Pathfinder Society Scenario #7–13: Captive in Crystal (PFRPG) PDF

4.30/5 (based on 20 ratings)

Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart
Facebook Twitter Email

A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5-9.

Recent events have left the Master of Spells Aram Zey unable to fulfill his duties, and without his expertise, the Pathfinder Society struggles to resolve pressing arcane matters. The Decemvirate has reopened the decade-old case of the most qualified replacement: Aram Zey's predecessor and former Master of Spells Sorrina Westyr, who disappeared while handling a powerful wayfinder that the Society has since kept closely guarded. It is up to the PCs to track down Sorrina Westyr—and bring back whatever remains.

Content in "Captive in Crystal" also contributes directly to the ongoing storyline of the Grand Lodge faction.

Written by Monica Marlowe.

Product Availability

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZOPSS0713E


See Also:

1 to 5 of 20 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

4.30/5 (based on 20 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

Good Story!

4/5

NO SPOILERS

Although I've only played a few of the season's scenarios, I think the Year of the Serpent (Season 7) of PFS1 may be one of the best. The scenarios are set in interesting and original locales, have strong plotting, and feature memorable NPCs. I played Captive in Crystal via play-by-post, and while I didn't catch all of the story elements as a player (more my fault than the scenario's), reading it for the purposes of this review I can see how it's put together well. It's not a perfect scenario, but it is really good and definitely worth playing.

SPOILERS!:

Captive in Crystal has a classic premise: follow in the footsteps of a lost adventuring party, and discover what happened to them. The premise is well-styled to integrate Pathfinder Society lore by having the lost party led by a former Master of Spells (Sorrina Westyr). With Aram Zey missing, recovering Sorrina Westyr has taken on added importance. However, Westyr and her team have been missing for over a decade (!) and disappeared while using a unique magical item called the wayfinder of many paths, a device which opens a portal to different destination depending on which type of ioun stone is placed within it. Westyr was experimenting with it when she and her team disappeared, so the PCs have to be prepared for pretty much anything if they're going to go after her to a location that could be (quite literally) anywhere on (or in!) Golarion. I thought it a great touch that the PFS had everything from horses to cold weather gear to underwater magic on stand-by depending on what the portal revealed when it opened.

It turns out, however, that the portal opens to a place deep underground. More specifically, The Crystal Womb, one of the Orvian Vaults deep in the Darklands. The PCs may find the body of one of the lost explorers almost immediately, and another one not long after. It would have been good for the adventure to provide some Heal checks or other means to determine what killed them (PCs like to play CSI), though some other exposition later on explains things.

The first encounter in the game is against a group of scorpion-like earth elemental creatures called chrysmals. I remember this being a fairly difficult encounter. Importantly, there's a surprise intervention by a third-party: a shaitan (a sort of earth genie from the Plane of Earth) named Reyshal ik Jalman. Jalman aids the PCs in the battle, and is a crucial NPC because he knows exactly what happened to Westyr. After the battle, there's an involved role-playing scene (with multiple skill checks) to strike a bargain with Jalman for information. Assuming the negotiations are successful (and the adventure smartly explains what happens if they're not), Jalman says Westyr went to an esoteric Orvian library nearby called the Lucent Archive. She went there because Jalman struck a deal with her: he would provide her a wish to return to the Grand Lodge if she found information exonerating his family from false accusations they committed a crime. However, Jalman is unable to enter the library (it's warded against earth-type creatures) and has no idea what happened to Westyr or why she never emerged. There's a lot more backstory for Jalman, and he's a well-rounded NPC (with cool artwork).

When the PCs enter the Lucent Archive, they quickly find Westyr--only to learn she's been turned into an oread through extensive exposure to the place's magic! Moving initially at almost geological speed, she's lost all track of time. She explains that the area with the knowledge needed to satisfy Jalman is called the Sapphire Stacks, but it's guarded by several sentinels. First, the PCs will need to overcome several kineticist (!) pechs. The battle here takes place on a map that needs more going on, as it's almost abstract. Then, in a plot element I thought was a bit forced, the PCs also have to deal with an intruder into the Lucent Archive, a "thunder wisp" that has been emanating a destructive soundwave that threatens to shatter the crystal records of the Lucent Archive. It's a bit of a stretch to think that the Lucent Archive has been here for millennia and the PCs just so happen to arrive at the exact same time that the place is about to collapse. Anyway, the battle with the pechs was a good challenge (though learning kineticist rules probably isn't fun for a GM), while the wisp wasn't very tough.

Once the PCs get what they need from the Lucent Archive, Jalman keeps his promise and returns the PCs and Westyr to the Grand Lodge. There's a loose end about another missing member of the original adventuring company (a Shoanti named Grave Treader) that I assume is followed up in a later scenario. The Chronicle has a neat (at the time) boon allowing a player to be an oread. Oh, and there's a cool little bonus for characters who use gem or mineral-related skills when they do their Day Job checks at the end.

