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This is a hard scenario! No really, that is not a challenge. It is REALLY HARD!

3/5

This is my first impression after running it last night and I might update my commentary after running it four more times in the coming weeks...

This review contains spoilerz so do not read it if you want to avoid them.

First, I dunno how much of the narrative is from the author's imagination and how much was in the product outline, but I liked it. Yes, it has a similar "feel" to the older March of Kalkamedes, but I enjoyed the fun of the early tests and their reason for existing. Too often skill challenges seem to be added in as an after-thought to give non-martials something to do. These have purpose which makes them easier to "sell" to the players although that has to wait until them meet up with Urwal. Then it all makes sense.

The ongoing tests in the woods were nice, but a bit too easy IMO. OTOH, they do allow the GM to award character build choices like Forager or Forest terrain specialists that do not come up often in gameplay. I look forward to "auto-winning" this part if I get to play it with my classic ranger build.

One of the issues I had is with the aspect of the back-n-forth conversations between the PCs and the various NPCs. The narrative is a bit too narrow in that it makes assumptions on the participation of the players that does not always happen and without them asking pointed questions, much of the “reveals” falls to the GM to just unload on them. They should include easier entry points that do not depend so much on the characters asking certain questions that would lead to the responses we want to provide. I intend to rework much of the text, I think we call it paraphrasing :-), in order make the transitions easier.

The first combat encounter is fine. It is a nice tune-up for the characters to get in some combat exercise. Nothing special just a nice, easy to administer encounter. I think the enemies start too far away, but with their Spring Upon Prey ability it is somewhat mitigated. The instructions for the hazard could have been a bit clearer on the spec’s such as how high is a target pulled up off the ground, etc. but nothing a GM cannot manage. The biggest swing in this battle is the spider poison. If a lot of PCs fail their saves, it will be much more difficult. OTOH, if they make all their saves, as my players did, its barely a speed bump, especially since they have days to heal and replenish their resources afterwards. As an encounter, I would give it 3/5 stars. Designed well enough with a nice little hazard to mix things up a bit, but nothing particularly memorable, unless maybe if you have an unknown/unexpected arachnophobe at the table.

The second combat encounter is better. It has an interesting environmental effect and certainly an interesting enemy. I would advise anyone GMing this not to wait too long before having the big reveal. It is great imagery and once the PC’s martial experts get into position, it will not last long. I know it has a high AC, but I would have liked a few more hit points just so I could show it off a bit more. The enemy mooks were expected once you see/hear the environment. I would have liked to see something more interesting, but they serve their purpose and certainly make sense. One issue I did not plan for was that unless you use GM fiat, the centaur is affected by the cinder rat’s aura which was an added complication. Its challenging to avoid given the narrow passage between the PC/Enemy starting boxes. I think I am going to have the elementals emerge from one of the random patches of fire rather than the PC starting area. Not only does it make sense, but it will make the encounter more dynamic.

The Ascent to Enlightenment is certainly interesting, but a bit confusing. I think I get what the author is trying to describe, but its still a bit odd and difficult to envision. I think it can do with some additional text or perhaps an artist rendering. Course with the magic rope, it should be essentially an auto-success. Assuming you can perceive the appropriate anchor point for the rope, none of this encounter is necessary and can only confuse the players.

Certainly, like the dialog with the dragon, though I would have liked to see a bit more reason for the players to have to consider helping it. As it stands, she is an NPC in need so nearly everyone is going to “do the right thing.” Maybe if she was responsible for a past atrocity connected to the players or the Society it would give them more pause. Urwal’s warning only serves to challenge the PCs to go ahead with the ritual. Given the severity of the encounter, the text probably should be a bit more forceful with the warning, like how Bonekeep had a clean, clear message that “this will kill you.”

