Pathfinder Adventure: The Fall of Plaguestone

4.20/5 (based on 18 ratings)
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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Fine if you start at level 2

4/5

We started at level 2 and everyone had fun with no TPKs.


Good times but OUCH

4/5

We had a great time playing this adventure but got absolutely WRECKED by several encounters that appear to be quite overtuned. Experienced GM's can adjust as needed before or even on the fly. Rookie GM's may struggle a bit.


Solid first outing

4/5

Context: I have GMed this for three different groups.

The Fall of Plaguestone provides a good mix of wilderness adventuring and classic dungeon crawling wrapped in a (mostly) coherent plot, making for a solid adventure -- especially for a product launched alongside a new edition of the game.

The good:
* The art, background, maps, etc. are all very well done
* Includes the bones of a small town, which is handy, especially for first-time GMs
* The villain has an actual motivation, and the heroes get to learn it

The bad:
* Some of the combats are simply too hard and need to be toned down
* The treasure is lackluster and could use a rework
* A map of the general store/tavern would have been nice

The ugly:
* The scale on one of the maps is wrong
* The intro boxed text references a non-existent NPC

(****-)


Suffers from being a release product.

4/5

The bad parts that are all fixable:

* Combat encounters are a bit on the hard side. Look up the Encounter Building Guidelines in the Core Rulebook and tune down most of the severe encounters by removing monsters or making them weak
* Loot is tailored towards alchemist PCs and no useful runes are present. The shadow rune is useless so replace it with something else. Add the sidequests even if your PCs didn't take the appropriate backgrounds to get the +1 weapons. You probably need to throw in additional runes and loot
* Add a 1 month time limit to make time valuable and communicate it to the players

The rest is amazing:

* the sidequests are a neat idea and work well
* the storyline is connected well and works well to get players invested
* NPCs are likable
* the BBEG has a good back story and allows for different story outcomes
* the maps are really well done and allow for good tactical combat: disarm traps during combat, poisonous fumes that shift into different wind directions each turn, cages that can be locked/unlocked, enough chokes and cover, possible camp infiltration

If you fix the balancing issues, consider this is a 5 star adventure


Great introduction to 2e

4/5

The scenario has a little of everything. The combats are challenging and interesting - meaning that there are features in the terrain that are of tactical use. The NPCs are well fleshed out. There are a number of different stages t the plot, leading to changing tone.

There was a clear effort to create a sympathetic villain. I always find that worthwhile -- the "muhaha, I do this because I'm bad" villains are comically dull. Unfortunately this adventure falls just short and loses a fifth star because

Spoiler:
the villain is whiny, not wronged
.


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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I'm not a Paizo employee, but

Usually you need some Info from the Bestiary to run an Adventure. I'm pretty sure that's the case for this one as well.

That said, you can gain the info from the Bestiary (15$ for the PDF) or from the official 2e PRD for free, once it is available. (That probably won't have the nice pictures)


Will this adventure be playable in society?

Liberty's Edge

Can the module Gallows of Madness or scenario # 3 - 23 The Goblinblood Dead be tied to this as they take place in Isger ?


I don't see why you could not tie them together to have a little Isger campaign. You might have to do some scaling for Gallows of Madness if Fall of Plaguestone gets the PCs beyond level 2, but since you'll have to convert them to 2E anyway, I guess it won't add too much work.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The Fall of Plaguestone module will take characters to 4th level.

Horizon Hunters

I am really hoping that this is sanctioned for PFS at launch, would give our table more to play!

Lantern Lodge Customer Service & Community Manager

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Copies from paizo.com have been shipping out to folks with our July New Release shipping. We've expanded the window a bit for this release to try to get preordered and subscriber copies shipped in time for the launch. I know people are very excited to see these books and I’d like to quick remind folks to be respectful when posting about getting your copy earlier than others, and when asking people if they can share info from copies folks have already received.

Posting snippets and discussing them is fine. Typing up really long chunks of text or taking pictures of every page is excessive. We want people to have fun and be excited, but we also want to be respectful of folks who own or support FLGSs, or plan to pick up their copies at Gen Con and do not have the potential for getting a copy early.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pawns, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

For those wondering you do need the Bestiary to run as several creatures just have Creature # and page number in Bestiary...

