Acadamae Student Korvosa

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RPG Superstar 9 Season Star Voter. ****** Pathfinder Society GM. Starfinder Society GM. 62 posts. 44 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 15 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.



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Couldn't GM Without It!

5/5

Such a useful tool for GMs, love it! It beats my past scratch paper method of tracking initiative.


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Nifty Scenario

5/5

I was going to give this scenario 1 star, but then I remembered I'm not the kind of person who cries when my character dies or gets bored when I have to sit through *gasp* a social encounter!

Sarcasm aside, this was a well-written scenario. The encounters were challenging but most could be overcome by quick wits and diplomacy, something that cannot be said for many PFS scenarios.

I'll avoid spoilers here, since I think the individual encounters have already been discussed, but I will say if you have not played this scenario, come prepared for a challenge.


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They flew off the shelves at GenCon!

5/5

The only bad thing I can say about the faction cards is that it was difficult keeping them stocked at the info desk, and sad when they ran out!

These were a great idea. This is an easy way for players to keep up with their factions' goals and progress towards said goals. I love the small, attainable goals for individual characters. I also like that GMing helps a player make progress with his or her faction.

I highly recommend picking up some of these for your local lodge!


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'Salt on the Wound

5/5

I loved Assault on the Wound. How many times have we played the same scenario, our characters scrambling to complete some objective and having the requisite 2-4 boring, anything-but-challenging combats with a little roleplay occasionally thrown in to spice it up? This scenario worked differently.

The mass combat rules made their debut. The rules are akin to a simplified version of Warhammer or a similar game, and they are not difficult to grasp. In this case PCs are given armies to control and pitted against some truly nasty armies in the Worldwound in the fight for Jormurdun.

As a GM, I enjoyed teaching the players the new rules and watching them learn mass combat. I also enjoyed challenging their PCs with a new monster type ( troop - yes, it's kind of a swarm on steroids) and a final fight against a worthy adversary.

Unfortunately, I played this at Paizocon and had a terrible GM. He clearly didn't understand the simple rules himself and combat was frustratingly slow. We did not complete the scenario in the slotted time. I wish I had sat at a different table to get the full experience, but while prepping and running it I came to appreciate the scenario for what it was---different, complex in some ways but accessible to players and GMs with half a brain, truly devious tactically, and a hell of a lot of fun.

My Favorite Bits:
1) This scenario ties in with other season enders, particularly Vengeance at Sundered Crag, which happens at the same time as Assault. Both also directly lead up to this year's GenCon special.

2) Chronicles from other season 5s can be used to give PCs access to some powerful unique armies. This is one of the few scenarios where anything from your PC's past actually matters.

3)

Spoiler:
A nasty, nasty trap and a boss with a penchant for trickery and hydraulic push.

4) MAMMOTH RIDERS. And stone golems, those are nifty, too.


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Balanced and Entertaining

4/5

This scenario is well balanced between combat, problem-solving, and role play opportunities. Anytime the characters have the option to come up with creative solutions to problems or talk through a situation I'm happy. Of course, I love a good hack-and-slash as well! We had plenty of chances to do that in this scenario, too.

If the GM really gets into his or her role the NPCs will be quite memorable. This is not one of those scenarios where only specific types of characters will shine. Any class and play style could do well here, and it has the potential to be a fun experience for the whole table.

I would highly recommend playing this scenario with an Osirion or Qadiran character, obviously, and planning to play the next 2 in the series. I definitely will, and I am planning on running this at a later date because I want to take a crack at portraying an old "friend" of the Society who shows up as an NPC.... *cackle*


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Great First Adventures

5/5

This is a great into to get people, young and old, interested in playing Pathfinder. I highly recommend also downloading the Kid's Track, even if you will be running for older players. It helps you organize how you are going to explain the rules to brand new players.

I have recently GM'd these scenarios multiple times. I did a practice run on my parents (folks in their 50's who have never gamed) and ran for multiple tables of brand new gamers at a recent convention. All my players loved it. Each scenario is brief but has room for players to get "into" it, either by role playing or asking many questions of the GM. Each seems to focus on a few different areas of the system and represent what you typically do in Pathfinder: a mini dungeon crawl, investigation, role play, ruin exploration, etc.

