Posted 04 October 2009 - 08:27 PM
I was excited to play The Staff, because it sounded like an interesting plot. Or at least, a solid one. It’s also nice to see Mike Slack putting more scenarios out, and this one seemed like a step up from his previous works.
The outdoors and towns are nice. Nothing too spiffy, but it's solid. Dialogue, while often brief, is good. The story, while nebulous, is acceptable.
Of course, it wasn’t that simple. It started off fine, and then I started wondering why everyone was named James or Jamie. And then I wondered why virtually every bit of dialogue was broken up into one-sentence blocks. And then I wondered why the items being sold in shops were absurdly powerful for a level 1 party. And then I wondered why every other door in the scenario was locked. And then I wondered why no two townsmen or townswomen had the same graphic, including weird choices like archmages. And finally, I wondered why a certain licensed cartoon character made an appearance.
In the end, I had to cheat to finish, because the last item I needed was in a trapped box beyond my skill level. And it still exploded. Also, it is not okay to sell the player a worthless item for 1,000 gold, when you’ve created the expectation that it’s a quest item. That’s the point at which I wonder, “why?”
For a scenario that boasts being beatable with a level 1 party, it’s absurdly unbalanced. And there’s really not much meat here. So it’s a step up from Proving Grounds and Crescent Valley, but it’s still disappointing.
EDIT: I've been told that there was a key for the exploding box. And upon further thought, I was a little too harsh.