I will have to write a proper review at some point, but I played it on low, ran it in low tier with 6 players (they pretty much decimated it), and high with 3 and a pregen. The second group struggled quite a bit more, but it still seemed like a properly tuned challenge.
Three are quite a few things to like, unfortunately, it has a couple of flaws that prevent me from giving more than 3 stars.
This scenario is exactly as advertised, it helps me to fill convention schedules and introduces GMs and players to new systems in an organic fashion.
That said, there is definitely room for improvement:
- A sample scenario, or at least having the way a dungeon is constructed would help new GMs to familiarize themselves with this scenario.
- In some aspects, this is more like a toolkit than a scenario. While there is a lot of potential for ambient storytelling and showing your skill as a GM, if you don't do that it might look like a random collection of monsters.
- Filling out the chronicle sheets is not fun, for future scenarios please add some sort of page where it is easier to see which items you need to remove from the chronicle sheets (since players didn't find them in that version of the scenario). It sounds like a minor gripe but after your fifth time running the scenario, you will know what I am talking about.
- Variety, having a number of harder and easier encounters to choose from is very welcome, but slightly more would be even better. The scenario already gives the GMs a lot of freedom when it comes to difficulty, why not give GMs a little bit more to counter certain player tactics and make sure that the scenario is entertaining for the whole party, not the player who can efvade/dismantle every challenge the scenario provides (maybe a couple of treasure/equipment packs for the monster to use and add as additional loot).
Of course, it is important not to overcompensate, but GMs should already be aware of that.
So this scenario has a lot of room to improve, so why still 5 stars?
It was an experiment and it delivers, most of the complaints/wishlist I have... might not have something I could have come up with without the scenario.
An update/expansion of this one (new locations ?) or even a new everygreen would be very wellcome.
How much of this scenario you enjoy might really depend on your expectations of military service...
I have played and run this and always had someone at the table who had experience with hazing and most of the things that are done to the PCs were regarded as usual practice.
Without adding an enormous amount of foreshadowing, players tend to be really surprised by the ending, and unless you do a very specific thing (one that seems like a very bad idea), you could be missing a very important bit of closure.
It's not a terrible scenario and some areas are pretty fun, but it requires a bit of work, and personally, I think a map of the main location would have helped immensely.
Oh and the motivation of the antagonist was very disheartening or rather boring, so cliche that players even joked about it during the game (before they had a chance to learn it).
If you are going to run this, emphasize a lot of things, mostly that things are not just hard, but unfair to a troubling degree.
Ideally, I would like to give this one 3 stars, but it was honestly the scenario in this season, that annoyed me quite a bit after playing it. It sits at about 2.5 stars for me. If asked to do so I would run it again, but it is certainly not on the short list of 1-5 scenarios I schedule for new players.