Pathfinder Society Intro: Year of Boundless Wonder

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st- through 4th-level characters.

Wonder abounds! The Pathfinder Society's vaults have suddenly recieved a huge treasure trove of precious items from around the world and beyond. Much remains mysterious about these objects, from their origins to the reason the trove's original owner was so desperate to be rid of it. A group of novice agents has the opportunity to explore the troves' wonders for themselves, but not all is as it seems. After being drawn into an otherworldly realm, they must use their wits and fight to escape with their lives!

Intro: Year of Boundless Wonder is the introduction to the plot of the Year of Boundless Wonder. This scenario presents treasures, characters, and themes that will feature in Year 4's metaplot, and so it is is a natural starting point for players looking to jump into the action.

Written by Mike Kimmel

Scenario tags: Metaplot (Boundless Wonder), Repeatable

[Scenario Maps spoiler - click to reveal]

The following maps used in this scenario are also available for purchase here on paizo.com:

  • Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Arcane Library
  • Pathfinder Pawns: Traps & Treasures Pawn Collection
  • Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Society Scenario Subscription.

    Product Availability

    Fulfilled immediately.

    Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

    PZOPFS0401E


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    3.50/5 (based on 8 ratings)

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    Perfectly Cromulent intro.

    3/5

    These intro adventures are always very tricky. Having to be structured on sich a way that rhey can ease a new player into the plot, the current plot drop was clever but maybe is a good bit of proof thst the current plot is a bit on the heady side because there was a lot to ease everyone into while still having to get people to see whats so great about organized play.

    The scenario has a good balance of skill challenges that dont form gates for progress, and combats.

    I wish it had been a lot more consequential and that the skills checks had resulted in a bit more discovery that invited more...boubdless wonder.

    As was this one gets the job done, but very skippable for established players. But its pretty forgettable and I wont ever have a desire to revisit.


    Solidly fun

    4/5

    Good imagery and writing, balanced fight encounters (though all on the same map was a bit boring), and some fun scenes.

    Fairly straightforward, with Rain getting in trouble again!!!


    Expectations for the New Season!

    5/5

    I played this scenario as GM.
    I haven't played the 3rd season scenario at all, but my players and I couldn't hide our excitement at the reappearance of the evil characters from 1st edition. This is a pleasant surprise.

    To be honest, there may be a problem with the illustration of one NPC, but I hope there will be an improvement in this regard as many voices have been raised on this point.

    This scenario is successful enough as an intro to the 4th season. At least the players in my session couldn't wait to play the next scenario.
    I do think that the investigation part is indeed difficult to replay because the items available in certain parts of the game are too powerful. But the items are reasonable considering the origin and nature of this Vault, and not a bad reward for a successful decision. This is my impression after a session with six 1st level characters, so I don't know what will happen with other level adjustments. I felt that at least the encounters were appropriate when dealing with beginners.

    I have great expectations for how the new friends I have met in the Vault and the magic items I have found will play a part in the future. The Year of boundless Wonders Begins!


    I struggled with this, mechanically competent but the story and interactions ..

    2/5

    I have played and run this, and honestly, I have zero interest in running it again, and less interest in playing it. That is mostly a case of personal taste and less of a complaint in the quality of production, editing, and mechanical implementation.

    But let's look at all the parts involved.

    Story: Could have used a spoiler warning for the last scenario of last season, particularly for the GM that gets to learn a lot more than the players. That sort of stopped when I first looked at it because at that point I had not touched the conclusion of last year's story.
    I guess it introduces some new NPCs and plot points, though at the time of writing I am not sure that they are going anywhere. The newly introduced NPCs are popular, though they certainly drag the tone of the scenario more of a light-hearted joke.
    The new talking skull (and I suspect that this story gets expanded upon in 4-05, honestly just lacks substance, even if the players are interested. Actually the same applies to the other two NPCs, surface introductions but nothing to deep.
    Beating up a tiny shard of the BBEG of the season at the start feels a bit, like a Pantomime and I feel that is very much intentional.

    Artwork: Lighthearted and fun, particularly looking at the two NPCs you meet towards the end... to be frank, I had to cover up the artwork of Zarta in the pdf, because it bothered me (cover artwork is fine). Kinda like a monster that has killed your friend and is wearing its skin...
    The artwork of Alsynn bothers me a bit because it is like all the other artwork quite... comedic? Doesn't really inspire the dread expected of a character like that (though I have seen previewed artwork of a later scenario.. which leads me to believe the tone is very much intentional.

