P.B.'s page

Organized Play Member. 2 posts (32 including aliases). 71 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 17 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.



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Relies too much on cute factor and nostalgia

3/5

Mechanically there's nothing wrong with this scenario so it gets 3 stars for that.

However plotwise it makes no sense. The bad guy motivations are illogical and ill conceived (let's kill pathfinders and hope they won't send much stronger agents to avenge them). Random goblins show up out of nowhere. Random kobolds first fight to the death then decide to join. The most fun, memorable and reasonable scene was dinner with corrupt official, everything else is just slapstick comedy.


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4/5


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Excellent entry

5/5

I must say I liked this one a lot better than Q14.
There's mystery, exploration, challenging combat. Very fun and well worth 2xp.


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A very solid adventure with a good mix of rp and combat

5/5

While the investigation threw us all for a loop at first, eventually we were able to untangle it and it turned out to be quite enjoyable even for our mostly non-charismatic party. The encounters were well balanced and had a few surprises.

Overall definitely the best of season 5 so far!


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More of a museum tour than an adventure

3/5

Pros: flavorful setting, one spicy challenge, colorful npcs

Cons: reuses a very old map that older players know by heart since it comes from a repeatable, too many empty rooms that serve no purpose, uninspired combat, a chase that overstays its welcome. no real plot to speak of.

Overall it just feels like the gm is there more as a tour guide than a game master. I like the flavor and the npcs but the mechanics drag this scenario down and just feel mismatched.

Warning: This has 2 moderate back to back encounters with no time to heal, which can easily tpk a party if GM is particularly ruthless.


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Another elemental theme

4/5

I give this an extra star for returning to the ruins in Blackwood swamp. It's a nice throwback that made the plot more appealing.

Other than that, unfortunately, the plot is not very memorable. Rescue mission is fine but the final reveal felt anticlimactic and random. More elemental fights. There's now wood and metal, we get it, no need to rub it in.

Combats were fine, although last one gave the party a pause because of the odd mechanics. Fine overall.


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Not a great start

2/5

Unfortunately this scenario leaves much to be desired.

Story: extremely uncohesive, with random events happening for no good reason.

NPCs: Npcs show up out of nowhere and after the scene disappear. The main NPC doesn't really feel present until the final scene

Encounters: extremely easy which I guess is fine for 1-4

Repeatable elements: Little to none. Mostly just cosmetic variations.

Ease of running: Medium. Lots of poorly explained design choices (water in final encounter for example is largely a GM fiat), maps that are either barely used or are used with no content. Npcs with questionable motivations.

Overall I cannot recommend this scenario, and definitely don't feel like repeating it. Please take cues from 99-1 that was one of the best imo.


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Not what you'd expect!

5/5

As a player, I really appreciated all the ways of nonviolent conflict resolution. The final boss was a bit underwhelming but it came with a fun mechanic. Looking forward to replaying it when I get the chance.


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Hope the story continues

4/5

Played this during Paizocon in high tier.

The scenario is a continuation of 4-12. Unlike 4-12 it does not focus on influence as much, instead providing a way for PCs to experience the setting in more detail.

I liked the inclusion of nonlinear options, and glad the party didn't have to worry about resources too much.

The scenario includes several interesting npcs, one of them is quite surprising.

The only con is that in high tier the combat was still not challenging at all. That said, I appreciate that the scenario tried to shake things up for the final encounter.


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Nearly perfect

4/5

Having just played 4-14 using the new module here are some remarks:

1. Tokens look great!
2. Maps are preset nicely.
3. Art is high quality.
4. Music is thematic and well chosen.

However:
Lack of automated prompts for skill check rolls was **very** surprising. The gm had to do it old school.

On the gm side:
1. Importing the scenario is a breeze.
2. Macro for scaling is mind blowing.

If it wasnt for lack of skill checks it would certainly be 5/5.


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A good conclusion

4/5

The book brings a well earned conclusion to the AP.
It flows organically from approach to obstacle to final dungeon.
The approach as fun with a little side quest that had my players on edge.

The obstacle is a series of trials that can get cumbersome.

The final chapter is your standard dungeon crawl which concludes with the final boss fight. The boss seemed a bit underwhelming. It hits hard but is positioned as a caster which is odd given his poor selection of spells. Still a fun fight and some special mechanics to boot.

Minus one star for terrible low quality maps in the last chapter.


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Feels like a bounty...

