mikeawmids's page

1,663 posts (1,858 including aliases). 14 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 13 aliases.


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Yeah, I did consider adding "IMO" afrer the fact, but the person below had already quoted me and I didn't want to alter my post again.

I completely agree with what you just said, re: subjectivity. My review is written from my personal headspace, with the added caveat that I am reading it as a non-Pathfinder player who is looking for material/storylines to convert to another game system. I completely gloss over the stat blocks and specific rules for traps/hazardous environments, as I will be rebuilding those myself.

For these reasons, I found The Seventh Arch to be lacking, but other people will have their own reasons to like or dislike the module, whereas NVM seems to have taken umbrage with my apparent powers of time travel more than anything else.

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The big difference between them being I actually read it before submitting my review.

I restarted my subscription following the ORC announcement; received, read and reviewed the PDF copy of this book, then cancelled my subscription because I found it to follow in the recent trend of being, well, bad.

But in response to NVM's not-really-a-review, I have adjusted my own review score to 1 star, just to "balance things out".

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MetalProgrammer wrote:
Can someone who have the pdf answer some questions. How combat/dungeon heavy is this adventure? Also how linear is it? Some AP can be very linear while others are decently open. My group loves the premise but tend to be a group that values RP.

There are 3 small dungeons and a half-dozen set piece combat encounters.

It is pretty linear, to the point that it almost feels like the first draft of a Pathfinder fanfic with a few RPG elements thrown in.

There are several opportunities for RP, but it mostly feels like you're talking to the train conductor on route to the next story beat.

Bravo Paizo. I have just bought 2e pocket edition via Amazon and reactivated my AP subscription.

How will this effect Youtube channels and podcasts that play 5e? I listen to Oxventure, Dragon Friends, Adventure Zone, Dungeon Dudes (among others), will they be able to continue producing new episodes after 13/01/2022 if they make money via adverts, merchandise or live shows?

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While I have dabbled in many different AP, I have only run Rise of the Runelords to completion, so it is only the changes from that adventure that I would consider 'canon' for my ongoing home-interpretation of Golarion;

The Heroes of Sandpoint befriended and 'civilized' the goblins of Thistletop. Sandpoint now has a small micro-community of good goblins (called either Hope, or Stinkpoint depending on who you ask). Goblins are now unlocked as a playable race in future campaigns.

Ameiko Kaijitsu married dwarf PC Rast Sternhammer and they have a baby called Gara.

The Heroes of Sandpoint involved themself in the elections for the new Mayor of Magnimar and saw Haldeem Grobaras thrown out on his fat arse. Leis Nivlandis is voted in to replace him. There is even a goblin on the city council now (and goblin lawyers!).

The Broken Arrows are restored under human PC Ben Kotek.

The Paradise riverboat is now a floating casino/fortress owned by half-orc PC Grogg.

The lost city of Xin Shalast is found and (following the exodus of Xarzoug's giant allies) reclaimed by the yeti. The yeti are unlocked as a playable race in future campaigns.

Sounds like a ******* TPK.

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My interpretation was that the OGL is now a ticking bomb. Maybe it goes off on the 13th of Jan, as indicated in the leaked documents, maybe it gets delayed to some undetermined point in the future, but sooner or later it is going to explode. If nothing else, this is a wake-up call that Hasbro is out to get you, and severing yourself from the OGL is both urgent and necessary.

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Post in another thread says product was delayed even before OGL issues. I wouldn't hold your breath for this one.

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Here is a quote from the Basic Fantasy RPG site outlining what Chris Gonnerman is planning to do about the OGL in relation to his (awesome) product line;


It doesn't matter whether Hasbro releases their new license or not. It doesn't matter whether it stands up in court or not. Their attempt to invalidate the license we've always depended on and then to effectively steal what we've created demonstrates that they are an existential threat to our game.

So, what do we do?

We excise the OGL.

To do that, though, we need to identify the SRD bits that are spread through the rulebook. When I created the game, I (and everyone else creating retro-clones at the time) believed that it was important to be able to show that we actually used the SRD. There are bits of SRD text scattered around the rulebook, and honestly I'm not entirely sure where they all are (though I do know many spells and monster descriptions are affected).

I need help to find them all. That's where you guys come in.

