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Lord Soth

Beckett's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 4,823 posts (13,676 including aliases). 31 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 23 Pathfinder Society characters. 5 aliases.



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The fact that it's not only not printer friendly, but looks like it's going to waste even more ink than the previous one is not good.

Personally, while I do like some aspects of the theme, I'm not digging the art at all, especially in regards to how disappointing Season 6 play has been so far.

Like the other Season 6 products so far, the layering and graphics look like they are messed up somehow, which makes the loading time on my tablet wonky and take too long for some reason. Granted, it's free, but still, I just don't think the quality is there.

So far, the only real improvement I do like is the added line that states a group can decide to play up or down if they fall exactly in the middle of two sub-tiers. But other than that, not really impressed.


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Sometimes you just can't go home again

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I've run and loved all of the previous Blakros Museum scenarios, and that was my primary reason for going for this one. As I ran it, I tried to subtly add in bits of flavor for those who had played the others, something I felt was a bit lacking. It's there, but more for DM's only, I guess.

All but my wife had experience with at least 2 of the previous Blakros Museum scenarios, and amongst every (not including me), they had played them all. Throughout the game, it seemed that they all enjoyed it, but after the game, as I tend to do, I listen to the players views, answer questions, and see what they thought, both of my DMing and of the scenario itself.

It was pretty universal that they did not like all the robots or lasers, and commented that if this is what Season 6 is going to be, they will sit it out. From outside, DMing, I can easily see some classes (Clerics, Rangers, etc. . .) being peeved with the sorts of encounters in this. It could really use a lot more variety in creature types.

I didn't have this issue, but having read through the PFS GMing thread, the writer and the PFS staff should really take another look at the monsters they used. It's pretty ridiculous. Particularly the one that happens as you first enter the museum. Low Tier, this is just stupidly brutal, and my guess is that every group that survived and made it past this point probably only did so because the DM didn't know or hand-waved them through.

As a DM, I was a bit peeved that it relied so much on the Numeria book and the Tech Guide without really giving us much in the way of fluff and quick notes on some of the things that sort of matter in the scenario. We do get the stats for gear, but it would have been nice to know what the deal with a few individuals and groups was.

The last thing I really wanted to comment in is just how unlike the other Blakros Museum scenarios. It's got Nigel. It takes place in the (a) museum. It's got a big dinosaur on the map. (Now THAT would have been a badass final, a non-swarm nano dino skeleton. . ., but sadly, no). It just didn't feel like a Blakros Museum scenario. It felt like it was really just pushing the sci-fi side of Season 6, but it really wasn't a Blakros scenario. It just doesn't have the same feel. It's got a new map, (DM sadface), which is nice, but an absolute pain in the ass to draw out (and twice at that).

It was funnish, but not one I'll probably rerun. I highly suggest that players avoid playing the lower tier unless they are well prepped, something the scenario really doesn't give any hints at until after you've already enter. (Tip Adamantine and Electricity Resistance is good). I loved, and probably the best part of the scenario in my eyes was the intro. I have no idea why DD has been gone, (and that might have been nice to include as it seems like it was going to be pertinent before <crash>.

With that all out of the way, I do think the writing was good. It looks nice, and I do like that there was a lot of extra little tidbits in there. I loved the way the encounter with GG turned out, as in terror, she latterly leapt off the spaceship without Acrobatics and nearly knocked herself out, as the Monk straight up spotted her and climbed up in one turn, then disarmed every weapon she had (intending to show her the party didn't want to fight and the +12 Diplomacy Cleric got herself Blinded and stunned by the grenade). I think it might have worked a lot better if this had not been a Blakros Museum scenario, or focused much more on horror/oddities than sci-fi, and had some more traditional monster types in the encounters, (undead, monstrous humanoids, etc. . .) Too much sci-fi, not enough fantasy/Blakros Museum.

If you do survive it, you are rewarded with a nice RP boon (though this one seems the least likely to actually grant it, feels a bit off), though the actual mechanics side is a bit "meh" and the true reward of the ability to now be immune to magical Darkness, including the Deeper variety for about 650 gp. And you can do it twice. . .

A few other things I noticed I wasn't thrilled with. I was not happy with the way that the Darkive was presented in this one, and I kind of questioned why this was a Darkive scenario at all. Also didn't like the way that it paint Nigel. I can see the expectation of the Darkive, (which itself seems completely contrary to the write up in the guide or the blogs), running into some issues with other Faction members, particularly Liberty's Edge and easily leading to the bad kind of party conflict. I also found it kind of annoying that it sort of allows one faction to corrupt/intimidate/enslave Nigel, when in every other gam I've run, he has been a well liked reoccurring NPC, and such faction missions would not have gone over well with other players or characters.

I really hope that that is reexamined by the PFS staff. With this out only Season 6 example so far, we, the party that played or I the DM are liking what we see of Season 6.


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Not a 1, but no where near a 5 star.

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I'm having a lot of trouble settling on an opinion of this book so far. There is a lot of good, but also a lot of bad.

I love the sheer number of options and the level of crunch in this book, I and really hope that Paizo continues with this and less fluff/setting. Art is generally good, and to a point it has a little for everyone.

But it's also got a lot of issues. It's abundantly clear that the writers loved some of the new classes and not others. Some are amazing and have a much larger chunk of extra options designed for them (gear, new spells, feats, etc. . .) while others are, well not great, and it's perfectly obvious that no one was particularly interested in writing more options for them. The divine side sort of all around is particularly lacking. Worst, it's also abundantly clear that some themes/classes where loved that those that where not tend to be extremely bland and, well boring.

