Albion Armitage’s Astounding Arsenal is a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 8th to 10th level characters. The adventure sees the player characters stumble upon a magical map that leads to an extraordinary and astounding merchant shop. In essence the adventure is divided into two parts - the first a long journey filled with danger and peril while the PCs are hunted by those that also wish to acquire the map, and the second a magical journey through Albion Armitage's merchant shop where the characters will discover new weapons, armor and tools unheard of anywhere else. The product is very detailed, giving full details and even statistics blocks on even minor NPCs in the adventure, and has well-crafted background details and adventure information. The items found in the Arsenal are impressive - I particularly liked the addition of several new siege weapons, and the weapons and tools are well-designed and useful. Some good art accompanies all aspects of the adventure, particularly Larry Elmore's art.
The adventure part itself was a little disappointing, consisting mostly of weeks of pointless journey with random encounters. The excitement comes from less than a handful of special encounters that form the main part of the adventure and tie in to the storyline, but by and large it's one random encounter after the next, something which can be quite tedious. That said, between the encounters in table after table of lists there are quite a few ones that fit the story well. More could've been made of the journey itself, either by shortening it, or by making it more dynamic to give the PCs a real sense that they're hunted. The adventure also doesn't offer much advice on how the NPCs would respond to the PCs being pro-active in their actions against those that hunt them. The merchant shop and its mystical wares is far more impressive and offers several unique items, well-described and carefully designed. The product even includes some clever construct monsters that are designed well to fit the background of Albion's Astounding Arsenal. Overall, a somewhat disappointing adventure, but the merchant shop, its NPCs, wares and background details make up for the lack of adventure excitement.
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