Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Pathfinder Player Companion-Pathfinder Society Primer and Pathfinder Society Adventure #5-11: Library of the Lion

Like always, life gets in the way of the Board Gaming/RPG habits!  So to atone, here are two reviews of products I’ve recently read through.


Product-Pathfinder Player Companion-Pathfinder Society Primer

System: Pathfinder

Producer: Paizo Publishing

Price: ~$12

TL;DR– If you play PFS, then you already know you need this. 100%


Basics: This book delves deeper into the Pathfinder Society continuing the background knowledge that was presented in Pathfinder Society Field Guide.  The book starts with a general explanation of the Pathfinder Society leading to a section on how to build a well rounded pathfinder for a game.  From there, the book runs through joining the society and the three main subgroups while giving different feats, spells, abilities, and traits for each.  After the main groups, the book presents a prestige class called the Pathfinder Field Agent who is a bit of a mixed bag. The main way to identify a pathfinder is his/her wayfinder, and this book give new versions of the wayfinder as well as ioun stones that can be socketed into the wayfinder with new powers for both and magic items that any pathfinder would need on their adventures.  Near the end of the book, Pathfinder Chronicles are discussed giving new, non-magical ways to boost skills after pathfinders read these books for one hour.  The book closes with Pathfinder Society vanities, ways to spend prestige points gained in the pathfinder society, and a short section on Pathfinder Society Organized Play.


Mechanics: This book has a lot going on for the player only interested in mechanics.  From new spells, feats, traits, and abilities, this book is real chock full.  However, this book doesn’t have many class specific options, but does have many general options.  This is really expressed well with the Pathfinder Field Agent; this prestige class gets most other class abilities, but doesn’t really get anything that makes him/her awesome at one thing.  The wayfinders, ioun stones, and other items are all good too.  Until now I hadn’t had a real good use for the prestige points, but his book gives even me a few good ideas. 5/5


Theme: I like PFS, but I have to say I don’t know as much as I should, especially about the inner working of the society.  This book gave me a good summary while giving me some mechanics.  I liked what at I saw in terms of story of PFS.   It’s worth a read for that. 5/5


Execution: I liked this one.  It flows well, even better then the previous PFS book.  No page is a well of text while the previous PFS book had that problem a few times.  The art is nice and consistent.  The layout helps the reader read the text.  All and all, I liked this book. 5/5


Summary:  If you play PFS, you need this.  If you really want to get deep into the Society, then get this book.  If you don’t care about the Pathfinders or PFS at all, then this book isn’t for you. 100%


and now the second Review-


Product: Pathfinder Society Adventure #5-11: Library of the Lion

System: Pathfinder

Publisher: Paizo Publishing

Price: ~$4

TL;DR– A thinking, (general) non-combat PFS adventure 93%


Basics: The Pathfinder Society has been invited to a prominent Taldan College by a high ranking member of the nobility to help them sneak into a secret library.  The Pathfinders have less than two hours to explore the library, find what the noble wants, not be noticed, and get out all while constantly listening to the Mission: Impossible music performed by the GM.


Story: This module isn’t very story heavy, but it does bring something new to the party.  The story quickly brings the society into the heart of Taldor, and lets some of the more over shown PCs shine.  PCs have to find information in a low combat module by exploring the library and looking for clues.  I wouldn’t call this a story for the ages, but it does give the players something new at the table that they may have not had a chance to do before. 4.5/5


Mechanics:  This module continues the current PFS year 5 scenario strategy of random events during the scenario.  It works to great effect during this adventure as the players and the GM both get to find random books in each room that might help the players.  Also, this one is really set up for the skill monkeys out there.  Most of the puzzles require thought and lots of skill ranks.  I don’t see that often, and that makes this module stand out.  The final puzzle requires the players to have solved every room to find what they need.  That’s not bad, but it might not be great for all groups.  Also, as a GM, if the group you are running doesn’t have the proper skills, you may have to loosen up the skills that can be used in the adventure.  Also, for as much of an exploration adventure this one is, it’s also a nice social adventure too.  It’s pretty well rounded for the non-combat characters.  None of that is bad, but just keep that as a heads up for when you play. 4.5/5


Execution:  This adventure is well laid out and comes with some assembly required.  As the players can randomly find books in the rooms, the GM gets to cut out the different books and give these out as hand outs.  Anytime you can physically hand the players something, it makes the game that much more awesome.  The art is nice also.  All told, I’m really happy with this. 5/5


Summary:  I liked this one.  It’s not perfect, but this one is an awesome adventure to play with a bunch of character types that might not get as much play as other ones.  If you are a kill-them-all barbarian with only one skill point you put in jump so you can jump charge, you will be bored to tears.  If you have a group of five people who want to explore and deceive their way through a secret library, this is the game for you. 93%

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