Pathfinder Society Scenario #1-02: The Mosquito Witch

4.20/5 (based on 14 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–4 (Subtiers 1–2 and 3–4).

Decades ago, witnesses reported a fearsome cryptid outside of the quiet River Kingdoms town of Shimmerford. Dubbed the Mosquito Witch, it was rarely seen since and quickly became a beloved local legend that the town celebrates and promotes to attract visitors. But when recent attacks began savaging livestock and townsfolk alike, many have started believing the Mosquito Witch was real all along. The PCs travel to Shimmerford to unravel the cryptid mystery, but might they just become the witch's next victim?

Written by Eleanor Ferron.

Scenario Tags: None

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

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4.20/5 (based on 14 ratings)

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5/5

Great investigative scenario, with a good creepy asmosphere. It allows players to slowly discover what is going on, with leaving plenty of mystery.

Its sandbox nature is also well suited for players to discover the ins and outs of Second edition.


Great Fun with Mosquitos!

5/5

Probably the best early scenario for PFS2!

Had lots of RP, lots of combat, and a good mix of skills. Great atmosphere as well, and I loved the mystery aspect to the scenario.

Prime example of a good early scenario!


The Mosquito Witch Project

4/5

Review to "The Mosquito Witch"

By now I have run this scenario three times with three different groups, with 8 players (at a Con), with 4 players and with 5. I chose to play up the horror elements of the scenario since I did not think humour would work well.

The Investigation/NPCs:
+ In itself the investigation was very interesting and sandboxy. All three of my groups did things differently and got different information. One of the groups was very mechanical in their gameplay and very non-curious, so they got little information. Another was very roleplay-active and gathered nearly all information to the point that I had to usher them onwards to keep inside my timeslot.
+/- The NPCs (Mrs. Lyons, Haru Kwon and Peaches, and the Prophet) were all quite colorful. The favourite of every group was of course Peaches, however, Haru Kwon was not very interesting

Spoiler:
and of my three groups only one ever found out she was there looking for her friend. And this is quite an important piece of information later on. Why does this have to be hidden information?

- The other two NPCs had a lot of character and all managed to pull my players in. Mrs. Lyons felt a little forced (only recounting her story and not answering questions), but she underlines the feeling of dread regarding the witch.
+ The (mad) Prophet on the other hand gave me as the GM a lot of leeway which was nice. Always muttering, splattering out hints, and the players could pick up or leave whatever they wanted. And the paper puppet was a very nice detail.
- The role of the other villagers was complicated. It was nice to have all the information about them, with the exception of the tanner, the Blacksmith and once the Brewery none were visited by any of my groups. And even these three I had to basically lead my players to. Maybe this scenario was written for perfect roleplayers, but in my opinion the players have nearly no reason to ever visit the other places.

The Events:

Spoiler:
- The Carriage Crash was the one encounter in this scenario which I did not like. While not uninteresting it lacks coherence with the rest of the story. No background is given for the carriage riders (probably because a lot of the text-space was given to the unimportant villagers), leaving some kind of information-vacuum. Why were they on the road, where was the attack, who even are they? No information at all.
+/- The bleeding calf was an atmospheric but unneccessary encounter. Only one group even reached it, and they just mercy-killed the poor thing.

Into the Woods:
Foggy woods, creepy crawleys, everpresent buzzing, no orientation... very atmospheric. But why are the survival checks so very hard?! Especially, since the information on how to reach certain places is also quite hard to obtain (question the right people, then ask the right questions).

Spoiler:
And since one Success Condition was having to save at least two groups this was a little unfair. And, to be honest, too many deaths in a scenario make for a depressing atmosphere around the table, so I did very much not like the high DCs here.

