Pathfinder Society Scenario #7–09: The Blakros Connection (PFRPG) PDF

3.80/5 (based on 21 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5-9.

A recent attack on the Grand Lodge became all the more heinous when one of the invading agents employed an eldritch relic to abduct a high-ranking Pathfinder. In order to release the captive, the Society must understand the relic and track down the fleeing operative—a mission that leads the PCs into Absalom's most prestigious archives to uncover a dark secret.

Content in "The Blakros Connection" also ties into a special metaplot element from Pathfinder Society Special #6-98: Serpents Rise. Players who have completed that special event are encouraged to bring its Chronicle sheet when playing this adventure.

Written by Robert Brookes.

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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3.80/5 (based on 21 ratings)

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Library of the Lion meets your worst nightmare

5/5

I very much enjoyed running this one. It offers a good challenge and some excellent story line advancements.

The research mechanic was okay. KP helped it feel like the group was always making progress.
The occult ritual was a bit confusing. It worked well enough for this scenario, but I don't think it is a mechanic to bring back too often.
Impossible feats were a neat addition and enhanced the setting.

Overall, the scenario mechanics are pushing on too many new things, but they end up all working together for this one. I had a good time trying my hardest to take out the party in this one.


Meh with a side of Ugh

1/5

Now a couple of weeks removed from having run this scenario, I've had some time to reflect upon the experience and gather my thoughts. This scenario does not live up to the high standards that previous Blakros scenarios have set.

Without getting into plot spoiling details, I will say that this scenario tries too hard to incorporate alternate/new rules from the latest new/shiny hard cover release (Occult Adventures), though I shouldn't ride it too hard as use of this new book seems to have been pushed hard for early season 7 scenarios.

I would liken this scenarios failures along the same lines as the use of Mythic rules in Destiny of the Sands (#5-16) or perhaps the Mass Combat Rules in Assault on the Wound (#5-24).

Bringing in a completely new rules set into an organized play setting, where there is a hard time limit (five hour slots, or less, for conventions) and expecting a GM to "teach" new rules to players that they will likely never use again, is a waste of everyone's time.

The scenario is clunky and unnecessarily full of rules bloat. Couple that with a rush job through editing (the plague of spelling and grammatical errors continue in PFS scenarios) and you have players that are board with nearly pointless skill checks (many of which are trained only).

I would not recommend playing or running this scenario.


Absolutely Fantastic, would give 6 stars

5/5

I give from 0-3 stars for fluff, and another 0-3 for crunch.

Fluff - 3 stars:
The story was well conceived, and ties in neatly to the ongoing story arc for the season. There were few NPCs, but those that the party encounters have interesting personalities. The prose for room descriptions is vivid, unique, and evocative imagism. Phenomenal work.

Crunch - 3 stars:
The combat encounters were full of interesting enemies using creative (but not convoluted) tactics. The research portions were very well executed, but I will admit I am concerned that this mechanic could be disastrous in future scenarios if utilized by authors of lesser talent. Many scenarios include weird quirky mechanics unique to the scenario in portions that are overly complex, and either minor in impact or utterly debilitating. The unique mechanic at the end of this scenario is simple, has major impact, and is unbelievably fun.

This is one of the best things I've had the joy to play.


A mixed bag, but still worth playing

3/5

I played this scenario in a group of 4 at low tier at a con recently. I had a good time with this scenario, but the enjoyment was distributed very inconsistently.

The plot was very well-written, with plausible motivations and fun details strewn everywhere. The tie-in with Serpents Rise was great, I thought--I'd played the relevant agent just the day before and thought this added a lot to their character.

I was very disappointed with the title of the scenario:
As a result of the supposed Blakros tie-in, I brought a PC who had joined the Blakros family (and had some interest in the museum as well) and outside of some initial conversation with Nigel, the research could have been happening in any old room with a couple of bookshelves. The Forae Logos was sort of the star of the show; I feel like the scenario probably should have been named after it instead of Blakros.

Speaking of...:
...the Forae Logos, that was a very good choice of setting. Well done! We should have more adventures there. I appreciated the note about the specialist from Nex; I like the idea of a wizard simply not making time for the largest library in Absalom until he can clear off his schedule, and it helps tie the world together for players unfamiliar with the more uncommon bits of the Inner Sea.