    Map./Location: Being limited to a single flip mat players might have seen a fair number of times before absolute limits this one, there is some value for GMs that do not want to bring a lot of different maps with them, but it does cause the visuals to be kind of one note... had this been a quest or bounty, it would not have lingered so much.

    Repeatable elements: I dislike scenarios that have the repeatable tag without significant alterations, but while this one does have a fair number of random elements, I don't think they are really providing a different experience.
    The change to the rats is more cosmetic than something that really changes the encounter, because you are always righting rats, and depending on your setup and the substantial buffs you might have received through finding a +1 striking weapon you will barely notice it. I am not entirely certain if the 4th rats variant is not just making this one even less rewarding for spellcasters.
    Regarding the piles of items, secret checks are not a terribly unfitting way to resolve this, but from what I hear, after playing this once, the players just tend to all flock to the pile that grants them the biggest power boost - it something like this is done again, it certainly might be worth it to relocation and mix up the more powerful boosts. Since repeat players are inevitably going to game this aspect... I really, really want to avoid replaying this.

    Aslynn: So at first you can't really interact with her and have to use skill checks, which is fine though it needs a bit of imagination, towards the end, it resolves as a "normal" encounter. I am not really sure the scenario gives players a good way to differentiate those situations, other than the GM asking for skill checks.

    I usually spend a fair bit of time prepping a scenario, and I did spend a lot of time on this one... but for some reason, I really do not want to run it again. That does seem to be specific to certain aspects of this scenario, I have run 4-02 several times and while it has some issues, I feel that on when it comes to roleplaying and interacting with a theme, it gives me so much more as a GM.


    Not that bad

    4/5

    I am not a great fan of replayables where there are no real options to choose from as a GM. This one does not fail to disappoint on that front.
    However, I have played it twice and ran it once and found all occasions entertaining. Not the best, but entertaining enough that I am glad I did all three.
    There are some skill checks that are not fantastic, but then the GM can speed it up, to get to the more interesting bits.
    I am not impressed with the drawings. At all. They are not good. They are actually bad, I think. All right, I would do much worse, but I am not a pro designer. A letdown from the end of Season 3, when they were really cool.


    1 to 5 of 8 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Announced for August! Cover and product description are not final and are subject to change.

    For more information about the Year of Boundless Wonder, check out our announcement blog!


    Will it be repeatable?

    Grand Lodge

    Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
    Will it be repeatable?

    Given that the product description specifically includes the Repeatable tag, I'd assume so.


    Sorry, having had 2 eye surgeries 2 months apart it can be hard to read on a screen at times.

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Cover and map list updated.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure, Maps Subscriber

    There's a typo in the description. "recieved" should be "received"

    The Exchange

    Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Pretty jazzed to see how this unfolds, both as the aftermath of Season 3 and the prologue of Season 4!


    Just picked this up and I’m bewildered by what appears to be an art order gone terribly awry:

    Spoiler:
    Zarta Dralneen, the 1e Cheliax faction representative, looks nothing like herself. 1e sources depicted her as a pale-skinned, gold-eyed, goth femme fatale, while the art in this has a fairly dark-skinned, dark-eyed woman in what seems to me to be a practical fur-lined cloak.
    Was there some appearance-altering metaplot I don’t know, or is it the mistake it seems to be?

    Dark Archive

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    keftiu wrote:
    Just picked this up and I’m bewildered by what appears to be an art order gone terribly awry: ** spoiler omitted ** Was there some appearance-altering metaplot I don’t know, or is it the mistake it seems to be.

    That would be extra weird because you can see Zarta on the cover(she is that lady in year of the boundless wonder banner, she kinda got bob cut in 2e)


    CorvusMask wrote:
    keftiu wrote:
    Just picked this up and I’m bewildered by what appears to be an art order gone terribly awry: ** spoiler omitted ** Was there some appearance-altering metaplot I don’t know, or is it the mistake it seems to be.
    That would be extra weird because you can see Zarta on the cover(she is that lady in year of the boundless wonder banner, she kinda got bob cut in 2e)

    Same character - is that supposed to be her? She seemed significantly paler in 1e.

