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Alain

Oranil's page

3 posts. 6 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.



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Lackluster

***( )( )

Ever sense I started playing Pathfinder, I have been looking forward to another Osirion set module or adventure path. After years of waiting here we are, and we are given The Mummy's Mask Adventure path to take us to that mystical kingdom in the sands. Sadly, this volume fell painfully short of my expectations. Just a fair warning, spoilers ahead....
The book starts off explaining the situation that the pharaoh has forced the church in Wati to open the necropolis to adventures, and hold a lottery to determine who get's what tomb. The one problem I have here is that there is very little set up for a party of adventures. The book assumes, you and your party have met, formed a group, and have already submitted yourselves to the church. For those who haven't, well it's up to a gm to decide how to handle that. Even the provided campaign traits do little to assist with the formation of the party. Aside from that, and an opening speech, players are immediately thrown into their first tomb. The first tomb is ok, but I feel some of the traps are oddly placed, and the whole tomb has very little bearing on the adventure as a whole. After the first tomb you are finally introduced to the other 'rival' adventuring parties. This also falls in my opinion. The main rivals each have details on how you can get them to abandon their group and join your cause, but this is the only time you meet them, and in this section, you're suppose to learn about them, and convince them to join you? Maybe if we had more time to interact and develop these characters, but here, it feels rushed. Also, in the event that you do convince some of them to join you, that really leaves a single CR 3 NPC as your final encounter, if you do everything right. Anticlimactic? I would think so. The second part, which is your second tomb is better set up and presented than the first, but like the first tomb, has very little impact on the over all adventure. The final tomb is where you encounter the rivals, but it only has a rough outline of what happened before the PC's arrive, and assumes the rivals remain in the basement the entire time while the PC's explore the upper levels. Maybe it's because I've never put on my Indy hat and gone to explore tombs, but I would imagine that you wouldn't stay down in the depths for long periods of time waiting on a group to find you.
Overall, the presented adventure is done very poorly; truthfully one of the worst first installments to an adventure path I have ever read. There is potential here, but most of it feels wasted. This volume would have scored a one or two stars, but the extras; the gazetteer, and the bestiary, are what bump this volume up to it's 3 star rating. What is presented in these parts are great; well thought out, and thematic, as well as descriptive. If you are looking to write your own Osirion adventure, these two articles are worth the price. If you'd rather wait until they release a new bestiary, then I won't blame you at all for skipping on this lackluster adventure.


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Good, but lacking depth

***( )( )

Going into Jade Regent, I was looking forward to this book the most. Finally arriving in Minkai with your goal close in hand, yet still far off and with plenty to do was exciting. After reading through it though, I found this volume lacking.

First of all, I don't think I can talk about this volume without mentioning the next installment as well. In The Empty Throne there are two characters introduced that play a significant part in the final battle. These characters are not mentioned at ALL in this book. What's more, is that the next book goes into details about how players can learn about these characters from NPC's in Tide of Honor. This is a glaring disappointment, and this should have been written into the book instead of a sentence or two mentioned in the final book.
Aside from that, I also found an issue with the "down time" between sections of the book. PC's are spending hours and even days traveling from one place to another, and the only thing you are given to help with the grind is a large random encounter chart in the back. This is a country that is suppose to be in turmoil. The people are being oppressed and need the PC's and their allies to save them; but all we get is a single sentence saying the people are being oppressed. This is a huge disappointment in my eyes. It really forces the GM to come up with all of this information and planning, even though a lot of it should be in the book already.
This volume does have it's strong points. The dungeons and encounters are all well thought out, and thematic. The characters you interact with are strong, believable characters. But the time between those character interactions and dungeons are what hold this volume back. If you are a GM and are thinking about running this volume, be prepared to do a lot more work than normal to make this into an enjoyable experience for your players.


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Strong start to a mediocre end

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Will try and sum this up without too many spoilers. The book started out very strong, and my players loved the culture shock they received when they first arrived. It also allowed for some really good role-play and character development from the NPC's who have mostly been stuck with the caravan up to this point. It did take a down turn when they were leaving the first village because of their host suddenly refusing to see them, and closing off all trade to the heroes, and several of my players noticed that, and didn't overly like it. As the story progressed into the forest and the eventual dungeon, things started to drag; Encounter after encounter that ranged from needlessly easy ex grinds to, omg, why would they put that there. I've had more player deaths, or near player deaths in this book than any other mostly too the over-powered big encounters. While still strong story wise, the encounters need a bit of adjusting.


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A pleasant distraction.

***( )( )

Going in, this was the portion of the adventure path I was least looking forward to the most. This is my first time GMing and choose not to use caravan encounters in my game made me dread this a bit. That being said, my players thought this was one of the more interesting, and enjoyable adventures so far. At first glance, this is a difficult adventure to run, and for the most part that holds true, but what is presented here is well thought out, and enjoyable. It just seems like it has very little to do with the ultimate goal of this adventure; confronting the Jade Regent. Overall, it was enjoyable, but anyone looking to run this adventure path will need to do a lot of prep work for this installment to make things make sense in your game.


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Winter Nights

***( )( )

Overall, I thought this was an ok adventure to run with my group, but it fell a little short in comparison to the previous adventure. I thought that there were too many instances where the party was outnumbered, but no where near outmatched. Now, it could simply be my inexperience as a GM, but I thought there could have been a lot more to this adventure aside from throwing waves of level 2 NPCs at my PCs.

Overall, I felt like there was something else that could have been done with this adventure, but wasn't. Not that this wasn't a bad adventure, I just feel like it's lacking something.


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