Elf Archer

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Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 9 Season Star Voter. **** Pathfinder Society GM. 1,182 posts (1,184 including aliases). 11 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 9 Organized Play characters.



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A Great Addition to a Wine Cellar

5/5

Details: The package contains three large kegs each about 1" long, 1 1/8" high, and 5/8" wide.

Similar in size and detail the the Rusty Dragon Inn Barrel this unpainted dungeon dressing is full of details. The digital rendering is an accurate depiction of this mini. The basement of every inn and bar should have at least a trio of these minis.


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Nicely Detailed Crates

4/5

Details: The package contains three crates, each about 5/8" x 3/8" x 1/4".

I have also purchased some Reaper Bones Crates. The WizKids crates are smaller but have finder detailing. The digital render is very accurate.

There is much more packaging than actual minis here. They seem a little on the pricey side for an unpainted mini so I knocked on star off.

Overall a nice mini.


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Everyone Needs a Pair of Oxen

5/5

Details: Two detailed oxen each 2" long, 1 1/4" high and about 1/2" wide. Two 2" black circular mounting bases, 1/16" thick, are also included.

The digital rendering of the mini is very accurate. I love the details. At 1 1/4" tall that is about 6' tall, the height of an adult oxen. I may not attach these to the mounting bases so I can have the option of placing them close together to pull a wagon.

Overall a very nice mini.


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Awesome!

5/5

I picked this up Thursday morning at GenCon and used it every game after that. This is a simple design and excellent to use. Good size, very portable and keeps dice contained as well as quiet when you roll them.

When stored flat it is about 10.5" x 8.25" x 1/8".


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Not What I Hoped For

1/5

First And Foremost: This adventure relies heavily on new material in Qadira, Jewel of the East. The adventure is missing details that make the story make sense. The GM needs to have access to the sourcebook to fill in those holes. The older products that I had access to do not include much of the information needed to properly run this adventure. Qadira, Jewel of the East has added a lot of material about Qadira and changed the country’s map, including adding a jungle in the middle of a desert that the party travels to.

Overall Impression

I had the difficult task of running this scenario at GenCon and trying to make it fun. The scenario is an ‘up on your soap box’, ‘in your face’ assault on traditional family values and has no place in a game that is supposed to be a fun, all-inclusive fantasy game.

Mechanics of the Scenario

Mechanically, this scenario is laid out well. The scenario uses a clout mechanic to measure how well the PCs interact with various NPCs. The amount of clout a PC can earn can affect how much PA they earn in the scenario. In order to win an audience with the PC’s patron for the adventure, the PCs have a choice: they can either perform some role-playing with skill checks or have a bar fight.

In the second act, the PCs interact with the patron over dinner and again have an opportunity for role-playing with skill checks. Unfortunately, I didn’t find that this part of the adventure really worked well. The scenario wants you to get into an in-depth theological discussion between the beliefs of the two cults and Sarenrae but it doesn’t really pull it off well. Most players will not have the deep knowledge of Golarion theology to pull off their part as intended. There is a mechanic allowing a skill check for this part, but in practice, this just didn’t flow well. The clout mechanic is also used so that the PCs earn the biggest boon in the game, a discount on the purchase of one item. If you do play this, bring as much gold to the table as you can. This discount to one item is only available in game or immediately after. It cannot be used at a later time.

In the third act, the PCs have some interaction with the locals as they try to gain more information to complete their ultimate job. Not bad. A few basic skill checks and the PCs get the information they need.

The fourth act is a typical out-of-place combat encounter used to fill the gap between the introductory material and the main dungeon crawl. It fits in that it’s a desert encounter in a desert.

The fifth act find the PCs exploring an active shrine of Roidira, with active worshipers there as well. Most of the worshipers are not combatants so it makes for a different encounter if/when combat breaks out. This adventure includes a special rules and boon if your PC is from a specific class in Occult Adventures. Also, this encounter is in a forest. Looking on the old maps for Qadira that I had access to only show desert in the part of the country this scenario is supposed to take place in.

As an interlude before the big finale there is an optional combat. I don’t generally like optional encounters as they drain PC resources and provide no mechanical benefits to the PCs. This one is no different. The foes that the PCs encounter shout their theological questions at the PCs whether combat is occurring or is skipped.

