Pathfinder Society Scenario #7–02: Six Seconds to Midnight (PFRPG) PDF

**½( )( ) (based on 38 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3–7.

A strange confluence of circumstances leaves the researchers of Uringen understaffed and in need of able-bodied assistants. Conveniently, recent Pathfinder Society experiments call for a rare reagent found only in that area, and the two organizations have negotiated a mutually beneficial deal. Can the PCs reach the secluded settlement in time to witness this extraordinary event—and handle the phenomenon’s aftermath?

Written by Liz Courts.

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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**½( )( ) (based on 38 ratings)

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Nothing makes sense

*( )( )( )( )

Literally nothing in this story makes any sense whatsoever, starting with the production description which feels like it's missing a half.
The description mentions "A strange confluence of circumstances" that has caused the disappearance of researches. This has nothing to do with the scenario, and the missing researches aren't mentioned after this, and the party isn't there to look for them.
"Pathfinder Society experiments call for a rare reagent found only in that area" Except that what is about to happen has NEVER happened before. EVER. Yet somehow we know that there will be just the thing that we need. For no reason whatsoever.
"Can the PCs reach the secluded settlement in time to witness this extraordinary event" What event? The description doesn't mention any event. This is a bit confusing. It'll come clear during the scenario, but as you are reading the description, it makes no sense.

From there on onwards, it's just downhill, and there is no internal logic in anything. There's a famous village that makes the world's best alchemical items, yet for some reason you need guides to get there. Except that the guides are useless and can't survive the trip without PC's aid. The guides also give you their valuable THINGS for... Saving those things? The guides are fine with the antagonists of the story actively trying to murder them. The players are punished for trying to take care of traps, instead of just walking straight into them (since there's a week of travel time, PC's will heal whatever damage they've taken, except that if they spend an hour dealing with the traps, they'll be an hour late when they arrive. Because of course you can't make up for the lost hour WITHIN A WEEK OF TRAVEL. To a Town where half of the population is JUST FINE with the fact that some times, they wake up and a couple of days/weeks/years/decades has passed on the other side of the town.

And that's just the start. The rest of the scenario, including the horribly designed puzzle that makes no In Game Logical Sense (even though you can figure out the answer, the why and How of the puzzle is just... pointless).

Don't play this. Just don't. It has so many pointless plotholes and inconsistencies that it's better to avoid it, not to mention that the combats are frustratingly easy and pointless (Whee, I'm dealing 1d4 damage with +3 to hit (penalty for not having precise shot has been factored in) AT TIER 6-7!!!) apart from the one that is one bad roll away from a TPK.

It feels like this scenario was written so that some special character somewhere could have a cool hound and time-control powers, and then they were just jammed in there, no matter how poorly they fit or made sense.

I was trying to find out if the author had made other scenarios in addition to this one, to see if the others suffer from the same problems. There aren't any. I'm not exactly surprised.


Different Style of Adventure

****( )

Primarily a puzzle adventure in the exotic location of the fey lands in the River Kingdom. The role play opportunities are solid but the combat is fun. I felt like I should have skipped the first floor combat to allow for more time. The characters were right out of the source book but seemed like something that could have been played down by me.
The only criticism I have is I wish they scenario would have had a better explanation about the unstuck side of the town readily available for the GM and the key seemed to be missing a vital part. Otherwise the whole table including myself enjoyed the scenario.


**( )( )( )

Played at low tier. Party was Hunter, Ranger, Fighter, Wizard, Shaman and War Priest.

The plot for this scenario is quite simple but I felt that the actual play out was a bit disappointing. There are elements at the start which seem to have no purpose but to time waste but the roleplay elements were quite nice if rather short. Some left more questions that we never saw answers to as players.

The fights were okay but a little awkward and a couple of us sat out most of one because of afflicting conditions. Nothing was too tough though just time consuming.

I'm not a fan of puzzles mainly because I don't have the head for it. Same was said of another player at the table and we just left the others to get on with it. If the GM had not been nice we might still be sitting there now trying to work it out.

The scenario has a nice premise but takes too long (we have a venue that gives us a hard 4 hour block) and the puzzle element just was not fun.


This scenario is underrated

****( )

A lot of people seem to have dumped on this one because of puzzle-hate. Yeah, the players are likely to seriously over-think the puzzle, but really it's not that bad. However, it's essential, as Andrew Hoskins notes, that you understand it yourself before running it, and that you also understand the various other interesting mechanics going on once the clock ticks T minus six seconds.

One hint I'd give the players for free -- not even really a hint -- is that the Fey slash numbering system is slightly different than the tally system we use. That is, I tell them that the fey use a vertical line for 1, but each time that line is crossed it counts as 2. This clears up some gratuitous additional complication, although honestly the puzzle is still tractable without it.

