I really enjoyed painting these, the fur texture has a good depth and the expressions are satisfying. As with all Otherworld Miniatures, these are anatomically correct as well.
What is really great is that you have one placid and one aggressive, so if you are using one as a GM then you can choose the most appropriate. As a player, I used the placid for my ranger's companion until battle began, then swapped mini for 'attack mode'.
I am a fan of Tim Hitchcock's work and have been looking forward to this.
I think the hook: 'Rescue the hero!" is fine, and not one I've seen before in a Paizo module.
Starting with a non-violent, mini-sandbox involving a slave auction is cool but not for every group.
The dungeon is full of variety and everyone is someone to interrogate. However, the tunnels do have a bit of an old-school random monster population (otyughs, mimic, black pudding, rust monsters, cockatrice, minotaur) and add to the old-school sense of random lethal-ness by being chock full of traps.
Pesh addicts and Pugwampi add to the katapeshi vibe and everyone loves slaying gnoll slavers.
The slow reveal on the Lamashtan cult is nicely done, clues are smattered and will build up a picture over the adventure. The pace of the reveal depending on how alert players are and how many clues they get with skill checks and the like.
But... this is then spoiled by Othine's reveal: the PC's investigations are only foreshadowing for her reveal.
The cult compound is nicely demonic (you immediatel hit upon quasits, minor demons and krenshars). The morlock and howler, though, again feel like random monsters. The traps, rooms and cultists are excellent (graven guardians, voice of lamashtu) but the mid-way BEG, The Midwife, is a bit of a mess (half-fiend jackalwere oracle, anyone? No, thought not). The obvious alternative would have been a flind, or a gnoll with more levels. Even a half-fiend gnoll would have been more fitting.
The black milk mother is horrendous but is a captive and could have been more intriguingly pitiable. She gives birth to advanced hyenas each month but there are no advanced hyenas on the adventure!
Ukrammak should be a party ally (to destroy the ghost) and then Ukrammak and Uthine should both turn on the party: that would better that leaving a ghost-destroying-kit in Ukrammak's quarters frot he adventurers to find.
My thoughts: not a bad adventure but the random monster selection should have been replaced by more cultists, slavers, gnolls, hyenas, flinds and Yaenit Demons.
There are hints of Hitchcock's talent poking through but this feels awkward and ultimately disatisfying.
This is arguably the best Pathfinder AP map, competing with Kingmaker for that accolade. Why? Because it provides genuine, in game, resources for GMs and Players.
The Pack contains three maps.
1. An unlabelled map of Port Peril
2. An unlabelled cartographer's map of The Shackles
3. An unlabelled fantastic map of the shackles, complete with aging stains, sharks, ships and an elaborate compass rose.
These are posters you can put on your wall or gametable which the players and GM can use (and label) as they explore the Shackles. 1. will let the players keep track of locations in Port Peril, and let GMs keep track of where their players have and haven't been.
2. & 3. offer you two different graphical styles showing the same place: gaming groups can choose which one they want to use. Again this is a wall or table poster to label and consult, showing players how the world connects and reminding GMs what the players know.
So, why 4 stars and not 5? I would have preffered for map 2. (the cartographer's map of the Shackles) to be a labelled GM's map that the GM could use to keep track of the world more easily, leaving the PCs with the dramatic and evocative map 3. I can only imagine that the furore around the (beautiful, to my eye) fantastic map of Westcrown led Paizo's design team to ensure there was a more boring but more practical player's map.
Now I just need to find space on my wall...
A fabulous tale, world-weary yet full of mystery, in which the elaborate symbolism of alchemy meets its perfect partner in the ornate writing of Keven Andrew Murphy.
Norret returns home to find his family destroyed and his hometown defiled. He embarks upon a secret quest to unveil the alchemical wonders lost to the eternal revolution.
The tale is not only a riveting mystery and character study, it also gives a terrible glimpse behind the curtain of official propaganda and into the tainting misery of the Galtan revolution
The tale is one of secret magics constructed amidst the terrible sufferings of perpetual war and the author proves himself a true literary alchemist by writing brutal truths in fabulous prose. The tale and the telling are thus satisfyingly matched.
I've got an MA in Ancient Greek History, and bitter experience made me approach this warily. However, I was presently surprised. The ideas within 'feel' right, artfully finding space for an Odyssey/Argonauts style romp in the d20 ruleset - well played, sir.
This is a really clean mini, no mould lines, with good detail. It is also very faithful to the original art.
My girlfriend really enjoyed painting it and the mini still looks good without the elaborate details the skilled painter has applied to the example.