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Varisian Barbarian

casiel's page

Goblin Squad Member. FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 111 posts. 6 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 10 Pathfinder Society characters.



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Needs adjustment for more than 4 players

***( )( )

While I liked the new format, this module is a cake-walk for larger player groups. My group of 5-7 players ran rough-shod through 95% of the encounters. The end encounter was over in less than 5 rounds.

I knew that the module was intended for 4 players, so I adjusted the encounters accordingly, but it still wasn't enough of a challenge.

Spoiler:

I doubled and even tripled the number of 'mook' creatures, which helped somewhat.

Changing the Neh-Thalggu to a living version instead of a zombie was the most challenging fight the players had throughout the entire module.

If I ran this again, I would bump the dragon to the next age category to ensure the players face a dragon worthy of the name.

The module provides so much help in the way of NPCs and magic treasure as to almost be overwhelming. If you have a large group of players, you may want to have the potential NPC allies go their separate ways. My group didn't need the extra help.


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A fun scenario, but illogical

****( )

It's rare when I don't enjoy an adventure that deals with the fey, and this scenario didn't disappoint. The final encounter is especially challenging. The Twigjack is my favorite monster from Season 3 scenarios.

Spoiler:

Early on in the adventure, I kept wondering why Falbin wasn't susceptible to the effects of the Splinter. The Splinter's ever-increasing influence is said to effect all humanoids that do not possess a strong connection with nature. I interpreted that to mean the Wild Empathy trait. It would have been more logical if Falbin were a good-aligned, low-level Druid instead of just an herbal expert.


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My favorite of the season!

*****

I love running scenarios with kobolds. They are as much fun as goblins, yet their expertise with traps makes them more respectable. Not much, but somewhat. If your players don't have a stronger sense of respect for these little guys by the end of this adventure, you missed something.

Spoiler:

First of all, you have an opportunity to meet with one of the kobolds in a theater of all places. This shows that the diminutive reptiles are smart and can occasionally have an appreciation for the finer things in life. I don't think this aspect has been fully explored in printed form before this scenario.

Then we encounter the Sewer Dragons' trap-making skills with the boulder trap, which squished one of my players. I had the final kobold scout in that encounter bait the Player-Characters into following him down a cute only to come nose-to-tentacle with two Otyughs. The last scout harrassed them with arrows while the group fought for their lives.

The meeting with Yippitok almost killed one of the PCs. Alchemists can be deadly.

My favorite encounter was the finale with Chief Kibizax. Instead of having the dragon as an illusion, I made it a living, blue wyrmling. I added a background storyline in which there's an adult blue dragon controlling part of the criminal trade in Absalom and the blue wyrmling that acts as the Sewer Dragons' mascot is one of her children. The wyrmling was a gift to Kibizax to cement her business dealings with the kobold tribe. This was just my little spin on the overall plot and it didn't change the events of the conclusion as still Yiddlepode agreed to work with the Pathfinder PCs once her father was dead.

The players easily dispatched the wyrmling, so its inclusion didn't unbalance the encounter.

Kudos to Dennis Baker for making such a cool scenario. I look forward to more adventures by him!


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Short and easy

***( )( )

Depending on how the players handled events in the predecessor to this scenario, this adventure is either somewhat challenging or a cakewalk. My players experienced the cakewalk.

Spoiler:

My players allied with the lizardfolk at the end of The Dog Pharoah's Tomb, so the initial encounter in Snakes in the Fold was glazed over with a few decent Diplomacy checks. As it was in the Lizardfolk's best interest to ally with the Player-Characters, each of the roleplaying opportunities went smoothly and quickly. All of the PCs were on their best behavior and eager to help liberate their reptilian hosts from the treachery of the Aspis Consortium.

For this game, I had three players and ran an NPC to fill the last seat. Even with half the original players, the combat encounters were too easy. That surprised me as I thought the DR 10/- of the Adamantine Cobras would seriously slow-down the Player-Characters' damage output. It lengthened the encounter by a few rounds, but that was it. On the other hand, Durra Verthain nearly killed the knifemaster rogue. If I hadn't run the optional encounter at the end, my group would have finished this scenario in 3 hours. Most scenarios last the full 4 hours.

On the upside, it was refreshing to have the players rely on roleplaying negotiation instead of the usual "go here, kill that" that is common in scenarios from earlier seasons.


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Good mix of roleplaying, puzzles, and combat

****( )

Setting the adventure in a magic tapestry was a very cool touch. I was excited when I first read the description of this scenario and was curious how it tied into the Ruby Phoenix Tournament. I wasn't disappointed.

Spoiler:

There was a good mix of roleplaying (between the lizardfolk at the end), puzzles (see below), and combat (the mummies encounter really put the fear of the undead into my players). There was a nice overall "Indiana Jones" feel throughout the adventure.

It was also a nice surprise to merge the assumed desert setting with a swamp environment.

The CONs primarily relate to the puzzle room. The players figured out the Ancient Osirian equations too quickly. If the symbols had been scrambled instead of laid out in numerical order, it would have prevented easy assumptions on the part of the players. I realize puzzles can be a time-sink and bog down the action, but the puzzle room could have been circumvented altogether by traveling under the tomb through the various trap locations. As such, I wish the author had not pulled any punches by making the symbols so easy to decipher from the handouts. If you have access to Photoshop or other graphic editing software, I recommend scrambling the 1-10 symbols on the second handout so that the numbers cannot be easily guessed.

The other CON is that with the exception of the final fight, the combat encounters were too easy for my players. We played at Tier 8-9 and had two rogues (one was a Knifemaster), a cleric, a cleric/ranger, an archer, and a water sorcerer. It's possible that my group was just THAT good at being an efficient party, but they mowed through the Shambling Mound in one round! It didn't get a chance to retreat to the room with the Shocker Lizards to repair itself. The Aspis Consortium agent at the end gave them the most trouble as he couldn't be sneak-attacked. The leech swarms confounded the players until the water sorcerer cast lightning bolt on them (almost frying his companions in the process as nearly everyone was swimming about). Several PCs were paralyzed by the mummies' despair, but that didn't stop the sorcerer from blasting them apart with Scorching Ray.


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