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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Memorable in every aspect

*****

I didn't exactly know what to expect from Way of the Kirin based on the small description. If I had to guess before starting the session, I would have said this would be a social scenario where you would help Amara Li talk to people and leave a good impression. At the same time, you'd have to root out the Aspis and in true Pathfinder spirit persuade them to go away.

To some extend this is true. There certainly is some diplomacy to be done, but it is definitely not the main focus of the scenario. Instead Way of the Kirin is one of those rare scenarios where you end up finding yourself at a location and forced to create defensive matters. Once you've set up, you obviously have to defend yourself against waves of enemies and basically try to stay alive to tell the tale.

As is normal for such a scenario, it's nice to have a mixture of skill monkeys and heavy hitters. As such I was happy I brought an investigator to the table. Together with another skill monkey, we managed to figure out what kind of 'special' defenses we could set up and we happily did so. We were all able to work together and set up a nice defence just in time for a tea ceremony, of all things. Even the nagaji cleric with an intelligence of 5 managed to brew up some alchemical goodies, albeit it with some pointers. Everyone was able to participate in organising the defence, which is always a good thing.

The highlight for me personally this scenario, was finding a bronze bathtub. I know that sounds strange, but it is true. I didn't think much of it at the time as I was busy setting up defences by building a catapult, but surely it would come in handy as a barricade of sorts, right? We weathered a few waves of foes, when some nasty ranged opponents caught us completely off guard. Thankfully we had some minor cover of a certain bronze bathtub, or so we thought . Sadly that's also when the bathtub betrayed us. Not only did it fail to provide enough cover as the enemies somehow kept hitting us over and over again (the GM's dice were hot), but it also blocked the path of our heavy hitters. Bad bathtub, bad!

After surviving that wave of enemies, we received word that we were needed elsewhere. We were about to leave when some casters started distracting us. My investigator, a bit annoyed by the bathtub, asked if she could just launch the thing as a parting gift and because of the 'rule of cool'. The GM allowed it and we all started laughing when I subsequently rolled a natural 20 on my to hit, which I then easily confirmed as well. Turns out bathtubs make terrible cover, but excellent ammunition.

As you can tell by the example given above, I had a blast playing this scenario. While my combat participation was limited, I helped setting things up for others to finish. As such everyone had his or her moment to shine and this scenario is a perfect example that every kind of character is useful in his or her own unique way. The combats themselves can be rather brutal, hectic and challenging. It might not be as lethal as some other season 4 scenarios, but it should not be underestimated. In the end this scenario just works and checks off every box: combat, roleplay and investigation. To the author I say well done, to everyone else I simply recommend playing this scenario if you haven't already.


Good Tian Xia flavor, memorable combats

*****

Kirin is one of the better Tian Xia flavor module, even after the Lantern Lodge is retired.

The story starts of going to meet an old samuri, the tea party is flexable and in good atmosphere thanks to our lovely GM. I would suggest to do the faction missions, can make up a brillant meeting.

Then, the good air suddenly change into a DOTA game! Nervous, heroic, and well-paced. Also with some well-designed fights, for not prepared team can be a little difficult but full of zeal. Both tiers are recommended.


A Worthy Send Off for the Lantern Lodge

****( )

Even playing this scenario 2 years after the Lantern Lodge retired… I’m very glad I did. This is a very good combat based scenario.

Unlike previous scenarios, it had Tian flavor (at the tea ceremony) and in truth, I really wish this section was expanded upon more, because it had the potential for fun. In the end, I was surprised by the question and it was over before I knew it.

The combat is fairly challenging in this scenario, especially at subtier 6-7. However, I would have it no other way and it will surely be memorable at this subtier.

My only suggestion would have been to explain to ALL factions the reason the Lantern Lodge was leaving, not just to Lantern Lodge members. I appreciated it when the GM read the box text that was supposed to be for the Lantern Lodge only.

Spoiler:

Length: Medium-long. We finished in 4 hours without doing the optional combat.
Experience: Player with 4 players at subtier 6-7 (2 pregens).
Sweet Spot: Subtier 6-7 if your characters are up to the challenge.
Entertainment: Great Tian flavor and images. (9/10)
Story: Tian flavored escort mission. (8/10)
Roleplay: A LITTLE more would have been welcome. (4/10)
Combat/Challenges: Decent variety, fun, challenging at subtier 6-7. Interesting ways to make it easier. The enemies are very well designed. (9/10)
Maps: Good. (8/10)
Boons: Nice. (10/10)
Uniqueness: Somewhat unique. (7/10)

Overall: A fun combat scenario dripping with Tian flavor. (8/10).


Thumbs Up

****( )

Played this at high tier.

I enjoyed this a lot even if it is very specific and there isn't much to do other than defend a house from an invading force. There is some roleplay but not enough really.

The defence of the house reminded me of Nesting Swallows but better. I didn't feel that the encounters here were too tough. I am sick to death of grapple opponents though. Grapple and darkness are so overused in PFS to the point of boredom.

