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Besmaran Priest

Riggler's page

277 posts. 8 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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Full of flavor

****( )

The first section of this adventure aboard the Wormwood could almost be run with your group as one-on-one sessions. As a matter of fact, if I had it to do again, I would probably find a way to do much of it that way. Essentially the party is split for most of the first part of the game. Any effort to make the 20+ NPCs aboard the Wormwood real people takes even more play time. I think I ran as best as I could going in, but it resulted in significantly more downtime during a session for some players as their PCs were "off screen." That's not good for players you are trying to hook into a new campaign. I may have lost two players because of it. (But I gained two more, so no loss) The point is, GMs should know this AP has that weakness in the early parts and if able take steps to decrease downtime of other players. If that means having some one-on-ones, maybe a gaming lunch with dice, or something akin, it would be most helpful.

BUT...this helpless feeling that the first part of the adventure creates makes the payoff mean more. When the PCs start becoming a team and getting to do "missions" as a team, it is such a welcome return to expectations that it increases excitement among the players.

That brings me to the flavor of the AP. Who doesn't want to play a pirate? Well, one of my players actually. But it shocked me, too. As a GM I'm having an absolute ball running this AP, even though it is more prep work than I thought an AP should be. The subject matter is so great and inspiring that I don't mind it. I don't know how far my campaign will stick with future volumes. Hopefully pretty close, as it means less work for me. But if it doesn't. Even if you don't plan on running the remainder of the AP, this volume is a perfect set-up for any pirate or nautical campaign of your own design.

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Proud of this purchase

****( )

My concern with the tokens was that they would be too flimsy. I remembered back into the paper-fold characters that WOTC used to publish back in the day and I think Paizo did for a while. I was surprised at the sturdiness of this token line. The Beastiary set is on the way.

This AP is very NPC heavy and I would have gladly paid more for a full set of NPCs. That is the only reason for the 4 out of 5 instead of giving it a 5.

The fact that these can be pub back in the sleeves and stored more economically than paper fold-ups is also a big plus. I much prefer these over mini's for both storage and cost.

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This could have been so much more

*( )( )( )( )

The artistic map I think is a waste, it could have been better used to show close-up locations of the Shackles. Because the Inner Sea Map Folio included the Inner Sea region I would have preferred two Shackles maps that showed more close-up detail. At least that would have been an improvement. I would say this is the least value for the dollar I've purchased of Paizo's products and I'm sure my money would have been better spent on another one of their products.

I would certainly advise potential buyers to steer clear unless you get it at a major discount.

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*( )( )( )( )

This AP volume is hurt by following the previous AP with the same concept: Trapped on another plane. It doesn't follow through on the premise: Go through BBEG's home to find a way to better defeat him in the final AP. It really is one fight after another. There are factions, but the published module neglects to mention how they interact. Many combats are duplicated. The trap at the beginning makes little sense as written. And the Azer that is "helping" the PCs with riddles doesn't make much logical sense. Why give hard to understand riddles instead of just telling the PCs what to do, when the goal is to escape from his prison? And with all the high level combat it takes forever if ran as written to escape this logic void. By far the worst in the AP so far.

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Not for a Novice GM to run


And that's a good thing. This AP, especially with its support article to flesh out the Katapesh markets, runs really fantastically. It does take a GM that knows what he/she is doing, though. A GM who isn't comfortable with urban adventures might make this AP a bit dry, but I felt it was a great opportunity to really develop some NPCs. The lack of shopping the PCs encounter during the first two issues really pays off as during their shopping a GM can insert the needed flavor and the NPC hooks that are the meat of this adventure at the same time.

Well done. But a GM really needs to know his NPCs in this chapter before running it.

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