Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-13: Murder on the Throaty Mermaid (PFRPG) PDF

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

While on a routine mission to escort a dignitary to the mysterious Mordant Spire aboard a disreputable smuggler's ship, the PCs find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery that could jeopardize the Pathfinder Society's relationship with the isolationist elves who call the citadel home. Can the cunning Pathfinders discover who among the ship's crew of scum and villains is responsible for the crime in time to clear their own names? This murder mystery upon the open sea features a mechanic allowing for a different killer each time it's run to ensure that no amount of word of mouth will spoil the investigation for any team of canny players.

Written by Mark Moreland

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 Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Nothing but a Shaggy Dog Story

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While the scenario sounds promising, by the end it turns out that the party's actions are completely irrelevant. It's frustratingly poorly written.

Most importantly, the investigation doesn't work. Of the crew of the ship, all of them are nasty people with a secret, all of them refuse to cooperate with the PCs, and all of them have the motive and the opportunity to have committed the murder. Instead of a series of clues to follow, you get a long series of pointless conversations with NPCs who don't want to talk to you and reveal nothing but red herrings. The scenario is written so that everyone could be the killer; while that sounds nice in theory, in practice it means that there is no suspect that stands out and no way to eliminate any of them. The only way you'll find out who the murderer is, is because when the time is almost up he arbitrarily decides to attack the party (then anticlimatically die the next round, because he'll be sorely outnumbered in his head-on assault).

And as a final kick in the teeth, the investigation turns out to be completely irrelevant because

Spoiler:
the victim is not actually dead, but magically transported home. And because the victim always had the ability to do that, the entire two-month boat trip to escort him home was also completely unnecessary. The epilogue reveals that you've literally been wasting your time, both IC and OOC.

In other words, it's only a shaggy dog story. While such stories are a neat trick to pull on your friends at the pub, they're really boring to actually play in, because nothing you do makes any difference.


Its ambition is its biggest problem

*( )( )( )( )

I played this scenario last night with Quentin as the GM, see his review below. Before anything else, I’d like to point out that the rating I gave this scenario is not influenced by him as a GM. I’m solely basing my opinion on the scenario and its mechanics.

The idea behind the scenario is excellent, but fails to live up to its expectation. It’s something that regrettably is often the case. The premise of a murder mystery on a ship with a crew of suspects is solid. It’s understandable, easy to imagine and on paper is effective as an adventure. However the writer’s ambition ended up ruining the whole thing.

As is written in the small summary, this scenario features a mechanic allowing for a different killer each time it’s run. This is an interesting concept and in theory could work, were it not for a major issue. Every single one of the crew has a motive and means of being the murderer. One could argue that creates suspense, but in this case this means there are way too many red herrings.

This, in turn, means that the investigation will not narrow anything down and ends up feeling frustrating if you roll well or ask the right questions. You only get swamped in more and more potential suspects. The amount of evidence piles up, but against multiple people and it becomes increasingly harder to keep particular clues linked with particular people. And when you roll terribly, you will not figure anything out, or only things that are not linked to the actual murderer. Long story short: there are no conclusive clues, since everything is a clue for a possible outcome.

However, it gets even worse. While you’re slowly getting annoyed that everyone becomes a suspect and don’t get any closer to finding the real murderer, something happens. The killer all of a sudden decides to reveal him- or herself, making you feel like you’re an idiot and as if the investigation didn’t matter at all. You literally spends hours gathering too many clues, but before you can come to a conclusion, plot kicks in and spoils it all for you. I’m sorry, but that really ruins any fun you may have had up until that point. But wait, there’s even more! The conclusion to the scenario actually makes you feel even worse about the whole investigation. It’s like kicking someone that’s already down and out.

This scenario tries to be somewhat of a scenario and an evergreen scenario. Sadly it completely fails at both. It’s too complicated to be a scenario due to the amount of red herrings. That said, I can see it potentially work as an evergreen. That, however, requires it to be rewritten in such a way that certain red herrings are gone when X is the murderer. That way you can actually solve the murder and confront the killer, or close in enough to force the murderer to make a final stand. As it stands now, it’s not coherent enough and way too frustrating, regardless of the dice-rolls. It is such a shame that such an ambitious scenario ultimately ends in a major disappointment and I will not recommend it to others.


