Fox’s Cunning – PFS Quest Round-up

(All credit for the banner to Swords Comics. Go read it.)

Last Fox’s Cunning I presented an outline of all the Year of the Open Road Scenarios for Pathfinder Society. This week we are going to look over the complete catalog of quests available in Pathfinder Society! Quests are shorter adventures that usually take an hour and often consist of only a single major encounter. They have some incredible stories and are perfect for quick-game nights, as supplemental PFS games, or even as sources of some amazing encounters for your next home-game!

Quests, like Bounties, provide 1 XP and a set amount of gold. This makes them ideal for characters who took on a scenario using slower advancement rules, or who played a couple of bounties and have an odd amount of XP. Having that odd amount of XP isn’t a detriment, since it means you’ll have slightly more gold than any other character of your level.

Unlike Bounties, Quests are still missions assigned by the Pathfinder Society. This makes them ideal starting points for new players, especially if you are hosting a Character Creation Day, Free RPG Day, or similar Seminar to get people invested in the Pathfinder Society. Many of the quests also have direct tie-ins to existing adventures, letting you run longer-than-usual sessions. They can also be used if a party finishes a scenario earlier than expected (whether it was a success or a failure).

They are also wonderful for GMs who aren’t quite up to running a full scenario yet. Quests are a perfect way to dip your toe in the pool before diving in, whether you are nervous about running online, new to Pathfinder Second Edition, or completely new to Organized Play.

Useful Documents:

Pathfinder Second Edition Guide to Organized Play: The official guide! This will explain what PFS is all about!
Pathfinder Society Character Options: This lists what you can and cannot use.
Faction & Adventure Boon Cards: Originally posted as a Fox’s Cunning Article.
Pathfinder Training and Boon Slot Information: A condensed list of boon slot rules and the free consumables players get thanks to their training.
Retail Incentive Program Benefits
• Year 1 Boon Cards (Scenario Spoilers)


Google Spreadsheets:
GM Challenge Point and Downtime Calculator: Hit File>Make a Copy to use it. Critical for the first 2 quests when challenge points weren’t listed clearly.
Pathfinder Society Master Index: This spreadsheet has tons of information about each scenario, including maps, items, hazards, and monsters.

The rest of the article is full of spoilers and is intended for Game Masters!

Keyword Index:

I’ve included keywords to help give you a quick idea of what each quest is about. You can use the “Find” feature on your browser to look for certain keywords, and I’ve listed them below:

• Atmosphere: Urban, Desert, Dungeon, Wilderness, Sewers, Ruins, Naval, Extraplanar, Dungeon, Darklands,
• Creatures: Undead, Constructs, Monks, Aquatic, Ooze, Aberrations, Robots, Wyrwood, Undead, Kobolds, Pirates, Dragon, Outsiders, Undead, Humanoids, Duergar
Themes: Exploration, Intrigue, Investigation, Journey, Marital Arts, Technology, Eagle Knights, (Pathfinder) Society, Slavery, Naval

These are pretty self-explanatory and help give you an idea of what you might find in each adventure. Some creatures listed are intended to be allies, some enemies, and others can be allies or enemies depending on how the PCs interact with them. It is not an extensive list of all creature-types used in the season, but rather those that are most memorable in each scenario. A Journey scenario is one that can end away from where it began.

• Systems: Hazards, Skill Challenges, Infiltration, Chase, Investigations

Scenarios tagged with these systems heavily feature memorable uses of these systems. Most are self-explanatory. Performances often include opportunities for characters with the perform skill to shine, and can include scenarios where PCs are expected to perform at the table. Downtime includes scenarios where players spend multiple days completing a task. Escort missions are those where you have an NPC who follows the party.

 

• Additional Tags: Heavy Roleplay, Rival Party, Somwhat/Possibly/Very Deadly

Scenarios tagged with “Roleplay” include numerous NPCs that the GM is expected to use in extended dialogue with the PCs. Rival Party means there is another group of adventurers or explorers the PCs interact with. Most scenarios marked “deadly” have a single encounter that is especially troublesome for certain party members and should be investigated before the scenario is chosen. Oftentimes it means waiting until the players are higher level before running the scenario.

