Pathfinder Module: No Response from Deepmar (PFRPG)

***½( ) (based on 7 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: No Response from Deepmar (PFRPG)
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A dungeon and wilderness exploration adventure for 8th-level characters

A hundred miles off the Chelish coast lies the remote island of Deepmar, where the House of Thrune sends prisoners to work in crystal mines, wresting valuable spell components from the depths of the earth. A month ago, all contact with the penal colony ceased, and now someone must discover what mysterious fate has befallen the prisoners and guards of this isolated mining operation. The abandoned colony shows no signs of struggle yet something is clearly not right: Herds of animals lie mutilated in the surrounding fields. The savage beasts of the island have run amok inside the compound. And the silent, gaping mines—each named for a different layer of Hell—lead to new threats beyond anyone's imagining. As the PCs explore the island in search of the missing miners and their jailers, what they discover may unhinge their very minds. If left unchecked, the new masters of Deepmar could bring about a new era of madness for all of Cheliax—and beyond.

No Response from Deepmar is an adventure of horrifying dungeon-and-wilderness exploration for 8th-level characters, written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s oldest RPG. This volume also contains a gazetteer of the island of Deepmar, a detailed description of the abandoned penal colony, and a brand-new monster, all of which can be easily adapted for use in any campaign setting.

Written by Stephen S. Greer

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 new monsters, treasure, and a fully detailed bonus location that can be used as part of the adventure or in any other game!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-410-8

No Response from Deepmar is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download (119 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.

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.

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***½( ) (based on 7 ratings)

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Too many effects that you can't do anything about

*( )( )( )( )

Based on playing the module.

At its core it isn't a bad module. Some interesting mysteries, some interesting fights. Very little role playing, you're basically just going in to kill things.

However, the author used WAY too much of "make saving throws or start to suck. A lot" effects with no reasonable ways of avoiding the situations and no in character ways of even knowing that you were affected.

Poison effect:
The memory loss poison, at least the way that we interpreted it, is just a killer. Its kinda amusing a little at first but quickly gets really silly. Interpreted as written, a character is essentially worse than useless for 8 hours (worse than useless since they SHOULD be burning through consumables and spells)

mind affecting affect:
The last session was certainly fun for the player of the character who was confused all session. NOT. Fortunately we were playing on a VTT so he just went home but this is NOT goood dungeon design

Despite being a character down and playing in Core more we'd have succeeded except for some really bad luck. But those negative effects add up a lot.

Hmm. Writing this convinced my to lower my rating to 1 star. A person not getting to play for a session is really, really bad design


Good adventure with wiggle room

****( )

After reading through this module, I realized that it is a good adventure that leaves enough wiggle room for a GM to leave his, or her, individual mark.
I liked how the exploration section left it up to the GM to place encounters wherever they work best (or worst ;) ) for their groups.
The same can be said for the tunnels, with areas marked as beyond the scope of the adventure. This may be a drawback for some game masters, but I think that it's great that there's room for me to fill some areas with a personal touch.
Overall, this is a good creepy adventure that can easily be expanded upon if a GM wants to, but doesn't need anything extra to be enjoyed.


Deepmar is full of creepy Machen wonder.

*****

This is my first review, so please bear with me if I ramble. When I was growing up in the game, there were a lot of modules that did exactly what Deepmar does so well: Set the stage for a truly memorable gaming experience and then said, "this is your baby, make it uniquely yours". I realize that the tunnels that go off the map are not everyone's cup of tea. I realize that some people want a module to not need a lot of GM work, but this is exactly what turns my crank. I want that mythic environment that I can mold into my vision.
And what an environment. Kind of a fantasy version of Escape from New York. It feels grungy and dark and creepy. The main antagonists are uber creepy, and smart. It is the smart that matters. Little psycho death ninjas who can think... That's a scary creature.
I especially like that it is unlikely that the characters will get all the answers in the end. It doesn't feel arbitrary. It feels purposeful that there are things going on that "man shouldn't know." If Carion Hill is the Lovecraft horror module, then this is the Machen horror module.
If you are looking for a great environment for a spooky night of gaming, and are willing to put a little work into it to make it your own, get this module... Before it gets you.


