RPG Superstar 7 Season Marathon Voter, 8 Season Marathon Voter, 9 Season Marathon Voter. Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Cambridge 7 posts. 9 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 27 Organized Play characters.
This is far and away the best PFS Special I have run (I have run 5 different ones in conventions of different sizes).
It is very easy to prep as a GM and smooth to run. Players are given a variety of choices that best suits the kinds of encounters they're interested in (social, skill, combat etc.) There is an unexpected and epic showdown that gives the players control in a new, interesting way.
I ran this recently at a local convention in the higher subtier, the players all had a great time with it. The encounters provide a very respectable challenge but nothing 6 players couldn't handle (everyone safely in the 4-5 level range). Good descriptions, a puzzle that's not too difficult and not too easy and overall just a solid scenario that moves the season plot along.
Having both played and GM:d this scenario, I found it to be a perfect Society experience in both cases. There's a loving attention to detail in the approach to the monastery, with the "rules of the road" and the presentation and map of the place itself.
The combat encounters are good, while the finale is perhaps a bit too easy to bypass. As a minor quibble there's a rather sizable infodump unloaded on the players at one point which could be dispersed into more manageable chunks throughout the area, but it's not enough to detract from the enjoyment.
I had a lot of fun playing this in the high tier, and running it for the local players as well. The encounters are extremely challenging, depending on the party makeup. GMs need to brush up on sniping rules (and how the final encounters breaks them) to make sure it remains at the appropriate difficulty.
Good use of monsters that are not so common in pathfinder scenarios, and not complicated to run with.
The scenario had a lot of potential, but far too many problems that all come together in a horribly designed final encounter. This has been picked apart in detail by previous reviews, so I won't get into it. My players avoided a TPK only thanks to me rolling several 1's in a row to maintain grapple and take attacks of opportunity.
Suggestions by campaign management in the GM thread make this a little more playable, but the horrifying 4-player adjustment apparently still stands. I would never play this without 6 players at the table.
Ran this at the lower tier for a full table, and both I and my players enjoyed it a lot.
There are fun and varied skill challenges, the actual archeology elements are detailed and managed to get my group hooked. The players began piecing together the mystery very quickly and seemed to have a lot of fun with each new tidbit being revealed.
The combat encounters at the low tier are a bit easy, but that's to be expected for a full complement of players.
As a GM I liked that there are suggestions included throughout the scenario, in case the players go off the rails or skill challenges don't go their way. And I really loved that a "gather information" section included NPCs in the narration rather than just an impersonal infodump.
I've run and played this scenario in the lower subtier, and enjoyed both experiences immensely, as did the other players in each of these tables.
The scenario has an excellent variety of social and skill checks, a few interesting and potentially challenging combat encounters and best of all it does a brilliant job continuing the Scarab Sages storyline.
The map, also, deserves special mention. I love how the author has managed to create an interesting and well compartmentalized map that all fits into a single flipmat.
I ran this scenario for a full table in the 4-5 range, and it was easily the best of the trilogy and rose up to one of my very favorite scenarios ever.
The amount of roleplaying, wide selection of skills in skill challenges, and variance in approach that the players can take through this dungeon all help to make the experience brilliant. The NPCs and encounters are fun and interesting, the map is gorgeous.
I only wish that the defense point mechanism were not quite so generous, but in the end that did not detract from my, or the players' enjoyment.
Just ran tier 4-5 of this yesterday.
I was a little apprehensive about running it at first, since there are a few different things for the GM to track, but it turned out to go very smoothly and everyone at my table had a great time. The final encounter turned out particularly well, the area design helped to make it interesting and challenging.