RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter, 7 Season Dedicated Voter, 8 Season Marathon Voter, 9 Season Marathon Voter. Organized Play Member. 4,724 posts (11,162 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 Organized Play characters. 11 aliases.
Time to prep (GM), time to explore (PC), time to play (players). This is one of those scenarios that does a good job in presenting backstory to the players. Often backstory is kept in the GM's realm, but this did a good job reaching us (player). I enjoyed the locale (haven't played the other scenario set here). Those two things rank high in my play style, and it delivered. Time sensitive encounter was a little confusing, but it played out well. We were a little crunched for time, but the scenario has a good pace.
The challenges were challenging (plot, puzzles, combats, & others). Plus there are a few options to explore that aren't allowed in PFS (in the way that crafting is not allowed, but I don't want to spoiler). My jeweler thoroughly enjoyed this (like he enjoyed summoning a porpoise when he was sent on the Throaty Mermaid--just because he never had before. The Dark Archives had a similar experience and I expect the other faction will too (none at the table :)
If you have two characters in tier, choose the one whose faction fits. If you have Destiny of Sands alum, choose her/him for this one. It will be a blast.
I like the sandbox effect of adventures and this one did not disappoint. I have a greater feel of Nantambu than before (though I still had to check the spelling three times in writing this :). One of my players was familiar with the mages and was eager to explore their school which the sandbox nature allowed. Take the time to explore the city and you will be rewarded (if you like Golarion lore).
Sandbox helpful stuff included:
A handful of local NPCs to provide GMs some interaction.*,
Decently hidden foreshadowing (easter eggs?)
Multiple reasons to explore the city while investigating (including even simple shopping)
Chances to explore outside the city (one actual, two NPC backstories)
Necessary sandbox stuff not included:
Timeline or a sense of urgency, while there is deadline (with the rules to start event X by 90 minutes if a timed venue) the PCs have no idea about this and could just keep exploring.
No sense the Technic League is closing in (my players felt they defeated them all). Building suspense suffered for it (GM fault?)
Random locations/attractions (a list of local shops, random (Mwangi?) creatures working, fountains/statues/historical markers/etc. Even some evidence of Technic League brutality could be a bulleted list.***
*I wish these were placed earlier in the scenario, printed in the 'option B' means I missed them while players were doing option A (good thing it wasn't run cold right?). Worse B directly affected option A, but the PCs were already done.
**without the proper skills and lucky rolls my PCs missed these, more options for the same info would be useful.
***While I believe the GM should provide this, a sandbox venue can really stretch out. I ran out of descriptions (and I am pretty sure my players knew they all came from my limited Black Panther/Wakanda knowledge). I know this is a wordcount issue, & in this case I would have subbed the lengthy word-count allowed the arrive-by-miserable-boat-conversation the PCs 'remember' having with the VC. Perhaps this was an allusion to something lost in editing, but even so it was pre-scenario and my players waved it away and just wanted to start their mission. In short a sidebar with twelve local flavors would be helpful (in all sandbox adventures).
Overall a fun-time, especially if your grant players a chance to go through it all. Let them explore Nantambu and witness the ruthless Technic League.
This was an excellent read and I am looking forward to throwing it at my players soon.
While mass combat and siege engines are cool, what I like best are the choices a PC will have to make. Without railroading these choices are each valid and it will give a unique experience to each different group of PCs.
It does have some excellent adventurer stuff too, such as spoiler=1, a cool new monster, an excellent spoiler=2, and I think some of the orc villains will stand out as memorable to your players. My favorites are spoiler=3.
Again I think how player's choices affect the rest of the game and how they are handled is some of the nicest work.
I look forward to seeing more from Jacob.
3. Mother Hagna and the ghost walker
FanZine has a negative connotation, but believe me this is good stuff. The contributors might be fans, but this has a professional quality that many 3PP folks missed in the 3.x days. In fact, you will be seeing many of these folks in future 3PP and elsewhere soon, it is that good. The art is fantastic-many different styles, but each appropriate for the genre and all different tastes. The crunch articles are useful and balanced. [I recuse myself for the fluff review.]
If your GM sits you at the table reading, running, presenting the things in the new Wayfinder you will think you are getting the pros. You will thank him when it is done and you will be talking about 'that one night, when you threw the "X" at us for a long time.