Pathfinder One-Shot #4: Mark of the Mantis

4.70/5 (based on 7 ratings)
Pathfinder One-Shot #4: Mark of the Mantis

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The Red Mantis assassins are one of the most feared organizations on all of Golarion, for their reach is far and their methods effective. When several of Absalom’s councilors from the Petals District turn up dead, all evidence points to Red Mantis responsibility. However, the truth is that the sole surviving council, a secretive servant of the evil deity Norgorber, is responsible and now stands to be elected without opposition. The murderer masquerading as a Red Mantis assassin is one thing, but since the kills were so inexpertly done, the Red Mantis cannot allow the noble to live. Assigning several agents to the mission, the Red Mantis intend to infiltrate the noble’s manor and execute her for her slight against their order. With three Red Mantis assassins and one bitter mercenary on the job, the noble must die before the stroke of midnight.

This short Pathfinder (second edition) adventure written by John Compton is intended to be completed in a single session and includes four 6th-level pregenerated characters. Three of the characters have strong ties to the Red Mantis assassins and use rules options presented in Pathfinder Lost Omens: World Guide, while the fourth is a mercenary fighter out for revenge. This adventure can easily be incorporated into various virtual tabletops, run off of digital devices, or printed out and played at a table.

"Mark of the Mantis" is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (963 kb PDF).

Pregenerated characters for this adventure are also available as a free download

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Pathfinder Nexus on Demiplane

Product Availability

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZOPF1004E


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Average product rating:

4.70/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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Absolutely phenomenal

5/5

I cannot praise this adventure enough. It was the most fun I have ever had with a one-shot or even a PFS adventure. The progression from planning, attempting and hopefully pulling off the heist, and resolving the adventure is a wild ride. I'm hesitant to get too specific because I would really hate to spoil any aspect of this adventure. Strongly strongly recommend.


Best of the One Shots

5/5

Really nice pre-generated characters with strong options that fit very well into their roles. (Do note that if you expect the cleric to be a healer you're in for a bad time, that's the monk's job in this party)

Custom exploration activity that gives the Mantis Agents that edge the flavor says they should have.

Brilliant writing that gives the GM power and mechanics to deal with whatever zany plan the PCs come up with.

This is basically a perfect example of the format.


10/10 would commit crime again.

5/5

Mark of the Mantis is one of the most well written, reactive, adventures Paizo has printed. It's the only time I've ever seen the stealth mechanics of games like Assassins Creed or Thief replicated in a TTPRG format and have them actually feel like your players are being stealthy, that alone would rate it 5 stars given how hard it is to do in any format.

But then the story itself is fantastic, the pregenerated characters are a brilliantly written range of options and as if that was not enough, the adventure is truly a free form one, a huge array of options for the players are provided so they can create their own plan and the GM has everything they need at hand to run it! If there's an opposite to the railroad game then this is it, they have a target and a mission and what they do, how they do it is entirely up to them but the GMs content prepares you to deal with all of it!

If you've ever seen a heist movie and thought how cool it would be to play one, or enjoyed Assassins Creed, etc then this scenario delivers.


Somewhat lackluster .pdf

4/5

I haven't run the game yet. So, I can't speak to balance. The storyline looks interesting and easy to follow with some sandbox segweys into the meat of the adventure. The artwork varies between good and subpar. I was disappointed to find that the pdf isn't bookmarked.


Pregens not quite equipped for the task

4/5

While I enjoyed the scenario mechanics, setup and plot, I have a few gripes with how the pregens are setup. First, very limited combat healing (harm cleric has a few heals but not nearly enough). Second, for bad guys, surprising lack of lockpicking skills (only one has them). And finally, our GM used an alternative version of BBEG and there's almost nothing we could do to prevent them from escaping because of one particular spell, which resulted in a very unsatisfying finale.

Imo, when I play with pregens, I expect them to be tailored to the scenario, rather than be told "here's an additional challenge: succeed without proper tools".

