The Sinking—Season 1: Ascension of the Prophet (PFRPG) PDF

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Welcome to The Sinking, Campaign Serial.

"Ascension of the Prophet", written by Mario Barbati, is part of an ongoing series set in the Great City. This is not a numbered adventure in a path, but instead, it concerns a mysterious event that will forever alter the Great City, setting the tone for future events. Throughout the year, 0One games will release a number of short adventures whose various plots are all somehow entwined with the event. Each will be a stand-alone adventure, designed to be played independently without a specific sequence and can be completed in a single evening’s play.

In the wake of the catastrophic sinking, seers and prophets have swarmed the city’s streets like eager autumn moths crowd a flickering candle. Standing out among the wild-eyed doomsayers walks Lazarus. Different from the others, he claims to have entered the Sinkhole and returned from the experience altered. Now someone wants to kill Lazarus. The mysterious prophet’s right arm, a man called “The Mouth”, desperately needs adventurers to perform a dangerous mission. Should the mission fail, it might well cost the newly risen prophet his life.

"Ascension of the Prophet" is an adventure for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game for 2nd-level Player Characters

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The Sinking Rises with Mystery


Ascension of the Prophet is part 5 of the Sinking serial, a collection of adventures tied to a mysterious sinkhole that suddenly appeared in the Great City. This chapter deals with a prophet who claims to have gone into the sinkhole and returned with divine powers. Regardless of whether or not he's a fraud, he's attracted quite a following. His most prominent follower is also planning to assassinate him and to frame the PCs as the marksman.

Unlike some of the earlier offerings in the Sinking serial, the sinkhole itself features in the story. Although it isn't really part of the environment of the adventure, it does add flavour. (Particularly inclined DMs could add the hole to the final encounter, allowing bull rushes into the pit.) There are many considerations for how the PCs may act during their investigation and each of these are given appropriate checks. NPCs are given appropriate dialogue. The only ones that are missing are concerning the intention of the Mouth when he gives the PCs the job. Detecting an evil aura can be easily dismissed as the Mouth saying he's trying to reform himself by following Lazarus's teachings, but what about an initial sense motive?

There is a lot going on in this little adventure. The PCs must find out who the assassin is, and upon discovering he is a red herring, gather enough information to prove who the true criminal is and exonerate themselves when the prophet is publicly killed. Oh, and there's the little matter of the angry crowd and the witness the PCs may be trying to protect--death of the witness or the crowd won't sway the judge towards a verdict of innocence. There's also the potential for a recurring villain in the Mouth.

Ascension of the Prophet is a gem in the series. Although it ties in with the Sinking, it could easily be reworked. Highly recommended as a single session adventure with the potential to lead into other events in your urban campaign.

Great little investigation, better than many full-length scenarios


This installment of "The Sinking" is 16 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving 10 pages of content.

This being an adventure review, I encourage potential players to skip ahead to the conclusion in order to avoid the SPOILERS that now will come.

Righty right, so a rather shocking event like "The Sinking" striking the metropolis had to have some kind of religious consequences and this particular installment deals with one of them: A prophet has risen from the crowd, an enigmatic man who calls himself Lazarus and claims to have surfaced from "The Sinking". The new cult is rapidly spreading and his right-hand man, a pudgy man who is called "the Mouth of Lazarus" contacts the PCs with a rather urgent request:

It seems like the deadly assassin "Deathbolt" was hired by a rival cult to make Lazarus very dead indeed and that said legend always uses a rather strange, signature weapon - a weird crossbow he always uses for his kills. While the authorities will be at the speech in the person of Judge Winch and his guards, he wants this additional insurance. Lazarus' speech is impending and time is of the essence. The PCs thus journey to Deathbolts hideout (the location of which is conveniently provided by the Mouth), where they encounter some low-level thugs and finally find the strange weapon - sans bolts. Hopefully, the players are smart and smell a rat here. If they didn't kill the thugs, they can easily find out that something is amiss.
The thug claims that he was hired by a man in the shy mermaid. The rather pompous and exclusive design of the weapon might point the PCs to the Castle Ward weapon shop, the only place in the city with sufficient expertise to create said weapon. While the weapon shop offers no clues per se, showing off the weapon to the respected craftsmen there might offer a way for the PCs to escape unpleasant consequences in the aftermath of this scenario... One of the girls in the shy maiden saw the face of the one who hired the thugs and, for a bribe of her madame, might accompany the PCs to the church of Lazarus, where the speech by now should be due. Further inquiries might have yielded a baffling absence of knowledge about any kind of "legendary assassin Deathbolt" in any area/social circle, which should provide another clue as to what is being played here, namely: The PCs.

