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Top-notch scenario: solid balance of problem-solving, combat, and role-playing

5/5

Solid, well-crafted adventure. Importantly, it can handle mis-cues very well (for example, I GM'd this for a party of 4 Tier 1-2 players, totally forgot about the sword, and things still played through without a hitch!) That's some next-level writing, because The Wounded Wisp fell apart on me when I mis-cued a minor point.

Combat is balanced, great opportunities for role-playing, and also doesn't mandate the 'murder hobo' mentality - this definitely rewards thinking and problem-solving over mighty thews and great-swords.

My group really enjoyed this, and it was also a pleasure to GM. It's set in Varisia (not Absalom City), which allows me to set up the party for a 4-6 month Varisian campaign (maybe a PFS module, definitely a couple of Tier 1-5 Varisian scenarios).


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Average, not bad - some RP, some combat, some illogical spots

3/5

Average PFS scenario. Unfortunately, there are some logical encounter gaps at the end that you could drive a mammoth through - my players kind of paused and gave me funny looks when I told them about one of the middle encounters.

There's some great RP opportunity (which my players enjoyed, but didn't fully embrace) - the end fight would be a challenge at Tier 4-5, but at Tier 1-2 it was too easy (as is the case with many Tier 1-2 scenarios).

Definitely better written and scripted then a 2-star scenario, but not a 4/5 star adventure. There are some points where you can let players steer around fights, and I'd suggest doing so (don't steamroll the party into fighting needlessly, it's nonsense and also a big logical/storyline gap).


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Wild mystery ride, but very difficult to pull off

3/5

The whole premise of this Mana Wastes adventure is curious and fascinating - but this is one heck of a difficult run as a GM (and probably as a player!)

First off, the reviews stating that things hinge on a certain set of triggers is mostly fair. If the party is lacking a few key Knowledge skills, certain types of magical ability, and a strong sense of the mission, things can absolutely fall apart.

This scenario needs a forgiving GM (for both the finale combats and the general rhythm of things), but for the general weirdness/fear-inspiring aspects, the Twisted Circle is great. It's creepy, it's bizarre, my players kept being spooked by the RPG experience. It's almost like a horror-suspense adventure wrapped up in a scenario.

Other people who played through it commented that it would have been better as a module instead of a scenario - I agree with this. A gentle but firm hand on the rudder saved things from going adrift with this one. The Circle is not necessarily for novice GMs, but played well even at the Tier 1-2 level. There are some fights that are cut-throat brutal, but largely (and interestingly) the majority of the scenario is non-combat, mystery material.

As another point: There are several Occult Magic classes that could derail this straight off with the cognitive psionic-style powers, and if the players are really organized, they may need to have the end of Act 2 tailored a touch differently. This is actually a really difficult scenario to run purely as written, so go into it with a head for where things can get off track and be pre-emptive as a GM.


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Good for an evergreen Tier 1-2 scenario

4/5

I both ran this as a GM (Tier 1, PFS table of 6 players), and shortly afterwards, played in it as a fill-in PC (Tier 1, PFS table of 5 players.)

Somebody else mentioned that the strengths of this evergreen scenario also mirror the weaknesses. The format is set up so that players can avoid having a duplicate experience (with the 2 out of 3 smaller missions), which is great - it would have almost been better to drop in 4 smaller missions so that a replay could be 100% fresh.

I do agree that the finale is a little understated, and while it can be spiced up, if played as a PFS scenario, it's uninspired. The strength is in the initial two Acts and the interesting, fluid shenanigans that can erupt in the last Act.

That said, both times I've played through this, it ran approximately 2.5-3.5 hours, even with a fair amount of chatting and tangents - so it could be a good fill-in if the venue or players have finite time limits (and, as an evergreen, it probably gets far quicker once it's been played through a few times.)


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Pretty good adventure, fun run through the mid-point of Shades of Ice

4/5

Summary: I GM'd this for a party of 6 Tier 1-2 (APL 1.75 or so). Solidly playable scenario, easy set up, challenging fights, needs moderately more improv/GM finessing/'on the fly' role-playing skills than more streamlined scenarios.

it looks as if I disagree with the rest of the reviewers on Part II of Shades of Ice. My party seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, it offers a solid opportunity for role-play and adventure in Irrisen's capital, Whitehall.

