What are your favorite scenarios to run?


GM Discussion


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I've long held Haunting of Hinoji to be my favorite scenario of all time, but I recently ran another that may just take the crown - Jester's Fraud. It got off to a rocky start, but once my group started getting past the shock-and-awe of the first encounter and into some of the silly interactions between NPCs, everyone started having a blast. They actually managed to get two of the three artifacts by negotiating with the bandits/jester instead of fighting them, which was a lot of fun for everyone involved.

I never got a chance to run it, but I remember another scenario I loved playing was Red Harvest. The openness of the scenario gave the players a lot of freedom, but drew them back into the final encounter well.

I think my favorite thing out of these three is they're all somewhat open, with enough investigative elements to perk up the ol' noggin, yet not so much it becomes a mystery game. Are there others like these? I would love to see more in the future.


Sewer Dragons of Absalom is probably my favorite scenario all around. Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment is also a good time, mostly for the slow reveal. I also enjoy Frozen Fingers of Midnight because the ending is so flexible.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

It's a module rather than a scenario, but... We Be Goblins!


Mmm. Temple was quite good as well, very interesting scenario. Sewer Dragons was... well, it was okay for my group, but it didn't quite resonate with me as some others have.

We Be Goblins is just crazy. So silly, so fun... so bizarre.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

I'm really liking many of the Season 4 scenarios. The best so far has been Rise of the Goblin Guild. It needs the right group tp shine but I was lucky with my players

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Sewer Dragons is definitely a favorite of mine, due to the many NPCs who actually get to take on a life of their own before being dealt with by the PCs. And throwing a large blue dragon mini at characters who are only 3rd to 4th level? Priceless opportunity, that.

That was actually at the top of my list for a long time, but has been supplanted by The Golemworks Incident. The featured NPC in that scenario, and the many things you can do with his personality, are not to be missed. When I can make a table of players completely lose their minds and fall over each other for a chance to simply bash at a door? Well, words can't really describe my glee.

I think, for open ended "sand box" style play, my favorite is #2-01, The Bloodcove Disguise. Again, lots of NPCs who get to take on a life of their own in this one. Coupled with a fascinating setting, and this one is always a joy to run. Of course, there's a payoff: you get to follow it up with #2-02, Rescue at Azlant Ridge. There is no better "epic" feeling scenario than that one, to date. I enjoy these two so much I even adapted them for one of my home campaigns, adding in even more NPCs and flavor. Those sessions rank as some of my all time favorite RPG sessions.

Silver Crusade

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I can't believe nobody's mentioned Frostfur Captives yet. I just ran it for the first time last night, after playing it almost a year ago. The session last night went ok, but I think I could have handled some stuff a little better here and there. Having the goblins babbling and running all over the place makes for a fun adventure.

I remember enjoying playing Sewer Dragons of Absalom, but it didn't stand out as particularly amazing or anything. I'll be GMing that one later this month, but I haven't started reading it yet, so we'll see what I think when I get that far.

Severing Ties was a lot of fun to play. I'm hoping it'll be that much fun to GM, if I ever get a chance to do so.

2/5

I recently ran Frozen Fingers and I would have to say I enjoyed it immensely... especially since I had two players in the group who had played the retirement arc over last summer and who recognized the NPCs involved. I played up the characters, including the VC, as much as possible...

Spoiler:
especially the romance between Skelg and Natalya.

I enjoyed running Ravenmoor and I also enjoy running the City of Strangers when I get to do my impersonation of Miss Feathers. I like Kaer Maga scenarios in general... and the ones with the Blackros Museum too. There are so many scenarios I have enjoyed running, it's hard to pick just one or two... :-P


4–01: Rise of the Goblin Guild is a lot of fun. I've run it twice.

Spoiler:
Ekkie is so much fun to RP. I try to form an emotional bond between her and some of the PCs. It's a blast seeing the party go from wanting to kill her in the beginning to treating her with affection before the scenario is over.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

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#3-26 Portal of the Sacred Rune -- I ran this scenario three or four times at PaizoCon last year, and another time or two here. Every time everyone had a blast.

Spoiler:

There's tons of reasons to like this scenario.

