Pathfinder Adventure Path #37: Souls for Smuggler's Shiv (Serpent's Skull 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #37: Souls for Smuggler's Shiv (Serpent's Skull 1 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 1: "Souls for Smuggler’s Shiv"
by James Jacobs

Only the Strong Survive

A deadly storm shipwrecks the passengers and crew of the Jenivere upon infamous Smuggler’s Shiv, an island off the coast of the jungle realm of Sargava. If they’re to have any hope of escaping the notorious pirates’ graveyard, the survivors will need to band together to outwit the isle’s strange beasts and legendary menaces. But can the PCs unite the swift-to-squabble castaways, especially when several seem to have mysterious goals of their own? And does Smuggler’s Shiv hide secrets even deadlier than its desperate denizens?

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Serpent’s Skull Adventure Path and includes:
  • “Souls for Smuggler’s Shiv,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 1st-level characters, by James Jacobs.
  • A detailed look at the personalities marooned on Smuggler’s Shiv, by James Jacobs.
  • Revelations into the history, ways, and world-spanning schemes of the serpentfolk, by Clinton Boomer.
  • An introduction to the wisdom and dangers of the jungle in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Robin Laws.
  • Five new monsters, by James Jacobs and F. Wesley Schneider.

Pathfinder Adventure Path is Paizo Publishing's monthly 96-page, perfect-bound, full-color softcover book printed on high-quality paper. It contains an in-depth Adventure Path scenario, stats for about a half-dozen new monsters, and several 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 standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-254-8

Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Sanctioned Content
Souls for Smuggler's Shiv is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild.

Download the rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheets — (495 kb zip/PDF)

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Archives of Nethys

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO9037


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4.50/5 (based on 14 ratings)

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Nice piece, but. . . .

4/5

It has been mentioned about how SfSS is nice for GMs for a number of different reasons. To start, I DO like the adventure and am quite happy with it (will be starting this Saturday). However, it is strongest in the "2nd" half - basically after they get past the "fluff" encounters. The complaint that I have is in the claim that this is easy for the GM. My disagreement with that is that a "sandbox" (which this is partially) is inherently more work for one. On top of this. . .

Spoiler:
the first "half" have three worthy encounters on board wrecked ships (one the PCs). These have enough going on on them that they need to be mapped out with your players. Now I am not familiar with pirate ships, nor (and especially) damaged ones that I assume have sections missing etc. It would have been nice to have had at least mapped for us.
This combination leads to a significant amount of necessary GM prep.


A magnificent opener for an AP

5/5

Adventure Paths always scared me because of the level of commitment that comes with them. If I start AP#1 then I haaaave to buy #2 and so on and so forth until I find myself with an empty checking account and I'm forced to steal my cat's food after my wife has left me whilst taking the house with her and everything else I own.

(This is a simple cause and effect scenario that is based solely in reality.)

As I did NOT want that to happen to me I was hesitant in purchasing this particular AP. Well, I weighed my options and figured that a steady diet of cat food is better than nothing at all so I took my chances with this adventure.

I would gladly hoard cat food for this AP! This is an adventure that is a culmination of a lot of people's artistic talent and in-depth understanding of the Pathfinder game over at Paizo. Mr. Jacobs has crafted an awesome adventure. Even in a wilderness adventure, he caters to every style of player and is gracious enough to make this just as much fun for the GM to read and run.

As an acting-theatre major along with long-time improviser, this AP gives the GM a wonderful cast of NPCs to portray that supplies the PCs with an added challenge. While this specifically caters to my own taste as a GM who loves the story and roleplaying aspects, this AP really has something for everyone. It is a well-devised sandbox adventure that has plenty of colorful combat encounters along with an enticing plot that taunted my players from the moment we started until we ended. This AP is written in a way that is easy for ANY GM to shape and mold so that it fits his/her gaming group's style. This is the most of the fun I've had as a GM. I was given the ability to create my own mood and style for this piece that I know would excite my players.

Also, if you have trouble trying to find creative ways to gather adventurers together, Mr. Jacobs hands you that creative way. It is a fantastic opportunity to really create the mood and feel for the game while setting up the adventure.

I was thoroughly impressed with this AP and we are about to start the second one. I highly recommend this adventure. This is one of those pieces where you can tell the writers and artists have really found and established the Pathfinder feel. I have referenced "mood and feel" numerous times throughout this review, but after gaming for awhile, I find this to be the most important aspect to a good game since it will help your PCs determine how they should conduct themselves. This is a prime example of why our gaming group has dedicated itself to the work of those at Pathfinder RPG.

