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Pathfinder Adventure Path #56: Raiders of the Fever Sea (Skull & Shackles 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 6 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #56: Raiders of the Fever Sea (Skull & Shackles 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Chapter 2: "Raiders of the Fever Sea"
by Greg A. Vaughan

Bound for adventure upon the pirate vessel they’ve taken as their own, the heroes face a sea of dangers as they chart a course to become true Free Captains of the Shackles. But life as a pirate doesn’t prove any easier now that they’re in command, as deadly sea monsters, the corpses of drowned scallywags, and raiders from the deep rise to oppose them. When a most unusual map falls into the adventurers’ hands, they have the chance to change their fate in a single daring raid. Is it the heroes’ destiny to be the next victims of the merciless waves, or will fortune smile upon them and spur their rise as the newest and most infamous pirates of the Shackles?

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path includes:

  • “Raiders of the Fever Sea,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 4th-level characters, by Greg A. Vaughan.
  • A gazetteer of Golarion’s many oceans and seas, and an exploration of the various aquatic races that inhabit them, by Adam Daigle, with Patrick Renie, F. Wesley Schneider, and James L. Sutter.
  • A journey to Butcher’s Rock and deadly cyclopean prophecies in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Robin D. Laws.
  • Six new monsters, by Jesse Benner, Mark Moreland, Steven D. Russell, and Greg A. Vaughan.

Each monthly full-color softcover Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the world’s oldest fantasy RPG.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-409-2

Raiders of the Fever Sea is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (479 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

Product Availability

Print Edition: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days.

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

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Product Reviews (6)
1 to 5 of 6 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 6 ratings)

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Lots of sandbox, little plot

***( )( )

I'm reviewing this from the point of view of a party that likes a campaign to be a living story more so than a hack and slash fest.

The problem with this installment is the fact that it fails to advance the plot in any meaningful way. Yes, there's lots of freedom in where your newly minted pirates can go and what they can do, but in the end it all means very little.

After raiding a couple of ships and a couple of villages, the pirates quickly find out that a pirate's life is pretty monotonous. You pull up to a boat, you hop over, slaughter the crew, and move on. Sell plunder and ships at port, boast about your accomplishments. Rinse and repeat ad nauseam. There are several plot-based events which are great, definitely the high point of this installment.

Overall, my players were mostly bored with it. There is really only one NPC that they get to interact with extensively in the book, which is generally the most fun part of the game for us. I'm sure this is great for a party that loves to sail around and slaughter innocents by the dozen, but if you're looking for a story-driven creative outlet, this isn't it.

Ring Side Report-Pathfinder Adventure Path Skull and Shackles- Raider of the Fev


Originally posted on

TL;DR- Best part of the adventure path 5/5

Plot-Spoilers ahead!- The pirates now have a ship and begin to be pirates. The player have a chance to grab an island for territory, make some alliances and explore an sunken dungeon. At the end of the adventure, the players will move from small time pirates to Full Free Captains of the Shackles.

GM Impressions-THIS IS THE ADVENTURE TO MAINLINE PIRATES! We’re past the level 1 problem of the first adventure. Now the players get to go be real pirates, and ITS AWESOME! I had a blast. The players had a blast. IF YOU WANT TO PLAY ANY OF THIS ADVENTURE PATH, THIS ADVENTURE IS THE ONE!

Good-You’re FINALY pirates in Pathfinder. You have a ship, and you set sail. The PCs can go ANYWHERE!

Bad-This is an improve heavy adventure. The PCs just go after ships. The book has some basic ships and a basic village they can attack. You as a GM have to make it entertaining. Its not hard, but you have to put in a little bit of leg work to make this fun. Also, get ready for underwater aquatic combat. If your PCs hate rules heavy combat, they will not enjoy that part.

Final Thoughts-Best part of the adventure path. YOU ARE PIRATES! No random skill checks. No real control on your PCs. Just GO! Be pirates! As a GM, read ahead, know your rules, and be ready to make stuff up on the fly! 5/5

Learning the Ropes of Piracy! Raiders of the Fever Sea


This was probably the section where we had the most fun; just being pirates, scanning the horizon, looking for a ship to take. An awesomely well written adventure (Greg A. Vaughan, what else would it be?)it's the high point of the Skull & Shackles. Read my full review here: Raiders of the Fever Sea

Fun, open-ended pirate adventure. Solid "A".


After the somewhat brutal first book which allowed for little freedom, this was a major breath of fresh air. My players have long wanted to play with their own ship. Having the freedom to explore, visit towns at will, and set their own pacing is lovely. The NPCs in the early and middle portions of the adventure are intriguing and memorable, and the combats are mostly better scaled difficulty-wise than in the previous installment.

This book is also stuffed full of iconic pirate-themed goodies, and some creative and memorable encounters as well. Nothing in this book is mind-blowingly bizarre or original, but it gives the players lots of room to forge their own story while progressing toward some more challenging encounters.

Definitely in the better-half of the AP books I've run, and worth every penny.

A Slightly Overstuffed Sandbox

****( )

Raiders of the Fever Sea can be described as a non-traditional adventure, but in a very different way from The Wormwood Mutiny. Much like the previous volume in this path, it is an event based adventure with a mid length dungeon crawl finale. Unlike it, it is extremely open form and loosely defined. Players are given almost unlimited freedom to roam the Fever Sea and do as they see fit (though not to head into the Shackles, leaving my copy of Isles of the Shackles to languish for another adventure). Whatever direction players choose to go, the material could be trivially adapted, allowing a very free form experience while still staying within the confines of the adventure. The writing, art, and layout are all top notch, but I think that can be assumed of Adventure Paths at this point.

The only complaint I would have is that, with so much material to present, some of the scenarios leave little space for alternate approaches. Ships to plunder appear only at GM fiat, and the only system for dealing with them is fighting the captain (no offering of terms, no overwhelming the crew, no forcing a surrender). There is an event that hand waves an obvious option as simply "too difficult," despite enemies easily accomplishing the same thing later. There is little explanation of the main plot to the PCs, leaving GMs to craft their own way to make it seem like anything other than a series of coincidences. None of this breaks the adventure, and I'd rather have more material than long lists of "What if" scenarios and information dumps, but I feel the balance could have been better.

Despite this, I whole heatedly recommend the adventure for anyone interested in a pirate sandbox. Perhaps not an excellent choice for those that want a more traditional adventure, or one that presents options for anything other than straight piracy, but even then it could be an interesting read with some useful ideas.

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