Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-20: Torrent's Last Will (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 6 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 7-11.

On the Plane of Water, familiar sights grow on impossible scales, from monumental swaths of kelp to utterly titanic sea creatures. The Society has traced a powerful relic to a tremendous shell adrift within a miles-wide swarm of giant jellyfish, and with the help of new allies, the PCs might recover it. They had best beware, though, for the Plane of Water is home to sahuagin and worse that are not eager to welcome intruders.

Content in Torrent's Last Will also contributes directly to the ongoing storyline of the Dark Archive faction.

Written by Cole Kronewitter.

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****½ (based on 6 ratings)

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Exciting and brutal: can you survive the perils of the seas?

*****

The Plane of Water is an interesting place to venture to. The abundance of water will have an impact on combat, but it also offers unique environmental effects and locations in general. This scenario makes good use of the location. The mechanics have an impact on combat, but also helps players prepare for this.

You are basically tasked to go to a giant shell and do the standard pathfinder routine of explore, document and loot while being respectful. That last portion is very important and you will require not only some specific skills, but also some spells to make the most of the situation. We were lucky we had the right combination of skills, spells and classes present when we made our way through this exciting scenario. Exciting is an understatement. The variety of challenges and encounters was really well-balanced and everyone felt like they were contributing in a major way.

And then there’s the final encounter. Now that was a very scary and challenging fight. I was warned beforehand that a TPK was possible and I can see why. That baddie doesn’t pull punches, is hard to hit and packs a huge punch. Our main damage-dealer, a bloodrager, got a single hit in before he got taken down. Our alchemist, who already struggled because we were underwater, ended up needing a Raise Dead. Meanwhile the rest of us struggled to defeat this fiend. Let’s just say that a cleric, utility sorcerer and summoner aren’t the best at doing a bunch of damage. Luckily my eidolon with very high AC was able to distract the thing and chip away at its health slowly.

I’ve not felt this challenged in a scenario in a long time. The storyline was great and I really liked how the skill-checks within this unique dungeon felt meaningful and fun. I actually feel like we really made an impact. Combat was brutal at times and I definitely can see players struggle and die. I highly recommend this scenario and I can assure you that it can be done. You can overcome the perils of the seas. Question is, are you brave enough to try?


*****


Underwater combar and plenty of challenge

*****

I enjoyed being given time to prepare for the challenges of underwater exploration and combat, using all of the resources a party of smart, wealthy, and powerful Pathfinder's can muster. There were some definite scares in here, and I really felt like we were on the Plane of Water. Very fun, and with a flavorful boon!


Enjoyable adventure

****( )

I played this recently and will be running it in a couple of weeks. This felt far more like a 7-11 from the adventure location to the nature of the task (and it doesn't hand hold you through it) to the opposition you face.

Thoroughly enjoyed playing it at high tier, looks like I will be running it low tier. I think I will be rougher at low tier given the more limited resources for acquiring a long duration swim speed.

The module also had stuff for multiple different player types, there was planning, uncovering old knowledge, a bit of diplomacy and some potentially quite tough combat encounters.

Overall would definitely recommend checking it out.


Very fun. Head into a difficult environment, but you can plan. You can beat it!

****( )

My favorite part about this module was dealing with the environment. And it's not necessarily even that hard -- I just really enjoyed the chance to hear what our problems would be (it's no spoiler -- right in the overview text at the top of this Web page it tells you that you're going to the plane of water) and then as a group we all started figuring out what we could do, what we could contribute. Apparently the module expects players to spend a chunk of time (and money) on shopping & planning, and so it even sets aside time for it. People were looking up spells, finding magic items, etc. It was nice to participate in teamwork in a no-pressure, no-combat situation.

