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

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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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****( ) (based on 37 ratings)

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****( )


Toes don't touch bottom

****( )

I played this scenario and loved it until the end despite a raging migraine and fever. The pace and setting was perfect, very eerie like ones toes may never touch bottom in the black waters beneath. One caution, playing up my prove to be fatal for the unprepared low level melee types.


Creppy, but limited guidelines 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.


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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Now available!

Scarab Sages

question concerning Quadiran faction mission (SPOILERS!):

Spoiler:
It says in the set of paragraphs after the conclusion that if the Quadiran purposefully fails his will save when an agent of the Saphire Sage scrys on him, he gets the point, but in the handout it says that Quadiran agents will be watching him. the saphire sage is the leader of the Osirions, so I'm just wondering if this is a mistake and it should be that an Agent of the Pasha will be trying to scry, or if this wasn't and has some hidden meaning attached. I'm only pointing this out since I hate inconsistancies...

Thank you for your time.


The PDF has been corrected and will be uploaded again shortly.

Spoiler:
The running text under the Faction Missions heading should read Pasha under the Qadira Faction heading and not Sapphire Sage.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
The PDF has been corrected and will be uploaded again shortly.

And so it has been—repersonalize and redownload for the new version.

Scarab Sages

Cool. It is a great adventure incidently, and I can't wait to run it. Inconsitancies like that just pop out at me since I like to have a lot of subtext. the way the original was worded hinted at some kind of teaming up of Quadira and Osirion, which could have been interesting.

Spoiler:
also, and I hesitate to point this out since I hate when people do it to me, but I noticed that Taldor wasn't put into its own paragraph in the same area. instead it just runs on from Quadira to Taldor. again, I'm just trying to be helpful, but having cheliax, osirion and quadira with their own paragraph (and indented), and having Andoran not be indented and Taldor not have their own paragraph just sticks out.

Sovereign Court

Angry rant ahead...

Spoiler:
I... uh, I just got this scenario and read most parts of it.

I quickly read the encounters, and I stopped at Act 4 to scream "NO! THEY CAN'T DO THIS!" Tell me, how do you expect six 1st level characters to win that battle? Conclusion: They can't. It's impossible. Yes, impossible. I don't even see any place giving free oils of magic weapon or any real help that would make it even possible to get past that encounter. Even a second level cleric will need to have Charisma at least 14 to have the 5% chance to affect the allip. This encounter just begs the DM to softball it so much the Allip is going to have a happy carnival mask with a flowery halo on top.

I'm expecting a revision of this. I'm willing to mark this scenario as a mere two-star in case this obnoxious encounter is left in place. A prime example of this same mistake is a Living Greyhawk metaregional scenario, ESA6-02 Gift of the Tempest (IIRC), which also featured an Allip, killing at least 60% of the parties on the lowest APL.

Incorporeals - are - not - fair. Don't use 'em on low (1-3 levels) APLs. Period. I honestly don't understand what's so great about having tons of super-deadly scenarios.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I haven't read this scenario, but I will concur

Spoiler:
that encounters with incorporeal monsters can easily be a TPK for low level parties. If the melee classes have no magic weapons, they have no chance of hitting them. A wizard or sorcerer with magic missle has the best chance of killing them. As you said above, a cleric with a very high charisma might be able to turn an allip.
I remember an allip encounter in the first Freeport (Green Ronin) adventure that became a TPK, the first time my group tried it.

Sovereign Court

Boerngrim wrote:

I haven't read this scenario, but I will concur

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
I actually thought of the possible ways to deal with the encounter with 1st level characters and 2nd level characters (only ones available at this time)...

