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Gold Dragon

Jason S's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 2,273 posts (2,299 including aliases). 88 reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 11 Pathfinder Society characters.



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Required Accessory

*****

I’m really surprised there isn’t a review for this product yet since I consider this a required accessory for the game.

If you’re going to be playing a game with more than 4 players, you’ll want this deck so that you have enough cards for everyone at the table (especially if you have several spell casters). You probably won’t have enough of some spells, weapons, or items, but it helps with the problem and beats buying another base set.

You’ll also want this deck for character variety. It makes the base set a lot more replayable since every character has its own playstyle.

The product quality itself is very nice, good card stock. As usual the art is great as well.

The characters are (mostly) well-balanced and are very enjoyable to play, each of them has a slightly different mechanic that makes it fun to play different characters.

About each of the characters:

1) Lini (druid): Lini is a jack-of-all-trades and can beat almost any challenge. She also has the potential to explore many times in a turn. Because of her diversity and ability to explore quickly, I consider her the most powerful character in the game. Borderline broken but enjoyable none-the-less. You can play Lini as a support only character, however she is more effective solo or part of a team.

2) Sajan (monk): This character uses blessings to power his attacks. Initially he is very weak but becomes extremely powerful and versatile as the AP continues.

3) Seelah (paladin): Seelah also boosts her attack by using blessings. Seelah is a good solo character and is somewhat diverse. They did a very good job translating the paladin class from the RPG to the card game.

4) Amiri (barbarian): This character is all about combat and does that fairly well. Having said that, except for a few scenarios she is not a team player. I consider her one of the weakest characters in the game, but she’s fun to play for the challenge.

Anyway, great product.


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Bland Introduction

**( )( )( )

After the rave reviews, I was expecting something great. Instead I experienced a generic exploration scenario with a story not worth telling.

The premise of the scenario was that our group was doing one last simple mission before becoming full Pathfinders. But... the mission could have really been anything and nothing special occurred.

My session:
My session was:
- 2 wolves who died before most of the party could act.
- Irrelevant Aroden trivia (that the new players didn't understand and could care less about)
- 4 zombies/skeletons who couldn't be reached by most of the party because of a chokepoint (and were killed by the alchemist)
- A deaf NPC (who wasted our time with nothing relevant to say)
- A boss fight that almost killed our ninja and the slow PCs had trouble participating

It's possible that we missed a Perception check, but Confirmation is an intro scenario and new players shouldn't be expected to know that they can Take 20 on Perception (I tried to tell our ninja about it but she ignored my suggestion). Even if it was a skill check problem, Aroden information is going to go WAYYYY over their heads. In my group, I was the only one who cared enough to pay any attention to that information at all.

New players won't know what to do with all the new "gifts" they find, let alone know that they should ID them (or how), or know how to use them to their advantage.

Detailed Ratings:

Length: Short. Could take as little as 2-3 hours, which is good because new players don't know what their character sheet means let alone the rules of the game.
Experience: Player with seven level 1 PCs (all new to Pathfinder except for me).
Sweet Spot: Level 1 presume.
Entertainment: The overall story wasn't captivating. The Aroden trivia wasn't used anywhere, so I felt like I wasted my time taking notes. (4/10)
Story: Necromancer killing dumb Gillmen. (3/10)
Roleplay: The NPC we encountered had nothing useful, relevant, or funny to say. (2/10)
Puzzles: None. Unsure if the GM made a mistake, the puzzle randomly wasn't there, or we missed a Perception roll. (1/10)
Combat: All combats excluded participants in one way or another. (3/10)
Maps: Good use of flip maps. (8/10)
Boons: Great boon, which is why I'm guessing people like this scenario. (10/10)
Uniqueness: The tavern intro was good, everything else was fairly generic. (3/10)
Faction Missions: None. (N/A)

Basically, this scenario is OK for a group of 4 veteran PFS players, but didn't do well with a group of 6+ new PFS players. I can think of a lot of other scenarios I'd rather use to introduce new players to PFS.


