Pathfinder Society Scenario #9: Eye of the Crocodile King (OGL) PDF (Retired)

3.10/5 (based on 9 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 4–5).

Arcanamirium transmuter Maren Fuln found a magically sealed amulet in the school's library and kept it as a shiny bauble. Little did he know the amulet contained an entity far worse than he imagined, and by unsealing it, he loosed a revenge-obsessed horror into the sewers beneath the school. Can the Pathfinder Society halt the beast’s plan in time, or will he build his army of revenge and sow chaos in Absalom?

Written by Christopher Self

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world. This scenario is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with the 3.5 edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

This scenario was retired from Pathfinder Society Organized Play on May24, 2010. After May 24, 2010, it will no longer be legal for Pathfinder Society Organized Play and will no longer be available in the Pathfinder Society Organized Play reporting system.

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3.10/5 (based on 9 ratings)

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Short, Straightforward, and Combat-Heavy



Although Eye of the Crocodile King was officially retired from PFS play years ago, I recently ran it at Subtier 1-2 in my homebrew "Roots of Golarion" campaign that integrates Paizo's pre-Pathfinder modules, retired PFS scenarios, and other odds and ends. The scenario has an interesting (if not exactly original) backstory, but (like most Season 0 scenarios) a plot structure that is very much in the "follow A to B and then B to C" vein. Simply put, at its core, it's a very straightforward dungeon (sewer) crawl. But, that being said, it has some good flavour and characters, and there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours.


The backstory to Eye of the Crocodile King involves a journeyman academic named Maren Fuln who works at the Arcanamirium (a prestigious school of magic) in Absalom. A week before the game starts, Fuln found an old amulet in storage and put it on, not knowing that it contained the soul of Lord Corgan--a docent of the school fifty years ago who was executed (with his soul to be forever trapped in the amulet) for involvement in foul necromancy! The soul of Lord Corgan started influencing Fuln and led him to step up experiments on some sort of man-crocodile aberration. After a lab explosion, Fuln was knocked unconscious, his experiment escaped, and the amulet was found by a dim-witted animal handler named Lemedor. Lord Corgan's soul exercised control over Lemedor and drove him deep into the sewers underneath the city. There, Lord Corgan has taken over the experiment and taken physical form as a sort of vicious reptile-man (think Killer Croc or perhaps the Lizard) and is planning to organise an army of troglodytes to wreak havoc on the Arcanamirum. For his part, Fuln realises he needs help and calls an old friend, Venture-Captain Adril Hestram.

This is where the PCs come in. In a surprisingly curt "briefing", Hestram quickly summarises the gist of this background and sends the Pathfinders to the Arcanamirium to meet with Fuln. Fuln is in a big hurry to get the amulet back, but also terrified of the sewers--there's no way he'll go himself. The scenario has a good list of Q&As that might arise when the PCs interact with him, and I like how he's written (and it's cool to see he appears in a couple of subsequent PFS scenarios in later seasons).

The rest of the scenario takes place in the sewers, a favourite setting for writers in Season Zero. It's essentially combat-combat-combat from this point on, though there is a chance for a little role-playing. Depending on the group, this could be a very fast scenario to run through.

The first encounter takes place when a troglodyte in Lord Corgan's employ activates a simple but effective trap: knocking over a big box of rats! Rat swarms can be dangerous for unprepared low-level PCs, but the scenario does provide the GM with an out here as Fuln might just poke his head into the grate and use his wand of burning hands. Still, it could be a bracing start!

The second encounter involves a wounded otyugh sitting atop a pile of trash. Some of the faction missions require PCs to trawl through the trash after the battle, which is exceedingly unpleasant to imagine.

Next up is an ambush by a couple of troglodytes and Lemedor (the mind-controlled dim-witted animal handler from the surface). It's a decent challenge for an average group. The good news is that Lemedor, once he shakes off Lord Corgan's mental domination, is happy to talk and can fill the PCs in on the villain's plans. The bad news is that Lemedor only shakes it off if he's "staggered", which means getting him to exactly zero hit points (or knocking him out and healing him back to consciousness, I guess). When I ran this, he got knocked down and stayed down.