Even so, I enjoyed this one a lot.


Good premise, so-so execution

***( )( )

Played this on low tier. This was an interesting scenario. Story and premise are solid, but they work best if the players are into Golarion lore.

The tea ceremony was interesting; our GM (Maglor) made us think about what we'd done and how to demonstrate that it showed us to be honourable.

I thought the fights were so-so. Maybe they're more interesting at high tier; at our tier the minions had some tricks but they didn't really feel like special tricks. All in all it felt a bit easy.

The idea of defending the house against waves of enemies fell a bit flat, I think, for several reasons. One is that interaction with the mass of enemies outside is too abstract. Basically, without AoE attacks you can't do anything, even if you have archers that can normally inflict quite a bit of hurt. Second, I thought there should maybe have been more waves of enemies, or pressure to defeat a wave before the next wave hits.

The BBEG went down rather quickly, although it did look like he could dish out some hurt if we'd given him more time. I think that's disappointing; I'd rather have a tenacious boss that trades blows for a while with the party and requires some more tactics to beat, than one that maybe drops some PCs but gets smeared pretty quickly himself as well.

Overall I thought the scenario was okay, but I wasn't deeply impressed. Maybe it's because the whole Lantern Lodge storyline was over before I got into PFS.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced for May!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

*gasp*

Spoiler:

Will the boon from First Steps, Part 2 finally come into play?!?!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I am curious if

Spoiler:
the consequences mentioned in FS:PT 2 come to light here if the trade agreement was kept by the party.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Oh snap!

Webstore Gninja Minion

Added some spoiler tags. There's always a chance someone hasn't played these scenarios. :D

Liberty's Edge

NICE! More Tian Xia


Man, I had just asked JJ if there were going to be more Tian Xia adventures. This makes me happy!

Grand Lodge

:thumbs up for Amara:

Lantern Lodge

So this is the end game for the Lantern Lodge?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I wonder what the special boon will be.

Shadow Lodge

"You win Pathfinder."

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So who is the Author?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:
So who is the Author?

I believe the podcast leaked that it was written by Dennis Baker.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Question: If a player has a Lantern Lodge PC that is Lvl 2 and plays this scenario with a lvl 4 Pre-Gen (let's say it's because their local PFS group is running it and it is their only chance to play it due to where they live [just for example]) - would they get the "special" boon for Lantern Lodge PCs?

To me, this would follow the normal rules of PFS and they would get the Lantern Lodge boon, even though they played the scenario with a pre-gen, and technically used a Grand Lodge faction mission during the scenario.

I would believe they get the boon, just like any other boon. [This is assuming there are no special circumstances tied specifically to this boon.]

This question has come up twice in various groups - so I thought it would be good to get an official clarification now before it becomes an issue later.

I have seen some people pre-ruling on this before it is even released - so I thought I would ask.

[I realize this could also be crystal clear in the wording upon release]

Thanks!


[cartman]Schweeeeeeet...[/cartman]

Dark Archive

very good

Grand Lodge

IronHelixx wrote:
Question: If a player has a Lantern Lodge PC that is Lvl 2 and plays this scenario with a lvl 4 Pre-Gen (let's say it's because their local PFS group is running it and it is their only chance to play it due to where they live [just for example]) - would they get the "special" boon for Lantern Lodge PCs?

I also would love to know the answer to this - it's possible I'll get this question when I'm GMing this next weekend.

Sovereign Court

Nearly release time and no answer, sadly. Hopefully it'll be addressed.

Personally hoping that's not the case, elsewise we'll be inundated with pre-gens just so low-level or newly-created PCs of the retiring factions will get the boon, whatever it may be. Just seems logical that while it may be assigned to a Lantern Lodge PC, the scenario is PLAYED by a pre-gen, meaning Grand Lodge, meaning no boon. *shrug* That's just how I see it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I'm solving that problem by applying my GM credit for this to my only LL PC. :)

Although I am having to resist the urge to refresh my downloads constantly. XD

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would say that you get the boon because you are getting the fame on your LL character. Bottom line, the character who gets the credit "ran" the mod, so you may be doing the Grand Lodge mission, but your LL character is effectively doing it. I hope that is how it works, because being new to PFS, my wife and I are trying to get the boons on the proper characters AND get to 40 Fame on our LLs before August 14th. Only way we can get to play the Shadow Lodge one AND get the Fame we want is to use pregens

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

This product has been pushed out to tomorrow, Thursday, 5/30/13.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Glad I rescheduled tonight's game. :)

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

It is 5/30/13 4:45 PDT, I wonder if it is getting pushed out even further!

Scarab Sages

And now we're flat out unavailable.

Grand Lodge

So whats the hold up. I have 2-3 tables for this scheduled on 6/8, but if it isn't released soon I'll most likely just cancel the entire gameday. I don't like my GMs to run cold or with too little prep time.

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Both scenarios should be up this evening.

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Now available!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Shiny!

