Pathfinder Society Scenario #1-24: Lightning Strikes, Stars Fall

4.10/5 (based on 8 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5–8.

The Pathfinder Society is called to action once more! Venture-Captain Dagur Hawksight needs a skilled group of experienced adventurers to scout ahead of a caravan crossing the Numerian wastes. Only the most skilled explorers can be entrusted with such a mission, for deadly pools of poison, fearsome mutants, and robots of all sizes are only the best-known dangers to plague the wastes. Lurking in the shadows, a gang of criminals armed with advanced technology seek to stop the PCs from completing their mission. Can the PCs overcome the many challenges before them, or will Hawksight's mission end in deadly failure?

Written by: Vanessa Hoskins

Scenario tags: None

[Scenario Maps spoiler - click to reveal]

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

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.

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Average product rating:

4.10/5 (based on 8 ratings)

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5/5

While this scenario has limited roleplay potential it more than makes up for it with interesting and complex encounters which not only perfectly embody the theme of Numeria but significantly reward prepared and attentive players who are willing to take risks in combat.

An example of this is the boss, who nearly killed several characters of my group (played high 5-6) in a matter of a few rounds but was soon trivialized single handily by the right combination of spells from my wizard when knowledge from two separate recall knowledge checks (one at the start of the scenario and one in the final encounter) combined with information given to us by the VC gave a hint to what he really was.

This and #1-12 are easily the two best scenarios of season 1, being great examples of opposite ends of the spectrum (roleplay heavy vs combat heavy) of what one can expect to encounter in PFS.


5/5

Overland travel scenarios might not appeal to everyone but it has a great mix of challenges (skills and combat), interesting ways to try and speed up your journey, and lots of room for cool creative ways to solve it.

The fights are also a great example of the nastyness Numeria can throw at you.


Very good and thematic scenario for Numeria!

5/5

I really really liked to run this scenario! (Ran it on the higher tier, 7-8)

The writing was very good, the plot made sense ( and you got to meet people in Torch that you might've met earlier in certain adventure path! ), the skill challenges were okay, and the way the encounters were set up was phenomenal!

The only, and I mean -only-, ehhh thing was in the beginning where the Venture Captains mentions against renting/buying horses. The players will need them. I simply omitted that small part and the whole group rented horses (minus the Elf Ranger and the Elf Monk who's overland speed was 40ft+) and everything went fine. :)

Also don't put the biggest spoiler ON THE COVER! :O

Encounter A (7-8)

Spoiler:
This is the one the players will most likely be able to pass peacefully if they have *any* wilderness capable people along. Make sure to only put them on the battlemap if they engage the Krooths! I've found that setting up the battlemap beforehand lessens the eagerness for diplomatic resolution. :D

My players latched onto the peaceful solution right away, after being described the sweltering heat, drying riverbed and understanding the plight of the large lizards. I must admit I fed into their empathy by having the tiny krooth hatchlings cling onto the bigger mother lizard like little opossum joeys.

Encounter B (7-8)

Spoiler:
The Ambush! Oh this is where the beauty of the designers skill really shows! This has all the hallmarks of a good ambush: The long range weaponry of the hidden attackers who have prepared the battlefield to their advantage beforehand. The freedom the GM has when setting up the encounter also helps.

This fight uses the Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Swamp.
I made the snipers form a loose firing row on the hill with an empty square between each.
I had them all roll Stealth for Initiative (with a +4 bonus from the Greater Cover their sniper nests give them) and use the following basic routine: Trick Attack, Fire, Hide.
This keeps them hidden and maximizes the damage of the one shot they take. They all focused on the most visible target as well. This let's the players control the aggro a little bit while also being sensible from the viewpoint of the snipers.

The Acid Bushes I positioned mostly on the other side, and near, of the tree trunk (the players naturally gravitate towards the cover/greater cover the trunk gives, so this is a nasty surprise for them and has a greater chance of triggering the Hazard.)
-
My players just nuked the hill with Fireballs (3 of them had either scrolls of it, or were sorcerers). The snipers took 4 or 5 fireballs all in all. I reduced their cover from Greater to Standard after the 3rd fireball, as I judged that the snipers blinds they had set up took some serious damage from the explosions. (also made the players feel rewarded from using considerable amount of resources here.)
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Do also note that Tripping someone in the Acid deals 10d6 damage. This might be a viable melee option for the snipers when the players inevitable close the distance to the hill. Demoralize followed by Shove and a Trip might come as a nasty surprise for the first player getting to melee. This tactic most likely needs 2 snipers working as a team and is not -optimal- in most cases but a fun little possibility.

Encounter C (7-8)
THIS IS GOLD
Mark the height differences on the map. It helps so much.

Spoiler:
I loved the last encounter; the map, the boss, the hazard, the lackeys. This is what Numeria is all about!