 

Quest 1: The Sandstone Secret

Levels: 1-4 Tags: Repeatable Location: Osiria
Keywords: Dungeon, Desert, Hazards, Intrigue, Undead, Constructs, Society
Description: When the Pathfinder Society receives word of a promising, unexplored ruin in Osirion, the PCs set out to uncover the site’s secrets. Yet upon arriving, the PCs learn that a different group of Pathfinders has already entered the ruins. Has there been some mistake, is the site’s magic playing tricks on everyone, or is there something more nefarious afoot?
Review: This is a great way to introduce players to PFS. It gives players a sense of what being a Pathfinder is all about while divulging what each character should already know about the organization simply by being a Pathfinder Agent. It rewards creative roleplaying, let’s the GM choose what kind of enemies will most challenge the party, and provides some wonderful roleplaying opportunity.
Home-Game Integration:
This quest works best as a way to introduce players into the Pathfinder Society.
Time Considerations:
You should have no problem finishing this in an hour. You can let players explore the other rooms of the ruins and expand on the roleplay with the guard if you have a little more time.
Warning: This uses the old rules for Challenge Points. Use the Organized Play Guide to convert and be careful!
Additional Resources:
Illustrated Boon Cards, GM Discussion Thread

Quest 2: The Unforgiving Fire

Levels: 1-4 Location: Jalmeray
Keywords: Intrigue, Martial Arts, Skill Challenges, Heavy Roleplay, Investigation, Journey
Description: Venture-Captain Rashmivati Melipdra has called for a group of Pathfinders to travel to Jalmeray and assist her in retrieving a stolen relic. A former member of the Monastery of Unblinking Flame, Melipdra was in the process of negotiating with the monastery for custody of some of their most ancient and historically significant training devices. Before the deal could be completed, a rogue monk stole one of the relics and fled the monastery for the island of Veedesha. There, the monk seeks to use her training and the stolen devices to create a new competing monastery. As the PCs travel to a lawless island controlled by bandits and martial artists, they must find a way to retrieve the stolen goods from the new master of the Monastery of Unforgiving Fire.
Review:
Easily the best quest ever written! The challenges are exciting and fulfilling and the antagonists are so well written I’ve had players who wanted to quit the Society and join them! There’s tons of room here for improvising and expanding on the base story without deviating from what the author has provided. If you only get a chance to play one quest, play this one!
Home-Game Integration: This would work great as a prequel adventure to the upcoming Ruby Phoenix Tournament AP.
Time Considerations: It can be completed in an hour, but I’ve personally seen groups take upwards of 3 hours because they really got into the roleplay.
Additional Resources:
Illustrated Boon Cards, GM Discussion Thread

Quest 3: Grehunde’s Gorget

Levels: 1-4 Related: Tarnbreaker’s Trail Location: Land of the Linnorm Kings
Keywords: Aquatic, Naval, Hazard
Description: Venture-Captain Bjersig Torrsen calls the PCs north to the town of Iceferry in the frigid Land of the Linnorm Kings. There, Bjersig informs the Pathfinders that he has a request from the family of a storied and long-dead Linnorm King. The family’s patriarch, the warrior Hlavard Grenskuldr, appears to have perished in a shipwreck while wearing the family’s heirloom, the gorget of the Linnorm King Grehunde the Sunchaser. For one hundred generations the family has passed this heirloom down from parent to child, until Hlavard sought to wear it on a journey to Valenhall as Grehunde herself had intended to do before perishing with the task unfinished. Unwilling to leave the relic to rust away in a watery grave, Hlavard’s family has requested the Pathfinder Society’s assistance in locating the shipwreck and retrieving the family treasure.
Review:
It’s always fun watching a group of players react to the dead sea serpent under the deck. Some people have called it anti-climatic, but I feel it helps set the tone for exploring the legends of the locals and prepare you for the sequel scenario this is meant to be paired with. The fight has some great tactical decisions you can make to keep your players on their toes. The hazard is almost non-existent as I’ve never seen a player fall for it.
Home-Game Integration:
Want a high seas viking adventure? This works best for Pathfinders, but anyone can use it.
Time Considerations:
This will likely just take an hour. It works best when paired with Tarnbreaker’s Trail, so you should consider using this with that scenario for a solid 5 hour slot. Because of the boon in this scenario, I recommend running this for 4th level PCs so they can take advantage of that discount after the race.
Additional Resources:
Illustrated Boon Cards, GM Discussion Thread