The final encounter is an interaction with Roidira, Dark Sister of Knowledge. There are a series of questions by Roidira with skill checks and/or role playing. Bonuses are given if you’ve taken good notes and follow the scenario’s soap box mantra. Near the end of the adventure, the players must parrot the real-world mantra that the scenario is pushing. In the big finale as the PCs interact with the deity Roidira, she asks the PCs a question and the instructions state “An excellent answer describe the important of clearing one’s mind of preconceived notions to accept unpopular truths, and emphasizes that tradition and obeisance to existing academic canon, law, and theology can cloud the judgement of even the greatest human mind.” Of course, she is so ‘open minded’ that if you don’t agree with her your PC can take damage. This is from Roidira herself so there is no save and PCs can’t fight deities.

At the end of the encounter, each PC that passes the skill checks or remains conscious after taking damage has an opportunity to experience a vision. Basically a mechanic to relate some final reveals to the players.

The scenario wraps up with a meeting with their patron. At the meeting she gives them some items as a thank-you, just so that they can appear on the Chronicle sheet.

Final Thoughts

This is a scenario heavy on story where the PCs need to pay attention and take good notes if they want to be successful. There are several instances where they need to parrot back to the NPCs the soap box mantra the scenario is pushing in order to minimize risks to the PCs.

CRB page 9 wrote:
“Above all, have fun. Playing the Pathfinder RPG is supposed to be exciting and rewarding for both the Game Master and the players. Adventure awaits!”

I spent a lot of time rewriting some of the script to make this less offensive and more fun to run and play.

It seemed like some rooms and locations could have used more descriptive text. It felt like these descriptions were cut to keep the end ‘big reveal’ encounter text.

Rating

The need to have access to the new Qadira sourcebook, sparse location descriptions and need to extensively rewrite to make this more family friendly places my scoring at one star. With some rewriting and additional material, this can be an interesting and fun adventure..


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A very nice cleric type mini

5/5

I like this mini a lot. It's a nice action pose and good details. The mini is 'dark' as it represents support for a corrupt government. I repainted one, lightening it up to represent a good PC.

I think this would be a great mini for an official repaint, representing a cleric of some good deity.


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Detail

5/5

They say the devil is in the details. The render on the Paizo blog has many more fine details that the mini I received. No mouth outline, no defined fingers. Still, very few people are going to be looking at this that close up to see the missing details. I wish I could give this 4 1/2 stars .....I guess I'll round up today.


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Too Much Paint

3/5

The picture in the blog makes this look like it's made from clear plastic and it may be. It's just hard to tell under all the white and grey paint. I think less paint would have been much more detail for this mini. It looks more like some kind of golem than an invisible creature.


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Fear of Breakage

4/5

This really is an awesome mini, but I'm not sure I'm ever going to be able to take it to a game. The rope is pencil thin and it just looks like it's ready to break.


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Excellent Incentive Set

5/5

I just received my Rusty Dragon Inn Bar and I think it's fantastic! The shelf sections are fine for the bar but they also would work individually or together for any bedroom, office, library, etc. shelf. What you don't see with the bar sections is that from the back they look like a tall desk. The left half is open under the bar and the right half is a closed door cabinet. Can be used as any similar shaped piece of furniture. The small keg and 6 bottle decorations are a nice addition. Great for a diorama, but due to their extremely small size, not appropriate for a gaming table. They would easily become lost. The table I received was slightly lighter in color than the one in my case. The only problem with it was that there is only one. I purchase two table singles, received two in my case and one with this set. The five tables and the bar really look right together. The barrels are a dusty tan compared the the brown of the barrels in my case. I like the difference. Finally, the four stools look good and are the right size.

All in all a very good set. I will get much more use out of this case incentive set than any other. I can see this set being used every few gaming sessions were as the other incentives, maybe one or twice in a gaming career.


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Good Overall but a Little Disappointing

4/5

Inside cover: pictures of the 10 faction leaders

Welcome to the Pathfinder Society These two pages give a basic background of Pathfinder Society for Organized play and reprint Day Job and Prestige And Fame rules from the free Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play.

