Pathfinder Society Scenario #7–21: The Sun Orchid Scheme (PFRPG) PDF

3.80/5 (based on 12 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

With the power to vastly extend life, the sun orchid elixir is one of the most prized items in the Inner Sea—and as a result one of the most dangerous to transport. After his shipments of sun orchid elixir vanished without a trace two years in a row, the ruler of Pashow is desperate to ensure that his next delivery goes off without a hitch. In order to test its security, Pashow has hired a team of Pathfinders to execute their finest heist and test the convoy’s defenses. Are the PCs up to the challenge?

Content in “The Sun Orchid Scheme” also contributes directly to the ongoing storyline of the Sovereign Court faction.

Written by Nicholas Wasko.

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3.80/5 (based on 12 ratings)

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Waiting for a game


I`m going to GM this scenario on roll20con. It's looking very intrigue.
Some traps are great! I can't wait to see, how my players find them.


Interesting skill oriented scenario with mechanical flaws

3/5

Fluff: 2/3 stars

The scenario possessed a relatively clear story arc, methods of disseminating the salient information to players, and a plot that felt 'realistic' (an economic rivalry and courtly machinations). Overall, I enjoyed it. That said, some plot points seemed weirdly fuzzy, and there could have been a bit more foreshadowing to lead to the final encounter. Quite good, overall, but not excellent.

Crunch: 1/3 stars

Mechanically speaking, this is far from the worst I've ever played, but is even further from the best. The traps and combat encounters are relatively trivial even before their partial amelioration from earlier skill checks. The skill check section is fairly well put together, but the sheer quantity of skill checks (with constantly fluxing DCs) can be overwhelming for the GM. With ample preparation and experienced, creative players, this won't be difficult to run in a four hour time slot. (I just did that myself tonight.)

With an inexperienced GM or players (or just players with few skill ranks, or spiteful d20s) it can easily turn into 2-3 hours of skill-check round-robin. I believe a table of 6 players could be required to make up to 80 checks during the reconnaissance section.

I think there is a really great scenario buried under the mechanical flaws, and I hope the author continues to produce content for the PFS campaign. I just hope he considers the input from these reviews before writing the next one.


waste of time

1/5

every season, one scenario leaves me feeling as if I have been robbed of 4 hours of my life. this one is it for this season.

we had a group of characters with low or no discernible skills so we wasted a couple of hours, mucking about on disjointed interactions, collecting insufficient points for the next encounter, which we, therefore, failed miserably (6 vs. 48).

then, a final encounter (which we breezed through) with no logical connection with what went before rounded out a dismal evening.

if I could have selected zero stars, I would have. it has no redeeming qualities.


That Second Encounter...

3/5

The scenario is well written and does a great job of involving the whole party. Great job, Mr. Wasko!

The second encounter ends up taking a really long time. The party has to split into two groups (you broke the most important rule of adventuring! :P) and the GM has to track the success of each group over an extended period, which makes it feel like 6(2 x 3) encounters instead of 1.

The right GM can run this, but we had to really barrel through it. There's just so much material to cover, and it leaves little time for the final encounter.

Oh, and one thing that bugged me:

Spoiler:
The location of the Barracks and Workshop are not indicated, so as a GM I had to pick a spot (just outside Pashow). This affects the travel time of both the party and the convoy. I ended up having to change the time of the attack from T+3 days to T+6 days to account for the distance between Pashow and the Citadel of the Alchemist.


Hmm.

3/5

First, let me say, as a player I think this scenario is pretty good. In fact I'd say there's a great scenario hidden behind just too much work.

It's a 1-5 that is a bear to run. The first part is tracking like 5 different things, for every player over 3-9 checks in two locations, with a bunch of things dependent on how each check goes and the possibility of adding some other checks in.

The final fight is linked to the scenario (but barely) the scenario may have been better off without it. First, it could have left a nice start to another scenario. Second, it would have been a lot easier (if possible at all) to run in 4 hours. I tend to run on the fast side and it took my group 4 hours 45 minutes to get through. (Also, final boss choice is good flavor wise but a fairly bad combat class)

There's a lot to like about the scenario, but I don't ever want to run it again it was just too much work.


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Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Looks like I should re-watch Ocean's 11, 12, and 13 before playing this ;)

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Looking forward to running this!
But is that really supposed to be on the 'clean' map?

Spoiler:
The secret door on the Sun Orchid Transport map is clearly marked....

Also, since there isn't a specific map for Section B, can someone recommend one?
I realize one isn't 100% necessary, but players might expect one.
Thanks!

RPG Superstar Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Amanda Plageman wrote:

Also, since there isn't a specific map for Section B, can someone recommend one?

I realize one isn't 100% necessary, but players might expect one.
Thanks!

Ideally the encounters in area B shouldn't need a map, but if you need to jury-rig one then I'd recommend either Flip-Mat: Country Inn or Flip-Mat: Watch Station, repurposing the rooms as offices and storage sites for construction supplies and the central courtyard serving as the primary build site for the transport.


Nick Wasko wrote:
Amanda Plageman wrote:

Also, since there isn't a specific map for Section B, can someone recommend one?

I realize one isn't 100% necessary, but players might expect one.
Thanks!
Ideally the encounters in area B shouldn't need a map, but if you need to jury-rig one then I'd recommend either Flip-Mat: Country Inn or Flip-Mat: Watch Station, repurposing the rooms as offices and storage sites for construction supplies and the central courtyard serving as the primary build site for the transport.

Sounds like a plan!

Ideally, it shouldn't need a map, but table psychology being what it is, players tend to be a bit more attentive when there's a map on the table. ;-)

Silver Crusade

Just got my GM assignment for GenCon, and I'll be GMing this 4 times. Not having played or read it yet, I don't know much about it.

I notice the comments here and in the reviews mention heist mechanics from Ultimate Intrigue. This has me worried, since I don't own that book, and it's not on the PRD, and I really don't want to have to buy it, given how much money I'm already spending to go to GenCon. Is everything necessary to run this included in the adventure, or will I need to read the heist stuff from UI to get all the details?

RPG Superstar Season 9

Fromper wrote:

Just got my GM assignment for GenCon, and I'll be GMing this 4 times. Not having played or read it yet, I don't know much about it.

I notice the comments here and in the reviews mention heist mechanics from Ultimate Intrigue. This has me worried, since I don't own that book, and it's not on the PRD, and I really don't want to have to buy it, given how much money I'm already spending to go to GenCon. Is everything necessary to run this included in the adventure, or will I need to read the heist stuff from UI to get all the details?

Don't worry, you won't need Ultimate Intrigue to run this. The Heist chapter is less game mechanics and more of a tool to help GMs to outline adventures based on "Ocean's Eleven" style heists. This scenario is an example of using that tool to generate an adventure.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The Heist rules are more like guidelines. :)


I'll be running this five times at GenCon, sounds like fun!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'll be running this scenario on roll20con, so I have some things that not so clear for me.

spoiler:
Where is a trapdoor on the floor in location D1?

Sorry for my english. ^^

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You may be able to find the answer in the GM discussion thread.

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