Pathfinder Society Scenario #7–00: The Sky Key Solution (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-11.

At long last, the Pathfinder Society has reassembled the Numerian device known as the Sky Key. Initial tests suggest it is capable of projecting a location's past into the present, allowing Society agents to peruse books from destroyed libraries and speak with echoes of long-dead heroes. Now that it has perfected the Sky Key's controls, the Pathfinder Society is prepared to extract a slice of Absalom's history and bring it into the present; however, there's no telling what might be waiting inside—or who in the present might wish to wield the same power.

Written by Crystal Frasier.

Note: The Sky Key Solution is designed for play in the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. It may be run anywhere by anyone, as long as there are 5 tables playing the scenario simultaneously and are in contact with each other. To inquire about access to this scenario, refer to the Organized Play Convention Support Policy.

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Played it today in a 7 hour slot (10-18 with half hour lunch break and muster taking about half an hour).

Tier 10-11, with level 11 cleric, level 11 paladin, level 10 barbarian, level 10 bloodrager, level 9 bard. Only the barbarian I don't recall if he was diplomatic, but the other 4 would try to talk if it would be possible and solve stuff not by violence, which kinda didn't really work out often.

Combat: 1 out of 5 stars. Nothing seemed to stand out. While mildly dangerous due to stupid tactical decisions (oh lets tumble past those two strong looking fellows, so they can flank me next round so I can whack the caster), due to a cleric who had dedicated herself to healing nobody was ever in serious danger, without that cleric I would personally never have been soo reckless and used a lot more tactical combat.

Story: 2 out of 5 stars. Two stories folded in one. Too much crammed into it, resulting in something that just didn't come out as it could have. Should have gone with a more worked out version of either the first part, or the second part, with for me personally the second part being more interesting. A short period spend on the first part, say maybe 2 encounters total, and then the rest of the time in the second part would have improved this by a lot. There were a few more options available in the second part that did not involve only combat. The ending was also a bit of a letdown. It felt like you can do either this or that, but if you choose that, you also have to do a bit of this because of reasons. If you choose this you don't get that.

Social roleplay: 2 out of 5 stars. First part was almost only combat for us, with only 1 encounter we could talk with/to. The second part had a lot more potential, but it felt all a bit rushed because of cramming too many options into it but not considering that social roleplay can take a lot longer than combat, because people try to roleplay their rolls, which I have noticed takes a lot longer with social skillchecks compared to combat.

Aid token: There was 1, but I have not seen it being used, even with only having a grand total of 6 tables. Also no idea what it could have been used of this time.

The chronicle sheet is the most redeeming part of this adventure in my eyes, with a lot of interesting options.

The most enjoyable bit from this special for me was simply the interaction between the partymembers, not between the party and the adventure.
Also due to me playing in a certain adventurepath, I had a lot more OC insight into the first bit, which I found quite a nice touch.

My Second Favorite Special (and I've Played them All!)


I played this scenario at 10-11.

This scenario offered everything I look for in a special: a dynamic hook, an interesting story that provides plenty of opportunities for RP and exciting, interesting combats. My character went unconscious in the first round of the first combat!

Get a GM that can is well-prepared and runs things fast, and you will have a great time.

Spoiler for Ending:

I absolutely, absolutely adore that we were given the opportunity to resolve the final fight in a nonviolent way! It made my inner paladin delightfully happy.

Tries to do too much.


Perspective: Played, have not GM'ed.

I think the Paizo developers need to think long and hard about what works in Special format and what does not. Legacy of the Stonelords and Diamond Siege worked. This does not work nearly half as well.

There are two conflicting stories in this Special. One tries a rush job to replicate Legacy, but with ancient serpent folk instead of demons. The second tells a muddled take about Pathfinders in an ancient society hours before certain doom will strike. The writer should have really focused on the second half and omitted the first. For a five hour scenario, or even a seven hour scenario, it attempts to do far too much.

What results is a slog of endless combat encounters which are either seemingly meaningless or silly. I've played all the specials - the specials written for the year of the serpent are the worst so far. More planning is required to keep the quality of gaming higher.

The Sky Key Tour


Sky Key is a fairly typically special event, it’s basically 5 hours of non-stop combat encounters surrounding a meta-plot involving dozens of pathfinders that seems implausible.

I thought the meta-story surrounding Sky Key was very interesting and I really enjoyed travelling through time. Although the meta-story was very interesting, it unfortunately didn’t trickle down to the encounters (or roleplay).

