Pathfinder Module: The Ruby Phoenix Tournament (PFRPG)

3.80/5 (based on 6 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: The Ruby Phoenix Tournament (PFRPG)

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A tournament-style adventure for 11th-level characters

Once every 10 years, the cosmopolitan city of Goka on the western coastline of Tian Xia hosts the Ruby Phoenix Tournament on an island off the coast. Infamous for its strange spectacles and exciting mix of fighting styles, the contest draws combatants and spectators from all over the world. The tournament’s winner gets his choice of a single item from the legendary treasury of an ancient spellcaster and earns a reputation beyond imagining. But this year, not all who have come to compete do so out of respect for the traditions of battle or even out of greed for the reward. They seek instead nothing so much as red revenge and political domination!

Can the PCs’ team of contestants survive six bouts in the Grand Pavilion arena against the mightiest combatants and cleverest battle mages on Golarion? Can they prove their mettle in tests of mind and body? Can they foil the plans of an evil organization and its powerful allies who hope to destroy the Ruby Phoenix Tournament and see its champions dead? Step into the arena to find out!

The Ruby Phoenix Tournament is an event-based adventure for 11th-level characters, written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s oldest RPG. Set in the Dragon Empires of the Pathfinder campaign setting, the adventure serves as an ideal introduction to the folk and fighting styles of the lands encompassing the Eastern-inspired continent of Tian Xia, and contains a fully detailed island location and a brand-new monster sure to challenge players in any campaign setting.

Written by Tim Hitchcock

Pathfinder Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, adventures using the Open Game License to work with both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-381-1

The Ruby Phoenix Tournament is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download (236 KB zip/PDF).

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

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MORTAL KOMBAAAAT!

5/5

I just got home from playing this bad boy all in one sitting. Took us about 14 hours, with quite a bit of goofing off happening. Probably takes about 12 hours normally.

I absolutely loved every moment of it. The combats are all pretty fun an unique, growing steadily in challenge from quick and easy victories to truly engrossing brawls. We had an easy time of it throughout, but we played with 5 players (for PFS, so our GM was not allowed to scale anything unfortunately) who are all experienced with fairly optimized characters. The encounters are cool as heck, all of them using different kinds of dangers to keep players on their toes. I play a battlefield control + support cleric, and never lacked for opportunities to make important differences to combat dynamic.

Beyond combat, there is an actual story that is pretty neat if you choose to do all the optional things. Almost every challenge allows for creative solutions without handing you all the rewards on a silver platter.

I think this may be the most fun I've ever had in a single day of gaming. While much of that owes to the amazing group of people I had the privilege of playing with (including GM), the module didn't slouch in creatively designed and appropriately challenging combat challenges, non-combat skill challenges, social challenges, RP opportunities, or atmosphere. Everything just tied together beautifully.

Well done, Mr. Hitchcock.


Golarion Olympics

4/5

This module was the cause of my hiatus from review-writing. As all modules, it was a very involved experience for me to prepare this module. I spent probably at least 20 hours over two-three weeks to prepare this. As such, I feel justified for any opinions I have to share here. I thought this module was absolutely lame when I read and prepared it. In my mind, it was just fight after fight after fight. However, when I ran it, I was very pleasantly surprised how well-paced it was and how each "Day" of the Ruby Phoenix Tournament was very complete and satisfying. My players also managed to stay very engaged throughout the entire 12+ hour long escapade. When I prepared this module, I felt as though each fight would be near identical but when it actually played out, I think all my players got a chance to "shine" as each fight was sufficiently different to allow different abilities and skills to be advantageous.

The Ruby Phoenix Tournament is basically the Golarion Olympics. It consists of 5 grueling days of fight, exhibitions and challenges followed by a night of revelry. Each day consisted of roughly one tough fight, one easy fight, one skill challenge and then a role-playing encounter. It integrated some fun elements from different movies and tv-series to weave an asian themed ku-fu championship. In addition, there was an underlying plot of corruption which added a deeper layer of intrigue and revenge.

DM complexity - high
This module utilized almost every single character class all the PFS rulebooks. I consider myself an experienced DM in 3.0, 3.5 and PFS and still had to spend a significant amount of time preparing and re-reading everything from spells, abilities to combat maneuvers. However, I also found it very fulfilling to have achieved this because running a high level complex module - imo demonstrates a level of proficiency and mastery over the PFS system.

