Pathfinder Society Scenario #7–20—All for Immortality, Part 1: First Taste of Eternity (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 12–15.

Every year, one of Thuvia’s five city-states receives a mere six vials of the famous sun orchid elixir—a potent and extravagantly expensive tonic able to reverse the effects of aging. After both of his last two shipments disappeared without a trace, the ruler of Pashow has retained the services of the Pathfinder Society to ensure that this year the elixir arrives unharmed and restores prosperity to his realm. However, what begins as an unusual security assignment quickly spirals into a revelatory unveiling of Pashow’s treacherous underbelly.

“First Taste of Eternity” debuts the first dedicated seeker-level content for the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild since the acclaimed Eyes of the Ten series, and it is the first scenario in the three-part All for Immortality campaign arc. It is followed by Pathfinder Society Scenario #7–26: “All the Gods Beyond” and Pathfinder Society Scenario #7–29: “Serpents Fall.” All three chapters are intended to be played in order.

Written by Thurston Hillman.

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Excellent scenario with a few combat issues

5/5

I've just finished GMing this whole series down in Australia, and they were excellent. Part 1 was an awesome introduction - the first combat has the possibility to be pretty brutal, and is certainly different from almost any other combat in a published scenario. The mechanic for being a VC is cool - if your players are into roleplaying, I'd make sure you have time for it. Sometimes it's not obvious what possibilities there are, but you're allowed to be flexible about it. I really love the final fight in this part - an absolutely awesome idea.

I have only one real issue with the scenario:

Spoilers:

Almost the entire scenario can be overcome by Freedom of Movement. The dimensional shamblers rely on grappling, spending an entire round grappled and then being alive to plane-shift away, which is an issue with freedom of movement - can break the encounter a bit, as the oracle is much less powerful on the Material plane. Similarly, the final fight wants a PC to be grappled to maximize the breath weapon, which is nullified by Freedom of Movement.


More seeker content

5/5

Firstly, we played this with a table of five, high tier, and one of us was only level 13.

Table composition
Samurai/ranger
Paladin Camel Specialist
Ranger rogue, sap master build.
Divine hunter paladin/ fighter
Summoning focused sorcerer

First combat, very nicely set up, non standard monsters to represent the new level of play you are in, all very nice. We had it easy with a couple of bow and camel crits.

Second combat, makes sense thematically when following the motivations of NPC's. We figured out what was going on before we got there and went in fully prepared and blew half of it away in a round but then the cool thing happened and we had to adjust.

Last thing, final boss was very well designed for his reason for being there and what he wanted to do, and he was still highly combat effective. Not many things take a full attack from two smiting Paladins, one an archer and survive.

Non combat, everything seemed to flow together, although his might have been due to the GM running a table of VC, VL and VA for the first time and over prepping.

Absolutely loved how it is shown that you are leaders in the society.

All up, highly enjoyable, took about 7 hours but could be done in a five hour slot with a few tricks which we will be using for Paizocon Oz.


Interesting, but flawed.

3/5

First off, I played through this scenario at high tier, with 4-player adjustment. I'm currently prepping to run this at high tier on Hardmode.

In order to fully explain the problems I have with the scenario, I'm gonna need to dig deeply into the design of the encounters, the story, and how it ties into the meta-plot. Beneath the Spoiler tag, anything goes. If you want my quick thoughts, then scroll down to the bottom.

Spoilers for all of AFI part 1:
Story:

The Pathfinder Society has been contracted by the Prince of Pashow to escort several vials of Sun Orchid elixir from the Citadel of the Alchemist to his city. As part of the contract, the PCs have been hired to act as troubleshooters, if anything unforeseen happens to the caravans. As expected, something goes wrong, and the PCs are teleported to the ruins of a smoldering caravan, right over a dimensional weakspot. The PCs kill the dimensional shamblers, and another one of Prof. Kromalag's experiments (#117), and find out that three different groups. One from a local city, one serving Kromalag, and one serving someone named "Loralis" attacked the caravan, with Loralis's group absconding with the elixir. Their only lead is a contract notarized at the local temple of Abadar.

After returning to Pashow the PCs find the city on the verge of anarchy, people are rioting in the streets, and the city guard is overwhelmed. Upon reporting to the Prince, the PCs are sent to the temple of Abadar to investigate. Once there, they are attacked by the high priest of Abadar, and the captain of the guard, who were secretly serving Loralis.

