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- Review: Scales of War, Part 1
We've almost finished the first two adventures for Scales of War. I mostly like it thus far, in that it provides a complete barebones setup to entertain my group. I dislike that its difficult to capture the "bigger picture" of the adventure. For example, in Siege on Bordrin's Watch, you basically go into the Stonehome Mountains to the Monastery of the Sundered Chain and kill a bunch of orcs. Easy, right?
Well, there is a party where you go underground and head down a massive flight of stairs. Somehow, this leads to a kind of forge in the next encounter. My question is how does the party get there? I guess with a more in-depth reading that I found out the stairs merely lead into a deep chasm. I thought they were underground the entire time. I mean, there's no door there to stop wandering monsters from just barging into their sleeping quarters and killing them all in their sleep (and with those random encounter tables, this could be anything from a trio of griffons to a bunch of wights just wandering in).
I just went with that they were underground because I overlooked the part that said its actually outside, and had the ranger make a Perception check to notice tracks that lead some several hundred feet to the Chamber of Works. Nothing says that you can see it, and there is no indication of direction. Its like they just figure you'll make it up, and hopefully your improvisations doesnt force you do have to backpedal later or make additional rewrites.
I feel that in these first two adventures Wizards did the exact opposite of Paizo: they realized that yes, too much pointless backstory and insight into a monster's deepest desires is wasted text, but they went a bit too far and basically stripped it all away. Now there is no information given as to the rhyme or reason for virtually anything you find here. The Nexus is a super elaborate boiler room death trap. Is that all they built it for? I mean, they could have given a single sentence as to its original function (in-door heated plumbing comes to mind as opposed to a massive super-trap).
I'm going to move on and read the third installment and see how it reads out.