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A8: Search for the Tri-Stone (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 2 ratings)

Our Price: $5.99

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game/3.5 Compatible Adventure for 4-6 PCs of levels 6-9

Adventureaweek.com PDFs are fully supported by Hero Lab files (included in download), minimum requirement: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game core system.

When you are successful , your reputation will spread farther and more widely than you might imagine. And when that reputation reaches those who believe that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” you might just find yourself working with and for some interesting people. So when the village go-between for the mayor of Rybalka and local Vikmordere tribespeople asks the party to recover an item, you can’t be sure exactly who you are going to earn your coin from.

The PCs find themselves having to tread a very thin line to be successful with this job; the Monachy’s agent in Rybalka is very interested in what they are doing, as are other, less friendly tribes; but the PCs don’t know this. In fact, there is much they don’t know and they will only become aware of some of the implications of their actions when potential problems become reality. Of course, if they’d know they were meant to find a ship buried in a cliff face, defeat its entire crew before finding great beauty in physical and material form, take what belongs to a king and then return unnoticed through territory claimed by old enemies and new allies, they would have prepared quite differently, wouldn’t they? Ah, hindsight is a wonderful thing…

Also included in "Search for the Tri-Stone":

  • Maps by 3x ENnie Award winning Cartographer Todd Gamble
  • New Runic Language introduced through a Runestick which PCs may use on their journey to decode puzzles and find clues in their search for the Tri-Stone
  • High resolution map of the Thingallor Burial Shrine
  • New Monster: Zombie Handmaidens
  • Numerous New Maps and Illustrations!
  • New Magical Items: Sword and Shield of King Rytan
  • New Artifact!

Product Availability


Fulfilled immediately. Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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An RPG Resource Review

****( )

On the face of it, this is a simple 'Go-Fetch' adventure, with the characters being hired to go and retrieve an item for someone. Nothing's ever quite that simple, though! Starting with some background for the GM, which is very much embedded in Adventureaweek's own campaign world (and quite hard to interpret if you do not subscribe to their website or at least have not read earlier adventures to get an idea of some of the main players), it would be possible to site in your own world if you re-jig the background a bit.

The 'hook' is simple, one particular inhabitant of the characters' base village of Rybalka summons them and asks them to fetch him an item called the Tri-Stone. He doesn't say why, indeed he is acting as an agent for someone else and although he can tell them who he is acting for, he has little idea of why they might want the Tri-Stone anyway. He doesn't know where it is to be found either, but has a 'runestick' carved in ancient runes which gives directions to a 'runestone' that gives the location (in more ancient runes, of course). If anyone in the party is good at linguistics, here's their chance to shine... er, or might if the runestick was actually shown! There's a kind of Rosetta stone, showing how the runes relate to the normal alphabet, and the runestone they are supposed to discover is illustrated nicely - but for the runestick itself, you'll either have to make your own (standard Norse runes are used, so it's quite straightforward to knock up) or just tell them the results on a successful die roll. If nobody has the requisite skills, they can ask the local sage, but there may be unexpected consequences brought about by them talking about their quest. Even once deciphered, it's all a bit cryptic and you will probably end up having to tell them where to go.

Hopefully, the characters will eventually find out where they need to go, and will have to make a wilderness trek to find the runestone... and then decipher that as well! Again, the translation is cryptic although this time a couple of thoughts are given as to how the characters can get guidance as to where to go next. Whilst it all makes for good flavour, it all drags on a bit, and you might want to throw in a wandering monster or two to liven things up!

Once (if?) the characters make their way to the site where they will find the artifact, they face a challenging scramble (the effects of falling off the cliff into an icy lake beneath are well laid out in case someone slips) and a truly novel adventure location to explore. This is where everything ramps up to the expected standard of presentation and detail we've come to expect from Adventureaweek - clear text, vivid descriptions and some neat maps (including one that's 'player friendly'). Exploration should prove exciting and challenging, with traps to negotiate as well as guardians to fight or evade... even if very precise steps are needed to detect or disarm some of the traps. A competent GM will allow for other reasonable efforts.