Quest 4: Port Peril Pub Crawl

Levels: 1-4 Tags: Repeatable Related: The Lost Legend (Metaplot) Location: Port Peril, The Shackles
Keywords: Urban, Games, Pirates, Naval
Description: Venture-Captain Calisro Bennary has arranged for the PC’s transport to the pirate haven of Port Peril to make contact with Free Captain Stella Fane and negotiate a contract with her, facilitating Society movements through the pirate blockades in the area. The job seems simple: track down the the pirate captain, secure the agreement, and then return to Absalom. But few things are simple when a den of villainous pirates is involved, and it’s unlikely the PCs will be able to leave Port Peril without throwing a few punches in a proper pub brawl!
Review:
This scenario is a total hoot to run or play. The NPCs are memorable and the encounters are engaging. It’s one of the first PFS products without much “box text”, allowing the GM room to ad-lib the journey to and throughout the city (and when describing the bars themselves). The encounters are distinct, inspired by the diverse establishments. This scenario would be perfect for a pre-convention game in a bar, given both the theme of the scenario and the lack of  “box text” in case it’s too noisy in the establishment. You could even do the venture-captain briefing on the way to the bar, letting your PCs roleplay their characters on the sand dune until you get seated.
Home-Game Integration:
The encounters here can be used for any bar fight. Having three distinct bars makes this a solid product even if you never plan on playing PFS.
Time Considerations:
This will likely just take an hour. It works best when paired with The Lost Legend, so you should consider using this with that scenario for a solid 5-hour slot.
Additional Resources:
Illustrated Boon Cards, GM Discussion Thread

Quest 5: The Dragon Who Stole Evoking Day

Levels: 3-6 Location: Sothis, Osiria
Keywords: Urban, Intrigue, Investigation, Dragon, Outsider
Description: The sage Ameopheus has a long history with the Pathfinder Society and he has called upon his allies to assist with an unusual task: tracking down a missing supply of wands and fireworks intended for use in the city of Sothis’s annual Evoking Day celebration! The PCs will have to investigate a crowded city and track down the missing pyrotechnics, but the current owner of the explosive ordnance might not be so willing to simply turn it over.
Review: Perfectly themed for a holiday weekend involving fireworks. Memorable NPC, but it can be challenging to make him shine if you have especially blood-thirsty PCs. It’s a fairly straight forward adventure, but I could see places where an ambitious GM could expand upon it.
Home-Game Integration:
Anyone could be hired to find the missing fireworks, although I’d change the mission briefing to be with the mayor or guard. If you change the locale and festival, it’d make for a great prequel to Age of Ashes.
Time Considerations:
You’ll easily resolve this in an hour.
Additional Resources:
GM Discussion Thread (Treasure Correction!)

Quest 6: Archaeology in Aspenthar

Levels: 1-4 Related: PFS 2-02 Location: Aspenthar, Thuvia
Keywords: Journey, Exploration, Construct, Potentially Deadly
Description: The Ruby Prince has banned much of the archaeology that once took place in the nation of Osirion. Rather than quelling the demand for access to the mysteries of ancient Osirion, this created a new market among Osirion’s neighbors. Prince Zinlo, ruler of the city-state of Aspenthar, has offered several potentially interesting contracts to explore and document ancient sites within his holdings. As the PCs are sent to secure one of these sites, will they uncover new secrets long lost to modern recollection, or will they find that the Prince Zinlo’s offer truly is too good to be true?
Review: A skill challenge, some dungeon exploration, and a fight. The enemy isn’t impossible, but it be very challenging with all those immunities, especially for a party of offensive spellcasters.
Home-Game Integration:
You could use the challenges and the encounter as the start of a larger dungeon.
Potential X-Card Warnings:
The enemy uses needles to inject the PCs.
Time Considerations:
It shouldn’t take longer than an hour. Maybe 75 minutes if the PCs spend too long exploring the dungeon.
Additional Resources:
Illustrated Boon Cards, GM Discussion Thread

Quest 7: A Curious Claim

Levels: 3-6 Location: Druma & Lake Encarthan
Keywords: Intrigue, Rival Party, “Undead”, Infiltration/Chase
Description: Money is power in the land of Druma and those who know how best to manipulate the economics of the land have the most of both. The PCs are sent to Druma to investigate a missing ship and the particulars of an insurance claim related to its disappearance, though both ravenous undead and agents of one of the Pathfinder Society’s fiercest rival organizations seek to keep them from the truth behind the ship’s sad end.
Review:
You get ambushed by an enemy party, sneak on-board a ship, and flee from a tide of undead that is way above the party’s paygrade. Could be played alongside Escaping the Grave, but they do take place on opposite sides of the lake. Don’t play this with a party who will want to fight the undead, or it will be disappointing since there are no stats for the undead in the adventure.
Home-Game Integration:
That being said, if you wanted an intro that segues into “fighting through swathes of undead”, this works great.
Time Considerations: It shouldn’t take longer than an hour.
Additional Resources:
Illustrated Boon Cards

