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Pathfinder Society Scenario #1: Silent Tide (OGL) PDF

****( ) (based on 53 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 4–5).

When strange reports of misty undead spread through Absalom, you and your fellow Pathfinders are dispatched to the half-drowned district of Puddles. Notoriously rough, the drooling addicts, flesh panderers, and quick-handed knifers of Puddles are the least of your worries. The night's tide brings with it an ancient armada of some long-forgotten war and you are the only thing between their mist-shrouded ghost fleet and Absalom's utter oblivion.

Written by Michael Kortes

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world. This scenario is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with the 3.5 edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

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Product Reviews (53)
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****( ) (based on 53 ratings)

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Solid scenario, even after all these years

****( )

It’s often said that the season 0 and 1 scenarios don’t age well. While it’s true that most notably the opponents are underwhelming, I still am amazed by how certain combats remain refreshing and dare I say innovative compared to newer seasons. This scenario is no different.

The plot isn’t all that amazing and the way the encounters follow eachother up leaves something to be desired, but the fights are all outstanding. In the first encounter the partymembers are forced between fighting, or helping NPCs from drowning. Both tasks have to be done, but who is going to do what? It’s a dynamic that remains refreshing even though we’re currently in season 8.

Then there are two fights with location-specific effects, both differing from one another. They’re simple, but effective. I particularly liked the one in a church of Abadar. After all, who doesn’t want to fight on a gigantic church organ, inadvertently playing it at the same time? Let’s be honest: that’s a unique fighting experience.

Besides those fights, there’s also a fair bit of puzzling to be done. There are 5 different puzzles, all of which require different skillsets to open. Everyone can participate and be successful. They also don’t take up a lot of time, so it’s a nice showcase that things don’t have to be overly complicated in order to be enjoyable.

While the foes didn’t age well and the story isn’t great, this scenario is still an utter joy to play. Interesting puzzles and environmental effects not only make it stand out, but ensure that it’s still refreshing to play. It’s simple, yet effective and even though it was released almost a decade ago, I would still highly recommend it.

Great introduction to PFS

****( )

Although it has been released for 8 years(maybe), still a WOW factor.

Combines well with story, roleplays, and skills, and an interesting meeting with Grandmaster Torch. You won't get bored at any time.

As many season 0 modules, combat is the downside, fine in tier 1-2(but too many weak mobs), doesn't scale well with high tier.

****( )

An RPG Resource Review

****( )

Beginning the entire 'Pathfinder Society' shared campaign with a bang, this adventure sets the heroes the task fo saving Absalom from an ancient and deadly plot many centuries in the making. Now when the plot was originally hatched some 800 years ago, it was swiftly detected and the forces massed against the city defeated... or so it was thought. But one man's meddling nearly brought the city to disaster once more. The stakes are high.

The Pathfinder Society has got wind of this and the adventure starts in media res as the party of young Pathfinders set out to retrieve an ancient codebook from a scholar... only to discover that he has been kidnapped! Success in rescuing the scholar is key to solving this adventure - no advice is given as to what to do if he doesn't survive, so the astute DM will have to ensure that he does or this might be a very short game.

Assuming they are successful in rescuing the scholar, one Yargos Gill, he not only tells them who stole the codebook but reveals that they are using it to raise undead combatants from ancient times... and a mad scramble through the city to thwart their plots ensues. The episodes are a little disjointed, with a brawl in a granary, a visit to an information broker whose price is a spot of safe-cracking and a visit to a temple with exceedingly bizarre worship give the party little time to rest before the final climax of a raid on the individual who is using the codebook to such dire effect.

I've DMed this adventure several times, and it still seems to lurch a little disjointedly: I'm not sure how well it flows from a player perspective (although all mine have enjoyed the game). Fortunately, each individual encounter is well-resourced with appropriate maps, NPC/adversary notes and all you need to run it successfully. By making Gill very talkative - he is a scholar after all, and many such are fond of the sound of their own voices - you can convey sufficient background to cue the players in to what is going on and what they can do about it.

Introducing the concept of 'Factions' which runs throughout the shared campaign, members of each Faction have individualised sub-plot targets to achieve within the context of the main adventure. If you are using the adventure as part of a campaign outside of the series of adventures that make up Season 0 of the Pathfinder Society shared campaign (or even are playing through them as a group with the same DM) there are suggestions of how to carry things through - favours earned or emnity gained - from this adventure to others set in Absalom, a nice touch.

A quite memorable, if slightly flawed, adventure to get the campaign rolling... but possibly not the best thing to start off your own campaign involving members of the Pathfinder Society - bring it in at an appropriate point later on.

A solid early scenario

****( )

There sure are a lot of reviews for the scenario, so I'll do my best to add a new take on it. I've now played and ran this scenario so I'll try to review it from both perspectives.

Overall this is a fun scenario with simple encounters and an interesting puzzle. NPCs add character to Absalom which helps hugely for new players (of which I had 3 when I ran it), but also gave a suitably oppressive atmosphere to the Puddles district.

The first encounter isn't inherently challenging due to the enemies you face but more for the extra count-downesque mechanics going on. When I played, a quick-thinking caster was able to delay the counter and we never had to deal with the results, however because we dealt with the secondary condition first, the fight itself was notably more difficult. When I ran it, the players cleared the enemies first, and just faced the consequences, not wanting to penalize these new players too much I allowed a couple of simple skill checks to deal with their consequences.I also think that this encounter could have benefited from a map, to give some kind of indication of where to place enemies/players/etc.

Encounter two was also fun thanks to the combination of "trapped" squares and difficult terrain, meaning that positioning was a very important part of their strategy and as such the party in both cases had to adjust their strategy accordingly.

I only got to play, not run, the optional encounter due to time constraints. But I felt that the ultra-specific skill check was a little unfair. But I think this was a a teething issue from such an early scenario. Either way, our party handily dispatched the enemies.

The final encounter was a little confusing to interpret, even though I'd played through it previously, I was still a little confused as to the actual layout of the field. The fight itself isn't spectacularly difficult, and it suffers from party members being funneled and blocking each others access, but I assume this was part of the design, in which case it makes sense and uses the terrain to the enemies' advantage.

I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle segment, both playing it and running it. Watching the party slowly figure out the solution was extremely rewarding. MVP goes to this part.

Taking into account this scenario's status as a season 0, this is a very solid game. While not exactly fantastical by any means, you wouldn't really expect that of a low-level game anyway. Each battle adds a little twist to the combat and forces players to think beyond just "hit it as hard as possible!" which I always appreciate. Definitely a solid entry.

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