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Thevanan Quain

Scribbling Rambler's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 2,232 posts (3,247 including aliases). 13 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 7 Pathfinder Society characters. 19 aliases.



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Extremely good encounters, but structure could be improved

****( )

I divide my AP experience into 3 sections: Adventure, Supplements, and Layout/Art

The maps and art for this volume were terrific. The painting of Merisiel with the Mirror Men is a favourite of mine. I especially like the inside cover material, and use it in my campaign. 9/10

The majority of the supplemental material was outstanding. The articles on Milani and Winter Wolves were useful and interesting.
Most of the monsters in the bestiary were interesting. However, the Mirror Man was one of the most creative and creepy offerings I have seen in an AP in a long time. Kudos to the designer and artist.
Unfortunately, the fiction in this AP did not keep my interest.
8/10

I understand that the authors of this adventure and the prior one communicated and collaborated a great deal, and I think it is evident in the smooth transition between chapters, and the uniform handling of NPC's.
The adventure is filled with many fascinating encounters and adversaries: including the woodsman's wife, the gate guard, the goblin alchemist, the entirety of the Clocktower, and the pipers.
However, there were some things about the "storyboarding" of the adventure which seemed weak when my group played it. There is an extended journey at the beginning, and while some of the encounters are excellent, there are perhaps too many. Similarly, there is a huge number of encounters just inside the city gate. On the other hand, there is very little general information on the city as a whole. And as a specific example, the overgrown Merchant's Quarter lies directly between the gate and the safehouse, but there is no GM advice on how to handle the passage. While I know that there are many details on the city available in other products, I feel one or two encounters could have been cut to provide more information, or perhaps some encounters not tied to the gate, clocktower, or forest.
My players complained that Whitethrone provides the first opportunity in the AP for them to seriously upgrade their equipment, and the first encounter they have after that opportunity is with a foe that destroys weapons.
Overall, it was an engaging read and a fun group of sessions to run. 7/10


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Fun adventure, but requires GM caution/adjustment

****( )

I divide my AP experience into 3 sections: Adventure, Supplements, and Layout/Art

The layout and art for this volume (and this AP) were as brilliant as ever. I especially like the inside cover material, and use it in my campaign. 9/10

The supplemental material was very useful. I love the expanded NPC/treasure format, and the villages were well presented. The monsters were all useful, though none particularly stood out. Unfortunately, the fiction in this AP did not keep my interest. 6/10

I'm a fan of Russian folklore, so this adventure appeals to me thematically. As usual, Mr Spicer uses Fey liberally and well. The NPC's are engaging, with interesting back-stories (especially Nadya).
While the author is very good at setting up twist encounters, there may be too many in the first 2 books of this Path. One encounter which particularly irked my players was the ravens: there is a setup to hide to avoid them, but it is nearly impossible for an entire low-level party to make the necessary check, and therefore they only make the encounter more difficult for themselves.
The biggest problem I had with the adventure was that it seemed the difficulty of the environmental conditions were not truly taken into account. I feel that those reviewers who said this was too easy were probably handwaving the cold damage, difficult terrain, and wind/snow effects. It seemed many of the encounters failed to take them into account as well.
It may have improved things if there had been a note or side-bar suggesting GM's take the difficult conditions into account when assigning xp, because the cold did more damage than many of the encounters.
Overall, however, it is an engaging story which my group enjoyed playing. 7/10


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I Saw Fireworks!!

*****

I liked this module a great deal when reading it, but it exceeded all of my expectations when I got to run it a couple of times for Free RPG Day.
Everything about this adventure is great, from the premise, to the pre-gen characters, to the challenges, to the right amount of detail on the NPCs... a winner all around.
The only thing that threw me a bit at first was the map for the major encounter area, but that was probably due to my comprehension rather than a fault of the adventure.
Highest recommendation!


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My favourite of the line so far

****( )

A delightful collection of well-written stories by an author I was previously unfamiliar with.
A rarely seen niche - fantasy Americana. Really not a weak story in the collection, even with some of them being extremely short offerings.

The main reason I gave 4 stars instead of 5 is that I am still struggling with the format. While the multi-column layout is true to the pulp origins of these books, I find it annoying. The interior art is fairly well-done, and the style actually meshes well with the style of the writing, but I still find the presence of the interior art an unnecessary distraction.

Still, an enjoyable read, and highly recommended!

Add my name to the list of those interested in the Silver John novels.


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Try looking at it as a stand-alone adventure

***( )( )

I got to run the entire 3-part series in one day this past weekend. And I understand the disappointment when you look at this adventure as the conclusion of the triad.
However, I ended up running this for a group of 6 players, with 5 newcomers to PFS, and they had a blast! And when I looked again at the encounters, there are a couple of clever encounters - the "trap" and the subsequent role-playing one.
I can't go higher than 3 stars because it has to be looked at as part of the series, and because of the apparent stat errors, but there is still a fun scenario lurking here.


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