Kobold

Jiggy's page

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32. RPG Superstar 6 Season Marathon Voter, 7 Season Dedicated Voter, 8 Season Dedicated Voter. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 20,809 posts (25,489 including aliases). 17 reviews. 4 lists. 1 wishlist. 13 Organized Play characters. 39 aliases.



Sign in to create or edit a product review.

Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

Eh....

2/5

Reviewing from a player's perspective.

So, the general setup is you go look for missing Pathfinders, discover a magically concealed city where they're prisoners, and you need to get them back.

Okay, great.

But apparently the only way to do this is to start a full-scale revolt and overthrow the government? Huh?

Nobody at the table thought of that, and we basically had to be told that the scenario was set up for it. So we swallowed any sense of roleplay and decided to stay on the rails.

Granted, once we bit that bullet, the execution was pretty solid: good uses of diplomacy, interesting characters and related boons... but I can't help wanting to purge the experience from my "headcanon" of my character, because why the frick would I have just suddenly decided to start a revolution?

Made no sense. Felt like the author had this really cool idea for a scenario about leading a revolt, then failed to actually make anyone want to do so. Kind of a missed opportunity.


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

Mixed bag

3/5

There was lots of fun to be had in this scenario: exploring tech while knowing my character didn't understand any of it was super fun, and there was an encounter that can be resolved peacefully if you just act like a decent person. So overall, awesome scenario.

Probably the only reason it's not getting 4 (5?) stars from me is that it seemed ridiculously deadly. I played in a 7-player table, which you'd think would make it a cakewalk, but instead we were hanging by a thread, and had we not had my raging two-handed Power Attack going on (along with the kind of HP that goes with it), I think we might have TPK'd. And that was under a GM who seemed like he would really prefer NOT to kill anyone.

So a fantastic "explore this foreign stuff" scenario with great flavor, but stained by some ridiculous lethality.


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

The novelty wore off fast

2/5

Most of the scenario is mass combat, which means each player is controlling an army. You're on a grid map, with each army/player taking up a space, and you move, attack, etc according to a statblock that you're given.

So, basically the exact same gameplay experience as when you play a pregen instead of your own character. And that's most of the scenario. The idea of getting to lead these armies into battle was cool, but it only took a round or two of combat to realize we were just playing a party of nothing but fighter and rogue pregens against a bunch of NPC warriors, just with all the names crossed off and replaced with "army".


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

Great except for a major flaw

3/5

Spoilers below; read at your own risk.

Overall, this was a great scenario. Cool background/flavor, diverse challenges, cinematic ending. I loved setting the thing off at the end. :D

My one big gripe is the puzzle that opens the door (the one with the Acts of Iomedae). It shatters immersion and is mostly a frustrating time sink.

The only involvement the actual PCs have in the puzzle is an initial knowledge check to see how much info they have to work with. But really, you can't succeed without all the info, so it's more of a binary "Is it possible to solve this puzzle?" check.

Assuming you roll high enough for it to be possible, you then have to completely step out of character for the next hour or two. It's left to the players to figure out the solution, such that a 5 INT nagaji barbarian and a 24 INT elven wizard will have identical chances of success.

I can't speak for everyone, but to me, setting aside everything that has to do with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game so that I can do a puzzle instead doesn't even qualify as "playing Pathfinder", which is what I signed up to do.

If I ever GM this, then I'll probably allow INT checks to get hints or something, so that people's characters can actually be involved and thereby return them to their game of Pathfinder. (I won't require such checks; if the table enjoys out-of-character puzzle solving, they're welcome to it.)

Other than that, though, I loved this scenario. Would have been five stars if the PCs had been allowed to get involved in the puzzle.


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

Great, but a tad long

4/5

This is from a player's perspective.

Overall, this was a really fun scenario. Has a great mix of roleplay (supported with skills to make it matter), investigation, and combat. The last fight can be brutal for unprepared parties, but not (in my opinion) inappropriately so.

My one real criticism would be length. Both the roleplay/skill challenges and also the last fight can go really long. My table took about 7 hours. That can be a real issue. The roleplay/skill part can be sped up if you cut down to brass tacks, but then you've lost the primary meat of what this scenario's about.

I advise against scheduling this in venues with limited time slots. But in places where you have all the time in the world, this is great!


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

...Huh?

2/5

I played this at subtier 3-4, so keep that in mind. I hear the higher tier is tougher.

Pros:
The combats felt pretty reasonable for the most part. The layout of and progression through the "dungeon" was kind of interesting.

Cons:
Infiltrating the secret lair was a matter of doing single, prescribed action with no check or roleplaying, followed by a single skill check (again without roleplaying). Huh.

