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Entropi's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 318 posts (320 including aliases). 3 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 4 Pathfinder Society characters.



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...and that's two small stars.

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It's not fair to give a low rating on a scenario without giving constructive criticism, but it's kinda hard to be specific without spoiling the scenario. I'll try to do both anyway.

This scenario was one of the worst I ever GM'ed. Every other PFS scenario I've run has been kept in print on my shelve for another run, some other day, but this one is going straight to the trashcan, so it won't pollute my other scenarios by being in the same room.

First of, the idea of having Pathfinders venture into at museum demiplane filled with ancient wonders, and where whole civilizations have existed in isolation for centuries, perhaps even millennia, is awesome. The possibilities for interesting stories are endless, and I would have loved to explore the Wonders that Hao Jin found worthy of preservation, or experience the sociological changes that the isolation would have brought to the ancient and unique civilizations so brutally ripped away from the Prime Material Plane by the mighty sorcerer. Instead, I get an utterly uninteresting and generic mud-filled cave, and a story that only relates to the whole Tapestry-tale so faintly, that less that 0,1% of the written material would have to be changed to move the scenario to any other swamp cave on Golarion. Talk about a waste of potential.

Add to this a row of only mildly interesting encounters, and several opponents that are both boring, badly designed, and easy walkovers. The quality goes up in the end, but only the optional encounter goes higher than "bleh". Even then, it'll never make sense to the players, and is still has very little information for the GM. All in all, the scenario has the feel of a tier 1-5 scenario, and could just as well have been designed for this.

To top this off, the scenario is also sprinkled with a fine layer of bad design, inconsistencies and outright faults. It's like it wasn't really proof-read. The map is made with 10-ft squares, and is too big to draw on a battle-map, even though the large size adds absolutely nothing to the scenario. Bad design, IMO. Several times, the wrong equipment is listed in the opponent stat blocks, and that only goes to make remarkably boring loot even less exciting. A nice handout represents one part of a letter correspondence, but the other half is not made as a handout. An NPC that has apparently lived all his life in a tribe that has been isolated for many, many generations has somehow, as the only member of the tribe, managed to learn how to speak common, and there is never an attempt to produce an explanation for this. And, of course, there is the faction missions fault, where information in one place states that the mission has to be carried out in secret, and information in another place (and on the mission briefing) doesn't state so. And don't even get me started on the the special boon.

It seems to me like the author perhaps was given a bad assignment that he really didn't ever get his spirits up about, but wouldn't turn down. It just seems... uninspired. But it does have some good things going for it. I like the very last part of the ending, and how the resolution of the scenario was played out. I'd like to see more of this stuff in future PFSOP modules. I also like that you don't just have to kill everything you meet, even though it would have been nice for the alternative to fighting to have been more interesting than just a series of Diplomacy rolls. And some of the faction missions are quite fun. Not great, but quite fun.

I would have given this scenario a 1-star rating, but it's actually so bad that goes out on the other side of bad and starts turning good again, so much that my players had a decently fun evening playing this retarded love-baby. They found the bad design hilarious, and perhaps they just needed a scenario they could steam-roll after a long streak of close encounters with The Gray Lady. So, I end up with two stars, and a sincere hope that the author gets a chance to write some projects that will inspire him. Much of his other work for Paizo has been great.


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*****

I printed these, laminated them, cut them out, glued them to thick cardboard so the celestial version is on one side, and the the fiendish version is on the other side. They are now my best player aid ever, and I feel like the king of the world plying my summoner with these. Thank you, and thank you for the continuous updates.


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*( )( )( )( )

Admitted, it's only a dollar. But that doesn't make this a good character sheet. A meal for a dollar would be cheap too, but if you don't like it, it's still a bad meal. It's 19 pages, but 17 I don't need. It tries to be a character sheet for every class, but if you're a fighter you don't need a lot of spell pages. If you're a cleric, what you really need is a list of spells, not a list of blank lines to write spells on. And so on

In short, there are a lot of free character sheets out there that are better than this.



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