The penultimate encounter is versus (at low-tier, at least) a crocodile and three more troglodytes. Crocs can be fairly deadly, and I think most groups are going to be fairly worn down and low on resources at this point.

Now we get to "Lord Corgan the Crocodile King"! I think the concept is fun. Assuming the PCs can defeat him in his lair, they can . . . extract (yuck) the amulet that is inside him.

A brief conclusion has an ecstatic Maren Fuln offer to always be available if the Pathfinder Society needs his aid (represented by a boon on the Chronicle sheet).

I don't read other reviews before writing mine, so I'm not 100% sure why this scenario was retired. There's no objectionable content or plot discrepancies, and I don't think any single encounter is crazy-hard. My best guess is that the cumulative effect of the encounters may have led to a lot of TPKs. There were no casualties when I ran the game, though it got very close in that last battle. In my mind, Eye of the Crocodile King is perfectly playable with just a nip and tuck of (for example) a troglodyte here and there. It's not a great or memorable scenario (and the idea of someone accidentally freeing the trapped soul of an ancient threat is pretty cliched in fiction), but it's an average representation of what Season 0 has to offer.

An RPG Resource Review


A tale of magical experiments gone awry, semi-sentient crocodiles living in the sewers and journeyman mages in over their heads... and to whom does one turn but the Pathfinder Society of course to sort everything out. And they turn to the party and send them down the sewers to deal with the problem.

The adventure starts with the party being sent to the Arcanamirium in Absalom, the great school of magic, to speak to the hapless journeyman wizard whose transmutation experiement it is which has escaped, apparently either with the aid of or due to the carelessness of, the rather stupid animal handler who took care of his experimental animals. All he knows is that there was a loud explosion and when he regained consciousness there was a hole in the floor of the laboratory and his crocodilian experimental creature was gone. That was a week ago, he's taken this long to screw up enough courage to ask for help.

The party will have to scramble down the hole - which leads to the sewers - and brave the dangers, natural and otherwise, in the hunt for the escaped experiment. This involves a fairly linear trek, dealing with hazards as they go. Basic maps are provided, of particular use (if you scale them up a bit) for those who like to use miniatures in combat. The climax is a brawl with the escaped experiment.

It's a combat-oriented adventure, the denizens of the sewer are inclined to attack first and talk, if at all, only after they have been defeated, and the Big Bad at the end is no exception. The Faction missions lead to furtive attempts to fulfil them without letting anyone else see what's happening, but do not add much to the adventure.



The premise of this adventure is cool. The set-up is cool. Then it becomes the Pen & Paper equivalent of a sewer level. The faction missions are uninspired, the combat is boring and the story goes nowhere. The background hinted at completely breaks down and gives way to one of the most boring crawls I've ever played. It was boring to read and my players did not enjoy this slugfest either.
The one PF scenario I don't want to run EVER again.

A direct delve


This adventure is a very straight forward, well paced delve and heavily combat orientated - what I think a crawl should be. In saying that, there is a need for a very well balanced party to succeed. I played 1-2 and was personally awed by the last act.

This is a great adventure for beginning characters or to introduce players to PFS/PFRPG. Particularly good for getting power players to realise that there is more than optimising characters and that they know all that there is to know in the game.

PS. I recently ran this scenario for my local players and they loved it! Highly recommend, particularly for hack and slashers.

Raw Sewage


A very generic "Fetch me my MacGuffin" dungeon crawl. Filled with deadly encounters and awful maps, this doesn't rank very high. The amount of roleplaying is close to naught. After the briefing it's just walking through a railroad under the city, seeing the wonderful sights of the sewers.

Last encounter is really some shafting. Most likely will make at least one player just leave the table to read a book or something, unless he/she is sadistic.

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