I’ve had mixed opinions of the instalments of Giantslayer so far—some have been good, others not so good—but Shadow of the Storm Tyrant works well as the culminating adventure. It’s primarily a dungeon crawl, but has a good sense of urgency and variety that its predecessor, Anvil of Fire, is missing. It also has some epic-feeling encounters and combats appropriate for a high-level party, and it makes good use of its setting, which helps to turn what could have been just a bog-standard dungeon crawl into something much more unique.
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the Leadership feat. It’s a feat that requires some careful adjudication, but it’s also one that can add an interesting dynamic to the game. Overall, Cohorts and Companions does a good job expanding the options for cohorts without exacerbating the more difficult parts of Leadership (it’s already potentially one of the most powerful feats in the game). The best part of Cohorts and Companions, however, is that it provides so many non-Leadership-based options that increase the way PCs can gain allies. I’m often wary of Player Companion books these days (indeed, I ended my subscription to them quite some time ago and don’t have any of the ones from the last couple years) because they add so many options that just go unused and forgotten. However, I see potential for Cohorts and Companions to see more use than many do, which definitely makes the book worth having.
Anvil of Fire is one long dungeon crawl with battle after battle after battle—with almost every encounter being virtually identical to the one immediately before it. There is very little opportunity for pause (except if and when PCs decide to retreat from the dungeon to recover) and even less opportunity for interaction with NPCs in any way other than combat. There is so much of the same in this adventure, I can’t imagine any group of players not being completely bored by the end. Even the most avid “hack’n’slash” players will likely be dismayed at the lack of variety in the combats.
Planes of Power is a great introduction for designing adventures set on the Elemental Planes. Indeed, there’s enough information in here to inspire numerous full campaigns. GMs will need to expand on the details and fill in the blanks, but overall, the book is an invaluable resource to get them started.
On the whole, I like Ice Tomb of the Giant Queen quite a bit. My biggest issue with is the repetitive quality it has to it. After two adventures which involve the PCs having to sneak into areas of significantly more powerful forces, it would have been nice for something a little different. I also worry that the next adventure, which puts the PCs up against the fire giants who are training the most élite soldiers for the Storm Tyrant’s army, will be more of the same again. Every adventure path needs a bit of variety to it, and Giantslayer could use a bit more.