Let me start out and say that any player's individual experience is going to depend heavily on the GM. I played this with a familiar GM and one who is PC friendly and does not use any House Rules. Probably the one of the best GMs I've played with in terms of fairness and allowing creative solutions.
While I had some issues with this scenario, in the context of what it takes to write a scenario and comparing it to others i played, I give the author a 5, with the requirement that he takes my criticism to heart and promises he'll do exactly as I tell him.
Don't do this with a GM you don't like or trust. I'd also recommend that as a player, you are prepared to actually employ team tactics. That means talking to your teammates OOC and actually making good combat decisions. If players aren't willing to talk IC/OOC, I would expect some deaths. Grant it, every group is different and dice play a big factor. YMMV
I played this in a PbP format, so real life game time was not a factor. First PC post January 8th. Last GM post, March 25th.
Human Ranger (Archery) lvl 6 (cat companion)
Tengu Rogue (Swordmaster/Scout) Lvl 5
Tiefling Magus/Rogue lvl 4/1
Human Gunslinger (Musket Master) / Rogue (chameleon) lvl 5/1
Halfling Bard (Sandman) lvl 5
Human Witch lvl 5
- This is one of the more challenging combat scenarios I've been in. Rivaled only by In Wrath's Shadow in which our party of several level 2's was illegally taken through it.
- What made this combat great for me, is it compelled myself and the other players to put our heads together OOC. I enjoy games where players work together as a team.
- The tactics employed by the NPCs made sense. I particularly liked that some NPCs were not prepared to fight to the death.
- The setting adds a nice layer to the game. The author adds some subtle elements without beating one over the head.
-Rahadoum has flavor to it. However, as a player I struggled trying to truly understand how atypical the setting was. There could have been more background to the players to understand the relationship between law and order in a country that outlaws divine worship.
-This scenario also has slavery elements, which I find someone distasteful thematically, but is not doubt intended to add a sense of authenticity to the setting.
- I always appreciate a scenario where players can talk their way out of at least one combat.
- One criticism I have is don't tax players i.e. charge admission fees to venues as the characters follow the main story line. If it makes sense e.g. going to the theatre, then at least give the players options to talk their way past it.
- This game felt very organic for me. The author did an excellent job of giving it a sandbox feel but providing an easy trail to follow.
- Unlike most scenarios, this one had several paths and encouraged a team to play to its strengths.
-This game highlights a problem with PF in general, namely how prevalent is magic in the every day world? We've only had commercial planes since around 1919 and in less than 100 years, passengers are subject to x-ray/drug screening on every flight...no matter how short the distance. We have radar detecters and public schools and even when going to some sports arenas. The point is that if the means exists for people to protect themselves from harm, they make use of it.
I've noticed that there is little consistency in how authors treat magic, but many of them seem to cling to the days of 1e where spell casting was rarely if ever used out of combat. Detect Magic is a 0 level spell and can be cast infinitely. Yet, I've yet to be aware of NPCs using this spell to ferret out Pathfinders who intend harm.
- Similar to the use of magic, is the use of civil law enforcement. The whole concept of civil authorities is a tricky one. While plausible in this scenario, the use of a civil authority element is disorienting in the context of the murder hobo mode of PFS in general.
Nevertheless, I highly recommend this scenario to a well balanced team. Certainly in my top 3 scenarios played in PFS.