The Fiddler's Lament (PFRPG) PDF

4.50/5 (based on 4 ratings)

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Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, it's true, but some music truly is the devil's music. This dark fantasy adventure is designed for characters beginning a gothic-themed Adventure Path campaign. An orphan raised by gypsies, now full-grown but still lost and alone, must face once more the tragic curse that destroyed her past. Will her darkling music bring ruin to the village she now calls her home? The adventure can help PCs gain additional experience and much-needed trust with the townsfolk even as they unravel the mystery of the haunted prison overlooking the town.

Designed by Greg A. Vaughan with the Legendary Games Design Team of Neil Spicer, Clinton Boomer, Jason Nelson, and Clark Peterson. Who better to provide you with alternate magic items for your Adventure Path campaign than the very writers of those adventures themselves? Answer: no one. Legendary Games' Adventure Path Plug-Ins supplement and enrich your campaign experience, offering adventures and supporting products that incorporate and expanding upon unique concepts, themes, and rules subsystems introduced in the Adventure Paths while filling in the background characters, items, and locations that make those adventures come alive in delightful (and often dangerous) detail. Legendary Games combines stellar writing talent with innovative layout and product design and top-notch artistic values that we think will bring you back again and again.

Download includes TWO files: a full color version AND a stripped black and white version for easy printing.

Check out this gothic-themed adventure and Make Your Game Legendary! This adventure was designed for PCs of 1st-2nd level.

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4.50/5 (based on 4 ratings)

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A really fun module!


This is a review by a GM who used the module as intended during the first book of the Carrion Crown adventure path. Spoilers for both the module and the first book of the AP are contained below. You are warned!!

I am currently GMin'g a Carrion Crown game and I decided to use this plug in to keep things interesting for my group. I had noticed that they were starting to get a little tired of all the "investigation" as they were trying to win the hearts of the townspeople (trust points) and complete all the research prior to entering the prison. In order to spice things up, I dropped this module on them.

In order to prepare them for it, I have had caravans of wanderers come through town and play fiddle music early in the morning. That way my players were not on high alert as soon as I introduced something "new" in the form of morning fiddle music.

One of the hardest things for me as the GM was waiting for them to WANT to go shopping at the store so that I could open the module as intended. Once things got started though, my group had an absolute BLAST. We took two sessions to play through the module, though I could see more efficient groups getting through it in just a single session.

A testament to how well this module was written is that my group started out completely rested. After the battle with the zombies, the shadow, the hands and the Skeletons at the posting pole, they were running very low on HP. At that point, however, they met the cleric who helped them out in that department. By the end of the module, everyone was nearly out of resources but having a great time!

At the end, they were shocked to learn that this was NOT actually a part of the AP as written, but that it was a 3PP plug in adventure. We had a great time, Greg vaughn NAILED the feeling of the town. 5 stars.

Ran it customized, but the framework was perfect


Some Spoilers:

I customized the encounters heavily to fit our particular group and the module's place in the adventure timeline (ran it as the final straw pushing to the town hall meeting and running one level higher at all parts of the module). However, the actual framework, the descriptions, the pacing, and the design of the events themselves was phenomenal.

My players described it as a roller coaster tour of the town of Ravengro. they felt pushed in all the right places to continue even when they had stretched their limited resources to the max. They were given a chance to meet and impress people in town that would have otherwise been difficult to interact with and were able to build up enough trust that it actually makes sense for the town to petition them to fix whatever is causing all the ruckus.

By reading it in advance, I was able to place interactions with some of the key NPC's earlier in their path. For instance, a small relationship with the acolyte Rufio before the Fiddler begins playing really makes a difference in how the PC's respond to both his request that they help the councilor and the peril they later find him in as a result of his going it alone.

The included maps were an excellent addition to the town, and what areas were not mapped were specified well enough to be able to extrapolate from the Ravengro Map. I did re-use the map from the Murmuring Fountain add-on for one encounter because quite simply the maps are too good to only use once.

My complaint with most modules is that there is a great deal of background material that adds to encounters that there is really no way to ever share with the players. Most of the encounters here leave someone to tell the missing parts, allowing the PC's to see the story and the method to the madness. However, the main story about the elf maid and the mysterious stranger is left without a thread for the PC's to pull. There is enough information for the DM to find a way, but the story is so nicely wrapped at the end that the motivations are difficult to reveal.

It is encounter heavy, but placed where we put it in the adventure, it capped off the slow build of events, bringing the interaction with the town itself to a climax that leads easily into the investigation of Harrowstone itself.

My players finished the final encounter feeling exhausted and challenged.

