Urban Adventures: The Road to Revolution #3—Tides of Blood (OGL) PDF

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The calm waters of the vast sheltered harbor of the Great City’s Docks Ward have long been a clarion call for sailors, merchants, whores and adventurers. Here names are made, crusades are launched, and fickle fortunes are raised amidst filth and squalor. With the fights clubs shut down, many fear that the violence that was once contained shall soon spills into the streets. It is said that whomever shall control the docks of the Great City shall control the ocean of coin that laps up against its shore—and that surely is a prize worth fighting for.

This 42-page adventure will take you through the Dock Ward of the Great City.

You can play this adventure alone or as part of the Road to Revolution campaign arc. Tides of Blood is a mid-level urban adventure appropriate for four characters of 7th–9th level.

Welcome to the Road to Revolution Campaign Arc, a series of adventures designed for use with the 3.5 version of the world’s most popular roleplaying game. Set in the Great City, this epic campaign takes characters from their humble beginnings all the way to becoming powerful adventurers upon whose actions the City will come to depend. The Campaign Arc contains six adventures in all, each written by the original authors of the Great City Campaign Setting. Arc adventures can be played individually or linked with others in the series to create a complete campaign.

Tides of Blood is the third adventure of the series, written by Adam Daigle, Tim Hitchcock and Greg Oppedisano.

The module features beautiful artwork by Eric Lofgren and Hugh Vogt.

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4.50/5 (based on 2 ratings)

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4.5 stars - the Dock Ward is in danger...

4/5

The third part of 0onegames' Road to Revolution campaign Arc is 43 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 36 pages of content for the third part of the campaign arc.

This part of the campaign arc takes place in the Great City's dock ward and takes a detour from the open, (and inc ase of part 2, rather horror-themed) investigation of part I and II to take us on a rather furious ride while taking into account the different possible endings of part 2 of the arc.

That's about all I can say without going into details, so from here on, the SPOILERS (also for Part 2!!) reign - potential players please jump to the conclusion.
...
Still here?

Ok, so this adventure has a hard challenge ahead of itself, seeing that the PCs could have either destroyed or even forged an alliance with the dreadmanse from Part 2, implying two vastly different starting requirements and agendas. Surprisingly, the adventure manages to provide for both alternatives without resorting to reprinting information/wasting space on alternative plots. The adventure kicks off as many others have over the time, by an assassination attempt on the PCs, only that this set-up is smarter than usual and the mastermind behind it has taken the opportunity of failure into account, luring the PCs after the attempt into a desperate fight in a ware-house, from which they are hopefully saved by a street urchin in service to the baroness, a legendary, corpulent madwoman who, after a tragic life indeed, has taken to raising street urchins and teaching them the arts of thievery.

Unbeknownst to the PCs, her erstwhile lover, Blood Senator Vulgrax, is also one of the major players behind the recent upheavals in the city. Note that possibly the senator might be their employer instead, depending on the outcome of part 2. The baroness, however, wants this man destroyed for breaking off their betrothal and beating her to miscarriage for her affair with an unknown soldier, initiating her descent into desolate madness. The PCs are now to invite said senator to a dinner or otherwise distract him so her children can steal the senator's ledgers. However, not all is rosy with the madwoman either and she proceeds to send the PCs after Gulga Feck, dread necromancer and kidnapper, who has allegedly abducted the child with the ledger. Never mind that the baroness has seen to it that Gulga gets his hands on the ledger in order to get rid of him once and for all.

After the PCs deal with the sick necromancer, they finally reclaim the ledgers and get a hot lead: Wiggan the Bold seems to have an insidious plan that will bring the two plot-lines back together again: The man has operated a salvage-operation via some degenerate Fish-people (the Siluri) and an assault on his ware-house will give the PCs a hard time - after all, Wiggan knows full well how to escape through the sewers and a lot of deadly foes await the PCs desperately chasing the escaping conspirator - from degenerate Roachkin to a Chuul and aforementioned Siluri, they'll be hard-pressed to catch Wiggan. Even worse, when they finally dealt with him, the plan he hatched demands immediate attention: A ship, chock-full with explosives under the magical command of the Siluri is heading for a warehouse of Vulgrax which is conveniently stuffed with alchemical fire, resulting in two possible finales, one of which is the blaze that threatens to engulf the dock ward and the other has the PCs trying to board and stop the ship.