That said, if the creatures are in the SRD, you could probably get buy with that on August 1st.


How long will this take to run?

I currently have to put a game I'm running on hiatus for 12 weeks. This seems like an ideal opportunity to run 2nd Edition for them so they can see if they like it.

We have a weekly 3 hour session. Am I
a) in the right ballpark
b) being wildly optimistic that I'll finish it in that timeframe
c) going to be looking for something else to run 6 weeks in?


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

Plaguestone Metainfo, semi-spoilery:
I count 37 combat encounters. Quite a few of them look small/quick to my eyes. There is also a murder mystery that involves questioning multiple NPCs; I could imagine it taking as long as a whole session, or being blown through in an hour. Probably depends on your group. And there is at least one of those "skill challenges" where the PCs have to make multiple subsequent skill checks to chase someone. Altogether there are almost 50 pages of adventure content. Not counting the side quests and information in the back.

If you're concerned it would take too long, I think you could cut some "chaff" and focus on the "important" encounters to get through it faster. PF2 encounters tend to go faster than PF1 encounters, although you probably won't see that effect while you're still learning the rules.

Got my books yesterday, happy to help.


Ooh, this Adventure comes with four new backgrounds!


^ Which are?

(Pretty please?)

--C.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Psiphyre wrote:

^ Which are?

(Pretty please?)

--C.

Lesser Scion, Lost and Alone, Missionary, Refugee, Teamster.


Fumarole wrote:
Psiphyre wrote:

^ Which are?

(Pretty please?)

--C.

Lesser Scion, Lost and Alone, Missionary, Refugee, Teamster.

Thank you!

Especially for the bonus fifth! :D

Carry on,

--C.

Contributor

I put together a Google Sheet to track 'n calculate XP in this adventure. I think it's fairly approachable for non-me users, so I'll post some links here once release day hits :)


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fumarole wrote:
Psiphyre wrote:

^ Which are?

(Pretty please?)

--C.

Lesser Scion, Lost and Alone, Missionary, Refugee, Teamster.

That would be five backgrounds rather than the four mentioned above, right?

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
David knott 242 wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Lesser Scion, Lost and Alone, Missionary, Refugee, Teamster.

That would be five backgrounds rather than the four mentioned above, right?

Correct, there are five backgrounds in the book!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Mullen wrote:
I put together a Google Sheet to track 'n calculate XP in this adventure. I think it's fairly approachable for non-me users, so I'll post some links here once release day hits :)

Has Paizo officially moved away from milestone leveling to tracking XPs in 2nd edition? I mean, is there still a guideline like "The party should reach 2nd level after tracking the unicorn to the cave and 3rd level before visiting the Library of Ev?"

Contributor

Milestone leveling is still an option, but while Hellknight Hill has an advancement guide like we've come to expect, The Fall of Plaguestone is missing one.
It does work out almost exactly to one level per adventure part, though!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope explicit milestone leveling returns to the module line, because I like having that option. My RL grognard group can't imagine not totaling up XP after an encounter, but for the groups I play with online, it's a chore that they'd rather skip and just be the level the adventure expects them to be.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Not sure what you mean by "explicit milestone leveling", but if you're saying that those milestones are/were intended to state "level the group here", I don't think that's the case. At least, I've never seen a developer suggest that. What you do in your group is, of course, your business.

I would think that, in order to put those milestones in an adventure, somebody had to go through and figure out at what point experience gained would justify an increase in level. If that's the case, it seems the GM is capable of figuring out where the milestones should be. Help on that (via printing in the book) is fine, but is it really necessary?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

13 people marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:

Not sure what you mean by "explicit milestone leveling", but if you're saying that those milestones are/were intended to state "level the group here", I don't think that's the case. At least, I've never seen a developer suggest that. What you do in your group is, of course, your business.

I would think that, in order to put those milestones in an adventure, somebody had to go through and figure out at what point experience gained would justify an increase in level. If that's the case, it seems the GM is capable of figuring out where the milestones should be. Help on that (via printing in the book) is fine, but is it really necessary?

