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** Pathfinder Society GM. 3 posts (35 including aliases). 5 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 12 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.



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A home Run

5/5

I have both played and GMed this. I think that it gives a lot of great introduction content to both the Society itself and to our fair home city of Absalom. A clear PFS2 spiritual successor to First Steps.

The other reviews cover things well, so I will keep it brief.

Start your PFS2 career here!


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Just Misses the Mark

2/5

I played this with a fairly strong group of players with all six of the Level 5 pregens. At this point in time I have not GMed this nor read it. I may buy it to read up on the full lore and back story, but unless some additional pre-gens are created at level 5 I have no intention of running it in the future.

Let me start by saying, that I personally had a great time, but that my experience was not shared by all of the players at my table. In addition the GMing was great – I was fortunate enough to have John Compton run this for me at DragonCon. So the flaws that bring this down to only 2 stars are centered around two key points.

First, this is a poor “Intro” module, which is what it seems to be billed as. The difficulty level feels extremely high and many of the pregens are rendered close to useless in various fights, which does a poor job of highlighting the “good” about the various classes in PF2. In addition, because there are currently only six Level-5 pregens, you are stuck with the same mix of characters, which will likely lead to essentially the same problems my group faced. I played as Valeros (which apparently had a significant typo in his Shield stats that John corrected on the fly).

Spoiler:

I felt particularly bad for the Merisell and Fumbus players who felt ineffective throughout good portions of the night. I think it might have been better for Fumbus to have a more tailored load out for this particular scenario then the default one given – but without meta-gaming knowledge that is impossible. If it were based on just this scenario, I'd probably never look at the PF2 alchemist again. Which i think is a big miss.

Second, “Time”. We’re all new to PF2 right now, none of us have played level 4 or 5 before. So the scenario ramp up, and turn-by-turn play-time is long. If you are GMing this in a time boxed situation – just do everyone a favor and skip the optional encounter. We skipped this, but even without it we were sorely pressed for time. This made the end of the scenario feel overly rushed.

I did enjoy the plot, the backstory, and the overall flow of the adventure. I would recommend this at some point in the future when PF2e is a better understood rule set, but where things are right now with only 3 other PFS scenarios, I would recommend passing on this one for now – unless you are desperate to play all of the PFS content. And I would certainly say don’t play this first – as an introduction to playing or GMing PFS 2. Go play 1-01 (Absalom Initiation) or the Quest for that matter.

I almost want to give it 3 stars instead of 2 in part, because I think some of the flaws will get better with age. But I honestly can't recommend this scenario at this point in time.


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Hard but Fair

4/5

I played this with a fairly decently balanced table of four level 2’s and two level 1’s. At this point in time I have not GMed this or read it. However I do plan on running it in the future.

I’m a bit surprised at the other reviews. However, let me state that I enjoy challenging combats in my scenarios. The final fight certainly is a challenge that actually requires teamwork and party tactics to overcome. Given the newness of the system, I think that some people are being overcome by it.

Spoiler:

I think the final fight with the high AC skeletons and the necromancer is rated a Severe encounter. We did have 2 players learn about the death and dying rules but no one even got as far as Dying 3. In our case there was a helpful NPC on our side that was able to assist and tip the scales. I assume this is available in all of the play throughs.

That being said, even without the final encounter, I actually enjoyed the skill challenge/town exploration/mystery solving that others are complaining about. I actually enjoyed it more than I did the same portion in 1-02 (Mosquito Witch).

I will say, there is a lack of actual RP opportunities in this scenario, unlike 1-01 and 1-02, so if that is your main driving force for an enjoyable game, perhaps this scenario isn’t best suited for you. (This is where the scenario loses a star from me.)

While the plot might not be the most engaging thing, the general mission parameters aren’t contrived or force fed. In our case there were a lot of jokes about being the 5PP Body Recovery team for all these dead PFS1 characters.

And yes, it is a bit “gamey” in parts – but all of the skill challenges in PFS1 and (not surprisingly PFS2) are like that. The scenarios are designed to give everyone the same general challenge, despite their level of play. In the high-tier of each scenario the monsters are always more powerful, the traps are always harder to overcome, and the NPCs are always just a little harder to persuade. IF that turns you off from PFS2, and this scenario in general – then in my opinion you’ve probably been turning a blind eye to this exact same thing for the past 10 seasons of PFS1 content. (Just my 2 copper.)


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A very nice continuation of the Sky Key Storyline

4/5

Pew! Pew! First, if you are Anti-Tech – stay far away from this one…
There, now that that’s out of the way. Be prepared to bring your A-Game!

I have played this and run this, both at high tier, 6 player tables:

This takes place in the heart of Technic League territory with all that implies in Season 6.

You get a good bit of role playing and free-flowing investigation with a few options (and plenty of room for improvisation) through the first half of this adventure. The NPC’s are varied with different motivations and characterizations. I ended up having a lot of fun from both sides of the GM screen with a certain young dwarf.

Once you enter the second half of the scenario, be prepared! It starts off with a bang, literally, and then evolves into a highly challenging high-tech dungeon crawl of the first order.

This really is a well crafted all-around scenario worthy of helping close out the season with call backs to a few earlier sky-key scenarios.

Pros:
-Good mix of Role Play and Roll Play
-NPC’s with some depth to them
-Really strong combats with well designed high-tier foes
-Moves forward the Season’s main plot line
-Provides an appropriate work around for not having the Technologist Feat, while still empowering anyone who invested in it

Cons:
-Both times we played this, the same accidental rail-road happened. Instead of really exploring the city to pick up key pieces of information both the group I played with and the one I ran bee-lined for the primary NPC named in the mission briefing. This short-changes the first half of the scenario and essentially kicks off a clock that forces the PC’s hand.
-Easy to miss out on some of the faction-boons completely.


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Meh.

2/5

Played low tier as an Archer Ranger at a well-balanced and experienced 6-player table:

A Railroad scenario if ever there is one, although at first it doesn’t feel like it. The story line comes off as a poorly constructed winding railroad track with the false (and see-through) illusion of free will investigation as you slowly navigate through one dead-end after the other, building up a very full sense of frustration. Unfortunately, it is not like many of the other PFS investigation scenarios where you really feel like your PCs actions are successfully uncovering a plot.

There is a lot of description, but as others have written – as it builds up the prose is kind of odd with noting really adding to the real flow of the story. Some of the locations are quite interesting, but your reasons for being there are poorly constructed. There is a lot of history linked to a previous scenario but since only 2 out of 6 of us at the table had played the precursor from FIVE YEARS AGO – that fell completely flat with no one really “getting” it.

The 3 fights we had were mildly interesting (with my favorite part being the change-up of some sanctioned PvP), although the room size in the last encounter doesn’t really accommodate a party of 6 w/ 1 animal companion. As a well-equipped party, the boss fight was mostly a push over.

To be blunt, this might be the worst scenario of Season 6 I’ve played at this point (out of 17), and one I don’t plan on bothering on running.