Tulrin Endessell

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Print Edition Out of print

Solid!

4/5

Production: 5/5 - physical product is awesome with heavy-weight, glossy pages , which give the book excellent durability. The artistic style is consistent and fitting with the purpose of the adventure. The font size is slightly small, to allow for the quantity of content page limit, however reading the journal requires more focus than I'm normally used to with adventure products. PDF is very usable and allows for copy/paste for DM to create handouts/displays. I'd definitely consider this for a gift.
Mechanics: 5/5 - very minor stat-block bugs are discussed in Paizo forums. Overall though, the mechanics seem balanced and the number of mechanical issues are so low that this is probably one of the best mechanically constructed adventure products I own; the rate of problems in this one is *very* low compared with most 3.5 adventures, and those few problems that exist do not impact game flow.
Content: 3/5 - Adventure is very dark, twisted, and tough. DMs may need to tailor the adventure to the sensibilities of their group, as not all people will appreciate the level of horror and depravity in this adventure. Content was not gratuitous, but it was graphic. I think this journal missed developing the nearby town adequately

Spoiler:
given that the PCs may end up ruling the keep. A backdrop article for that village could have connected the PCs to the community, much like as was done in PF# 1. Keeping the Keep article is a little too basic for my tastes, but may be of utility to novice DMs; I would have liked something more like the "Tides of Dread" adventure in Dungeon #143 to engage the players more actively in developing the keep. Some of the flow of the events seems a little rough and disjointed after taking the keep.
The Vasaria and Journal chapters were outstanding and give great information to help long-term campaigning.
Value: 4/5 - Total value is excellent with free PDF via subscription. Overall this is in upper 30% of gaming products I own.


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Print Edition Out of print

Non-Mint Out of print

Great Start

4/5

Production: 4/5 - physical product is awesome with heavy weight and glossy pages giving excellent durability. Maps are excellent, however art is <b>very</b> hit or miss though, which the publisher acknowledges and will be working to correct over the next several issues. The font size is also slightly small, which allows for the quantity of content in the 96-page format, but makes reading the journal a more focused activity than I'm normally used to with adventure products. PDF is very usable and allows for copy/paste for DM to create handouts/displays.

Mechanics: 4/5 - minor stat-block bugs are discussed in Paizo forums. Some encounters likely too tough for traditional 4-person group, especially with novice players. Pregenerated PCs seem to lack sufficient skills to approach the adventure in straight-forward fashion (e.g. lacking many knowledge skills that would help novice players). Overall though, the mechanics seem balanced and there are few mechanical errors in stat-blocks that will impact game flow.

Content: 5/5 - Adventure is wonderfully grim and tough, while still being approachable to a novice group of players. Adventure flows fairly easily from scene to scene. Sandpoint backdrop is excellent, providing excellent resource for long-term utility, and the adventure supports getting players involved in the community. OGL monsters are outstanding, even if some are not used in this adventures (Bone Whisperer is my favorite). Notes on the fallen Thassilon Empire and Pathfinder Journal are both great flavor. One issue is a suggestion to DM to splice this adventure with the next (PF #2) to handle a potential "too much experience"; the specific mechanism would seem to be difficult to implement in play.

Value: 4/5 - Total value is excellent with free PDF via subscription. Overall this is in upper 30% of gaming products I own.