Quest 8: Shadows of the Black Sovereign

Levels: 3-6 Related: Lightning Strikes Stars Fall Location: Hajoth Hakados, Numeria
Keywords: Investigation, Heavy Roleplay, Intrigue, Robotic Undead, Technology
Description: On the edge of the land known as Numeria, the Pathfinder Society has operated in secret under threat of death from the region’s ruler, the cruel Black Sovereign. Venture-Captain Dagur Hawksight hopes that a meeting with the recently-sober monarch will allow the Pathfinder Society to operate openly and study the alien technology contained within Numeria’s borders, but other forces have their own plans for the region. The PCs must ensure that the meeting between Dagur and the Black Sovereign goes off without a hitch, thwarting acts of treachery and sabotage.
Review
: There is a ton of room for fun roleplay here. Pay attention to the NPCs the PCs will question and find a tone for each of them. The investigation can take a while, but it’s worth it. There is a radio in the warehouse that I like to put inside one of the corpses used by the antagonists. The fight is pretty fun, but not that challenging.
Home-Game Integration: This works best for PFS.
Time Considerations:
This is a prequel to another scenario, so works best as a “5-hour slot” with that scenario. The boon also makes this ideal to run before Wayfinder Origins.
Additional Resources:
Illustrated Boon Cards, GM Discussion Thread

Quest 9: Wayfinder Origins

Levels: 3-6 Tags: Repeatable Location: Ruins of Azlant, Steaming Sea
Keywords: Hazards, Potentially Deadly, Ruins, Wyrwood, Technology, Journey, Dungeon
Description: The Pathfinder Society has sent an expedition to a previously uncharted island! The island contains a door sealed with a type of magical technology thought lost with the ancient Azlanti empire. What secrets lie behind the door, and what dangers may lurk beneath the island’s surface? To find out, the PCs will first have to solve the magical “puzzle” sealing the door and preventing contact with whatever lies beyond.
Review
: The PCs get to explore some Azlanti ruins and uncover this secret Wayfinder factory run by an insane construct who has been taking apart his coworkers to try to become “perfect”. Give your PCs an opportunity to solve the “puzzle” using alternative creative solutions. Failing isn’t too big of a deal, but it can really put PCs on edge knowing there is some sort of time counting down, inadvertently using up their hero points they’d otherwise spend in the quest’s only encounter. The story best unfolds having your players play all three routes, or at least the blue and red routes. The blue route can be extremely deadly if the PCs don’t have a high reflex save. This takes the PCs from any port to the Steaming Sea, so is a great prequel for Grehundt’s Gorget and Tarnbreaker’s Trail.
Home-Game Integration
: You can easily make this a 2-3 hour dungeon by running all three encounters at once.
Time Considerations
: This shouldn’t ever take longer than an hour.
Note:
For the sake of full disclosure: I wrote this. I’m always willing to run it with some notice!
Additional Resources:
Illustrated Boon CardsUpdate by Campaign Leadership, GM Discussion Thread

Quest 10: The Broken Scales

Levels: 1-4 Related: True Dragons of Absalom (PFS 1e Pregen Special), Sewer Dragons of Absalom (PFS 1e) Location: Absalom, Isle of Kortos
Keywords: Ooze, Kobolds, Underground, Abberation, Hazards, Society
Description: It’s often debated whether Venture-Captain Drandle Dreng is dangerously erratic or simply uncannily unpredictable, but wherever he appears, chaos is sure to follow. When Dreng calls for a group of Pathfinders to help him check on the Society’s kobold allies, the Sewer Dragons, what should have been a simple rendevous turns into a chase through the sewers of Absalom to save the Society’s scaley associates.
Review
: The sewer dragons are fan favorites for a reason, and this quest is super fun. The encounter is challenging, albeit nothing unique. Any chance to interact with Drendell Drenng is welcome. And the boon is memorable and fun. If you have any players interested in playing kobolds, run this for them first!
Home-Game Integration:
Works best for PFS, but anyone could hire an adventurer to explore the sewers.
Additional Resources:
GM Discussion Thread

