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Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–05: Slave Ships of

4/5

Originally posted at Throat Punch Games, a new idea, everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–05: Slave Ships of Absalom
System- Pathfinder
Producer- Paizo
Price- ~$4 here http://paizo.com/products/btpy9985?Pathfinder-Society-Scenario-6-05-Slave-S hips-of-Absalom
TL; DR- Some problems hurt a good story that's part of this year's metaplot. 83%

Basics-Someone is selling tainted slaves in the Inner Sea! A slave at a party had a spell cast upon her that allowed someone to eavesdrop on the guest. Can you and the rest of the Pathfinder Society make some friends by discreetly finding out who is behind this?

Mechanics or Crunch- This is a reasonable short adventure as it's designed for Pathfinder Society play. However, some major missteps happen over the course of this story. One is the players can fail a few rolls and be completely out of luck when it comes to the mystery. In addition, like most PFS modules, there are some roleplaying and 2-to-3 fights. However, one of these fights is pretty tough and can easily wipe most parties if the GM doesn't pull a few punches. This isn't a bad module, but some of the Pathfinder mechanics work against the fun your players could have. 3/5

Theme or Fluff-Overall, I liked the story of this one. There is a decent amount of roleplaying that can happen while still having the combat that some players crave. However, some of the story seems off. A character won't help the players even after the players save that person's life! That kind of seems out of the realm of believably even with magic and elves about. Also, this module is about slavery, so some players won't like working for NPC's who openly own slaves. 4.5/5

Execution- This is done by Paizo. They know how to layout a book. It's easy and quick to read. The art is good, but as always I'd like a bit more. What is here is well done. 5/5

Summary- This is a short, fun adventure that isn't without its faults. I enjoyed running this for my players, and they enjoyed playing this adventure. It has the standard problems that can plague a Pathfinder game: combats based on CR alone and rolls killing investigation/roleplay. Those are some problems that can really gum up this adventure's gears. Also, this is a module that deals with slavery. If you're players are not comfortable with that, then this will not be fun for them. If you want a module set in Absalom where you have a decent mix of investigation and combat, this is a better than average module. Also, if you want to get deeper into the Year of the Sky Key, then this an good start to the metaplot. 83%


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Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-22 Scars of the Th

4/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-22 Scars of the Third Crusade
System-Pathfinder
Price-$4
TL;DR- Great roleplaying, but nothing for the combat heavy characters. 87%

Basics-Murder is afoot! Pathfinder agents have been arrested, and you are sent to determine if they are guilty or not. Can you prove the innocence of your fellow agents while in a town that already doesn’t trust the Pathfinders?

Mechanics or Crunch-This one has exactly one or maybe two fights scenes in it, depending on how the players proceed. Most of the time, players are investigating the murders. If you have a combat heavy party, they will just be bored. Also, the combats that are present will be somewhat underwhelming to most parties in the level range. The module presents some rules for investigation, misinformation, and events in town. Some of these events are arbitrary as well as the rules for these events being somewhat unclear. It just might need a bit more to keep some people involved. 3.5/5

Theme or fluff-This is where this module shines. You as the GM get to scream at the players if they reveal that they are Pathfinders. Most of the people in town don’t trust the Pathfinders, and players tipping their hands make this module come alive. The town is well described and the personalities in it are fun to run. Everybody here has a story, and the players have to try to figure out who did it over the course of the adventure. I loved what I saw here. If you want a mostly roleplaying module, this is the one to look for. 5/5

Execution-This is a wordy one. To get all the information a GM needs to run the mod, lots of words have to happen in a very short amount of space. I do like that the town has a town map to help you and your players understand all the places they can investigate. In addition, the investigation methods are presented decently as well as providing the GM with a worksheet to help GMs keep track of all the information at hand, but this chart could use another column to help me keep track of what I and haven’t told the players. I’d have liked a few more divides in the words, but the module is set up well. 4.5/5

Summary-I liked running this module. I have no problems standing up at a convention and screaming at the top of my lungs about how I hate the Pathfinders and such. When I ran this at a con with about five other tables, I did get a few stares. If you want to have some awesome roleplaying with your characters, then this is the module to run. If you what a hack and slash fest where lots of things die, then do not even consider this one. I would like some changes to the module, but overall it was a great if you have the right group. 87%


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Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Trail By machine

5/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea, everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Society Scenario #6-01: Trail by Machine

Producer- Paizo

Price- ~$4

System-Pathfinder

TL; DR- Good intro to the Year of the Sky Key, but some plot flaws. 97 %

Basics- Pathfinders-time for some basic training! Go to the old Red Redoubt and survive a few simple tests of pathfinder skills. All goes well until something mysteriously sets off the eons old redoubt powering up motors long dead. Can you figure out the ancient, yet futuristic technology of the Red Redout of Karamoss to escape?

Mechanics or Crunch- This one has a decent mix of old and new items and mechanics. It eases the players into the new, fantastic technology that players can pick up while exploring Numeria. Also, this scenario presents rules for converting enemy characters to good characters in the society setting. It’s a fun way for players to reform others by thought, action, and speech. 5/5

Theme or fluff- The Adventure has some interesting twists that will throw your players for a loop. I won’t spoil them here, but they are pretty fun. However, if the players do the smart thing, and instantly leave when they have their goal, they will only get to explore roughly HALF the area and miss all the items and faction boons! A simple change in where some doors close would really help this adventure force the players to experience the cool technology and locations offered here. 4.5/5

Execution- Trial by Machine is done well. The picture on the front of the module is nice as its something you can show your players to help them understand what they are fighting. I would have liked a few more pictures to help my players with some of the more fantastic enemies and locations, but the art included isn’t bad by any means. The text is decently put together as it’s not too cramped and laid out well. 5/5

Summary- This is a fun one. I really like the Sword and Circuitry concept of the year of the sky key and the Iron Gods campaign, and this get that into the Pathfinder Society. This adventure eases the players in slowly to robots and other fun technology things while teaching them how to interact with technology and new items. You might have to do a bit of GM fiat to make half the adventure happen, but if you do, the players will have a much better time than if you just let them leave after half an hour of Pathfinder! 97%


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ing Side Report- Board Game Review of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game-Skull and S

5/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product-Pathfinder Adventure Card Game-Skull and Shackles
Producer-Paizo
Price- $60 here
Set-up/Play/Clean-up- ~25 min per player per scenario (1-6 players with expansion, 10 scenarios in the base game)
TL; DR- A fun addition to the Card Game. 89%

Basics-Ahoy matey! This game is the sequel to the hit Pathfinder Adventure Card Game-Rise of the Runelords. Players take the role of one character and progress between scenarios to move along the Skull and Shackles adventure path. You have a character that has the six standard Pathfinder stats as a die. Each turn you can move between different locations, and draw the top card of that deck as an encounter. That card is either something you can equip like a spell or a weapon (a "boon") or something that will attack you like a monster or an obstacle (a "bane"). You can then play cards from your hand to give you extra dice or bonuses to your roll, select an ability based on the card encountered and roll the die related to that ability score. If you beat the number on the card, you can add it to your hand if it's a boon, while banes are defeated. If you don't beat the number on the card, you discard any good cards you encountered or take damage if you fought a monster. When you take damage you discard cards from your hand. If you can't play cards from your hand to keep exploring, you draw up to your hand size. If you can't, then your character dies. If you encounter something called henchmen while exploring, you encounter it as above, but if you defeat it, you can close the location the henchmen was at. If you encounter and beat a villain or man bad guy for the scenario and the other locations are closed, you win! While much hasn't changed, what has changed is pretty different.

