I have run this scenario 5 times now and would like to review the experences running it as a whole. No group has been in hard mode but all parties struggled in at least one part. It was nice to see aproprite chalanges for people who were so use to walking over encounters.
The combat of this scenario is difficult. The creatures have intresting abilites that can overwhelm people that are under prepared or that very one dimensional. The creatures are unique and surprisingly versatile.
The roleplay opertunities are limited. More background, fluff text etc for the cover ncp would have been helpful. That said what is offered can still be fun.
Several reviewers have not been pleased with the opening encounter difficulty but I actualy found the final encounter or optional to be harder fights. I was disapointed which encounter was optional (2nd one should be) but overall found this scenario to be enjoyable to run.
I felt the difficulty was aproprite and would look forward to more scenarios like this in the future.
Had the opertunity to play this on free rpg day and had preped it to run in a second slot.
-encounters fit the classic theme.
-fluff text was good for setting the tone.
The bad and the ugly
-pregens were not suited to the encounters. I understand that this was to showcase the advanced class chracters but they were not a great team synergy and depending on which one you played (swashbuckler/investigator) you were not able to contribute other then aid another actions in several encounters. For pfs to veto the normal level 4 pregens was a mistake.
-number of encounters. Other then the first encounter ending in a tpk this would not be able to be run well in the 4-5 hour game slots we are working with for pfs. At least 2 of the encounters proved to be basical pointless offering no real treasure or advancing the storyline. All they did was waste time. As a result the second scheduled seassion had to be cancled and we only ran this once.
-encounter difficulty far to high especialy the first encounter. If not for 2 players having tangleshot arrows to slow movement speed it would have been a tpk and we had 6 people (had one death so he went to try the other free rpg day games).
Overall the pregens are a waste of the paper they are printed on and the long slog fest that is this module should only be run with parties of 5-6 with an apl close to 4. This was not a very good offering for free rpgday. Not very good at all
I have had the opportunity now to run this adventure twice as a GM. In both cases the adventure has gone past 5 hours. In the first case it was called on time and in the other the players retreated battered but all still alive.
It requires a lot of time for prep and am massive list of stat blocks. I sat down with the entire list and highlighted 1-2 choices at each level after looking at flavor and abilities that work well in the areas. Once I limited those choices everything seemed simpler.
Though not "hard mode" I was able to give players all they could handle. I appreciate how the finale of season 4 had an ending this difficult. Given the scope of the adventure I think this was more than appropriate and would like to see the “Hard Mode” option make an occasional return for special scenarios like this. I also liked how some of the choices players have made in season 4 were addressed in this scenario. That was very well done and should continue in the future in some form.
I consider this a 4 out of 5 adventure. Though not my favorite of season 4 (Words of the Ancient and the Blakrose Matrimony hold those honours) It was a good finish an wrapped of the ending in a suitably challenging fashion. I look forward to running it again an playing it myself soon.
It is not a 5 star review for the following options
*With the exception of the briefing and then the encounter with Krune there are not really any roleplaying opportunities. Any dialog with Krune that I wanted to do had to be pushed aside in an effort to finish the adventure on time (which still failed).
Had the pleasure to run this and I really enjoyed it I would say it is more like 4-1/2 stars but rounded it up to 5 in the final rating. I for one thought that the challenge and setting fit very well with the build up to season 4's ending. It has some great artwork included that gm's should print to help set the stage for players & would love to see more things like that in future scenarios.
I would loved to have had more time when I ran it but with the time we had I was able to keep things going and finish in about 5:45 with no break and the optional encounter skiped. I'm thinking that this goes right to the top of the list of games I will be running at home with less restrictive finish time. I don't think that the game would be run properly in less then 5 hours so to do it justice I don't recommend scheduling it in tight time restrictions
It takes a fair amount of prep to get this game ready with many different skills and abilities that a GM needs to understand. I saw that the other review was a 1 star and honestly I don't think that that is fair if the GM was under prepared.
Reasons this was not a full 5 star rating
-Its long...with the optional and the amount of roleplay involved it would run 7+ hours unrestricted. Because of that it felt a bit forced to get as much done as possible within the time allowed.
I truly enjoyed running this game. It is a wonderful break from the grind of some adventures and really has some wonderful role-play experiences. This is NOT NOT NOT an adventure that should be run cold. It has many complex social interactions, a variety of NCP that you need to read up on. More than any other game I feel for this scenario you get what you put in. So do your players & yourself a favour and sit down with this and do a longer prep.
Great job putting this together! I highly recommend this game as a GM & Player.