Scenario that rewards the use of non-combat skills / spells?

Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

1 person marked this as a favorite.


I'm searching for a Pathfinder scenario where the use of non-combat spells, skills or feats gets rewarded and where characters optimized only for combat are at a disadvantage. Can anyone here recommend such a scenario, if one exists?

It can include "standard" combat as well of course, but the idea is that characters with non-combat abilities can shine. The reason why I'm searching for such a scenario is that my group of experienced players is completely geared towards combat, sacrificing variety and non-combat abilities for damage output and defense, and I'd like to expose their gaps and teach them a lesson. They have no rogue, druid, bard or other non-combat-optimized character and their sorcerer and wizard know only damage spells, crowd control and buffs. The only non-combat skills they have are a variety of Knowledge() skills because of the wizard's high Int.

Thanks in advance,


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well. A pure social situation is an obvious one ... And in that sort of situation they can have all sorts of penalties which are not lethal but nonetheless harmful. Or put them in positions where there are great rewards to be had, but combat spells are utterly useless in achieving them. The contests wouldn't make it so the overacting plot goals and the such could not be competed but its obvious they are missing out on so,etching they could otherwise get

However, that being said ...

I don't think "teach them a lesson!" Is quite the right attitude ... You shouldn't be trying to "punish" the payers. You are trying to challenge them.


I should probably clarify that I'm looking specifically for a Pathfinder Society scenario, not for general advice on how to create a non-combat situation. The Pathfinder Society scenario should be more than pure hack'n'slay and instead provide opportunities where non-combat skills and spells are more effective. Sorry if I've been a bit unclear on that.

Are there any Society scenarios like this?

Arssanguinus wrote:
I don't think "teach them a lesson!" Is quite the right attitude ... You shouldn't be trying to "punish" the payers.

I guess my post came across more harsh than I meant it. With "teach them a lesson" I meant that I'd gently like to show them they shouldn't completely ignore non-combat stuff, or they might run into problems later on in the campaign. Hence my search for a Society scenario where "characters with non-combat abilities can shine". :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Blakros Matrimony. Hellknights Feast (new season 5). Fortress of the Nail. The most RP/Skill intensive scenarios I've run. Blakros Matrimony takes place inside a wedding, only light armor(ceremonial) and hidden weapons allowed as I recall.

Hellknights Feast you have your gear, but have to not cause a scene, and keep the noise down while negotiating with major NPCs. Fortress of the Nail, RP heavy, time sensitive, no wandering murder-hobos allowed, takes place in a Hellknight Fortress with the party on borrowed time.


TGMaxMaxer wrote:
Blakros Matrimony. Hellknights Feast (new season 5). Fortress of the Nail.

Excellent! Judging from the reviews, especially Blakros Matrimony sounds like exactly what I want. It looks like my players will feel the lack of non-combat skills in the group, but with some innovative roleplaying and flexibility on my part, should still have a chance of performing well enough.

Thank you!


Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Disappeared is another skill-focused scenario. The Pallid Plague has a large skill section, too, but it's mostly related to knowledge and perception, rather than social skills.

I am going to say I do run social and skill mission often and my Players and I find them quite enjoyable. But I dont think a GM should run them to punish characters maximized for combat. A GM should run them because they are fun and a change of pace.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What level range? Overall it seems like PFS is geared towards the type of players you mentioned, especially with the oust of faction missions

The Gods Market Gamble (1-5)

Has a chase scene, which reward skills. Has one combat where its arguably better to lose and let the bad guys carry of the macguffin. One encounter is with a burning building

To Scale the Dragon (5-9)
Havent played it but I hear it revolves around using handle animal to pilot dog sleds

Feast of Sigils (7-11)
A shoot em up group who doesnt roleplay and infiltrate misses out on a cool boon

Night March of Kalkamedes (1-5)
So not exactly what you want but you have to escort a NPC through the wilderness, if you just want to throw them a curveball

Delirium's tangle (1-7)
Have to navigate a maze, which is basically just a skill check test

Before the dawn pt 1 (1-7)
have to infiltrate enemy city, moving around require skill checks to blend in or accrue reputation, can get run out of town if totally unskilled

Ghennet Manor gauntlet (5-9)
More about deciding what loot is okay to take and what isnt that hacking and slashing, but not very skill focused

The Price of Friendship (5-9)
Have to procure a live specimen, weather effects can be punishing for those lacking nature-y skills

As well as the Blackros arc ones already mentioned. If you are frustrated as a GM by players steamrolling scenarios this probably isnt the best recourse.

Tower of the Last Baron can be run that way as well.

Of course, you could also march up to the gates and charge the castle too, but the module rewards NOT doing that.

Silver Crusade

Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible

This one doesn't punish combat optimized PCs. They can fight their way through every encounter in the adventure. But only one mandatory fight and the optional encounter actually require fighting. The rest of the fights can be talked past, if the players choose to use that approach.

I just realized I hadn't dotted this. Fixed. :)

1 person marked this as a favorite.

da da duh dot

To a certain extent, Murder on the Throaty Mermaid could fall into this category.

Very nice - thanks for all the great suggestions! (I'd like to run the scenario somewhere at levels 4-6, by the way.) Besides Blakros Matrimony, especially The Disappeared sounds very intriguing, if run right. And some of Chris O'Reilly's suggestions sound cool as well...

Damn, I wish we had more time to run more scenarios. After an RPG hiatus of over 10 years, I'm really amazed by the quality of many of the adventures you can buy nowadays. Kudos to Paizo!

Silver Crusade

Another PFS scenario that's almost all social is Severing Ties T1-5. My players found that one a wild romp.

+1 for the Disappeared.

Grand Lodge

I agree with Fig. Murder on the Throaty Mermaid is a murder mystery, on a ship! There's one or two combats, but it's skill and roleplay heavy in order to find out whodunit.

Liberty's Edge

3-17 Red Harvest
Levels 7-11

I've never seen so much role playing in my life!

In the naga-ruled nation of Nagajor in southern Tian Xia, the Pathfinder Society finds itself caught between feuding factions in a remote village. Forced to choose a side, the decisions of the agents involved could determine whether or not the Society gains access to a valuable religious artifact considered sacred by the village's nagaji population.

Just being able to talk to people who don't speak common was interesting in itself. A fun mod, but challenging to run.

Wow very nice ideas!! :D

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Scenario that rewards the use of non-combat skills / spells? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.