The ritual is an extreme encounter to be sure. In and of itself, its likely to kill a PC or two. If the player’s dice are cold, it will easily become a TPK. I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, but even with me limiting the dragon rot to just one breath weapon instead of every 1d4 rounds and even with the text limiting the oozes to only using their Siphon Vitality when below half hit-points, it is rough. If there is any amount of bleeding going on, the oozes become very durable, and the dragon rot has a lot of hit points and a decent AC. The players really need to recall knowledge on these, so they understand their abilities, immunities, resistance, and weaknesses before they fumble around trying to figure them out, especially if the GM is not descriptive enough to reveal these aspects. Even with all of that, I had to pull punches and get “creative” with hero points to prevent three PC deaths and probably a TPK. Persistent effects on top of Dying is a very bad recipe for success. As I go forward, I think I will need to be a bit more lenient with how players can provide Assisted Recovery. I would give this encounter five stars for creativity and synergy, but because it is over-tuned, I must drop it down to 3/5 stars. Though I doubt any of my players would give it more than three stars given how it kicked their ass.

So, overall, I like this one for its narrative and the flow of events, though it could use a bit more finesse with the transitions. We have used the dream/trance thing in two scenarios now, so that is enough of that. Also, spiders are nice and all, but move on to more interesting options. Please continue to add hazards and environmental effects to encounters to keep them interesting. If we are going to only throw one encounter per game-day at the PCs we can afford to dial them up a point or two but be careful using custom monsters as it can be difficult to access their level and easier to become extreme encounters.


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I've Played Worse

2/5

As others has said, this scenario has a nice premise and I was excited going in given the quality of the previous adventures into the Academy. Alas, I was disappointed and can only give it average marks. If your GM invests A LOT of time dressing up the details and incorporating past lore (assuming you played the previous offerings) I think it could be much better, but that is a lot to expect of the GM especially if you are playing this at a convention. Be sure to bring your most skilled character as you'll need 'em.

Spoiler:
The encounters are fine as individual events, but they don't feel related to each other or to a grander story. Some of them are just too obvious and/or silly for even kids to make the jump to ghosts and hauntings. Feels a lot like a mediocre Scooby Doo episode. The final encounter is pulled right out the TV show as the boss monster essentially runs around with the PCs in chase around a hallway with numerous doors and you seem to randomly cross paths. I could hear the theme music playing in my head, and I was waiting for someone to offer me a scooby snack and for the BBEG to be the headmaster or janitor in a white sheet yelling "boo" at us and saying, "I would have gotten away with it if not for those meddling Pathfinders!"

For me, the only redeeming quality is the diversity of knowledge skills used in the investigation. Too often scenarios keep using the same 2-3 skills over and over, or at least much more frequently than others. Often that makes sense thematically, but its no fun for the players not trained in the "key" skills.


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Meh

3/5

We played this at high sub-tier with a:
Warpriest/2
Sorcerer/3
Champion/3
Winter Witch/3
Wizard/4

Spoiler:
The initial setup seemed very odd to us so it took a little time for our party to invest in the scenario. Venture-Captain Muesello, while pleasant, seemed to be a bit cagey about sharing information with us. Not sure if that was a GM thing or written in the scenario, but we had suspicion that something was going on we didn't know about. If you cannot trust your VC to be straight with you, it detracts from the entire mission.

Taking away our equipment was met with a mixed response. For some giving up their free wayfinder was not a problem. However, at least one character depended on the light to see and we had no way of knowing if the mission would take us past sunset. Also, I spent wealth on upgrading my wayfinder and nearly had an aeon stone slotted (glad I decided to delay doing that). Taking away a character's gear is not cool. We've been to areas much less hospitable to Pathfinders and we just had to keep them concealed in public. If this mission was so sensitive that simply having our wayfinders put it at risk, why were there random people aware of our actions such that they could be captured and tortured to find out who we were just hours after our arrival?

The first encounter was fairly easy, though letting the troubadour start on the roof already was a bit lame given we didn't have the chance to prepare before the battle started. It is important to note that Vionnia had a point to tell us to stay out of the abandoned houses as it comes up later. Seeing as how these guys seemed less mercenary and more just down on their luck, we mixed nonlethal damage to avoid killing them. We were never really at much risk, but it did mean we didn't hit as often because of the penalty for pulling our "punches."