The demos are supposed to be run for up to 4 Beginner Box pregens but it's pretty easy to change the size of the player group if needed. I ran 2 people through the demos with an NPC Kyra to help them out. I also ran a table of 7 by printing additional 1st level pregens.

If you are planning on recruiting at a large event or just want to get your friends into Pathfinder you should check these demos out.


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3/5

I played this at subtier 8-9 with a rogue (me), sorcerer, summoner, and zen archer monk. Our group was one of 5 or 6 tables at a convention simultaneously running the event. Our venture captain was the timekeeper and would stand up and read text to split up waves and parts of the scenario. The effect was pretty awesome.

PROs:
I thought the opera part was cool---not completely original and unheard of but different enough to be memorable.

There were some interesting combats. I liked the combination of teamwork and situations in which individuals were largely on their own.

CONs:

I felt like the ending was rushed due to the amount of encounters we had to squeeze into a relatively short amount of time. Our group blew through a couple of encounters and found a few others a little more challenging to get done in time.

The time limit was somewhat frustrating.


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5/5

This was a fun scenario to play. I love all things Ustalav so setting was a plus. There was a good amount of investigation to do and of course combat with a few snippets of roleplay to break things up. I really enjoyed the final combat/puzzle, although it was very difficult. I wouldn't be surprised if TPKs have happened in that room...


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4/5

The content of the book is great. It's organized in a way that makes sense and is therefore easy to refer to during a game if needed. There is plenty of information, the rules and classes are well balanced, and there are so many character, spell, and item options to explore just within this basic book. My only problem is that my book, purchased less than a year ago and used gently, is already starting to fall apart. The binding is a bit fragile and some of the pages have ripped slightly. The page part is really my fault, but I would appreciate if this beautiful book could be a bit more sturdy.


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5/5

This is a beautiful miniature. I looked high and low for a mini to represent my evil cleric of Asmodeus in a Slumbering Tsar game and this is the first mini I found that really caught my eye. I cut off the scythe before painting it and it turned out great. It's currently the mini that I'm most proud of.


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3/5

The scenario was okay but I honestly found the ending a little bit predictable and dull. Most of the scenarios leading up to this one were good so it's not like it wasn't worth it, but still, the ending could have been better.


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5/5

Memorable characters, challenging and fun combat/puzzle situations, and plenty of chances to roleplay made this scenario great. The GM at my table got really into the characters, particularly the crazed painter, so I would recommend hamming that up if you GM this one. The table will love it.

This was so much better than the last step in this series. What a relief!


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2/5

This scenario centered around a sewer-themed dungeon crawl with loads of boring combats. There was no roleplaying to speak of and not enough encounters with NPCs and situations that would provide flavor. If it weren't for the fact that it's part of a larger arc I would say skip this one.


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3/5

This scenario doesn't stick out in my memory and was kind of bland like its prequel. I also dislike traveling on boats (the predictable encounters and the time wasted just to describe the fact that we traveled makes it seem pointless to me) so this was not my favorite. I don't remember it being horrendous, though. My group did have fun trying to find a captain willing to take us on our adventure.


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3/5

There were a few enjoyable details in this scenario that my character had fun with, but overall this is not the most memorable of scenarios. I feel like the writer really wanted to set a scenario in Tian Xia (instead of having a strong story idea) and wrote this scenario as a result. The setting was cool but the environmental effects, which are rarely used, were downright dangerous. Some of the fights were pretty challenging. There wasn't a whole lot of roleplay and this scenario just wasn't that intriguing for me. I only ran all the parts to get the boon.


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4/5

This scenario was light on roleplay but the background information/story was interesting and the fights were challenging. That last fight was a doozy. I enjoyed this one.