1st level:
- A cleric/druid/sorcerer/wizard who has prepared any of the following spells: Cure Light Wounds, Disrupt Undead, Hide from Undead, Magic Missile (although futile, as an Allip gets 5hp for each successful drain), Magic Stone, Magic Weapon, Shillelagh
- A cleric with improved turning and charisma 14+ rolls 22 or more.
- A character of the Osirion faction can save at least herself by using the power of Attuned to the Ancestors.
- The party consists of the olympic team of Holy Water Throwers, preferably with Blind-fight. Nevertheless the allip has 22hp, so 6 characters would deal 15 points of damage in average per round (provided they hit all the time),... to cut it short, they'd need at least 3 holy waters per character, preferably 4. That'd cost 75-100gp per character. Costly.

2nd level:
- Same as above.
- A cleric with improved turning and/or good charisma, has to roll either 19+ or 22+.

Those are really the only ones that come into my mind. Magic fang is useless since all animals will flee from the unnatural undead. Most likely the only option for non-casters is to fling holy water flasks. It's a very expensive hobby.

Furthermore, removing the ability drain is expensive. It could easily render a promising start of a cleric/druid completely useless, forcing her to pay 380gp for the Restoration spell.

Nitpicks:
On page 10 the ring of sustenance is said to be in Cassiel's fingers, although it should be Junia.
Also, am I to understand the said ring isn't actually going to be accessible in the scenario? It appears in the chronicle sheet, sure, but it is the said artifact as well (a lousy one at that).


Deussu wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Deussu,

I'm working on a fix for this issue that should be up in a day or so. Thanks for the feedback.

Sovereign Court

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Deussu wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Deussu,

I'm working on a fix for this issue that should be up in a day or so. Thanks for the feedback.

Excellent! Thank you! I'm running this adventure on 19th October, though for you it's closer to 18th (living in GMT+2). By then I'm sure something has been done. :) And I do feel the need to apologize for my (constantly) adrenaline-pumped text.

Spoiler:
I've been thinking of some softballing already. Either by clustering labeled oils of magic weapon, giving a fragile ghost touch sword which turns into dust in sunlight, and/or making the allip deal ability damage instead of drain.
My favorite would be to give the players an alternative, intriguing way to deal with it. Say it was to be succumb into a pool of holy water giving a scripted death. Or somewhere beneath the necropolis is a shrine of positive energy, activated through some clever manner. Whatever the reason, it should make the players feel like they won a very powerful enemy by using their wits.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Deussu wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Deussu,

I'm working on a fix for this issue that should be up in a day or so. Thanks for the feedback.

Just wanted to mention that that fix was made last week. (We already e-mailed everybody who had purchased the scenario, but if you were waiting for the fix before you bought, wait no longer!)

Sovereign Court

Ah, so it would seem. I don't find any reference to updates on Black Waters from my email though. Nevertheless, I now have the updated version and I am happy.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I, too, purchased the scenario and received no email about a second correction.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Chris Mortika wrote:
I, too, purchased the scenario and received no email about a second correction.

Sigh. Looks like our mail server was not on speaking terms with me at the time. I've resent it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
I, too, purchased the scenario and received no email about a second correction.
Sigh. Looks like our mail server was not on speaking terms with me at the time. I've resent it.

I just hopped on to reDL it, grumbling all the while that I just DLed and printed it out yesterday. I'm glad to see that I don't have to reprint the module after all, but the additional notice is perhaps as confusing as missing the original message was...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Shisumo wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
I, too, purchased the scenario and received no email about a second correction.
Sigh. Looks like our mail server was not on speaking terms with me at the time. I've resent it.
I just hopped on to reDL it, grumbling all the while that I just DLed and printed it out yesterday. I'm glad to see that I don't have to reprint the module after all, but the additional notice is perhaps as confusing as missing the original message was...

Hmm. Yep—I probably should have amended the notice to say that if you've downloaded it since October 10th, you have the latest version and there's no need to download it again...

Grand Lodge

Was this updated to the Pathfinder system yet? I saw that it was slated to be, but haven't seen any updates. Now that there's a Season 7 sequel, I'm hoping to run both.

Silver Crusade

One more request for an update, especially since theres a Season 7 sequel.

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