Pathfinder Adventure Path #26: The Sixfold Trial (Council of Thieves 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

4.40/5 (based on 14 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #26: The Sixfold Trial (Council of Thieves 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Chapter 2: "The Sixfold Trial"
by Richard Pett

The Play's the Thing

To banish the monstrous shadows that stalk Westcrown by night, the PCs go undercover, joining the city’s chaotic theatrical community in an elaborate plot to infiltrate the estate of the decadent lord-mayor. Yet theater life turns deadly when they become players in a spectacle no actor has ever survived. Can the PCs endure their debut performance in a city where an actor’s first big hit is often his last?

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Council of Thieves Adventure Path, and includes:
  • "The Sixfold Trial," a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 3rd-level characters, by Richard Pett
  • The Six Trials of Larazod, the complete and unabridged text of that infamously deadly play, by Nicolas Logue
  • An exploration of the faith of Iomedae the Inheritor, goddess of valor, by Sean K Reynolds
  • Pathfinder Varian Jeggare investigating death among the aristocracy in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Dave Gross
  • Six new monsters by Darrin Drader, David Eitelbach, Sean K Reynolds, and F. Wesley Schneider

A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for characters of 3rd to 5th level. The Council of Thieves Adventure Path is the first to take full advantage of the new Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rules, and works with both the Pathfinder RPG and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

Pathfinder Adventure Path is Paizo Publishing's monthly 96-page, perfect-bound, full-color softcover book printed on high-quality paper. It contains an in-depth Adventure Path scenario, stats for about a half-dozen new monsters, and several support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-196-1

The Sixfold Trial is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download.

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

Product Availability

Print Edition:

Available now

Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 5 business days.

PDF:

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO9026


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4.40/5 (based on 14 ratings)

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Excellent !

5/5

I'll be brief here: this adventure firmly establishes Richard Pett as one of the best module writers out there. And this time, he has a support sidekick madman thespian Nick Logue to boot.

The concept is absolutely unique, and the execution is brilliant. The Sixfold Trial is a great way of showing that D&D is something more than a "kick the door open and kill the baddie" game.

Bravo, simply bravo.


Bravo!

5/5

The heroes of Bastards of Erebus take the stage in The Sixfold Trial. This installment of the Council of Thieves AP really surpasses almost every other adventure or module I've ever experienced. To date, the only thing that approaches is my brief stint in Castle Amber.

This adventure has everything, and while it might be light on combat it is heavy on content. Great characters by the diabolical Richard Pett, incredible worldbuilding, impressive artwork by some of the best and brightest Paizo can retain and stunning playwright work by the infernal Nick Logue.


Laugh, Spawn of Hell, Laugh

5/5

This adventure features everything that you'd want to see in an urban adventure: an undercover mission, a heist, opportunities for player tomfoolery, ingenious fights, exploring, a dungeon crawl, and a seven course meal with live snakes.

Even better? It’s ridiculously easy to yoink this adventure for your homebrew campaign: just change the object of the heist. It should also be fairly easy to scale for higher levels.

The plot summary (spoilers ahoy): The PCs need to retrieve something from the mayor’s vault. Fortunately, the mayor’s both decadent and a patron of the arts. A theater is going to put on a new version of a dangerous play, in which the actors face real torments and monsters for the amusement of their social betters. If it’s a hit, the mayor’s sure to host a days-long cast party. All the PCs need to do is get cast by a Gordon Ramsey clone, survive a dress rehearsal in front of a derisive peanut gallery, and then stay in characters while they’re attacked by monsters and tortured by one of their own party. Woe to the wizard cast as the paladin!

Then, there’s the cast party, finding the vault and dealing with the monsters and traps inside. The vault makes this last section of the adventure no ordinary dungeon-crawl. It’s a demi-plane that features logically impossible features, such as looking up a staircase and seeing the back of your head, far away.