Player complexity - high
This is an 11th level module so needless to say, it's expected that the players be experienced and know their own strengths and weaknesses so as to prepare accordingly for a 5-day tournament. I warned my players in advance to ensure that they equipped themselves appropriately. There were also opportunities for each class to draw into different abilities so that no fight is quite the same as the last one - and no opportunity for the same trick to work twice.


Admirable piece of work, with some problems

3/5

Spoilers follow. This review is from the viewpoint of a player, not a GM.

I'll get the good parts out of the way. The battles are varied with a some interesting environments and situations to fight in. I don't recall any fight that felt repetitive or similar to any other from the adventure. I commend the variety of opponents pitted against us.

The problems I encountered as a player came from a number of areas:

- We played this module under the older PFS rules, where you could create an 11th level PC to play with. The PCs we played were heavily built on damage dealing, so many fights, even the supposedly more dangerous ones, were over quickly (within 2 or 3 rounds).

- The performance combat rules, despite adding the interesting combat bonuses (or penalties, depending on your rolls), introduced a nice dynamic, but unfortunately our party mostly plowed through the encounters where the rules could have been appreciated more by allowing the encounters to last longer. Even when I was prepared to take full advantage of the performance combat rules, the rest of the party had different ideas and the fight was over before I could build up a relationship with the crowd. I don't fault the module for this - performance combat could probably stand to receive some more fleshing out with more incentive to use them.

- Many significant boss type encounters only had a single opponent, so there was little to force us to decide how to best use our action economy. This made many of those fights too easy.

Overall, I enjoyed my time playing the module. However, my one-time experience of playing it with an 11th level party lacked the nail biting elements that come from high level play. Balancing a module and enemy builds against a typical 11th level party can be a difficult thing, since the game at that level can many times be much less than typical. In my case, it was a series of enjoyable combats, but the lack of regular difficulty was disappointing.


Surprisingly Complex, Highly Compressed

5/5

NOTE: This review is intended for GMs. Spoilers galore.

Probably the most difficult challenge for module author is how to pack content into just over twenty pages. Tim Hitchcock proves again that he can excel under severe constraints.

Note to my esteemed colleagues who posted astonishingly short reviews: Use of Ultimate Combat content is optional. While I agree that UC gladiatorial rules rate very low for introducing yet another standalone and incompatible subsystem (just like the firearms cost or firearms point blank shooting or Jade Regent caravan fiascos), they can be safely ignored.
You're also free not to use weapons, spells or classes... or just read online version of UC.
Finally, all oriental elements are easy to replace with standard fantasy stuff.

SPOILERS BELOW. You were warned!

MODULE BREAKDOWN

So what your players can hope to experience by participating in the tournament? Well, there is the standard plot of "win several fights and get fabulous items". In between fights, the PCs are sent forth to overcome complex challenges devised by tournament supervisors. Meanwhile, in shadows, a sinister plot is slowly building momentum toward the blazing secondary finale.

The great move on author's part is to make PCs' decisions or accomplishments matter. For example:
- facing a dragon at earlier stage allows to avoid potential TPK during intense showdown,
- rescuing a hostage means that severely hurt PCs gain powerful ally in the finale.

THE BAD & THE UGLY

The module is highly compressed. That means that you, as a GM, are expected to think for your NPCs, come up with tactics and research statblocks. Additionally, some story parts are handed down using rather crude methods (a body of kidnapper with a note pointing toward secret meeting point... seriously), however, since Tim had to work in clues for PCs and fit it into really tight space, this is both acceptable and easily amenable.

You are also required to make several leaps of faith and creativity (one would expect other contestants to be able intervene when all hell breaks loose, the fight against dragon - the one where the PCs get to attack - is not set properly... that is to say, it is not included in module text at all).

Probably the most irritating part for me would be juggling statblock of all extras - all these "use default statblock for X, just change it here and there" get tiresome after a while. I do not mind missing encounter descriptions though - I like to add my own content.