2/5: Most of the information is available free in the Guild to PFSOP.

Absalom Eight pages describe the various quarters of Absalom. The material in this section feels like it’s stuff Paizo couldn’t fit in the Guide to Absalom. The included city map is the same art as in Guide to Absalom recolored and with better labeling.

3/5: Good material but it feels out of place.

Factions Twelve pages describe ten factions within the Pathfinder Society. Included with each faction are several boon that can be purchased with prestige points. These range from titles, to skill bonuses, to equipment. Though some of this material is essentially what's available in the free Guide to PSOP,it is still one of my favorite sections of the book.

4/5: Some repeated information in the free Guide to PFSOP but lots of new good stuff.

Pathfinder Society Archetypes As the name implies, these eight pages detail six archetypes. Scroll Scholar (Cleric or Wizard), Scroll Scoundrel (Rogue), Dimensional Occultist (Witch), Seeker (Oracle or Sorcerer), Grenadier (Alchemist) and Lore Warden (Fighter). My favorite is the Lore Warden which I think is really well thought out. I only wish they would have had more Archetypes for ‘outdoor’ classes (Barbarian, Druid and Ranger).

5/5: Good archetypes.

Field Guide Here we have fourteen pages describing some of the various roles a Pathfinder can take. These include Ambush Specialist, Cultist, Environmental Dangers and Getting Stuck. This section is all fluff, no rules, feats, or traits.

3/5: While not bad, this section didn’t really spark my interest.

Society Resources: Eighteen pages filled with gear, magic items, spells and vanities. This is my favorite section. Adventuring Kits are introduced, “bundles of equipment organized around common adventuring goal” … and include a small discount. Five new Wayfinders. There is no reference to ioun stones use in these Wayfinders as was described in Seeker of Secrets. The last four pages describe Vanities, boons that can be purchased with Prestige Points. You can purchase a business that gives you bonuses to certain skills while in the city where your business is, and providing a bonus to day job rolls. You can join an organization that allows you to use various additional skills to use on day job rolls such as Survival, Sleight of Hand and Intimidate.

5/5: I think most people will find a lot to use from this section.

The last page is an ad for Pathfinder Society Organized Play and the inside back cover is a clean piece of art of the cover.

Overall 22/30 = 4/5 stars. Though some parts feel out of place and material that is free on the web is included, overall I like this book.

-Swiftbrook
Just My Thoughts


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No good roll goes unpunished

2/5

I played The Heresy of Man, Part 1: The First Heresy at tier 5-6 with a well prepared GM at U-Con. I think we had a good balance of characters at the table, but not necessarily an optimal or power build table. This review is based on playing the adventure, I have not read it.

I enjoyed that the opening encounter was skill/role-playing oriented instead of combat oriented.

Detailed info in spoiler

Spoiler:

Unfortunately, in this adventure, my good perception check really hurt us in the end. As we approached the caves, I made a good perception check and spotted the tunnel to the right, up on the wall. We took the small tunnel and never had an opportunity to explore the cave to the left. In the end we learned that we had missed out at earning about 50% of the treasure and both prestige awards for the Andoran faction.

My PC generally has a difficult time earning PA for the Andoran faction, but I never got the opportunity to even try to earn it. Even though we skipped several encounters in the caves, I still feel as if I was cheated of the opportunity to earn the gold and PA. Also, I don’t know how we would have finished in our 4-hour slot if we had explored the cave.

In the stairwell/tower, our group had no good way of fighting the Deeper Darkness that we were enveloped in. I’m not sure if it was our group make-up or the adventure, but it seems that even if we did have spells to fight Deeper Darkness, (I haven’t read the adventure) the critter’s Deeper Darkness power would have just drained us of the spells until it’s power prevailed. I spent most of this encounter felling completely helpless.

In the end, I just didn’t have fun. It wasn’t the GM, he did a great job, it was the adventure. We’d played really hard, made some good skill rolls, but still lost a PC and earned no PA and only 50% gold.

Final Thoughts

Spoiler:
After reading the Undiscovered Traitor boon, I felt as if I had been slapped in the face. It has no purpose being on the Chronicle. Simple crossing off the An Agent Uncovered boon should have sufficed.

-Swiftbrook