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Another great scenario from Eleanor FerronDiodotus —
This scenario had reasonably challenging fights, with a very exciting and deadly fight at the end. They were interesting – with tactical possibilities and decisions there to be exploited, which is always an improvement over “I try to hit, I roll damage, lather, rinse, repeat.”
The tone was beautiful. I find that RPGs aren't the medium for horror – but they can convey gothic tone. And this scenario did so.
Even the riddle was well presented!
Another great scenario from Eleanor Ferron.
A solid scenarioDiodotus —
The first two scenarios this season are about the Society reaching out to places in the world that it has never visited before (a good thing). Is it an accident that this season is titled “the Year of Corruption's Reach?” One wonders.
This was a good scenario. The tests were fulfilling – not bound by strange rules, or flat depending on only the luck of the dice. I love that the scenario left open-ended how the characters would approach and deal with the challenges, rather than making assumptions.
Nothing surprising - but nothing disappointingDiodotus —
This is an great heroic adventure. Not fussing over how to get the society into the graces of this- or that- dignitary. No neurotic worry about the history of the Society itself. A dig into an unknown past to uncover its secrets. With real danger – a great “oh-my-G-d-we're-all-going-to-die” fight. Yes, yes, yes!
Nothing surprising (beyond an amazing heroic battle) - but nothing disappointing!
More than I thought could fit in a one hour questDiodotus —
This was great! It was packed with plot, NPCs, and excitement. Way more than I thought could fit in a one hour quest. It really was a mini-adventure. It had tone, it had character, it had mystery. Well done Mr Cabrera!
It does what a quest should do – it entertainsDiodotus —
Adorable little scenario, adding a light touch and some intrigue the the dark tone and tenor of Nex. The combat was not particularly challenging, but it was interesting. The skill test suffers from what many skill-tests do – a tendency to “roll the dice and see what happens,” but it is easy enough for GMs (including our GM) to soften that and engage in some interesting role-playing.
It does what a quest should do – it entertains.
Good scenario . . . but an overused set-upDiodotus —
The scenario has nice maps and challenging fights in which strategic use of the terrain makes a big difference. There is a sense and reason for what one encounters – things do tie together, though that connection may not always be obvious, which may be unsatisfying or disappointing.
I am a little bored of scenarios which expect Pathfinder agents to be neurotically obsessed with the history of the organization, or re-tracing the steps of Pathfinders gone-by. The organization feels stale in-game – instead of exploring strange new areas, they are obsessed with their own founder. And this really sucks for players new to society who haven't been following the soap opera lives of the thousand-and-one NPCs in nthe world, and who were simply looking for a good adventure game.
I am not saying that scenarios that look backwards or inwards are innately bad. But there are far too many of them in a season – in particular this season.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #146: Cult of Cinders (Age of Ashes 2 of 6)Paizo Inc.
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Nicely paced, nicely populatedDiodotus —
The scenario has some nice NPCs, cultures, and communities. The villains are well done. The combats are well balanced.
Pathfinder Society Scenario #1-24: Lightning Strikes, Stars FallPaizo Inc.
Our Price: $5.99Add to Cart
Mission is actually quite hard!Diodotus —
This is a really hard mission to successfully complete successfully. It can be done, but with a typical group - particularly in low tier - it takes some doing, and may not be possible.
The combats depend on the abilities and mobility in your group; probably averaging to "medium" - but some groups can be in real trouble.
I wouldn't be a big fan of every scenario being this "iffy," but I'm really glad that it's out there. Fun, fun, fun!
Dragon and Trap goodness!Diodotus —
This lovely little quest has a nice sense of timing and drama to it. With Drandle rushing around in a big hurry - and then introducing something that is actually an imminent threat to Pathfinder Alies, the hurry and panic is somewhat catching. Characters are encouraged thereby to rush in - heroically or foolishly - like in a good action flick.
Very solid diplomatic missiion!Diodotus —
I have no idea how this one can be re-playable, but I suppose that one day I'll find out!
In our run there were two fight scenes. One was anti-climactic, but the other one was awesome - it was extremely deadly and dangerous, and we came up with a strategy that was a lot of fun and worked. If we had a less experienced GM, less comfortable with creating rulings for novel situations, it may not have been so fun . . .
