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Wolf

BigNorseWolf's page

RPG Superstar 2014 Dedicated Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 17,921 posts (18,544 including aliases). 9 reviews. 4 lists. No wishlists. 19 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.



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Nonsensical, out of character actions.

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A review a year in the making

This was supposed to be the farewell to the shadowlodge. There are many scenarios, but only one end to the most beloved faction of them all. That one opportunity demanded an awesome finale to go out with a bang, instead it went out with a "Wait.. what?"

Writing a good scenario is hard, writing a good end is harder but... wow did this fail in the second regard. Badly.

Spoiler:

The characters actions make no sense. Torch could just as easily have said "Hey! thanks for dropping off the spider. See you tomorrow at the union meeting" made the same bluff check and gotten the information out of her with the party heading off to celebrate. Instead he shows his hand, kicks the dog and rips her head off in full view of the party because... reasons?

After that, the entire 3 year story arch is summed up with.. oh yeah the 10 helps you get over it. Somehow. There NO idea about how they go about this, what that help entails, never mind that its not actually played out, so its going to be added as an after thought at all. This, even moreso than torches neigh guaranteed escape, takes agency away from the player.

There were a few clues that there were something else going on: Torch was wearing clothes and out of the tub, so unless that balm he got from the faction mission in the lantern lodge finale reaaally did the trick, that was out of character for him. There was a doppelganger corpse in the empty room, so it could have been a fake or someone glugging doppleganger blood. A year later though and, as nothing has come of the possibility, I'm going to conclude its bad writing rather than a fiendish plot.


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I can't believe I liked a chase scene

*****

Pros:

I think the author fixed the chase scene. This one is fun, imaginative, and fixes the problems that plague other chase scenes where some party members just may as well go order a pizza.

Good mix of social, skill, and combat encounters

This scenario could not have taken place anywhere but in Qadiria and I love that. In a world as diverse as golarion just remembering the adventure should be enough to remember where it took place.

Cons:

May have had a few too many PCs. Even DMing this I was a little lost as to who was who and had to use a letter from a PC the pcs hadn't interacted with yet.

3 monks and a lady:

The party was a level 1 half orc brawler, level human 1 Monk, and a level 3 Dwarven pouncing master of many styles monstrosity. And a pregen kyra.

Al 'hakir summoned the party to chat and head over to the wake. Threw on the excuse that he didn't want a bunch of armed people wandering around scaring his guests, so the monk party was chosen despite their lack of social graces. Krya both fit the theme and had a social skill so.. two for one.

The party made ok progress in chatting up the guests. The brawler was running on a strait d20 roll and got a 5... so telmad came off as stiff and unaproachable and refused to shake hands. The dwarf used his dayjob profession to hit it off with his fellow dwarf, Kyra and the human monk took turns rocking theology discussions with the scroll seller.

The mummy hit the party pretty hard. Everyone did well on their saves, but the brawler took an aoo to start a grapple followed by a real hit and hot knocked across the room. She hit all of the party at least once before being pummeled back into the coffin, to the horrified gasps of her grandchildren in the back row.

It was at this point that i really know nothing of Aaqir al'Hakam. He's always been pretty bland to me and i have no idea what his personality is or how he would react, so i just winged it. He took his daughters downstairs and got them their first (much needed) brandy.

None of the "go investigate what happened" hints really hit home with the party, and i think thats a good thing. There's not much to be gained from investigating it and a lot to lose if the party suspects some of the party guests (with good cause, they had enough knowledge religion and sense motive to peg one as a dawnflower cultist and noticed the druma coinage)

The party had fun wwfing it up with the zombie apocolypse at their door. They kicked off the zombie heads, smashed them to jelly under furniture, headlocked them till heads popped off, and leg swept them down the banister. Given the dwarf in the party trying to get lucky, they of course made a B line for metella.

The assassin thought the pathfinders brought the zombies and called them unclean dogs, and stabbed metella in the kidney but.. well. dwarf. The assasin dropped rather quickly , the zombies took a little time to go down thanks to the lack of slashing hands on the monks.

The pathfinders brought the assassin to Aaqir al'Hakam, who started with the idea of tossing him down the well. The party pointed out that wells are valuable commodities in the area, and recommended a termite mound instead. He has brand new scarzini allies for that sort of thing and let them handle it.

The party monk made the perception check on the cleric faking it, and then she lost initiative to the entire party. She was prone and within charging range... Punched out by the dwarf and sneak attack grappled by the Brawler she didn't even get to go.

Inside: skeletons vs monks. Results as expected. The party did a good job taking down the cleric, so this was a little anti climactic.

Shirin was taken back alive, boasted there was nothing the party could do to her, she would soon be with her god no matter what they did! The party suggested chaining her up, so Aaqir stuck a ring of sustenance on her , chained her up, put her in a sarcophagus and put her back in the tomb she'd desecrated.


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Unneccesary confusion

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So we have a murder mystery that forgot to put in any details about the victims, 3 seperate tracks determining what happens (time, pitchfork o meter, and opposition track, 25 different modifiers to the investigation culminating in a page and a half of modifiers to the trial....

This is way. WAY too complicated for the transparent illusion that they're not on railroad tracks. I spent almost as much time flipping back and forth looking for the oddly placed modifiers, conditions and pieces of evidence as we did in combat.

Spoiler:
The fight in the house with the rogue, which is probably the only fight in the scenario... exactly WHAT is he supposed to be hiding behind? He's a human rogue. He has to be in a well lit area to sneak attack and he needs something to hide behind. The only way i could justify a stealth check after round 1 was with him hiding under the bed.

If you have a good DM, play it, it can be a blast. If you're running it, just accept that the overly complicated tracking system is going to be tossed out in about an hour and don't bother with it. Its something that works much better as a loose guideline than mathematical precision.


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Only in Kaer Magna

****( )

I absolutely love it when a scenario makes such good use of the background that the scenario could only happen in one place, and this definitely does it. There's nowhere else on golarion you could run into such an oddball pairing cast of characters as you do running around this scenario.

The fights were fun but nothing crazy hard. Both groups I've run this for have died laughing over the

Spoiler:
Pot zombies
leading to the first fire the entire town wanted to run TOWARDS.

If the scenario had just had some random bad guy it would have been a 5 star. But this is a confrontation with the person trying to kill a faction head thats been building all season. The players have no idea WHY she's trying to do that. If you're running this, be sure to have the

Spoiler:
troll diviner
toss in few hints, or maybe have them give a party member a potion to send them on a hippy visionquest where they see things through her eyes.


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Boring and repetative

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Reading this had me constantly wondering if my bookmark had slipped back a few chapters while I dozed off. Wait, weren't they running away and being desperately chased a few pages ago? Oh.. yes they're just at it again. And again. And again.

Yes. The mysterious Masked in the mask is mysterious. We know noooothing about him. Or the mysterious guy following him. We got that. Somewhere between the 8th and 12th chase scene.


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