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Gimble

ZenithTN's page

FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Agent. 178 posts. 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 45 Pathfinder Society characters.



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Laborious, Unenjoyable

*( )( )( )( )

Having played this and GM'd it on consecutive days, I feel I should write a review.

What I liked:
It came in well under four hours.
The first and third boons made sense.
Minimal GM prep, though I would pre-read the scenario aloud if only for tongue calisthenics.
The depiction of the Serenrae priestess is lovely.

What I was ambivalent about:
The clout subsystem, was (-) a subsystem, which I generally detest, but (+) simple enough in execution.
The second boon makes sense, but I'm opposed to such a character as could benefit from it.

What I didn't like:

The other art was uninspiring.

While the maps themselves were appreciably simple, please don't publish any more maps on the diagonal. It's an unnecessary complication. Rotate your grid 45 degrees.

I got the feeling the author used an 8th grade tactic... write a paper, then go back and abuse the thesaurus to achieve word count. It was obvious when I did it then. It is obvious you are trying too hard now. Seriously, some of the writing was like Roget himself got drunk and threw up. And it (the writing) wasn't as subtle as that. Spend less time on flowery prose; spend more time writing combat; and spend no time at all on philosophy and not-so-subtle political statements.

Disclaimer: Both my games were low tier. The combats were decidedly subpar. I feel like the author would have been perfectly content to write this scenario with no combat at all (and I'll be burning an effigy of her in the back yard for such blasphemy after this review), and only begrudgingly added combat. And what she added was uninspired, vanilla monotone combat. It's this monotony, when placed alongside her overly flowery prose that stood out. It showed little creativity, and little grasp of the PFS combat nuances.

And finally, I abhorred the preachy undertones to which others have alluded. Please leave your social soapbox in the closet, deep in the closet, with the light off, when you're writing scenarios. You want to proselytize, then redirect your talents towards your own blog. Get it out and keep it out of my Pathfinder Society Game.

I give the scenario one star on its own merits. HOWEVER, I can see potential in this author *IF* she can unshackle herself from the thesaurus and moderate her heavy-handed message.


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ZERO COMBAT. Not the worst, but I didn't enjoy it.

**( )( )( )

I played this at a convention in Feb '17 with a six person party with best-case results.

First, be aware, this scenario is written such that you are expected to proceed without ANY combat. ZERO. Had I known that going in, I may have tempered my expectations. There may be combat potential, but it was made known from the mission briefing that it is sub-optimal. Had I known that before sign ups, I may have avoided the series entirely.

Also, this scenario is not suitable for certain character types. Paladins in particular, and Lawful characters to a lesser extent, would be hard pressed to justify certain actions. Again, this should be ixpressly disclosed beforehand. Frankly, the VC should have sense enough to only recruit suitable characters, but that's a discussion for another day.

The NPCs and story were adequately fleshed out and had reasonable motivations.

The puzzle, while very creative, was solved in under a minute. As I generally detest puzzles within my games, I thought this was ideal. YMMV.

The chase scene flavor text made some sense, though in application, was found lacking.

The map was moderately challenging to draw.

The chronicle has some items of interest.


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Near Bonekeep-levels of Difficulty, but well worth $5

****( )

Concept - 5 stars. I'd give 6 if I could. 1 of 3 random dungeon themes, several encounter tables, GM freedom to place encounters, bestiary included! It is playable by every character you have, level 3-7. There's a respectable boon, and the loot list is an exciting read-through without being so esoteric as to be bland and so vanilla as to be a waste of ink. This is a beautiful concept and frankly I'm surprised it took PFS leadership so long to come up with this. I hope to see more.

Product - 4 stars. The editing is surprisingly pretty good on first and second read through, though some sections could stand to be re-ordered. I've run it once and it came in under 4 hours feeling just a wee bit rushed, limited by store hours. I'd have been very comfortable if I had had five hours. 1+ hour GM prep is required the first time. I think it'll be much quicker in successive runs. It's Evergreen status means the map pack is worth buying and is in the mail as we speak for about 15 USD, though you could just as well run it on ye olde battlemat like I did the first time.

Play - 3 stars. Bring your A-game Pathfinders. The encounter charts have some near-Bonekeep levels of .... um.. crockery. I made player-favoring mistakes and it was still a very hard time for five veteran players, with one character living only by the grace of an in-store purchase earlier in the evening. The second Fame has only one chance to acquire it - my five-player, balanced party, high-tier group of all veteran gamers failed. A GM must make very careful selections and choice editing of the encounter tables. For later iterations of this concept, I'd recommend a milder selection and more mainstream list of encounter options.

I take my turn as a player of this scenario in three days.

Misc notes: Like the name of the creature on p44!
Like the name of the quest-giving NPC.
Any chance of rolling haunts has been blacked out of my copy. That's one level of crockery that won't happen to my players at least.
Between printing, binding & map purchase, this one has run me around $25 USD and I still consider it worth it - it'll pay for itself about the third time I use it.



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