We knew going into the second match that the enemy was mercenaries so we had no resistance to killing them, if necessary. We assumed they would be doing so vs us, so no guilt. We knew something was up when the sole visible enemy was a wizard-looking guy. A wizard just doesn't stand out in the open waiting to be attacked. However, since we were previously told not to enter any of the surrounding buildings and nothing was said to counter that, it was really lame that the mercs were hiding in the buildings. That's either lazy or bad design. As if the author/developer couldn't come up with a way to "fairly" ambush the PCs. We felt the merc "cheated" and Vionnia should have stopped the fight and disqualified them.

That being said, we continued. Now, I am all for variant "monsters" to help keep the PCs on their toes, but NPCs should not have unique rules that apply only to them that give them advantages that the players cannot possible see coming. So when the mercs started using Trapped Prey on our martials who obviously closed on the wizard immediately, I started searching for that ability. I have a snare-specialist who would love to have the ability. AFAIK it doesn't exist outside of those mercs. Lame. Just another 'lazy' way to boost the bad guy's DpR without having to use existing rules or any reasonable justification whatsoever. Given them sneak attack? Sure, they could have rogue training, but they had an ability that blind-sided us and coudln't even be learned through Recall Knowledge checks. Now, I admit my searchfu is not infallible, so if the ability exists perhaps under a different name, I apologize, but if not, I stand by my assessment.

Next a hooded figure has a clearly harsh conversation with Vionnia and then leaves at the speed of plot. Nothing we can do can impact their conversation, nor the hooded figure's departure.

Now we head to the tournament grounds. This is where things really start to get railroady. First, Vionnia escorts us to the center of the melee "pit" and that we have to stay there. I assume that author wanted his tactics to run flawlessly, so what follows is a series of controlled checks with little to no opportunity for us to actually do anything other than stand in the middle of the area and gawk at our surroundings.

The grounds are wide open. There are three huge cages covered in canvas that contain some kind of creatures that are emitting a "low rumble." Vionnia tells us that her "boss" is a dangerous man and even that he has access to invisibility. The she wanders off leaving us there alone. Not sure how much time is supposed to pass, but each of us is only allowed to make one check, but that is enough time for Vionnia to completely slip away. No chance to use magic or other means to try and find a potentially invisible foe.

Immediately after the checks, there is a voice who's source we cannot locate because apparently he has access to an "old contraption that projects his voice throughout the training grounds." He is allowed to take the typical free action to regale us with his "Bond villain expose" and then gets to activate some kind of magic locks on the cages, all keyed to the same command word, so that the chains on the cages fall loudly to the ground, waking the lions inside.

Now, apparently the scenario does not say Archis starts invisible, but if not, why would we just stand in the middle of the parade ground waiting for someone to attack us, especially if the person who we've been looking for all day is right over there?

Anyway, the lions (remember they were just asleep a moment ago) get to use Stealth for their initiative since there are tarps on the cages. Convenient since that score is better than their Perception. Now, we all get an initiative boost because of our knowledge checks, but as fate always has it, the lions win. I don't know how specific the tactics are laid out in the scenario, but the lions are able to stand up from their nap, burst out from behind the cage door, Pounce (which includes a free Strike at the end of a Stride) across the field to us, hit a PC, and then grab the PC. Since they started behind the canvas, they get sneak attack damage on the Strike as well. So, before any of us can say "well isn't that a fine how do ya do?," three PCs are half dead and grabbed by full-sized adult lions. Oh, and did I mention that they must be malnourished/mistreated because they don't flee after taking serous damage, they fight to the death, cause, of course they do.

While this is all going on, Archis plans to Stealth across the battlefield, invisibly, and sneak attack a PC. Fortunately, for us the dice flip heavily in our favor and before he can get near us, we finish off the lions, without losing any PCs amazingly enough because we are mostly experienced players with optimized PCs. He goes to get his journal which is a serious mistake since it allows us to catch up to him and defeat him before he can flee the park.

Overall, I like the story and I think it had a good premise. However, it failed in the execution with wonky encounters that made assumptions about the PCs and allowed the NPCs to be unduly prepared, not to mention taking "extra actions" before initiative started. I suppose it would be less interesting to have the staged battles in an underground area out of sight of the public who could easily cause problems for Archis and his operation, but it would have made A LOT more sense. It just seems to me like the author/developer just could not come up with a way to balance the encounters so they just railroaded advantages for the NPCs in order to get the "drop" on the PCs regardless of what we did.

