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Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–12: Destiny of the Sands—Part 1: A Bitter Bargain (PFRPG) PDF

***½( ) (based on 17 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–5.

Amenopheus has learned that the legacy of the Jeweled Sages lies near the Osirian trade city of Eto, and the Pathfinder Society has pledged its support in the Sapphire Sage’s investigation of his ancient order; however the lead dried up—that was until a familiar information broker contacted Amenopheus offering an exchange of services. To assist an ally and unlock the secrets of Osirion’s past, the Society must deal with a deadly antagonist once more by sending the PCs to fulfill the bargain and collect its due. The only question is what price their foe will demand.

“A Bitter Bargain” is the first scenario in the three-part Destiny of the Sands campaign arc. It is followed by Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–15: Destiny of the Sands—Part 2: "Race to Seeker’s Folly" and Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–16: Destiny of the Sands—Part 3: "Sanctum of the Sages." All three chapters are intended to be played in order.

Content in “A Bitter Bargain” also contributes directly to the ongoing storylines of the Osirion, Qadira, and Sczarni factions.

Written by Scott Fernandez, RPG Superstar 2013 finalist.

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:

***½( ) (based on 17 ratings)

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Torch again!

****( )

The beginning of a three-plot-scenarios, hard to rate.

Like most missions of Torch, you go A,B,C,D, arrange in any order, then comes to the end. I love the settlement of Eto, a very few experience of Osiriani city, and all missions rely on skills and creativity, that's what I like.

The only downside is the sudden end, bit of disappointed, compare to First Steps, and Wounded Wisp, you know what I'm talking.

Finally, LOVE you Torch!!! And beware of 0 pp!!!


A great start to a three-part story arc.


I played this scenario earlier today on the lower tier with a party of six. At the start of the scenario, upto the point where we had just received some tasks to take care of, we weren't really sure what to expect. I'd even go so far as to say that the introduction more or less failed to grab our attention and the tasks didn't particularly seemed like a lot of fun from the get-go either.

And then we started doing those tasks. Slowly but surely the scenario unfolded into a really flavorful masterpiece. Like others said before me: this scenario offers multiple opportunities to solve problems by fighting, sneaking or role-play. What's even better is that each of these three methods can be applied to every single task, providing the party with a lot of freedom. This makes sure that a party feels in control and not forced down a single road, as is the case in some other scenarios. It allows them to have fun and enables them to focus the scenario on what they consider to be the most fun.

We as a party attempted to role-play our way through most of the tasks, preferring diplomacy, bluff and intimidate over violence or sneaking around. Everyone chipped in equally - at times deliberately messing things up for certain other partymembers - and this made sure that the three characters with great social skills wouldn't be too overbearing and present and that everyone felt involved. Some of the harder checks were even successfully made by those with less charismatic natures. We avoided most fights, but we also didn't feel like we were missing out.

We were all having a great time and at the end of the scenario all of us wanted to play the next one, making this a great first part to this trilogy of quests.

The Many Fortunes of Grand Master Torch done right


When I first sat down to play this adventure with my LG Osirian Cleric I about slammed my head on the table when I found out what we were going to do. My least favorite PFS adventure of all time was The Many Fortunes of Grand Master Torch (TMFGMT) and this looked a lot like this was simply a redux of that adventure, and I just couldn't see how my LG character was going to deal with such an adventure. Fortunately, everything TMFGMT does wrong, A Bitter Bargain does right. Just like TMFGMT you are sent on several mini-quests by someone many PCs would rather attack on sight than do favors for. While this can be galling, the adventure actually allows for you to complete the missions and sabotage Torch at the same time. Something TMFGMT did not offer. Also, unlike TMFGMT, the author does not expect you to take the murder hobo approach as default but does allow for such play style if desired. Most of the missions can be accomplish without combat but most offer combat as an option. Completing them without combat requires some RP and some deductive reasoning skills. High social and rogue-type skills can also be useful, but clever uses of spells can frequently be substituted. All of the missions can be completed in any order.

The variety of encounters in this adventure would normally have me recommending this as an intro adventure except for two things:
1) One of the combats can be especially deadly for low level PCs.
2) You are going to get the most out of this adventure if your character knows of or has prior history with Torch.

A Great Scenario, and the beginning of a great series!

****( )

I played this scenario online several months ago, and I ran five tables of it at Gen Con. I have to say that I never tired of it.

There is plenty for everyone, and all player types, in this scenario. Role-playing, investigation, mystery, combat, etc. There is enough here to give each type a little something. One of the things I most enjoyed is that some of the encounters cannot be solved by combat, others can be solved while avoiding combat, and only one really requires combat. One of the challenges, though, is to get the party to figure out which is which.

There is a bit of foreshadowing for other parts of the series, and there is some mystery as to how it all will unfold and how it will end. Plus, the return of dealer of secrets seems very fitting!

If you like intrigue, mystery, ancient secrets, this scenario shouldn't disappoint you!

Just a strong suggestion: if you plant to play the entire 3 part series, plays these scenarios in order.

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