The slave markets of Katapesh may be an unsavory sort of business, but the trade metropolis’s enigmatic law enforcers have few qualms with the legal act of selling and buying flesh. Other factions, including the abolitionist Eagle Knights of Andoran, have their own opinions on the matter, however, and frequently send undercover agents into dangerous territory to break up slave rings.
When one such Eagle Knight goes missing while investigating an underground slave operation beneath the dilapidated Twilight Gate district, it’s up to the PCs to delve an abandoned (but hardly uninhabited) qanat beneath Katapesh and discover her dire fate. Yet not everything is as it seems in the dank slave caverns under Twilight Gate, and clues hint that the slavers may have even more loathsome connections than initially suspected. Can the PCs recover the missing Eagle Knight before her fate is sealed? Or will the monstrous slavers lairing under Katapesh succeed in their malevolent designs?
"Broken Chains" is an investigatory dungeon crawl adventure for 6th-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 fully detailed map and gazetteer of the Garden of Chains—a nefarious slave auction house—and a brand-new demon that can easily be used in any campaign.
Written by Tim Hitchcock.
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!
What do they mean by a fully detailed Slave auction? A map and sets of NPCs?
Huh... Can't help but imagine a breakdown of notable potential bidders and a list/sequence of the slaves up on the block. More than a few of which might drive some PCs to place bids themselves or some other attempt to win their freedom and/or safety(intercepting bids from the worst of the worst potential buyers). Then again, just resorting to force seems doable too, considering "suitable for destruction" in the blurb. ;)
Katapesh is a pretty rough place for good-hearted PCs. Freakin' Pactmasters man.
March? Oh, that's a pity. The timing of this adventure was so fortuitous for a while... I'm running The Jackal's Price right now, and I think that March finally pushes this adventure firmly out of my window of opportunity. At the current rate we're going, I think I would have needed to seed the story hooks for this by the end of January at the latest to be able to incorporate it. Back to the drawing board...
Theoretically the modules are released to be released every two months. Obviously that's not the case and I think that's part of the reason why Paizo's decided to move them to a quarterly release schedule, increasing the page count somewhat for each module.
Hey Tim, I have a question that I was wondering if you'd be able to answer. If not, I understand. :)
I'm running Legacy of Fire very, very soon, and one of my players is considering playing this module at an upcoming convention. Based on the module's product description, it sounds like a really easy and potentially awesome opportunity to combine this with The Jackal's Price.
I want to let him enjoy it, but if the module works as much as I hope it does, I don't want him to spoil a big chunk of my campaign. But, if it heads down some pretty different directions, then I won't worry about it and I'll be okay with him playing it.
If posting about it here is too spoilery, a private message would suffice. Thanks!
It's a Legacy of Fire miracle! I was certain that the final shipping delay would push this module a month past the point-of-no-return in LoF where I would be able to incorporate it, but now, the...
Sons of Carrion siege
...has taken us a full month to play out! So now (crosses fingers), I expect the module to hit my inbox more-or-less the very day I need to seed it into The Jackal's Price.
TES: I'm looking at using this adventure as a possible means of resolving Haleen's debts in Katapesh. If it works out at all, I'll post conversion notes (bumping it up to 8th level and thoughts on incorporating it into TJP) sooner than later.
I will probably end up playing it myself very soon, so I can see firsthand how well it might integrate into my LoF campaign. But that sadly still doesn't help me with my player that is also running through it. So, I may just have to skip out on integrating it because of that.
Could this module be played before/during the Jackal's Price ?
Does it include hints for DMs to incorporate this module in Legacy of Fire ?
Ah, sorry about the delay! Busy busy at Paizoland.
I actually wrote a blog post in direct response to this question, and it should appear in a couple days here on the Paizo Blog, either this week or next, to preview the release of Broken Chains and help GMs integrate it into their Legacy of Fire campaign if they feel so inclined. :]
Boy, I hope that blog post comes tomorrow--(looks at clock)--I mean today! I'm kinda locked into running this in some fashion for my group at Gary Con on Thursday. With that in mind, I've started crunching Broken Chains to see how it slots into LoF. Non-spoilery first reaction stuff:
First of all, it's a long adventure with a lot of variety in the opposition. On the medium XP track, 4 PCs who start this adventure fresh at 6th level and are thorough in their work could very well come awfully close to reaching 8th by the end--toss in a few random encounters or have them start a little past 6th, and reaching 8th may be within their reach. Which means that, were to you bump everything in here up by +1 CR, this could function as a replacement for The Jackal's Price for those who are so inclined.