Mechanics-This game is and isn't much different from the original. Let's look at each section individually.
Basic Play- The basics play described above hasn't changed. The rules go a little more in depth and make that section MUCH clearer, so that is very appreciated. However, it feels like there are definitely winner and loser abilities and skills. Maybe further in the game, some of the skills will matter. But right now, it feels like some of the characters just don't matter.

Ships-The largest new mechanic is the addition of ships. The ships provide a constant bonus or ability for your group and the bonus to move as a group. Also, the ships provide an awesome way to deal with not getting enough gear. When you beat another ship or get to store plunder, you roll on a random chart, and place one of five different types of cards under the ship. If you win, you get these cards in addition to any other bonuses for the scenario.
Display and Other Small Changes-Display is a new mechanic where you don't just reveal a card from your hand, you set it in front of you. The card now provides an effect and will then tell you when you can pick it up or if you have to discard it. Some cards allow you to constantly use a displayed card. This is just part of a handful of new terms for the game. These new cards do an excellent job of updating the rules. It provides new options for card design and helps the players. I like how the rules have moved along.
Summary- The game plays like the basic adventure card game. It's a great game, but some of the characters don't feel like they matter. Maybe that will change, maybe not. That will depend on what comes out later in this scenario. Ships are amazing and help prevent characters just not getting enough cards. The new terms and mechanics like display provide some new design and play space, and the new characters are fun. It's not perfect, but it is a blast to play. 4.75/5

Theme-You're a pirate and you sail the high seas! You get to move through the Skull and Shackles adventure path with was an amazing adventure series. I like what I've seen so far as it hits the high points reasonably well. However, if you haven't played the adventure path, you will feel lost. You do feel like an island hopping pirate, but the story does lack a bit since the story is still told by half card length paragraphs. I really wish Paizo would publish a quick summary of each adventure part and an epilogue so the players would know a bit more about what is going on. 4/5

Instructions- Here there are some problems, but they don't break the game. You just might end up cheating by accident. The rules are a giant tome! There's a lot going on here, but what it really needs is a one page summary to help character jump in the action. The rules are a bit of a text book that tends to bury some important rule points under lots of other text. The rules by themselves are ok. They get the points across, but some concepts like who controls ships, number of cards per check, and even the blessing deck can get lost in the text. Rules on the cards need some work too. The first scenario of the main campaign is already errata'ed by the designers. That's a major problem! That's the scenario that should have gotten the absolute most number of plays and should be the most rock solid. A bit more writing in some areas and much less in others would really help make the concepts and story much clearer. 4/5

Execution-For $60 you get a ton of cards, rules, and a nice box. The cards are well done with great art, and they're of decent enough quality to withstand lots of shuffling. The design has slightly changed, but again, it's all for the best. As always with Paizo, the art is well done. All and all, this is well done. 5/5

Summary- The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is a great co-op game. My wife and I love to play this game. The Skull and Shackles is a great addition to the franchise. I loved playing through the Skull and Shackles adventure path, and this give almost the same experience. The major problems in this game could be fixed with some clever writing. Some of the rules and story need clarification, while some excess writing needs to be trimmed. The characters are fun, but some just don't seem as interesting or useful. However, all told, I'm enjoying what's this new base set, and I can't wait to see what's next. 89%


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Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Pathfinder Campaign Setting-Technology Guide

4/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product-Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Technology Guide
Producer- Paizo
Price- ~$20
System-Pathfinder
TL; DR- Problems with focus, but great item selection. 90%

Basics- Welcome to the world of tomorrow! The Technology guide is the extra setting book that GMs of the Iron Gods will need to handle all the new technology items and some rules presented in that adventure path. This book introduces a number of new archetypes, feats, spells, rules, and skill uses for the base classes as well as a prestige class. Then, the book moves onto introducing several technological items, weapons, armor, drugs, and generators. Finally the book adds new hazards, rules, and artifacts for the Iron Gods campaign and Numeria as a whole.

Mechanics or Crunch-This book is a combination of the Ultimate Equipment book and the People of the River. The book adds an insane amount of items all with new rules how to handle them. The rules make sense within the Pathfinder system and help distinguish technology from magic. The character options are all well done and provide some awesome Numeria flavor for any technology based campaign you could be running. 5/5

Theme or Fluff- This book does have a decent amount of story. Each item gets a short description in addition to its rules and a picture. The pictures might not be amazingly large, but there are pictures you can show to your players and help them envision the world of Numeria. The book even goes so far in depth to describe the different types of metals found in Numeria and what they look like. It's not a perfect theme book, as the primary focus of the book is to provide rules and items, not to provide story. But, what is here does have some decent story to it. 4.5/5

Execution- I love how Paizo puts their books together. Even though this is an item book, the pictures and layout really breaks up the text and makes this much less of a drag to read. The problem I have is that this book is a Pathfinders setting book. The setting books are not designed to be given to the players. However, a 1/3 of this book is player options. This book is kind of indicative of the problems I've seen with the Iron Gods roll out of as a whole. To do the Iron Gods AP justice, several new character options, items, and rules all have to be introduced. However, all the Numeria character options are spread out across at least four books, and the rules are also spread out across some of these four books, but different rules are also in other books. This is particularly a problem with this book as players are not supposed to look at this book. But, as a GM you almost have to give it out, so base class characters can have additional class options. It's not world ending problem, but the lack of focus is apparent. 4/5

Summary- Honestly, if you are going to GM the Iron Gods AP, you've most likely bought this book already. If you have no plans to ever put technology in your Pathfinder game, then this book has literally nothing to offer you. It's a good book for what it is (character options and items), but it has some problems with focus. 90%


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Ring Side Report- RPG Review of People of the Stars

5/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Player Companion-People of the Stars

System-Pathfinder

Producer-Paizo

Price-$13

TL;DR-It's that book with android stuff! 93%

Basics-I want to believe! People of the Stars is the player companion to Distant Worlds. This book follows the standard Pathfinder formula for player books by adding new races, feats, items, traits, archetypes, and spells for races from beyond Golarion in the solar system.

Mechanics or Crunch- This is crunch-tastic. The book is full of all kinds of great stuff to build otherworldly characters. What's here is pretty useful and well done if you want to have an intergalactic campaign. If you want to keep you game on Golarion, there isn't much for you here. 5/5

Theme of Fluff- There are some amazing stories here. Each world in the solar system gets about half a page and gives a nice, short summary that world. The races all have some nice build up and are varied enough to be good additions to the Pathfinder race line up. However, like I said above, the stuff presented here really won't be that much use to any campaign or player if you just stay on Golarion. 5/5

Execution-Paizo knows how to make a good book. This book is well written, laid out well, and entertaining. This isn't the best book put out by Paizo as there are some parts that drag on, and there are a few sections with "textbook problem". But, this is generally a good book. 4/5

Summary-Going to play in the solar system in Pathfinder? Then, get this book. Going to play the Iron God's campaign and want to play an android? Get this book, because this book has some android feat and traits you might want. Otherwise, this book might not help you much. It's a well done book, but this book will mostly hit a niche market. Even the Iron Gods adventure path doesn't use this book and advices the use of another book called People of the River. This is a good book, but only a few people will really need this book. 93%


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Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Barrow of the Cursespawn

5/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product-Darkwood Arc Excursions: Barrow of the Cursespawn
Producer- Saga RPG
System-Pathfinder
Price- ~$6
TL; DR-Zelda puzzles in Pathfinder!? 93%

Basics- Welcome back to the world of Darkwood. Miners are missing, and OTHER adventures are on the way! But, after a chance meeting in a bar, you and your friends are dragged into the events at the mine. Can you save the day and find out what's happening in the wilderness? This is a Pathfinder adventure that is designed to fit well into the Darkwood Adventure path for characters level 7.

