Help! Need PFS Metaplot Spoilers (***Spoilers***)


GM Discussion

Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka Memento Mortis

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Hey all,

I'm a veteran GM but have recently decided to take the plunge and start GMing for PFS. I've run a number of prewritten modules before (as well as a few AP's) and I always make sure I'm thoroughly familiar with the background story before I take my players through it. I'm afraid can't do that with PFS. There are so many scenarios across 5 seasons that I'm not quite sure what's going on.

Could you help?

I realize I'm jumping on the bandwagon a bit late so that's why I'm turning to all of you. I'm not looking for anything too in-depth. But a few sentences summarizing the overarching plot of each season would be delightful.

Thanks!

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

Memento: The best way to get started would be to run scenarios that either start one of the overarching metaplots or don't touch the metaplots. A few scenarios that I would recommend:

1) Silent Tide
2) The Beggar's Pearl
3) Murder on the Throaty Mermaid [watch out, this one requires LOTS of prep]
4) The Gods' Market Gamble [I consider this scenario to be one of the best introductions - it features the Society doing what it does best, which is investigation and artifact-hunting.]
5) First Steps 1
6) The Night March of Kalkamedes

I would also recommend that you browse through Seekers of Secrets and the Field Guide if you want a better idea of what the Society is. Both have some great bits in there, even if the campaign has shied away from certain aspects of what is found within them. First Steps 1 also introduces some of the more colorful characters within the Society.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Broad strokes:

For good background info, read the Faction Guide, Seeker of Secrets, and Pathfinder Society Field Guide to get good info on the Pathfinder Society.

Player characters are basically troubleshooters who are called in to clear tombs, guard or rescue researchers, and accomplish tasks for various Venture Captains, the Decemvirate, and other agents of the Pathfinder Society (stealing everything that isn't bolted down is generally a good play).

• Season Zero didn't have a lot of meta-plot, although it introduced many important players, such as various Venture Captains, the Blakros family, and Grandmaster Torch. The factions PC's belong to are political in nature: Andoran, Cheliax, Osirian, Qadiran, and Taldan.

• Season One introduced the first meta-plot -- the Shadow Lodge, a secret cabal of disillusioned Pathfinders working against the leadership of the Pathfinder Society. Otherwise, nearly all of season one is meta-plot free.

• Season Two focuses on the threat of the Shadow Lodge. About half the scenarios are geared toward finding and defeating the Shadow Lodge. The season ends with the "defeat" of a couple of major players in the Shadow Lodge, the death of the Taldan faction leader, and the retirement of the Qadiran faction leader (after killing the Taldan leader).

• Season Three starts with a reconciliation of many members of the Shadow Lodge. Grandmaster Torch is revealed to belong to the Shadow Lodge. He brokers an agreement to return Shadow Lodge members loyal to him back to the fold. The Pathfinder Society promises to treat pathfinder agents better in return. Other factions are introduced: the Sczarni who help with smuggling, the Grand Lodge who are loyal to the Decimvirate, the Silver Crusade who are LG crusaders, and the Lantern Lodge who are a Tian Xia trading concern.

The Ruby Phoenix Tournament is introduced. Every ten years a martial arts tournament is hosted with the winner able to select a prize from a dead wizard's treasure trove. The first half involves the Pathfinder Society trying to get an edge in the tournament. The Society wins and claims the Hao Jin Tapestry, an extra-dimensional space with historical objects and places inside the tapestry. The second half of the season involves exploring the Hao Jin tapestry and fighting Aspis agents who have somehow invaded it.

• Season 4 begins with the Pathfinder Society controlling the Hao Jin tapestry and the portal from Varisia that the Aspis agents invaded the tapestry from. It is discovered that the Aspis were only able to do so with the aid of the church of Lissala. The season revolves around exploring Varisia, learning more about the cult of Lissala, driving a wedge between the Lissalans and Aspis, and will result in putting down a returned Runelord.