Overall, Captive in Crystal is a fun, well-written, and relatively straightforward adventure.


Great adventure from Monica Marlowe.

4/5

An interesting adventure with decent lore and combat encounters involving situations and creatures with unusual tactics. My only complaint is that it's very easy for players to miss important details.

Look forward to see more from RPG Superstar Monica Marlowe!


Excellent Work

5/5

I ran this, and loved it. The story and flavor were well executed, and the mechanics cohered well. I have some concern about how the PCs are expected to figure out what is happening in the final encounter to actually initiate the combat, but it is a relatively easy flaw to overcome as a GM. I don't think it sufficient to subtract a star.


Rock-solid

4/5

A few weeks back I played this scenario on the high tier with a four-man-plus-eidolon-strong party. Coincidentally, the eidolon was our only frontliner as we had a sorcerer, summoner, ranged fighter and a bard.

I have to admit that I rather enjoyed the setting of scenario, as well as the NPCs. It all came neatly together and created an evocative environment for us to wander around in. As I’m writing this I’m trying to decide what part I liked most: a certain NPC and his, let’s call them, wishes, or a library of sorts. I honestly can’t decide as I really enjoyed both.

The encounters were rough at times. The combination of unusual tactics, unusual foes and unusual skills made every fight challenging, but fun. I do however have to point out that the bard had a significant impact on the final encounter. Countersong is situational, but highly effective. As such I can’t really comment on what is actually likely to happen near the end of the scenario, as we somewhat cheesed our way through it in a legitimate way.

I can only name one downside: one of the encounters is scripted to be a fight. Were it not for the fact they’re not evil and just doing their job, I’d have been okay with that. As it stands now, you have no other way of dealing with them. There is no diplomatic option, even though that would have made a lot of sense. I personally really dislike that approach and I’m a tad disappointed. I just can’t ignore it and as such have to reduce my final rating by one star.

Despite that issue, I consider a must-play scenario and I would recommend it. The story, the location, (the majority of) the encounters and chronicle sheet are all worth it.


Cool scenario, some flaws

4/5

Overall this was a nice scenario. Good premise, interesting location, unusual and challenging enemies. Great RP opportunities, and an important move forward in the metaplot.

There are a few tidbits that I dislike though;
- In the first fight, the scene description says a monster holds back until X and then joins the fight. It's written tactics give the impression it fights from the start. This makes a big difference in how hard the fight is.
- At some point there are critters blocking your way. They're kind of on the good side, but can't be persuaded to let you past without violence or teleportation. This makes me sad.


1 to 5 of 20 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Community & Digital Content Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Announced for December!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wow, that didn't take long! You'll have a scenario out before Brian, Kalervo, and I do! Looking forward to seeing this!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

That's a very interesting turn of events... (strokes beard thoughtfully)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yay! More stuff from Monica! :D


5 people marked this as a favorite.

So she finally scrapped together 5 PP For that body recovery...

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2015

BigNorseWolf wrote:
So she finally scrapped together 5 PP For that body recovery...

What a dull scenario that would be ;-)

Sovereign Court

Clearly you're not listening to me. I've told you everything you need to know on Zey's research. In fact, I've pointed out in no less than a dozen instances where he was wrong.

This "mission" makes no sense to me. It's a waste of resources to try to find him, and furthermore, why in the Nine Hells would you want to find that hack, Sorrina Westyr? Clearly she couldn't cut it in the role, disappearing as she did.

No, you are wrong to go on this adventure when there is a perfectly clear choice standing right in front of you. One speaking to you right this minute.

Worthless...all of you.

Liberty's Edge

Ethan Snide wrote:

Clearly you're not listening to me. I've told you everything you need to know on Zey's research. In fact, I've pointed out in no less than a dozen instances where he was wrong.

This "mission" makes no sense to me. It's a waste of resources to try to find him, and furthermore, why in the Nine Hells would you want to find that hack, Sorrina Westyr? Clearly she couldn't cut it in the role, disappearing as she did.

No, you are wrong to go on this adventure when there is a perfectly clear choice standing right in front of you. One speaking to you right this minute.

Worthless...all of you.

PASSED OVER AGAIN, EH SNIDE? ONCE IS HAPPENSTANCE. TWICE IS A PATTERN.

Sovereign Court

Maybe the Aspis Consortium has an opening.

Last time I reveal who the traitor in your midst is.

Liberty's Edge

PATHFINDER SOCIETY NEED NEW POSITION!

MASTER OF HAMMERS!

Paizo Employee Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
THUNDERLIPS! wrote:

PATHFINDER SOCIETY NEED NEW POSITION!

MASTER OF HAMMERS!

