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Solidly DecentJames Krolak —
I will readily admit that I'm usually rather hard on Paizo with my reviews. But I have to say that I generally liked this book. I was hoping for options like ways for your character to become a construct over time--piece by piece. Or something that lets you merge with a construct similar to the Synthesist Summoner. Sadly, no such options included.
Overall, it's got a lot of constructs as monsters in it, has a good amount of flavor text about creating them, some options on improving them, and some archetypes around either building or fighting constructs.
Of the archetypes included, there are a bunch of bad ones, a few moderately interesting ones, 1 that is horribly written as to be contradictory (at least, it seems that way) and a couple that are actually pretty good. The Construct Saboteur gives some good options for rogues. The shining star is the Voice of Brigh bard, though. I really want to find a way to switch my character in Iron Gods into one of these.
Rather MediocreJames Krolak —
I had a review of multiple paragraphs typed up, but Paizo's website lost it all. So, I'm just going to say that this is about the same as the first Alien Archive. Some playable races, but nothing all that noteworthy or interesting. The big disappointment was the Polymorph rules included. Way more complicated than it needed to be, much like the Summoning from the first Alien Archive. The rules are worded vaguely enough that it's not always clear what they mean. And, in the end, the form the target ends up in seems rather weak. If you give it a natural attack, it's to hit is predetermined and no bonuses apply to it, though penalties do. The damage it does is noticeably less than a one handed advanced melee weapon for the same level.
Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-07: Salvation of the Sages PDFPaizo Inc.
Our Price: $4.99Add to Cart
Truly an epic finale!James Krolak —
This scenario was awesome. It took a lot of prep time by our GM and still ran 7.5 hours long, but it was so worth it. The last encounter was very challenging, but with good teamwork it's doable. Great balance between the need for combat and for skills. I would never try to run this in a typical 5 hour slot at a store, though. There's just too much going on and it could be a real crap shoot if you don't know ahead of time what PCs are going to be involved.
A mixed bagJames Krolak —
This set has some awesome minis. And it has some really horrible ones, too. So, I guess Paizo/WizKids are consistent across sets.
As usual, many of the minis are so oversized compared to their bases that they don't fit on the battle mat very well. Those large scorpions are the worst. They're beautifully done, but they would be too large for a Huge sized base, much less the Large one they're on. The Leukodaemon is another disproportionate atrocity. And the paint job on it was clearly a cost cutting decision 'cuz it's so obvious that it's the minimal number of colors. The Geist and the Wereboar are ridiculously large, as well. Sadly, this is normal for Pathfinder minis.
The highlights of the set are the Bone Devils. They look amazing! The Horned Devil is decent. I personally don't care for Paizo's artwork for those, so I don't care for the mini, but it is fairly faithful to that art. All of the Grey Maidens look cool, except for their Captain. Not sure what happened there, but that mini just doesn't come off as cool as the rest of the Maidens. The same can be said for the Red Mantis Assassins. They look great, but their leader, Cinnabar, comes across lacking a bit. The Reclamation soldiers are decent. The skeletons and the Fungal Guardian look great. The Banshee sucks, though. It's like they intentionally took a translucent plastic/resin and slapped some crappy paint on them to crapify them. They would have looked better without all that paint.
Most of the dungeon dressing doesn't do it for me, except for the Grave Monument. It's really nice, but why are these things Rare? I mean, if someone is actually going to use this stuff as dungeon dressing, they're going to want to have more than 1 of each. I would think that these, in particular, would require simpler sculpts and paint jobs than many of the monsters, so why not make some of them Uncommon at the very least?
So, some good, some poor. As stated above, the set is a bit of a mixed bag.
Pathfinder Battles—Crown of Fangs: Court of the Crimson ThroneWizKids/NECA
Our Price: $49.99Add to Cart
The most disappointing case incentive yetJames Krolak —
This has got to be the most disappointing case incentive yet. I was expecting the throne itself to at least have a 2" base, but it's smaller than many of the Medium minis in this very set. How lame. I even delayed the ending of my Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign for a month just so I would have this for when the PCs enter the throne room. There's nothing in the description of the throne room in the AP that indicates there is a banquet table and chairs, or even any pillars. The throne is supposed to be this impressive thing. And we get this. And for some reason, there was apparently fear that the pillars will topple over easily, so they included these 3"x3" pieces of clear plastic and some really cheap adhesive velcro to attach the pillars to the plastic so they won't tip over. Very lame. If there was a way to get my money back on this, I would jump at it.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Gods (PFRPG) HardcoverPaizo Inc.
