A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st- through 4th-level characters.
A recently inducted Pathfinder field agent makes a startling discovery as pleas for assistance flock to the Society’s Grand Lodge from across the Inner Sea. A group of Pathfinders come to assist in parsing the ongoing damage to the Society when a staunch ally requests their assistance. Stepping into a problem close to home, the agents quickly uncover a larger plot set to tear the Society apart and that it’s up to them to raise the alarm!
Intro: Year of Shattered Sanctuaries is the introduction to the ongoing story of the Year of Shattered Sanctuaries. It is also the first scenario in a four-part arc detailing the events taking place in and around the Society's headquarters at the Grand Lodge in Absalom, the City of Lost Omens. Other arcs explore other locations across the Inner Sea. While the arcs can be played in any order, it is recommended that players experience the scenarios within each individual arc in order, and this scenario is a natural starting point for the Year 3 metaplot as a whole.
I GM'd this module for three separate groups in the low tier as Play-By-Post games.
The intro here is trying to do a lot, but I think it executes it quite well. I has to set up the metaplot for the year while also making the players feel a little ill at ease with their safety as Pathfinders. Not to mention, of course, that it is its own adventure.
The module is combat heavy, but not to the exclusion of all else. This felt like a good challenge for players that like the crunchiness of PF2, especially if those players like to really play around in the system. Of the three encounters, only the last could be significantly tricky for PCs and GMs alike. There's a lot of Stealth mechanics to keep track of, while also having plenty of room to catch the players off-guard and paranoid.
I had a lot of fun running this adventure multiple times and seeing what sorts of different approaches players had to locked doors, dimly lit rooms, and even altruism. It's hard for me to give this adventure a full 5 stars, but for a solid game, you can't go wrong with this.
Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Pathfinder Society Intro: Year of Shattered Sanct
Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!
Product- Pathfinder Society Intro: Year of Shattered Sanctuaries
System- Pathfinder 2nd Ed
Price- $5.99 here https://paizo.com/products/btq027s9/reviews&page=2?Pathfinder-Society-I ntro-Year-of-Shattered-Sanctuaries#tabs
TL; DR-A simple and solid adventure 86%
Basics- YOU ARE NEEDED PATHFINDERS! This is an intro scenario for new pathfinders and players of all ages. From a mushroom man trying to sort letters to uncovering a simple mystery can you, a new agent, help the Society in a time of need?
Mechanics or Crunch- This is a simple adventure that gets players rolling dice fairly quickly, but has a slightly slow start. It’s not a super risk taking adventure like the 2-01 intro, but it does introduce many society elements and grander plots. After learning about different adventures around the world, the game is a series of battles. Good for intro fun with some basic elements. It's not crazy-advanced crunch, but it’s solid fun for new players. 4.5/5
Theme or Fluff- Much like the crunch, the adventure doesn’t take risks, has a slow start, but is a decent intro to the world of Pathfinder society. Reading letters at the start is a bit slow, but it does introduce the wider world quickly. The fights are fun if a little standard for 1st level. This isn’t an adventure to push the envelope, but it also doesn’t aim to be. 4/5
Execution- Paizo knows adventures, but they are also the most pricey. I like this one. It has a solid layout, pictures, and design, but it's also an adventure that will only take about three hours, even with an uninitiated adventuring party. It's a bit expensive considering what other comparably priced adventures do. Not bad, but short. 4.5/5
Summary- The first adventure of a season is always a contentious adventure. Push the envelope too much and people get a bit lost as new players. Don’t do enough and you end up with just four smaller adventures showing off factions. This strikes a decent balance, but in doing so it doesn’t take risks in terms of scope or being adventurous. It's also a Paizo product and they put out well done, if expensive adventures. It works well, though it is a bit simple. 86%
Scenario is fine, does it’s job well which is ‘introduce the metaplot of the rest of the season while still giving players something fun to do.’ Not the best or most in aging scenario, but far from the worst. Would give it four stars however:
There is one fight that only happens at the upper tier that is just notorious. Multiple high-level monsters with an ability to deal auto damage, auto apply debuff, and it essentially heals them for no resource cost. So you can hit these things and on their turn they will just hurt you, undo all the damage you did, and be able to do that ad nausium. Maybe a group of 6 level 4s could handle them easy, but for several groups it has almost caused a TPK. And their defense is higher than normal, just an unfun fight that feels only one step better than saying ‘rocks fall, everyone dies’
Looses a star for such atrocious encounter design, especially since these are unique monsters that have been specifically designed for this scenario.
The special this year was the pathfinder/starfinder specials affecting each other they mentioned in blog. They apparently don't plan to tie in specials with metaplots anymore
(which is great in my opinion, I STILL don't know what happened to Aram Zey in the end because its "special spoilers" :p Tying the metaplot with convention only stuff kinda sucks when you can't go to every convention)
Is this scenario really repeatable? It's the same creatures in each encounter with no variation. Usually replayables have several creatures to choose from for each encounter so that it is different each time you play it.