Within said secret lair, there was no need to be quiet. You can slam your metal weapons against robots without fear of getting caught by anyone. Huh.

The biggest thing, though, is the ending. Now, I admit I don't really know the backstory of the Shadow Lodge. But still, when I was asked to roll initiative for the final encounter, I had no idea why I was rolling initiative.

What started the fight:
A good guy killed a bad guy. OH NOES.

I won initiative, and delayed because I had no idea why I would take any particular actions. Even on a metagame level, all I had to go on was "There are things on the map that are not PCs - I'm probably supposed to kill them." But since I don't like being a Murder-Hobo, I delayed. My eventual motive for re-entering the initiative order was that the mooks attacked.

I finished the scenario not really knowing what just happened.


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

Instant Favorite

5/5

I haven't had the good fortune of playing this yet, but I just ran it yesterday, so here's my GM perspective (spoilers below!):

There are basically two "halves" to this scenario: the escort, and the Black Edifice. The escort part is generally going to take longer, though.

Be prepared for hilarity during the escort. The PCs have to do as little harm to their quarry as possible while keeping him safe but also letting him lead the way. How do you get 5 PCs, a sleepwalker, an eidolon and a lion safely down a 70ft cliff into a ravine and back up the other side?

My players did well, with the only significant damage to the sleepwalker being in the bandit ambush. Speaking of which, I think we've all run (or at least played) plenty of scenarios where one of the encounters is just "Here, beat up some thugs". Usually, the thugs are laughable. But these guys? Welcome to the very first "random thug fight" that's actually dynamic, interesting, and potentially threatening. There are as many thugs as PCs, they have teamwork feats to match their tactics, and they have ways to take advantage of the terrain. It was one of the most satisfying combats I've ever run, putting some real fear into the players without truly being overly difficult. The balance is subtle and beautiful, in my opinion.

There's also a hilarious not-exactly-a-trap that lets you make the big tough guys collapse under the weight of their gear while the 8 STR gnome shoves the giant iron doors wide open. Nobody gets hurt or has to expend any resources, but it's just another fun little twist to watch the players try to figure out. Priceless!

And finally...

Spoiler:
...there's the glabrezu. Oh, the joy of plunking down a huge-sized demon and saying "Yes, that IS the correct mini." My group was just that close to setting him free to terrorize all of Varisia. >:D

All in all, this was a fantastic scenario with lots of opportunity for creativity, surprises, roleplaying, puzzles, and meaningfully engaging combat.


Our Price: $3.99

Will be available

Fantastic scenario

5/5

This was a great scenario. The atmosphere was creepy, the encounters were varied and interesting, and the whole thing held together like a cohesive whole.

Sometimes (especially in older seasons, it seems to me) some of the encounters felt pretty random, like the plot only produced maybe two encounters but they needed four, so during a couple of travel/exploration segments you end up with what amounts to (and feels like) a couple of pre-selected random encounters. Not so in this one. You never find yourself in a fight that feels like there's no reason for it to be there.

Spoilers below!

The encounters were fairly challenging, depending on what the group is capable of. For instance, if you can hit a high enough Knowledge check before embarking, you can skip the toughest monster. Two more encounters have challenges that a prepared adventurer can probably deal with, so there's some back-and-forth and actions other than each side full-attacking until someone drops.

Super-fun all around!


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

Pretty decent sewer romp (edited my review)

4/5

From a player's perspective:

Overall, this was a pretty fun scenario. It was a straightforward dungeon crawl through the sewers (we finished in about 3.5 hours), but with opportunities to interact with some of the threats either before or even instead of combat.

One note about the final combat:

Spoiler:
There's a darkness effect, even in subtier 1-2. While this can be nasty (thus I had originally given this only 3 stars), I'm now of the opinion that the encounter contains some subtle nuances which can teach new players about darkness effects without it being nearly as powerful as it could have been in a differently-set-up encounter.


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

Fantastic mix of roleplay, skills, and combat

5/5

I recently attended a small local convention, and played six slots of PFS. This scenario was the highlight of the entire weekend.

The first half of the scenario shows that Pathfinders need to be more than just killing machines or Diplomancers. You have to actually think, make in-character decisions, and work with some NPCs to get your prisoner release papers signed by the right people and succeed on your mission. Playing through it really made me feel like those of us with "real" characters were having a chance to shine.

Sometimes scenarios with this much roleplay and skill emphasis can have combats that feel thrown-in just to make quota, but the combats in this one felt appropriate. The fight against the big fire monster was brutal, and we had one PC death (I could have saved him had he delayed his turn, but I failed to convince him to trust me that much), but it was exciting and fun.