Moving deeper into the catacombs, the PCs finally confront Loralis; the Mature Adult Blue Dragon Mesmerist. In preparation for the PCs' arrival, she set up several bombs at structural weakpoints, to collapse the catacombs and the streets above.

After defeating Loralis (either killing her, or forcing her to flee), the party recovers the Sun Orchid Elixir and is given the hook for part 2.

Thoughts - I think most of my problems with this part of the arc have to do with the story.

1. This arc is meant to be about hunting down and dealing with the Korholm Agenda, so why is the BBEG of the first book Loralis? A character we'd never heard of until half-way through the scenario.

To contrast this fight with the big battle of Eyes of the Ten 1. Both fights were against groups we'd never heard of (Loralis and the Red Raven & Co.), but the information gained from the Red Raven was integral to the plot of the arc. Without the cooperation of the Raven, Eyes of the Ten doesn't happen. In All for Immortality, it doesn't matter if Loralis lives or dies (the scenario says as much), or even if the Sun Orchid Elixir is recovered, stolen, or quaffed by a greedy PC. Parts 2 and 3 feel like a cohesive whole, whereas this one feels like a one-shot.

2. Why are the captain of the guard, and the high priest of Abadar secretly traitors? There's nothing to suggest that, and the scenario is completely silent as to their motivation. It feels the author wanted to include a twist, but didn't have the time or word count to set it up. Maybe if we'd had several scenarios with these characters, time to get to them, their motivations, etc. then it would have had some kind of impact. Instead, it comes off as flat, and more than a little distracting.

3. The Sun Orchid Elixir. In contrast to my previous two points, I actually quite liked the way this was handled. I like the fact that we're getting more an more boons which cause you to fail the mission, but give a greater benefit. Negotiating with Serpents from Bid for Alabastrine is the other that comes to mind.

I want more boons like this in the future.

Encounters:

1 - I have very few complaints about this one. The Dimensional Shamblers are interesting and flavorful enemies, and the Oracle is fairly well built. Forcing the players to fight on two planes at once is an excellent way to show the PCs that they've entered a new chapter of their careers. My only real complaint, is that the line of text which says Plane Shift is 100% accurate within the disturbance should be more prominent. Our fight would have gone much differently if we'd been able to plane shift in, rather than wait for the shamblers.

2 - The only word to describe this fight is boring. You've got a Fighter and a Cleric, neither one with particularly exceptional builds or interesting personality/motivation. Excepting the Wishcraft Bond, which 4-player adjustment removes, there's no tricks/surprises/anything interesting going on here. When contrasted with the excellent opening fight this one just feels... blah. It's almost like it was designed to be the obligatory 3rd encounter, rather than existing to serve the narrative.

3 - I do not like Occult classes. I especially do not like high level Occult classes. While not the worst offender in the arc, making this character an Occult caster added a ton of complexity, without really adding much efficacy. In an arc like this, with so many moving parts and bizarre PC effects for the GM to keep track of, the author really needs to make an effort to stick to things people know. When looking at the Seeker Spreadsheet, how many Occult classes do you see on there? I'd wager it's a pretty small number. I personally only know of 1 Seeker-level Occult character.

The truth is, players and GMs just aren't familiar with the Occult book yet, so by adding a high level Occult character, you're forcing GMs to not only learn brand new mechanics, but to do so with little to no support from their fellow GMs. That's a really bad idea, especially for something like this.

Leadership:
This is the first iteration of the leadership subsystem, so I'll cut it a bit of slack. Due to comments on the forums, the system noticeably improved in Part 3, so I'll hold off on commenting on the system until then.

The one thing I liked about the Leadership system here which was noticeably absent in Parts 2 and 3, was how the PCs' actions effected their teams. Having Loralis' bombs not only threaten the civilians, but also the Pathfinder teams was excellent.

Overall - The first encounter is truly excellent from both a mechanics and a lore perspective. It knocks the players off balance, then forces them to devise a way out. Exactly what I had hoped for in Seeker play. The second and third encounters make very little sense (even after reading the scenario), and seem to be designed as "gotcha" moments, rather than to make sense in the story. Also, 4-player adjustment really takes the teeth out of the second encounter, making it closer to what I'd expect from 10-11, rather than 14-15.