Great Start to the Adventure Path


This plug-in fits seamlessly into the Adventure Path and adds a haunting back story to the game. We played this plug-in as a kick off adventure to bring the characters together and make introductions.

Solid, short plug-in module with peak production values


This adventure-path plug-in adventure is 20 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page introduction/how-to-use, 1 page author bios, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 13 pages of content, so let's check this out!

This being an adventure review, the following text contains SPOILERS. If you're a player, don't risk your immortal soul and incurring your DM's wrath by reading on!

Still here? Righty right! Early in the Carrion Crown AP, this plug-in can be considered interesting in that it centers on the tragic elf-maid Alhindriosa - fair and out of touch, the dancing maid lived a life with the gypsies until a sinister figure massacred her adopted kin with only her surviving - traumatized, she's been in custody of varying institutions, catatonic and all but a shell of a being. The stranger has returned and he's taken her back to the village and given her one task: Play this violin for your kin. And for the first time in over 80 years, the maid reacts and plays a dirge of the saddest kind- and her dead kin rise.

The mini-module kicks off with a cool establishing encounter in a fully mapped, full-color shop and zombified grand-parents coming to visit their living kin. and from here on, things get worse and the Pc can hire themselves out to money-lenders, save old local dogs, the postboy and even an old councilor from varying undead threats before, finally, the PCs will have to stop Alhindriosa at the cemetery by vanquishing her now resurrected brethren and destroying the dread Rebec Malevolenti, the fiddle she unwittingly plays that resurrects the undead menaces. Once they have destroyed the fiddle, the PC's victory will be bitter-sweet, for the elven maiden falls back into her stupor and the townsfolk asks for blood - hopefully the players can prevent further death. The pdf has a one-page, stunning artwork of the final confrontation as well as another piece of beautiful cartography of the final confrontation and full stats of the devilish fiddle as well as a nice table to track the trust the PCs can get ( and lose!) during the course of this module..

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' two-column landscape format and is delivered on par with Paizo-level quality. Especially the beautiful artworks by Colby Stevenson are legendary indeed and we get two versions of the pdf, the second being more printer-friendly and backgroundless. The cartography is also up to the highest quality. This module is beautiful, the artworks stellar and the production values are awesome and up to the highest demands. And the module can easily be dropped into not only CC, but also into just about any village- that being said, Greg A. Vaughan can write adventures - we all know that. The writing is thus creepy, cool and imaginative. BUT: This module is SHORT. Very short.

And honestly, I would have enjoyed slightly more detail or choices on part of the players. Perhaps a sandboxy format with a timeline and consequences for dillydallying would have much improved my enjoyment - as written, the module feels rather like a string of sequential encounters that borders on the railroady but manages to skirt that dread appellation by virtue of its excellent writing. In the end, the "Fiddler's Lament" is a neat little plug-in module, but one that will, at the maximum, occupy for players from 2 to 4 hours and is about as long as 0onegames' "The Sinking"-installments, of which you could get 2.5 (albeit in b/w) for the same price. Content-wise, e.g. "Politics Unusual" and "Ascension of the Prophet" will serve as my frame of reference for rating this module.

If Legendary Games' quality production values would not be up to these high standards with original artworks and cartography etc., I'd rate this down another star. Taking everything into account, my final verdict for this module will be 4 stars - a good, though not a stellar, short module.

Endzeitgeist out.

Dark Archive

Been looking forward to this one for awhile now.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

So, get a review written...STAT! ;-)

You should have what level characters this is written for in the beginning of the description.

Shadow Lodge

Does anyone else's full-color PDF seem to have a rather pixelated cover page?

Dark Archive

Kthulhu wrote:
Does anyone else's full-color PDF seem to have a rather pixelated cover page?

Mine looks fine. Maybe try reDLing it.

Shadow Lodge

Tried redownloading. Still pixelated.

I'm beginning to think today is just not my day.

Grand Lodge

darth_borehd wrote:
You should have what level characters this is written for in the beginning of the description.

Seconded. I'd like to know this as well.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Sorry for the lack of clarity - both "The Murmuring Fountain" and "The Fiddler's Lament" are for 1st-2nd level characters. The blurb I wrote says "characters beginning a gothic-themed Adventure Path campaign," which I think was an overly cute phrasing that I meant to imply beginning-level characters--i.e., 1st or 2nd. I can email Liz and ask her to add a sentence to that effect to the product description, and I'll be sure to call it out specifically in future adventure releases.

Thanks for the feedback!

P.S. As far as the pixelation, the ones I have look fine, so I'm not sure what the issue is there. :(

Dark Archive

Kthulhu wrote:

Tried redownloading. Still pixelated.