Part of writing an AP is actually tallying up all the possible XP and knowing about when and were the characters should be leveling up. It's how we come up with the numbers for that entry at the start of each AP which tells the GM what level the group should be for each chapter.

And we do actually use milestone leveling here in the office; for our Return of the Runelords game Luis just noted what encounters marked the point we should be leveling up and let us know each time, so no one's been tracking experience and we're on like book 3, I think?

Milestone leveling can be a useful tool for the game and for setting tone with some groups. Anecdotally, I used to run a game for a fairly bloodthirsty group who would (jokingly but also totally seriously) ask how much XP random NPCs they encountered were worth. I decided to try and shake things up by switching from XP leveling to milestone leveling and the change was immediate and significant; with the drive to chase those little numbers dispersed, the group immediately became more interested in resolving things through social or exploratory means, they bargained and interacted with NPCs they previously would have slaughtered, etc. It was such a remarkable shift that it marked pretty much the last time I've ever used XP since.

I don't actually know what they're doing with those rules as far as the GMG goes though, so I'm in the "wait and see" boat too :)


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:

Anecdotally, I used to run a game for a fairly bloodthirsty group who would (jokingly but also totally seriously) ask how much XP random NPCs they encountered were worth. I decided to try and shake things up by switching from XP leveling to milestone leveling and the change was immediate and significant; with the drive to chase those little numbers dispersed, the group immediately became more interested in resolving things through social or exploratory means, they bargained and interacted with NPCs they previously would have slaughtered, etc. It was such a remarkable shift that it marked pretty much the last time I've ever used XP since.

That's excellent! :-)

Michael Sayre wrote:
I don't actually know what they're doing with those rules as far as the GMG goes though, so I'm in the "wait and see" boat too :)

Waiting is, as the Martian said. :-)


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
stin5387 wrote:
I am really hoping that this is sanctioned for PFS at launch, would give our table more to play!

Would love to hear some news about this!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
caps wrote:
stin5387 wrote:
I am really hoping that this is sanctioned for PFS at launch, would give our table more to play!
Would love to hear some news about this!

Don't expect it August 1st, but I'm really aiming to see it happen as soon as possible once we're settled back into the office after GenCon. I can't promise before September, but based on the information currently available to me that's what I'm aiming for.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
caps wrote:
stin5387 wrote:
I am really hoping that this is sanctioned for PFS at launch, would give our table more to play!
Would love to hear some news about this!
Don't expect it August 1st, but I'm really aiming to see it happen as soon as possible once we're settled back into the office after GenCon. I can't promise before September, but based on the information currently available to me that's what I'm aiming for.

That is much more than I expected to hear this soon. :-)

Can PFS credit be retroactively applied for running this module in "campaign mode"?

Any idea whether it will be one chronicle to gain one level or more like Daughters of Fury, where it was 4 Chronicles to gain 4 levels?

These are probably all the things you'll be trying to figure out between now and September :-p


I hope that when it is in PFS, you can gain more than one level for it, unlike Crypt of the Everflame.

Grand Lodge Contributor

After a quick look, I don't see a chart for expected levels like in previous multi-level modules. Is this one (and potentially future modules) designed to just be a level for each chapter? That'd put the party at level 3 before the final boss, 4 after?

Scarab Sages

Joana wrote:
I hope explicit milestone leveling returns to the module line, because I like having that option. My RL grognard group can't imagine not totaling up XP after an encounter, but for the groups I play with online, it's a chore that they'd rather skip and just be the level the adventure expects them to be.

I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hope it comes back too.

Not only is milestone leveling easier when you had a party that is odd numbered (so you dont have to add in more encounters), its also a page I always check before buying an adventure, to see emediately what levels it is going to cover, and if it will fit my plans.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pinstripedbarbarian wrote:
After a quick look, I don't see a chart for expected levels like in previous multi-level modules. Is this one (and potentially future modules) designed to just be a level for each chapter? That'd put the party at level 3 before the final boss, 4 after?

They reach a new level at or just before the end of a chapter, so they're 3rd level for the encounter and 4th level by the adventure's conclusion.


Woran wrote:
Joana wrote:
I hope explicit milestone leveling returns to the module line, because I like having that option. My RL grognard group can't imagine not totaling up XP after an encounter, but for the groups I play with online, it's a chore that they'd rather skip and just be the level the adventure expects them to be.

