Pathfinder Society Scenario #1-17: The Perennial Crown Part 2, The Thorned Monarch

3.20/5 (based on 18 ratings)

Our Price: $5.99

Add to Cart
Facebook Twitter Email

A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3–6 (subtiers 3–4 and 5–6).

In part 2 of The Perennial Crown, the PCs must evade the fearsome fey known as the Thorned Monarch. This unrelenting tyrant will stop at nothing to hunt down the PCs and claim their discoveries for themself, bringing to bear not only their awesome physical and magical power, but also manipulating the innocent Bhopanese citizens in their desperate attempts to stop the PCs from fleeing Bhopan with the one item that could put an end to the evil fey's ambitions.

Written by: Alex Augunas

Scenario tags: Metaplot

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.

PZOPFS0117E


See Also:



1 to 5 of 18 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

3.20/5 (based on 18 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

Immensely unfun

1/5

Our high tier party got absolutely wrecked by the second encounter and the scenario prohibits healing. The final encounter is even worse in difficulty since it's just one mega-enemy. The seemingly endless skill checks also felt nearly impossible for anyone not trained (even with Untrained Improvisation). Not really fun at all.


Brutal, fast-paced fun

4/5

This scenario more or less plays as an action movie, and it mostly works. This is a complete tonal shift from the mystery, exploration, and intrigue of part 1 of Perennial Crown, but it's a shift that's justified by a significant plot development. I strongly recommend running the two parts back-to-back-- if not in the same session, then at least in consecutive sessions. The scenario has a "How Did I Get Here?" explainer for PCs who only play part 2, but I would guess the experience would be both extremely jarring and a bit random for those players.

Mechanically, the action movie style means that the party is on a very tight time budget between encounters, sometimes none at all. The scenario beats up on the party (with an interesting choice along the way) as it builds to a climactic set piece encounter. To my eye, this looks like the most potentially deadly scenario in season 1, mostly for parties who were counting on mundane healing.

I actually think it might be *too much* for parties that aren't well balanced or have a stock of magical healing. Most other PFS2 scenarios have 1-3 encounters per adventuring day, with opportunities to heal & refocus in between. This scenario stacks more encounters / dangerous situations in the same adventuring day while shoving the party forward in the plot. That's going to strain a lot of parties.

As usual, my biggest criticism is the editing. At high tier, one encounter has invalid/impossible tactics specified for a creature, and another creature has a mistake in its statblock that makes one of its abilities unusable.

Spoiler:
The jinkins are specified to attempt to flank, but they are tiny size, have 0' reach, and can't flank. The red caps are tiny (rather than small in the Bestiary), so their Deadly Cleave ability likewise can't be used (unless two PCs are also tiny).

There's also one skill check that has no effect on the scenario as written; I interpreted the consequences to be consistent with the pace of the adventure, but that just makes the scenario even harder.

Spoiler:
The Athletics check to escape the sewers says how long this takes depending on the results of the checks, but the scenario specifies no consequences for taking longer here. I took it to mean that with a poor result, the PCs can lose time to rest.


4/5

I loved that this is a true two-parter, and played it as such to get the full experience.

It is a particularly brutal lead-up into the final fight, but I like that in the Tier 3-6 scenarios. We lucked out in the final fight crit-wise, but it still felt like an epic fight, one that I can imagine my character telling stories about at the pub.

I don't really like the way the story ended, in the sense that the fate of the people on the island is not well-described. I didn't get the sense that my character accomplished something other than getting XP and gold.


Well done

5/5

1-16 and 1-17 remain my favorite scenarios of season 1, now that season 1 is well past us. Other reviewers have already mentioned the sheer epicness of this two-parter, so I won't dwell on that except to say: YES. I have run both of these multiple times and would run them again in a heartbeat.

The skill check section at the beginning of 1-17 is nicely flavorful. Of course, it is entirely possible players will get into the first combat debuffed--that is the point. The justification for some of the treasure bundles is a bit silly but never mind that - the heavy-handedness of their placement can be forgiven. The chase scene is amazingly cool when set up right, instilling urgency and real tension. The boss fight is designed to be somewhat challenging even for well-balanced parties made of PCs that are all in the "right" tier, which I personally believe is the preferable approach. GMs who run for parties that might not fit this description should exercise the considerable freedom they have available within the strictures and tactics specified by the scenario.

As a GM, there are two things that make a scenario rewarding for me: first, the opportunity for a GM to add their own unique value to the experience; and second, the ability to place the players into situations where their hearts legitimately race and all their minds are directed towards a goal which actually matters to them at a visceral level.

This two-parter absolutely ticks those boxes for me.

As with all the scenarios that I love, this is not what I would call low-prep. But the payoff is worth it.


The aliens to part 1's alien

5/5

This has a more "action movie" bent to the two-parter. The scenario always felt like there was a strong pace to it, and that while the group was powerful we'd just uncovered something beyond our capabilities.

As such when we were escaping the island there was a lot of tension, and a good use of infamy mechanics during the scenario.

Our group copped the infamy, and two of our 5 players have characters that behave significantly differently in roleplay as a result of this scenario.

That alone gets it 5-stars.


1 to 5 of 18 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Announced for March! Product image and description are not final and may be subject to change.

Contributor

8 people marked this as a favorite.

MY BABY!!!


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Just wanted to drop by and say: I've ran this already since I've written part I of the saga, and Alex has wrought pure GOLD here.

Seriously, this adventure beats many campaign-finales in just how epic it feels. I'm super-excited to see the final version!!


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

I cannot wait to check this series out! Enz + AA = PURE GOLD!!

