Pathfinder Society Intro: Year of Unfettered Exploration

2.10/5 (based on 16 ratings)
Pathfinder Society Intro: Year of Unfettered Exploration

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st- through 4th-level characters.

It's time to explore! With the Society coming off of their recent victory in finally defeating an old enemy, they choose to turn to refocus on the goals of the Pathfinder Society: Explore! Report! Cooperate! As a celebration for such a successful year, there's a party being hosted with all sorts of friends both new and old in attendance. However, when one of Fola Barun's dear friends needs to be entertained in order to prepare a surprise, it's up to the Pathfinders to show him around the famous Maze of the Open Road. When he starts to encourage exploration, new doors appear and new adventures await!

Intro: Year of Unfettered Exploration is the introduction to the plot of the Year of Unfettered Exploration. This scenario presents characters and themes that will feature in Year 5's metaplot, and so it is is a natural starting point for players looking to jump into the action.

Written by Sen H.H.S.

Scenario tags: Metaplot (Unfettered Exploration), Faction (Envoy's Alliance), Repeatable

[Scenario Maps spoiler - click to reveal]

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

  • Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Museum
  • Pathfinder Flip-Tiles: Forest Starter Set
  • Pathfinder Flip-Tiles: Haunted Woodlands Expansion
  • Pathfinder Flip-Tiles: Wilderness Perils Expansion
  • Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Society Scenario Subscription.

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    2.10/5 (based on 16 ratings)

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    Ring Side Report- RPG review of Pathfinder Society Intro: Year of Unfettered Exp


    Originally posted at, a new idea every day!

    Product- Pathfinder Society Intro: Year of Unfettered Exploration
    System- Pathfinder 2nd Ed
    Producer- Paizo
    Price- $ 8.99 here ered-Exploration

    TL; DR- Too much money for a too short adventure. 77%

    Basics- And we’re walking! This Pathfinder Society adventure features you as a tour guide to a multidimensional maze where you guide a new venture captain to a lodge, then help round up some little elementals all while trying to be on time for his party.

    Mechanics or Crunch- Paizo understands its mechanics. The game itself works well here, but the adventure is a bit short. What is in this adventure is about two fights and several skill checks to help multiple different players feel involved with a bit of exploration thrown in. Solid work overall, but a bit short for my players as no players felt too challenged and a few checks cleared the adventure with no problem. 4.5/5

    Theme or Fluff- The adventure works, but it feels off. We have a new guy who wants to see a place. Cool, but there is a random fight, some random elemental stuff, a kind of random handout, and a random place that doesn’t feel all that connected. It works, but my players and I felt that it was a bit disjointed. Furthermore, it didn't really introduce any major metaplot or content. It was a decent distraction and having more pure noncombat adventures would be fun, but this wasn't that nor was it pure combat adventure. It felt like too much of a mix. 3.5/5

    Execution- I was the most disappointed here. The adventure works with classic Paizo layout and text doing their good job as always, but there is too much text and not enough guidance with some things being tried but not really working. First, there are random things that happen. Good! But use the random event charts that we had in previous chapters rather than just have three options for the GM to pick. Same goes with where the main NPC wants to go. Add in a chart where he says where to go, describe the location, and have a random dice roll. The main bulk of the adventure is in a maze. Which is fun, but doesn't have a massive location, but maybe just set pieces. There are places that I don’t feel were all that connected nor did the riddle handout really help me or my players with it. The price of the adventure is high, but they are now including all the information I need to run it. However, the map they give is too big and can't work on Roll20. It also has a grid, so I have to fight with Roll20 to line it up. PDFs can remove the grids, so I appreciate those. But, here I am paying for a product that isn’t quite getting me what I want. Honestly, if these were just set piece locations as they wander the maze, I feel that would make this run easier and make the maps small enough to upload to Roll20. I appreciate what they gave me, but for almost 1/3 the price of their regular adventures, this costs a bit too much. 3.5/5

    Summary- Overall, this works. It's a fine enough adventure, but it's short, a little disjointed, and the add-ons are a bit wonky. I don’t hate this, but I feel some aspects hold this back. Some small changes in organization and flow could help this be a top notch adventure. You can easily run this, and you and your party will have fun. But, don’t expect this to run for the full five hours. 77%

    Skip It


    This is a very frustrating module to run, especially if you rely on prewritten adventures to lighten the GM's workload. I will not be running it again.

