David_Bross's page

RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Star Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 1,064 posts (1,217 including aliases). 33 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 21 Organized Play characters. 3 aliases.



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Too long

**( )( )( )

This scenario has a lot of really cool stuff going on. That said, it is entirely too long. There is no optional encounter, and the terrain is used to great effect, but are two complicated terrain encounters necessary? Furthermore, the time/distance between parts of the scenario should be clarified. This was not helped by the mechanic for traveling in the compound, which felt a bit like needlessly ticking off charges of CLW.

Finally, regarding individual combats

First:
I think this is a great RP encounter. Very happy with it
second:
This encounter uses terrain VERY well, but should be cut from the scenario for length reasons
third:
This encounter uses terrain VERY well again. Nothing bad to say about it.
fourth:
The forge room is tiny and uses a very standard cleric bad guy. Not necessarily a bad encounter, but wish the mooks were positioned better as guards to prevent the caster from being overrun initially.
fifth:
BBEG is missing invisibility purge, or any other way of dealing with it. It was a crippling deficiency that allowed one character to essentially solo it while others were forced to sit out when I ran it. He is very strong in tier 8-9, as well. His tactic if "losing" is entirely unacceptable in my opinion.

sixth:
Was this trap really necessary? The scenario is long enough...


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Repetitive

****( )

I've only GMed the 1-2 subtier at paizocon, and that was an incomplete playtest, so I'd imagine that not having the final piece of the scenario hurts, as our table got very repetitive at certain points. The scenario is a class dungeon romp, with pathfinders delving into the ruin to discover the secrets of this large dungeon. I like the tie-ins between the Year of the Demon and the Year of the Sacred Key, and this is an excellent kickoff for the latter.

I think higher tiers do much better, in that they have a lot more to pull from (based on what I read), and I think that the final completed product does a better job not requiring so many successes to kill time at certain points in the scenario. I may revisit the "repetitive" review when I GM this later on the full version.

I will say this scenario made excellent use of non-traditional damage resources and party resource drains at the 1-2 subtier.


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Awesome

****( )

Anyone who played Bonekeep part 1 knew that part 2 would follow suit, and it does. Excellent challenging scenario that rewards the prepared, and punishes others. If there is one element I dislike in this one it is how the boons played out.

Negative boon:
This is gained from entering the scenario, and is a huge negative for your PC for the remainder of their career, with no chance to not receive it. Not even a will save to negate when you receive the damage or anything

actual boon:
You can only get this if you 100% the dungeon, and finish with time to spare. We finished with approximately 1 minute left and were unable to complete a simple puzzle to receive it. Poor design, and I liked the first much more, in that it was much more obtainable


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Fantastic

*****

I loved the NPCs. I loved GMing this. I loved playing this. I played it with my Ulfen barbarian and had the best time ever in this scenario.

You're asked to go assist a friend of the society, and wind up investigating what is wrong with him. The investigation part is rather short, but that is alright, since you end up on a fairly straight and narrow path to carry out some vengeance.


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Guess who is coming to dinner

****( )

This scenario has a fantastic premise, you've been invited to a dinner party. It has rich NPCs, involves the PC in the role-play along with them, and then the rest of the scenario follows.

Rest of Scenario:
The assassin's attack is fantastic because although many groups will suspect something is up, very few will actually get to do much about it. The fact all the PCs are seated at dinner leaves even those who act (almost all did at my table, and virtually no one did when I played it), unable to stop the attack itself. That said the guest of honor isn't one rounded and there is plenty of opportunity to save her. She then rewards the society quite nicely letting them down into the archives for information, which Shaine is quite impressed with! The puzzles contained within are ok, but could have been better. One comment I would have is that the combats are rather easy for most groups I've seen. The fact that the role-play has no tie in to the combats and the combats are so easy causes me to detract an otherwise 5 star scenario.


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Excellent Sandbox

*****

This scenario suggests what actions the PCs take, and they are given some sense of urgency on some elements, but in the end the PCs skill checks and course of action determines exactly how the scenario goes. As a player driven scenario I love the design choice here. I'm less crazy about the faction missions which are no longer called out in scenario blurbs, although apparently knowing continents rather than nations would help here.

I'd also agree that the scenario is lengthy.


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Issues

**( )( )( )

This scenario suffers from a number of issues, the foremost of which, is the feat Technologist, which basically guarantees almost nothing in this scenario can be done with skill checks. This wouldn't bother me, except it also has the consequence of making all the of the neat technological items that PCs recover unable to be identified. After you get past that basically nothing in the scenarios can be discovered by the PCs you have brutal combats, and NPCs who you can get epiphany points with, but unless you get enough, you'll never really get the opportunity to get more. The ways you could get additional ones just aren't very obvious. I'm not sure how to fix technologist without amending how it works in PFS, because as it is, having the ability to have one PC participate in 7 scenarios backstories and skill checks just seems very poor.