The adventure concludes with a 5-level PrC class of the sewer runner, fluff information on the roachkin and the stats for the new fish-men, the siluri.

Conclusion:
Editing is good, though not perfect - I encountered some typos that could have been taken care of with another pass at editing. Formatting is top-notch and layout adheres to the b/w-two-column standard that is both printer-friendly and elegant. The pdf comes with extensive bookmarks. The artworks are b/w and generally of good to very good quality. Special mention should be given to the cartography, as each location has its own artwork and if you own the great city blueprints, you get even more out of e.g. the dinner-scene.

The adventure feels quite different from its predecessors, which is not a bad thing per se - though I enjoyed them immensely, the action-laden romp we have here is a fine example of good adventure design, managing to provide for 2 different storylines in one adventure and offering a furious finale in which something truly is at stake.

While this makes for a satisfying and nice adventure, it also means that this installment of RtR is more linear than the predecessors and slightly less brainy, i.e. more on the brawn-side than the prequels. The plot also hinges on PCs trusting dubious NPCs or at least helping them, which may pose problems for some groups. In the end, though, this is still an excellent adventure, though not one that can stand up to the astronomic quality of "the Bloody Fix", as it lacks the sheer density of awesome ideas - while there are some (baroness!), the adventure felt just like a "very good" adventure. Be aware that I'm nagging at a very high level and that this is still worth the asking price. However, due to the lack of handouts (which accompany all the other RtRs) and the minor editing glitches, I can't find it in me to give this one the full 5 stars, my final verdict will thus be 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4.

Endzeitgeist out.


A very good Urban Mystery/RP adventure.

5/5

The Road to Revolution: Tides of Blood by 0one Games

This product is 43 pages long. It starts with a cover, ToC, and credits. (4 pages)

Introduction (2 pages)
This is a urban based 7-9th level adventure. This section has a history, plot summery, how the adventure begins and a side bar. The side bar has information on how to link this with the previous adventure in the series depending on how the last one ended.

Chapter 1: Blood in the Gutters (1 page)
The opening encounter that gets the whole adventure going. I can't give away much since this is a adventure based on a mystery. I will say the PC's get attacked unexpectedly which starts the adventure, namely the PC's trying to figure out who had them attacked and why.

Chapter 2: The Set Up (2 ½ pages)
This section takes place in the Dockward, after the first encounter this is the direction the PC's will end up taking. There is a single encounter, some room for RPing and perhaps some unexpected help.

Chapter 3: Meeting with Royalty (2 ½ pages)
This section will likely be a RP only section, though there could be combat depending on what the PC's do exactly. It is interesting and really sets up other parts of the adventure and ties other parts of the city together. It helps make the city feel like a living breathing city.

Chapter 4: Dinner with … (1 ½ pages)
Here the PC's meet another NPC to gather information. While there could be combat just like the last chapter, it should just be a heavy RP scene that sets up further things. I left the full name of the chapter blank so as not to spoil the things.

Chapter 5: Lost their Mittens (1 page)
This is another RP scene that leads directly to the next chapter.

Chapter 6: Church of the Damned (6 ½ pages)
This part is a mini dungeon crawl. There is 4 likely encounters in this section the PC's are likely to face.

Chapter 7: The Recovered.... (½ page)
This section is a RP scene that follows the last chapter once the PC's have recovered what they went looking for and are sent directly to the next chapter.

Chapter 8: On the Trail of... (11 ½ pages)
This chapter is another mini dungeon but much larger than the first one. There is some possible RP to be had but it is more leaning towards a dungeon crawl. There is 22 keyed locations and a possible 17 encounters, including traps.

Chapter 9: The Finale (2 ½ pages)
Here the PC's race against time to stop the final act in the adventure. There is 2 rather large encounters in this section. It ends with a section on wrapping the adventure up.

Appendix( 4 ½ pages)
This section talks about people that live beneath the streets of the city, a new PrC the Sewer Runner, which I believe is in their Players Guide to the great city. There is also a sample stat block for the PrC and a new monster, the Siluri with a full stat block.

