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

3.00/5 (based on 16 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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Average product rating:

3.00/5 (based on 16 ratings)

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Tiers are not sufficiently balanced.

2/5

The lore for this scenario is amazing, but level scaling needs a lot of work. The encounters are absolutely BRUTAL for a Tier 1-2 party, but they are a cakewalk for Tier 3-4. The biggest reason for this is most of the 3-4 encounters are the 1-2 encounters with an extra minion or two added. This means in tier 1-2 you end up fighting a very challenging boss, but in tier 3-4 you fight the exact same boss(with not one HP higher) who has a mite that she kills on the first turn with channeled negative energy anyway.


Dwarven ruins!

4/5

Point of View: Player (Tier 3-4) <---Rare for me

Roleplay: The roleplay presented through the lost survivor dwarf was well done and interesting. I made sure to stop and listen to the GM when this character spoke. Though his take on it made me think the dwarf was more of a stoner than anything.

Combat: Combat overall was pretty boring. The only fight that really grabbed at me was the one with the final boss, and even then she seemed to be a one trick pony.

Originality: The non-linear dungeon, and the weird "final" room, stuck out at me as very original. Somehow, by pure luck, we managed to go to the "last" room last. This is worth a play through, but I wouldn't take more than 4 players through it to keep it challenging combat wise.


Solid Dungeon-Crawl, Slightly Wonky Tiers

4/5

So, having now played and GM-ed this scenario, I honestly like it. It's a very well thought-out dungeon crawl that doesn't even need to be completed in a linear fashion (though completionist PCs will always map every square). The story's solid, stocked with memorable characters aside from the fairly flavorless end-boss. Faction missions are also pretty neat.

My only real gripe is the tiers. Tier 3-4 fights some pretty weak stuff (an orc with 6 hp among them), straight through to the end-boss, who still goes down pretty quickly if the party focuses fire. Really felt like tier 3-4 was basically "tier 1-2, but add two more of the wimpy dudes". However, going up to tier 6-7 looks pretty dang frightening.

(SPOILER: Lots of secret doors in this one. They substantially change the flow/difficulty of the whole mod.)

Overall, quite solid. Avoid running it at tier 3-4 if you can, it's boring with an even moderately-prepared party.


A solid dungeon crawl

4/5

The Begger's Pearl is not the most difficult of modules, or the most glamorous of modules, or even the most exciting module, but it is a well written dungeon crawl with a good premise and some fun encounters.

Spoiler:
I am getting a little tired of Derro though.

I agree with previous reviewers that the final fight is not the most difficult of encounters, but the module does have a really nice feel to it, and you do get the sense of delving through an old Dwarven keep. The module has a few minor flaws, mostly related to a lot of empty rooms which could have at least been flavor and background encounters, so it does have its flaws, but The Beggar's Pearl is a good romp with some interesting encounters and a good premise which I do recommend to anybody going for a low-to-mid level module.


#37: The Beggar's Pearl

3/5

This module has some interesting options for role play. But, as I have stated in another review, I am used to playing with serious gamers who know how to build tough characters. In the final battle, two of the party went off by the themselves to confront the evil mastermind. One of the PC's armor class was so high that only a natural 20 by most of the minions would hit him. The rogue/cleric/wizard who went with him was a bit to cocky and almost died as a result. However, if the full party had stayed together, the main evil mastermind would not have lasted long enough to be a threat. I have found that I have to beef up the encounters to really provide much of a challenge.


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Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

This scenario has an "add to cart" button, but doesn't look like it's been released yet. It's not actually adding the book to my cart even when I add it but thought it might deserve mentioning.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

I just bought this and No Plunder, No Pay and both now say they're in My Downloads but neither one is there.

Scarab Sages

Same here. I purchased this mod and need to prep it for this weekend but it doesn't appear in my download area either. I think they're working through this though.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hmm. I thought I flipped all the switches in the correct order, but Ross keeps adjusting the list of switches I need to flip. He'll have to check it out in the morning....

Liberty's Edge

Me too! Same problem.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Justin the Big wrote:
Me too! Same problem.

Fixed now. I flipped the switch right below the one I should have flipped. Sorry!

Scarab Sages

No Spoilers, promise...
I've read through the mod and I'm VERY excited. It has a very old-school feel to it (imo), a la AD&D. It also has new-school as well. It looks like it may run long though. I'll be running it tonight and this weekend. I'll post my thoughts after the convention here in Georgia (Catchup Con).


