Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-15: Hrethnar's Throne (PFRPG) PDF

**½( )( ) (based on 18 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5-9.

The mist-shrouded Gloomspires have defied local seafarers and treasure hunters for centuries, but Venture-Captain Calisro Benarry has nearly unlocked the secrets of the spire where the dread pirate Sevenfingers hid his treasure. Great prizes beget jealous rivals, though, and the PCs must be prepared to fend off all others who desire Sevenfingers's riches—rivals both past and present.

Written by Tom Phillips.

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

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Average product rating:

**½( )( ) (based on 18 ratings)

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Just Okay

***( )( )

I ran a group through this scenario in the low tier.

This scenario definitely has some good points. The start is unique and the setting is interesting and pretty unique. The combats also run to the difficult side but not overwhelmingly which is a plus.

That being said there are some definite negatives as well. The scenario is a painfully railroaded dungeon crawl at its core with basically no agency for the players. The only real choice is whether the players decide to punish themselves by actually exploring the more interesting set pieces. Spoiler details of negatives below.

Spoiler:

The Nyarlathotep trap is a huge negative for me. There are no long term consequences if you fall for it, but it forces many characters hit essentially sit out the scenario, especially a spell caster. Making people sit in the corner and not play for no real reason is just contrary to how I feel a game should be constructed.

Additionally the guidance on the encounter with the prison guard manages to be both overly vague and overly specific on different things such that it was a bit of a pain to run.

Overall it is a fine scenario. Nothing to write home about other than the setting but a group will likely walk away not feeling upset for having played it.


Competent, but undistinguished

***( )( )

Played this at high subtier with a party of Barb7, Barb9, Geokineticist7, Sorc8, Bard9.

The GM did a good job of moving us past the slow spots, although that is a drawback. The fights turned out uneven, as we took a surprising amount of damage at the start. We were also concerned at some saving throws in the middle of the scenario (thank you Saving Finale!). Whether due to successful roleplaying, good rolls, or just winning initiative, the final fight was a bit anticlimactic. Another table, also playing high tier with a different mix, had a much more difficult time, due in no small part to missing some saves.

I'm a bit disappointed that there wasn't a stronger tie-in with Labyrinth of Hungry Ghosts. Although I had played Labyrinth with the same character, it provided no noticeable advantage. Even more, it didn't give much if anything in the way of more flavor or better understanding of the overall plot.

This is not a bad scenario by any means, but despite some interesting and unusual monsters, it just wasn't engaging in the way that a really good one is.


No great shakes, but not horrible.

**( )( )( )

I do 0-3 stars for fluff and 0-3 for crunch, a good/bad/ugly for both.

Fluff (1 star)

Good: The scenario really starts off with a bang, in a way that is interesting and unexpected. The room housing the scenario's second combat is flavorful and interesting, with some unique elements.

Bad: There is a lot of dead space. Most rooms/areas that the party journeys through there is literally nothing of note. No box description, nothing to find with Perception, nothing to learn about with knowledges, nothing to talk to, nothing to do. It makes the pacing very immersion breaking.

The decent backstory of the mission is also marred by an almost complete lack of methods for the GM to disseminate information to the players. Virtually nothing has stated skill checks to learn about the weird objects/areas you encounter.

Ugly: I don't really have any nit-picks beyond what I've already said.

Crunch (1 star)

Good: The second combat was well set-up, using terrain and creature abilities intelligently to challenge the players. The final combat has a social mechanic that affects it in a sensible manner rather than entirely obviating the combat. The encounters were CR appropriate.

Bad: Something I've noticed about this author in this and other scenarios; opponents have tactics and abilities that require they be able to get out of melee range of the PCs, but in areas that preclude them doing this successfully. I'll spoiler what I mean

Notes on combats here and in Fabric of Reality:
In Fabric of Reality, we had an assassin and her lackeys, stated to leverage feats and abilities contingent upon moving around the map a lot, like Spring Attack. However, the cramped space and difficult terrain made that unfeasible. In this scenario, there is a room where potentially two Huge creatures spawn in a room too small to house them and the party very well. Another encounter pits a caster against the PCs in a narrow ship hull, where it can't adequately prevent itself from being surrounded and pummeled to oblivion. The final encounter is similar, though at least she has between 1 and 3 allies. I recommend that the author consider how creatures will be able to move around the battlefield tactically when designing the maps housing encounters.

I think the lack of skill checks of any kind to get information counts for fluff and crunch, so I'll reiterate it.

Ugly: It takes railroad to a new level. There isn't even the vaguest illusion of choice until the final encounter and aftermath.


Not exceptional, but not detestable

***( )( )

I played this on high tier with my Alchemist on the weekend, and while I loved the idea of going back into the Gloomspires, apart from the first combat there wasn't much engaging me in the story in this one unlike the predecessors in the upper levels.

Having played in the Gloomspires previously will be of a benefit, so if you have a character in tier that has gone through the previous adventures here you will have an easier time of it.

The Previous Scenarios:

6-06 Halls of the Flesh Eaters
7-19 Labyrinth of Hungry Ghosts

While still fun, it could have been a touch longer and a might tougher for the high tier.


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Liberty's Edge

Back to the Gloomspires, hooray!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

And my Gloomspire ranger is in tier!


I'm waiting in anticipation to find out how many fingers sevenfingers really has.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
roysier wrote:
I'm waiting in anticipation to find out how many fingers sevenfingers really has.

Twelve. Major upset—nobody will see it coming.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
roysier wrote:
I'm waiting in anticipation to find out how many fingers sevenfingers really has.
Twelve. Major upset—nobody will see it coming.

SPOILERS!!!!

My experience has been ruined by this early reveal. >:-(

<snicker>


John Compton wrote:
roysier wrote:
I'm waiting in anticipation to find out how many fingers sevenfingers really has.
Twelve. Major upset—nobody will see it coming.

Darn you. Where's the spoiler warning?! :D

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I this a sequel to 6-06 Hall of the Flesh eaters and 7-19 Labyrinth of hungry ghosts?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yes.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

1bent1 wrote:
I this a sequel to 6-06 Hall of the Flesh eaters and 7-19 Labyrinth of hungry ghosts?

Confirmed. It is.


Chronicle has a ring of protection +2 for 4000g. I'm assuming this is a miss-print.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Correct.

From a different scenarios GM discussion. (Spoilers, be warned.)

Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
That's a typo. When we intentionally offer a reduced price on a Chronicle sheet, we'll call it out specifically.

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