Needlessly frustrating.

**( )( )( )

(I both GMed and played this.)

Note in advance: to be fair, I wasn't as skilled in my role-playing as I should've been for this scenario. That might influence this review a bit.

There are some really good things about this scenario. There's a decent mystery and some nice little touches to make it more interesting. However, there are also a lot of factors that bring it down again. First of all, there are literally no clues the PCs can follow. Both when I played it and when I ran it, there are lots of little bits that can be pieced together, but none of it forms a logical whole. There are also a lot of red herrings pointing people elsewhere, which it to be expected from an adventure like this. But when everything literally points to everything else, there's no unified whole anymore. In most novels there are at least some clues pointing towards the same thing, and the main characters have to poke holes in everything. But here, everyone mistrusts everyone and give unhelpful remarks as to who the real killer is. When everything is suspicious, nothing is.

The biggest disappointment is the cast of characters. Most of them are fun to interact with, but are unreasonably hostile towards the players. Moreover, they only give some clues when asked about a certain thing. Normally that's okay in a regular adventure, but when the plot literally hinges on that information, it's frustrating to miss that. On top of that, they're all hiding something (again, which is to be expected in a story like this), which makes it even more frustrating when you can't get any more out of them. You know there's something wrong, but you don't know if it's relevant to you or not, and they're not interested enough to help you. And finally, most of them have contrived reasons to be awake by that point, making the story increasingly more far-fetched. For a good murder mystery you need to have some leaps of logic, but the power of the Orient Express and other mysteries is that the detective can poke holes in their stories and make leaps of logic the readers can't. This scenario expects us all to be Poirots without an actual mechanic in place for allowing us to do so. As said, everyone is shifty and guilty of something, just not something that's relevant to the case at hand.

There's also no real elegant way of tying everything together. A fight gets forced while you might still be gathering clues. Again, that's fine, but for the culprit to reveal their hand like that is a bit of a downer for the party.

In the end, there's certainly some merit in this adventure, and in theory it all looks fine. I was looking forward to running it, but in the end my players got drowned in red herrings, unhelpful NPCs and ended in an exercise in frustration. It might've been better with a better GM (for which I totally take the blame), but when I played it I ended up with pretty much the same impression.


Entertaining, but with some problems

***( )( )

Played this with a three-player crew + Zadim at high tier. We were an easygoing group; we know that in order to have a murder mystery there has to be a murder, so we didn't try to break the scenario by trying to make the murder impossible to carry out or something like that. Likewise, we were prepared to tolerate a certain amount of nonsensical plotting necessary to keep everything on the rails. I think such a relaxed frame of mind, and a small group of players, helps make this a fun scenario.

We had a good time. Especially the fight against the monster on the cover was hilarious, with a PC dropping all his inexpensive weapons to try to distract it while he ran to hide behind me (monk). Absolutely classic.

However, as murder mystery, it leaves something to be desired. There were so many red herrings, some big logic holes and so few actual clues that by the end we hadn't really managed to narrow things down; everyone had sort of a motive but also sort of an alibi. We talked to everyone and looked everywhere and didn't find anything that looked conclusive. It was starting to look like we'd have to resort to trying to brute-force things with layered Zone of Truth spells (see if you can pass six Will saves..) or something like that. And then the killer suddenly decides "we were getting too close" and reveals him/herself with a hopeless-odds attack.


Murder Mystery

***( )( )

Played this at the lower tier. Simply put the heroes are escorting an elven ambassador back to the Mordant spire and on route he is murdered. It then falls to the heroes to investigate and solve the murder.

It is a good investigative scenario but the one complaint that seemed to arise was the utter lack of any real clues which made it more about supposition than finding the murderer. There is lots of roleplay opportunities but again I found this lacking as the crew don't give enough information away.

The climax... well, I can see why some feel it is a let down but I thought it quite a cool ending though makes the whole investigation somewhat pointless. Even so I give this one an average rating as I did enjoy it as an evenings session.


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Announced!

