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Sin Spawn

bugleyman's page

RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter, 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Star Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 7,986 posts (8,104 including aliases). 80 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 8 Pathfinder Society characters. 17 aliases.

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Our Price: $24.99

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It's the little things in life...

****( )

I just scooped this up at the FLGS (Game Depot in Tempe, AZ). One of the owners mentioned that she had to specifically order it -- her distributor didn't send any copies as they do other new Pathfinder stuff. You may have to hunt for it.

Anyway, this is about what you'd expect…a smaller CRB, but with half the price of entry. The page stock seems identical to the full-size CRB, so it's a dense little book. The print is small, but manageable, though I'd avoid it if you use/need bifocals.

There are no obvious changes from the full-size book, and of course it is Pathfinder, so it may be cruncher than some might like. But at this point, you should know what you're getting.

My main concern is how the binding will hold up. The book does have "pre-scored" crease lines designed to limit strain on the binding, which is a good sign.


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Squares are not one inch!

**( )( )( )

This is a great map -- I used to own the original -- but when I tried to use a printed ship tile (from the excellent Map Pack: Boats and Ships) in conjunction with the water side, I made an unpleasant discovery: The squares aren't an inch. They're ~4-5% too small. Not an issue if you're going to use the map by itself, but if you want use it with another flip-mat, or say, overlay some dungeon tiles, the squares don't line up.

As much as I love the idea of bringing back classic flip-mats, the square sizing issue is simply too big a blow to usability for me. Hopefully Paizo gets this sorted out for future flip-mat classics releases.


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Trouble in the fold

****( )

Long has the world needed a larger flip-mat. Too many maps flaunted their 31" dimensions in defiance. Finally, Paizo heard the cries of the people and created Bigger Basic. And it was good. The people rejoiced.

Why, then, is this not a five-star product? The folds. Not sticking to whole-number multiples of 8" or 10" length and width means there are fold lines quite close (3") from the edge of the unfolded map. These folds are more difficult than normal to keep flat when the map is in use. Further, when the map is folded, there is a "flap" along one side which is surprisingly effective at catching on other flip-mats/objects.

I would have much preferred a size of, say, 32" x 30". Yes, that would have meant the maximum dimension of the map increased by only two inches; however, from a PFS point-of-view, at least half the time when a flip-mat is too small, it is two small by two or fewer squares. 32" x 30" would have, for instance, accommodated the original Blakros Museum while still folding into uniform 8" x 10" panels.

This product was sorely needed, and I really appreciate Paizo recognizing and meeting the need. Buy it. Just be aware that it is stopped (frustratingly) short of a home run by a questionable design choice.


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Just okay

***( )( )

The Good:
* Clearly expressed site-based adventure ready for easy drop-in to an ongoing game.
* Timeline of suggested events helps make the keep feel "lived-in."
* Every encounter includes scaling instructions.

The bad:
* The map is the weak point of this offering, which is problematic in a site-based adventure. It isn't bad, per se, just very routine. One main path through most of the areas, lots of rectangular rooms going off in seemingly arbitrary directions, etc. This is pretty much the sort of map I'd draw if I were making it up as I went.
* Minor editing errors. Some rooms described as having columns show up as such on the map, while others do not. Rooms that are 30' on a side are described as 'small," whereas elsewhere rooms of similar size are referred to as "large."
* Flavor mismatches with "baseline" elements of Pathfinder monsters. For example, plenty of goblin writing. Not a big deal, but something to watch for...

I picked this up based on the strength of Village Backdrop: Fulhurst Moors, which was my first real exposure to Raging Swan. While that product was fantastic, I found this one to be merely okay.


Our Price: $2.45

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$2.45 well spent!


The Good:
* Neat, evocative setting
* Includes a great map
* Enough detail to get things moving, but not overly specific
* Neat little tidbits to discover sprinkled throughout

The bad:
* Separate PDFs for print/screen; would have preferred to see layers
* That's really the only negative I can come up with...which says a lot

This product was my first real exposure to Raging Swan (I think I got a PDF of theirs long ago as part of a package and just filed it away), but it won't be my last. Just a well-done, immediately useful product at a fair price.


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