Imo, as GM I would make sure to tweak the pregens so that players can focus on the scenario rather than try to find workarounds to fill the party skill gaps.


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Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Coming soon!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

SUPER excited for this - I've wanted a Red Mantis adventure for ages now. Can we hear what Ancestry/Class pairings the pregens are?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Huzzah!

Silver Crusade

OOO, and by Compton too, nice


Red mantis party! Definitely buying this one, but I buy everything either way. Very exciting though.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Wow, sanctioned for Org play >9 days before release!

And 6th level should be fun! looking forward to this one!

Silver Crusade

I am very much looking forward to what evil thing John Compton has brought us these days

And yes that early sanctioning is really neat.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Love that this has been hinted at before and finally for real at GENCON event, can't wait for this, and if it goes well then perhaps an red Mantis AP!!??

A certain someone on the Paizo team is pulling for it I know!!!

Tom :)


Description wrote:
Three of the characters have strong ties to the Red Mantis assassins

Mantis was restricted. Right?

If we played this one-shot, can we have Mantis assassins in PFS?

And ofcourse, Pregens.

Sczarni

Rysky wrote:
OOO, and by Compton too, nice

How many parties do you think will TPK?

Grand Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Laclale♪ wrote:
Description wrote:
Three of the characters have strong ties to the Red Mantis assassins

Mantis was restricted. Right?

If we played this one-shot, can we have Mantis assassins in PFS?

And ofcourse, Pregens.

The chronicle sheet says this:

Chronicle Sheet wrote:
This adventure qualifies you for a unique Achievement Point boon: Mantis Devotee.

And the description of the boon from the boon list:

Boon description wrote:

Mark of the Mantis: Mantis Devotee

Gain access to a new deity and a related weapon. Must have played Mark of the Mantis to download.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

4 people marked this as a favorite.
healbot42 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
OOO, and by Compton too, nice
How many parties do you think will TPK?

This joke only makes sense after you've played the adventure so please do not click this spoiler until after that!

Spoiler:
The briefing was very clear that you weren't meant to assassinate the whole party, but even the best laid plans, etc!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

These One-Shots are quickly becoming my favourite Paizo product line!


Hey Aaron any news if this will get onto Roll20 by chance?

Thanks bud

Tom


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CyberMephit wrote:
These One-Shots are quickly becoming my favourite Paizo product line!

Agreed. They are the perfect solution when one of my five players cannot make a game session.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Anyone else unable to DL after purchase?


MiraculousWaterBottle wrote:
Anyone else unable to DL after purchase?

Same :(


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm guessing the actual PDF will be released sometime today, I also have purchased but no link yet


I’m in the same boat as well; successfully purchased, but nothing in my files.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

7 people marked this as a favorite.

There is a technical delay. We are working on the PDF. Thanks!


Aaron Shanks wrote:
There is a technical delay. We are working on the PDF. Thanks!

Thank you for the update

Envoy's Alliance

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Good news: You can download the file now.

Bad news: The included manor map art asset is corrupted and downloads as a 0 byte jpg called "(location name removed for spoilers) Map – Untagged"

Other news: I'm not sure where the pregens are because they aren't in the PDF and don't seem to be linked in the product page like the other one-shots


It’s still not showing in my downloads.


keftiu wrote:
It’s still not showing in my downloads.

Good news: his download was corrupted.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Same problem here, I tried downloading multiple times, but one image is broken and the pregen PDF is missing.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Pregen link is now on product page


I placed an order for this and in my order confirmation email this shows up as "other items" instead of "digital purchases" and I still do not see an option to specifically purchase the PDF, so I guess that's still being worked on.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This product is PDF-only, so the Add to Cart button is the method to purchase. The pre-generated characters are available separately as a free download from the link above.


