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hogarth's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 13,088 posts (18,983 including aliases). 5 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 5 Pathfinder Society characters. 37 aliases.



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Unmemorable


I've played this adventure, but I remember nothing about it other than fighting some circus animals in the opening scene. Obviously I can't give it a star rating based on that, but the fact that it left little or no impression on me is hardly a ringing endorsement...


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Interesting characters with a so-so plot

***( )( )

Let me start with a caveat: It's been over 20 years since I last read this module, so I may be a bit hazy on the details. Also I've never played Superworld, so I can't comment on those stats (it was dual-statted for both Champions and Superworld).

I have fond memories of the characters from this adventure. There's a team of high school misfits-cum-superheroes called the G.R.E.N.A.D.E.S., a few superpowered bad guys (including the eponymous Dr. Drugs) and a goofy neo-greaser high school gang called the Monkey Thugs. I felt they had just the right mixture of high school pathos and comic book goofiness.

Another plus is the artwork by comic book artist Jackson "Butch" Guice (who later went on to draw X-Factor, Action Comics, etc.). For an RPG module, it really is quite good.

The actual story is a little dull in comparison. The heroes have a classmate who overdoses on drugs, and they fight various bad guys while trying to track down the man responsible.

I don't think I ever ended up playing it, but I used bits and pieces of it in my home game (e.g. using the Monkey Thugs as generic goons and getting ideas from the various heroes and villains). There's even some recommendations on how to run a high school adventure which you might get some use out of.

Summary: Cool characters and great artwork, but the story is a bit flat.


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Fun, but frustrating for some

****( )

(For reference, I have played this at tier 4-5 and I have not GMed it.)

I thought this was a better than average module. The NPCs were quirky and interesting, the setting was flavourful and the plot was engaging -- not just a dungeon crawl, or an adventure where the GM gets five pages of background and the PCs get one paragraph. Hopefully there will be more great stories like this in season 3+.

Having said that...some of the players were frustrated and bored by the combat encounters because there were long stretches where their PCs were unable to meaningfully contribute.

Encounter #1:

Spoiler:
It took our melee PCs over 10 rounds before they could close to melee range because of the seemingly interminable stretch of difficult terrain and the ladders they needed to climb. And once they reached the goblin sentries, the combat ended in a round or two.

The encounter took a lot of real-life time as well, with the large number of PCs compounded with the large number of NPCs, notwithstanding the fact that the GM did a very good job at keeping things moving as quickly as possible.

Encounter #2:

Spoiler:
Fighting the "doll" in the forest, again the melee PCs had to cope with difficult terrain, and on top of this they had to fight a flying enemy. None of the PCs had access to flight, for instance.

Fortunately, this fight didn't last nearly as long (due to a fail against a save-or-lose spell), but it was still pretty dull for the melee folks.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time (in large part due to the marathon first encounter) and we had to skip the finale.

Hopefully future modules won't have multiple encounters that punish one type of character quite so much (e.g. melee, ranged, spellcaster, whatever).


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I liked the use of skills

****( )

I rather enjoyed this adventure as a player, and the skill challenge made it more interesting than the usual fare. However, it's possible that our GM allowed us to take some liberties with it; I know we each were allowed to make quite a few skill checks, as long as we could rationalize how that skill check would help the search for a cure. We certainly let our imaginations run free! :-)

I agree that the enemies were fairly weak, but I don't consider that to be a big flaw; as long as the story is memorable, everything else is secondary to me.

I'd give this module 3.5 or 4 stars (assuming 3 stars is average), based on my single play experience (tier 1-2).


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Annoying modules aren't my favourites

**( )( )( )

I played this recently, and I have to agree with the other reviewers who were irritated by some of the combats. Having a combat under difficult conditions does not necessarily make it interesting; on the contrary, it often makes it a frustrating, tedious slog when several PCs can only make minimal contributions.

Similarly, I find challenges that require the use of a particular skill (which can't be used untrained) to be irritating as well, especially since I usually play in "pick-up" groups where we rarely have a balanced mix of classes.

On the positive side, I liked the initial story behind the mission, although the actual module was a very linear dungeon crawl.



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