3/5

I was hoping for something a little more than an "intro-skill challenge - encounter" formula that bounties have. Having options for skill challenges is nice for a repeatable, but it still feels very short (certainly not 2-3 hrs) and doesn't justify 2xp value imo.

Also given that there's no way to lose reputation here or lose a character, the combat could have been harder. As is, it is laughably easy.


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Nice social encounter but not much else

2/5

Disclaimer: ran in 3-4 tier

Pros: Flavorful. The social encounter feels intense and requires careful choices from players.

Spoiler:
Of course that's only because they don't know they will get large bonuses and 2 more rounds at the end of scenario

Cons: Almost everything else. The city is not well described. The motivations of villains and their plans are muddled. The npcs are introduced and then forgotten. The images for key npcs are missing.

Really the only thing that made this enjoyable was that I had an excellent player group. But I digress.

The worst of all are encounters. They are not just easy, they are extremely easy. So easy my players were wondering if they were really supposed to fight these pathetic villains. Now normally I am all for keeping the difficulty down to account for rng groups, but these encounters seem just poorly designed. Here's why:

Spoiler:
Encounter 1: foxes special abilities don't work in the city. Without them they are just measly level 2 critters facing level 3-4 players. All over by round 2. Encounter 2: Level 0 npcs in 3-4 tier? Needless to say they were dead in one hit. The other two are level 2s with longbows... in a tight alley with no way to gain distance. Over by round 2. Final encounter: bbeg is a level 3 caster with AC18 accompanied by level 1s with AC15. Again, in 3-4 tier they are just instantly killed and caster was dead by round 2. No pcs were ever even remotely in any danger.

I tried to play off the flavor and create some intrigue but with tools given there's not much one can do. Unless you are really into influence encounters I unfortunately would not recommend this.


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A fun yarn to untangle but maps are lacking

4/5

Played this in high tier with an excellent GM who put emphasis on the plot rather than trying to bug us down with minutiae.

This is a direct continuation of 4-06, which at this point is well known for its hard-to-keep-track list of npcs and occasional combat that is decoupled from the actual map.

I was also wary because of the connection of this scenario to infamous 3-14 by commonality of the author.

I admit my concerns were mostly unfounded on both accounts:
The scenario has a very manageable roster of npcs, with some very interesting interactions. The plot is engaging, and the encounters were quite manageable (granted, we had a very balanced party composition).

I am looking forward to continuation of the overall plot.

P.S.: Minus one star for an encounter map that completely doesn't match the description. Granted, maps are expensive but the scenario uses a very elaborate map with no encounter whatsoever too! Perhaps switching them would be a good idea.


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Went well and thanks for fireballs

4/5

Disclaimer: played in LT with an L8 magus in the party

The scenario has an interesting setting and the mystery is set quite well.

The encounters went pretty smooth, especially the 2nd one since our rogue disabled all traps and gave casters a bunch of fireball scrolls.

First encounter took everyone by surprise. For the last one everyone buffed up prior to it so it went pretty smooth as well. I suppose we could have just been lucky with party composition but generally it was fun.


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Gotta catch them all!

4/5

An easy laid back easter egg hunt.
Final encounter was not challenging at all.
A nonlethal complex hazard is a a great idea.
Creative freeform challenge in one of the rooms was a plus.
No image for concluding scene was disappointing.


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Needs more clarity about influence

4/5

I generally like influence rounds in scenarios when they are focused on 1-2 npcs. This scenario throws 4-5 at you without making clear that some of them are a priority.
This makes the party go all over the place. Our party lost VS rep because apparently we needed to focus a particular npc but did not.

The encounters were fun, with creative use of **low level** (thank the maker!) hazards. Only issue was that last hazard was inaccessible without flight. Not the best idea at those levels.

So one star off for lack of clarity and questionable hazard placement.


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Feels disjointed

2/5

After brilliant book 4 this was underwhelming.

Chapter 1 starts strong but falls flat if your party doesn't care about urdefhans.

Chapter 2 is a bunch of random encounters followed by tower crawl.

Chapter 3 was promising but the city is really not explored in much detail. "Do random stuff to get reputation" gets old quickly and feels like a chore. Once you get enough rep it's another tower crawl.

Even though it seems nonlinear, the book is actually quite railroaded.


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A nice fun time

5/5

Agree with previous review: a nice bounty with good rp that feels less like "here are some skill checks now go kill this thing" and more like a mini-adventure.