    It's a challenging 7-11, but not overly so. The 10-11 tier is a hard fought victory that is well rewarded, and both have a very nice boon. None of the fights are "gimmes" and none of the fights employ the save-or-die tactics that PCs often dread. Each encounter is fair, but challenging, and can be defeated by a well seasoned group of PCs.

    Memorable fights. The optional and the BBEG stand out as two very unique, cool, boss fights. With the tactics available to the BBEG, I've had final fights last upwards of two hours. You can either run her as the most irritating enemy in the world, and just turtle-turtle-turtle, or you can match the PCs blow for blow and have an exciting, down-to-the-wire fight.
    The optional encounter is no slouch either. Four large, meaty claw attacks around, with bleed and reach? Yes please! I also love the SLAs on this guy. I've had him just eviscerate a PC (-40?), then in the subsequent round hit him with a breath of life, just so I could say "Not yet, puny human. Today, I kill you twice." He didn't get to, but the statement still stands.

    The location. I love how you have this pseudo-Stargate feel, where you are going through a portal into the unknown. I've actually taken to adding some low ranking Pathfinder rookies tapestry-side, standing around out front with loaded ballista and crossbows pointed into the unknown. Then, when the PCs enter, I describe the plethora of shattered bolts and scorch marks on the floor opposite the portal.
    The well itself is easily one of my top 5 locations thus far in PFS. I don't mind that I can't fit it on a map, it gives it a huge amount of depth. The descriptions of each room are excellent as is the various traps and encounters. As you reach the bottom, there is a huge sense of building to something grand - and it is.

    You feel like this is a season-ending capstone game. You, as a player, actually get to do something that matters: shut down the Aspis Consortium activities within the Tapestry. It's an achievement to be proud of, and even the chronicle sheet rewards you a little more because of it.

Sovereign Court

To run? #0-06 Black Waters. No doubt about it. I don't know why, but I just love to describe the details and roleplay the NPCs. A fabulous scenario, good thing it avoided the threat of retirement. :)

Liberty's Edge 4/5

Craig Stokes wrote:

4–01: Rise of the Goblin Guild is a lot of fun. I've run it twice.

** spoiler omitted **

Agreed on all counts. Almost half of my GM star comes from running this one, and I always have it in my box ready to pull out.

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston aka Netopalis

I really enjoy Severing Ties. It has excellent roleplay and unique combat. I wouldn't recommend it for newbies, though - newbie players due to the difficulty of the scenario and newbie GMs due to the often-missed effects of certain templates in certain tiers.

Blakros Matrimony is fantastic. I'd say it's probably my favorite scenario overall, but it takes a lot of time, a lot of GM prep and the right table.

Honorable mention goes to God's Market Gamble, which has a peppy pace and some interesting encounters.

4/5

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#2-02 Before the Dawn-Part II: Rescue at Azlant Ridge:
If you don't know why this is epic, you shouldn't be reading the spoiler, eh?

#3-02 Sewer Dragons of Absalom:
This one is just always a lot of fun. Intelligent enemies with great tactics and a race with excellent role-playing potential? Oh yes!

#3-13 The Quest For Perfection-Part III: Defenders of Nesting Swallow:
This is another "If you don't know what's epic about this scenario, you shouldn't be reading this spoiler."

#3-25 Storming the Diamond Gate:
Always epic, although for more epic-ness I recommend the higher tier. I've GMed it 4 times, and every group I've GMed it for has loved it, myself included (and I've killed the most players with it, too! Ironic!). I'd GM it 10 more times without a blink of an eye. Of course, control caster is my usual shtick so that helps me like it more. Again, though, having GMed the higher tier and lower tier twice each, I must really stress how much better it is at higher tier. Still excellent at lower tier.

#4-06 The Green Market:
I just simply love the setting of this one, and the encounters are pretty unique experiences.

Liberty's Edge

Have any of you tried Echoes of the Overwatched? Is it worth picking up?

-SFG


pauljathome wrote:
I'm really liking many of the Season 4 scenarios. The best so far has been Rise of the Goblin Guild. It needs the right group tp shine but I was lucky with my players

Even if you DID do all the voices wrong... :)

Grand Lodge

Sean H wrote:

I've long held Haunting of Hinoji to be my favorite scenario of all time, but I recently ran another that may just take the crown - Jester's Fraud. It got off to a rocky start, but once my group started getting past the shock-and-awe of the first encounter and into some of the silly interactions between NPCs, everyone started having a blast. They actually managed to get two of the three artifacts by negotiating with the bandits/jester instead of fighting them, which was a lot of fun for everyone involved.