I positioned the boss on top of the Annihilator Robot where they could monologue, command their minions and rain lightning on the battlefield.

2 of the melee lackeys were positioned on the highest ledge where the Hazard control panel was. They both defended the control panel and had good positions to Stealth Snipe the players on the canyon floor.

1 melee lackey i put inside the building, taking shots from the small windows if people tried to hide under Annihilator. He came out to Grab people and keep them in the sight of the Annihilators Chain Guns after a while.

The Mage hid behind the Annihilator leg (Cover) in the lower ledge where the ladder is. They rolled Stealth for initiative. I made sure to keep the Mage within 30ft. of the Boss. The Mage has Electric Arc. This can be used to trigger the Bosses Reaction and give him the Quickened condition while also striking one player if they are close enough.

Use the Mages Web spell to block of the stairs and create choke-points. Mirror Image & Vampiric Touch will keep them alive for a while longer.

Now: THE BOSS

The boss can be very tough to damage if the players don't score a lucky crit on him, breaking his Construct Armor. I made him use his ranged attacks, giving the impression of a physically weak caster. The Fighter and Monk who scaled the Annihilator to challenge him had a nasty surprise when he unleashed his Programmed Combo on them.

I'd recommend against trying to Shove the players off from the top of the Annihilator (30ft. drop, so 15 damage and Prone) unless the players try that on the boss first. And even then do it just once if you succeed or the fight can drag on.

If the boss is surrounded and in disadvantage, have him jump down to the canyon floor. His Hardness soaks most of the damage, and while he does end up Prone, he's mostly likely Quickened. (In my case the Fighter and Monk jumped after him, both taking the damage rather than slowly climb down)

I purposely tried to get the party to spread out a bit by my positioning of the enemies. This makes the battle more dynamic and should mitigate the change of nuking the whole party with the Self-destruct the boss has. I managed to get 3 players under the explosion, bringing 2 of them down and leaving the remaining in low health. The rest of the fight was pretty much over by then and they got First Aid soon after. But the fight ended with a BANG! :D

All in all, very good atmospheric scenario that let's a GM to really up the challenge with battlefield positioning and tactics if the players are strong. Recommend with a happy heart!


Easily broken by spells

3/5

This was a fun one. A nice caravan trip one with little roleplaying in it sadly.

The fights can be cake walk to hard. It all depends on what spells the casters have. Dropping a firewall in this can pretty much shut down two fights into cake walk range. That spell can even remove any threat from the last boss.

Overall, it's fun just cause of the end boss guy. Everything else is very standard.


Mission is actually quite hard!

5/5

This is a really hard mission to successfully complete successfully. It can be done, but with a typical group - particularly in low tier - it takes some doing, and may not be possible.

The combats depend on the abilities and mobility in your group; probably averaging to "medium" - but some groups can be in real trouble.

I wouldn't be a big fan of every scenario being this "iffy," but I'm really glad that it's out there. Fun, fun, fun!


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Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Coming soon!

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

EEE!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Well done, Vanessa!

Paizo Employee Contributor

6 people marked this as a favorite.

SQUEEEEEEEE!
I really hope everyone likes the

Spoiler:

Pfft... Like I'm really going to spoil it...

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Vanessa Hoskins wrote:

SQUEEEEEEEE!

I really hope everyone likes the
** spoiler omitted **

Oh, but I think they will, I really do.

Scarab Sages

Vanessa Hoskins wrote:

SQUEEEEEEEE!

I really hope everyone likes the
** spoiler omitted **

Whohoo! Congratulations!


When should subscribers get the pdf?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Can anyone tell what was updated? I'm prepping this tonight to run for Gencon, and have been using the original download I had.


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

No idea, at least some subscriptions still haven't filled to start prepping, yet.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is a *very* good Scenario! I'll definitely have to write a review! ^^

Radiant Oath

anyone notice that the blue streak mage from rank 7-8 have a spell list completely diferent than the rank 5-6 version? and that they make no sense to the adventure? bind undead???

is there any errata?


Quick question from a newbie GM- in the encounters it often mentions that the assailants “set up on the points indicated on the map” but I’m not seeing any indicated points on the maps in the PDF. Am I missing something? Is there an errata for this scenario? Or do I just make an educated guess based on where I think it would be logical?

Thanks in advance.


Has this been followed up on at all?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A note on the Chronicle Sheet for this adventure:

Spoiler:
This adventure lists formulas for an adamantine shield and adamantine buckler on the Chronicle Sheet. Formulas for the base version of an item are used for all versions, including those crafted with special materials, so this isn't necessary. The intent was to provide players with enough adamantine to craft two shields, along with the knowledge of how to do so. This Chronicle Sheet will be updated at a future date to reflect this.

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