I remember this as the scenario that hooked me to society. What made it great was the perfect mix of players role playing, combat, and a bit of curiosity about what was ahead for my Ranger. Played right, this is an excellent low level scenario with a goofy-but lovable character.
Lets be clear. I love thinking and planning my way out of things. Most scenerios seem to be built to be an easy mode so that people who are not that clever rather in RP answers or mechanical solutions can easily get by. This leaves power gamers and the overthinkers often lacking in real good material. Even with the random chance of dice. Bonekeep gives a very different picture.
My main toon, is not min-maxed at all. I have an off balance array and no particular strong build with a few strong traits and a bunch of average. We went in with a party of power gamers. However aware of the reputation of the Keep we had spent the better part of a week exchanging ideas for what gear to buy.
What we found was that the solution to the majority of battles where small items people gloss over in the Core Book's item list. While I don't see the permanent anti-boon as a real problem, I never failed the save and half the party came in either with ways to improve their save against it for extended periods of time (having actually made purchases based on being regular adventurers) and a good chunk where just immune.
What killed players was not a lack of tactical skill. It was not a ton of bad rolls. It wasn't even ungodly bosses. It was a lack of co-operation and preplanning. Some ran in, charging everything, enlarging forcing squeezing all over and giving the enemy greater advantages. Some, with no prior care for the party acted entirely on their own setting off traps after traps after traps ignoring what we had brought with us. Some ignored humble advice from experienced players and came with nothing more then the clothes on their back.
This is not that game. The entire thing is about resource management. We got passed the first two rooms with some intensity. The first rooms mechanic being scary to a party of melee warriors. The second room providing horror to those with low saves. For a handful of our party we easily handled it with our over preparations (I spent 20K gold before walking in on mostly potions). After that, we found ourselves faced with enemies who had powerful tactical skills and strong abilities. IF we hadn't acted first and completely negated their ability to fight us with a single maneuver.
For the prepared there are only two real threats. But you must come in expecting everything, ignore what monsters commonly have and be ready for the unusual. The party was almost TPK'd leaving me, the non-power gamer and a crazy built paladin to fight the boss alone. Not only did we take her down but managed to deal with two more rooms ourselves. Simply by thinking critically, acting tactically, and utilizing our resources. We completed all but one room, before we ran out of resources, healing, cures, potions, resists, protections, arrows, leaving us to finally flee taking the bodies of our fallen comrades with us.
Frankly it's an excellent and challenging game. As long as you got a level headed GM and level headed players. It is not the kind of game for the touchy, or the slow of thought. All around enjoyed. Especially the secret story connection to a prior arc.