Pathfinder Module: From Shore to Sea (PFRPG)

****( ) (based on 11 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: From Shore to Sea (PFRPG)
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An aquatic dungeon adventure for 6th-level Pathfinder Roleplaying Game characters.

They Come from Beneath the Sea!

The deep waters of the Hellmouth Gulf have long concealed ancient mysteries, both wondrous and terrible. But these secrets have been submerged for too long, and the remote coastal village of Blackcove has accidentally awoken a slumbering horror from a bygone age. Strange creatures now venture from beneath the waves to steal townsfolk away in the dark of night.

Can the PCs discover the fate of Blackcove’s lost villagers? What secrets still lie hidden on the mysterious, ruined island just offshore, and what now lurks in the flooded temples beneath the isle? And what horrific fate lies in store for those unfortunate souls who fall prey to the island's eldritch influence?

From Shore to Sea is an adventure for 6th-level characters, written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s oldest RPG, and produced in collaboration with the patrons of Open Design. Inside you’ll find villagers slowly succumbing to the ancestral taint in their blood, tentacled abominations from the deep, debased fish-men, ancient Azlanti technology, and a secret stretching back millennia to the legendary empire of Azlant itself.

This adventure is set along the mysterious Hellmouth Gulf coast in the diabolical empire of Cheliax in the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting, but can be easily adapted for any game world.

Written by Brandon Hodge

Pathfinder Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, adventures using the Open Game License to work with both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set. This Pathfinder Module includes four pre-made characters so players can jump right into the action, and full-color maps to enhance play.

ISBN 13: 978-1-60125-257-9

From Shore to Sea is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download (213 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Modules Subscription.

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PDF: Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Print Edition: Unavailable

Non-Mint: Unavailable This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO9525


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Was this playtested?

*( )( )( )( )

From a DC 40 Spellcraft check which must be made to progress in the module and which has special rules to prevent party assistance - for a module intended for 6th level characters to a final encounter with a creature with the wrong CR - hint final encounter is at least CR 11 - again for a level 6 party.

That's a rhetorical question because these problems would have been obvious if it was playtested by anyone other than the author running it for his home group. It is amazing with the effort Paizo puts into playtesting new rules that I have only seen one module which didn't have massive problems that even a cursory playtest by someone other than the author would have caught.

I played the PFS version so the GM didn't have the option of correcting the authors egregious errors.

Never play this module! You will have more fun licking the edges of the pages in an attempt to get paper cuts on your tongue than you will playing the module.

Ed


Good on paper, disastrous in practice

***( )( )

When I read this module, it looked really awesome, and I couldn't wait to run it. When I actually did run it, my players had the worst experience ever at my table. In fact, this marked one of the few times my players were actually very angry at me. While the encounters, plot, background, and maps are high quality, several issues make the adventure frustrating to play.

1) Because of the structure and order of locations and events, the adventure gives very little exposition until very late in the module. My players were left with almost no information to act on. Every decision they made felt like a shot in the dark.

2) The island's effects misled the players into believing there's a time limit. This put a lot of stress on my players, disabling them from leisurely exploring the island at their own pace. Worse is that it railroaded my players into continuing an adventure they had no fun with. It was so bad that a couple of the PCs preferred they leave and spend another adventure curing themselves than actually finishing out the adventure.

3) Martial characters felt completely useless. Nearly all of the adventure's major challenges require magical expertise. All non-spellcasters in my group spent most of the two 4-hour sessions twiddling their thumbs while the spellcasters solved the mystery.

4) I also noticed that sometimes the text did not match the maps provided. For example, the description said one location was in the west when it was north on the map.

Thankfully, all of these can be avoided with some clever GMing. If you wish to run this adventure, I suggest the following recommendation:

Spoiler:

Have the party encounter Sara or the villagers early when they visit the island. My players struggled because they lacked a clear objective other than wander around the island hoping they find something. The module does not let the Sara encounter line doesn't happen until they find the excavation site, which is likely the very last place they'll visit.