Must of the mission itself depended on rolling many many skills. That, frankly, was a little boring. But as a whole, the nature and description of the negotiations were fun.
Good fun!Diodotus —
The adventure has some investigation, some fighting, some skills, in a nice balance. Not every fight needs to happen (good), and the fight at the end is reasonably challenging with interesting environment and terrain to make character choices deeper than deciding what to try and hit or run away from (excellent).
Not funDiodotus —
The locations were exotic . . . or so we were told. But, apart from rolling a single skill-check here or there to see if one could act, there was nothing persistent or clearly unique.
There were a lot of fights, none challenging. Giving the environments of those fights some character - felt character, rather than words - would have gone a long way.
This is the sort of scenario in which having different mechanics for mundane things might capture tone -- from air so think in one area that fighting there follows "underwater combat" rules, or negative consequences (damage) for standing in one place during a fight, or having to fight while climbing.
The main NPC was obtuse. And the character had not been in 1st edition scenarios. Maybe this is a hint that the NPC is under mind control or something, but it seems to have more to do with the adventure being poorly put together.
Nice plotline, variety of approachesDiodotus —
I am pleased with scenarios that can be approached in many ways. This one meets that. The plot is engaging.
Great introduction to 2eDiodotus —
The scenario has a little of everything. The combats are challenging and interesting - meaning that there are features in the terrain that are of tactical use. The NPCs are well fleshed out. There are a number of different stages t the plot, leading to changing tone.
There was a clear effort to create a sympathetic villain. I always find that worthwhile -- the "muhaha, I do this because I'm bad" villains are comically dull. Unfortunately this adventure falls just short and loses a fifth star because
the villain is whiny, not wronged
It's Probably Not Alex Greenshields's FaultDiodotus —
The core story is interesting. There are a few glimpses of NPCs that I would like the time to interact with for more than a couple lines back-and-forth followed by a skill check. The key combats are fending off a siege – which is invariably a ground for fascinating tactical combat.
But . . . There are five combats in the scenario, none of which is as challenging as it should be to feel satisfying.
And . . . Paizo has stuck a mini-game into the middle of what would already be a long adventure – which forces Gms to give less attention to the beautiful parts of the scenario. When one is roleplaying, one does *not* want to learn a ridiculous board-game in the middle, that distracts from the story and theme. One would think that Paizo had learned this lesson from a thousand variations of the “chase” scene, and various other methods they have introduced to represent large scale battles. That was over an hour and a half sunk, that *should* have been devoted to the story rather than moving workers around like chits in a building game.
That whole mess in the middle of the scenario could have been handled by a little ingame roleplaying. A couple foremen asking PCs which of X projects to prioritize, and simply guaranteeing X of Y things get done. Or maybe allow a skill roll or two, to try and increase X to X+1. It would have been lovely, and not distracting.
I have the feeling that the game itself, run without a terrible and mind-numbing interruption, would have been good; possibly excellent. But Paizo needed to fiddle, and insert “systems” that nobody needed.
Almost perfect; Experienced Guides of New RecruitsDiodotus —
This is a great scenario with a great premise.
There is a wonderful mix. Skills tests were generally very interesting, and nicely influenced by player action. The combats were very challenging -- rare in 2e adventures so far, and especially rare for both combats to be challenging.
The hobgoblins are good characters, and it's interesting to play from the POV of "experienced Pathfinders observing new characters."
So, why am I reserving a fifth star? There is always added confusion when the "rules of the world" change for a scenario. With certain skill tests run very differently, it threw off people's ideas about their own characters and how to approach challenges, and kept them for being able to be immersed wholly in the story during that scene.
Interesting but easyDiodotus —
It was an interesting scenario and plotline, particularly for a repeatable. There are two major elements to the plot -- a puzzle, and a combat.
The combat was scaled about right for a "regular" scenario encounter - but not for the only combat in a quest. We never brushed even close to a sense of foreboding or danger.
The puzzle was nicely challenging, though it would have been nice if *player* action had been part of solving it rather than just dice action and skill checks. It's also anti-climactic when losing a skill test has such a very very minimal effect on the rest of the scenario . . .
