society’s fantasy setting wouldn’t mash well with technology. I imagined there’d be a great disparity between the two in the scenario. However Fires of Karamoss manages to skilfully balance the two and combine both the fantasy and the sci-fi elements with a compelling story.

I played the scenario with Damanta, see the review below, and I think that I was the techcrazed alchemist he was referring to. Then again, what else did you expect from a gnome? To make matters worse, a gnome that is a true follower of Brigh. Suffice to say, she saw technology, looked at the party with puppy-eyes and said ‘can I?’, only to dive straight into the pile of metal without waiting for an answer.

But back to the scenario. As I said it manages to balance fantasy with sci-fi in a great way. While you are aware that this isn’t your typical dungeonlocation, you do not encounter too much technology. Of course the dungeon itself has aspects that might make you think of Star Trek or Star Wars, but you will also encounter friends or foes that you could easily stumble upon in a more traditional scenario. There’s a nice blend of things, but it makes sense and doesn’t feel out of place.

The encounters themselves are great. Every single named NPC is amazing and feels unique even compared to those in other scenarios. You will likely not meet anything similar any time soon. They really are memorable in a good way. As for the fights, I think that ‘expect the unexpected’ is a great way to describe them. I won’t go into details, but you’ll be surprised at least once.

The storyline itself is pretty straightforward and the dungeon itself is pretty linear, but it feels right. I didn’t feel forced to go into a certain direction and the party had enough freedom to make their own choices when it came to certain situations. The events in the final room - I wont spoil them - are not only action-packed, but also speak to one’s imagination in a grand way. More so than any other scenario I’ve played thus far, it sets a scene that evokes an imminent sense of danger. To say it’s cinematic, would be an understatement.

As you can guess by this lengthy review, I had a lot of fun playing this one and I certainly recommend it to others. Do not be afraid of the technology label. It’s nicely balanced and, above anything else, a pleasure to play.


A techcrazed alchemist and support walk into the red redoubt

****( )

Played this last evening, low tier.

Party:
Wayang Alchemist 6, Gnome Alchemist 6, Human Arcanist 6, Human monk/bloodrager 6, Druid 6, Summoner 5

While the scenario felt really short, it was more due to the fact that time flies when you are having fun :).

A balanced mix of encounters and very interesting NPCs, made this scenario very worthwhile to me.


A-ONE

*****

One of the best scenarios. Hands down.

Perspective: GM in a Play-by-Post game.

Mild Spoilers:
I liked everything about this scenario. It is a linear dungeon crawl, but it has opportunities for role-playing. It has combat encounters that can be resolved diplomatically. It is set in a really cool location with a great back-story. The NPCs are well-written, and mesh well with the story. There are possibly plot twists. Skills are rewarded. The Technologist feat is rewarded, but characters without Technologist aren't brutally punished.

If you are interested in reading the game I ran, you can find it here. Beware, of course, that spoilers abound there.

Bottom line: I highly recommend this scenario, particularly for Play-by-Post.


My favorite sci-fi scenario

****( )

I am not a tech-fan, but suprised in the settlement, as well as one NPC that you wouldn't deal normally(a robot made by Karamoss!), the author just do anything right.

Although the combats are a bit of easy, but full of roleplays and skill challenges would not make you bored.

One of the two downsides is that you need some skill-focus characters, or may not complete mission perfectly, and no-skill characters might not have too much things to do. The other is "cakewalk combats", especially the fire elements just too weak, significantly reduce the epic feeling of the last scene.


Fun Technology Adventure

****( )

This turned into a fun adventure for the group. The map was problematic just for the fact that it was on an angle making it awkward to draw out.

The skill checks to deal with the mini-game in the adventure are pretty limited though and although they offer the option to attempt ability checks as well, at the high tier the DC scales up so high that even someone with an exceptional ability isn't going to be able to make it. A few more broad checks to allow people even to aid others might have helped. even if aid another is an option as a DC 10, I would rather involve the entire party in the skill checks if possible.

The only elements I have problem with in the adventure are the one combat with a single large monster that can easily leave one person twiddling his thumbs for a half an hour or hour combat if he just doesn't have the right options to combat the creatures and the final battle which gets quite chaotic to GM while checking multiple encounter features each turn while also running monsters.

While I don't typically note chronicles rewards as a reason for good adventures, I do like they way this is set up compared to some other tech adventures. There is a large array of items that a good number of classes might pick up rather then a couple of random items that one in fifty characters might find useful.


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No special faction business in this one?

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lithrac wrote:
No special faction business in this one?

No special faction goals show up in this one. The deeper reaches of the Red Redoubt are equal-opportunity in their potential for high adventure!


I was wondering when there'd be a sequel to Trial By Machine - that was just hanging out for one. Hope the androids in this one (if any) actually get revealed as such to the players! ;-)

At last, some more use for the Technology Guide.


Wilmannator wrote:
At last, some more use for the Technology Guide.

Funny I was thinking something similar yet the tone was quite different.

I won't lie that I'm tempted to buy this PDF just to read what happens and completely shun the scenario from both the GM and player sides of the gaming table.


I liked Trial by Machine, so it will be nice to have the same set of characters called in to go deeper in. Always something nice about a little dungeon delve.

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I rarely post here...but I feel this is necessary to say. So if this is the wrong place to post this, my apologies.

