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Pathfinder Society Scenario #3: Murder on the Silken Caravan (OGL) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 4–5).

Volunteers are needed to escort the body of a deceased venture-captain across the parched Qadiran desert to Katheer. The Silken Caravan offers passage, hauling exotic treasures across the perilous sea of sands. You'll brave bandits, spies, and unwelcome mourners hell-bent on paying respects to your dead companion. Worse still, the caravan's mistress, a satin-swathed Qadiran princess, has designs of her own on you and your cargo.

Written by Greg A. Vaughan

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world. This scenario is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with the 3.5 edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

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Product Reviews (31)
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Average product rating:

***( )( ) (based on 31 ratings)

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Entertaining, but hasn't aged very well

***( )( )

Played this today with a party of 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3. By the rules for old scenarios, that put us in low tier. Here we start to see things break down a bit...

The fights weren't challenging - not anymore; they may have been for a party of 4 PCs using CRB-only stuff.

That said, it was still an entertaining adventure to play. It's one of those old adventures that have a good premise even if the mechanics have gotten a bit moldy by now. A savvy GM can really milk the flavor of it.

My recommendation would be to play this with a level 1-2 party of 6 PCs. Originally this adventure can be brutal due to the vast numbers of enemies. Using a modern 6-player party that's fine now. Also having L3+ PCs playing down is too much though. I'd advise against playing this at high tier, I think it'll be grinding with a LOT of individually ineffective enemies.

Another thing is knowing a couple of key rules. At least one encounter goes from TPK-potential to quite reasonable just by having the players understand the Ready action rules.


**( )( )( )


An RPG Resource Review

****( )

Taking the Pathfinders to another exotic and cinematic location, this adventure sees them tasked with escorting the remains of the famous Venture-Captain Targos Min-Katheer to his final resting place... but it's never quite as simple as that, is it?

The scenario sees a lot of travelling, although the trip to the oasis city of Lopul where they are to pick up the body is glossed over in a few words (those playing this at home without the constraints of a convention slot might want to expand on this journey). Once there, it appears that others also want the corpse so a brawl will ensue before the party can find a caravan going in the right direction to join. Needless to say, it's not just the desert that they will have to contend with, and I'm not just talking about a few wilful camels! Sandstorms, desert raiders, treachery and an ancient shrine await... and there's a final twist in the tale as well.

It's an exciting adventure in an exotic, arid landscape with plenty to challenge the party - they'll need sharp wits as well as combat skills to survive, never mind complete their task and deliver the Venture-Captain's remains to his home town for burial. Should you be playing this as part of your own campaign, there are various things you could follow up on in future adventures, too.

The Faction tasks are pertinent and varied, and could prove for some amusing interaction between members of the party if several Factions are represented. This time, they really enhance the adventure, being well-considered and appropriate to what is going on.

Overall, an excellent adventure for low-level Pathfinders with hidden nuances that serve to make it a lot more than a simple desert trip.


Needs more investigation

***( )( )

I've played this once at low tier and GM'ed twice at low tier.

The premise of this one is simple; take a dead venture captain's body home for burial on a caravan across the desert. Murder happens and so do some rather nasty combats.

As it stands it isn't a bad early scenario. Some of the combats are a little too hard for the low levels and that can cause a problem. Where I feel that it fails is that as a murder mystery lite sort of story there isn't enough opportunity for role play and investigation.


Too deadly at low tier

**( )( )( )

I ran this at low tier. There were three reasons I didn't have a TPK. One, there was a level-4 character along. Two, I softballed the tactics a bit. Three, one of the players didn't realize that UMD was a trained-only skill, so technically violated the rules keeping the level-4 character alive with a Cure Light Wounds wand. (I only realized after the game was over that the character didn't have UMD trained; as a Sorcerer, she could have, and her Charisma was good enough that the bonus was OK. I should probably have noticed during the game that the bonus wasn't high enough; oh well.)

The setup to the scenario and the story is potentially interesting, although it does take some finesse on the part of the GM to pull it off. But one encounter in the middle at low-tier is an almost guaranteed TPK. I'd recommend against this scenario because of that.


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