Pathfinder Society Scenario #1-18: Lodge of the Living God

3.00/5 (based on 24 ratings)

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

An unexpected alliance begins! The masked priest Narsen invites the Pathfinders to the city of Xer in Razmiran, a closed nation dedicated to Razmir, the Living God. Normally insular and isolated, access to Razmiran represents a unique opportunity for the Pathfinder Society. Narsen has even sweetened the pot by offering to fund the repair of an old keep to serve as the Society's new lodge. As the first Pathfinders arrive to oversee repairs on the lodge-to-be, will this mark the historic first moment in an unlikely partnership, or will it trigger a disaster of unmitigated proporitions?

Written by: Alex Greenshields

Scenario tags: Faction (Envoy's Alliance)

[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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3.00/5 (based on 24 ratings)

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3/5

Living Lodge is a mix of mini-game, roleplay, and combat.

It’s pretty much as the other reviews say, the mini game will take the session easily over 4 hours, our session went 6 hours. And that was basically with skipping 2 of the encounters. If you want the session to be 4 hours, I’m convinced that you need to skip the mini game.

Also, regarding the mini game, some people will love it and some will hate it (as you can see from the reviews). I had one player love it and 2 other players hate it, 1 was neutral. And I had it organized well.

The PCs finished the mini-game 10 days early, and they literally finished everything. So, the order (and priority) in which they decided to do things didn’t matter, which made the mini game a complete waste of time.

The handouts for this scenario were more for the GM than the player. The NPC handout was too revealing, and the mini-game handout also had too many details.

”If you want to make it easier to run the mini game”:

Have the stonemason, 2 carpenters, and PCs in a list and mark off how many days each one has been used.

I had a more complex grid, with all NPCs in the rows and days in the columns, but this can be greatly simplified and the rest of the village doesn't really matter, they are available for unskilled work.

Several other reviews say to make a flow chart of the construction, but I didn't do this because it revealed the shrine up front.

Also, I found several editing errors. The most glaring are the lack of skill modifiers for the NPCs involved in the mini game. I also found some errors in the stat blocks, one which mattered.

Detailed rating:

Length: Very long (6 hours)
Experience: GM at subtier 3-4 with 4 PCs
Sweet Spot: ?
Entertainment: It starts well, it ends well, the middle overstays its welcome. (6/10)
Story: A lot of the story isn’t conveyed, or the GM needs to do work to add it. (7/10)
Roleplay: There is a lot of opportunity for sandbox roleplay, one of the reasons it runs long. My group went light on the roleplay, and it still went long. (8/10)
Combat/Challenges: The ending was challenging and fun. The mini game was more like work and somewhat meaningless. (5/10)
Maps: Good use of flip maps. (7/10)
Boons: Reminds me of the weak boons in PFS1, no one is going to use these. (3/10)
Uniqueness: For me, siege never gets old. (8/10)
GM Preparation: It’s not a bad scenario to prepare, but most GMs won’t get it right without help.

Overall: As written, the mini game demands a 6-hour session. It’s possible to have nearly no combats until the end, at which time the payoff isn’t a good enough reward for many players. (7/10).


A High Variance Scenario


This was a wonderful and unique adventure to run. This places the party in a unique situation where the GM is far more able to try to introduce a relatively large cast of NPCs that I was able to open up to a more free form set of roleplay that is less common in organized play.

The biggest issue draws from that quality though. This adventure threatens to be very long within the context of Society and take six to seven hours to complete at a table. If I had to run it within the time limit, my response would be to cut down the roleplay with the village to a bare minimum. It wouldn't make it a horrible adventure and it would still be unique and present interesting challenges to the party, but I think it would lose a lot of the appeal that make me love this adventure.

Even with cutting the village interactions, this is still a heavy challenge to a GM as there is a new system that I believe is unique to this adventure. How well this goes depends greatly on the GM to prepare for the system to understand it. Having good custom handouts can also dramatically affect the player experience. In addition, this section can be very long and it is important for the GM to keep the table having fun and engaged throughout without also going over time.

In preparing for this adventure I've read many reviews and more than any other adventure I have agreed with virtually everything I have read, from the 5 star reviews to the 1 star reviews. This adventure is in no way perfect, but I love it. I would encourage other GMs to heavily consider this, but I would never say a GM 'must' run this adventure given the amount of effort I needed to put in to run this adventure.

I would love to see other adventures to continue to explore the mechanics, gameplay, and plot threads that are within this scenario. For an Organized Play scenario though, I would want them to be more viable within a single 4-5 hour session time.


Excellent adventure for roleplayers

5/5

This was the best game of 2e I've played to date. Granted we did have a phenomenal GM that warned us ahead of time that this scenario would require quite a lot of interaction with NPCs and would likely run long. We played it as a Play-by-Post which played to the scenarios strengths. Without sufficient preparation this could run very long in a face to face setting. I can see a few ways to fix this with some foresight however by streamlining aspects of the minigame in the middle of the scenario.

Your typical murderhobo players will likely not enjoy themselves but with a well-prepared GM and a group of players willing to do some role-playing and project management this adventure can be a memorable experience.