I greatly appreciate that Paizo has put forth effort to add stat blocks and "spoiler-free" versions of the custom maps to the scenarios. Additionally, the custom maps are beautiful and help players imagine the environment as their character experiences it... BUT... For the love of everything holy and your GM's sanity, please align the maps to the grid when it's a area/room comprised of straight walls and right angles. (Obviously rooms/areas that have angles/rounded walls/corridors/organic features(caverns, tress lines etc) aren't going to align to a grid)

Spoiler:

For example, the large room A5 in this scenario where a encounter may occur was not delivered aligned to the grid. If the whole map was contiguous and the two parts of A6 were actually connected to one another, ok then to make it one giant contiguous flowing map *maybe* that makes sense. (And I'd still say maybe...) But given they aren't connected on the map, why couldn't A5 have been rotated X degrees counter clockwise before the grid layer was added? The way it was delivered nearly 25% of the squares are less then a full space in size making grid based tactical combat a nightmare if printed as-is and greatly increasing the time needed to draw it out if the GM doesn't correct the grid rotation in their heads.

Finally, the only area that is actually aligned is B1, which is the smallest area on the whole map. If you're going to pick one area to align the entire map to a grid, please choose the largest one or one most likely to have tactical combat (e.g. B2/A5).

Sorry for the rant, but there have been several scenarios recently exhibiting this behavior...


Just checking: was the cover monsters headgear supposed to cover both of it's eyes or just one? I'm feeling a missed opportunity to utilize a techno-monocle.

Monocles are cool and we should have more of them.

Grand Lodge

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

Awesome scenario, looking forward to running it.

The Exchange

Ran this last night. It was fun and players has a good time. The mechanics of the last two encounters is indepth and takes some study to do properly. Timing is key. I feeel that a GM really needs to get a good sense of the the players at the table before the last two encounters. If you don't it will be a walk (like my table was) or a TPK (like the table across the room was).

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I wish I could write a review, but I was only a player and not the GM.

I had an absolutely amazing time in this adventure! Played tier 5-6 non-core. My season 6 "technology" character is an improvised weapon master with elemental fist and an adamantine crowbar.

I have to say super thanks to Fabian for running this at Kublacon. That was the most memorable and fun event I've had (since last year's Kublacon).

Spoiler:

Intro: The GM showed us the cover, and we fully embraced the idea of the Salamander on the cover wearing Ray-Ban sunglasses. This would be important later.

First Part: We had so much fun with the over-seer manscorpion droid. The GM had it constantly prodding us to hilarious effect. It even offered to "repair" me with its sparking bits and a band-saw at one point. We knew this thing would go nuts later and attack us, but we really just wanted to see what it would do for as long as possible.

Interlude: we all put on technology items without thinking. We laughed a lot. I glued (what turned out to be a flashlight) to my adamantine crowbar in the hopes it would become a "lightsaber".

Second Part: Chainsaw. Just.... Chainsaw. I actually called "DIBS" in the middle of the fight. Using the Monk of the Empty Hand style (wielding it as an improvised weapon) and making chainsaw noises, while activating elemental fist - proved hilarious.

Third part: Chainsawed the poor overseer droid. We knew it was coming, but were sad to see it removed from the story.

FInale: When the Salamander flew in, ON A JET PACK, we all just squeeled with glee. The GM actually had him say "who brought the party.... THIS GUY!!!". I threw the chainsaw at him.

Other notes: I finally got to use my Brown E-pick I picked up in Trial by Machine, which made me happy.

Now I'm debating whether or not to buy the Jetpack, the Chainsaw, or EVERYTHING ON THE ADVENTURE....

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Much like many of the commenters above, as I sit to prep this scenario, I ask myself the question, "from what non-uclidian corner of Leng did you get your cartographer, and why is he filled with such hate."

Okay done ranting...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Rant aside, now having run this Scenario I can say it was a lot of fun, I'm not 100% sure how a chainsaw, and throw anything should interact, but it made for a memorable evening. The event approach to the final encounter made juggling bad guys and the environment a really dynamic encounter.

Paizo Employee Developer

grandpoobah wrote:

I wish I could write a review, but I was only a player and not the GM.

I had an absolutely amazing time in this adventure! Played tier 5-6 non-core. My season 6 "technology" character is an improvised weapon master with elemental fist and an adamantine crowbar.

I have to say super thanks to Fabian for running this at Kublacon. That was the most memorable and fun event I've had (since last year's Kublacon).

** spoiler omitted **

Oh, not GMing a scenario shouldn't stop you from writing a review. Just prefacing it with your having played it and not read it helps me a lot in understanding what went well and what didn't from the proper perspective.

Glad you had a good time!

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I enjoyed running this one in both regular and CORE mode at PaizoCon. Though I agree with the map-hate above. :-P

The Exchange

Scenario wrote:

"As he lands, he uses a remote control to activate the portals..."

"Combat Gear: ..., portal control device, ..."

anyone have any ideas on what this remote portal control device is?

The Exchange

I just GM'd this over the weekend, it didn't really end the way I thought it would go.

in the 10min that the party had, they had already defeated tig0 with the help of the Azer, they removed the drives and were just trying to figure out what to do with the portals.

during the first round of the fight with Jethzerai, one party member flew up, and used the combat maneuver - steal to take the remote.
Using UMD with technologist feat, they shut the portals back off and then they all left.

without really knowing what the control device was, I didn't really see any reason the party couldn't do this.

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