There was an interesting mechanic of using an aid token, but it didn’t really work... tables were hoarding them and not using them. Or they didn’t understand how they worked (players need handouts). Or there weren't enough to go around. We got the aid token only a single time, used it immediately, and never saw it again.

GM Perspective:

I've also recently GMed this scenario at subtier 1-2.

I thought that the aid token could have been greatly simplified. Let it do 2 things (heal, inspire), not 5. Force it to go to a new table if unused at the end of an encounter. That's what we did and aid tokens felt plentiful and were received often.

I felt making skill checks at the start of the scenario are silly. Sure, when we're scouting out an unknown enemy city or rare artifact, it makes sense. But I think we should assume the Pathfinder Society would give us as much information as possible to make us successful, not starve us for information. As a GM I want to share as much of the story as possible with the players as well.

I thought the society's appreciation was too complicated and should have been simplified. In both my subtier 7-8 and 1-2 table, no one qualified and was just something else the GM had to worry about. I made a handout to make it easier and clearer.

The Easy/Average/Hard skill checks and saves really worked well. Having all the stat blocks at the end of the scenario really worked and helped make the scenario less overwhelming to prepare. Using stat blocks "encounter by encounter" that someone created per subtier was even better.

The "common encounters" were a waste of space, I didn't see a single group even close to using them, if anything we skipped entire encounters we should have had time to play out. And how about giving everyone a 5 minute bathroom break instead of rushing for 4-5 hours?

I thought the entire part with the serpentfolk could have used a non-combat NPC guide to help narrate for the PCs and explain why they would want to do many of the activities that earn them victory points. Luckily in part 3 Shane performs that role of mentor.

There were so many encounters, they needed to be easy or we'd never finish the scenario. IMHO have less encounters but do something special with them.

Sorry, but the Lac Suhn encounter was horribly written. My GM didn't use a single word from his dialog, because it was boring. I didn't either, I took the interesting information and paraphrased it into something that was hopefully entertaining.

I actually thought the anchors were brilliant, unfortunately you need Shane (and the GM) to explain things to the PCs. Sure, we were diplomatic but I had no idea what was going on until I read the scenario or why. As GM I had the most fun with this part of the scenario.

The vault was also well done and could lead to an epic conclusion. At subtier 7-8 we only had 2 rounds with the boss until the scenario ended, at subtier 1-2 my players were just wasting time and killed Arodeth 5 times, although I killed a character with a crit. My GM didn't explain our options with Arodeth, even though we qualified for it. Scenario was just too confusing.

The pace in this scenario was just too intense.

”Detailed Ratings”:

Length: Long (5 hours).
Experience: GM with 5 OK characters at subtier 1-2. Player with 6 powerful PCs at subtier 7-8.
Sweet Spot: Subtier 7-8.
Entertainment: Too rushed. (6/10)
Story: I thought the meta-story was fantastic, the encounters less so. The meta-story is the only reason this scenario isn't 2 stars. (8/10)
Roleplay: It's up to the GM to make or break the roleplaying. (4/10)
Combat/Challenges: We crushed every encounter using maybe 1/3 of our potential. Our wizard was usually on delay after the 1st round and our tetsori monk reading his iPad. Everything had a lot of hit points without any stopping power. (5/10)
Maps: Good use of flip maps. (7/10)
Boons: Great boons. (10/10)
Uniqueness: Despite the fantastic meta-story, it still felt like an average dungeon romp. (3/10)
GM Preparation: An improvement over other specials, but everything could still be simplified a lot more.

Overall: If you liked the other specials, chances are you will like this one as well, the story felt epic. For me, there are still too many bland combat encounters (the scenario never takes the time to do anything special), and everything is rushed.

Great Special


I played this last night at Aethercon and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had a group of six with five casters in 10-11 so largely stomped the fighting bits but even so it was highly enjoyable and had some excellent twists and turns. I can see how a different group might have been very challenged.

I also really like the chronicle boon. They represent a small but highly useful benefit, heartily approve and would love to see more like this.

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Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Put it in the Dark Archive and RUN!

Sovereign Court

So is this also a multi-table?

Matt Savage - Texas wrote:
So is this also a multi-table?

Yes. They are putting out 2 multi-table events for this year. One debuts at PaizoCon and one at GenCon (with the PaizoCon one being rerun at there). Both scenarios are levels 1-11.

