Good "Pick up and Run" Scenarios


Pathfinder Society


So, I'm a bit OCD about a lot of things; I suspect it's one of the reasons why I'm a decent coordinator. I've got it in my head to have a backup plan in place against the chance that one of my GMs bails or gets sick last-minute. What I'd like to do is to have a few scenarios printed, ready to go, with chronicles and faction sheets ready to hand out.

My question is: Which scenarios are the easiest to just pick up and run with limited preparation time?

For the record, I know that ideally you want to have your GMs with plenty of time to read the scenarios over and run with them - but sometimes that's not possible. What I'm aiming for is to minimize the inconvenience, if it becomes necessary.

Shadow Lodge

I'm not an expert, but the earlier seasons seem to be much, much better for this, and the last 3 seasons seem to require a lot of prep.

Shadow Lodge

Ideally, older ones you know, with simple maps.

If you don't know which GM will GM this, I think things like Voice in the Void, Penumbral Accords etc, will do nicely. Little Roleplaying lots of dungeoun crawl, simple map is easiest in a pinch.

Alternately, one store in my area has every scenario printed in back, in folders, ready to go. I can ask for say, Murder on The Throaty Mermaid in a pinch, which I've run three times and is more complicated than the scenarios I've mentioned, but more satisfying, and run it from past practice.

I would start with the first strategy and evolve to the latter.


Beckett wrote:
I'm not an expert, but the earlier seasons seem to be much, much better for this, and the last 3 seasons seem to require a lot of prep.

Actually, this is my primary problem - I don't know the season 0 or 1 scenarios very well - especially the higher-tier ones. Which of these are decent and quick dungeon-crawl types?

Shadow Lodge

I'm running Season 0 #1 Silent Tide, and it is very easy to jump in. I'm doing it for a Play By Post, so not having a lot of mass combats or large maps, (or many maps at that) is what I'm looking for, and it is doing very well for me. It is lower level one, though. Honestly, I think they are all lower level for the most part.

I would stay away from The Fallen Fortress. It wasn't very fun for me as a player, and that's not because of the DM's style, but the adventure itself.

I've heard good things about Among the Living (S00 #7) Among the Dead (S01 #49) and the Pallid Plague (S01 #43), but honestly, I do not know if they are good for the pick up game or not.

Silver Crusade

My personal list of modules that are easy to pick up and go:

The Intros Series
The Penumbral Accords 2-11
Murder On the Throaty Mermaid 2-13
We Be Goblins-Module
Among The Living-- 0-7-- I recommend this for players past 3rd level.
Silent Tide--0-1 -- Also recommended for levels 3 and up
Delirium's Tangle--Good times!
Shadow's Last Stand 2-23 and 24--But know that the maps are a little complicated so only draw as needed.

Shadow Lodge

Jeff Mahood wrote:
Beckett wrote:
I'm not an expert, but the earlier seasons seem to be much, much better for this, and the last 3 seasons seem to require a lot of prep.
Actually, this is my primary problem - I don't know the season 0 or 1 scenarios very well - especially the higher-tier ones. Which of these are decent and quick dungeon-crawl types?

01--Silent Tide

O4--Frozen Fingers at Midnight
05--Mists of Mwangi
20--King Xeros of Old Azlant--High level. I will note that it's harder to find high level 'plug and play' modules.
35--Voice in the Void
39--Citadel of Flame Cheliax has the best faction mission ever in this one
40--Hall of Drunken Hereos--Another High level one.
2-11 Penumbral Accords
3-3 Ghennet Manor Gauntlet--only mid-high level one I could think of.

Note, these are not the best modules. They are the ones I would go if someone told me you have half a hour to prepare, grab some map paper and start drawing. In fact I've run Citadel of Flame with half an hour to prepare, 8 hours of previous gaming, and little sleep and did about a pretty good job IMHO.

Pallid Plague is arguably the best module of season 1, but only have played it rather then run, but I don't think it would make this list.

Among the Living can be a lot of fun, in fact I have a PC whose backstory is based on being a bystandard in this module. The map in the module is a pain to draw as written. It can be faked easily. But a GM whose never seen the module might find it annoying.

Hope that is helpful.

