Sign in to create or edit a product review.
Starfinder Adventure Path #48: Masters of Time and Space (Drift Crashers 3 of 3)Paizo Inc.
Add Print Edition $24.99
Add PDF $19.99
Big dungeon crawlSebastian Hirsch —
Paizo ate the first review so:
Big dungeon crawl, not terrible as they go, and not a huge amount to prep but I feel like less might have been more. There are not a lot of varied encounters and experiences, and I think the occasional skill challenge or RP interaction would have helped.
There are likely things to say about the AP as a whole and where it shines/struggles but there really isn't a good place for it.
Starfinder Adventure Path #47: Nightmare Scenario (Drift Crashers 2 of 3)Paizo Inc.
Add Print Edition $24.99
Add PDF $19.99
5 Paizo-com ate the reviewSebastian Hirsch —
short review Paizo at the long one:
Good AP volume, but I think the AP benefits from a more experienced GM and players that have previous exposure to the setting and game.
Maps, honestly not happy that the Hazards are burned in, but that is more of a production issue I suspect.
Starfinder Adventure Path #46: The Perfect Storm (Drift Crashers 1 of 3)Paizo Inc.
Add Print Edition $24.99
Add PDF $19.99
Quite the ride, but challenging to run and pretty deadly in partsSebastian Hirsch —
stub review - lots of nice setpieces, but I found it rather hard to run, there it is certainly not an AP(volume) for new GMs. But there is plenty to like, for more experienced GMs.
Your group will likely get a lot more out of this AP, if they are more familiar with the setting.
The start is pretty darn brutal, and I really had to hold back.
One of the bigger challenges, excluding the surprise in the new world, is to keep your players focused on the plot, especially considering their mobility options.
In other words, as listed above, this needs an experienced GM that knows when to use a light touch.
3.5 out of 5 - but honestly a couple of issues are just based on the Starfinder rules and how they can be pretty darn brutal.
Starfinder Adventure Path #49: A Light in the Dark (Drift Hackers 1 of 3)Paizo Inc.
Add Print Edition $24.99
Add PDF $19.99
Perfectly fine scenario, butSebastian Hirsch —
Just played this scenario, obviously, my player reviews are worse than my GM reviews as those include me reading the scenario. I will update this review in case I run this one.
--- This is the review I wrote during the session, some of my earlier assumption are later proven wrong or things get context, just thought it was interesting to preserve it like this for once;
The start is a bit perplexing and there are a lot of "things are going to go sideways" warnings in the air.
The prison is already a shameful aspect of Society and while closing it is good I am not sure what characters are supposed to feel here.
When the action suddenly started, I was honestly surprised by how quickly the adventure sort of lost interest in the premise and got bored, and detonated some explosives.
The location is rather large, coms are tricky, and the entire combat feels rather messy, With various light sources, dim light, etc. it's all rather messy to resolve.
At this point of the scenario, I can't stop myself from writing down how very much I dislike this mission. Not necessarily how the author has written it, but the core outline of the adventure idea. Being prison guards for the day as a concept feels a bit tainted - but the whole story of the adamantine bastille already feels a bit like uncovering your ancestor's dirty laundry.
Chase skills are a bit narrow for my taste, but I am not sure about the consequences of failure (and I played a character that did excel at any of them when I played it)
I appreciated that the escaped prisoners had some dialogue that advanced the story somewhat, but it was not much and during combat other characters tried to find out more... but it was rather clear that this was not something we could learn yet.
Learning about what happens and that the players got played is fine, but then we stood in front of that door... it gives the perception that the Society is yet again getting hacked, and tricked, and that we are generally less than competent. And being in our own damned prison just makes it worse.
The last fight was... fine, though it seems we arrived late.
How bad or incompetent are we, that a high-security area can be breached this easily?
Maps, maybe this is because of the narrative of the underground prison, but looking at prison cells and map tiles... does get rather dull over a whole session.
Learning new information after the fact, absolutely helps with my previous complaints listed above. And softens my complaints somewhat.