More Than Enough

*****

SPOILERS - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Frankly, I am surprised by the critical reviews of my peers. Although they are correct in their judgement of the editing (not the best), I feel they missed the point of the adventure. Your players are not meant to truly understand what happened to the colonists, nor are they intended to kill every monster on the Island. If they can rescue more than the cook, then good on them, but from what I have found, if you have a typical PFS group, they are lucky to escape with only a single casualty. Even so, the wealth of information would provide months of weekly adventure if adapted for campaign play. The story was somewhat typical, but when dealing with the mysterious Derro (think UFO conspiracy for how the bulk of Golarion sees these creatures) a little goes a long way. Scared the crap out of my party of six (which sadly became five and a corpse after digsite Stygia).
**For its detractors, if you feel you can write a better one, then by all means please do, I would love to see more on these psychotic fiends.
**My main criticism is mostly the monster layout - a planned encounter with a clay golem AND THEN ANOTHER CLAY GOLEM IN THE MAIN DUNGEON was too much, especially when you take into account the Gug and the near-limitless mounted Derro with repeater crossbows.
**This module could very well kill any party not armed for bear and sporting a ninth-level Wizard in the wrong hands.


An involved module that reaches a bit too far

***( )( )

No Response from Deepmar is an entertaining romp that can be as short or long as your players wish it to be. It is let down by some structural issues, inconsistencies and stat block errors, but would otherwise warrant a 4 star rating. If you're willing to spend some additional time preparing this module, you're in for a fun day.

The theme of the module is freedom; you're given a task to do with no real time limit, offered a few basic options on how to proceed, and the module essentially lets you do as you wish. This is both its strongest feature and greatest weakness. The isle of Deepmar is well presented with a lot of information given; information that is not capitalized on to its fullest potential, hence the need for further preparation. There is a big feeling of 'do as you like', both from a player and a GM perspective. While this might not be everyone's cup of tea, especially in a pre-written adventure module, it does allow for a fair bit of creative tinkering, more so than what you'd find in other modules. A lot of tactics, repercussions from player actions and the general timeline involved in the module are left almost entirely up to the GM.

The main foes of the module can put your players in a pretty interesting situation; depending on your players it can either be a great source of roleplaying or a hand-waived annoyance. The combats can be decently challenging, provided some research is done prior and some on-the-fly tinkering is allowed for. The story does fixzle out without much of a conclusion; I feel more effort could have been made to foreshadow the events that took place at Deepmar and as mentioned in other reviews, more use of horrific imagery and the like could have helped flesh out the main part of the module.

In summary, if you're not afraid to get your hands dirty and make some necessary additions (as suggested by the module, in fact), then you should have a good time with No Response from Deepmar.


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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Just announced for March! The cover image is a mockup, and will change prior to publication.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cool, but why would "heroes" help Cheliax?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Maybe they're from there? Not everyone in the whole country is an evil devil worshiper. Most of the people in Cheliax are just normal people who happen to have a corrupt, oppressive government.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The title that Lisa thought was so cool, and prompted the map makers to save a place for it!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber

Nice to see something new from Steve Greer. Looking forward to it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You know what I do hate about Vic's ninja product nights? It's 3 AM here, and I really should be sleeping now.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Gorbacz wrote:
You know what I do hate about Vic's ninja product nights? It's 3 AM here, and I really should be sleeping now.

It's ok... I'm done. You can go to bed. I probably won't spill anything very much about any secret products hardly at all in the coming hours.

Spoiler:
Probably...


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Sweet

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Even though the cover is a mock-up, it'd be cool if derro were the advesaries in the module. Definitely sounds like a fun, creepy investigation module.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I love the title. Reminds me of the German title of the old sci-fi picture "This Island Earth", which is "Metaluna 4 antwortet nicht" (i.e., basically "No response from Metaluna 4").

Paizo Employee CEO

Pygon wrote:
The title that Lisa thought was so cool, and prompted the map makers to save a place for it!

