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****** Pathfinder Society GM. Starfinder Society GM. 5,065 posts (9,090 including aliases). 60 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 83 Organized Play characters. 36 aliases.



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Excellent scenario let down by the absurd last encounter

4/5

This pretty much had everything going for it until the last encounter.

Note - played at high tier

Variety of skill challenges, some roleplay opportunities, a compelling story line that actually made you pay attention.

The combats were ok. Nothing special but nothing really standing out. One did have something that made it different from the norm.

But then we have the final encounter.

First, and probably most importantly, it had NOTHING whatsoever to do with the story. It came completely out of left field and really made absolutely no sense at all. It felt very much like the author just rolled a dice to determine what we faced.

Secondly, and this is maybe metagaming, it came after what was OBVIOUSLY the last encounter. One gets a strong feel for the structure of PFS adventures. At least a couple of players used their last hero points in the encounter prior to this. Normally I don't particularly mind being surprised like this but see the next point

Third, it was ridiculously hard. The group was a normal mix of characters of various levels averaging to about 3 facing what was a CR 5 encounter BEFORE The elite template was applied. Paizo HAS to stop doing this. Using challenge points to add the elite template to a solo boss is just really, really, really lazy design. It makes it far too dangerous and it makes it basically boring.

Doing this when the characters are close to being out of resources in an encounter that they have absolutely no reason to expect just makes it worse.

The GM pretty much softballed this (in a reasonably justifiable way, but he still softballed it). I'm pretty sure that if went full hard ball then things would have been MUCH worse. As in quite possibly a TPK with a little bit of bad luck.

I dithered between subtracting 1 or 2 stars for the last encounter and decided that I liked the scenario sufficiently to only take away 1 star. If the last encounter had been changed to something that actually made sense and wasn't as difficult this would have been a 5 star scenario.


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An epic conclusion to the Season 2 meta plot

5/5

I was a player in this at full on high tier and it felt quite epic. We felt like high level adventurers doing high level things with lots of assistance from the lower level pathfinder agents. A very satisfactory conclusion to this seasons meta plot.

The combats were all interesting, the flavour was tasty, and the story was advanced in a way that made sense.

Very little roleplaying to be done, unfortunately. This is basically an all action scenario (with, of course, skill checks of various kinds being quite important). But the combats were all fun with opportunities for a wide variety of tactics and characters to shine.

My one objection is that this REALLY REALLY REALLY felt like it should have been an End of Season multi table special. I strongly suspect that it was originally intended as such but that Paizos plans got changed with the pandemic and various fallouts because of the pandemic. It was a heck of a lot more epic than many of the previous PF1 and PF2 season end/start multi player specials.


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Remarkably deep story for a bounty

5/5

I'm going to avoid spoilers but this has a remarkably deep story with roleplaying and moral issues and everything.

Excellent work for a bounty.

This could actually work as the introduction to an entire Adventure Path. Which is an incredible statement to make about a Bounty.


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Too long and essentially boring

2/5

When I played this the scenario clocked in at 6 hours and it was only that short due to some significant cuts.

I'd thought that was possibly just our table but the GM discussion thread indicates that it runs long for everybody. How long will depend a fair bit on how much prep work the GM does. We had a fairly decent party but the fights have lots of moving bits and lots of hit points to inflict and inevitably will take time

The combats were ok but nothing too spectacular. And, due directly to how long it was running, there was no time for anything BUT the combats. The section that looked like it had story and roleplaying potential was rushed through quickly with dice rolls. Note I'm NOT blaming the GM for that, by the time we got there we were obviously running late and he had no choice but to cut this.


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Good but a bit too hard

3/5

I ran this at Paizocon and it ended with a TPK.

A significant portion of that TPK was bad dice luck and somewhat suboptimal character tactics but the last encounter was a beast and it comes after several encounters hard enough to drain limited resources. And that TPK came after I somewhat softballed things.

It also ran long.

The pregens were effective enough in general but, from my perspective, didn't overflow with roleplaying character. Obviously that could be players as much as characters. The players did have access to the characters before the game but I ran at a con and I think all my players were also GMs so they probably didn't have much time before hand :-(

I suspect this plays VERY differently depending on player choices and dice rolls. I may well end up running it again just to find out.