I never got a chance to run it, but I remember another scenario I loved playing was Red Harvest. The openness of the scenario gave the players a lot of freedom, but drew them back into the final encounter well.

I think my favorite thing out of these three is they're all somewhat open, with enough investigative elements to perk up the ol' noggin, yet not so much it becomes a mystery game. Are there others like these? I would love to see more in the future.

My Barbarian still has nightmares about that first encounter in Jester's Fraud. On another note my faves to run are, Quest for Perfection 1, and The Blakros Matrimony.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

Steel Forged Games wrote:

Have any of you tried Echoes of the Overwatched? Is it worth picking up?

-SFG

I enjoyed running it, especially for creative players. It isn't on my "great" list but its definitely good.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

The Goblinblood Dead:
Linear, but reasonably so. Solid dungeon that doesn't drag out with a logical backstory. And I love my players reactions when the worg starts talking.

Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment:
Excellent setup with enormous roleplay potential. I love the unsettling nature of the duped worshippers and the subtle wrongness that the player sense. The final battle being optional is great as well, although the enemies true nature is so wonderfully vile that I'm glad my groups have chosen to face him every time.

The Quest for Perfection - Just a great trilogy of scenarios with a wide variety of encounters.

Storming the Diamond Gate - Only ran this once, but my players loved the assault style mission, and I loved the excellent theme of the location. The final battle was exactly what I got my gaming paper for, and I can't wait for an opportunity to run it in high sub-tier for even more enemies cluttering the massive map.

The Disappeared - Despite a horrible error ruining my first run, I love the idea of this scenario and can't wait to incorporate lessons learned into my next run.

Silver Crusade

Blackrose Matrimony is up there for me. Also a huge fan of Sewer Dragons.

Murder on the Throaty Mermaid is an amazing scenario, in that it never plays the same way twice, and the party composition can really affect how the NPCs react. It's an amazing rp scenario.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Golden Serpent. First combat offers so much in-combat RP possibility that adds a ton to the story. Other combats are non trivial but not overwhelming.

Quest for Perfection *3*. If you have played it you probably know why.

Hinojai is pretty awesome for having haunts that ARE the plot.

It's been nice to have some scenarios finally where the briefing presumes the VC actually got the right team for the job and they're not lying.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/5

Okay I love Frostfur captives, Murder on the Throaty Mermaid, any dealing with the blakros museum.

Frostfur was the first scenario that I ran so it has that, also the players had a blast playing it as well. Murder on the Throaty Mermaid had a lot of great RPing and I really enjoyed the possible different endings. Can run it several times and the plot can be slightly different each time. I have loved Mists of Mwangi, Voice in the Void, and Pneumbral Accords. Have not done the others but my group loves it when one of these is coming up.


City of Strangers part 1.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Frostfur Captives is always a blast, but my favorite scenario to run so far has been Murder on the Silken Caravan. It was the scenario that I feel I've done the best at both challenging my players and conveying the story to them in a way they felt emotionally involved.

Scarab Sages

My favorites are Storming the Diamond Gate and Rebels's Ransom.


can someone tell me which scenario sets in Ustalav?
all seasons!!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

The Midnight Mauler is the one I know of. Haven't run any other Ustalav scenarios.


Silent Tide is my favourite. It has a bit of everything!

5/5

TriOmegaZero wrote:
The Midnight Mauler is the one I know of. Haven't run any other Ustalav scenarios.

The Darkest Vengeance(#47) is the only other one I know of off the top of my head.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
The Midnight Mauler is the one I know of. Haven't run any other Ustalav scenarios.

Thanks, i know Midnight Mauler is anther one... i never run none of those, but im trying to make a huge campaign with all of the carrion crown and ustalavic adventures

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Sniggevert wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The Midnight Mauler is the one I know of. Haven't run any other Ustalav scenarios.
The Darkest Vengeance(#47) is the only other one I know of off the top of my head.

I should get my wife to run that for my group.

