Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-10: Signs in Senghor PDF

****( ) (based on 8 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

In the port of Senghor, it is taboo to even speak of the accursed ruin of Boali that sits on the other side of the bay, let alone to set foot in its rubble-strewn streets. Yet rumors have reached the Pathfinder Society that the Aspis Consortium has sent agents to search through this forbidden city. Although few people willingly travel to its shores, Boali is far from quiet. It falls to a small group Pathfinder agents to get the bottom of the Aspis plot without falling prey to the ruin's dangers. Can the PCs bring the Consortiums' true motives to light?

Contents in Signs in Senghor also contribute directly to the ongoing storyline of the Exchange faction.

Written by Kris Leonard.

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PZOPSS0910E


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Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 8 ratings)

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I love this scenario!

*****

I adored this scenario. Absolutely loved it! There's a great collaborative chase scene, plenty of NPCs to role-play with, enemies you can try to befriend, moral dilemmas, dynamic battles, and the option for your players to use multiple methods to get things done. Just awesome. I have both GMed and played this scenario as a player and had a blast on both sides of the screen.

In addition to being great fun for adults, I would like to point out that I've even GMed this scenario for children, and they had an absolute blast. Those of you looking for a scenario that is enjoyable for younger players or whole families, definitely give this one a shot!


Signs of good things to come

****( )

Just like Ascalaphus, I GM’ed this scenario at low tier and just like him, I enjoyed the straightforward plan and mechanics that were involved. It took a bit of preparation and note-taking during the session, but it wasn’t too bad. The cheatsheets on pfsprep really help as well and I really recommend them. They’re easy to use and incredibly helpful, so be sure to check them out.

The combats and skillchecks were okay. There’s plenty of opportunities to roleplay and players will be forced to make multiple important decisions that will influence how the rest of the scenario plays out. I like that. It’s like being forced to pick road A or B, without really realizing it has a major impact. It’s subtle, yet effective. I'd definitely like seeing these kind of choices more often.

There were, however, a few things that did bug me as a GM. There’s an opportunity to talk to some interesting opponents, but you require a language that is really rare. I like the fact there’s that option, but it just felt weird to me as it’s just not going to work. Some alternatives could have been interesting, though with an extra difficulty perhaps. The optional encounter, depending on the way the story unfolds, might also make little to no sense to the players and there’s a chance it doesn’t get explained if the players don’t have the appropriate skills. That would personally haunt me and would leave me annoyed were that to happen to me. That said, I'm really nitpicking here.

In short: this scenario did a great job starting/continuing a storyline and I’m curious to see where it’ll lead to. Given the fact that the players were having a blast of the time (and at some point were laughing uncontrollably), I think that it caters to everyone’s needs. It’s a bit straightforward, but also offers some freedom to the players on how to tackle certain situations. Choices you make throughout the scenario really matter and indeed influence the potential outcome of other parts. It’s simply a solid scenario.


Now this is how you set up a bigger story to come

*****

Perspective: GMed this at low tier.

I think this scenario does "taking the offensive against the Aspis" well - it's got a straightforward plan and reasonable mechanics. And of course no plan ever survives contact with the not-so-uninhabited ruin.

Afterwards the scenario very deftly anticipates the players taking different approaches to completing their mission and either of them is "correct", making this scenario much less of a dumb railroad than many of its peers.

The combats I found to be fair but challenging. Likewise for the other mechanics; the difficulty seemed to be at a sweet spot where a regular party can do what is really needed but it takes something extra to get 100% score, and only the hopelessly incompetent or bitterly unlucky party should court total disaster.

Set-up stories often get a bad rap because they feel like they don't have a satisfying conclusion of their own. This scenario elegantly dodges that problem. When you finish it you'll feel like you accomplished something.

There's a lot of backstory in the GM preamble that the PCs won't find out, but in this case I don't think that's a flaw. I'm pretty sure it's being saved for a later installment in this story arc, but the GM is being clued in a bit so he actually understands the context of this story.


My experience was only 2 or 3 stars, but I can tell the module is better.

****( )

When I played through this, it seemed obvious that the GM had merely skimmed the product. I could sense that this scenario was trying to be much more fun than the GM was allowing. The chase scene and social challenges? It was all boiled down to 5 minutes of quick die rolls. Very anti-climatic. But enough of that, let's review this!

Your PCs are going to the abandoned village of Boali, in the Mwangi Expanse. It's the jungle, baby! Here's the basic quest/idea. The Aspis guys are digging up Boali, looking for relics, but probably without permission. The nearby town of Senghor would likely frown on that. So go find evidence that the Aspis dudes are trashing the place and get Senghor worked up about it. Then the Pathfinder Society can swoop in and say, "Well WE would do things legally, so you should kick out the Aspis Consortium and let us in!"