FirstChevalier wrote:

No Spoilers, promise...

I've read through the mod and I'm VERY excited. It has a very old-school feel to it (imo), a la AD&D. It also has new-school as well. It looks like it may run long though. I'll be running it tonight and this weekend. I'll post my thoughts after the convention here in Georgia (Catchup Con).

I'm eager to hear how it goes! My suggestions have some spoilers...

Spoiler:
If the scenario starts to run overlong, Torvic's jumbled memories may gel enough to suggest where the Lady Morilaeth's revel is being held.

Additionally, the derro torture-sage is no great supporter of his nightmarish leader: Skilled diplomacy or roleplay may convince the vile researcher and his thralls to stand aside while the party heads upstairs to the Masque of the Pallid Measure. Of course, the party needs to get Torvic off of him to pull this off.

A group with additional time for play might choose to add a horrific "dream sequence", taking advantage of Morilaeth's deadly power over night terrors. Once Lady Morilaeth knows of the party (probably from a fleeing mite), she can try to stalk them in their dreams. If the party chooses to rest, one of the party members could be targeted by night terrors, while the rest of the party is only present in the victim's dream. I wouldn't reveal who the real victim was until the scene ends (and he begins rolling saving throws) and I wouldn't tell them it was a dream: They'll figure it out soon enough.

Foreshadowing the Masque of the Pallid Measure... "Orchestral music awakens you, and you find yourself in an opulently-decorated ballroom. You're all seated at a feast table piled high with delicious dishes. Each of you wears a brightly-colored costume and ornate masks cover your faces.

Festive figures wheel and twirl across the dance floor as dwarfish servants pour wine and deliver trenchers filled with desserts. Beyond the revelers, an elegantly-clad woman urges her guests to enjoy themselves."

The revel continues until one of the PCs decides to take off their mask (or it becomes tiresome, in which case the revelers begin shouting "unmask!" The unmasking reveals each of the revelers (and the PCs) to be a ghoulish figure, which immediately begins attacking and devouring those around him. The "delicious food" on the table is revealed to be maggot-filled carrion. Blood flows copiously from the wounds the revelers (and PCs) inflict on each other, covering the floor. Shapes seem to rise from the spilled blood, arms pulling struggling victims into the floor beneath them.

Scarab Sages

I loved the scenario. Beggar’s Pearl is very fun, and does feel very old-school to me. However, without throwing out a spoiler, it’s very ambitious in its scope to be completed in a convention slot. I ran it as a slot zero, then two times at the convention. We tabled the slot zero as a ‘home game’ so it could be completed legitimately. The first convention slot was able to start early and finish late through chance, and ran long by almost fifty minutes. The second convention slot finished ten minutes early, but only because I had learned where I could cut corners and where I had to focus attention.

On the whole it’s a VERY fun mod. I highly recommend the adventure, though my tables commented they were getting tired of mites and blue things for what it’s worth.

I didn't ready your post above this one until *after* I wrote everything in this post (other than this edit)...

Spoiler:
This is a dungeon crawl with 4 combat encounters, three traps, and one optional combat encounter spread over two very large area maps. The encounters themselves are not difficult and no group should worry about playing up, in my opinion. The dungeon delving slows the pace down dramatically unless the judge steps in to keep the party from probing every ten feet for the next trap.

My other critique is to add some call outs for the faction goals in the module text. I had a difficult time flipping back and forth from the faction goals in the back to the areas in the text until I made my own sidebars near them.

Lastly, I noticed the scaling for the tier 6-7 presented no challenge to my last table of six playing at that tier. The scaling seemed to use the idea of greater numbers presents a greater challenge, but that didn’t work out. Perhaps I ran the encounters wrong or the dice bounced against the monsters but it seemed like they waltzed right through it. I like the idea of not maxing out each encounter so some are easier rather than a full-on no holds barred such as many LG mods were/are. That’s part of the old-school feel I think. That’s my opinion. We welcome yours.


spoiler monster question:
Someone mentioned this used a template from the Advanced Bestiary is this true if so which one?

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Qwilion wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Nightmare
Liberty's Edge

anyone know what "if printed" to 1" squares the dimensions of the map are? I was thinking of taking it to Kinkos.

Mike


I recall it being about two flip-mats worth, but it's been a while.

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