Content wise, I think this is more in line with a two-star effort, but we did have a good group of players which resulted in quite a bit of fun in spite of the scenario. So, for that reason, I'll throw it a bone. I wouldn't go as far as to steer players away from this scenario, but I wouldn't recommend it either. Don't get your hopes up, ignore the obvious railroading, and just accept the story as it unfolds. Its just another scenario to play and if you maintain multiple characters like most of us do, you need to play everything at least once to keep progressing. Good luck!


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Very Enjoyable!

5/5

Let me premise my review by saying I played this with the "ideal" character.

Spoiler:
My elven ranger has the Horizon Walker dedication along with the Scout background (for Forest Lore, Forager and favored terrain-forest), the Terrain Expertise (forest) skill feat, and Expert in both Nature and Survival checks all the boxes. Not to mention a fiery leopard animal companion. The 'piece de resistance' is that he recently learned the Cyclopean language due to a previous adventure in Iobaria.

We didn't need to track food usage and we had an extra action per day so we did incredibly well vs the non-combat encounters. I think it was a little confusing how the movement mechanic worked, but once we figured it out, it was smooth sailing. We are able to follow the river, but also explore the hexes in such an order that we never had to traveler through already explored hexes.

Most of the combat encounters were interesting with unusual variations of somewhat common creatures as well as at least one that had me dropping a WTF is THAT! As someone who has been railing for years about "traps" being isolated, I was glad to see the hazards coupled with creatures so that they are dynamic and not just a time sync. The "final" battle was a tad easier than expected, but the presence of the fiery leopard made a pretty big difference coupled with a winter witch and sorcerer wielding both cold and quench spells.

There was enough in-campaign lore to make the story interesting without it being a burden. Overall, one of my favorite experiences with org play in 2E. However, there are A LOT of moving parts so GMs should spend ample time preparing and players should be warned, if your GM doesn't follow that advice, you will probably have a poor experience.


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Very Disappointing

1/5

I think the premise and primary narrative of this adventure had great promise. Unfortunately, the execution was about the worst I've seen in a Paizo product. The encounters were generally uninspired and bland. Essentially noting more than hit point attrition slug fests with numerous encounters later in the adventure that were really nothing more than rehashed ones from earlier.

No surprise based on the product description that oozes were prominent, but other than the main idea of the outbreak, they were unremarkable and often the location and environmental aspects made very little sense.

Despite being set in an otherwise robust urban environment, there was very little exposure to its unique features and little to no social encounters to speak of.

As this was the first, featured release post Advanced Player's Guide it didn't incorporate much of that other than to create pregens using the new class options. This was especially bad with the inclusion of the swashbuckler. Virtually none of its class features are effective in the first third of the book and by the time you get to the few occasions where they are useful, you are so disgusted with the character that you either want to walk away from the game or just get through it as quickly as possible on autopilot. I will reiterate what I said in the discussion thread, DO NOT PLAY THE SWASHBUCKLER IN THIS ADVENTURE, not even the pregen specifically built for it. You will be incredibly disappointed.

Its not uncommon, nor undesirable to have a severe or extreme challenge, but there are too many of them over too short a period of time. A party of four players using the provided pregens should expect to experience a TPK at least twice during gameplay, with more likely depending on luck of the dice and/or tactical mistakes. Many of the encounters are incredibly unforgiving and statistically are designed for the players to lose.

Overall, whoever wrote the project summary had a really interesting idea. Unfortunately, the execution by the author and perhaps the developer was incredibly sub-par. They really dropped the ball on this one. Reading the adventure, after playing it, and getting all the details that didn't come out during game play just made it worse. So much info is available to the GM with little to no way to share it without forced exposition.

Sorry, but I think this is the first module Paizo has ever published that I wished I had never played. Don't waste your time.


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Good, but not great

3/5

I like that Paizo finally decided to listen to the community and offer both landscape and portfolio versions of their gamemaster screens. It was a big complaint I had in 1E. The imagery on this screen is as good as the imagery on the original 2E screen, both being excellent!

