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Needs Season 5 update, mindful of 'n00b' GM's


The series as a whole needs to be updated as a part of Season 5 and changes with factions expected to come.

As a n00b GM, I find the inclusion of four flip-maps, no use of the back sides of any of the maps somewhat distressing on the budget. It is no help that of the maps, 3 of 4 are out-of-print.

I have not yet run the Scenario though I am prepping, and I will update my review after I have actually run it. At this point of the preparation, to do the maps accurately as printed I have the following choices:

1) Buy ONE flip-mat still in print, and for the other three choose among the following and have those three maps compared to the one I am able to purchase.

2) Buy the PDFs at $9 each and print three or four of them at another $20 each. No thanks!

3) Prepare ONE map ahead-of-time on the blank side of my Beginner Box flip-mat, and then have my players wait while I dither drawing out the other maps as I can.

4) Blow big money on ink printing out either the PDFs I'm expected to purchase or extracting the maps available in this Scenario's PDF.

5) What I'm actually doing: Extracting the map images, doing 'edge detection' in GIMP, enlarging them to the proper size, turning the images 1-bit black/white, printing, coloring them in by hand while referring to the source image. It's a big-freakin' ball-o-suck but the best option I have with cash available.

The issue of maps, right there alone, takes this scenario down quite a bit. I'm a n00b GM. I am not made out of money. I can see buying "A" flip-mat, as I did for the prior scenario, and that worked just great. I can see hand-drawing "A" map for the scenario on the blank side of my Beginner Box flip-mat. I can see buying "A" map deck, such as the "Ambush" set or some other so I can call this done.

Writing this thing for four mostly out-of-print maps is an unwelcome kick in my wallet and has me unnerved about the purchase of other PFS modules. Fortunately this is the third and not the first of the First Steps, or I'd have never started.

Please consider these issues and do a new "First Steps" for 5th season covering the new factions. I have comments elsewhere about the series as a whole. Paizo can do better. Paizo MUST do better for a 5th season "Intro" series.