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Pathfinder Adventure Path #52: Forest of Spirits (Jade Regent 4 of 6)

**½( )( ) (based on 6 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #52: Forest of Spirits (Jade Regent 4 of 6)
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Chapter 4: "Forest of Spirits"
by Richard Pett

After surviving one deadly wilderness, the heroes emerge into another—a land of ancient mysteries and sacred secrets known as the Forest of Spirits. But the forest knows how to defend itself from strangers, and its powerful and aloof guardians, the kami, brook no harm to their eldritch home. Those who would defy the spirits of the land have little hope of survival. Yet those who prove themselves friends to this mystical realm and its strange inhabitants stand to gain not just great allies, but also knowledge of a secret evil that has long festered in the forest’s heart and now poisons all of Tian Xia.

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path includes:
  • “Forest of Spirits,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 10th-level characters, by Richard Pett.
  • An investigation of the mysterious creatures known as kami, honored defenders of the land and nature, by Mike Shel.
  • Insights into the ways and deadly techniques of the ninja clans of Minkai, by Jesse Benner.
  • Deadly guardian geisha and a journey into one of Oda’s seedier gambling houses in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Dave Gross.
  • Five new monsters, by Patrick Renie, Steve Russell, and Mike Welham.

Each monthly full-color softcover Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the world’s oldest fantasy RPG.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-380-4

Forest of Spirits is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (532 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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Product Reviews (6)
1 to 5 of 6 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

**½( )( ) (based on 6 ratings)

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Poor introduction of Tian Xia

**( )( )( )

First the good:

1. The first part of the adventure (roughly 1/3) is great. Hongal and the journey through the haunted forest provided for some memorable sessions and after crossing the crown of the world coming to Tian XIa felt momentuos to the players.

2. The kami and the history of the oni are fleshed out for the players.

Now the problems.

1. The Hongal chapter while good could've been further developed. I added material to this as it was a lot of fun and provided a mcguffin that the party wanted to get from the ruler.

2. As other reviewers posted this was about the worst time for a dungeon crawl and an indifferent one at that. I was able to plunder some stat blocks but I can't imagine any group enjoying that crawl with little payoff in the end.


Pretty average dungeon module

**( )( )( )

Although "Forest of Spirits" has three distinct parts, the majority of the adventure happens in a pretty big dungeon. This is mostly a location-based module with a very linear plot. The dungeon is pretty extensive but it's very straightforward to walk: A then B, then C. In essence, it's a very long succession of rooms with no real crossroads with different choices. The good thing about this, of course, is that your PCs will never get lost in this dungeon.

I'm sorry to say that the whole module is not a great read and doesn't inspire me to run it. It's a huge dungeon with room after room full of the same enemies. If you're following the Jade Regent adventure path, this module has absolutely no relevance on the overall plot and can be skipped or replaced at will. The characters learn nothing new from the plot and whatever happens doesn't affect the flow of the campaign, even if the characters decide not to explore the pagoda.

The good: There are a couple of good ideas in there that I'd like to test out. The spirits remind me another one of Richard Pett's brilliant ideas from Skinsaw Murders: haunts. I think there is potential in them and I wouldn't mind seeing how they work in actual play. They can be designed so that they interact with encounters to make them more difficult or quirky. Off the top of my head, you could make a bad spirit that causes bad luck on the afflicted character - à la pugwampi - and that can only be removed once you kill a certain creature - something that bad luck makes more difficult! The skill contest festivals can make for interesting encounters if the characters have invested properly in skills. It also has the potential to bore fighters and some others to death. I'd use this one with caution.

The bad: It's a really long linear dungeon without choices and with similar copies of the same kind of creature. If that's your style, you'll love it. It's very old school: the monsters exist only to meet their end when the adventurers enter the room they live in. The whole thing is executed in many levels and each of them has a mini-boss. Oh and the last level has a big boss... really old school.

Read the full review here


Missed opportunity

*( )( )( )( )

So we finally get into Tian Xia only to spend time in a massive dungeon grind... great. There are a few moments at the start where you get to take in some of the diversity of Tian cultures but then the book hits that massive wall of the most tedious dungeon grind one can imagine. Worst of all, this dungeon barely captures any of the exotic feel one might expect being in a strange place like Tian Xia.

What is truly annoying is the title - Forest of Spirits - is so intriguing and leads one to imagine some kind of exploration/sandboxy adventure but rather your stuck in a meatgrinder.

My suggestion, slip in Ruby Pheonix or an old Kara Tur module and skip that whole dungeon.


Strong start to a mediocre end

***( )( )

Will try and sum this up without too many spoilers. The book started out very strong, and my players loved the culture shock they received when they first arrived. It also allowed for some really good role-play and character development from the NPC's who have mostly been stuck with the caravan up to this point. It did take a down turn when they were leaving the first village because of their host suddenly refusing to see them, and closing off all trade to the heroes, and several of my players noticed that, and didn't overly like it. As the story progressed into the forest and the eventual dungeon, things started to drag; Encounter after encounter that ranged from needlessly easy ex grinds to, omg, why would they put that there. I've had more player deaths, or near player deaths in this book than any other mostly too the over-powered big encounters. While still strong story wise, the encounters need a bit of adjusting.


Fun and Entertaining

****( )

Read my full-length review on my blog.

The fourth volume of the Jade Regent Adventure Path, Forest of Spirits brings the player characters onto the continent of Tian Xia, and ever closer to their final destination of Minkai. But naturally, there are delays and obstructions that they must deal with along the way. Overall, Forest of Spirits looks to be a fun adventure, with moments of light-heartedness early on, followed by an opportunity for the PCs to make their first major strike against the central villains of the entire adventure path. Like the previous instalment, The Hungry Storm, it is very much a travel-from-point-A-to-point-B adventure, but unlike The Hungry Storm, it handles it in such a way as to give a greater sense of purpose to the PCs’ actions by tying it much more thematically to the land in which it’s set and by providing the PCs with a greater sense of accomplishment and resolution.


1 to 5 of 6 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>



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