Story or Fluff-This is an interesting one. To really get all you can out of this mission, a GM worth his/her salt must deeply read the background. This company excels at building story in their adventures, and it shows in this one. At its heart, this adventure is a simple dungeon crawl with adventure set in Saga's world of Darkwood, but these people write an awesome intro to get your involved and build story into the dungeon to make it interesting. However, like some fantasy or Sci-Fi adventures and stories, this adventure has the Dune problem for names-way too many terms are introduced to describe thing that have a general name like a burial mound or a shaman. It's not bad, but as a reader, it can sometimes be confusing. 4.5/5

Mechanics or Crunch-When you look at this one, it's a pretty short adventure. If your table doesn't mess around, you can easily get through this adventure in about three to four hours. The monsters are pretty par for the Pathfinder course at seventh level, but what will make this stand out are puzzles! I love adventures that have more than just fights. The puzzles are pretty nice. Now as a person who's played every Legend of Zelda game, these puzzles are not world endingly difficult, but anytime you have a TIMED puzzle in a tabletop RPG, it's going to be a good evening! The traps and monsters are all normal stuff, but its standard stuff you'd expect to fight at this level. There is new stuff here, but I don't think any seventh level party will be overly challenged by this adventure. However, those issues maybe more of a Pathfinder system problem than anything that is written by Saga. It's a good stand along adventure, but you'll need all the standard Pathfinder/Paizo books to run the adventure, but to get the most from this adventure you will also need Saga original AP book (reviewed here http://throatpunchgames.com/2014/06/06/ring-side-report-rpg-review-of-the-d eft-and-the-deadly/ ) 4.75/5

Execution-This is a pretty short product, but the price is right. Like I said before, these writers are great at story, but there are a few pages of nothing but text with lots of new terms. I'd like a bit more art, but what is there is art, its put to good use. Also, the puzzles and some of the traps get great layouts and art to really help the players and GM understand what's going on and how to run the adventure properly. 4.75/5

Summary-This isn't a perfect adventure, but it's a damn fine one. It's got a good plot that factors into Saga's other metaplot for their adventure path. It's a nice evening adventure sized adventure with fighting, traps, and puzzles. If you like Saga's current AP, then you're getting this one regardless of what I have to say. But, if you want some good third party Pathfinder adventure, for six bucks, you can't go wrong here. 93%

Disclosure: I was provided a review copy of this adventure.


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Ring Side Report- RPG Review of The Deft and the Deadly

5/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product-Darkwood Adventure Arc #1- The Deft and the Deadly

Producer-Saga RPG

Price-~$13

System-Pathfinder

TL; DR- A well done 1st product from a new company-90%

Basics- Welcome to Darkwood, Mudder. Seeking either revenge, glory, or money, you and your friends stumble into Darkwood. This is a town on the fringe where several powerful people (and not people) battle for dominance in a new world. Can you make your name out here, or, will you end up face down in the mud you’re covered in? This is the first adventure in a five part series. Besides the adventure, the book provides large appendices on Darkwood, new items and diseases, example start characters, rules for coalition affiliations, NPCs, and a whole new world!

Fluff or Story- The people at Saga RPG put together a heck of a product for story. Every part of the town gets a bit of writing. All the shops have stories and a menu. The main story is more sandbox and with linear sections. This is to be expected as the characters are entering the world and have to be giving some quests to move them along, but eventually, the players are just told to have some fun and make some money in town. It’s a lot of fun. Aside from the main quest, the book covers a whole new world and its kingdoms. That’s pretty ambitious for a new RPG company’s first product. For less than a Paizo adventure product, you’re getting a higher page count of stories. I’m pretty intrigued on what going to happen over the course of this story. 5/5

Crunch or Mechanics-You don’t expect much mechanics from your standard adventure or a third party, but, these guys went above and beyond on this. There are a new mechanics ranging from measuring faction relationships to a new god with two new domains. Of course, there are new items and all the other standard things expected for a Pathfinder adventure, but, this comes from a third party. It’s well done, thought out, and an excellent addition to the systems library. 5/5

Execution- Here is the ONLY place I have negative things to save about this product, and at WORST these guys are above average. One thing I hate is recycled art. These guys reuse the same art a few times across their first book. The second thing I don’t like is there are some layout problems. It opens a little slow on my iPad, but that’s ok. However, there are some layout choices I would not have made for spacing. That leads to the third problem I have-“text book problem”. This book has A LOT to say. The book moves from AMAZING depth in a town to a whole new WORLD. That’s a lot of ground for one book to cover. That said the book covers it in depth, but does so with more than just a few pages of just text. That’s not the worst sin out there, but it makes this read a little like a text book in places. I would have liked a bit more art to interrupt the text, grab your attention, and guide the reader’s eye. But, I’d like to put that in perspective. I am complaining about there being too much in this book. 3.5/5

Summary-This is a well done product. If you’re tired of the Paizo product scene, this product is done well enough that is up there with a standard Paizo project with a compelling story and interesting additions to the system. I would like a player handbook like the other Pathfinder products I’ve read, but, this product is already full enough. My complains are in how this thing looks, not what it contains. This is one of the best Pathfinder products I’ve seen in a while. 90%

Disclosure- I was provided a review copy of this product.


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Ring Side Report- RPG review of Numeria, Land of the Fallen Stars

5/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product-Pathfinder Campaign Setting- Numeria, Land of the Fallen Stars
Producer- Paizo
Price- ~$20
System- Pathfinder
TL;DR-Swords and Circuits! 95%

Basics- Time for some Sword and Circuits! Numeria, Land of the Fallen Stars tells the story of Numeria in Pathfinder's default setting. Numeria is a land defined by barbarians and a star ship that crashed into Golarion millennia ago. The book is roughly divided into a section describing the basic geography and story of each place. Then the next section discusses the different groups in the region. The final section of the book is the monsters that live in the region.

