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GameMastery Module W1: Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale (OGL)Paizo Inc.
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As usual, Paizo deliversKoldoon —
This module has the feel of one of my favorite classics, Keep on the Borderlands. Sending adventurers from a frontier base into the wilds to challenge the many dangers of the surrounding wilderness, the PCs will have opportunities to challenge the usual wilderness foes, but also some foul fey (unusual because evil fey are rarely featured), encounters that are best managed with Diplomacy (actual role playing), and even some classic fire breathing dragons. With maps by Christopher West, it's hard to ask for more from an adventure. I look forward to dragging my players through it.
This too obviously started as a delveKoldoon —
Though this adventure far too clearly started its life as a delve, I don't think it suffers too much for that fact. I would not run regular characters through this adventure as part of a campaign (unless I wanted to sleep on the couch for a month), but as a one shot adventure, I think the Seven Swords of Sin could find its place with other equally Gygaxian constructions... making itself, perhaps someday in the future, a 3.5 compatible modern Tomb of Horrors (yes, the traps ARE that deadly).
The artwork exceeds the already high expectations I have for Paizo products, and the rooms have a sci-fi/fantasy mixture that reminds me of the old days of D&D, when an occasional anachronistic piece of arcane science had an almost expected quality to it. Deadly and whimsical at the same time, this adventure almost makes the inevitable deaths worth it.
Absolutely perfect for a single day marathon delve, but avoid it in your campaign unless you have a well-established penchant for killing characters already. Excellent work used in the right capacity, but it loses a star for only being useful as a one-shot.
GameMastery Module D0: Hollow's Last Hope (OGL) Print EditionPaizo Inc.
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Print Edition Out of print
Falcon's Hollow more memorable...Koldoon —
Kudos, first of all, to Paizo for participating in Free RPG day. I enjoyed reading this introduction to the GameMastery line, and it got me excited enough about the series that my husband got me a subscription to the series. Like all the adventures in the GameMastery Line, this one shares in the fantastic production values common to the line. While the storyline as presented is solid (if suffering from one frustrating error I'll expand on later), I like this adventure better for use as an introduction to Falcon's Hollow and possible use as encounters to introduce D1: Crown of the Kobold King. I especially like the use of non-standard magic items - and the casual mention of Baba Yaga reminded me that the Paizo team know the way to a grognard's heart.
The reason I'm giving this 4 stars instead of 5 is based on what I assume is an editing error:
Given even relatively average rolls, the party CAN'T succeed in gathering the antidote ingredients before the illness runs its course. The entire adventure is rendered a fools errand by this one mistake. Even a careful party will fail unless the GM notices and fixes the error, which is frustrating to say the least
Despite this, for production values and an introduction to the line, you can't beat this product, especially given the fact that Paizo is offering it as a free download. Oh, and kudos to giving those of us who actually went to Free RPG day the jump on that, I mean, the point is to get us in the stores and it would have been easy to make that point moot by offering it for free online on the day instead of waiting.
Five Stars is not enough!Koldoon —
This black-and-white shoe-string production may only come out once a season, but this kobold ate the electronic Dragon for breakfast and spit out the bones. What Baur lacks in fancy polish, he's made up for by lining up some of the best authors in Dragon's history. Some of the missing pieces of issue one have been rectified in this second offering, which now features letters to the editor as well as many more authors (poor Baur must have been frazzled writing half the first issue himself!). With offerings in purity (paladin) and ruthlessness (assassin), the crown jewel of issue 2 is an article by Tim and Eileen Connors: "Belphagor, the Baron of Laziness and Invention." I hope as much as anyone that Dragon flies again as brightly as it used to, but I'm glad to know the Kobold-in-chief is busy at work in the mines producing this masterpiece in the meantime.
GameMastery Module D1: Crown of the Kobold King (OGL)Paizo Inc.
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Print Edition Out of print
These kobolds are just plain mean!Koldoon —
This pink-skin thinks the kobold king is pretty scary, his servants pretty ruthless, and the encounters... sadly somewhat overpowered. Don't get me wrong, it's an excellent module and Logue delivers his usual fantastic storytelling along with it. The villians are imaginative, and the treasure something more interesting than a +1 sword - things that matter to me immensely in the cookie cutter world of 3.5 adventures. I love the idea of having to wander a dungeon with kids in tow... the added element of having to keep some overly brave children safe would make me panic as a player, and I rather expect the same of my players when I DM the adventure. But I also feel that too many of the encounters are, frankly, TPKs waiting to happen. That said, I'm still going to give this adventure five stars - the back matter, including descriptions of the town and what if scenarios of the surviving kids, is just too good. I may have to "adjust" an encounter or two, but this adventure will find a welcome home at my table.
Make room in your city campaign...Koldoon —
Steve Greer delivers again with this excellent city based adventure. While Paizo is known, and for good reason, for their outstanding adventure paths, their GameMastery Modules line also shows remarkable promise. In this fantastic plug-and-play city adventure, Steve Greer lays out an adventure full of memorable moments - from trying to stop a magical trap while tripping over amorous fops to struggling against foes of deadly pigments. And all over a bit of criticism! Set loose the painted horrors on your players soon - the adventure not only scales easily, but can fit in just about any city with only minor adjustments. If you prefer the Ivy District.... well, so much the better, because Greer lays it out for you beautifully. Make a trip to the Gallery of Evil today, your players will thank you.