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Ear Phantom's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 6 posts. 10 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.



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Sandbox = DM Work

****( )

The feedback I've read here is fair. The beginning is excellent, the middle is monotonous, and the dungeon crawl at the end is an OK capstone to the adventure. Fortunately as a DM, I read these reviews and tweak the modules accordingly...which is probably why you are reading this, too.

To make it fun, you have to break up the monotony of the sandbox. I created a few of my own ships with their own captains. I added a few twists here and there: a Nidalese military vessel, an Aspis Consortium vendetta, and a trip to Mediogalti Island, to name a few things to make the adventure stand out. It worked, but it required a bit of work on the part of the DM. It also helped to generate some random crew members and give them random personality traits, too...the players were really into making their ship and crew memorable, not just a bunch of lackluster followers.

Something I didn't anticipate, though, is that the power level of the encounters at the end are a bit unbalanced. If run as written, the canopy creeper would have easily been a TPK, the group after group of sahuagin would not have budged even a dent in party resources, and the final encounter would have been a pushover. It's almost a clone of the dungeon in the first module.

If I had it to do over, I would have added a few gimmicks to the bland groups of sahuagin, and also made sure to check and recheck the powers of the boss monsters.


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Fun Premise, Good Delivery

****( )

I ran a group of mid-level gamers through this module. I find the feedback of other gamers to be incredibly useful and mostly agree with the other comments. A few things I didn't see, but made running the module difficult:

1) The information is way too scattered. If you need a specific NPC's stats, you'll thumb through about 16 times in order to find it. Same with the rules for Plunder, Infamy, Ship to Ship combat, etc. It seems to be an Achilles' heel of the AP overall. Now that it's out of print, my suggestion to Paizo, if they ever decide to compile it as a hardback in the same vein as earlier APs, is that they consolidate the heck out of it. Lump all the NPCs together in one section. Put all the new rules together. Etc.

2) Where it drags on--day by day as pirates--can be a drudge. You'll have to work with your players, and do a bit of homework as a GM to make it interesting.

3) For a group playing a "non evil pirates" campaign, be prepared to swap out some encounters. This is a bigger challenge in Module 2, where people can be sold into slavery, but still worth mentioning here.

4) Make sure your players have enough resources to survive swarm encounters before they get on the island! I had to cheat a little bit by stuffing a few flasks of alchemist fire and acid in some of the treasure on the island. Otherwise it would have been a TPK after 1-2 botfly encounters.

5) The final encounter is a weird setup that you will have to adjust. Plugg and Scourge give the PCs a short amount of time to get supplies, but at the same time there's no way to run through all the encounters in that time. Maybe make it one of the reasons they are mad at the PCs?

6) The ghouls deserve a story! I made the underwater encounter a bit more interesting and added some plunder for recovering the wreck, otherwise there's absolutely nothing there for anyone.


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One of the most fun modules ever!

*****

My DM ran this module in between Kingmaker module 5 and 6. My worry going into it was that the encounters would either be, for our level, too challenging (TPK) or not challenging enough. Instead, this module was one successful "gotcha" after another, in which every member of the party was forced to think how we get out of each situation. No spoilers here, but we had to deal with domination, blindness, petrification, and, of course, mortality. The best part is that I can see this going a completely different direction if we had made different choices.


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One of the best AP modules, with extra bonus material

*****

Short disclaimer: I have not run this module. That being said, the bonus material alone is fantastic. One new NPC for each previous adventure path, plus some killer critters in the bestiary. Flipping through the module section, I see lots of interesting encounters that would be very challenging, indeed, to a party of 10+ level adventurers.


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Recommended

*****

A very good read if you are at all interested in: Pharasma, heretics, investigators, demons / devils, the Boneyard, Axis, Thuvia, the sun orchid elixir, or Rahadoum.


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