Besmaran Priest

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Full of flavor

4/5

The first section of this adventure aboard the Wormwood could almost be run with your group as one-on-one sessions. As a matter of fact, if I had it to do again, I would probably find a way to do much of it that way. Essentially the party is split for most of the first part of the game. Any effort to make the 20+ NPCs aboard the Wormwood real people takes even more play time. I think I ran as best as I could going in, but it resulted in significantly more downtime during a session for some players as their PCs were "off screen." That's not good for players you are trying to hook into a new campaign. I may have lost two players because of it. (But I gained two more, so no loss) The point is, GMs should know this AP has that weakness in the early parts and if able take steps to decrease downtime of other players. If that means having some one-on-ones, maybe a gaming lunch with dice, or something akin, it would be most helpful.

BUT...this helpless feeling that the first part of the adventure creates makes the payoff mean more. When the PCs start becoming a team and getting to do "missions" as a team, it is such a welcome return to expectations that it increases excitement among the players.

That brings me to the flavor of the AP. Who doesn't want to play a pirate? Well, one of my players actually. But it shocked me, too. As a GM I'm having an absolute ball running this AP, even though it is more prep work than I thought an AP should be. The subject matter is so great and inspiring that I don't mind it. I don't know how far my campaign will stick with future volumes. Hopefully pretty close, as it means less work for me. But if it doesn't. Even if you don't plan on running the remainder of the AP, this volume is a perfect set-up for any pirate or nautical campaign of your own design.


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Proud of this purchase

4/5

My concern with the tokens was that they would be too flimsy. I remembered back into the paper-fold characters that WOTC used to publish back in the day and I think Paizo did for a while. I was surprised at the sturdiness of this token line. The Beastiary set is on the way.

This AP is very NPC heavy and I would have gladly paid more for a full set of NPCs. That is the only reason for the 4 out of 5 instead of giving it a 5.

The fact that these can be pub back in the sleeves and stored more economically than paper fold-ups is also a big plus. I much prefer these over mini's for both storage and cost.


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This could have been so much more

1/5

The artistic map I think is a waste, it could have been better used to show close-up locations of the Shackles. Because the Inner Sea Map Folio included the Inner Sea region I would have preferred two Shackles maps that showed more close-up detail. At least that would have been an improvement. I would say this is the least value for the dollar I've purchased of Paizo's products and I'm sure my money would have been better spent on another one of their products.

I would certainly advise potential buyers to steer clear unless you get it at a major discount.


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Disappointing

1/5

This AP volume is hurt by following the previous AP with the same concept: Trapped on another plane. It doesn't follow through on the premise: Go through BBEG's home to find a way to better defeat him in the final AP. It really is one fight after another. There are factions, but the published module neglects to mention how they interact. Many combats are duplicated. The trap at the beginning makes little sense as written. And the Azer that is "helping" the PCs with riddles doesn't make much logical sense. Why give hard to understand riddles instead of just telling the PCs what to do, when the goal is to escape from his prison? And with all the high level combat it takes forever if ran as written to escape this logic void. By far the worst in the AP so far.


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Not for a Novice GM to run

5/5

And that's a good thing. This AP, especially with its support article to flesh out the Katapesh markets, runs really fantastically. It does take a GM that knows what he/she is doing, though. A GM who isn't comfortable with urban adventures might make this AP a bit dry, but I felt it was a great opportunity to really develop some NPCs. The lack of shopping the PCs encounter during the first two issues really pays off as during their shopping a GM can insert the needed flavor and the NPC hooks that are the meat of this adventure at the same time.

Well done. But a GM really needs to know his NPCs in this chapter before running it.


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Excellent Dungeon Crawl

5/5

Any good dungeon crawl I think should leave the PCs with a sense of accomplishment and a thank goodness it is over. This AP would serve as a great dungeon crawl even if not running the whole Adventure Path. The numerous ways inside the heart of this dungeon provide numerous avenues and even leaves the GM with anticipation as to the path the PCs will take. It is well done, with multiple factions. No major complaints from my players after finishing this one, and only one minor one. Groups without the right language abilities may be stumped. But a GM can keep it moving.


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The arms race begins...

1/5

I'm a bit shocked that Paizo would release a product full of imbalanced options. Was there anyone in the office who said these options are not balanced with the rest of the game? Were they ignored? This book makes greatly doubt Paizo was the company I thought they were. It is banned for use at my game table. I don't have the time nor inclination to re-edit a book I paid 40.00 for to make spell levels correct based on their descriptions or figure out what they should be; or to redesign new classes so that they don't overpower others. Very disappointed. I bought this book blindly based on Paizo's reputation. I will be reviewing future crunch books before deciding to purchase from now on. Very disappointed.


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Optimized for Optimized PCs

3/5

This adventure seems to be written for optomized PCs. It is very harsh on low-level PCs. And I don't know if the reason that such harsh enounters got into the module was because of Eric Mona's stature in the compnay, but someone needed say "no" to their boss before publishing this.

The NPCs are great; the story is great. The set-up to the whole AP is great. I chose this AP to run for the flavor it promised. I had high expectations of the AP and so far those have been met. Some of the enounters are a bit nasty for non-optomized PCs. And since an AP is a lot about the encounters I have to give this only 3 stars.