Overall, From Shore to Sea has a great story and premise marred by poor sequencing and a frustrating pseudo-time limit mechanic.


Poorly designed and overly challenging.

*( )( )( )( )

And WAY to long. It took our experienced group almost 12 hours to complete this mod, and we skipped or hand waved several (4?)encounters along the way. How is someone supposed to GM this at a Con or event with that kind of run time!?!

The first part of the mod was good, until we reached the island. Then it felt like we were getting repeatedly hosed for no good reason. The hourly mutation chance, with no ability to stop or even understand it, made us feel like we certainly had no time to stop and rest. And we really could have used some rest.

A encounter with a CR equal to the APL of the party is supposed to consume 1/4 of the party's resources. On the island we had way more than 4 encounters (6-8, and we skipped some)and one of them was CR=APL+3, all before reaching the climactic encounter! How is a party that has no time to rest supposed to have anything left for the BBEG after that?

If we had had a Sorcerer instead of a Wizard there is no way we could have made that DC40 Spellcraft check, and with out it we would have been screwed. And what is with requiring 4 ranks of Spellcraft to assist the check. Did someone pull that number out of the air, or was there a reason for it? It certainly doesn't seem fair to be changing the rules in a PFS module.

Finally, the extensive use of permanent illusions felt cheap, especially the final illusionary wall. When "it" popped through I wanted to just leave the table in disgust and frustration.

This is the first time I have been actively pissed off after completing a PF module. Not with our GM (who is great and did what he could to not make this mod last 14 hours), or my party members (a stalwart bunch), but with the adventure itself!


One of the best

*****

I don't usually give 5 star ratings, because nothing is perfect but this module is so close I didnt think 4 stars did it justice.

It was so well fleshed out and captivating, It left me wanting more. You could base a campaign off the module.

This adventure is in my top 5 all time D&D modules.

Do yourself a favour and buy this adventure now!


It will be hard to stop to eat.

*****

Normally players want to get through the building of suspense as quickly as possible and get on to the combat. The set up in this module was fascinating to my group. A good two hours was spent before any real combat and that combat was a great set up for the rest of the adventure. The inclusion of a couple of early red herrings is also good for keeping the suspense high for the players. GMs will enjoy breaking out so classic monsters as much as the players will enjoy besting them. The scale of the combats also pose a great variety from BBG to mobs of mooks.

The warning I will give is the time to play this. Normally I can get a module ran in around eight hours. This one took nearly ten and it could have gone much longer. Allow at least twelve hours for this baby and your players will thank you.


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Dark Archive

I like the art.


Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I like the Azlant.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Dark_Mistress wrote:
I like the art.

I'm pretty sure that's a mock up.

Paizo Employee CEO

Adam Daigle wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
I like the art.
I'm pretty sure that's a mock up.

You are correct!

-Lisa

Contributor

Well, when you put it all like that, it sounds like a pretty cool adventure after all! ;-)

I am both thrilled and honored to keep such company.

B.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

IF thats the mock up...

I am awaiting the amazement I will have with the actual cover.

Grand Lodge

Awesome art and great project ;)

Dark Archive

Oh I knew it was a mockup, I just liked the art anyways. :)

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Sounds a bit Dagon'ish. Me like!

Scarab Sages

Squee!

It's so exciting to see this hit the product listings. From it's current state it looks like it's going to be an incredibly atmospheric and creepy adventure (though if you can prevent your players from singing "It's beginning to look a lot like fishmen" repeatedly through the first session you're a better GM than me).


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm one of the lower-level patrons on this module. I haven't added too much, mainly watching the process. Hopefully a few of my ideas will make it in ;)

The mockup cover art is nice, but there won't be any pirates involved. Can't wait until I get my hands on the official hard copy version.

BTW, I highly recommend being a patron on one of the Open Design projects. Great it you have ever considered writing your own module or even just learning better GM techniques!

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This adventure's gonna rock!

But I'm biased since I'm a patron.

The mock up art is from one of the side trek adventures in the Second Darkness AP, just FYI.

Scarab Sages

Mactaka wrote:

This adventure's gonna rock!