There are a lot of mini-games in this product, which is partly why I felt like it was supposed to be a 4-star module, even if I wasn't getting that experience. There is a skill check thing at the beginning, and there are the usual chase rules, another diplomatic schmoozing mini-game, and a sort-of "rescue" mini-game. Oh, and some combat stuff, which I found to be far more exciting when I read the product. There are cool terrain issues that could materially affect the encounters -- I didn't really see much of that on my play-through, but reading it I can see it could make for some good challenges.

A note for GMs: one encounter in particular was bugging me even before I bought & read the product. Just playing it I knew something was off. It turns out, I was right. So if you are GMing this, please read this:

Spoiler:
There is a fight with some boggards in a bog. These boggards have AC 15. Yet, in my game, we were asked to hit AC 24. Why? Well, it was +8 for the cover rules that are granted to creatures in water, and +1 because reasons. And yet... the module directly contradicts this. According to the module, you are mandated to use the shallow bog & deep bog rules. By those rules, a medium boggard can only have a +4 from normal cover. To get +8 to AC, the medium-sized boggards (high tier) would need to use the "crouch as a move action" option that the bog rules provide. However, using that option also imposes a -10 to attack rolls on the crouching person/monster, and you can bet our GM didn't accept a -10 on his attack rolls.

In other words, the boggards (high tier) should have AC 19 if they're fighting normally, as per the bog rules for a "deep bog." Now, low tier the boggards have the "young" template, which makes them small size. They get improved cover (+8 to AC) according to the bog rules, which weirdly makes the low-tier fight harder than the high-tier fight. High tier: AC 19, 61 HP per monster. Low tier: AC 23, 16 HP per monster.

In both tiers, the boggards have Swamp Stride, which allows them to 5' step regardless of whether it's a deep bog or shallow bog. The PCs probably don't have Swamp Stride as a class/race ability. So unless the PCs have swim speeds, it's VERY likely that the boggards are super-mobile compared to the PCs. This should help a bit with controlling the battlefield.

Overall, I enjoyed this game -- more from reading it than playing it, but still. I'm dying to run it. I think the chase scene could be spectacular. I think the social scene could be hilarious. I think the fights could be very dynamic, with lots of terrain issues to explore (both for the monsters and for the PCs -- lots of fun options listed in the product). If your local Pathfinder Society branch is offering this game and you know the GM is good at all the Paizo mini-games, then go for it and have a great time. If you hate these mini-games then maybe stay away from this product (although to be fair, you could play this product just for the fights -- if your GM does it right, the fights are enjoyable regardless of whatever happens with the rest of the adventure).


Fun times in the Mwangi

****( )

This is a great scenario that is a spiritual successor to some earlier adventures in the Mwangi Expanse. A lot of fun that keeps the pace and action high. More details in the spoiler.

Spoiler:

This is effectively part 4 of the Bloodcove series that includes, 2-01: Before the Dawn part 1, 2-02: Before the Dawn part 2, and 6–09: By Way of Bloodcove. This is best enjoyed if the PCs have recently played the previously mentioned scenarios first.

Bonus: Even more aspis!


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Huzzah! Time to kill more Aspis- I mean, beat them to the ruins!


I jumped with excitement when I saw that we are going into Boali! This was one of the most fun pieces that I added to our Skull and Shackles campaign. Can't wait!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

Maps in Pathfinder Society Scenario #9–10: Signs in Senghor:

There are two half-page custom maps in this scenario. This scenario also makes use of:

  • Pathfinder Flip-Mat [Classics]: City Streets
  • Liberty's Edge

    this scenario summary could refer to half a dozen other scenarios

    Grand Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

    I don't recall there being any other scenarios in Senghor. And it's well documented that the Aspis is a common rival of the Society.

    Dark Archive

    I enjoyed playing the module, except for the numbers and DCs for low tier seemed like they were for min max +2. I mean, an 18 save at first level means: 18 stat, +4. Best save, +2. So that is a 60% chance of failure straight away. Pretty ridiculous. Asked my vo for a copy so I could analyze the numbers and change this review. But I'd say a module that only gives min max characters a 40% chance of survival is designed to kill characters. Especially of the normal variety. We played with a group of 5, and three went down (one was due to critical). I shook the hand of the new player at the table (who would have been dead if not for the die hard bonus from buying stuff at the game shop) and said "Welcome to PFS."

    Dark Archive

    Well, I had the opportunity to read the module. The numbers are fine. GMs: please read chase scene rules before you run a chase scene.

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