Pathfinder Society Quest #11: A Parchment Tree

3.90/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Quest designed for levels 1–4 (subtiers 1–2 and 3–4).

In the nation of Qadira, Esmayl ibn Qaradi calls for Pathfinders to assist in what should be a simple genealogy verification. Multiple parties are heavily invested in the results that might be revealed by this family tree, however, and things won't be as simple as sifting through some old family records. As thieves and nobles vie to control history itself, the PCs will need to fend off violence and deceptions as they follow the branches of an ancient family tree.

Written by: Carlos Cabrera

Scenario tags: None

[Scenario Maps spoiler - click to reveal]

The following maps used in this scenario are also available for purchase here on paizo.com:

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZOPFQ0011E


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Average product rating:

3.90/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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2/5

Parchment is a quest mostly focused on skill checks followed by a combat.

There are several things I didn’t like about this quest:
1) Not knowing the Qadiran language didn’t factor in the quest or any skill checks. At worst it should have made the quest impossible, at best it should have made even trivial tasks much more challenging.

2) There was nothing unique to Qadiran culture or nothing to learn about it. They might as well have been wearing costumes in a generic fantasy setting.

3) There were too many possible skill checks for each location. It’s not important to cater to everyone, especially when the penalty for failure was very low in this quest.

4) The skills checks didn’t make any sense.

Spoiler:

How would we know to check for invisible ink? Isn’t invisible ink useless if so easily detected? Why does that make it the Prince’s memoirs that we want? Wouldn’t the invisible ink be a Thievery check (the use of the ink, a common use of Thievery) instead of Crafting skill? Crafting is a generic skill, you would need to have the Alchemy feat in order to know more about invisible ink.

Why would any of the map checks mean the Prince necessarily built property in a particular location just because it would be optimal? It’s just a guess and a guess is not good enough in court. Also, how can you tell the most fertile land or the least prone to natural disasters based on a map? Again, there were just too checks for this location, and our job was only to retrieve the map, not analyze it.

5) The combat was very run-of-the-mill.

Overall: I didn’t like the skill checks, they felt almost random. I didn't like that Qadiran culture was like every other generic culture. But most of all I felt like I could have just thrown this quest together myself on-the-fly.


This was a lot of fun!

5/5

I had a great time playing this scenario. It begins simply enough, as a "go get this"-style mission, with some good investigation and a chance for the GM to play several various NPCs. It leads to a fun and dynamic combat situation, although it can be dangerous if the PCs split too much and don't support each other. A lot of great opportunity to bring the setting to life rather than just focusing on threatened squares on a map. Loved it, will run repeatedly.


More than I thought could fit in a one hour quest

5/5

This was great! It was packed with plot, NPCs, and excitement. Way more than I thought could fit in a one hour quest. It really was a mini-adventure. It had tone, it had character, it had mystery. Well done Mr Cabrera!


Fine

3/5

Nothing really special to see here. Better than others in that the market vibe was cool. The combat in the end was largely uninteresting and that results in a middle rating.


Solid

4/5

Typical formulaic structure (hard to be atypical in org play though, so not much complaint there.) Liked the consequences for failure on skill checks - although bad luck begets more bad luck - and the end fight was a tough one for the PCs, a good thing, if the GM can take advantage of the tactical positioning.


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Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Announced for *checks notes* NEXT WEEK! ヾ(-_- ;)

*scurries off to catch up on more late product pages*

Dark Archive

Huh didn't realize there was quest missing

Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
Huh didn't realize there was quest missing

You didn't miss a perception check, there was a shuffle! Previously, "Putrid Seeds" was #11 but was moved to #12.

Dark Archive

Oh oki :O

Silver Crusade

Awesome! And congrats, Carlos! Looking forward to playing it.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ryan Heck | Aqualith Media wrote:
Awesome! And congrats, Carlos! Looking forward to playing it.

Thanks! That should be soon. Other GMs are running some slots at GenCon already!

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