A couple of GM suggestions
1) I screwed up at the dinner. One character got the clue, I should definitely have given the information secretly. I foolishly did it openly.
2) I hinted to the players that they were on a timer. There is enough going on that I shouldn't have and just arm waved out of combat healing.
3) the final encounter is a beast. Allow at least an hour for it.


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Wonderful albeit difficult

5/5

I don't have all that much to add to the other reviews.

Played at the authors table at Paizocon. If you get the chance I'd highly recommend that. Hillary really brought this scenario to life

As a whole the scenario is great, definitely amongst my favourite pfs2 scenarios. The first part especially is insanely whimsical fun, definitely best for players and characters who appreciate sillyness

Lots of interesting story, great NPCs, a combat with something different going on.

Other than the optional final encounter the fights and challenges are, if anything, slightly on the easy side

Our group (3 level 6s, 2 level 3s with bump, level 4) handled the optional encounter without major issues. But we had a good mix of characters with pretty much all bases covered, we used pretty effective teamwork, and the dice were fairly neutral. I can definitely see how other groups would struggle or even TPK.

Structurally, it is definitely a flaw that a fight this hard is optional. I'm not sure what happens if you avoid it. The GM was VERY clear that it was optional and tough but there were pretty compelling character reasons to do it and we all agreed. There are definitely major reasons to fight, which is a good thing. I'd have been very disappointed if it was just a "fight to get loot" kind of thing.

On the other hand, when it works it REALLY works. We chose to fight, we had a fun but tough fight, and we get that lovely feeling you get for taking the harder path and overcoming the challenges, for acting like heros and seeing the world be a better place as a result.

It would be awkward if players disagreed. It would be unpleasant to be forced into this fight (either by being outvoted or by peer pressure) and lose a character. I'd suggest GMs tend strongly towards unanimous approval before allowing it.

It is a very good thing that it was the last encounter. This means that at least the players have a reasonable idea who is at the table, how effective their group is.

So, I loved this scenario and definitely think it worth 5 stars, even with the last fight. But I think it perhaps would have been a little better to tone down the last fight a little, beef up the other fights, and then make the last fight non optional.


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Way too deadly

1/5

Note, I'm one of Andrews players and so its not surprising that I basically agree with his points.

I died 3 times in one session. That largely says it all.

The first death my paladin is one shot killed by an NPC. My character is certainly a decent to good front liner. Paladin, shield raised, human, con of 14, Expert in Fortitude saves. Could be slightly better than that but not really much better. And many characters (including some front liners) are significantly worse.

Even when using a hero point I figure the odds of the vampiric touch killing me at about 25%. That is instant death for a full hit point front liner. That is really way too hard. 1 in 4 chance of death.

Then we had the TPK with the scorpion. Saved by Deus Ex Machina which is really, really unsatisfying. I lost the vote at the meta level to have us saved (I'd have preferred we all died).

Then the second TPK. A fight with a tough monster immediately after a resource draining hit point inflicting encounter would be bad if the monster was fair. But, of course, it was over tuned. If Paizo just followed their own guidelines we'd likely have handled it. But no, they have to ignore their guidelines and just make the monsters tougher.

I'm liking the story of the dungeon crawl, I really like the group as a whole. The adventure seems like it will be a lot of fun. An interesting story, chances for character interactions

But yeah, dying 3 times in a session is really too much. And it was NOT due to bad play or incredibly bad luck (having a 25% chance come up is mildly unlucky but only mildly). Even as an experienced player who loves making characters I was somewhat disheartened. If I didn't like the group as much as I do I'd be seriously considering quitting.

If this was anywhere close to my introduction to Pathfinder (say, for example, having gone through the beginner box which is one of the main targets for this module) I'd definitely decide that Pathfinder just sucks and go to a better system.

