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Boggard

HelloMonty's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 31 posts (33 including aliases). 3 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.



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A well-written and challenging finale

****( )

This is a good finale module. It is sufficiently-epic, well-organized, concludes all the important story lines, and has some great encounters and events.

Spoiler:

The "invasion" aspect works well if you like the prerequisite roleplaying and diplomacy. The hard work from the rest of the AP pays off here if you did it right.

The "Coils" are cleverly done. The back and forth with the Serpentfolk has worked well for our group in previous modules (the Seekers in module 4) and I think these will, too. My players will never go for the railroady assassination setups suggested, though, but this is a very minor complaint.

I really liked the sanctum. Other than its generous use of my paper and ink, it is a great final dungeon crawl with appropriate encounters along the main theme and a seriously dangerous, epic finale. If you kill those dudes, you totally won.

I thought the hunter's maze wasn't that interesting and reworked the recovery of the "weapon" (which is a cool encounter and theme) into a much smaller map. I was looking to cut some stuff, though, and a lot of this part seemed like filler to me. Given that, its written well enough, and others might like it.

Spoiler:
The proto shoggoth is really cool - another great note in the abomination sub-theme.

For me, the only big problem with this module is the ridiculously bloated maps. These three maps print out (at standard 1 inch mini scale) at about 7 feet by 9 feet EACH! I think you may have been able to trim these down a bit, guys. People print maps and use figures, but it's just not practical with these behemoths.

Overall, this is an epic finale to the AP that manages to shine through the the failings of its wayward sibling modules. Major and minor themes of the AP - the overarching story of Savith & Ydersius, Azlant & the Serpentfolk, the various factions & tribes, the ongoing skirmishes, and the beloved abominations - are all woven in nicely. Thanks to Neil Spicer for pulling it all together into a refreshingly well-written finale.


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Could have been really good if it were finished

**( )( )( )

If you are able and willing to spend 15 or 20 hours preparing for each gaming session you run, this may be the module for you.

Because its a sandbox adventure, you need good reference access to lots of information. But the module is so poorly organized, you are going to be flipping back and forth trying to find stuff so often that your players are going wonder if you've prepared at all. For example: the spears. I can't count how much time I wasted searching back and forth between the descriptions and the powers, which are each separate. There are at least 15 different locations in the module for information about the spears. A summary table would have been nice. Also, there is a table of "Historical Discoveries" that you can roll on - but all the information you need for the roll results is scattered across various sections and even other modules. There are so many poorly organized facets to this module that I wanted to scream. The result is a huge amount of preparation and play overhead.

Content-wise, there *is* some good stuff here. I especially liked the Tribe of the Sacred Serpent, the Green God, and the Military District. Make sure you study Olujimi closely. His at-will abilities are key to making him a really excellent and challenging encounter - or series of encounters. I also liked Akarundo. Egzimora is right, he is a "filthy deviant". His abilities, location and perversions combine well if you want to harass your players with something very creative.

Other stuff was weak. I hate encounters or story lines that contain long-winded justifications and backgrounds which the PCs have little or no hope of ever understanding. And there is plenty of this. It's even worse if the players spend a lot of time investigating - because of all the clues - and then it turns out to be completely orthogonal to the main story. I'm thinking of you, Aboleth. This is a complicated theme which your players have little hope of ever unraveling, and which you have little hope of keeping track of in a timely manner since the clues and explanations are scattered all over the module. Yet if you and your players, in a great show of teamwork, somehow manage to get to the bottom of it, you'll find that it was just a lame side story, and that you wasted hours of your lives on it.

Lastly, the maps. There is exactly one encounter map for one unimportant encounter. That's it. Paizo, you should have held off publishing this until you had some maps. I don't think you've fulfilled your side of the bargain when you sell us such a complicated module with no maps.

Overall, this module could have been good with a lot more organizing, a bit of cutting, and a good dose of cartography. But as is, it's a rough draft with a lot of TBDs printed on shiny paper. As the linchpin module of the adventure path, it is an epic failure. It should be framed and hung on the wall at Paizo as a reminder of what not to do.

If you are thinking of running this adventure path be aware that this module is the centerpiece. You'll have plenty to do reworking, organizing, mapping and finishing it yourself. I strongly recommend visiting the forums where the community have posted a lot of helpful information and game aids.


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Good Overland Adventure

****( )

A good combination of city, overland, and ruins exploration. The overland part can seem railroady, as others have said, but it works, and some of these encounters establish themes for future creatures. Overall, a worthy transition from the previous module to the next.

The maps, on average, are pretty good. A couple of them are really nice.

Spoiler:

The Kalabuto map is big and beautiful. Great for a sprawling battle.

The 'tree' map was hard to understand, but can work really well if you spend some time with it and understand the terrains and elevations, maybe marking the map up a bit. I established the terrain to be very advantageous to the residents, and it made for a good rolling fight.



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