Also included is a play, so that if you want to have your players read lines, you can. It’s basically an inverted morality play, so its style is going to be pretty far away from David Mamet. Prepare your players for: characters who are representations of particular vices and virtues rather than people with motivations, characters who issue proclamations rather than dialogue, and a didactic tone to the script. It’s an inversion of an ancient popular form and perfectly fitting for a lawful evil DnD city generally, and Golarion in particular.

If you have a group of players more interested in high adventure, the script is pretty optional. You can run the theater sections easily without intensive role playing too.

Also included: several monsters (hit man devil, scalable death knight, high-CR angel, and bird swarm), four pre-gen characters, and some fiction of interest only to readers heavily invested in Golarion.

Basically, this adventure is a must-buy for its laughs, drama, and adventure.


I don't like the theater...

5/5

But I really enjoyed this adventure. The theater aspect is presented as most social encounters are: a series of skill checks. The level to which the DM and players wish to ham things up is entirely up to them, and while roleplaying is certainly encouraged, it isn't necessary. And of course, the "Sixfold Trial" isn't just any old play... it's a murderplay. Which is to say, when actors die on stage, sometimes it's for real. For parties who absolutely refuse to participate in the play, an alternative option is provided.

Richard Pett gives us an intrigue-laden dinner party for the second part of this adventure, and ends with a great dungeon. The dungeon is spooky and filled with numerous cool effects that will keep a party guessing. It also continues CoT's "shadow" theme nicely.

The Sixfold Trial gives plenty of chances to foreshadow future events for the PCs. For example, numerous NPCs introduced in these pages will be reappearing later in the adventure path, granting PCs a great opportunity to form relationships with these individuals early on.

DMs will appreciate the effort made to keep them informed and in the loop. Lots of background information is provided, and perhaps more importantly, the author makes sure to note which NPCs are expendable and which have future roles in the adventure path. The DM is also given an ample head's up on what's coming in future CoT installments.

The article on the goddess Iomedae is solid, and the bestiary has some interesting beasties. I particularly liked Paizo's answer to the death knight, the graveknight. While clearly inspired by the death knight, this undead warlord manages to be a unique and interesting monster.

All in all this is a great adventure, and proof that Paizo is listening to its fans.


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Contributor

Can't help but notice that mr Logue here keeps trying to move things away from Sixfold, could it be that he knows just how much his previous AP entries will be crushed by this adventure?

Birthing Logue, birthing. I believe your words were 'awesome, just awesome.'

Huzzah and don't forget to stand when god save the queen comes on, you're here under sufference.

Rich

Contributor

Richard Pett wrote:

Can't help but notice that mr Logue here keeps trying to move things away from Sixfold, could it be that he knows just how much his previous AP entries will be crushed by this adventure?

Birthing Logue, birthing. I believe your words were 'awesome, just awesome.'

Huzzah and don't forget to stand when god save the queen comes on, you're here under sufference.

Rich

Silence, Pett! The PAIN! My ears...my eyes...they BLEEEEEED!

;-)


Nicolas Logue wrote:


Pre-Order now and save $10...by the way you can get em Pathfinderized. We send you PDF copies of every version, and when the book is ready to ship we email you and ask you what version you want for your print copy.

Sounds intriguing. If we weren't miles behind on APs already, I would be really tempted. But with things being as they are, I'm only regular tempted.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bravo on such a cool idea, guys! I only heard about the script in this adventure today. I definitely have to pick it up, and maybe I can get a staged reading of it going in the NYC area, if I can find enough multiclassed actor/gamers brave and crazy enough to try it. (It will have to wait until the production of LION IN WINTER I'm directing this fall gets on its feet, though...)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm more than a little interested. February is awful far away though. Lots of time for estimated ship date to slide, slide, slide. I might buy this and hand it to my DM to run at me right after RotR, which I've been playing for something like a year and a half now.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Is this going out tomorrow? I'd really love to have it to read over the weekend.