THE GOOD

This module occurs largely in open spaces. The action moments occur frequently, easily exceeding standard default CR and encounter ratios. At the same time, risk of dying is limited through several safety nets, like paladin patron, presence of clerics (played down, but still there) or by the fact, that the PCs may try to make a few friends to get them to help later (saving bacon of other contestants may, and should, in my opinion, result in NPC boons or returned favors).
Of course, the blazing finale is no-holds-barred fight, but again, falling while doing a huge favor for a dominant church may yield a free resurrection or two.

Most of the challenges, especially the side shows, add lots of fun. The fight on cliff walls is going to be interesting, but the fight in the port, with dragon picking strays from above and opponents jumping from one boat to another is going to take the spotlight, probably even overshadowing the final finale.

Verdict: 5/5, Heartily recommended, Requires GM's work.
GMs should monitor developments in order to avoid TPK.

Regards,
Ruemere


Not base-book friendly.

3/5

The encounters in this module require access to the content of Ultimate Combat.


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Is participation in the Tournament limited only to martial artists? Are there any rules against spellcasters participating? Can one use Arcane or Divine magic when fighting in the tournament?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
HolmesandWatson wrote:

As someone with no interest in oriental-themed adventures, I'll be glad when you folks are finally done with all this and move on to something else (I know, pirates are next. You're going to have to shine to offer more than the fantastic Freeport environment).

You've really blocked off an exceptionally large chunk of the catalogue for this one.

After four years of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, I think 6-months of Eastern Asia was long overdo.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Generic Villain wrote:
HolmesandWatson wrote:

As someone with no interest in oriental-themed adventures, I'll be glad when you folks are finally done with all this and move on to something else (I know, pirates are next. You're going to have to shine to offer more than the fantastic Freeport environment).

You've really blocked off an exceptionally large chunk of the catalogue for this one.

After four years of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, I think 6-months of Eastern Asia was long overdo.

+1

Also, I only know of one Campaign Setting book with Golarion East Asian content; The Dragon Empires. Please point me in the right direction if there is another one because I will purchase it almost sight unseen.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

gang wrote:
Surely Goka is on the western coastline of Tian Xia...

Correct; that's an error in the text above.


Quote:
2 Campaign Settings

???

Quote:
Also, I only know of one Campaign Setting book with Golarion East Asian content; The Dragon Empires. Please point me in the right direction if there is another one because I will purchase it almost sight unseen.

Idem


Quote:
Is participation in the Tournament limited only to martial artists? Are there any rules against spellcasters participating? Can one use Arcane or Divine magic when fighting in the tournament?

Ummm...anyone?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Berselius wrote:
Quote:
Is participation in the Tournament limited only to martial artists? Are there any rules against spellcasters participating? Can one use Arcane or Divine magic when fighting in the tournament?
Ummm...anyone?

I haven't read it yet, but a quick glance through last night revealed several spellcasters - some with PrCs - as NPC participants in the tournament part of the adventure. Naturally, there were non-spellcasters as well.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Although it's a tournament-based adventure, we didn't use that as an excuse (as far as I know) to include encounters that forced some PCs to sit on the sidelines.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

There are some "test of skill" encounters between combats that might lend themselves more to some character types over others, but we tried to make sure that no one would be completely left out for all tests, and these are only one small element of the adventure. Anyone who can participate in combat (meaning any PC) will be able to enter the tournament and compete.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Quick question..

Is this going to be added to PFS play using the current PFS module rules or are you going to wait to release any new Modules to PFS until the 4.1 guide comes out?

Shadow Lodge

Dragnmoon wrote:

Quick question..

Is this going to be added to PFS play using the current PFS module rules or are you going to wait to release any new Modules to PFS until the 4.1 guide comes out?

I've been wondering this as well. Because I don't see many being able to play it in PFS until long after the season is over. Our highest character is 6th, and with have the current group having only 2nd lvl chars, it will take a long long time if we can't make copies of chars like we could under current rules...

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Eric Clingenpeel wrote:


I've been wondering this as well. Because I don't see many being able to play it in PFS until long after the season is over. Our highest character is 6th, and with have the current group having only 2nd lvl chars, it will take a long long time if we can't make copies of chars like we could under current rules...

Same here, I was really looking forward to running this as a PFS module but I can't with the Future rules, and it most likely will be a few years until I can.