I'm beginning to think today is just not my day.

Odd, what PDF program do you use? I use PDF-Xchange, I also checked and opened mine in Adobe and it was fine in that as well.

Shadow Lodge

I use Adobe Reader X mainly, but I also opened it in Adobe Acrobat 9.5.1, and it had the same pixelization. Same with Foxit.

It's not really bad enough to make it unusable, but it annoys me. :P

Just for reference:

Print-Friendly Cover

Full Color Cover

Dark Archive

Ok that is really weird. I checked your two links and the first one looks fine to me but the second one is messed up, enough the print in the lower left corner is hard to read in it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Super curious, but I have to take a pass on this one, were halfway through the second book.

Glad to see the tap is flowing again.

Dark Archive

Would work just fine with later books, just would have to upgrade the CR's is all.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Would work just fine with later books, just would have to upgrade the CR's is all.

I'd agree with Dark_Mistress here. Without spoilering the adventure too much, the orphan-gypsy who is the lynchpin of the adventure could easily appear in any town in Ustalav, and the primary menaces that torment the town at her command could be easily swapped for more menacing equivalents straight out of the Bestiary without complicating or compromising the plot integrity of the adventure.

Simply put, replace skeletons with skeletal champions, ghouls, or even wights, and mission accomplished.

I should also point out that "The Murmuring Fountain" already includes some scaling suggestions for using it past the initial level, though overall it might be more hard-coded as a low-level adventure than "The Fiddler's Lament."

IMHO, both those stories are heavy role playing/investigation type adventures and can be played at any time in Harrowstone.

I've posted elsewhere about player reaction to the first session using Fidler's. The guys are quite intrigued about what is going on. It was funny the way they reacted. Hey, wht the heck, weren't we suppose to go back to the prison this morning?

And reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Dark Archive

Nice review End, btw did you find a cute goth girl to make out with at that goth event you went to? :)

There was some making out, indeed! Though admittedly with the goth lady that accompanied me there - not for lack of interest in my person, though. I don't know why, but verbal fights between laced-in, beautiful females are perhaps one of the most alluring things in existence for me. :D

I have decide to run a parallel story with Alhindriosa. The party will take her to Lepidstadt (sp) in part two, at the request of the town council so she can get treatment. On the way there, she will get a night visit by the dark stranger. The PC's will be warned to stay away from her or else......

She will, of course, regularly escape and cross the party's path. The stranger will send minions to eliminate those pesky adventurers.

It appears the stranger would be a devil of some sort (don't really want to use Orcus.... but a demon could be used.....)

What are your ideas abaout this?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Gondolin wrote:
What are your ideas abaout this?

Half-fiend night hag.

Sounds chaotic enough! ;-)

Dark Archive

Endzeitgeist wrote:
There was some making out, indeed! Though admittedly with the goth lady that accompanied me there - not for lack of interest in my person, though. I don't know why, but verbal fights between laced-in, beautiful females are perhaps one of the most alluring things in existence for me. :D

Good to know, but did your goth lady find a pretty goth girl to make out with... and let you watch? :D

Back to the product. I really liked this one for the atmosphere, me personally I would want to keep the fiddle. :)

@Gondolin - Nice add on to this, to make it go further.

They had a heck of a time getting rid of it. They ganged up on her and pinned her to the ground and the barbarian raged, grabbed the fiddle and smashed it on a tombstone. Très The Who.... lol

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I just finished running this adventure last night. My players had a LOT of fun, and were running very low on resources by the end of it.

They ended up succeeding on a Disarm combat manueuver to take the fiddle away. Before she could fight back to take the fiddle back, the party fighter and monk dropped her to negative HP.

At the end of the night, everyone was grinning about how much fun they had over the last 2 sessions. When I mentioned that this segment had been a 3PP plug-in, they were surprised. "Wait, that WASN'T part of the AP as published? How far through the first book ARE we?"

I'm working on getting a review written...

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Fantastic, Itchy. We always strive to make these plug-ins work as seamlessly as possible for the APs they're intended to enhance. Sounds like Greg succeeded big-time for your group. We look forward to seeing your review. The feedback not only serves to give kudos to the hard work everyone puts into them, but it also helps us learn and enhance the way we structure these plug-ins for future APs.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

What Neil said. Glad you guys had a great time with the adventure. My group certainly had fun with it when we ran through the first two modules of Carrion Crown.

I appreciated the module's breakneck pace. It's just one thing after another, and the PCs need to be careful to manage themselves and their limited resources as a low-level party to keep pushing on toward the end as events keep building to the climax!

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