Gold Dragon

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RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. ** Pathfinder Society GM. 3,082 posts (3,108 including aliases). 177 reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 19 Organized Play characters.



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3/5

Living Lodge is a mix of mini-game, roleplay, and combat.

It’s pretty much as the other reviews say, the mini game will take the session easily over 4 hours, our session went 6 hours. And that was basically with skipping 2 of the encounters. If you want the session to be 4 hours, I’m convinced that you need to skip the mini game.

Also, regarding the mini game, some people will love it and some will hate it (as you can see from the reviews). I had one player love it and 2 other players hate it, 1 was neutral. And I had it organized well.

The PCs finished the mini-game 10 days early, and they literally finished everything. So, the order (and priority) in which they decided to do things didn’t matter, which made the mini game a complete waste of time.

The handouts for this scenario were more for the GM than the player. The NPC handout was too revealing, and the mini-game handout also had too many details.

”If you want to make it easier to run the mini game”:

Have the stonemason, 2 carpenters, and PCs in a list and mark off how many days each one has been used.

I had a more complex grid, with all NPCs in the rows and days in the columns, but this can be greatly simplified and the rest of the village doesn't really matter, they are available for unskilled work.

Several other reviews say to make a flow chart of the construction, but I didn't do this because it revealed the shrine up front.

Also, I found several editing errors. The most glaring are the lack of skill modifiers for the NPCs involved in the mini game. I also found some errors in the stat blocks, one which mattered.

Detailed rating:

Length: Very long (6 hours)
Experience: GM at subtier 3-4 with 4 PCs
Sweet Spot: ?
Entertainment: It starts well, it ends well, the middle overstays its welcome. (5/10)
Story: A lot of the story isn’t conveyed, or the GM needs to do work to add it. (5/10)
Roleplay: There is a lot of opportunity for sandbox roleplay, one of the reasons it runs long. My group went light on the roleplay, and it still went long. (8/10)
Combat/Challenges: The ending was challenging and fun. The mini game was more like work and somewhat meaningless. (5/10)
Maps: Good use of flip maps. (7/10)
Boons: Reminds me of the weak boons in PFS1, no one is going to use these. (3/10)
Uniqueness: For me, siege never gets old. (8/10)
GM Preparation: It’s not a bad scenario to prepare, but most GMs won’t get it right without help.

As written, the mini game demands a 6-hour session. It’s possible to have nearly no combats until the end, at which time the payoff isn’t a good enough reward for many players.


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A small scenario

5/5

Scarecrow is a mix of investigation, skills, and combat.

Scarecrow is a fun time and it has surprising depth for a bounty and can potentially even have a moral decision to be made.

The only bad thing you can say about it is how long it takes. For roleplayers, it will take much longer than an hour. For us I believe it took over 2 hours. It takes time investigating five locations.

Spoiler:

Wanted post, Atteran ranch head, and villagers
Tefla
First missing
Second missing
Third missing

Regardless, we had a fun time!


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This is a fantastic scenario!

5/5

Blooming is a mix of everything.

It's a well written scenario, almost overwhelming, that supports multiple solutions to several problems and a sandbox approach to the scenario. I should not be run cold.

There were several great scenes in this scenario.

I've GMed it twice at subtier 1-2 and had a blast each time.

The only downfall to this scenario is that it can run too long. I think both sessions went 6 hours.


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Can be salvaged

3/5

This scenario is a mix of investigation and combat.

This scenario actually has the potential to be really good (4 stars), but it suffers from several flaws:

1) The premise is nonsense: Like others have stated, Pathfinder Society has been devastated, we should be recovering bodies, not risking our lives behind enemy lines, just to retrieve the sign of an old inn, a statue (!?!), paintings, or ceremonial armor.

2) The flow is terrible: Too much travel, too much searching, too much investigation. There are details in the scenario that unless the GM reads ahead, makes notes, and simplifies, will bog the scenario down and bore the players. As a GM, this was not easy to prep.

