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

***** (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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***** (based on 18 ratings)

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Everything a Scenario Should Be


Perspective: played once

The Rebel's Ransom has everything. Excellent setting, great story, challenging puzzles, several tense combats, a variety of deadly hazards, and a bounty of tingling-sense-that-everything-is-wrong RP opportunities.

Simply put, it does everything a scenario should do and does it all extremely well.

A great deal of frustration

**( )( )( )

This was indeed a very cleverly designed dungeon. If you have a well-prepared group that loves puzzles, they will probably enjoy it.

However, my own group found the scenario extremely frustrating, and half the table ended up web surfing for most of the evening.

The good kind of frustration:
A long trek into the desert deserves to be taken seriously! Having a group of high-level pathfinders have to teleport back to base for supplies half-way to our destination because we hadn't brought enough trail rations and didn't confirm that the spontaneous divine caster actually had access to Create Water was a well-deserved humiliation. I very much appreciate the realism.

The hostage scenario was brilliant. Any scenario that leads the paladin of Saranrae and inquisitor of Gorum into a serious role-play conflict deserves a star, just for that. My paladin ended up taking a voluntary atonement at the end of the scenario. Just because we are supposed to cooperate, doesn't mean it should always be easy!

The bad kind of frustration:
There were three puzzles, one easy, one a bit more challenging and somewhat damaging, one that (to my group, at least) was very difficult and extremely damaging. The sorcerer could have easily been killed by the first error on the black flame puzzle in the throne room. Even with Resist Energy up, that was potentially a LOT of damage.

But, honestly, it's not the deadliness that concerns me, so much as the fact that half our party was not the least bit interested in puzzles. They were disengaged for that part of the scenario. We had one group member who's in-character contribution, for TWO HOURS REAL TIME, was rocking in place and muttering, "I wanna go home."

Then there was the water maze. Four of the six party members were casters, with low strength, who could not cast underwater. They felt like going underwater would end with them drowning, so they stayed back in the corridor. If we had any idea we would be going underwater, they would probably have stocked up on consumables to deal with underwater adventuring. But we were all surprised to find it in the middle of the desert.

You might say that Pathfinders should be ready for anything, and you would be right. Lesson learned. But, once again, this led to a slow encounter and entire combat in which only two of the group could do anything at all.

Our particular group found the combats relatively easy, which would be fine except for the fact that it meant the only part of the scenario everyone could participate in lasted less than two rounds each.

All in all, I have to give the scenario a low rating, despite some positive aspects. The point of Pathfinder is to play, and the majority of our group spent the evening feeling like they'd been benched.

Excellent Puzzelry


An excellent scenario, encompassing rules rarely seen. Good environment, challenging but fast fights, curses, puzzles, and a little bit of archimedes.

My party put itself out on the line for this one, and blew through half a wand and alot of heals. They found the puzzles to be puzzling, right up until they solved it. Fast to setup, medium difficulty to run with all the staves and puzzling, good rewards in lore and in loot. Chronicle sheet has a rarely seen item.

A++ Would run again.

Horror upon Horrors


This is straight out the best dungeon delve Pathfinder Society has produced thus far. This is the pinnacle of dungeon design. It deserves to be used as the highest standard to which all dungeon authors can aspire to. My players and I had a ball with it. Buy some rope, a shovel, and dare to venture into the Hall of Seven Scepters.

Really, a joy to play


There's a lot of plot in this adventure. Not just fighting, but intrigue, interesting traps, and a clear sense of what happened. the clues to the traps are subtle, but can be figured out by clever players. Great use of play aids, and a well-balanced adventure that my players loved.

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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 Card Game, 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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