I have run this twice with four level 1 players, with the intent to do it again in the future. A solid scenario all around.
The socializing didn't seem to take very long for me. I don't think I botched it either. Didn't go more in-depth than the PCs should know, but dredged up some info on the guests for them to play around with. Guess it just depends.
I liked the encounter at the Blakros Museum: Multifaceted, with a place for everyone, and a foe with a fun weakness to tell players. "Cast light on the fighter's sword, go nuts." The fight can go anywhere between easy and catastrophic (mostly for the NPCs). I didn't like that things were occuring throughout the museum, visually nice as it was. I thought it would've helped to draw the whole map to display the experience, which I am awful at. And there was only the one use of the map, in a circular room.
The customization and replay value are good. Fights that can (and often should) be avoided are difficult, giving more chance for challenge.
Some pieces are traps for the GM that look fun, but clearly detract from the player experience and chance of success. Like one of the mob encounters that's harder to quell. It's fun to throw trash and chamber pots (and hazards still have their obscene to-hit from PF1 and SF, which combos with critical hits now). But it has lethal potential and is almost guaranteed to reduce their chance at the secondary success, because they have to resort to violence.
Spoilers inbound. Ran this at low tier and it didn't disappoint. Mostly went for the humorous angle, which flew better with the table, but spliced in the horror imagery.
I enjoyed the concept, the investigation, the noncombat encounters and reasoning behind them. It had a decent grip on a task potentially low-level PCs could do (knowing the real Witch wasn't around or picking fights). I hope there's a higher-level follow-up in the future. While I loved Bid for Alabastrine, one of my few complaints there was that the mission seemed a bit much for newbie agents. This was better-suited, though not perfectly so.
Moving between houses and events seemed a bit rote and something I needed to force. Like, "Okay, you've found out everything here, onto the next house." The leads you find pointing you to places in the forest were a bit of a stretch. I also notice that a lot of scenarios provide great backgrounds that the PCs aren't ever let in on. When it isn't counter to the purpose, I usually find a way to fill the players in, usually near the end. This was the opposite, in that you can find out everything the townsfolk know but it isn't much. Likewise, the ever-escalating setup and the reveal were a bit of a letdown. I totally get why they are that way, it makes sense. Just not sure whether I like it or not.
Heaving read a lot of Worm lately, I wondered if any inspiration came from there. Some of my reasons could be reaching, but there's control of bugs, ability to see through likenesses of oneself, and often using "cryptid," among other things. Also some that are definitely reaching ("woman with dog").
I loved Tanner, to the point I gave them quite a lot to say. Because I was running it humorous, they were doing a bad job keeping their secret. Below is about what I said for them.
Please Bring Tanner Back Again:
Upon entering The Tanner:
A strange figure shows you inside. They are of indeterminate gender, possibly Taldan in descent, but you can tell one thing: They are jacked.
"Greetings, fellow organics," they blare out, doubling the awkwardness of their silence before. "Self-designation is Tanner. Self-occupation is tanner. Self-location is The Tanner tannery. Is self eligible to assist fleshbags today?"
If asked about mosquitos:
Tanner shakes their head. "Self is not perturbed by such small trifles. Self's gains-" their voice pronounces the word very strangely, "-render immunity. It would take several mosquitos, each the size of this structure, to fell Tanner."
If asked about current events:
"Little of note has transpired recently. Another organic - elven? Human? Unknown. It was of the female subtype, calling itself Hunter. It requested assistance in identifying a rock. Tanner is obviously unequipped for such a task, but has retained a sample." Tanner withdraws a shiny stone from a pocket. They hold it out to you, shaking the hand vigorously as the rock refuses to part ways.