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Good Second Half?

**( )( )( )

I want to start off the review by saying that the review covers the first 60% of the scenario. Because of venue problems, we were unable to complete the last 2 hours. Having said that...

I don't like how specials have devolved into "how many encounters can we grind into 5 hours" affairs.

I didn't really find the encounters or locations in the first half of the scenario particularly interesting or worth my time.

The first encounter didn't even make sense to me and it was ridiculous in my opinion (especially considering my group was subtler 10-11, we were searching and can easily make +40 perception checks). Sigh.

I don't really see any point in having more than one wave of creatures per encounter, except to wait for other tables to finish the encounter (and maybe even having a break might be better). It's just filler and doesn't enhance the story experience in any way.

But then... there's a cool twist and the second half of the scenario gets much better from what I understand. It still doesn't make the first 3 hours any better.

So I'm left thinking that part 1 could have been reduced in length (3 hours long) and more focus could have been on part 2 (2 hours long).

Detailed Ratings:

Length: Long, will take 5 hours at least. Organizers need to start on time.
Experience: Played with 5 uber players at subtier 10-11.
Sweet Spot: TBD.
Entertainment: Second half could have been entertaining, first half wasn't at all. (6/10)
Story: Some story, wasn't captivated. Maybe handouts are needed. (5/10)
Roleplay: None in the first half, maybe in second half.
Combat/Challenges: Wasn't too hard or easy, but wasn't interesting. Could be challenging for some groups as the scenario used monsters that are very good for their CR. (5/10)
Maps: Maps were actually OK (but small), my GMs print outs never had the right scale however. (7/10)
Boons: More flavor compared to prior years, but not as useful either, and not really worthy of taking the time/money to attend a special event. (4/10)
Uniqueness: Not at all, just a bunch of traps and combat encounters strung together. Did not like. (1/10)
Faction Missions: None. (N/A)

I'm just not a fan of specials that grind encounters without decision making or roleplaying mattering at all. This is actually my least favorite special event.


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Another great roleplay sandbox / investigation experience

*****

Scars is another roleplay sandbox/ investigation experience reminiscent of Murder on the Throaty Mermaid.

This scenario will literally live or die with your GM. GMs, do everyone a favor, if you don't enjoy or can't adapt to running roleplay sandbox scenarios, stay away from them!

And of course, the players need to like it as well. It's possible that you might get only 1 combat in 5 hours, but that's really your choice on how you handle the various encounters.

My GM said running this was complex, but he had only read through the scenario once. In addition, he said we went off the rails a bit.

Detailed Rating:

Length: Medium. I believe we finished in 4 hours, nothing was skipped or rushed.
Experience: 6 veteran players at subtier 1-2.
Sweet Spot: TBD.
Entertainment: Highly entertaining with a few great characters and funny moments. (10/10)
Story: Story was simple but yet had lots of twists to keep us guessing. (9/10)
Roleplay: Almost all roleplay. (10/10)
Combat/Challenges: It's hard to judge the scenario based on one combat, but we were mostly level 1 and I felt the end encounter was the perfect challenge level. The scenario made use of one of the most hated mechanics in Pathfinder, I'm not sure why. (9/10)
Maps: Unsure, we only really used the town map and everything else was hand drawn. (7/10)
Boons: Sweet (if you are Silver Crusade), average otherwise. (8/10)
Uniqueness: Not unique but I love scenarios like this and it fit perfectly with the setting. (8/10)
Faction Missions: This scenario was made for Silver Crusade and I believe if we had a Silver Crusade at the table, it would have enhanced the experience. (10/10)

I would highly recommend this if you like roleplay and investigation and have a GM that can pull it off.


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Great Set

*****

I was very lucky and received a nearly perfect set of minis from this set. I had absolutely no breaks and the painting was nearly flawless.

