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Roseblood Sprite

Mort the Cleverly Named's page

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*( )( )( )( )

This is easily the worst Pathfinder Player Companion volume I have seen.

Thematically, there is just nothing here. Not a drop of ink is spilled on overarching concepts of how magic shop work in relation to Golarion or the like. The shopkeepers are overwhelmingly obvious (a pirate on a ship! A Varisian in a wagon!), and there simply isn't enough wordcount given to their descriptions to make them or their establishments memorable or interesting.

Mechanically, most of the stuff is boring or bonkers. The price adjustments are random, and the very first one is an exception to how they work (as well as an infinite gold bug). Gating abilities behind gold values is nonsensical when they are at inappropriate points in relation to wealth-by-level (who picks a new Inquisition when they have 60,000gp?).

There is no balance to the abilities offered. The mid level Arcane Discovery that lets you randomly increase Illusion DCs is nothing compared to the one that lets you double up on successful Enchantment spells (because the only thing better than Dominate Person is a second Dominate Person for free). Shoot people off cliffs, a Rogue talent ideal for non-Rogues, even more options making Shields the best weapons in the game, and so on.

I haven't even gotten to the items yet, but at this point I feel it is basically unnecessary. More of the same, the overpriced next to the overpowered next to a bunch of spells-in-a-can, most of which are entirely forgettable. Nothing to redeem the book here.

Really, overwhelming disappointing. Not something I would recommend.


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***( )( )

I ran this for some friends, and I have to say I had mixed feelings.

The adventure is mostly old-school dungeon crawling, and in many ways does an excellent job of it. Lots of interesting and varied locations, characters, and encounters. The support articles were also, as usual, interesting, and the whole thing has the standard, high quality Paizo art and layout.

That said, there were some downsides. Encounters were wildly variable, with many of the later ones being so easy as to feel like busywork rather than adventure. On the other hand, there are some things (especially related to skill checks) that are far beyond what even optimized characters of that level could do. There were also a greater than normal number of errors (mostly text referring to different numbers of enemies than stat blocks), but that didn't really impact our enjoyment.

Overall we had a good time, and there were certainly some fun, memorable moments. The mechanical issues hurt our enthusiasm for it as we worked our way through, but someone willing to put the time in to rebalance things could really make this adventure shine.


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A Slightly Overstuffed Sandbox

****( )

Raiders of the Fever Sea can be described as a non-traditional adventure, but in a very different way from The Wormwood Mutiny. Much like the previous volume in this path, it is an event based adventure with a mid length dungeon crawl finale. Unlike it, it is extremely open form and loosely defined. Players are given almost unlimited freedom to roam the Fever Sea and do as they see fit (though not to head into the Shackles, leaving my copy of Isles of the Shackles to languish for another adventure). Whatever direction players choose to go, the material could be trivially adapted, allowing a very free form experience while still staying within the confines of the adventure. The writing, art, and layout are all top notch, but I think that can be assumed of Adventure Paths at this point.

The only complaint I would have is that, with so much material to present, some of the scenarios leave little space for alternate approaches. Ships to plunder appear only at GM fiat, and the only system for dealing with them is fighting the captain (no offering of terms, no overwhelming the crew, no forcing a surrender). There is an event that hand waves an obvious option as simply "too difficult," despite enemies easily accomplishing the same thing later. There is little explanation of the main plot to the PCs, leaving GMs to craft their own way to make it seem like anything other than a series of coincidences. None of this breaks the adventure, and I'd rather have more material than long lists of "What if" scenarios and information dumps, but I feel the balance could have been better.

Despite this, I whole heatedly recommend the adventure for anyone interested in a pirate sandbox. Perhaps not an excellent choice for those that want a more traditional adventure, or one that presents options for anything other than straight piracy, but even then it could be an interesting read with some useful ideas.



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