Yep, this is the adventure title that I have been carrying around in my brain since the late 80's finally seeing the light of day. Can't wait to see what Steve did with it!

-Lisa


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hopefully there will be Derro but no Drow please.

I am also interested in these "valuable crystals" that are mentioned.


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

Cool!


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Heheheh.

Sounds like a cool adventure, but the title screams Gamma World to me :)

Sequel to Famine in Far-Go, maybe?


Looks like it could follow-up From Shore to Sea. Same region if memory serves.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I think i'd adjust this one when I run it so that the pc's are the latest prisoners being transferred to deepmar at the outset, with the mainland not yet aware of the loss of communication. That ups the creep factor, imho.


is there a new Monster in this?


I like the idea of a gazeteer in these modules. Adds to usefulness and world building


+1 for the "Good to see Mr. Greer back" crowd. I love underdark stuff.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
I've updated the product description and image to match the finished product.

It looks darn good Vic, Can't wait to run it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice cover

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

That is a cool looking cover!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
I've updated the product description and image to match the finished product.

Freaking sweet!


Way nicer cover. :)

Deepmar and Murder's Mark are the two that made me resubscribe.


Man, that cover sells it. It's like the complete opposite of the Feast of Ravenmoor cover. (The Feast of Ravenmoor cover did not "sell it.") I hope this one's cover better reflects the adventure too. There was no point in Feast of Ravenmoor that I really thought "ah, like on the cover."

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

The instance on the cover was specifically added to the adventure in development to give just that reaction.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Wolf Munroe wrote:
Man, that cover sells it. It's like the complete opposite of the Feast of Ravenmoor cover. (The Feast of Ravenmoor cover did not "sell it.") I hope this one's cover better reflects the adventure too. There was no point in Feast of Ravenmoor that I really thought "ah, like on the cover."

That's what happens when I let my desire to not spoil an adventure's surprise take precedence over making a cool cover, alas. There's certainly plenty of cool scenes in Ravenmoor that would have made GREAT covers... but they would have totally spoiled the adventure's plot.


Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully there will be Derro but no Drow please.

Yeah, isn't there another company doing something with drow right now?

;)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I am loving reading this, good work Stephen S. Greer.

I am going to have fun with Delbina, I reckon she might be interesting with a severe short-term memory problem: she remembers who she is, where she grew up etc. but every few days she has to ask PCs for their names, why they're there... stuff like that.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Hideously Deformed wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully there will be Derro but no Drow please.

Yeah, isn't there another company doing something with drow right now?

;)

Honestly, I have no idea.

The more inclusive way to make a clever allusion is to include a link to what you are talking about: those in the know will get it, others will be informed.

Who is doing stuff with drow?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:
Hideously Deformed wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully there will be Derro but no Drow please.

Yeah, isn't there another company doing something with drow right now?

;)

Honestly, I have no idea.

The more inclusive way to make a clever allusion is to include a link to what you are talking about: those in the know will get it, others will be informed.

Who is doing stuff with drow?

the people you'd guess first...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


That's what happens when I let my desire to not spoil an adventure's surprise take precedence over making a cool cover, alas. There's certainly plenty of cool scenes in Ravenmoor that would have made GREAT covers... but they would have totally spoiled the adventure's plot.

I appreciate that desire. It's a catch 22; you want players to be excited about playing the module, but you also want players to be surprised.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Enlight_Bystand wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
Hideously Deformed wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully there will be Derro but no Drow please.

Yeah, isn't there another company doing something with drow right now?

;)

Honestly, I have no idea.

The more inclusive way to make a clever allusion is to include a link to what you are talking about: those in the know will get it, others will be informed.

Who is doing stuff with drow?

the people you'd guess first...

Cheers, cool video.

I wonder why Paizo don't make those? Just not got the Hasbro marketing grunt? Or not effective marketing?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

*sigh* I'm sad.

I bought this book off of the cover, thinking it'd totally be some awesome alien or lovecraft thingie, and was indicative of some Ridley Scott type horror. I mean, watching a friend get dragged into a hole screaming is a tried and true terror trope.

