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Pathfinder Adventure Path #89: Palace of Fallen Stars (Iron Gods 5 of 6) (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
yes! more of this, less of that other!pathar —
This book is good. You get to Starfall, you get to do stuff in Starfall, and then you do stuff in a building in Starfall which is totally not named on the cover of the book. This is quality stuff. I just wish they'd taken that first bit, the stuff in Starfall, and made it its own book, cutting either Scrapwall or the Valley or, better yet, all the filler crap in both. Starfall is where the action is, it's where we want to be, and we just don't get to spend enough time in it. :(
Pathfinder Adventure Path #88: Valley of the Brain Collectors (Iron Gods 4 of 6)Paizo Inc.
good ideas, lots of fillerpathar —
Blah blah blah, horrors from beyond the stars.
Look, there's some fun stuff here. There's some great information on an important faction in the AP, and one side encounter that's just creepily well conceived. Unfortunately there's just so. much. filler. The entire book takes place in one geographic location, and most of the action exists to justify that, rather than advancing the overall plot of the AP.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #87: The Choking Tower (Iron Gods 3 of 6) (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
ups and downspathar —
The town was bad, the dungeon was good. The tower was good conceptually, but it dragged in the middle. Meh.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #86: Lords of Rust (Iron Gods 2 of 6) (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
this book suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuckspathar —
Pointless mechanics duplicating extant systems, MMO-style grinding, side missions that do squat for the overall narrative of the AP, and one glaring problem with the setting:
What do they eat?!
There is no indication of how Scrapwall functions as a society. It's piles of rubble and a bunch of people shanking each other. No farms, no merchants, no trade. It's a dungeon but it's full of people who have no way to survive. No me gusta.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #85: Fires of Creation (Iron Gods 1 of 6) (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
good stuffpathar —
This is an excellent start to the Iron Gods AP. The events of this book introduce the key players quite well, via an interesting story and a fun adventure. Things are weird, but there aren't any moments that feel like filler.
Love the mooks with saps and the tactics calling for sneak attack ... who only have levels in fighter. Good work, guys. "Clunky" doesn't being to describe this.
Buuut, I like the ending, because it has been known to leave players up a certain well-known creek. Plus the BBEG is kind of fun. So ... 3 stars.
excellent Halloween releasepathar —
I ran this the day after Halloween for a table of very young players (plus the mother of one of them) and every single one of them loved it. It was dark and weird and kind of gross. "The Polyp Hall," I mean come on, that's just awesomely gruesome. They also quite cleverly circumvented an encounter in a way that delighted everyone, and there were a lot of options written into the scenario, based on how people play it ... all told an excellent scenario.
good timepathar —
I quite enjoyed this, although I found Tier 1-2 a little more challenging than I might have otherwise preferred. I had to flex a little to avoid killing a table of newbs, but they didn't see it happen, so they all had a good time.
fun and good intro to numerian stuffpathar —
I liked this. It was fun, it was new, and it involved a lot of screwing with expectations. I really enjoyed it and my players did too.
Pathfinder Module: Master of the Fallen Fortress (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
troll modulepathar —
This module is hilarious. It just trolls the players from beginning to end. Love it.
couldn't you have just punched me in the face instead?pathar —
Two and half hours into the game, I died. It was the fourth round of combat. I had not yet been allowed to take an action. I was the fourth person to drop; two others got away.
Literally: Teleported in, did nothing, died.
way too complex for society playpathar —
Trying to wrangle a bunch of players into learning the mass combat rules for a five-hour session is not practical. It's also the first experience that most GMs have with it, so the whole mass combat section is just error after error compounded with confusion upon confusion. I understand some people like mass combat, and I've got no problem with that, but it's basically a different system. Even if everyone at the table has interest, unless they also have experience, they're gonna have a bad time.
Even if everyone is familiar with the rules, take note that the only impact your character has on commanding an army is his/her Charisma modifier and his/her Profession (Soldier). So a Sorcerer will be great, and a Fighter will not. This does not necessarily make sense. Obviously some will disagree, but it feels like most PFS character are, at best, ill-equipped. This is especially relevant when an army with a low-Charisma commander is going up against an enemy army with the Fear special ability.
Regarding the final fight, it's just too hard. I played this at Tier 3-4 and it was brutal. The high tier table is being TPK'd as I write this review. Tier 3-4 characters can't handle
Spoiler:After an incredibly frustrating mass combat section, the whole thing could've been saved with a nice fun combat, but instead it's just more brutality and frustration.
fighting a creature with DR, SR, Magus levels, and a Fly speed ... while 100+ feet in the air.