Spoiler:
Also, final cover art for next months books too, please.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

It would be awesome to see it ship out today! Good reading for the weekend!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So uh guess It's next week then?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Kevin Mack wrote:
So uh guess It's next week then?

Looks that way.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Damnitall


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd like to see what Nick has written "behind his shield". I like his gritty and macabre adventure style. Besides, I hope the adventure stage will be "big theatre"...

Contributor

Eridanis wrote:
Bravo on such a cool idea, guys! I only heard about the script in this adventure today. I definitely have to pick it up, and maybe I can get a staged reading of it going in the NYC area, if I can find enough multiclassed actor/gamers brave and crazy enough to try it. (It will have to wait until the production of LION IN WINTER I'm directing this fall gets on its feet, though...)

Awesome.

Where are you directing LION IN WINTER? And when does it go up. I'm in NYC until Sept. 23rd - love to catch it.

Also @Yoda8myhead: Email me! nflogue@hotmail.com (possible gaming this week!)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sooo Is it running late again?


This is my first AP subscription. I realise that the Gen Con thing and the office moving thing delayed some of the orders.

When do the normal monthly suscriptions ship out during a typical month?

Contributor

I think Logue has sabotaged this one coming out

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

gigglestick wrote:

This is my first AP subscription. I realise that the Gen Con thing and the office moving thing delayed some of the orders.

When do the normal monthly suscriptions ship out during a typical month?

They generally ship once Paizo physically receives the books from the printer in China. Generally this is within a week of when the credit card precharge email goes out, but sometimes delay happen even after the boat arrives in the US. As for when in the course of the month shipments usually go out, Paizo has tried to schedule all books to arrive in their warehouse at the beginning of each month so that if there are delays (such as now) they still go out during the same calendar month.


Just noticed that What Lies in Dust is for Level 7.

Does this actually take you from 3 to 7 or is there a gap?
That's almost a level per trial... It must be a long play.


So are we getting this today?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ashkecker wrote:

Just noticed that What Lies in Dust is for Level 7.

Does this actually take you from 3 to 7 or is there a gap?
That's almost a level per trial... It must be a long play.

What Lies in Dust actually covers levels 5th through 7th. The Sixfold Trial goes from 3rd to 5th. I'll make sure these changes appear on the website.


Woo! Just got mine!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
vagrant-poet wrote:
Woo! Just got mine!

Same here! Woot! No more "filler" sessions.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just got mine as well. Now, I've only skimmed the PDF but I have to say that this is an excellent example of why Paizo managed to get me hooked in the first place. This installment seems very roleplay-heavy and the script in the back is just plain brilliant. First glance says "wonderful job guys!"


Prince of the Redhand may well have been be my favourite ever module. This looks great!

Sovereign Court

How long is the play?


In seconds, I will be able to tell you.

Hoo-aw!

ADD: Depending on how you count, 30 pages--including all the relevant material. But if you only count the description of the acts in game, 4 pages, or if you only meant the script, 10. Or if you just count both of the latter, 14.

OK, just from glancing through, I think this issue is going to win in the hilarious illustrations category by a mile. Guess the cover should have been a clue to that!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Kevin wants

Contributor

Damn! I did my best to delay Pett's adventure, but apparently a few PDFs slipped through!

;-)

Hope you all enjoy the play!

By the way: I posted the map for Razor Coast up on our blog at Sinister. Look for more previews for Ebon Shroud soon too! Rock!

SINISTER SNEAK PEEKS BLOG

You can pre-order Razor Coast now and save $10 off the release price. This huge adventure/mini-campaign is available in several adaptations - PATHFINDER COMPATIBLE, OGL 3.5, SAVAGE WORLDS

Order the book, get PDFs of all versions for free, then choose which version you want printed when the book is ready to ship. Pre-order customers will be emailed to determine which version they want printed and shipped.

