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Alain

Oranil's page

3 posts. 9 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.



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Looking back, and looking ahead

***( )( )

As my group and I begin to enter the final stages of the Jade Regent adventure path, I'm taking a look back at where we have come. Getting into the actual review of this chapter, I found that there is some potential here. I like the premise of part one of this book; building support for Ameiko's claim sounds like something sensible to do. However, I feel that this particular section was rushed, and added in as an afterthought. The second part is where things pick up for the best, in my opinion. No real faults here. The final part is an epic conclusion, but seems to fall flat, though not by much. It seems like a pretty standard confront the final villain. Overall I think it's ok, but I feel like this volume lacks a lot of the eastern theme that makes some of the other volumes memorable. All and all, I find the volume to be good, but lacking something needed. I would do some work yourself before presenting this to a group.

overall with the Jade Regent adventure path, I felt that it had potential, but it just missed out on over all. If you plan to run this adventure path, read ahead, and make several changes yourself. Overall for Jade Regent: 3 out of 5 stars, written well, but missing several key points, and being inconsistent between volumes.


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Researching the Past

***( )( )

I was presently surprised with this month's volume. Everything presented here is well thought out, and descriptive, which has been a problem in previous volumes. They also introduce a new "research" encounter, and and though it is somewhat heavy in the first part, they spread it out a bit, and also provide various additions to it, so your sessions won't just be endlessly researching in a library. They also bring in very memorable npc's who the PC's must interact with, either because of necessity, or because their forced to. The only thing that really holds this back is that there isn't a lot going on in this volume. Doing the research and finding out more about the background of the adventure to come is fine, it's just kind of dull. When you do finally get out of the library and into the desert, once again it's well written and varied, but there just isn't a lot, so by the end you don't feel like you've accomplished much in this short time. Also, though the npc's are memorable, they are immediately removed after the adventure, even though one of them really should react to the PC's after learning what they have discovered. So overall, this is a well written, descriptive adventure, it's just very dull, and you don't feel like much has happened by the end. I find it weird that this almost seems like the reverse of previous adventures where there was less description, but much more going on. I feel there somewhere between these books, there is an amazing adventure here, but still buried in sand. I guess like the PC's, I'll have to keep on looking until I find it.


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Vastly improved

****( )

I was disappointed in the previous adventure. Too my surprise, Empty Graves is vastly superior to it's predecessor. The adventure is well written, and not just filled with undead as one would expect. Dealing with the chaos of a city under attack, and the repercussions of that make for a varied, and exciting adventure. The support articles in this volume provide further depth to the world. My only complaint on them is that these really should have been provided much sooner than here. For an AP with so many references to them, we should have known much sooner, and not just from a blog post. My only other complaint is that the main villain is kind of dull. While still a major threat as he is, he just seems dull as a character. Despite this flaw, this is a good volume and recommend it to anyone wishing to run Mummy's Mask, or even if you plan to run your own Osirion adventure.


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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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