Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–21: Way of the Kirin (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3–7.

On the eastern continent of Tian Xia, the Pathfinder Society remains a small player in the greater political landscape, but Amara Li, head of the Lantern Lodge in the teeming city of Goka, has plans to change that. In order to secure the Pathfinder Society's place as an influential organization on the far side of the world from the Grand Lodge in Absalom, she must orchestrate an alliance with the mysterious Way of the Kirin. But the longtime rival of the Pathfinder Society, the Aspis Consortium, has plans to form an alliance of its own, and if the consortium succeeds, the Pathfinder Society's hopes of cementing their place in the Dragon Empires could be dashed forever.

Written by Dennis Baker.

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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Average product rating:

4.20/5 (based on 12 ratings)

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Soundly written with both pace and roleplay in mind

5/5

The scenario hit the nail on the head for me in a number of areas:

- The Players had sometimes conflicting goals and had to split their forces or make hard choices
- Some encounters could be made much easier purely via THINKING and asking questions, not just feats and ultimate equipment tricks.
- The Tea party was a brilliant way to enjoy/force some roleplaying that had actual consequences.
- the (not final) encounter was complex, in depth, and required a ton of cooperation on the party. Players with utility abilities and spells were stars in this one.
- the scenario had several 'tension builders' where we had no idea if something was going to kill us all or just do a little damage. at all times, we felt a sense of urgency and uncertaintly!

It was a blast!


Six Samurai

5/5

Pretty damn good.

I have now both ran and played this. It can be challenging, combat can be deadly, enemies are well designed and have good tactics.

Culmination of the Lantern Lodge story line, ties up the package with a nice little ribbon at the end. The Tea Ceremony is a great way to have roleplayers proudly describe their past history. Both times I play/ran this, players scrambled through their chron sheets to recount their honor and glory over the evil Aspis Consortium.

Spoiler:

Final boss crit two handed power attack charge instantly killed a player on low tier. He also rolled a crit while I was playing, and failed to confirm. Fake Samurai Oracles hit damn hard apparently. The real threat is the ninja alchemists. They can really melt partys, especially if the party gets trapped in one of the smaller rooms or staircase by the front door.

Good tactics, cinematic battles, smart preparation paying off for pc's, seige weapons, this scenario has it all. It can be difficult to prepare for, don't try to cold run it, but the payout is quite nice.

Conclusion: Well worth a five star rating.


Who Doesn't Like Tea Parties?

4/5

Way of the Kirin is essentially the going-away part for the Lantern Lodge. For those with any investment in either the Lantern Lodge or their Venture Captain Amara Li, you’ll certainly want to give this scenario a play-through.

PCs are tasked with escorting Amara Li as her bodyguards to help facilitate a very pivotal negotiation for the Lantern Lodge. The scenario plays out like an intense Eastern drama, complete with tea ceremony, samurai duel, and the opportunity to enact your very own “Home Alone” fantasies. Having read and run the scenario, it has a lot of Tian flavor, which is a nice change of pace from the usual Inner Sea daring-do.

For GMs:

Spoiler:
The first act can drag quite a bit, so keeping the player’s interest, as well as tracking progress is going to be crucial for the GM, especially since the PCs’ actions can make or break the rest of the scenario. I made a time-tracker and let my PCs roll initiative to see who would get to act first (or last, if they wanted to wait for everyone else to decide beforehand). Be sure to pay close attention to weather conditions (I feel like some of the combats went by way too quickly because I may have forgot to apply some effects). I ran low-tier, and it seemed like my table of 5 blew through the scenario, even without the scaled-down combats. We had to skip the optional due to a time constraint at the table, so I can’t say much about the cave until the boss, which again has handily taken care of in about four rounds. If your BBEG gets a high enough initiative and you have a table like mine that’s rocking out, might I suggest readying that Wall of Fire for the first soul brave enough to charge in?

The Chronicle Sheet:

Spoiler:
I don’t want to give away too much, but there are three boons available for completion. The first boon is for Lantern Lodge members only, and is an extremely nice reward for those who will be losing their faction come August. The second boon is for members of all other factions; due to the circumstances and cost of its use, it certainly pales in comparison to the Lantern Lodge boon. Last, for those who have earned the Debt of the Kirin boon from First Steps,Part 2: To Delve the Dungeon Deep, you’ll find that the Way of the Kirin rewards those who they are indebted to very nicely.