However,

Spoiler:
it's just a magical trap put there by the derro - there isn't even a monster on the other end. They cast a delayed black tentacles spell, and reskinned it to look like hands. And it doesn't drag you anywhere cool, like the image would suggest. It holds you aloft until the spell runs out, then you take falling damage. And it's not even near anything cool: it's more-or-less a herring.

Oh well. Now you know. (If you clicked the spoiler-button, that is.)

Just don't buy this off of the cover, it doesn't really reflect the adventure in the ways you're hoping. :-(


See, for me it would have been the opposite - the cover on the Ravenmoor module did it for me, the cover on this one didn't (heck, it took me like a minute or two to compute what my eyes tried to tell me about what's going on); I didn't buy any of the two, mind you.
But, I guess that's what you get for judging a book by its cover.

Ruyan.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I put up a review.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Put up a review as well needless to say spoilers abound


Going by the reviews it seems this one will require some revising, but I do like the concept enough. Vigil had a cool idea about making the PC's the latest bunch of prisoners brought to the island, so there's a reason why they're "helping" Cheliax. Fixing the random encounters seems easy enough.

Dark Archive

I think the reviews were a bit harsh. The module has its issues, I agree, but they're not devastating. The concept is sound, it just requires more prepping on the GM's part to bring it up to speed.


Dezhem wrote:
I think the reviews were a bit harsh. The module has its issues, I agree, but they're not devastating. The concept is sound, it just requires more prepping on the GM's part to bring it up to speed.

I believe part of the point of prewritten adventures is that you don't have to fix anything.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
OmegaZ wrote:
I believe part of the point of prewritten adventures is that you don't have to fix anything.

And how often has that happened. I mean, really . . .

If the goal is to not have to fix anything, I've yet to find one that has reached that goal completely. Paizo does a fantastic job with their pregens, I'm not denying nor complaining about their stuff at all! However, performing some surgery on pregens goes with the territory of being a GM. Not wanting to do this kind of thing means it's probably best to stick with being a player and leave the GM role to someone else.

Liberty's Edge

Enlight_Bystand wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
Hideously Deformed wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully there will be Derro but no Drow please.

Yeah, isn't there another company doing something with drow right now?

;)

Honestly, I have no idea.

The more inclusive way to make a clever allusion is to include a link to what you are talking about: those in the know will get it, others will be informed.

Who is doing stuff with drow?

the people you'd guess first...

At least we can finally stop arguing how to pronounce "Drow".

Dark Archive

Sub-Creator wrote:
OmegaZ wrote:
I believe part of the point of prewritten adventures is that you don't have to fix anything.

And how often has that happened. I mean, really . . .

If the goal is to not have to fix anything, I've yet to find one that has reached that goal completely. Paizo does a fantastic job with their pregens, I'm not denying nor complaining about their stuff at all! However, performing some surgery on pregens goes with the territory of being a GM. Not wanting to do this kind of thing means it's probably best to stick with being a player and leave the GM role to someone else.

Pretty much this. Every module I've GM'ed to date has had its own issues, most of them to do with the 'production' of the mod, rather than the 'content', if that makes sense. I've had to adjust things on the fly and/or prepare ahead of time to cover up for some small oversights. It shouldn't be a deal-breaker that drags the rating of a pretty entertaining mod down. Just comes with the territory as far as I'm concerned.


Dezhem wrote:
I think the reviews were a bit harsh. The module has its issues, I agree, but they're not devastating.

???? And the reviews weren't "devastating", either.

In fact, the reviews were more than fair.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

As the guy who started off the whole negative review thing for this product, I'll chime in with this: The module just doesn't offer anything worth fixing. I think its good to compare to the module that came immeadiately before this one, Midnight Mirror, which I also wrote a review of. That module had a lot of beauty and a lot of really fun, imaginative stuff going on with it. It also had a lot of crud that needed to be removed or reworked. But because there is something great under there, I want to take the time to remove the debris and get at the gem inside.

This module, No Response from Deepmar, on the other hand, doesn't offer up anything. Its problem is not that it's a gem with some dirt on it. Its problem is that its a peice of quartz with some dirt on it. There isn't an underlying "awesome" to extract. It's just... pedestrian. It's not worth trying to save. It doesn't have a lot 'wrong' with it, it just doesn't have enough 'right' with it to be worth my time.

