Should i play PFS 9-07: Salvation of the Sages ?


Pathfinder Society

Silver Crusade

Hello,
this is a highly unique problem that I have.

Spoilers ahead?

I registered to play PFS 9-07: Salvation of the Sages in a store that I play rarely and I was actually warned by a fellow player/friend to play it because of the permadeath, difficulty overall, duration and the prep time the gm needs to plan it.

I wanted to check the product side for more opinions and immediately saw spoiler worthy infos so I stopped reading.

Here is the Problem:
we only have roughly 4-5 hours time and the gm is known to be late. the gm is a great in roleplaying but sometimes I have the feeling he isn't prepared for the details in the scenario.
While my character im playing with is somewhat capable I don't know the other 5 players. And I really like my character.

My biggest concern is the player that warned me never warned me before and I played bonekeep.

So could you give me an opinion if I should play it or not? Without big spoilers?

The Exchange 1/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I would HIGHLY recommend you pass, unless you know the other players and what characters they are bringing to the table, AND that the GM is at least 4 star or higher AND has done a lot of prep!

The time factor is a moderately big issue as it does tend to run long. I myself believe that the scenario is poorly written and can get even an experienced GM in trouble if he/she/they aren't VERY diligent in their prep.

The table of six I played with was at a Con, I personally knew three players and the characters they brought to the table. I had previously played with the other two players and their characters at another Con and they too were good solid players.

Our party was not optimized, but we were no slouches either. I had played with our GM many times before, he is from my home lodge, and he is almost to his 4th star.

It still ended in a TPK for us before we got to the BBEG at the end. I will not give the why here as it is a spoiler, but suffice it to say that I believe that ambiguous writing about the use of a mechanic was the primary culprit.

As I said on the product discussion page it was the singular WORST PFS experience I have ever had. YMMV If you play it, know who you are playing with, know that your GM is VERY well prepped and knowledgeable, and bring optimized characters! That's the best advice I can give you if you have to play it.

On the plus side, I did really like the story and the history of the scenario. I just think that parts should/could be better well explained in the text for the GM and that the GM should be encouraged to STRESS certain things to the PCs in character as one of the Jeweled Sages to prevent misunderstandings, gotcha moments, that can and did lead to TPKs.

Again this is only my opinion and YMMV.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't know if anyone here is really capable or qualified to give you advice.

We don't know you, your character, the venue, the GM, the other players, the other characters, and only some posters here know the scenario.

So *my* advice would be to cover as many bases as you can and go off that information.

• Ask the store ahead of time if they're willing to stay open another half hour that evening.
• Get in touch with the Venture Agent for that store and ask them their advice.
• Try to contact the other players and ask them about their characters.
• Plan strategy with them ahead of the game.
• Try to contact the GM and ask if they can show up early.

And if you really can't discover anything ahead of time, try to get a feel for how the game gets started. If the GM is late and you're not comfortable with party cohesion, you can leave before the game starts.

But that advice isn't really specific for this scenario. It's just general advice for anytime.

Silver Crusade 5/5

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It is definitely far more risky than most scenarios are and definitely rewards a well balanced group.

There is the realistic chance of permadeath for your character (when I played it one character got permakilled).

That said, it is fair (unlike Bonekeep which is pretty deliberately unfair).

If you have a reasonable group of reasonable characters and players it is definitely a very fun scenario and you'll likely have no character deaths. If you have a group of twinked out monstrosities you'll ROTFLstomp it like every other scenario.

Not a good one for playing up. Not a good one for 5 players or some of the really dangerous rounding situations (8.66 rounds to 9 which rounds to 10. That would hurt)

But it DOES run long and it DOES need a prepared GM to get the most out of it. If the GM is not good at time control I'd very seriously consider giving it a pass

Scarab Sages 3/5

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I'd say don't do it. I'm prepping it and I can't imagine it taking less than 6 hours of play - not including setup. Time is the real killer with it, all the rest of it is just extra challenging.

5/5

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This is one of my favourite scenarios. I have played and run it and would happily do so again. I plan to offer it in core for those brave enough to try. Having said that there are some things to be aware of:

1. It is a long scenario with a lot of moving parts. I would not want to run this in a con slot or where I had a hard stop point which gave me less than 6 hours.

2. The GM needs to fully prepare this. Never run it cold, when you think you have it prepped go back and check, you probably missed something. I would only play this with a GM who I knew prepared well.

