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Scarecrow Golem

ZomB's page

FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 854 posts (949 including aliases). 30 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 12 Pathfinder Society characters. 8 aliases.



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Laying down the Lore

****( )

Perspective: Player and GM

An adventure that sets out to give the PCs and players a good grounding in both Pathfinder Society and Absalom lore - and succeeds.

The first reveal may leave PCs questioning whether they have been setup, even though it is to their advantage. A nice enigmatic start from Drandle. Then there are several clues to follow up on to piece together the solution. Which takes them around Absalom and

There is quite a lot of investigation information and lore so you may need to pace it right to avoid overwhelming new players in one hit.

A tip: Redo the first two handouts in more readable format. As presented they are long with densely packed scratchy font.

The amount of info and lore you need to absorb is a lot for the GM to work with to make it flow well. Add to that the random elements adding several options and the multiple handouts - and you need to prep more than normal for a low level scenario.


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An unusual means to an end

*****

Perspective: player and GM.

A great mix of roleplay, combat, difficult decisions, interesting and slightly dark setting. A successful mission also means you get to be the hero in this one. This scenario flows easily and very well with each scene being memorable.

There are a couple of situations where diplomacy gives the PCs an additional option to avoid unpleasantness but is not essential. The mission can be completed 2 or 3 different ways, and there appears to be a downside to whichever approach you take, making your choices that much more interesting. It therefore fits with almost any group makeup.

Note the PCs need to make some decisions at the outset which, though equally fun and disconcerting, has the potential to bog the game down a little. Be prepared for the likely questions and things that need to be looked up.

The GM has the option of adding as much or as little role-playing depth as she wants and it still works.

A well rounded scenario that as a GM prepping to run I keep finding myself wanting to go back once more and get a little bit more out of it. A strong sign of an interesting and fun scenario.

The scenario does naturally follow on from Slave Ships of Absalom, so you may want to play with the same character. Though it doesn't require that you have played that scenario it does contain some spoilers for it.


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Mountains of fun

****( )

Perspective player

Great mountain setting and atmosphere, solid encounters, scary and dangerous monster, fun sledge mechanic (which GM kept smooth and fun and visually interesting), epic final fight and a semi-predictable twist. Nothing too complicated and not much roleplay.

Like all early season scenarios it works best with fewer players.

Certainly a 4+ star.


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Easygoing atmospheric river romp

****( )

Perspective player.

The setting and atmosphere of the River Kingdoms, organisations, river boats and individual encounters are all done well. The plot is however simple and likely predicted early on by most of the table.

If you are looking for challenge or complexity then it isn't for you.

This is one you play for the setting and atmosphere.

Works best as an early or introductory scenario and with only four players (as intended). Avoid playing it with more than 4 players if you can.

A 4 star if you like to soak up the atmosphere and for beginners, a 2 star if you are looking for challenge; giving a 3.5 star for the rounded package.


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A module in a scenario's clothing

*****

Perspective: GM, five times

Keywords: Deep, Long, Intelligent.

The author has obviously put a lot of effort into the detail of this scenario, such that you feel it should be a much longer module. There are details to cover almost every eventuality including: what happens when PCs break the laws of man, how their actions can influence various outcomes, how to handle several different ways the PCs might go about things, how the encounters change once the alarm is raised, factors affecting how long before the watch arrives, and several other things.

There are 4 to 5 separate role-playing and background establishing scenes if you play out all the investigation scenes in full. This is on top of the combat encounters and other hazards, and at these levels combat encounters can take a long time. In a home game this is likely two full sessions of fun play. The investigation and associated role-play can easily take half of the available time in a fixed time slot. At a game day or convention you will need to streamline the investigation and maintain a sense of urgency and focus for the entire scenario or this will run very long indeed (or more likely get called). It is likely very intense and tiring for the GM.

There are a nice mix of intelligent and dynamic encounters and intelligent defenses with some that could be challenging for an unprepared party.

For GMs there is a _lot_ of detail that you need to be read and understand how the scenario plays out and all the interrelationships. This takes well above average prep time, and several reads to get your head around all of it. The higher subtier with 5+ players can be particularly challenging to run quickly due to the nature of the final encounter.

In summary: Cool setting with a lot of interesting background detail and intelligent encounters, though I suspect most folks won’t get to experience the full scenario due to time pressure causing it to be cut short.

At low subtier you likely need well in excess of 5 hours and at high subtier with 5+ players well in excess of 6 hours to run this in its entirety.

This scenario is superb as a drop in adventure to a home campaign. As a time limited scenario it's too big and complicated.

Run as a leisurely and long home game I give it 5 stars, as long as the GM is prepared to invest the above average prep-time. In a time limited slot you will really struggle to fit this in, even with streamlining, and so I rate it 4 stars for typical PFS play.


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