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Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–16: The Fabric of Reality (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5–9.

For the past year, the Pathfinder Society has used the isolated demiplane contained in the Hao Jin Tapestry as a private adventuring realm and, since discovering a backdoor out of the demiplane, as a shortcut from the tapestry's location to a hidden corner of Varisia. But the tapestry wasn't designed for this purpose, and travel from Absalom to Varisia could be more efficient. Now a team of Pathfinders must discover how the infamous sorcerer known as the Ruby Phoenix created her private demiplane and enter the heart of the tapestry and alter the very nature of the magical realm.

Written by Tom Philips, RPG Superstar 2012 finalist.

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world. This scenario is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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PZOPSS0416E


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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Great to play, great to run.

****( )

The idea of being able to meddle with the tapestry is a great one, and both the title and description had me pretty keen in anticipation into what a Pathfinder could do to change the nature of reality. While what actually happens left me in a little bit of disappointment, what the game actually ended up being was still pretty good fun set on a solid premise.

The game is a perfect mix of social, combat and skill-based encounters and, what I think PFS needs more of, a potentially shorter-than-usual game.

The only real flaw is that the scenario doesn't scale by tier for skill checks and after scaling down for 4 players, feels a bit too easy (and that's something I usually don't say - it's usually on the too-hard side of things). Worse again if both of these are in play.

Still, these are both pretty minor and players are unlikely to be terribly disappointed in what is essentially a fun playthrough with an interesting ending.


A fun challenge

****( )

The first encounter was a interesting way to start off.

Spoiler:
There is a store keeper is a elder assassin whom u are sent to talk to about getting a book from, she refuses for her own list of reasons and then attacks group. The 3rd encounter is interesting as well as its bugbears and a cleric and wizard, last encounter was interesting but that's it, over all fun challengeing combat that connects the rest of tapestery missions


Excellent conclusion!

*****

This scenario is a superb conclusion to the Hao Jin Tapestry story arc. I ran the 5-6 Sub-tier with my group, most of whom have played the previous scenarios and understood the background. For starters, I must clear up the issue raised in a previous review.

Shadow Orchid:
Many GMs are running the encounter and performing a Death Attack at the start of combat. This is in direct conflict with the encounter tactics, which state that she is unable to make a Death Attack on the PCs. Regardless of whether you agree with the reasoning, do not alter the encounter as written. PFS scenarios like this one are meant to allow PCs to encounter enemies they otherwise would never have a chance of surviving in a way that gives them a chance for success. Otherwise you have negative feelings towards the campaign, as displayed previously.

To the scenario itself, I was surprised to learn in the mission brief that the tapestry was smaller than I had originally imagined it from previous scenarios. This did not detract from the adventure, however. Instructions were very clear and well presented, even the faction missions that raised some brows.

The first encounter opened with excellent role-play after the presentation given. When combat began the party found the map extremely confining, but I feel it added to the tone of the encounter. The design of the battle made it play out like a wuxia film, which I imagine was the intent. It made for a very exciting and involved battle for all players.

The investigative challenge that followed was somewhat bare, but could easily be embellished by the GM if desired. My players were not as hooked on it, so I relayed what information they needed as they made their individual rolls. The status conditions were a little unclear about application and should be studied during GM prep. They did very well in enforcing the flavor of the item however.

Once they completed their task and moved to the 'dungeon' of the scenario, we found it to be evocative and well used. The scenario does an excellent job of showing the story with imagery rather than telling it with exposition. The second encounter was less engaging tactically, basically operating on an empty plane. Further use of the rooms contents for difficult terrain and cover would have helped. The NPCs tactics were poorly suited to deal with my groups ranged focus and ended up being fairly easy. The role-play with the captured opponents made up for this thanks to the relevant faction missions.

The optional encounter would have greatly helped show the story had I the time to run it. The downside is that the table of DC modifiers to the initial interaction seemed likely to turn it immediately to combat. I look forward to using it the next time I run the scenario and testing my thoughts.

The final area was a white-knuckle knockdown brawl once the party figured out how to proceed. While the scenario says the party learns what to do, there is nothing mentioned about how to communicate that to the players. I recommend GMs come up with a good description to point them the right way. The combat that ensued was hard but winnable thanks to good tactics. Like the first one, the players were engaged in figuring out how to win, despite the same lack of strategic terrain on the map as the second encounter. Succeeding at the ritual afterwards was mostly a foregone conclusion but still had the players on seat edges when it was rolled.

Overall, an excellent conclusion that I will be keeping on my list of favorite scenarios. Proper prep and understanding of the encounters will help GMs avoid potential pitfalls, as always.


READ THE SCENARIO CAREFULLY, SPOILER ALERT

***( )( )

If you are going to GM this, please read carefully, the scenario specifically says that the assassination ability does NOT work.



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