Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–98: Serpents Rise (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 14 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 7th-level pregenerated characters.

Years of political maneuvering, espionage, smuggling, and diplomacy have set the stage for the Aspis Consortium's most ambitious attack on their Inner Sea rivals: the Pathfinder Society. All that remains are several key preparations that only an elite team of Aspis agents can arrange, and once the fireworks begin, these same agents must strike quickly and mercilessly to secure objectives—some shared and some connected to deeper plots—and escape without the Society being any the wiser.

In this adventure the players portray agents of the Aspis Consortium using 7th-level pregenerated characters. The events in this story also connect to and expand upon those in Pathfinder Society Scenario #6-97: Siege of Serpents.

Written by John Compton.

Note: Serpents Rise is a limited release scenario. It may be run anywhere, but only by 4- or 5-star GMs. Venture-Officers may only run this scenario if they meet this star rating requirement.

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****½ (based on 14 ratings)

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*****


One of the best, if not the best

*****

I can say this scenario was the peak of my gaming life. It was expertly crafted in that everyone had spotlight time, it was not bogged down by combat or grind, and that final boss battle is something amazing. This is the bar I think any scenario should strive for, and I will still be talking about this game for years to come.


Simply awesome

*****

Perhaps the best PFS player experience I've ever had. Well-structured pregens, compelling backstories and motivations, exciting storyline...the whole package. Bravo, Mr. Compton!


A perfect tie in to Siege of Serpents

*****

This is an excellent scenario that has more than earned its place in my top 5 favorite PFS scenarios of all time. John knocked it out of the park with this scenario, and here are few reasons why.

Story
Story is a big thing for me when it comes to scenarios. I’m always more interested in an exciting story than a mindless dungeon delve, and Serpents Rise has exciting story covered in spades. Not only do we have the overall story, which parallels the events of Siege of Serpents, but we have 6 unique side stories, each directly tying one of the Aspis agents being played by the players into the meat of the main story. These pseudo side quests (somewhat reminiscent of old faction missions) are well written and engaging. They do draw the spotlight on one or two players at a time, but fortunately can be concluded in about 5-10 minutes a piece. In a situation like a home game, where table time isn’t an issue, having one-on-one side quests isn’t really an issue. But in a convention atmosphere, or at a game day that limits slot time, I can imagine situations where some of these side stories derail the main game quite a bit. Fortunately, a well prepared and skilled GM should be able to keep the pace of their game flowing through these side missions.

Characters
Each pregenerated character is unique, intelligently constructed, and relatively well equipped. I enjoyed that pregens pulled from Unchained, Advanced Class Guide, and other newer sources to create characters of moderate to high power, ones that easily overshadow the classic level 7 PFS pregens (Harsk, we’re all looking at you, buddy). They all also have brilliantly written backstories, outstanding art selections, and personal motivations so diverse and complex that some of them honestly make me question all this dwindling animosity I once possessed towards the Aspis Consortium prior to this scenario.

While there has been some negative feedback regarding the gear on each pregen, I find their loadout to be appropriate to the scenario. Coupled with the invitation to make further purchases at the beginning of the scenario and the roughly 2,000 gp available to the party through pooling character wealth, most cautious players will invest in a wand of cure light wounds and some utility potions or scrolls.

Challenges and Combat
The non-combat situations present in the scenario challenge players to think outside the box to achieve success, rather than just roll dice and succeed or fail at their skill checks. This is just what you want in your game, as nothing dulls a table experience more than boiling every non-combat encounter down to “roll a d20 and add ___.” The one involving Janira especially requires some good conceptual problem solving. I also deeply enjoyed the last non-combat encounter that introduces that “seventh pregen” into the mix. Nothing gets a table pumped for the final encounter like having your players give an impassioned speech about why the Pathfinder Society needs to burn for its sins.

Paired alongside these well structured non-combat encounters, the combats were, by and large, equally challenging as well. While the combat in area A is a rather a-typical combat, all of the other encounters are quite unique and refreshing. The one in the tapestry room can be especially challenging for players, while the final encounter, if prepared for adequately, should last several rounds. For GMs reading this review that are planning on running, see the spoiler below.

GM only:
Remember that the creature in the final area makes use of his scroll, as detailed in his “before combat” tactics. I’ve heard reports from other tables where their fights against the final opponent were less than epic, and they were all due to the fact that the GM neglected to make use of that scroll before combat begins. It changes the fight significantly and turns what should be a 5-10 round combat into a 1-2 round combat.

Overall
This scenario is an easy 5 star review for me to give. I deeply enjoyed running it and am hoping to see it opened up as a 4 or 5 star exclusive scenario once Season 7 is in full swing. I think that having more than a 5 hour time slot would be beneficial to the scenario, as there is a lot in the first half of Serpents Rise that could be explored in more depth if time wasn’t an issue. I wouldn’t recommend any GM run this scenario cold, and would advise GMs prepping this scenario to read the pregens backstories and handouts as well—there’s a lot mentioned in them that is missed in the scenario proper.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Announced!