Oh, and Rich is a dog-breathed puke of a human being, and a dribbling fool of an adventure designer. Thank god, I held his pen-hand and wrote this adventure for him.

::Re-reads Pett's adventure...cries for hours::

Liberty's Edge

Does anyone else find this adventure entirely tedious and rather boring?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Achilles wrote:
Does anyone else find this adventure entirely tedious and rather boring?

You played through it already?! You, sir, are a faster gamer than I!

Dark Archive

Achilles wrote:
Does anyone else find this adventure entirely tedious and rather boring?

Why am I not surprised by comments such as these? That is just weak, unjustified Andoran criticism towards Chelaxian art and culture! Away, fool, before I unleash a torrent of poisoned beard spikes at you!


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber

Still patiently waiting that the ship from China escapes the Eye of Abendego and safely docks in an American harbor.


Has everyone gotten theirs? I've not gotten mine and I'm really looking forward to reading this play...I realize it is Chelish, but I hear it was ghost-written by an Andoran playwright, so this one should be good. (Unlike the last three Cheliax saw fit to call "plays". Who sacrifices a goat as part of a love scene?)


Asgetrion wrote:
Achilles wrote:
Does anyone else find this adventure entirely tedious and rather boring?
Why am I not surprised by comments such as these? That is just weak, unjustified Andoran criticism towards Chelaxian art and culture! Away, fool, before I unleash a torrent of poisoned beard spikes at you!

"Oh no, it doesn't have new-fangled nonsense like a President in it, and no one is lying to the people about how they have a "vote" and that it actually counts!"

Of course they find it boring. They know nothing about culture. They pass their time protesting about things like "Women aren't equal enough yet! They should get free prostate exams, too!" and "Meat is murder! Veggies are murder! Eat stones!" Damn hippies.


Tsuji-Giri wrote:
Who sacrifices a goat as part of a love scene?)

You, sir, know nothing of opera!

And get a haircut!


yoda8myhead wrote:
Achilles wrote:
Does anyone else find this adventure entirely tedious and rather boring?
You played through it already?! You, sir, are a faster gamer than I!

I think what has to be recognized with this adventure is that leading up to the actual performance of the play itself is not exactly chock full of mayhem and violence. Which is okay by me - but then, I'm the GM, not a player, and have a less mayhem-n-violence focused table (most of the time).

If I get the impression that my players want some mayhem-n-violence at about this point, I've got a few spiffy modules/society scenarios I can dust off ... or they can do the tango with the

Spoiler:
Blind Seer of the Sewers
and see who comes back out alive.

This chapter of Council of Thieves is classic Pett - and I am of the opinion that he may have outdone himself. His 'opus of the year' as it were. :)

Sovereign Court

Tsuji-Giri wrote:
Has everyone gotten theirs?

I've not got mine yet... I'm still waiting for my bloody bank to send the money on, they've taken it out of my account but they're still dilly-dallying around with it. Grr.

Tsuji-Giri wrote:
Who sacrifices a goat as part of a love scene?)

Who doesn't?!?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

It's hard for me to tell if the argument on this thread is legit, or if it's a bunch of RP between factions.

In the case of the former, please try to avoid personal attacks or name calling; everyone's entitled to their opinions, and I always suspected this adventure would be EXCEPTIONALLY polarizing since it's so unusual and has so little combat in it; we had a similar initial backlash from readers with Shackled City's "Foundaition of Flame" and also Age of Worms' "Prince of Redhand," both adventures that are light on combat and heavy on other types of game play. And in each of those adventures' cases, after the initial backlash stage wore off, both became commonly cited as highpoints of the adventure paths and well-loved adventures in their own right. I suspect because fans of hack-and-slash had PLENTY of other choices to choose from (even in the same AP!) and after their disappointment wore off quickly, they just focused on the fact that they still had lots of adventures to their tastes, but the fans of heavy RP adventures, who AREN'T as often served by game products in this way, remained very vocal in their praise for the adventures.