The last encounter page is large, and maybe larger than it needs to be, though I am a bit salty for spending two rounds to get into melee
The story ends up with a mystery that will get a follow-up later.
The investigation after the prison break, is interesting, not sure it is not a bit of a break in the action. I guess it counters some of my comments earlier, though not the perception, which is why I kept the review in this state.
TLDR: Not my cup of tea, I did not really get the RP encounters I personally like, and some of the concepts involved were not really what I want from SFS.
Good advance to the story and good scenario for new playersSebastian Hirsch —
I just played this one with a good GM, and players I already like, so my opinion is rather good right now.
Seems like a good fit, for new players, and could rise to 5 stars, but I really need to read it first to give useful and fair feedback.
I think running 4-01 (optional), 4-05, and 4-10 in quick succession is likely the best way to experience the story. Personally, I might try to schedule them on the same weekend, not sure.
In retrospect and after talking to the GM, I would have liked some way for the final encounter to last a bit longer. This is something I have been seeing a lot recently, the final encounter or BBEG sometimes struggles to last long enough for the GM to show of all/most of their features.
This might be a PF2 issue, at least at the low levels, and of course, org play has rather large level bands and mixed character levels, which makes scaling substantially harder than in other adventures.
Pathfinder Society Scenario #4-05: The Arclord Who Never WasPaizo Inc.
Our Price: $8.99Add to Cart
Not a bad sceanrio but I dislike some of the choices in itSebastian Hirsch —
I have my issues with this one, and they deserve a longer review, but having run it, I am really not keen to run it again or play it. The mechanics are fine, I have some issues with how the story unfolds. The scenario gives a lot of artwork to NPCs but gives me as the GM barely anything to work with.
Not a badly crafted scenario, but it is pretty good at hitting aspects I don't personally like.
Update: I actually played it days after my review so I can expand a bit:
- The scenario tries to make it more likely to experience the second of two potential combats, either the bar or the constructs. Personally, I understand how it makes sense to balance things and have at least two encounters however, I have narrative concerns.
The mechanics that make it less likely to be able to avoid the second encounter feel a bit forced, like getting the symbols from the group downstairs.
- The faction missions do clash a bit/are a bit nebulous, but that is partially because the group of ruffians is not really described, they literally lack a group name. To be honest I did not love how they seem to be some sort of choice between the factions. Though I am not entirely certain that this was intentional and not just the perception of the players (and the GM).
- Featured and illustrated NPCs: This adventure features a fair number of NPCs and I have some issues with that. 2 of the NPCs look like they could almost come from our world, or were inspired by something contemporary. Since I wear glasses, that look rather similar the former Pathfinder really bothers me, to the point where I was hiding his artwork in my VTT files. The diamond merchant gives me a similar contemporary vibe that drags me out of the experience.
- I rather liked the idea of the school (and found the story of a location that spends some focus on teaching species that are traditionally seen as monstrous very interesting - unfortunately I feel with all the other things, the scenarios does not spend as much time on it as I would have hoped) and even the connection to the bar, however, I feel like finding location B, just seems to result in a worse story. Even if you avoid the combat up top, the skull will reject that accusation of being the missing arclord (that also gets outed by their creation - which feels very jarring to me)
Location C, honestly I have mixed feelings, the library subsystem is rather complicated and gets to show up relatively late in the game but the surprise attack at the end really helps the adventure to end on a high note. Or it would, maybe it was because the faction missions/conflict between the gang and the constructs, did not really sit all that well with me, that I feel like that part after the combat feels a bit tacked on. I seems necessary to resolve one or two of the faction missions, but if feels a bit like artificial conflict in order to fulfill the requirements of a template.
ExcellentSebastian Hirsch —
There are certainly more things I want to praise on this one.. but should have written a review much earlier, since I really enjoy scheduling and GMing this adventure.
Some creative and wonderfull items, overshadowed by some negativesSebastian Hirsch —
The book contains some items I was looking forward to, mostly more druid-friendly armor, but if I am sincere, also a couple of things that feel like they could still use errata.