Here's the plan going forward: First, so long as the new OGL has not been officially released, Basic Fantasy RPG products will remain available for sale on all current platforms as well as available for download from this site. If the new OGL is released, I may be forced to withdraw all of that material, including at least temporarily hiding the Workshop since it's full of "infringing" materials.

Work on current projects is suspended, with the exception of the Mysterious Island contest and the #Dungeon23 #CommunityEdition. There's no SRD involvement with either of those, nor has the OGL been officially applied to them, and I don't want to interfere with either of them. There's no point letting Hasbro ruin our fun. But projects currently being prepared for public release are on hold right now. I know this hits a few of you harder than others, and I'm very sorry about that, but trust me when I say that it's temporary.

Now, about cleaning up the Core Rules. Unlike all other Basic Fantasy Project publications, the Core Rules legally belong to me. All contributors were asked to submit material only with intent to transfer copyright to me, and thus I hold the copyright to all of it that did not come from the listed sources in the OGL text at the back. The Castles & Crusades monster document referenced will need to be excised as well as the SRD, but that should be a relatively small problem. There are also a few monsters that came from the original Field Guide and thus fall under its license which we will have to deal with.

This leads to a point I need to address: Other Basic Fantasy Project publications are covered by the copyright of their original authors, who released them under the OGL. Technically, I should contact each and every creator listed in any of those books and get their approval to relicense the materials under my new open license (see below) but that might be hard as many of them moved on after initially adopting BFRPG. Some created their own games, some switched to newer OSR games, some just drifted into the aether. Some stayed on here, and those at least I can get approval from.

The alternative is to assume that they agreed to release their materials under a license I chose, and that they tacitly gave their approval for me to relicense them. Legally this is pretty iffy, but on a practical basis any damages they might claim for materials given away for free for so long should be pretty low. It's a chance I might take.

To be clear here: If you are a contributor to anything published under the umbrella of the Basic Fantasy Project other than the core rules, I am asking your permission to relicense your materials. I need you to contact me directly via email at solomoriah@basicfantasy.org and identify yourself by the name or names used where your materials were published, and officially grant me this permission.

The license: I'm proposing a change to the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. I do not have the legal chops to create my own license, and I suffer from a newly-formed lack of trust in people who are creating new licenses now. The CC licenses have been around a while and cover a very broad variety of things already. I do plan to include a specific exemption covering the name, with a license similar to my current Product Identity License (probably called a Branding License). Or, I may seek trademark protection, but I need to study more on that.

Also, one thing we don't have to worry about is art. I've always maintained a separate arrangement with artists, who are asked to grant to me personally a perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to use their artwork in Basic Fantasy Project works. The only exception is diagrams (including maps or floorplans) which are required to use the game; if I find any I did not create in the Core Rules I may have to relicense them (with permission of the artist, of course) or get them redrawn. I don't expect this to be a problem.

This starts NOW. I'm going to accept comments on this through January 13th (the day the "new OGL" was supposed to go into effect). Anyone wishing to help find the SRD text may go ahead and start; even if the choice of license is changed, we still need to know where the SRD is hiding in there in order to remove it. Please go visit the original Core Rules thread and post whatever you find there; I'll upload a copy of the C&C document (as soon as I find it) to help with this process. If you have comments on the process itself or questions or suggestions about the license, post them here, but practical comments should go in that thread.


I imagine Paizo are already doing something similar, albeit on a much grander scale.

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Xyxox wrote:
I think they underestimate the fan base, especially where the loyalties really lie.

I'm not so sure. Folk posting on this forum were already skewed against WotC, as evidenced in the 'Do you also play D&D?' thread, where everyone shat on 5e.

Most people who started roleplaying since 5e hit its stride, and who - in all likelihood - play nothing but D&D5e, won't care one whit what happens to Paizo or other smaller 3P creators.

I doubt the majority of those players are even aware of what is happening right now with the OGL.

As someone on the EN World forums said, WotC will get maybe a month of moaning online, then it'll be back to business as usual.

Obviously that doesn't account for any other predatory practices that are still in the pipeline for 2023 and beyond.

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Xyxox wrote:
(now referred to as D&Done by me)

Yeah, that's pretty clever. Hope it catches on. :D

I would be wary of kickstarting anything D&D related until this fiasco is resolved. I've just cancelled my pledge for MrRhexx's Sands of Doom, as I imagine a lot of these 3P creators have not accounted for Hasbro/WotC suddenly coming after a big piece of their revenue.