In the case of the latter... aieee! You're confusing the poor Editor in Chief with your unexpected role play in a product feedback thread!

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

I think it's also worth mentioning that much of the fun that comes from roleplay-heavy adventures doesn't come through from a simple read-through of the material. It takes a party going through it to really flesh it out. A reader can get a pretty good idea of what's going to happen in a combat-heavy adventure but the same isn't as true when the plot hinges so much more on character and NPC interactions.

Silver Crusade

Tsuji-Giri wrote:
Has everyone gotten theirs?

I'm also eagerly awaiting for mine to get shipped and gain access to the PDF. I really want to see how this chapter in the adventure path goes. So I'm just hoping for the best right now about getting it before too long.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Must continue to hit refresh...


KaeYoss wrote:


You, sir, know nothing of opera!

And get a haircut!

Gao yang jong duh goo yang!

KNOW NOTHING ABOUT OPERA!!

I'll have you know that since I was a child would risk dishonoring my family to watch as traveling entertainers would perform operas such as Walgneer's "Der Ring des Aroden" and Mozarious' "La clemenza di Iomedae".

It was much to my dismay when I travelled to Westport only to find that such great works had been banned and only operas such as "Chelish Fever" and "Unholy Blood and Asmodeous Moon" were being shown.

Gwai-gwai long duh dong!

And lose the harlot makeup!

James Jacobs wrote:
In the case of the latter... aieee! You're confusing the poor Editor in Chief with your unexpected role play in a product feedback thread!

Oops...sorry...is being bored at work an appropriate excuse? If I had the PDF maybe I wouldn't be so bored ;)


Lapsang Souchong tastes terrible...unlike #26!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tsuji-Giri wrote:
...when I travelled to Westport ...

That might be the problem there! Westport's in the Forgotten Realms!

:P


James Jacobs wrote:
Tsuji-Giri wrote:
...when I travelled to Westport ...

That might be the problem there! Westport's in the Forgotten Realms!

:P

Gos se

Westhaven? nope...

Westside story? definitly not...

Westminster? woof, but still no...

Westcrown!

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Tsuji-Giri wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Tsuji-Giri wrote:
...when I travelled to Westport ...

That might be the problem there! Westport's in the Forgotten Realms!

:P

Gos se

Westhaven? nope...

Westside story? definitly not...

Westminster? woof, but still no...

Westcrown!

Westport was a former name of the city now known as Westcrown though. That's canon.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Tsuji-Giri wrote:
...when I travelled to Westport ...

That might be the problem there! Westport's in the Forgotten Realms!

:P

Connecticut is in the Forgotten Realms? That would make visiting my mother-in-law more interesting. ;-)

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Tsuji-Giri wrote:
...when I travelled to Westport ...

That might be the problem there! Westport's in the Forgotten Realms!

:P

James, James, James... it appears we need to send you to the Chelish brainw... er, rehabilitation camp *again*! You should know that Westport is Westcrown's former name, and Westgate is the city in Forgotten Realms! ;)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It might be polarizing or not, but if it is count me a "+" pole. I love it. I think it's the best AP module yet. I love all the social and non-combat encounters. I also really like the internal consistency of this one...it all fit and made sense to me.

Awesome job. Encore!

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
In the case of the latter... aieee! You're confusing the poor Editor in Chief with your unexpected role play in a product feedback thread!

Har har har! We don't "play" -- we're on a sacred mission to gather more souls to our dread lord, the Supreme Deity known to mortals as Asmodeus! And, of course, to spread the word of the glory of the Eternal Cheliax -- the mightiest, most beatiful empire that has ever existed on Golarion! ;P


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
delabarre wrote:
Connecticut is in the Forgotten Realms? That would make visiting my mother-in-law more interesting. ;-)

It'd explain a lot about your mother-in-law, too.

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