First scenario recommendations


Pathfinder Society

Silver Crusade 1/5

I would like to hear your recommendations for a first PFS scenario please.

I have a couple of criteria. I am looking for a tier 1 - 5 scenario because I want to run for some friends who haven't played PFS but are experienced gamers, and I want to apply the GM credit to my level 5 character. It will likely be a party of four level 1s.

The following scenarios are already out because either my level 5 or one of my wife's characters have played them :
Mists of Mwangi, Black waters, perils of the pirate pact, assault on the kingdom of the impossible, delirium's tangle, before the dawn parts 1 and 2, the gods market gamble, temple of empyreal enlightenment, horn of Aroden, merchant's wake, scars of the third crusade, assault on the wound, trial by machine, silver mount collection, slave ships of absolom, hall of the flesh eaters, segang expedition, scions of the sky key 1 - 3.

Thanks :)

Grand Lodge

Well, it will not help your level 5 character, but The Confirmation and The Wounded Wisp are good intros for new people to PFS.

I also like Destiny of the Sands part 1 and 2 as a "here is what a pfs agent does in a normal day on the job."

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

In this order:
Master of the Fallen Fortress
First Steps pt. 1
The Confirmation


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My personal recommendation would probably be The Overflow Archives. Great story and a fun light-hearted tone despite having a couple encounters that could be deadly if things go wrong. The scenario is flexible enough that players can decide to talk their way through most of it or fight their way the entire way through. It's also set in a section of the Grand Lodge which I find interesting in itself. In terms of giving a sense what the Pathfinder Society is about, establishing the personalities of a couple significant recurring NPCs and being flexible enough to allow a variety of play styles it may just be one of the best low tier scenarios out there.

Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

Are the players new to PFS or new to Pathfinder RPG as a whole?

If they're new to the RPG, I would start with the Silverhex Chronicles: the short quests using pregens is a great way to introduce players to the rules, and it also lets your players swap out characters if they like to experiment with different classes. (I pieced together a PFS-oriented frame story for Silverhex that we use at conventions in our area.)

For a good first level progression, I like to use First Steps 1 (In Service to Lore), Wounded Wisp, and the Confirmation. If your players prefer dungeon crawls, Master of the Fallen Fortress can swap in for any of them, or you can add it in to the progression and push Confirmation out to the fourth scenario.

Why I don't run Confirmation first:

A lot of people will recommend making the Confirmation the first scenario. Mechanically, this works fine, but from "your character's story" perspective, I feel it does not work well at all. The Confirmation is your character's graduation from Society training, and it loses a lot of meaning if it's your player's first introduction to the Society.

For example, the main NPC spends some time asking why your character joined the Society. Um, I don't know--because that's what the GM said we were going to do? (She also goes over your gear and makes sure you have what you need: with pregens, this section can get kind of mean, since the characters didn't buy their gear and don't have any spare money.)

At the end of the scenario, you're supposed to pick a mentor/path in the Society (martial/Swords, knowledge/Scrolls, magic/Spells). If this is your very first scenario and you have no other information on the Society, you have no idea what that means or who those people are. Also, you can completely rebuild your character until second level, and there's no mechanism for changing your path, which makes your Confirmation selection completely trivial instead of a really important moment in your character's life.

Since I'm a writer, this kind of stuff matters to me, so I prefer not to run the Confirmation for a brand new group of Society players. I flat out will not run it pregens unless I'm running it for veteran players who have all played it before and just want to playtest a new pregen or something.


I'm not sure why there are so many recommendations for 1-2 scenarios when Supervillan requested 1-5 suggestions and included an explanation as to why this was his preference.

Also I'm not a huge fan of Silverhex in cases where there may be one or more players who may have even a loose grasp of Pathfinder's mechanics. My experience was one player can easily dominate the quest if they pick a well optimized pregen and even have a slight idea what they're doing. I played as Oloch and ended up removing myself from combat halfway through the final encounter because he was killing everything in sight before other players had a chance to do anything and I didn't even really know the full class features of a level one warpriest at the time.

Silver Crusade 1/5

I like the Confirmation for a first or early scenario, but yes I'm specifically looking for a tier 1 - 5. I want to get my level 5 PC up to level 6 before paizocon uk so that I can play him in specific scenarios there and at garden con in August. I'm unlikely to have other opportunities to play. But as it happens one of my regular d&d group will miss our next session so there's an opportunity to introduce the guys to PFS, and level Quenly too, if I can find an appropriate scenario.


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Experienced players, eh? My first choice would be Night March of Kalkamedes.

Do your players like Lovecraft? Even if they DON'T, my second choice would be Voice in the Void.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Yours is mined wrote:

Experienced players, eh? My first choice would be Night March of Kalkamedes.

this would have been my suggestion

5/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

4-11 The Disappeared.
Without the faction missions it's a simple reconnaissance mission at a party, linear without side plots. Hard to get yourself killed in that one and it runs in a 4hr timeslot. The key to this is to keep the PCs appraised of the time when they hit Zarta's room and again during the search for information. Clumsy/inept adventurers will cause an early close of the scenario.

