I keep an eye on the forum talk regarding my products whenever I can, and I recently saw a couple of one-star reviews of my Pathfinder Society adventure “PFS #4-07 Severing Ties.” A bit of spoiler territory ahead (and in the title you already read—sorry).

The thing that seems to rankle people even now is the encounter with the basilisk. The adventure covers levels 1-5, and people seem fine with fighting a basilisk at levels 3 through 5. It’s the presence of the basilisk at level 1-2 that bothers people. I think the concern is about very low-level creatures that have “save or die” effects (here, the alternate term “save or suck” seems more appropriate, since turning to stone doesn’t actually kill your character). The Pathfinder rules design team seems to agree; very weak monsters that petrified in earlier editions of the game (I’m looking at you, cockatrice) don’t do so in the recent iteration of the rules. So even a small basilisk with a fairly easy saving throw to avoid seems somehow “unfair” against the backdrop of creatures of similar power.

There’s probably something to this complaint. A level 1-2 adventure might be the very first adventure that someone sits down to play in the Pathfinder Society. If they get turned to stone, and the GM doesn’t tell the players that a dead basilisk’s blood can turn a petrified character back (why some GMs feel the need to hide this puzzles me, and seems needlessly cruel), they’ve just left their very first session with a bad experience. Ultimately, I think I agree that this adventure is fine for experienced players of low level characters, but not for beginning players who are being introduced to the game.