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Good Scenario

****( )

This scenario has a very sand boxy feel, with you investigating what exactly is going on and who you have to deal with to secure the mission objectives. The combats are good, although the final one has some minor issues in how you initiate/ how you reach the area. These issues are the main reason I detract 1 star.

I may be biased as I played this with my wild speech druid who is forever in tiger form. In "Rats of Round Mountain" how could this be anything but awesome? I will say that part 1 is better though.


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Fun scenario

*****

The role-play in this scenario is fantastically fun and the final fight is memorable and awesome. I personally love the fact that this is mostly a social scenario and that the combats in it are both memorable and challenging.

Encounters:
The first social encounter is exactly as PFS should be. Lets teach them NOT to be murder hobos. Then you have the excellent use of a trap mechanic as something other than, we heal it, we move on. The encounter that follows is awesome, and could have been so much worse if he'd used the advanced ones with SLAs (I'm guessing in his original submission in the upper subtier it had them). Then the dragon! All around an excellent scenario.


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Great

*****

This scenario has a good plot, which I agree can be somewhat limited by the fact that people who don't play the earlier seasons don't necessarily know the NPCs. The final fight in particular is one of the most memorable ones in a 1-7 scenario, although I agree that it is probably a bit much in the 1-2 subtier. Personally I've run it in 3-4 and played it at 6-7 and found both fantastic.


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Fun lil creatures

****( )

Everyone loves Fey right? One particular encounter can be somewhat lethal in the 1-2 subtier, but generally the challenge level is just right. Furthermore the premise of the scenario and the execution are fantastic. This is a fun scenario, and should be taken for what it is.

Beast Men:
When I GMed this our bard ended up afflicted and thoroughly enjoyed playing herself as a feral savage version who could use non of her standard combat abilities. I had some PCs asking if they could keep the template :D

What it is:
Its a bunch of fey messing around with some evil cultist druids. I love the fey and the fact you don't realize what is really going on until the final room (at least completely, there were some hints along the way).


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Creepy House

*****

I love this scenario. It is has memorable fights, memorable haunts, and a great story and vibe to it.

More Jim Groves please!

Bad Guys:
The first real encounter is usually people running out of a haunt trying to get away from it, and finding a wayang looking through a telescope. When they decide to murderhobo him they realize he has quite a few tricks up his sleeve. The next two fights are challenging for other reasons, but equally memorable. Combined with the haunts in-between it makes for a great scenario! When my VC ran this people hit the first haunt and decided that the best solution was to rest, in front of the haunted house. As you can guess, that ended well...


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Chases...

****( )

I enjoyed most of this scenario but did not enjoy the fact that we pretty much auto failed the chase. That said, I read up on it after the fact and realized our GM ran the chase incorrectly. The rest of the scenario was a fairly standard dungeon crawl and I enjoyed it.


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Excellent

*****

This scenario is just fun. The BBEG is memorable, and it all starts off with such a funny premise. There is plenty of role-play, fun combats, and generally stuff to keep your PCs guessing.

More of this author please!

BBEG:
Can you get a more horrifying thing than someone who wants to make a flesh golem out of a PC? This is just hilarious. Furthermore the final fight has some good challenges in it and when we ran it our VC's cleric ended up feebleminded, which was hilarious to watch him role-play out
.


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S4 at its finest

****( )

I love challenging encounters and creepy places that make your bones crawl. This scenario has both in spades! It starts off so innocently, go check on those old ruins….

That said

BBEG:
The final boss should have had some better minions so they don't all instantly die. Once his minions are dead his tactics turn from healing them to killing PCs, which is something he does insanely well. If they'd toned up the minions some what and downgraded his melee prow less and defense I think people would have enjoyed the fight more. As it was, I immensely enjoyed the fight, but I can see why others would not


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Fun

****( )

This is a fun scenario with some large scale combats. I think some of the combats could have been improved some, and allowing some diplomatic resolution of some conditions would have been nice.

2nd part:
I actually found the objective point system fun. It reminded me of a final fantasy game. I also had a good time with the harpies, as we got one harpy to track down the queen in return for becoming the new queen, provided she stopped eating people with wayfinders.


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Great Plot

****( )

I love the plot of this scenario and certain elements. One encounter in particular is challenging to run with any sense of realism, and the way we ran it was to have one PC with the GM at a time, recapping turns. Time consuming, but we got through it. Generally the encounters in this scenario fall flat compared to the earlier scenario, but as I posted in the reviews of previous ones, its hard to compete with the raw flow of gold into PCs.

I had a good time playing it, and the final encounter is memorable, even if it could use a little tuning in terms of difficulty.


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All hail lord cat

****( )

I played through this on my wild shaped druid who never left tiger form and has wild speech. Needless to say, I enjoyed the role-play scenes of this scenario a ton, and I had a great time playing it. The combats hold up very well, and again inventive use of monsters keeps them fresh. I think at this point the amount of gold received by the PCs, if nothing else, starts to make them powerhouses and it is expecting a lot of any scenario to challenge them, but this gave it a very valiant effort.


