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Halfling

Zynete's page

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 888 posts (2,572 including aliases). 9 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 11 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.



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Liked it, Wary of Recommending Completely, but Looking Forward to More

***( )( )

This adventure feels like it hits the ton right. Although there isn't a lot of things to talk with (the first encounter doesn't count too much when one requires a rare language) there was a nice sense of danger going through the tomb.

I almost rated it four stars, but one of the creatures in the adventure makes this adventure too much of a gamble on whether I would recommend it to a stranger to play at any random table. It depends too much on other party members, GM, and luck for me to tell someone to throw four to five hours at it.

Spoiler:
I wonder what would have happened if the party had to face the leech swarm which would be pretty difficult without party members being overly prepared, but the scenario does give enough warning for that and the ghouls that I feel it works out fine.

The chamber with the cyst is dangerous in part because even though it gives time to the party to respond and take out a large number, the adventure seem to assume they do that, if they miss one of those rounds for any reason they will be facing a hard fight.

The reason I gave the lower rating is the mess of ghouls around. That is way too much paralysis and it almost guarentees you are going to be locking one person out of that fight unless someone else had the right counter prepared in the best situation. In worse situations I can see some GMs using it to just throw coup de grace at PCs with child-like glee. The number of ghouls could have been cut down without eliminating them.


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A Slog I Didn't Enjoy

*( )( )( )( )

This was really dissapointing. I was really excited to get into this adventure for several reasons. It started with a draining battle right from the start that killed the energy and left people wondering what they should be doing to contribute to the fight. It then ended as it began with another fight that had different problems but with the same results. Frantic flailing with a couple people just being unable to assist.

It was like being surprised with the first level of Bonekeep all over again with a party not prepared for Bonekeep.

Spoiler:
Played at 6-7 with four players.

First encounter, four robots with high AC, good attack and damage, and hardness 10. No one had adamantine weapons as of yet since the brawlers haven't run into this sort of situation yet. The modification for four players was insignificant and stopped about five attacks out of over two dozen they got to make during the encounter. The staggered condition meant nothing in the fight barring the party just falling back and regrouping. That would have been a good idea, but forcing the purchase of adamantine weapons is just a horrible way to start the scenario.

Final encounter, we feel good about ourselves for about a minute after driving the swarm from Pendleton, but then it just turned into a fight with a 78 hp swarm and 21 touch AC. There were a couple characters with AoEs, but those only do so much. Half the party had trouble dealing more than a handful of points of damage at that point.

I enjoyed the story, but the encounter design just killed my enthusiasm for this adventure. Either providing a different mix in the encounters or granting equipment before or during encounters to allow unequipped characters to do something effective. Without that, I know that this will be one of the scenarios that I will never run and that makes me sad.


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I only picked up one box so I am not sure if what I get was a great example of the set, but I wasn't particularly impressed with what I picked up. In my pack was a sun elf druid, wood elf druid, a quickling, and a wyvern.

The shape and sculpt of the minis looks fine, but I'm not particularly excited by any of the paint jobs. A lot of it feels a tad sloppy when looking at them in my hands. Bits of the hair painted over with the flesh color. Gold trim on the cloak spreading over into the rest of the cloth. Even with that none of the paint work looks particularly complex. The wood elf wears a dark brown glove which holds a completely dark brown staff that has some dark brown rings near the head. On his back he has two swords still sheathed. The hilt and scabbard are also the same dark brown throughout.

The size of the box is another issue I had. After removing the plastic packaging and putting the minis back in the box, it feels very empty. The box is a lot larger than the Pathfinder Mini boxes nearby, but the size of the minis I got are as small as if not smaller than what I might expect from the Pathfinder box. I presume that the larger box size is to account for some of the dragons or other wing creatures with larger wing spans, but for the wyvern I got, the box ends up feeling very empty afterwards (this is also true for the Pathfinder mini box, it is just was much stronger with this product).

There is nothing horrible here for the price, but it certainly isn't outstanding and I probably won't be picking up another box given my other options.


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Highly Recommended Low Level Scenario

****( )

This is a scenario with one heavy roleplay encounter. Depending on the party and GM pacing this portion of the adventure might take a lot longer than expected to complete.

