Please suggest me a great first PFS scenario


Pathfinder Society

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Hi everybody,

it is rather short notice, but since my regular group is missing key players, I want to try to introduce my players to PFS play.

I am selling the idea on the fact, that scenarios are self contained and thus can be finished on the same evening, thus we would always have something to play. My not so secret plan is to eventually motivate them to go to other PFS meetings with me.

My group has more than 2 decades of experience with RPGs, and is not a great fan of "dungeon runs", usually defined by a nonsensical combination of rooms with little to no RP potenial.

So can you suggest me a great scenario with a nice mix of RPG and combat? I am grateful for every suggestion.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Personally I enjoyed the Glass River Rescue. You are tasked by the society to rescue a couple of ambassadors from an inn controlled by Razmirian Priesthood.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

The Frostfur Captives.

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

Confirmation, Horn of Aroden

Sovereign Court

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Night March of Kalkamedes is also a very good choice.

4/5

The Confirmation, Murder on the Throaty Mermaid, Frostfur Captives, and the Night March of Kalkamedes are all excellent choices.


We Be Goblins.

Grand Lodge 4/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Mists of Mwangi, it's a classic. In fact I'm surprised no one proposed it so far.

1/5

Night March all the way. :)

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Great suggestions so far, I am currently doing a little research on them ^^ Keep them comming.

4/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Louis Park aka BretI

Add my vote for The Night March of Kalkamedes. One of the most fun scenarios I've played so far.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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First steps 1 and the confirmation both give good introductions to the in game society.


We Be Goblins. Especially if you're good at hamming things up.

Before the Dawn I - The Bloodcove Disguise (Season 2, #1) can be very fun. Especially if you add more roleplay via street encounters and other interactions. The scenario doesn't include RP beyond the social encounters it gives you (and there's enough of those), but it's terrifically fertile ground for you to invent your own.

A very general spoiler for bloodcove disguise:
The setting alone is fertile ground for social encounters. The characters are sent into an enemy city and told to stay in disguise the entire time. There are like 5 things that I could do with that right off the top of my head."

Dark Archive

I think Bloodcove Disguise and Frostfur Captives (with suggested goblin personalities and the song) are the first two, then follow up with Night March. That shows a very broad range of fun scenarios, drawing them gradually away from the familiar and they should be hooked.

Edit: semi Ninja'd.

5/5 5/55/55/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Central Europe aka GreyYeti

Temple of Empyreal Enlightment, although it might be a bit hard on the combat side for fresh characters

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

I would go with either the Confirmation or Mists of Mwangi. Other adventures like Temple of Empyreal Enlightment and Night March of Kalkamedes are great for new players but may not be that great for new GMs due to their complexity. Since you said this was short notice and you don't seem to have many, if any, PFS mods under your belt, you probably want to stick with something simple. I do agree that We Be Goblins is a lot of fun, but could be misleading to newbs since it doesn't actually play like most PFS mods, i.e. you can't actually be a Goblin and death matters more.

Grand Lodge

I'd second Bloodcove Disguise. As a bonus, Rescue at Azlant Ridge is just awesome.

I'd also add The Pallid Plague.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Thanks everybody for their awesome suggestions, I have already printed out first first steps 1 (not just because I am cheap, but since it introduces some recurring NPCs) and just bough Mists of Mwangi (how could I resist that description) and the Confirmation as alternatives.

Thanks to all of you, I have plenty of other awesome scenarios for the future.

Shadow Lodge

I don't think Confirmation is actually a good pick - it's really made for players brand new to the game. It has some RP, but not much.

First Steps or Frostfur Captives might be better picks.

How well do they know Pathfinder?

How hardcore are they into RP and how much are they against combat?

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

They have quite a bit of experience, I GMed Kingmaker for them and currently run WotR. They like it if their choices have a positive effect on their challenges.

They don't really mind combat all that much, unless it takes forever and/or is a complete waste of time.

They really like winning, and overcoming obstacles with creative solutions^^

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 aka Netopalis

If you've finished Kingmaker and they know how to play, I'd recommend Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment or Gods' Market Gamble. Night March and Throaty Mermaid are also fun. I personally have never really understood the mass appeal that Mists of Mwangi seems to have.

Shadow Lodge

The Quest For Perfection series might be the way to go. If they're up for a few challenging encounters in tier 1-2.

By the time they complete part 3, you can rest assured that they will never stop playing PFS.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Netopalis wrote:
If you've finished Kingmaker and they know how to play, I'd recommend Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment or Gods' Market Gamble. Night March and Throaty Mermaid are also fun. I personally have never really understood the mass appeal that Mists of Mwangi seems to have.