5/5

I basically started doing reviews just so I could review this scenario.

There's a lot of potential to go wrong, so I knew there would be a lot of 1-star reviews. I disagree with those.

1) The scenario is long, for sure. As a matter of fact, to really play the whole thing out would probably be closer to two 4-hour sessions. That's really my only gripe, and only if the GM doesn't warn people. My GM warned us, we hurried wherever possible, and we "only" took 5.5 hours.

2) The construction can get boring if people aren't organized. My GM was organized and we easily stayed engaged through the whole thing.

3) There's a whole roleplaying bit that everyone seems to skip for time, but it's actually really fun. There's a lot of things packed into the NPC descriptions.

4) The end combat was very difficult for us in high tier, but it didn't feel punitive. I agree the other two are very forgettable.


Long and packed, but a lot of fun if you prepare well

4/5

This was the first game I've ever GM'd, and I think it went very well for me and my players - but it could easily have been a terrible experience, if I hadn't been lucky enough to avoid pitfalls other reviews have already mentioned.

* I was playing with a group of friends who had nowhere else to be that night. The game took more than 7 hours. That included a small-to-moderate amount of roleplaying with the villagers, especially while Talking To Locals. The players who really enjoyed roleplaying had fun, and the others got to listen and roll on repair checks.
* I was slightly obsessive in preparing for my first-ever game. I made a half-index-card for each possible repair, with the repair name and prerequisites written on top and with a box for every work-day. I handed them out as the players explored each area to be repaired, so the players could arrange them in a sensible order and lay them on the appropriate part of the map. I noticed a pattern in the DCs of the repair tasks so I wouldn't need to refer to any papers for those DCs. I put together an NPC sheet for the players, with the villagers' names, jobs, attitudes, and descriptions of the corresponding minis, which I organized into sensible groups (e.g. everyone with an important profession had a distinguishable outfit, the Carpenters carried axes, everyone in the Inn wore green).
* I made the players mark off attitudes and repair tasks, using my handouts. I think it helped them feel more involved in the tasks, and it definitely helped me keep track of what they were allowed to do at any given time.

When I started preparing all that, I thought I was going overboard, but now I would not recommend running this scenario without similar handouts and a similar amount of time. There's so much going on that you pretty much have to give the players something or you'll constantly have to remind them of all their options, and the provided materials are really only suitable for a GM since they contain spoilers and/or numbers the players shouldn't see. And the repair minigame takes so long that the scenario would feel very rushed if you were limited to only 4 or 5 hours.

But, if you do have enough time to prepare and enough time to play, there's a lot of interesting lore behind the scenario, and it feels like the characters are doing something meaningful in the world. I hope there's more to come in this storyline!


1 to 5 of 25 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

10 people marked this as a favorite.

ALL HAIL THE LIVING GOD!

Er, I mean... Announced for April! Image and description may change before release date.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Coming up with the backstory of who you pissed off to get assigned to deal with this f$&+ery is going to be hilarious.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

Coming up with the backstory of who you pissed off to get assigned to deal with this f*~#ery is going to be hilarious.

At one point in time, I suggested the cover could just be Venture-Captain Holgarin Smine staring directly at the viewer with smoldering disapproval. We did not go that route, but I know in my heart that Smine's gonna have that look on his face every time his "neighbor venture-captain" comes up in conversation.

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ooooh!!! O_O
I'm... VERY curious...
I'm also VERY happy to have a PFS sub! :P

Grand Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, let me get this straight. We are *choosing* to enter Razimir?

:-)

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

We got volunteered.

Dark Archive

Your character agreed on mission the moment player agreed to play the scenario ;D

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I’d need a bribe then.

Sovereign Court

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I feel like the part that no one is talking about is that this is written by Alex Greenshields.

You know, right?

Red Harvest?

A Case of Missing Persons?

THE DALSINE AFFAIR?

Nothing good is coming of this scenario.

That being said, I am so excited to run/play this. I _love_ Alex's scenarios.

Wayfinders

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Iammars wrote:

I feel like the part that no one is talking about is that this is written by Alex Greenshields.

You know, right?

Red Harvest?

A Case of Missing Persons?

THE DALSINE AFFAIR?

Nothing good is coming of this scenario.

That being said, I am so excited to run/play this. I _love_ Alex's scenarios.

........Oh dang. One of those scenarios was the only TPK I ever had. And it WASN'T Dalsine Affair (surprisingly, we survived that one...). I'm very excited.

Scarab Sages

Rysky, isn't it ALWAYS Valsin?

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Razmir? Mending fences?

(X) DOUBT

Paizo Employee

8 people marked this as a favorite.
TOZ wrote:

Razmir? Mending fences?

(X) DOUBT

I mean, if I were an evil god with my own country and a lot of bad press because of my "inhumane" government practices and "doubtful divinity", I'd definitely want to establish a good relationship with the only organization printing an internationally distributed news journal. And I'd encourage my priests to enlist and take every job that seems like it even might get me a front page article with a title like "Razmiri Priest Saves Orphans From Abuse" or "Razmiri Pathfinders Rally to Save River Kingdom from Sedition". Especially if I also had one of my non-Pathfinder priests inciting said sedition, so that no matter what happens, I'm on the winning side.

