Pathfinder Society Scenario #1-03: Escaping the Grave

3.70/5 (based on 27 ratings)

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

The Whispering Tyrant has escaped Gallowspire and ravaged the lands of Lastwall. Although the nation managed to evacuate many civilians, there are still refugees, Pathfinders, and irreplaceable cultural treasures trapped in this undead-ridden realm known as the Gravelands. The PCs are part of the Society's efforts to infiltrate these dangerous lands, rescue the Pathfinders missing in action, and recover what historical texts and treasures they can. Just be quick! Every hour behind enemy lines increases the chance a nearby army learns of the PCs' mission.

Written by Adrian Ng.

Scenario Tags: Faction (Envoys' Alliance)

Online Resources: Rules and mechanics from this scenario can be accessed for free on Paizo's official online resource: Archives of Nethys. Click here!

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

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

Product Availability

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZOPFS0103E


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Average product rating:

3.70/5 (based on 27 ratings)

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4/5

I run scenarios unsanctioned with my normal group when the Forever GM is unavailable. My party really liked this one. Seems to be our favorite so far.

The skill stuff was a bit awkward because the "setup check" isn't a normal thing players would expect and the scenario only gives you one skill option for each check. I basically just told the party that this is your one option or risk fatigue. It works but isn't as satisfying as letting the players come up with solutions to problems.

The investigations went really well because they provide dossiers on what to look for. Having that printed reference sheet was super helpful for my players who don't really work well with just discussion.

Combats were good. The last one was too easy, but that's their reward for making excellent time. I'm not sure if I ran the timer exactly right, but my party didn't even come close to running out of time.


Can be salvaged

3/5

This scenario is a mix of investigation and combat.

This scenario actually has the potential to be really good (4 stars), but it suffers from several flaws:

1) The premise is nonsense: Like others have stated, Pathfinder Society has been devastated, we should be recovering bodies, not risking our lives behind enemy lines, just to retrieve the sign of an old inn, a statue (!?!), paintings, or ceremonial armor.

2) The flow is terrible: Too much travel, too much searching, too much investigation. There are details in the scenario that unless the GM reads ahead, makes notes, and simplifies, will bog the scenario down and bore the players. As a GM, this was not easy to prep.

3) The final combat is too hard: With my group, I had them down to the last PC, and I was holding back. This was subtier 1-2.

I want to give this more stars, there are some great details and creative ideas, but it could have done with some better editing, particularly with the scaling in the final combat. Having said that, this scenario could potentially be salvaged.


4/5

The use of time once on location is really good, making the character's investigative skills feel useful.

Combats are both memorable.

The initial travel with a chance to become fatigued is a nasty trap that completely removes player participation from the middle act.

Later errata to fatigued to only prevents exploration activities while traveling, which fixes this problem, but it's still a major knock against what I think is otherwise a 5 star adventure


Solid Szenario, fantastic story, good encounters

4/5

I like the story as a whole. I particularly like the variety, which can be divided into three parts. Obstacle course, searching and discovering, discovering and fighting. I liked all three parts very much. It's nice that in the background you can feel the very big threat in the neck again and again. Perhaps too many creatures of the same type, if you have a lucky class constellation with the PCs, the fights will be pretty ureless and monotonous, hence a star deduction.


4/5

A very solid scenario that I have on my list to GM. A good mix of combat and skills, and a little roleplay.


1 to 5 of 28 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Any map info yet?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Marc Waschle wrote:
Any map info yet?

Escaping the Grave uses:

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks Micheal!
I'm running this a couple of times at GENCON. It's nice to get a head start on prep/organizing!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is there a custom map?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gary Bush wrote:
Is there a custom map?

There is not.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Do we get credit as a GM only once for the scenario? (I ran it four times and really enjoyed it.)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
William Ronald wrote:
Do we get credit as a GM only once for the scenario? (I ran it four times and really enjoyed it.)

As it does not have the repeatable tag then we can only take credit once without some form of legal replay to use. I had fun running it several times at Gen Con and will be running it several more times in the near future.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Zombie Shambler on page 26 is listed as a large creature while the bestiary has it as medium. It's also missing the undead trait.

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.

This is hands down the most tedious adventure I've ever had the displeasure of playing in the past 20 years of various living campaigns. If that's what encounter mode is supposed to play like I'm totally out for 2nd edition Pathfinder. It was so bad I felt compelled to come here and complain about it.

