Pathfinder Society Scenario #1-12: The Burden of Envy

4.80/5 (based on 12 ratings)

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

Swindler, rogue, and occasional Pathfinder ally Guaril Karela has approached the Society with an opportunity that Valais Durant, the leader of the Society's Radiant Oath faction, can't refuse. Guaril has been charging refugees to sneak them out of Xin Edasseril, a city ruled by the Runelord of Envy, and now it looks like Guaril won't be able to fulfill his contracts. Society agents are charged with sneaking into the dangerous city and sneaking out with a handful of its citizens before their absence is noticed so that the Radiant Oath can help them find new lives beyond their current ruler's tyrannical reach.

Written by: Lysle Kapp

Scenario tags: Faction (Radiant Oath)

[Scenario Maps spoiler - click to reveal]

The following maps used in this scenario are also available for purchase here on paizo.com:

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

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Average product rating:

4.80/5 (based on 12 ratings)

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Loved GMing this!

5/5

I ran this scenario as a normal adventure (as we don't have a society chapter here in Granada, Spain) for my friends who were new to the game and we had a really good time. It took us two online sessions, because we weren't in a rush. The sandboxy character of the main task makes it so that you have to prepare it well in advance, but it's worth it for the solid, engaging and original storyline! I Loved the NPCs and the setting, although ignored the mechanics of the treasure rewards (bundles) because it felt forced, so I simply redistributed the treasure payments as they would realistically be delivered/found in a non-organized scenario adventure. Well done!


Too much to do and too little help for the GM

2/5

It rewarded our talkers with lots to do. Our physical characters repeatedly passed on acting, stating something to the effect of, "in a world of critical failures, the hitter keeps quiet."

The module makes certain default assumptions that make no sense and doesn't give the GM a lot of wiggle room to improvise. Things play out unsatisfyingly if you don't buy-in to the author's expected course of action.

Beyond that, it's two tons in a one ton truck, and does not fit well into a normal timeframe.
And that is why I give this module 2 stars.


As good as you could ask for

5/5

This scenario hits on all cylinders: lots of roleplay with interesting characters, many inter-related tasks (allowing player choice), many solutions to problems, and an evocative setting that amplifies the mission theme. Other reviewers praised the combats as well, but I found those to be the weakest part of the scenario.

This one is a blast. If you haven't run or played it yet, do it. This goes outside of the scenario itself, but my one suggestion for improvement would have been to the rewards on the Chronicle sheet:

Spoiler:
The PCs visit the capital city of the Runelord of Abjuration, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to give them access to an uncommon abjuration spell after the adventure.


5/5

Easily my favorite scenario of Season 1, and the only non-repeatable I'd consider GMing multiple times (even if I didn't get credit).

[X] Interesting NPCs to interact with.
[X] Mix of skill and combat.
[X] Cohesive plot.
[X] Requires planning / strategizing.
[X] Character accomplishes something that they can feel good about.


A challenging and fun adventure!

5/5

My youngest said they liked the mixture of skills and combat because "it let me get deeper into the story"!


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Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Coming this month!

The Exchange

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Finally, the Venture-Captain of my heart Valais Durant returns!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I hope Belimarius isn't boss of this one :p Since that'd be "ouch"

Grand Lodge

Yay! Guaril is back!


Great, I'm running this on Saturday, and can't get it until Wednesday. Doesn't give me much prep time, especially since I'm playing on Friday something else. ::Sigh:: Timing....


In the map of the "Where in Golarion?" section Xin Edasseril is marked in the location of Xin Shalast. Specially funny because Edasseril is a port city located in an island an Shalast is in the middle of the mountains.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Saqcat wrote:
In the map of the "Where in Golarion?" section Xin Edasseril is marked in the location of Xin Shalast. Specially funny because Edasseril is a port city located in an island an Shalast is in the middle of the mountains.

Belimarius is so envious of her peers she's apparently going around modifying maps to make it look like she's ruling their kingdoms...

