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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1/5

While I liked the premise of the scenario the execution was very lackluster. The scenario had mayor pacing issues and the reliance on trained only skills with these DCs at level 1-5 is very problematic.

The fact that you are denied your most used problem solvers in the first and a majority of useful class abilities in the first and second encounter is something I not only despise as a player but will make this part a very unfunny experience for some tables.

The second part of the scenario is a pseudo-sandbox where you can only get the majority of useful information (and all that will bring some light in this weird plot) at a location where no player should go if they listened to their briefing. Also, there are major problems if the players want to step outside this railroad at any other point than the one the scenario seems to expect (but provides no clues for the players that this is an option) Also the final encounter seems very lackluster and not very appropriate for a final combat.

So, all in all, I can see a very interesting setup which has a terrible execution.


Cool environment, mechanically terrible

2/5

Fluff: 2 Stars

Interesting story, NPCs, and environment. The mission is totally unlike any other I've seen, and feels much more like your characters are society agents as their job that is actually work rather than fun adventures with loot. I like that. The NPCs have unique personalities, motivations, and backgrounds. The dialogue written moves the story and has strong impact.

That said, I'm not giving three stars because a lot of the cool parts are 'behind the screen', in that there is no real method of dissemination. Also, it runs into narrative check-points where unless the PCs choose to do some very specific actions that are only vaguely intimated at, whole swathes of the story can go untold.

Crunch: 0 Stars

This a skill oriented scenario, which I don't have a problem with. Its execution, however, is deplorable. It does what a lot of skill check scenarios seem to do, have pathetically easy combats. I'm fine with only 1 or 2 combats if they are a challenge, but these are cakewalks that feel like an afterthought.

The real issues are with the skill sections. They have a lot of convoluted mechanics, extremely high DCs for the tier, and sections can just require entirely too many checks (particularly a Climb section towards the beginning). The high DCs aren't such an issue when only 1 party member needs to succeed, but the final section is a round robin on a particular skill, and the DC is so high it not surprise me to see 80-90% of tables complete the mission with 0-1 PP. The biggest issue is how often things come down to specific Profession/Perform checks that 99.5% of players just won't have.

I want to like this scenario. In some ways, I really do like it. The mechanics are just overwrought with complexity, badly balanced, and tedious.


Take your time for this one

4/5

I was incredibly happy to hear that the Pathfinder Society was going to visit the other planes. Those planes just are very evocative places and it opens up a whole new range of unique places, mechanics and creatures. Out of the places, I have to say that the Plane of Earth was the least appealing to me. I struggled to imagine what interesting locations could be, but my eyes have been opened after playing this scenario. The casino is an excellent showcase of the power of imagination. It fits, it stands out and I could have never thought of this myself. I also liked the obstacle course. Come to think of it, it showed the diversity of how ‘earth’ can be used. Speaking of the obstacle course, I would suggest GMs make a map of it and have players take turns. That makes it easier for players and GMs alike to figure out where everyone is and what they’re doing. It creates a better sense of immersion and less of dice-rolling exercise.

As for the storyline, it’s pretty good. It’s crystal-clear for a GM, but players will slowly uncover the plot as they go. Or at least, I hope they will. You don’t get much evidence at the start, so you’re left wondering if you’re indeed doing the right thing. Slowly but surely the veil is pulled away, which is both a good and a bad thing. The good side is that you have to get immersed to understand what’s going on. The bad part is ‘slowly’. This scenario has a lot of content and it can easily take between 5 or 6 hours to complete. While I understand that there are no optional encounters due to having to acquire evidence, it means you have to do every portion (which is why the scenario can take quite a while). Thankfully it’s a fun scenario, at least in my opinion, but I would recommend not running it in an evening slot at a convention.

I honestly see little to no issues when it comes to this scenario. It may take the players some time to figure out what they’re supposed to do, but they’ll figure it out eventually and they should have time to act accordingly. The NPCs are solid, the setting is great, the locations are at times mind-blowing. The only small issue, in my opinion, is that there may be too much to do for a single timeslot. It’s one of those scenarios where there’s a lot opportunity for role-play. So in order to get the most of it, you should really take your time as it really is worth doing so. I would recommend this scenario in a heartbeat, but only when there’s a sufficiently sized timeslot available.


3/5


fun if you get into the spirit of the thing

4/5

Played this at low tier and enjoyed myself.

The trick is to embrace the tropes from every military basic trainibg movie you've seen. Of course you get a lot of crap thrown at you, you're in the army now!!

We had a group averaging a bit over level 2 so the combats were pretty trivial but that is ok (they'd have been challenging for level 1 charscters).

A good combination of roleplaying. Skill use was rewarded but the DCs were, generally, reasonable (some definite exceptions with absurd DCs)

Lots of exotic locale type flavour. Lots of humour as long as the players can laugh at themselves.

The usual problems with Paizo ignoring its own rules with the result that the difficulty will vary greatly depending on how well the GM hints tgat actions that cannot work by RAW might actually succeed.

A goog scenario to have played with my Arcane Trickster wannabe skill monkey.


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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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