But I'm biased since I'm a patron.

The mock up art is from one of the side trek adventures in the Second Darkness AP, just FYI.

*headdesk* of course! I knew it was really familiar, and I didn't think it was from Chimera Cove, but I couldn't think of anything else that was particularly piratical and didn't have my books to hand, forgot all about ol' Captain Grudge. It's been bugging me all afternoon, Thankyou!

Guess I should have qualified my previous post by saying I'm a hideously biased patron too (though sadly after deciding to make this my first senior patronage, work has been so busy that I've barely been able to contribute until now). Seriously though, I've run two playtest groups through it and it's been an absolute blast. It's wonderful to watch OD products grow so I certainly second Sinvel's recommendation if you've never been a patron. Keep an eye on Open Design and when a product that interests you comes around, take the plunge!

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

Echoing the above sentiments, I've been having a lot of fun as a senior patron (lately work and life have taken me away from contributing). I even got to make a couple of contributions to the adventure itself.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

From Shore to Sea is part of my subscription, but how do I get a copy of Sunken Empires? Do I need a copy of Sunken Empires? Would I want a copy of Sunken Empires?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Andrew Phillips wrote:
From Shore to Sea is part of my subscription, but how do I get a copy of Sunken Empires? Do I need a copy of Sunken Empires? Would I want a copy of Sunken Empires?

Sunken Empires will be published by Open Design and is, I believe, only for patrons of the project. So I'd recommend checking out their website here. If you're into underwater adventures, merfolk kingdoms, villainous deep ones, and adventure on the open sea, I think you'll want to get your hands on Sunken Empires, and as a patron, you can even have a say in what shows up in the book and what doesn't.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
yoda8myhead wrote:
Sunken Empires will be published by Open Design and is, I believe, only for patrons of the project. So I'd recommend checking out their website here. If you're into underwater adventures, merfolk kingdoms, villainous deep ones, and adventure on the open sea, I think you'll want to get your hands on Sunken Empires, and as a patron, you can even have a say in what shows up in the book and what doesn't.

I was seriouly thinking about trying the patronage, at basic level, and then I found out that From Shore to Sea was going to be included in the Pathfinder Modules subscription. So I decided against it since I do have a budget and getting the module twice doesn't make sense.

I hate to discourage Wolfgang from working closely with Paizo but that was my decision making process.

Has there been any talk at KQ about those of us with PF Module subscritions?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Andrew Phillips wrote:
Has there been any talk at KQ about those of us with PF Module subscritions?

Not that I've heard. I plan to give my second copy away as a gift or sell it for whatever I can get for it. The cost of patronage paid itself off with the design experience, and that part's still going strong with Sunken Empires.

Scarab Sages

yoda8myhead wrote:
Andrew Phillips wrote:
Has there been any talk at KQ about those of us with PF Module subscritions?
Not that I've heard. I plan to give my second copy away as a gift or sell it for whatever I can get for it. The cost of patronage paid itself off with the design experience, and that part's still going strong with Sunken Empires.

Agreed! I won't even be getting my patron copy of Shore to Sea (Wolfgang kindly let me go through some shenanigans on ordering it so I could save on paying international shipping rates for something I'd be getting through my subs anyway). The playtesting and work-in-progress pdfs have made it totally worthwhile, even though I haven't been able to take an active part in pitches etc. Hell, downloading the final submission to Paizo today and seeing my groups feedback in action was worth the price of entry on its own.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I must be blind because I can't seem to find a page with information on how to sign on as a patron. Could someone please point me in the right direction?

Scarab Sages

Ravenmantle wrote:
I must be blind because I can't seem to find a page with information on how to sign on as a patron. Could someone please point me in the right direction?

You can purchase OD patronages at the Kobold Quarterly store, easy to miss if you don't know where to look :). Current Open Design projects are here, Shore to Sea/Sunken Empires is here


I can't wait to see this get art. Participating in the design was cool (as always).

Ilessa, you're the one who put a group through this twice? My compliments! That's high quality playtesting.