Silver Crusade

You know, Murder on the Throaty Mermaid has been mentioned a couple of times, and I hate to say it, but I think that scenario's very overrated. I had fun playing it, and I was looking forward to GMing it for the first time. But when I actually read over the details and ran it not too long ago, I realized that it had some glaring flaws which kinda ruin it for me.

Spoiler:
In the end, the bad guys give themselves away by attacking the PCs, whether the PCs were close to solving the murder or not. And even if the PCs do solve the murder, they don't have any definite proof, so it's only the stupid attack at the end by the bad guys that confirms their deductions and lets them prove it to the captain.

So in the end, the investigation that's the main thrust of the adventure really doesn't matter.

Add in the question of "How do I get the PC's to hold off on their faction missions until after the murder, which takes place a week into the voyage?", and this scenario just has too many major plot holes for me to want to run it again.

Which is a shame, because I love the concept of a murder mystery adventure. One of my favorite 1st edition AD&D modules was a murder mystery called "The Assassin's Knot". Of course, now I wonder how it would hold up to better scrutiny now that I'm more mature and observant than I was back in middle/high school when I originally ran it.

As for my favorites, I ran Frostfur Captives for the first time last week and enjoyed it as much as I hoped. Not a perfect run, but it was a lot of fun. I'll be running that one again later in the month.

And believe it or not, I'll put First Steps 1 on this list. It's a nice little scenario with a variety of action - from combat to problem solving to interviewing NPCs. Even though I've been through it 4 or 5 times now, either as a player or GM, I'm still not tired of it. This is my "go to" scenario for when I come up with a new PC idea and want to get some GM credits before playing at level 1. :P

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston aka Netopalis

judas 147 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The Midnight Mauler is the one I know of. Haven't run any other Ustalav scenarios.

Thanks, i know Midnight Mauler is anther one... i never run none of those, but im trying to make a huge campaign with all of the carrion crown and ustalavic adventures

There's also the module, Carrion Hill, but you probably knew about that.

Sovereign Court

Fromper wrote:
And believe it or not, I'll put First Steps 1 on this list. It's a nice little scenario with a variety of action - from combat to problem solving to interviewing NPCs. Even though I've been through it 4 or 5 times now, either as a player or GM, I'm still not tired of it. This is my "go to" scenario for when I come up with a new PC idea and want to get some GM credits before playing at level 1. :P

First Steps part 1: In Service to Lore is at least the *easiest* scenario to run. I've run it three times and could easily run it without any of the papers in front of me, stats not included.

First Steps part 3 is really nice too, but the swamp encounter must be skipped, absolutely.


Netopalis wrote:
judas 147 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The Midnight Mauler is the one I know of. Haven't run any other Ustalav scenarios.

Thanks, i know Midnight Mauler is anther one... i never run none of those, but im trying to make a huge campaign with all of the carrion crown and ustalavic adventures

There's also the module, Carrion Hill, but you probably knew about that.

yea!!

i know all of this:

Adventure´s Path
-Carrion Crown AP
--Haunting of Harrowstone
--Trial of the Beast
--Broken Moon
--Wake of the Watcher
--Ashes at Down
--Shadows of Gallowspire

Module
-Carrion Hill
-Crypt of Everflame (1st)
-Mask of the Livin God (2nd)
-City of Golden Death (3rd)

Society Scenario
-EX Midnight Mauler (2 season)
-The Darkest Vengeance (?_?)


From my limited experience, I will throw in another vote for Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment. In Service to Lore is not bad either.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Rebel's Ransom
Black Waters
both Before the Dawn scenarios
Midnight Mauler
Wrath of the Accursed
Penumbral Accords
Mantis Prey
Fury of the FIend
both parts of Shadow's Last Stand
Storming the Diamond Gate
Portal of the Sacred Ruin
Parts 1, 2 and 4 of the Eyes of Ten

are all at the top of my list.

2/5

- both Before the Dawn scenarios
- Frostfur Captives
- Murder on the Throaty Mermaid
- Decline of Glory
- Citadel of Flame
- Tide of Morning

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

Michael Brock wrote:

Rebel's Ransom

Black Waters
both Before the Dawn scenarios
Midnight Mauler
Wrath of the Accursed
Penumbral Accords
Mantis Prey
Fury of the Fiend
both parts of Shadow's Last Stand
Storming the Diamond Gate
Portal of the Sacred Ruin
Parts 1, 2 and 4 of the Eyes of Ten

are all at the top of my list.

