Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-09: The Quest for Perfection—Part I: The Edge of Heaven (PFRPG) PDF

3.50/5 (based on 22 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for Levels 1–5.

In the distant land of Tian Xia, the Pathfinder Society's Lantern Lodge sends a team of agents high into the mountains of the Wall of Heaven to an abandoned Iroran monastery in search of a powerful relic to assist them in ensure victory in the upcoming Ruby Phoenix Tournament. Though the monastery has long laid unused by the faithful of the Master of Masters, it is not completely devoid of danger, and the PCs soon discover that merely retrieving the ancient artifact is but the beginning of a much larger quest.

The Edge of Heaven is the first scenario in the three-part The Quest for Perfection campaign arc. It is followed by Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-11: The Quest for Perfection—Part II: On Hostile Waters and Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-13: The Quest for Perfection—Part III: Defenders of Nesting Swallow. All three chapters are intended to be played in order.

Written by Jerall Toi, RPG Superstar 2011 runner up.

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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PZOPSS0309E


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Average product rating:

3.50/5 (based on 22 ratings)

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Needlessly frustrating.

2/5

(I both GMed and played this.)

I can be short about this: it needlessly punishes and frustrates players with enemy placement and terrain disadvantages. Combats themselves aren't really all that interesting, but most combats are laid out in such a way that half of your players can't meaningfully interact.

There's an attempt at some skill challenges on the way, but that's also needlessly punishing. A wrong roll can easily lead to a player death, especially on the low tier. And that final battle... Wow.

In short, all by itself it isn't a bad scenario, there are just a lot of small design choices that suck out some of the fun for me. My others players were more enthused about it, however, so take that however you want.


Weak Combat Builds Will Be Punished!

4/5

Really enjoyed The Edge of Heaven and I'm reviewing it for what it is: a straight up gauntlet of encounters that will test your party's tactics and builds.

The scenario is based around the hazards of the mountainous environment and unique combat encounters with pretty much zero RP.

The last encounter can 1 shot a character at any tier so players must fight it smart and pray for some favorable dice rolls.

A grueling (but fun) slugfest from beginning to end.


Good combats, not enough settings

3/5

An all-combat scenario, almost no roleplay or investigation.

However, the author cleverly conbines monsters with environments, makes good challenges, especially the BBEG can be a killing mechine for low level characters.

Many season 3 adventurers in Tian Xia are just lack of cultural topic, sadly this is one of them. RAW, it shall be a door-kicking game without doors, GMs have to do more discribe and interact to add some flavors.


Simply a good scenario

4/5

The best part about this scenario is the variation in the encounters. Not only is there a nice plethora of creatures to face, but also the environment is quite varied and impacts gameplay quite well. Just trust me when I say the combination of 'creatures' and 'terrain' makes this a fun scenario. They're all significantly different, which means that you will find yourself utilising different strategies every single time.

Oh and the big bad evil guy is really not a walkover and can dish out a significant amount of pain. You really want to be careful. Our cleric made the mistake of walking off on his own for a single round and instantly dropped down to -2 health. I know evil guys are supposed to do that, but this one is particularly daunting to face.

The downside to this scenario is the lack of interaction with NPC's. Though at least one fight can be solved diplomatically, it's not as obvious as is the case in other scenarios. Roleplaying is not really encouraged as a result, which might feel a bit disappointing for some people. It doesn't mean they should stay away from this scenario though: there's enough hooks to base PC to PC interaction on, but it clearly isn't the focus of this mission.

Final verdict: great encounters and great scenery make for great fights, but it's also combat that's the main focal point of this scenario. If you strictly want to solve things diplomatically, you should reconsider partaking in this one.


Interesting Setting

4/5

Perspective: GM'd once

Overall, this was a fun scenario with some good challenges (both combat and environmental) with a great story and an awesome setting. The final location was (unsurprisingly) very enjoyable.

What I didn't like were the two needlessly-complicated, 3D on 2D maps that I spent WAY too long trying to make sure I understood correctly. It was definitely not worth the time to try and explain everything to the PCs.

GMs:

The BBEG can be pretty deadly and requires some good coordination by the party to succeed, so if your group is looking for a challenge then this scenario fits the bill.


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Contributor

Announced!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Congrats, Jerrall! I'm wondering if the other RPG Superstar runner-ups, Cody and Sean, are writing parts 2 and 3?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

John Benbo wrote:
Congrats, Jerrall! I'm wondering if the other RPG Superstar runner-ups, Cody and Sean, are writing parts 2 and 3?

That'd be sorta neat, wouldn't it?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Mark Moreland wrote:
John Benbo wrote:
Congrats, Jerrall! I'm wondering if the other RPG Superstar runner-ups, Cody and Sean, are writing parts 2 and 3?
That'd be sorta neat, wouldn't it?

I guess we'll have to wait and see :).