Be running for 1 year 1/2 now and we only have 2 PCs level 10.

Liberty's Edge

As it is known with the Ruby Phoenix, the winner of the once per ten years tournament gets a relic from the vault... Any recommendation on what I should allow my PCs to choose from as a GM?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cronge wrote:
As it is known with the Ruby Phoenix, the winner of the once per ten years tournament gets a relic from the vault... Any recommendation on what I should allow my PCs to choose from as a GM?

Whatever they want! Let them come up with something and lo and behold, there's one on the vault shelf right over there! Or, if there's a particular story item you want to propel them to the next plot hook, consider making that an attractive option for them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've been reading through this, and I'm a bit confused. Why are there non-exhibition matches where the PCs are only against a single opponent (like the oracle and bloatmage?)

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Not everyone competing in the tournament entered as a team, or rather, a team can consist of one or more participants.

Dark Archive Vendor - Fantasiapelit Tampere

I bought it. I readed it. I love it! This has some magnificentn cinematic scenes and characters in it, and due to it's different nature I expect my players (Dragon Disciple,Ranger with heavy mtf crossbow, Battle Herald and hafling cleric of Cayden Caylean) to enjoy this one.

Spoiler:
Hok Fong the Eunuch, White Warrior and Scarred alchemist are my favourite NPC's ever!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

When I saw this, my brain immediately went to the "Dark Tournament" from Yu Yu Hakusho, or perhaps Mortal Kombat. Looks interesting.

Liberty's Edge

So, any idea when the grandfathered version of the PFS chronicle will be available? And I assume that the stand-ins for PFS would be built at 11th level with 82,000 gp?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hm found a mistake.

Spoiler:
Under the bloatmage's stats, it says his feat "Bloatmage Initiative" is giving him +1 to the DCs of all enchantment spells as a result of increasing his caster level by 1, even though that's not what caster level does

Dark Archive Vendor - Fantasiapelit Tampere

I'm bit confused about that Test of three Towers. Are the all towers connected to each other with rope ladders and they have two platforms? if so, was there a way to get from the lower platform to the next abowe?


A lot of NPCs in this one and really interesting undead monster in there as well.


Finished reading this last night and gotta say, I'm looking forward to trying to fit this into my Jade Regent campaign. Thankfully due to it being composed almost entirely of NPCs with class levels it will be easy enough to scale if I want to include it later on...

Rosgakori wrote:
I'm bit confused about that Test of three Towers. Are the all towers connected to each other with rope ladders and they have two platforms? if so, was there a way to get from the lower platform to the next abowe?

The map for this is on the inside of the front cover. I too had a bit of confusion at the description, but if you look at the map the towers are close enough together that it would be a pretty easy acrobatics to jump from one to the other, and the ladders are to connect the first and second level. Guessing here, but I'd say the little white semi-circles are meant to be where the rope ladders are.

Mechalibur wrote:

Hm found a mistake.

** spoiler omitted **

Yeah I noticed that too and was scratching my head. I looked up the feat in City of Strangers, and the feat, somewhat confusingly says that it grants +1 CL with spells of the school you have Spell Focus with, that stacks with the bonus from Spell Focus; so I'm not sure what the feat is actually meant to do...

One problem I noticed myself

Spoiler:
In the day three Exhibition event, Boar and Tiger it says that the animals are held in place by hold animal and that the participants have to move them around using drag and/or reposition maneuvers. However, it also says that both animals are controlled by the GM and attack the nearest creature. Is this then if they make their save? Because otherwise hold person states...

Core Rulebook wrote:
"The subject becomes paralyzed and freezes in place. It is aware and breathes normally but cannot take any actions, even speech. Each round on its turn, the subject may attempt a new saving throw to end the effect."

If this is for when they make their save, then what's the save DC? It sounds more like the animals should be entangled or something similar that immobilizes them, but not paralyzed.