A recurring villain is introduced, who runs through multiple scenarios. The Blakros Matrimony is the lynchpin of these scenarios. S3-25, S4-9, S4-11, S4-13, S4-EX, and Bonekeep. This plot line results in the arrest and rescue of a faction head and the PFS set up against a wealthy and connected demonologist and his cadre of psychotic escaped criminals. This helps set up season 5.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Contributor

Will, thanks for the great synopsis! I'd like to run the Blakros series sometime soon... maybe after Bonekeep restrictions are relaxed...

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Andrew Hoskins wrote:
Will, thanks for the great synopsis! I'd like to run the Blakros series sometime soon... maybe after Bonekeep restrictions are relaxed...

I was under the impression it would go away completely after a year or so rather than be released to the public.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Contributor

Pirate Rob wrote:
Andrew Hoskins wrote:
Will, thanks for the great synopsis! I'd like to run the Blakros series sometime soon... maybe after Bonekeep restrictions are relaxed...
I was under the impression it would go away completely after a year or so rather than be released to the public.

If that's the case, then it's sad. I thought they might keep it around as a 4 Star+ exclusive. Only about 15 games to go!

Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka Memento Mortis

Thanks, Will.

That's a great rundown and exactly what I was hoping for.

Grand Lodge

Will Johnson wrote:
A recurring villain is introduced, who runs through multiple scenarios. The Blakros Matrimony is the lynchpin of these scenarios. S3-25, S4-9, S4-11, S4-13, S4-EX, and Bonekeep. This plot line results in the arrest and rescue of a faction head and the PFS set up against a wealthy and connected demonologist and his cadre of psychotic escaped criminals. This helps set up season 5.

3-25 isnt actually the first mention of the character in that scenario that ties it into the rest of that plotline. There is something in 3-12 that ties in as well (though it's minor).

@ Pirate Rob: Do you have a link to Bonekeep being retired? I dont think that is the case, but at this point, I dont know what is going on with them. :P

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Seth Gipson wrote:
3-25 isnt actually the first mention of the character in that scenario that ties it into the rest of that plotline. There is something in 3-12 that ties in as well (though it's minor).

There's something in 3-12? I know there's something in 3-14, but I can't find anything in 3-12.

3-12/3-14:
The note from Aglorn is in 3-14. I couldn't find anything in 3-12 unless I'm missing something obvious.

Grand Lodge

Iammars wrote:
Seth Gipson wrote:
3-25 isnt actually the first mention of the character in that scenario that ties it into the rest of that plotline. There is something in 3-12 that ties in as well (though it's minor).

There's something in 3-12? I know there's something in 3-14, but I can't find anything in 3-12.

** spoiler omitted **

Doh! Yea, 3-14. Forgot which part it was in. :P

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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I'd also recommend The Devil We Know series. Not only is it in Taldor, (huzzah) but if your PCs didn't know/hate the Aspis before...

Aside: It also allows me to get in my Andoran digs. "You'll need to go into the sewers. Look out for spiders, rats, Andorans and other vermin."

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Good catch on the 3-12 or 3-14 note.

I really debated discussing the Lantern Lodge story arc. Intro 2, Haunting of Hinojai, and the Way of the Kirin are the main scenarios that focus on this arc. It could have used more development, but then that's likely why the Lantern Lodge was retired.

In fairness to the authors -- all three of those scenarios are individually excellent and very enjoyable. The problem is more with the Lantern Lodge arc itself.

