Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-17: Lost Maid of Anactoria

4.00/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3-6.

When the grim “local celebrity” of the small village of Anactoria goes missing, its townsfolk reach out to the Pathfinder Society for assistance. A group of heroes arrive just as a band from the rival Aspis Consortium have headed out into the nearby swamps. Is this a coincidence, or is there more going on in Anactoria than meets the eye? Of course, everything is subjective when you visit a town where its celebrity is a mummified bog corpse!

Written by Scott D. Young

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:

  • Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Woodlands
  • Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Swamp
  • Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Society Scenario Subscription.

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    1 to 5 of 6 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

    Average product rating:

    4.00/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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    A bit long, so be prepared

    4/5

    This scenario did everything I wanted it to do. Had a great opportunity and variety with roleplay and encounters, though one of them did feel a bit out of place it was still short and easy enough that it wasn't that big a deal.

    The problem is, the beginning is an investigation that heavily promotes roleplay, but even though that's there, the scenario still included 3 pretty large encounters. We most certainly went over time with this one, and I was the GM trying to hurry people along while still giving adequate time to feel like the investigation was actually meaningful and player-driven.

    Honestly, removal (or even better, making one optional) of one of the encounters would entirely fix this issue.

    Overall, it's just long. Expect it to go an hour over if your party is at all interested or invested in the beginning roleplay.


    Loved it!

    5/5

    The story is fun, the investigation part is nicely set up, and the encounters are interesting even though the final encounter can be rough (but fair!). Mind you that some parts can run long, so try to pace it accordingly when running it.

    GM perspective:
    I found it a boon to have all the information where I was expecting it. It made for an easy prep, and a breeze to run. Great work!


    4/5

    I thought it was a very interesting scenario with fun roleplaying, a good mystery to uncover, and well-balanced combats.

    GMs have to be prepared, though, because the investigation part can really make the scenario run long (we went 6.5 hours, probably could have shaved 1.5 hours off of that without feeling like we missed out on anything), and it's all in the front part (meaning delays will really crunch things at the end if players have deadlines to end).


    This scenario sucks

    1/5

    I played this scenario as a player in a high tier group with a level 4 Cleric. We had people at dying 2 or 3 in every battle.
    The challenge level of the opponents simply does not match what a group on this level can overcome with average difficulty. Encounters aren't supposed to be easy, but not every encounter should be a live of death challenge. Added to this issue is the fact that everything happens on the same day, so your spells etc. are depleted fast.
    On the story progression side: We found out pretty early what was going on and who was responsible, but the scenario neither gives you the option to use that info there and then nor does it give you and advantage later in form of an advantage in a later encounter.
    And I'd seriously advice to look at the final encounter again. Scenarios should not be designed in a way, that only fully optimized characters which are prepared for EVERY eventuality can complete an encounter.
    If not for our awesome GM, we'd probably all be dead.


    5/5

    I loved playing and running this one. I even made an investigation board for the players to aid them in their quest :) All in all I would love to see all scenarios being like this, lots of things happening in the module with the initial motives being sufficiently crazy and intriguing. Combat is nice and challenging with some interesting custom foes. The murky swamp theme is excellent. The only small problem I had concerning the investigation was that...

    Spoiler:
    ...the investigation part didn't seem to have an impact on the later happenings. No matter if the players did well or not, the same things would occur. This might have been done differently, as the first part takes quite some time to complete.


    1 to 5 of 6 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
    Paizo Employee Organized Play Associate

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Announced for April! Cover and product description are not final and subject to change.

    Grand Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Ooh, a Scott D. Young adventure with BOG MUMMIES? Sign me up!

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Associate

    Cover and map list updated.

    Radiant Oath

    I really enjoyed the cultural distinctiveness of this scenario and the 3 generation family dynamics. Nice horror elements that could be run as a Halloween adventure with creepy music and dark lighting.

    Vigilant Seal

    I just played this scenario and it kinda sucks.
    The opponents are completely overpowered for characters on that level.
    And we are a group had an idea who was responsible pretty early on, but the scenario neither gave you the option to act on it, nor some kind of advantage later on.
    That's the first scenario I ever felt I really did not like.

    Info about the Opponents, warning Spoiler:
    Invisible Creatures with +17 to hit and AC27 for 4th level Characters is not appropriate in my book


    Aladurin wrote:

    I just played this scenario and it kinda sucks.

    The opponents are completely overpowered for characters on that level.
    And we are a group had an idea who was responsible pretty early on, but the scenario neither gave you the option to act on it, nor some kind of advantage later on.
    That's the first scenario I ever felt I really did not like.

    ** spoiler omitted **

    I'm running this next week. I took a look at the monster you're describing. Yeah, that AC is tough, but also note that it's the high tier, meant for level 5-6. You being level 4 doesn't have anything to do with it. It's probably more reasonable in the proper tier (though still nasty, IMHO).

    Grand Lodge

    To be fair, by the time you graduate to higher-level (not 1-4) scenarios you need to be able to deal with darkness, invisibility, flying, and damage resistance. That Atk/AC combo is on the high side, but its also designed for level 5-6 PCs, so playing a low-tier PC in a high-tier game, you are not going to be as effective. That's why we have the level adjustments for the lowest-level characters.