As far as detractors, there are only a few. Several faction missions feel tacked-on and don’t necessarily contribute to the feel of the scenario. Low-tier combats didn’t really instill a sense of panic like I had hoped, though perhaps the high-tier offering may strike the fear of Asmodeus into players.

Overall, this is certainly a worthwhile play, and many players may want to spend the next few months getting a character into a position to maximize their chances of getting all of the rewards Way of the Kirin can offer.


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Lantern Lodge

[sarcasm]It is good to know that paizo rewards players who spend the time building a back story over the past two years based around a samurai's devotion to the Lantern Lodge by completely removing their faction from play and forcing him to decide between leaving the Inner Sea for good and committing ritual suicide.[/sarcasm]
This will be the last scenario I will be purchasing and I will not be participating further in Pathfinder Society after August 14th. I am very disappointed with Paizo's decision.

Shadow Lodge

It's good to know that some players are so hidebound that they can't see this as the culmination of their characters work instead of a betrayal of their faithfulness by the staff.

Thank you for your time, and I wish you luck in your future endeavors.

Liberty's Edge

Quick question about "out of tier"... does this mean below tier as well as over tier, or do we just do the "typical" thing and hold the chronicle until the character hits, in this case, 3rd level?

Just checking... pretty sure i knew the answer already.

Lantern Lodge

"By my glorious mustache, I have sworn an oath of service to Master Amara Li and the Lantern Lodge. To that end will only come by my death, be it by my enemy's blade or my own." -Dr. Corneleus Theophylus Idaho, (former) Samurai of the Lantern Lodge.

Read through the scenario. Sounds pretty intense. Still upset about it, but I'm sure I'll get over it.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'm GMing this today for a party completely composed of Lantern Lodge PCs. Kind of awesome.

Amara Li has a posse.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
S. Werner wrote:

A couple of spoilery questions about one of the stat blocks:

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks.

Looking at the calculations, it looks like his CMD is 24 because of

:
the 2nd part of his Style feats (Snapping Turtle Clutch)

Paizo Employee Developer

TriOmegaZero wrote:

I'm GMing this today for a party completely composed of Lantern Lodge PCs. Kind of awesome.

Amara Li has a posse.

I'm eager to hear how this went!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

We had a couple last minute additions (Sczarni and Shadow Lodge) but it was still a good party. Check out wvpolarbear's review as he was one of my players.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

So, I thought I would share a weird thing that happened last night when I ran this. Spoilers

Spoiler:
So, this was playing up, but the players did well enough to only get one strangler in the first wave. The strangler came through the second window (the one that the gnome bard was guarding), grappled the gnome, and during next round started to pin him and was going to attempt to tie him up as the next action. Two of the party (a barbarian and a gunslinger) was running to his rescue when the gnome had a brilliant (but crazy idea). He dropped his inspire courage and stared a fascinate on the brawler. I rolled so horribly...and mentally cringed as the brawler just sat there enthralled by the gnome's soothing voice. I had this BAD image of a kid with a teddy bear.

Needless to say, the gnome was able to tell the group that he has this one covered and go finish the rest of the first wave. And once the group got rid of the conscripts, I just hand waved the dispatching of the strangler.

That I think was the first time I have seen fascinate do so well stopping what could have been a BAD fight.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Waldergrave Valmer wrote:

So, I thought I would share a weird thing that happened last night when I ran this. Spoilers

** spoiler omitted **

Just as a note - your player should have failed:

"Fascinate (Su): At 1st level, a bard can use his performance to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the bard, and capable of paying attention to him. The bard must also be able to see the creatures affected. The Distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. For every three levels a bard has attained beyond 1st, he can target one additional creature with this ability."


I just played this tonight and was pretty frustrated. Its possible my GM left out some critical information that would have helped make sense of this. The first hour was prepping for a siege. Cool concept. Love the premise. Here were the problems in the execution:

:

The mission was framed as an escort mission. We did some shopping. For an escort mission. We arrive at our destination and discover its a Rorkes Drift/Aliens 2 mission. So I hit my first major complaint. The mission giver couldn't have told us we were going to be defending from an assault? We could have bought supplies like greek fire, smoke bombs, or whatever.
Now we have an hour or so to prep defenses. How did we know an assault was coming? The GM never mentioned this but perhaps it was in the mod somewhere.
Complaint #2. The mission giver hired us the DAY BEFORE. If time was so critical, why didn't we leave THAT DAY?
Complaint #3. This was a big one. If you didn't have knowledge:engineering, or craft: traps, or maybe knowledge:survival, you pretty much sat on your thumbs during the prep for the assault. Again, this could have been our GM, but most of my party spent the prep feeling useless. To know what I consider pretty much the Gold Standard for this sort of scenario, try and find a copy of the Tides Of Dread from the Savage Tide adventure path. Same basic scenario (pirate assault coming, prepare a villages defenses), but a LOT more options and ways to be helpful.
Complaint #4. This isn't as big, but always a pet peeve in any adventure. The NPCs are morons/jerks. The mission giver did NOTHING to contribute to her own survival or the one guy we held the tea ceremony with. Also: There's a force coming to assault the house and we're holding a TEA CEREMONY?!
Complaint #5. The assault force arrives. The NPCs immediately leave. Half the table was like "Fine, we go with them." "Thats not your mission." So we are defending an EMPTY house? Apparently so.
Complaint #6. Nothing you did mattered. The house got burned downed ("Four sorcerors begin bombarding the house with fireballs.") and the NPCs are intercepted by the Big Bad.

I mean. Really. Once again. 5th Module in Savage Tides. Check it out for how to do this right.


Slaughterwombat wrote:


** spoiler omitted **...

lol. i have the same complaints about the npcs and the house

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Slaughterwombat:
Quote:

The mission giver couldn't have told us we were going to be defending from an assault? We could have bought supplies like greek fire, smoke bombs, or whatever.

Now we have an hour or so to prep defenses. How did we know an assault was coming? The GM never mentioned this but perhaps it was in the mod somewhere.

Amara Li was supposed to tell you that you were going to be security for the meeting. Basically her Secret Service. She did not know there would be a siege. You were just there as a precaution.

Quote:
Complaint #2. The mission giver hired us the DAY BEFORE. If time was so critical, why didn't we leave THAT DAY?

You were hired weeks before. You had to travel to Dtang Ma from Absalom, and only arrived within teleport distance the day before the meeting.

Quote:
Complaint #3. This was a big one. If you didn't have knowledge:engineering, or craft: traps, or maybe knowledge:survival, you pretty much sat on your thumbs during the prep for the assault. Again, this could have been our GM, but most of my party spent the prep feeling useless. To know what I consider pretty much the Gold Standard for this sort of scenario, try and find a copy of the Tides Of Dread from the Savage Tide adventure path. Same basic scenario (pirate assault coming, prepare a villages defenses), but a LOT more options and ways to be helpful.

Craft skills can be used untrained. Not much help, but I didn't even know that for my run of this scenario either. You also did not need to use skills to barricade windows, just effort.

Quote:
Complaint #4. This isn't as big, but always a pet peeve in any adventure. The NPCs are morons/jerks. The mission giver did NOTHING to contribute to her own survival or the one guy we held the tea ceremony with. Also: There's a force coming to assault the house and we're holding a TEA CEREMONY?!

The tea ceremony is a proper custom of their culture when entertaining formal guests. Neither Amara Li or Ito Tsuneo were aware of the impending attack until the party noticed the ships burning.

Now, if you would have liked Amara Li and Ito to have killed all the badguys and left the PCs just watching twiddling their thumbs, that's fine. But scenarios are written with the idea that the PCs are the stars and get to do the heroic things. There can be NPCs doing things in the background, but only what the PCs do matter to the success of the scenario.

Quote:
Complaint #5. The assault force arrives. The NPCs immediately leave. Half the table was like "Fine, we go with them." "Thats not your mission." So we are defending an EMPTY house? Apparently so.

One, it is Ito's childhood home. The Society would lose a lot of face letting it burn down. Two, Ito tells the party he needs time to conduct the ritual to summon aid. If the entire force were to follow you down into the cave, there would likely be no time for the ritual.

Quote:
Complaint #6. Nothing you did mattered. The house got burned downed ("Four sorcerors begin bombarding the house with fireballs.") and the NPCs are intercepted by the Big Bad.

The house did not get burned down by the fireballs. It specifically does little damage while being flashy. It is meant to be a distraction while Mikogu is attacking Amara Li and Ito in the cave.

I encourage you to get a copy of the scenario and compare what you remember of the session to what is written in it. I believe you have some legitimate complaints, but not all of them are with the adventure as written.

Grand Lodge

S. Werner wrote:

A couple of spoilery questions about one of the stat blocks:

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks.

About the CMD:
I know this is old and the original author isn't likely to see or care about this, but this is for anyone like myself who goes through these threads to find errata.

As far as I can tell, the extra +1 to CMD is likely coming from the Snapping Turtle Clutch feat, and the stat block is written as if they've already entered that style.

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