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Announced!

Josh any chance I can get this one slightly earlier then the scheduled release date?

We have a Con in Houston in Jan and this will be only 2 days before the con, and right now the only other low level season 2 you have are Before the Dawn part 1 & 2 which I will be worried will have players that already played it.

I know I am asking way before it is released, but if there is a chance we could get it a few days earlier, could that happen?


I can tell by the description and author that this one's going to be a stinker! ;-)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

This has been delayed by one week.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
This has been delayed by one week.

I blame Mark!!!!

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

You may blame me all you want, but I (who works here and sees everything on everyone's plates) blame Ultimate Magic and a few other higher priority projects, as well as some much deserved vacation time among some of the staff.

But I'm happy to take the blame, as I know this adventure will be your new favorite once you get a chance to play it.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:

You may blame me all you want, but I (who works here and sees everything on everyone's plates) blame Ultimate Magic and a few other higher priority projects, as well as some much deserved vacation time among some of the staff.

But I'm happy to take the blame, as I know this adventure will be your new favorite once you get a chance to play it.

wait...you already got a Vacation?... Paizo is too nice.. ;)

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Dragnmoon wrote:
wait...you already got a Vacation?... Paizo is too nice.. ;)

I am at the office today, and have been all week. I am not everyone involved in the production of new Pathfinder material, however, much as my ego likes that you think I am.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Neither of this month's scenarios were delayed by the writers—they were delayed in the course of our production process.

Liberty's Edge

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had this planned for convention next weekend. 3 slots of it.


Mark Moreland wrote:
I know this adventure will be your new favorite once you get a chance to play it.

I'm holding you to this.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Kyle Baird wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
I know this adventure will be your new favorite once you get a chance to play it.
I'm holding you to this.

I think you misunderstood his intent. Allow me to clarify:

Mark Moreland wrote:
I know this adventure will be your new favorite once you get a chance to play it.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Vic Wertz wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
I know this adventure will be your new favorite once you get a chance to play it.
I'm holding you to this.

I think you misunderstood his intent. Allow me to clarify:

Mark Moreland wrote:
I know this adventure will be your new favorite once you get a chance to play it.

Or else!


Mark Moreland wrote:
Or else!

Or else you'll torture us by continuing to write more scenarios?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

In all honesty, this might be the last one from me for a while. Now that I'm developing them, if I write one, it means more work on someone else's already crowded desk, since I don't think it's the best decision to develop one's own adventure. This was assigned before I took on the job, so it's the last holdover of pre-Mark PFS.

Thus I know you'll like it the best because it could be my PFS swan song.


Mark Moreland wrote:

In all honesty, this might be the last one from me for a while. Now that I'm developing them, if I write one, it means more work on someone else's already crowded desk, since I don't think it's the best decision to develop one's own adventure. This was assigned before I took on the job, so it's the last holdover of pre-Mark PFS.

Thus I know you'll like it the best because it could be my PFS swan song.

1) Hopefully you're not dying or retiring

2) Pre-Mark? From what did you spawn?
3) I really enjoyed getting to play with a Glabrezu last weekend. >:)
4) Topping Rebel's Ransom or Hall of Drunken Heroes is a tall order (taller than the beer you still owe me...)


Uh oh.

I see a change in the description from

"Will be available for purchase Wed, Feb 2, 2011."

to

"Will be available for purchase approximately Wed, Feb 2, 2011."

This worries me, as I have promised a group (six players plus one waiting-list) that I would run the adventure on Saturday.

I don't know if this mixed group will be able to find something else that none of us have played. Hopefully the quest for perfection will not keep Paizo from putting the scenario up on Wednesday, given that they could update the PDF after thorough proofing later . . . (Though as a publisher/editor myself, I wholly sympathize with the problem.)

--Scott

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Diodotus wrote:

Uh oh.

I see a change in the description from

"Will be available for purchase Wed, Feb 2, 2011."

to

"Will be available for purchase approximately Wed, Feb 2, 2011."

That doesn't mean much in this circumstance. Our goal is still to have it up on February 2.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Now available!