Shadow Lodge

Yay for more multi-table events! :)

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Oh god. Oh god. Oh god. That is a terrible idea. There's going to be Aboleth everywhere. D:

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I am very excited for this one! Can someone confirm for me that this will debut at this year's GenCon and then will be played at NEXT year's PaizoCon? I'm going to PaizoCon THIS year (in May).

Hello Aroden? Yes I'll hold but that may not be the best... Dammit.

Dark Archive

Man, this sounds so cool. I wish I could make it to one of the Cons that had the tables to run this!

Grand Lodge

I just downloaded this and noted a couple of odd things.

Is is just me, but the Sign in and Chronicle sheets for this are for #7-02 Six Seconds to Midnight.

Also the map on page 9 seems to be missing.

Is there an update due on these?

If its a PDF, then why is it "unavailable"? Especially since it is so new and the next 3 are available.

Serpentfolk rampage in the past ... interesting.

Ran this as GM at Gencon 2015. There were issues with the first pdf I got for it. No map for the Serpentfolk city, no page references for enemies, a few typos and the Sign in and Chronicle sheets were for #7-02, Six Seconds to Midnight. I have a feeling this was a "rush in production" issue. The download for it was fixed by the weekend before Gencon (and all issues mentioned above fixed)...

Overall, a really fun game to run, and it seemed like the people at my table enjoyed playing it. The history of the "Ages" involved are fleshed out just enough. There are plenty of options here, for a hack and slash party or a diplomacy-based party. Especially a diplomacy based party, truth be told.

Only real problem I can find with multi-table games like this is the issue of pacing, which I imagine differ from table to table, and GM to GM. If the temple interior is open, bypass the plaza entirely, or you might not have enough time to enjoy the possibilities with an ancient hero. This is a timed game, so certain role-playing luxuries (scenery chewing) must be foregone.

If the vault opens in the final chapter, forget the rest of the anchors and get right to Arodeth.

Overall, great game, and lot of potential for future games like it involving the Sky Key's chronal powers. I enjoyed it even more than Siege of Serpents.

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

I'm trying to understand the numbering scheme of these special scenarios, but I'm confused. #5-99 was listed as "kicking off season 6", and it seems #6-99 does the same for season 7. while #6-00 looks more like it belong to season 5, and #7-00 to season 6 ("sky key"). Am I the only one who can't make sense of that? what gives?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lane Williams wrote:
Ran this as GM at Gencon 2015. There were issues with the first pdf I got for it. No map for the Serpentfolk city, no page references for enemies, a few typos and the Sign in and Chronicle sheets were for #7-02, Six Seconds to Midnight. I have a feeling this was a "rush in production" issue. The download for it was fixed by the weekend before Gencon (and all issues mentioned above fixed)...

You should've got a message when you originally got 7-00 in your downloads that the version you were getting was specifically not a cleaned up version because Paizo wanted us to have the scenario early so we could better prepare it for GenCon. It wasn't supposed to be perfect. This was intentional.

@GamesManipulator: The multi-table specials from the past year are only available to conventions. Once one year has passed, they will become available for purchase and there will be a new special that is con-exclusive.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zaister wrote:
I'm trying to understand the numbering scheme of these special scenarios, but I'm confused. #5-99 was listed as "kicking off season 6", and it seems #6-99 does the same for season 7. while #6-00 looks more like it belong to season 5, and #7-00 to season 6 ("sky key"). Am I the only one who can't make sense of that? what gives?

Sort of the same question, does this follow the events of Siege of Serpents, or happen before?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

7-00 happens about a week or so after 6-99. 6-99 starts up a storyline for season 7, whereas 7-00 closes out a storyline for season 6 (while perhaps opening up a new one for season 7? we don't know yet)

Shadow Lodge

6-99 is True Dragons. I think you're meaning 6-97

Scarab Sages

Can anyone with Paizo comment on when this scenario will be available for purchase?

I have a question on something mentioned in this adventure, but doesn't seem to appear within it or any other module I know of, and I'd really appreciate some insight if there is any.

The second paragraph in the introduction mentions that "hundreds" of Jormurdun dwarves survived the Sky Citadel's fall in a bubble outside of time. These dwarves don't make an appearance in 7-00, and they also don't seem to be in any of the Sky Key/Jormurdun scenarios I can find.

Was this a mistake? Was this plot thread just never used?

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