The setup kinda reminded me of Jumanji ^^

Avatar-1 wrote:

The Quest For Perfection series might be the way to go. If they're up for a few challenging encounters in tier 1-2.

By the time they complete part 3, you can rest assured that they will never stop playing PFS.

Thanks everbody, now I have a pretty nice dancecard^^


Severing Ties


Frozen Fingers of Midnight

Shadow Lodge

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Master of the Fallen Fortress (replayable module), followed by the Confirmation or First Steps (replayable scenarios), followed by the other. That will get all the characters to second level without "wasting" any non-replayable options.

For future characters, there are also several replayable modules that grant a full level (3xp).

But my all time favorite "first" scenario is Silent Tide (Season 0, Scenario 1).

Shadow Lodge 4/5

May Contain Meerkats wrote:
As a bonus, Rescue at Azlant Ridge is just awesome.

W-why? The ending is very climatic, sure, but by Jove the gauntlet you have to run in order to get that shard of diamond in the rough is harsh.

Now Pallid Plague, that's a great pick.

5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Diego aka RAdeMorris

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The Stolen Heir.

Grand Lodge

Muser wrote:
May Contain Meerkats wrote:
As a bonus, Rescue at Azlant Ridge is just awesome.
W-why? The ending is very climatic, sure, but by Jove the gauntlet you have to run in order to get that shard of diamond in the rough is harsh.

Oh, I wouldn't recommend Rescue for complete newbies, but I don't think Bloodcove at level 1 and Rescue at level 2 or 3 would be so bad. Besides...

Rescue at Azlant Ridge (major spoilers):
Sure, the ghouls are awful. And that guy with the lance is obnoxious. But the opportunity (as GM) to ask for a player's character sheet, witness the panicked look on their face, and then hand them the statblock for a CR 14 cold iron behemoth and say "you are now in control of this" was just way too delicious. Even without that battle of titans the ending would have been awesome, but that was the finishing touch.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Okay, can't say no to that!

Sovereign Court

Personally, I played it when I was pretty new to PFS, with a GM running it cold, and it's still one of my favorite scenarios. I don't imagine it would be a good introduction to someone completely new, though.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

Given the description of your group, I'd second Night March of Kalky. Other ones suggested that I would second are The Stolen Heir and Pallid Plague.

Confirmation might come across as a bit of a dungeon run, but is also solid.

Master of the Fallen Fortress is entirely dungeon run, although it does hang together.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Night March is a little bit tricky for the GM, but it's really really great for players.

As a GM you mainly need to understand the story and be able to deal with the wacky plans the players will come up with, that's the difficulty.

As a player, you don't actually need to know anything much about Pathfinder (although it doesn't hurt). Most of the problems are things you solve with common sense and ingenuity, not deep game mechanical insight.

---

The story works, the action has a lot of humorous potential, and the challenges are there but not excessive. After all, ideally players win the first adventure so they keep coming back :)

It's also the adventure that "has everything":

Spoiler:

A dungeon: the Black Edifice

A dragon: Illvaster, the zombie dragon. He's not all that scary, but
hey, it's a dragon in a l1 adventure.

A princess: the azata fits this role well. She's certainly in need of rescuing.

A bound demon in a circle: Koth'Vaul. Make sure you have a mini or at least a picture; while he's not supposed to escape, you can at least scare the players when they unmask his deceptions.

A puzzle: opening the doorway with the Strength reverser. Seeing Str 18 people collapse under their encumbrance is hilarious, as is seeing the Str 6 gnome open the door without trouble.

Runes: runelords!

Magic sword: Gamin

Typical encounters: bandits, bears, climbing and swimming.

A cool reward: this is a very nice Chronicle sheet.

Silver Crusade 3/5

Richard deMorris wrote:
The Stolen Heir.

I'd second this. It was my first PFS scenario at the start of the year, and I loved the role-playing opportunities it offered.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Master of the Fallen Fortress?

Silver Crusade 3/5

Lord Fyre wrote:
Master of the Fallen Fortress?

That falls pretty squarely in the 'dungeon run' category the OP was trying to avoid, though, doesn't it?

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

The Stolen Heir was the first PFS scenario I played, and I had good fun with it. It's a little light on the combat, we mostly RPed through it. Which can be good or bad, depending on your taste.

Plotwise, I felt it was a bit simple; it's an investigation but not a very hard one. We were totally overthinking it.

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