Dark Archive

You know the title sounds dirty... like a porn movie title. :) Just saying :D

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

What kind of name did you expect from a dirty, skeezy smugglers' ship full of the worst kind of people you could put together and still manage to stay afloat?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wow. That whodunnit mechanic for an element of uncertainty sounds awesome.

Shadow Lodge

Mark Moreland wrote:
What kind of name did you expect from a dirty, skeezy smugglers' ship full of the worst kind of people you could put together and still manage to stay afloat?

Well, a lot of the characters remind me of darker versions of the crew of another freighter that sometimes takes passengers, especially if they are trying to put on an air of respectability.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
What kind of name did you expect from a dirty, skeezy smugglers' ship full of the worst kind of people you could put together and still manage to stay afloat?

The slovenly mackerel.

Shadow Lodge

I'm curious what people's play times have been like on this module. I played in it and GMed it and ran over significantly both times.

There were definitely circumstances in both cases that slowed the game down some so I'm curious if others are having similar time related issues with this one.

Shadow Lodge

I played it with a very poor gm yesterday and it ran over, and attributed it to poor GMing. That said, due to a mix up, I thought I was going to run that session and prepped it.

It is roleplaying intense, with potentially very little combat. For GMs who are used to Dungeon crawls, this creates a very different dynamic. You basically need to know the module well and be prepared to act and at times improv. Skills very different from a dungeon crawl.

Liberty's Edge

I ran this last night. I think it can be run on time if the GM is prepared, but we had more people than we initially expected which caused a bit of CL confusion among the three GM's so things were rushed towards the end.

It is a great adventure and I hope there are more like it in the future.

The Exchange

I ran this today at our local con.. this is not a mod that a GM can pick up cold and just run. There is a lot of intrigue behind each of the NPCs and if the GM isn't aware of what each one does/says the mod is going to be very ploddy for the group

But all that said.. this is a super fun mod

Shadow Lodge

I just want to make it clear, both as a player and a GM I enjoyed the module. It's a fun mod and a very nice deviation from the typical PFS mod.

My question/ comment is only that it seems like it takes more time to run. It sounds to me like most people are having that same general experience.

  • "attributed it to poor GMing"... "You basically need to know the module well and be prepared to act and at times improv."
  • "can be run on time if the GM is prepared"
  • "if the GM isn't aware of what each one does/says the mod is going to be very ploddy for the group"

    This is fair enough, lots of folks feel it can be run on time but that's not what they experienced.

  • Shadow Lodge

    0gre wrote:

    I just want to make it clear, both as a player and a GM I enjoyed the module. It's a fun mod and a very nice deviation from the typical PFS mod.

    My question/ comment is only that it seems like it takes more time to run. It sounds to me like most people are having that same general experience.

  • "attributed it to poor GMing"... "You basically need to know the module well and be prepared to act and at times improv."
  • "can be run on time if the GM is prepared"
  • "if the GM isn't aware of what each one does/says the mod is going to be very ploddy for the group"

    This is fair enough, lots of folks feel it can be run on time but that's not what they experienced.

  • I think it is more like a movie script then a typical module and because of that, you need to know your lines and hit your mark have good timing. It's not a module where you can glance at a stat block a wing it.

    These two things are very different sets of skills and I think some GMs are not actors.

    But running it takes more of the skills of actors then typical.

    Scarab Sages

    I ran it with plenty of time to spare including about a twenty minute debate (that ended with a game of ennie-meenie-minie-moe) on if we were playing 1st level characters or 4th level characters.

    I really don't know why people think that murder mysteries are fun. I've never had fun playing one. Though to be fair the DM was only okay.

    Couple of questions after the spoiler bar:

    Spoiler:

    Why give different treasure depending on who the murderer is?

    I get the random dynamic of the whodoneit (though I'm not sure that the extra DM difficulty is worth the gain), but it leaves a bad feeling when you are allotted no extra access because our randomly selected villain was lame and had no cool stuff. Seems to me that it wouldn't be that hard to outfit the different folk identically and then we wouldn't necessarily even know that the murderer changed each time.

    Also, what was the point of the storm?

    Shadow Lodge

    Spoiler:
    Since the party is most fresh the storm was to weaken the players a bit before the final encounter. I think it says as much in the module.