Scarab Sages

Does the metaplot tag indicate that this is part of a series, or is that referencing an ongoing plot of the season?

Scarab Sages

Ginasteri wrote:
Does the metaplot tag indicate that this is part of a series, or is that referencing an ongoing plot of the season?

The latter.

You know a scenario is the former if the title is like 'Ongoing Series Part X, A New Subtitle'

The above scenario is both sequel and metaplot scenario.

Dark Archive

Huh. I'm honestly curious though,

my playstyle is pacifistic anyway but:
do players in PFS ever choose to do things that gain infamy? xD I mean, you ARE supposed to warn players that the action would gain infamy, so players can't stumble on it accidentally. I would be surprised if majority of people kill the reporting note character since you get infamy for it :p Unless GM forgets to tell about infamy I guess. I do know that lot of bad guys you can optionally spare after combat get killed in society, but I don't know in general whenever there is "hold back to avoid killing someone not clearly acting in their right mind" encounters if those npcs usually survive unless its main objective :p

The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Auuugh.. I really want to buy both of these, but it just keeps saying "Your request produced an error." Boooooooooo.. Hopefully that's fixed soon. It sounds like these are going to be great, and just what we need for our TTS sessions.

Dark Archive

Ga'reth wrote:
Auuugh.. I really want to buy both of these, but it just keeps saying "Your request produced an error." Boooooooooo.. Hopefully that's fixed soon. It sounds like these are going to be great, and just what we need for our TTS sessions.

You can avoid that by either cleaning your browser's cookie cache or using incognito mode if you don't want to delete cookies

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My hero, Corvus! Clearing cache didn't work, but incognito window did. Really weird - I had bought something only a few hours before with no problem.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

FEAR THE MIGHTY MONARCH!

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
MY BABY!!!

You're baby's first combat encounter made my players want to kill you.

It was wonderful.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I have to say that I'm baffled by the reviews since my experience running this scenario was much better than I was led to believe from reviews. I dunno if I got lucky, but this scenario is way better than 3 stars if you ask me :p


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:
MY BABY!!!

Questions for the author:

Question 1:
Are GMs intended to warn about the possible infamy with King Webhekiz?

Question 2:
In the Chase, does it take the turn of the manifestation to damage the party, or does it happen without an action, as soon as the manifestation catches up?

Question 3:
At the conclusion, if the players offer up the Treasure Bundles they found, are they intended to lose the treasure bundles, or are they compensated for their noble deed?

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
I have to say that I'm baffled by the reviews since my experience running this scenario was much better than I was led to believe from reviews. I dunno if I got lucky, but this scenario is way better than 3 stars if you ask me :p

Thank you, that's wonderful to hear! If anyone is a World of Warcraft player, I was heavily inspired by the Battle for Dazar'alor raid and the Halls of Reflection dungeon when writing this!

Spoiler:

I wanted a scenario that captured the feeling of being in this fantastic location with chaos all around you while you're fleeing from something truly horrific.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
FLite wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
MY BABY!!!

You're baby's first combat encounter made my players want to kill you.

It was wonderful.

I'm okay with being the Jack Sparrow of OP authors.

Quote:


Your players: "That combat encounter was too hard! You're the worst author I've ever heard of."

Me: "But you have heard of me."

I'm glad you enjoyed the scenario!

Contributor

The Kulak wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
MY BABY!!!

Questions for the author:

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

So, all three of these questions are better suited for a developer than an author. I don't want to tell you that it's okay to do something that inadvertently creates table variance on a massive scale after all!

I'm sure this isn't the answer you wanted, and I profusely apologize. I just don't want to get into a situation where I said something that doesn't align with OP and cause them trouble. ^_^"

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
The Kulak wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
MY BABY!!!

Questions for the author:

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Re: Question 1, the GM should always warn the player(s) that a PC action is about to earn a point of Infamy. It's in the Infamy rules:

"When a character expresses the intent to perform a wantonly evil or callously criminal action and you inform them that their action would be considered an evil action, if the character still persists in performing the action, apply a point of Infamy to the character."

A GM should never give out Infamy without first making the player aware that their PC's actions will earn it.


So, this scenario has only nine treasure bundles. Is this an error or was it intentional?


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thanks for the clarification on the Infamy, I'm glad I ran it correctly. Can you clarify the second two questions, Michael?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is there any clarification that can be provided on what level the Fey Influence feat allows the spells to be cast at (given that half of them can be heightened)?


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
The Kulak wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
MY BABY!!!

Questions for the author:

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Re: Question 1, the GM should always warn the player(s) that a PC action is about to earn a point of Infamy. It's in the Infamy rules:

"When a character expresses the intent to perform a wantonly evil or callously criminal action and you inform them that their action would be considered an evil action, if the character still persists in performing the action, apply a point of Infamy to the character."

A GM should never give out Infamy without first making the player aware that their PC's actions will earn it.

I think this should be explained a little better. Because the next paragraph in the Players guide makes it sound like if it is a scenario based decision then it shouldn't be warned. Otherwise, why would you present an option only to tell a player it is not an option. "Beyond GM intervention, some scenarios and written products may present evil solutions to situations. These actions will be called out within the adventure text as causes to give a character partaking in them a point of Infamy. Still, the GM is the final arbiter on what constitutes an alignment infraction and when Infamy is gained by a character at the table."

Lantern Lodge

The adventure is good but the beginning adventure needs to be re ovulated and instructions for more enemies in the last scene for more people needs to be more clear as to make it a instant tpk.

Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Society Scenario #1-17: The Perennial Crown Part 2, The Thorned Monarch All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.