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KestlerGunner's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Dedicated Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 1,328 posts (1,473 including aliases). 46 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 11 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.



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Remember to take your tablets

****( )

Played once, GM'ed once.

This is a great example of a flavourfully epic dungeon delve and a reason why a decision to spend a year in Paizo’s favourite country ended up being a great thing for PFS. ‘Words of the Ancients’ is a ‘Collect A, get to B’ mission that provides plenty of opportunities for those with smarts and a rigorous beating for any murder hobos. I’d like more adventures of this high calibre for PFS. That said, Krune overlooked some details in crafting his conjuration tower. Spoilers ahead.

Pros:

-I really enjoyed having a scenario where the Pathfinders are not expected to instantly fight a monstrous creature. This crafts a much more three dimensional view of the fantasy world while giving an insight into a ‘federation’ of good dragons who are involved with stopping the Great and Terrible Evils of the Inner Sea. Zonaladin is awesome. I hope he returns.

-Great work with the Silver Crusade and Chelish faction missions. GMs, please keep these two missions in, even if they’re retired. The Zonaladin works better if there’s a Chelish adventurer talking smack about metallic dragons.

-The Importance of Appraisal in an Archaeological Society.

-I only like maths puzzles when I can solve them :B

-Some fantastic bestiary choices.

Cons:

-The Sphinx battle at high tier is a little underpowered. It could do with a Symbol of Pain or three. [/evil]

-The Greater Scrying guard-dogs with swift teleporting full attacks and surprise rounds (and the intelligence to target mages first) pack enough punch to kill any character in one round. If a GM wants to be a real a#@~~$* with these nasties, the opportunity is there. Please see Avatar’s “Gotcha!” review below.


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Some factions are fatter than others~

***( )( )

Perspective: GM'ed twice.

Some factions get more love than others. There, I said it. This ambitious and long special has some wonderful moments, but roughly half of the missions accomplish nothing and take us nowhere in the grand scheme of the PFS plot. It’s definitely worth playing, but only if you’re in the factions that have received some inspiration.

Mission details ahead:

Sovereign Court: This is one of the best of the bunch. Although I skipped the warehouse and had the team assault the coach in transit, there was a lot of fun to be had with this one. The combat was relatively easy, but keeping the town guards off their backs was the difficult and interesting part of the violence.
Coming up with ways to deface Lord Minovitas paintings was an excellent and flavourful beginning for the Sovereign Court. Of course my mischievous party descended immediately into claims of bestiality and accusations of drunkenness. Great fun.

Here's the list of portraits I described for the PCs:
1. Lord Minovitas has slain a Nabasu demon and is standing over it.
2. Lord Minovitas shares an intimate dinner with Queen Galfrey. She looks smitten and he is lecturing in strategy.
3. Lord Minovitas has fired a longbow arrow into the forehead of a balor. A number of Kyonin elves are cheering his markmanship.
4. Lord Minovitas has removed his shirt and is wrestling a mammoth. A number of stylised Mammoth Lord men and women cheer him on.
5. Lord Minovitas has gathered the Taldan nobles to his cause at a feast. This painting resembles the last supper, with Lord Minovitas in the centre.
6. Lord Minovitas looks into the middle-distance, with the enormous ghostly face of Emperor Stavian staring into the middle-distance behind him.

Silver Crusade: The slave auction is stacked against the party, but giving the GM a Doppelganger boss to deal with adds much of the excitement and fun to this mission. I had my Midley Blackburn prepare a disguise as an Andoran eagle knight to sequester the released slave from the PCs, but they raided his home in the middle of the night instead. It was a great idea to have the entire slaver gang have darkvision.

Exchange: Wow. This one was intense. It really helps to up the cinematic vision of the PCs rowing through the flotsam graveyard, searching for Guaril. When we played through this the assassins cut Guaril within an inch of his life, only to have the matured Devilfish surge from the deep. It looked at the sole remaining assassin, then Guaril. I rolled randomly and lo and behold, the kraken grabped the poor crime lord, tearing him to pieces and taking him to -13hp (He has low con. Ouch) The party screamed and withdrew, returning to Aaqir with grim news. Definitely a great memorable combat for the PFS storyline.

