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I am in the midst of prepping Crash and Burn for Fly Free or Die and the more I read, the more impressed I am.
I used to review APs for Pathfinder, both in podcast and in print form - and I am pretty hard on most of the stuff I read and run. While I do not claim to have read each and every single AP volume ever published (I play in some and so prefer not to spoil all of them) I certainly have GM's (or read) about 75% of them across both the PF and Starfinder lines.
I already think Fly Free or Die is the best of SF AP (by far) but I want to say that Crash and Burn is itself, exceptional.
There are not many times that Vol 5 becomes a high water mark in an AP. Frankly, the "back nine" usually sucks compared to the the "front nine". That's just the nature of storytelling and the AP format.
I can only think of only one other AP where Vol 5 was the stand out -- Greg A Vaughan's Skeletons of Scarwall in Curse of the Crimson Throne (and the Anniv Ed is even better). And that's mostly about Greg's amazing map, frankly.
But Crash and Burn appears to have bucked the trend, too. I might be jumping the gate and Vol 6 will blow me away (spoilers: final volumes in ANY AP never do that but... who knows?).
Still, this is a really great module and I wanted to say publicly how impressed I was with it. Well done!
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I strongly agree (even though I've GM'd and played fewer APs than you Steel Wind) that this is the best AP so far! Maybe it's just that I have better reference points from scifi media (than things like hanging out in the sun ala Dawn of Flame), or my players actually feel like they're making real moral decisions as a crew? But overall I think they've done such a great job to introduce multiple layers (the kalistocrats, the golden league, the rival crew) early without adding to the complexity. Most important/impressive is that each of these elements is revisited through the AP so it feels cohesive (at least on reading).
There is also something so wonderful about being a regular joe in this setting. I much prefer APs to homebrew campaigns but have always loved the inherent sense of humility that you end up getting from most homebrew campaigns I've played. The stakes are high because you might lose your contract, your ship, or your life - not because Absalom Station is going to explore, or that we're "finally" uncovering secrets of the gap.
I'd love to run a completely different group through this AP just to see how different it might be (like playing Starwars KOTOR, but GOOD this time).
Sorry to go on and on here, but I just wanted to strongly agree with you and thank the Paizo crew. I really think the theme is accessible and the execution has been great (there are still problems, but nothing the inherent creativity of the medium can't solve).
|Leo Glass Managing Editor|
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