Mechanics or Crunch-This book isn't crunch heavy, but it doesn't have to be, as the book is part of a twin set discussing Numeria. Therefore, I can forgive the book being somewhat crunch-lite. This book focuses on the story of the region more than the execution of the region. Even with that said, this book goes into good mechanical depth by discussing diseases, different damage types like radiation, and an item from the wastes called Numerian Fluids. These fluids are the cast-offs of starships and robots, and have side effects ranging from instant death to gaining a level. The book also adds a small bestiary as well as random encounter tables for each area in the region. However, I didn't see how often I should roll a random encounter. I like what I see here, but I also know that most of the mechanics will come in the companion book that will come out later. 4.5/5

Story or Fluff-This book is FULL of stories to start a Numeria campaign. This regions presents some novel stories (pun intended) for the Golarion setting. I love the Sword and Circuits idea, and this book will provide you with all the standard fantasy fare of rampaging barbarians to the standard sci-fi tropes of a HoloDeck on the fritz. Beyond this are crazy sadist cultists, paladins hiding crazy technology, and an underground railroad for robots. This book and the setting have all the stories I wanted from fantasy/sci-fi as well as enough new to make me ready to start playing! 5/5

Execution-This book is pretty well done. The story and mechanics make this one a page-turner even though it's over 60 pages of fantasy encyclopedia. The layout, text, and pictures are great and draw the reader through the story. I do think Paizo is running into a bit of a problem with the number of rules books they are putting out. If you are reading this and want to run this as a physical product, you're going to need LOTS of other books to run a game in this part of the world. Paizo has an impressive pace for books, but this is leading to more books which will need OTHER rulebooks to use them at all. It is a small problem, but an increasingly prevalent one. 4.75/5

Summary-I loved reading this product. I was looking forward to running the Iron Gods adventure path before, but this book psyched me up even more. I love the fusion of sci-fi and fantasy. Some have complained that the two won't work well together, but based on what I've read, these two will fit together just fine. There are some problems though--the major one is the number of books that Paizo products are beginning to require you to have in order to play the new book. This goes so far as this book will require a SECOND campaign book to incorporate all the technology needed for this part of the world. But, based on this book, I'm buying that book as soon as it comes out!-95%


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Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Skull and Shackles-The Price of Infamy

5/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Adventure Path-Skull and Shackles- The Price of Infamy
System-Pathfinder
Producer-Paizo
Price- $20
TL;DR-Not pirates, but fun! 88%

Basics-The plot thickens! In the previous adventures, the players have gone from scrappy slaves to pirate lords of the Shackles. At the start after a council meeting, the players receive a secret note telling them that they will soon be attacked by on old rival who has amassed a fleet to destroy them. Can the players get enough help and ships to save themselves? Will they put an end to an old rivalry that's been plaguing them since the beginning? This book also contains fleet battle rules, more monsters and NPCs, another piece of the fiction for this adventure path, and background on Norgorber.

Fluff or Story-This one has a fun story. It goes back to the sandbox approach that has dominated all the really fun parts of the AP. The players don't get to be excessively pirate-y, but they do get to be adventurers as this part is several small requests for help tied together. This adventure is fun if a little scattered, but your players will mostly feel catharsis as they get some revenge. Also, the fiction story and Norgorber give great background on the world. 4.5/5

Crunch or Mechanics-There is good and bad here. But, the good is great, and the bad can't be helped. The bad is Pathfinder has the 3.X problem of players becoming a little too godlike at around ~11 compared to the monsters they are facing. Having only one monster in a fight will result in the players somehow locking that monster down too quickly for it to damage them. To have more than one monster in a fight, the CR of each monster has to be two less, and the problem intensifies as you add more monsters. Thus, the players are not threatened by piles of CR 3 monsters, since the players can't be hit on anything less than a natural 20. So, if you want to challenge your players, you as a GM will need to change things on the fly quite often! However, what is awesome in this book is the fleet rules! The fleet rules give a great way for Pathfinder players to have a massive ship battle without having to have massive amounts of ships. Again, any smart pathfinder group will break them quite easy as the main skill that the fleet rules use is profession(sailor) (which most players will have maxed out by now!). So battles tend to be a bit one-sided, but they are still somewhat tense. Overall, I liked what I saw in this one except for the problems that can't really be helped or fixed. 4/5

Execution-This is well done. Paizo again delivers an excellent product that was fun to read. I would have liked a few more ways to break up text as there are a few pages that are two columns of text next to one another, but nothing is perfect. But, it's not bad, generally laid out well, and an easy read. 4.75/5

Summary- This was a fun one. Still not my favorite as the second part of this adventure path is my favorite since that one is the most pirate-y by far, but this is a good one. It features MASSIVE navel battles, raids into long forgotten tombs, see-through wizards, and an event your players have been looking forward to since the very first day the Skull and Shackles Campaign started! It's a blast from start to finish. 88%


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Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game #6-Spires

5/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Game-Pathfinder Adventure Card Game-Rise of the Runelords Adventure Deck 6: Spires of Xin-Shalast
Producer-Paizo
Price- ~$20
Set-up/Play/Clean-up- ~20/min per player per scenario (six scenarios)
TL;DR- A good way to end the season

Basics-All good things.... The heroes have traveled all the way from Sandpoint to the spires of Xin-Shalast. Along the way, they will face ghosts, oni, and a Runelord. Can the heroes save the day and the world?

Mechanics-If you've loved the previous decks, you will love this one. This deck doesn't introduce too many new mechanics, but reuses a few favorites of the precious decks. The one mechanic that is completely new is found in the second to last scenario where players get to pick one card of any type of card they want for each card they defeat. That was new and gave the players a ton of cards right before the end. This one is pretty par for the course, but it's the best parts of the previous courses. 4.5/5

Theme- This one has a pretty strong theme. I did feel like I was battling crazed cannibal ghosts in the cold. I felt the tension in this one as the last few scenarios came down to the wire! It's not perfect, but it's getting better. 4.5/5

Instructions-This one wasn't bad. The scenarios had a few problems, but nothing too horrible. There were a few problems with describing how a few of the scenarios worked in the finer details, but it wasn't game ending. Again, this deck's problems were par for the course-Not bad, but not perfect. 4.5/5

Execution- This was done really well. Paizo makes some nice cards. Card sleeves would help with all the shuffling, but the cards are good quality. I loved the art, the font, and layout. 5/5

Summary- This is a good send-off for the first complete leg of the card game. My wife and I had a blast. This one was the hardest deck out there and I felt the tension as I ended the game with a total of four cards left to draw from-TWICE! I haven't ever felt this during any of the previous decks. The scenarios are the best of the previous mixed with the most fun I've ever had. An excellent way to end this adventure path. 93%


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Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Inner Sea Gods

4/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Gods
Producer-Paizo
System-Pathfinder
Price-~$30
TL; DR-If you want to know about the main Golarion gods, get this book. 90%

Basics- Inner Sea Gods is the first hard cover book discussing Golarion in a long time from Paizo, and as the name suggests, it focuses on the gods of the inner sea region. Chapter one discusses the big 20-the top gods of the setting. Each god gets a few pages discussing important stats for this god and prestige classes for characters of this god, the gods beliefs, the priesthood, the church, temples and shrines, a priest's role in the world, how adventures see the god, clothing of worshipers, holy texts, holidays, aphorisms, relations between religions, the gods realm, planar allies, and a sidebar for characters of this god for different items, archetypes and character options. Each god also gets a picture of a worshiper and the god itself. After the main deities' chapter, the second string of deities gets a chapter with each deity getting half a page followed by a section on race specific pantheons. Next is a chapter on character options including three new prestige classes, feats, traits, domains spells, and items. The book finishes with new monsters and quick stat tables on the gods.