Shadow Lodge

Pure awesome! :)

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

This is my dream scenario! I can't wait to play it :-D


Wicked.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Will there be 6 (or more) pregens to go with this adventure? I am assuming yes as the current PFS table size assumption is 6 players.

Paizo Employee Developer

1970Zombie wrote:
Will there be 6 (or more) pregens to go with this adventure? I am assuming yes as the current PFS table size assumption is 6 players.

The plan is to have six pregenerated Aspis agent PCs for this adventure.

Scarab Sages

11 days until Paizocon, any idea on when the GMs who have this in their downloads will be able to access it and the other specials so we have ample time to prepare/purchase supplies for it?

Paizo Employee Developer

skyshark wrote:
11 days until Paizocon, any idea on when the GMs who have this in their downloads will be able to access it and the other specials so we have ample time to prepare/purchase supplies for it?

As has been the case in past years, the adventures go live for convention GMs on the Friday before the convention (May 15th this year). There are a few that might be ready earlier than that on a case-by-case basis.

For this adventure, you'll want the following map products:

Spoiler:
Map Pack: Fortress (out of print, yes, but it ended up being a good fit)
Map Pack: Temple

Scarab Sages

John Compton wrote:
skyshark wrote:
11 days until Paizocon, any idea on when the GMs who have this in their downloads will be able to access it and the other specials so we have ample time to prepare/purchase supplies for it?

As has been the case in past years, the adventures go live for convention GMs on the Friday before the convention (May 15th this year). There are a few that might be ready earlier than that on a case-by-case basis.

For this adventure, you'll want the following map products:

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks John! Any chance of getting the list of maps needed for the other specials too?

Paizo Employee Developer

PaizoCon GMs, we have sent the adventure to everyone signed up to run it at PaizoCon. You might not have received an email informing you that this is the case, but it should be updated in your downloads.

Paizo Employee Developer

Customer service has nobly gone through the list of GMs set to run this adventure at PaizoCon and manually added the file to those individuals' downloads. It looks like most people on the list already had the file, and about half of those who did not receive the file had provided an email address other than their paizo.com email address (the one used for your account on paizo.com).

PaizoCon GMs who do not have this adventure yet: We cannot add this file to your downloads until you tell us what your paizo.com email address is. Please let both Mike Brock and customer service know ASAP, and we will endeavor to have this added to your downloads on Monday.

Grand Lodge

John, this is one of my favorite PFS scenarios ever. My GM was woefully unprepared and I could tell how excellent it is through that challenge. Kudos and thanks!

Grand Lodge

I have to say, the scenario was quite fantastic! There was quite a bit of nail biting in certain spots, but for good reason. Congratulations of a very entertaining and difficult scenario that was enjoyable. If I get the chance, I would gladly GM this at some time once it's available to my VO.

Grand Lodge

Post Paizocon, this scenario is now only runnable by 5 Star GMs or Venture Officers, is that correct?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KestlerGunner wrote:
Post Paizocon, this scenario is now only runnable by 5 Star GMs or Venture Officers, is that correct?

As I recall a conversation I had with John at the convention, this scenario is not available to run (outside of PaizoCon) until after GenCon.

Grand Lodge Global Organized Play Coordinator

KestlerGunner wrote:
Post Paizocon, this scenario is now only runnable by 5 Star GMs or Venture Officers, is that correct?

6-97 and 6-98 are not available to run until after Gen Con.

Liberty's Edge

Michael Brock wrote:
KestlerGunner wrote:
Post Paizocon, this scenario is now only runnable by 5 Star GMs or Venture Officers, is that correct?
6-97 and 6-98 are not available to run until after Gen Con.

But after GenCon will they be available for anyone to run or just the 5-Stars and Venture Officers?


Jester David wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
KestlerGunner wrote:
Post Paizocon, this scenario is now only runnable by 5 Star GMs or Venture Officers, is that correct?
6-97 and 6-98 are not available to run until after Gen Con.
But after GenCon will they be available for anyone to run or just the 5-Stars and Venture Officers?

According to Mike the 6-98 and 6-99 will need 4 or 5 stars to run after GenCon, even for VO's.

EDIT:This will be the 4 star special and 6-99 will be the 5 star special scenario.

Liberty's Edge

Sniggevert wrote:

According to Mike the 6-98 and 6-99 will need 4 or 5 stars to run after GenCon, even for VO's.

EDIT:This will be the 4 star special and 6-99 will be the 5 star special scenario.

Darn. My region has a couple 4-star GMs but that's the city while I'm out in the burbs, which has its own pool of GMs and players. I think the highest we have is 2-stars.

Scarab Sages

What level PCs can the chronicles be applied to?

Liberty's Edge

LucianC wrote:
What level PCs can the chronicles be applied to?

Level 7 only.

(They can be assigned to a lower level PC, but you'd have to wait until they reach level 7 to apply it.)