3. This is the Scarab Sage faction story conclusion scenario and as such is appropriately difficult. Go in well prepared, expect to be challenged. Honestly, this should be the advice for any 7-11 scenario, the game changes at higher levels and you need to be prepared for that.

4. This means more than just being able to turn things into red mist. It means also not ignoring your defences and actually having a wide range of skills. More than most recent scenarios this one benefits from having people who actually act like Pathfinders rather than roving bandits. I would be wary of playing this with a group of strangers unless the character I was bringing was both effective and versatile.

4/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is a scenario that I do not recommend for a store or con venue. Given the nature of the scenario and your description of the problem, I would recommend passing at this time.

I ran this scenario in December. It took me 2 weeks to prep and 7.5 hours to run. I still missed things in the scenario. It is extremely dense and requires both patience and significant preparation to pull off. High level play is almost always what I'm running as a GM, so this sort of thing isn't new to me at all. The scenario is just genuinely challenging to run (in the best possible way).

From a player perspective, being able to approach elements of the scenario in a deliberate, clear-headed fashion is pretty important. Being able to clearly hear everything that is being said, have access to things like a whiteboard or similar to make sure everyone understands what's going on, etc. is essential to the enjoyment of the scenario. Lastly, looking at this as a Season 9 Waking Rune-esque scenario is probably advisable, so making sure you've got a good group of characters is important.

The Exchange

I would say don't play but in general it really depends.

I played with a friend of mine, another player, and a pregen in high tier. The pregen shaman just immediately died shortly followed by the player I didn't know.

After that my friend and I duoed the remainder of the scenario. Pretty challenging but the issue of the game taking a long time to play is really mitigated when it is just 2 players and the GM taking actions.

I had a lot of fun.

4/5

I can only say that my experience while playing in a store/mini-con setting I did not feel rushed. We took about 5 to 5 1/2 hours with a pretty well balanced party of players who were all experienced but did not all regularly play together. We did have a pretty experienced GM though, which always helps.

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

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With the information you have given, I would recommend passing on this session. The time limit is likely to prevent you from fully enjoying the scenario, especially if the GM is known to be late to arrive.

Liberty's Edge

Talk to the store owner and venture officer. See If you can arrange with everyone to play the adventure in 2 sessions. It does run long.

As for a recommendation, not everyone who goes to Disney World gets food poisoning, pick pocketed, mugged, and mistreated by the staff.

1/5

I put as much prep into this as I put into the Specials (about fifty precent more than a 'standard' scenario) I've GM'd.

It runs long, even with care and eye on the clock.

It's brutal to parties that are not prepared.

Strongly recommend DO NOT try to play it in 3.5 hours. Either your team will be dead or wishing they were.

As others noted above, try to get 'two slots' to run it in. It only gives 1 (or .5 exp on slow track) but the story is kind of important.

Silver Crusade

Just found out that we have at least 6 Hours and the GM is aware of the Length and complexity of the Adventure. He is a 4 Star Venture Captain who did The Cosmic Captive and Assault on Absalom.

Should i risk the permadeath now? the only variable are now the other players...

Grand Lodge 1/5

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If you have the time and enjoy a real challenge, you should give it a crack. Just be cautious, use your head, but don't be afraid to actually explore. Also, if your character belongs to the Sages, you should Absolutely play it.

The time is really the biggest issue and if that's handled you should be fine as long as your party is reasonably balanced, but I can't imagine many 7-11's are going to be playable with a party of six fighters/swashbucklers or something.

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

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DonKalleOne wrote:
Should i risk the permadeath now? the only variable are now the other players...

I'd say at least show up and see what everyone else is bringing, so you have an informed opinion.

4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DonKalleOne wrote:

Just found out that we have at least 6 Hours and the GM is aware of the Length and complexity of the Adventure. He is a 4 Star Venture Captain who did The Cosmic Captive and Assault on Absalom.

Should i risk the permadeath now? the only variable are now the other players...

That's a much better outlay than what you described before. I'd be willing to chance it.

Silver Crusade

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Serisan wrote:
DonKalleOne wrote:

Just found out that we have at least 6 Hours and the GM is aware of the Length and complexity of the Adventure. He is a 4 Star Venture Captain who did The Cosmic Captive and Assault on Absalom.

Should i risk the permadeath now? the only variable are now the other players...

That's a much better outlay than what you described before. I'd be willing to chance it.

Yeah, i followed suggestion and contacted the organizer regarding my concerns and many things cleared up.

For example the playtime is much longer and open which isnt normally the case

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pre-mustering if the table and GM can swing it helps some, too.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This thread ended up helping me, too.