Now that I've done that I feel better and can try to put this out of my memory.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Reporting this marks as repeatable, but I don't think it is supposed to be, and it doesn't have the repeatable tag at the front.

It also doesn't have a spot to say if they completed the Envoy Alliance mission.

Sovereign Court Organized Play Manager

I checked the system and it is a "consumes replay" adventure. This catagory is for those scenarios that aren't replayable now, but that would be if we introduced a replay points pool to the Pathfinder (second edition) program. Forward planning, on our part.

We've got new/improved reporting sheets coming, but they are still a bit out.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Morgen wrote:
This is hands down the most tedious adventure I've ever had the displeasure of playing in the past 20 years of various living campaigns.

Huh, I had the opposite experience this past weekend when I played this adventure at a local con.

I suspect that a big part of it is the GM and how they use exploration mode, and the players and how they engage in it.

I've played at tables where the players just aren't into it, and if the GM digs in and forces all of the skill checks, it can certainly drag. I've had other tables where the GM doesn't inject any of the roleplay into it and it is just a spreadsheet to churn through.

On the other hand I've had GMs who get into it, and my experience with Escaping the Grave was great. We all felt the clock ticking as we worked our way through the adventure, and the pervasive danger and fear of the Gravelands was experienced by all of us. It was the highlight of the whole con for our group. And, I believe, the Exploration Mode part of the adventure was a big part of it.

I'd say that there are a few keys here, though.. spoiler free here, but there is a few moments when the PCs should be made aware that they need to HUSTLE during this adventure and make efficient use of their time. If those moments are missed, it takes the fear out of the Exploration Mode skill checks. When you fail a check and need to try again, you will only feel that hit home if you know that [redacted] is 100% coming for you, and you need to complete your tasks before [also redacted] happens.

If that time pressure is off, then yeah, I can see how it would be just a series of rolls to be made without much context or meaning.


Unikatze wrote:
The Zombie Shambler on page 26 is listed as a LARGE creature while the bestiary has it as medium. It's also missing the undead trait.

Anyone going to officially address this?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zero the Nothing wrote:
Unikatze wrote:
The Zombie Shambler on page 26 is listed as a large creature while the bestiary has it as medium. It's also missing the undead trait.
Anyone going to officially address this?

The Appendix entry overrides whatever's in the Bestiary; that's part of why we completely reprint monsters in the back.

The undead trait missing is an error tied to the fact that this adventure was being written and developed while the Bestiary was still being worked on, but the zombie trait clarifies that creatures who have it are mindless undead, so this shouldn't impact running the adventure in any meaningful way.


Michael Sayre wrote:
Zero the Nothing wrote:
Unikatze wrote:
The Zombie Shambler on page 26 is listed as a large creature while the bestiary has it as medium. It's also missing the undead trait.
Anyone going to officially address this?

The Appendix entry overrides whatever's in the Bestiary; that's part of why we completely reprint monsters in the back.

The undead trait missing is an error tied to the fact that this adventure was being written and developed while the Bestiary was still being worked on, but the zombie trait clarifies that creatures who have it are mindless undead, so this shouldn't impact running the adventure in any meaningful way.

Thanks for the clarification :)


So far I have enjoyed rhe scenarios I have played or run. This one was no exception.

Vigilant Seal

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Had the privilege to play in this adventure yesterday as part of ThodCon. I wanted to express how much fun this scenario was. It's understood that no small part of the enjoyment was due to the GM and others who shared the adventure with me, but as I've now played in over half a dozen various adventures, I feel confident in expressing that this one was very well written and presented.

It provided a great mix of opportunities for exploration, role play, and combat. It was equally satisfying with regards to the potential for rewards for smart play. I would highly recommend to anyone, GM and player alike, to put this one on your must play list.


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

I can't seem to leave a review for this one.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

caps wrote:
I can't seem to leave a review for this one.

If you're just not seeing the Reviews tab, try refreshing the page; I've noticed it tends to get "eaten" when I first load the page but then magically reappears on refresh.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
caps wrote:
I can't seem to leave a review for this one.
If you're just not seeing the Reviews tab, try refreshing the page; I've noticed it tends to get "eaten" when I first load the page but then magically reappears on refresh.

I have had that experience. But that is not what I am referring to. When I am able to get to the Reviews tab, the "leave a review" button is not there.

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