I won't fully discuss the leadership mechanics here, since I've got quite a bit to say on that subject. Check my review of part 3 for full comments.

The scenario was enjoyable and interesting, but had enough frustrations that it was noticeably hampered.

3.5/5 Stars


best played with an open time window

5/5

After playing and thoroughly enjoying this with a great group of players and GM, I can't imagine trying to squeeze this into a standard PFS slot. A 5-star rating here is contingent on having time to do the adventure justice. If faced with hand-waving key RP/optional/variable/hard-mode/BBEG encounters due to time, the experience surely would be different.

A key element for this type of adventure is player buy-in. I was graced with a great group of players that were invested in the story. The author and development team really did a great job pulling in the recent season story arcs in a way that left us constructing various theories on what was going down and who was in who's pocket. This extended to the immediate scenario as well.

Even without all of that, the scenario felt 'sandboxy' and used enough interesting combat/tactical options to keep even a new player using a level 13 pregen interested in the action, if that were a thing... (note the PFS inside joke - no pregens were harmed in completing this scenario... in fact, no level 13 PFS pregens exist, but all you veteran PFS'ers out there probably know that... )

(I'd also recommend playing/running/reading The Sun Orchid Scheme prior to this adventure for an expanded experience.)


Great First Scenario for new Seeker series

4/5

Ran this for some of the NYC "old guard" yesterday (Sunday, 5/1/16).

The encounters are unique and complicated but it was not too difficult to prepare for given that it is a 12-15 level.

The players had a great time and there were quite of few "what the heck" moments, limited wish had to be used at least 3 times.

Good job Mr. Hillman!

Nathan Meyers
Venture Agent NYC


6 to 10 of 10 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community & Digital Content Director

Announced for April! :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

YES!


I like it! More "Immortality" adventures!

Grand Lodge

I WANT IT NOW!!!!!!!!

The Exchange

Can't wait!


Oh my...


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's in the blog post, andreww.

Also, GIMME GIMME GIMME.


How VERY interesting.
Looking forward to playing these...

Scarab Sages

Planning my running schedule now for this series!!

This...sounds...awesome!! Oh wait...Thursty is writing the first one...this will be awesome!!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yay Thursty! Whoot!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

wow

Liberty's Edge

Aprils Fools Joke

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Man, they fooled all the VOs then!


Awesome awesome awesome.

Hopefully they keep Eyes of the Ten still available as well. I'm itching to play both.

Scarab Sages

Seriously the only downside is that I can't play it NOW!

Contributor

So cool!

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Will each of the Immortality chronicles be worth 1 XP?

I'm plotting a Road to Level 20 schedule and want to be sure there are no detours...

Eyes of the Ten (level 12 to 13.2)
Academy of Secrets (13.2 to 14.2)
All for Immortality (14.2 to 15.2)
Tomb of the Iron Medusa (15.2 to 16.2)
The Moonscar (16.2 to 17.2)
The Witchwar Legacy (17.2 to 18.2)

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

Each will be worth 1 XP.

Liberty's Edge

John Compton wrote:
Each will be worth 1 XP.

Thank you!


*drums fingers*

I need this to kill-, er, challenge some characters.

The Exchange

Cover updated. Its happening!?

Community & Digital Content Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ragoz wrote:
Cover updated. Its happening!?

;)

Now available!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What in heaven's name is THAT? o.O

Silver Crusade

I second that. Excuse me while I go cower in the corner and thank my stars that my ranger is already a seeker and beyond this

Silver Crusade

Whatever it is, I will not fail in my duties.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Phylotus wrote:
I second that. Excuse me while I go cower in the corner and thank my stars that my ranger is already a seeker and beyond this

Yes...thank your stars...

Community Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.

May the odds be ever in their favor.


Jason S wrote:

Awesome awesome awesome.

Hopefully they keep Eyes of the Ten still available as well. I'm itching to play both.

As I understand it it has an entry slot for those who've played Eyes of Ten. Admittedly though the story background is getting a bit incongrous with what' happened to the Society since then.

Paizo Employee Contributor—Canadian Maplecakes

I have such sights to show you...

Community Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:
I have such sights to show you...

*adds link*

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Thurston Hillman wrote:
I have such sights to show you...

I have seen them, and they are glorious. So glorious...

Spoiler:
If only Saabira were not limited to a single choice, though. I suspect that *all* of those will come into play at my table, not just one...