Not just that, but a fair number of items also felt like they break some design guidelines I had assumed existed in this edition of Pathfinder. Like the helmet, I had level 17 AP players ask if they could buy this relatively low-level item..
There are a couple of other instances of items I never hope to encounter at a table, but in general, if a GM chooses to include everything in the book in their game, it will have a measurable effect on player power.
Of course, the book also adds a fair number of new interesting options, but some of what some might call power creep negatively affects my perception of everything else.
Good, but you might want to wait until the next part of the story is outSebastian Hirsch —
short review until I find the time to update it
Not a bad experience, though I have some issues that prevent it from reaching 5 stars for me.
My issues were very likely part of the outline for this project, so I can't really blame the execution, but yeah, plenty to talk about in a longer review.
Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-19: Mean Streets of Shadow AbsalomPaizo Inc.
Our Price: $8.99Add to Cart
I really enjoyed running this oneSebastian Hirsch —
I have a lot to praise about this one, I really like the art and that it gives the players a chance to interact with a lot of NPCs.
This one really deserves a longer review, but I forgot before... I will update this very short review once I have the time to do so.
A visal great upgrade to my Foundry and PF2 experienceSebastian Hirsch —
Normally I would not be so keen to spend this type of money "just" for fancy tokens, but the quality is absolutely there, and they even altered some of the artwork to fit certain monster variants. That kind of work is just amazing and sets a darn high level of quality that other products and VTTs might struggle to match.
If it was just "tokenizing every piece of artwork in the Bestiaries", I might be less impressed, but as you can see in the description, they worked hard to illustrate as many monsters and variants as possible. And it really shows.
Though this should not be surprising, after all, after buying the Beginners Box earlier, their level of production is just stellar, and I hope that the tokens sell well. Arguably they might still be an excellent resource for GMs that do not play Pathfinder 2.
Their pricing is really in that point where I could justify the expense despite having a lot of tokens (since I have been running online for a fair number of years).
Starfinder Society Scenario #5-08: Tarnished Legacy: Star Sugar Superstar!!!Paizo Inc.
Our Price: $8.99Add to Cart
Fun scenario, that is also appealing to those who are not into events like thisSebastian Hirsch —
I just played it, and have a bunch of notes, but the short version is that this is worth your time, however... this can run longer, and I would recommend people schedule a longer slot for this. It might fit into a shorter slot of the GM and players focus less on roleplaying and more on fast successions of skill checks... but I would absolutely not suggest that approach, you have a lot of potential or RP... and I would suggest actually taking the time to experience that.
The number of and names of NPCs and where they are coming from can be a touch overwhelming at the start, and my personal suggestion for situations like this would have been to give GMs a fake/custom band flyer, with headshots, character names, and the bands they are normally attached to/with. I feel like this sort of approach would have helped at the start.
Good handouts matter and can make things more memorable, and possibly even leave GMs with something they could hand out as they do chronicle sheets. Something like this would have elevated the final product.
Some sort of visualization for the various areas might have been a worthwhile idea, my GM got the visual representation from another GM, but some sort of included visual aid might help many beginner GMs.
I enjoyed the way the story was told via and between skill challenges, and while the setup of "one roll per group with a lot of aids" is not a bad way to do this, I personally prefer skill challenges that require a certain number of successes with different DCs (often showcased in PFS2).
We played down, but I really liked that the skill challenges allowed for a lot of skills, so many characters could feel like they contributed - I appreciate that point a lot, and appealing to many types of characters (and not just operatives etc.) is an important factor for me when I am choosing what to offer.
Receiving an item as thank you (the aegis) felt like it drew the players a tiny bit out of the narrative, though the shape is certainly appealing. I suspect a set of limited edition pins, without a game effect would have been valued more, by the type of players I tend to encounter.
I like the artwork in the scenario, (though I personally am not the biggest fan of the gnome art which might be intentional - and the vampire looks a tiny bit... alive). The eyeshadow breaking feels a little bit forced, as normally you could likely find some way to rescue it.
