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Pathfinder Society Scenario #37: The Beggar's Pearl (PFRPG) PDF

***( )( ) (based on 12 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 3–4, and 6–7).

When a thief arrives at the Pathfinder Lodge in Almas bearing stolen artifacts and writings pointing the way to a lost dwarven gallery, you are sent into the rugged Aspodell Mountains to find the famed dwarven explorer last known to be searching for the gallery as well as the gallery itself. Once there you find a tangled web of darklands creatures in the thrall of a charismatic cult leader with ties to the darkest shadows of the First Realm.

Written by James F. Mackenzie

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 Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Product Reviews (13)
1 to 5 of 13 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

***( )( ) (based on 12 ratings)

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Fun, but takes significant preparation


I've both played this and run it. When I played it, the GM didn't really manage to play up the spookiness or lore-background of the place. When I read the adventure I saw how much more it could be, and tried to put it in there.

This adventure has some things I really like;

  • A decent grounding in Golarion lore. Stuff you can find in the ISWG, but it makes it more than just a random dungeon.

  • My players did some research before going in and learned that the dwarves had left the place because of killing-madness inducing fungi infestations. I'd drawn the fungi patches on my map and the players were properly nervous of them.

  • Huge map. Ridiculously big. Get a big table. But it gives multiple avenues of approach, what The Alexandrian calls Jacquaying. The players aren't railroaded, they have actual choices in how to explore the dungeon. That's worth some table space.

  • Decent variety in encounters. Most of them are pretty doable for a low-level party, even with poor tactics, but that makes it harder.

  • Good climax scene. When the players reach the end room and you get to distribute minis, they get proper scared. And that's when the boss starts coming at them. This adventure's boss is truly a nasty piece of work at low tier.

    The bad

  • Secondary success condition is a bit random, and rather hard to achieve.

  • There's a clever bit in the beginning that a GM might easily miss, which would make it much harder.

    Spoiler:
    In the ravine next to the trap at the entry, there's silver bars. The PCs may need them to finish off Morylaeth, who has both DR/silver and regeneration/silver.

  • The BBEG's statblock is really tricky. You can't run that cold. Even well-prepared, you might make mistakes. But if you do it even halfway right, it's an absolute terror at low tier. (Pun intended.)

    Spoiler:
    The template used originally comes from the Advanced Bestiary, a 3PP product published by Green Ronin. The template's been reprinted in Paizo Bestiary 4, with some differences. Green Ronin's Frightful Presence ability is based on 3.5 rules, and works better than Paizo's, which seems to have errors in it.

    As a GM you should thoroughly study this NPC's stats and the fear rules. She uses fear abilities to prevent the PCs from mounting a mass offensive against her, and she's got high AC and DR to protect her. Combined with Regeneration, she's hard to take down.

    At mid-tier, she's much weaker; by then people will be prepared for DR/silver, paladins are immune to fear etcetera.


  • Interesting, but relatively easy

    ***( )( )

    This scenario plays out oddly. There is a fantastic level of setup presented for the setting and the enemies, and there is a great deal of opportunity for roleplay. The NPCs have a significant amount of backstory that can be talked out of them, and it actually effects the scenario. The final opponent is made to appear as a looming mythical figure, terrifying all those who may oppose them, and the setting for the final scene is cinematic and memorable.

    The combat, however, consistently falls short. The final boss is terrifying for a low tier party, but will consistently be torn down by higher tier characters. The remainder of the dungeon is minor and forgettable combats, which feel largely like they exist to fill space. I feel like there could have been more done to keep the players engaged and challenged. Perhaps making the trip last longer so they have to weigh the benefits of sleeping?

    Despite it's lackluster combat, the scenario still remains interesting and engaging for mid tier parties, but will likely disappoint those playing in 6-7.


    Odd dungeon crawl

    ***( )( )

    This adventure a bit odd. While at it's core it is a basic dungeon crawl, there are some odd bits about it. First, the title of the adventure seems like an afterthought. As if the author was told they could write whatever adventure they wanted to as long as there was some reason in the adventure for calling it The Beggar's Pearl. Second, the dungeon is unnecessarily large, with a large amount of open space. Third, the encounters are not well balanced across the tiers. Finally, the final encounter is very flavorful, but doesn't seem to belong in a dungeon crawl. All these issues just makes the whole thing seem a bit off, like a movie script that has had a dozen rewrites by half a dozen screenwriters. Two & a half stars, rounded up.


    Large, mostly empty dungeon

    **( )( )( )

    This adventure has its moments, but by and large it is a giant dungeon with almost nothing going on. While the final scene is somewhat unique, I find that most parties don't have any significant issues with it. Watch out for the fact that the monster in the final area is statted out using a template from the Advanced Bestiary, and does not use the similarly-named ability in the Bestiary.


    Dissapointing

    **( )( )( )

    GMed this last night. My players thought it was an ok and enjoyable dungeon crawl but I found it read better than it played. From a GM perspective it was just too bland with no interesting encounters to run.


    1 to 5 of 13 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

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