Quest 11: A Parchment Tree

Levels: 1-4 Location: Katheer, Qadira
Keywords: Urban, Investigations, Humanoids, Intrigue, Heavy Roleplay
Description: In the nation of Qadira, Esmayl ibn Qaradi calls for Pathfinders to assist in what should be a simple genealogy verification. Multiple parties are heavily invested in the results that might be revealed by this family tree, however, and things won’t be as simple as sifting through some old family records. As thieves and nobles vie to control history itself, the PCs will need to fend off violence and deceptions as they follow the branches of an ancient family tree.
Review:
You’ll want to play up each of the NPCs, but be careful not to go over your time limit. There’s lots of opportunities here to provide your own set-dressing and personalities for these interactions, and you should always remember to allow PCs to use creative solutions when resolving these skill challenges. The charlatan and ruffians combined can be a potentially deadly encounter depending on how well they roll initiative, so try not to focus-fire on a single NPC.
Time Considerations:
You can easily go over an hour if you roleplay out each favor, but you probably won’t go over 90 minutes.
Home-Game Integration:
Does your party owe some hot-shot merchant a favor? Here you go!
Additional Resources:
Illustrated Boon Cards

Quest 12: Putrid Seeds

Levels: 3-6 Location: Mechitar, Geb
Keywords: Urban, Intrigue, Investigation, Construct, Undead (NPCs, not Monsters)
Description: Geb is a nation well-known for being ruled by the undead, but many are surprised to find that it is also the primary source of exported fruits and vegetables for the nations bordering the Obari Ocean. While its zombie laborers have long and successfully tended to its fields, creating produce that is essential to Geb’s political standing with its neighbors, some of these shipments haven’t been making it to their intended destinations, and the Pathfinders have been asked to serve as neutral arbiters during an investigation that will take place near the docks of Geb’s greatest port.
Review:
Just going to Geb makes this a fun opportunity for most PCs. This is best run for NPCs who don’t just smite any undead they come across since, you know, Geb is a nation of undead. The fight will throw your PCs for a loop, using a golem that looks undead instead of actual undead. It will be very difficult for a caster-heavy party that relies on offensive magic. The skill challenge is fairly open-ended with lots of ways to overcome each obstacle, but as usual, let your PCs engage in some creativity.
Home-Game Integration: Anyone could have been hired to inspect the mystery of Geb’s produce!
Additional Resources:
Illustrated Boon Cards, GM Cheat Sheet, GM Discussion Thread

Quest 13: Falcons’ Descent

Levels: 1-4 Location: Darklands under Andoran & Isger
Keywords: Survival, Underground, Darklands, Duergar, Eagle Knights, Slavery
Description: On the border between Isger and Andoran, the Pathfinder Society is called to action! Venture-Captain Brackett’s allies in the Eagle Knights of Andoran have requested aid with defeating a group of duergar slavers. Before these duergar can cause any more pain and suffering, Brackett hopes that the PCs and Lieutenant Evanno Pratt of the Eagle Knights’ Steel Falcons division can mount a pincer attack that will defeat the villains without allowing them to escape into the Darklands with their victims.
Review:
A solid finale to the Quest line of products. The author did a great job fitting such a vast cave exploration scene into a neat little package. The penalty to initiative isn’t that big of a deal given how far away the PCs are from the initial combat, but you wouldn’t want to overtly punish your PCs just for not having the right skills. As usual, remember to remind your PCs that they can use creative solutions in lieu of listed skill checks.
Home-Game Integration:
Going into a cave to hunt down Duerger works for any adventuring group. There’s really no reason this has to be Pathfinders.
Time Considerations:
Easy to complete in an hour, but you can expand on the cave exploration if you want to flesh things out.
X-Card Considerations: This scenario is about stopping slavers, but there are no depictions of actual slaves so it is an easy fix if need be.
Additional Resources:
GM Discussion Thread

Dustin Knight

Dustin has been playing and improving on RPGs since AD&D in 1999. He ran games and conventions around California while studying Graphic Design, Philosophy, English & Architecture. After developing a tabletop game seminar he began working freelance for Alderac Entertainment Games. During his stint on the East Coast, he became a Venture Lieutenant and began reviewing Pathfinder mechanics for Organized Play. After moving to Washington in 2019, he met Alex Augunas at Paizocon and developed, designed and wrote for Everybody Games LLC, starting with the Feat Cards for Everbody and Files for Everbody lines. His lifelong dream is to see more people having fun using his content.