The additional mechanic also did not work very well for us and the party did not have much fun using it.:
Said Blakros character I brought was an archaeologist (bard) who could match the research DCs on a roll of -2 on 1d20. This happens occasionally in scenarios and it's nice to be rewarded for being good at something, but the rest of the party felt really left out. There was no mechanical benefit for increasing our skill checks beyond the immediate DC.

It's also worth mentioning that there was still a huge amount of variance in how many KP we accumulated. 1d12 is a huge number when you're just adding +4 or 5 or 8 to it! It made us feel a little disconnected from the research itself. ("The only thing affecting our progress was the die, not any particular skill our characters had.

Looking at both issues we encountered, my thought would be that it would be better if the initial KP roll was lower--1d4 or 1d6 (+int modifier)--and for every 5 you beat the DC by, you added your int modifier (or another die) to the KP accumulated. That would give the entire party a reason to work together even in cases where a knowledge monkey has joined the party.

All in all this was very feast-or-famine for us. I still recommend playing it--you might have more fun with some aspects than my group did, and when the scenario was good, it was very good.


4/5


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Community & Digital Content Director

Announced for October!

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Intrigue! And more museum time :) Need a reason each season to want to burn down the museum :P

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Me wonders if this will put that new Museum map to use...

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

"Absalom's most prestigious archives to uncover a dark secret."

Most prestigious? Nigel's trash heap cum meat grinder? I don't think so. Rather, it's likely some actual archive.

Liberty's Edge

Me thinks this will finally explain the details of 6-99 as well.

Grand Lodge

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Some how I imagine Kermit the Deep One sitting in his hell swamp singing
"Someday will find it/the Blackros Connection/Cultists, Chuthlu and Me"

Community & Digital Content Director

Now available!

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

*looks at cover*

Oh crapbricks. I love that new books see use but that one's just pure evil.

...good choice.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It gets worse. ;)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Used Maps:
I was very surprised that this scenario does not use the flip mat. Was really looking forward to an opportunity to use the new mat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A Brookes scenario. Looking forward to this one!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Duncan7291 wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Really? Disappointed...

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Duncan7291 wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

In response:
It's something I had hoped to use, but as Robert and I worked on this scenario, it became clear that the storyline just wasn't going to accommodate that map without substantial shoe-horning. You can bet that any time the Blakros Mueseum shows up in an adventure, I'm looking for ways to use that flip-mat.
Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Duncan7291 wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Follow up on John's point

Spoiler:

Very little of the actual adventure takes place in the museum as well.

But I wager it'll only be a matter of time before the museum gets attacked! Nigel has nothing but bad luck.

Grand Lodge

For map A, the map pack is incorrect.

Spoiler:
It's listed as Waterfront, but it should be Temples.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Thanks John for post. I spent money on acquiring maps so yes, I like to use them. Also, I think they add level to adventure rather than me just drawing the map out. (Also, easier to prep ;) )

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

How has Nigel not quit or retired from all of the crazy Night at the Museum shenanigans that happen to him? :)

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Sheer determination. ;)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Spoiler:
Penance for not taking the family name


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tyranius wrote:
How has Nigel not quit or retired from all of the crazy Night at the Museum shenanigans that happen to him? :)

Considering all the weird stuff that happens in that museum, and considering how often the Pathfinder Society is expected to clean up after the latest disaster, I'm just waiting for a table of experienced players/PCs to be sent to the museum, open the front door, throw in all their alchemist fire/other expendables, cast all their high-damage spells, close and lock the door, then look at me as I hide behind my GM screen and say "Problem solved".

I love the Blakros Museum. My players love to hate it. Fun for all! lol

Shadow Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

We've tried. The damn building won't burn.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Amanda Plageman wrote:
Tyranius wrote:
How has Nigel not quit or retired from all of the crazy Night at the Museum shenanigans that happen to him? :)

Considering all the weird stuff that happens in that museum, and considering how often the Pathfinder Society is expected to clean up after the latest disaster, I'm just waiting for a table of experienced players/PCs to be sent to the museum, open the front door, throw in all their alchemist fire/other expendables, cast all their high-damage spells, close and lock the door, then look at me as I hide behind my GM screen and say "Problem solved".

I love the Blakros Museum. My players love to hate it. Fun for all! lol

I can't wait to be the GM for that table and tell them that the building's made of basalt.

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