There are a few others where my pledge has already been paid that I now worry about being fulfilled, but I guess I'll just have to ride that wave.

Good luck to Paizo dealing with this malicious and directed attack.

I do wonder if it is a coincidence this issue has arisen shortly after Paizo started re-releasing it's own AP's under the 5e rule set. Considering the terminology of the new OGL, ie: "subsidising our competitors", I wonder if maybe Paizo brought this doom upon themselves by poking the bear.

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Eh, kinda. In Chapter 2 you are given a shopping list or arcane crap to pick up. Your reputation with various factions makes this scavenger hunt more/less challenging.

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Well, that's Blood Lords over with, I guess. I just left 'Ghost King's Rage' a **** review, because it genuinely did not suck.

That said, I have never disliked a Pathfinder AP as much as I disliked Blood Lords, and that's a unique sensation for me. I'm guessing the whole 'play as sentient - but not necessarily evil - undead' was just not a good fit for my lizard brain. IMO, I think the gimmick exhausted itself very quickly, and was not robust enough to support a six month campaign arc.

Onwards, to Gatewalkers, and let us never speak of this AP again.

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Some interesting reading on the issue, from an alternative source than the Paizo boards;

Would Paizo be the Big Dog if Critical Roll had stuck with Pathfinder?

Some thoughts from people playing both 5e and PF

Can you like both 5e and PF? (spoiler alert: you can!)

Switching from PF to 5e

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Prosperum wrote:
So what I'm hearing a lot of in this thread is that the ease of finding players and DMs is one of the main selling points for 5e?

You should consider that the people posting to this thread are predilected to favour PF2, perhaps to the exclusion of D&D5e, and their comments here will reflect that preference. While the folk on this board grudgingly play D&D5e because it is easy to find a group, consideration should be given to why so many other people not on these boards are engaging with D&D5e.

Create a thread called 'How many also play PF2?' on the D&D boards over at EN World and I imagine you would see a very different picture.

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Not super jazzed for Gate Walkers, but Stolen Fate and Sky King's Tomb sound like they herald a return to more traditional fantasy, so I'm looking forward to those. Ater 6 months of (urgh) Blood Lords, and another 3 of whatever the heck Gate Walkers is gonna' turn out to be, I'm looking forward to some straight up fantasy heroing.

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Is it truly that difficult to roll up and advance a new character to level 10/11, without playing through a series of adventures to get them to that point?

I'm running Hellbound Heists (for D&D5e, admittedly) mid 2023, and that begins at level 8. Rather than play through a load of 'prequel' adventures before getting to the good stuff, I'm just going to ask each player for a quick summary of their life prior to the point that the campaign begins, and get straight into the action.

If I was playing Fists of the Ruby Phoenix, I would be happy to create a comparitevely high level character intrinsically tied to the campaign setting (most likely a poor parody of an existing martial arts master) and get right into the tournament without preamble.

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Always eager to hear back from what method of "Including recurring ally NPC companions to adventure with the PCs" works best, though!

You could include optional NPC allies with ties to the story in the Players Guide for each AP, with suggestions regarding how they should be advanced to keep pace with the party throughout the campaign? The GM could use these characters as they see fit, to bolster a party that is under strength, or allow new/temporary players to join the game without having to roll up a PC, or as replacement characters if someone dies mid-session. If memory serves, you used to do something similar with your Iconics back in the very early days of your AP line (before the jump to PFv1?).

I guess it would be up to individual GMs to ensure these allied characters did not overshadow the players during play.

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The Raven Black wrote:
mikeawmids wrote:
IMO, a revised/reimagined Jade Regent campaign would not need to dedicate three books/months of content to the travel, it should start and take place entirely in Minkai, with guidance in the Players Guide for creating characters that suit the setting.
That would be the second, high-level, AP.

If memory serves, one of the criticisms leveled against Jade Regent was that you were playing the standard array of western-fantasy-style heroes, who traipsed halfway across the world to interfere in a dispute they had no stake in, because of their close affiliation with a Mary-Sue NPC.

Would it not be better to have characters start in Minkai at level one, protecting their village/land from bandits/rogue samurai, then deposing a crooked noble/magistrate (and/or a wicked oni pulling the strings) in a level 1-10 AP. The 'sequel' could have things escalate from there, culminating in an assault on the Jade Regent's palace?