3) The final combat is too hard: With my group, I had them down to the last PC, and I was holding back. This was subtier 1-2.

I want to give this more stars, there are some great details and creative ideas, but it could have done with some better editing, particularly with the scaling in the final combat. Having said that, this scenario could potentially be salvaged.


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Yawn

3/5

Lions is a simple combat and skill challenge scenario.

I guess if you are amused by goblin silliness, this might be for you.

The scenario can (and should!) be quite brief.

There is nothing wrong with this scenario, it’s just that generic replayable scenarios are not what I’m looking for in a game.


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A very quick assassination

3/5

This scenario is basically an assassination mission.

It was over fairly quick, in less than 2 hours. For us was not particularly challenging. Maybe it would have been better if special tactics weren't used.


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One of my favorites

5/5

One of my favorite scenarios from PFS 1.

A great epic final encounter.


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4/5


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2/5


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Good combat encounters and setting

4/5

This scenario had several unique combat encounters suitable for high level play.

There was a roleplay section at the beginning that I didn't find to be very memorable. The location itself was though.

We played at subtier 12-13 on normal mode.


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A must play if you like Pathfinder society lore

5/5

I thought this scenario is a must play scenario, if you like Pathfinder Society lore and have been playing PFS for awhile.

I've been following PFS for years now, so it was great to learn more of the story behind how Pathfinder Society began.

Several scenes were memorable.

I just thought it was a terrific series of quests, very different from the norm. If you're not heavily invested in Pathfinder society, this might be average for you.


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Boring research

3/5

I thought the research portion of this scenario really boring and drawn out. The revealed information might have been interesting for the character but was not particularly interesting for the player.

The encounters were average and there was no payoff to the skill checks and research subsystem.


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A satisfying conclusion to the Gloomspires series

4/5

Sevenfingers is a satisfying conclusion to the Gloomspires series of scenarios.

It contains super flavor, one of the most memorable and horrifying NPCs (Shivers), and facing off against a famous Pathfinder NPC.

If you were on the Gloomspire journey, it shouldn't be missed.


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History and Engineering

2/5

Like others have already said, History and Engineering skills pretty much dominated this scenario.

It wasn't very interesting, I have some notes about coffee grinding and merchants. Was certainly not heroic.


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Good investigation and roleplay

4/5

Pretty much the same as Scott Young's review, this scenario had an interesting story and NPCs, a good investigation and roleplay, and some tactical fights.

The only downfall is the mystery was revealed too early by clues that were too obvious. We basically figured out the mystery on the 1st clue.


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The Perfect Introduction to Pathfinder Society

5/5

Sandstone is a mix of roleplay, investigation, and combat.

It has great Pathfinder flavor and teaches players about what it means to be a Pathfinder. It's quite witty as well.

I think one of the encounters is too difficult at subtier 1-2. If the GM can avoid that, you've got a great session on your hands.

Full props to Linda on this one. I’ve run this three times at subtier 1-2.


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An epic ending and finale

5/5

I can't believe there is only one review for this scenario.

The finale was great. It was epic. And the best special event I've played so far.

I played this at tier 12-13 at Origins.

Thanks for producing a great ending to season 1!


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A great buildup with a big letdown

4/5

Mosquito is a memorable investigation and roleplay-based scenario with some combat.

The story and idea behind the Mosquito Witch is great, it's memorable, and there are some great scenes.

The investigation has too many possible encounter areas (12?), red herrings, and NPCs to speak to. Four would have been more than enough.

The biggest problem with Witch is that the ending is anti-climatic and needs to be handled carefully by the GM.

