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Dalviss Crenn

Magabeus's page

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 883 posts (12,027 including aliases). 17 reviews. 3 lists. 1 wishlist. 24 Pathfinder Society characters. 13 aliases.

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We be apes!

****( )

I recently GM'ed this again and have played it ages ago.

I ran this for a party of 4, APL exactly at 3.5 and they decided to round that to 4 -> high tier.

The scenario is straightforward, but quite fun if the GM plays up the whole Jumanji theme. My players embraced the fun and were properly scared by the encounters, even thought it is now season 8.

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Is this really where we want PFS to go to?

*( )( )( )( )

I played this at high tier with 4-player adjustment. (6 players, APL 5)

Note that I do not read reviews for scenarios that I am about to play as I think it spoils part of the fun. I might change that after playing through this one.

I had high hopes for this scenario. I really love The Before the Dawn scenarios and a follow-up can only be a good thing, right? "NO!"

This scenario caused my first character dead. It is not that this is the first character that died (I had 5 deads before), but it is the first time that the scenario caused a character to die.

My opinions on the encounters
The first encounter is trivial and is a waste of playing time.

The second and third encounters are great, they make a lot of sense in the location and adventure. Despite the fact that my tripper monk could not trip that much I liked these encounters.

The last encounter is also a waste of playing time. Why: because there was no fun. There was only: what more shenanigans can we pull of to defeat the writer. In my opinion PFS should not be: who can pull the weirdest trick out of the big hat.

That way we get into an arms race, which nobody will win. I don't mind the occasional hard scenario. There is hard mode for that, we have spoilers like Bonekeep has. It would have made sense to include a warning at the start of the scenario.

Last combat:
My monk can get to a plus 20 on acrobatics. I rolled mediocre to get past the BBG without provoking and contemplated to use my reroll on that acrobatics check. The GM asked me what the highest number was that I could reach with a natural 20 on the roll and told me flat out that I should not use my reroll, because I would fail anyway.

The BBG managed to exactly hit my AC of 27 (according to the GM later with a +20 to hit modifier) and proceeded with a grapple check (grab), which it could only fail on a natural one because of insane modifiers. One round later I was dead, thanks to grapple to do damage, constrict damage and most importantly of all: no chance to get loose, even with a good escape artist modifier.

No, we did not drink from the fountain, we failed the knowledge /spellcraft checks to figure out what it does and were not prepared to drink from a source of water that the archeologists, who had been compelled had been drinking from.

Let me end with the good things about this scenario:
The lore and setting are great. The scenario really adds to both player and character knowledge, which I love.

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Great setting with some disappointing encounters

***( )( )

I GMed this in the standard campaign at low tier for a six person party, including The Degraded and Quentin Coldwater. You can find their reviews below.

Starting with a 3 score I adjust that for

+1: Setting potential
The setting has a lot of potential: an ancient Jistkan place buried beneath sand for a few thousand years, a lot can be done with that! Background is solid and makes sense, so we are off for a great scenario right?

-1: Unfortunately not
For me as GM the different encounters felt unconnected, with strenuous ties at best. Off course that also made it hard for my players to feel the connection between the encounters

Thoughts on the serie
I do not really understand what the connection between the series is. I can find some things, but in my opinion a series should have a more clear meta-plot that connects the scenarios.

Other than the location on Golarion they might have been completely separate scenarios. Having played and GM-ed several other three of fourpart series (Shades of Ice / Scions of the Sky Key / Destiny of the Sands / Devil we Know / Faithless or Forgotten / Quest of Perfection) this series ranks the lowest in connection between the scenarios.

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Good atmosphere, weak combats

****( )

I GMed this in the standard campaign at low tier for a six person party.

Starting with a 3 score I adjust that for

+1: What the F is going on!
I managed to have the players at full alert with the things that are happening. It helped that one of the players has the feat Eerie Sense. The party managed to deduce what was going on, but the NPC also figured out what they were doing thanks to spellcraft. Therefore the final showdown was still where it is supposed to happen. Note that the scenario specifically addresses the situation where the PC's confront him earlier, which is a good thing!

+1: It gets explained
Luckily the NPC has a diary in which he has written everything down. This is an important part of the scenario as I can understand that players otherwise would feel left out of information if the GM skips this.

-1: Encounter strength
For a regular party in season 8 this scenario should not be a challenge. All combats where walkovers. I did not roll well and think I did less than 20 damage in total. For people that want to be challenged in combat: don't look at this scenario. I can understand that a certain situation with the BBEG might cause a TPK. However at level 5 all parties should have a way to deal with that situation, even if you did not figure it out during the dungeon.

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Information overload!

**( )( )( )

I played this in the standard campaign at high tier with a four person party.

Starting with a 3 score I adjust that for

-1: Lore
There is a lot of information coming from the GM. While I like that in general as it grounds the scenario in Golarion lore there was just too much background. It also was not clear what was critical information and what was flavor. As it was I did not ask questions that I would have otherwise asked so that we could finish the scenario in a reasonable time.

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