Paizo, there really are only a few lessons that you HAVE to learn:
1) Follow your own guidelines for monster creation and for encounter preparations. The guidelines aren't bad but you continually just ignore them.
2) Stop putting in instakill abilities against low level characters. Obviously bad luck can happen and I'm not saying make everything a cake walk. But there is a HUGE difference between a bad guy rolling a 17 and then a 20 and the character being critted twice and dying asopposed to a character with expert fortitude and good Con and hit points needing to roll a 13+ to survive.
3) Be way, way more sparing on CR+2 and CR+3 monsters. Even when the encounter is "fair" it can be un-fun to be knocked unconscious on a roll of 9 followed by a 12. And, if you DO this, please make sure that the CR includes any advantages the environment grants (again, as the encounter building guides suggest).


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Fun but overtuned

2/5

This may well be largely a result of "With the right group, ANYTHING can be fun" but I've found myself quite enjoying my run (I'm the GM) through this scenario.

The scenario has a lot going for it. Lots of exploration, a fair bit of interesting roleplay, an interesting setting, some interesting and varied combats.

But it has 2 major, major flaws.

1) Many of the encounters are just too hard. Even using deliberately poor tactics on more than one occassion I nearly TPKed the party a couple of times and actually DID TPK them once in book 2 (which is where the group currently is).
2) In part 1 especially there are just too many Oozes. Yes, they're thematically perfect for this scenario but they just essentially shut down some character types (rogues and swashbucklers especially). I was lucky that the player of the swashbuckler was an incredibly good sport about how almost useless his character was and was obviously having fun
being so incompetent. I have no issue with a character being largely locked out of PART of a scenario but it was almost 2 whole sessions :-(

Unlike the other reviewer, my group actually loved the Boggards. They suddenly became kick ass adventurers again :-).

And the players were all playing lovingly made characters, NOT pregens. The pregens wouldn't have had a chance without extreme luck or extreme GM assistance.

I think that this module actually makes a good framework for an adventure. If a GM is willing to put in the work to reduce the power level and come up with some solution to the too many oozes problem it would be 4 or 5 stars.

But as a "play it as written" adventure its just too hard.

Especially since its still fairly early in the PF2 life span. The TPK was with 2 monsters

Spoiler:
spectres
that I arguably should have recognized as very overpowered, especially for its level. But (not too surprisingly) I had never seen that particular monster before and just (foolishly) trusted Paizo that they knew what they were doing when they threw 2 of them at the party. I'd like to think that if I ran this a couple of years from now I'd have realized up front how broken some things are.

But it really shouldn't be my responsibility to do that. The group was a quite well built and well balanced group covering all the bases. It is far more difficult than it should be for such a grou


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Wonderful. Just wonderful

5/5

This is an absolutely superb scenario, one of the very best I've seen in PFS (1 or 2).

The setting is made very, very evocative and is the star of this scenario. I commented at least twice that my character was likely to stay there, its that good (admittedly the theme fit my gnome very well).

The setting is fun, whimsical, but at the same time actually seemed realistic. Strange but consistent customs. Strange but consistent technology.

There are only a couple of combats but they were both interesting in their own ways and one was reasonably difficult.

Lots and lots of roleplaying opportunities.

And an interesting decision for the PCs to make.

Its very definitely the first of a two parter. Unfortunately, I was unable to play the second half (yet!) so I'm not sure how well they fit together. Talking to somebody who DID play the second part, that was also apparently fun.

Everybody at the table had a great time with this.

Play this and part 2 with the same group if possible. And as close to back to back as you can manage. Yes, I know that from only playing part 1 (it ends on a real cliffhanger).


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Had a really, really good time

5/5

This was a really fun adventure to play.

To give credit where it is due, a significant portion of that was due to a GM who was willing to go with the flow as we tried various arguably silly shenanigans, coming up on the fly with mechanics that both rewarded us AND still kept things challenging. And to a group of players who got into the spirit of the adventure and tried said silly shenanigans :-). In fairness, the adventure actively encouraged the characters to get creative (and, therefore, clearly to engage in shenanigans :-))

But the adventure itself is quite solid. Lots of roleplaying potential, some interesting fights, decent background. Places where the characters decisions actually MATTERED both in story and in terms of rewards received.