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Interesting premise but needs more focus

3/5

The scenario has several good things at a glance:
Ustalav location
Dealing with angry mob
A mystery

But after playing (High tier), those all seem like red herrings.
The location is the same tired map from 1-01. The mob is barely present and introduces npcs only to throw them away. And the mystery turns out to be rather shallow and not well explained.

Add to this multiple npcs that keep mentioning other npcs that are often not relevant to the task at hand. Someone mentioned a choice, but I did not see any choice at all. It all felt rather linear. Overall, it didn't feel like anything meaningful was accomplished. The combat was fine at our CP except for last one that had one big problem GM had to adjudicate ((details below)).

Mechanical details (gm spoilers!):

Now, the mechanics. The skill checks were fine for our group.

The combat on the ground floor was ok as the group quickly switched to "correct" damage type and used weak saves against them ((bludgeoning for oozes and using reflex save spells.)). The incant could be a problem if there was more than one. Putting multiple engulfing creatures can easily separate the party so I can see how this can be a problem.

The second floor combat was not memorable. Not sure if GM simply forgot to use harpy song ability or chose not to. The harpies themselves felt very random and out of place.

Now, the basement encounter.
If it was just the constructs it would be tolerable but as it happens nearly the entire room is "within 20ft" of electric enclosure that counters spells and spell effects next to it. Which means heal spells getting countered with over 50% chance of success plus damage to caster. ((95% if spell below level 4)). This mechanic resulted in a near tpk situation before GM decided that 20ft has to represent a line of effect and cannot act through walls, which then put most of the room outside the effect. Add to that the construct that had high precision and high damage plus AoO.
I wish this mechanic was clarified better because I imagine not all gms will be as lenient.

After all, unfortunately, the scenario felt like busy work and not particularly memorable.


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High tier review

4/5

Played in high tier so I did not run into the Barbazu problem below.

In HT the scenario felt like a nice repeatable, with a good mixture of RP and combat. The option to rest between each task is nice too. It brings back research system which is still not fun hence one star off.

I have yet to read it so not sure how much variety there is but it can't be worse than the infamous 1-23 which had no variety at all.


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Review in progress...

2/5

Playing this pbp so that makes writing the entire review a bit hard as after weeks spent on the intro and skill checks it all becomes a bit hazy.

My impressions of first part: real lack of direction. It's "go to this place roll a bunch of skill checks with no explanation", repeat ad nauseum. Every attempt to dig deeper ends up with "out of scope of the scenario". It doesn't help that the main npc comes off as obnoxious and at some point was just directly insulting party members (not sure if that's intended or a gm flavor). Overall so far, while not technically difficult, the scenario just feels plain shallow and unpleasant.

To be continued...


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Conflicting goals

3/5

I'd like to comment on the most controversial part of the scenario - mechanically conflicting goals (GA vs VS). I think it sets a very bad precedent and I hope this is not a sign of things to pass.

Setting goals that require a choice is great. Setting such goals that affect things mechanically is not. The conflicting goals resulted in decision paralysis, created an artificial player conflict, and even borderline player animosity. The mechanical side of the conflict moved it from RP territory and into the irl.

In a campaign where slogan is "cooperate", giving inherently uncooperative goals and forcing a group of strangers to find a quick compromise while punishing them mechanically for it is a bad idea. I hope this will be avoided in the future, and hence I can't give this more than 3 stars.

P.S.: Not a single hint that players need horses? Given that hexploration comes up once a year, it's very easy to miss that it's a mandatory purchase. At the very least the lodge could have provided horses instead of looking at crazy PCs who plan to walk through the desert and not saying a word.


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Flavorful and satisfying

5/5

One of the best scenarios in my book.

Has a great cast of npcs, rewarding interactions, interesting skill challenges. Each linnorm feels different and their actions make sense.

The combat was fun for players (maybe not so much for GM) but imo this is perfectly fine.

I think this is supposed to be a lighthearted and entertaining scenario, so extreme combat would feel out of place.

I liked that npcs played part in the final scene.
And, without spoilers, the chronicle reward for this is absolutely fantastic.


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Best book so far

5/5

I think what makes this book great is its focus on the town of Willowside. It uses Chapter 1 to set up the town and introduce the denizens. Chapter 2 to set the mystery underneath. And Chapter 3 is the culmination of the setup with a very satisfying resolution.

Good npc variety, plenty of player choice, good rp.

The book is so good it can even be used as a standalone adventure. Highly recommend.


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