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Pathfinder Society Scenario #6: Black Waters (OGL) PDF

****( ) (based on 35 ratings)

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

The Pathfinder Society seeks the ancient ruby ring of the salamander and it falls to a team of Pathfinders to find it. Last seen in the Tri-Towers Yard, a once elite academy for the youth of Absalom, the ruby ring is now lost in the Drownyard, all that remains of Tri-Towers after it was destroyed a decade ago in the great quake. The Pathfinders must risk the strange black ichors and salty brine to find their prize—will they risk their very souls as well?

Written by Tim and Eileen Connors

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 (35)
1 to 5 of 35 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 35 ratings)

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Creppy, but limited guideline for GM

***( )( )

Striaghtfoward story: delve into dungeon to get a ring as well as a little girl?

Althoug there are good atmospheres, but as a 9-page-scenario, it only gives very limited guideline, GM have to a lots of work on NPCs and mobs(it contains two major NPCs, with undeads that even have no background discription. And boring pale haunts as well).

Black Water does have great potential for GM to do lots of roleplays(make the mobs scream and murmur!)

I prefer to play low tier, tough combats can makeup a darker atmosphere, tier 4-5 may be a bit of easy(unless they fail thier save)

An RPG Resource Review

****( )

Ten years ago, a massive earthquake devastated part of Absolom called Beldrin's Bluff, most of it falling into the sea with great loss of life. In this adventure, the Pathfinder Society's thirst for artefacts takes the party to the site of possibly the greatest tragedy - a school where nearly all the students died, killed by falling masonry or drowned - to conduct the first archaeological dig permitted since the disaster.

The adventure opens with the party being invited to the home of a Pathfinder Society Venture Captain who explains the background and gives them their task, along with the key to the railings. In the course of any investigations they might make before embarking on this job, they get invited to a posh formal dinner hosted by the mother of one of the dead children. It's an interesting opportunity to impress upon them the very real grief still felt by those bereaved by the disaster as well as entertaining to watch them on their best behaviour!

From there the adventure proceeds as a straightforward delve - or is it? There are various hauntings, a lunatic and unmentionalble evils stirred up by the disturbance of the necrocropolis on top of which the school was built to contend with. Oh, and there are a few critters down there as well, which resent being disturbed by passing adventurers, not to mention the environmental dangers posed by investigating a place that's been inundated by water. Good use is made of faction missions, with members of each faction tasked to recover various items... whilst these don't compete with each other, it is unlikely that any faction wants its interests broadcast, so assorted party members trying to retrieve whatever it is they've been asked for without letting anyone else see can also prove amusing. Naturally, there are one or two surprising discoveries to be made here, too.

Whilst a conventional delve at a first glance, this is actually quite an interesting adventure that hangs together well, with a reason for everything... even if it's not always obvious at first glance. Acting as archaeologists may prove entertaining to those players who see their characters as more combative in nature - although they will not be disappointed on that front, especially if they enjoy fighting undead.

Nice mood piece, suddenly newly relevant


With the publication of School of Spirits there's renewed interest in this scenario and rightly so. It's a cool story in a cool location. It does very well on mood and setting and the combats can be hairy, especially if you keep in mind this is meant for a four-player party.

If you're going to play School of Spirits, I would recommend playing this one before, ideally with the same character. Try not to play them in the reverse order because of major spoilers.

I think a re-issue of this one with PF mechanics might be nice, although the 3.5 mechanics are workable.

Really creepy, but also really good


A big part of this hobby relies on immersion. A scenario can have a great story, but without a proper setting it will give the player(s) a hard time to actually enjoy it. In other words: the descriptions of places and faces really have an impact on how a scenario is perceived and experienced.

Based on that notion, this scenario is pure gold. The fact that last night all the players were wondering what was going on and increasingly became more paranoid because of the tiny details says enough. Add some really peculiar and creepy NPC's, and you got a great setting. This, dear reader, is a perfectly executed horror/mystery and is truly best played on a dark evening with friends.

If I have to point out a detail that was a little subpar, I'd have a hard time. In the end I would say that the monsters are a bit repetitive at times, but they mostly still fit the situation. All I can say is that this scenario is amongst the best I've played to date, though it might rely on a good GM to emphasize some of the creepiness. I can only say that I hope the sequel to Black Water, namely 7-05 School of Spirits, will be equally stunning.

Instant classic.

****( )

(I played this)

This is just a great scenario overall. There's some roleplay involved, but it's not reliant on it if you brought a Diplomacy-light party (like we did). Fights were on the tough end, but enjoyable.

The theme is just perfect. Our GM really played up the creepiness factor of the dead children and the pervasiveness of the black water. This is the reason this didn't get the full 5 stars from me: our GM admitted that the story is pretty light on these elements, and he had to add a lot of his own to the story. Other than that, this is something I'd like to see more of: carefully thought-out social encounters, unusual NPCs, and amazing atmosphere. This is a scenario whose quality will only be matched again around season 5 or so.

Minor complaints:
- Five-foot corridors make combats really annoying, especially when the enemies get the jump on you and you have no room to maneuver.
- Not a big fan of throwing lots of monsters at you with debuffs. Potential paralysis, combined with the aforementioned (lack of) maneuvering room could lead to some nasty situations.
- As mentioned before, but it bears repeating: lack of details on the horror elements. This is a great scenario and could easily be pushed to phenomenal if you get the right handholds.

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