As seems to be very common in PFS (And I think this is a good thing) lots and lots of skill challenges with various options so most characters will have SOME way to contribute.

Have only played it so I can't judge how good the replays will be.


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The tracks are very visible in this deadly scenario

1/5

Note, I was in the same group as The Vortex. Read it after playing it.

One comes to expect railroading but this scenario went to extremes. Lock up an NPC? Matters not, they escape anyway.

It has several "fail this roll and you're arguably dead" situations (the GM was nice and didn't kill us). Even at tier 3-6, gating some extremely important information behind an expert only check us rather optimistic. There are a lot of skills to be expert in.

And the final battle is just crazy. At low tier it's a CR 6 with some extra mooks to slow you down AND an incredibly hard terrain disadvantage. It's very likely that only 1 or at most 2 characters will get to the big bad quickly and even the tank is being crit on something like a 15 or so. And a nasty (or just honest) GM is going to rule that there isn't line of sight based on geometry.

And all this in a place where running away isn't an option (actually, it's unclear what happens if the PCs attempt to flee the final encounter)


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WAY too hard for an introductory scenario

1/5

Played this. TPK.

We ran into one monster with a rather nasty special ability. I think the writers just expect the wizard to
1) Roll high on intiative
2) Choose to spend an action on a knowledge check
3) Roll high enough to get the required knowledge.

Didn't happen, Amiri went first, caused the monsters special ability to activate, things just went south from there.

It didn't help that the only pregen with in combat healing is Kyra and we didn't bring Kyra. Yes, there are alternate means but the pregens don't have them.

No Kyra, wizard rolled lower than barbarian == TPK

This scenario would be difficult but ok with player built characters at level 5. But with pregens and inexperienced players and inexperienced GMs its just too swingy and difficult

On the "bright" side its come very close to finalizing my opinion of PFS2. Not sure that Paizo considers that a good thing though considering the way my opinion is going.

I think PF2 may be a reasonable game with a decent GM modifying silly things. But with PFS insisting that things be run as written it really isn't.


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Bad enough to ALMOST turn me off 2nd edition

1/5

This scenario is utterly atrocious. One of my players said that the only PFS scenario he has EVER disliked more was the troop one from PFS1 (5-24, Assault on the Wound).

I am writing this from the position of a GM GMing a table of seven level 1 PCs.

So, what is wrong
1) The setup - The pathfinder Society is reeling, trying to recover, so they send Pathfinders out to get a whole bunch of basically worthless historical crap so people can preserve their heritage? Recovering bodies is a better rationale, admittedly, but even that seems like a waste of resources if your're trying to stress how overloaded the PCs are.

2) The majority of the scenario is a basically pointless exercise where the PCs are just rolling dice at often absurd DCs. I mean, it takes 10 minutes to make a heal check to figure out that a body is a 1/2 ling or a gnome? And the DC for that goes up with level for absolutely no in world reason. A FEW of the skill DCs are static (not affected by level) but the vast majority are affected by level "just because". So much for all the promises that PF2 would use static DCs when appropriate. As of 3 scenarios, basically a lie.

3) I don't think the scaling is right. So, DCs go up by 3 from low tier to high tier while the PCs go up by 2 levels. Ignoring rogues, the difference between L1 and L3 is that ONE skill goes from trained to Expert, getting ONE at +4. The rest go up by 2. So, its basically harder at high tier than at low tier to recognize that the body is a 1/2ling

4) The PCs have a huge dilemna. Stay together or split the party. Both options are punished since combat DOES occur while they're searching for relics/clues.

5) There are just TOO many rolls. I was pushing the party REALLY hard but at 20 odd "turns" it just breaks down into rolling dice. As a GM I was frustrated and bored out of my skull for most of it

6) Railroading - So, there is a place where a critical failure leads to false information. As written, this then automatically leads to the players losing 30 minutes. No player choice, they just lose 30 minutes. And how the heck do the PCs make it to the first combat encounter without meeting zombies on the way in?