Now that that is all said and done, it is time for dinner with Mimi. I've decided to prepare liver and tuna tonight with some Frank's hot sauce to cut out the bitterness. Thank you, Paizo. I have never been happier.


Epic Awesome!

5/5

This was actually my introduction to Pathfinder RPG, and it got me hooked.

We just finished with this one, and I can't help but thank Paizo for making this SO EASY on the GM, especially since (depending on how your group progresses) they may have to juggle six NPCs that can become just as important as PCs!

Very cool, and I really recommend it.


Excellent

5/5

Excellent 1st part for a really promising adventure path (the plot preview of the entire campaign is incredibly exciting).

Really original start + free exploration + interesting NPC + mystery + adventurous locations: wonderful job from Paizo, as ever.


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Dark Archive

Wolfthulhu wrote:
Nah, it doesn't have a High Seas feel at all. As (Ninja) James said, the opening scene is PCs realizing they are stranded on an island. There is some prologue type stuff that happens before the shipwreck, but that's it.

Yeah, that's what I was referring to but I could've phrased it a bit (a lot!) better. :D

Liberty's Edge

This first installment of the Serpent's Skull looks very nice. I just got the PDF, and can't wait to run it with my players. I have one question, though.

The prologue states: "If your players are using the Serpent’s Skull Player’s Guide (available as a free PDF download from paizo.com)..."

This booklet is not yet available, is it? If so, my Paizo-browsing skill needs more ranks. :-)


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It has been stated that the Serpent's Skull Player's Guide will be out for the first day of GenCon at the latest, the official release day of Pathfinder #37.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Very awesome serpentfolk art in this one! Two thumbs up! And seeing as how I'm still working on the final adventure (which has a LOT of serpentfolk in it), this is great inspiration! Timely even! :-)

Dark Archive

Yeah the serpentfolk artwork is awesome. Very inspiring stuff.


Ravenmantle wrote:
Yeah the serpentfolk artwork is awesome. Very inspiring stuff.

I'm not going to whine that my AP suscription isn't in yet, because I woke up to my APG this morning. :p Still... I'm looking forward to it. :)


Still pending...

:(


Yeah, missing the player's guide too...thanks for clearing that up as I hadn't seen the post noting when it would be available. Got notice to download #36 and #37 as well as the APG last night (all good looking stuff).
M

Paizo Employee Creative Director

mearrin69 wrote:

Yeah, missing the player's guide too...thanks for clearing that up as I hadn't seen the post noting when it would be available. Got notice to download #36 and #37 as well as the APG last night (all good looking stuff).

M

The price you pay for getting a product before it's official ship date is that you get to wait for things like player's guides. I have the laid out version of it sitting on my desk right now; we're HOPING to get it online by this time next week or sooner... but we'll see.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks James and know the wait will be worth it as all the AP's.

I got a group ready for this as this is the first time DMing.

Thanks again for great products and you got my vote for the ennime .


The first book seems interesting. It will require some prep, but it's worth it. My only issue(not negative), is that I just started KM, I want to finish AoW, and now I want to do this one.

You guys need to lay off the quality adventures so I won't have to choose. If you put out some garbage I can easily say "nope, not that one".

Scarab Sages

Can somebody clarify if a "Serpent's Skull Player's Guide" PDF will be released for this Adventure Path?

Paizo Employee Director of Game Development

Tarrintino wrote:
Can somebody clarify if a "Serpent's Skull Player's Guide" PDF will be released for this Adventure Path?

It will, but it is not ready yet.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tarrintino wrote:
Can somebody clarify if a "Serpent's Skull Player's Guide" PDF will be released for this Adventure Path?

We're very close to the Player's Guide being ready for the web. It's not scheduled to go live until PF 37's actual release date next Thursday, but it looks like we'll be likely to get it online a lot sooner than that. Stay tuned!

EDIT: Corrected a typo.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Tarrintino wrote:
Can somebody clarify if a "Serpent's Skull Player's Guide" PDF will be released for this Adventure Path?
We're very close to the Player's Guide being ready for the web. It's not scheduled to go live until PF 39's actual release date next Thursday, but it looks like we'll be likely to get it online a lot sooner than that. Stay tuned!

I'm certain James means Pathfinder #37, not 39, before anyone is shocked by this ...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zaister wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Tarrintino wrote:
Can somebody clarify if a "Serpent's Skull Player's Guide" PDF will be released for this Adventure Path?
We're very close to the Player's Guide being ready for the web. It's not scheduled to go live until PF 39's actual release date next Thursday, but it looks like we'll be likely to get it online a lot sooner than that. Stay tuned!
I'm certain James means Pathfinder #37, not 39, before anyone is shocked by this ...