Detailed rating:

Length: Very long (5.5 hours)
Experience: GM at subtier 1-2 with 5 PCs, player at subtier 1-2
Sweet Spot: ?
Entertainment: Entertaining but red herrings took some wind out of it. Ending was a letdown. (8/10)
Story: Good story, ending wasn't conveyed by GM. (7/10)
Roleplay: A LOT of roleplay. (9/10)
Combat/Challenges: On the easy side and not exactly memorable (5/10)
Maps: Flip maps. (7/10)
Boons: Good boons. (9/10)
Uniqueness: Unique for PFS. (8/10)
GM Preparation: There are a lot of "if" tests in this scenario and takes preparation to get it right. Lots of roleplay as well.

Summary: Scenarios do not make good cliff hangers. And it's a crime this scenario doesn't have a Part 2. It would have been better to resolve it in the same scenario instead of seeing it later, where most players won’t even remember the antagonist or care. Some players wanted to continue the investigation and that isn’t even possible, which is dissatisfying also.


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Another vanilla evergreen

2/5

Spirit Road is mostly an investigation scenario with some combat.

The plot was to find out what happened to a Pathfinder caravan in a supernatural forest.

A lot of time was spent with the introduction but not a lot was said about the Spirit Road or Tian (the only thing I can remember is that we need to pay tribute, alcohol, to the Kami and we need to stay on the road).

”Our plot”:

A thief stole a scarf, a minor item, from our Pathfinder caravan while the caravan was on route. Our caravan was late for WEEKS looking for this item, instead of continuing on or at least notifying someone that they were looking for a stolen item. It took us mere hours to retrieve the item. *SIGH*

Talk about wasting our (characters) time, maybe months to get to Tian and then at least 2 weeks into the forest. And for that?

I wasn’t impressed with any of the combats. None of them were unique and I didn’t understand the motivations of most of the enemies. So the scenario lacked story.

The roleplay was mostly trying to find out where the caravan went, which was not interesting.

This scenario wasn't deadly and I didn't take a single point of damage. I'd rather have this than a TPK when trying to introduce new players to PF2.

We finished in 1.5 hours, but it's because we were fast and experienced players. We even had a lot of roleplay. Same GM went 4 hours with other groups. It must make it hard to develop scenarios with that much variance.

Summary: The evergreens have been really vanilla so far. Whether it’s killing mites, goblins, or goblin like Tian creatures, it’s been boring. I want unique encounters and interesting storylines and the evergreens are not providing that.


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Not a great story was told

2/5

Initiation is mostly a series of fetch quests that required skill checks or combat.

Initiation is the spiritual successor to First Steps, an older introduction to Pathfinder Society.

I felt the start of the scenario could have been used to introduce the new factions (which would have been great since no one at the table understood them), but it was not, instead we had to work hard to get our fetch quests. I’m not sure if this was the fault of the GM or the scenario.

Spoiler:
Instead of the NPCs trying to convince us to work for them (showing we had value), we spent our time trying to convince them to give us jobs. Or creating a distraction so we could talk to them. I guess we are still noobs. It was also very boring.

The fetch quests in themselves didn’t tell a good story either and the stories didn’t go anywhere.

Spoiler:

The boat from the Silent Tide featured a construct that didn’t talk and didn’t interact with us, meanwhile a simple search check found the proof we needed. A waste of time.

The ritual in the Blakros was the best quest. Our quest was to recruit an incompetent demonologist into the society, but why would we want to do that, don’t we have enough problems already? I wanted to rescind the offer but couldn’t without penalty.

The haunted house was unfun and uninteresting, everything it shouldn’t have been. The story? Someone was making soulbound dolls. And we got a trap for massive damage but then rested a day.

Lastly, running with the Gorgons was perhaps one of the most idiotic, nonsensical encounters I’ve ever read. At least it was good for a laugh later that night.

At least the scenario wasn’t deadly.

Summary: PFS needs to get back to telling great stories. So far, the evergreens are not accomplishing that.


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A bad introduction for new players

2/5

Open Road is a mix of Pathfinder lore, roleplay, investigation, and combat.