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4/5

A friend lent me this book because Kagur reminded him of one of my Pathfinder characters, a female Kellid druid/barbarian. I really enjoyed the book and the uncanny similarities between my PC and the main character of the novel. I thought Kagur was kind of one dimensional with her lust for revenge but it was a compelling and enjoyable read overall. We need more strong female heroes who don't always wear chain mail bikinis.


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4/5

I've been getting into the Pathfinder novels recently and when this book was lent to me I admit I wasn't too excited about reading it. It didn't look all that interesting. As soon as I started reading it my opinion changed. The book almost instantly drew me in. There were a few parts of the book that could have been cut out or shortened but the plot was interesting and original enough. I thought the relationship between the two main characters was a little too cliche, as was the main female character herself, but she was a strong female lead which is okay in my book.

I liked how the main character's tortured past wasn't revealed until late in the book, and that the ending wasn't exactly what I expected. The author did a good job of building suspense and interest in his characters and not giving the readers all the information in one anticlimactic rush.

I thought the plane-hopping aspect of the book was pretty cool, since that's something Pathfinder players rarely get to experience until after level 20.

One more thing I liked about Death's Heretic was that I got to learn about Rahadoum. Several months ago I played in a few PFS games with a Rahadoumi character and, not knowing much about the culture, thought that the idea of an atheist in an obviously polytheistic universe was silly. Now that I understand the philosophy behind their anti-gods stance it makes more sense and I respect that character and player much more for the choice. I sort of want to roll up a Rahadoumi now myself.


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4/5

This book got me interested in Nidal. I read it right after playing the Midnight Mirror module in PFS and thought it tied in nicely. I do feel like the book could have been broken into two separate novels but I liked the redemption theme made possible by two parts of Isiem's life existing in one novel.

Favorites:

1) The book was well-written. I got sucked in not long after I started and enjoyed the author's writing style.

2) I liked that the prologue was written from the perspective of someone who isn't the main character.

3) I liked learning about the twisted nation of Nidal and the Stryx, which were previously unknown to me.

Least favorites: (Spoilers)

1) While I liked the introduction I wish that the character it centered on had reappeared later in the story. I was curious about what happened to him and felt like it was just a way to bring up the Pathfinder Society.

2) Parts of the book did feel sort of rushed. The book was long already but since I flew through it I wouldn't have minded it being a bit longer.

3) I want to know more about what happens to Isiem after the end of the book and felt that, while the major conflict was resolved, the ending was a bit weak. Perhaps there will be a sequel.


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Great Book

4/5

I am a sucker for anything related to Ustalav and I have multiple Szcarni characters in PFS so I really enjoyed this novel. It was well written, which is obviously a plus. Unfortunately some fantasy novels lean heavily on a generic setting and romantic themes but are poorly written. This book is not one of those. There was minimal romance in the novel, which I liked. I thought the switching perspective of the book was neat. I can't wait to read Prince of Devils and follow Radovan and Count Varian on more adventures.

One annoyance about Pathfinder novels in general: poor editing. I'm sorry, Paizo, your books are great and all but I feel like some of your fiction editing flies under the radar. I am one of those people that carries a red pen everywhere I go and I just itched to mark the minor misused words I found in the novel. Of course I didn't do that because I had borrowed a friend's book. For someone like me, though, too many errors can be overlooked but is a bit of a turn-off.


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Not bad

3/5

My Carrion Crown group played through The Harrowing as a prequel of sorts. We played different characters that would be somehow related to the CC characters and saw the game as a chance to meet Lorrimar and get to know each other as a gaming group.

The game was only supposed to last for two to three sessions but it took us about two months of playing once every other week. The game wasn't bad at all and we had some great moments (and that last fight felt like an accomplishment) but it's still not as good as Carrion Crown.

My favorites:
1) The set-up of this game as a Harrow deck come to life is unique and colorful. The players are forced into many wildly different situations within a single module.

2) The module seems like it would be a great into to several different APs, especially Carrion Crown.

3) Some of the encounters had high stakes.

Least favorites:
1) The game kind of dragged on. We had fun playing together as a group but we were sick of the Harrowing before we finished.

