Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–18: From Under Ice

Product– Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–18: From Under Ice

System– Pathfinder

Producer– Paizo Publishing

Price– $4 here http://paizo.com/products/btpy9ch2?Pathfinder-Society-Scenario-6-18-From-Under-Ice

TL; DR– A THINKING humanoids mod. 97%

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Basics-Chase a skykey under the ice of Irrisen!  The Pathfinder Society is looking for traces of a Dwarven city that disappeared many years ago.  Can you find where the dwarves went or will you anger either the Linnworm Kings or the Witches?

Mechanics or Crunch– This is a many angled mod that can be done in a straight forward way.  Like most of the mods, there is a counter mechanics for determining how well the PC’s succeed on their job or secondary tasks.  It’s not hard, but the mod isn’t so much about crunch, but how well the players think.  It’s well done and fun when you see the players analyze and understand a situation.  If the players are smart, canny, and show the proper deference, they will go through almost the entire mod without swinging their swords!  That shows the mod is awesomely stretchable, but some players, the kick-in-the-door-and-eat-some-goblins players, will be vary bored if things are going well. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff- This is where the mod truly shines.  Sure, it’s got the necessary fights and counters that all good mods need, but how the players go about this mod really makes the story.  Are you simply smash and grab Pathfinders or are you social dilatants?  Do you understand your mission or are you simple out there to kill a bunch of people?  As a GM, watching that play out is a great roleplaying experience 5/5

 

Execution– Season six is the absolute best season for how these mods are put together.  Need the maps?  Here, we have blank maps for you to resize and print.  Need monster stats?  Here in the back of the mod are all the monster stats, so you don’t have to have 10 books open to run the game.  It’s still four bucks, but right now four bucks for ~ 30 pages seems to be the norm for most companies. Well done!  5/5

Summary– First, the elephant in the room-If you play this mod smart, you will not have many combats.  And, that’s what the success condition hinges on.  That right there will turn some players away.  You can’t make everybody happy, but in a mod that’s mostly going across borders and meeting people, combat is a many terrible thing!  The story makes world sense.  The mechanics work as well as they can.  The execution is absolutely fantastic.  As a GM, I enjoyed this mod.  My players did as well.  Just make sure you know what your players want to get.  Hack and slash need not apply!    97%

Daily Punch 7-1-15 Unconventional Handling feat for Pathfinder

I have a player in an online game who absolutely loves here reach weapon, but she can’t do much up close.  Let’s work on that.

Unconventional Handling (Combat)

You choke up on the handle when others are loose, and loose when others choke.

Prerequisites: Combat Expertise, Weapon Focus in a reach weapon

Benefit: You may make attacks without penalty against any creature adjacent to you with a reach weapon.

Note:You may take this feat multiple times as long as you have Weapon Focus in the weapon and the weapon is a reach weapon.

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles Adventure Deck 4 – Island of Empty Eyes

Product– Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles Adventure Deck 4 – Island of Empty Eyes

Producer-Paizo Publishing

Price– $18 here http://smile.amazon.com/Pathfinder-Adventure-Card-Game-Shackles/dp/1601256922/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436362585&sr=8-1&keywords=Pathfinder+Adventure+Card+Game%3A+Skull+%26+Shackles+Adventure+Deck+4+%E2%80%93+Island+of+Empty+Eyes

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 45 minutes per scenario (5 scenarios in the game)

Type-American

Depth-medium

TL; DR-Great theme in this one. 90%

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Basics- You’ve joined the upper ranks of the pirates of the Shackles, and now it’s time to prove you’re the best.  You and your friends have been given an island.  Can you clear the former inheritance from the island, uncover its secrets, and throw a killer party for the other pirates of the Pirates Council?  This game uses the basic Pathfinder Adventure Card game mechanics, so I’ll focus on what’s in this box alone.

Mechanics– Things are as fun as they can be, but the mechanics are not varied as much as I like.  Several of the locations on the island are the same, with several of the same locations used repeatedly.  Now, it’s an island, so there are only so many locations to use, but it did feel a bit stale.  Also, maybe it’s just my impression.  This adventure pack gives you a new option for one scenario as you can become possessed to fight the monsters, but only a few of the characters can really use that ability.  Overall, it’s fun, but once you have a working strategy going, the island encounters tend to get a little over-repeated. 4/5

 

Theme– This is an interesting mix.  Overall I love what I’m seeing with this expansion as it does add some fresh ideas to the game.  You get to have an island clearing adventure, with some piracy, and an awesome final encounter as you throw a party, have to stop a secret bomber, and keep your guests happy.  You even can get possessed by a ghost to get extra powers in one of the scenarios.  This adventure has the most theme homerun I’ve seen yet for a ship-the Bloodmoon.  Across both this set and the previous set of the Adventure Card Game, were-creatures get a bonus when the top card of the timing/blessing deck is a blessing of the gods.  As this is a werewolf ship, when you use this ship, you too get a bonus when you use the Bloodmoon when a blessing of the gods is on top.  However, I only know that this ship is from the werewolf captain since I played the adventure path in Pathfinder.  If I didn’t have that extra information, then I wouldn’t know that and this would just be another ship.  So, I love what’s here, and it feels great to be a pirate.  But, I still think extra information beyond the cards is needed to really bring me completely into the story.  4.5/5

Instructions– The cards work well at adding new information to the game.  Almost everything was clear, except for one location-the teleportation chamber!  This room has a thread on the Paizo forums (http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2rsrq?Rules-Question-Teleportation-Chamber#1) that is way too long for a card with less than 100 words!  Since you’ll see this car a lot, it makes every time you see it a bit of a headache!  If you can get past that one card, then the rules are well done though.   4.5/5