I was scheduled to play this during the afternoon slot of an upcoming Convention (2pm-6pm). I had no idea before reading this that it might require so much time to run properly. But I also need to play it somewhat soonish, because it's already been run locally and everyone I regularly play with has done it.

So I signed up to play it at OutPost, the upcoming online Convention. And when I looked at my fellow players I was pleasantly surprised to even see TOZ there ^_^

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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I only bring my paladin to the hardest of scenarios. :)

Scarab Sages 4/5

Likewise, I was scheduled to play this at a convention in a month and have swapped games (for now). It is the last slot of the day, so there's potential we could run long on it if needed. I don't know when the venue starts kicking people out, but it's definitely not an all night thing. But I also don't know any of the players or GM and it would currently be a 3-player table with pregen, and I want to hit 12 with my level 11 Investigator on it. Hopefully someone will run it locally. There's a GM who is excited about it, and who would do a great job, but he's also very busy with school right now, so I'm not sure when that will happen.

Hmmmm.... There's still room at that Outpost table, it looks like. I'll keep an eye on it and find out what the plan is locally. While having his last regular level game documented would be very cool, I'm not certain I want my first PFS play-by-post to be a high-tier, deadly scenario. Not sure that's a good situation for me or the other players. I might register for something lower level at the con to give PbP a try, though.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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That OutPost table could use more players, and GM Chie is awesome.

Hmm

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
TOZ wrote:
I only bring my paladin to the hardest of scenarios. :)

That's good to hear, because my Ranger/Bard doesn't do much!

*awkward chuckling laugh that just kind of ends uncomfortably while everyone glares at him*

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

DonKalleOne,

Let me echo what others have said here. This scenario is supposed to be the capstone of a Scarab Sage career. If you are having doubts about whether that particular GM will be able to pull it off in a four hour slot, listen to them.

Hmm

Silver Crusade

Can someone Link the OutPost thing? Is it on warhorn?

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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OutPost: Back to the Future

We’re a Play-by-Post Convention that is launching on March 5th. Play-by-Post is an alternative gaming format done over message board forums. Games go for weeks, but there are ample opportunities for rich roleplay and personal discovery.

Thanks so much!

Hmm

Silver Crusade

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Just wanted to inform you guys that I went really well.We got all Boons.
It was hard but I think the real Challenge is in the High Tier.

Spoiler:

We played LowTier with 2 Pregens
The Skill DCs for everything was ridicules high around 27-29ish without a specialized or well build characters you had realistically a 25% chance to make the check.
The Save DCs seems to be 20+ which was crazy too.

After we heard the word "Pharao of Plague" my paranoid warned Mind went Full Throttle.We got Delay Disease and Heroes Feast+Antiplague (Before even knowing that Torch was coming) and regarding the disappointed Face of the GM we made the right choice. Only 1 guy got infected (With a Roll of 22!) but got "healed" in the Chamber.
We still don't know what the Disease was doing since we had Delay Disease and the GM refused to tell.

The Mindthing was really interesting and we had a crazy character who insisted to go in evry memory even knowing he could loose a level.
The Character was Op like hell what I know he was a Goliath Druid Bloodrager Troll with +29 Dmg or something while raging (regulary did 50+ DMG a hit with 15f reach)

We had an Occultist that had something up called "Status" and new everything after touching something for a minute which saved us a lot of rolling.

The Fights:
1. It was crazy. Perma Black Tantacles and Troops of Ghast with Airwalk in a Sandstorm? WIth a (Bonekeep) Monoltith that heals them for 4d6 and hurts us. Sadly for the Ghast Combat Reflexes on the Troll with 15ft reach and a readied attack meant only 1 really got to attack us.

2. The Start was crazy Cloudkill as first attack and the Paladin disarmed me. I loved the dazzling Flamesphere even if it crippled 2 character in a row. But after the Paladin was down (almost 1 hittet by our Troll) the fight was relaxing even if some players wanted to end it fast.
Freeing the Sages was way more difficult. DCs around 27-29 again, Full Round Action to enter the Mindthing and only 2 Rolls per round at first which weren't cumulative. After I mentioned that it was almost impossible this way the GM looked it up and we had 3 Rolls per Turn and a success of different character counted too. It took us asround 8-9 rounds to free them all. The Ghost tried to infect us every round but rolls in the 25-30 kept us save.

BTW: What is a blue dragon doing in a freaking grave.

Silver Crusade

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

Yay! Glad you had fun ^w^

4/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Glad to hear it was a good experience!

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