The item found (and anything else taken that the characters wish, even though they were asked to leave the place undisturbed), there's a set-piece brawl on the way home, one which will present a considerable challenge with a real risk of defeat! Measures are in hand to ensure that the characters survive and get back to Rybalka, whether successfully or not.

There's a neat plot twist at the end, presented for the GM's eyes only I think - it's not clear if you are supposed to read it out or not - but providing scope for future adventure...

The quest itself and in particular the adventure location is the stuff of which legends may be written and songs sung. The introduction of the runes is a neat idea, but suffers somewhat in its execution. This will make a good addition to the ongoing saga of a group of adventurers making their name in and around Rybalka.


By far the best module in the series so far - iconic locations, cool puzzles

*****

This adventure is 31 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 27 pages of content, so let's check this out!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion!

All right, still here? This one kicks off with rather interesting quest - the PCs are called upon by a man named Sultowik with a rather delicate proposal: A local tribe of Vikmordere has contacted him to locate a certain artifact - which unfortunately lies in Klavekian territory. Not wanting to risk an uproar, the PCs have to discreetly get the Tri-stone to prevent further tensions between ethnicities. Unfortunately, the location of said artifact is codified in a rune-stone.
Very cool idea to start with: Runic alphabets of the ancients - a sample runic alphabet based on the FuÞark is included as well as an artwork of a stick that provides the runes with their regular letter-equivalents. While not 100% accurate, the inclusion of the runes makes for an awesome idea. Even better - once the PCs have found the rune-stone (with a one-page artwork), they can use the rune stick to decipher the inscriptions. VERY cool puzzle!

Once the PCs have correctly deciphered the rune-stone's message, they're up for a short trek along some steep cliffs and then, they'll have to climb down the cliff - hidden by illusions in the middle of the cliff's wall lies the ancient burial ship of King Rytan. Let that sink in: The PCs will have to explore a viking burial ship (complete with a LOT of undead, traps and even, yes, zombie handmaidens!) to find the artifact. Also cool: There are traps that make sense in their placement and which can be avoided by cleverly deciphering a warning via the rune-stick. I would have loved a piece of artwork depicting the room and the runes to show to the PCs instead of one showing the undead handmaidens, though - as written, you have to make the runic inscriptions that warn them of the trap yourself.

Even if the PCs manage to claim the fables TriStone, they will still be ambushed by a rival tribe of Vikmordere and will have quite a tough battle on their hands. Now, if the PCs have not robbed the burial ship, they are awarded (possibly also in a future adventure), but if they opt to do so, they can score the ancient king's magical sword and shield. Full stats for the powerful artifact are included and thankfully, the thing can't be abused by greedy PCs. Clever writing! The pdf concludes with full stats for the adversaries as well as a player-friendly map (YES!) without keys and letters you can hand out to your players. It's not over, though: A vampiric shaman of the Vikmordere takes the TriStone once the PCs have parted with it, leaving us with an exciting cliff-hanger.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, though not perfect - e.g. the description of the aftermath suddenly and for no explicable reason turns the text to italics. Layout adheres to adventureaweek.com's full-color two-column standard and provides awesome maps and neat pieces of artwork, especially for the puzzle. The pdf comes with bookmarks as well as Herolab-support, but no printer-friendly version. Wow - a great puzzle, neat maps and a location that oozes iconicity and coolness. Just when I thought I knew what to expect at best from adventureaweek.com, they pull this one out of their hats. Let me spell it out for you: This is as of yet by far their best module - from the awesome puzzles (that should stupefy no player, but be fun and come with DM-aids to help stuck players) to the iconic dungeon and sense of ancientness, I can find no weakness in the narrative or the module's overall presentation. In fact, I was positively blown away by how neat and concise the narrative is presented. In fact, apart from aforementioned "missing" artwork (one would have been useful) and the lack of a b/w-version sans background, I have nothing to complain. Due to these two minor gripes, I'll omit my seal of approval, but I'll nevertheless settle for a final verdict of 5 stars - especially for the fair price of $5.00, this is a good purchase indeed.

Endzeitgeist out.





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