Other than that it looks like a very interesting tournament. Some more guidelines on what limitations there are on buffing and such (only two of the events give a time period for how long the PCs have to buff before each match. I'm going to take these as a guideline and assume there's roughly a minute before each fight to buff and 30 seconds between entering the field and starting the match for round/level duration buffs) would have been nice but it's managable :)

My only other issue is the last two fights

Spoiler:
Does anyone else think that throwing a CR 13 fight followed immediately by a CR 14 fight (with literally no recovery time between them) at the PCs might be a bit harsh? I enjoy challenging and mayhaps even beating up my player characters every now and then, but I don't want to have a TPK because they were already half dead from fighting Gomwai

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Answers to Peanuts's questions:

Spoiler:
Peanuts wrote:
Guessing here, but I'd say the little white semi-circles are meant to be where the rope ladders are.

You are correct in that assumption.

Peanuts wrote:
If this is for when they make their save, then what's the save DC? It sounds more like the animals should be entangled or something similar that immobilizes them, but not paralyzed.

They are under the effectos the spell to allow the PCs and their opponent to get into position, and then the spell is dismissed so that they can act normally. For the sake of the adventure, the DC is really high, as having the animals break free before the combat was set up would ruin the fun of the event.

Peanuts wrote:
Does anyone else think that throwing a CR 13 fight followed immediately by a CR 14 fight (with literally no recovery time between them) at the PCs might be a bit harsh? I enjoy challenging and mayhaps even beating up my player characters every now and then, but I don't want to have a TPK because they were already half dead from fighting Gomwai

Turns out the Sisters Wu fight dirty. They attack then specifically because they expect their foes to be more vulnerable. But winning the Ruby Pheonix Tournament should be a large enough incentive for parties to pull out all the stops and use whatever resources that have left to survive.


Mark Moreland wrote:

Answers to Peanuts's questions:

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks for the reply!

Spoiler:
Quote:
They are under the effectos the spell to allow the PCs and their opponent to get into position, and then the spell is dismissed so that they can act normally. For the sake of the adventure, the DC is really high, as having the animals break free before the combat was set up would ruin the fun of the event.

That was my other thought about what was meant to happen. So the bit about drag and reposition maneuvers is so they can move them around if the animal is going in a direction they don't want them to, rather than because they're acting like an anchor for the PCs.

Quote:
Turns out the Sisters Wu fight dirty. They attack then specifically because they expect their foes to be more vulnerable. But winning the Ruby Pheonix Tournament should be a large enough incentive for parties to pull out all the stops and use whatever resources that have left to survive.

Mmm, and I like that from an in-play standpoint, I'm just worried about killing my PCs and mucking up my campaign :p I guess if worst comes to worst can always have the Temple of Abadar pay for the ressurection of the tournament's champions after they recovered their bodies from the island, and add another enemy to the ones following the PCs when the sisters find out :P

Dark Archive Vendor - Fantasiapelit Tampere

An if it comes to that, Marthysan can always save the day? I think it would look cool. No? Just me?


Rosgakori wrote:
An if it comes to that, Marthysan can always save the day? I think it would look cool. No? Just me?

Mmm, I can see Marthysan managing to leap into the fray if necessary and lay-on-handsing on a downed PC if necessary. Good idea.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've updated the product description to match the finished product.

Liberty's Edge

Found a couple more errors, so far, in the NPCs, although it might just be my confusion, instead.

Spoiler:
Chung Po's stat block shows him as having 6 Ki points, but when I put him into HeroLab, it shows him as having 9, and the HL math looks correct.

Also, he appears to be over his WbL by over 1,000 gp.

The Ruby Phoenix Monk appears ot have an incorrect stat block, or maybe I just can't figure out how to make it come out correctly.

Elite stat set: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8
+2 for Human
+2 for level
Doesn't seem to want to work out for final stats of:
17, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, without any sort of stat-boosting item listed.
Either Str, Dex or Wis needs to be one lower, I would think.

Also, are they intentially over 6,000 gp low for WbL?

The WbL is for NPCs, not PCs, by the way.


Still reading the module, and those are all I have found, so far.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Callarek wrote:

Found a couple more errors, so far, in the NPCs, although it might just be my confusion, instead.

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
My copy lists Chung Po's ki pool as having 9 points. Where are you seeing 6? As for his wealth, 1,000 gp above or below the target for an NPC doesn't throw off his CR at this level, so it's not a big deal. If he had PC-level wealth, or the wealth value for a 13th-level NPC, that would be different.

