Pathfinder Adventure: The Fall of Plaguestone

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Pathfinder Adventure: The Fall of Plaguestone
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A Troubled Town

A group of new adventurers traveling through the village of Etran's Folly—also known as Plaguestone—must come together to solve the murder of a friend. What starts as a simple investigation quickly turns sinister with the discovery of forbidden alchemy, mutant animals, and a nearby forest rotting away due to a mysterious blight. It becomes clear that if these heroes don't intervene to stop whatever evil is brewing, the fall of Plaguestone is all but certain!

The Fall of Plaguestone is the first standalone adventure for Pathfinder Second Edition, designed for 1st-level characters. It tells the story of how a group of strangers band together to form a group of adventurers while saving the town of Etran's Folly from a terrifying fate, serving as a perfect introduction to a new Pathfinder campaign!

This adventure can be used with the Pathfinder Flip-Mat: The Fall of Plaguestone.

ISBN: 978-1-64078-174-0

"Fall of Plaguestone" is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (1.5 MB PDF).

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

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Pathfinder Nexus on Demiplane
Roll20 Virtual Tabletop
SoundSet on Syrinscape
Archives of Nethys

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Subscription.

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Rip Tanner is a Bot or a Troll

5/5

I have played this. Tactical mistakes in combat will be punished severely if players take the old strategy of stand and swing swords. Teamwork is critical to success throughout the adventure. We had fun from start to finish.

Also, Rip Tanner is a Bot or a Troll...or both


2/5


Solid rural horror/mystery, that might need a few story / balance tune-ups

4/5

We ran this start to finish in 15 4-hr sessions and for the most part it was very enjoyable!

(Review will have SPOILERS obviously)

It has a fairly "slow burn" start that I find perfect at level 1, with meeting a bunch of NPCs, getting to know the town, before the hook happens and you begin your murder mystery. There's no explosions here in Session 1.

Encounters:

Good:

- Hallod's Hideout and The Pen are genuinely fun dungeons to explore. I have perfect "low-level adventure" memories from these, and yet the fights are quite dynamic.

- In F5, I had Hallod release his dogs on the players while shooting his crossbow through the barred window.

- In H2 and H4, there's a LOT of alchemical shenanigans, and surprisingly interesting creatures & environmental hazards for only Level 2.

- You can turn the outdoor part of Spite's Cradle into a *really* cool sandbox-y fight, with archers on the tower, Lord Nar as a melee threat, possibly even some PCs on the cliffs.

Bad:

- IMO, like most Adventures, it has a fairly high number of filler encounters. I definitely took out the Bear, and the Swarm of Bees... and half the stuff in the final dungeon (elsewise it has a risk of being like 2x longer than the other ones). But I admit that's personal preference.

- A few of the fights are also infamously "overtuned", possibly victims of "oops, it was the 1st Adventure, we didn't exactly know how to balance yet". Strongly beware of G2 (Mutant Wolves) and H8 (Blood Ooze). These fights can easily TPK a party. Perfect tactical play from you can TPK in *many* encounters. Consider giving your group +1 Level the entire time, a free archetype, a 5th player, or even a combination of these. Especially if it's the first time playing PF2 for some of you.

Story:

Good:

- The core mystery is pretty engaging, I think. A young alchemist named Vilree wants revenge on the town that killed her mother, and has been paying Bort (traveling dwarf merchant) & Hallod (local thug) for years for smuggled alchemical shipments. As she finally acquires enough ingredients to poison the town, she decides to eliminate loose ends by murdering Bort - but the party is there to see it, which starts them on a chain of investigation.

- There are side-quests that tie in to PC backgrounds! They're mostly not complex, but will make this town feel significantly more sandbox-y, and give RP opportunities to the group that wants it.

- The "small-town mystery" vibes really work, I think. All of the villains are basically small-time thugs. Nothing is over-the-top or "comic book"-ish. Hardly anyone in the whole book has access to magic. It's not grimdark, but it's gritty & grounded, like a good Witcher questline.

Bad:

- The orcs are a little simplistic in this, kinda cliche "savages" - a trope I would have preferred to leave in PF1. I gave them a slightly more complex motivation and had Graytusk order a surrender once Lord Nar fell.

- Vilree's ultimate plan doesn't entirely make sense to me, and the reveal that the Plaguestone is filled with actual poison seems more "trying to be clever" than good. If she had the capability to smuggle gallons of deadly poison to the center of town, she could have just dumped it in the town's wells and killed everyone already. I changed this such that the alchemical drudge is now actually filled with poison, a bloated walking bomb. It carries one of Silwyth's rings, and the other (left behind by Vilree 10 years ago) is entombed in the stone. When the two rings touch, they explode, releasing the poison from the drudge.