Correct. I'm actually WORKING on Pathfinder #39 right now, which is kind of being a troubled child, so it's weighing heavy on my brain whenever I mention anything Serpent's Skull related.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


Correct. I'm actually WORKING on Pathfinder #39 right now, which is kind of being a troubled child, so it's weighing heavy on my brain whenever I mention anything Serpent's Skull related.

Any major problems with #39 ? Should we expect a delay ?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Gorbacz wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Correct. I'm actually WORKING on Pathfinder #39 right now, which is kind of being a troubled child, so it's weighing heavy on my brain whenever I mention anything Serpent's Skull related.
Any major problems with #39 ? Should we expect a delay ?

It should still ship in the correct month... just probably closer to the end of that month than we were shooting for.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Gorbacz wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Correct. I'm actually WORKING on Pathfinder #39 right now, which is kind of being a troubled child, so it's weighing heavy on my brain whenever I mention anything Serpent's Skull related.
Any major problems with #39 ? Should we expect a delay ?

I should, I suppose, note that a volume of Pathfinder being a "troubled child" is not the same as me saying "OMG DISASTER!"

We're smack in the middle of Pathfinder #39's production schedule. It'll probably be a week or so late to the printer due to Gen Con, but as of right now, despite the fact that it's being a pill, we should be able to get it out more or less on time anyway.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

James - Great work on this one! I have devoured this one from head to tail, and it did not disappoint. I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the series.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
He'll be doing all of the Serpent's Skull covers, for one. And beyond that, I suspect he'll be doing more covers as well. He's quite good.

I got this over the weekend and after the initial box dig, I found myself staring at this cover. This was the first AP cover art, where I wanted to know exactly who did it. I found it awesomely detailed and just right. Good find Paizo!

Dark Archive

any recommendations for a good boat design to use for the wrecked jenivere??

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Another Screen Name wrote:

any recommendations for a good boat design to use for the wrecked jenivere??

I used the top deck of the pirate ship from the GameMastery Boats & Ships map pack, then I drew a partial below deck on our battlemat. I assumed the rest of the ship was either submerged or an impassible, tangled wreck.

It worked just fine during our tabletop game.

Dark Archive

Tom Qadim wrote:
Another Screen Name wrote:

any recommendations for a good boat design to use for the wrecked jenivere??

I used the top deck of the pirate ship from the GameMastery Boats & Ships map pack, then I drew a partial below deck on our battlemat. I assumed the rest of the ship was either submerged or an impassible, tangled wreck.

It worked just fine during our tabletop game.

thanks, as i will have it tommorrow through amazon


So, it pretty much appears that the Minneapolis-St. Paul area was not shipped this issue. When the biggest game store in the area doesn't get it, you know there's a problem. Any comment?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

wspatterson wrote:
So, it pretty much appears that the Minneapolis-St. Paul area was not shipped this issue. When the biggest game store in the area doesn't get it, you know there's a problem. Any comment?

Sounds to me like an error at the distributor level? We don't actually ship direct to stores, so if a region got "left out" of a shipping, that error would happen with the distributor—FLGS should contact their distributor to see what's up.


Does anyone else see the inspriation taken from the Dark Tower Drawing of Three for the first encounter?

Contributor

Removed a post. Please post civilly.


Shot in the dark here, but I'm about to run this campaign and I'm not sure where I should post this.

Anyways, I'm setting up the players and was curious about where's the destination port when the adventure begins? Is the ship heading to Eleder when the adventure begins? Or is it just after leaving Eleder? The book implies that someone could of left from the port of Eleder also.

Just trying to figure out player motivation on ultimate destinations and such.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

JDNYC wrote:

Shot in the dark here, but I'm about to run this campaign and I'm not sure where I should post this.

Anyways, I'm setting up the players and was curious about where's the destination port when the adventure begins? Is the ship heading to Eleder when the adventure begins? Or is it just after leaving Eleder? The book implies that someone could of left from the port of Eleder also.

Just trying to figure out player motivation on ultimate destinations and such.

Have you tried the Skull & Shackles forum?

I haven't read S&S, so I can't comment on it too much, but I would hazard a guess there's lots of commentary in there.


Hey guys! I just bought the softcover edition.

I'm curious and I want the earnest feedback from my fellow fans of Paizo's excellent cartography...

How should i handle maps? Seriously. they're going to be moving across a large area.

Should I provide them with the map?

Should I buy the map pack?

Should I have them draw it up?

Should I abstract everything?

And what did you do?

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