Add Hardcover $39.99
Add PDF $27.99
DisappointingJames Krolak —
This hardcover is mostly a reprinting of the religion-based rules and options from other previously published books. (the "Faiths of" line, the "Champions of" line, etc.) At least they've given more space to the writeups for the major gods in Golarion, but the options for characters feels awfully light and redundant.
Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the Sands (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
Add PDF $8.99
DisappointingJames Krolak —
I don't know why I continue to purchase these Player Companion releases. Very few of them have been worth my time or money. And this is another that's not worth it. The editing/layout is awfully inconsistent. It looks like different people did the layout for each page. For example, the Living Monolith Prestige Class actually says "Living Monolith Prestige Class" in its title bar, yet the Thuvian Alchemist Prestige Class just says "Thuvian Alchemist" in its title bar.
I was really hoping that the new Elemental Oracle Archetype would be worth it, but it's pretty darn mediocre. The Thuvian Alchemist actually is pretty decent if you want a healing-focused Alchemist. The Living Monolith still feels awfully powerful. I could be wrong, but it seems even better than the original one that was printed in that other book. I'll admit that there are a few traits and feats that I might consider taking for certain characters, but I wouldn't miss them if I had never purchased this book.
Not bad, but some disappointmentsJames Krolak —
I don't know if I just got lucky or if others just had bad luck, but out of 2 cases of Wrath of the Righteous, I only got 1 fig that was broken--and that was just Irabeth missing her shield. I also got 1 blood demon that is leaned back at an odd angle. Those are the only physical production issues I encountered. So, from that standpoint, this was an improvement over the last few sets.
I gotta say, though, that I'm disappointed in some of the figs. Maybe it's just the sculpts Paizo chose, but I don't really care for a lot of their versions of demons. The paint jobs are mostly pretty good, but they still suffer from what I call "Melty Face." That's where the humanoids have faces where the paint job is so bad, their faces just look like vague blobs with some tiny spots for eyes.. This is odd 'cuz the 1/2 orcs in the set have really well painted faces. Why they keep having issues with humans and elves, I can't figure out. A few of the minis have paint jobs that are really boring or really odd, too. The blood demon has some features to his sculpt, but the generic red paint job just doesn't bring any of that out. The horned demon is painted a shade of purple that seems almost fluorescent. The will-wisp looks pretty good, but it would have been even cooler if they'd made the skull inside out of glow-in-the-dark material. Now THAT would have been awesome.
My biggest issue with Pathfinder Minis continues to be the completely messed up scaling. How is it that the slime demon and the death demon are Medium sized, but Jaruunicka is Large? Or, for that matter, how is Khorramzadah only Large sized??? He doesn't even fit within a 2 inch circular base! You can say the same thing about the Dominion Invader and the Half Fiend Minotaur. Those should all be Huge creatures if they're truly that big. It was bad enough with WotC made minis that spilled over beyond their bases, but Paizo is doing the same thing with too many of theirs.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Animal Archive (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
Add PDF $7.99
Print Edition Out of print
Not bad, but unimpressiveJames Krolak —
I was looking forward to Animal Archive's release for more than a month now and I gotta say I'm rather underwhelmed. It looks and feels awfully thin. $11 got me THIS??? As to the content, it's not bad, but there isn't all that much new stuff in it. There are only 3 archetypes for characters. There are a bunch of archetypes for animal companions/familiars, which is nice, but only a handful seem useful to adventurers. Some might be nice for a DM to put on an enemy, though. The feats are nothing impressive and some are even duplicates from other Pathfinder books.
I wouldn't say I wasted my money, but I didn't get what I was hoping for, by any means.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Condition Cards (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
Add Print $10.99
these rock!James Krolak —
These are awesome! I wish the other decks from Paizo matched the great features of these cards. The good:
1. Double sided!
disappointingJames Krolak —
I gotta agree with the other poor reviews here. If you compare it to the Condition Cards deck, this is like comparing Colt 45 to champagne. These are not double sided, the format isn't all that helpful, there is information missing from some of them, there aren't even some of the most common buffs in the deck, and there are no duplicates. It's sad all around. I wish I'd read some of these reviews before ordering it. I'd rather just write down the effects onto an index card and fold it and put it in the middle of the table 'cuz that works more effectively.