I suppose one element of the scenario is that you can add role-playing elements to the scenario without turning it into a blood-bath - which I think goes a long ways to make the scenario both more fun and less a straight-up murder hobo slaughter of everyone opposing the Pathfinders.

I do agree that the scenario lacks backstory for the villains, but by introducing a bit of context, it's much more understandable. It's not as clear-cut of a RPG adventure as, say, The Confirmation or From Under Ice (which are both very well-crafted.) The last encounter is a serious challenge, and also comes out of nowhere - but I enjoyed the raw challenge that the adventure posed to my Tier 1-2 party, compared to milder scenarios.


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Too much prep time for a good scenario

3/5

I GM'd this for a table of new PFS players last weekend, and had a co-GM who was a great help setting up and prepping things.

The scenario requires a brutal level of prep to play decently. Also, there's so many small details and bits of info to fill in (not all clearly marked), that someone who is unfamiliar with Golarion could run into serious issues - again, without my co-GM to fill in the spots that both I and the players missed, this would have derailed several times.

I can see how this is a solid segue into The Confirmation, but overall I think The Confirmation is a better-written/scripted scenario.

Setting-wise, it's a great play - but it can take several days of solid prep to pull it off successfully. Even as an evergreen Tier 1-2 adventure, I won't run this for a group again.


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Great player primer for Irrisen campaigns

4/5

As a note, I don't care about roles, archetypes, extra spells, etc. There's plenty of that available in the Core, Advanced, and Ultimate books without my chasing down supplements.

What I care about is understanding the story and setting of Golarion for my PFS campaigns. People of the North does that sufficiently, with a little extra combat material for those people who prefer new weapons instead of story lines. There's a decent quantity of details about the Ulfen, Jadwiga, Irrisen, and the general Frozen North setting - the great thing is that I can just let me players browse the book while we are playing to get a kenning for the North.

I'd actually go the opposite direction than some reviewers, and say more details (daily life, customs, epithets, religion, all that good Guidebook jazz), not more magical harpoons.


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Top-notch Irrisen fun - Social-centric Tier 1-5 adventure

5/5

Great adventure. My players seemed to have a great time, even just playing the scenario within the PFS paradigm (not a lot of background ad-lib for the goblins, run the scenario by the book, PFS Organized Play rules). I can see how this could become a scenario with even broader appeal given more flexibility.

It took my group 3.5 hours to play (skipping one optional Act). Some battles ranked as a 3/10 or 4/10 for danger/lethality (where a 10/10 is a TPK). Chronicles treasure is light compared to The Confirmation. Well written scenario set in Irrisen - I'm currently using all the Irrisen adventures (Tier 1-5), as a mini-campaign within the PFS framework for my group.


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Top-notch, heavily social adventure into frozen lands

5/5

Setting, adventure story, and social-first/attack-last setting makes this an adventure for thinking heroes. I just finished running it with my regular Pathfinder Society group, and they blazed right through it - because they leaned on their words, not their swords.

Excellent change of pace from the typical Pathfinder carnage that can emerge during sessions. High recommend it - another commenter stated that the Tier 1-2 challenges aren't very difficult, and I'd agree for the large part (things have the potential to go bad if players aren't very savvy). Still, my players had a great time and enjoyed the non-combat storyline.


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Solid introduction to Pathfinder Society format

4/5

Great adventure - ran it with 6 1st level heroes at our local game shop. It was my first time running a Pathfinder Society game, and The Confirmation was a solid 4 hour session. The players enjoyed it, there are a moderate variety of challenges, and the PCs get to meet and befriend a great NPC (hopefully we'll see more recurring NPC characters so that Chronicle Boons can be used!)

All in all an enjoyable session. Combat is probably a 4/10 for difficulty, which is A-OK. One important note, keep in mind this is an introductory adventure for a lot of new players, so if you've got to fudge the dice to avoid killing PCs, please do it - I remember reading that when new players lose their characters at a low level, they never return to RPG games, and write off the whole domain as 'not something they enjoy'.