Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-16: House of Harmonious Wisdom (PFRPG) PDF

4.50/5 (based on 8 ratings)

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A series of five Quests designed for levels 1-5.

Mighty Lung Wa once controlled much of Tian Xia, but the empire crumbled a century ago. Three Successor States have squabbled for dominance ever since, each insisting that it alone is the rightful inheritor of Lung Wa's glory. In the shadow of these mighty nations, the humble land of Shokuro has sought the means to discourage its neighbors' territorial ambitions and earn their respect. When a retired hero learns of a lost, legendary palace that might protect relics of the old empire, she calls on the Pathfinder Society for assistance finding the fabled site. The PCs must travel to each of the Successor States in search of clues to uncover the palace and the treasures within.

House of Harmonious Wisdom includes five 1-hour adventures that take the PCs across central Tian Xia in search of imperial treasures and forgotten secrets. The series includes a beginning adventure and a finale, but players can experience the other parts in any order.

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild 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.

Written by Katherine Cross, Sarah Hood, Jason Owen Black, and Christopher Rowe.

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Society Scenario Subscription.

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Average product rating:

4.50/5 (based on 8 ratings)

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Slow Paced


Harmonious was a mix of investigation, combat, and a little lore.

Harmonious was poorly paced. There was too much uninteresting lore, inconsequential roleplay, too many empty rooms, too many skill checks, and a lot of nothing happening, especially at the start.

In general PFS box text is too complex, the names are too complex to hear (Tien especially), especially in a loud convention. Simple is best, I don't even want my GMs to read boxtext.

The lore and the roleplay were not very good. Maybe part of the problem was that it was run in 5 hours, honestly it *should* be run in less than 2.

The puzzle was easy and has already been used several times.

There was one unique combat, but for our low Str group it went too long. Also, even with a handout, it was too complex (and unneeded and didn't make a difference), it would have been better to give the PCs a few names and let them improvise. The premise of the encounter was also silly, and it was unbelievable that we could gain those powers in a day.

”Detailed Rating”:

Length: Felt long (5 hours). Quests need to be shorter, not longer than the average scenario.
Experience: Player at subtier 4-5 with 6 average PCs.
Sweet Spot: ?
Entertainment: Felt long. Searching empty rooms sucked. (3/10)
Story: End story was OK, it just took too long to get there. (6/10)
Roleplay: Most NPCs were annoying. (4/10)
Combat/Challenges: (5/10)
Maps: Flip maps. (7/10)
Boons: tbd. (?/10)
Uniqueness: Somewhat. (8/10)
GM Preparation: tbd.

Overall: Despite having a unique encounter, it felt like a typical "fetch" scenario (5/10).

"I have pliers" - fun, diverse, and memorable!


I will probably expand this review in the near future, but after playing and running this quest series multiple times, I find that it never gets old!

From the initial briefing to the final encounter, House of Harmonious Wisdom is a fun (without ever getting too silly) and engaging romp through parts of Tien Xia that don't get seen too often in Organized Play.

Each quest has elements that allow characters of different strengths (martial, social, mental, etc.) to shine, and very few completely "prevent" characters from feeling like they can participate fully. It also allows the characters to learn the plot and backstory of the adventure, which is one of my criteria for giving a five-star review.

Two of my favorite-ever responses from a NPC during a briefing:

"Who would make the harvest festival stew if Wu got his head bitten off? No one, that’s who."


"If it’s shiny and not bolted down, pick it up. If it is bolted down, I have pliers.”

Personal advice to GMs re: Inkstains - After having played this twice and GM'd it at least twice (plus observed another GM run this particular quest once), I think that Inkstains almost works better if the map is not used except for flavor/descriptions. Especially if you are trying to fit #8-16 into a ~4 hour time slot at a convention or game night, running the "encounter" for Inkstains on the map seems to slow things down versus "theater of the mind" style.

A great diversity in quests


The House of Harmonious Wisdom is not your average scenario. As mentioned in the blurb, it’s 5 quests that each take roughly an hour. In that aspect it’s similar to the Silverhex Chronicles, Phantom Phenomena or Honor’s Echo. However I felt like the storyline was better developed and was more a complete package, though arguably it is still something that could be improved upon even further.

I typically like quests. They’re short and never dull. In this case I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity presented in these quests. Each one was noticeably different from the rest. There was a puzzle, some role-play, a chase and a particularly interesting fight with unique mechanics. Although the end felt a bit too forced, and made me wonder why one NPC in particular was even there, I had a great time.

I honestly think this scenario is best played over multiple days instead of in one setting. That’s not to say that playing the quests back to back is a bad thing. I just feel like it will be more memorable that way and that it would make the conclusion feel less out of the blue.

For an experiment, I’d say this worked rather well, but I’m not entirely sold if it’s something that should get repeated. Right now the transition from the middle three quests to the final one is still a bit too blunt and harsh, but still better than in other similar questlines. Compared to the more traditional quest-format, I'd say this is a vast improvement, both in terms of variety and storyline. As such I highly recommend it.

This is how a quest line should be


Quests that make sense, tie in with each other, and offer something for everyone. Some socializing, some combat, some light puzzle solving. All around solid.



One of the most unusual yet enjoyable experiences in many scenarios. I had a blast, and I laughed so hard that I think I cracked a rib at the antics the scenario's unique mechanics allowed us to get up to. I will never forget the Jade Ogre style and our irascible tengu Old Petey's unforgettable pile-driver from a second story window.

Today, we are all Old Petey.

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Grand Lodge

Running this tonight and just saw that there's no D2 for the Teahouse map.

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