I'm scheduled to run this next month. I'm seriously torn about whether I will actually do so, or fill in with WBG or something. I do not consider this at all good for a casual game day, and as a dedicated player who played with other dedicated players, I cannot recommend it.
Pathfinder Legends—Rise of the Runelords #1: Burnt OfferingsBig Finish Productions
We finally got around to listening to this and I was surprised by how much I liked it. From the outset the accents make me think of the complaint that modern fantasy worlds are "ren faires with elf ears," but after you get past that you can start having fun. The voice actor for Valeros is perfect, the guy who does Hemlock fits the image I've always had in my mind, and it gets into the motivation of the NPCs in ways that the PCs in my campaign just didn't really manage. Also, it's not afraid to mess with the plot in minor ways, so it's not just the same story re-hashed--it's more like it's re-told. So: Bonus.
quick but qualitypathar —
This runs pretty fast, which isn't surprising in a Season 2 mod, but it's interesting. I love the first three encounters, and the fourth is a decent boss fight--the optional encounter is boring, but whatever, it's optional.
This scenario is also important because it demonstrates that Season 5 was being planned several years in advance. I approve.
quoth the player, "there's not enough nope in the world"pathar —
I really liked this scenario. It's super-creepy and is very fond of ignoring traditional convention. Actual moral considerations are involved! It is quality. Definitely should not be missed.
Not very interesting, after the fact.
love that gm sheetpathar —
Fun to run, boring to play.
does what it says on the tinpathar —
Took me eight hours to run this and I could have stretched it out longer but someone had to go to work. It was awesome.
ew. just ew.pathar —
Delightful. Left us all feeling like we needed a shower afterwards.
Pathfinder Module: The Emerald Spire Superdungeon (PFRPG)Paizo Inc.
great on paper, less great in practicepathar —
I have finally finished running this. It is a good project overall, but I'm having some serious issues with some of the levels.
#5 is a great example--written by Sean K. Reynolds, recycles the same stat block three different times.
Is building a level 5 summoner so difficult that you couldn't even give their Eidolons different appearances? Or did it somehow seem like good level design to make the "boss" creature the first, middle, and last fight of the level? I just ... what? Why?!
#9, by Tim Hitchcock, frankly just sucks out loud.
Morlocks? Really? For a level 8 dungeon? A bunch of morlocks ... and three fights that are essentially optional? That's it? What the crap, Hitchcock?
As for the final level, by James Jacobs Himself ...
Man, that boss fight could not have been more anti-climactic. The advanced shining child in the next room was a bigger challenge. I was really excited about it when I read through it at first, because ZOMG LORE THIS IS AWESOME, but from a system perspective, it was lame. But then ... it was written by James Jacobs Himself, after all. :/
Finally, I'm really bummed about the way this was sanctioned in PFS. You're only allowed to run it in PFS mode, with PFS-legal characters. Which means all the side quests are useless as the experience for them means nothing and many of them stretch over multiple levels, the politics of the town are irrelevant, and the gold is set in stone. Plus, items that are supposed to be rare--limited to one or two per party, at least at first--are available to everyone for purchase as soon as they appear, which completely negates the way these levels work together, as a dungeon. This could all be fixed by a simple statement from Paizo: "Okay, you can also run it in campaign mode." Instead they specifically aren't allowing that, which sucks, because make no mistake--this is not just a dungeon, it's a campaign, and it could be beautiful.
PS: Also, WTF is up with Godhome's chronicle sheet? This is a great level with a variety of options, all of which are essentially negated by the PFS sanctioning, because ... muderhobos? I don't know. But it sucks--and can completely mess up your advancement if you're trying to play through with one character, thanks to the necessity of going slow on certain levels.
good timespathar —
This scenario is a lot of fun. The ending is staggeringly epic. Also, it has a certain emotional appeal--I've seen the most hardcore min-maxers be downright touched by how it turns out.
excellent intro!pathar —
Great stuff. Infinitely replayable. Wonderful introduction. Loses one star for using an out-of-print map. Not exactly a convenient choice.
I'm not being snide--I mean I've played and run it and I can't for the life of me remember anything about it. I flagged it as "might be fun to rerun" in my personal list, but am coming up blank as I go to review it. Ultimately forgettable.
oh, OGLpathar —
Listen, kids, I know they're weenie, but 13 of anything will destroy a party of first level characters if their dice don't cooperate. We had a TPK when we played this, and it was just brutal when I ran it. The plot isn't all that interesting to compensate. Pass.
Okay. Not really much else to say about it. The whole optional extra encounter seems completely tacked on, IMO.