GameMastery Encounter: Death Shrine of the Ninja Cult (OGL) Compleat Encounter

3.70/5 (based on 3 ratings)

Our Price: $16.95

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No secrets escape the legendary death shrine of the ninja cult, a den of silent assassins and profane traditions. However, a line has at last been crossed, and the cult must be brought to justice. A Compleat Encounter, scalable to any level, featuring a masked ninja princess and male and female ninja champions.

• Written by Mike Mearls
• Designed by Wayne Reynolds
• Sculpted by Dennis Mize
• Cartography by Christopher West

Paizo Publishing's GameMastery™ Line is designed to help GMs run interesting games quickly and efficiently.
Compleat Encounters provide everything you need to run a single encounter:

  • 3 brilliantly sculpted, high-quality, 25mm-scale one-piece metal miniatures
  • 4 double-sided full-color 5"x8" minis-scale map cards
  • a detailed level-scalable microadventure with statistics compatible with the world’s most popular roleplaying game.

"Adventure Only" products include only the adventure and map cards, and do not contain the miniatures.


Miniatures painted by Keith Robertson.
(The product includes unpainted metal miniatures.)

   
Original sculpts for the miniatures.
 

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Download desktop wallpaper of the painted minis:
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Download desktop wallpaper of the maps:
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PZO2001


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Average product rating:

3.70/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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Fit for Purpose, but not Exemplary

3/5

Death Shrine of the Ninja Cult was another set in Paizo's short-lived "Compleat Encounter" line of products, each of which included a short adventure, some flip-cards that connected together as a battle-mat, and three pewter miniatures. Some sets were sold at a reduced price without the miniatures in "adventure only" form, and I either got one of these or the miniatures were lost before I picked this up used.

This set represents a nice little evening's drop-in adventure for any campaign in an urban area. As the title indicates, the adventure takes place in a secret shrine to a death god operated by a trio of ninjas (one of whom is a doppelganger!). Because this uses 3.5 rules, the enemies mostly have rogue levels with some use of the assassin prestige class. The adventure is pitched at levels 6-8, though there are scaling adjustments for various other levels. I didn't think the scaling was handled well though, as it basically just adds additional monsters of an easier or harder level while keeping the main antagonists (the ninjas) exactly the same. In any event, I stuck with the default range and it worked fine for PCs who were around level 5--and may have been a bit too easy (sneak attack damage can only take enemies so far when fighting in confined quarters).

There's not a firm hook to get the PCs involved here, so the GM can come up with pretty much anything that will get the group to stumble upon the ninjas' secret lair. There's a cool (and fair) trap at the entrance, and some of the treasure is seeded with potential hooks for further adventures that a homebrew GM can use to continue the adventure. For the most part, though, this adventure is a setting (the lair) and three enemies (the ninjas) and the GM can pretty much improv from there. I love the artwork by Wayne Reynolds for each of the ninjas, and two of the three (Eseldrin Nightstar and Kelzerin Thoughtstealer) have interesting backstories.

I did find the product confusing in how the numbering of the encounter cards jumps unintuitively (a requirement, I think, so that the grid cards can be double-sided). In addition, I didn't really get the difference between what the two sides of the grid cards were supposed to be showing: as far as I could tell, one was a "neat and orderly" presentation of the lair and one was a "bloody and messy" presentation--I guess the latter is for after the battle is over? Again, it was just confusing during the session and complicated the matter of figuring out which sides to use.

On the whole, the product is okay. It's definitely useful in the way in which it's intended (as a quick encounter for a busy GM), though it can be a bit harder to use than it should be. It doesn't have any ties to cool early Golarion lore like some of the other Compleat Encounters packs. I also can't judge the miniatures since I don't have them, though there are painted pictures online.


Cool NPCs but too generic and modular for my taste

3/5

I love the Compleat Encounters line, but this particular product stretches the definition of encounter a bit too far. It provides a detailed location--a ninja cult's lair--as well as three fully statted NPCs, but doesn't really combine the two. Each NPC has listed motivations and there are suggestions on how to use them all together, but it leaves way too much up to the GM. Using this as a "premade" insert into an ongoing campaign wouldn't really save you that much time. Additionally, I was continually annoyed that it keeps mentioning "the death god" without a name. I know the intention was for this to be modular, but Gorilla King included a definite evil power and that's much of what makes that one the best. I love the minis themselves and the map (displaying both the pristine and bloodied, post-battle ninja hideout) though the latter could be improved by removing the encounter numbers from the middle of each room.



any chance of the complete encounter becoming available again?

Sovereign Court

I wonder who made the sculpts/casts for Compleat Encounters?

Reaper did new castings of the official minis but this line is older.

Paizo Employee CEO

I just checked, and we are indeed out of two out of the three minis that make up this set. I've sent out an order for a general restock on a lot of these minis. Hopefully, we can get them back in stock in a month or so.

As for the sculptors, that info is in each Complete Encounter's description. This set was sculpted by the late great Dennis Mize. Casting is done by my friend Bob Watts, who does all of Privateer's mini casting in Europe.

-Lisa


Lisa Stevens wrote:
I just checked, and we are indeed out of two out of the three minis that make up this set. I've sent out an order for a general restock on a lot of these minis. Hopefully, we can get them back in stock in a month or so.

Any update on these?

Paizo Employee CEO

Andrew Eakett wrote:
Lisa Stevens wrote:
I just checked, and we are indeed out of two out of the three minis that make up this set. I've sent out an order for a general restock on a lot of these minis. Hopefully, we can get them back in stock in a month or so.
Any update on these?

I've asked for a restock. Twice. But still haven't gotten anything. Third time is the charm maybe? :)

-Lisa

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Any chance of being able to get the adveture part of these encounters as a PDF?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Kevin Mack wrote:
Any chance of being able to get the adveture part of these encounters as a PDF?

Yes, yes, there is. It's in the works as one of the first tasks for our new Digital Products Assistant.

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