1: Defend village from bandits, dungeon crawl through bandit lair.
2: Head into town to deal with crooked magistrate behind bandit attacks.
3: Head into hostile territory (mountain/swamp) to find/destroy evil oni who was controlling the magistrate.

4: Jade Regent sends soldiers to make example of the group that killed magistrate/defied his rule. Party defend village from siege and drive of general (recurring villain).
5: PCs travel across Minkai, gathering allies to assault capital and overthrow Jade Regent.
6: Assault on capital, rematch with vengeful general, unseat the Jade Regent.

I should add, I would rather see 3 part APs and/or 6 part APs that are distinct from one another. I don't understand the desire for two seperate-but-connected stories to run back-to-back, if that is what is being requested. I would be interested in APs that follow on from the finale of a previous AP, in the sense that Shattered Star and Return of the Runelords were 'sequels' to Rise of the Runelords. However, I imagine they can't be too closely connected, for fear of alienating customers who did not buy the first AP in the chain.

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IMO, a revised/reimagined Jade Regent campaign would not need to dedicate three books/months of content to the travel, it should start and take place entirely in Minkai, with guidance in the Players Guide for creating characters that suit the setting.

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Is that a problem with the game or a problem with your group? There is no way it should be taking that long, even at higher levels.

How many players in your group?
What level are you playing at?
Do you have to act for additional allies/pets/familiars/summoned creatures?
How much of that time is players taking their actions, compared to the GM acting for his monsters?
Were there amy other distractors present that might have slowed down play?

We have one guy in our group, usually plays a maxed-out character (usually a monk or sorcerer) who seems able to take twice as many actions per turn as anyone else, yet never plans his actions until it is his turn. He alone takes up as much table time as the rest of the group combined.

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AceofMoxen wrote:
I'm in a strongly story-based 5e weekly Eberron game, a weekly PF2 game/society play, and a weekly SWADE game where we try to avoid combat.(we're not very good at it) I would not play a combat-focused 5e game. I'm really bored of 5e character concepts, and I can't stand silly rules like "see invisibility doesn't let you defend yourself from invisible creatures."

How's the SWADE game going? I would love to play more Savage Worlds, and I do have a Slipstream game lined up for early 2023.

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I play 5e regularly and still enjoy it (currently nine weeks into Dungeons of Drakkenheim, playing level six characters). It is by far the most popular game within my gaming group *, for both pre-written adventures and homebrew content. I'm not sure how keen I am to jump to One D&D, but we'll see how much choice I get in the matter.

* CoC7e comes in a distant second, with various Free League systems catching up fast.

So I picked up the Runewild Campaign Setting book on Cyber Monday.


This thing is a genuine masterpiece of adventure design and I cannot reccomend it highly enough! I stumbled on it by accident and it has rocketed right to the top of my Games to Run Next list. Created this post to make other people aware of this spectacular product.

"Beyond the kingdom of Aruanda, there is an untamed land. It is a place where witches walk, where goblins cavort, where the borders between the mortal and fey realms grow thin. For some, it is a place of unspeakable wonder; for others, only madness and death lie within its trackless depths.

It is the Runewild, and it is beautiful and cruel.

The Runewild is a dark fairy tale sandbox setting for use with the 5th Edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game. Designed for character levels 1 through 10, it provides locations, encounters, and NPCs to support a campaign lasting months or years, or to be adapted into other campaigns. This book includes:

A history of the Runewild and its surrounding settlements
150 detailed encounter areas for player characters to explore
21 maps (included as separate files for virtual tabletops)
8 new Backgrounds and a new Feat: Fey-Touched
21 unique magic items (like witch embers and the staff of clarity and confusion)
32 new monsters (including clockwork dwarves, fey lions, giant forest sloths, and the terrifyingly beautiful Golden Bodach)
Detailed descriptions of the histories, motivations, and weaknesses of the witches of the Runewild, including the Whitebone Sisters; Missus Switch, the swine hag; Korthsuva, the Witch of Hours; and the Hag Queen Griselda, Mother of Ogres
New optional rules for exploration and resting
Advice for running a sandbox campaign
Dozens of random tables designed to help GMs make a Runewild campaign their own."

I picked this up today, not had a chance to read it yet.

