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unicornpuncher

Mask of The Pirate Queen any good?

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I've been looking at picking up some single adventures to run my group through, and came across this one. There are only a few reviews on amazon so I figured I'd get opinions from here, which I trust more anyway.  So how about it, is it worth picking up? 

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It's useful, but like with all these modules, take what you find valuable and make your own.  So far I have not been that enthused with any of the adventures' NPCs, their motivations and actions.  I think they're just "too small".  A lot of them have potential, but their arc is handled over the duration of what ends up being only a few sessions.  They need more build up, duration, interaction, etc before the culmination.  So mine it for locations and the special rules they introduce for certain scenarios.

 

Really, MotPQ could be a whole campaign...it's kind of set up that way, but there's not enough content to make that happen, so you'd have to space things out and have a lot of related "side quests" to do it justice.

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I've found the adventures for all three star wars lines have great production values, good ideas for overall plot-lines, and plenty of characters and gems to mine. However, they also have sub-plots that can turn into rabbit holes, need to be smoothed out to really work, and follow a different style of running games and setting up challenges than I have developed over the years. One issue I have is tests for their own sake, or "action" that doesn't so much drive the plot as serve as make-fight scenes. None of these are deal breakers for me, but it does mean no published adventure survives contact with the enemy (me) unscathed. I treat them as general outlines and ideas for scenes rather than a script I have to follow. Mask of the Pirate Queen, overall, is a great idea and general plotline, and has some interesting characters, but you're going to have to make it your own to make it work. 

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At the other end of the small scope spectrum, their published adventures are filled with more NPCs than are really needed. Shades of 40k published adventures...

Let's see; eight factions, three NPCs each at least, blah blah. I want an adventure, not all the political lobbyists on The Hill on Monday. Jeez.

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I'm planning on running it along with Beyond the Rim and Jewel of Yavin as part of my ongoing campaign, but there are elements I will definitely be altering or glazing over.

 

As others have said, rather than running these modules as self-contained arcs I see them as jumping-off points for wider adventures. The most interesting thing to me about Mask isn't how the players will catch the Pirate Queen and claim the reward, but rather what they'll do with her mask once they get their hands on it?

Edited by Jace911

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Thanks everyone for the input. You guys rock! 

 

I've already picked up Beyond the Rim and Jewel of Yavin. Watched some youtubers play like an hour of BTR and knew I wanted that one, and JOY always seems well regarded whenever it is brought up, so that was a no brainier.

 

But Mask was the only one I didn't really know a lot about so I was unsure whether to grab it or not. After hearing from everyone here, I think I'll wait on Mask. Might be something I want to look into later when my group is eager for more content after running the other adventures and campaign. 

Edited by unicornpuncher

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My online group ran a marathon 8 hr session of a modified Mask of the Pirate Queen. We record all our games and upload them to YouTube. It is a high level campaign (the structure means everyone has different XP amounts but it ranges from 500-2000), so there are probably modifications to difficulty as well as plot things to fit it into the bigger picture.

Here is a link to part 1:

Edited by rowdyoctopus

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I am running Mask of the Pirate Queen in my game, and I am just finished running through Jewel of Yavin as a player.

It seems as though they could be too short. As others said, you would do well to modify them, and they can all work together to create fun campaigns. The moment I heard the name of the organization at the heart of the search, I started using them as part of the groundwork for my own campaign, meaning Mask fit into our ongoing narrative.

 

The book is amazing from a production standpoint and some of the NPCs, as well as the organizations, can be very interesting. On the other hand, as a stand alone module, I do feel like Mask is a little thin. But I also believe this is because they expect you to expand. It comes down more or less to: Do you find the adventure at the heart of the module? If not, the book still has loads of cool info. If so? It'll be fun, and I think there are a great deal of chances to expand on it.

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As it stands, it's a tad linear. But it has plenty of cool stuff to expand on if you like that kind of thing.  It's odd that it expects you to be 'scum and villainy' instead of the more good-natured scoundrels, Guardians-of-the-Galaxy types.  It allows you to take things 'off the rails' if you really want to ally with the Sorority and fight the bad guys of the Zann Consortium - but says that you're basically on your own there. 

 

I ran this for the more amoral group of EoE characters we have, and extrapolated a great story from what they give you here.  On a whim, the PCs sided against Zann, expressly against what their benefactor wanted, and then called in every favour they could to bring help for all four factions to the struggle.  They essentially started a new Galactic Civil War and derailed my three-arc campaign so dramatically that I have to abandon the current middle act and essentially add a fourth one to resolve this (it's basically a civil war between the Scum&Villainy faction, the first real setback the organisation has suffered). Of course, everyone wants a piece of this pie, so I can bring in the other groups now and get some use out of the mass battle rules in 'Lead By Example' as Empire, Alliance and Jedi all get involved one way or another... (some of us have Empire at War: Forces of Corruption and SW Uprising, so there's a huge amount of material I can use for detailing the forces involved).

 

TLDR; it's a great adventure if you're prepared to build a mini-campaign around it.  It's not ideal if you just want a relatively simple story that stays on the rails.

Edited by Maelora

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Should have it Monday, we'll see.

I personally wish they'd skip typical adventures and do a series of books that are broadly regional with a bunch of NPCs and modular encounters. So like an Outer Rim book with a buncha personalties and how PCs might run into them along with 15 or 20 modular encounters. Just my never ending plug for more modular encounters.

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As it stands, it's a tad linear. But it has plenty of cool stuff to expand on if you like that kind of thing.  It's odd that it expects you to be 'scum and villainy' instead of the more good-natured scoundrels, Guardians-of-the-Galaxy types.  It allows you to take things 'off the rails' if you really want to ally with the Sorority and fight the bad guys of the Zann Consortium - but says that you're basically on your own there. 

