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KestlerGunner's page

RPG Superstar 6 Season Dedicated Voter, 8 Season Star Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 1,472 posts (1,625 including aliases). 59 reviews. No lists. 2 wishlists. 12 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.

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****( )

Perspective: GM’ed once. 3.75 stars.

This is a pretty fun Mexican train robbery. Spoilers ensue!

First off, stealing from the caravan carrying the fabled Sun Orchid Elixir is so, so, sooooo not a [1-5] tier mission. [7-11] would be more appropriate. Protecting one of these artifacts with dogs and long swords is stretching credibility, so with that slight impediment, let’s give it a red hot go anyway.

The Heist rules are heavy on the word count and heavy on the skill checks, but the writer has done a fantastic job in adding just enough detail to give each day of working infiltration enough flavour to be memorable and interesting.

The various magical security measures surrounding the prize are creative and memorable too! The problem is they seem a little bit too weak as they wear kiddy gloves. I rack this up to this mission being the wrong tier and the renowned squishiness of low level PCs. It would have been great to see real dangerous protections surrounding the prize which cannot be overcome unless you have creative/prepared players or success in infiltration. For future heists, I’d like the original protections to be bulked up a bit to make the infiltration more important.

I also think that some of the rewards for successful infiltration are a tad strange. For instance, I think that learning about the use of dancing lights is actually far, far more important than going out for a night on the town with the guards and learning humiliating secrets about them. It’s weird that the higher reward is worth less than the middle tier reward.
I did have one PC who was playing a low intelligence Paladin who had nothing to do during the infiltration section as he was too worried about creating complications for his party members (or his class abilities). It was a mistake to make 2+int skillpoint characters in PFS – something needs to address this.

So this scenario is the first attempt at something new, and despite an initial handicap about wrong tier, it does pretty well!
With some extra checks and balances set in place, I think heist rules could end up becoming an exciting new staple of PFS adventures. They need to be clearly identified, so we don’t have low skill point PCs getting bored for 75% of the scenario then leaving butt-hurt reviews.

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Genuinely upsetting


Perspective: Played high tier, have not GM'ed.

This is one of the few Pathfinder scenarios I've played where my character was in constant fear of death and genuinely just wanted to escape the horrible situation. She felt like she'd been plunged into something hellish, far beyond her abilities. The horror starts slow but gradually ramps up higher and higher with every step into the labyrinth. By the last room, you'll just want to salvage whatever remains of your mission and run for your life.

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Tries to do too much.

***( )( )

Perspective: Played, have not GM'ed.

I think the Paizo developers need to think long and hard about what works in Special format and what does not. Legacy of the Stonelords and Diamond Siege worked. This does not work nearly half as well.

There are two conflicting stories in this Special. One tries a rush job to replicate Legacy, but with ancient serpent folk instead of demons. The second tells a muddled take about Pathfinders in an ancient society hours before certain doom will strike. The writer should have really focused on the second half and omitted the first. For a five hour scenario, or even a seven hour scenario, it attempts to do far too much.

What results is a slog of endless combat encounters which are either seemingly meaningless or silly. I've played all the specials - the specials written for the year of the serpent are the worst so far. More planning is required to keep the quality of gaming higher.

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Waste of time.

*( )( )( )( )

This scenario has a lot of problems.
The combats go from bland and easy to nightmarishly hard almost instantly.
The puzzle is an utter mess, stuffed with enough red herrings to open a seafood chain.
Having an 'eccentric' 12HD fey dealing around 0-72 damage per round (no crits) to a party of 3-4 tier adventurers if you roll badly on one diplomacy check is inexcusable.
The repetitive trap introduction is sleep-inducing.
Oh jeez, you guys.
This scenario needs to get all it's s**t. And get it together.
Get your s**t together, Six Seconds to Midnight.

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No Time to Chew the Fat!

****( )

A+ grade location
A grade encounters
A grade mission
C grade roleplaying opportunities

This mission really needed a hook for the PCs to talk and chat with one of the denizens of the Gloomspire. As it stands now, the party is expected to power attack everything in sight. Still, the rest of it is creepy as hell and very memorable. I'd love to see more from this author, especially if he started thinking up some roleplay challenges in addition to his terrifying dungeon challenges.

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