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Gold Dragon

Pygon's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,412 posts (1,457 including aliases). 5 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 8 Pathfinder Society characters. 17 aliases.

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Add Standard Case $511.68 $399.99

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Significant improvement over Heroes and Monsters

****( )

A case of Heroes and Monsters had around 83 miniatures.
A case (standard + huge) of Rise of the Runelords has 134 miniatures. Each standard booster has 1 large and 3 medium/small figures.

The detail and paint jobs appear much more worked and polished over the first set.

Only a few slightly negative comments about this set:
- The overhanging plastic on the Karzoug statue fills some of the adjacent squares, preventing other figures from being placed adjacent to it.
- Ameiko Kaijitsu's facial paint job (compared with the preview figure from the blogs) doesn't express her youth very well. I know small miniatures are difficult to detail properly, but the perceived proportions (as a result of the shape of the mold or the paint job) on this miniature were somewhat disappointing.
- The mounted goblins appear somewhat smaller than their standing counterparts.
- The storm giant appears very plain for its size could have taken more detail.
- Despite ordering a full case, I did not receive a full set. I was one of the unlucky ones that lacks 3 rares.

Overall, however, I'm very happy with this set.

I made a video showing off some of the miniatures in HD, viewable here.

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Admirable piece of work, with some problems

***( )( )

Spoilers follow. This review is from the viewpoint of a player, not a GM.

I'll get the good parts out of the way. The battles are varied with a some interesting environments and situations to fight in. I don't recall any fight that felt repetitive or similar to any other from the adventure. I commend the variety of opponents pitted against us.

The problems I encountered as a player came from a number of areas:

- We played this module under the older PFS rules, where you could create an 11th level PC to play with. The PCs we played were heavily built on damage dealing, so many fights, even the supposedly more dangerous ones, were over quickly (within 2 or 3 rounds).

- The performance combat rules, despite adding the interesting combat bonuses (or penalties, depending on your rolls), introduced a nice dynamic, but unfortunately our party mostly plowed through the encounters where the rules could have been appreciated more by allowing the encounters to last longer. Even when I was prepared to take full advantage of the performance combat rules, the rest of the party had different ideas and the fight was over before I could build up a relationship with the crowd. I don't fault the module for this - performance combat could probably stand to receive some more fleshing out with more incentive to use them.

- Many significant boss type encounters only had a single opponent, so there was little to force us to decide how to best use our action economy. This made many of those fights too easy.

Overall, I enjoyed my time playing the module. However, my one-time experience of playing it with an 11th level party lacked the nail biting elements that come from high level play. Balancing a module and enemy builds against a typical 11th level party can be a difficult thing, since the game at that level can many times be much less than typical. In my case, it was a series of enjoyable combats, but the lack of regular difficulty was disappointing.

Our Price: $49.95


Not always thrilling, but a quick and easy dungeon romp

***( )( )

Dungeon Run takes the usual formula of exploring, fighting, looting and leveling up and adds an extra twist - after you defeat the boss and take his treasure, your character becomes the boss that everyone else must kill. The one who gets out with the boss's treasure wins.

Dungeon Run is published by Plaid Hat Games, the same company that brought us Summoner Wars, a fairly successful and popular card game. The owner also runs the Heroscapers fan site and is partially responsible for the longevity of the Heroscape product line, despite it finally being discontinued.

The game comes with a stack of dungeon room tiles with varying positions of exits. Whenever a player moves off an open exit, another tile is placed. Each tile has a random chance for an encounter and treasure to find, so each placed tile represents a new resource for someone to gain from. Characters that step into a new tile more often have more chances to be the first to snag the encounter or treasure there, but also face more exposure to risk. Each game requires that 6 tiles per player be placed before the boss lair and boss be revealed. This gives each player ample opportunity to power up and find treasure to prepare for the boss encounter (and the inevitable fights against each other).

Some tiles have special attributes that force you to roll against taking damage, or possibly causing another encounter to appear even after the tile was cleared.

Each player picks from 8 different heroes, each with their own unique set of abilities and stack of power-up cards. When a character powers up, the player always draws two power cards and discards one from the game. This allows the leveling up option a certain degree of customization. Additional pieces track hit point loss and powering up of your character's various attributes.

Randomization during fights, generation of encounters, and finding treasure is done by rolling one or more 6 sided dice (provided with the game). The randomness of the die rolls can potentially be problematic. One game I was told about lacked a lot of found treasure because of the die rolls. In the same game, the final fight was determined from the character with the boss treasure being down to 1 life facing off against a warrior that automatically deals 1 life to anyone that damages him. So the final battle turned out to be less than epic. Expect a lot of swing in how a game plays out.

There are also many opportunities for decision making that affect how the game plays for you. For instance, the players dictate the layout of the dungeon by laying tiles into empty areas they step into. This can cause the dungeon to be several different long threads, each a trail followed by different heroes, or multiple loops that would result in the boss character having multiple routes back to the entrance. During fights, you can use your successful die rolls to cause damage or block incoming attacks. You have multiple options for how to power up your character as you level. With your two action options per turn, you can move, attack, escape, search, etc. You can also choose to perform assist or sabotage actions on other players as they attempt actions with their characters. Each character has only 4 body slots with which to equip found treasure, and only one item can be in each slot.

The game is more fun with at least 3 players, fully supports 4 players and cautions that 5-6 players might make resources slim for everyone, since only 24 dungeon tiles are provided (not including the required single entrance and boss lair tiles). Single player rules are also provided, although they are presented more as accumulating a survival score rather than experiencing the full game.

While experimenting with a solo game using 3 heroes and 18 dungeon tiles, there were enough encounters to advance each hero once. I was expecting each to raise at least twice. There are enough ability cards to handle advancing a hero 4 times during the game.

The game comes with 16 normal dungeon tiles, 8 special dungeon tiles, an entrance and boss lair tile, 4 boss cards (only one of which is used each game), 4 artifact cards (one of which is the treasure gained from the boss - the others can be acquired by other specific means), a stack of encounter cards and treasure cards, 8 large hero cards, 8 unpainted gray plastic hero figures, a stack of multiple ability cards specific to each hero, ability advancement markers, life markers, a pile of small 6-sided dice, a First Player token that gives one player specific control over some aspects of the game, and 4 rule reference cards. Production value is very high - the tile stock is very thick, the cards have a nice glossy texture, and the art is attractive.

Despite the element of randomness throwing off the excitement factor, this game has potential for riveting face offs and can offer a change of pace from usual RPG dungeon crawling.

Our Price: $3.99

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Great intro to PFS

****( )

This scenario has some nice variety to it, and hops into the action fast. It does seem to run a bit long, however. Your mileage may vary.

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Ok to try 4e with, but that's it

***( )( )

Looking through the adventure, there are notable editing mistakes. Some areas are mis-referenced, important squares for traps aren't marked, and the 2nd map for whatever reason is inverted with north facing down.

The combats themselves range from average to downright deadly. I highly recommend an optimized party with all the roles covered, and they should be 2nd level before the final fight (It looked easy from a read-through, but if the players don't quickly adapt, it turns bad real fast).

The layout of the map doesn't make it very easy for players to avoid one particular hazard that will leave them severely under-equipped for the final fight. My own mistakes running the scenario allowed them to avoid this fate, but the final battle still resulted in a TPK (they were only 1st level).

In short, if you want to try out 4e, there is little regret in the price if you're willing to sort out the adventure's errors and other confusions, change the map and situations a bit, and are willing to tolerate some potentially badly balanced encounters (or at least, the scaling suggestions were off) for the sake of getting used to the system.

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