Lantern Lodge 5/5

One nice thing is that outside of the major Blakros arc, there are several scenarios that allow you to meet various members of the family. The best part is that majority of them are 1-5 (one is 1-7) so you can work your way up to a Blakros-focused side plot with a few other scenarios in between so you can fill in level gaps and work up to a solid level for the Blakros Matrimony. I only say this as I've recently been doing that with my home group and I'm about ready to pin the culmination of the Blakros arc :)

Start off at level 1 doing Season 0 #5 Mists of Mwangi. Then by level 3, run Voice in the Void. At level 4, then go to Echoes of the Overwatched. All three of those scenarios showcase the mysteriousness of the Blakros Museum as well as develop the PCs and the Society as a good group to look to for assistance. Follow that up immediately at level 4 with The Penumbral Accords to introduce the matriarch of the Blakros family as well as its two eldest daughters. If they're still at level 4, then get to Storming the Diamond Gate; that introduces Algorn Desimire as a villian (although others above note scenarios he has references in); if they're level 5 then save Storming the Diamond Gate for level 6. Finally, by level 6 or 7, put on the Blakros Matrimony (the PC's are invited in particular for their constant support to the museum).

Whew.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'd recommend playing Blakros Matrimony before level 6. That way you can go straight into the Disappeared.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Contributor

Will Johnson wrote:
I'd recommend playing Blakros Matrimony before level 6. That way you can go straight into the Disappeared.

Agreed. If you can finish Blakros Matrimony before they hit level 6, you can run The Disappeared (1-5) and Fortress of the Nail (5-9).

Grand Lodge

Veterans Vault is a 1-5 that ties in with Fortress of the Nail as well, so if you want to work that in as well, I suggest Matrimony at 4.2, then Disappeared, Fortress, and then VV to get you to 6.

I have to way, I really love how so many of the different scenarios tie in to the scenarios in the main plot in little ways this season.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Contributor

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Good idea, Seth!

Yes, having reoccurring characters and crossing plot-lines makes the game feel much more immersive! I'm a big fan of playing/running series for this reason.

My hat is off to you, Paizo, for stitching together an intricate story arch that weaves its way through so many scenarios.

...or at least it would be if I wore a hat.

5/5 5/55/5

So:

Mists of the Mwangi
Voice in the Void
Penumbral accords
Echoes of the overwatched

then,

Matrimony
Disappeared
Fortress of the Nail
Veterans Vault
(all before 6)

I have all that in order?

Where would the Diamond gate go?

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Shifty wrote:

So:

Where would the Diamond gate go?

To Varisia

Scarab Sages

Put Diamond Gate before the Blakros Matrimony. The PC's meet Algorn Desimire's brother during Matrimony, and his background text assumes that Storming the Diamond Gate has happened.

4/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
CheshireElf wrote:
Put Diamond Gate before the Blakros Matrimony. The PC's meet Algorn Desimire's brother during Matrimony, and his background text assumes that Storming the Diamond Gate has happened.

Yes.

Bonus points if your PCs:
bring up Algorn's exploits to his brother at the wedding. He loves that. :-D

5/5 5/55/5

Thanks all, looks like a really solid story!

Shadow Lodge 4/5

It is, Shifty, I have played or run a good chunk of them. I think you would really enjoy them!

Grand Lodge

Shifty wrote:

So:

Mists of the Mwangi
Voice in the Void
Penumbral accords
Echoes of the overwatched

then,

Matrimony
Disappeared
Fortress of the Nail
Veterans Vault
(all before 6)

I have all that in order?

Where would the Diamond gate go?

Day of the Demon and Bonekeep 1 also tie in on the back end, though it doesnt matter if its before or after Veterans Vault.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Contributor

Seth, do you know what's happening with Bonekeep? Will this be made available for general play or will it remain Venture Office and 5 star GM only?

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

The Bonekeep restriction is Cons with 50+ tables, not VOs and 5*s. I am under the impression it will eventually retire rather than be released but I am not sure.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Contributor

Ok, I knew it was some special restriction. Need to find me a con to run this at... muah ha ha ha ha!

5/5 5/55/5

Oh well Day of the Demon can be added to the list, thanks all :)

Grand Lodge 4/5

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Chris Rathunde wrote:
CheshireElf wrote:
Put Diamond Gate before the Blakros Matrimony. The PC's meet Algorn Desimire's brother during Matrimony, and his background text assumes that Storming the Diamond Gate has happened.

