Pathfinder Society Scenario #10-13: Fragments of Antiquity

4.70/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5-9.

After creating her spectacular museum demiplane, the legendary sorcerer Hao Jin departed without a forwarding address. However, the Pathfinder Society has recently discovered her last known whereabouts on the Material Plane: a Tian Shu library that she later transported to her demiplane to spare it local dangers. Not only could this site shed light on Hao Jin's last accomplishments, but the building's vast contents are a snapshot of a continent's history. The sequestered library holds far more secrets than that, though, and it is now home to the proud Scalebreaker kobolds and a powerful spirit that they dare not anger.

Written by Sam Polak.

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

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4.70/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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Strong Season Ten Adventure

4/5

NO SPOILERS

I played Fragments of Antiquity with a Level 7 Iconic, Quinn, and thought it was a really solid and satisfying scenario. It makes good use of a variety of skills, and cerebral PCs will have a good occasion to show off what they can do. There aren't a lot of NPCs to role-play with, but the plot is interesting and furthers a long-running PFS storyline. Overall, I'd say it's one of the better Season Ten adventures and definitely worth playing.

SPOILERS!:

Fragments of Antiquity continues the story of the Pathfinder Society's efforts to salvage as much of the Hao Jin Tapestry demiplane as possible, and to discover the fate of its creator. Venture-Captain Ambrus Valsin delivers a straightforward briefing explaining that the PCs' current task is to enter a special library that was taken whole into the tapestry centuries ago: the Shen Province Imperial Archive. With the tapestry demiplane unravelling, Valsin says it's crucial to retrieve as many of the rarest and most valuable books as possible before it's too late. In addition, the Pathfinders are asked to keep an eye out for any clues as to what happened to Hao Jin herself. It's a solid hook for Pathfinders "in service to lore".

What the Pathfinders don't know, but will very shortly find out, is that a kobold tribe known as the Scalebreakers have long used the library as the place for its rites of passage: becoming an "adult" requires entering and surviving the myriad of traps that others in the tribe have placed inside it. The PCs first encounter the Scalebreakers after entering the demiplane and crossing a trapped bridge. It's possible to fight the kobolds, but they're a friendly tribe and are happy for the PCs to enter the library and take the rite of passage. In fact, with some diplomacy, the PCs can even get them to draw a map of the interior and describe where many of the traps are. However, the Scalebreakers also ominously state that there are evil spirits in the library. I thought the kobolds were handled well here--they're fun without being silly.

The bulk of the scenario consists of exploring several different sections of the library arranged by category (such as Poetry, Religion, Warfare, etc.). The Arcane Library Flip-Mat is perfect for this. The PCs will need to spot and disable (or suffer from) the half-dozen traps the kobolds have scattered throughout the library. It's a nice reward for those PCs who have invested heavily in trap detection and removal, and better than the more common situation where a dungeon contains a single trap, the PCs set it off, use a wand to heal the damage, and continue on without a care in the world. My favourite trap is one that contains an acidic gas that both hurts living creatures but (unintentionally) starts damaging books in the section and requires the group to take urgent action to dissipate the fumes or lose the information there entirely.

In each section of the library, the PCs can use skills from a different specific list in order to help determine the most important books to remove. Being able to read Tien is really useful in this scenario! In addition, they'll come across a list of books that Hao Jin was specifically interested in, and these ultimately provide clues that she may have been headed to Axis (the Plane of Law). I liked the free-form nature of this investigation of the library, as the group can examine the rooms in any order they'd like. In addition, they'll soon start to get glimpses of what the kobolds referred to as "evil spirits"--something seems to be watching them and intentionally setting off some of the traps as the Pathfinders approach!

What's really going on has a bit of a complicated backstory. Essentially, after the library was first transported to the tapestry demiplane, its original librarians continued their work. After waiting over a year for Hao Jin's promised return, the librarians used dimension-crossing spells to try to find her--but instead, the magic created a conduit to the Shadow Plane and drew forth a group of "soulslivers." Soulslivers are extradimensional shapechangers who can see through (and travel through) mirrors. It's the soulslivers who haunt the library today, having slain some of the original librarians. As the PCs explore various sections of the library, they'll realise that there is a hidden section that can be entered--but here, they'll have to directly confront the soulslivers. I remember the battle as a fun one, with the soulslivers having some cool special abilities.

After having explored the library, the group can exit the demiplane without incident. The epilogue is brief, but it does nicely set up that the search for Hao Jin has received a major boost.

I don't have any complaints about Fragments of Antiquity. Although it's not amazingly memorable or epic, it is a strong adventure with a solid plot and a good mix of encounters. And as a continuation of the Hao Jin metaplot, it builds nicely towards that storyline's conclusion.


So Much Fun!

5/5

I ran this scenario for a wonderful table (low tier) and everyone had an absolute blast! The encounters are a comfortable challenge, but where the author shines is in the creativity and sense of life they breathe into this dusty old library. We laughed, we cried, we took too long and got kicked out of the shop because we were laughing too much to do basic math - excellent time had by all.

I highly recommend this scenario!


5/5

Ran this last night for my group. They enjoyed it.
A nice mix of traps, skill challenges, and combats.


Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Once the description is updated to the correct scenario, I will be appropriately hyped.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Strange! I'll let web folks know so that we can get the right description in.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What is the level range?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

5-9

Edit: KOBOLDS. IN THE LIBRARY. Thought you ought to know...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

MUST POWERLEVEL KOBOLD

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Maps used for the scenario?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Aaron C. Malone wrote:
Maps used for the scenario?

Fragments of Antiquity uses the following maps:

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
Aaron C. Malone wrote:
Maps used for the scenario?

Fragments of Antiquity uses the following maps:

** spoiler omitted **

Thank you, Michael.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Silbeg wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:
Aaron C. Malone wrote:
Maps used for the scenario?

Fragments of Antiquity uses the following maps:

** spoiler omitted **

Thank you, Michael.

You're very welcome!


What resources are needed? I'm thinking of GMing this and don't GM anything using guns, Numerian tech, or /occult adventures/.


Scott Romanowski wrote:
What resources are needed? I'm thinking of GMing this and don't GM anything using guns, Numerian tech, or /occult adventures/.

It doesn't need any of those.

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