Theme or fluff- I liked and didn't like this one. What was here was great, but what wasn't was what really made this disappointing. The first chapter of the book is amazing! The write up on each god is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn about the gods of this world. However, I would have gladly traded any items and spells in this book for more page space on the second string deities. That was what I really wanted from this book. Gods like Besmara already have a deity write up that could have been copy/pasted from the Adventure Paths (AP) right in this book! And that's the assumed default god of the second highest selling AP! Heck, some gods don't even get the half page as some race deities get less than a paragraph in the pantheons. Now, I know this is kind of nit-picking as +90% of players will pick a main god and use that, but those minor god details are important to me. 4/5

Mechanics or Crunch-This was done well even if I wanted more fluff in the book. Instead of making an ungodly (ha puns!) number of different prestige classes, Paizo made three, BUT each god gives different powers depending on the god the character serves. That right there, along with CMB/CMD, is the smartest thing Paizo has added to the 3.X system! I don't need a book with three classes per god (basically the standard Paizo three: skill monkey, fighter, and caster); I can have two pages explaining each class and 1/2 a page per god giving each god's specific powers for those three. That frees up page space that was much better used and solved a problem in a smart way. The feats, items, monsters, and powers provided by the book are also well done too. Like any large book, there are winners and losers for all the options provided, but overall it's not bad. I think the alters and item are far overpriced for the bonus you get though. As above, since the non-core gods don't get much more than half a page, you can't out of the box play the new prestige classes with the obscured gods. But, those are minor problems. 4.5/5

Execution- It's not a bad book. I might have problems with content, but Paizo knows how to really put a bunch in each book. The art helps keep the reader from getting bored since you are in essence reading at least 150 pages of fake theology textbook. Item, spell, power, class layout is as great as ever. I find nothing to complain about here. 5/5

Summary- If you play Pathfinder and are a cleric, then this book is a no brainer. If you run a Pathfinder game and will use ANY gods at all, then this book is a no brainer. I have my problems with what didn't make the cut for this book as opposed to what did. However, if you are the vast majority of people out there who pretend to worship some fantasy god in this system, then this book is for you. If you want to worship some obscure god, you have a bit of work on your hands. Since I love clerics in my 3.5 games, this a well done book I'm glad is part of my collection but not completely what I wanted. 90%


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Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Inner Sea Combat

4/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!
Product-Pathfinder Campaign Setting-Inner Sea Combat
Producer- Paizo
Price- $20
TL; DR- A little long to keep me entertained. 77%

Basics- MORTAL COMBAT! Inner Sea Combat focuses on marital characters and how to build these characters and their world into your Pathfinder Game. The book starts by discussing nations and their interactions with martial characters. Next, the book adds feats and a discussion on how specialized martial characters function within the rules of Pathfinder. After specialization, the book moves to schools/guilds and rules to operate these in Pathfinder. From schools, the books present new prestige classes and archetypes for classes from barbarian to the rogue. The last section of the book focuses on magic items that specialized characters from this book might need.

Mechanics or Crunch-This books adds a bunch of ideas for a GM to add to his/her game, but the ideas are not ground breaking awesome that you would expect for hidden techniques grown on the mountain top monasteries of the world. The book adds lost arts that are the talk of many a hushed conversation, but when you look over the options, they might fit will in just a player line book. Also, the book adds schools and guilds. I don't hate the mechanics behind these, but I think the numbers are off. I think the DCs are too high and will likely make life very hard for anyone who wants to go after a school and not get kicked out. Some of the options are well done, but it's more diamonds in the rough then a constant flow. I did like the items that were added to this book. 3/5

Fluff or Story- I liked this the most in this book. The story provides lots of ideas for a GM to add to his/her game. I didn't like the distribution of focus in the world, though. There isn't much love for the pirates of the Shackles in terms of schools or options as well as a few other key areas. But, what is there are options it's well done. 4.5/5

Execution-I think this book suffers from a "textbook problem." This book has a few too many sections of just text that make the book less fun to read. It's not hard to read, but it does tend to drag on a bit. The book does have some nice new art to help make reading a bit easier, but the format makes things feel long. The text is not bad, just a bit of a drag. 4/5

Summary-I didn't hate this book, but it's not one of my favorites. The mechanics and the textbook nature of the 64 page format are just a little bit off making this book slightly drag on a bit. I would have preferred this to be a few shorter 32 page books focusing on monks, fighters, or some other class. I did like the story that this book adds to the world. Also, knowing who the best of the best fighters are can give the characters goals for whom to fight later. It's not a bad book, but just a bit long to keep me completely interested all the way through. 77%


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Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Alchemy Manual

4/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Player Companion Alchemy Manual

Producer-Paizo

Price-$13(PDF)

System-Pathfinder

TL; DR-Lot's of alchemy types, but not much depth. 87%

Basics- Let's Cook! Alchemy Manual is a splat book in the truest sense. This book moves at a rapid fire pace presenting over 10 different types of alchemy traditions in the Pathfinder world. Each tradition gets two pages to introduce the story behind the alchemy type as well as a few potions or poisons that distinguish one from another. In addition, numerous items, small additions to spells/alchemical items, and new ways to craft alchemical items are presented.

Mechanics or Crunch- First things first, alchemy has always been somewhat tricky in the 3.X systems. You end up with things that are two broken for the rules or underpowered to uselessness. This book tends to be closer to underpowered. The items presented are on par with the standard alchemy items, but those items tend to be useless as the player has better options with spells or abilities. The book does introduce some nice new feats and items, but those same items may not be the first thing a player will grab for when looking how to battle a problem. Also, the book introduces several different types of alchemy. That's nice from a flavor standpoint, but no one type gets enough of a foundation to stand alone. Each tends to get 3/4 of a page of items, so you left wanting more for each one. 3/5

Story of Fluff-While this is an item book, I was honestly impressed with the detail each type of alchemy was given in its presentation. Readers learn a lot about several different types of alchemist in the Pathfinder world. The stories do make for some rather interesting reading. I enjoyed this far more then I enjoyed the mechanics of the book. 5/5

Execution-This is a Paizo book. I have a tradition of giving them high marks, but that's because the consistently know how to may a book look nice and be readable. I'd like the text bigger, but I mostly read on an IPad, so the page is smaller than the print version. Great art and a well done layout lead to excellent ease of reading. 5/5

Summary-Alchemy is always a touchy subject in Pathfinder and 3.X games. To powerful and all the players use it. To underpowered and it's a waste of time to introduce it. This book is an ok. Honestly, it won't change your opinion of alchemy. It's well done for the story aspect, but if you are deciding if you want to buy a mechanics supplement, you really have to ask yourself "Do I like alchemy already?"


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Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Undead Slayers Handbook

5/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Player Companion-Undead Slayer's Handbook
System-Pathfinder
Price-$13(PDF), $20 print
Producer-Paizo
TL;DR-Great introduction and options for fighting undead. 97%

Basics- Time to fight the things that go bump in the night! Undead Slayer's Handbook gives a general overview of how to fight undead from the simple zombie to the most complex, scheming lich. The book starts with different groups that slay undead and how they may help you. After that, the book focus on fighting different kinds of undead giving feat, spells, items, traits, and class abilities that focus on killing each kind of horror. Moving from the kinds of undead to kill, the book shifts to what kinds of people kill undead giving new class options and feats. The book finishes in classic Pathfinder Player Companion style offering more spells, items, and a prestige class called the Soul Warden.