- Finally, like most Adventures, IMO the chapters in this feel a little disjointed, and can have that feeling of "we've found the exit to the next video game level". Certain players might feel like they're just being strung along until the next clue tells them where to go. If that's you (or your players), try to plant some fake clues and sprinkle hints throughout. Make the investigation a little more non-linear and non-obvious. A few examples of some changes I made are:

1. Introduce more hints that the environment is being poisoned by alchemical runoff. The boar the PCs kill in E? The Feedmill offers to buy the dead animal for meat - but discovers it's rancid & inedible. A few villagers are sick with mysterious illnesses. A PC that forages for food might need to make a Fort save.

2. There's no map to the stump in Hallod's Hideout, and the note isn't signed. Instead, Bort made a secret trip to a "stash point" outside of town, and his cart tracks can be followed there. From there, the tracks are the rather unnerving footprints of an Alchemical Drudge (leading to The Pen).

3. The players can find signs of Noala themselves instead of her just *showing up* in Chapter 2.

4. The Sheriff is crooked, knew (vaguely) about Hallod's smuggling, and can likewise be bought off for information.

5. Silwyth (Vilree's mother) lingers as a ghost/haunt in the ruins of their old house, and can give cryptic hints.

Summary:

Like everything, it might need some modification for your & your players' tastes, but overall, Plaguestone delivers a really gritty, mysterious, low-magic, low-level storyline that's sure to be fun for the right group.


Such a surprise !!

5/5

Fall of plaguestone was the first commerical module I've GM'ed on Pathfinder 2nd edition.
Though the story takes place in Etran's folly, somehow in the middle of nowhere, The story and the main characters are interesting and the module leave enough space for suspense and cliffhangers.
In general, Fall of plaguestone offers quiet hard encounters that might lead to a total party kill, especially for Novice and beginners at Pathfinder 2nd edition.


5/5


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I don't have time to review it but I will say it's really good!

I personally prefer it to Hellknight Hill.

Liberty's Edge

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

How long is it taking most GMs to run this adventure? Most of my players enjoy the Role-Play aspect of scenarios, so I'm planning on a long session (7hr) just for Chapter 1.

I figure heavy RP, lots of game mechanics questions, rules look-ups, maybe some character construction, it would likely be a long session.

Dark Archive

My guess is that with 4 hour sessions it would take about 2 session per chapter(3 or perhaps more if players roleplay a looooot)

Dark Archive

It took my players about 8 hours (more or less) to finish chapter 1 and there was quite a but roleplaying involved and also the looking up of rules.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:

I don't have a date for you on the sanctioning docs (yet), but this is one of the first things I'm going to be following up with Linda about on Tuesday when everyone's back in the office to make sure we finish getting the Chronicles and play docs up ASAP.

We'll have the typical grace period where if you've already played this before the sanctioning docs hit the site, your GM will still be able to issue Chronicle sheets for you.

Will the Sanctioned be announces on Paizo or the OPF Web site? or will i just check on the Module Product page and look for the Download Link beneath it?


I would also like a copy of the reformatted maps if possible.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber

Does anyone know if there is a GM Reference thread for this adventure. My search-foo isn’t turning up anything. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
lacker wrote:
Does anyone know if there is a GM Reference thread for this adventure. My search-foo isn’t turning up anything. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I could only find such threads for the 6-part adventure paths.

Maybe you should create one in the Adventures forum?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber

Thanks David. Good idea. Done.

My first ever created thread ... I feel like I’ve pierced the veil or something <cheesy grin>


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Linked


Any word on PFS sanctioning?

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Any word on PFS sanctioning?

My team is focusing on getting out monthly scenarios first and then sanctioning. It is still on their to do list.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
We'll have the typical grace period where if you've already played this before the sanctioning docs hit the site, your GM will still be able to issue Chronicle sheets for you.

How long has "the typical grace period" typically been in the past? A week, a month, half a year?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

4.32 microseconds.


So is this design for 4 players? If I have more do I need to use the rules in the CRB to adjust?

Dark Archive

Yep.

Scarab Sages

I ran the first part in a 9-hr session and finished with about 30 minutes to spare. My group took a decent amount of time to role play, and we ended up having 2 encounters at the same as the group split up to explore the town. They did it, but it could have ended horribly. Overall if you do decent role play throughout the first part it will be either two sessions or a long first session.