By the time it was all said and done, I felt like I had really gotten to truly play my character and see him go through these events. It was immersive and super fun.


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

Creative idea, built on an assumption of non-creative players

2/5

I played this one at Con of the North this past weekend, and man did we ever botch it.

We were doing great up until we were shown to the waiting room, at which point began a great lesson on the vital importance of metagaming. :/

You see, everyone knows out-of-character that you should never split the party. But I was the only PC at the table who could activate the two scrolls of disguise self, although the table's ninja had a hat of disguise. The whole mission was supposed to be secret. So what do we do?

The metagamey thing to do would be to keep the party together, and have an armed-to-the-teeth Pathfinder squad "sneaking" through a ritzy gala, and assuming that the scenario author would provide mechanics for that to somehow have a possibility of not attracting attention.

The in-character thing to do is have the two people who can magically look identical to a ranking staff member and a halfling servant scout the place out first, then come back and form an efficient and effective plan of action.

We did the latter, as it frankly made the most sense and seemed, in-character, to have the highest chance of success. Upon reaching the important rooms, I sent the ninja back to fetch the others while I searched. Not wanting any untimely interruptions, I locked the doors so I would have some warning first and could use the other disguise scroll if necessary.

Unfortunately, that meant that when I accidentally triggered an encounter with a pair of devils, I was alone and the GM had to decide how to deal with a scenario that says it takes 5 minutes to cross a room, when we're in combat rounds.

The party was caught trying to pick the lock to get to me, and they were all ejected from the premises. I was later discovered in the secret room, stable at -3 HP, lying in a puddle of my own blood.

After a slot's worth of playing, we had passed probably less than 15 minutes of the game's timer, and we all got 1XP, 0gp, and 0PP (except for two people who completed their faction mission early on; they got 1PP). Never even discovered any plot points or any such thing.

Awkward.

The lesson here is apparently that you should stick to your normal tomb-raiding mindset, think of yourselves as a D&D "party" instead of a set of individuals with a goal, make the metagame assumption that an event can't happen without combat, and let the setting get creative around you; rather than getting creative yourself and acting like a person with that mission would actually behave.


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

Changed my mind

5/5

EDIT:
Having now read the scenario after playing it, I think it was not intended to be what I described it as, and what I described in my review was the doing of the GM, not of the scenario's intent.

For completeness, my un-edited review is within this spoiler tag:

Original review:
There was a lot of great stuff in this scenario (speaking from a player's perspective). However, there is one element of it which compels me to condemn the entire scenario.

****MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW****

Alright, if you've played any significant number of PFS scenarios, you know that sometimes all you're doing is killing everything that moves. Some scenarios do a great job of having a couple of really engaging combats, plus lots of noncombat content (like investigating murders or whatever) and time for roleplay, etc.

Better still are the scenarios where you reach a potential encounter, and you can fight it if you want, but you could also bypass/resolve it via diplomacy, trickery, or some other creative solution. These are the times when the game really comes alive, and you feel like your presence matters because your choices and capabilities determine what happens next, instead of every group always resolving it the same way no matter what.

And then there's this scenario. In this scenario, it gives you an encounter where you can obviously choose between fighting or bypassing: there's a bound angel guarding the only entrance to the temple. You can just kill him because he's in your way, or you can think like a real person and see about getting him to let you through.

Well, if you get him to let you pass, the BBEG at the end can call in a favor, forcing you to fight two encounters at once. That's right: trying to be nonviolent will get you killed.

This scenario *pretends* to offer chances for roleplay resolutions of your obstacles, but then punishes you for doing anything other than killing everything in your path. If you kill the angel on sight, you proceed through the scenario as normal. If you succeed at getting past him without resort to violence, the scenario punishes you by forcing a much harder encounter.

This scenario grabs players by the throat and screams "THE RIGHT WAY TO PLAY PATHFINDER IS TO KILL WHOEVER STANDS IN YOUR WAY" into your ears.

Seeing now how the scenario was supposed to go, it's actually pretty cool. The setting is well-thought-out, and the encounters are varied, challenging, and engaging. The graveknight in particular is a fun enemy, forcing the party to think on their feet and re-evaluate whatever "normal" tactics they're used to employing.


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

Very solid adventure!