This sounds like a good thing but it was not. The main problem was the plot was boring and didn't make a lot of sense.

The scenario was poorly paced and it started with yet another library. Library scenarios have been overdone now and they have become a boring cliché. This was one of the worst libraries for a few reasons.

”Library”:

1) Nobody understood the lore or how it was relevant. The information just wasn’t interesting. Libraries need to be short and the information needs to be interesting.

2) The actual research went very slow (in both game time and real time) since there was unlimited time and it promoted us assisting with anyone that was any good. I’ve used research mechanics in PF1 dozens of times but the way we did this (only one check of each kind could be used), was not good.

3) Library mechanics are allowing too many options for skills. It’s a reach to allow Athletics (seriously, how many fallen bookcases can there be?) but … Acrobatics? That’s just getting silly. There’s a little too much inclusion these days. This is true for all skill challenges.

4) The combat wasn't good for most of the players. Since we were so far away, my character spent the entire encounter just trying to move to a location to strike something, which he didn’t have the opportunity to do. Many other characters got only one strike as well. It felt worse because we had new players at the table and each round dragged out, 45 minutes of moving.

Another problem was that the pregens were not updated for PF2 and were instead built using something that was in between the playtest rules and PF2 rules. So you’re teaching new players the rules but you’re teaching them the wrong rules. For example, Valeros’ shield hardness being 3. Also, it didn't provide Valeros the option to strike with his gauntlet, which was needed.

The combats go from easy to very hard quickly. My group were veteran PFS players with a grasp of PF2 mechanics and even we had a hard time. I saw a TPK during the con with another group. Not a great 1st time experience.

I liked the final encounter, it was really well designed. I didn't find the bad guys motivation very realistic though, and not worth dying for.

The Pathfinder lore at the end is interesting for any long time Pathfinder Society players. I think that this scenario would have been much better as a regular PFS scenario.

Summary: This is an OK scenario for long time PFS players, but it's not suitable for players new to Pathfinder 2. I would have rather seen this as a high tier scenario with a sequel.


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Slow Paced

2/5

Harmonious was a mix of investigation, combat, and a little lore.

Harmonious was poorly paced. There was too much uninteresting lore, inconsequential roleplay, too many empty rooms, too many skill checks, and a lot of nothing happening, especially at the start.

In general PFS box text is too complex, the names are too complex to hear (Tien especially), especially in a loud convention. Simple is best, I don't even want my GMs to read boxtext.

The lore and the roleplay were not very good. Maybe part of the problem was that it was run in 5 hours, honestly it *should* be run in less than 2.

The puzzle was easy and has already been used several times.

There was one unique combat, but for our low Str group it went too long. Also, even with a handout, it was too complex (and unneeded and didn't make a difference), it would have been better to give the PCs a few names and let them improvise. The premise of the encounter was also silly, and it was unbelievable that we could gain those powers in a day.

”Detailed Rating”:

Length: Felt long (5 hours). Quests need to be shorter, not longer than the average scenario.
Experience: Player at subtier 4-5 with 6 average PCs.
Sweet Spot: ?
Entertainment: Felt long. Searching empty rooms sucked. (3/10)
Story: End story was OK, it just took too long to get there. (6/10)
Roleplay: Most NPCs were annoying. (4/10)
Combat/Challenges: (5/10)
Maps: Flip maps. (7/10)
Boons: tbd. (?/10)
Uniqueness: Somewhat. (8/10)
GM Preparation: tbd.

Overall: Despite having a unique encounter, it felt like a typical "fetch" scenario (5/10).


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Monster manual fight night

3/5

Betrayal is a combat scenario with a little bit of roleplay.

Your mission is to hunt down and exterminate two longtime foes of the Pathfinder Society who are trapped. This aspect of the scenario is really nice for those of us who have been around a while and provides some closure, which is great! Unfortunately, this is one of the only selling points of this scenario.