It ends with a OGL, back cover, and ad (3 pages)

Closing thoughts. The artwork is black and white and averages from fair to decent. The maps are solid and pretty good, they get the job done. Layout and editing where good, I didn't notice any major errors. The adventure takes place with in The Great City campaign setting, all with in the Docks Ward section of the city. It would be fairly easy though would take some work to drop it into another city of the GM's choosing.

The adventure has a nice mix of RPing, mystery solving, dungeon crawling and thrilling heroics. There is a little something for just about any player to get excited about and times for any PC to shine. I really liked this adventure, but to be fair adventures with a nice mix of elements always appeal to me. So what's my rating? Well I really couldn't find any real flaws and the adventure is well written. So I am going to give it a 5 star review.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Dark Archive

Adam Daigle?

hmm....

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

...and you're saying?


THE Adam Daigle?

Sovereign Court Contributor

Kruelaid wrote:
THE Adam Daigle?

No, no, no. The OTHER Adam Daigle. The one still in prison. And enjoying it. :^)

The Exchange

Just downloaded this; this is the favorite so far...

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

prashant panavalli wrote:
Just downloaded this; this is the favorite so far...

Thank you, sir! That really means a lot.


prashant panavalli wrote:
Just downloaded this; this is the favorite so far...

[BS]Ahem, yes, uh... we designed them that way.[/BS]

Dark Archive

The Jade wrote:
prashant panavalli wrote:
Just downloaded this; this is the favorite so far...
[BS]Ahem, yes, uh... we designed them that way.[/BS]

So the only one I really need to buy is that last one?

Thanks!

Sorry Daigle looks like I won't be getting this one. :P

The Exchange

No Broadsides handouts makes the lazy GM sad. :(


David Wickham wrote:
The Jade wrote:
prashant panavalli wrote:
Just downloaded this; this is the favorite so far...
[BS]Ahem, yes, uh... we designed them that way.[/BS]

So the only one I really need to buy is that last one?

Thanks!

Sorry Daigle looks like I won't be getting this one. :P

LOL. Quite clever you are, Mr. Wickham. ;)

Dark Archive

The Jade wrote:
David Wickham wrote:
The Jade wrote:
prashant panavalli wrote:
Just downloaded this; this is the favorite so far...
[BS]Ahem, yes, uh... we designed them that way.[/BS]

So the only one I really need to buy is that last one?

Thanks!

Sorry Daigle looks like I won't be getting this one. :P

LOL. Quite clever you are, Mr. Wickham. ;)

I try. :D

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

prashant panavalli wrote:
No Broadsides handouts makes the lazy GM sad. :(

You know, I feel you on that. Thing is, I couldn't justify any Broadsides for this one. Everything that is happening during this episode is shady underbelly stuff, thus not really anything that would have bubbled up to the top until...well, you know. And when that happens (or could happen) *everyone* in the city is gonna know about it.

Maybe this decision shook up the format so far, but considering how the storyline progressed through this episode, I really couldn't find a way to "make the papers" without skewing the plot. It just didn't work for this one. I hope the appendix, and prestige class, made up for any lack of player hand outs.

Sovereign Court Contributor

prashant panavalli wrote:
No Broadsides handouts makes the lazy GM sad. :(

There will be more in the next ones, promise. I really love this adventure, too, by the way. A real romp with much awesomeness! Not for nothing, but the best cover so far, I think.

The Exchange

I agree that there is a lot going on in this adventure- I really enjoyed the tie ins to other Great City elements ( the poem for example...I am going to make up those broadsides mentioned in the begining regarding the bounty..hehehe). I also give you guys big props for keeping all the adventures human/oid centric, which I think a lot of adventures fail to do, especially at higher levels (easier to challenge parties with demons and such rather than statted out NPCs I would persume). I hope that continues for the rest of the adventures. I loved the art inside too; it reminded me of some of the Iron Kingdoms art for the Monsternomicon.


prashant panavalli wrote:
Just downloaded this; this is the favorite so far...