7) The final combat is absolutely brutal. I knew that going in so "coincidentally" I made sure that everybody had a Hero Point going in. I softballed a little (concentrating on the Animal Companion). Even so, it was close to a TPK. 3 CR2's and some zugs against a group of level 1 PCs is just brutal.

8) The whole "Get to the village" thing seemed VERY artificial as I explained the character options.

Some of this was just VERY bad scenario writing. But some of it seems to be PF2 and the way it works. The DCs just seem that little bit too high, the overemphasis on skills, the deadliness that is PF2 poisons, the deadliness that PF2 combat can be.

I'm still reserving judgement but this scenario went a fair way to convinced me that PF2 isn't for me.


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Absurdly overcomplicated

1/5

I can't really add anything new to the existing reviews, I just wanted to help see how many 1 star reviews this scenario can get. And, quite frankly, I NEEDED to vent after this monstrosity

The whole thing is absurdly over complicated and it makes no sense when you play it and even less sense when you read it later.

Its far too deadly, especially for a tier 1-5 where new players are a very lively possibility.

Making it undead all the time and making those undead tougher with a b!&%$@&@ disease that makes undead far tougher without raising their CR is just more bad writing.

And the railroad tracks are just crazy stupid on this one. Vaguely sane PCs would just acknowledge failure and go home long before the end.

Not to mention the whole "Your in the CAPITAL CITY of a country with what you're told is a VERY good law enforcement force but they need level 1-2 characters to save the day?"

This feels like it might once have been a decent module which then got totally cut in production. Its too long, too much happens, it all makes no sense.

Or maybe Paizo just wasn't paying any attention because everybody was way too busy with PF2


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Lots of fun but potentially deadly

5/5

Overall the scenario was a lot of fun and had pretty much everything going for it.

Interesting location, a good story, a mix of encounter types including some roleplaying, some exploration, and a few interesting fights.

For various reasons it is going to play very differently depending upon the group makeup and some GM choices.

I had two issues with it.

1) The fights are potentially VERY difficult, depending upon the mix of characters and character types. When we played it one character came within 2 pts of dying in the surprise round. Character death is a VERY real risk in this scenario

2)

Spoiler:
The players figured out the basic story of what was happening long before reaching the end. I'm not sure if that was intended or not. Certainly, what could conceivably have been intended as a suprise wasn't


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Really quite silly if you think about it. I loved it

5/5

I'm not really sure if this is a good showcase for the Concordance (a lot of scenarios in Season 8 really did a better job of that).

And the complaints that Jamilla really shouldn't be an authority figure are probably apt.

And some of the combats are a little on the difficult side for low tier.

But I don't care. It was SO incredibly enjoyable that its a clear 5 star scenario :-).

At least, its a lot of fun if your tastes include whimsy. Because there is a whole LOT of whimsey in this. If you hate the Fey because they're so random you'll absolutely hate this.

Lots of excellent roleplaying possibilities, huge amounts of flavour, some decent combats, skill challenges that were both apt and not too difficult.


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Good scenario with one glaring flaw

2/5

This was a pretty decent scenario (not great, but a solid 3-4 star scenario) except for one Glaring Flaw.

There was a fair bit of roleplaying, some exploration, some interesting encounters, a new place to go. All good things.

Minor spoiler:

The Chase scene was fun but definitely inferior to a very similar scene done in an earlier scenario

Some of the roleplaying was more or less impossible unless the characters spoke a quite obscure language. Low level characters very rarely have a way of getting past the language barrier (comprehend languages was not enough). It made PERFECT sense that this barrier existed, though, so I'm fine with this. World making sense is about equivalent value to a lost fairly minor roleplaying opportunity.

And then we come to the

Glaring Flaw:

Paizo decided to insert a ticking clock that the characters have absolutely NO way to know about. A badly and confusingly written ticking clock (See GM thread for details). Giving the timing involved it is a coincidence of the highest order that there was any kind of time limit. And the characters knew that. Why on earth would they be expected to act as if there was a time limit absent GM hints at the meta level?


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Very good but too long and too dangerous

3/5

Damned paizo board ate my first review so this may be shorter.

I agree with all the other reviews that this scenario is, at base, very very good. Excellent story, interesting fights, good exploration, even some role playing. 5 Stars.

