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Smaar Janderfut

CanisDirus's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar RPG Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington. 1,067 posts (1,597 including aliases). 2 reviews. 4 lists. 2 wishlists. 33 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.

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Elite combat agents only!

***( )( )

This was a solid, hard-fighting scenario. Elite challenges for elite agents only - PCs who walk into this one unprepared will be destroyed, trounced, and annihilated (keeping pace with the author's reputation - be it deserved or no).

The reviewers prior to me cover a lot of the sort of things I'd go into already (which makes my review that much easier to write).

Leave yourself lots of time for this scenario! This scenario could possibly run up to 7 hours - the first fight (10-11 no difficulty adjustment) took the party I ran through it ~2 hours alone. Even with the party talking their way past 1.5 encounters later, we still ran close to 6 hours.

This is also one of the more challenging scenarios to prep as a GM in recent memory - lots of mechanics to know, lots of spells to know, lots of different monsters and tons of templates (plus one out of Bestiary 4, which was difficult since as of the time of this review that book is not on the PRD yet and I don't own it - luckily for me the Archives of Nethys are always awesome at getting stuff like that available).

Each combat is unique, which most of my players loved - if it wasn't for the first aid gloves from the PFS Primer, there would have been 2 PC deaths and several destroyed magical items.

A big thing for me as a GM, and my players as we talked about the scenario as I was handing out chronicle sheets, was with how much everyone was excited to be doing "a sequel to Where Mammoths Dare Not Tread!" only to have the scenario go in a totally unrelated direction after the first act. Even post-combat-afterglow from the combat-heavy PCs who loved the challenging fights, they were a little disappointed.

So, for me (always starting with 4 stars as my "base") -
+1 for the challenging and diverse fights and the availability of "hard mode" (something my players opted not to do, but the prospect alone got 4/6 of them really excited before I took a secret vote yea-or-nay)
-1 for the story issues
+1 for the use of PC-inspired (or so rumor says?) NPCs and Venture Captains in the scenario
-2 for the scenario length and the massive amount of prep required, including the use of many templates, and the use of multiple custom maps which weren't really needed - their layout did nothing to any of the encounters that took place in them that several different flip-mats or map-packs could have covered (which would make GM prep easier). Combat heavy PCs will likely enjoy the fights (unless they think that attacks that destroy equipment is a bad thing), but as a GM, this is not one I want to run again, and would never want to play or run it at a convention.

So, overall, solid - 3 stars.

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My new favorite module!


I ran this for some very experienced players recently, and the more I prepared in advance, the more excited I was.

Unlike many modules which are dungeon-delves or where everything is seemingly preordained in the module itself, The Midnight Mirror presents the story in such a way that the PCs can take almost any approach, any order of events, and the story remains coherent and tight.

(My players caught the subtle "butcher, baker, candlestick maker" bit, and thought that was a neat joke to slip in under the radar, by the by)

Many times in PFS scenarios and some other modules, a rich backstory is developed that the GM gets to read and enjoy, but there are no good opportunities for the PCs to learn about it, and the motivations behind NPCs and their involvement in the story - Midnight Mirror has those connections in spades, and my players (especially the ones who were more investigation-focused than combat-focused) loved digging into the history of Karpad and the Shae/Kayal of the past and the present.

I only have two criticisms of the module, neither enough to warrant less than a 5-star review from me:

1 - Stats for Stepan would be nice, in case the PCs decide to turn on him, or if Nicasor goes for him and the PCs are engaged to try and protect him.

2 - One of my players caught a potential plot hole:

If those trapped inside the mirror do not age as part of their eternal imprisonment, how is it that Manar and Sorin were born/aged inside the mirror? Is it just that people brought in from outside don't age, but those born within can be born, age, and die? That bugged some of my players for hours after they finished the module and had convinced Stepan to raise Sorin as his own.

I found this module to be rich in story, and flexible in terms of numbers of combats depending on the PCs' approach - a more diplomatic group (like mine) could talk through many encounters, whereas a more aggressive party would be able to enjoy fighting through everything, and the story would still be solid.

As the title of this review says - this is now my favorite Pathfinder RPG module!

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