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

**½( )( ) (based on 37 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 37 ratings)

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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.


Interesting Story and Encounters - Runs Long

****( )

This scenario takes a lot of prep work. Part of it is the mechanics, and part of it is the story. Everything about it is very involved. Because of this, the scenario also takes 5+ hours to run without rushing the players through it.

Mechanics:
There's a puzzle that's not as straight-forward as one might think. This took a while for me to understand as a GM, and will likely take the players even longer. The fights themselves also have mechanics that are not straight forward with portals and haste/slow effects. This can make them much more fun than standard beat-sticks, but takes more prep-time and effort to run correctly.

Story:
The number of major NPCs is confusing and there are many subplots and ulterior motives and people who may only be important for 1 scene, but feel like they're important for multiple scenes. Because of this, the adventure feels like it fits the scope of a short module that could easily be expanded into a long module.

All this said, this is a really interesting story that can captivate the players and really give them an experience to remember. I recommend face-cards or something to help the PCs keep track of all the different NPCs.

Overall, it's a great scenario but will only give a good experience at the table if the players and GM can take a little extra time. Recommend only running in a 5 hour slot or one that can overflow into break-time. Also, don't run it late at night or in a Sunday morning convention slot.


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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

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

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 Card Game 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 Card Game 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 Card Game 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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