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

4.80/5 (based on 18 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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4.80/5 (based on 18 ratings)

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A brillant dungeoning scenario


I have mastered this scenario on lower subtier. It's fun. Players have troubles because none of them speaks ancient osirion. I have given some clue to my players when the VC farewelled in that language. They pass a linguistic check but they don't catch my subtle message.

Be aware this scenario has an encounter potentially deadly. Players' bad decisions combined to fail on save-or-die effects could have bad consequences. This is specially true if you are playing at higher subtier.

In general, my players have enjoyed it. They had everything, a role-playing encounter, puzzles and hard combats. I usually don't like pure dungeoning scenarios, but I like run this one.

Entertaining story, fun puzzles


I REALLY love the story of Merchant Prince :)
Less combats than most scenarios, but most of them can be deadly(except the first one), really a great job of my Varasian Cleric, few PFS scenarios shows the importance of condition removal.

I wish the foes can be more versatile, not just mummies, maybe tranform himself into a lich? The BBEG fight just weird... come back to die lol :)

The strong plot is about puzzles, really love two of which to arrang the rods or trigger the traps.

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. 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 also missed entire clues when I took a bathroom break, which was a problem since I solved all the puzzles and was missing a major clue for one of them).

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: Great, the story was mixed with the riddles. (8/10)
Roleplay: Not much, but quality. (8/10)
Combat/Challenges: The puzzles were great. The combats were good. (9/10)
Maps: Not sure, GM didn't draw almost anything. (?/10)
Boons: None. (1/10)
Uniqueness: There are similar scenarios, but Ransom is the best puzzle scenario. (9/10)
GM Preparation: TBD.
Secondary Condition: We failed it, but it was a fair secondary condition. (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.... :-/

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Sovereign Court

Joshua J. Frost wrote:

What's the correct map for the misprint on Page 5? Is the name right but the map wrong or vice-versa?

The map is right. It's flip mat desert.

Liberty's Edge

This was my favorite of the new PFS Scenarios released at Gencon. It's an old skool dungeon with interesting puzzles and it was great fun to run. Jason Bulmahn hit all the right notes here. Recommended.

Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Love the mod. Lots of dungeon crawling goodness. Encounter 5 needs to have a map marker for the GM to know (not guess) where the scepter is found.


Played this as a rogue with someone who had a Multiclass Life Oracle as our healer. Had the GM not rolled low at the end, 3 party members would have died. Adventure assumes presence of full Cleric.

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