    Enjoyed the characters


    This is a lighthearted adventure intended to introduce some new characters and catch up with old friends. It accomplishes those goals, at least for me. My local players like some of the characters we've met before, so of course I'm happy for them to have a chance to meet again. I recommend running some season 3-4 stuff to be familiar with some of the NPCs, before running this one. It definitely increased my enjoyment.

    silly indeed


    played it twice.
    Wanted to know if the first time was an error, a bad GM (he is not), a brain disconnect on my end. Should not have done that and will not do again. will not run it either (table partly prepared and then got annoyed at the map (unwieldy, ugly), at the idea of the mission itself (as dumb and lacking reason for happening as the intro of season 1), at the monsters (baby shark with legs? come on...).
    And the Venture Captain. Where is this idea coming from?
    just move on to the next one.

    Another silly scenario unworthy of valuable Pathfinder time


    Unfettered is a short skill and combat scenario. It was over in 2 hours.

    Basically, the idea is that you distract someone while a party is being setup to promote them to venture captain. You get into some trouble and powerful allies either do nothing, disappear randomly, or are completely useless. Sigh.

    This was a strange introduction to the season. Was this scenario supposed to show that new portals are opening up all over the maze? Most players won't understand and I'm not even 100% sure myself.

    Environments were OK, but combats were over too soon. The riddle was OK.

    Some of the low-level enemies had feats that are available only to level 4 and 6 characters. I guess they had better training than Pathfinders? If you’re going to give opponents abilities outside of their level range (which is not a great idea IMO), have only one. Enemies shouldn’t be more "special" than the PCs.

    Pathfinder scenarios are getting really silly lately, and not in a good way. Nothing is serious (baby shark do do do do do do) and we are often doing tasks that are meaningless. Seasons 4+ have a very different tone compared to other seasons and organized play campaigns, including Pathfinder 1, which is clearly superior in every way. PF1 scenarios were popular because they had a classic appeal, this is just... goofy.

    Overall: Another escort mission of a task unworthy of even low-level Pathfinder agents. (3/10)

    1 to 5 of 16 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

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

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    This sounds awesome!

    Scarab Sages

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    Pathfinders are throwing a party? Nothing could possiblie go wrong.

    Grand Lodge

    I hope it will feature our favorite leshy!

    Grand Archive

    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    theytrucy wrote:
    I hope it will feature our favorite leshy!

    "Rain, Rain, don't go away; we need you here, it's time to play"?

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Map list updated.

    Radiant Oath

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Maybe you should reprint the Forest Perils Flip Tiles expansion if you’re going to make it a part of this adventure.

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    This map list has been updated again to swap out an out-of-print flip-tile product.

    Do we know when this will be available on Fantasy Grounds? My remote party is ready!

    The product page says “add Exploration” and not “add PDF.” Interesting.

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    Franklin Moyer 104 wrote:
    Do we know when this will be available on Fantasy Grounds? My remote party is ready!

    Fantasy Grounds determines their own release schedule so you're probably better off asking them directly. I don't have any information on their plans.

    26 Mb zipped file. Might want to check on that. one of the map images is showing up as 25 Mb when I unzip it.

    Shadow Lodge

    Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

    FYI, on the GM Resources page, it lists the "Forest Perils Expansion" but the actual map used is the "Wilderness Perils Expansion".

    From earlier posts it sounds like those changed a few times, so it's understandable, but just wanted to bring that mismatch to y'all's attention.

    There is a LOT of GM prep to turn this scenario into something fun for the players, and memorable. The kitchen sink approach for an introductory scenario was nearly overwhelming to prep.

    Some changes I made:

    - built 3 additional maps (maps in the foundry module are...not great)
    - essentially made the NPCs into dolts so the players could shine
    - handwaved the importance/impact of the followers and minions in section 5 and just focused on Gedun
    - ran the whole thing like a scoobydoo mystery to inject some fun into an otherwise incoherent starting session

    I would run this again, with other major modifications/rewrites for the purpose of cohesion.

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