I loved the original Dragonlance trilogy, but it's been 20 years since I read them, and apparently this book does its own thing anyway.

Looking forward to reading your adventure write-ups.

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I imagine that the above post goes hand in hand with Player Apathy and GM Burnout. Shorter APs would likely reduce these factors also and result in greater player engagement and more positive reviews.

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WatersLethe wrote:
An adventure consisting entirely of delivering pizzas to hard-to-reach customers.

I would buy and run such an adventure!

This sounds suspiciously like NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens), unless I have misunderstood what is being marketed here.

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It all depends on the story being told. Rise of the Runelords, the only AP I have run to completion is spectacular, but Book 5 felt like filler and Book 6 was a mess.

Age of Ashes feels like a 6 volume epic, whereas Outlaws of Alkenstar was only three books long and still managed to outstay its welcome (despite having an awesome theme/setting).

IMO, Blood Lords should definetely not have been a 6 book project.

I have read a lot of threads/articles on other forums discussing how best to convert Pathfinder APs to other game systems, and one thing that comes up over and over again is to cut all the pointless/speed bumps encounters and fluff text. One poster over on the Pinnacle forums suggested you could cut as much as 80% of the AP and still run a fine campaign.

Perhaps Paizo could consider releasing 3x 4 part Adventure Paths, which would still feel like a epic quest, without having to dedicate whole books to seemingly pointless filler content.

I want to love your stuff Paizo, but by God, in comparison to other adventures available from Drivethru, they are often over-written, meandering and dull.

That's my two cents, for what it's worth.

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I've not finished reading 'A Taste of Ashes', but I just wanted to leave a shout-out for whoever wrote the inspirational rumour table in Part 1.

The PCs may come across several random rumours in their search. Roll a d12 to determine which random rumour they hear;
1: The High Priest is up to something.
2: The High Priest is up to something.
3: The High Priest is up to something.
4: The High Priest is up to something.
5: The High Priest is up to something.
6: The High Priest is up to something.
7: The High Priest is up to something.
8: The High Priest is up to something.
9: The High Priest is up to something.
10: The High Priest is up to something.
11: The High Priest is up to something.
12: The High Priest is up to something.

You dedicated an entire page to this, when you could just as easily have the PCs overhear someone mention that THE HIGH PRIEST IS UP TO SOMETHING.

Review forthcoming. :D

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I've not read books 5 or 6 yet, but upon finishing 'The Ghoul's Hunger', I feel you could run a pretty satisfactory, condensed version of this AP by running books 1 > 2 > 4 and having Blood Lord Hyrune be the main antagonist of the AP.

I forget who suggested it, but someone had the great idea of dropping the whole "You work for lastminutebooking.com now" angle altogether, and having his group hijack an airship in order to reinforce the Outlaws theme.

I got the distinct impression that the only reason you are recruiting passengers at all is too add more suspects/red herrings to the sabotage plot that follows. I planned to fix this by having one of Mugland's agents stowaway on the ship.

I am only two pages into this monster, but was immediately inspired to rush out and buy books for Basic Fantasy Roleplaying Game, so I can (at some point) run a high lethality, old-school dungeon crawl with my group. Thankyou for taking the time to record your adventure! :D

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LoreMaster GM wrote:
It hasn't started yet. They just announced it last week (?) and it is run by Jared Logan. I believe they want to start it off in January and are already recording. Cast is Skid, Joe, Mary Lou, and Paula Deming. The biggest down side is that it is locked behind a $10/month paywall.

No Troy, no enjoy. :(

Behind a paywall? Guess I'll go AWOL.

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Leon Aquilla wrote:
I don't like saying this, because I love Starfinder and have been a supersubscriber to it for years but clearly its other fans are either not numerous enough or don't put their money where their mouth is and just suck on the SRD.

The sci-fi fans on the Pinnacle forum are clamouring for a Starfinder for Savage Worlds kickstarter. They're saying they would likely buy Starfinder lore books and Starfinder adventures from Paizo to run in Starfinder for Savage Worlds, if that ever happens.

I would love to know if PF1 books saw a boost in sales following the very succesful kickstarter for Pathfinder for Savage Worlds.

Just saying, the customers are there, if Paizo want them.... ;p

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They become a SUPER GHOUL!!!

