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pauljathome's page

FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 540 posts. 10 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 15 Pathfinder Society characters.

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a failed attempt to make Mythic appealing

***( )( )

I should probably start with a disclaimer. High level Pathfinder games are already too swingy for my tastes. I think that the concept of adding Mythic to Pathfinder is one that cannot speak to my tastes. If I wanted to do mythic I'd go with Mutants and Masterminds with the Heroic Fantasy supplement in order to keep things far more balanced.

The adventure is well conceived. It most certainly was an enjoyable experiment.

I played it at low tier at a 4 person table. My character had played part 2 and so had the boon.

It was far too long for a 4 hour slot, especially considering that everybody is trying to learn the mythic system.

It definitely wasn't as tough as I thought it might have been. While we were never in danger of a TPK it also wasn't (quite) a cakewalk. Group included a pregens but also a level 5 character to offset that.

But it really didn't feel mythic to me. It basically played similarly to a 5-9 scenario. We were all powered up a couple of levels but so was the opposition. It did feel like the players had more control but also less danger because of that.

I hated the puzzle. Can't say why without spoilers. Read the GM thread if you want to know more.

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Monty Haul cakewalk

**( )( )( )

I played this with a group of 6 experienced players. All but 1 of the characters were brand new characters. While all were competent at level 1 none were overpowered cheese monkeys (they were 2 bards, an oracle, Kyra, a rogue and a wizard).

This group found the scenario a complete cake walk. Even as a front liner I never took a single hit point of damage. I think the others took a little but certainly at no point did any character get close to going unconscious.

Some of this was probably due to good play and a bit of luck

Casting grease om the big bads weapon was a very good idea. But the save was 15 or 16, not some unreasonable 20.
But a lot of it was due to some seriously underpowered enemies.

It also felt like a Monty Haul dungeon. We got a LOT of stuff. And a LOT of effort was made to make sure that it didn't really matter what the party brought to the table, we'd find what we needed. I think the worst example of this was when I was chatting to an NPC looking for information and suddenly got handed a magic item.

While at one level it doesn't really matter in PFS what magic the characters get at another level it felt like we were getting stuff we hadn't earned.

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Good but not wonderful

****( )

Faiths and Pantheons does a good job of accomplishing what it set out to do. It is a good mix of fluff and crunch. Most of the material is new and it makes a great deal of sense to reprint the bits that I've seen before.

The book is primarily aimed at enriching the backgrounds of those characters for whom religion or philosophy is a major focus (including those characters who dislike or despise the Gods). The book will be useful if you have a particular concept in mind and want to know where you might come from. It is useful if you want to know how the rest of the world tends to view your character. It is useful in giving mechanical suggestions on how to build a character.

Mechanically, the book has lots of new material and some reprinted material (lots of traits I`ve seen before). The material is usually very flavorful and is the usual mix of mechanically weak and mechanically sound options. None are overpowered which I personally think to be a VERY good thing.

Mechanically, my favourite by far is the Juju Oracle Mystery. While similar to the older one it has been altered somewhat in a good way. This one is even legal in PFS. I`m definitely going to be creating one of these for my next character

But there are a lot of other options that I`d at least consider using, especially with a new character. And some of the background fluff will be applied to existing characters to make them a little richer and a little better tied to the world.

I`d like to give this 3.5 stars. The Juju Oracle causes me to raise that to 4 stars.

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Definitely a mixed bag

****( )

I'm writing this from the perspective of somebody who has spent over 2 years playing and running events in Pathfinder Society Organized Play.

After all that time this book made me look at the Society in a new light. For the first time the society seemed like a real organization in the world and not just a frame to hang adventure scenarios on.

5 stars for that.

Unfortunately, the society presented in the book isn't quite what one experiences in play. It is an idealized version of what one actually encounters at the table. Many of the characters at the table would NOT be accepted into the society described in the books. Although I doubt it will happen, I'm vaguely hoping that the guide to Organized Play 5.0 that is coming out in a week or 2 will have rules to somewhat enforce what the book implies should be the case.

The crunch in the book is worth significantly less than 5 stars. On the very bright side, there is nothing here that is significantly overpowered. Most of the options are very flavorful and clearly fit what the Society SHOULD be. Some are powerful enough mechanically to be worth considering, many are basically traps for the unwary. But there are feats, traits, magic items and spells that I'd at least consider taking for some of my characters. Even the Prestige Class is attractive enougn to consider.

As an aside, I'd point out that the Page Bound Epiphany spell so castigated by BPorter isn't all that bad. It explicitly says that it refreshes your memory so it does NOT obviate the need to go to WeirdLibrary in order to research TheLostMcGuffin.

So, should you buy this book?

If you're starting up a Home Camapaign featuring the Pathfinder Society then you ABSOLUTELY should buy this book. Reading it before character creation will give players all sorts of ideas with mechanics to back them up.

If you're new to Pathfinder Society Organized Play then the book gives a very good introduction to the ideal that is the Society. As I said, unfortunately the ideal isn't quite the reality. The book is very, very worth while as long as you take it with a grain of salt. Perhaps even 2 grains.

If you're a long time PFS player then the value of the book probably depends hugely on you. There is enough crunch that you're likely to find some options that you like. But there isn't anything that you'll really, really miss having. The fluff is very interesting but the cognitive dissonance between the book and what you've experienced may be large. All that I can say is that I definitely think that I got my moneys worth.

I'd like to give this book 3.5 stars. But I can't and rounded up to 4.

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Very well done Dungeon Crawl

****( )

I played this last night at Tier 4-5 with 6 players and quite enjoyed it.

Made me REALLY want to play an Urban Druid. If you have an urban druid, this scenario would get 5 stars.

For a dungeon crawl there is quite a bit of roleplaying potential, You can potentially deal peacefully with several of the encounters. Admittedly one of those requires some appropriate languages but that is fine. I'm tired of just about everybody speaking common and languages being all but irrelevant.

The combats were interesting, the story engaging, some of the faction missions above the norm. And it was nice to see the bad guys using some of the overpowered spells traditionally used by players. While it sucks to be on the receiving end it SHOULD happen more often.

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