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Taiga Giant

Neil Carr's page

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 1 post (1,358 including aliases). 5 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.

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After running and playing in this module I found that it was inappropriately deadly, particularly for first level characters.

One encounter was literally and thematically opaque to the degree that players could not reasonably find the solution to the problem, and PCs were being one-shotted.

In both games I participated in the only reason the players were able to survive was due to very large table size, giving enough targets for one or two players to be able to eventually have the time to solve the issue. If these had been a standard four person party they would have resulted in TPKs.

That just isn't right, especially for a low level module.

The other big problem, which seems common with most of the PFS modules, is that what is actually going on with the elaborate backstory is not in any way adequately conveyed to the players. They stumble from one encounter to the next, getting attacked by seemingly random things, and not really getting a clear idea of what is going on.

If this was a home game and had relaxed time requirements, it would be possible for a GM to orchestrate things so that the larger context could be drawn out, but in a living campaign environment, where you are trying to cram a whole session into four hours, all of this is lost.

Modules need to be tighter, more direct, and have appropriate challenges for the levels that you are playing at.

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Be on the top of your game

Ugh... TPK!

That last encounter at 1-2 tier was a lot harder than one would expect. It just layers way too many effects onto the PCs and just tore us apart.

The preceding encounters weren't hard at all, and then the final one brings a hammer down on everyone's heads.

The rest of the adventure was more enjoyable, as it had a lot of open ended play and roleplaying moments which made things a lot of fun.

I guess I just feel cheated by that last encounter. I'm not a "gamist" player who's looking for super challenging fights, and having a 3rd level character with a bunch of 1st level characters isn't a situation where I'm expecting to get stomped on.

The final encounter didn't have normal arrays for the opponents, they were equivalent or more in point buy to PCs, and they had feat selections that were optimized to grind the party apart.

And with TPK the character is gone, which is too demoralizing to bother to try the class again for awhile, which is a shame because I was really enjoying the character and looking forward to a lot of out-of-the-box solutions to problems.


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We had a decent time with this one, or there wasn't much frustration going on, which was a relief. It was one fight after another and the final battle caused a character death as they ran into a situation that was beyond them.

I kind of enjoyed running this one more than other later modules as it ran quicker and thus there was more breathing room for embellishing with the roleplaying, which is what people were getting the most enjoyment from.

A lot of later modules, with a 5 hour time plan (we only have four hours to play at our FLGS) means they feel rushed, where this one allowed for a more casual (and enjoyable pace).

Still, there isn't a great deal of depth here, and a major character in the story was underwhelming in its build or tactical strategy.

The maps were very cramped which made the fights a bit stagnant unfortunately. It also would have been nice to get a map of the town. The players were having a hard time getting the idea of what the town was like.

The transitions between the acts was also a bit sparse. It felt like we were just moving from one dungeon room to the next.

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Too bunched together

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The module was really strait forward which was fine. However the big problem I saw was that some of the encounters are basically right on top of each other. It's very easy for multiple encounters to all be triggered at once without players having any real idea of the implications.

The end result it that half the module felt like just one long extended battle.

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Rapid Rails!

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I've run this twice now and both times worked well enough.

The good: Several of the encounters had interesting terrain features and other possible dynamic elements that could add more flavor to the situation. There was also a kind of “skill challenge” which everyone enjoyed. An the threats against the characters were varied and didn't amount to just raw damage, but instead having condition effects which give more layers to the encounters.

The bad: It was a very railroady adventure. I know it is difficult to avoid doing this within the confines of a 4 hour time slot, but I have seen it happen. There really wasn't any ability for the party to approach the situation from a variety of different methods. How everything was linked made sense and was fine, but the player quickly realized they were in a rail game and just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

Also, there was one too many encounters. In both games we ran over time which made the end a frantic affair of summing things up and filling out certs as quickly as possible. This is even after I drew the encounter maps on square inch grid paper in advance.

Overall everyone enjoyed themselves, but the rail structure and little breathing room to roleplay knocked it down a couple of notches.

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