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Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-03: The Rebel's Ransom (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 16 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 5th to 9th level characters (Tiers: 5–6 and 8–9).

The Ruby Prince of Osirion sends you to the Parched Dunes to find what became of a secret Pathfinder expedition sent there to recover artifacts for the Ruby Prince himself. What you find there may very well end the Pathfinder Society as you know it.

Written by Jason Bulmahn

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 (17)
1 to 5 of 17 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

***** (based on 16 ratings)

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Puzzles Aren't for Everyone


Ransom is a puzzle based scenario that also has some challenging combats and a fun negotiation. It reminded me a bit of an Indian Jones movie.

Ransom is really hard to rate because the riddles in this scenario are extremely well designed, fairly easy, can be interpreted more than one way, and I like puzzles. Having said that, 4 out of 6 players in this scenario were entirely disengaged, not listening, and didn’t even *try* to solve the puzzles for at least 1 hour of the scenario. Can you truly call this a 5-star scenario in this case?

GMs... you need handouts for this scenario... otherwise players will be asking you again and again to read the riddles. Also for some of us it’s a lot easier to read the riddle itself rather than hear it orally (I missed entire clues when I took a bathroom break).

Prior reviews lead me to believe that this scenario was deadly, but it’s not. Back in season 2 this was deadly, in season 7, slightly harder than average (for us it was easy).

”Detailed Rating”:

Length: Long, we barely finished on time and we skipped the 1st encounter.
Experience: Player with 6 powerful PCs at subtier 8-9.
Sweet Spot: TBD.
Entertainment: Fun puzzles, good combats, a little roleplay. (9/10)
Story: OK. (8/10)
Roleplay: Not much, but quality. (8/10)
Combat/Challenges: The puzzles were great. The combats were OK. (9/10)
Maps: Not sure, GM didn't draw almost anything. (?/10)
Boons: None. (1/10)
Uniqueness: There are similar scenarios, but not many and this was the best. (9/10)
GM Preparation: TBD.
Secondary Condition: Fair. (8/10)

Overall: If puzzles are your thing, this is one of the best PFS puzzle scenarios. If you don’t like puzzles, avoid this scenario. (9/10)

Look no further if you like solving puzzles


I have faced the occasional puzzle in a scenario and I typically end up enjoying them. They were typically just a small portion of the adventure though, not that it bothered me. This scenario right here though is the first scenario where puzzles were more than just a small interlude. In my opinion, I'd like to see more of these.

As we ventured into the ancient rooms and pressed onwards, we had to deal with a multitude of puzzles with different levels of difficulty. Each was different from the rest and, at times, related to a different skill. It was nice seeing skills that hardly get picked finally getting a time to shine. That is if your party has them, which wasn't the case for the group my character found herself in. However, that's not a real issue. It only made a challenging puzzle even more challenging, without making it impossible. We definitely felt challenged by them and we loved blundering around trying to solve them, with various degrees of success. Needless to say, we had a great time.

Yet the solution to one puzzle continue to eludes me. Like others before, I'm yet to understand the title of this scenario. It's something that really should get changed to give a better and more adequate first impression of this scenario to those who are yet to play or run it.



An excellent scenario, although likely to run long if your party takes a lot of time role-playing one particular encounter.

I just have one question: WHY is this called "The Rebel's Ransom"? As far as we could tell, there are no rebels and no ransoms.... :-/

Everything a Scenario Should Be


Perspective: played once

The Rebel's Ransom has everything. Excellent setting, great story, challenging puzzles, several tense combats, a variety of deadly hazards, and a bounty of tingling-sense-that-everything-is-wrong RP opportunities.

Simply put, it does everything a scenario should do and does it all extremely well.

A great deal of frustration

**( )( )( )

This was indeed a very cleverly designed dungeon. If you have a well-prepared group that loves puzzles, they will probably enjoy it.

However, my own group found the scenario extremely frustrating, and half the table ended up web surfing for most of the evening.

The good kind of frustration:
A long trek into the desert deserves to be taken seriously! Having a group of high-level pathfinders have to teleport back to base for supplies half-way to our destination because we hadn't brought enough trail rations and didn't confirm that the spontaneous divine caster actually had access to Create Water was a well-deserved humiliation. I very much appreciate the realism.

The hostage scenario was brilliant. Any scenario that leads the paladin of Saranrae and inquisitor of Gorum into a serious role-play conflict deserves a star, just for that. My paladin ended up taking a voluntary atonement at the end of the scenario. Just because we are supposed to cooperate, doesn't mean it should always be easy!

The bad kind of frustration:
There were three puzzles, one easy, one a bit more challenging and somewhat damaging, one that (to my group, at least) was very difficult and extremely damaging. The sorcerer could have easily been killed by the first error on the black flame puzzle in the throne room. Even with Resist Energy up, that was potentially a LOT of damage.

But, honestly, it's not the deadliness that concerns me, so much as the fact that half our party was not the least bit interested in puzzles. They were disengaged for that part of the scenario. We had one group member who's in-character contribution, for TWO HOURS REAL TIME, was rocking in place and muttering, "I wanna go home."

Then there was the water maze. Four of the six party members were casters, with low strength, who could not cast underwater. They felt like going underwater would end with them drowning, so they stayed back in the corridor. If we had any idea we would be going underwater, they would probably have stocked up on consumables to deal with underwater adventuring. But we were all surprised to find it in the middle of the desert.

You might say that Pathfinders should be ready for anything, and you would be right. Lesson learned. But, once again, this led to a slow encounter and entire combat in which only two of the group could do anything at all.

Our particular group found the combats relatively easy, which would be fine except for the fact that it meant the only part of the scenario everyone could participate in lasted less than two rounds each.

All in all, I have to give the scenario a low rating, despite some positive aspects. The point of Pathfinder is to play, and the majority of our group spent the evening feeling like they'd been benched.

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