 

I ran this for the more amoral group of EoE characters we have, and extrapolated a great story from what they give you here.  On a whim, the PCs sided against Zann, expressly against what their benefactor wanted, and then called in every favour they could to bring help for all four factions to the struggle.  They essentially started a new Galactic Civil War and derailed my three-arc campaign so dramatically that I have to abandon the current middle act and essentially add a fourth one to resolve this (it's basically a civil war between the Scum&Villainy faction, the first real setback the organisation has suffered). Of course, everyone wants a piece of this pie, so I can bring in the other groups now and get some use out of the mass battle rules in 'Lead By Example' as Empire, Alliance and Jedi all get involved one way or another... (some of us have Empire at War: Forces of Corruption and SW Uprising, so there's a huge amount of material I can use for detailing the forces involved).

 

TLDR; it's a great adventure if you're prepared to build a mini-campaign around it.  It's not ideal if you just want a relatively simple story that stays on the rails.

 

Honestly I resent the Zann Consortium for being Mary Sue punks so I don't have faith in my ability to portray them in a way that won't lead my players to stab them in the back, nor do I wish to try.

 

Which is fine, because they could always use another bounty on their heads. :V

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Honestly I resent the Zann Consortium for being Mary Sue punks so I don't have faith in my ability to portray them in a way that won't lead my players to stab them in the back, nor do I wish to try.

 

 

The PC who made the decision to start GCW 2.0 was actually a former lover of Tyber Zann, so it worked out nicely for us.

 

I actually rather liked them, but they are highly unlikely to survive what happens next.   

Edited by Maelora

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Mask Of the Pirate queen is the only published FFG star wars adventure appropriate to my party of bounty hunters... I suppose that I could make beyond the rim and jewel of yavin work, the problem is motivating them to take on the job.

 

What sort of Obligations are your party members carrying around? Tug on those.

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My online group ran a marathon 8 hr session of a modified Mask of the Pirate Queen. We record all our games and upload them to YouTube. It is a high level campaign (the structure means everyone has different XP amounts but it ranges from 500-2000), so there are probably modifications to difficulty as well as plot things to fit it into the bigger picture.

Here is a link to part 1:

I know it only through Rowdyoctopus's actual play, and I am uninspired. Hopefully the setting is as 

Whafrog mentioned, good filling for your own story. I like to re-skin most encounter based on the combination of skills and situation.

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I personally wish they'd skip typical adventures and do a series of books that are broadly regional with a bunch of NPCs and modular encounters. So like an Outer Rim book with a buncha personalties and how PCs might run into them along with 15 or 20 modular encounters. Just my never ending plug for more modular encounters.

 

I agree with 66.6 percent of what you say. With a little digging and some legwork, between all the WEG and WotC stuff, we're pretty covered for Scum and Villiany games and Rebels vs Empire games. I want to see what they come up with for purely Jedi games - all new territory.

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I agree with 66.6 percent of what you say. With a little digging and some legwork, between all the WEG and WotC stuff, we're pretty covered for Scum and Villiany games and Rebels vs Empire games. I want to see what they come up with for purely Jedi games - all new territory.

 

Thus far:

 

'Padawan Adventures: Holocron Quest'

 

and

 

'Baby's First Lightsaber!'

 

 

Which is fine, but when you've got your lightsaber and your holocron, you're good to go with the 'wannabe Jedi' shtick.  One thing that intrigued me about their comments about starting at 'Knight level' *cough*  was that at about 150XP, the characters can starting fighting back...

 

So honestly, we've had 1st-level adventures in the Beta, the Core, the GM screen and the first published adventure.  It would be nice to see the next one actually detail some scenarios where we can start to use all this stuff that we've collected. Characters don't need a drawer-full of spare holocrons and lightsabers.

Edited by Maelora

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I agree with 66.6 percent of what you say. With a little digging and some legwork, between all the WEG and WotC stuff, we're pretty covered for Scum and Villiany games and Rebels vs Empire games. I want to see what they come up with for purely Jedi games - all new territory.

 

Thus far:

 

'Padawan Adventures: Holocron Quest'

 

and

 

'Baby's First Lightsaber!'

 

 

Which is fine, but when you've got your lightsaber and your holocron, you're good to go with the 'wannabe Jedi' shtick.  One thing that intrigued me about their comments about starting at 'Knight level' *cough*  was that at about 150XP, the characters can starting fighting back...

 

So honestly, we've had 1st-level adventures in the Beta, the Core, the GM screen and the first published adventure.  It would be nice to see the next one actually detail some scenarios where we can start to use all this stuff that we've collected. Characters don't need a drawer-full of spare holocrons and lightsabers.

 

 

The adventures that FFG writes seem to all assume starting party. This is smart on FFG's part because the harder they make the adventures the harder it becomes to incorporate into ongoing games. It's always easier to scale upwards than it is to scale downwards. I'm sure future adventures will vary the rewards some, but based on everything they published so far adventure wise across the three lines I think FFG's overall goal with pre published adventures is to provide something that anybody can easily play as starting characters and then telling GM's to adjust the rewards and challenges for more advanced groups.

 

Which is smart considering the system. Pre made adventures that are based on point buy systems are harder to balance due to the infinite variety in character builds. The more xp you sink into it the more difficult the task of balancing an adventure for a variety of groups becomes. Higher level pre made adventures tend to work better in games that are classed based as it's easier to generalize the power curve in those systems. 

Edited by Kael

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