Goblin Snake

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Super Fun


Without spoiling things, this special had a lot of twists and turns that I really enjoyed. Between the awesome locations to the surprising foe of the scenario taken from the deep lore (I was wondering if they were going to be used), this was a whole lot of fun.

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Interesting concept.. Cool mechanics.. Horrible puzzle


So, in theory this was a good scenario. The fluff was interesting and there was some great potential with the story. We were also rocking a lot of good role-playing; people stayed in character and there was a ton of laughs. When we did the portal fight, we all agreed that it was pretty awesome. Then we hit the tower puzzle and our table was brought to a screeching halt. At first, we tried to figure out the solution; then, after about fifteen minutes, we got frustrated and resorted to guessing. Finally, in an act of mercy, our GM relented and let us move on. This puzzle made no sense, even after he explained it. Unfortunately, the damage was done by this point and what had been a light-hearted game turned into a slog none of us wanted to finish. It ended with us grumbling about the puzzle and the GM literally apologizing. Sadly, I think this puzzle will taint the last night of Gen Con for more then one Pathfinder.

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Bill Webb's Book of How to Lose Your Players


To be blunt, brutal, and honest this book is a turd. There are some good ideas sprinkled through like nuggets of corn, but honestly it's not worth digging through the mess to find them. I think the fundamental flaw of the material is the fact that it treats the GM/Player relationship as an adversarial one and one that the GM can win at as well. Lets take a look at this section by sections:

House Rules - Most of these are either game breaking or handled better with systems already in place. The open dice-rolling is not a bad idea on it's own but he forgets the all important advice of having some of the hidden rolls be dummy rolls so the players don't know something is up.

The Players Got Too Much Treasure - This is probably the worst section of the book. Instead of having an open and honest discussion with the players about how you screwed up and gave them too much loot (probably because they did something clever and because you followed other bad advice from this book) and what to do with it to preserve game fun, this section advocates deceiving them to strip them of their rightly earned rewards.

Situational Advantage - Finally, some actually useful advice. However, some of these are pretty obvious to experienced DMs already but, hey, after shelling out for the hard copy I'll take what I can get.

Time Wasters - Hahaha... No. We waste enough time as it is. That being said, I did like the "Extra Heavy Flavor Text" but simply because it adds color to the world.

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing - All in all, not to bad. "The Unkillable Monster" can go die in a fire, but the "Beauty is only Skin Deep" section is something every DM should know but, once again, is something that you can get from plenty of other sources.

Sheep in Wolf's Clothing - Use illusion and deception... thanks Sun Tzu. I think the best part of this section is that it is obvious that even the book's editor is getting bored of this crap by now, judging from his callout boxes.

Trickery - Words words words words. Double trap is useful for when your enemies er.. I mean the players bypass your clever trap too easily and you haven't done enough arbitrary damage to them yet. Honestly, half of this section was banal and the other half was unfair; par for the course.

Greed is Bad - I suppose teaching the players to value long term rewards over short term gains is a good idea. However, the "Collapsing Treasure Room" is made of stupid and one of the oldest tropes in the book. First, its demoralizing to players to see all this great stuff and then have it snatched away. Worse, if your players are cleverer than you are and finds a way to tunnel back to the treasure horde then you have a game-breaking problem on your hands; at least if that happens you got advice earlier in the book to badly fix that problem as well.

Honestly, I would advise everybody to give this book a pass. I give it two stars because there is SOME useful concepts in there but it's stuff that can be learned from free resources on the web or even good old-fashion shop talk at the hobby store. Also, a great deal of the advice inside is stuff that most older GMs already know (and if they are smart ignore) and it's actively toxic to new GMs.