Pathfinder Society Playtest Scenario #1: The Rose Street Revenge

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A series of Pathfinder Society quests designed for 1st-level PCs.

Less than a year has passed since the Fiendflesh Siege, in which Absalom fended off an invading coalition of demonflesh constructs and the living dead. The siege lord offered freedom to any slave in Absalom willing to aid in the city's defense, and since that grand manumission, the city's slave trade has practically disappeared. The Pathfinder Society is one of many organizations that opened its doors to Absalom's newest citizens. However, several of the ex-slaves have been turning up dead, in other cases disappearing entirely. The Society doesn't often investigate serial killings, but one of its newest recruits is the latest victim. It's time for a band of Pathfinders to follow the clues, uncover these crimes, and end this threat.

The Rose Street Revenge is a series of four quests, each of which run about 40-60 minutes and highlight Pathfinder Second Edition rules. The series includes three quests that can be played in any order as well as a finale.

Written by Leo Glass, Thurston Hillman, Joe Pasini, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.

Release: This Pathfinder Society Playtest Scenario will be available for FREE on August 7, 2018.

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5.00/5 (based on 1 rating)

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Solid Mix of All the Good Stuff!

5/5

NO SPOILERS

In order to help play-test the second edition of Pathfinder, four Pathfinder Society scenarios have been released. The first one, The Rose Street Revenge, is actually a collection of four Quests designed to each be played in an hour or less. The first three Quests can be done in any order, while the fourth Quest is designed to be finished last. I played this at a con, running Valeros. I thought the scenario did a nice job of maintaining the feel of a PFS scenario, while cleverly introducing the players (and GM) to the new rules-set. The story is satisfying, and there's plenty of opportunity for role-playing. In many ways, this is what I what thought the disappointing Doomsday Dawn was going to be like: playing regular adventures, just with different rules.

SPOILERS!:
The Rose Street Revenge picks up where a past PFS Special leaves off. In the backstory, Absalom narrowly withstood an attack by an army of constructs and undead in what became known as the Fiendflesh Siege. As part of the defense effort, the city's slaves were offered their freedom in exchange for helping to defend the city. The gambit worked, obviously, since the City at the Center of the World is still around, but that doesn't mean there weren't any complications. Although the freed slaves were ecstatic, their former owners lost a great deal of invested wealth--and some of them want revenge. When a cleric of Milani named Wennel Ardonay helped one slave too many, a cabal of slave traders had him murdered. And this is where the story begins, because Ardonay has returned as an undead seething with anger from his unjust death. The problem is that he's targeting the only names still in his consciousness, a group of people who aren't the murderers but former slaves he helped!

The first Quest, "Snippets", has the PCs briefed by the ever-meticulous Ambrus Valsin. Valsin explains that a series of disappearances have set the city on edge, and that one of the missing is a recent recruit of the Society. Valsin suspects that the city's most prominent thieves' guild, the Bloody Barbers, may be involved. He sends the PCs out to find a local meeting house of the Bloody Barbers to knock some heads together and find out the truth. As their name implies, the Bloody Barbers really do work under the guise of a legitimate trade, and the PCs are given a variety of possible skill checks to use to try to find a lead. They'll have little trouble finding a barbership called The Smiling Cut, but questioning the barber on duty goes nowhere (in a nice twist, she's a jerk but not a member of the guild at all). The young shop sweep, however, seems willing to help the PCs--only he's in it to make a name for himself in the guild by leading the adventurers into an alleyway ambush! I liked that clever PCs can figure this out and launch a counter-ambush. The Quest does a nice job introducing skills and basic combat. Assuming the PCs are smart enough to keep one of the thieves alive (my group wasn't), they'll learn that the Bloody Barbers aren't responsible for the murders.

The second Quest, "Dragons", has the PCs venturing into the elaborate sewer network under Absalom. Valsin has arranged for them to meet with the largest kobold tribe there, the Sewer Dragons, to see if they've come across any bodies dumped down from above. The hook is kind of weak, but I'm willing to let it slide. The Sewer Dragons expect a quid pro quo, which is help from the PCs in ambushing a rival kobold tribe, the Dragon Sharks. A member of the Sewer Dragons leads the PCs through the sewers, narrating how they need to look out for various traps and hazards. This is cleverly done with in-character dialogue to reinforce an out-of-character mini-tutorial about Exploration Mode. It's a little like how video games often start with a guided tutorial to make sure players know what they're doing before sending them off into the world. The combat itself is nothing memorable, but again, the purpose here is just to learn and test out the system. One of the things the PCs will come across in the sewers is Wennel's journal, and from here they'll start to suspect what links the victims together.