Execution– Overall, I like what’s in this box.  Sure, you might want card sleeve for your cards if you plan on repeated use, but overall, the cards are of decent card stock.  All the art is well done and evocative.  The thing that makes me so happy though is what they did since the first expansion of this season of the Adventure Card Game-SIDE OPENING FLAPS to the boxes.  Since I don’t have to destroy the boxes to get the cards, this is hands down an improvement.  5/5

Summary– This was a fun expansion to play through.  I like what’s here, but what is here is a bit repeated.  That does cost it a bit of fun; however, it’s still got enough action to keep me in the game.  For the theme, it’s got a great story, and I do feel like a pirate.  But, I still feel like those who haven’t played the Pathfinder adventure path won’t get as much as they should.  This is still a great game, but a bit more will make this a grand slam.  90%

Daily Punch 6-30-15 Ghost in the Machine positive quality for Shadowrun 5e

Reading some Shadowrun books for a review.  One quality inspired me.

Ghost in the Machine

Cost: 12 karma

You love you the gear you ride in, even when you’re not there!  Characters with this quality are just that much more with their toys then characters who don’t.  When you are jumped into a drone or vehicle, gain a +1 dice pool modifier to all Pilot Skill tests and increase the vehicles Handling rating by 1.

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 6-29-15 Princess Kiki’s Automated Allergy Cureall!!!! item for Shadowrun 5e

Reading about the vamps, and it made me think of something.  Had a friend suggest the seed of this idea!

Princess Kiki’s Automated Allergy Cureall!!!

Item Cost Rarity Bonus
Princess Kiki’s Automated Allergy Cureall!!!! 20,000Y per rating 10 per rating +1 to Resistance Test per rating

Named for one of the more….eclectic….engineers at Crashcart, Princess Kiki’s Automated Allergy Cureall!!! was developed to help customers who had severe reactions to allergens that would often incapacitate them or flat out kill them.  If the customer wears the item, they gain a +1 per rating bonus to Resistance Tests against their allergen when they are exposed as the machine will automatically detect the allergen in the environment and inject the wearer with the antidote or antibodies against the target.  When the Princess Kiki’s Automated Allergy Cureall!!! is created, it is designed specifically for one allergen and can not be reset later.

This device can be installed in a cyberlimb occupying a single slot.

Daily Punch 6-26-15 Inoj’s Repeating Insanity spell for DnD 5e

How about a spell for DnD 5e?

Inoj’s Repeating Insanity

1st-level enchantment

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 30 feet

Component: V, S, M (a riddle whispered into a bottle)

A creature of your choice that you can see in range is instantly confused by its surroundings.  The target must succeed on a Intelligence saving throw or lose its reaction and action each round.

At the end of each the creatures rounds, it makes another Intelligence saving throw.  If the creature takes damage or is assisted by an ally, it gains advantage on the saving throw.  If it succeeds on this saving throw, it is no longer affected by the spell.

At Higher Levels. When this spell is cast at 2nd level or higher, the creature must make an additional Intelligence saving throw at the start of its next turn if it succeeded on the first saving throw.  Each additional level adds another round that the creature must succeed on an Intelligence saving throw or be affected by the spell.  If the creature ever fails a saving throw, then any additional round that the creature would have to make saving throws because of casting this spell at a higher level are then lost.

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Shadows in Focus: City by Shadow Cheyenne

Product– Shadows in Focus: City by Shadow Cheyenne

System– Shadowrun 5e

Producer– Catalyst Game Labs

Price– $8 here http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/144658/Shadowrun-Shadows-in-Focus-Cheyenne

TL; DR– Good summary, but needs a map!  88%

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Basics– The previous Shadows in Focus focused on the whole Sioux nation.  Now it’s time to look at one city, the capital city Cheyenne.  This book discusses the people, places, locations, and groups in Cheyenne and how to run a game in the city of the Sioux.

Mechanics or Crunch– There just isn’t any here!  It’s basically edition-less which is nice, but at the same time, I would have liked something!  However, I’m not going to dock points because a book didn’t do something it isn’t designed to do. -/5

Theme or Fluff-   This book is full of fluff from stories of corruption to the different characters who run the dive bar down the street.  It’s got an absolute ton of information that is well written. 5/5

 

Execution– Want to know how to instantly make me mad at your geography text book about a place the doesn’t exist or exists in such a state modern information is out of date?  DON’T INCLUDE A MAP!  That right there makes me kind of mad.  Sure, I can look up the map of modern day Cheyenne, but why should I?  Modern maps also won’t include any of the new locations you discuss, so I have the painstakingly find the locations you talk about if I want to use your book.  Also, while the information in the book is well written, some of it feels out of place.  This book has all the members on the council of chiefs.  That’s great information to have, but honestly I think that should go in the Sioux Nation book itself.  Sure, they live in Cheyenne but they are much more of a national figure.  And that kind of sets the tone for the book-it feels like this and the Sioux Nation book were written as one book, divided along some lines to keep them equal length and send out to layout.  That’s not bad, but it is a bit distracting.  3.75/5

Summary– This is a pretty short review of a decent sized book.  This source book covers the city of Cheyenne well introducing lots of locations, people, and the town of Cheyenne itself well.  I still really want a map, and I also feel that some of this book belongs in the basic Sioux Nation book.  None of those sins make this a bad book, but it does take away from the awesome parts of the book.  Also, I’d like something mechanical for this book.  There isn’t any real mechanics to speak of, but the book’s job is to inform about the world, not the games underlying mechanics or add player options.  But honestly, here’s what will determine if you buy this book-do you ever plan to do a run in the Sioux Nation and Cheyenne?  If yes, buy this book.  It’s a good summary of the town and its people-even without the map.  88%