|Matthew Morris RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8|
Alright, despite some editing errors and weird map choices, I had a blast running this, and I believe my players did in playing it. Highlights and spoilers follow.
Taldor mission. I love how sandboxy the mission is. A bit of disavowing the mission and sidelong glances, and the party is off to the warehouse. Having run Cyphermage again Saturday, I had some warehouse ideas since they decided to do alterations at the warehouse, and cover it with a robbery. And they made a point of not killing the guards!
The heckling went well. I explained the mechanic, then told everyone, "Come up with a fun story that amuses me, and I'll give you a circumstance bonus." needless to say, the fact that I couldn't get through the speech w/o the group heckling means they all got into it.
The Osirion mission was straight forward. About the most fun I had was them tossing the halfling archerologist in first, her failing the perception check, and then the will save. The players ran with the description of the effects and thought she was possessed, when the wizard made a knowledge check for "What might have possessed her like this?" I answered the question honestly. :-) It wasn't until she was tied up and detect magic was cast that they realized it wasn't a possession. (That the halfling is crazy helped).
Finally the Sczarni/Qaderia mission. I substituted some of the NPCs for local Sczarni characters (my own, and not at the table) since they're wallpaper, it helped put faces to the family. The players did a good job of figuring the poem out, and thought to hire a sailor. I was disappointed at the mechanics. It seems rather easy to kill Guaril, and if not for a high level caster playing down, they'd have had a tougher fight. The 'mass skill checks' are going to be difficult for an entire party to pass, as it was they failed only one, but purely because they a) had that 7th level wizard in a low tier game and b) they hired the sailor. I like scenarios that impact the campaign timeline, but this seems REALLY biased to kill everyone's favourite Godfather wannabe.
All in all, despite the editing and formatting errors, it is enjoyable.
For GMs, I suggest 'borrowing' other PCs for background. My players were amused at the refernces to my PCs, and a couple others. (Though I forgot the chance for a gnome joke, sorry!)