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Pathfinder Society Special: Ruins of Bonekeep—Level 2: Maze to the Mind Slave (PFRPG) PDF

***( )( ) (based on 8 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Special designed for levels 3-7.

A group of Pathfinders recently delved into the ruins of Bonekeep, a siege fortress destroyed centuries ago. There they discovered not only terrifying threats but also extraordinary treasures. Warded by the magic of a senior Pathfinder, the party must explore as much of Bonekeep as they can before the spell dissipates, lest they too are enslaved by the enchanted maze that looks hauntingly more familiar with each discovery.

Written by Jason Bulmahn.

Note: Ruins of Bonekeep—Level 2: Maze to the Mind Slave is a limited release scenario. It may be ran at any time by a 4- or 5-star GM or a Venture-Officer at any time. This scenario may also be run by anybody at any convention. To inquire about access to this scenario, refer to the Organized Play Convention Support Policy.

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PZOPSS0500-1E


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Product Reviews (9)
1 to 5 of 9 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

***( )( ) (based on 8 ratings)

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Expect Death & Enjoy Knowing It Waits For You

***( )( )

A scenario that rewards very effective, and narrow, combat character builds, but not many skills or roleplay. Big muscles, good saves and a little healing is all that need apply. I would have liked to have seen deadly mechanics that were handled with more variety of character options. An experienced GM can take the tools and wield them to devastating effect. Especially after luring players onward with their successes to hit an inevitable wall. Wiping 3 of the 5 characters out in Round 1 with a single action didn't make me (the GM) or any of my players feel good.


*****


Hard, but fun.

*****

I've played through this twice now (used a star replay) and had interesting experieces both times. The first time was online with my, and while the party was filled with strong PC's only had an okay time because people couldn't work together. The second time was at a local con with people that worked well together and had a blast, even though we weren't as optimized. We did fine both times.

I like how the first two Bonekeeps felt like completely different challenges to me. One was trickier and made me think more, while Two was a much more visceral fight for survival. Two was a much swingier experience, with things feeling like our survival was balanced on a razor's edge the entire time, with a slight nudge either keeping us alive for another room or ending our run right then and there.


What else to expect from Bonekeep?


I refuse to give a star rating to Bonekeep, since my personal scenario design philosophy is in conflict with Bonekeep's design philosophy.

That said, I ran this scenario at a convention on higher tier and miraculously the team survived with only three deaths and completed the whole thing just under five hours, which is the artificial limit in Bonekeep. This limit, however, has an ingame explanation, so it's not all that arbitrary.

So what of it? It's a dungeon crawl with no roleplaying opportunities, so in case you dislike it, don't even try. The design philosophy strongly gears towards challenging the characters to their limits, handing out tougher and tougher encounters. To my surprise there were a few combats which were ridiculously easy to the group, and managed to wipe their foes away in 3 rounds' time.

To those with patience, ability to construct powerful characters, and don't get emotional when something bad happens to your character, this just might be your cup of tea.


Brings out the worst in GMs and players

*( )( )( )( )

The main reason I dislike this scenario is that it brings out the worst in GMs and players, and has the ability to suck the fun out of Pathfinder.

Bonekeep was created to challenge players and allow them to power game without regret, yet GMs get ornery when you that. They dislike it when they can’t kill you within the scope of a killer scenario. When they can’t kill you legitimately, they cheat to do so. For example, even though we were supposed to be running subtier 3-4, there were instances where he used subtier 6-7 (because he felt we were gaming the system, even though we barely succeeded in part 1). With help after the scenario, I actually created an entire document on how my GM cheated in over 30 ways. Unbelievable.

Bonekeep 2 is a killer scenario but unlike part 1, I didn’t find this one as creative or interesting.

There's a good chance your character could have a permanent disability by playing this scenario, successful or not (mine does). This is the part that most players dislike.

The worst part is that unlike part 1, there are a lot of sections that are open to GM interpretation, that allow GMs to be complete cheaters. If you want to have any chance of completing this scenario on time, you can’t argue, your biggest enemy is the clock.

Although we were successful (one of the very few groups that were 100% successful at Gencon), it created an un-fun environment for the players both inside and outside of the game, which ultimately resulted in a 2 year hiatus for an entire PFS group.

The GM (who in other circumstances is probably really great) was reported and got a black mark against his name.

Sure, we ran both parts of Bonekeep 1 and 2 100% successfully, gaining all the boons, without a single player death. Having said that, playing this scenario we still "lost".

Not recommended.


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