I don't seem to have the original statblock calculations for the RPMs, but the low wealth was intentional because of the number of them faced throughout the adventure (7). Getting 7 amulets of natural armor +1 or belts of incredible dexterity +2 gets boring really fast, so their wealth value was moved to some of the more valuable prizes granted for completing different challenges. Given that they are so under-equipped, having an additional +1 to an ability score isn't a huge deal. The statblock generator would have spit out a warning if there were any deviation in them from the standard, however, so without looking at that, I'm not sure how we got the values that appear there.

Liberty's Edge

Mark Moreland wrote:
Callarek wrote:

Found a couple more errors, so far, in the NPCs, although it might just be my confusion, instead.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Must have been my eyes getting confused, with two similar stat blocks on the same page. On second look, I misread the Ki points.

On the stat point, it may just be that I put them in the wrong stats when I "built" the NPC in HeroLab. It's not a big deal, just wanted to make sure I have things right before I try to run this next month at our local Game Day. I am gonna have enough trouble running something this high level within the time constraints.

Liberty's Edge

Okay, another question:

Spoiler:
Test 2: Archery
There does not appear to be any range specified. Is it up to the PCs what range they fire from, or is there supposed to be a set range, either 30' (giving more dedicated archers, with the Point Blank Shot feat, an advantage), or 50' (giving no benefits or penalties to most bows), or 110' (giving a bonus to composite longbows), 150' (giving an advantage to Andoran archers with the Hunter's Eye trait or archers with the Far Shot feat), or some other range?

It does make a bit of a difference.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Spoiler:
You can set the range at whatever you want, within the limits of the space provided (the arena floor). Ultimately, as long as everyone uses the same range, you'll maintain balance in terms of the challenge. If you have someone who's totally tricked out to be an archer, cater the range to them, perhaps, or if you have no one particularly apt at archery, set it somewhere that everyone will have a pretty even chance of success.


Another one from me :)

Spoiler:
Day 4, Test 4: Iron Body

Are the PCs given a chance to cast spells/chug potions or what have you after they're told the details of the challenge, or is someone who picks say, the Drowning Idol meant to just have a 21 con so they can hold their breath for 40+ rounds? I'm guessing no buffing allowed or else some of these would be fairly trivial. What about magic items?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

All of the above are up to the GM. Only you know your players and what is likely to be a challenge for them. The adventure provides a guideline for the tests, but we purposefully didn't hardcode every detail into them in order to allow GMs to customize them to meet the needs of their particular game.

In the case of the Iron Body test, I'd allow buffing, if only because it will somewhat offset the "15 minute adventuring day" phenomenon that can result in this sort of event-based adventure. Since the PCs are likely to only face a few encounters during a day, encouraging them to use resources (thus making subsequent encounters more difficult) isn't necessarily a bad thing. Again, however, we don't expect GMs to be robots, and changing encounters as needed to meet your party's needs and desires is part of the equation, especially in a higher-level, nonstandard adventure like this one.


I have a quick question about re-storing spell slots between encounters

Spoiler:
On the last fight you specifically say "(but not long enough that they can regain expended spell slots or other limited-use abilities)", but would this not be the case for every day of tournaments (as an 8 hour of rest is required before regaining new spells, and limited-use items are "X/day"? I am just curious if you mean for the PCs to be at full strength / resources for each fight, test and exhibition. Thanks


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
HolmesandWatson wrote:

A six part Adventure Path

1 Module
2 Campaign Settings
1 Map Folio
1 Player Companion
Plus the focus of the PFS season;
And two-thirds of the Ultimate Combat classes.

As someone with no interest in oriental-themed adventures, I'll be glad when you folks are finally done with all this and move on to something else (I know, pirates are next. You're going to have to shine to offer more than the fantastic Freeport environment).

You've really blocked off an exceptionally large chunk of the catalogue for this one.

I just want to say that I have waited since Kara-Tur for a quality setting like Tian Xia!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
This flood of resources, adventures, and materials makes me sooooo very happy to be a part of the Paizo Community. "A gaming company run by gamers"---amen!