4/5

I just played this yesterday, and it was great! Spoilers are below, so read on at your own risk:

----------

Alight, first, the big thing this scenario got right was the haunt. In fiction, a haunted area is usually either encountered and then investigated or heard about and then researched and dealt with. In either case, it's a plot point. The characters interact with it and eventually resolve something. The Pathfinder rules for haunts model this pretty well. Unfortunately, most PFS scenarios just drop a haunt in a random spot where there should have been a trap instead, and basically treat it like one. None of the NPCs know about it ahead of time, and there's no reason to ever go back after you encounter it.

Not so in Green Market! We triggered the haunt, temporarily dealt with it, asked the key NPC what the frick was going on, got the name of someone else to talk to, found that person, did some prep work and laid the agitated soul to rest. You know, like haunts are supposed to work!

Frankly, the only reason I can't quite give this 5 stars is that, for all the excellent roleplay/investigation/NPC interaction, the last fight can't be avoided. You're told to do XYZ to put this guy to rest, you're warned he might attack, and you're told to remind him of his peaceful ways (he'd gone pacifist during his lifetime). Unfortunately, no amount of respectful treatment and self-disarming (one of our PCs entered the last fight stark naked - not even clothes) had any bearing on our ability to remind him of his love of peace. He only remembers when he's reduced to 0 HP. It's a little bothersome that when trying to jog a pacifist's memory, a group of raging, murderous cutthroats will do better than a group of unarmed, respectful diplomats speaking kind words to him. Oh well.


Add PDF FREE

Print Edition Unavailable

Strong module with minor glitches

4/5

Having both played and GM'd this, I can say that overall it was a fantastic module. It has a great mix of combat and non-combat, and the pregens are solidly-built (assuming the players are familiar with their capabilities and play intelligently).

There were a few minor "glitches" that keep me from giving it the 5 stars it would otherwise have:

Spoiler:
1. Avalexi spends her first turn in the final battle retrieving a bow that isn't in her stat block and that she can't use if she follows her written tactics (she'll have a hand full with a flame blade). This results in a round of essentially doing nothing.
2. It's clear that either killing Zadendi in the ambush or getting her to flee on foot will lead the PCs to the shrine (via the key or by tracking her, respectively). However, if the Scarlet Son successfully carries her away into the foggy sky, GMs are left with no clues on how to get the PCs figuring out what to do next. If you're going to have the baddies try to do something, give us some idea how to handle them being successful.
3. Allegedly, Zadendi needs a dozen hearts. Four have already been taken, and the module says the PCs fail if a few more are taken. Four plus five-ish (whatever the exact number was) is not twelve.


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

My Favorite Scenario

5/5

This has got to be one of the most fun scenarios I've ever run or played. There's a fun mix of combat, exploration, and trapfinding. The plot is not deep, but not every scenario's plot should be deep. PFS needs more straightforward, fun romps through this fantasy world of ours. It's just good clean fun: let's go fight pirates, kill spiders, and look for treasure! What's not to love?


Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart

Great Scenario, Slight Nitpicks

4/5

This scenario was tons of fun both to play and to run. It's hard to write this while resisting the urge to just tell all the stories that came up. It's a different kind of mission than you usually get (for me personally, the first escort mission I've ever played in PFS) and is pretty well-executed.

My one complaint is that a couple of the faction missions were somewhat confusingly worded. In particular, the Grand Lodge faction mission reads a little vague. I was confused about who I was/wasn't allowed to see/do what, and when I ran it as a GM later, the Grand Lodge player at the table had the same confusion.

But other than that, fantastic!


Our Price: FREE

Add to Cart

Let down in the finale

1/5

I recently played through the entire First Steps trilogy. The first two parts were great, but this one was sorely lacking.

Material leading up to one of the encounters felt like it should have been its own plot hook, but then it turns out you just needed to fight one creature and that's it. It felt like it was building up to be a subplot, then turned out to be what amounted to a "random encounter".

Then there's the bit about it getting cold. You're warned that the temperature could drop below forty degrees (Fahrenheit, I assume). Oh no! Forty! Seriously, water doesn't even freeze at that temperature, and for anyone who doesn't live on the friggin' equator that's jacket weather. But apparently, for tough adventuring types, it's sufficient for nonlethal damage even while wearing a cold weather outfit.

And then there's the swamp. Without any decision-making along the way, you simply have to make a series of checks (the same skill, eight times in a row) and then make a save for each failure, and one failed save results in "bad stuff" happening. Alright, let's have everyone roll about 12 d20s (give or take a few) with no opportunity for either roleplaying or use of tactics, and then it doesn't really matter because with that many rolls you're guaranteed to fail. May as well just announce that everyone got [bad stuff] in the swamp and skip the unceremonious rolling.

We even had one player ready to just walk away from the table without a chronicle (the GM coaxed him into staying), and frankly, I don't blame him.