There were a decent mix of creatures that I really enjoyed. I like seeing fights that are consistent with one another, but don't involve the party fighting the same exact creatures. It could have used a bit more variation, but there was enough changing resistances and vulnerabilities that it worked perfectly fine. There is one common immunity here, but there are a few other creatures in play that I think make up for the common immunity.

The chase mechanic is used to good effect here. I suspect some GMs might breeze past the changes this scenario makes to the chase mechanic and end up making it much harder, but that isn't the fault of the scenario. The chase could have used some scaling rules for four players though.

The biggest issue I have with the scenario is that it offers a mystery over the course of the scenario, but offers no method of resolution for the players and it doesn't leave enough of a hook to make players remember the bits of this mystery months from now.

This is a good scenario that I would recommend easily.


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Not Recommended for Convention Play

***( )( )

Edit: I've thought about this more and I decided that I let my own bad experience push my review of the adventure lower than I should. I still believe everything else I have written, but I think that this adventure does work for what it does.

If you have a group of friends that you like to play with and you are all looking for the challenge, this will likely work well for you. But if you are going into a convention, there is so much variation that can happen with number people at the table and with party composition to make this adventure a fun romp or, as it was with me, one of the worst gaming experiences one may have.

Below is my original review.

=

Even over a year later now, this still is the absolutely worst scenario experience I have played in. I blame part of it on convention staff, but in the end many of the problems are built into the scenario itself.

The scenario starts off with a bit on the challenge level of the scenario, but I find there are enough missteps within the scenario to make that warning itself misleading and pointless.

I was very much irritated to find out after our brief run into Bonekeep that it didn't scale for four players. This is ridiculous for a scenario that intends to challenge a party. It is obvious that what will challenge a six person party will be different from a four person party. Now, to the scenario's credit, it is meant to play as part of a special event with several tables to allow every table to be full for the run into Bonekeep. That is one place that I have to lay the blame for this experience at convention staff. I love you all for everything you do, but we don't know the scenario. When you saw a four person party with no idea of what was inside Bonekeep, you should have told us that it was meant for six person tables and that you were not scaling it down for us. I would have been fine with that, I would have found a different event. Instead you lead me to believe that this would be a challenge to our characters rather than the slog that it was.

For the half of the encounters, one class has it's damage dealing class ability negated. Our GM either accidentally also negated that same class ability in the first encounter or the adventure added that random immunity out of spite. Even in favor of the scenario, you shouldn't be negating any class ability that many times during a scenario. It doesn't make it challenging, it makes it either ridiculously hard if you have characters relying on that class ability.

Once I entered, I found myself bound to stick with the party until the rest of the party realized we couldn't handle this scenario. It was obvious to me following encounter 1. I couldn't leave though because other members wanted to continue forward. This is ridiculous for a special that will be gathering random groups of people into parties. I could have stayed by the entrance, but based on the murderous nature of the scenario, I felt like it would kill me as soon as we split the party.

Boring encounters. All the encounters I was exposed to were honestly boring. They were hard, but not hard in that I had to think of new tactics. They were ten to twenty round slug fests that just bored the hell out of me.

No roleplaying. I know, silly for this sort of event, but even bad scenarios can have some enjoyment created from basic roleplaying encounters. Since this one doesn't have them, it has to rely on the encounters being enjoyable. When the encounters fall flat, that leaves nothing fun about this scenario.

Encounters scale up poorly. The scenario spells out that we can leave any time, but with each encounter being so capable of killing any party member it feels so pointless. There wasn't a sense that we ran out of resources and couldn't keep going. Ever encounter was "wow, if we didn't get lucky there someone could have been killed." There was nothing we could do to gauge if we would be able to take on the next room.

Rewards metagaming. Almost all the encounters can be described as such. "Are you prepared for [blank]? If you are, then you beat the encounter!" All scenarios are like that to an extent, but this one seems to expect it.

This is only the first part. Because of the horrible experience with the scenario, there is none in this line I ever want to experience and in fact I will continue to warn people away from these series of scenarios in the future.

I can easily say to anyone I meet that given the option to play in any Bonekeep special or any other game, that they should go with the other game. The other game will be more likely to be fun even if they lose.


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