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******* Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne 2,737 posts (2,747 including aliases). 29 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 42 Organized Play characters.



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Great mod to run if you want your players to rage quit PFS.

1/5

Two encounters that aren't just tough, but are frustratingly tough unless you have the right party makeup or have spent all your prestige on contingency consumables.

Spoiler:
Unlike the first part of this adventure, which had a lot of investigation and role-playing with some tough encounters, this adventure is a straight series of draining encounters. The adventure starts by giving you what appears to be some very useful buffs but they turn out to be more useful in the easier encounters than the tough ones you really need them in.

The first encounter is fairly straight forward combat. This is followed by a by-the-book chase encounter. Which is immediately followed by one of the most frustrating encounters in PFS. The party faces an equal number of monsters (at high tier, half at low) that all start by casting Blindness. Since they start well hidden, have a limited form of Greater Invisibility and high initiative, it is likely they will get this off before most PCs can act. They follow this up by making fly-by attacks against blind PCs using sneak attack with poison weapons. And if you happened to have made your save against the Blindness or have a means of removing it in combat? Well they can each cast blindness 3/day. You’d think the Scent ability the mod gives you would be useful, but because it takes a Move action to locate a target and the monsters are constantly changing position, it isn’t. Assuming you survive this encounter, since Blindness is permanent, and returning to town would end the adventure, blind PCs remain so for the rest of the adventure, making them frustratingly useless to the player. Even if you have some means of removing blindness, it is unlikely you will have enough for the whole party.

The next encounter can be won in several ways, that include non-combat. This is followed by a nasty haunt. And then the final encounter. The boss is yet another flyer you can’t see. It is also immune to most magic and has a ridiculous AC (including Touch AC), and the mod gives it several forms of fast healing. But at least the mod warns you about what you are up against before you even leave town. It is bolstered by yet another Haunt and damaging terrain hazards.

The nature of the second and final encounters makes them both very frustrating (and deadly) if you don’t have multiple means dealing with invisibility, a dedicated healer and possibly copious castings of Magic Missile. Party makeup and copious contingency consumables will spell the difference between a tough adventure and a frustratingly deadly one. Making this a poor adventure for the unpredictable environment of organized play.


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Better than most quests

4/5

Overall, I like this quest better than previous ones. Mostly because the various segments come together into a coherent storyline more easily than the others, which makes playing them back to back a better experience. While I have heard a lot of complaints about the Starship combat, I think that is likely to come simply from the newness of the system. I enjoyed starship combat more than the more standard quests, albeit, until everyone gets the system down, they will take a lot longer than the more normal quests. Several of the non-starship combats seemed a little mundane and one has an environmental condition that is too easy to overcome. But they were all varied and showcased various elements of the game and the world.


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Fun dungeon crawl in the desert

5/5

This is one of my favorite mods to GM. The creative use of opponents in the adventure can lead to a lot of fun encounters, but GMs who don't follow monster tactics can easily TPK a party, especially at the higher tier. I also don't recommend playing 'up' with a low level character as dying from incidental fire is a real threat in this adventure. This adventure has a lot of desert flavor, though the author seems a bit too obsessed with hoodoos.


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Fun little romp in Mini-me India

4/5

This adventure is set in Jalmaray, which is a large island that essentially represents Indian culture in Golarian. Personally I always found it a bit odd that something as large and culturally diverse as India only got Jalmaray as proxy on Golarian, but it does make for an interesting location. It is a shame I don't know of any other adventures that take place here. The encounters in this adventure, while not especially challenging, are varied and interesting, as they can require a variety of approaches including subterfuge, stealth and even negotiation. Though if everyone isn't paying attention to the mission briefing at the beginning, you can fail the adventure.

Spoiler:
You are supposed to deliberately lose the first fight. When I played this the party sorcerer hadn't bothered to listen to the mission briefing and went color spray mad in the first encounter, almost causing us to win the fight.
Overall it can be a fun little romp in a culturally rich environment.


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Odd dungeon crawl

3/5

This adventure a bit odd. While at it's core it is a basic dungeon crawl, there are some odd bits about it. First, the title of the adventure seems like an afterthought. As if the author was told they could write whatever adventure they wanted to as long as there was some reason in the adventure for calling it The Beggar's Pearl. Second, the dungeon is unnecessarily large, with a large amount of open space. Third, the encounters are not well balanced across the tiers. Finally, the final encounter is very flavorful, but doesn't seem to belong in a dungeon crawl. All these issues just makes the whole thing seem a bit off, like a movie script that has had a dozen rewrites by half a dozen screenwriters. Two & a half stars, rounded up.


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Not quite the conclusion we were looking for

3/5

While this adventure finally does bring back in the ideas involved in the series name (the middle two barely paid lip service), it fails to live up to expectations. The intro is a little contrived (not sure why the city guard is doing all the work while letting the Society get all the glory). But it otherwise starts off fairly strong with some tough (and a mid-tier very deadly) encounters, but ends on a very lackluster note with the players feeling like dupes. It also contains an illegal monster

Spoiler:
Undead are immune to morale effects but the Ghast with barbarian levels gains full benefit from Rage.
Overall it is slightly below average but 2 1/2 stars is not a option.