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Paizo Staff = Dennis Baker

Dennis what kind of powers does the Paizo Staff get?.. ;)

Grand Lodge

If you have a character between 3rd- and 7th-levels who is a member of the Lantern Lodge you DEFINITELY want to play this before August 14, 2013. There is a nice parting gift for you :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I would like to know if GM credit could be applied to a character that has already leveled out of this scenario or if those characters are out of luck. I have a Lantern Lodge character that has been leveled out for a while.

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Dragnmoon wrote:

Paizo Staff = Dennis Baker

Dennis what kind of powers does the Paizo Staff get?.. ;)

I've updated the product description to reflect the correct author.

Liberty's Edge

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

Spoiler:
For the Xun Stranglers:

Armor training 2 is listed under their SQ, but an unarmed fighter's Tough Guy and Clever Wrestler class features replace armor training 1 and 2. With an armor check penalty of -2 on leather lamellar, reduced by 1 by it being masterwork, should this reduce Disable Device and Stealth (DEX skills) checks by 1 (down to +7?)

I'm doing calculations in my head (I don't have HeroLabs or another similar software program) and I can't get the CMD value to equal what's in the stat block. Here's what I get: 10 + 7 BAB + 4 STR + 1 DEX + 1 Dodge = 23? (listed as 24)

P.S. I also see that, while I can't find mention of it, the scenario uses the Map Pack: Mines for the En Route encounter and the Flip-Mat: Darklands for the Ritual Cave encounter.

Thanks.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:

Paizo Staff = Dennis Baker

Dennis what kind of powers does the Paizo Staff get?.. ;)

I've updated the product description to reflect the correct author.

Thanks Chris! Do you mind fixing the other one for this month as well when you have the time?

Scarab Sages

I'm upset that I have passed beyond the tier to play this. I am of the Lantern Lodge. So sad.

Grand Lodge

I feel for you, man. I might have that happen to me with my Shadow Lodge character.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

REJOICE! (Warning, GM Discussion, spoilers.)

Michael Brock wrote:
If someone GMs the scenario, they may apply the a chronicle to any character they have to receive the boom, even if out of tier, for this scenario and Rivalry's End. This is in effect until August 14, 2013.

Grand Lodge

Yay!!! Thanks TOZ!


TriOmegaZero wrote:

REJOICE! (Warning, GM Discussion, spoilers.)

Michael Brock wrote:
If someone GMs the scenario, they may apply the a chronicle to any character they have to receive the boom, even if out of tier, for this scenario and Rivalry's End. This is in effect until August 14, 2013.

So does that mean they apply it to their out-of-tier character and receive only the boon? Or do they also receive XP, PP, and one of the two gold packages?

Grand Lodge

Ooh, good question...

Paizo Employee Developer

You get everything on the Chronicle as normal. The only difference in this instance is that you can apply the Chronicle to a PC that has already leveled out of the range of the scenario in question.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

REJOICE! (Warning, GM Discussion, spoilers.)

Michael Brock wrote:
If someone GMs the scenario, they may apply the a chronicle to any character they have to receive the boom, even if out of tier, for this scenario and Rivalry's End. This is in effect until August 14, 2013.

Perfect. We have two LL members who are leveled out of the scenario, so this is good. Our Shadow Lodge members will be happy for the extra info, too. One will level out right before the scenario pops up.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Note that, of course, you only get to apply the chronicle to an out-of-tier character if you GM the scenario. If you play the scenario, you must do it with a tier-eligible character.

Liberty's Edge

Just a thought that jumped in my head here but what if some one trys to game the system and play one, change to the other faction and than play the other one? I DONT WANT TO do this, nor see it done, but one of the statements above made me think of it and so Im sure others have aswell.

Liberty's Edge

jjaamm wrote:
Just a thought that jumped in my head here but what if some one trys to game the system and play one, change to the other faction and than play the other one? I DONT WANT TO do this, nor see it done, but one of the statements above made me think of it and so Im sure others have aswell.

Never mind seems already has been asked in the PFS thread.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
JohnF wrote:


Note that, of course, you only get to apply the chronicle to an out-of-tier character if you GM the scenario. If you play the scenario, you must do it with a tier-eligible character.

If I understand Schulz right he has two LL players, who can both GM the scenario and apply their credit to their higher level LL characters. Which is awesome.

Lantern Lodge

So those that are to high level and can't GM their just sol.
Well that's nice great job!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Everyone can GM...

Paizo Employee Developer

hyachi Ishirou wrote:

So those that are to high level and can't GM their just sol.

Well that's nice great job!

Reporting data indicates that there are far, far more members of the Lantern Lodge faction who are below or within this scenario's tier than those that are too high level to play it. The scenario is thus designed to accommodate the greatest number of players, and we've made an exception to the GMing credit rule to allow this scenario to be applied to a character that otherwise couldn't play the adventure. If you're concerned you won't have the opportunity to GM the scenario, we encourage you to check out our Play By Post messageboards and the Pathfinder Society Online Collective Google group, which provide online opportunities for anyone to GM any legal scenario as their schedules and geographical restrictions allow.

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