Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-03: Echoes of Desperation

3.00/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 3rd- through 6th-level characters.

Venture-Captain Finze Bellaugh at the Anthusis Lodge in Vidrian recently came into possession of a magic bell that was plundered from a community of Song'o halflings living somewhere in the Laughing Jungle. He believes the bell is a critically important object to this community, and he needs a group of skilled Pathfinders to learn precisely where the bell came from, then return it to its rightful owners. The PCs soon discover there is more to the bell's story, and returning it is no simple matter!

Written by Mike Kimmel and Nate Wright

Scenario tags: None

[Scenario Maps spoiler - click to reveal]

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

  • Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Forest Multi-Pack
  • Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Shipwrecks
  • Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Society Scenario Subscription.

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    3.00/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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    It was okay. I had fun fighting a lot of foes

    Fun story, fun combats, but a bit sloppy at the edges.


    Perspective: I GMed this on low tier

    Overall this was an enjoyable scenario. The plot unfolded in an interesting way that had the players wanting to know what's coming next. Special mention for the art assets; the picture of the bell is really good. I also dove into the Mwangi setting book to get some extra background. I recommend that to GMs; it's not strictly needed, but it does make the story a bit richer. The scenario's pretty solidly grounded on the setting. Nice work there.

    The combats were quite entertaining, with creatures having an environment to work with so they can do interesting things, but not hopelessly contrived.

    The big social part in the middle worked out well, my players juuuust managed to get the happy outcome out of it. They weren't especially good or badly statted for it, so I guess that speaks to good balancing (it sure looked dicey right up till the end).

    There's a couple of points though where I think it could be better though.

    * Several elite adjustments, without those statblocks printed. There was plenty of room on the page. This just seems lazy editing?

    * I'm not convinced the encounter difficulty tags were correct. Especially the final encounter seems very easy on low tier and very hard on high tier. Especially the CP scaling seems to swing rather wildly there.

    * Some of the skill challenges seem a bit shoehorned in, or require a high success without really signalling that they're particularly important and perhaps worth spending a hero point on.

    * For the big central social part, I don't love what would have happened if the PCs don't get full points. It's a bit railroady. Maybe this kind of skill challenge isn't the right one for what the rest of the story needs to have happen at this point.

    None of these are especially egregious but they do prevent it from rising from decent to great. In the hands of a moderately experienced/prepared GM you can still have a good afternoon with this.

    Excellent Concept, but groaning under the unnecessary rules-weight


    The premise of this adventure is quite nice - returning lost loot and trying to gain a foothold amongst a people who are not necessarily hostile, but not necessarily friendly either.

    Storywise, there is a snag, I found truly odd.

    I thought it was downright alien that the song'o halflings couldn't bear seeing the bellocos feast on phantasms so hard, that they decided they were okay with their people just straight up getting murdered instead. Did I miss something here?

    The real issue is that sandwiched between a really fun boss fight and an interesting exploration section is this weird application of the influence system. It was difficult as players to understand what the purpose or objective of this whole thing was. We just ask about the artifact and then play a game of "20 or so dice rolls" to find out how much of a story these people tell us and it being presented as one solid but chopped up narrative made it difficult to understand what information was meant to be conveyed even with multiple players taking notes at the table. Ultimately, I just don't feel this situation really called for the full and formal influence system, especially when the characters being influenced had so little on the bone. It became impossible to roleplay out this social encounter and that feels like the wrong way to do things. The influence subsystem has had good uses in the past, but this was not one of them.

    The story was good, but there was more to it in the implementation than we got.


    At first I thought while reading that I would like adventure. The story was interesting, you could put yourself in the shoes of the NSC and there was also a bit of variety from the sets. Up to the arrival of the role play part, everything was sovereign. The introduction is really great, gentle encounters at the beginning, a slightly challenging fight in the middle part (I love to control flying units and to annoy the players with swooping, attacking, soaring and the standard tactic of giving a step into the ... ), but then comes the well-intentioned, but poorly implemented, alternation of this scenario:
    The role play part ... Actually the thought was really very good, but it was already clear to me while reading that you simply don't have time to give social interaction the time it actually deserves. And that also turned out to be true. We played out nicely up to round 3, but then, looking at the clock, I decided to pick up the pace. Pity! Then also some of the throws with SG that were required ... I think they wanted to make the 100% run extra difficult.
    Then the well-deserved finale should follow, which turned out to be tougher than initially thought. On paper I just thought that the SC would march through, but then at the end it was even a slight hint of danger. I think one less mob wouldn't have been wrong either.

    Conclusion: in the end a solid adventure. Too bad, had potential for more.

    I have enjoyed running it


    The balancing is probably not perfect. One combat is tough, one is super easy, and another can be really difficult.
    But I have found that players enjoyed it and I have enjoyed it, on both occasions I have run it.
    The social encounter allows for some fun roleplaying. It also requires good prep from the GM to avoid turning into a slug.

    1 to 5 of 7 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
    Paizo Employee Organized Play Associate

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

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

    Envoy's Alliance

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Look at us Pathfinders! Returning stolen loot instead of looting. I'm quite a fan of seeing this kind of story. I also greatly love this area of the world, that fishing bounty was wonderful.

    Is this a standalone, or part of a longer arc like the other two for this season that we know about?

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    This is a stand-alone and not part of a larger arc within the Pathfinder Society storyline.

    Dark Archive

    7 people marked this as a favorite.

    Woo, my first scenario. It's good to see it as a real thing that exists in the wild.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Congrats Nate!

    I look forward to seeing what you and Mike have created for us.

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