You have a weigh the pros and cons of each module. And this module fell up short. Not drastically short (that would have been a 1-star review). But fairly short, hence the 2-star review.

Contributor

Erik Freund wrote:

As the guy who started off the whole negative review thing for this product, I'll chime in with this: The module just doesn't offer anything worth fixing. I think its good to compare to the module that came immeadiately before this one, Midnight Mirror, which I also wrote a review of. That module had a lot of beauty and a lot of really fun, imaginative stuff going on with it. It also had a lot of crud that needed to be removed or reworked. But because there is something great under there, I want to take the time to remove the debris and get at the gem inside.

This module, No Response from Deepmar, on the other hand, doesn't offer up anything. Its problem is not that it's a gem with some dirt on it. Its problem is that its a peice of quartz with some dirt on it. There isn't an underlying "awesome" to extract. It's just... pedestrian. It's not worth trying to save. It doesn't have a lot 'wrong' with it, it just doesn't have enough 'right' with it to be worth my time.

You have a weigh the pros and cons of each module. And this module fell up short. Not drastically short (that would have been a 1-star review). But fairly short, hence the 2-star review.

Wow! :(

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Steve Greer wrote:


Wow! :(

I'm just one guy on the internet with an opinion. Who cares what I think? There's plenty of people up-thread who thought differently than me. I still stand by the opinions I articulated, but I'm sorry if I've come across as a discouragement or disparaging. You've still done far more in this industry than I have, and you still have my respect.

And BTW - I loved Gallery of Evil. So I can write off Deepmar as a fluke.


Just gave a once over this apparently controversial product. I have yet to read it, yet, with all this hubbub going on, I just wanted to find it for myself if it was another case of someone venting on Ruby Tournament (an excellent module slightly marred by space constraints, yet with great pacing a a few really powerful moments), or if it was indeed somewhat mediocre.

Unsurprisingly, this is a take on "abducted by aliens" motif, with culprits being neither lovecraftian beasties, government men-in-black, undead or creatures out of this world. Additionally, the resolution of the adventure relies on a bit of walking, killing stuff and finally doing a sortie into an mental asylum of sorts (being intentionally vague to avoid spoilering).

So... yes. We are spared unspeakable horrors, unexplainable or indescribable phenomena, and we even get to reap xp the traditionally sacred d20 way - through owning villains with a sword and spell.

Is it bad? No! Merely not as fantastic, as it should be. If you are taking on this fantastic trope, you are morally obliged to amaze the recipients (at least that's what esteemed reviewers would want everyone to believe), and if you fail to meet this requirement, you're in for a painful landing on your hindquarters.

Can we salvage it? Yes! First, go and watch Dishonored trailer (yes, it is a computer game trailer, but I assure you that it is relevant):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XbQgdSlsd0

While watching the clip, listen to the music and pay attention to the atmospheric elements.

Here is a short list of what I would add to turn this module to turn into horror, as inspired by the trailer:

(the first part)

1a. Add haunts. Make them fungi-based hallucinogenic traps planted by the abductors with damage being done to one's Wisdom. The haunts would be destroyable by simple surviving them, each haunt would require completion of a simple puzzle or passing a series of Will checks.

The haunts would force the PCs to experience the terror of NPCs fleeing unseen opponents, manage their dwindling resources and attempting to survive until dawn.

Each haunt would be a short cutscene, both adding more information for the players, and at the same time building the background.

The NPCs would have to be recognizable and likable - a gold-hearted thief, an unjustly imprisoned debtor, a daughter sold by uncaring parents, a cook who slighted a noble, a student distributing slave-abolishing pamphlets.

The haunts should be vulnerable to sunlight (i.e. occur only in closed spaces).