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That is infinetely better and I am stealing it. :D

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CorvusMask wrote:
Geezus people, stop having bombing war in the review scores :'D I want to read other people's opinion on this x'D

IMO, Blood Lords might have been better as a three-part series. I have been following the PF AP line since Skull & Shackles, yet this is the first time I have been genuinely weary of a specific AP. I'm not even that excited for Gatewalkers, I just want Blood Lords to end already.

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Stick with it, Book 3 is awesome. :D

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Sounds like a grand idea to me; the world is reacting to the actions your players take. Maybe give them a Perception/Notice roll to hear/see the flies approaching, giving them the opportunity to duck back inside if they would rather not fight.

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I'm aware of it, but I'm not backing it. I haven't read anything about the rules/adventures that come with it, but this feels like it exists just so they can slap a recognisable IP onto a generic system and make a mint off the nostalgia factor. Fair play to them if it makes money, but none of it will be mine.

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CorvusMask wrote:
it ends up feeling like filler book where none of three chapters are strictly related to each other

This was my problem with it. You could have a clue dropping Kemnebi's name at the end of Graveclaw and the PCs immediately summoned to Mechitar for their efforts against the hag coven, and skip this book entirely. I buy the AP books for the adventure and don't factor the back matter into my reviews, and Field of Maidens was (IMO) a pointless slog.

I did finish reading the book after submitting my 1 star review. The doll house was a tonal U-turn that had me rolling my eyes, but Gristlehall was fine. The medusa villain semed poorly conceived and hard to take seriously. Her dialogue when she's first introduced reads like it was written for Berline Haldoli, then she gets locked in a cupboard by her own minions, before the inevitable betrayal at the end of the adventure.

I also find it hard to swallow that two good aligned tribes from Holomog would just give a group of ghouls and goblins the run of their camp/s and offer them cooking lessons (or why a party of undead would give a flying F about getting involved in their business). Admittedly, I did not read the Holomog article, because it did not interest me.

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I backed this and the new Ancestry & Class options in the Advanced Players Guide greatly expand player options for the game. I cannot wait for the opportunity to actually play it. :D

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Wow, that is a phenomenal bargain. These little books are great for rules-lite gaming across multiple genres, but they are grotesquely overpriced most of the time. I would be all over this if I hadn't already bought dead tree copies of most of these books.

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While Abomination Vaults or Quest for the Frozen Flane probably would be better suited to a parade of murder hobos, there is nothing stopping you adapting Strength of Thousands to fit your preferred play style, especially if your players are vibing with the magic school theme. Sure, the AP encourages diplomatic & non-violent solutions, but there's nothing to stop you running these events as combat encounters, if that's what your group will enjoy. There are already some pretty memorable combat set-pieces in the first book; fighting armoured leshy's in a Robot Wars style fighting tournament, and defending the campus from giant bugs that come crashing through a wall mid-graduation/masks ceremony.

Also, not all combat encounters need to end in bloody dismemberment, you could emulate an 'anime' style and have characters resolve their arguments through fisticuffs, then emerge from the battle as unlikely friends.

Honestly, there are already too many NPCs in book one anyway, I would limit it to one named student per house and whichever instuctors the PCs show an interest in developing.

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Congratz on completing your campaign!

Now convert it to 5e! *cracks whip*

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Maybe. Second Darkness is not exactly beloved of the community and I recall reading somewhere that the creative team would like another bite of the elf apple. You can't have drow as the bad guys anymore cos' of Racism, but an AP where you all play as dark elves and adjacent ancestries, focused on GoT style political maneuvering/backstabbery could be interesting, but is maybe too similar to the underlying themes of Blood Lords to happen anytime soon.

There were some dark elves in book 3 of Abomination Vaults, right? What were they up to? Might need to revisit that section for possible hints to future drow action. :D

Alternatively, reference to spiders and worms could point to a Rovagug resurgence.

Rust could link to the recently announced Plane of Metal.

When I hear Paizo talking about Worms, I think Kyuss, or whatever their off-brand, discount version of Kyuss would look like. I would be down for a spiritual successor to Age of Worms with the serial numbers filed off.

Spiders could be drow and/or Lolth, but book 1 of the Gatewalkers AP mentions "an enigmatic bogeyman who pulls the strings from a coterminous plane of spindly shadows", which also has spidery connotations.

Alternatively, Kingmaker meets Out of the Abyss, managing a drow 'house' and navigating underdark politics.

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