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Pathfinder Society Scenario #8: Slave Pits of Absalom (OGL) PDF

****( ) (based on 18 ratings)

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

Someone kidnapped Lady Anilah Salhar—the Chelish wife of Dremdhet Salhar, one of Osirion's many Grand Ambassadors to Absalom—and sold her into slavery. With Salhar holding delve permits over the heads of the Decemvirute, the Pathfinders are sent to assist the Osirian Ambassador. Venturing into Absalom's darkest corners to save Lady Anilah, the Pathfinders must face the secrets of the Slave Pits to avoid becoming slaves themselves.

Written by Lou Agresta

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 (18)
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****( ) (based on 18 ratings)

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An RPG Resource Review

****( )

Golarion is not free of the evils of human trafficing, it appears, as the wife of Dremdhet Salhar, one of Osirion's many Grand Ambassadors to Absalom, has been kidnapped and sold into slavery. Desperate to get her back, Grand Ambassador Salhar has turned to the Pathfinder Society, and the party has been tasked with her rescue. They're given a contact, a fellow addicted to the notorious drug grit who is known to be involved in the illegal trafficking of noble females as household slaves - perhaps he knows something about the matter. Whilst slavery isn't illegal in Absalom, kidnapping and selling people off the street certainly is!

If you are worried that this might be an investigation-heavy adventure, relax. It is full of combat from start to finish, with a couple of mass brawls and an assault on a slave ship to keep the party on their toes. The adventure is rather linear, and depends on the party finding and questioning several people in a linked chain of evidence that will eventually lead them to their quarry, and a lot of the time they'll have to work at their Diplomacy checks to get anything out of anybody. There doesn't seem to be any fallback position if the party fails to get the next piece of information - realistic, perhaps, but liable to derail a game if characters cannot reach the stated goal via the single available way of getting the information required.

That said, it's a taut action-packed adventure, an exciting trip through the seedy underbelly of Absalom's slave trade. The Faction missions are neatly entwined into the plot, and may set individual party-members at odds with each other, although all still wish to rescue the Lady Anilah Salhar, who will be suitably grateful and owe the party a favour that can never be repaid.

A bit disappointed

**( )( )( )

GM'ed this scenario last week at low tier for a party of 4. Although the party enjoyed the adventure, I cannot help but feel disappointed. With the 4-star rating, I was expecting something of a "Classic", like Mists of Mwangi or Silent Tide. Instead the adventure seems to have been written from the point of an old school "we must kill the baddies" perspective, leaving little room for diplomacy and even respect of the Law, if you want the full reward.
As to the final combats, they are really nasty for a 4-man LvL1 party.

Premise, 3: The party is being sent to rescue a noblewoman from slavers.

Combat, 2: Either extremely weak (opponents with 0 build points). The final combats scale badly to a small/low level party.

Background/RP, 3: The opportunities are there for the players, but the adventure as written, leaves little room for diplomacy.

Skills, 3: I did not notice anything in particular.

General, 2: It may be the high standard of the season 5-6 season scenario's, but generally, to me, this scenario feels outdated.


***( )( )

This is a mostly uninspired adventure. While it will be enjoyable for anti-slavery type characters, it's story is mediocre and combats are especially run of the mill. There can be some interesting morale conundrum role-playing, but other than that, everything about this adventure screams average.

Short but fun

****( )

This scenario can run in 2 hours, even with half that time being allocated to roleplay.

I am giving this scenario a little bit of a boost with a 4-star review. As a season 0, it still features 3.5e stat blocks so being run in a PFRPG context, I'd say it only merits a 3-star review for the mechanics. If this scenario ever got updated to PF rules, it would be a great, simple run.

There's some great NPCs to play, from a Galtan venture captain to a Vudrani slaver. The infamous slave pits of Absalom are an evocative locale, and the final setup for the end of the scenario is nice. I recommend printing out the map with the slave galley as opposed to just grabbing the standard ship maps, since it makes it feel so much more "slavey", especially when the party descends into the lower levels and sees all the benches for slaves to row at.

At both subtiers, the fights still manage to be somewhat interesting, especially as a party has decent odds to combine two fights into one depending on how they perceive events.

The good news is this scenario doesn't "drag" - it's a very brisk walk through recovering a missing noble. Again, the combat crunch is a bit lackluster and would be excellent with a rule update. I give high praise to Lou for writing this one, and hopefully the PFS staff will give him a chance to dust this off and re-release it some day.

Lots of potential, but ultimately lacklustre.

***( )( )

2.5 stars from me. One day there will be an awesome slavery themed PFS adventure. This, sadly, is not it.

-Short and sweet. Good for new players or for shorter slots.
-Great Osirion/Taldor faction missions that add a lot of roleplaying dynamic for the party.

-Such a slimy location like Misery Row is ultimately wasted, nothing really interesting or flavourful happens there.
-Combats are extremely basic up until where the monsters arrive, in which you're dealing with a creature with six times the health of anything else you've faced up to that point.
-Extreme railroading.

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