1b. The methods to make the abductors more alien and terrifying:
- ranged attacks and drag maneuvers. The hooks emerging from darkness to drag away an NPC - too classic to pass this opportunity.
- weird luminous walls of butterflies which one's skin like acid when you want to pass through (sculpted walls of fire) to limit character optiopns.
- sleepwalkers - sleeping victims emerging from houses to the tune of unearthly music and walking away.
- any survivors should suffer from obvious symptoms of advanced disease (maybe the fungi are discoloring their skin, their eyes become milky white, their hair falls out or goes grey, the survivors have problems with uttering more than one-two words at the same time, and appear to be amnesiac... they have also tendency to stand up and attempt to wander away in a daze)

1c. Clues.
No good mystery is without clues. Let them find a decomposed body of an abductor - if you let them perform a section, and present them with weird hybrid fungal midget, the PCs are unlikely to discover abductor's origins. Let the body eventually stand up as yellow musk zombie. This is another trope.
Award the players with information:
- how to protect themselves from weird, apparently fungal, harmful effects
- where to proceed from here

(part two)

This is easily the most difficult part of the adventure. It is hard not to let the adventurers to recover from initial shock.
My advice is... either let them or proceed straight to part three.
In the first case, you want the players to feel normal - avoid any super-nasty alien stuff. Just let them off a few wandering monsters, and find a few clues to eventually lead them to part three.
In the latter - just go straight for the gruesome ending.

(part three)

The PCs must feel safe - their opponents' main weapon (fungal hallucinogenic spores) is neutralized. They are rested and they have the advantage of surprise.

3a. Change the scenery.

Remember the organic warm corridors of Alien 2 colony? Or mist-laden passages of Predator ship? The crunchy insects of Raiders of the Lost Arc?

Reduce the visibility to 15 feet, make sure you describe hundreds of wondrously weird multilegged diminutive creatures scurrying about. Have the PCs roll for Perception and call their attention to weird movements just beyond the edge of their vision.

3b. Use the encounters as shock troops emerging suddenly from the fog, attacking in a crazed madness. During combat emphasize:
- fungal look of all creatures
- cannibalistic tendencies (for example, a troll grabs a body of a dying comrade, takes a healthy bite and flees)
- brutal toughness and tendency to brawl when faced with imminent death(add 20% hitpoints to all tough opponents, then, at previous equivalent 0 hp make them try to grab PCs heedless of danger) and attempt to bite
- the dead creatures should be wriggling on the ground (partially animated by the fungi) until burnt or left alone for some time

3c. Have the PCs find survivors. Have them recognize the some faces from their encounters with hallucinogenic haunts. If a PC "survived" the haunt sequence, award the respective survivor with reasonable level of lucidity.

3d. Iconic chest burster, or just let the PCs realize that the survivors infection has progressed far to make any rescue quite probably a futile experience... though, you may want to tone this effect down and allow survivors recover after spending several days in sunlight.

3e. The showdown.

Release the beast. Add spice to the encounter by dropping Neothelid on the PCs and opponents alike. Yes, that would make for a killer encounter, however Neothelid should be uninterested in killing PCs - just wreaking general havoc and kill everyone stupid or insane enough to stay.
All the good horrors finish with heroes fleeing for their lives... this is Neothelid function - it is a force beyond characters' scope of power.

As for Neothelid's purpose - it comes to feast on a delicacy, all creatures infested with fungi. It just slithers around, licking faces and skin off bodies, leaving bloodied skeletons in its wake. It usually ignores everyone just focusing on sating its appetite.

(the ending)

Let the PCs and a handful creatures survive, greet the dawn and leave the island behind.

Regards,
Ruemere

PS. Off to watch the trailer again.

Contributor

I had been out of the biz for a while both as a player and and a writer. The good folks at Paizo have been very loyal to me and requested me on several projects all of which I had turned down since the last thing I had written for them, which wasn't much. I decided this time to go ahead and give an adventure module a try again and thought I had turned in a pretty cool manuscript.
I think, though, that Paizo customers and fans have been a bit spoiled by the superb writing skills of the numerous other authors that they've entrusted the quality of their product line to. It's a great thing to have such awesome products available to you.
Problem is I think it's kind of passed me by. I appreciate the honest critiques. Will save me the guesswork of whether I've got it in me to do any future projects.

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