Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-08: Birthright Betrayed PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-5.

For all its rich history and heritage, Taldor has not always welcomed the Pathfinder Society's inquiring minds. This is especially true of a small museum in Ridonport, birthplace of the legendary General Arnisant, who confronted the dreaded Whispering Tyrant during the Shining Crusade. However, the Society's ally Lady Gloriana Morilla has secured a small group of Pathfinders a unique opportunity to study the museum's relics. All she needs in return is the Pathfinders' investigative skills to uncover the local earl's indiscretions—an earl who proudly identifies as Arnisant's direct descendant.

Contents in Birthright Betrayed also contribute directly to the ongoing storyline of the Sovereign Court faction. This is one of several scenarios that also set the stage for and directly tie into the upcoming War for the Crown Adventure Path.

Written by Sam Polak.

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Society Scenario Subscription.

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PZOPSS0908E


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Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 10 ratings)

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Interesting encouters, iconic lore, but with a couple frustrating tropes

***( )( )

This review is written from the perspective of a player, GM's mileage may vary. Full disclosure: 1-2 tier, My character is a member of the sovereign court, but an early diplomacy roll and a lack of stealth in the party cost me a prestige and the boon.

What I liked spoilers:
It gets the first star for existing.

It gets its second star for its wacky combats. An animated wooden ship crewed by tiny water elementals? gauntlets possessed by the spirits of Tar Ba-Phon's minions? Buccaneers playing dirty tricks? Wow, they were hilarious and creative without being overly murderous. They got some smiles from me and the other players.

The third star comes from the lore and world-building. I'm a lore junkie, so OOC I knew much of the stories, but little touches like the massive, 200-foot tall statue of Arnisant in a small town really helped make the place feel alive.

What I disliked spoilers:
At the very beginning of the scenario, your faction leader tells you explicitly "Whatever you do, don't break the law." Yet, we could not figure out a way to progress without stealing stuff from the Earl's safe. We tried getting a warrant from the magistrate and convincing Lord Adamare, with nothing to show for it. So we wound up feeling forced to do a "heist," which we inevitably bungled.

I still have no idea how a paladin gets through the scenario without paying for an atonement spell. Telling PC's to obey the law, and not providing a solution within the law is an awful trope that needs to die in a fire. At the very least, have the mission giver say "If you need to break the law, do it but don't get caught." At least that way PC's won't waste as much time hunting for a legal solution that doesn't seem to exist.

Also, a big grand speech by a bad guy to a crowd followed by a PC diplomacy check to sway the crowd, is ground that's been covered way too many times. Maybe there was a way to ruin his reputation without being some random dude literally yelling at him from a crowd during a speech, but I couldn't figure it out. I felt more like a heckler in a crowd at a political rally than an agent of nobility.

Anyway, those issues are why it didn't get the final two stars. It's worth playing, just keep the lawful good PC's far far away.


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Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

We do this for Taldor.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
We do this for Taldor.

We always have.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yessss... Let the Sovereign Court storyline begin!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Maps in Pathfinder Society Scenario #9–08: Birthright Betrayed:

There is one half-page custom map in this scenario. The following also feature:

  • Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Noble Estate
  • Pathfinder Map Pack: Village Sites
  • Sovereign Court

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    LONG LIVE THE EMPIRE!

    Sovereign Court

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Excellent! Another opportunity to mentor a new protege into our ranks. And by Mr. Polak, you say? It'll be a bit of extra work to find a suitably hearty candidate, but the reports they provide should be fascinating!


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I'm currently prepping this for our Grand Lodge tomorrow and I'm fascinated by the parallels between one of the sub-plots of this scenario (naval corruption in Taldor) and a current-day scandal (the investigations into high-ranking officers in the US Navy and their connections to a shady contractor named "Fat" Leonard). Was this intentional or was this merely a coincidence?

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    John Lance wrote:
    I'm currently prepping this for our Grand Lodge tomorrow and I'm fascinated by the parallels between one of the sub-plots of this scenario (naval corruption in Taldor) and a current-day scandal (the investigations into high-ranking officers in the US Navy and their connections to a shady contractor named "Fat" Leonard). Was this intentional or was this merely a coincidence?

    Although fantasy and sci-fi fiction certainly draw inspiration from reality and current events, I wasn't aware of the incident you're referencing until just now. Rather, Taldor lends itself beautifully to scenarios about scandals and corruption. That said, if it makes the adventure more meaningful and enjoyable for you and your players, the drawing parallels could be fertile ground for fun roleplaying.

    Grand Lodge

    Look forward to playing this one!


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I have a question on the Boon.

    Boon:
    One of the boons lets you check extra boxes if you meet a condition, and there are a few ways to do that.
    Is it possible to get the extra boxes more then once, you meet the condition twice or more?
    .


    Question about the boon:

    Boon Talk:
    As written, if the PC is already a noble via other boons, it seems better to sit on this boon for 30+ XPs before finalizing the conditions of this boon. In other words, if you have other sources of nobility, you add five checked boxes each time and could get all checked boxes at a very low XP count. Was the intent 'boxes checked x 75' or was it indeed 'XP x 75'?

    Scarab Sages

    Boon:
    I think XPx75 is probably correct. There are two parts to the boon. One gives you the gold when you complete it. The other lets you use Diplomacy or Knowledge (Nobility) for Dayjob checks. It looks like the XPx75 gold was a way to make the boon even out for players who get it later in their career. Completing the boon earlier means less gold initially, but lots more opportunities for gold from a Dayjob. I turned 3rd level when I picked up the boon, and I'm going to slow track until I complete it to give more time to use the Dayjob roll. And also because I like the character and invested a couple of boons making him.

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