    Dark Archive

    keftiu wrote:
    CorvusMask wrote:
    keftiu wrote:
    Just picked this up and I’m bewildered by what appears to be an art order gone terribly awry: ** spoiler omitted ** Was there some appearance-altering metaplot I don’t know, or is it the mistake it seems to be.
    That would be extra weird because you can see Zarta on the cover(she is that lady in year of the boundless wonder banner, she kinda got bob cut in 2e)
    Same character - is that supposed to be her? She seemed significantly paler in 1e.

    Maybe she started to relax and started sunbathing after she decided to give up on her noble title claims and focus on working for dark archive?

    Just to confirm, iirc this was her new 2e art, was this same art ye are talking about?

    RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

    Is there any reason this wouldn't yet be showing in my digital content as a PFS VO? I'm definitely logged in and can access all the other org play scenarios I should be able to through Digital Content, but this one's not there yet. Is this a me issue or has it perhaps not been added yet for VOs?

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    dien wrote:
    Is there any reason this wouldn't yet be showing in my digital content as a PFS VO? I'm definitely logged in and can access all the other org play scenarios I should be able to through Digital Content, but this one's not there yet. Is this a me issue or has it perhaps not been added yet for VOs?

    We haven't run the asset grant yet today, that'd be why. If you're on the Venture Officer Discord server, I usually post there when we're starting the grant (usually afternoons Pacific time on release day).


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    CorvusMask wrote:
    keftiu wrote:
    CorvusMask wrote:
    keftiu wrote:
    Just picked this up and I’m bewildered by what appears to be an art order gone terribly awry: ** spoiler omitted ** Was there some appearance-altering metaplot I don’t know, or is it the mistake it seems to be.
    That would be extra weird because you can see Zarta on the cover(she is that lady in year of the boundless wonder banner, she kinda got bob cut in 2e)
    Same character - is that supposed to be her? She seemed significantly paler in 1e.

    Maybe she started to relax and started sunbathing after she decided to give up on her noble title claims and focus on working for dark archive?

    Just to confirm, iirc this was her new 2e art, was this same art ye are talking about?

    Here’s her 1e art and the portrait from this scenario. Same dress and skull necklace, wildly different people wearing them.

    Between this and Outlaws of Alkenstar, I’m curious: for art buys of canon characters, are references of their existing art not provided?

    Dark Archive

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Huh. It kinda looks similar to her 2e art from pathfinder society field guide, but like... She has less annoyed looking expression and yeah much darker looking skin. It could be lighting I guess, but you wouldn't be able to tell that from picture

    Its weird yeah because necklace's design and similar hairstyle implies artist has seen the other picture, so maybe its really supposed to be just lighting thing or contrast setting on someone's computer caused shenanigans? .-.


    CorvusMask wrote:

    Huh. It kinda looks similar to her 2e art from pathfinder society field guide, but like... She has less annoyed looking expression and yeah much darker looking skin. It could be lighting I guess, but you wouldn't be able to tell that from picture

    Its weird yeah because necklace's design and similar hairstyle implies artist has seen the other picture, so maybe its really supposed to be just lighting thing or contrast setting on someone's computer caused shenanigans? .-.

    See, her Society Guide art is still absolutely recognizable as her, but the art in this product looks like a woman from Garund. It’s not really recognizable as the same person at all.

    As I mentioned, OoA likewise had an art error that radically misrepresented someone’s ethnicity. If it happens again soon, I’ll make a thread about it - it’s a weird issue to have repeatedly.

    Dark Archive

    Easiest explanation is likely computer contrast settings. Like artist's contrast settings differ from the person requesting art, so there was mix up as result?

    Since all three pictures have really different style of art, its kinda hard to tell from the third(the one's that most off from other two) whether facial features are just artist's style or if artist was going for different ethnicity. (eye color is sadly one of those things that changes most easily between different artists just like how trying to have character with sevenfinger with different artists is hard ^^; )


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Art quibbles aside, there's something interesting about Zarta here: she's LN now! Having just read an older scenario yesterday where her Faction Mission was "steal a lizardfolk egg so we can raise it to be a pliant slave," I'm glad she managed to turn over a new leaf in the intervening decade or so.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    As I recall... Season 7's Faithless & Forgotten trilogy set the major outlook/goal change...

