Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–13: Weapon in the Rift (PFRPG) PDF

4.40/5 (based on 29 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5–9.

Dire need begets great innovation, and Ghalcor, a cleric of Iomedae, created a revolutionary new weapon to fight the demons that poured out of the Worldwound at the end of the First Mendevian Crusade. Unfortunately, the fiends overwhelmed Ghalcor and his assistants before they could arm and trigger the weapon, but complex fail-safes sealed off Ghalcor’s tower and kept the device from falling into abyssal hands. As the Fifth Mendevian Crusade rages on, Ghalcor’s secret weapon could be the factor that turns the tide, so the Pathfinder Society has agreed to find a way past the indiscriminate safeguards to secure the device for the crusaders—a task complicated by their pushing past enemy lines.

Content in “Weapon in the Rift” also contributes directly to the ongoing storyline of the Silver Crusade faction.

Written by Nathan King.

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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good times


This scenario is a lot of fun. The ending is staggeringly epic. Also, it has a certain emotional appeal--I've seen the most hardcore min-maxers be downright touched by how it turns out.

The problems with this module are mostly solved by reading the module.


I'm going to address a few concerns of previous reviewers, which means this review has light spoilers. I will try to write carefully, but I'm addressing problems with the module, so I need to be clear about how those problems are fixed.

Weapon kills PCs
CireJack hints in his review that the weapon detonation killed a PC. I would note that it's impossible for that to happen. The spell associated with the weapon is not meant to be run as normal -- there is text right in the module on page 19 that states that the weapon only operates at half power versus neutral-aligned characters, and no effect on good characters. Since PFS doesn't allow evil PCs, that means no killing effect is possible vs. PCs. If your PC died, either the GM didn't read up on the weapon modifications, or your PC somehow registered as evil.

Broken puzzle
Many reviewers including Erick Wilson and Peter nielson have noted that the module's main puzzle is broken. While there isn't any official errata, the author corrects the buggy module text in the GM discussion. That's a link to the corrected answers. With the correction, the puzzle becomes 100% more sensible and solvable. Use it.

No puzzle alternative
Jiggy complains that if you cannot solve the main puzzle, the module ends. I would note that not only does the module provide stats for the door so that it can be broken down to bypass the puzzle, but it also notes that if the PCs fail 3 times in a row, the crystal trap runs out of charges and the door freely opens on the 4th try. That's on page 9.

Suits not noticed and/or not enough time
Finally, people have hinted that the suits are hardly mentioned even though they're very important, and many players never see them. First, I think it's fine that PCs might miss a boring suit, and it's good to explore what happens next. But second, something everyone is missing is this text on page 14: "Once the PCs destroy the allip, there is a brief respite before a calm and peaceful ghost of Ghalcor rises from his corpse and bows to the Pathfinders." In other words, the players should have a few rounds to explore the room (the "brief respite") before the good ghost rises, and it isn't until the good ghost is done answering questions and fades that the final breach of the fortress happens! So yes, the two encounters are tightly packed, but not so tight that the PCs cannot explore the room and find the suits! The module states there is downtime, so don't trigger the final fight too quickly.

Climbing to device
The only bug that actually still is a problem is that there are no climb DCs and no description of the walls to help GMs guess what the DC might be. We know that the floor is made of cut stone, since the module says so. The map also uses graphics that imply stonework. So I would be inclined to suggest that everyone use a climb DC that is appropriate for hewn stone.

Good luck with the module everyone! It's pretty fun.

My Eyes! The Goggles Do Nothing!


You'll get the title if you play it.

Anyway, this scenario is a mixed bag. Overall, it's very good. Other people have already complained about the puzzle, so I won't reiterate what they said. I will say, however, that it is difficult to put a puzzle in a mod and make success or failure in solving it meaningful. It should probably be optional, because the way it is done here you either solve the puzzle or the mod is pretty much over. This means if you don't solve it, GMs will invariably end up hand-waving it, so what was the point?

The big things recommending this mod are the final set piece, already much lauded, and the inclusion of an optional hard mode. Especially the hard mode. At last! Also the challenges are nicely varied in general.