Lantern Lodge

It'll be interesting to read to see if a mini-campaign could be developed using the 3-part society scenario plus the tournament module and anything else that someone might be able to add to it. I'll have to get this stuff when it becomes available and see If I can do some sort of Tian-Xia mini-campaign.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Mark Moreland wrote:
John Benbo wrote:
Congrats, Jerrall! I'm wondering if the other RPG Superstar runner-ups, Cody and Sean, are writing parts 2 and 3?
That'd be sorta neat, wouldn't it?

It'd be super duper neat. :)

Liberty's Edge

Having read the blurbs for all three parts, I'm really looking forward to getting the chance to run this series for my newly-formed PFS group.

The Exchange

I'm scheduled to Gm this to Mac Con on the 10th. There's a lot of interest in this, my table is full, and we are looking at opening another. Is the release date still on track? Cheers.

Contributor

RizzotheRat wrote:
I'm scheduled to Gm this to Mac Con on the 10th. There's a lot of interest in this, my table is full, and we are looking at opening another. Is the release date still on track? Cheers.

Both of this month's scenarios are on track for a Wednesday release.

The Exchange

Liz Courts wrote:


Both of this month's scenarios are on track for a Wednesday release.

Awesome. Thanks Liz!

Grand Lodge

Both this mod and 'The Immortal Conundrum' are now showing as 'Unavailable' when their states was previous 'Available Wednesday' and then 'Available Today <my time zone>.' Has something gone awry?

Contributor

Ninjaiguana wrote:
Both this mod and 'The Immortal Conundrum' are now showing as 'Unavailable' when their states was previous 'Available Wednesday' and then 'Available Today <my time zone>.' Has something gone awry?

It means the timestamp for when it was supposed to go live is incorrect. I'll poke it when I get into the office.

Grand Lodge

Liz Courts wrote:
Ninjaiguana wrote:
Both this mod and 'The Immortal Conundrum' are now showing as 'Unavailable' when their states was previous 'Available Wednesday' and then 'Available Today <my time zone>.' Has something gone awry?
It means the timestamp for when it was supposed to go live is incorrect. I'll poke it when I get into the office.

Thanks for the extremely speedy response, Liz! ^_^


For what it's worth, this happens every time something is due to go live; I've noticed it the past few months for PFS Scenarios. I suspect there's something in the code that says if the "on sale" date is the same as the current date, but the object isn't actually for sale yet, then list it as "Unavailable."

Contributor

Feegle wrote:
I suspect there's something in the code that says if the "on sale" date is the same as the current date, but the object isn't actually for sale yet, then list it as "Unavailable."

Correct!

Sovereign Court

Hey when exactly is this going to be available? I'm running in 3 and a half hours and this is the one I'm planning on running... Any idea when it'll be available for purchase?

Contributor

Now available!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

While I'm not a normal PFSS purchaser, I had to buy this (and Part 2 next month), both out of a sense of solidarity and genuine curiosity about what I'd written a piece of. After the fact, I have no issues with that; four bucks well spent. This is all kinds of fun stuff, even just reading. Well done, Jerall. I only hope Part III doesn't look shoddy in comparison. ;-)

Grand Lodge

This was a fun scenario! Can't wait until Part 2 is released.


A little tweak I added that made for some fun roleplay for this adventure:

Spoiler:

I had the two guides (actually, I changed it to 1 guide as well) be a bit fearful of the monsters and the encounter with the snow leopard sent him over the edge. That night, while the PCs slept, he tried to sneak away as he was too scared to continue. He did leave his map case behind for the PCs.

The PCs of course heard him and we had an interesting discussion on whether or not to let him leave. Lilly, the big hearted fighter with the even bigger sword, insisted the poor man be allowed to return to his village.

Liberty's Edge

Some questions on running this adventure:

Questions players should not read:

* The text says "The two guides can provide the PCs with simple maps" from Base Camp to Two Brothers. Unfortunately no map of the route is provided to the GM. Certainly with this being a linear adventure, I could probably put something together, but does anyone have a well thought map they could share?

* Any hints on time and distances?

* In convention PFS play, how best to deal with the fact that most PCs at the table will neither be equipped for climbing nor cold temperatures? Should Amara Li provide?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Answers players should not read:

I used the following distances in an earlier draft, that didn't make it to the final product:

Base Camp - Overhang Ambush 1 mile*
Overhang Ambush - Path of Many Shrines 2 miles*
Path of Many Shrines - Two Brothers 1 mile*
Two Brothers - Monastery 1 mile**

*Difficult mountainous terrain (1/2 speed)
**Extremely difficult mountainous terrain (1/4 speed).

The players can make purchases in Goka, before setting out.

Grand Lodge

Anyone have an opinion on how difficult the Tier 4-5 scenario is? Can a table of 5-6 level 3 characters handle it?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Spoiler:
They certainly can, but the final boss can hit really hard, and the economy of actions won't help save a PC if it gets a full attack off against someone who can't take the damage. I think you'll find the other encounters manageable with a large party of 3rd-level PCs, but if their APL is 3, they should be able to choose whether they play up or down without your input.

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