    Matthew Trent wrote:
    I really don't know why people think that murder mysteries are fun. I've never had fun playing one.

    Mystery/puzzle modules aren't really for me, either. I generally feel they're just one step away from "Guess What It Has In Its Pocketses". Mysteries have an extra problem when the party has access to mind reading; either it has the potential to short-circuit the module completely, or there's an arbitrary "you can't do that" situation built in (which is kind of lame either way).


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Ran this a couple days ago. It ran somewhere between 4 1/2 and 5 hours.

    Spoiler:
    It seems my group went on the defensive when the captain said they were going down for the crime and not the crew. Only one or two of my players tried to figure out who did it while the rest were trying to frame someone else so they wouldn't be held responsible. A couple of my players were also upset that they were not allowed to go below decks during the previous 50 days voyage, especially the rogue who insisted he could have easily stealthed down there at some point during that 2 months time.

    All in all it looks like a highly enjoyable scenario for the right groups. I have a larger group (usually 6-7 player) and most of then tend to lean to the rollplay side of things over roleplaying. I understand the limitations of a scenario content space and I applaud your portrayal at a murder mystery in a system that isn't inherently suited to that type of story. Thanks for the variation in the normal scenario formula Mark.

    The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

    The extensive time the party has on board the ship before things start is problematic in a number of ways, Sethious, not just the mysteries of the cargo hold. Even more serious, if the party has been around for several weeks, they should already know all of the cew memebers well, and vice versa.

    Better all around, I think, if the PCs were to be very newly aboard the vessel, perhaps on their first or second day from their embarcation.

    Matthew Trent wrote:
    I really don't know why people think that murder mysteries are fun. I've never had fun playing one.

    I like mysteries. (After playing this adventure, I went to a production of "And then there were none.") I thought this was a good one.


    Paizo Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Chris Mortika wrote:
    Matthew Trent wrote:
    I really don't know why people think that murder mysteries are fun. I've never had fun playing one.
    I like mysteries. (After playing this adventure, I went to a production of "And then there were none.") I thought this was a good one.

    I haven't played this, but I do like mysteries ... so long as the GM is decent. The worst game I ever played was a mystery where the GM actively hindered us every step of the way.

    I found out some time later that we spent an hour of the slot trying to find the hook, which as written was simply a bit of box text.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Chris Mortika wrote:

    The extensive time the party has on board the ship before things start is problematic in a number of ways, Sethious, not just the mysteries of the cargo hold. Even more serious, if the party has been around for several weeks, they should already know all of the crew memebers well, and vice versa.

    Better all around, I think, if the PCs were to be very newly aboard the vessel, perhaps on their first or second day from their embarcation.

    I seriously considered running it with them just boarding as well. They also commented several times on how they would have taken the time to get to know people if they had been traveling that long and thought they were shady types. Even if it was just to figure out who to look out for. Even with those faults though my group enjoyed it. Those were just some of the gripes I heard come across as I sat behind the GM screen and figured I put out there as notice for others running in the future.

    Shadow Lodge

    Chris Mortika wrote:

    The extensive time the party has on board the ship before things start is problematic in a number of ways, Sethious, not just the mysteries of the cargo hold. Even more serious, if the party has been around for several weeks, they should already know all of the cew memebers well, and vice versa.

    Better all around, I think, if the PCs were to be very newly aboard the vessel, perhaps on their first or second day from their embarcation.

    This is actually how I played it, the intro is a confusing mix of "This is what you need to do and these are all the people" and "You've been travelling with these people for 2 months...". I just settled on the idea that the characters were new to the ship and that someone else had guarded them up until this point.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    If I ever run it again that is definitely the way I plan on going about it.


    I wasn't super impressed by this mod. Of course, there is the 'well we've been traveling with these folks for a few weeks' aspect, but that's been covered already.

    minor problem:
    I was very disappointed that the villains had different loot. We wound up not getting anything extra because we happened to get the lame villain, and that was an annoying finish to the mod.

    major problem:
    The very beginning was actually what bugged me the most. Once you got to the mystery part, it was RP and that was fun and pretty well done. But if my job was to see a Personage safely from point A to point B, I am NOT letting some sleazy crewmember of a smuggling ship do bodyguard duty for me. I'm doing it myself. I'm sleeping in his room (with my party of course) or if he kicks us out, we're having rotating watches outside his room. Mark assumes and/or box-texts the PCs just ... failing and being stupid.


