Review: Rite Publishing – The Gift (Pathfinder)

Curse of the Golden Spear: The Gift
The Gift is a campaign module (Curse of the Golden Spear Part 1) from the Asian epic fantasy, horror setting Kaidan for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game published by Rite Publishing and written by Jonathan McAnulty.
By Aaron T. Huss

The Gift is a questing adventure module for Pathfinder set in the Asian fantasy horror setting Kaidan and designed for four characters of 5th Level. The adventure is filled with combat and a nicely paced storyline that fit in directly with the Kaidan setting. The Kaidan setting is extremely unique being a land filled with wandering spirits, creatures of Japanese folklore, and wicked humans. The horror elements of the setting are well-developed and integrated smoothly into the background, encounters, and the overarching storyline.


The Gift is the type of adventure that cannot truly be spoken about too much without giving away its secrets, so I’ll attempt to highlight some of the more interesting points about the setting and the storyline. The Gift, and its subsequent series The Curse of the Golden Spear, takes place on Yonshu Islands within the lands of Kaidan. This land is unique in that it doesn’t follow the traditional “rules” of the rest of the world. The planes do not work the same nor does death and reincarnation. The setting takes much influence from Japanese folklore and throws in its own horror and fantasy elements. One of those elements that really stands out is the concept of wandering spirits and soulless bodies (all part of the quirky death and reincarnation). Bodies could become empty shells that are subsequently possessed by elemental spirits creating horrific humans. At the same time, a wandering spirit may decide to become substantial and attempt to overthrow the soul of a living human. These are just a couple of the twists in the setting, and I must add that they are developed beautifully and integrated directly into the adventure.

The adventure itself finds the PCs being a part of a quest (mission, job, call it whatever) that takes them to this island and thus dealing with its twisted inhabitants. There are a great number of secrets to unravel and surprises at every twist and turn. The players will be wise to pay attention and learn something along the way. Other than that, I will go no further, you will simply have to find out through game-play.


The Gift is an interesting and well-developed adventure module placed in a truly unique setting filled with horrific elements. It would be almost pointless to use it as a stand-alone adventure and sets the stage and initiates the quest throughout The Curse of the Golden Spear campaign. While it is combat-heavy, it is written with a styling that makes the encounters unique and interesting while continuing the story in a forward direction. And to top all of this off, you get maps and battlemaps to boot!


Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
The Gift has a very smooth layout and presentation, flowing perfectly from beginning to end. There are lots of great illustrations but more importantly, there are some beautiful maps and battlemaps associated with the various encounters and areas. This really adds not only to the visual appeal of the module, but also to its ease-of-use. The high-quality of the publication does a good job of leaving you to want to finish the campaign series.

Storyline: 8 out of 10
The storyline is fairly solid and integrates well with the various encounters and overall purpose of the quest. However, even better than its integration with the adventure is its integration with the setting. This storyline does an excellent job of bringing out the Kaidan setting in many different ways. This includes the overarching storyline and the smaller bits-and-pieces scattered throughout that are integral to individual encounters. It should also be noted that it flows superbly from beginning to end without creating gaps or confusion.

Desire to Play: 9 out of 10
Considering The Gift has a large amount of combat encounters, it is not hack-and-slash. To avoid the quest from feeling repetitious, these encounters are quite different from one to another. They range not only in their setup and purpose, but also their style and storyline impact. In addition to the mechanical elements of the quest, the setting is unique which means you won’t feel like you’re playing an adventure you’ve played before.

Overall: 9 out of 10
The Gift is a very good and very solid adventure module. Even better, it is an excellent setup to The Curse of the Golden Spear campaign series. The Kaidan setting really comes alive and this is only the first module. One of my personal favorites is how the ideals of reincarnation work within the setting in how a body can be stolen by a wandering soul or that a body can be an empty shell and thus be acquired by a nasty elemental spirit instead. It’s a very interesting concept and executed wonderfully.

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