The third Quest, "Puddles", does a really nice job with the atmosphere and setting. It's a rain-soaked day in the long-flooded area of Absalom called Puddles when the PCs arrive to talk to the local guards about the disappearances. There's a couple of good role-playing opportunities here. As an aside, I loved that one of the guards is an ex-War Hounder (a local gang with magical tattoos that appeared in the very first PFS scenario, The Silent Tide)! Anyway, clues lead the PCs to the crash pad of a freed slave in an abandoned house. The place is well-described as falling to pieces, and there are encounters against bats and a nasty acidic ooze. The body of the escaped slave can be found here, and several clues point to the work of an undead creature.

The last Quest, "Haven", has the PCs sent to investigate an abandoned tavern in an earthquake-ravaged part of the city. The tavern, the Sanguine Thorn, was used as a safe house for all of the freed slaves that have gone missing. In a clever setting for the big finish, the tavern has fallen into a muddy sinkhole. The PCs will get some more experience with terrain and hazard rules as they descend into it, ready to encounter the skeletal champion that used to be Wennel. Wennel has some weaknesses the PCs are supposed to be able to take advantage of as a result of completing the earlier Quests, but I didn't think these were organically integrated into the plot and felt rather forced. Still, the climax is satisfying (as is the surprise recovery of the missing Pathfinder who was the reason for the Society's involvement to begin with!).

The artwork and production design is solid, despite this being a free product. There's original artwork for the major NPCs and a handy full-colour map of Absalom with marked locations.

I really liked The Rose Street Revenge. The mystery and investigation aspects were done well, the encounter settings were interesting, and there was a good mix of role-playing and combat. Even if the play-test rules themselves were clunky at times, they didn't detract too much from what was otherwise an enjoyable scenario.



Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Exciting to see these! Two quick questions: how do Chronicles work for these, and can we get map info?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

There are no chronicles, you just get to add credit towards the playtest rewards.

Maps:
Flipmaps are Haunted House, Ruined Village, City Streets, and also the Sewer System map pack.

Dark Archive

Thank you for making this!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oooooooo


My 3 groups (6, 6 and 5 players) are wondering, as am I, should we start with these PF2S scenario's first or would that spoil the AP (for fun and the freshest Playtest data) so start Doomsday Dawn, finish at least the first section, THEN start on these for each of my groups.

Looking for the best way for the players and me the GM to get the best "feel" of the game and get the best playtest data out to Paizo.

Anyone have thoughts on this?

Thanks

Tom

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I think you'd be fine to start in on these without worrying about the Doomsday Dawn adventures being ruined. As far as I know, they are fairly stand alone.

Paizo Employee Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

TOZ is right; the Pathfinder Society plots are fully separate from the 7 module sections' ongoing plot, though I'm really impressed you guys are thinking carefully about how best not to spoil the data! It is true that in some ways part 1 expects itself to be a first session for many groups, but that's not a story element, it's more of a way Jason set it up to be first-game-friendly. There's no reason you shouldn't try whichever adventures you prefer first, as long as you run Doomsday Dawn in order and don't have the players spoil the secrets of the module in advance of playing.


Cool, thanks for the feedback Tri and Mark :), we are all still debating but until I can look over all of them (as the GM) I should then get the feel of what might be best for PT Data and the fun. Leaning towards DD myself first then the PFS2 scenarios. But others still think the scenarios first to ease them into PF2 rather than the full blown test AP first.

I can see both takes on it but each group is mixed on that so want to get it right the best way I can to make the most happy and with the best off the cuff data possible with their first PF2 play through.

But under 2 weeks to go and everyone is counting down, and everyone can't wait to get it going!!

:)

Tom

Dark Archive

For one of my home groups (made up of about half seasoned PFS players and half newer players), we are going to start with playing the first 2 quests from PFSPT #1 with the pregens one night after work. Then see if we want to complete that, or dive into rolling up our own PC's and running through DD.

I think one of our group will have played all 3 PFSPT scenarios at GenCon, so we may make him GM them.


LOL, that sounds fair to me Shadrick, wish I could have got to GENCON this year, especially this year.

But right now I got my 3 groups interested in making fresh characters instead of using the pre gens the first go around.

Right now "the Plan" is to run section 1 of DD to completion, then switch to this, then go to section 2 in DD, then switch back and run the 2nd PFS 2nd Ed scenario and so on.

That should give everyone max fun, very valid Playtest data and make everyone happy they are all contributing to PF 2nd Ed.

Good luck with your group bud!!

Tom

Dark Archive

For ease of reference/ordering:

Flip-mat 1: House

Flip-mat 2: Street

Dark Archive

Map-Pack 1: Village

Map-Pack 2: Underground


Where can I get the playtest iconics? I can’t find where to download them anywhere, and I want to use them in the playtest adventures.

Dark Archive

This is appearing as 'Wayfinder #11' in my downloads page. I'm supposed to be running it tomorrow, so, who do I let know about that to get it fixed?

Dark Archive

So, any impressions?


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:
So, any impressions?

Your wish is my four-months-later command. Review posted. Short version: I really liked this.

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