    Mark Moreland-

    Just outta idle curiousity, one of the potential pool of likely suspects...

    Spoiler:
    that lady bard that all the Cheliaxians are interested in- given her, erm, "unofficial position" onboard as a member of the Throaty Mermaid...

    ...that wouldn't happened to have been, um, influenced by a certain translated-from-a-foreign-language PF and oldschool-mix game session on YouTube featuring a low-charisma, "cat-eared maid sexuality" ranger character would it, ya sly old-salty sea-dawg you? ;)

    Shadow Lodge

    Melissa Litwin wrote:

    I wasn't super impressed by this mod. Of course, there is the 'well we've been traveling with these folks for a few weeks' aspect, but that's been covered already.

    ** spoiler omitted **

    ** spoiler omitted **

    module breakage:

    My party very nearly did exactly this and it was a very near thing. They left their familiars at the foot of the stairs to watch. I just assumed that since the killer had access to invisibility he was able to slip in but I still got some grief from the players about it.

    Essentially it's assumed that the characters will fail at the task they are installed to complete, so if they do a too good a job the module will be two brief encounters and done...

    The fact that the title of the module advertises there is to be a murder will make them doubly vigilant (and also invites all sorts of meta-gaming).


    major problem change?:
    You could change the way in which the murder takes place (a timed trap that's set up when the PCs aren't in the room). Or have the crew actively befriend the PCs and get them to lower their guard.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    0gre, I know when you are at cons or other public games you kind of have to announce titles. If you happen to be running a home game though, I have made a point of not announcing module names until I hand out the chronicles to avert that kind of issue somewhat.

    The Exchange

    Not yet run the module and as I don't know who will be playing (and thus their character factions) I cannot just prep for one outcome.

    It looks great though things like the 50 days at sea seem an unwanted complication. At the very least you would think the faction quests should only reach the PCs on day 50. Otherwise why wait until the murder to start implementing them? I will also have to drum it into the players that the captain Veane's word is law and that the venture captains require the PCs to come when called and stay clear of certain areas. Still not sure why the PCs could not have joined the trip as late replacements of another group who had all come down with food poisoning....

    If one of the NPCs is guilty then I run into this problem

    Spoiler:
    If Azuretta is guilty it means that she tied up and gagged Thanzeril while she did the deed. Yet the text suggests nothing about how Thanzeril reacts to this. If it wasn't consenual then he would certainly see it as damning evidence. If it was consensual (odd given that the went to Azuretta because the long voyage had worn his patience out and he could wait no longer) the coincidence would surely make him suspicious.

    Really looking forward to running it. I will print out 8'10 glossies of the crew and stick them on a board ala TV cop shows and issue the players with markers & string then see if they can join the dots!!

    Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

    Here4daFreeSwag wrote:

    Mark Moreland-

    Just outta idle curiousity, one of the potential pool of likely suspects...

    ** spoiler omitted **

    ...that wouldn't happened to have been, um, influenced by a certain translated-from-a-foreign-language PF and oldschool-mix game session on YouTube featuring a low-charisma, "cat-eared maid sexuality" ranger character would it, ya sly old-salty sea-dawg you? ;)

    Since I don't know the YouTube video in question, I'd have to say no. That character was derived from a number of genre tropes, so it's possible there are many instances of similar characters out there.


    Mark Moreland wrote:
    Since I don't know the YouTube video in question, I'd have to say no. That character was derived from a number of genre tropes, so it's possible there are many instances of similar characters out there.