The only suggestion I have is that Wizkids uses a glossier paint sometimes. I find the paint they use to be very dull looking, which makes it feel cheap and not durable.

Here are some highlights from the set.

Awesome

Bugbear Warrior: Surprise! This common was painted flawlessly and is one of my favorites.

Calikang: One of my favorites from the set. Great sculpt, detail, and flawless paint job.

Djinni: Another highlight. Amazing details.

Fire Demon/Balor: This baby is the king of the set. The best sculpt, lots of details, a great translucent whip, and near perfect painting. The only thing that could be better is if the paint job was a little glossier.

Green Dragon: Flawless paint, extremely nice. For more detail see my review.

Greater Death Demon/Vrolikai: Another highlight. Beautiful.

Marsh Giant: This high gloss mini turned out to be a great surprise.

Medium Black Dragon: This mini looks better than in the pictures. I understand that this was previously a large mini, but I found it perfect as a medium. Great sculpt, pose, and flawless paint. The black paint is a little blue however. I don’t see how it could be much better without a custom paint job.

Sandpoint Devil: This mini is one of my favorites. It’s BIG, much larger than normal. I don’t know why, but it’s apparent that more time was spent painting this mini than any other mini in the set, including the green dragon! The details and blending of color are incredible. I guess WK wanted to make Paizo happy. A joy to look at.

Seugathi: Another highlight. Love the sculpt and the gloss finish.

Serpent Demon/Marilith: Another nice surprise. Everything was flawless. Some people might have a problem with the swords looking like lightsabers, but I think they're alright.

Serpentfolk High Priest: Another favorite with flawless paint and lots of details.

Good

Derhii: The gray on this mini is too dull but it’s painted flawlessly.

Eagle Knight, Eagle Knight Officer, Knight of Ozem, Janni, Thrune Agent, Queen Ileosa: All of these medium humanoids were painted flawlessly and could not have not been done any better.

Hodag, Reefclaw, Snow Leopard, Tatzylwurm: Better than expected.

Orc Archer, Orc Mystic, Orc Soldier: Perfect details, even on the commons.

Moon Beast: Gets better with time and is a favorite.

Serpentfolk Degenerate, Serpentfolk Mystic: Half of them were flawless, half were only “OK”.

Slurk: Nice innovation with the disgusting gunk underneath his chin.

Tooth Gang Brute/Knifer: Pretty good but not flawless.

Ulat-Kini: Love the wet/glossy look.

OK
Akata: OK but I would have preferred a glossier (and heavier) paint (some paint is coming off his head).

Charau-Ka: The paint job is worse than what’s shown on the website. Probably too many details.

Kolbold Chieftain, Kolbold King, Kolbold Mystic, Kolbold Warrior: Unfortunately, my kolbolds were not done to the level of perfection found on the website (they have no faces). They are “OK”.

Monkey Swarm: They don’t look like monkeys (more like zombie babies). The problem with swarms is that to use them in game, they need to be flat coasters/bases, not minis.

Disappointing

Beautific One: For me this was the biggest disappointment of the set. It had the worst paint job. I’m not even sure it was the artist’s fault, it might have just been the sculpt itself. I’m not even sure I want to use it in my AP. Warning: Does NOT look like the website picture at all!

Goblin Pyro #1 + #2: I find it interesting that these minis are some of the best for some people, but for me the paint jobs are the worst, and they’re missing paint on their heads. Usable but not great.

Hellknight Signifier: The problem is the sculpt. Does not look as good as the preview picture. Barely any details and barely usable.

I didn’t get the following minis: Efreeti, Hezrou, Kolbold Archer, King Irovetti, Gorilla King, Lini, Marid, Mothman, Shaitan, Sajan, Scourge Hellknight.

Overall
Overall I couldn’t be more pleased with this set. However, it makes me very nervous that the quality I received was a fluke and makes me hesitate to make further purchases.


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