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Quite Deadly for a Year 0

3/5

This adventure features a lot of good PFS flavor and a fun mine cart chase. However, lack of guidance from the author can lead some GMs to run all of the encounters as being one long chase scene without a chance to heal in between, which makes this adventure very deadly. The first encounter can also be very swingy depending on how the party and GM hand it as it features a particularly broken creature with a particularly broken situation. Player should be well prepared if they want to survive this one. I have run this once, played it once and watched another table play it once. In all three tables there was at least one death and 2 tables failed the mission.


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Pirates! Arrr!

3/5

The premise of this adventure is good and the pirate atmosphere is great (especially if you like pirates) but the encounters are rather simple and unchallenging.


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Murder Hobos only need apply

1/5

I hate this adventure with a passion. The author seems to go out of his way to promote murder hobo style of play, going so far as to decrease rewards for players who play their characters as good aligned. The adventure is a series of mini-quests that all have a lot of potential, but that potential is not fulfilled. The secured market could have been a lot of fun but turned out to be poorly executed and that is how most of the adventure goes. There are also a lot of details missing the GM has to fill in. The author doesn't seem to even consider the possibility of negotiation for much of the adventure even though logically this should be an option. This is probably the most un-heroic adventure I have ever GMed. I supposed if you had a group of players that liked playing common thugs this might be an okay adventure, but other than that, skip this one.


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Interesting sewer crawl

4/5

Surprisingly for a sewer crawl this adventure has some fantastic role-playing opportunities. It has some excellent background story, unfortunately a lot of it the PCs are likely to never find out. The combats are interesting but the monsters are far more annoying than they are deadly.


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Freedom!

3/5

This is a mostly uninspired adventure. While it will be enjoyable for anti-slavery type characters, it's story is mediocre and combats are especially run of the mill. There can be some interesting morale conundrum role-playing, but other than that, everything about this adventure screams average.


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Zombie Apacolypse at the Opera

2/5

While this adventure tries hard to give the feeling of a classic zombie movie the combats just aren't challenging enough to give it the proper flavor. The PCs never really feel as if they might be overwhelmed by the undead hordes. Unfortunately, failing in it's main objective just doesn't leave much of an adventure other than a few role-playing opportunities.


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Creepy Fun

4/5

This adventure is full of spooky, creepy atmosphere. It also has an excellent story. Combats are a little wonky and can vary in challenge depending on how they are run and how the party handles them. This mod lacks some details that the GM is going to have to fill in.


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Marvelous Monkey Madness

5/5

This adventure has a lot of flavor, introducing players to a lot of PFS lore including Qadira, Osiria, the Mwangi Expanse, and the Blackros Museum. There are also some interesting role-playing opportunities. The combats are varied but not especially deadly. All of this combined makes this an excellent introductory adventure for PFS newbs.


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Good Story

4/5

This adventure has a fairly engaging storyline and is somewhat unusual in PFS as being a love story. Most of the combats are well designed and feature interesting locations but a few of them can be very swingy depending on how the PCs handle them


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Not good for newbs

3/5

This is a fairly average adventure all around. While there are a couple of interesting combats the final combat can be very deadly if you don't have good damage dealers. This is not a good adventure for new players.


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Solid design

4/5

Everything about this adventure is well done. The story is good and the combats are well designed. While this adventure suffers the same issues of most Year 0-1 adventures in that they are underpowered by today's standards, they are at least interesting. Unfortunately, nothing stands out as special enough to give then adventure 5 stars.


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The Many Fortunes of Grand Master Torch done right

5/5

When I first sat down to play this adventure with my LG Osirian Cleric I about slammed my head on the table when I found out what we were going to do. My least favorite PFS adventure of all time was The Many Fortunes of Grand Master Torch (TMFGMT) and this looked a lot like this was simply a redux of that adventure, and I just couldn't see how my LG character was going to deal with such an adventure. Fortunately, everything TMFGMT does wrong, A Bitter Bargain does right. Just like TMFGMT you are sent on several mini-quests by someone many PCs would rather attack on sight than do favors for. While this can be galling, the adventure actually allows for you to complete the missions and sabotage Torch at the same time. Something TMFGMT did not offer. Also, unlike TMFGMT, the author does not expect you to take the murder hobo approach as default but does allow for such play style if desired. Most of the missions can be accomplish without combat but most offer combat as an option. Completing them without combat requires some RP and some deductive reasoning skills. High social and rogue-type skills can also be useful, but clever uses of spells can frequently be substituted. All of the missions can be completed in any order.

The variety of encounters in this adventure would normally have me recommending this as an intro adventure except for two things:
1) One of the combats can be especially deadly for low level PCs.
2) You are going to get the most out of this adventure if your character knows of or has prior history with Torch.


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I can't quite rate this one as high as I would like to.