It's a good scenario, and I can recommend it, but the length might be an issue for some groups.
Since I have only played it, I will have to come back and update my review if/once I have read/GMed it, as that will give me more things to say regarding GM guidance, clarity etc.
Quite the fun scenarioSebastian Hirsch —
TLDR: Fun scenario, bring the right type of character, and do not skip this experience.
I knew what I was signing up for and played this with a group of fun players, that enjoy "fun" scenarios.
Fortunately, the description signposts that quite well, had I turned up with a different character, that does not really fit funny scenes like that, I would not be as happy with it.
I appreciate, that the scenario mostly focuses on characterizing 5 distinct NPCs and I feel like that is likely the perfect number. The artwork was absolutely essential here, and a great use of the art budget.
Frankly speaking, I might find things to praise or to complain about in the original text (since that session was not run in English) but right now I am happy since I had a good time.
If I end up prepping and running this one, I will update this review with my updated experiences.
A continuation of the story, that sometimes feels a tiny it on railsSebastian Hirsch —
I have just played it, and I am somewhat tired.
The scenario begins with a lot of callbacks to previous scenarios in these locations, and a lot of names and NPCs, and would argue that it can be a bit overwhelming, particularly since the players are really supposed to focus on the 4 NPCs they meet later. This might have been the reason why we did not actually spend a lot of time interacting with them, and then were surprised in the arena. That felt a bit forced, almost as if the author did not want the ruse to be discovered, to surprise players in the arena. Personally, I think some sort of passive/secret checks for the player characters, indicating that something is wrong.. would have helped (though at this point in time, I have not read the scenario).
My experience is shaped by playing at level 10 in the high-tier version of the scenario, but my Solarian did not have a lot of things they could do as far as contributing with skills is concerned. The story is rather interesting and motivates players, but I am getting the not-so-uncommon reaction of "this skill challenge was built for operatives" or at least other classes.
The final encounter felt very, very grindy..up to the point where it felt like it was actively making the scenario worse.
Reading it might improve my perception, but I am getting the feeling, that's unlikely to happen.
I was following this story for a couple of years, but the ending of this one has left a bad taste. At this point, I just want it to end, as with this scenario the plot has overstayed it's welcome for me.
Edit: It has come to my attention, that some choices by the table GM on how to represent things, and how to run certain things, have negatively affected my experience, here. I will try to actually prep and run this to give some more useful feedback.
My current score would be about 3.5 there is some potential and strong characterization, however, it seems to struggle in some aspects, which caused a less than stellar experience on my part when I was playing it.
ExcellentSebastian Hirsch —
I will update this review with more details once I have time, but I felt it worth posting that this scenario is absolutely worth your time, as a player or GM.
Starfinder Society Scenario #3-03: Frozen Ambitions: The Shimmerstone GatewayPaizo Inc.
Our Price: $8.99Add to Cart
not something for beginnersSebastian Hirsch —
Some aspect and choices of this one really does not make it a good fit for beginners, there is a rather aggressive clock, and an enemy type with a lot of immunities that really needs some sort of loot, that helps with teaching.
I could totally see people drop Starfinder like a radioactive potato if this is their first experience.
As a secondary issue, I am sick and tired of working for evil regimes, the actual plot helps but.
The volume of skill checks and the very specific checks it sometimes ask for, make me feel like this was written for operatives. That's likey not what happens, but my personal perception.
Even without the issues listed above, an mentioned by others, the story is not super appealing to me.
I am still in the process of playing this scenario and will update the review, but.. the fact that I am writing a review while playing likely tells a lot.
Starfinder Society Scenario #1-09: Live Exploration Extreme!Paizo Inc.
Our Price: $8.99Add to Cart
One of the best things Starfinder has to offerSebastian Hirsch —
I could kick myself for not writing a review earlier.
I struggled with this, mechanically competent but the story and interactions ..Sebastian Hirsch —
I have played and run this, and honestly, I have zero interest in running it again, and less interest in playing it. That is mostly a case of personal taste and less of a complaint in the quality of production, editing, and mechanical implementation.