However, it ran very long. Despite us all having sent the GM our info ahead of time it took over 6 1/2 hours to run.

Despite being a reasonable (not optimal, but a long way from dismal, and we had ALL the necessary bases covered) group firmly in tier our high tier group TPK'ed.

Basically, if you go in with the wrong group (a group barely in tier, especially if 5 characters. Or a group with a couple of severely underperforming characters. Or just a group with the wrong mix of abilities, especially skills) then you WILL fail. Guaranteed.

I disagree with a couple of other reviewers. This was NOT obvious from either the briefing or the scenario description. We were NOT facing a Rune Lord. It was NOT the end of a season. It was a 7-11 like any other 7-11 on the face of it. Oh, a very important one to one faction admittedly.

There is one facet of the scenario that I absolutely loathed. This tempted me to give my review one star. But that wouldn't really be fair as I liked the scenario as a whole.

Totally unacceptable:

If you fail in this scenario (and that is definitely FAR more likely than with most scenarios) there is a very real chance of Permadeath. I don't mind (especially at this level) losing some cash and prestige to body recovery and Raise Dead. But if the group fails AND you fail a saving throw at the wrong time you will be permanently dead. No way out that I know of. This happened to one of the characters (not mine) and it is unacceptable in a scenario this difficult.


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Going to be very random with LOTS of table variation

2/5

I've now both played and run this.

I basically like the scenario. The space battle is quite fun. I liked the fact that it wasn't JUST a space battle.

The basic horrorish approach on the spaceship is good.

I agree with others that it is a poorly disguised railroad with no choices at all.

But the two BBEGS are a little too much. Maybe a lot too much. We played at low tier with 1 L1, 3L2 characters and a L3 Operative (who, not surprisingly, probably did more damage than the rest of us combined).

I don't want to spoil things too much but

The first one encountered is definitely WAY tougher than nearly any other creature of its CR I've so far encountered (do not have Alien Archive yet). Its also using some as yet ill defined abilities (I can actually construct a reasonable argument that would make this creature LITERALLY unhittable and therefore automatic run away or die). Depending on how optimally the GM plays the bad guy this combat can be both dangerous AND long. A few bad rolls on the aura effect and it could easily be a TPK.

There are items placed in the scenario to explicitly help against this. Out of the 9 characters (4 when I ran, 5 when I played) exactly 1 character could make use of these items. Which isn't too surprising really.

Given that we are currently dealing with low level characters being run by inexperienced players, it is no surprise that some characters will be LITERALLY be unable to do ANYTHING against this enemy. That both makes the battle harder and is going to very boring for the player.

Another place where there is going to be table variation is whether the PCs are allowed to take a 10 minute rest between the two encounters.

The second encountered isn't that bad. It felt a lot more dangerous than it actually was. The scenario went to great lengths to make sure that what seemed very dangerous actually wasn't all that bad.


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Reminds me of my university days

1/5

The first 1/2 of this module was wonderful. Lots of regional flavour, lots of roleplaying, lots of silliness.

Heading for 5 Stars at this point

Then there is the "You are forced into a random encounter with an overpowered monster" part. Yes, I'm particularly peeved because my character died. But I HATE Railroads that place you on the map in a place where you may well not have even gone. I think at least 3 members of the party had create water and so why would we go to a watering hole? Watering holes are dangerous! (don't say they aren't and then put a monster in there :-)). Then, at this place where you have no reason to be, you throw an overpowered monster at the group that has NOTHING to do with the adventure. Didn't help that we were 4 players and the 4 player adjustment on this is a joke.

Paizo, throw away the young template. NEVER ever ever use it. It is NEVER worth the -1 CR. Use the degenerate template from Tome of Righteous Repose instead. That ACTUALLY does reduce the CR by 1.

So, take away at least 1 star for that.

Then you have the ending. Some fairly pointlessly trivial combat encounters. Followed by a philosophy lecture that never quite attained the "level" of discourse of my undergraduate stoned 3am "dicussions". A PFS game is NOT the place to introduce nihilistic philosophy.

