I got to play this with the author at a local convention, and it was a blazing good time. I brought an Ifrit Fire Sorcerer to this, figuring he would be up to the challenge (he has a decent spread of evocations at his disposal). I wasn't wrong, but boy was I still in for a challenge. Nathan did a great job balancing a wonderful location with some great social and possible combat interactions. I also felt like I actually got to play my faction in this one. Great game, and super glad to have played it.
I got to play this with the author at a recent convention, and it was a real blast. One thing I love is that as a well prepared GM, you could literally have the party generate the scenario at the very beginning with dice rolls (something he did) that allows it to be truly a random adventure.
Something else I really loved about I think deserves spoiler tags but:
I loved how we had to actually do research to find the site; that we simply weren't told "here's the dungeon entrance, go kick in the door and murder hobo it!" It was cool to actually do some of the legwork for your own scenario, like I would imagine an actual Pathfinder agent would do! I even used the library rules for once!
Something else worth noting: Lastwall isn't the kind of place you'd think about having a gambling hall. Maybe you should ask the Venture Captain about that ;)
I -LOVE- this scenario. While I think that, thematically, 5-08 The Confirmation should be the first scenario a character plays, I think I prefer this one. It is the other half of what being a Pathfinder is to me: investigation investigation investigation! It's definitely the "Report" side of the motto! I love the open ended nature and how it helps the players feel empowered about choosing where to go.
Maybe I've run this too many times, but I don't get what a lot of people are saying about "too much prep time". Yeah, it can definitely help to pre-roll some randomness here, but I usually have some downtime while running to do that at the table. Typically, I'll walk my players through the intro, and when they hit the part where they read the two letters, I roll up the cleric and the 3 names, and which one is the "real" one, and refresh myself on the cleric's RP style. By the time I'm done, they're usually ready to go, and if not, I usually have enough time to score a bathroom break. (If you're a new GM running this, it might help to make notecards for each cleric with motivations and how to bypass as an easy reference.) I also assemble the multipart handout with paperclips. definitely saves on the cut and paste!
I also love the new handouts per season. I can't wait to see Season 8's new handout!
Overall, one of my favorite scenarios, and my favorite evergreen to date!
I, personally, had a blast playing this scenario. We ran it as an 11th hour game on Sunday after GenCon with a GM who had spent most of the convention running it and a couple of players who were replaying it. The bit of a tone of irreverence helped keep the game feeling light and fun, which actually helped as opposed to hindered my experience. I think that lended to some more... creative solutions in the scenario.
I was, admittedly, definitely playing a more skill monkey esque character: Gnome Aetherkineticist. It definitely helped. That being said, everyone felt like they could have been useful, due to creativity in how they played their characters, even the more typical skill-less types. Dice rolls just weren't always in their favor.
I like the idea of this scenario as a 1-5. To me, in Society play, level seems to be a bit more of a metagame-esque function. Sure, lower level characters are a bit more green, and higher level are a bit more veteran, but it seems like the content really scales well across levels. So a test heist on a secured "artifact" sort of deal helped make my character feel important, even at level 3.
Overall, I really enjoyed the scenario. There were definitely some intense moments, but I had a blast going through it. Definitely worth playing.