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Michael Sayre wrote:
Saqcat wrote:
In the map of the "Where in Golarion?" section Xin Edasseril is marked in the location of Xin Shalast. Specially funny because Edasseril is a port city located in an island an Shalast is in the middle of the mountains.
Belimarius is so envious of her peers she's apparently going around modifying maps to make it look like she's ruling their kingdoms...

Please let this be canon because petty stupid s$#! like this is what I live for.

Dark Archive

Didn't Sorshen move her capital to Xin-Shalast btw?

Silver Crusade

I believe so.


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

Map errors:
The scenario says that it uses "Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Warehouse" in one place (B2) and "Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Warehouse" in another (B3). That second source should probably be "Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Ship" ("B" side).

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Can we please get updated reporting sheets on the 2e adventures? The one that is included in the scenarios do not have enough room for players to write a 7 digit number followed by a four digit number. Under "Org Play #". The easiest solution is to swap "Class" and "Org Play #". Class is something we don't need when reporting.

There has been sufficient time to get this fixed. The community has produced half-page sheets that are far better.

Please. Update the reporting sheets. They are not sufficient to be used.

I plan to post this message in all future releases until this gets fixed.

Thank you.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There is also an error in the mod based on the timeline for Earthfall. Unless canon has radically altered, Earthfall was 10,000 years ago not 5,000 years ago.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
William Ronald wrote:
There is also an error in the mod based on the timeline for Earthfall. Unless canon has radically altered, Earthfall was 10,000 years ago not 5,000 years ago.

Spoiler-y Possibilities?:

Would you believe that the references were intentional and intended to highlight the failures of the Varisian educational system and to demonstrate that, as the result, Guaril is a very poor scholar of history?

Or, perhaps, the references were intentional and designed to illustrate Guaril's twisted sense of humor as he realized that Daffrid only wanted to know what the world was like after 5,000 years, but that she would instead have to now settle for knowing what the world was like after 10,000 years?

Or, perhaps, the author made a mistake that will undoubtedly haunt him for the next 5,000 10,000 years?*

*I do realize that there is a second reference elsewhere in the scenario that suggests that Earthfall occurred "Over five thousand years ago", but that statement is, technically, correct as five thousand is less than ten thousand.


Just wondering, how did everyone else handle the rafts? I had to do a fair bit of research on AoN to figure out how they could move and then found that the map given to us for that part was incredibly small. My thoughts are kind of divided.

Are the rafts not supposed to move? We aren't given a vehicle stat block for them. Instead we just have the material stats. With that in mind I would think they aren't supposed to move but then I wonder how the shards are supposed to come into play? Sure a player could jump into the water and potentially run into one while fighting but they don't really have much reason to unless they are fighting the tier 3-4 creature. I ended up borrowing the stats for a rowboat vehicle for my game but would like to know what the creator had in mind.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zioalca wrote:

Just wondering, how did everyone else handle the rafts?

***
I ended up borrowing the stats for a rowboat vehicle for my game but would like to know what the creator had in mind.

Short Answer Without Spoilers:

What I had in mind for the encounter was to provide options with which the players could creatively deal with the challenge before them. Having access to a raft (or more) adds to the number of those options.

What I had in mind as far as the type of raft(s), due to their source, was little more than a hastily cobbled together flotation platform (but as discussed beneath the spoiler below, players often have other ideas).

The hazards are provide a potential threat both to PCs and/or to any rafts.

At the time that the scenario was written, I did not have access to the rules for the vehicle subsystem in Gamemastery Guide. Thus, no vehicle stat block. However, the rules subsystem is quite helpful for making decisions in adjudicating the encounter.

Longer Answer, With Spoilers:

The way the encounter plays out should reward creative planning, but should not unnecessarily penalize players for lacking certain skills or combat abilities.

First, given the restraints of available skill and time, the default is to assume that the PCs will have to swim. Magic opens up possibilities, as does Crafting.