But let's look at all the parts involved.
Story: Could have used a spoiler warning for the last scenario of last season, particularly for the GM that gets to learn a lot more than the players. That sort of stopped when I first looked at it because at that point I had not touched the conclusion of last year's story.
Artwork: Lighthearted and fun, particularly looking at the two NPCs you meet towards the end... to be frank, I had to cover up the artwork of Zarta in the pdf, because it bothered me (cover artwork is fine). Kinda like a monster that has killed your friend and is wearing its skin...
Map./Location: Being limited to a single flip mat players might have seen a fair number of times before absolute limits this one, there is some value for GMs that do not want to bring a lot of different maps with them, but it does cause the visuals to be kind of one note... had this been a quest or bounty, it would not have lingered so much.
Repeatable elements: I dislike scenarios that have the repeatable tag without significant alterations, but while this one does have a fair number of random elements, I don't think they are really providing a different experience.
Aslynn: So at first you can't really interact with her and have to use skill checks, which is fine though it needs a bit of imagination, towards the end, it resolves as a "normal" encounter. I am not really sure the scenario gives players a good way to differentiate those situations, other than the GM asking for skill checks.
I usually spend a fair bit of time prepping a scenario, and I did spend a lot of time on this one... but for some reason, I really do not want to run it again. That does seem to be specific to certain aspects of this scenario, I have run 4-02 several times and while it has some issues, I feel that on when it comes to roleplaying and interacting with a theme, it gives me so much more as a GM.
Light-hearted, fun with a lot of RP potentialSebastian Hirsch —
This is a good example of why I enjoy Starfinder, just played it, but if this is a good example of scenarios in this season, I need to free up more time in my schedule to play.
Only having played it, my feedback is a bit limited, and I might upgrade it after the fact, but I felt like this is exactly what I was hoping for as far as Drift Crisis integration is concerned, and this is yet another reason to motivate me to run the AP. ^^
Looking forward to more material for this author.
The second part of the scenario was a bit more tedious, we played high tier and the combats felt like they need more time to resolve - and as is often the case with certain enemy effects a failure spiral can happen all too easily.
Edit: I am not entirely certain what it would need for me to rather this one higher, but usually that includes excellent GM guidance in the written scenario, which at this point I had not had the opportunity to read.
Interesting, but suffers a bit from the formatSebastian Hirsch —
I just played this and despite the GMs great performance, honestly, the story felt a bit fractured, very much like tying for bounties together with some narrative twine.
While the GM did spectacular levels of prep, I am honestly not sure if adding a vehicle chase at the end really is all that appealing, since you end up having to explain a subsystem that players might have never experienced to the players... after a lengthy session.
It's not bad... but particularly the first two missions feel rather random, and I had a hard time connecting those questions to the main plot, that changed later, but I still think... this could have been a better experience as a "normal" scenario. With so many worlds and settings, the theme does change quite a bit if you like variety... but I felt like it made it harder to set a consistent tone.
This is a very personal scoring, and I can totally see giving this one a higher score, some others have mentioned that this would be great for new players... but despite excluding Starship combat( which I don't want in an experience for new players) I feel like it focusses on some of the more unusual places, rather than some of the core Starfinder experiences (which would be my choice for an introduction).
If I could give this one a 3.5 I would, unfortunately, it just does not come together enough for me to give this one a 4.
fun Saturday morning cartoonSebastian Hirsch —
Nice experience, slightly let down by the included map/quality and one aspect of it, and honestly, the pregens likely could benefit from players adjusting them a bit (like the adventure suggests.)
One of the reasons, why I can't give this a better score, is that one of my players had a really bad time with the mystic (that might be based on the spell list, or other factors, but I would suggest updating the spell list a bit).
What I really appreciate, is that the pregens are actually rather simple so you could use this to introduce the system to new players (though I would alter the pregens a tiny bit more, particularly the feats as some of them can lead inexperienced players into a bit of a trap).