Oooh! I've definitely got a lot to look forward to!

I've only played three of these - Black Waters (the first PFS scenario I played), The Midnight Mauler, and The Penumbral Accords. The only one I've run is Black Waters (again, my first PFS GM credit), which I agree is a fun scenario from both sides of the screen.

I'm still only working on my second star, but I've enjoyed running several of the scenarios mentioned in this thread by other posters: City of Strangers, Quest for Perfection, and Severing Ties (and First Steps). In just a few weeks at Dundracon I should be adding Sewer Dragons to my list (and taking another stab at Severing Ties). My wife will be running another scenario I'd put on my list of favourites: The Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment, and she'll also be running "We Be Goblins!" (another highly-recommended opportunity for a lot of fun).


Blood on Dralkard Manor
Frostfur captives
Prenumbral Accords
Storming the Diamond Gates
Drow of the Darklands Pyramid
Sniper in the Deep
Fortune's Blight
Echos of the Everwar 3 and 4
Heresy of Mn 1-3
Rebel's Ransom
Fury of the Fiend
Dalsine Affair
The Mantis's Prey
Sewer Dragons of Absalom
The Kortos Envoy
The Immortal Conundrum
The Rats of Round Mountain 1
In Wrath's Shadow
The Green Market
The Sanos Abduction

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:


Drow of the Darklands Pyramid

0.o

I have heard nothing but terrible things about that scenario, including its outrageously spoilerific title.

Venture Captain: "We don't know what's going on in the desert, but go figure it out."

Player 1 raises hand: "Um. Drow, perhaps?"

Golarion Loremaster: "Drow don't exist except in your worst nightmares! Why would you think it's drow?!!"

That's really all I know about this scenario, other than its horrible reviews. I've never even scheduled it at a game day of mine. What do you like about it? I may have to change my mind...

Edit: Yeesh. Apparently I don't know how to use formatting tags...


Drogon wrote:
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:


Drow of the Darklands Pyramid

0.o

I have heard nothing but terrible things about that scenario, including its outrageously spoilerific title.

Venture Captain: "We don't know what's going on in the desert, but go figure it out."

Player 1 raises hand: "Um. Drow, perhaps?"

Golarion Loremaster: "Drow don't exist except in your worst nightmares! Why would you think it's drow?!!"

That's really all I know about this scenario, other than its horrible reviews. I've never even scheduled it at a game day of mine. What do you like about it? I may have to change my mind...

Edit: Yeesh. Apparently I don't know how to use formatting tags...

Lol .. yes it can be a bit spolierific ... but it's something that isn't done in pfs anymore *using drow* ..

The flying combat can be a pain (w/out ways to determine flying level) but it can also be interesting to see how parties deal with the flight aspect to combat

the map is a bit dodgy but it's workable depending upon how it's drawn and honestly if I were to run it again, I'd be re-drawing the maps I currently have to make them more workable ...

we've run it twice in Iowa and I think it's gone over fairly well.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Huh. Perhaps I'll read it and give a try, then. I'm always up for throwing interesting environmental effects at characters.


Drogon wrote:
Huh. Perhaps I'll read it and give a try, then. I'm always up for throwing interesting environmental effects at characters.

Lol ... my favorite saing is don't knock it til ya try it ... words that have gotten me into a lot of interesting places and positions .. but yah ... read and try it, you might actually like it

Silver Crusade

Drow of Darkland, used interesting mechanics, however, the fights were incredibly boring and woefully under powered. (The only fight that was some what good was the mini-boss). Every fight seemed to do nothing but drain resources which, I hate, because there is no tension involved. Now fights don't have to be awesome in every scenario but it was a dungeon delve, with no role playing.

4/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I like Midnight Mauler a lot. I also like In Wrath's Shadow. And WBG is a blast to run with the right people.

I haven't run Frostfur yet; not sure I can do it justice, frankly.

4/5

thunderspirit wrote:
I also like In Wrath's Shadow.

Ick. Just don't play the thing with 3 + pregen like my group.

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