    No prob- that video's kind of NSFW (not in a "visually graphic" but more of a "verbally graphic" kinda way anyhow) at any rate. ;)

    As the module author, would it be fair to say, given some of the problems others had mentioned in this thread about the playing/running of this module, that

    Spoiler:
    Sephriel has the PFS PCs in a situation where they have to be somewhat subservient to his every elven whim else the Society would "lose" the chance at getting access to the ancient Azlant ruins; such a thing could explain why during the entire two months at sea the PCs could not keep watch over him 24/7 ("No, I absolutely refuse to have all of you staying in the same room as me and I've already got a main bodyguard, thank you very much!", "Now why don't you be a good little Pathfinder and just climb up on that mastpole over yonder so I can draw this sketch of you hanging upside-down off the rigging net...", "The captain complained to me about some of you trying to gain access to the cargo hold below decks- from now on, every one of you are confined to your quarters only until I say otherwise.", "Disobey me again and I'll make certain that your superiors at the Society hear of this.", and "Please take my dinner plate back to that idiot cook and tell her to put some more garlic in there lest I send it back to her uneatened!"). The only downside I could see in all of that is the party wanting to kill Sephriel off themselves long before the others could.

    P.S. Such an event could also be used in conjunction with heretic's post of why the PCs might be used as a last minute replacement Pathfinder personnel.


    Member of Sethious' crew here.

    I really enjoyed the modual, though the issues Sethious mentioned were somewhat glaring. There were a few other things.

    Spoiler:
    1. The two rust mosters seemed somewhat obsoleate. We were on a boat on the ocean, with portholes/cannonholes on the same floor as the 1st mate's quarters. Why couldn't the murderer just ditch the weapon out the window?

    2. Two rust monsters. We were APL 2 when we ran this, and I ended up soloing the two of them due to the party being all over the ship. Two hits, and my masterwork breastplate is gone. Oh yeah, I'm a Brutal Pugalist, and my main weapon is armor spikes. Two birds one stone >.< I ended up having to beat them unconcious barehanded, rejecting help from the Taldoran Cavalier in full plate. It was a fun encounter, but one that cost me a sizeable portion of my loot for level.

    3. Profession Sailor. None of us had it. Not really an issue so much as a minor annoyance. Will I put one single point into this skill next level to reflect my experiences? Yes. Yes I will.

    Sethious allowed me to make the check untrained though to help offset the storm. Good thing too, as the "Lightning Strike" roll did come up at least once. He also had the final fight happen during the storm, which was interesting in that it limited how many of us (7 player party) could actually participate in direct combat. I had to make the call to stay on the wheel or to enguage, and more than one person was taken out of combat by the storm. Good tactic for large table sizes running this encounter.

    When all was said and done, I had fun. I don't know why the dwarf who is uglier than he is stupid (me) ended up doing the legwork of mystery solving (yay wisdom!), but it was good.

    And as to what Sethious said about our party::
    And yes, our rogue and fighter tried to pin the murder on someone else entirely while the Taldoran and I tried to solve it.

    We also had some interesting things happen when my idiot brother (in character, another player's PFS char) lashed the Taldoran to the RIGGING and the "blown sail rigging" roll came up in the storm.

    The storm also really made me appriciate the foresight of purchasing Soothe Syrup, as the "sickened" roll came up many, many times.

    Over all, a good time was had by all.

    Silver Crusade

    Anyone know where I can get more information on the Woodbane Hunters Assassins Guild? Did a quick scan through the old campaign setting and didn't turn anything up. Just looking for a better understanding of the backstory.

    Silver Crusade

    Spoiler:
    1) I was looking over the Shira Acidaxe encounter and am a little confused. It states if the party uncovers her poisonous plotting, that she'd attack, but later it says if the party succeeds an intimidate check that she'll openly admit to her poisoning the crew. Why would she admit to poisoning them, instead of out and out attacking, or is the intimidate check to keep her from attacking when she reveals her plot?

    2) It says if the party doesn't fight Shira, they can find her alchemical reagents, and get the money from it. What's to prevent them from finding it afterwards? In my understanding, it should be the other way around, there is nothing to stop them from finding it when she's dead.

    3) It says Captain Veane interferes with any combat between the party and the crew, why doesn't he interfere with the Shira fight?

    4) The module details what's in Killik's footlocker, but mentions nothing of what's in the other crew's footlockers. What's in their footlockers?

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