The font on the inside is large enough to read without any trouble while still being small enough to get a lot of information. Good use of bold-face, color changes, highlighting/shading, and icons so it looks pleasing to the eye. Not just a bunch of words and tables over white-space.

The problem I have is that many of the tables and text is an exact reprint from the original 2E screen. I was hoping for completely different information so I could use both screens in combination to maximize the things I had immediate access to without having to look them up.

The only new information is the Creature Number table from page 56 of the GMG, the Hazard Numbers from page 74, Victory Points from page 148, and Reputation from page 164. The rest of all reprinted material. I would not consider this an "advanced" screen. Fairly disappointing, in fact. So, unless those specific tables have value to you as a GM you are better off getting the original screen and because of that I cannot give this item more than 3 stars.


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Getting There

2/5

I was really excited for this product and the variations compared to the basic character sheet in the Core Rulebook are interesting. Its too bad there are so many errors in the pre-filled blocks. Until that is fixed and an updated PDF provided, I cannot give this product more than a middle rating and cannot recommend it to anyone, especially not the print version. Creatively this is an excellent product, however the execution is lacking. Paizo, you can do better


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Okay, not great

3/5

I was fairly excited to see the Flip-Tiles replace the Map Packs since I hoped to get more options with doubled-sided cards. That they are smaller is a bit disappointing. The quality of the cards is excellent. They are thick enough and with an excellent laminate to be durable.

Perils and hazards tend to be smaller than a full-sized card so I dunno how much use I'll get outta this set. I have a lot of the older WotC terrain packs that I use for map terrain accessories like stairs, traps, furniture, summoning circles, etc. That they are smaller and modular to drop on an existing battle map gives them more utility IMO.

Like the starter boxes, the packaging is too tight. I nearly had to destroy the box getting the cards out. It suffers from the same annoyance that the Map Packs did in that if you try to put all the cards away at the same time, one always gets stuck on the flap.

I like that the starter boxes are sized to allow these to be stored with them in the same box. I only wish the cover of the expansion was removable from the package or it included a cover-art page so I could put that in the starter box instead of the entire expansion box. It takes up more room the latter way. Taking the cards out and storing them in the starter box looses the identification of the set name. Yes, they have the code in the corner, but as more expansions are released, we are going to forget which set is which. Another minor complaint, but a lacking feature, nonetheless.


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Okay, not great

3/5

I was fairly excited to see the Flip-Tiles replace the Map Packs since I hoped to get more options with doubled-sided cards. That they are smaller is a bit disappointing. The quality of the cards is excellent. They are thick enough and with an excellent laminate to be durable.

The images in this set are bit too general for my taste so I don't think they'll be used very often over a FlipMat which is a staple in my collection.

I really like that the starter box is oversized with dividers included so you can put all your expansion packs in the same box to facilitate storage and transport. However, the tolerances in box construction make it nearly impossible to get the box open without damaging it. The cover really needs a couple more "points" of gap between it and the bottom box so you don't break down the sides pulling them apart or damaging the corners putting it back together.


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Okay, not great

3/5

I was fairly excited to see the Flip-Tiles replace the Map Packs since I hoped to get more options with doubled-sided cards. That they are smaller is a bit disappointing. The quality of the cards is excellent. They are thick enough and with an excellent laminate to be durable.

The images in this set are bit too general for my taste so I don't think they'll be used very often over a FlipMat which is a staple in my collection.

I really like that the starter box is oversized with dividers included so you can put all your expansion packs in the same box to facilitate storage and transport. However, the tolerances in box construction make it nearly impossible to get the box open without damaging it. The cover really needs a couple more "points" of gap between it and the bottom box so you don't break down the sides pulling them apart or damaging the corners putting it back together.


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Okay, not great

3/5

I was fairly excited to see the Flip-Tiles replace the Map Packs since I hoped to get more options with doubled-sided cards. That they are smaller is a bit disappointing. The quality of the cards is excellent. They are thick enough and with an excellent laminate to be durable.

The images in this set are bit too general for my taste so I don't think they'll be used very often over a FlipMat which is a staple in my collection.