Encounters:
The Party split up during the mystery investigation to explore a farmhouse outside of town and go on a walk with the mayor.
First fight= Boar
2 party members- This one almost downed a PC on a crit from the charge.
Second fight- 4 Bloodseekers
2 party members + Mayor- Bloodseekers couldn't attach to mayor, nat 1's, but crit the PCS to attach.

I figure the last 2 parts should go faster, with two 5-hour sessions to finish each one. Possibly a third depending how much role play happens.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:
The town, located in Isger, has it's own name, but outsiders derogatorily call it Plaguestone.

Etran's Folly isn't exactly the best branding for a town either. A bit better than Plaguestone, but still ...

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Any news on sanctioning and/or chronicle sheets?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Marc Waschle wrote:
Any news on sanctioning and/or chronicle sheets?

Sanctioning for Plaguestone will be out by the end of October.

Grand Lodge

Wow, a full TWO MONTHS after it's release. How about the Adventure path, can we expect those within the year?

Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
Marc Waschle wrote:
Any news on sanctioning and/or chronicle sheets?
Sanctioning for Plaguestone will be out by the end of October.

Dark Archive

So just to check, how exactly does it work reporting this if I manage to run it completely before its sanctioned to players interested in getting chronicles? Like do I try to remember the dates we completed each part, or do I just report all of them on same day?(I mean it is three part module so I would assume that means three chronicles?)

Dark Archive

Is this society legal yet and is there a chronicle sheet for it ?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Literally 3 posts up.


The amalgam has trip attached to its tail attack. It doesnt look like a trait giv en where it is in the stat block. Is it supposed to be knockdown or improved knockdown?


Thanks for getting this sanctioned for society play!

One question, are there plans to make this repeatable or is it already and I just missed it?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

Kal Davis wrote:

Thanks for getting this sanctioned for society play!

One question, are there plans to make this repeatable or is it already and I just missed it?

It is not repeatable, and we don't currently have plans to make it so. Pathfinder Society in Second Edition has a lot more repeatable scenarios than Pathfinder Society First Edition, and we're looking to see how well those meet the needs of the community before exploring other replay options.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Quick note - at the current time, the reporting sheet included in the sanctioning docs PDF is using the 1E format (Prestige + 1E factions listed on it).

Not a huge deal, as 2E GMs can always just use a generic 2E reporting sheet, but it might be momentarily confusing to see that.

Grand Lodge

The sanctioning docs left out Fame. It states 12 Reputation, but left out Fame. The sheet has the Fame boxes in place, so I think there is just an omission.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

So, I am planning to run this at an upcoming convention. I have Parts 1, 2, and 3 each scheduled for its own slot. I was originally thinking that Part 1 would be played by level 1 characters, Part 2 by 2nd level characters, and Part 3 by 3rd level characters. I think part 1 would be too easy for 3rd level characters and likewise, I think part 3 would be too difficult for 1st level characters. I think I would need to have players level up between each part. However, at the end, are my players each earning one chronicle sheet for all three parts? Is this correct?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
GM Harpwizard wrote:
So, I am planning to run this at an upcoming convention. I have Parts 1, 2, and 3 each scheduled for its own slot. I was originally thinking that Part 1 would be played by level 1 characters, Part 2 by 2nd level characters, and Part 3 by 3rd level characters. I think part 1 would be too easy for 3rd level characters and likewise, I think part 3 would be too difficult for 1st level characters. I think I would need to have players level up between each part. However, at the end, are my players each earning one chronicle sheet for all three parts? Is this correct?

Yeah. The way I think about it is "like PFS1 campaign mode by default". Whatever shenanigans happen during the module stay outside the org play boundary. The characters playing the module may well (and are definitely intended to) level-up through the course of the module, but this "in-module character leveling" has no effect on the players' actual PFS2 characters, which only level up by receiving the Chronicle with 12 XP, at the end.

Dark Archive

Confused about keepsakes, so if chronicle is given to level 1 character, can they pick level 3-4 keepsakes ever?


Thank you for the Chronicle sheet. How exactly does the Herolab Code in the box work?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Thank you for the Chronicle sheet. How exactly does the Herolab Code in the box work?

The code is included on all Chronicle sheets for PF2 and is basically laying the groundwork for a potential Hero Lab enhancement that is not currently available.