2) Though unique this was not one of the more memorable games I've played, at least not as written. My group did create our own memories independently of the text, however. I will always remember a confused/a*%+$*& Orc adept skinning the pre-reincarnated corpse of my druid in dire tiger form and making it into a cloak.

Overall this was a fun module but since many of the encounters and creatures aren't distinct in my memory I can't rate it much higher than 3 stars.


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5/5

I played this module as part of a drunken Pathfinder birthday party and it was GREAT. Everyone got into their characters and hilarity ensued. Now I still giggle at (seemingly random) phrases like spider taffy, Squealy Nord, and Scribbleface.

I can't wait for part 2!!!


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Print Edition Out of print

5/5

This book is what would happen if Frankenstein's monster got his day in court. This book is mostly an investigation but there's plenty of combat and tons of roleplay, especially in court, for the characters to experience. I loved the urgency of a time limit and if you manage to complete the investigation you will enjoy learning the truth behind each crime.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS.....

My favorites:
1) I still love anything to do with Ustalav. This time you're in Lepidstadt, home of the world famous university.

2) You meet a circus troupe of "freaks" known as the Crooked Kin. They are portrayed with dignity and as being afflicted by real disorders. Our GM had us watch the movie "Freaks" to prepare for meeting the Kin, which I also highly recommend.

3) Yet again, the plot is interesting and pulls you along to the end of the book. You are allowed more hints about the Whispering Way and transition easily from the first book to the second.

Least favorites:

1) I think the themes inspired by other media blended well except for a clumsy cameo by what could only be the Candyman later in the book.

2) Perhaps we didn't investigate every tiny detail (our GM later told us we found everything but who knows) but there are still unanswered questions about the crimes. I can only hope there will be tie-ins later in the AP.


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Print Edition Out of print

5/5

An amalgamation of popular horror stories and themes in the land of things that go bump in the night may sound cheesy but so far has been excellent. It's like an RPG version of American Horror Story...everything that's ever creeped you out, even a little, is included but with brand new twists.

The vivid setting of this AP is the nightmarish country of Ustalav centuries after the fall of the Whispering Tyrant. Your group will be called for a seemingly straightforward task of attending a funeral but will quickly find yourself intrigued and repulsed by the strange happenings in the town of Ravengro. Soon your group will begin investigating a horrific mystery involving long-dead murderers and a possible link to the Whispering Way.

My favorite things about the first book of the AP:
1) Intrigue – The Gothic setting and the whispers of cult involvement piqued my interest in unraveling the plot lines.
2) Challenge – There are some genuinely dangerous encounters in the Haunting.
3) Writing– The game is supposed to be horror themed and it does not disappoint. The descriptions are well-written and add to the overall atmosphere of the game. Our GM chose to play spooky music during most games which also added to the feeling of delightful unease.
4) Originality – Many of the characters and events in this book are roughly based on popular movies and books. Still, each character manages to be unique and memorable. I didn’t feel like I was experiencing a string of copied and pasted stories with a new name tacked on.

Least favorite things:
1) Trust points – I don’t know what these are really but I’ve seen them mentioned in other reviews. If our GM used them she did it without our knowledge. We were told to have a secret in our character’s history that he or she would not share with the party right away. The secrets have added a really interesting dimension to the game.

2)A few loose ends – At one point some children in town were chanting a truly gory, disturbing song while playing jump rope. I was curious about if they were possessed or doing it intentionally and hoped to find out. After we cleared the prison we never really found out what the deal was so I assumed the kids were affected by the darkness from the prison. I think the little details like this could have been tied more neatly into the overall story.


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5/5

My group just plunged into this epic tome several months ago so I'm not capable of writing a full review yet. So far Tsar does not disappoint. The game is open enough for characters to explore and take the adventure in multiple directions, at least initially. There is still an overarching theme that calls us back to Tsar no matter how far we stray from its ruins. The vivid landscapes, unique characters, grim dungeons and fatal encounters combine to create what promises to be a great adventure that will last for years to come.


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