Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-05: Ungrounded but Unbroken (PFRPG) PDF

2.50/5 (based on 31 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

The Peerless Empire of shaitan genies has warred with their fiery counterparts for centuries, and thinly stretched resources leave the shaitans in need of additional aid. They have founded a new state-sanctioned mercenary company known as the Ungrounded, which draws upon free agents from across the multiverse. One of the Society’s few friends on the Plane of Earth has recommended at least a handful of Pathfinders join the Ungrounded, knowing that even a few months’ service could dramatically enhance the Society’s reputation (and fill those agents’ pockets) in this distant realm. The PCs travel to the magnificent Opaline Vault as the Society’s first envoys, but in doing so they must survive the otherworldly threats that lurk in both this strange environment and within their own ranks.

Content in “Ungrounded but Unbroken” also contributes directly to the ongoing storyline of the Sovereign Court faction.

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild 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.

Written by Jenny Jarzabski.

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Society Scenario Subscription.

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

PZOPSS0805E


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Average product rating:

2.50/5 (based on 31 ratings)

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Workable, but needs help.

3/5

I ran this last weekend, and while my players had fun, I believe it has more to do with the people at my table plus my own preparations than the scenario itself. There's promise and it is definitely something different, but a couple of missing hooks to drive the players to perform correctly are missing.

I played the drill sergeant with a mix of Major Payne and Patches O'Houlihan in mentality for the insults and harsh treatment given; the players enjoyed it and the fact that several of them were either military or knowledgeable of the military helped get them enjoy playing along, even as the scenario turned south.

The biggest problem is that there's a few light clues that hint that something may be shifty (and by whom), but there's little reason to break protocol and look for the clues. This is especially important when it comes to the end of the scenario, where the lack of clues can prevent players from truly figuring out what is going on and possibly even earn the second prestige point.

They aren't listed, but giving life to the other soldiers in the unit does much to make the experience feel fuller and, in hindsight, could have been used to push the players to find more clues.

I'll give the author credit for doing a different route and hopefully with some polish, something similar can be excellent!


Not fun

1/5

Go to the elemental plane of earth for a job. get harassed by your mean boss and then get called into the managers office to get chewed out for being incompetent. get fired and sent back home to your disappointed Pathfinder bosses. NOT my idea of an epic fantasy adventure. the scenario forced all the PCs to make skill rolls using skills the characters didn't have. the scenario was set on the plane of earth but had no flavor - 90% of the action has nothing at all to do with the plane. the scenario sets the party up for failure. the only way the party can avoid being humiliated and fired for incompetence is if the party goes somewhere it doesn't know to go so as to defend against something that the party doesn't know is going to happen. find out what you needed to do only after it is too late to do any of it. overall, this was not a fun scenario. Don't play it. Don't run it.


Fun off-beat scenario

4/5

I ran this at the low subtier a couple of weeks ago. Seeing it get slammed in the reviews, I thought I would throw in a good review. The scenario is not perfect, but it's a cool scenario, and it's fun.

Are the combats too easy? Yes. One of them was pretty interesting, but the second one was over far too fast. Of course, my players did take a very good approach to it as they were getting close to it, so they deserved to have the combat not be too much of a challenge, but even if they had stumbled in, I suspect it would not have been too much of a problem. However, they really are side-lights to the real scenario, and that they don't take too long is a good thing. (Well, the first combat did take a typical amount of time for a low-tier scenario, but the second one was over very quickly.)

When I ran it, I did not know what player or characters I was going to have at my table. Still, it worked out that I had an interesting and diverse group that were fun to play with. The key is to ham it up a bit. The GM really needs to read ahead and be ready to roleplay various different NPCs in high-contrast mode. If you have players who are interested in that, and who will play along with being yelled at and belittled by a drill sergeant, the scenario can be quite fun. (On the other hand, if you have players who don't want to play along with being dumped on for a time, or players who just want to get past the talky bits and to the combat, they will not enjoy this scenario.)

My players did figure out what was going on and were ready to jump to a conclusion-type thing before the scenario wanted them to, but I found that not very hard to deflect.