I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hope it comes back too.

Not only is milestone leveling easier when you had a party that is odd numbered (so you dont have to add in more encounters), its also a page I always check before buying an adventure, to see emediately what levels it is going to cover, and if it will fit my plans.

Also helpful when you're looking to poach encounters to build your own campaign or fill in a gap when the party doesn't go the expected way. You want to know what level party a particular encounter was designed for. (If it's between the unicorn cave and the Library of Ev, it's for second level; tada.)

If it's Paizo's intention going forward that a chapter is worth roughly a level, that's a fine guideline, but I'm not sure it would work at higher levels. Then again, maybe it would, with the new 1000-xp-per-level rule. In P1e, later levels were usually longer than earlier ones.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Since challenge ratings are now listed as expected difficulty for expected party level, they also act as milestones. So if one encounter is, say, "Severe 2" and the next is "Moderate 3" you know the PCs should level up around then.


Hill Giant wrote:
Since challenge ratings are now listed as expected difficulty for expected party level, they also act as milestones. So if one encounter is, say, "Severe 2" and the next is "Moderate 3" you know the PCs should level up around then.

Good point -- one of those little details of second edition I haven't picked up on yet.

Dark Archive

I've never had a group that chases after EXP <_< And to be honest, with milestone encounters, some of the social resolutions to encounters become unrewarding because for some of them only reward is avoiding combat and story award exp, so you miss on loot if you solve it peacefully.

(I think its far more common for group to be greedy about loot than exp.. And even then that has been rare)

But yeah, I personally prefer EXP and am not really into milestones.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is the Fall of Plaguestone flip-mat the only map needed for running this or would I need other maps as well?


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
artjuice wrote:
Is the Fall of Plaguestone flip-mat the only map needed for running this or would I need other maps as well?

I count ten battle maps in the adventure, so the flip=mat alone won't cover it all. Some maps are quite simple and could be drawn quite quickly.


The battle map will come in handy.


I've purchased the physical copy of this book. Will I also receive the PDF version of it or will I need to purchase that separate?

Silver Crusade

The free PDF is only for subscriptions, depending on how long ago you purchased it you could ask for it to be turned into a Subscription in the CS forums.


Rysky wrote:
The free PDF is only for subscriptions, depending on how long ago you purchased it you could ask for it to be turned into a Subscription in the CS forums.

Thank you for the information!

Silver Crusade

Np ^w^


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I just skimmed the adventure and it looks really cool, interesting, and not just a "typical" 1st level story.

Also, I have to say I LOVE the Adventure Toolbox!! LOVE IT! The tales, the side quests, backgrounds, items/rewards, etc, etc. Incredibly useful for a GM, and I hope we continue to see this sort of approach.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Oh no! A "toubled" town!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Did the partnership with Dwarven Forge fall through? I don't see the description for the DF set, nor can I find the product on the DF site.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
crognus wrote:
Did the partnership with Dwarven Forge fall through? I don't see the description for the DF set, nor can I find the product on the DF site.

On the running the game stream JB mentioned the dwarven forge partnership and an announcement 8/1, so I’d say it’s on! I would also say the partnership, and even this module in general, has been pretty poorly promoted. But that might change soon!


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

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what flip tiles or flip mats or whatever might be useful for this adventure (in addition to the specific adventure flip mat)?

I need to find some pawns, too. I probably ought to inventory the ones I have (most if not all of them) in a spreadsheet or something.

Paizo Employee CEO

2 people marked this as a favorite.
crognus wrote:
Did the partnership with Dwarven Forge fall through? I don't see the description for the DF set, nor can I find the product on the DF site.

Nope, they are just running late. There should be some information coming out about the Dwarven Forge stuff in the next week or so.

-Lisa

Dark Archive

Argh, one more day, one more day... or at least I hope my FLGS will get all these sweet, sweet 2E books tomorrow! I've pre-ordered all of 'em, this adventure included, but you never know until that e-mail hits your inbox! I also think Druma and the final installment of Tyrant's Grasp should also arrive tomorrow! :)


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Tomorrow is not yet August 1, or is it? :)

Silver Crusade

Midnight sale?

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