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Meepo

Jeffzilla's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber. 14 posts. 5 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.



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Another good solid entry

****( )

AP # 118, "Siege of Stone," is a good solid continuation of what may be the best Paizo Adventure Path in recent memory. Taking a slight change of tact, this leg of the campaign takes players out of the wilderness frontier and plunges them deep into the Darklands, possibly creating a bit of a 'fish out of water' element for your player characters. Needless to say, the underground setting in "Siege of Stone" is chock full of adventure set-pieces hearkening back to old-school tunnel crawls and dungeon runs. A copy of Paizo's 'Monster Codex' might be useful when running this part of the story, since several of the fixed encounters in this part of the campaign are lifted from that book, but full stat blocks are provided, so not having a copy of the Codex shouldn't be a deal-breaker. About two-thirds of the way in, players have a terrific roleplaying opportunity-- something which later plot elements will hinge upon-- so the hardcore roleplayers in your gaming group will have a blast with this part of the story. This roleplaying encounter is incredibly well-written, with clear objectives and outcomes, so that DM's will have no problem staging the encounter or determining the party's degrees of success/failure. Finally, the story culminates with another dungeon exploration scenario, and this time the stakes are raised so that it's an unusually high-risk, high-reward proposition. This is a really nasty scenario, offering the very real prospect of a character death or two, but it's not an automatic TPK by any means. My only major criticism of this volume, and the reason that I docked AP # 118 one star when writing this review, is that the first leg of the adventure feels like it ought to be longer, with more preplanned encounters, as if perhaps it had been trimmed a bit out of page count concerns-- but that isn't anything that can't be fixed with a little DM creativity and elbow grease! The "Heroes of the Darklands" Pathfinder Player's Companion and the "Darklands Revisited" Pathfinder Campaign Setting will probably come in handy for DM's wishing to flesh this part of the adventure out a bit. Of the first four installments in the "Ironfang Invasion" Adventure Path (# 115-118), "Siege of Stone" is definitely the one which will benefit most from a little additional DM planning and prep time. On the plus side, the gazetteer for Kraggodan, the ancient dwarven sky citadel, is really interesting, painting one of the clearest portraits yet of what dwarven civilization and daily life are like in Golarion. Four out of five stars.


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Wow. Just wow.

*****

I'm starting to feel like Paizo has really outdone themselves with this Adventure Path. It's becoming obvious that each installment in the series strives for a different theme-- and that these thematic elements flow logically from one volume to the next, taking players on a journey which is as emotional as it is glorious. While AP # 115 was about fleeing for survival in the face of brutal, overwhelming savagery, for example, and while AP # 116 was about securing a place of refuge and creating a sense of community and home in the untamed frontier, "Assault on Longshadow" is about finally going on the offensive-- even if the players are only taking their first few cautious, tentative steps along those lines. In terms of adventure content, "Assault on Longshadow" has a fair amount of wilderness exploration, a couple of roleplaying opportunities (one of them is pivotal, in terms of story arc), and a series of hit-and-run engagements against the enemy-- culminating in the Adventure Path's first major battle. What else can I say? I don't know if the quality of this Adventure Path can be sustained over another three volumes, but halfway in, it's off to a more than impressive start. Five stars.


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Sets the stage

*****

The Ironfang Invasion Player's Guide does exactly what all AP player guides ought to do: it gives players some idea about what to expect during the AP, it spells out which races, classes, and other character options would make the most sense in the campaign (both from a backstory perspective and in terms of usefulness during gameplay), and it provides a quick overview of the territory where the characters will be adventuring. It also gives players a basic explanation of how the new militia rules described in this AP will work. Some of the previous AP players guides offer little more than cinematic or thematic flavoring, along with a few broad suggestions, as opposed to the recommendations in this book, which are useful, detailed, and specific. This is a great player's guide, possibly the best one yet, and I hope it sets the standard for all future AP player's guides-- five out of five.


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A solid follow-up to AP # 115

*****

As with the first volume of this AP, the events which the players find themselves caught up in are a little railroady, but this can be forgiven since they're large-scale events affecting the entire region-- and survival in the midst of a major catastrophe is a pretty good reason to go with the flow of the adventure as written. This adventure pick up where AP # 115 left off, with lots of roleplaying opportunity and an intense, combat-heavy plotline. Most action is set in a rural (wilderness) environment, with a bit of underground exploration to round things out. Five out of five.


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Off to a great start!

*****

Great premise for an extended campaign. The events which set this AP off are a little railroady, but most characters from Nirmathas or the surrounding region will have a built-in motivation to pick up the adventure without any coercion from the GM. There are some excellent roleplaying opportunities in this adventure, in which the PCs become de facto leaders of a band of civilian refugees which is fleeing a brutal enemy invasion, but the scenario doesn't skimp on combat, either. Most of the adventure takes place in a rural (wilderness) setting, with just a smidgeon of underground exploring for anyone craving a good old-fashioned tunnel crawl. Five out of five stars.



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