Played yesterday with a 4 person party at tier 7-8. 2 Wizard 8, 1 Sorc 8 and a Bard5/Cav3.
No real issues up to the final encounter. We had abilities or items to bypass most of the hurt up till then (we did not play the optional encounter).
But oh...the final fight. Edge of our seats.
Pre-fight our OOC attitudes shifted from, Yeah we can take this to hmmmm should we fight or try to solve this some other way, which was great foreshadowing to our IC and OOC attitudes during the fight.
Round 1. This might have been a bad idea
Round 2. Yeah this was a really bad idea
Round 2A. OOC - WTF - who the hell wrote this scenario - how can it be balanced? Whats the CR on this fight?
Round 3. Holy Crap we should flee, do you think we can get away
Round 4. hmmm - no maybe we can take this.
Round 5. How the hell are we gonna get outta here?
Round 6. Nah we got this - and at least we've figured out how to run if we are wrong.
Round 7. Half the party saying Hang in there, hang in there, we have almost turned the tide. Half the party saying...we gotta run (followed by some unconsciousness activity)
Round 8. Hurrah, we are finally dropping some damage here
Round 9. Huzzah - guess you should have planned your retreat a bit better you Epic Challenge you.
Seriously Great, and we pulled every trick out of our wizard bag of tricks along with some really brave actions by the cavalier and the sorc who resisted the urge to flee right before the tide turned in our favor. Both the Party and the challenge had some bad luck D20 rolls which further impacted the swingyness...but awesomeness of the fight.
Honestly the best fights in PFS are when half the time you think you are gonna die and half the time you think you are gonna rock. This scenario delivered!
Shout out to Jesse, our judge, who did a great job running the scenario, and the final fight. I cant help but think that the two ingredients of solid writing and good judging came together to provide a really sweet evening of society play.
*disclaimer...I'm not sure if the fight actually ran 9 rounds or longer (and my wizard is still trying to clean his shorts instead of recalling the blow by blow of the fight for his chronicle), so take those "rounds" as turning points in our attitudes during the fight.
Just played it. Probably the most enjoyable scenario of the 40 or so I've played or run. Our group of 5 (which lacked a dedicated healer and contained a summoner and magus for arcane support) had a choice to play up or down and we chose to play up which I think contributed to my enjoyment. With this mix every single encounter (we played the optional) was a challenge, and in all but one I felt the balance of success or failure could go either way - which builds the kind of tension that gets the adrenaline pumping and provides a real sense of accomplishment when success does rear its battered head.
By the three quarter point, Story wise, I had an inkling of why they opponents were organized the way they were, although before the final encounter I was not sure what might show up - and after the encounter the reveal made sense. I think that the fact that there was a design structure that raised my adventurer's hackles as to "hmm what is really going on here?" was a plus.
The tactical set ups are each well thought out and the tactics of the creatures appeared to be well crafted and reasonable in terms of setting an appropriate challenge. When I get a chance to read/run the mod I will look forward to judging what might have occurred had our group played down, but I suspect the overall tightness of the design will speak in the mod's favor.
I'm not sure I would want to draw the map on the fly as our judge did - but it did not seem to slow us down too much - so YMMV on that one.
I've submitted a few proposals to open call through the years, and my final compliment to Sean is that this is one of those mods that will be a standard to shoot for in my own design and writing. Thanks for a great evening of play.