All of them are masters of something starting with "S," so I think the better candidate would be Master of Screams or Master of Shouting. I feel this person would be well qualified to give mission briefings at the start of scenarios.

Sovereign Court

John Compton wrote:
All of them are masters of something starting with "S," so I think the better candidate would be Master of Screams or Master of Shouting. I feel this person would be well qualified to give mission briefings at the start of scenarios.

Well then by extension I thank you for your consideration, and I await my eventual escalation to the Master of Snide, Ethan. I do insist my office is larger than that hack Zey.

Liberty's Edge

YOU ARE ALREADY MASTER OF SNIDE UNLESS YOU HAVE NOTHING WORTH (snicker giggle) MASTERING.

HAR!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

THUNDERLIPS! THOROUGHLY ENJOYED SPELUNKING THE CRYSTAL WOMB AND SPIKY BUSH. THUNDERLIPS! WAS DISAPPOINTED THAT THUNDERLIPS! ONLY HAD TWO MINUTES TO GO IN AND OUT OF WOMB THROUGH THE BUSH.

ALSO, THUNDERLIPS! COULD HAVE DONE WITH OUT THAT WHOLE VEINEY SHAFT PORTION. NOT THUNDERLIPS!'S KIND OF PARTY.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
THUNDERLIPS! wrote:

THUNDERLIPS! THOROUGHLY ENJOYED SPELUNKING THE CRYSTAL WOMB AND SPIKY BUSH. THUNDERLIPS! WAS DISAPPOINTED THAT THUNDERLIPS! ONLY HAD TWO MINUTES TO GO IN AND OUT OF WOMB THROUGH THE BUSH.

ALSO, THUNDERLIPS! COULD HAVE DONE WITH OUT THAT WHOLE VEINEY SHAFT PORTION. NOT THUNDERLIPS!'S KIND OF PARTY.

I assure you, this party is for everyone, no matter how long they require, THUNDERLIPS! I am glad you enjoyed yourself, please spelunk again ;-)

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
mamaursula wrote:
THUNDERLIPS! wrote:

THUNDERLIPS! THOROUGHLY ENJOYED SPELUNKING THE CRYSTAL WOMB AND SPIKY BUSH. THUNDERLIPS! WAS DISAPPOINTED THAT THUNDERLIPS! ONLY HAD TWO MINUTES TO GO IN AND OUT OF WOMB THROUGH THE BUSH.

ALSO, THUNDERLIPS! COULD HAVE DONE WITH OUT THAT WHOLE VEINEY SHAFT PORTION. NOT THUNDERLIPS!'S KIND OF PARTY.

I assure you, this party is for everyone, no matter how long they require, THUNDERLIPS! I am glad you enjoyed yourself, please spelunk again ;-)

THUNDERLIPS! WONDERED WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SALT 'N PEPPA'S OLD HYPE MAN. THUNDERLIPS! IS HAPPY THAT THIS SCENARIO IS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE, NOT JUST THE SEXY PEOPLE BECAUSE THEN THUNDERLIPS! WOULD GET VERY LONELY. EXCEPT FOR THE TWO RABBITS THUNDERLIPS! BROUGHT. THEY WOULD KEEP THUNDERLIPS! IN GOOD SPIRITS.

THUNDERLIPS! DID GET STRANGE LOOKS FROM HOT SPICY CHELISH DISH DRALNEEN WHEN THUNDERLIPS! STOWED THE RABBITS IN THUNDERLIPS!'S THONG.

Dark Archive

Did someone mention "the sexy people"?

The Exchange

Somebody must by talkin bout sexy folks, don't know why else I'd be teleported here, except maybe to congratulate my man THUNDERLIPS!on his appointment to Master of Subtly. And my main rat Lucius is getting things going, this is my kind of party.

Grand Lodge

"Lady BroKahn, future master of smash-hammers present!"

The Exchange

Ohh, yeah you are.


Wait, so the Society's Master of Spells goes missing for a decade and just now the Decemvirate decides to go and rescue her? By the Empyreal Lords, I don't think the Decemvirate is to be trusted.

Silver Crusade Contributor

Berselius wrote:
Wait, so the Society's Master of Spells goes missing for a decade and just now the Decemvirate decides to go and rescue her? By the Empyreal Lords, I don't think the Decemvirate is to be trusted.

If I recall, it's more complicated than that. They basically didn't have the right tools to locate/follow her until the scenario.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Wait, so the Society's Master of Spells goes missing for a decade and just now the Decemvirate decides to go and rescue her? By the Empyreal Lords, I don't think the Decemvirate is to be trusted.
If I recall, it's more complicated than that. They basically didn't have the right tools to locate/follow her until the scenario.

Ah, okay. Thanks Kalindlara.

Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Society Scenario #7–13: Captive in Crystal (PFRPG) PDF All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.