Shaking up the 'Invasion' and escape for an in-person play gimmick

Ironfang Invasion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm daydreaming for when it's safe to have the group play in person together again and I'm making a plan for this cool map scroll I have. (I'ts a very long vinyl map showing a town from it's outer gates to inner castle in a big enough strip it rolls up at either end.)

Feel free to help me out, or just grab this idea for yourself later! I'm definitely going to play this out, but I have time before we get around to playing Ironfang. So let's brainstorm!

The scenario - our advancing horde (orcs in our case, but could be good zombie action too if someone wants to apply this plan to another adventure) is closing in and sweeping through, and the PCs need to help the citizens escape. Here are the details I'm fiddling with so far vs the books, in part just to highlight the gimmick of the long, rolled up map. It also changes the feel of the invading horde, but with my limited read through so far, I don't think that breaks anything.


- Heroes can attack individual members of the horde, but they can't win that way, there's too many of them. Same as the books really, they WILL get overrun

- To up the overrun feeling for the scrolling map, this portion of the invasion is scary by sheer numbers, not personal strength. Minimal HP in exchange for increased numbers. So you can kill them, but it's only buying you time or clearing routes. And killing lots of numbers is fun!

- Orcs can attack and deal damage like normal, but I want the damage taken from engaging the horde to feel more like it's own 'clock' as the players take injuries to save people but can ignore it a little till it starts to add up. Would you change anything about the damage or to hit of the opponents?

- There are more buildings on my map, and I want the heroes to get to use that to personally be involved in the escape of more citizens. This one I wish I could playtest, so maybe post if you've tried something similar. Maybe just open the door and make a skill check to get them to start leaving? Maybe 'drop' orc minions in each building so the occupants can leave? Maybe hold a path clear for escape and each round the route is kept clear another person gets out? All of the above? Not sure. I want something that costs time so there might be parts where they have to decide to leave civilians, because we know not everyone gets out.

- With the gimmick of the physical long map... The map will physically scroll to advance on its own clock, indicating area that has been 'lost' to the invasion. The PCs can go closer to escape at their own pace, but the 'back' rolls up behind them regularly. Again, I wish I could playtest this to say a good pace, and maybe it's something I can play by ear or do based on how many orcs have gotten on the map. I like the idea of keeping up pressure, and I can't fit my entire map on the table we play on anyway.

- With the increase in the number (and decrease in the difficulty to kill) this advance front of invading orcs, I'm not sure if I want to change how VIPs work. Keep the specific details to rescue each of them, and just spread them out along my new map? I'm open to advice, but this might be just me reporting back one day about how that went.

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Interesting idea but can't see it working for any of the scenarios in Ironfang Invasion.

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