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Lord Soth

Beckett's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 4,823 posts (14,548 including aliases). 36 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 24 Pathfinder Society characters. 5 aliases.



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Fun concept

****( )

SPOILERS OBVIOUSLY FOLLOW

Really enjoyed running this one. My only complaint is that there seem to be some glaring sort of facepalm moments that the writer either didn't consider or didn't care about involving certain alignments, classes, and setting faiths and both the entire premise of the mission as well as the railroaded way the scenario plays.

Spoiler:
Why would any good Cleric, Paladin, most good characters, or the many faiths that oppose Undead ever agree to go after this book, which it tells everyone upfront is used to create new types of Undead for battlefield use, <other than to destroy it>, and then also bring it back to the PFS for study????
It seems very hard coded in that some classes just are meant to either receive a failed Chronicle sheet from the start, ignore their class/alignment restrictions, or auto fall from grace, with no other option allowed.

Luckily, I didn't have to deal with that when I ran it, but it is certainly something that needs to be looked at, especially as there is no longer the "It's not evil if the VC/Faction makes you do it rule".

The other issue is that because of the nature of what happens, some common class features become instant PvP issues.

Other than those things, it was absolutely great. Very interesting combats and also RP opportunities. One of the best Haunts (memorable, not mechanically speaking) I've encountered in PFS. It was very nice that this one ran, especially for the Tier/Level fairly fast. The finale is amazing, and while not terribly difficult, definitely had the feeling of risk and danger.

The boxed text was short and concise, the flow of play was great, and the setting was interesting and uncommon. Outside of the issues I mentioned above, the scenario's little added bonus was incredibly fun and well done, and there is so much opportunity for the player's to RP things, particularly the unspoken requirement "act like the locals" really sets this one apart.

Part of me really wishes that this was a 1-5, as it offers an absolutely amazing opportunity for "wallflowers" to really get into character and have fun, and I think this would be an fantastic sort of way to start off new player's careers.

I highly recommend it, though there is going to be some complications for Good characters and most Divine classes, <again "you are Pathfinders" is an ignorant cop-out that just doesn't do a dang thing but ignore the issues>. To avoid this, when I ran it, I removed the two little bits in the opening that referred to the "disguise", and sort of tricked the players into drinking, thinking it was a part of the teleportation spell, just telling the players that they needed to infiltrate the area they go to, and find clues on the other Pathfinders, and complete their work.

Fix those issues, and this is easily a 5 Star scenario, and one I wish more writers would use as a basis of how a great scenario looks.


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runs very slow

**( )( )( )

SPOILERS FOLLOW (though that should be obvious)

I've this once and played it as well. It really kind of drags on after about the second floor, and it kind of leaves me unsure just who this was meant to cater to? It's fairly combat lite, doesn't have a high level of skill checks,

Spoiler:
predominantly Know Engineering, Perception, & Disable Device
, and doesn't really even offer much at all in the way of RP opportunity. I ran this as a PbP, and played it in a Face-to-Face game, and honestly I think the amount of traps early on just killed it.

The scenario I think, could have done a better job of explaining the relevance of the history, which kind of left us feeling like, "okay, so what" when I played, and needing to do a good bit of research when I ran it, as I couldn't seem to find references to some of the things in Dwarves of Golarion, ISWG, and the like.

The finale was a puzzle, and as far as I can tell, it seems like a largely convoluted and overcomplicated way of basically doing something that no matter what, they will eventually get through (assuming they have at least 2 individuals). It just doesn't work, as by the time people get there, they just don't care and want to get it over with.

There is basically a single map, but some of the directions just don't seem to add up, which confuses things. Originally, I thought I would like the single large map, (didn't realize at first it was actually 1sq = 10ft), but it just doesn't work. Please avoid doing this in the future. It looks nice as a picture, but in use, it's just terrible to use and makes it that much harder to keep track of the various areas.

I found it really annoying that, on the DM side, we get all this extra little info, like how the Undead happened, but there are no skill checks to pass this on to the players, and honestly, I'm not even sure what would apply. Know Religion? Dungeoneering? Alchemy?

I kind of felt that this would have been a lot more interesting if it would have catered a bit more towards dwarven characters, felt "dwarven", but just been more generally challenging, and I kind of suspect that it might have been heavily edited, possibly to fit into a "3 parter" rather than as a stand alone or something. It really hurt that the DM is not really given any dang info on some of the most obvious questions the players will ask, (how long ago, how many people, what exactly is the MMMC. . .).

From the DM side, probably the most interesting thing was to have fun with the little floating ghostly hand, making it act out trying to rush/lead the party where it needs them to go, especially if no one makes the check to find out what it is.


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Minimal

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It does basically what the description says. Nothing more. Add in how disappointing the actual ACG was as a whole, this one basically does the minimum to fix or empower what is needed, but instead focuses on holding your hand to fit a great deal of the newer classes into the more obvious flavor themes of the setting.

But in a lot of ways it fails to actually bridge the gaps even on that front. It was pretty clear in the ACG that the writers loved some classes and well, had to do something for the others. Thats basically repeated here, where some classes get cool stuff and others get a whatever scraps are left just so they have a new option in the book.

Lack of Favored Class material for the common non-core races is a huge let down. There is a section about Prestige Classes, but is kind of worthless as it basically traslates to ask your DM, (well, duh). There is just nowhere near enough in this book. What is there is writen well and enjoyable, but tends to be not terribly useful in favor of being niche. It partially feels like some of the almost finished material that they just couldnt fit into the ACG but not enough for its own book, so they added some filling in the form of setting flavor.

If you thought the ACG was perfect, you will probably like this one. If you wanted some fixes for that same book, its probably not for you. Its possible that when they get around to redoing the ACG that this book might get an indidect boost. Its probably not fair that the issues with the ACG directly affect this book as much as they do, but hopefully (if) when that changes, the reverse might be true as well.


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***( )( )

Interesting, but also a bit on the easy side, even for a Season 0. I like that it tended to have some uncommon encounters and a decent amount of not RP, but potential non-combat encounters if the players chose that route.

Most of the combat encounters where a bit of a breeze, honestly, leaving me really wishing I could throw in some non-PFS random encounters, but still fun.

Two big issues I encountered running it are (and again, Season 0. . .), a lack of a map or two for listed encounters and some of the writing is much more on the confusing side than not.

The largest player complaint I heard was that there where a lot of times that they didn't really get why they where doing things, (flimsy story motivation), but still enjoyed it and (as a PbP) ran fairly quickly.

It also seems that just about everything after rushing to the Underdocks to the final assault can be completely bypassed if one of the Characters has purchased their own ship. Especially as it would stand to reason that said character would have both known about and reasonably purchased a valid "pass". Didn't really care for that aspect either, as it seems written exclusively to be a sort of "gotcha" against the players. This should have been mentioned in the mission briefing and been an option right up front for characters to know about and purchase. Not a huge deal, I just have a pet peeve against this sort of DMing.


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**( )( )( )

Seemed to drag on a lot. I read up on it a bit online before running it, and honestly I kind of expected more. It wasn't terrible, and I don't think anyone really disliked it, but it was pretty clear by the time we got to the second map that they just wanted to push through and get to the end, and all in all ran about 6+ hours.


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