-2 stars

Worse, of course, is the fact that many characters ALREADY have a divine patron and ALREADY have pretty clear answers to the questions. Why the heck would you expect these characters to play that particular game? In character, this is obviously an INSANELY stupid thing to do.

For this to be interesting both the PLAYER and the CHARACTER have to be interested in discussing philosophy around the game table. Without drugs or alcohol :-). An unlikely combination.

-2 stars.

Can't give 0 stars so 1 star it is


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Very good Star Trek like scenario

5/5

I've just finished running the Quests and the first 3 PFS scenarios at a Con. These reviews are partly for the impression that they collectively left on me and so the beginning of the reviews are identical.

Together, these form a wonderful introduction to both Starfinder and the Society. There are lots and lots of background details that just pop out and are very evocative of the setting. Together, they illustrate just how wide a range of possible games can be run using Starfinder and the variety of adventures that we can hopefully expect in Society play.

The end result of running this material is that I am much happier with both the mechanics and setting than I was going in. The game plays better than it appears that it might, all the characters were participating in all the scenarios and none really dominated any particular scenario.

And the setting has become quite interesting. There are LOTS of stories to be told and the system is robust enough to tell most of them :-).

=== Yesteryears specific review

Ok, this was wonderful in so many ways.

It REALLY felt like an episode of Star Trek (the original series). Other than the fact that probably even Kirk wouldn't have slept with the alien babe :-).

The starship combat was very different from the two combats in the quest. Its nice to see that the rules support at least 3 combats with quite different feel even at level 1 with simple ships and only 1 per side.

I Really liked:

1) the fact that the aliens are BUGS that are sapient, pleasant individuals. One lesson in this scenario is to not judge by appearance.
2) That the two subspecies actually live in harmony

3) There is no universal translator. Communicating via the gizmo was more fun

I thought this a good mix of roleplaying and combat.

One small nit - They should have given me the stats (or at the very least the page number) for the translator device. Finding it was a bit of a pain


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Firefly themed scenario was a lot of fun

5/5

I've just finished running the Quests and the first 3 PFS scenarios at a Con. These reviews are partly for the impression that they collectively left on me and so the beginning of the reviews are identical.

Together, these form a wonderful introduction to both Starfinder and the Society. There are lots and lots of background details that just pop out and are very evocative of the setting. Together, they illustrate just how wide a range of possible games can be run using Starfinder and the variety of adventures that we can hopefully expect in Society play.

The end result of running this material is that I am much happier with both the mechanics and setting than I was going in. The game plays better than it appears that it might, all the characters were participating in all the scenarios and none really dominated any particular scenario.

And the setting has become quite interesting. There are LOTS of stories to be told and the system is robust enough to tell most of them :-).

=== Fugitive specific review

I (obviously) disagree with the other reviewers.

I got considerable enjoyment out of the story (mind you, I've always liked Barsoom. I mean Akiton. Totally not Barsoom). It felt very much like a Firefly episode.

You've got Corporate Goons to talk with or fight with.

You've got somebody to track down. Somebody the locals like.

You've got miners to portray. Miners that are designed to be fun as you make sure to give the players the basic information they need.

I found the final combat about right. Challenging, scary, but ultimately the party of nearly all Pregen PCs played by new players prevailed.

I think that one thing the other reviewers haven't yet fully absorbed is that combat is fundamentally different in Starfinder. You're EXPECTED to take lots of hits, its EXPECTED that characters will go down. Hit points are IMPORTANT, more important than AC.


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A very good introduction to the society

5/5

I've just finished running the Quests and the first 3 PFS scenarios at a Con. These reviews are partly for the impression that they collectively left on me and so the beginning of the reviews are identical.

Together, these form a wonderful introduction to both Starfinder and the Society. There are lots and lots of background details that just pop out and are very evocative of the setting. Together, they illustrate just how wide a range of possible games can be run using Starfinder and the variety of adventures that we can hopefully expect in Society play.

The end result of running this material is that I am much happier with both the mechanics and setting than I was going in. The game plays better than it appears that it might, all the characters were participating in all the scenarios and none really dominated any particular scenario.

