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Stone Giant

Doug Miles's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit. 1,643 posts (2,382 including aliases). 56 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 19 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.



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Why should I care about any of this?

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I have played & GMed this scenario. It is apparent from the beginning that it has the narrowest of relevance to most PFS members. This is a scenario for your social PC, not your combat monkey. A new player is going to be left wondering "Why should I care about any of this?". A GM is going to have a hard time keeping the players engaged at the table. Last night was 3.5 hours of talking before we ever rolled initiative. After the first combat encounter the plot becomes silly. The players know what's up, but the contrived plot tries to turn them away from an early conclusion. The GM either improvises or asks the players "This is what you are expected to do, can you just play along?" It seems like the author believes the players are all mind-readers who inherently know which direction the scenario wants them to leap toward.

If PFS is going to develop these types of scenarios in the future, then it needs to create player handouts with pictures of the NPCs with a brief profile OR give permission for users to create and share resources with images from the scenario on sites like GM Shared Prep. There are 8 key NPCs in this scenario, all with foreign names that are easy for players to mix up.


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Two wrong feet & ugly shoes

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In the author's defense, this module was a great idea as a concept. I don't think Rob McCreary was the one who built the pre-gens that were included with it. They were badly matched against the encounters, which created a lot of heartache. If you play this adventure, steer clear of the pre-gens.

I'll echo the sentiments of other reviewers to say this was a poor execution of a product intended to introduce the novice gamer to the Pathfinder RPG. Two encounters in particular are responsible for this fiasco. They are overwhelming, making the beginning and the conclusion of the module contentious.

On the flipside, there are also encounters that are a trivial challenge and only serve to drag out the game. Likewise, the traps that are included are a small threat to the PCs and do not command much attention. I would have enjoyed more deadly & devious traps and fewer combat encounters.

I look forward to GMing this module again, but I think Paizo missed the mark on this one. Free RPG Day is about putting your best foot forward, and this module has two wrong feet and ugly shoes.


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A Missed Opportunity

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If I felt let down by the misleading title of this scenario, it pales in comparison to my disappointment with the plot. The Chronicle sheet didn’t get much love either. There are positive things about the scenario, if the GM is willing to polish it up. There are some role-play moments you don’t often see in PFS, and players have opportunities for outside-the-box problem solving. The scenario won’t deliver any of it without a GM who can provoke it from the players, however. If the GM is uninspired then success will come down to either some lucky die rolls or having the right skill pumped. This is an adventure for your social characters, not your combat-optimized fighter. The plot takes too much for granted and spoon-feeds the clues to the players. The setting is unremarkable, as are the combat encounters. I haven’t seen The Stranger Within (April’s other new release) yet but I hope it got the love that The Horn of Aroden did not.


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If you liked 'Rescue at Azlant Ridge', this is your scenario

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I've run this three times now and I think I figured it out. It would be difficult to run cold, so make sure you have time to read it through and get the tempo right. The PCs are sent into a mysterious tower inside the Worldwound with effectively no clue what to expect. Each room they investigate reveals another piece of the puzzle, but the clock is ticking. The scenario is a great fit for Season 5, which means if you don't play it soon it will make about as much sense as the Shadow Lodge scenarios from Season 2 do now. One thing that I like is the opponents allow the GM a lot of leeway to push the PCs further than previous scenarios. The climax will not fail to satisfy; it should be a nailbiter. It felt a lot like #2-02 Rescue at Azlant Ridge without the Azlanti insurance policy. Way to go Nathan!


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I Expected Better

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I’ve run this scenario 7 times and it’s making a slow recovery from the 1-Star first impression it made. The adventure takes place in Riddleport, a nearly lawless pirate town. The surroundings are very colorful but can be lost on players unless the GM does some research first. I recommend the GM read either the Second Darkness Chapter 1 Adventure Path section on Riddleport or the associated Player Companion as part of the prep work, your players will thank you. Also consider purchasing Pirates of the Inner Sea as the scenario features some equipment from that resource. The scenario spends a fair amount of time on the water, which favors high-mobility (and buoyant) PCs. If you have a social PC you can also have a good time. Non-lawful PCs also fair better in Riddleport. The scenario gets high marks for Campaign Flavor for using Riddleport as a backdrop, and for enabling creative approaches from players. The Faction missions are a let-down, more of the usual find-the-obvious-stuff-and-bring-it-back. My two gripes are with the background and the combat encounters. The background/plot is implausible and takes a toll on the player’s immersion into the situation. The combat encounters are recycled opponents & contrived roles. There was a lot of potential for exploiting the Bestiary 2 and Bestiary 3 here but instead I feel let down. I’m giving the scenario a grudging 3-Star review, only because so far all my players have enjoyed themselves and haven’t felt cheated. However, this is an Exclusive scenario and there’s nothing here that set it apart from any other scenario available for purchase. It took more effort than it should have to fix this scenario, and as an Exclusive release I really expected more.


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