I understand that Paizo is calibrating things, and doesn't want to drive people away in Season 1. But scenarios that are not threatening will also drive people away.
There was a lot of wasted potentialDiodotus —
The plot for this one was potentially strong!
But it didn't take very long to realize that the DCs were far, far, too low to offer any challenge. There is a reason they were too low; if you don't pass them the fight doesn't become harder -- the module just bottoms out with no conclusion. If you have tests that the players *must* pass for the adventure to go somewhere, just have them pass -- narrate it!
The fight was anti-climactic. The personality and tactics of the main adversary neutered him, and the minions were of little consequence.
Ho humDiodotus —
Another quest centered around an un-challenging fight.
A very weak questDiodotus —
Not everyone likes genre mixing ("you got Science Fiction in my Fantasy game!). I don't especially mind, if there is for-warning -- but without for-warning it just seems out-of-place and distracting.
The skill check DCs were too low, and the fight was too easy. For a side fight in a full adventure, it would have held up; but for the only fight, the boss fight, it was weak. There's some drama in making people make saving throws all over the place, but the DCs were low, and the effects were not particularly grand when they did affect.
Pathfinder Society Scenario #1-17: The Perennial Crown Part 2, The Thorned MonarchPaizo Inc.
Our Price: $5.99Add to Cart
So linear and railroadyDiodotus —
Part one of this two-part adventure was fantastic. See my review.
Part two was . . . well . . . not as good.
The entire scenario was designed to lead to a boss fight. But players are robbed agency by having no capacity to pick anything about where and how to conduct the fight (except via their die rolls in a chase scene, which there is no particular reason for them to believe they should do, and which is frankly un-heroic to get involved in given the box-text lead-in).
And the fight itself is also scripted as far as how it's supposed to go, and unbalanced. I had a melee character who had a lot to do, but with resistances and special attacks up to the eyeballs lower-level PCs were sidelined.
Pathfinder Society Scenario #1-16: The Perennial Crown Part 1, Opal of BhopanPaizo Inc.
Our Price: $5.99Add to Cart
The alien culture here comes aliveDiodotus —
When someone takes a genre that normally does not impress me, but manages to catch my attention and make it work, that person deserves special credit. So I'm giving Thilo some special credit.
Fantasy authors spend a great deal of energy making up exotic cultures. And, honestly, most of them seem hollow and thin to me. They usually have mashed together two terrestrial cultures and given them a gloss that simply makes them unreal.
But the alien culture here comes alive. It really feels like something different under the sun.
It is a complex adventure without being confusing. I was engaged, and felt that everyone at the table was, as well.
I hope that Part II lives up to this!
Pathfinder Society Quest #5: The Dragon Who Stole Evoking DayPaizo Inc.
Our Price: $2.99Add to Cart
Well, that was not especially novelDiodotus —
A bland "get the widget back" plotline, mostly centered around a bland combat encounter. Eh.
This scenario has little to recommend it. The fights are not especially challenging, the NPCs not particularly interesting. It's not actively awful, but it doesn't keep one engaged.
So much potential . . . some real problems.Diodotus —
This adventure is two very very different and well-put-together scenarios that have been mashed together to fit in one time slot.
One is a reasonably well-put-together mystery filled with interesting NPCs, each eith her/his own motivation. The other is a tactical fight against powerful foes.
Unfortunately, attempting to pack so much into one scenario hurt the first scenario. Out-of-game time considerations make it hard to get the most out of the NPCs and mystery.
The combat scenario is great, and has the most challenging battle I've yet seen in 2nd edition. But it suffers in one very particular way.
It is extremely anti-climactic to simply have the threat go “poof” after X rounds. It leaves the scenario without a conclusion – either the enemy will disappear with time to heal up downed characters, or the PCs (as happened in our run) will have been taking a beating and feel tantalizingly close to winning the fight before it is snatched from them.
The PCs don't have much agency. There is not much that PCs can do to disrupt the sequence of events. Add to this the problem mentioned in the spoiler, and the whole adventure feels a little hollow. Which is really sad, given how great the flavor is, and how much potential the mystery had.