    Spoiler:
    there are a lot of ways to deal with will-o-wisps. That is not to say they are easy opponents, but their invisibility cannot be maintained for free. So they either have to stay dark, or spend an action every turn to turn themselves dark again. That eats up actions. Not to mention any movement they have to account for. So not standing still is a smart tactic.

    If you limit them to at best one attack per round, at tier 5-6, you should have ways to mitigate 13 points of damage per round on average either though things like champion's reaction or healing (spells, battle medicine, potions, etc.)

    I've run this a number of times for both sub-tiers and none of the groups had a particularly hard time with it. Its pretty clear by the text why figuring out the culprit early on doesn't really do a whole lot. You need actual evidence of which you have none. Every table I've had pretty much figured it out too, but its the word of a group of outsiders just arrived in town an hour ago that look suspiciously like another group in town that is already suspicious vs a home-grown boy who has "made good" by going to university. Of course, no one is going to believe you if you accuse him.

    Dark Archive

    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Yeah the concentrate trait balances it out pretty nicely.

    But yeah in our party's case, we had reason to suspect correct suspect, but were convinced it was incorrect one until reveal.


    Spoiler:
    there are a lot of ways to deal with will-o-wisps. That is not to say they are easy opponents, but their invisibility cannot be maintained for free. So they either have to stay dark, or spend an action every turn to turn themselves dark again. That eats up actions. Not to mention any movement they have to account for. So not standing still is a smart tactic.

    Reply

    Spoiler:
    This is not correct. When the Wisp goes dark using their shock ability does not make them visible, they simply become hidden. You still cannot see them so have to deal with DC11 miss chances but you do know which square they are in. They only become visible when they use Feed on Fear.

    When I ran this the group Flames Oracle set them on fire with his aura combined with some alchemist fires. I allowed them to make the creature just hidden at all times. If I was being mean I could have just flown in, shocked someone and flown back out and it would have been a guaranteed TPK as my group (which included Aladurin) had no means of revealing invisible creatures. The group contained five level 5 characters and a level 4. Two of them were pregens.

    A scroll of faerie fire costs 12gp.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    CorvusMask wrote:
    Yeah the concentrate trait balances it out pretty nicely.

    The Concentrate trait does basically nothing. It does not provoke unless you have a much higher level fighter feat.

    Dark Archive

    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    andreww wrote:
    CorvusMask wrote:
    Yeah the concentrate trait balances it out pretty nicely.
    The Concentrate trait does basically nothing. It does not provoke unless you have a much higher level fighter feat.

    Playing so many different version of the game makes me really confuse the details together x'D I think I made this mistake because sustain spell has concentrate action and I remembered reading concentrate trait working similarly, but I probably just mixed them up in my head or remembered something from different edition.

    Also kinda makes me think creature should be errata'd that it would work like that because uh... Now on rereading that ability, if intent is indeed "the ability just turns itself on or off", then the creature is basically impossible to beat with tactics you described(and it would have zero reason to reveal itself until feeding). So either you always have to softball this monster or they should errata it because on closer read, this is even harder than 1e version which was already really hard monster to encounter.

    Grand Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    andreww wrote:
    The group contained five level 5 characters and a level 4

    Some will say its a bit harsh, but if you are level 5 and don't have a way to deal with darkness, invisibility, flying, and resistances, you kinda get what's comin' to you. I consider that part of the tactics a professional adventuring party, especially one where most of the participants went to school for three years to learn how to do it right, would be discussing at the outset. Not having the "perfect" tool for every situation is one thing, but ignoring the most fundamental monster tactics and acting like the only plan you need is "Leeroy Jeekins!" is troublesome. It might work at low level, but level five is not low level, and many would say even a four should be more pragmatic.

    It is a difficult encounter to be sure, but honestly nothing a well-prepared adventuring party shouldn't be able to deal with. knowing where they are is really all you should need initially to drop a glitterdust or faerie fire. An adventurer's pack contains 10 sticks of chalk. Only the most rigidly uncompromising GM would deny you crushing that up and using it as an AoE to reduce/counter, even temporarily, the effects of the invisibility as an "out of the box" solution. See invisibility is only a level 2 spell and its available to three of the four traditions. If you want a cheap "break in case of emergency" solution, grab a hunter's bane talisman for 6gp. IMO, it should be very high on every martial's must-have list at low level.

    Audits:
    I recently started to audit all the characters I GM for and now that I've got about five dozen under my belt, it is clear to me that (1) most players either don't read the Guide or forget the rules for character creation and (2) players are generally hyper-focused on a very narrow category of equipment, if they even bother to shop outside of the most obvious magical boosts (potency runes, healing potions, alchemical bombs, etc), but that is probably a discussion for another thread.


    TwilightKnight wrote:
    andreww wrote:
    The group contained five level 5 characters and a level 4
    Some will say its a bit harsh, but if you are level 5 and don't have a way to deal with darkness, invisibility, flying, and resistances, you kinda get what's comin' to you.

    I generally agree and made the point to my group that a scroll of Faerie Fire costs 12gp and doesnt allow a save.

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