Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-10: In Burning Dawn

3.60/5 (based on 5 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5-8.

The Hold of Belkzen is changing, with orc overlord Ardax the White-Hair violently repelling an allegiance by the Whispering Tyrant. Words of these developments and letters seeking diplomatic contact have reached Envoy’s Alliance leader Fola Barun, who has realized that the Pathfinder Society already has a perfect intermediary in the Burning Sun orc faction after they helped recover important artifacts from a ruined cathedral a few years ago. As the Pathfinders head to meet the Burning Sun’s leader, though, they soon find that not all orcs in Belkzen share Ardax’s inclinations for peace.

Written by: Steven Hammond

Scenario tags: Envoy's Alliance

[Scenario Maps spoiler - click to reveal]

The following maps used in this scenario are also available for purchase here on

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Average product rating:

3.60/5 (based on 5 ratings)

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In a vacuum, the scenario is fine. I just finished another scenario with a Chase mechanic, so getting another one seemed repetitive, but that's probably just an artifact of my experience.

My biggest gripe, not reflected in the star rating, is that this is at least the second time Org Play has passed on an opportunity to flesh out the orc ancestry and give a little depth to their culture. I mean, they're playable PCs now. Compare the treatment of goblins in #1-07 or #1-14, or the iruxi in #1-09/#1-23, or the kobolds in Q10 or #2-05.

Solid Scenario


This scenario was quite solid.

I liked the setup of the final encounter.

One small criticism regarding the chase:

While the DCs were quite well baleanced (GOOD) there were some obstacles with quite similar (and few) skills to solve which could be improved.

Fun to play


I played in one of andreww's games and I rather enjoyed this one. The "trials" element is maybe not blindingly original but it's executed well enough, and they help the plot forward. I liked the chase because you actually feel like competent, even powerful adventurers. I think in some previous scenarios the difficulty had been too high and now people are expecting them all to be grueling and unfair.

The encounter difficulty seemed okay to me - maybe a bit easy for a group that's teamworked like a well-oiled machine, but challenging to a random grab-bag of people you end up with on roll20. I rather liked the second to last encounter because it feels like "hey, we got better at this" while the last one is really quite challenging. So, a bit varied difficulty, I like that.

Potential but a little underwhelming


I have run this twice now at high tier. It is an interesting set up giving us a closer look at an ancestry which are often presented as little more than brutish monsters to kill. Overall the story is fine but I would have liked to see more exploration of Dawns Reach. Rather than the somewhat stilted trials I would have preferred to see more interaction inside the community with its residents. It is presented as a diplomatic mission, diplomats will be largely useless here.

Where I have more of an issue is with the combat elements. The first encounter is pretty easy, especially as you have help. They are completely unrequired for a vaguelly competent party.

The second encounter, at high tier, is uttery irrelevant. It is little more than a brief speed bump as the primary risk from the high tier enemies is almost entirely removed by the incapacitation trait.

The last encounter has a lot more going for it, mainly due to the terrain. My second group found the clock issue rather ufair given the locations of the items and the difficulty reaching them.

Lastly a note on DCs. We have seen some scenarios with very high DCs for their level, the chase in this one has what felt like extremely low DCs. Both groups I have run for have either passed Mahja or arrived at the summit at the same time. Neither ever felt in the slghst danger of falling behind.

a bit short of expectations


Not massively challenging, even if some GMs could increase challenges by making tactical decisions.
The second encounter is profoundly useless. It should have been removed or toughened up. As written, it is a waste of time.
In itself, not bad, but short of expectations.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Associate

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Announced for December! Cover image and description are not final and subject to change.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Associate

Cover and map list updated.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

This sounds like fun. I always enjoy aggressive negotiations.

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