How do I find balanced PFS modules for a non-PFS game?

Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber


I'm sure this has been asked somewhere before but I couldn't find a clear answer with my internet searching.

How do I find a well-balanced Pathfinder Society module to add to my home, non-PFS, PF1E, Adventure Path? I'd like to use some modules to pad out the story for an Adventure Path.

I see the modules are listed as being for certain tiers - is a tier the same as a level? Is tier 5 balanced for PCs at level 5? Also, how many PCs do they intend to do one module, for balance purposes? Four? Six? I feel like I've seen both.

(Specifically, I'm looking to give my players some quest "options" in an open-ended segment of Skulls and Shackles - so if people specifically can think of good pirate adventures/adventures in the Shackles I'd also be interested in those recommendations - but that is a bit of a different question).

4/5 ** Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro


Below is a description of 1e PFS scenarios. 2e uses a slightly different and more nuanced balancing system
So the 'Tiers' of a PFS scenario are the level ranges in which they can be played. For example, PFS Scenario 9-24 "Beneath Unbroken Waves" is Tier 5-9 and thus designed to be played by characters levels 5, 6, 7, 8 or 8.

Now, that's a pretty wide range of levels for a possible party. So while the plot and structure of the scenario remains the same for all levels, each scenario is also divided into two 'subtiers' of 'low' or 'high'. Depending on the average level of the characters involved the encounters they face will be adjusted to potentially have more of different enemies/monsters, higher DCs, or other tweaks to balance the challenge. In the above example, if the party's average level is 5 or 6, they would use the 'Low Tier' enemy stats and encounters in "Beneath Unbroken Waves", while a party levels 8 or 9 would use the high tier ones. And if they're right in the midpoint? Well...

For the party size, starting with Season 6(?) the scenarios are designed for and balanced around a 6-person party. However, there are listed adjustments to make to encounters for a smaller/4-person party in the scenario (removing some monsters, adjusting numbers of successes needed, etc). If a party is at the midpoint of a scenario's level range (like a level 7 party for a Tier 5-9 scenario), then a larger party would use the high-tier stats but with the 4-player adjustment, while a 4-person party right between subtiers would use the lower subtier's stats but without and party size adjustment.

And obviously the balancing still might not be perfect (since these adventures needed to be designed for a potential broad level range and party types) so you can always take these as a start and tweak for your specific party.

4/5 ** Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro

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As far as specific PFS1e scenarios that could work to fill out a Shackles Campaign, what level is your party right now?

Some I recall that may be of interest to you are:

The Gloomspires series - 4 linked scenarios about searching for a famous pirate's lost treasure...whihc he hid in an infamously mysterious location that is only intermittently accessible. These are 4 missions across a variety of level ranges, so could be something you explore and clear at different points over the campaign
(6-06 "Hall of the Flesheaters", 7-19 "The Labyrinth of Hungry Ghosts", 8-15 "Hrenthar's Throne", and 10-17 "On Sevenfinger's Sails")

6-09 "By Way of Bloodcove" has you trying to move about the port city of Bloodcove to get information and sabotage a rival's efforts while avoiding notice in a city they control. (Aspis here, though could be modified to another port ruled by a rival Pirate Lord)

9-15 "The Bloodcove Blockade" Simialr to the above, making trouble in a port city to thwart the efforts of a rival faction.

9-24 "Beneath Unbroken Waves" rwach and explore a lost underwater temple. The reasons a pirate crew would go there will be very different, but perhaps a good treasure is said to be found there (and you can still use the same mechanical framework of the scenario)

8-20 "Torrent's Last Will" - the setup/circumstances around the mission are very tied up in the Pathfinder Society plot (and the scenario takes place on the Plane of Water), but could be ported to the Shackles and the adventure itself has you explore a very unique underwater 'dungeon'.

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

Check out Perilous Pirates Pursuing Plunder. It should be exactly what you're looking for.

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Really, really helpful.

I am looking for things over a broad level range... 4 to 14. Looks like there is a lot to choose from.

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