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Dark Ice Brownie

Landon Winkler's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2014 Star Voter. Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 425 posts. 31 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist.



1 to 5 of 31 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

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Hexes!

*****

Short Version: Great supplementary mapping tool for anyone that uses hexes.

For free-drawing maps, I'd consider the basic solution to be a dry/wet erase surface. You can use gaming paper for that, and I do like that it doesn't smear on me, but you end up paying more in the long run than a reusable surface.

But gaming paper shines in two areas: reusability and preparation.

Gaming Paper is amazing there's an area the party is going to visit several times, if you run the same adventure for multiple groups, or you're somehow organized enough to build up a library.

The big selling point for the singles packs to me is drawing out maps in advance. I can prep a night's maps or even an entire book of an Adventure Path and stash them for when I need them. With paper tokens, I can even get the tokens cut out and paper clip them to the appropriate map.

That isn't to say I never draw maps during a session, but predrawing means I can have the battle set up by the time everyone's figured out their initiative.


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Simple Hook, Good Adventure

****( )

Short Version: If your players build characters who are interested in exploring tombs, this'll be great. But don't expect the adventure to steer them there.

I prefer APs to start with a bit of a bang to get everyone emotionally invested along with getting the path moving. This takes a different approach, basically assuming that you have a party of adventurers looking to explore some tombs and... hey, there are tombs here.

It's kind of old-school that way and complements the tone of the path well, but isn't to my taste.

The tombs themselves are exactly what they should be: a nice mix of traps and combat encounters. The adventure is also structured very well to allow some roleplaying with Pharasmins and rival explorers.

The back matter is mostly taken up by a description of Wati (the setting of this and the next installment). The bestiary is thematically appropriate and features several new monsters that surprise the players in the adventure itself.

The story is in a new format that focuses on a location featuring in the adventure and features several handout-quality images and maps. The entire thing could also serve as a spoiler-free handout, which is actually really cool.


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You probably know if you need this

*****

This is a good Bestiary. I'd personally put it up with Bestiary 3, with both having a good mix of classic, mythological, and completely new monsters.

There's a bit of a horror them and a bit of a mythic theme, but neither is overwhelming. If you're looking for a whole book of mythic monsters, this isn't it. If you're worried the whole book is mythic monsters, there aren't that many in practice.

For me, the evocative flavor on the high CR creatures pushes it over the top. The demon lords, empyreals, and great old ones really feel like epic creatures.

If you're sure you don't need any more monsters... don't buy this book. That said, I wasn't sure if I needed any more monsters and was definitely impressed by this.

Short Version: These are sweet monsters, but only you know whether you want more monsters.


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Follow the Banner

*****

Paizo and Neil Spicer did a great job with this adventure. It has the basic "fights and a boss" structure you'd expect from an AP module, but also a lot more.

The mass combat rules from Ultimate Campaign are used extensively, along with hints of domain management in the next installment. The war background also pushes the adventure towards its conclusion, discouraging overly cautious play, which I really appreciate.

There's also a lot of fairly complex NPCs and possible interactions. This AP could really have been a combat slog, but Paizo really pulled out the stops to counteract that.

If I had a complaint, it would be that the balance between betrayal and redemption doesn't feel quite right to me. Some GMs might need to tune back the betrayal a bit, but that's easy enough to do.

Short Version: A good mix of combat and interaction on a ticking clock.


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My players swear by these

****( )

I only GM, so I don't use these directly, but three out of the four players in my group use them and love them.

They particularly like the level tracker (for verifying they haven't missed feats) and the session tracker ("Significant Opponent: Shayliss's Dad.") The tables of modifiers and conditions have come in handy on a number of occasions as well.

The main complaint I've heard voiced is that the pocket (great idea!) doesn't fit 8 1/2 x 11 paper, which results in awkward folded handouts or leaving them in stacks outside the folio.

The only other complaint is that, for a martial character, there just isn't enough room to expand out combat options. Casters get their spell section, but the martials don't have anywhere to list out their fiddly feat modifier with stuff like power attack, vital strike, and cleave.

Like all character sheets, the HP section is in danger of wearing through. I wouldn't count that against this one. We just use post-it tags over that section and change them out when they wear out.

Short Version: If you're playing in a game you're sure will be many months, grab one. If you're not positive, I'd pass.


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