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Xanesha

Neverwillibreak's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 35 posts. 5 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists.



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Solid Addition to Carrion Crown

****( )

As a huge fan of gothic horror in general and the Carrion Crown AP in specific, I've found that Legendary Games has consistently provided support to shore up the weaker aspects of the setting as written.

In particular, Legendary Games' previous modules "The Fiddler's Lament" and "Murmuring Fountain" pull quite a huge amount of weight as far as fleshing out and focusing The Haunting of Harrowstone, so the bar for this mini-adventure is pretty high. In "Feasting at Lanterngeist," LG has taken on one of the most commonly criticized aspects of the AP (aside from the fifth volume): namely the changeover from the pace of the first three to the fourth volume.

The adventure is pretty short and simple, but solves motivational issues for the PCs, as well as fleshing out the presence of alien taint within Illmarsh, making the town a far more eerie, sympathetic place than a merely relocated Innsmouth.

Lanterngeist's writing and editing are top notch, and the presentation is excellent.

I'd like to see Legendary games take on the numerous issues in the fifth volume regarding seemingly obvious player choices, but "Feasting at Lanterngeist" comes highly recommended for any GM running Carrion Crown.


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The Practical GM's Guide

*****

I'm normally a huge fan of expert guides to game design, and as such make a lot of purchases to get outside perspective to augment my own game design and worldbuilding.

And let me say, this is far and away a departure from the normal means of setting design. While most resources typically take a top down approach and list repetitive if useful tools for designing fantasy settings, the essays in this collection approach individual campaign components in insightful, pragmatic, and logical ways. While this style of writing is not for everyone, nor is every essay of equal versatility, I found it useful in the following ways:

1. In General: The guide presents a well-rounded approach to a wide variety of campaign types and options without losing specificity or resorting to describing campaigns and options as extremes, thereby allowing exploration of a spectrum of options. For instance, Magic and Industry are addressed as a single topic with magic as technology, magic and technology at odds, or campaigns that include one or the other.

2. In Specific: The essays are crafted with utility in mind for a given topic, such as the design of religions, conspiracies, and locales. I don't feel a single one of these essays fails to live up to the author's intent of providing thought-provoking and educational data on a given topic.

3. Weaknesses: Despite the obvious strengths of the guide's essays, I felt that some authors opted to market their setting under the guise of using those settings as examples. While I acknowledge and appreciate the poignant example, the repetitive use comes across as shameless advertising rather than an archetype for design choice.

I highly recommend this to anyone who has grown accustomed to the standard GM advice guides.

PS: The introduction includes a quote by Tim Powers from a writer's workshop about how gamers and writers "don't feel at home in this world" and that is why we play and write the games we do. That's genius.


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Excellent class, poor editing

****( )

The luckbringer class itself, and the fluffy introduction are awesome. However, the document suffers a great deal for it's terribly shoddy editing. This includes referencing the class by a different name, and generally poor punctuation, such as the omission of commas, words, and misspellings.


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A Perfect Capstone

*****

I've enjoyed the Jade Regent Adventure path so far; it had the right mix of story, combat, roleplay, and new mechanics to keep my players in check.

By the time we reached the Empty Throne, the adventure itself facilitated the campaign's close with a sense of urgency and triumph. My favorite part was how the nature of the campaign leads up to not only Ameiko's development, but also the power increase of the PCs. It has been a very long time since an adventure path has done this in such a novel, marked fashion.

I highly recommend this adventure and the Jade Regent adventure path as a whole.


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A Worthy Challenge

****( )

The Good:
-Setting: The setting is a good break from the standard Pathfinder module: the obvious being in that it doesn't take place in one of the typical Inner Sea countries.

However, this divergence is obvious in minor ways as well. For one, I couldn't find a single Lovecraft reference, and while the model evoked feelings of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, it was clearly designed with the intent of having each encounter be different from the standard fare.

This alone was promising, and one of my favorite parts running (and playing through) the adventure.

-Challenge: There seems to be a lot of complaint about the level of difficulty in the module. However, my party found Cult of the Ebon Destroyers to be perfect. It's a solid bit harder than your typical adventure, I won't deny that. But it isn't the party destroyer people are saying it is provided your party acts with a reasonable degree of tactical knowledge.

The Bad:
-At times, some of the enemy tactics don't really make sense, particularly when its a group of "mook" enemies opposed to the BBEGs, in that they have reason to work together but choose to fight one wave at a time. This is easily rectified by sending in larger groups and reducing the total number of foes in a locale.

-At times, the players were left with only one avenue to reach the next plot point. As a GM, I worked with them to basically use reasonable progression to get to the next stage, although I would have preferred fewer individual hunts for information in favor of a more connected series of events.

-Some enemies can die before their slated final encounter, without a real clear analogue on who should replace them.

-As a GM I'm getting really frustrated with the "villagers are helpful/no they're actually out to kill you" trope that seems prevalent in the modules and adventure paths of late. While this isn't this modules especial fault, I would've liked to see a village genuinely try and aid the PCs...but later be infiltrated by the cult.

In spite of the few plot/tactical faults herein, the combination of challenging, varied encounters, and a refreshing setting lead me to give Cult of the Ebon Destroyers a 4/5.



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