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Pathfinder Player Companion: Giant Hunter's Handbook (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
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What a surprise!!!!Heofthehills —
I honestly had very, very low expectations on this book and that is probably why it is a 4 and not a 3 star book. This book has lots of interesting items, nifty feats, traits, and two of my favorite archetypes in a long time (for base classes). The only thing I wish is that there had been 1 ACG archetype (either slayer or HUNTER) in the book. This has firmed my opinion that I can't ever put this subscription on hold. Every time I consider it, this happens.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Ranged Tactics Toolbox (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
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I just spent the last couple of hours pouring through this book. I see a lot of really useful things that I have wanted for a long time and some stuff that I was just happy to see. I will say that there is a little there for non-ranged combat users, and there is a lot in it for people who are trying out ranged for the first time. I can't WAIT to find out what from this book is PFS legal (I suspect almost, if not all) so that my two ranged characters can tear into it.
Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–16: Destiny of the Sands—Part 3: Sanctum of the Sages (PFRPG) PDFPaizo Inc.
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Something for everyone...almostHeofthehills —
This scenario has a good blend of several elements from puzzles, to suspense, to an element of horror, to massive monsters wielding massive power levels. Thankfully, the PCs get to wield them, too.
Hard to review without spoilers for this one...:
This scenario was interesting and had a huge amount of ground to cover, to the point where I felt like it could have been split into two scenarios quite easily.
I love that the first encounter gives the PCs a chance to test their powers before they get into the big combats. If you are running this encounter, be very good about pushing the horror aspect of this encounter, as it is one of the best moments I have seen for that.
The second encounter is either insanely deadly (basically every table but mine) or you fail to roll above a 10 the entire encounter and the behir gets a mythic spell to the face that effectively ends the encounter. This encounter does REQUIRE the party to use their abilities.
This brings me to one of my three problems with the scenario: The Chase. I really dislike the chase mechanics, but this one was the best one I have seen, and with the chase points, it gave it an element of being a rush, though the party should have no idea about the chase points, so it's really how you wish to handle it. I don't know how the party would have dealt with this fight, but I suspect it would have done a good job of burning some of their resources, which might have gotten them to rest. However, one of my party who had a great diplomacy score before being mythic spent a point to get a +20 to her diplomacy score and then rolled a 20, giving her over a 50 on her dip check, so despite being in combat, she talked them down and next thing the group knows they have new pathfinders.
The final combat could easily be vicious, if you run a group of murder hobos, but with lamplighter worthy pathfinders, it is a good fight that has some danger levels, but isn't likely to end them.
This brings me to my final two problems with the scenario: The puzzle and the Convocation of Sages.
I do not like the fact that the puzzle is so open for "random" elements. I feel like it would have been easier to plot if it was actually designed fully and could have been done in the space used, but it was at least very interesting (though having to tell one of my players that her character has to roll to know the spectrum was a bit odd, even if very appropriate).
The Convocation of Sages, such as it is, is a great encounter and had we had time to do so, we were going to do a merger style format for all the tables at our con that were running this scenario at the same time, but the convention doors were ready to close on us so we had to rush it a bit, however, I feel like there should be a chance to actually USE social skills here, rather than just talking through it. I'm glad that it requires the conversation and gives one of the few moments to RP, but I do think that there should have been ways to sway with die rolls rather than being forced to vote.
All in all, a very enjoyable scenario that I can't wait to play, a great opportunity to use mythic powers on both sides of the table, but it left me wanting for more. I would have liked to have seen it split with more of a build up and opportunity to learn to use what you have been given, thus giving a chance to really RAMP the difficulty for the end.
I waffled on 3 and 4, but IF I could, I would give it a 3.5. It is better than average and a GREAT first scenario (though I think giving someone who is writing their first scenario mythic to deal with is odd) and I can't wait to see more from this writer.
Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–12: Destiny of the Sands—Part 1: A Bitter Bargain (PFRPG) PDFPaizo Inc.
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Very Enjoyable/Down With Murder HobosHeofthehills —
I ran this last night and intend to run it again because I think it is a great mod and there are lots of set up ways to handle the different tasks you are given. Further, there are ways set up in the scenario that let the players capabilities shine even if they don't have the exact right ones. As long as they are creative.
When I read the encounters, there was one that I felt was an very interesting encounter that had chances of killing everyone, but if it failed to do that, the challenge melted away. This one can also be avoided. All the encounters rely on a bit of subterfuge or stealth to make them a challenge and a group of actual Pathfinders (as opposed to Murder Hobos) will likely steamroll it.
I did feel that having a few more lines of what Zelekhati and the Mantis agent might say would have been helpful from a GM standpoint. I ADORED the "But I HATE GMT!" however, I had a former SL member and he was quick to ask "Why should we trust GMT, he always comes out ahead in his deals" and I felt like that would have been a good thing to answer (not sure if there is a word count limit or if it is based off being finished in the page count, but there was almost half of a page available at the end, so that could have be handled. Obviously a GM familiar with GMT should be able to handle it, but a year ago when I ran my first mod, I would have been clueless to how to handle that one.
All in all, a very enjoyable mod with a great focus on skills before combat, but with enough combat/encounters to be found a tasty use of abilities. I would recommend this for tables that enjoy RP and aren't looking to kill everything they see. I can't WAIT for the next two parts (as I have already been asked to run them for the group I ran for last night)
Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–19: The Night March of Kalkamedes (PFRPG) PDFPaizo Inc.
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WoW Escorts Stink, PFS ROCKHeofthehills —
I read the blurb for this when I signed up to play it and was quite terrified. I hated escorts in WoW and really, any other game I have ever played that had them.
Color me surprised.
Our GM was awesome in dealing with our CRACKBRAINED ideas. Playing the lower tier, we managed to avoid an encounter or two and trivialize a good bit of it.
[spoiler=GMs]If you are running this, getting your players to give your their strength and a few skill rolls in advance might not hurt (Knowledge planes, local, arcana and such for the "gnome" at the end as well as the door) [spoiler]
Loved it and I would like to see more scenarios that feel like they have a good balance of problem solving and fighting and RPing.