The Mouth of Lazarus, actually a quite smart urbanist, has decided that the church would profit from a martyr, namely Lazarus. He plans to murder the prophet via one of his automatons, a thing called nail which by coincidence shoots the strange bolts that only a custom-made crossbow could - like the ones the PCs recently acquired. While the prostitute can identify the mouth, he has yet another contingency and tries to kill her as well. During the speech (in a sinkhole-adjacent, fully mapped church), chaos erupts when Lazarus drops dead by the Mouth's ghastly ploy and he seeks to frame the PCs - who are stand-in in a crowd of enraged believers! The resulting finale and potential repercussions (after all, the mouth was clearly visible, unarmed and a judge is present...) might make for interesting complications beyond this particular scenario. Also, Lazarus' spirit is seen sometimes, floating over the mysterious sinkhole...

Editing and formatting are very good, I only noticed 3 minor punctuation-style glitches. layout adheres to an elegant b/w-2-column standard and the quality of the b/w-artworks and maps is top-notch. The pdf comes fully bookmarked. Ascension of the Prophet is a prime example that an intriguing investigation can be done in just a few pages. The writing of Mario Barbati is concise and the adventure per se simply a nice little blast to run. Add to that the cool final encounter and we have n excellent installment of "The Sinking". Taking the low price into account, I'll ignore the very minor glitches and settle for a final verdict of 5 stars - well done!

Endzeitgeist out.

4.5 review, very nice short adventure.


The Sinking: Ascension of the Prophet by 0one Games

This product is 16 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits, ToC, and OGL. (4 pages)

Adventure (10 pages)
This is season 1, part 5 of the adventure. It is for 2nd level characters. It starts off with a intro, plot overview and starting of the adventure. It starts off with a bit of RPing the PC's are hired to go after a crossbow of a assassin that is trying to kill the Prophet. They head off to the assassins hideout, only to find hired goons there. After a fight and hopeful some information gathering and a bit of RPing they are off again to a inn. At the inn they do some more investigation and RPing to find out more about the assassin. Eventually they go to a smith that supposedly made the weapon, this can be just RPing or end up into a fight depending on the PC's. At this point they head back with the crossbow where the Prophet is giving a speech and that’s where the plot twist comes in. I won't say what but it is neat and I think most players will like it. The last little bit is dealing with the sudden plot twist. It ends with half a page about the aftermath and advice on scaling the adventure, plus a a full page map of the area of the city.

It ends with a back cover and ad. (2 pages)

Closing thoughts. The art work is black and white and ok. Editing and layout was good. I don't have the first 4 parts yet or any of the follow up parts. So I don't know how well this ties in with the rest of the adventures in the series. It is a short, interesting urban adventure that has a good mix of combat, RPing and investigation. With a really nice plot twist at the end. I liked the adventure, my only real complaint is it was a bit too short, I would have liked for there to been a bit more to it. I might feel differently once I read the rest of the adventures in the series though. So what's my rating? For the price it is a nice quick adventure that can be run in the series or as a one shot. So I am giving it a 4.5, very good but could have used a little more to be great.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.

Dark Archive

Sounds interesting.

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Sounds interesting.

Review copy sent, enjoy :)

Dark Archive

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reviewed. So far this is the only one I have. I plan to pick up the rest when I can and then will do reviews for them.

Dark_Mistress wrote:
reviewed. So far this is the only one I have. I plan to pick up the rest when I can and then will do reviews for them.

Thanks for the review. I wrote this one and felt too it should have been longer. But I playtested it and it plays nicely in one evening, as all Sinking adventures should do.

I'll send you another one for review shortly.

Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Excellent scenario.

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