Vrock

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RPG Superstar 9 Season Star Voter. ** Pathfinder Society GM. 25 posts (26 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 13 Organized Play characters.



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A personal favorite

5/5

I loved running this game. It's a creepy investigative scenario, much like The Golemworks Incident—another I love to run. I ran it at the horror end of the suggested continuum and my table had a lot of fun, giving visibly and audibly disgusted reactions to descriptions of the body horror and actually letting NPCs give entire speeches showing how unraveled they'd become without interrupting them (not a thing that happens often!). They also appreciated the irresolution of the ending.

But some words of warning for players—this seems like the sort of scenario where whether it's enjoyed or not is completely dependent on your GM's acting chops and preferences. If your GM is not acting out either people on the edge of sanity and hope or campy exaggerated hijinks—and doing it well—it'll probably be hard to engage with the NPCs in a way that organically results in them providing most of the information you need while also conveying the intended mood, and you're probably not going to enjoy it. Definitely don't play if you just want to smash and bash. It's probably also best to play with a group who has the same preferences as you so the GM can turn the dial up to 11 in one direction or the other. I think it works better on the horror end of things, but that could just be my personal preference.

GMs—don't slide on the secret rolls for this one. Do make them all yourself. The uncertainty that breeds in the players will make the situations in this scenario that much more immersive. And they need to be immersed in this one.

Mechanically, this scenario is a good way to get people used to some of the new healing mechanics, and to some of the altered and new conditions. The new scaling systems for both combat and exploration (higher DCs since there's a higher probability that someone will roll high enough with more players rolling) worked perfectly. The bad guys lasted long enough to give the PCs pause, putting one in danger of dropping, but didn't make the players feel like they were overwhelmed. Mostly they hit their DCs; sometimes they didn't. An appropriate success rate for brand-new adventurers.

I normally won't run a table of seven since combats get bogged down and people get left out of roleplaying, but I decided to try it for this one to see how the new system handled it. It worked remarkably well! The personalities and situations they encountered were varied enough that all seven players had opportunities to roleplay and/or rollplay their character contributing something. Combat moves so much faster in 2e that it didn't feel like it took forever to get through a round.

And Haru's response to a probing question? Amazing call-out of a common player expectation that doesn't make sense in-world.


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5/5

This is my all-time favorite scenario. It's an excellent Germanic epic with fun for rollplayers and roleplayers alike. It's absolutely vital that GMs prepare this one well in order to bring the story and NPCs to life. If you're worried your GM won't be prepared, can't improv well, or isn't a good storyteller, hold off until you find one you're more confident of. It's well worth the wait.

The new venture-captain is very well-done. My players went from dread at needing to interact with him (worried about communicating with a deaf person) to really engaging with him and even going on to use his signs for peoples' names throughout the game.

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW

The event in town had my players unsettled. The eerie, otherwordly encounter in the woods had them on edge. The early dungeon gives them clues as to what happened. It also lulled them into a false sense of security before throwing some scary, shocking, and delightful encounters at them. They got loot that will make some melee characters very happy, then found out the scary dungeon encounter wasn't the boss battle.

The boss battle itself is epic. The cinematics are amazing. PCs may die. If a player's itching for a good death, suggest this scenario to them.

Then at the end, they have to take the hints they've found and use their brains to figure out the connections between them in order to convince both sides of a longtime feud to reconcile, while also telling a good story about what happened.