I really like that the starter box is oversized with dividers included so you can put all your expansion packs in the same box to facilitate storage and transport. However, the tolerances in box construction make it nearly impossible to get the box open without damaging it. The cover really needs a couple more "points" of gap between it and the bottom box so you don't break down the sides pulling them apart or damaging the corners putting it back together.


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Excellent Product!

4/5

Well, my original post got eaten. Paizo, you really need to reconsider your time limits for posting when it comes to these. It generally takes some time to post these reviews and its a little frustrating when you have to remember to copy the text or write it in word and paste it here because otherwise you'll lose it. I know, this is not the best place, but if you are reading your reviews, there it is.

The artwork is outstanding. This is where I think Paizo's products really stand out against the competition. Whether or not the content applies to you is debatable, but its hard to find issue with the beautiful full-color art and style in Paizo products. A+++

The new layout of 2E books is really nice and makes for a pleasing read. It doesn't feel like an encyclopedic reference book, but a flavorful experience that not only presents the information but makes it read very narratively. LOVE! the new arrangement grouping by region rather than alphabetic, especially how the historical time lines are separated by region. It is much more cohesive to follow the history of a region than to have to skip around and filter your way through the entire world's time line all together.

Updating the timeline must have been a monumental undertaking. It was inevitable that some results would not mesh with the experience some players had, but I think the results printed were the most common and expected outcomes and make perfect sense. I'm glad to see how some of the results really maintain classic villains so we can continue to be challenged by them for years to come.

The backgrounds are excellent. Even though there is a finite number of ability score combinations, adding a skill feat or other bonus tailored to the background is a great way make them feel different. The flavor text of the backgrounds really helps to explain what the character is, where they are from, and the mechanical format lends itself for players to create custom ones for their own campaigns that won't be bland or overpowered.

While I like some of the archetypes in the book, I was hoping they would all be very player-character focused. Aldori Duelist and Pathfinder Agent are excellent examples of this. However, I get it why Red Mantis Assassin is in there, but IMO it is more of an NPC archetype and maybe better suited for a future release. I would have rather seen a pirate archetype. I am a little underwhelmed by the Magic Warrior and Steel Talon. The Hellknight is a must, but its such an expansive group I think it would have been better to provide something else and give them their own book, or at least an entire section, though I'm sure that is coming in future books.

Overall, certainly a must-have for anyone who campaigns in Golarion!


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Finally!

4/5

We waited a VERY long time for this product. I'm not sure it was worth the wait considering the hefty price tag, but let's look at each miniature individually...

Obozaya is my favorite model of this series. His detail is excellent from the armored coat to his multi-toned scale color. His head looks especially good. If there is any issue its that his doshko might be a bit brittle, but proper storage and care should resolve that. 5 Stars.

Altronus is another good looking model with lots of detail and good color mix. The only issue I have are the visible mold lines on his head. I guess that the same high pressure molding process they used to reach the detail was also a problem avoid the mold lines. 4 stars

Raia is not very impressive. Her overall black scheme hides any detail and her head is so mottled its hard to tell any detail other than her antenna which are too thick. Course any thinner and they would be a breakage risk. If she was a "normally" prices miniature, I would have no problem with the detail, but at this price point, she is an elite mini and the detail is just not there. 3 stars

Quig suffers from lack of color. His mostly black/brown/dark green scheme cover a good portion of his detail, though it you get up real close, he looks much better. At least he's sized about right. 3 stars

Quig's drone looks better than his master. It benefits from having a simply design without a lot of complicated add-ons. The pistol is identifiable on the gun platform underneath. 4 stars

Overall, this pack has a mix of good and mediocre. I generally like the models and am impressed with Obozaya and Altronus, but the combination of long wait time left us expecting much better detail across the line. Wiz Kids could have easily produced models just as detailed in less than half the time and for a lower price point.


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Pew! Pew! Pew!

3/5

We waited a VERY long time for this product. I'm not sure it was worth the wait considering the hefty price tag, but let's look at each miniature individually...

Navasi has good detail on the body and weapons. The cloak is nice. Her head is not great. The face is low-grade at best with barely enough detail to discern the nose and mouth. The eyes are surprisingly detailed with a pupil and sweeping upper lid. She even has very fine eyebrows. Her legs feel hearty enough that they shouldn't break off at the ankle. The mold appears to be two pieces, front and back hidden well enough by the cloak, but there is excessive glue around the seem which is disappointing. Overall, I give her 3 stars.

