Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-10: The Crocodile's Smile

2.50/5 (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-10: The Crocodile's Smile
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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st- through 4th-level characters.

After ensuring that Fasiel ibn Sazadin saw Qadiran justice for his crimes, the Pathfinder Society received a mysterious letter from his benefactor detailing that she now sees the Society as a formidable opponent. After receiving this, Venture-Captain Safa spent quite some time traveling and researching across Qadira and Nex, only to find that the benefactor resides in Jalmeray and is a rakshasa with fine tastes. In order to find out more information about her, Safa and Rashmivati are sending a small crew of Pathfinders to attend a local auction in order to do some reconnaissance. However, while attending the formal event, the Pathfinders can't help but notice that it looks like one of the guests might have some sticky fingers!

Written by Ruvaid Virk

Scenario tags: Metaplot (Unfettered Exploration), Faction (Horizon Hunters)

[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: Noble Estate
  • Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Thieves' Guild
  • Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Society Scenario Subscription.

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    PZOPFS0510E


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    Average product rating:

    2.50/5 (based on 4 ratings)

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    2/5

    The influence mechanic unfortunately falls flat. Dragging things out for 8 rounds feels tedious, even with intervening events. Plus, there's barely any benefit to invest in it, seeing as neither the rewards nor the outcome seem tied to your influence score. Honestly, I wouldn't blame anyone for speeding through it after a while.

    The second half throws etiquette out the window and has us personally pursue the boss. Low on time because of the influence section, we were rushed. We were swept into the final battle without understanding the story or getting a chance to negotiate with the boss. Only reading the scenario afterwards revealed that we had the opportunity, and I can see how a GM might get confused.

    Despite the intriguing premise and creature design, the actual gameplay experience was poor. This scenario needs an organized GM to make it fun.

    (Bumped up from 2 to 3 stars because of good writing/creativity elsewhere in the scenario. And back to 2 because of the incongruities / plot errors in the 2nd half.)


    Boring

    2/5

    Very boring scenario. Not interesting at all, sorry.


    4/5

    The influence section has well defined NPCs with distinct personalities which created fun RP moments as we went through the rounds. The way the rounds were broken up with events was nice and the party was pointing their finger at a different NPC each time they hit a new influence threshold and received information.

    Fine exploration and the combats had a nice variety of creatures.

    Only complaint is the map which had north pointing to the west, but not a big deal overall.


    A confusing and strange scenario that I probably won't GM again

    2/5

    I just wrote an 8,000 character review that the Paizo website then caused me to backtrack too far.

    Because I'm not rewriting it again:

    TLDR - Influence was good with breaks, but 8 rounds was way too long and players stopped RPing after round 6, which hurts DCs. Scenario was structured so morally good PCs have no reason to move the story ahead as they were told to behave, and were told not to go into the manner without permission and didn't have a strong reason. The players perceived a time pressure (which made sense) and rushed through missing clues that would have helped the rest of their party come along. The arc for the BBEG was really well done and a shame that my players rolled badly.

    Paizo did the thing where North in the PDF doesn't correspond to up and that is a massive GM cognitive load. There were as many small bonuses in this scenario as a confusing special - every influence NPC seemed to have something including one that had a bonus to an influence skill you couldn't use on that NPC. The lower map doesn't say where the PCs start and has windows and a door but is supposed to be an underground hidden place.

    The PFS reporting means that a failed check kills two reputation regardless of how non-lethally or redemptive the players choose to make it. The secondary conditions really don't even give the GM latitude because it is run as written. The chronicle items you can get at low tier are almost all level 1 and 2 things any character can get with no discount, so it is just extra GM paperwork.

    Awesome story, engaging plot, but it felt more like paperwork than playing pathfinder and had some logical holes that required serious railroading - which isn't fun for a GM or players who are trying to roleplay (which is the huge strength of this)


    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

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

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Map list updated.


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

    Yes :-) Let's go to Jamelray !!


    Should those who have the Advantage subscription already have this? I still do not nor the December scenarios.

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