Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-21—Champion's Chalice, Part 2: Agents of the Eye (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-5.

Ages before the rise of modern civilization, the cyclops empire of Ghol-Gan ruled what is now the Mwangi Expanse. The Society sends the PCs deep into the untamed Kaava lands to explore a cyclops ruin, where with a new tool in hand, the Pathfinders might uncover its forgotten and dark history. Can the PCs prevent the ruin's past from becoming Sargava's future?

Agents of the Eye is the second scenario in the two-part "Champion's Chalice" campaign arc. It is preceded by Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-18: Blazing Dangerous Trails. Both chapters are intended to be played in order.

Written by Nicholas Herold.

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

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I spy with my slightly bulging eye...

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My ratfolk investigator has a nervous breakdown whenever halflings are involved, so when the GM grinned evilly and said that I was going to have a great time, I got worried. In hindsight I can say I finally convinced the other players that halflings are scary. Especially the human character in the party is now on my side.

That said, this scenario is completely different from the first part. Not only do you actually have your gear this time, but you’re also going to take your time to explore a certain location instead of just running around in an effort to be the fastest team. In short, this dungeon crawl is a nice change of pace. I particularly liked the unique way of looking at this location. I’ll not spoil that any further.

As others have pointed out in the reviews before me, this scenario however does have some flaws. First is the mismatch between the sense of urgency that is created and the time certain tasks take. As players we know that there are tasks we need to do, but the storyline more or less focuses on stopping an immediate threat. Another issue is the lack of diversity in the encounters. Encountering the same creatures in three different fights is a little tedious, even though it makes sense.

As a result I’m not sure what to make of this scenario, let alone what rating to give it. Certain aspects I really enjoyed, but I have the feeling that the location and creatures weren’t used optimally. I’m left with a feeling of ‘is that all, or did I miss something?’ and that is both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand there’s a sense of disappointment, but on the other it’s clear evidence that you felt immersed and want more. At least, that’s my take on things. I’d give the scenario a 2.5 as a result, but that’s sadly not an option. As I rather liked the unique vision as a way to tell a story, I’ll just round it off upwards.


It's OK.

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Wow, this product has some problems. It's also super-simple.

As others have mentioned, aside from the too-easy combat encounters, the fights are also redundant. Three fights with the same type of enemy each time.

As for the big final fight, I have this to say:

Spoiler:
My GM said when he played through this, his group easily beat the final encounter. However, for my group as I played through it, it was hard. The enemy had DR and fast healing and was up on the wall/ceiling. We had very poor ranged attack options. We would do small bits of damage which would be ignored, or we'd get some through only to see it be healed up. Eventually, after many rounds of combat (and my rogue expending over 400 GP in thrown alchemical items which constantly failed to hit), the enemy moved 1 square too close and one of our heavy-hitters was able to end the monster by using a reach weapon.

So I did not find the final encounter to be much of a cakewalk. It felt challenging. I can see how other teams might find it to be super-easy, but we just were not built to make that happen.

As far as the comment I made about the module being "super simple," the entire last half of the module is just a mini-dungeon crawl, and this is where you fight the same kind of monster 3 times in a row. Advance 1 room, fight monster A, advance 1 more room, fight monster A again, etc.

The module does mix it up with some other monsters, but not enough. The GM forum for this module has a walkthrough about how to make 1 of the combat encounters more difficult & interesting, but that isn't enough to save the module from itself.

In the end, this was so easy & simple that we finished it in 2.5 hours. And that was with 1 player taking a full page of notes and everyone rolling skill checks to get backstory. We tried to spend time on things, but there just wasn't enough to do.

So if I feel this way, why did I give it 3 stars, which seems to imply that it's at least an OK time? Well, because it's an OK time. I mean, nothing really stands out as broken or awful; it's just lazy and simple. If you want a simple fun time, this will do that. And that's not terrible -- it just also isn't amazing.


So This Is The Follow-up....

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Ran this back-to-back with Part 1 and the same party of six in the low-tier.

The Good:
1. The unique vision of the ruins and accompanying NPC are rather interesting. There's a lot of great flavor to add in with this vision of the past.
2. Very nice boon for those that participate in the ritual.

The Bad:
1. The combats (at least in the low-tier) were all jokes. Several of the encounters just reused the same enemies, and there was little threat from them at any point. The encounter in the room with the giant table is particularly odd considering that the tactics for the two enemy types don't sync up in the slightest.
2. The final fight is tedious and not dangerous in the low-tier. This has the same sort of final boss as another scenario where the low-tier boss was helpless yet hard-to-kill. The combat dragged on for a while, and it would have gone even longer had the party not had a couple potions of Fly at the ready.

The Ugly:
1. There is a serious problem involving the urgency of the invading force versus the exploration angle of the scenario. It took a good bit of massaging to get the party to partake of the exploratory angle of the adventure instead of just rushing off to deal with the immediate threat. The adventure HEAVILY assumes a party will do both at the same time, and the exploration angle entirely falls flat if it isn't handled strictly as written.
2. The 'blessings' the final boss receives throughout the course of the adventure run contrary to the sense of urgency presented in the first encounter. On one hand, it seems a little odd to essentially punish the party for running an adventure as intended, but on the other hand, the final boss is a waste of time without these abilities. My table completely bypassed any interaction in the first encounter after being informed of the present situation, and that stripped the final boss' most dangerous ability from him (though even that isn't particularly dangerous).

The Verdict:

Honestly, there's a lot of cool stuff and potential in this scenario, but it just doesn't feel like it comes together. Perhaps that's a failing on my part as GM, but this ran much less smoothly or interestingly than the frequently-derided Part 1. The two angles of this scenario NEED to be run together for its narrative to function fluidly, and yet it actively seems to discourage this approach. There's no reason the party can't just say they'll do their research later after dealing with the present danger, and if it's run that way, the first half of the adventure would be nothing but uninteresting combats without context while the second half would be little aside from a GM just spouting off box-text about the cool setting.


Potential, but doesn't realize it

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I was a bit disappointed by this adventure. It's not horrible, it doesn't inflict grievous psychological scars on players or anything, but it's just a bit uninspired.

Which is a shame. It's got a decent backstory, which could be impressive if players/GM know what it's about, understand the creatures involved. And most importantly, if that information actually made its way to the players. But the adventure doesn't provide very well for that. There's two separate stories going on - the urgent one which never really gets explained, and the old news one which does get some exposition.

Another issue is that the encounters were a bit meh.

Spoiler:
You fight the same enemies three times. And they're not that interesting to begin with.

There's enough encounters in the adventure to try your stamina, which is good. And if you want a dungeon crawl that's enjoyable if you just want to hit things, this one is decent. It's not too brainy.

P.S. the review by balystic seems to be referring to part 1 of this series, not to this part.


Enjoyable romp

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So far I have only played this, I have yet to prep it to run it.

I found it a rather enjoyable romp of a scenario. It felt a bit small and I could see it running rather short. The location was interesting and I would like to know more about it. I think the previous review of this was meant to be for part 1 as I didn't encounter anything which required a craft check.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience particularly helped by the fact that I was playing my grippli druid who finally got to use his feather domain spells.


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Community & Digital Content Director

Announced for May release!

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

Maps for #8–21:

This adventure makes use of Flip-Mat Classics: Woodlands. There is also a custom half-page map.

Silver Crusade

What's the name of the grippli tribe? I'm using this as the back story of my grippli pc.

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