Yes.

** spoiler omitted **

Oh yes, he did. He really really did.

Dark Archive

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Shifty wrote:
Oh well Day of the Demon can be added to the list, thanks all :)

Note, too, that #5-03: The Hellknight's Feast is another in the Blakros' series. It is tier 5 - 9.

Silver Crusade 4/5

Shifty wrote:

So:

Mists of the Mwangi
Voice in the Void
Penumbral accords
Echoes of the overwatched

then,

Matrimony
Disappeared
Fortress of the Nail
Veterans Vault
(all before 6)

I have all that in order?

Where would the Diamond gate go?

Also thinking of running my homegroup through these. We like the flexibility of the scenerios but also like a continuing plot lines these seem to give us both.

My question is there is a lot of museum runs I can see my party being excited to go back for a second go round. But when they get called to head to the museum a third time, I might get some resistence.

So if you had to leave one of the museum crawls out of the rotation which one would you skip? Which one contains the least crucial story elements that just can't be missed?

Also assuming we play Accords and Echoes what is the correct order? I see it both ways in this thread.

Thanks in advance for the advice.

5/5 5/55/5 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Matthew Morris wrote:

I'd also recommend The Devil We Know series. Not only is it in Taldor, (huzzah) but if your PCs didn't know/hate the Aspis before...

Aside: It also allows me to get in my Andoran digs. "You'll need to go into the sewers. Look out for spiders, rats, Andorans and other vermin."

I just played part 4 for the first time having neaver read it. I'd run the first 2 parts several times and read part 3 many times, but never managed to feel the need to prep part 4. I just couldn't eem to get a group all the way through. Needless to say, my kind-hearted and fun loving Kistune Magus is going to be a borderline sociopath when it comes to Aspis agents.

5/5 5/55/5

Chaosorbit wrote:


My question is there is a lot of museum runs I can see my party being excited to go back for a second go round. But when they get called to head to the museum a third time, I might get some resistence.

Yes and No.

MUSEUM:

Mists of the Mwangi - Main museum.
Voice in the Void - Catacombs beneath it.
Penumbral accords - Main Museum.
Echoes of the overwatched - One encounter in a freshly opened 'attic'

So really you only go there twice, the part in VotV could be practically ANY dungeon - different maps entirely, but a good story hook for what they are there for.

So really its only 2 museum runs in the actual museum proper.

Echoes or accord can be played either way, though I'd keep that to the fourth instalment personally as a preference.

5/5 5/55/5 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Chaosorbit wrote:
Shifty wrote:

So:

Mists of the Mwangi
Voice in the Void
Penumbral accords
Echoes of the overwatched

then,

Matrimony
Disappeared
Fortress of the Nail
Veterans Vault
(all before 6)

I have all that in order?

Where would the Diamond gate go?

Also thinking of running my homegroup through these. We like the flexibility of the scenerios but also like a continuing plot lines these seem to give us both.

My question is there is a lot of museum runs I can see my party being excited to go back for a second go round. But when they get called to head to the museum a third time, I might get some resistence.

So if you had to leave one of the museum crawls out of the rotation which one would you skip? Which one contains the least crucial story elements that just can't be missed?

Also assuming we play Accords and Echoes what is the correct order? I see it both ways in this thread.

Thanks in advance for the advice.

While it is fun, I would leave voice in the void until later. You can still do it, but it is a 1-7 So it offers you some flexibility to do it later. However it has some tie to Echos of the overwatched. Those two make sense in either order though. They kind of have some background details that inform one anther based on the history of the museum building and the original owner before it was turned into a museum by the Blackros family

5/5 5/55/5

Overwatched just seems a 'Bigger' scenario though, so to me it sits as a better capstone scenario of that quadrilogy :)

5/5 5/55/5

Have played through in the suggested order and off to the Matrimony, has been a great set of adventures!

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