I enjoy the wackiness of the combats that occur in Uringen, and when I ran it the players had fun with it as well. It helps to have players willing to experiment.


Vertical hopscotch makes me feynt

****( )

A moderate challenge with lots of distractions. You need a balanced party that has some skills and a sense of when to fight and when to talk.

GM eyes only!:

Engagement: Moderate to High. Lots of unique NPCs to interact with and some want to talk to the players. There be social skills rolls all around.

Plot Development: Linear A-B-C-D-D'-C'. Bogging down may happen in early part D and rewards affected. Create 4-6 cross reference charts to simplify the run and switch charts every 5 min real time rather than roll each time, check Will save DCs. PCs have to switch roles at various times/scenes and know when to do so (fairly obvious).

Roleplaying: Moderate to High. Social skills play critical role and in PC rewards.

Challenge: Moderate to High. Fights aren't that tough. One could be really annoying and essentially out of tier (-1!). Double whammy penalizing spelluse is a sour don't get off the railroad note. Again... leaving artifacts laying about is not good in a home game setting.

Complexity: High. 4 different groups of NPCs. A section with moving random parts... GM needs to be forgiving in one encounter. Odd race & class choice for BBNG makes for an odd pre-Torchwood Dr Who companion (lol, torchwood). -1 for complexity but creativity kept it at 4*.

Chronicle: Good. One shot boons and some nice items(limit 4). Unlocks 1 okay item and effectively another from Ult Equip.


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Community Manager

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Announced (and heading your way Gen Con 2015)!
...That author seems a little shifty, though.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Cool looking forward to it Liz!

Sovereign Court

Had never heard of Uringen so had to look it up on the wiki. What a strange and facinating place!

So uh... how it is pronounced?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Cool ! I guess i will spend the entire scenario looking for hidden ninjas.

Community Manager

Draco Bahamut wrote:
Cool ! I guess i will spend the entire scenario looking for hidden ninjas.

Ninja are not going to be your problem in this one. >.>

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is going in my queue asap. Can't wait to unleash it on my players.

Silver Crusade

I'm running this 5+ times at Gen Con, Liz. If you want to swing by and see how it's going, just look for the jolly roger flag I always fly at my table when I'm GMing.

I've already got accents picked out for several of the NPCs, and something fun for "ze sack" too!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Sounds like Iron Maiden on time lapse.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Pawns Subscriber

What height is the clockwork tower? Height of the individual floors? I'm hoping to build a to scale model for when I GM this scenario later this month.

Community Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.

My thoughts when I was designing the scenario was a standard 10 feet per floor, with the belfry twice that.


Zaister wrote:
Sounds like Iron Maiden on time lapse.

Spinal Tap does Iron Maiden.

Grand Lodge

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

I solved the puzzle!

Paizo Employee Assistant Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The 4 player scaling for one of the encounters is missing. The following is an official addition to the scenario, which will be included in any future modifications to the PDF.

Scaling:
Make the following adjustments to the Nithra's Fury encounter to accommodate a party of 4 PCs.
Subtier 3–4: Remove one of the quicklings from the encounter, and reduce each quickling's number of doses of poison to 1.
Subiter 6–7: Remove one of the quickling cutthroats from the encounter, and reduce each quickling's number of doses of poison to 1.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Yay for updates!

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

So, judging from the reveiws, people seem to like this scenario except for the puzzle.

I'm thinking of using this for a non-PFS game. If I do, are there any changes that could be made to the puzzle to make it work better for my group? Is there an obvious flaw that just needs to be corrected, or is the entire premise of the puzzle off-base?

Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

From the GM discussion, I think an indication of progress would be a good thing to add. Everytime they take a correct step in the solution, have the clocktower chime. (Especially if you've primed them by mentioning there is no bell or chime mechanism visible.) Then when they make a wrong turn, reset it back to the start. A puzzle with no feedback about right or wrong is highly frustrating.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

@Tamago: well, people are also pointing out that the combats in the scenario are poorly written, and that the plot sets up an interesting location (the disappearing village) and then does absolutely nothing with that. So no, it's not just the puzzle.

The puzzle itself has two major problems. The first is that the PCs don't actually get enough information to solve it, and have to rely on assumptions, trial and error (this is why people suggest a progress indicator, but the underlying issue is simply that the required information isn't there).

The second is that it's a huge immersion breaker. In character, the puzzle has no reason to be there, and the PCs have no reason to believe that hopping through portals will somehow get the plot going. There's no roleplaying involved; it's a strictly mechanical experience (i.e. a "soup can puzzle").

There are several cool fey-based scenarios in PFS, e.g. the Sanos Abduction, or the Pallid Plague. I recommend using one of those instead.

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