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Pathfinder Adventure Path #44: Trial of the Beast (Carrion Crown 2 of 6) (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
Print Edition Out of print
a good book but......The equalizer —
The book was good. It was a different sort of task with the first part. Clearing the name of a hideous creation. An example of what heroes kill during a campaign. Investigation and combat followed by the climax of the trial. Brings in a flavor of the sherlock holmes novels.
The second part was well-made with the creepy mansion and making their way through to the alchemist. The only problem was the end boss. Had too much going for it. Stacking on the DR on top of everything it had just made it too much for the party to handle. Finding the bondslave trall was the only route and that required a search check of 30. A good adventure slightly soured by a too tightly rail-roaded ending.
I would have given it 5 stars if not for the ending.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: The Haunting of Harrowstone (Carrion Crown 1 of 6) (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
Print Edition Out of print
Good portrayalThe equalizer —
I read it and must say liking the way horror is portrayed. Much of it is of course description by the DM but the added tunes to play while running the game was a very nice touch. Fair amount of combat but not too much. Allowing skill checks to play an important role and awarding xp for it. While this has been done before, it addresses the issue of some players I know who feel DnD is all about combat. "You only gain XP from killing or destroying things." The portrayal of Harrowstone was not dark and scary because of the knowledge of undead around which were trying to kill you. It had a more passive diablo 1 creepiness about it. ALL in all, a good start to the adventure.
Too much too fastThe equalizer —
The main beef I had was with the alchemist and magus. Alchemists are supposedly primitive scientists/herbalists. In this however, they gain all kinds of bombs and discoveries. Their "alchemical created specialties can be stolen but cannot be used by anyone other than themselves." One heck of a failsafe but complete b@!%++*s. They gain reistance to poison faster than an assassin. Apply poison as a swift which makes them even better at that than an assassin or ninja. Bombs which do fair amount more than alchemist fire since its 1d6+Int and their Int would be high since its the basis for their abilities. True ressurection at level 16 which is a level earlier than the cleric. Also considering the fact they cast up to level 6 spells but can cast a level 9 spell is laughable. This resurrection potion can also be drunk by them and it functions as a contingency effect since it'll bring them back to life should they perish. Feels like a combination of cleric/wizard assassin but is better than each in certain select areas of the other three classes. There are other factors but these are the main crux of it.
On to the magus. At first levelhe can enhance his weapon and the bonus goes up with levels. This isn't a problem but the enhancing weapon ability is drawn from some mystical arcane pool which doesn't take up casting a spell when doing this. Later on, more abilities can be created from this pool which also increases as the magus level increases. A desperate attempt to get around the limitations spellcasters have of only so many spells per day. This coupled with the fact they can cast later in medium and heavy armor at no penalty is ludicrous. If it was just in light armor, it would be believable. They also qualify for fighter feats despite having no levels in fighter. What was originally fighter specific now applies to them. There is more but that about spells the main part of it.
All in all, a book which has introduced classes which gain too much too quickly and tries desperately to tear down the limitations of other classes then mix them all in together. With the alchemist its assassin/wizard/cleric. With the magus its ninja/wizard/fighter.
hmmm....The equalizer —
High review results for this book (average 4.7 out of 5) and so much praise. Indeed, the book does bridge certain problems like condensing the skills to give characters more choice to spread skills around. The rage powers for the barbarian class was another nice and welcome addition. Good ideas by the creators.
However, then there is the problem with certain base classes which get too much too quickly. One example of this was the rogue. Rogue talents every two levels on top of the rogues broad class skill list and skill points per level. Each is as strong as a feat on top of everything else the class gives; evasion,uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge, etc.
The fighter who now gets the knights ability to move normally in medium/heavy armor. Sorcerer bloodlines giving them more oomph. Especially the one about being destined for greatness. Seen a player play one with that bloodline. Very bad choices made in game. Power crazy and got screwed horribly partway through the campaign. The list goes on.
While it is the impression of more power to the players, this makes classes which are relatively unchanged weaker. Hardly a uniformity of power across classes.
Npc classes were also surprising. Commoners were d6, experts and aristocrats d8, warriors d10. Seeing that commoners are literally thse who engage in the least combat, the upgraded hit die felt odd. Warriors are pretty much thugs and militia with training but not the specialized training of the fighter. Sure, they don't get the bonus feats but the fact that their hit die was equal with the fighter made little sense.
Some new feats were equally mind boggling. Cleave which now allowed you to attack an adjacent foe as long as you hit the previous one. Almost strong enough to replace whirlwind attack which actually had a feat tree attached to it.
Acrobatic steps and nimble moves which let you move through 20 feet of difficult terrain as if it were normal. This felt like it was just grabbing the mantle of the swashbuckler and drunken master since its one of the signature abilities of their class.
Arcane strike which lets a spellcaster makes his weapon magical as a swift action. No limit on the number of times they can do it per day. Trying to get around the problem of obtaining a magical weapon regardless of whether its through buying or adventuring. Too convenient.
The most laughable one was master craftsmen which lets you craft magic items in the sense of +1 to +(whatever) magical items. Really? So the blacksmith who has no exposure to or knowledge of the arcane pulls mystical energy from OUT OF NOWHERE and imbues the normal axe with magical power. Huge gap in logic there.
The list goes on. Too many imbalancing feats. All in all, some nice ideas but think i'll stick with 3.5 primarily for classes, rules and feats.
impressive from so many anglesThe equalizer —
After reading the book I have to say I am very impressed. It details the background of the dwarves and their collectivist culture. Describes their attitudes and how they were raised thus giving rise to their strengths but also glaring weaknesses.
The history section was filled with so much bloodshed and tragedy with one standing point; even the hardy dwarves have been routed and experienced low points in their racial history.
The new feats were balanced and the traits were unique, especially the regional ones. All in all a very realistic book almost reminiscent of historical texts on ancient civilisations. A very well thought-out product.
The fabled fabulous elves (part one)The equalizer —
I have read a fair amount of pathfinder stuff and I have been impressed by the effort and quality of products. Then I read the book on elves and it was amazing.
link to part 2: look to the comments section.