Mechanics or Crunch- The book provides lots of new options for those focusing on undead. These all look well balanced as you get a large bang for your buck if you fight undead, but won't really help you against the standard goblin. My only complaint is the alchemical items. The book provides several, varied alchemical items to fight undead, but these seem underpowered or far too expensive to use. There are items that do significant damage, but you have to pay too much for them to the practical. There are cheap items that are not that useful. 4.5/5

Story or Fluff- This book is full of story. Lots of new traits provide stories on the background of an adventurer. Also, each section gets almost a full page providing story and background for each monster or monster hunter. It's simply well done! 5/5

Execution-This is Paizo, so the layout is well done. The art is great, but, it might be a bit more than some people can handle. Since, undead tend to be pretty gory. The centerfold is a beautiful haunted house that describes how to fight a haunt, while the front cover provides details on how to fight each type of undead. In addition, the back cover gives information on how undead are viewed in different towns. This book is a pleasure to read and look through. 5/5

Summary- Again, another solid effort by Paizo. Undead are my favorite creatures to fight or throw at my players. This book gives a solid introduction on how to fight the monsters to a new player, and to the older players out there, it provides enough new options to make it useful. 97%


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Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Champions of Balance

5/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday.

Product- Pathfinder Player Companion- Champions of Balance
Producer-Paizo
Price- $20 or $13 for PDR
System- Pathfinder
TL;DR- Slight story concerns, but awesome character options.93%

Basics- Time for the epic battle of good vs. neutral! Champions of Balance covers the hows and whys of neutral characters. The first section covers the types of neutral characters (LN, N, and CN). Next the book discusses neutral countries and organizations. From here, the book introduces new character options from new subdomains, ninja tricks, feats, spells, orders, archetypes, magic items, and a prestige class.

Fluff or Theme- I liked and didn't like this one. The story and backgrounds of neutral characters is well written, but it didn't hook me. I didn't hate reading it, but neutral characters have an uphill battle for getting me as a motivation. What I saw was well done, but it just isn't what I want in a character. And I think many other readers will have the same problem. 4/5

Crunch or Mechanics- This was really well done! There is an amazing amount of stuff in this book. Almost all the classes get a bit of stuff even more than most of the player companion line. Even if you don't care about neutral characters, this one is worth a look for the plethora of options alone. 5/5

Execution- This one is as well done as any of the other player option book. Lots of art and well done layouts make this a pleasure to read. Well done. 5/5

Summary- This book might not have hooked me on story, but everything else is amazing. If you play or want to play a neutral character, then you need this to make a well done and flesh out character. Even if you want some character option, this is an excellent book. 93%


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Sonic Scrimmage- Review of Pathfinder Legends-Rise of the Runelords #1: Burnt Of

3/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Audio Program- Pathfinder Legends-Rise of the Runelords #1: Burnt Offering
Producer – Paizo and Big Finish
Price- ~$11
TL;DR-Well done, but price prohibitive 73%

Basics- Relive the most well loved Pathfinder adventure paths Rise of the Runelords! This audio program is a one hour reimagining of the first part of the adventure path Burnt offerings. Follow the iconic Pathfinder characters Ezren, Harsk, Merisiel, and Valeros as they arrive just in time for the Swallowtail festival and just in time for the goblin attack. Can the group save the town and uncover the deeper plot beneath the surface?

Setting, Sounds, and Execution- The setting feels fantasy. I enjoyed hearing character talk about the Pathfinder places I've read about before and that brought it a bit more to life. The program had some well done sounds, but you will get a little bit bored as you head the same smashing melon, sliced melon, or clashing steel sound over and over again. But, the foley artists did do a good job in general. My biggest complaint is the price. The program is $10 for one hour of sounds. I tend to do comparisons to movie prices. For $10 bucks I can see a two hour movie which is sound AND pictures. That price point will drive away a lot of people from the product as for double the price you get the adventure path product the story is based on. And that will take you much more than one hour to play through. 2/5

Characters- It's the iconics! You get to hear them! Fanboy/girl out! They sound like they should, and their lines are well delivered. Heck, this one has a well done version of the famous goblin song that we all know and love. 5/5

Story- If you've played through Burnt Offerings you know what you're getting. I haven't, but I did play the adventure card game. I really liked this. It does a great job telling the story. I felt I was along the ride for the story. Its short, and the story moves fast. So, you don't get a lot of breathing time in the story. I would like them to slow down a bit. I enjoyed Ezren as the narrator as he wrote his adventures down for the Pathfinder Chronicles. That worked well getting across sections of the story that don't have an audio component. 4/5

Summary- I liked this. It was a fun ride on my way to work in the morning. My main criticism is the length and the price. It's only an hour, and most books will take you at least eight to get through. Audiobooks have a price of ~$15 bucks and those are at least eight. The length doesn't make you feel like this is value for money. But, if you can see past that, you will be on an awesome adventure trying to save Sandpoint. 73%


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Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Pathfinder Campaign Setting Pathfinder Society F

5/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Campaign Setting Pathfinder Society Field Guide
System- Pathfinder RPG
Producer- Paizo
Price- ~$20
TL;DR- A great intro to the society! 93%

Basics- Welcome Pathfinder! This book is a large summary of the Pathfinder Society for the uninitiated. This book is primarily written for those who play in Paizo's living campaign Pathfinder Society (PFS). The book starts with the standard stuff any PFS GM would need like day job rolls and how to spend prestige. Then the book discusses Absalom in-depth describing the history and geography of the place. After Absalom itself, the book introduces each of the factions in the Pathfinder Society giving each one new ways to spend prestige. Next the book introduces the three main branches of the Pathfinders, Scrolls, Spells, and Swords, providing new character options in each. The book ends with a long discussion of opponents of the society and items for Pathfinders to purchase to overcome this obstacles.

Story or Fluff- This book is full of Pathfinder fluff. I picked this one up to learn more as a GM, but honestly, if you want a deep introduction to the society, this is the book you need to read. Each faction and division of the society gets a detailed write up. The book even goes in depth on tricks to handle problems Pathfinders may find on their missions. This might have made the book drag on a bit, but for players who haven't been in the system as long, this may save their lives! 4.5/5

Mechanics or Crunch- While this is primarily a setting book since its in the campaign setting line, this book does have lots of character options. The prestige options alone are worth the price of admission! The extra archetypes, feats, and items, all make this a worthwhile book for any serious Pathfinder player. 5/5

Execution- Paizo knows how to make a geat book. While I felt the book was a bit long, it didn't drag to read as the text had lots of brakes to keep my eyes from glazing over. Well done art also breaks up the text well. I thought it was a bit long, but honestly it's not long in a terrible way as it keeps with the other books in the setting line. 4.5/5

Summary- This is a well done book. It's a bit long as one of the largest sections is a section most experienced players will skim over as they know how to make a character survive most of the horrors out there. Based on the amount of story in this book alone, the average PFS player needs this book to know much more about the society and its background. The new mechanics of how to spend prestige really help make that count more in your games. I'm honestly more excited to play some PFS than I was before this book, so that makes this book awesome in my opinion! 93%


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Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-15: Destiny of th

5/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-15: Destiny of the Sands, Part 2: Race to Seeker's Folly
Producer- Paizo
Price- $4
System- Pathfinder
TL;DR- An fun, short dungeon crawl 90%

Basics- Previously in Osirion, the Pathfinders assisted the former Grandmaster Torch in PFS #5-12, and they were provided a map to a secret location in the desert. This adventure starts with the Pathfinder find out that other groups may be heading to Seeker's Folly. Can the pathfinders get to Seeker's Folly first, find its secrets, and get out alive?