Table Variation

One thing your GM should clarify right up front: how do monsters and polymorphed PCs (and companions, and summons) qualify to do full damage in water? The rules for water state that "land-based creatures" have to do half-damage, but what counts as land-based? It's not a creature type, and not officially defined. So for example, if you play a druid and you wildshape into a water elemental... the elemental form is a water type, but the original caster is probably land-based. So does that druid do full damage on a hit (due to being a water elemental), or half damage (due to the PC's land-based origin)? Does being the aquatic type confer full damage, or does living underwater your entire life confer full damage (even if you're not aquatic)? From what I can tell, this is not explored deeply in the GM forums, nor the Rules forum. So expect table variation.

Therefore, expect that you may have to change your game plan. Depending upon what your GM says, you may decide that you'll focus on wildshape, or focus on summons, or focus on your companion. So GMs & players both: get that resolved at the start, so nobody is surprised mid-combat.

And GMs: be careful how you rule on that, because I know of at least 1 way to rule in which all your monsters do half-damage, too. So when you come up with a ruling, make sure it's not so punitive that it wrecks everything across the board. If you're too harsh, the players may hold you to it when it bites you back.

Also, the official rules for many spells when cast underwater is that they "don't work as expected" and you may need to ask your GM. So that's another thing you may wish to clarify up front. Do my lightning spells remain in a line? Do they begin to take on a sphere shape? Is your GM deciding that since the rules don't explicitly say how the GMs may rule, that he/she won't rule at all and everything is exactly the same? Find out beforehand!

So what's good?

OK, so why is this fun? Aside from what is essentially a mini-game to defeat the limitations of water, the story actually furthers the season's plot. I got to hear a lot about the lords of the planes, and have an effect on the outcome (granted, any group that succeeds will "have an effect on the outcome" but at least we're rolling the plot forward). The combat encounters are decent -- they were hard enough to damage us, but not so hard that the team gave up or players got frustrated.

Well, wait a second. One fight was hard. Like really hard. However, advice for GMs: if your players are in high tier and there are only 3 or 4 players at your table, be sure you give them all the advantages listed. Our GM was like, "Wow the 4-player adjustment is really helping you." Then we had the fight. Let's just say that we needed the help.

This game is probably a planner's paradise. Not only can you plan out how to handle water, but in at least one case the PCs become aware of an enemy before combat is engaged, meaning that the PCs can calmly put together a game plan for handling the encounter. Or rush in without planning!

Also, there is a big choice/consequence check in the game. I can't detail much without posting spoilers, but the general idea is that how you approach things and the balance you have between speed and caution can affect a certain someone's impression of you. When we experienced this, some players wanted to take back certain decisions, or convince the GM that the group could still fix things after the fact. But that isn't how the adventure works, and honestly I was grateful for it. I like that you are making choices that you don't even know will have an effect, and you absolutely get an advantage either way, but you can't get both advantages. Here, I'll spoiler this just so that people who have played it can match up what I'm talking about:

Spoiler:
There is a secret tracking system for getting "points" that lead to a boon. One of the points is that you can work on a mural. However, the mural is right after a fight at the entry way. Why does that matter? Because all our players came into that mural area with buffs up & running. We messed with the mural for a few minutes and then said "Screw it, we can come back later, we need to get moving while the buffs are still active." And then we met with the "certain someone" and part of the good or bad impression you make is if you can tell the story of the mural. This is where our players started trying to suggest that they'd get back to the mural and should get credit for that. But no, the certain someone is forming an impression of you. If you don't already have the ability to explain the mural story when you meet up, then the impression is made. So we didn't get credit for finishing the mural, even though we could finish it after the fact. However, we did get to use our buffs in every fight. That was our choice, we had to live with it.

Overall, very fun. Not perfect, not 5 stars, but very good. There is that 1 fight that I suspect will be too hard for a few groups, and as the previous review noted, the game can run long. Set aside 5 hours for this one, maybe even more if the players are exploring every little thing and the GM wishes to run all the optional stuff. So I think this adventure is pretty great and if we take 1 star off for the too-hard fight and a few other nitpicks, we still have a 4-star product. Not bad at all.


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Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

Announced for May release!

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

Maps for #8–20:

This scenario has only a custom map. It also benefits from having Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Basic Terrain Multi-Pack (the watery blue side).

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