Dark Archive

I had played it last sunday at Paizocon UK 2015, and whooo, what a great scenario.

I love 322, a well equilibrate character, with a serious background.

I'll probably create a new character like her.

Community Manager

I quite enjoyed playing 322 myself.

Grand Lodge

Just back from Gencon. It was a blast. Well done, John!

Owner - Kapow Ltd Comics, Cards and Games

Wait, so newer areas without high star VO's won't be able to get this at all? That's sort of lame. Super exclusive club things like this tend to sour audiences quickly.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Wallie, I think I'm the only four star (currently!) in Columbus, and I don't know if we've any five stars yet. Seems to incentivize running events. (I know I'm trying to get my specials in)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I played this scenario at Gen Con, and it was great. Considering its ties to Siege of Serpents, and having played it a few nights previous, it was especially fun.

Not sure if this was a mistake or not but on 322's character sheet:

For people who want no info going in about abilities:
322's Interstellar void ability does not have the rules restriction text on it from the void mystery stating that it can be used once per day plus an additional time at 10th level. As such it became an ability which dealt a big chunk of damage, that could be used every turn, so there was almost no reason to use other damaging spells, since it could be used infinitely.

We eventually had to rule that the void mystery text took precedent, because the Oracle was just blasting everything. It might have been intentional, but it lead to a bit of imbalance.

Grand Lodge

Played it tonight and loved it. Final encounter was, while challenging, also truly satisfying.


Played this Sunday morning at Gen Con. Everyone's character got special show-case time, and it was a perfect compliment to 6-97 Siege of Serpents.

Our GM, Chris, was extremely well-prepared and turned in a spectacular performance. I've been gaming since 1978 (37 years) and this is easily among my top 3 favorite gaming experiences in all that time.

My character was 322. Chilling! Role-playing her even creeped out the other players at the table. I cannot wait for her (and all the other Aspis agents) to show up in future scenarios.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Had a blast with this at GenCon, however I thought I read that the chronicle would be updated after Paizocon to be a tier (6-8 I believe) and not just level 7. I applied it to an 8th level character thinking this was the case. Is there clarification on this?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yes, the chronicle is meant to be Tier 6-8

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

f5 f5 f5...

Sczarni

So as a 4 star gm... how do i go about getting this to run now that Gen con has ended.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mark L. Crowell wrote:
So as a 4 star gm... how do i go about getting this to run now that Gen con has ended.

We've started to add those to qualifying GMs' downloads. I would expect the process to be done within a week or two.

Sovereign Court

John Compton wrote:
Mark L. Crowell wrote:
So as a 4 star gm... how do i go about getting this to run now that Gen con has ended.
We've started to add those to qualifying GMs' downloads. I would expect the process to be done within a week or two.

As a more recent 4-star GM, I expect I'm further down the list for that, so shall be patient. Don't need it till next month anyway. Thankfully, PbP has little lead time needed =)

Shadow Lodge

just checking in on this ... 3 weeks since GenCon ended - any word ?

Grand Lodge

Just chiming in on what Wraith235 said.


It seems that the halfling pregen, Joliryn, has an inconsistency in her statblock. It says everywhere that she has a scimitar, including her weapon focus feat and her art, but the offense section lists a +1 flaming kukri, with a +12 attack bonus, which seems to include the weapon focus feat.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Any word on the availability of this one for four stars yet? I imagine with the shakeups in VO positions and bringing on a new coordinator that things get pushed back. But I know my players are dying to play this one, so I'd hate to see it forgotten.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

If you have not contacted Customer Service about getting it added to your download, go ahead and do so. Some people have fallen through the cracks.


Doctor Mono wrote:
Any word on the availability of this one for four stars yet? I imagine with the shakeups in VO positions and bringing on a new coordinator that things get pushed back. But I know my players are dying to play this one, so I'd hate to see it forgotten.

I just mailed customer services and I received it in about 3 days.

Liberty's Edge

Can VO'S run this or just 4 stars?

Grand Lodge

Are the Evil Pregens available as a separate download anywhere?


Out of curiosity, will it be made available for the general public at one point?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Diego Valdez wrote:

Hello Fedor,

We run that report once a week, so you will likely see

them sometime next week.

Two weeks passed (three and a half months since 4th star) - still can not purchase Bonekeep 1, 2, 3,

6-98, 7-98, 7-99
http://paizo.com/products/btpy8wrx
http://paizo.com/products/btpy8xkj?Pathfinder-Society-

Special-Ruins-of-Bonekeep-Level-2-Maze-to-the-Mind-Slave
http://paizo.com/products/btpy97st?Pathfinder-Society-

Special-Ruins-of-Bonekeep-Level-3-The-Wakening-Tomb
http://paizo.com/products/btpy9cu0?Pathfinder-Society-

Scenario-6-98-Serpents-Rise
http://paizo.com/products/btpy9lzy
http://paizo.com/products/btpy9mbd
all this links show "unavailable" text under price, not

"Add to Cart" button

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