Spoiler!:

The commander of the Ungrounded is out-of-plane at the beginning, so there's nobody to appeal to. Once she shows up at the gambling house, there's the possibility of appealing to her then, and the next day or two before the escort mission they might want to try to appeal to her. However, she's still on leave, even if she's back in town. As long as the ungrounded aren't existentially threatened (and they're not), she will NOT listen to personnel issues while she's on her leave. There is a time and place for such things. She's the commander, and believes in the chain of command. A back-door appeal-to-the-top when she's not even on duty simply isn't something she will give the PCs time for.

Overall, I liked the scenario. I think the second combat could be beefed up a little bit, and the suggestion I make in the spoiler could probably be included in the scenario. Some particular groups of players will really not like it. (If your players didn't like The Stolen Heir or Library of the Lion, they won't like this one.) It's a nice change of pace from more typical explore-and-kill scenarios.


Wish I could give it zero stars

1/5

I don't know if it was the GM running it or the actual module. But this was the worse module I have ever played.

The basic premise had a ton of promise.

There is a good chance of a TPK for using good tactics. (level 1-5 characters can't take 12d6 damage with no save)

The entire implementation is against everything that a young pathfinder is taught.

I would avoid this one if you haven't played it yet.


Interesting scenario, but very GM dependent

3/5

When I played it, we were warned about the need for Profession:Soldier, but for the most part, we were able to work around it and still succeed.

As a GM, I though this actually wasn't a bad scenario, but needed some GM love to bring it to life. Throughout the basic training, I had my R. Lee Ermey on, bringing out all the degrading rhetoric a drill sergeant could pull off. The players were frustrated by the high DCs (especially while they were fatigued), but once they got the full story, they got what was going on.

The challenges, at times, can be lethal for a level 1 PC, and the fact that this one actually discourages teamwork in the challenges makes it even harder (and counter-intuitive as a good Pathfinder).

But, all in all, the story was pretty good.

The one thing that I didn't care for was that we travel to the plane of Earth, and then really don't experience it. There wasn't a lot to differentiate this interesting city (other than some descriptive text, if the players are listening) from any city on Golarion.


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Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Sounds fun; I'm interested to know if this has any crossover with a shaitan encounter in:

Season 7 scenario:
#7–13: Captive in Crystal.


Paz wrote:

Sounds fun; I'm interested to know if this has any crossover with a shaitan encounter in:

** spoiler omitted **

I feel like either that or its related to the convention scenario.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
MadScientistWorking wrote:
Paz wrote:

Sounds fun; I'm interested to know if this has any crossover with a shaitan encounter in:

** spoiler omitted **
I feel like either that or its related to the convention scenario.

In response, a very minor spoiler:

Reyshal ik Jalman does appear in this adventure and is the Society's main contact on the Plane of Earth at the start of Season 8.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'll be running this at a con shortly after release, please provide the names of the map packs and flip mats used so I can ensure that I have them.

Silver Crusade

Did the release date shift from September 28?

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

Salafax wrote:
Did the release date shift from September 28?

Unfortunately, the date did shift as a result of initial growing pains as we adjust our production to account for all of the digital subscription service's needs. This should be a one-time event, and future months' adventures should return to the expected last Wednesday of the month release. I note this in today's blog, which released a few hours after you made your post.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

Maps for #8–05:

This adventure has a half-page custom map. It also makes use of the following.
  • Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Arena (note that although this is out of print, Flip-Mat Classics: Arena is on its way)
  • Pathfinder Map Pack: Ice Caverns
  • Silver Crusade

    John Compton wrote:
    Salafax wrote:
    Did the release date shift from September 28?
    Unfortunately, the date did shift as a result of initial growing pains as we adjust our production to account for all of the digital subscription service's needs. This should be a one-time event, and future months' adventures should return to the expected last Wednesday of the month release. I note this in today's blog, which released a few hours after you made your post.

    No problem - thanks, John!


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    John Compton wrote:
    ** spoiler omitted **

    Thanks. Although, with delay in release, it moot.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Mr. Compton, I deeply appreciate you posting which maps are in these scenarios. Thanks!

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