Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Trail By machine

Product– Pathfinder Society Scenario #6-01: Trail by Machine

Producer– Paizo

Price– ~$4


TL; DR– Good intro to the Year of the Sky Key, but some plot flaws. 97 %


Basics– Pathfinders-time for some basic training!  Go to the old Red Redoubt and survive a few simple tests of pathfinder skills.  All goes well until something mysteriously sets off the eons old redoubt powering up motors long dead.  Can you figure out the ancient, yet futuristic technology of the Red Redout of Karamoss to escape?


Mechanics or Crunch– This one has a decent mix of old and new items and mechanics.  It eases the players into the new, fantastic technology that players can pick up while exploring Numeria.  Also, this scenario presents rules for converting enemy characters to good characters in the society setting.  It’s a fun way for players to reform others by thought, action, and speech. 5/5


Theme or fluff- The Adventure has some interesting twists that will throw your players for a loop.  I won’t spoil them here, but they are pretty fun.  However, if the players do the smart thing, and instantly leave when they have their goal, they will only get to explore roughly HALF the area and miss all the items and faction boons!  A simple change in where some doors close would really help this adventure force the players to experience the cool technology and locations offered here. 4.5/5


Execution– Trial by Machine is done well.  The picture on the front of the module is nice as its something you can show your players to help them understand what they are fighting.  I would have liked a few more pictures to help my players with some of the more fantastic enemies and locations, but the art included isn’t bad by any means.  The text is decently put together as it’s not too cramped and laid out well. 5/5


Summary– This is a fun one.  I really like the Sword and Circuitry concept of the year of the sky key and the Iron Gods campaign, and this get that into the Pathfinder Society.  This adventure eases the players in slowly to robots and other fun technology things while teaching them how to interact with technology and new items.  You might have to do a bit of GM fiat to make half the adventure happen, but if you do, the players will have a much better time than if you just let them leave after half an hour of Pathfinder! 97%


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