J03_M4M4 wrote:
Pregen link is now on product page

Is it intentional that two of the PC assassins are only carrying a single Sawtooth Saber? It means the Twin trait on each weapon is useless - it’s a relatively small damage bump to miss out on, but I did want to ask.


I bought this earlier today and it still doesn’t appear in my library. Is this happening to anyone else?

EDIT: Went to go see if it was a browser issue… and Safari won’t even let me log into my Paizo account. Frustrating.

Vigilant Seal

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You're not the only one. I also bought it in the morning. Still doesn't appear in my downloads. I guess it'll be available tomorrow. Least I hope so.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Man, it seems like every year in-game some Norgorberites are trying to take over Absalom.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

They need new hobbies.

They should take up Dread or Paranoia.

Or Among Us... I'd pay to see that.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
J03_M4M4 wrote:
Pregen link is now on product page
Is it intentional that two of the PC assassins are only carrying a single Sawtooth Saber? It means the Twin trait on each weapon is useless - it’s a relatively small damage bump to miss out on, but I did want to ask.

Admittedly this does get right to the heart of previous statements by Paizo people as to why they stopped doing iconic pregens: Hamstringing the artwork to stick to what items they can actually mechanically carry or are mechanically best, or vise versa.


VestOfHolding wrote:
keftiu wrote:
J03_M4M4 wrote:
Pregen link is now on product page
Is it intentional that two of the PC assassins are only carrying a single Sawtooth Saber? It means the Twin trait on each weapon is useless - it’s a relatively small damage bump to miss out on, but I did want to ask.
Admittedly this does get right to the heart of previous statements by Paizo people as to why they stopped doing iconic pregens: Hamstringing the artwork to stick to what items they can actually mechanically carry or are mechanically best, or vise versa.

The art matches the equipment on the pregens; it’s just that most Red Mantis dual-wield sawtooth sabers, and here only one does.


keftiu wrote:

I bought this earlier today and it still doesn’t appear in my library. Is this happening to anyone else?

EDIT: Went to go see if it was a browser issue… and Safari won’t even let me log into my Paizo account. Frustrating.

Got a similar problem. It doesn't appear in my downloads, it only says "Pending" in the order, so I guess there's a problem somewhere, I'll wait a few days to see if it works by then.


I'm getting that map image corrupted as well, otherwise everything seems fine.

Tom

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

The download still ain't working for me.


Lukas Klausner wrote:
The download still ain't working for me.

Same, still shows as pending for me and no download available


I’m sure customer service is busy dealing with the issues on this. Has anyone heard of an ETC for this issue or did you have to do anything to get your download to become available?

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

10 people marked this as a favorite.

I have notified the Customer Service and Webstore teams of the continued issues. Thank you.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Thanks Aaron. Appreciate all the help you and CS/Webstore provide!


my order was still pending. messaged customer service and they made it available. the download is now in my digital content but when downloading all I get is a blank map and 2 pieces of artwork


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

We might just have to wait for an email or an update here to let us know when its all fixed and ready for everyone to download, can't wait to see the final product when it does come tho, expecting a little bit of a morally grey story?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Calcryx666 wrote:
We might just have to wait for an email or an update here to let us know when its all fixed and ready for everyone to download, can't wait to see the final product when it does come tho, expecting a little bit of a morally grey story?

I don't know how grey being a bunch of Evil assassins is. This is a revenge killing from a murderous cult.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
Calcryx666 wrote:
We might just have to wait for an email or an update here to let us know when its all fixed and ready for everyone to download, can't wait to see the final product when it does come tho, expecting a little bit of a morally grey story?
I don't know how grey being a bunch of Evil assassins is. This is a revenge killing from a murderous cult.

Sounds like a very dark shade of grey to me ;-)

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

6 people marked this as a favorite.

You all have figured this out by now, but this is my formal statement that these pregenerated characters are evil, which comes with important considerations. Guidance is provided in the One-Shot, including No Betrayal and Safety Tools. Adventures Ahead!


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Nice! It is now available. Thanks

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