    The only clue that the new art is meant to be Zarta is the rough approximation of the Society Guide clothing...

    RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

    Alex Speidel wrote:
    dien wrote:
    Is there any reason this wouldn't yet be showing in my digital content as a PFS VO? I'm definitely logged in and can access all the other org play scenarios I should be able to through Digital Content, but this one's not there yet. Is this a me issue or has it perhaps not been added yet for VOs?
    We haven't run the asset grant yet today, that'd be why. If you're on the Venture Officer Discord server, I usually post there when we're starting the grant (usually afternoons Pacific time on release day).

    Thanks, Alex. I am on the server but aside from Announcements don't tend to watch things too closely, and I'd just never run into this before, I guess just due to luck. Now I know, thanks.

    Silver Crusade

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    CorvusMask wrote:

    Easiest explanation is likely computer contrast settings. Like artist's contrast settings differ from the person requesting art, so there was mix up as result?

    Since all three pictures have really different style of art, its kinda hard to tell from the third(the one's that most off from other two) whether facial features are just artist's style or if artist was going for different ethnicity. (eye color is sadly one of those things that changes most easily between different artists just like how trying to have character with sevenfinger with different artists is hard ^^; )

    As someone who comms art a lot *sigh* yeah


    Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    I figured that the 1e Zarta used a lot of makeup to make her face so pale and eyeshadow to give her that hollow look.

    Now she isn’t following the Cheliaxian fashions.

    Still, it is a very startling difference.


    BretI wrote:

    I figured that the 1e Zarta used a lot of makeup to make her face so pale and eyeshadow to give her that hollow look.

    Now she isn’t following the Cheliaxian fashions.

    Still, it is a very startling difference.

    I mean, this would be less "Zarta was chasing fashion trends" and more "Zarta was in whiteface for all of 1e."

    She also looks like herself in the 2e Society Guide, so I'm pretty willing to consider this one an outright mistake.

    Grand Archive

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    keftiu wrote:
    BretI wrote:

    I figured that the 1e Zarta used a lot of makeup to make her face so pale and eyeshadow to give her that hollow look.

    Now she isn’t following the Cheliaxian fashions.

    Still, it is a very startling difference.

    I mean, this would be less "Zarta was chasing fashion trends" and more "Zarta was in whiteface for all of 1e."

    She also looks like herself in the 2e Society Guide, so I'm pretty willing to consider this one an outright mistake.

    Eric Mona once talked about it during a panel during a convention...

    yes, it' sthat hard. They have tried sending color palettes for the skins, but this ended up having a negative effect, with artists going more often *against* the color palette sent. It's really hard to understand.
    And more often than not, the more problematic ones will also tend to send the art super late, and make it impossible to ask for redraws or even to have time to fix it without delaying the book.
    (That talk was from a couple years ago, but seems like it's still a thing.)

    Liberty's Edge

    Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    The required maps for this lists Pathfinder Pawns: Traps and Treasure Pawns collection as optional. I could not find any reference to this in the document. Any ideas where this is useful?

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    StalkingWolf wrote:
    The required maps for this lists Pathfinder Pawns: Traps and Treasure Pawns collection as optional. I could not find any reference to this in the document. Any ideas where this is useful?

    There's a sidebar on page 6 titled "Optional Pawns," which I will reproduce here for you:

    Spoiler:
    Quote:
    You can use pawns from Pathfinder Pawns: Traps & Treasures Pawn Collection to better represent the features of the vault. You can use a 4x4 “Large Treasure Pile” pawn to replace the orrery in the center of the map. You can also use the various chests to indicate areas where the PCs can Explore the Vault of Boundless Wonder for treasure, or simply to add flavor to the map. If you don’t have these pawns, you can substitute other tokens, pawns, or miniatures. Alternatively, you can use the Flip-Mat on its own and describe the additional features to your players instead.

    Liberty's Edge

    Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    I totally missed, that, thanks Alex!

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Heads-up: the PDF for this adventure was updated today. Nothing changed about the adventures, but initially there were only five player slots on the sign-in sheet instead of six. This has been corrected!

    Dark Archive

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Random question - it looks like S4 will have mini meta threads much like S3 did for the five national factions, but this time themed around the items the Society came to possess after the end of the last season. Is it possible to find out how many of these there will be in S4?

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