Scarab Sages

Yep that was me :). I made the mistake of putting out an open call for players and ended up with too many, so decided to run two games concurrently, a mistake I realised when my report broke 10 thousand words :P.

It was a ton of fun though and honestly, for a unique, high-quality scenario like Shore to Sea I'd playtest with multiple groups again; just so long as I can book some time off work first to stop the writeup driving me insane!

Contributor

Yes, Illessa's report was HALF the length of the adventure itself. That's hardcore!

Liberty's Edge

I like the Shadow over Innsmouthiness.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

New cover art is in today's (3/17) blog!


I'm looking forward to this module, the Pathfinder Modules tend to be second fiddle to me in light of the Adventure Paths but I know that one day, probably sooner than I expect, they'll come through in a pinch. That said, they make excellent play by post games and are usually more 'doable' than a full on AP seeing as many PBP games die out before a full adventure path can even come close to seeing the light of day.

I am curious though: Is it me or are there a lot of Shadow of Innsmouth type modules out there?

Okay, 'a lot' is probably an exaggeration, but I can think of three, four if you count the conversion of one to 4th edition of one that came out for Dungeon. I'm pretty sure I've run into one or two others but just can't think of them off the top of my head. Not that this is bad by itself, the problem lies in the fact that I want to run them all and I most certainly can't do that with everyone. "Wait, is this another adventure where the little seaside village harbors a cult dedicated to Dagon and all the townspeople are turning into fishmonsters?" is not something I should hear at my table.

I guess I could just gather them all up and cherry pick what I like from them and their lovecraftian goodness... :-)

DM Doom


Lovely. Anything bearing semblance to The Shadow Over Innsmouth is a must have for me :)

Regards,
Ruemere


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just read Wes's gripe from St. Paddy's Day. I do emphasize. I remember reading that Todd McFarlane had the same problem with his artist for "Cy-Gor" #1 several years ago. Apparently they had this really great concept sketch and mock-up of a few pages, but the guy never finished his work. At all. They managed to frantically hire another artist who finished.

It makes you wonder what the artist was thinking. That's a good way to destroy your career right there.

And if you've never heard of the comic book "Cy-Gor", don't worry. It was crap-tastic and only lasted 3 issues anyway.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

still a mock-up on the art? :(

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Mactaka wrote:

still a mock-up on the art? :(

Yes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

DM Doom wrote:
I am curious though: Is it me or are there a lot of Shadow of Innsmouth type modules out there?

Coming to the table a little late with a response... but I think that it's just the fact that the Shadow Over Innsmouth is such a strong "spice" that it seems like there's more adventures based on it than there actually are.

AKA: I'm curious; apart from "From Shore to Sea" and Ari's 4E adventure for D&D that appeared in Dungeon... what are the other two you can think of?

Contributor

I'll also chime in here on the inspirations discussion.

I was careful in crafting this piece to pay respect to the appropriate homages, but From Shore to Sea also takes things in a pretty unique direction that certainly plays against assumption for those familiar with Innsmouth. The villagers here are sympathetic creatures. They think they are pure-blooded Azlanti, and that many of them carry the gift of gillmen in their heritage. They are pretty isolated and xenophobic, so they've never really learned that gillmen life cycles don't exactly work the way they do in the village, and thus have never really figured out that there is something darker and more insidious going on. So, I think it turns out to be a beautiful contrast with what players might expect ("Let me guess...Dagon, right?") and the reality of these poor fishermen who are proud of a heritage that they don't even realize is incredibly disturbing.

But you'll have to get it to see how we did it! I think it is a new, refreshing take, and uses those assumptions about inspirational source material and uses them to its advantage to really present PCs with a great challenge on multiple levels.

If, you know, I do say so myself! =-)

-Brandon

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've updated the product image and description to match the finished product.

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:
I've updated the product image and description to match the finished product.

I like this cover too.


James Jacobs wrote:
DM Doom wrote:
I am curious though: Is it me or are there a lot of Shadow of Innsmouth type modules out there?