The "default" raft, as I imagined, has no propulsion. After all the inn doesn't have "usual" raft making materials and the PCs also have to be able to cart whatever they make through the sewers (though perhaps in pieces that they could finish at the shoreline).

As the water is calm, some form of propulsion is necessary, but there is little resistance to any propulsion the PCs devise. Again, the "default" might be to have PCs push the raft through the water, like a kickboard. Using the vehicle subsystem, this would be like Pulled vehicles (but with the PCs behind the vehicle).

However, I encourage PCs to exercise their creativity and describe the creation resulting from their successful Crafting rolls. Their creations are often more elaborate than just a floating raft, some have seating, oars, etc. As the PCs have access to pretty much anything that one would expect to find in an inn, there are other items beyond just barrels that they could use for their creation such as linens (to fashion sails), brooms or boards pulled from beds or the cart (to fashion oars). Again, the vehicle subsystem has rules for Rowed and Wind vehicle that would be helpful here, depending on what your PCs use as propulsion.

If the PCs want to spend the money, I suppose there is no reason they couldn't go out and purchase a vehicle (again, provided it isn't much larger than a squeezing stone giant so they can get it through the sewer tunnels), although I would ask them how they plan to respond to likely suspicious looks from people on the street to ratchet up the paranoia and tension of potentially getting caught.

Again, I'd encourage creativity. One party reportedly employed a living raft! (This spoiler-filled discussion thread is full of great ideas from creative GMs.)

When adjudicating this encounter, I'd encourage being mindful of the party's capabilities. PCs who attack at range may want to remain in place and attack the predators from afar. Melee PCs may prefer to charge right at the predators. Others may try to outrun them. One party reportedly turned the encounter into a negotiation! (See, I told you that discussion thread had great ideas!) If the PCs are likely to primarily use the rafts as floating platforms, then don't get bogged down in whether their creation includes oars or an alchemical, outboard motor. If they are more melee minded, don't force them to use up all their actions providing propulsion, but consider . As much as possible, the combat should be run so that each PC can make some meaningful contribution to it. If the healer or skill-monkey who helped out in other portions of the scenario needs "something to do" in combat, then encourage them to "take the helm" and move the raft. Consider letting a creative mage use prestidigitation to Tidy a small patch of nearby seawater to reduce the scent in the water or to Cook some seawater and thereby cause the predator to choose a different target or path for approach.

The submerged shards (in addition to being a call back to some beautiful art and fiction) are there to add to the challenge and tension, a hazard to swimming PCs or (perhaps more concerning for them), their watercraft. While the predators are animalistic, they know of the shards and I don't think it too much of a stretch to include trying to drive the PCs toward the invisible shards as a viable tactic of theirs. The shards are also intended to curtail the PCs to think twice before simply trying to "sprint" across the map to the waiting ship.

In short, your approach is the one I would recommend. Look through the existing rules to see if there is one that exists for the situation (if not at the time it was written, then at the present). If so, apply it as best you can, making the approximations as necessary. If not, then keep encouraging your players to think creatively and then, use your own creative ideas and good judgment, to provide fair and reasonable solutions likely to keep up the excitement of the encounter and to keep the players engaged.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Spoiler:
"the default is to assume that the PCs will have to swim"
And this is why I give this module 2 stars.
Sure seems like it's giving little help to the gm or the players beyond illogical choices. "How do we get 2 kids, a sick teenager, and two others across the dangerous cove?" "Umm, swim?"
Yeah... what about the longboat? The ship should have one and should send it for the party.
Our dm made something up about why they have one but would not send it for us - it made less sense. So we scraped together some barrel-boats, but it all played out very unsatisfactorily.

Beyond that, it's two tons in a one ton truck, and does not fit well into a normal timeframe.
It rewarded our talkers with lots to do. Our physical characters repeatedly passed on acting, stating something to the effect of, "in a world of critical failures, the hitter keeps quiet."

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