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Tongue of Rebuke

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RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 4,518 posts (6,806 including aliases). 94 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 34 aliases.



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A calm, but rather good start

****( )

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

The Half-Dead City is very much a dungeon crawl, and while I’m not the biggest fan of pure dungeon crawls, this is a well-made one and one I can imagine myself running at some point. As a consequence of delving into tombs, there’s not a lot of opportunity for interaction with NPCs, but nonetheless, it does manage to have several extremely well-developed and interesting NPCs. The PCs may not get a lot of time with these characters, but that time will almost certainly be memorable (assuming the GM plays them well).


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Good, but not great

***( )( )

Read my full review at Of Dice and Pen.

Tears at Bitter Manor is a decent adventure that has an interesting premise and some very good moments, but it doesn’t really stand out from the crowd of other decent adventures out there. Its main problem is the lack of development of the central NPCs it’s based around. In a stand-alone adventure that is meant to be inserted into another larger campaign, it can be hard to introduce NPC allies that the PCs will actually care about. Such relationships generally need time to develop. However, it can be done, and if the adventure is going to involve NPCs that the PCs should care about and want to help, it needs to be done. More vibrant NPCs would certainly help to raise Tears at Bitter Manor from a decent adventure to a really good adventure.


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Excellent examination of neutrality!

*****

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Champions of Balance is quite a remarkable book and exceeds my already high expectations of it. I’m not a fan of alignment overall, and I honestly think the game could be improved without it—though it would entail quite a bit of work to make the change. However, if it’s going to be there, you might as well make the best of it. Yet alignment can be a difficult thing to adjudicate. Good and evil can be hard to fully define, and if you can’t define good and evil, then how do you define what fits between them? In the real world, these are just abstract concepts. Everyone has their own concept of what good and evil are, and they bring these concepts with them into the game. Yet in the game, alignment is not so abstract; indeed, it is an absolute concept where one can be objectively defined as “lawful good” or “chaotic evil”. In the real world, most people will agree that other people can behave in evil ways, but virtually no one would ever actually admit to being evil, as no one actually believes themselves to be evil. There are always justifications and reason for actions. Yet in-game, a detect evil spell can state quite clearly that someone is evil and there’s little one can do to argue against it. Outsiders representing the ideals of particular alignments exist in the multiverse. These powerful beings’ very existences are centred on, and defined by, their alignments. As such, the game needs a clear definition of what good and evil are. I’m not sure that that definition has been fully attained—it probably hasn’t, as there will still be disagreements between players—but books like Champions of Purity and now, Champions of Balance have moved things a little closer to achieving that definition.


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Pretty good

***( )( )

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Bastards of Golarion is a rather better book than I was expecting, even if it does at times seem unsure of its focus. It contains a lot of advice and suggestions for creating characters who are either half-human characters or outcasts from society in some way or another. As with any Pathfinder Player Companion, there are quite a few new mechanical options, but these are mostly limited to new traits that help support the “fluff” of the book. The emphasis of the book is very much on the background information, and this pleased me a great deal.


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Good background information

****( )

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

The player’s guide for an adventure path is an important book for setting up the campaign and getting the players started. The successful guides help players to create characters that will fit into the adventure path, have a decent chance of surviving it, and be enjoyable to play. A less successful guide might give players a wrong impression of what the adventure path is about, resulting in characters that don’t fit. The Wrath of the Righteous Player’s Guide is certainly one of the more successful ones. It makes clear what the adventure path entails and gives useful background information, although it is lacking a bit in the advice department.


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