My largest complaint is that (and this seems to directly contribute to the above complaint), is it also seems very clear that the various designers and writers for the different sections had little to no communication. Things are all over the place, and there is absolutely no effort made at any sort of balance. It also seems in many ways to have a handful of purposes. One is to focus on the 10 new classes, (some more than others), but it also seems the intent of the book is to "fix" some of the most commonly seen complaints on the boards, (true or not), such as equalizing Caster/Martial disparity, give Monks good things, or whatever the many personal beefs are. Which is fine, but sort of splits the focus. (Not against people for having them, I do too, just this was totally not the place). The other seems to be to absolutely throw out any sort of game balance. Another seems to be to throw out so many class features as feats like candy, (but still has the same problem that some are obviously favored, others not). There also just seems to be an inordinate amount of arbitrariness in here. Another focus seems to be to attempt to make the game a sort of classless system without actually making it one.

We already saw this clearly in the actual playtest, particularly around the second phase, but we had very little impact on a lot of things. And I want to say that the book really could have used an extra 2 or 3 months to polish, but the truth is I seriously doubt any of these issues would have been addressed and we would just have seen them expanded even more.

In the end, this book has honestly left me undecided on if I like it enough to call it "ok" or hate it enough to want my money back. It really is one of those books that so often a step forward, two steps back, but occasionally you land on something that's 10 steps forward. There are just so many dropped balls like the entire Warpriest, (others might say the Swashbu, whatever, who cares, or the Hunter, or the Shaman), but there are also some interesting nuggets. The PDF price is good. I wouldn't, now knowing what's in the book buy the $40 US book. Some classes just need scrapped and started over with writers that want to write about them and make cool possibilities along their line and theme. Others have plenty of options. Both the 10 new classes and all the other classes base/core classes that have come before.

After thinking about this, I really feel that this should have been split into two completely different books. One that focuses mostly on the 10 new classes, the class building rules, new gear, spells, feats, and archtypes designed for those classes, with a few nuggests for each spread out evenly amongst all of the base classes that made up the hybrid classes, and another that was focused on everyone else trying to offer them more options to branch out. This is in addition to the Adv Class Origins book scheduled for later. There is just too much everything going all over the place, too many Feats, for example that are clearly designed for one class, but they can't actually qualify for it or don't actually benefit from them, too much of this, which means far too little of that.

<Edit>The more I delve into the book, the less pleased I am with it, and I've dropped it from a 3 star to a 2 star. This really needs to go back to the writing block and redone. It promises much, but delivers little. Far too much just really needs to go back and get some work done. Far to many things that seem like they should work or be able to be taken by a given class, but turns out it either doesn't actually work, or they can, just can't use it. Seems like somewhere between the first and second playtesting, Paizo just stopped caring about this product's contents, and from there any sense of game balance.


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Another Season 5 one. . .

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That is, if you hate combat and love high skill check rp/investigation, this is for you. If not. . .

I had pretty high hopes for this, (finally an actual Mendev Crusade sort of scenario), but really it's none of that. It could basically take place anywhere, and actually kind of seems more like anywhere but Mendev.

From a DM's perspective, it's needlessly complicated. It tries to capture something from Before the Dawn part 1 in the Town Sentiment track and mesh that with The Stolen Heir and other almost exclusively investigation scenario it leaves a lot of things unanswered.

It really needs something to spice it up, and probably 4 or 5 random combat encounters (Season 5, you are failing me).

It's a pretty big Red Flag to me when a Scenario has a GM sidebar noting that they have gone out of their way to make a lot of class features and character abilities not work or purposefully not give info just so the precious story can. That's just bad storytelling, and not only does it not equal fun, it usually just leads to frustration.

Another issue I have is that it suggests that the party split up, (sort of) and gives penalties for them not doing so. However, that's like Rule 1 in PFS, (you don't split the party). That this aspect was even included is beyond me, and what's worse, why would any players even think to do this, ever.

I'm really not sure what the goal for this one was either. While it offers a few different locations to find clues and evidence, for the most part a single character with a decent Diplomacy can solo this (and might actually do a better job without anyone else honestly with the penalty for others tagging along). Each gives suggested skill checks (with a lot of them being Diplomacy) but also suggests to let players use other skills with a good reasoning, and well Diplomacy kind of goes hand in hand with talking to folks, so that's really the only skill check you need to make in this one. Maybe Perception.

It also talks about how you can redeem <someone> at the end, but they are still listed as LG throughout and still have all their abilities to the max, so how exactly do they need to be "redeemed"? A smack on the head, sure. Shown that it's not ok to just murder those you hate. Certainly. Seems pretty hard to pin down what her actual alignment should be (you know outside of PLOT). There is one alignment that uses the law to enforce their will and harm others. There is also this one alignment that doesn't really care about what's real or right or ethical as log as you get what you want. Neither of them are LG, though.


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Interesting

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It was fun to run, and I did so for the Free RPG Day.

A few issues I noticed is that the combats where very fast, simple, and kind of unfulfilling. I don't think anything lasted past 2 rounds at all, and the entire table was disappointed at the lack of final encounter. People kind of expect that now.

The entire table was low Cha/low Social skills, but one player consistently rolled high which made for some entertaining rp moments, but also lead the party to believe some falsities (even after I tried to push them in another direction). Not a single player was interested in screwing over <an individual>, some of which had played through previous scenarios involving him, which kind of left this scenario flat. But, Season 5.

What I think would have been fantastic is for the scenario to allow for individuals to both try to mess up and also for others to attempt to refix things, each side sort of behind the others back.

The other major issue is that the party really blasted through this one. I think it was under or right at 3 hours. While it was fun and they enjoyed the overall story, it just wasn't challenging at all, (one character literally jumping down the well so he can say he took damage this scenario).

No Sczarni or Qadiran PCs, and I (DM) was the only Osirion, but they in a lot of ways completed even those extra bits. They are looking forward to part 2, but really want better combats.


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