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Great Dungeon RunDM Livgin —
We had a blast with this scenario, the initial investigation had plenty of character and my bard spent the whole first in-game afternoon collecting stories from the rambling old man.
One of our players that just hit level 2 was complaining that they didn't feel like they got a chance to feel out the combat mechanics of their class during their 3 level 1 scenarios. They were uncertain if they wanted to continue with their current class and lock it in by playing at level 2 during this game. So it was good to give everyone a chance to break in their dice.
Our session went 5 hours, longer than the 3.5 we have been averaging, but no complaints here as we have been getting sloppy with start times. Is we would have started on time and stayed on topic I think we would have been done in 4-4.5 hrs.
The dynamic battle fields were a high point, everyone had fun interacting with them.
The maps looked easy to draw and it was convenient to be dropping small maps on the table that didn't require everyone to move their books every time there was a new map.
The boss had us chewing on our nails wondering if this was where we would all die.
Although we survived the double scaling through the whole adventure, the added hit points added some extra time to the adventure and removed some character's ability to spend time in the spotlight. (The +10 hp meant that some characters were not one-shotting enemies that they normally would while the barbarian was still one shotting enemies, making it feel like we needed them to carry the team).
Great roleplaying session.DM Livgin —
I had a lot of fun GMing this one as the open format allowed me to make the scenario more about the characters and their choices.
Great for your roleplayers, but light on combat.
The Good: Roleplaying was great as the players felt like they had some control over events as opposed to being along for the ride. They were very proud that 'install a constitutional monarch' wasn't one of the reporting options. I reported the 'rule with advisors', it seemed the closest.
The Bad: Not sure if it was my group, the scenario, or the foes the group fought but the players lamented that the fights were easy, few and far between. I had 4 players with a 3, 3, 2, 1 split and ran the group low tier with a 6 player adjustment. They fought the Razmir priest.
I ran the spider encounter in a small cramped building on a map I happened to have in my bag, which allowed the players to circle-kick the spiders very effectively. I recommend making sure your map has some verticality so that the spiders can control range with their abilities better.
The Ugly: I hammered out my prep the night before the game, it was not adequate for this scenario. The more time you spend absorbing the scenario the better prepared you will be to run with your group's decisions.
I love the encounter appendixes but am still getting confused occasionally (my fault for not doing enough prep). The quagmire and spider encounter in the old lodge was on the same page, which makes sense but had me flipping pages looking for the lodge spiders. That the Razmir priest attacks if they talk down the rebels was in the encounter appendix but not the scenario had me flipping pages trying to figure out how he reacted.
A fun walk through the woodsDM Livgin —
This adventure delivered on the premise of a combat heavy scenario with many ambushes, while the amount of detail put into the cargo gave a sense of greater depth to the story. We enjoyed the twist that was a dungeon dive on the run, and we got to throw lots of dice.
The Good: This in a dungeon dive by a different name and delivered on that experience.
Discussion with spoilers:
The Good: The sense of mystery with unknown magic feels improved with the new system. My group failed to identify several items, so they had this anxious feeling the entire trip of transporting unknown magical artifacts with unknown powers.
It was really fun to find a wagon mini and fill it with barrels and boxes and chests and books!
The cargo and the horses being something to protect added an extra dynamic that really shaped the encounters. In most the fights the players first priority was to protect and not to attack, which made the encounters for more interesting.
The rhythm of the encounters allowed the players to make plans, then see those plans succeed. The rogue traveled 30 ft ahead of the wagon searching for traps. The Cleric drove the wagon while the Monk(a) walked with the horses to soothe them. The Barbarian and the Monk(b) traveled 20 ft behind the wagon keeping a lookout. And everyone got to see their plans succeed as the Rogue spotted traps, the Horse crew were in position to control/protect the horses, and the lookouts were able to give the team an initiative bonus while being in a favorable position for some of the fights.
The last fight felt intense! They were sure happy to have Kyra with several scrolls of healing. Poisons were fun to run and didn't bog down the game.
I was worried during prepping that this scenario would be punitive on the gold rewards, but by taking the mission seriously the group was able to protect all the cargo. (I did forget that the first roll of every encounter was downgraded and only remembered when we started the boss fight. That made the earlier encounters easier and may have saved them some rewards, but it did make the boss fight hard by ruining their alpha-strike.)
I'm really liking the new formatting. Having a separate encounter sheet is saving a pile of flipping between sheets, and it often has the room for me to write down extra notes during prep.
The Bad: It feels like there is still kinks in the formatting of the document to polish out.
A few times I found myself looking back and forth between the scenario and the encounter appendix trying to find a specific piece of information (for example: creature moral and tactics, or what was difficult terrain).
And there was a few points I got confused about scenario mechanics; What changes if someone claims the scale? And Schrodinger's ambush where the Centaur sets off the trap, unless they get spotted, then it was a different druid.
The Ugly: We had a frog-totem goblin barbarian. They rolled max damage against the frog swarm with the tongue attack. The frog swarm was not resistant to bludgeoning damage. So we got this mental image of the goblin with an oversized tongue licking up and swallowing most of a frog swarm.
Good horror themeDM Livgin —
We had fun with the scenario, the group was split on if we wanted horror or goofy (in a friendly way) so we ended up with a very swingy and erratic theme. Which was a blast as we flipped back and forth from light hearted humor to actually dark.
We had a rockstar GM that really made all the characters come to life. This scenario really benefits from a performer at the helm.
Mini-quest scenario.DM Livgin —
Good scenario. Page ate my review.
Shout out to the Blakros section. It was a great use of the new action and skill system.
Landscape is golden.DM Livgin —
Thanks for making a landscape version. It is easier to see the grid over it while sitting, I accidentally muffle my voice behind it less often, and it is long enough to cover my sprawling GM mess.
DM Livgin —
Played in hard mode high tier, our group had a blast while being terrified the whole time. The threat of the Sevenfingers delivered on the hype.
A great sandbox heist, but one complaint.DM Livgin —
This is a great sandbox. My group had fun roleplaying then had a challenging encounter at the end.
This scenario runs fast, but that is ok because after the tense session it was ok to finish early.
The complaint is a spoiler, skip it if you are going to play this scenario.
Edited due to discussion in the discussion thread: Some of the gold rewards are slightly disconnected from the mission.
Amynta is an enemy of our enemy and the team has no direct reason to consider her an enemy, she is just caught in the crossfire of the Society conflict with the Grandmaster. From what we discovered of her, she would also make a great ally if recruited to the Society.
The only reason my character had to plunder her home was theft as a crime of opportunity. Commiting crimes of opportunity are not in character for most of my Pathfinder agents. The information we gathered on Amynta suggested that she would compulsively investigate to retaliate against slights, giving my character further incentive to not further provoke here by stealing anything more than her prisoner.
I had no more reason to steal her stuff than I had to steal from the bartender at the start of the scenario.
During this scenario the gold rewards rewarded indiscriminate theft. Indiscriminate theft tends to be the first habit I need to break when a new roleplayer joins the local PSF community. We have been trained and I train my players that rewards come from being good pathfinders: focus on the mission, Explore-Report-Cooperate, bypassing an encounter through other means than combat is ok; this scenario undermined some of that training.
Played it, never GMed it. Had us on the edge of our seats the whole time.
The time constraint made the experience worse: there were things we wanted to stop and investigate (RP), but couldn't because of the time limit.
Must have had an strict word-countDM Livgin —
This was concise, to the point, and kinda of cookie-cutter scenario but that was a strength not a weakness. It was refreshing to prep for this routine scenario, didn't even need to look up any obscure rules or new mechanics.