Mechanics or Crunch- This adventure is designed for low level characters, but some of the challenges here seem a bit too high for the average party of level one heroes. Nothing here is excruciatingly difficult, but the last boss will KILL a party with no magic or cleric. I would have liked the level 1-2 boss to be something much less dangerous than the level 4-5 boss. Otherwise, this is a standard breach, bang, and clear dungeon crawl adventure, which is always some welcomed fun for PFS! Heck there is an honest to goodness puzzle handout for the PCs to solve! 3.5/5

Fluff or Story- Holy cow is this one fluff-tastic! If you wanted to learn some of the secret history of Grandmaster Torch, this is the one to GM! Lots of side bars for the GM who want to know more lore then you can shake a stick at. The players can put together a bunch of pieces if they read between a few lines, and there are several small details that can give the PCs some good information if they make some difficult checks. All and well, well done! 5/5

Execution- Like most other Paizo products, this is a well put together book. The information I needed was well displayed, and the product read quickly. Nothing was buried in a wall of text, and it was a pleasure to read. I would have liked a GM quick solution to the puzzle provided, but you can solve that pretty quickly with the information provided, and I know space is limited. 5/5

Summary- This is a fun adventure to read, run, and play. It's a bit of a challenge based on one time skill checks and a pretty hard end boss. However, if you can get past that, you will have a great time uncovering not only the secrets of the Jeweled Sages, but those of Grandmaster Torch as well. 90%


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Ring Side Report- RPG review of Pathfinder Adventure Path #58: Island of Empty E

5/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Adventure Path #58 Island of Empty Eyes
Producer- Paizo
Price- $20
System-Pathfinder
TL;DR- Another well done Pathfinder Adventure 90%

Basics- Shiver me timbers! If you've played the last three Skull and Shackles adventure path adventures, the players have won the Free Captains Regatta, and also won a chance to become Free Captains themselves. To do this they must clear the Island of Empty Eyes and prepare a feast for the visiting Free Captains who will judge the players on how well they have prepared. This sounds easy, but it never is.... This book also contains a section describing the Cyclopes, popular rumors of the Shackles, and the fourth part of the story continuing across all the Skull and Shackle Adventures.

Crunch or Mechanics- This adventure had some interesting mechanics associated with it. There players get to freely explore an island and decide what they will do with anyone they meet there. Overall I liked it, but some things were somewhat problematic like super high DC. My party doesn't min/max much, so the higher, single DC tend to cause them to fail. 4.5/5

Fluff or Story- This is a pretty free form story for the main adventure. If your party needs to be a bit more on the rails, then they will falter when given some freedom. The story is well done, as are the Cyclopes section and the rumors. Well done. 4.5/5

Execution- Don't have to say much here. Paizo is awesome at what it does, so they earn their score. Good art, reader friendly, but I could have used a few more section breaks or a better indicated area on how to fix up the island instead of having it buried in the middle of a paragraph. 4.5/5

Summary- I enjoyed running this for my players, and my players had a ball too. It's not ship heavy, but it's a nice break in the standard pattern. You will have to read your players to find out if they need a little helping had to keep on track on the island. But overall, it's a well done adventure! 90%


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Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Fortress

4/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Producer- Paizo
Price- $20
Set-up/Play/Take-Down- 1 Hour per scenario (5 scenarios)
TL;DR-Maybe one of the better expansions! 85%

Basics-Time to fight Giants! Players quest to a Jorgenfist to take the fight away from Sandpoint to the giants themselves. Along the way they will fight giants, necromancers, undead monks, and lamias. This game requires the base Pathfinder Adventure Card Game to play.

Mechanics- This game follows most the mechanics of the previous adventure card game expansions. Go through X locations, find the henchmen or villain and destroy them. This expansion doesn't stretch the game extremely far, but some of the encounters are a pretty tough. Also, as each expiation introduces one scenario that has some odd ball, interesting rules, this one features a fight with two villains. I liked that twist. It doesn't feel contrived. 4/5

Theme- I felt like I was an awesome warrior fighting giants. There are the random encounters like the goblin raid that you might have to deal with, but as the expansions become latter in the series, the rule of removing basic cards really does help focus the encounters you see. I wouldn't say it's perfect, but as you get further in, the random nature seems to become less random. That really helps the theme. Also, I really liked the villains and henchmen of this pack. Their powers really hammer home the feel of epic battles and dangerous foes. 4/5

Instructions-The instruction are ~ok. The cards do a good job of getting the point across. However, I really want more to tell me who these people and monsters are! The rules are good and the cards do have a bit of exposition, but if you want some rule so help hammer home theme, you won't get that from the rules. 4.5/5

Execution-The art is well done. It's standard Pathfinder art. Most of the art looks like it come from other sources, but that's ok. However, after several games, I've noticed my cards are beginning to get chipped and ripped. I'd like heaver cards or card sleeves. Again, nothing is bad, but watch out shuffling (and you will do that a lot!). 4.5/5

Summary-This was a fun one. I felt like I was a mighty hero fighting monsters. My wife and I had a blast playing this. I felt like the challenge was right. We didn't have any character death, but we were down to the wire a few times. That was great. While the game does use the same locations several times, I felt like I was moving forward in the story, and I wasn't bored doing so. I want more story support to help know what the heck is going on, but I do feel like I'm moving in something. 85%


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Ring Side Report- RPG review of Pathfinder Player Companion People of the Sands

5/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product: Pathfinder Player Companion People of the Sands
Producer: Paizo
System: Pathfinder
Price: $12
TL;DR: An EXCELLENT PATHFINDER SUPPLEMENT! 100%

Basics: Come on down, hope a carpet and fly! People of the Sands serves as a guide book to Osirion, Rahadoum, Thuvia, and deserts in general as well as being the Mommy's Mask Players Guide. The book starts with the ancient and no so ancient history of Osirion. Then, it moves to the different types of people who live there. The centerfold of this book is a beautiful, weathered player map of Osirion. Next, the book discusses the three major desert modern day nations of Golarion. The last section of the book transitions to more player focused offerings covering two new player prestige classes, new magic and normal items, and then the players guide for Mummy's Mask.