Dark Archive

Citadel of Flame is top of my list too for an easy to run great adventure

Infernal Vault is an easy linear dungeon style mod
We be Goblins of course
Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible

Maybe Bloodcove Disguise as long as you read the awareness mechanic and know how to run Eidolons

I wouldn't put: Throaty Mermaid (heavy prep) or Pallid Plague (preplan how you handle the "thing" difficulty) on the list.

Silver Crusade

A lot of people seem to feel Assault on the Kingdom is a good pick-up-and-runner, but from my opinion, that scenario only works with prep.

0-5 Mists of Mwangi, 0-23 Tide of Morning, and 1-35 Voice in the Void are all good pick-up modules I've ran. Mists is probably the easiest to just pick up.

I've also played in a game where the GM played 1-39 Citadel of Flame of his cuff. It was a little more difficult for him to run than, say Mists or Voice, would have been, but it was a lot of fun. A lot.

2/5

Most of the suggestions are good, however I would never EVER have someone run Murder on the Throaty Mermaid cold (unless you want a 1 star experience), it's very complex if run correctly. Also, Ghenett has aspects to it that are complex as well, it's easy to have errors in it, even with a prepared GM.

Other low levels: The Devil we Know 1-2, Shades of Ice 1, Decline of Glory, or really any low level season 0 scenario.

I suspect it's tough to find high level scenarios to run cold, and I haven't played enough to suggest anything.

Silver Crusade

For those who are contesting "Murder on the Throaty Mermaid", I recommend it only to a GM, who has already run the module at least once or twice. The reason being is that it does require some prep time, but if you know the module, it's a fun pickup, and great for those who do not feel like dealing with a whole bunch of combat mechanics.

Unless they set the boat on fire. ;D

Scarab Sages 4/5

Jeff Mahood wrote:
My question is: Which scenarios are the easiest to just pick up and run with limited preparation time?

Ambush in Absalom is probably the easiest but there is no XP or PP and no GP for this scenario but it has some great boons on the chronicle. This is a favorite of mine. I run it a lot and get a lot of requests to run it. You can play it in 2 hours easily and it is fantastic for newbies, both GMs and players.

We Be Goblins!
The First Steps series is great for a pick up game.
Several scenarios from Season #0 aren't too bad but there can be some conversion involved.
Several scenarios from Season #1 fit your needs nicely. No conversion and they are designed to run in a 4 hour window.


Quick an easy scenarios to run and prep, two of my favorites.

The Prince of Augustina
The Infernal Vault

I think both are very good and very fun scenarios.


Thanks for all the advice, everyone.

Delbert Collins II wrote:

Several scenarios from Season #0 aren't too bad but there can be some conversion involved.

Several scenarios from Season #1 fit your needs nicely. No conversion and they are designed to run in a 4 hour window.

Can you be more specific, DC?

At the moment, my "to be printed" list consists of the following:

First Steps 1
Infernal Vault
Citadel of Flame
King Xeros

That covers a variety of levels. The Blakros Museum ones are good and fit the bill nicely, but in Toronto we've run the hell out of the 4 of them, so they won't likely be the kinds of scenarios that are great to pull out in an emergency.

"Okay, well, Jeff can't make it, so I'll run... Penumbral Accords?"

"We've all played that one."

"How about Mwangi?"

"That one, too."

...

:)

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

(totally necro-ing this thread as I needed a quick scenario, but will add to it so others may benefit from this)

I find that Black Waters from season 0 is an easy to prep and run scenario.

Agreed that Voice in the Void is easy

Grand Lodge

I'd also recommend:

0-23 Tide of Morning
3-23 The Goblinblood Dead

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/55/55/5

It's not necessarily the easiest scenario for PCs, but 0-03 Murder on the Silken Caravan is *really* easy to prep and run - there aren't really any maps at all except ones showing placement of enemies in relation to PCs.

5-08 The Confirmation is another good one I didn't see listed above (but I'm skimming so maybe I just missed it).

2-01 is a longer scenario, but is easy to prep for, especially if you have all the map packs and flip-mats handy - only one encounter doesn't use them if I recall correctly, and that's literally just a straight stretch of road.

For some reason, lots of people I know aren't fans of 3-23 The Goblinblood Dead, but I seem to also remember that one being easy to prep as well.

Hope these help!

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