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Still great

*****

This scenario has some memorable encounters in it, although nothing to the standards of part 1. Your GM's prep and use of certain creatures really determines the difficulty here. There are plenty of nasty tricks that can be played, and at this level, you should be expecting them.


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Excellent

*****

This is a fantastic scenario that kicks off high level play. It is easily my favorite scenario to date, with the difficulty easily scaling depending on your group (and in fact calling to do so).


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Good Fun

****( )

I GMed this last night for several people who were newer to Pathfinder and a few veteran players, and generally speaking they enjoyed it. This is a good scenario with amble opportunity for role-play and some fun, if somewhat weak combats. Generally speaking quantity in a 1-5 means fairly weak bad guys, and with the exception of one fight, that is what you get.

I agree with other reviews that state this is a good scenario for newer people to PFS. Well built PCs will easily trounce through the combats.

minor spoilers:

Despite the combats being fairly weak (at least in the 1-2 subtier) the players were rolling very poorly and the bad guys very well, particularly in the bar, causing them to expend most of their resources.

In the first encounter the boss got away, making it harder to deduce what was going on, but a gather information check put them on the right track, realizing that there was someone in town who was going around hating on pathfinders pretty hard. When the NPC who was brought back to life from the first encounter told them "The boss said not to kill this PC" the table was highly entertained, assuming they had a turncoat in their midsts.

The checks to figure out what is going on in town are also entertaining, and the NPCs are a great way to break up this monotony.

A new player was introduced to rerolls in PFS and used one on Lem (in his first PFS session) to avoid a fight, which is a great use and he seemed fairly happy with the way things went both at the bar (he inspired everyone in the bar, making him very popular), and he just barely made the diplomacy here.

The final encounter almost turned lethal between the guaranteed damage from the caster, the prone party members from the lack of acrobatics, and the negative channeling cleric whose tactics specify doing this. I had a downed party member from round 2 who barely survived the channels from that point on, because I had the cleric use bane, cause fear, and finally go steal a potion of cure light wounds to try to heal herself. Between these actions I managed to not kill the downed PC. Perhaps giving her a higher charisma (as in subtier 4-5) and stating in 1-2 she attempts to exclude the first party member downed for questioning later (as in her tactics from the handout) would make this easier to do organically.


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You be treasure seeker.

****( )

Excellent water based scenario. You know you're looking for something in the Flotsam Graveyard, and looking for something like this to me is an actual PFS mission. It'd be nice if there was a bit more opportunity for role-play in some of the encounters, as there isn't a huge reason that it wasn't put in, and there still would have been plenty of combat with that minor tweak.

The high tier scenario has a particularly deadly encounter in it, so if that detracts for you, beware.


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Excellent Mix

*****

I loved the mix of challenging combat and role-play in this scenario. If tactics aren't followed then the penultimate fight can be especially lethal, particularly in the upper subtier.


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Enjoyable but don't look too deep at the plot

****( )

This was a really enjoyable low level scenario that rewards PCs making skill checks, enables role-play, and has some enjoyable combats.

This said in the 1-2 subtier a particular encounter* could turn rather lethal using the tactics written, the editing has already been mentioned, and the part of the plot is rather convoluted**.

*:
The level 3 cleric in the 1-2 subtier with her undead can quickly blast away the level 1 PCs. It is all the more lethal if no one made there sense motive checks (or earlier skill checks) and she starts with the PCs engaging with the undead. Furthermore the chosen undead for this encounter virtually guarantee that healing them isn't an option in low tier, as they'll be destroyed with a solid hit, guaranteeing this tactic practically

**:
The scenario sets you up with choose which one LIVES, and instead the guy who is trying to kill them saves the one you don't go after, which I was underwhelmed by

Mechanic:
The Chase mechanic forces the group to stick together by using a mechanic of highest is the check, rest aid. The issue here is that this virtually guarantees success, regardless of modifiers, based on the number of D20s rolled. Furthermore it punishes smaller tables by having less PCs. Using a mechanic of selecting the high result and the rest aiding it seems like a very poor way of doing a chase and I'd prefer to use a normal chase scene, with PCs arriving in the order that they do, with the NPCs tactics written to engage the PCs when x have arrived or having taken x damage.


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Not a season finale

**( )( )( )

This scenario would have been ok, if slightly on the long side, for a normal 7-11. It simply lacks that epic feeling that S4 ended on. I'm not saying every season ender needs to have the fate of Golarion on the line, but it should feel epic. I realize that with the development of a new seeker arc in the line we are probably looking at more "epic" there, but I was certainly let down by the scenario.

Also, our GM spiced things up according to the tactics as written, and I'm glad he did, because if not we would have been sorely disappointed in the final encounter.

I can understand this given the reviews of other "killer" 7-11s, but this I'd much rather have a few good challenging combat encounters in a 7-11 than scenarios that just give multiple weak encounters. Personally I don't mind the killer ones at this tier.


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