Iseph has good body detail especially in the upper torso and the rifle on his back. He has better facial detail than Navasi and good eye detail, but I think it could still use some improvement. He looks more aquatic than android with his heads and arms just being colored, but lacking any circuitry detail. For that I can only give him 3 stars

The detail is best on Keskodai, but he suffers from a lot of frail pieces: arms, staff, upper legs, and various appendages. The plastic material is fairly soft so it should be okay, but I would fear some breakage if dropped from the table or tossed in a shared storage space. The eyes are solid yellow and could have benefited from some black dots or something to make them look multifaceted. 4 Stars.

The Sunrise Maiden is the only ship I intend to buy. I skipped out on the two fleet packs as I have plenty of alternatives for ships. If they would have produced the Drake or Pegasus or perhaps some of the enemy ships from Starfinder Organized Play (Jinsul attack fighter, etc), I think it would have encouraged more sales. Overall the detail on this model is nice. It has some smooth lines and some sharp edges that give it a sleek, fierce look and the color scheme is inviting. I'm glad they decided on a hex base to match the standard battlemap used in Starfinder. Of the models in this set, it is the one I like the best. 5 stars.

Overall, while I like the models, I think the combination of long wait time left us expecting much better detail. Wiz Kids could have easily produced models just as detailed in less than half the time and for a lower price point.


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Pew! Pew! Pew!

5/5

I've been hefting a wooden octagonal dice tray around with me for years and while I do like it, it does not fit well with my standard travel gear. This tray on the other hand folds flat and easily fits into my game bag or even a pocket folder. The two-ply faux-leather is cushion enough to prevent damage to the table-top if you like to use heavy metal or stone dice. The side panels are high enough that your dice should remain contained unless you are an overly-excited roller. If I had any complaint, it would be that I worry about the longevity of the snaps. Any snap no matter how well constructed wears out over time. So some-day, I'll need to replace this tray. As long as that is well into the future, it'll be worth it. My current tray has lasted me nearly ten years so this one has some large shoes to fill.


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Unexpected Bonus!

5/5

When I ordered this item I was expecting "This is a 1-count dungeon dressing pack," but to my surprise, I received two doors. Checking with my FLGS who also carries this product line, that is how they are packaged. So, I guess you could say Paizo deceived me with their listing, but since it was in my favor, who am I to complain? :-D

The detail on this item is excellent. Both the stonework and the wood have texture and grain that will take highlighting very well. The metal work should likewise provide a good detail. The bonus feature is that the door disassembles into the base, arch, and door. This will greatly facilitate painting and could improve storage options. I think the tab/stem that connects the pieces together is a bit brittle so I doubt I will assemble/disassemble this piece other than to paint it.

If I had a complaint, and its a minor one, I would have liked to have different detail at the top of the arch. There is a demo head on both and one could have been blank or perhaps a skull or something. I know that would require a different mold so if that would have increased the price point, I'm happy to work with the matching detail.

The door itself is sized to 1" wide (25-28mm scale) but the archway extends beyond that so if you plan to incorporate this with other 3D terrain, you might have some alignment/fit issues. For me, it'll work just fine.

If you are a fan of dungeon dressing as I am, you will want these for your collection.


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Multiple Uses

5/5

The detail on this item is excellent. The stonework has texture that will take highlighting very well. The skulls have small clear platic sticking out the top that could be washed to appear like candle flame or perhaps something more sinister. There is melted candle wax texture on the top of the skull that can further enhance the painting options. The heads around the middle piece appear to have a central American (Aztec/Mayan?) influence.

If you are a fan of dungeon dressing as I am, you will want these for your collection.


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These chests are a treasure!

5/5

I am very happy with this item. Four chests for the price is very reasonable and having two closed and two matching open provides ample representation for my game and helping with immersion. The detail is excellent. I can see and feel the wood texture and the treasure inside is removable to facilitate painting. Would it be nice if there were pre-painted? Yes, but at this price, I am happy to complete that task myself. If I had a complaint, and its a minor one, the size is just a tad big for 25-28mm scale, but they easily fit in a 1" (5ft) scale on a tactical map. If you are a fan of dungeon dressing as I am, you will want these for your collection.