PS: That is perhaps the most well-placed advertisement in a PFS scenario, ever...

The Exchange

what are the level ranges for the series?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Quote:
A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 12–15.

If you are asking for subtiers, they are 12-13 and 14-15.


What is the approximate run time for this one? Is this a 4 hour scenario or would it take longer?

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Considering the complexity of the combats and the role playing possibilities (and my own propensity for running long), I'm scheduling for 6 hours. I'm sure a fully optimized party and a GM who didn't want to role play would be able to accomplish it in less than 5, and even hit the 4 hour mark.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Locally, I believe we've scheduled 6-8 hours to get through it. If we end early, we'll consider it a bonus.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It's gonna be a hell of a thing.

Grand Lodge

Kudos to the PFS leadership and the writers for this!

Dark Archive

René P wrote:
What is the approximate run time for this one? Is this a 4 hour scenario or would it take longer?

We got it done in under 5 1/2 hours, since we all knew each other and we were in no rush, there was a lot of out of game chats, food, and drinking involved.

In a pinch a veteran group could pull it off in four hours.


Our group took about 8 hours over 2 sessions, not including the between session conspiracy crafting. Also, we wrote out PFS style mission briefings for the relevant section, which was highly entertaining but could also just be bullet points on a scrap of paper.

You can milk it for a broader experience or you can get 'er done. Also, being high level play, the combats can swing in wide directions as far as how they unfold, deadliness, and time spent in tactical combat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Played this Saturday 10/22.

LOVED IT. Made me use more of my spells that ANY OTHER SCENARIO I have played since ... well since forever. I was scrambling to kill the last guy in one encounter and well disintegrate, quickened lightning bolt can mess up a persons day......

I have only GM'd eyes, not played it so I can't compare it.

I have played Academy of Secrets, and this was so much better than academy.

Nesterin my conjurer wizard is now 15th level and looking forward to be the first wizard in my area to cast an 8th level spell as he plays the next two parts

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

Mulgar wrote:

Played this Saturday 10/22.

LOVED IT. Made me use more of my spells that ANY OTHER SCENARIO I have played since ... well since forever. I was scrambling to kill the last guy in one encounter and well disintegrate, quickened lightning bolt can mess up a persons day......

I have only GM'd eyes, not played it so I can't compare it.

I have played Academy of Secrets, and this was so much better than academy.

Nesterin my conjurer wizard is now 15th level and looking forward to be the first wizard in my area to cast an 8th level spell as he plays the next two parts

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the adventure, Mulgar. Thurston did a great job with this adventure, and I trust you'll have a blast with the rest of the series. When you get a chance, it would be great for you to leave a review. Developing high-level adventures is still fairly new ground for me, yet it's clear high-level content is something we should continue exploring. Your constructive criticism helps us make adventures even better (though we're quite happy with praise, too)!


John Compton wrote:
Mulgar wrote:

Played this Saturday 10/22.

LOVED IT. Made me use more of my spells that ANY OTHER SCENARIO I have played since ... well since forever. I was scrambling to kill the last guy in one encounter and well disintegrate, quickened lightning bolt can mess up a persons day......

I have only GM'd eyes, not played it so I can't compare it.

I have played Academy of Secrets, and this was so much better than academy.

Nesterin my conjurer wizard is now 15th level and looking forward to be the first wizard in my area to cast an 8th level spell as he plays the next two parts

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the adventure, Mulgar. Thurston did a great job with this adventure, and I trust you'll have a blast with the rest of the series. When you get a chance, it would be great for you to leave a review. Developing high-level adventures is still fairly new ground for me, yet it's clear high-level content is something we should continue exploring. Your constructive criticism helps us make adventures even better (though we're quite happy with praise, too)!

Finished the series today, so my review will be up probably tomorrow.


Ran 2/3rds of this last night

Spoiler:

So 2 1's rolled by PCs meant two of them 'Destructed' in the first encounter. Also feebleminded another. Party only save by the two handed fighter scoring a crit......Recovering from destruction really messes up your PC!!

Killed another PC in 2nd encounter when the guard captain gained super dimension power

Myself am puzzled why the dragon in next room doesn't come and finish the now severely depleted PCs off

Plot also makes no sense, and no relevance to the on going metaplot of year 7......yet another pile of previously unknown nouns suddenly introduced

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