Coming to the table a little late with a response... but I think that it's just the fact that the Shadow Over Innsmouth is such a strong "spice" that it seems like there's more adventures based on it than there actually are.

AKA: I'm curious; apart from "From Shore to Sea" and Ari's 4E adventure for D&D that appeared in Dungeon... what are the other two you can think of?

I think you might be right on the spice thing. I've been exposed to the Shadow Over Insmouth story so much it makes me think it's more prevailant amongst modules than it is. Having seen the movies Dagon and Cthulhu (which was more like Shadow Over Insmouth than Call of Cthulhu anyway) combined with the adventures listed below make me think there's more out there then there is.

I can come up with three right now.

From Shore to Sea,

The one published in Dungeon Magazine for 3.5 (or 3.0?) and then re-published for 4e

This one:
http://paizo.com/store/games/roleplayingGames/p/pathfinderRPG/sagaworkStudi os/v5748btpy8aw4

I think I vaguely recall one other but I can't think of it so it might just be my imagination tweaking me.


NEED.


The art looks great!

The Exchange Kobold Press

Love that cover, oh yaaaass.

Sovereign Court

Lisa Stevens wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
I like the art.
I'm pretty sure that's a mock up.

You are correct!

-Lisa

The mock-up is cool nevertheless.


Quote:
The mock-up is cool nevertheless.

What you see up top now is the ACTUAL cover. At the time of those posts you quoted, it was a mockup, but Vic changed it to the actual cover a few weeks ago. So, what you see above is the one you'll be getting!

-Brandon

Paizo Employee CEO

Marcus Aurelius wrote:
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
I like the art.
I'm pretty sure that's a mock up.

You are correct!

-Lisa

The mock-up is cool nevertheless.

Except that is now the actual cover. :) I was replying to Daigle before Vic put up the actual cover.

-Lisa

Sovereign Court

Lisa Stevens wrote:
Marcus Aurelius wrote:
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
I like the art.
I'm pretty sure that's a mock up.

You are correct!

-Lisa

The mock-up is cool nevertheless.

Except that is now the actual cover. :) I was replying to Daigle before Vic put up the actual cover.

-Lisa

Trust me to be behind in the posts. Great cover!


Holy CRAP! I ninja'd LISA!!!

My book will surely never see the light of day... =-)

-B.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

I feel like I should include a post here just so all previous parties are represented. :)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I subscribe to the modules line but I am also a patron of this project.

I don't need two copies of From Shore To Sea and I have already paid for the patron copy.

What's the best way to skip one issue from a sub?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:

I subscribe to the modules line but I am also a patron of this project.

I don't need two copies of From Shore To Sea and I have already paid for the patron copy.

What's the best way to skip one issue from a sub?

Before you do that ... I don't think you get a hardcopy as a patron, just a PDF. I could be wrong, but that's how it looks to me - I've got my PDF of Shore to Sea, but there's no indication I'm getting a hardcopy.

Scarab Sages

gbonehead wrote:
Before you do that ... I don't think you get a hardcopy as a patron, just a PDF. I could be wrong, but that's how it looks to me - I've got my PDF of Shore to Sea, but there's no indication I'm getting a hardcopy.

As far as I can recall we're getting just the pdf of Sunken Empires and just a hard copy of the final version of Shore to Sea (and the playtest/final turnover pdf of StS that we already have obviously). I specifically opted out of getting the hardcopy of StS from Open Design as I'm in the UK and didn't want to pay $30 shipping for a second copy.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Illessa wrote:
As far as I can recall we're getting just the pdf of Sunken Empires and just a hard copy of the final version of Shore to Sea (and the playtest/final turnover pdf of StS that we already have obviously). I specifically opted out of getting the hardcopy of StS from Open Design as I'm in the UK and didn't want to pay $30 shipping for a second copy.

How did you opt out? I'm in a similar situation here in Germany, too, and I don't really need two hardcopies of From Shore to Sea. Maybe the second one can be donated in some way?


As I understand it, Open Design patrons who are ALSO Paizo Subscribers will in fact get two copies unless they opt out, but we might need clarification from Paizo on that.

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