This is a seriously broken module. No 5th level should ever be allowed to step foot in it. The combats are broken as noted in every review posted prior to this. I won't wreck the adventure for anyone who might consider playing it. The adventure wrecks itself (and probably should be removed from PFS play completely because of how broken it is). Needless to say, optimize your characters for damage output instead of having fun. You're just needed to grind out the damage dice here. Because there's no rhyme nor reason to much of this module or it's battles other than to just bash the bad guys in a closed box because your VC told you to. (ignore that, apparently, the first fight isn't reduced properly for lower tiers - well none of them are really)
OK I'll sum it up here:
tldr: Bad first fight designed to kill parties by forcing them into a 10x10 box against a bomber character with no prep time (I don't know if he was supposed to be fully buffed prior to battle or not, but ours was and basically ko'd 2 of us before we even acted - we survived, I guess, or at least that is what our chronicle sheet says). 100-190 hp worth of mobs vs. whatever is in your party from every encounter. "Trap" that sidelines a party member if you fall for it. Lie to guardian or end module. Lie to captive traitor or lose PP (or end module). Fight BBEG mage in yet another box (ship). If you aren't optimized to dish out damage, be prepared to face at least your entire party's HP worth of monsters in every battle. Twice that if you play high tier. Broken. In the high tier version there's also a trap that kills on a failed save, so there's that. And the eel swarm critters - plural - because what's more fun than dealing with ONE swarm creature? Dealing with two of them. Three+ things designed specifically to kill or permanently disable the PCs (wish required for a 9th level party??? yeh, you're dead, basically). If I could have given it zero stars, I would have. Nobody said being a pathfinder was easy. I really hate that b***h captain who disappeared as soon as the fighting started. And apparently the option to "run back downstairs to take cover and prep" doesn't exist because there are no stairs on the ship. Broken.
A better summation is by XP comparison.:
A4. CR9 (6400 XP)
B3. CR 8 (4800 XP)
B7. CR 7 (3200 XP)
C3. CR 8 (4800 XP)
C4. CR 9 (6400 XP)
If I am at 5th level, that is 15k XP base.
I'd end up with 37600 XP in the end.
Normal track = level 7.
Two whole levels.
Let's ignore the God Level trap for now.
So Straight out, you have a group of 4-5 level 5's.
CR 9 DOESN'T EVEN MAKE IT ON THE DESIGN CHART! Max should be ONE CR 8 (EPIC) encounter (per design rules). As is, APL 6 has TWO EPIC encounters. And as it is, in PFS, you get 1/3rd of a level, 1 or 2 PP.
Where the H**L is my FAME for being dumb enough to do this at level 5?!
If I were in a home game this single module would have given me 2 levels and (at least) 4 Fame (I calculated at least 12 for a 5th level party). But hey, it's PFS. Go "die" in the first 12 seconds. I maintain that no 5th level character should ever be allowed to enter this module.
I'd settle for gold?
Treasure per encounter: CR 7; 1750, CR 8; 2200, CR 9;2850
11850 gp in normal play. PFS? 2604 (to 5383 at tier 7-9). This is the only thing NOT broken (if you multiply by 4).
I'd add that they just took the NPC level and subtracted one for the first encounter, then equipped him just like a PC, which per the encounter creation rules would mean that that should be rated one CR higher... but whatever. At this point I am just nit picking the finer points of how obviously broke this module is for low tier runs.
edit: I realize after reading the module, that there were a couple of things ran incorrectly. But I stand by my opinion that this is not properly downgraded for APL 5-6. And I would give it zero stars if I could.