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Erastil

xebeche's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 270 posts (272 including aliases). 23 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 7 Pathfinder Society characters.



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One of your better options!

****( )

Break out your roleplaying skills, dust off your unused notepad, and take a glance at those skill check modifiers you haven't rolled in a while. This scenario bucks some trends and provides an immersive experience. The GM has their work cut out form them to make sure they understand all the systems and rules that must be tracked, but it is a rewarding experience.

I wouldn't recommend this to a party of 1st-level characters, but subtier 4–5 does play to the scenarios strengths. Primarily because characters are diversified, and skilled, enough to take advantage of what the scenario has to offer.


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I look forward to running this again!

****( )

I had the good fortune of running #5–03: The Hellknight's Feast at GameStorm 2014 a total of four times.

GMs must bring the NPCs to life and players must engage and pay attention to get the most out of this scenario. I love the roleplaying opportunities. The combats are challenging as well! Bring your A-game. Talk. And prepare for a good fight.

To the GMs:

Spoiler:
The scenario is complicated in that relevant details are scattered throughout the scenario. I made the mistake on my first run of not being aware of magic items and spells explicitly stated in the text, but not clarified for their implications and how PCs might get a chance to circumvent them.

Also, be aware of the experience that your players are having. Do they look confused? Bored? Unhappy? Talk to them about the game mechanics if they are lost. Taking the time to explain the metagame before hand allowed everyone to be on the same page and to focus on the mystery of the personalities, not the skill checks. I placed a sheet of paper on the table detailing the names, gender, race, appearance, and companions of each NPC. I openly tracked progress with each NPC. This sheet also served as a convenient way of having the players select their seating arrangement.

To the players:

Spoiler:
This scenario deals with over a dozen full names from Pathfinder Society Organized Play lore. Many of them are important to keep straight for a rewarding roleplaying experience. If your GM is not volunteering this information then you must demand it. As written, you have a full day between the time you are given the mission and when you must arrive at your destination. Travel time is negligible. Use this time to request that you make Diplomacy (gather information), Knowledge (local), or Knowledge (nobility) checks to get background information on the relevant NPCs. The more you know going in, the better your roleplaying.


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Ambitious and Successful

****( )

Reading and then running this scenario I can't help but feel like the author, David N. Ross, was handed several disconnected pieces and told to write a scenario that incorporated them all in a way that made sense. If that's the case, I feel he did about as good a job as anyone could.

I GMed this for a group of five with an APL of exactly 2, so subtier 1–2 is where we landed. There are A LOT of NPCs, each with some personality and dialogue to offer (and sometimes a lot). I really enjoyed the expansive opportunities for roleplay and the reward for investing in skill and/or combat abilities. However, GMs, I suggest you come up with a solution to diminish confusion about who is who and when they are talking.

If you are looking for to spend time conversing and shaking down a town in search of the truth, you've found a solid option.


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Sometimes what needs the most help is so close you cannot see it

*****

The GM's preparations and understanding of the scenario are extremely important. The skills, talents and disposition of the player characters exploring Mendev and the Worldwound will have a significant impact on what they experience. What the player brings to the table and how they choose to play their characters are also of consequence. Its easy to "win" this scenario, but if GM and players are not fully present its easy to be dissatisfied with that ending. This is one of those scenarios that may cause a player to rethink how their Pathfinder Society characters develop over time and interact with the world of Golarion.

Lastly, It's worth taking a look at your faction leader's "Faction Status Report - Year of the Demon" in the appropriate Faction Talk subforum.


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Poor execution

**( )( )( )

I carefully prepared this scenario and was the GM for 6-players last night at subtier 4–5.

One of my players put it nicely: "This felt like a season 0 scenario." The PCs are confronted with choices that don't matter. The NPCs are bland with simple, non-negotiable objectives that make them feel more like mechanical encounters than people with their own will (despite coming from culturally interesting locales). The optional encounter feels slightly more related to season 5 than any other encounters and the others feel too repetitive, except for one that seems out of the blue random. None were very challenging for my players with an average party level of four.

I have maps printed, pages highlighting the important content, color prints of NPCs so we can keep them straight and encounters conveniently prepared on sheets with templates already added. Despite all this, a telling part of this experience for me is that despite how easy it would be to run this cold in a few months after so much prep work—I don't know that I'd really want to. #5–01: The Glass River Rescue falls flat on its face and just isn't as fun as so many other tier 1–5 scenarios available.


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