I was surprised to purchase 2 Maze of Death blind boxes and receive 2 pieces of 'set dressing', which I understand are rather rare. The individual bits of set dressing vary wildly in their usefulness, but this one will see a good bit of use.
The image is accurate, if one-sided. The other side has the same wall and door (obviously) but omits the 2 skulls shown in the picture, effectively giving you 2 doors in one. A very nice touch!
One small issue, not with the mini, but with the product page. It lists the base as 'medium'. Not only is there no base at all in the usual sense (you can see that in the picture), but there is no way this mini can be considered 'medium', despite its inclusion as 1 of the 3 small/medium pieces in the blind box. The mini takes up 2 squares worth of battle map, though due to the flat nature of it, it doesn't take the usual 4 squares of a large figure.
I'm still not 100% on board with the inclusion of 'set dressing' in blind boxes, but this one is extremely well-done.
The water in the fountain is translucent, as expected, but it appears to be moving, with actual currents in the water! A very impressive little detail.
I might have liked to have had water spilling from the upper levels of the fountain to the lower, but that would probably have blurred the detail.
I've never really needed a fountain mini, and I never really expect to. But this was a delightful surprise from a blind box!
I GM-ed this for an... interesting party mix on low tier. The group consisted of a Spiritualist, 2 Paladins (Ranginori and Abadar), an Inquisitor, Gunslinger, a Pregen Witch, and a Pregen Bloodrager. I warned my players in advance that this was a high-RP, high-skill-use scenario, with some combat. I think that helped people decide which PCs to play as well as set expectations.
This was an amazing beginning for Season 9, and I hope the Season continues to be this amazing throughout! That being said, this scenario will not be everyone's cup of tea (as other reviews have made clear.)
* The chance for the PCs to engage in a glorified LARP/puppet show was amusing. The PCs got to describe how they perform, and their skills can make this anything from grand theater to painful farce.
In our game, the Paladin of Ranginori ended up playing Sarenrae while everyone else piled into Rovagug. No one had Knowledge: Religion, so the Paladin was trying to vaguely work Sarenrae dogma into her performance while being 'corrected' from inside the puppet- it was hilarious! And yet, they still did well!
* There were several ways the PCs could go about impressing the NPCs, as well as several ways they could gather the needed information. Everyone got a chance to do what they do best and make useful contributions to the group.
* This was a reasonable introduction to the Clout subsystem, and while I'm not sure that it was really necessary, it made sense and didn't detract from the experience.
* Most of the combats could be easily avoided or shortened, which was all to the good since this scenario really wasn't about the combat. To be honest, I suspect that the one totally unavoidable fight (the lizard) was thrown in just to give combat-lovers something to do, but that's ok. (I suspect that some people would find the avoidable nature of the combats a bad thing, but I really appreciated it, as did my players- it let us get on with the RP.)
* I loved how this scenario included actual discussions of religious dogma and deep philosophical principles. It was even better that the chosen subjects (Rodira and the White Feather) weren't ones that have had much if any development by Paizo, so the players weren't penalized for lack of setting knowledge. Everybody was on an even footing when it came to prior knowledge of the topics at hand.
This is a scenario where what you get out of it depends on what you put in, so if a player doesn't understand or enjoy these kinds of discussions, they might lose interest. However, our entire party embraced the opportunity and had a blast with it, debating among themselves and with the NPCs. In fact, after the visions, the Paladin of Ranginori immediately began trying to convert the NPC Roidirans to worshiping the Duke of Thunder instead.
* This is one of the first times that Spiritualists really get a chance to shine, rather than simply having their Phantom fight while the Spiritualist casts. Having a Spiritualist in the party makes the scenario even more enjoyable, whether they take the opportunity offered or not. (I ended up making a Spiritualist to apply this GM credit to, just because this was such an amazing moment in the campaign.)
* The boons on the chronicle sheet were amazing, and I love that PCs can choose one of two item slots for the sash to occupy. I wish there were more items like that.
* Two of the maps were drawn on the #$%^ing diagonal! Bad cartographer! Naughty! I printed these maps out in black & white, then colored them, as they were very large and too expensive to print in color.
* Different developers have worked on Qadira over the years, with the result that changes have been made to fairly basic things, like geography. Players questioned the sudden presence of a jungle in the desert, but it was all in good fun.
* If you really like combat, this isn't the scenario for you. While there are several opportunities for combat, most of them can be easily avoided, and the combats are all fairly tame. I don't consider this a bad thing at all, but players with a murderhobo mindset will probably be disappointed.
* While there's nothing problematic on the surface of this scenario, it is NOT family friendly. Most children will not understand the themes being discussed, and awkward conversations could easily result. As a GM, I would not have been comfortable having a child at the table, unless it had a parent present to step in as needed.
A suggestion for GMs prepping this:
Consider printing the visions out separately, then handing a vision card to each player as their PC drinks. This way, there's a better RP opportunity since the other players get to hear the visions for the first times as each PC explains their vision to the priestess in the conclusion. Simply reading the visions aloud to the players makes them more likely to skip the RP and just say "Yeah, we tell her what we saw".
All the players enjoyed this scenario, and several said that it was one of their favorite scenarios, and the best time they'd had in a long time.
Played this low-tier at GenCon 2017 with a skilled, experienced GM (which makes all the difference!)
*The combats were tough but interesting, and went fairly quickly- no slogfests here!
*The RP opportunities were excellent, without becoming a time sink.
*The threats seemed very real, with immanent danger of PC death- or worse! This was threat with a scalpel, not a sledgehammer. I don't enjoy brutality for brutality's sake, and there was none of that here. Bravo!
*This scenario offered actual moral considerations for the PCs, and not just of the 'good vs evil' variety. My Cleric actually had to take time to think very carefully about what her Deity would expect from her at several key points- something that doesn't happen often in PFS.
*This was (understandably) tied closely into Season 8, so if your Seeker dates from anytime earlier in the campaign, your PC will not have had much if any prior contact with the metaplot, which would be disappointing. Happily, I didn't have that issue, having completed Eyes less than a month before. Playing Season 8 material with other PCs still allows the player to enjoy the metaplot, on a one-level-removed basis.
*Time. As I said, we had an experienced GM with good time management skills, so we were able to have a good experience in a tightly timed convention time slot. This scenario could have easily run 6 hours or longer. In another environment where time limits are more flexible, I wouldn't rate this as a 'bad' thing- but it's something to keep in mind.
All in all, this was one of the best PFS experiences I have ever had! Please make more!