Thank you!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
azjauthor wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
The town, located in Isger, has it's own name, but outsiders derogatorily call it Plaguestone.
Etran's Folly isn't exactly the best branding for a town either. A bit better than Plaguestone, but still ...

When I ran Plaguestone, I ended the adventure by having the town name changed to

Spoiler:
Bort's Rest.
Envoy's Alliance

Still cant add it to an event, i've missed something ?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I just wanted to pop in for a quick update on a fairly relevant thing-

There is a fairly significant error in the Chronicle sheet that went up, primarily due to the fact that it was using the unmodified scenario template instead of a modified module template. There should not be Subtiers listed alongside the two loot columns; what is currently tagged as Subtier 1-2 is available to everyone with the Chronicle sheet, and what is currently listed as Subtier 3-4 should be the Keepsakes section, which is comprised solely of uncommon (and one rare) items. I've had an update pushed to correct the template, clarify that Fame is one of the resources completing the adventure grants you, and implement the excellent suggestion from Dustin Knight earlier in the thread to break up the Treasure Bundles so that characters on the verge of leveling up don't suffer a drop in wealth.

If you have already received a copy of the Chronicle for playing through this module and your GM is not available to sign a corrected version, you can print off a copy of the corrected Chronicle sheet and keep it with your original signed sheet, updating your gold received as appropriate to this change.

Note: You may need to clear out your cache/cookies or open up a new browser window to download the updated file.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thanks Michael!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Great job on getting this fixed so quickly, Michael!

Thank you very much!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Xathos of Varisia wrote:

Great job on getting this fixed so quickly, Michael!

Thank you very much!

I have to thank Tony on the art team and our webstore coordinator Katina for swapping the templates out and getting the corrected file uploaded so quickly. My part of the process was mostly tapping on shoulders and presenting my friendliest "I need something" smile :)

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm very happy you went with Dustin's idea about the treasure bundles, that fits very well with the PFS2 approach to giving people exactly the treasure they should be getting. PFS1 treasure had a lot of edge cases and some exploits.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Thank you guys for getting this done for us. It is tremendously appreciated.

I have one issue that I'd like some clarification on, in regards to how this is being applied to PFS characters. As mentioned before, the CS is granting 1 level of XP, along with appropriate treasure and fame for 3 scenarios. I'll admit, I like the Keepsakes rules and how that is applied. But, it does seem like the players' PFS character gets short-changed with only 1 level of XP even though the players play through 3 levels worth of adventure. Is this due to some kind of balancing issue? Or is it just that PCs may level up too fast for the available playing options right now?

I'm asking because I know my players will want to know when we do part 2 this Saturday.

Thanks!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

RobertTHEPerylous wrote:

Thank you guys for getting this done for us. It is tremendously appreciated.

I have one issue that I'd like some clarification on, in regards to how this is being applied to PFS characters. As mentioned before, the CS is granting 1 level of XP, along with appropriate treasure and fame for 3 scenarios. I'll admit, I like the Keepsakes rules and how that is applied. But, it does seem like the players' PFS character gets short-changed with only 1 level of XP even though the players play through 3 levels worth of adventure. Is this due to some kind of balancing issue? Or is it just that PCs may level up too fast for the available playing options right now?

I'm asking because I know my players will want to know when we do part 2 this Saturday.

Thanks!

Tonya spoke about this a bit in her recent blog post.


So if I run this in PFS can it be done with 2nd level characters?


I am sure this has been answered already but is this module a replay worthy scenario. Evergreen I mean. I wanna run it for some players and I personally have run and played it once.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

The Eyam Boundary Stone

Quote:
In 1665, a plague swept through the English village of Eyam. The residents of Eyam selflessly self-quarantined themselves and depended upon food and medical supplies from outsiders. To safety facilitate trade, villagers would leave vinegar-soaked coins in the holes of the village's "boundary stone". (It was believed vinegar would make the coins sterile) Outsiders would then take the coins and leave food and supplies, thus minimizing the plague's effect on the town's people. The Eyam Boundary Stone still rests in it's original spot,


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just a note, the sanctioning documents have not been updated yet. As per this blog post the adventure now awards 24 days of Downtime.


Seems like the zip archive is corrupted. I can't open it. I've re-downloaded other products from my Digital Content and they all open without an issue.


"Ugh, I don't like the sound of this PlagueStone place..."

"Don't worry, it's just a name"
Goes there, get's the plague.

"I thought you said it was just a name!"

"It is just a name, there's no big 'stone' landmark there at all!"

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