If I had to go 4-19 The (K)night March of Kalkamedes, lol, I'd sandwich in 0-03 Murder on the Silken Caravan (which is a tough scenario and not a favorite due to clumsy plot).

A standard and good series...
1) Master of the Fallen Fortress (6hrs) some plot issues verses clever adventurers.
2) First Steps pt. 1 (5hrs)
3) The Confirmation (5hrs) can turn deadly if the players be stoopid or overly aggressive.

The Blakros Museum series is tough. Wait till they are at least 2nd level.

Grand Lodge

As an intro to the PFS campaign, I really like Silent Tide.
You meet Grand Master Torch, get to know a bit about the city of Absolom (including going to one of the many siege towers surrounding it (even better if you as a GM are aware and tell the players about the city's history of withstanding attacks) and get to save the city as an added bonus.

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Dorothy Lindman wrote:
A lot of people will recommend making the Confirmation the first scenario. Mechanically, this works fine, but from "your character's story" perspective, I feel it does not work well at all. The Confirmation is your character's graduation from Society training, and it loses a lot of meaning if it's your player's first introduction to the Society.

I had funny interactions with NPCs because some scenarios assumed it was my first exposure to Pathfinder Society or that I took the Confirmation as my first scenario.

Venture Captain: Well done on your assignment. I'm sure you have what it takes to be a productive member of the Pathfinder Society.

Randall: Um, excuse me? You jerks sent me to Thornkeep for my first mission! I had to live crippled for months in a town full of crazy lunatics that worship a god by drowning people.

Venture Captain: Oh..right. Sorry I didn't recognize you, Randall. Um, keep up the good work?

Silver Crusade 3/5

Night March of Kalkamedes is fun and rewards creative solutions.

Overflow Archives requires less "prepared for anything" PCs and has some interesting interactions as well.

Veteran's Vault is a straightforward dungeon romp in sewers, but it's not the most boring one.

I wouldn't recommend a multi-parter if you're not sure you get your players to stay for more than one session, as that would leave the plot unfinished. While I enjoyed From Under Ice, it works better if the players have a bit better idea about what Irrisen and the surroundings are like to get into a proper mindset.

Grand Lodge

I second Overflow Archives.

Notes about pregens:
Whoever gets Seoni is going to be important in this adventure, because having someone who knows Varisian is critical if you intend to have a chance at roleplaying some of the encounters in this one.

My play:
I've played this scenario with four other novices who were playing 1st level pregens as a sort of a wizard mentor (also 1st level, but with a few adventures under my belt, and I did have Varisian in my languages, so I did most of the detective work, while the player playing Seoni handled the diplomacy in Varisian). Other players played Seoni (effective in roleplay), Kyra (effective in general), badly played Harsk (who isn't that great to begin with, was mostly useless except in the final fight) and Merisiel, who didn't get to do much.

The GM in the game forgot to explain that the final boss was obsessed with riddles, and that we could beat him in a riddle contest, and fighting him was a little suicidal. Some Color Spray to the face fixed that. It was at that point that Harsk finally became useful, shooting the helpless croc with his crossbow, while the rest of us were busy pummeling the fox into unconsciousness (this is when Merisiel became useful, aside from opening one of the doors, being the only character to have rope, as we had to capture the boss alive).

One funny part was when the player playing Harsk tried to capture the Voidworm with his teapot. That did not help in the slightest.

Dark Archive

I have a similar question. I am trying to get a local chapter up and going. So I was going to run the first steps series of 3, as per recommendations on guides for starting local groups and such. But now I look at it and the 2nd and 3rd first steps scenarios say retired... Are they still legal for play or no? Should I use those or wounded wisp etc...?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

Dustin Ammerman M wrote:
I have a similar question. I am trying to get a local chapter up and going. So I was going to run the first steps series of 3, as per recommendations on guides for starting local groups and such. But now I look at it and the 2nd and 3rd first steps scenarios say retired... Are they still legal for play or no? Should I use those or wounded wisp etc...?

First Steps parts 2 & 3 were retired when there was a major change in the factions a while back. Both of them cameo faction heads who are no longer involved in Pathfinder Society (Amara Li) or are considered by a vocal portion of the player base as an enemy (Grandmaster Torch) of the Pathfinder Society.

So, as mentioned a few times earlier in the thread, running the three current evergreen scenarios, First Steps, Part 1: In Service to Lore, 5-08: The Confirmation, and 6-10: The Wounded Wisp, in whatever order you prefer, is a good way to get the PCs through first level, while giving them a taste of some of the things they can be sent to do in the Society, while giving them some of the Society's background.

Depending on the PCs, it can be a bit ... bizarre to run Wisp after Confirmation, since it is possible that one of the NPCs in Wisp died during Confirmation... Confirmation has a nice "gift" for PCs who play it first.

And, as also mentioned above, you can sub in Master of the Fallen Fortress, a nice vertical dungeon crawl, for any of these scenarios.

Some people run two of the evergreen scenarios, then follow it up with one of the 32 page Tier 1-2 modules, like The Godsmouth Heresy or the Crypt of the Everflame, which brings the PCs to one XP from third level by the end.