Anyway, on to the Encounters:
Spoiler:
+ Witchtop Hill was great! This was the point when my players first felt like they were in the Blair Witch Project. Blood coming from trees, strange dolls... just awesome! In the end all groups were happy to follow the footprints just to get away.
+/- Lasartes Remains had different kinds of impacts on the different groups, depending on their finding out about Lasarte before entering the woods (either through Haru, or through the Blacksmith, Brewer or Tanner). So either it was a very shocking encounter when they knew beforehand (finding the armor and other gear plus the tracks spread around), or just another strange thing of many (when they did not know about Lasarte).
- The Shivering Pond itself was atmospheric with all the insects and crawling things. But the encounter with Andor Oronce was... difficult. It seemed very random and forced. It burdened the players with a very sick (and for them incurable) person in need of constant care, detracting from the mystery of the Mosquito Witch and the strange atmosphere, leading the players back to a more down-to-earth mindset.
+/- The terrible reunion was the first combat encounter of the scenario. It was quite challenging for the 4 and 5 player groups, and a total pushover for the 8 player group even with the scaling. Anyhow, since Peaches was quite liked, all rushed to his help. This part was nice, a positive moment. Finding Haru made the finding of the cave easier and she was not a burden to the groups even though she was severely weakened, so her lacking interesting characteristics could be overlooked. Only one group took to long and found her dead... as I said before, I didn't like this at all, since after that these players felt like they were helpless and the scenario did not give them the opportunity to save her, because they did not see the connection between them getting lost in the woods and her being drained ("Peaches lived, so why was she already dead?"). On the other hand, they adopted Peaches as the groups dog for future adventues.

The Iron Cave:

Spoiler:
+ As I said for the first combat encounter, this was quite easy for the 8 player group, but just the right measure of challenging for the other groups. Even had to apply the Dying condition rules once. And with a little bit of roleplay with the other non-combatant Mitflits in the cave, and crates full of stolen shovels, the story came together, while leaving enough unexplained things to make a good mystery. None of my groups went home unsatisfied with the solution to this scenario, even though they never found out if there was a witch or not and they could not answer all questions they had.

TL;DR:
The Investigation:
+ Nice sandboxy feeling with much freedom for the players.
+/- The Hunter should not hide the information about her friend, but the dog was great.
- The Witness was too scripted and felt forced.
+ The Prophet improved the mystic feeling of the scenario and gave lots of freedom for the GM to give hints.
- The rest of the villagers were mostly unimportant but take much text-space. Only 3 villagers have information, and the players have no reason to visit these villagers.

The Events:
- The Carriage Crash felt random and forced and there is no information at all about the riders, the attack or anything else.
+/- The dying calf was atmospheric, but overall quite useless as an encounter.

Into the Woods:
+ The woods were generally described as very scary and desorienting.
- The DCs for the survival checks were too high considering the information about the places was hidden with unimportant NPCs.
+ Witchtop Hill was utterly creepy and overall a very atmospheric encounter!
+/- Lasartes Remains is very shocking when knowing about her beforehand, otherwise its just another mystery among many in this scenario.
- Shivering Pond was creepy and disgusting, but the NPC there was just a burden to the gameplay and did not improve neither the atmosphere nor anything else...
+/- A Terrible Reunion was a little bit emotional, and as the first combat encounter quite nice.

The Iron Cave:
+ Good, challenging combat encounter, and a plausible solution to many of the questions posed in this scenario, while leaving enough mysteries open to make the players wonder about the witche's existence.


Delightful cryptid mystery

5/5

Discalimer: I ran it outside of PFS, as an intro to 2e for some of my veteran players.

It's a delightful X-files monster of the week episode with some fantastic NPCs, red herrings, bits of Golarion lore, sandboxy structure, great writing, excellent action sequences and so many questions left unanswered in players' (and GM's!) heads once it's over.

One of the best PFS modules I ran. Due to being rather short on combat it works great as a demo of PF2e, highlighting some of the new rules.

You'll love it. Now excuse me, I've just noticed some doll laying on the couch, must be one of cat's toys. I'll just put it back to where it ... hey this isn't one of Kitku's toys, it's more like a tiny wicker figurine of a ....*SCREAMS UNCONTROLLABLY*


Play this as blind as possible

5/5

Would absolutely play it again if I could forget everything.

GM made it decently creepy without going full horror (I mean, besides body horror, there was some gross s&%@, and a lot of creepy stuff).

There's a lot of questions still unanswered at the end and a sequel would be great at higher levels (or after a certain class is added).


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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Do we know what maps are needed to run this scenario yet?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

The Mosquito Watch. Watching mosquitos does not sound that appealing. Do you think you should change the title to the Mosquito Witch?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Maps for Pathfinder Society #1-02:

  • Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Bigger Village
  • Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Cavernous Lair
  • Pathfinder Flip-Tiles: Forest Starter Set
  • Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    GM Harpwizard wrote:
    The Mosquito Watch. Watching mosquitos does not sound that appealing. Do you think you should change the title to the Mosquito Witch?