Just as like, a couple examples.

Silver Crusade

Aaaand the Society is allowing it >_<

Silver Crusade

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

Memo: the Society isn't a Good organisation.

Silver Crusade

Gorbacz wrote:
Memo: the Society isn't a Good organisation.

But it has factions that are.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Memo: the Society isn't a Good organisation.
But it has factions that are.

They hopefully won't stand in the way of two prospering businesses leveraging core overlapping competencies to maximize profit and ROI!

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

*steeples fingers*

I foresee a lot of infamy accrual comming up.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky wrote:

*steeples fingers*

I foresee a lot of infamy accrual comming up.

C'mon. We all know that when Razmir gets richer, his divine wealth trickles down to every happy well-behaved citizen of Razmiran.

Of course, there are some not-well-behaved citizens who fail to see that happen but ... that's on them.

Silver Crusade

Yeah you couldn’t pay me to play a Razmiran.


What if I would tell you that the thing I offer you is

*shanks the knife under Rysky's ribs*

the chance to see your loved ones again? That's my offer on the table, all I want in return is all your money. Feelings are priceless, eh?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ALL HAIL RAZMIR HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

... a pitiful d4 is what you offered me.

I had no hopes or expectations for this wretched place and was still let down.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

... a pitiful d4 is what you offered me.

I had no hopes or expectations for this wretched place and was still let down.

I laughed really hard at that. Thank you, Rysky!

I think an important element to keep in mind for the social dynamics of Razmiran and the Pathfinder Society is that we, as outside observers, have a lot of information people in-world don't. Razmir's priests (and probably not the lowest ranking ones), well-educated Starstone scholars, and probably a few old and powerful beings know that Razmir isn't really a god, but they're probably the only ones. And even for people who do know or suspect, not actually being a god isn't necessarily a big deal. There are entire cultures who worship things like eidolons or the power of undeath because they find those forces more reliable than "real" gods. The guy who levels the cities of non-believers and keeps the dragons from eating everyone probably feels a lot more divine than the one who doesn't.

There also hasn't really been a living god other than Razmir flouncing about Golarion since Aroden activated the wrong divine aeon stone and blew a hole through his noggin (according to a gnome I met once). That means that getting agents inside Razmiran or convincing a Razmiri priest recruited into the Society to spill any beans at all about "the truth behind the iron-masked curtain" would be the scoop of the century and exactly the kind of thing the Society would be willing to take some risks for.

So maybe look at this like, I don't know, Rocky IV where the Pathfinder Society is training in Russia and both sides are pretty sure they're enemies but the chance for a new understanding, mutual respect, peace, or even just payback is enough to keep both parties at the table until the bell rings and someone has to be the winner.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It’s an interesting position, having run/read all of the Society content that gives you a perspective outside of a Golarion native. Kind of like you have many scrying portals open to all of the events, watching but unable to change more than minor details.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

^w^

And *nods* Even if he was a god mine and my character's reactions wouldn't change much. There's lot of Evil gods in Golarion, do you let them all tell you what to do?

... so about those Infamy rules?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

^w^

And *nods* Even if he was a god mine and my character's reactions wouldn't change much. There's lot of Evil gods in Golarion, do you let them all tell you what to do?

... so about those Infamy rules?

Follow up with me after you play this one :)

Silver Crusade

Michael Sayre wrote:
Rysky wrote:

^w^

And *nods* Even if he was a god mine and my character's reactions wouldn't change much. There's lot of Evil gods in Golarion, do you let them all tell you what to do?

... so about those Infamy rules?

Follow up with me after you play this one :)

Okies!

Grand Lodge Premier Event Coordinator

Sounds like a perfect time to start a Razmiran priest as my next character. Thanks!

Wayfinders

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

:o That cover art!!!

Silver Crusade

I expect a higher than normal chance of explosions ^^

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is anyone able to download this yet? It got charged to my subscription and I have not been able to download the PDF yet. Am I too early for it yet?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Iammars wrote:

I feel like the part that no one is talking about is that this is written by Alex Greenshields.

You know, right?

Red Harvest?

A Case of Missing Persons?

THE DALSINE AFFAIR?

Nothing good is coming of this scenario.

That being said, I am so excited to run/play this. I _love_ Alex's scenarios.

Thanks so much :) Always nice to get positive feedback, especially during these trying times.


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

What the...

Silver Crusade

So, I don't know where to post this, but I am GM'ing this scenario next week, and one of the monsters is listed as AC 1. Anyone know if there is a correction somewhere?

Grand Lodge

It may have been brought up in the GM discussion thread.

Shadow Lodge

The Challenge Point chart at the back also has an error in it, listing the same information twice when there should be a subtier difference in there somewhere.

Grand Lodge

Errata: The statblocks for the Skeletal Giant and the Elite Skeletal Giant seem to be identical. (p. 27)

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