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Beautifully done, but short a card?!?

3/5

These cards are beautifully done. I am a fan of the Starfinder style and font and these cards display that nicely. The artworks is cool, using the space goblins in a similar way as they did with the goblins from the Pathfinder condition deck. The conditions contained are thorough and seem to be without errors as far as I can tell. The included rules card explaining the pack is nice for the n00b just getting into Starfinder without any Pathfinder/v3.5 experience.

What I do not understand is the apparent effort to short us one card. This is not to say the pack is incomplete. On the contrary, this seems to be intentional. There are three sets of the condition cards in the pack. Meaning three of each card. This is similar to how the Pathfinder condition cards were issued with their four sets of each card. There are 18 cards in each set, printed on both sides so there are 36 conditions represented. But, wait...18 cards, 3 sets, that's 54 cards. The box says 53. What happened?

Well it appears there are only two copies of the Invisible/Incorporeal cards. So, there are 2 sets of 18, and one set of 17 cards. I cannot imagine what production reason there would be for the pack to need to drop one card. Would one more card not fit? Is it how they print and stamp out the cards? Dunno, but whatever it is, it leaves me a bit disappointed. I may have been inclined to give this product 5 stars, and if there was a printing error, I might have dropped to 4 for the inconvenience, but to intentionally short the deck what is obviously a card that should be there and with no indication of it on the product page, I have to drop the rating again.


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Excellent!

4/5

The contents of the scenario were really enjoyable. The importance of the skill challenges and the array of skills that could be employed was awesome. There was a good balance of combat and non-combat encounters and we felt our actions truly had an impact on the story. I agree with others in that while the chronicle sheet has some very good boons, the execution of how they are earned leaves a bit to be desired. It needs a better distribution model for players to feel "good" about their cooperative successes. EDIT--the updated rules for chronicle distribution are more favorable to the players. Thx PFS team! [/EDIT]

My biggest complaint is having a coded break/intermission. At a large event like Gen Con, giving 190'ish tables (over 1300 participants) a break at the same time meant untenable, long lines at the restrooms and prize table. Writing the act as a sandbox with the ability of tables to take brief breaks on their own is much more manageable. Perhaps at a smaller event with just a few tables it will be better, but at Gen Con it was a terrible idea.


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Hats!

5/5

I was going to write a long and detailed review of this scenario, but I decided to just summarize...HATS!


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Just Awesome!

5/5

IMO, this is one of best scenarios we've had. The boxed text provides a super-creepy setting. The creatures encountered really support the overall theme, although I would have liked to see something a bit more unusual for the BBEG. There is some misdirection if the GM uses it properly and I am always in favor of unique items on the chronicle sheet. I think this scenario could be really enhanced with some eerie background music. I might try Midnight Syndicate with it next time. This scenario makes me really excited about season four.


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Hrmmm...

3/5

I have mixed feelings on this guy. The face and mane are very nice and proportioned, but the body is too gaunt, and the wings are too small. The colors are nice, with good shading, but I would have liked a detail color (maybe black) for the tail spikes. A more active pose would have been nice as well.


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Intimidating

4/5

Right out of the package I started thinking of ways to get this guy into my game as soon as possible. The sculpt, the proportions, the paint, blending, shading, it's all excellent. I love that one head is smaller than the other. His muscularity is not pronounced, giving him the right look of underlying power and flabbiness. If there is any flaw, it is in the seams. Some of them, particularly the right arm by the elbow, are not quite tight, leaving minor gaps. I have no idea what that strange pattern is on the back. It's too detailed to be a molding error.


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AAAAAAH!

4/5

If this was on the floor in the kitchen, you would run away for sure. The detail is excellent with good blending/shading. I really like the pattern on the back. The only thing keeping this from 5 star status is the mandibles. They are off. One is in the front, the other seems to be coming from the side and slightly high on the head. Maybe just a molding error and I look forward to a few more of these.


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