Dark Archive 5/5

Mangenorn wrote:

I second Overflow Archives.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

I third this! Overflow Archives was one of those rare scenarios that I greatly enjoyed as both a GM and a player, and wouldn't mind using a star to get credit again in either capacity.

In regards to the first spoiler:
Lini would work just as well, as being a gnome she knows Sylvan. :)

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

Yours is mined wrote:

Experienced players, eh? My first choice would be Night March of Kalkamedes.

Do your players like Lovecraft? Even if they DON'T, my second choice would be Voice in the Void.

Night Marsh seems like a good fit, one way or the other, Overflow... teaches the players and the GMs quite a lot about certain enviromental rules.

I recently played 4-18 the Veterals Vault, and that should work for your particular demographic.

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

Night March of Kalkamedes and the Overflow Archives are both a lot of fun.

If you have someone who wants to use some stealth and has either low-light or darkvision on their character, try Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible.

Scarab Sages Venture-Agent, Washington—Ballard aka WiseWolfOfYoitsu

p-sto wrote:
Also I'm not a huge fan of Silverhex in cases where there may be one or more players who may have even a loose grasp of Pathfinder's mechanics. My experience was one player can easily dominate the quest if they pick a well optimized pregen and even have a slight idea what they're doing. I played as Oloch and ended up removing myself from combat halfway through the final encounter because he was killing everything in sight before other players had a chance to do anything and I didn't even really know the full class features of a level one warpriest at the time.

If you have someone who can cast Enlarge Person, like the Arcanist, with a few Bloodragers; it's a Murder of Crowes. Crowe's maximum dagamge while enlarged and critting, at level 1, is 105 points of damage with no penalty to attack. Even without the enlarge, it's still a max of 78 points of damage; 72 without using his 3/day 1d6 of electrical and a minimum of 42. Everything dies from his crits.

------------------------------------------------------
Enlarge Crit Damage:
3d6x3
26 Str = +8 damage/+12 for 2h/+15 for 2h Power Attack

9d6+45+1d6(Elec)=54(55) to 99(105)
------------------------------------------------------
Normal Crit Damage:
2d6x3
22 Str = +6 damage/+9 for 2h/+12 for 2h Power Attack

6d6+36+1d6(Elec)=42(43) to 72(78)
------------------------------------------------------
Heck, even his normal hits destroy 1-5 encounters

Normal hit:
2d6+12+1d6(elec)=14(15) to 24(30)

Silver Crusade 1/5

I think I'm going to run Night March. The wife and I have both signed up to play Overflow Archives at upcoming conventions and you've given me a few other ideas to try out on one side of the GM screen or the other. Thanks!

Silver Crusade 1/5

So last night I ran The Night March of Kalkamedes.

It was a fun scenario, and my experienced players all enjoyed it. Those who hadn't played Pathfinder or PFS before were quite impressed with the systems, and we may have a few more campaign players.

scenario detail:
We had one level 3 PC (gunslinger 1/ witch 2), and three level 1s: a pregen Crowe, a cavalier, and a wizard who was a tweaked Ezren. All human, unusually.

They found the hidden stash and made reasonable progress with the barriers until the precipice, which they had no way over. No good climb skills, not enough rope to fashion a tightrope between them. The cavalier's horse had a small chance of jumping the canyon, but the player understandably didn't want to risk it. They hogtied K very securely and put him on the back of the horse. The cavalier rode north for an hour then let K loose, and let him find another route through the mountains. Whilst I could have had K retrace his steps, I decided that he would go due west again and find another route, costing the party a few hours. There is some slack in the timetable meaning that K could still reach the Edifice before dawn if there were no more delays. Plus, if K retraced then the adventure would be over!

The early combat encounters were no great challenge, although the bandits successfully ambushed the party. They did serve to demonstrate unfamiliar combat systems like CMB/CMD for the players and got them thinking about how they could work together a bit.

Inside the Edifice, the two STR 8 arcane casters had fun suddenly being the strongest characters and having to drag their musclebound martials over the podium.

The party almost decided to free K-V (so close!) but then the wizard understood the purpose of the binding circle and decided that it would be better to follow K across the other side of the cavern first, and come back to K-V afterwards, just to be safe. With freedom being denied him and the party about to find Sulianna, K-V called his ally forth and the final battle began!

It was a tough fight, as you'd expect. With the way the party was positioned K ended up in the front line against Illvaster, alongside the cavalier and the bloodrager. In the course of the battle K landed a crit with his fists, the cavalier was dropped into negatives twice, the bloodrager kept missing even in blood rage until finally, whilst enlarged, he struck Illvaster down.

Sulianna was then rescued, had the witch banish K-V, restored K to his senses and took everyone home.

Gamin was fun to play. He revealed himself fairly early on, because the party were being careful not to hurt K in any way even after he punched the cavalier's horse several times. The cavalier started the battle with Illvaster wielding Gamin, only to drop him in favour of his greatsword after landing one blow. I had Gamin huff in indignation at "still not being a dragonslayer".

All in all, a great scenario. Thanks again for the recommendation!

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