Crunch or Mechanics: This book is full of mechanics. It full of new feats, spells, items, and two prestige classes (one of which is open to any class). While the book is mostly geared to alchemists, cavaliers, inquisitors, and sorcerers, it honestly has something for everybody. I LOVE it when supplements do that! 5/5

Fluff or story: Again, this is an amazing book. This book is full of detail regarding history, people, and the societies of the desert. It's not only "just" the standard book of facts, it's FULL of small details like sayings that different group use. That might just be filler to some people, but it helps me learn a little bit more about the people and their society. Heck, I've read a lot of Pathfinder books, and I learned new things from this book. 5/5

Execution: This book follows the standard Pathfinder Player Companion line layout: start with who the book is for/ask you GM section, then the real information. I love that and the rest of the layout. It makes the books read well. The test is broken up enough with headings and other thins often keeping the page from being just two columns/wall of text. I liked the art as it's the standard Pathfinder quality. If you ignored the text and just looked at the book, this is an example of how to layout and design a good RPG supplement. 5/5

Summary: I really liked this book. I felt it was worth my money. The book has lots of background, but it didn't skimp on the mechanics. Honestly, the book felt like a 50/50 split between the fluff and crunch. My only complaint isn't the books fault. I liked when the adventure path player guides were separate books. That part almost felt tacked on as the book covered so many different topics. However, even that section added more options for the players. When I'm working out and the bike rings to tell me I've gone far enough, but I can't put this book down so I keep going, you know you have a winner. 100%


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Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Animal Archive

5/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product: Pathfinder Player Companion Animal Archive
Producer: Paizo
Price: ~$12
System: Pathfinder
TL;DR-If you have pets, then get this book. 91.25%

Basics: This book adds options, abilities, and types for any character who has a familiar or a animal companion. The book starts off right away with the inner cover discussing the magic items that each type of animal can use. After the standard Player Companion line pages discussing the book's intent, the next section describes what types of animals each race typically works with. Next the book introduces new class archetypes for the rogue, cavalier, and barbarian that use animal companions. Following archetypes, the book add new animal tricks for your companion to learn and new ways to teach tricks to animals. The book then presents new familiars, equipment, and animals to buy in Golarion. The centerfold of the book is six new animals that a PC could take as a companion and the parts of the world where these creatures are found. Following the centerfold, new animal feats and archetypes are discussed for your companions and familiars. The book then presents a section on what happens after you awaken your animal. Like all player pathfinder books, the book adds several spells and magic items, before ending by adding new familiars and animal companion statistics.

Fluff or Story: This book isn't very story heavy. It primary focus is to give you new animal options. What it does have is interesting, but don't look for it to carry the book on that alone. 4/5

Crunch or Mechanics: You want animal crunch? You got animal crunch! Some of the crunch is interesting like the rogue who uses an animal to do sneak attack, but some is left out like what bonuses you get for using tools to train an animal. It's not bad, but some minor things were missing. 4.75/5

Art: This book has a surprising amount of art for primarily being a mechanics book. It's new, and looks like it belongs and is well done. 5/5

Execution: The book has a nice flow, reads quick, and isn't difficult to read. I didn't like that the book repeats some of its mechanics as the book is less than 30 pages. Also, some of the choices of where things were laid out were a bit strange as there are two item sections. 4.5/5

Summary: If you run animals in Pathfinder, you need this book. That's it. It won't really convince you to take up an animal if you're the type of player who doesn't want that complication in his life. If you want to have some fun with an animal companion/familiar, then this book will give you lots of options and makes sure the ideas you have fit into the larger world. It's worth a read for any class that gets an animal pet. 91.25%


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Ring Side Report- A review of Pathfinder Society Primer

5/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product-Pathfinder Player Companion-Pathfinder Society Primer

System: Pathfinder

Producer: Paizo Publishing

Price: ~$12

TL;DR- If you play PFS, then you already know you need this. 100%

Basics: This book delves deeper into the Pathfinder Society continuing the background knowledge that was presented in Pathfinder Society Field Guide. The book starts with a general explanation of the Pathfinder Society leading to a section on how to build a well rounded pathfinder for a game. From there, the book runs through joining the society and the three main subgroups while giving different feats, spells, abilities, and traits for each. After the main groups, the book presents a prestige class called the Pathfinder Field Agent who is a bit of a mixed bag. The main way to identify a pathfinder is his/her wayfinder, and this book give new versions of the wayfinder as well as ioun stones that can be socketed into the wayfinder with new powers for both and magic items that any pathfinder would need on their adventures. Near the end of the book, Pathfinder Chronicles are discussed giving new, non-magical ways to boost skills after pathfinders read these books for one hour. The book closes with Pathfinder Society vanities, ways to spend prestige points gained in the pathfinder society, and a short section on Pathfinder Society Organized Play.

Mechanics: This book has a lot going on for the player only interested in mechanics. From new spells, feats, traits, and abilities, this book is real chock full. However, this book doesn’t have many class specific options, but does have many general options. This is really expressed well with the Pathfinder Field Agent; this prestige class gets most other class abilities, but doesn’t really get anything that makes him/her awesome at one thing. The wayfinders, ioun stones, and other items are all good too. Until now I hadn’t had a real good use for the prestige points, but his book gives even me a few good ideas. 5/5

Theme: I like PFS, but I have to say I don’t know as much as I should, especially about the inner working of the society. This book gave me a good summary while giving me some mechanics. I liked what at I saw in terms of story of PFS. It’s worth a read for that. 5/5

Execution: I liked this one. It flows well, even better then the previous PFS book. No page is a well of text while the previous PFS book had that problem a few times. The art is nice and consistent. The layout helps the reader read the text. All and all, I liked this book. 5/5

Summary: If you play PFS, you need this. If you really want to get deep into the Society, then get this book. If you don’t care about the Pathfinders or PFS at all, then this book isn’t for you. 100%


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Ring Side Report- A review of Library of the Lion

5/5

Product: Pathfinder Society Adventure #5-11: Library of the Lion

System: Pathfinder

Publisher: Paizo Publishing

Price: ~$4

TL;DR- A thinking, (general) non-combat PFS adventure 93%

Basics: The Pathfinder Society has been invited to a prominent Taldan College by a high ranking member of the nobility to help them sneak into a secret library. The Pathfinders have less than two hours to explore the library, find what the noble wants, not be noticed, and get out all while constantly listening to the Mission: Impossible music performed by the GM.

Story: This module isn’t very story heavy, but it does bring something new to the party. The story quickly brings the society into the heart of Taldor, and lets some of the more over shown PCs shine. PCs have to find information in a low combat module by exploring the library and looking for clues. I wouldn’t call this a story for the ages, but it does give the players something new at the table that they may have not had a chance to do before. 4.5/5

Mechanics: This module continues the current PFS year 5 scenario strategy of random events during the scenario. It works to great effect during this adventure as the players and the GM both get to find random books in each room that might help the players. Also, this one is really set up for the skill monkeys out there. Most of the puzzles require thought and lots of skill ranks. I don’t see that often, and that makes this module stand out. The final puzzle requires the players to have solved every room to find what they need. That’s not bad, but it might not be great for all groups. Also, as a GM, if the group you are running doesn’t have the proper skills, you may have to loosen up the skills that can be used in the adventure. Also, for as much of an exploration adventure this one is, it’s also a nice social adventure too. It’s pretty well rounded for the non-combat characters. None of that is bad, but just keep that as a heads up for when you play. 4.5/5

Execution: This adventure is well laid out and comes with some assembly required. As the players can randomly find books in the rooms, the GM gets to cut out the different books and give these out as hand outs. Anytime you can physically hand the players something, it makes the game that much more awesome. The art is nice also. All told, I’m really happy with this. 5/5

Summary: I liked this one. It’s not perfect, but this one is an awesome adventure to play with a bunch of character types that might not get as much play as other ones. If you are a kill-them-all barbarian with only one skill point you put in jump so you can jump charge, you will be bored to tears. If you have a group of five people who want to explore and deceive their way through a secret library, this is the game for you. 93%


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