    Ah, I was hoping you'd get to meet a specialized squad dealing with skeeters.

    Dark Archive

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    At long last, we face the Mansquito. I knew this day would come.

    Grand Lodge

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

    Gonna need Favored Enemy (Vermin) or it's equivalent after this.

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    Gonna need Favored Enemy (Vermin) or it's equivalent after this.

    Probably Beast, cause THEY FINALLY FIXED THAT.


    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Is Favored Enemy even a thing in PF2?

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    David knott 242 wrote:


    Is Favored Enemy even a thing in PF2?

    As of this posting not to my knowledge.

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Rysky wrote:
    David knott 242 wrote:


    Is Favored Enemy even a thing in PF2?
    As of this posting not to my knowledge.

    The Core Rulebook also doesn't have rules for deet. Sounds like you folks are in for an itchy ride.

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    John Compton wrote:
    Rysky wrote:
    David knott 242 wrote:


    Is Favored Enemy even a thing in PF2?
    As of this posting not to my knowledge.
    The Core Rulebook also doesn't have rules for deet. Sounds like you folks are in for an itchy ride.

    Is Sanctuary still a thing? That should totally work.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    David knott 242 wrote:
    Is Favored Enemy even a thing in PF2?

    Favored Enemy and Favored Terrain are ranger feats in the PF2 CRB!

    Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Woohoo!. This is the first PFS(2e) Scenario I've signed up to run.

    Silver Crusade

    Rysky wrote:
    John Compton wrote:
    Rysky wrote:
    David knott 242 wrote:


    Is Favored Enemy even a thing in PF2?
    As of this posting not to my knowledge.
    The Core Rulebook also doesn't have rules for deet. Sounds like you folks are in for an itchy ride.
    Is Sanctuary still a thing? That should totally work.

    This scenario seems to be getting a lot of buzz.

    HA!


    There's a map labelled incorrectly here.

    Spoiler:
    Map says Area B, while encounter takes place in area E

    Grand Archive

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I had an Absolute blast running this. It was as much fun to run it my 5th time as it was my first. It screams for a sequel please make the follow up to this

    Paizo Employee Starfinder Senior Developer

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Nahmi Fireheart wrote:
    I had an Absolute blast running this. It was as much fun to run it my 5th time as it was my first. It screams for a sequel please make the follow up to this

    As I recommend with so much feedback, I encourage you to write a review—for this and any other product. Doing so helps others identify the scenarios they’d like to buy or play, it shows a level of engagement that helps the team consider which scenarios to produce in the future, and it preserves your feedback in a place where it’s easy to find (for participants, staffers, and authors).

    Just be sure to do a copy-paste of your review text before submitting it. Every once in a while the website likes to “eat” a post, and having it copied makes it easy to re-submit it.


    Running it next weekend for my home group.


    Mysteries left unsolved at the end of this scenario:

    Spoiler:

    -- What caused the carriage crash?
    -- What caused Andor's disease?
    -- Where did Quintus go?
    -- What about the paper dolls? (they pop up three times -- Mrs. Lyons' monologue, Quintus, and after the collapse at the end.)
    -- What was the origin of the haunted potion in Lasarte’s gear? (The haunt does seem directly relevant to the adventure...)
    -- What was "taken away" from Mrs. Lyons?
    -- Why did the cleric at Mrs. Lyons' place insist that he'd seen the party twice before?
    -- Quintus repeatedly insisted that shovels were being stolen. This never gets mentioned again. If true, what was that about?

    N.B., I have no problem with loose ends, especially in a mystery scenario. And quite possibly some of these were just red herrings, and that's fine too. But... this one cries out for a sequel, people.

    Doug M.

    Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Doug, I know some of the answers, having done a bit of research and reading of other Paizo material, some of it quite obscure. So, the carriage *CRASH* who...what...it's impossible....you're a fictional being...you don't exist...no...NO....DON'T COME CLOSER!....*AAAARGH*...GET IT OUT OF ME, GET IT OU*GHRRBBBBLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEE*


    "Perhaps he was dictating"

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