Each encounter, it felt like the GM opened the monster manual, placed an appropriate CR opponent on the map and said "Fight!". For seeker arc material, this just isn't good enough and was very disappointing.

Even the storyline was fairly mundane. There were no "Aha!" moments like we've had in previous seeker arcs.

The good part about this scenario, I guess, is that this scenario is fairly easy compared to the other level 12+ scenarios. We basically beat the scenario with 3 PCs (other two players were not very good) and except for the 1st encounter (when we realized they weren’t going to help), it was fairly easy.

The encounter with the assassin has the most potential to be memorable, but it highly depends on tactics and skills of the PCs, and the creativity of the GM. It also has the potential to be super boring, haha. Personally, although short lived, it was enjoyable and memorable (which is why this scenario is 3, not 2 stars).

”Detailed rating”:

Length: Medium (4 hours).
Experience: Player at subtier 12-13 (normal mode) with 3 greats PCs, 2 bad PCs.
Sweet Spot: TBD.
Entertainment: The lore was OK, the setting was average, the fights were nothing special. Having said that, there was nothing "wrong" per se about the scenario. (6/10)
Story: It was OK because of the lore. (6/10)
Roleplay: The skull and the assassin were short lived but good. (6/10)
Combat/Challenges: Just because something has big stats doesn’t make it a good encounter. (4/10)
Maps: OK. The map used in the first encounter didn't make a lot of sense to me, it was too open. (5/10)
Boons: OK. For Grand Lodge it's great. (8/10)
Uniqueness: Sorry, not exotic or interesting enough for 12-15. (1/10)
GM Preparation: TBD. I’m sure it was straightforward to prepare, considering the encounters.

Overall: You could open your monster manuals, have a few fights, and get a similar experience. (5/10)


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Short and unique setting

3/5

Twice is an exploration scenario with a mix of combat and roleplay.

Twice is a unique and interesting story and environment with some interesting roleplay moments.

There are some monsters that are rarely used, which could result in an easy battle (for us) or nearly impossible. In 2018, I think Twice is more easy than difficult. If it would have been more difficult it would be 4 stars.

Twice is a very short scenario, I believe we finished in 3 hours, but it could have been less if we started on time. It could take longer depending on choices and skills.

Having said all of that, there is nothing super special about this scenario, it's just a unique environment.

”Detailed Rating”:

Length: Very short (2-3 hours).
Experience: Player at subtier 8-9 with 4 very good PCs.
Sweet Spot: TBD
Entertainment: OK. (7/10)
Story: OK. (7/10)
Roleplay: Some short but good roleplay and moral dilemma moments. (7/10)
Combat/Challenges: It was not hard for us, but perhaps it was the overpowered archer ruining everything. End boss could cast only 1 spell before being destroyed. (7/10)
Maps: OK. (6/10)
Boons: . (8/10)
Uniqueness: Super unique location, I hope to go back one day. (9/10)
GM Preparation: It's short so it should be easy.

Overall: A short scenario in a unique environment (7/10).


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Dark Theme

5/5

Cultist is a horror scenario with investigation, roleplay, and combat.

The environment and dark mood that was created in Palin’s Cove was fantastic. As well, the NPCs and slightly disturbing storyline were also great. Some tough decisions, some moral decisions, I loved it!

”Detailed Rating”:

Length: Medium (4 hours).
Experience: Player at subtier 7-8 with 6 good PCs.
Sweet Spot: TBD.
Entertainment: If you like disturbing gothic horror, you will like this. (10/10)
Story: Maybe the other contacts could have been fleshed out a little more. (9/10)
Roleplay: Great NPCs. (10/10)
Combat/Challenges: A little easy for us but suitable. (8/10)
Maps: Good but nothing special. (6/10)
Boons: Overpowered. (1/10)
Uniqueness: Something different. (9/10)
GM Preparation: TBD.

Overall: A must play in PFS (9/10).


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