I like this scenario. It seems like a good lead in for for what is to come. Ok so the PC's don't find Sharrowsmith in the first scenario however, its listed as part one of three. I am eager to see what Captain Sharrowsmith is going to find or stumble onto.
From a roleplaying point of view the GM has the opportunity to harass the party with an Aspis Consortium agent who has the upper hand as the Pathfinders arrive. Instead of just letting one of the players roll a D20 and make the "uber" diplo check they actually had to roleplay. When the group I ran on the scenario rolled the dice, they botched which resulted in the Pathfinders being escorted out of Ft Bandu.
The combats are exceptionally simple and are not any threat to a party of five to six characters, especially if they are optimized for combat. At the high tier there should have been double of the amount of monsters sent against the party.
Kudos for the Paizo staff and for adding all of the monsters, and putting the maps into the adventure. For a GM it was a breath of fresh air that could allow a GM to just show up with the scenario and not a duffel bag filled full of books, or a maxed out tablet.
Had the PC's jumping at shadows. From the first NPC to the BBG at the end this was a hoot of a scenario to run. Describing the environment,adding voices to the the NPC's and following the advice in the sidebars defiantly made this scenario not only enjoyable from me but also the players. The players were continually challenged and with measures that had them on their toes. This scenario was well written, flowed very well on the progress of the party and how "things" reacted to them. Would recommend this scenario to any GM that was considering it.
With pathfinder continuing to move into the "hobo rush" mentality and players becoming dps monsters this scenario yet again proves to me how quickly and badly things can go wrong. For once the DC's were actually on a level that made the scenario challenging for the players. The AC and hardness of the monsters in the scenario made sure that the combat was not over in one to two rounds, (pop out the cure light wounds wand for one to two charges and move on), and was actually a challenge for the PC's. There are ways to exploit the weaknesses of the monsters in the scenario if the PC's actually pay attention to the NPC at the beginning, should they take the time to talk to him, or if they have also been through 6-01. This scenario is not of rails and allows the PC's to move around as they wish, meaning they can bypass a lot of the scenario and go straight to the end, meaning they either need to circle back or, take the hit in gold. Finally I am enjoying scenarios where if the PC's overkill everything they can fail the mission. Ya you were supposed to save them... This scenario was very well written, had a excellent story and the boons fit perfectly according to the PC's actions, kudos to the author.
This scenario was a blast to run as a GM. Now it does require a lot of prep time and the GM does need to read through the scenario more than once and make some notes and understand how the timeline and mechanics are supposed to work.
For me what was fun was watching how the Pathfinders took the typical attitude of swaggering into town and then expecting to roll a bunch of dice and then high five each other after the BBG. Not so much... Yes the Pathfinders actually have to talk to the NPC's and ask them questions instead of the typical dungeon crawl, or being lead by their noses down the path to dish out tons of damage for one to two rounds.
The sequence of events is very intricately planned out and players with short attention spans will easily get bored with this scenario. The only issue I had while running this scenario was trying to keep a straight face to the PC's, thinking: They just did that... awww yeah..!
The DR from the monsters was easily negated by the Magus' swift actions. The Zen Archer basically turned everything into pincushions by using holy bane arrows, at 150gp a shot the price was minor by the rewards at the end of the adventure. Combat rarely lasted for more than two rounds.
The DC's are simply not high enough by the monsters in the scenario even at the advanced level to pose any challenge to a party at the high tier. The AC of the monsters in the high tier is a joke. The majority of the party only missed on a roll of a 1 or 2. There really isn't any chance of the PC's missing.
This scenario seems to be typical of Paizo: Good story, really bad mechanics, and absolutely no threat of danger to the PC's.
This has been one of THE funnest scenario's to run. This has something for every class and has an excellent balance of skill checks to combat. There many different situations where one choice and decision can directly influence the next set of circumstances. However there is a lot of prep work and Matt defiantly did his homework while writing this making it challenging for the whole range of classes.