Pathfinder Adventure Path #58: Island of Empty Eyes (Skull & Shackles 4 of 6) (PFRPG) (based on
Paizo Publishing, LLC
Chapter 4: "Island of Empty Eyes"
by Neil Spicer
Having won the Free Captains’ Regatta, the adventurers must now claim their prize—the uninhabited Island of Empty Eyes. Yet exploring strange ruins and fighting the isle’s monstrous denizens won’t be enough. Once they’ve got things well in hand, the adventurers must host a feast for the Shackles' infamous Pirate Council, only to have a dangerous situation turn even worse when a mysterious saboteur threatens to disrupt the party. Can the adventurers tame their island and protect their influential guests? Or will they lose the respect of the pirate lords and fade into obscurity?
This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path includes:
“Island of Empty Eyes,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 9th-level characters, by Neil Spicer.
Pirate legends and mysteries of the Shackles, by Jack Graham.
Details on the cyclopes who once ruled the Shackles,
by Gareth Hanrahan.
Island harpies in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Robin D. Laws.
Five new monsters, by Alex Greenshields, Michael Kenway, Mark Moreland, and Tork Shaw.
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.
This is a rip roaring good yarn, with lots of exploration, exploitation, violence, and diplomacy all thrown together. If you enjoy "building" in Pathfinder, this one is for you. Check out my full review: Island of Empty Eyes
Island of Empty Eyes is the strongest book in Skull & Shackles for my group. While the entire adventure path is a good mix of sandbox freedom and rail-worthy quests, this was a perfect compromise. The best part is this adventure, more than the others, would be a great addition to ANY pirate or nautical based campaign.
Simply, if you want a full island stocked with not only interesting locales, monsters, and NPCs, plus ruins to explore and a fort to make their own, this adventure is for you. The best part is the adventure requires smart-thinking players and tough characters that are looking for a good challenge in combat, traps, negotiation, skills and exploration.
It’s one of the AP books that feels much bigger than its page size would dictate. Explore an island, conquer a fort, quest in ancient ruins, raid an undersea vault, and prepare and host a gathering of fellow sea captains are just some of the challenges. Again, highly recommended: either as part of the AP or for anyone running a nautical campaign.
I may be biased in my review due to a major plot item interacting perfectly with my particular campaign and characters, but nonetheless I feel the need to give the AP 5 stars.
The premise is the only somewhat shaky leg of the AP, and the players are kind of like "we have to prove ourselves AGAIN?!" That sentiment is quickly discarded however as the adventure gets underway. Meanwhile the addition of cyclopes as a major element is welcome; it is nice to see classical fantasy elements included in an AP, and their inclusion on the cover and back indicate that they are a major part of the AP.
The tragic NPC and his/her dilemma sets my PC's up perfectly and the ultimate plot payoff can differ somewhat from the AP in my campaign depending upon what the affected PC decides to do with the clues given. The maps included are detailed and I would like a flip mat of the ultimate ruins included in the AP. I was going to enlarge the map to 1":5' scale and print it in tiles on the printer but it ended up being over 120 pages!!! Using that much printer paper and spending that much time taping the sheets together would be cost/time prohibitive. Not to mention the file becomes cumbersome when enlarged to 90x126. Would the market be large enough to support a flip mat? I am not so sure. A printed paper map poster possibly. $9.99??
I like this AP and liked how it flowed coherently from start to finish. Tempest Rising, while excellently written and intriguing was jumbled up somewhat, not gaining its sea-legs until act 3. Isle of empty eyes flows smoothly from start to finish and very little GM work is required to make this AP fun and exciting.