And the setting has become quite interesting. There are LOTS of stories to be told and the system is robust enough to tell most of them :-).

=== The Commencement specific review

The commencement was, overall, a good introduction to the society and the setting. I'm not sure why there were only 4 factions covered but, quite frankly, the other one sounds very boring to me :-).

The Race took by far the most time. Do NOT let the players choose to do this first, you want to get it out of the way so that you can gauge time better. Every time that I ran this the players were all having fun building their racer and then the race was definitely exciting (although it perhaps went on a little long).

There is lots of humour in this senario. The CD "side quest" was quite amusing.

And the various Faction Leaders were quite well portrayed. They seemed far more like "people" than many from PFS. Fitch was the favourite. Kudos to the artist, she is so CUTE :-)


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A good introduction to the game and setting

5/5

I've just finished running the Quests and the first 3 PFS scenarios at a Con. These reviews are partly for the impression that they collectively left on me and so the beginning of the reviews are identical.

Together, these form a wonderful introduction to both Starfinder and the Society. There are lots and lots of background details that just pop out and are very evocative of the setting. Together, they illustrate just how wide a range of possible games can be run using Starfinder and the variety of adventures that we can hopefully expect in Society play.

The end result of running this material is that I am much happier with both the mechanics and setting than I was going in. The game plays better than it appears that it might, all the characters were participating in all the scenarios and none really dominated any particular scenario.

And the setting has become quite interesting. There are LOTS of stories to be told and the system is robust enough to tell most of them :-).

=== Into the Unknown specific review

The 5 quests cover the basics of the game. Some interaction, lots of skill checks, some combat. They also give glimpses at some of the more interesting parts of the setting.

The 2 quests that are starship combat will take by far the most time, especially for new players and GMs. But together they give a good overview of combat and are sufficiently one sided that the PCs are very likely to prevail. The two combats feel quite different from each other.

I particularly liked the fact that the Venture Captain has been made into a boss that one would WANT. Competent, pleasant, treats the PCs as valued agents.

The end of the 4th quest was just brilliant. The one line entries for each world were VERY evocative. Every player at the table REALLY wanted to go visit one of the worlds and the world they wanted to go to was different for different players. One of the worlds is visited in Yesteryears Truth.


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A scenario to make Seekers FEEL like seekers

5/5

I played this with a group of 6 characters, all firmly high tier.

I really liked the scenario in general. It embodied what play at this level should feel like. Epic characters on an Epic mission. A very satisfying end to Season 8. It basically just expects characters to take all sorts of precautions and will viciously kill you if you don't. But it is quite manageable if you DO take the precautions.

And there was even some interesting roleplaying in what was basically a dungeon crawl.

Roleplaying Spoiler:
The group had 3 paladins in it. You can imagine the initial reaction when we encountered the prisoner. But he was SO reasonable and SO well written that we actually talked to him and actually made a deal with him. That shows very good writing and, admittedly, GMing

We had a good GM and I imagine that helped a lot. This could be a nightmare with a bad GM (but that is probably true for most high level scenarios).

The combats were interesting and challenging. We didn't lose anybody but it was obvious in a couple that death was a possibility.

First Encounter:

I hate with a fiery passion the Troop mechanics that Paizo have. I've spent a LOT of resources to get my defences as high as they are and suddenly they are irrelevant. A battle with a troop doesn't feel even remotely like a battle with a bunch of enemies would feel like. Slightly altereing the swarm rules was a major mistake.

That said, the Troop rules were really the only way to handle that first encounter. When we were told that we saw hundreds of Elementals ahead of us I'd assumed it was going to be some skill challenge thingy. Actually fighting them was more interesting. But I still HATE the Troop rules :-)

One Epic Moment:
I found it quite fitting and amusing that at one point an artifact (minor one sure, but still an artifact) is almost casually destroyed as essentially background. More than one Campaign has had destroying an artifact as the whole purpose, and here it just happens. Wonderful moment

Oh, and on a purely mercenary note, I love the potentially available boons. Especially the one that can be applied to other characters. Wonderful.


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