Liberty's Edge

Vong wrote:

I have a quick question about re-storing spell slots between encounters

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
They won't always be at full strength, depending on circumstances. However, each day of the tournament typically includes one exhibition, one test and one fight; then they would get a nominal night's rest, and have recovered expended spells, limited use powers and such.

Note that there are circumstances possible, as listed at certain points in the module, where it is possible that the PCs might NOT get a good night's rest, like if they succumb to the poison, and when they have to do a 4th encounter (Marthysan's rescue) on the same day.

Remember that different classes have different requirements to prepare spells or regain expended spell slots. Clerics, for example, just need to spend an hour in meditation/prayer to prepare spells, and don't appear to have a sleep requirement anymore.


Review posted.

Regards,
Ruemere


dot


Ok, I know this is old, but I'm getting ready run this starting next week.

One question I had. The PC's I have heading into this are not exclusively combat focused. They should have a chance (especially with some divination magic) to try and figure things out before the end. I didn't see much in there addressing what to do if the PC's decide to really try and disrupt/break the plot rather than just letting it happen to them.
Have any of you really worked up that angle?

Any particular problems or issues I should know about?
Questions all players ask that I need to have an answer prepared?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

Ok, I know this is old, but I'm getting ready run this starting next week.

One question I had. The PC's I have heading into this are not exclusively combat focused. They should have a chance (especially with some divination magic) to try and figure things out before the end. I didn't see much in there addressing what to do if the PC's decide to really try and disrupt/break the plot rather than just letting it happen to them.
Have any of you really worked up that angle?

Any particular problems or issues I should know about?
Questions all players ask that I need to have an answer prepared?

So, we used this module when playtesting for Dreamscarred Press' Path of War, and the party included a cleric who did a pretty solid job of sussing out most of the subplot. It wasn't too hard to weave that knowledge into the story, and the final end battle comes out of left field a bit and isn't directly related to the subplot(s), so you should be able to progress things pretty well. Just lock it into your head that regardless of what the party uncovers, the tournament will proceed, and things should go smooth.

**EDIT** Hopefully that was a little bit helpful, I was trying to keep it deliberately vague. If you have specific questions we can spoiler the entries and talk about them.


Thanks. Yes, I'd be happy with some more direct advice.
I'll try to 'spoiler' or PM some specific questions this weekend. If you can think of anything specific before then please spoiler it or PM me. Which ever you prefer.


We are running this and getting close to completing it.

My players seem uncomfortable with one of them getting a minor artifact and the others getting not much of anything.

Has anyone tried letting each of them pick something? And then how would you limit it? I'm not going to give all of them a minor artifact.

I was thinking of the value of a +3 weapon for each of them. But then that doesn't seem special enough for the world famous Ruby Phoenix Tournament. Hmm... not sure what to do.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Throw in some customized gear for the party from a selection of named weapons and/or armor that have roughly a +3 value but with a special ability or abilities tacked on, things like Celestial Armor.

Paizo Employee Developer

I'd look at the average wealth by level of the PCs and decide on a value that seems appropriate. If one character is severely underequipped, an item of more value might make sense for her. If they're all on target for their level, I'd let each of them select an item that takes them about 20% of the way to their next wealth tier, as long as it was a single item. It's ultimately up to you as the GM, but the PCs should feel like they have actually attained something of value and that will be useful for them as a result of their success.

Paizo Employee Developer

Mark has a good idea.

One other possibility is to give each of them an item that has an interesting history and let it gain power based on campaign events, such as "realizing" that item's potential.

For example, a +2 keen battleaxe isn't too crazy at that level, but it could might be an axe crafted to behead a traitorous prince 1,000 years ago. If the PC fulfills its full potential by using it to kill a monarch, maybe it spontaneously gains the vorpal weapon enhancement. Maybe a empower metamagic rod isn't quite powerful enough to impress your players, yet they might change their tune when they learn it's actually a scepter-key that can unlock a powerful Tian wizard's tomb.

Use the treasures as a springboard for future adventures.


Hmm... I like both of those ideas. I'll have to think about it.
Thanks!


Has anyone calculated how many experience points are possible in this module or what level PCs probably would be by the end?


So, can EACH PARTY MEMBER take one item from the vault if they win the tournament or can only one item be taken PERIOD (no matter the amount of party members in the winning party)?

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