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Pathfinder Society Scenario #56: The Jester's Fraud (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 7 ratings)

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

Life in Taldor is fraught with peril, especially for the crumbling noble houses of the Taldan countryside. One such house, the Bourtze Family, has fallen on hard times and they've informed the Pathfinder Society that, in exchange for a small sum of money, they'd be willing to part with a treasure trove of lore about Qadira's Grand Campaign, the 300-year invasion of Taldor. On your arrival, things quickly turn for the worse and instead of evaluating the worth of a few scraps of historical paper, you must instead retrieve one of the most dangerous artifacts in the empire.

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 (7)
1 to 5 of 7 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 7 ratings)

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****( )

Played this at low tier. Party was Wizard, Rogue/Ranger/Cleric, Bloodrager, Swashbuckler and Cleric.

I really liked this scenario for the feel, theme and for the sheer ability to role play your way through probably 80% of the encounters. That makes it so much more fun.

One encounter (at low tier) just seemed rather far too strong for characters of the correct levels but the rest was just about right.

Strong athmosphere, fights can be a bit easy

****( )

I love these backwater Taldor adventures (Decline of Glory also comes to mind). Crumbling nobility that needs your help to keep its head above the water

This adventure scores very strongly on mood and setting. While not very complicated, the plot holds together well enough.

When we played it the fights felt a bit easy. I recommend playing with the 4 players the adventure was balanced for, rather than the 6 you're allowed to have.

****( )

I enjoyed this scenario as a player. There was some investigation, some roleplaying, challenging faction missions that didn't feel too contrived, and some good encounters. I think the encounters would have been very difficult with a weaker party, but we played up and steamrolled everything. I enjoyed the twists and turns as we searched for the villain. The final fight was pretty tricky, even for our party, and the guy got away at the end (disappointing) but we still did what we came to do. I've heard from other players that this scenario was confusing and boring but I don't agree at all.

Great scenario, a few problems.

****( )

To add to the above, this is a very well-balanced scenario, with interesting RP and combat. There is a big problem, however, with the first of the fights - the printed tactics are illegal. The creatures cannot do what they are instructed to do. The author of the scenario has written a smashing alternative tactics set which my party absolutely loved - I normally wouldn't advocate departing from printed tactics, but this was just that good. This also requires a lot of work from the GM - expect a lot of unorthodox solutions and some extra homework on creature abilities. It pays off very well, however, for the time invested.

Full marks


I need to add another five star review.
This is a rich and complicated module with so many great things going for it. I had a blast running this session in a home game that went overtime. Major spoilers ahead.

Pros and Cons:
- The first fight is an explosive and horrifying ordeal for the party. In my game, the adventurers allowed both the wounded guards into the Devil’s Fork. The party witch was then cinematically ripped apart by an Annis Hag, and was left bleeding out, saved only by her False Life Spell (teaching a valuable lesson about the power of this spell!) She was saved by the plucky Halfling bard as a magical fog cloud descended and the two party archers struggled in vain against the fog, missing their targets completely. These glass cannons were rendered inert by the hag superior tactics, and one of the rangers was killed outright by the fearful wrath of Rend, before persistence and a revived witch ended the hag threat.

- The layered importance of “Find the True Heir” faction mission works wonderfully. Multiple Pathfinders are initially wary of each other’s faction missions, but once they realise they are all looking for the heir, they were lulled into believing they were working with allies. They scoured the village, dropping inappropriate questions to serving girls, until they forced a confession. Great RPing to be had.

- It’s hard to measure, but this module kind of had it all. It has tricky social situations for RPing. It has epic, challenging combat straight out. It has bizarre icky gonzo threats (what’s that coming out of the lake?) it has villains that you despise (Sabas in my game was snivelly and rude while Gaunt Blackfist was an utter psychopath that the adventurers were thirsty to kill). It ticks so many boxes it gets full marks from me.

- There’s so much going on that the potential for overtime play is high. Maybe don’t slot this in for a time limited convention?

- Requires a flexible GM. With the word count, you need to be able to hold the hand of the party through much of the RPing and the discovery of clues. But really, all modules have this issue.

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