Without going into spoilers, the streamable nature of this adventure was a great fit, even without an active chat.
Thus far I have only GMed this, and I plan to do so again ^^
Dungeon crawl with some setupSebastian Hirsch —
It's fine, I wish I could write something more interesting but it feels a bit like the middle child, and I am not entirely sure if this scenario mostly serves as a setup for 3-98.
I had a good GM, and no major issues when I played this, but I am having a hard time getting excited about what I experienced. This might be because I don't tend to love dungeon crawls without a stronger narrative element... I am not saying, that this hasn't been done well, it's just that I am really not the target audience.
That is essentially all I can say as a player, I likely have more insight once I have prepped the scenario.
Edit: it might absolutely be the case that the preceding scenario, this one, and the upcoming special form a greater whole, and if that is the case I plan to update this review.
A new story burdened by old hand-me-downsSebastian Hirsch —
TL/DR: This is not a bad scenario, but all the issues and callbacks are really distracting from the main narrative, and if run outside of org play, I would personally suggest cutting a lot of rooms and descriptions.
I have only played this a couple of hours ago, and have not yet prepped or GMed this.
Based on what is apparently written in the pdf, and what has been communicated by the GM, this scenario is based upon and seems to use the map from a PF1 AP volume. To be honest even before I learned that fact, I noticed that the maps, particularly the first one... look dire on a VTT - and since I have printed hundreds of maps from scenarios for the use at the gaming table, this one certainly is among the worst as far as graphical fidelity is concerned. It is rather hard to look at, though it gets better once you go underground.
However... there is just too much map... which makes sense if the whole location was recycled. Unfortunately, it causes a situation where a lot of the scenario feels a bit flabby and unfocused as there are just going to be more rooms and plenty of them with nothing relevant for this time-critical mission. That perception might be totally different for someone who has played or run the PF1 AP in this city... but for those of us that have not, it feels a bit like we are not in on the joke.
A lot of the room descriptions sound like callbacks to that AP volume... which is rather confusing to players, it felt like walking through an apartment the day after a massive party. At least for me, it made it a bit hard to differentiate what happened when the lodge was first sealed, and what happened very recently. Which again muddies the water a bit.
Actually, I rather liked the reasonable time pressure when it was introduced by the servant of House Thrune (one player accepted personal damnation, and the group as a whole did not bargain for the insight), unfortunately once Radovan had his appearance, it felt like the time pressure was increased, after all, it felt reasonable that taking breaks to heal with treat wounds would not make a lot of sense while he was buying us some extra time.
We had a rather unusual setup with a level 5 bard, sorcerer, cleric (with paladin multiclass), and my level 3 magus, which placed us at the upper end of low tier, with a lot of challenge points. Can't fault any author for not planning for something like that.
I actually don't mind the first encounters being a bit easy, as that helps to avoid a lot of breaks in the actions as we urgently look for the VC.
Unfortunately, after that encounter, we were stumbling around a bit, some of the rooms and their descriptions confused us somewhat, but we eventually found the shadow prison, and then started looking for the items we needed. Since this part happened after we had slain the person responsible for some of the recent difficulties it felt a bit like an anticlimax to poke around in yet more rooms.
I fully admit that I am not always the most perceptive player and likely will have a slightly different opinion once I prep it, but I fear my review is unlikely to improve a lot.
Updated score based on what's on the chronicle
Good scenario though I am lacking a bit of contextSebastian Hirsch —
Fun scenario, I am missing a lot of plot since didn't manage to actually play a plot-related scenario this season, but it felt like a good ending to the storyline (despite the regrettable fact, that the number of scenarios had been cut down to that degree).
The fights felt quite fitting if anything I feel the scenario could have used a bit of custom art, though it was nice to see a custom map.
We finished in about 3 hours but that is not that unusual for this kind of location.
My appreciation for this will likely change a lot once I dive deeper into this season's plot, but I had a good time.
Edit: I ended up running it after I had played it and, I still really enjoy it ^^