I, on the other hand, have been looking to slot this in alongside The Jackal's Price, so to that end I think I'll mostly be keeping the levels as they are. May keep the first section as written, then punch up the final sections, as I think about it. Bump up the entire adventure to suit 8th-level PCs and you'll wind up with a massive XP infusion to deal with. (If 4 PCs are 8th level when they begin Broken Chains, they can earn enough XP to reach 9th, and if they're 9th--as they might be if they hold off on this until dealing with TJP--they won't quite reach 10th level.)
Also, and this is a major benefit, Broken Chains really "feels" like Katapesh. A lot of cultural details that Legacy of Fire barely touched upon--such as pesh, slave rings, humans and gnolls living side-by-side--get plenty of screen time here.
As for my thoughts on tying this into Legacy of Fire: The adventure itself really just tosses you into the action, allowing GMs to come up with their own hooks to explain how the PCs are initially approached.
Now I'll get just a touch spoilery:
As I write this, my PCs have just defeated the Sons of Carrion and are half a day away from reaching Katapesh and kicking off the next section of The Jackal's Price. Here's three possible hooks I have to ponder to tie them into Broken Chains, which begins with an Eagle Knight agent recruiting the PCs to seek out an undercover Twilight Talon who's gone missing, amid signs of foul play.
* Amwyr Yuseifah: My group's PCs rescued this broken old slaver back in House of the Beast and have managed to get him home to Katapesh--amid much debate as to whether he really deserves to live at all--to receive their promised reward of a coffer of gold and their own exotic slaves. (Most of the PCs want their slaves so they can turn around and free them.) My inclination is to tie Amwyr to the Garden of Chains, perhaps having him come back after his 16-month exile to discover that his business partner, Fat Aghurr, has steered their slave ring down a path so nasty that it falls beyond even Amwyr's remarkably callous comfort levels. If Amwyr's lost his fortunes and influence, he may find himself demoted from co-owner to lowly auctioneer--and if that's the case, then there's a secondary NPC (Saiyd) that he can seamlessly replace.
My PCs are bringing Amwyr home, even accepting his payment of slaves, but that doesn't mean they like him. In fact, the night before they reach the city, one of the PCs' cohorts--who entered my campaign as one of Amwyr's concubines, purchased from Amwyr on his way to Pale Mountain--made it pretty clear that left to her own devices, she'd kill him and leave him for the vultures. So Amwyr's none too fond of the PCs, and while he scurries about to secure their reward, he's also bad-mouthing them to anyone who'll listen. That might catch the ear of the Eagle Knight who kicks off the adventure.
The only real downside to tying Amwyr to the Garden of Chains is that the nature of the slaves he specializes in doesn't really match the sort of chattel the Garden of Chains deals in. But it's not unworkable.
* Haleen Tropp: This NPC, who may be closely tied to one or more of the PCs, ran off from some bad debts in Katapesh back in Howl of the Carrion King. In my campaign, she's the sister of one PC and the cohort of another, and now she's come back to Katapesh with them. I've long been intending to add a short side adventure to address Haleen's bad debts in Katapesh, and this may fit the scenario. The simple solution: The Eagle Knight who recruits the PCs offers them a nice chunk of change for their efforts. If the PCs are somehow hard up for gold, this may be motivation enough. My PCs, on the other hand, are a wee touch cash-poor but otherwise quite wealthy by any reasonable standard. I've established that Haleen owes her money to someone tied to the Duskwalker Guild, but I've otherwise been keeping things vague, with the intention of sucking the PCs into a den of thieves as they discover that Haleen's shady beneficiaries don't just want their money back, not even with punitive interest--they want a pound of Haleen's flesh for reneging on the debt in the first place. I haven't yet quite worked out how to tie into Broken Chains from this angle, but the baddies in this adventure are actually running an illegal (or at the very least gray-market) slave ring, which the Duskwalker leadership wouldn't approve of, if they knew. Perhaps, Haleen and the PCs start to get mired in dealing with the Duskwalker Guild, and then our undercover Eagle Knight could approach them with this job as a chance to appease the Duskwalkers by quietly eliminating a corrupt wing of the guild.
* The Demon Smugglers: Perhaps the most organic solution, but also the one requiring the most work: Make Father Jackal and this cult affiliated organizations. The Garden of Chains baddies handle "production," while Father Jackal oversees international "distribution." There's even an NPC in Broken Chains you could reasonably refer to as "Mother Jackal." Were I do to this, I would probably convert Father Jackal's lackies from a Rovagug cult to Lamashtu followers, and have the heroes' raid on FJ's lair produce evidence that leads them to the Garden of Chains.
Dunno. Still thinking. Have about 54 hours to settle on a solution. :)