3/5

This mod has a lot of good going for it. Unfortunately it has a lot of bad that brings it down. The first encounter is truly scary and the region you are adventuring in is truly interesting, and the boss battle is challenging. There is some RP opportunities that can be fun in one of the latter encounters but this is mostly a combat heavy adventure and not one I would recommend for non-optimized characters.

The first problem with this adventure is the initial introduction which seems a little contrived and does not speak well for the honor or elves. Much has been made of the first combat but it is really not that bad if the GM runs it correctly. GMs appear to be giving the monster a surprise round it shouldn't have and letting it do things on a surprise round it can't do by RAW. In addition, the monster is only likely to TPK the party on the second round if the GM ignores the listed tactics. At least one person is still likely to die, however, and when I played it that someone was me. Thanks to Breath of Life, however, I got better and killed the monster in revenge. But as a player I enjoyed just how scary this monster was. Still, if you don't have something like Breath of Life, dying in the first encounter of an adventure sucks. I will also say that the encounter does not scale down well for 4 person tables.

The middle portion of this adventure is full of atmosphere and can sometimes drag, but my biggest complaint is the final boss battle. It is simply just way too complicated with way too many things going on at once. As a GM, I felt I needed an assistant just to keep track of everything and that makes for a very unfun encounter for the GM to run, and one that will frequently not get run as written.

Overall, I still like this mod, though more as a player than a GM.


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Descent RP adventure brought down by lackluster combats

3/5

This adventure has some excellent RP opportunities in it though they can drag on at times. Unfortunately, the combats are uninspired and not very challenging. The last encounter is pointless and seems only to be there to fill the XP budget. It is, however, possible for the party to pick a completely unnecessary fight with an NPC who is likely to clean their clock, though in an non-lethal way. The adventure also suffers from essentially being one big Taldor faction mission and just like other faction based missions is less likely to motivate your PC if you don't belong to that faction. If you are Taldor, I recommend you play Library of the Lion first as this is essentially a sequel to your faction mission in that adventure. All in all you are probably going to have a lot more fun GMing this adventure than playing it.


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The Blackros Matrimony Redux

4/5

This is essentially Year 5's version The Blackros Matrimony, though not quite as good. Still, if you liked that one you will probably like this one too. It has several of the same characters and uses the same mechanics and style as The Blackros Matrimony. If you haven't played either of these adventures, both are heavy on RP with some tough combats. The combats in this one are even more annoying than The Blackros Matrimony as they involve a lot of enchantment/charm effects, paralyzation and level draining. One fight can be genuinely scary, and while the boss fight isn't especially deadly, it can be easy to fail the secondary objective. This one also railroads you a bit more than The Blackros Matrimony.

From a GM perspective, this adventure has a lot to keep track of and will require more prep than usual but gives you some great RP fun.


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You will love it or hate it

5/5

This adventure is not going to be for everyone. If you like playing skill monkeys, solving puzzles and RPing, you will likely love this adventure. If you play it with a heavy combat focused character the adventure will likely be alternately frustrating and boring. On top of that, if you don't have a couple of decent skill monkeys in the party, you are likely to fail the mission, though no one is likely to die. I played this adventure with a bard and had a hoot. But the party fighter and barbarian mostly snoozed through it.

GM-wise, this one requires more work than most. It uses special rules and has a copious amount of information to keep track of, so reading the adventure multiple times is almost a must. And while the adventure does give you some aids to help you out, you are going to need some method of tracking several things that the adventure does not supply a tool for. Still, I have run it twice and both times I enjoyed running it as it has good RP opportunities for the GM.


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Above average battle interactive

4/5

I enjoy battle interactives, especially at large conventions where the energy level and level of extra prep is pretty high, and Siege of Diamond City is one of the better put together ones. It does, however, really need the ongoing overhead projector updates to keep everyone involved. The combats were fun and there was a variety of non-combat and mixed combat encounters that you could involve yourself in, though a lot of which ones you get can depend on the GM. The biggest problem I found was that how well the battle was going was based on how many encounters you complete in a given time period. This is fine when the encounters are a single combat, but when you get to RP encounters people want to rush through them or just break them down into skill checks to get them completed as quickly as possible. There is also one encounter that has you exploring an entire building. While this is fun, it can easily take as long as 3 regular encounters but doesn't count any more. I suspect a lot of GMs skipped this one due to this, which is a shame since it is actually a lead in to a future adventure.


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Good adventure but nothing special

3/5

This was a descent adventure and I liked the dockside environment. Combats were varied and interesting but a few of them can be very swingy depending on how both the GM and players handle them. The story was okay but there are some holes that the GM has to fill in. Some of the faction missions were questionable.


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Best of the series

5/5

This is, by far, the best of The Devil We Know series and one of the best investigative mods I have ever run. The investigation itself gives the players an actual feeling of having solved something rather than the usual connect the dots railroading of most investigation mods. Like most Year 1 mods, the combats are not especially challenging but most of them are at least interesting. There are also some excellent role-playing opportunities in the first half of the adventure. The only downside is that the plot of the series at this point is getting repetitive and still fails to deliver in regards to the actual title of the series.


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