On the downside, there are some curious problems with the final encounter too. For such a meticulously arranged set-piece, it's unclear what the author thought the party ought to do if they were lacking certain abilities. Some pieces of information (most notably, climb DCs) that really ought to be present, aren't. There is the potential for certain types of parties to be seriously stymied if they don't have ways around...well, certain things (trying to avoid spoilers).

Run/play this mod if you like challenging fights, cinematic set-pieces, and tactics in general. Not so much if you're looking for an easy challenge or a lot of RP. Also probably avoid it if long puzzles with awkward resolution systems bother you a lot.

If you liked 'Rescue at Azlant Ridge', this is your scenario


I've run this three times now and I think I figured it out. It would be difficult to run cold, so make sure you have time to read it through and get the tempo right. The PCs are sent into a mysterious tower inside the Worldwound with effectively no clue what to expect. Each room they investigate reveals another piece of the puzzle, but the clock is ticking. The scenario is a great fit for Season 5, which means if you don't play it soon it will make about as much sense as the Shadow Lodge scenarios from Season 2 do now. One thing that I like is the opponents allow the GM a lot of leeway to push the PCs further than previous scenarios. The climax will not fail to satisfy; it should be a nailbiter. It felt a lot like #2-02 Rescue at Azlant Ridge without the Azlanti insurance policy. Way to go Nathan!

Great 1st time Author


Story 5/5

The story was well done.

Setting 3/5

There is a town, a VC a witch a wand some horses some crusaders and a faction leader, then leading to a obscure location.

Role-play-ability 5/5 Most of the creatures have great ability to interact with the NPC's. You have several chance to meet some key NPC's. Also to boot some of the combat encounters could lend to good RP!

Combat 5/5 I would say it in its normal mode, can be pretty easy I have yet to GM this on hard mode. I look forward to the chance. The hard mode dosnt looke like TPK Theatre.

Suitability 4/5 I am not sure how much of this could be used for a none PFS game. This scenario would be great to run along with the Wrath of the Righteous AP. It may be hard to adapt this encounter to most home games, unless they are battling demons with the assistance of crusaders.

Now some of the problems there was or is a problem with the riddle/encounter. Also if the party doesn't have the required skills this could be a hard one.

Stairs there are about 100 feet of stairs for a 20 foot raise. I guess this could be a wheel chair ramp.

A spell effect could of been written a bit better.

During a certain countdown effect, a key NPC, almost appears magically.

Really this could of used some editing, at least to make it a little easier to read and understand. Make sure you read the forum posts. I read this a couple times as well as asked some questions about it. I still ended up making a couple mistakes running it.

I also plan on running a couple more times. I think this will be my travel scenario when I visit cons!!! At least during season 5.

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Announced for the end of January! Cover image is a mockup.

Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Removed some commentary on the empty review (and suppressed said review).

Shadow Lodge

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Come see the violence inherent in the system!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

And now I've determined what my cleric's last scenario before hitting 10th level will be. :D

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I may be bringing my Life Oracle for this one. :)

Digital Products Assistant

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Now available!

It's got a hard mode; yay!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber


Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This scenario makes me happy. Final encounters like this one have been what I've been missing from PFS. I can't wait to run this!

Paizo Employee Developer

Daniel Flood wrote:
It's got a hard mode; yay!

Partway through outlining it I realized that if anything were going to have a hard mode in the next couple of months, this would. Enjoy!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This may become one of my new favorite scenarios.

Shadow Lodge

That's exactly what I said.

Any chance we could get the Silver Crusade Faction Letter?

Might also have a few seats open for a PbP if anyone is interested.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Just purchased and read through: This is a fantastic scenario, really. There's so many "Oh my God, did you see ______" moments, I can't wait to run this.

Shadow Lodge

Can't wait till Nathan gets around to running this one for us.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yep, new favorite scenario.

I need to assemble a team to run Hard Mode for.

Paizo Employee Contributor

I have to say that I REALLY enjoyed this scenario as a player. The balance between combat and roleplaying was really nice, and the pacing was exciting, particularly at the end (which is EPIC). Great stuff!

Shadow Lodge

Since I'm prepping this to run in a few weeks and notice that the scenario never got updated - it is important for GMs to check the conversation here for a correction to the puzzle solution: lers#48

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