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Gold Dragon

Pygon's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,295 posts (1,340 including aliases). 7 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 7 Pathfinder Society characters. 15 aliases.

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Add Case Bundle: $661.62 $519.98

Add Standard Case: $511.68 $399.99

Add Huge Case: $158.32 $119.99

Add Standard Brick: $135.08 $114.99

Add Huge Booster: $24.99

Add Standard Booster: $15.99

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.

Add Print Edition: $13.99

Add PDF: $9.99

Add Non-Mint: $13.99 $10.49

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.

List Price: $51.96

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Worth getting if you want new figures

***( )( )

Yet another DnD expansion for Heroscape, much to the joy of Scapers everywhere.

This set features a werewolf lord that spreads lycanthropy, an elementalist that controls elementals, a rogue that can place her own shadow tiles, some wyrmlings that can bond with each other and whose abilities match their larger more famous versions, some warforged, an iron golem, fire giant with cleave and knockback, dragonborn paladin, an ogre that can't help but attack everything around him, goblins that flank and scatter, and a mind flayer with a spear (not the iconic thin robed variety).

This set introduces new bases for the single space figures. They now fit within the 1" grids of many RPG systems. This change was made to offer figures for games other than Heroscape and increase the buying audience. However, the double-space bases are kept as is, which don't lend themselves all that well to 1" grid gaming.

You also get four new treasure glyphs: avoid leaving engagement strikes (brooch of shielding), gain 2 attack dice (belt of giant strength), teleport 10 spaces (bracers), and remove all hit zones (invisibility).

There aren't any particularly strong standouts in this set. When speculation was high and the Elementalist was known, players were clamouring to try him out with the elementals from D1, since you can use his turn to instead move and attack with 3 elementals. So an elemental army will certainly benefit from having the Elementalist in it.

I'm happy to see more additions to Heroscape, but ultimately this set left me luke warm. There is already another set slated for November 2010. Let Heroscape live on! I'm hoping the next set wows me more than this one did. Some reprints of older sets (including terrain like lava and tundra) would be very welcome.

List Price: $51.96

Our Price: $46.76

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New mechanics and treasure glyphs

****( )

WotC continues its DnD-themed Heroscape releases with Champions of the Forgotten Realms.

This set offers a fair assortment of new mechanics to bend the existing strategies of your Heroscape game. You also receive a new Treasure Glyph in each pack. Treasure glyphs were introduced the DnD Master Set. They are basically glyphs you can place on an army card, and they last permanently or are single-time use. This set offers treasure glyphs that increase movement, damage, defense, or attacks against undead.

Like the DnD Master Set, this set recycles figure molds from the DnD minis line, finishes them with different paint jobs and attaches them to Heroscape bases. Paint jobs are fair to average, nothing too spectacular - although the clear colored plastics used for the water and fire elementals are kind of neat.

New mechanics include the ability to change an area of water into passable terrain (Greater Ice Elemental), the ability to pull opponent figures from one location to another (Drow Chainfighter and Wyvern), slow the movement of opponent figures (Air Elemental), multiple attacks from one figure (Hydra), granting a form of Counterstrike to friendly figures (Torin), and the potential to damage every adjacent figure every turn (Fire Elemental). These new abilities will alter the way Heroscape is played moreso than previous sets, promoting entirely new ways to build armies.

This set comes with only 2 common squads. The rest of the figures are either common, uncommon or unique heroes. 4 treasure glyph cards and 16 figure cards make this set one of the most card-heavy releases to date. Players will likely want more of these packs to make elemental armies, especially with the promise of an elemental-summoning figure in the next small expansion.

Note: There have been reports of missing or torn cards in this expansion (you can call WotC's customer support and they will replace damaged or missing cards). I was lucky - all of my cards are accounted for in my set. However, I don't like that the cards now come in sealed plastic packs that you have to destroy instead of reusable folded, taped envelopes. I liked using the folded envelopes to store groups of cards in my own collection. Also, you won't receive any marker stickers for the Uncommon heroes in these packs like you did in the DnD Master Set.

I'm glad to see the Heroscape line continuing, but frankly I'd like to see more of the Heroscape universe expanded rather than have WotC find more ways of adapting DnD figures for Heroscape. Still, if that's what it takes for new Heroscape releases to come out, then I'll accept it, for a time.

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