Grand Lodge: Apart from a nice prestige decision involving saving corrupted agents, this short dungeon crawl was formulaic and boring as well. I feel like we’ve had two years of the Grand Lodge standing for absolutely nothing.
The monsters are either a cakewalk or terrifying depending on the damage potential of the PCs. If you have PCs with low piercing damage, they're effectively committing suicide by attacking. If a PC can regularly deal 15+ dam, it's over in a heartbeat.
Trying to incapacitate a spider-climbing, fire-breathing, bomb-hurling, tumour-riddled alchemist is a tough ask.

Osirion: Formulaic and boring, with barely anything relevant to the Tahonikepsu/Amenopheus power struggle. Did not run.
Dark Archive: A damned creepy take on the old Harry Potter ‘Mirror of Erised’ storyline. I can’t wait to run this one! Really excited about the Darkive now!
Andoran: I haven’t prepped this one yet. It looks free-flowing and complex from my first reading. May run long, but really delivering on the Andoran political intrigue angle, which I love.


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Once you pop you can't stop.

***( )( )

Mixed feelings about this one. SPOILERS ENSUE.

While I think the author has done everything in their power to make the combats challenging and scary, just like the other reviewers I am really disturbed at the power level of the boons being handed out here. Is it really a good idea to give boons of this power? I haven't done Waking Rune, so time will tell, I guess.

I think a little more could be done to make the moral implications of the ritual choice important to the PCs. Perhaps if Miss Feathers had been implicated and there was a chance that the PCs damaged her in the ritual? Or the consumption?

Still, the final combat basically taught me how to make a high level divine caster be able to blast an enemy party to bits! And the second combat is rendered harmless with one spell, it's either an off or on switch. If it's off, the monsters are harmless, if it's on, you're guaranteed death.

This is a good shorter high level mod if you want to challenge your team. Good, but not great. It can't scratch Cultists Kiss.


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Hit the open road, Jack, and don't you come back.

**( )( )( )

CRobledo's review hit the nail on the head.

This booklet is riddled with information that has already been detailed in previous products. The magic items detailed inside are either not very useful, or shockingly expensive. The first aid gloves are an outlier, but they're an outlier that trivialises death consequences in the game and makes it okay to have combats where a PC drops every round. The authors did realize that the average Pathfinder only makes around 120k by the time they reach level 12, right? I only ask because having a 200k item is just wasting book space.

The prestige class is lacking in power and theme. The advancements to Wayfinders are pretty poor to boot, and forcing folks to spend prestige to gain them isn't winning any friends either.

I bought this pdf because I needed the spell *Sure Casting*. I was hoping there'd be something else in here worthwhile, but there really wasn't. Pick up Seeker of Secrets or Field Guide instead.


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The Danger Within

****( )

You won’t like where this investigation is taking you... (Perspective: Played once, GM'ed once)
Kaer Maga is one of the fan favourite locations for Varisia and the Inner Sea setting. It's definitely a city which has far more imagination in it than some I.S. nations have in their entire borders. The author has taken every opportunity to squeeze every drop of flavour from this locale in a long and harrowing investigation. It ends with a tough and grisly finale that shows off the author’s skill in writing an encounter that can challenge a number of parties.

PRO:
-Battles were very memorable and fell into the sweet spot of being scary but not impossible.
-Great use of the locale. Selling the sizzle of Kaer Maga.
-Beautiful artwork, and lots of it.

CON:
-Way too long. We could have done without Vargun and the Sweet-Talkers pretty easily.
-Little storytelling opportunities to describe the history between Guaril Karela and the Gael family. This should have been included in part on some player handouts or knowledge checks.
-The free men scene rubbed me the wrong way. Let’s decide our future by playing darts? Really? Who are these guys? Why are they strategically important? Are you making this up as we go along? I wanted to know more about Andoran corruption! Please don't let that storyline die.


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