Thanks!


prashant panavalli wrote:
I agree that there is a lot going on in this adventure- I really enjoyed the tie ins to other Great City elements ( the poem for example...I am going to make up those broadsides mentioned in the begining regarding the bounty..hehehe). I also give you guys big props for keeping all the adventures human/oid centric, which I think a lot of adventures fail to do, especially at higher levels (easier to challenge parties with demons and such rather than statted out NPCs I would persume). I hope that continues for the rest of the adventures. I loved the art inside too; it reminded me of some of the Iron Kingdoms art for the Monsternomicon.

Wow - double thanks!

Liberty's Edge Contributor

prashant panavalli wrote:
I agree that there is a lot going on in this adventure- I really enjoyed the tie ins to other Great City elements ( the poem for example...I am going to make up those broadsides mentioned in the begining regarding the bounty..hehehe). I also give you guys big props for keeping all the adventures human/oid centric, which I think a lot of adventures fail to do, especially at higher levels (easier to challenge parties with demons and such rather than statted out NPCs I would persume). I hope that continues for the rest of the adventures. I loved the art inside too; it reminded me of some of the Iron Kingdoms art for the Monsternomicon.

Very Cool!.

I've actually been doing my best to keep the series focused on deviant acts of men- I just think they're the scariest of all critters.
Regardless, I definitely appreciate the support you've been throwing our way, it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Tim Hitchcock wrote:

Very Cool!.

I've actually been doing my best to keep the series focused on deviant acts of men- I just think they're the scariest of all critters.
Regardless, I definitely appreciate the support you've been throwing our way, it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

I will definitely echo this.

Humans are my favorite monsters, hands down.

Also my favorite character race, strangely enough. Hell, I played humans back in 2e before there was a strong benefit.

The Exchange

I want to add a few more "players" into the game- other power brokers who are aware of what is going on and are subtly manipulating the PCs outside of the obvious.

Spoiler:
The PCs are part of the Nightwatch. Recruited by Bao himself as a new unit to bypass the corruption/misplaced loyalties of the other nightwatchmen. They still work for their district though, and have to deal with the standard chain of command, who treat them like crap because of their connection with Bao. I want to give Bao an agenda as well. Any ideas?

- The woman who finds the body ( i changed it to late night, during a storm- making the players question what she is doing out, more as a red herring) is the youngest daughter of Benito Talka (calavrese crime family). My current inclination is that she is having an affair with Noer Torban who might be manipulating her (or the reverse?) and trying to keep it secret from her father.

Any additional suggestions?

Dark Archive

Reviewed... finally.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Thanks, Dark Mistress!

I was going to take credit for all the stuff you liked and blame the stuff you didn't like on Tim and Greg-O, but with five stars there's no bad to blame.

Glad you liked it!

Dark Archive

To be fair, I really like Urban adventures, I really like RP heavy adventures and I really like mysteries and this has all three. So i was trying to be unbiased in my review, I am not sure if I was or not. I personally loved it, I think others will too if they like those three things at all.


Nice review, D_M! I really should get my act together and finally complete my own review on this one... Well, perhaps next week when I'm less busy. *sigh*

Dark Archive

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Nice review, D_M! I really should get my act together and finally complete my own review on this one... Well, perhaps next week when I'm less busy. *sigh*

Breaks out Sweet Sting. *crack* Get to writing.


It will go straight on our next newsletter! :)

thanks DM

Dark Archive

Master of the Zero One wrote:

It will go straight on our next newsletter! :)

thanks DM

you guys have a news letter?


Reviewed here, on RPG aggression and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed here, on RPG aggression and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Thanks for the thorough review!

Spoiler:

I wrote the second half of the adventure and had just come into the Great City setting my co-conspirators had been creating, so I had some catching up to do. Hitch did a kick-ass job of getting me up to speed and bouncing ideas back and forth, and he really tied Greg's part into the whole plot. He was certainly responsible for this adventure making sense in the big picture. I just wanted to blow up the Docks due to a criminal fish person conspiracy and lead a chase from a dangerous warehouse through dangerous sewers to stop said mass destruction.

Edit:
Holy crap! That was almost two years ago!


Great Job, Adam! I'm a fan of your work and this one is no exception. ^^

Also, let me thank you for your kind words!

Dark Archive

Nice review End. I still need to finish reviewing parts 4-6 of this series.

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