The Sinking—Season 1: The Malchort Cabal (PFRPG) PDF

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Welcome to The Sinking, Campaign Serial.

The Malchort Cabal, written by Tim Hitchcock, 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, Øone 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.

After the PCs new patron mysteriously disappears, the PCs are drawn into the dark dealings of powerful cabal of nobles whose secret interests in the Sink they would kill to protect. Yet even within their inner circle, cabal members keep secrets from each other, forcing the PCs to scramble for answers to stop an unknown madman from stirring whatever horrors he believes lie within the lightless depths of the massive sinkhole.

The Malchort Cabal is designed using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system for 4th–level player characters. This is a double-sized episode which marks the end of the first season.

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4.5 stars - some editing glitches in the otherwise awesome season finale


This pdf is 25 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page editorial, 2 pages advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving 19 pages of content for the grand finale of season 1 of "The Sinking", so let's check this out!

Before I go any further - this being an adventure review, this contains SPOILERS - not only for the adventure, but also for other installments of the series. Please skip to the conclusion!

Still here? Righty right! This adventure is the first to tie together some of the pieces from the campaign-serial and together they do come! Hired by an archeologist to delve into the sinkhole who subsequently turns missing, the PCs investigate his disappearance and find his corpse in the manse of a noble - who turns out to be a part of a dark cabal that might just be responsible for the sinkhole. Unfortunately, said noble is not responsible for the death of the archeologist and none in the cabal wanted to make the sinkhole happen as it has.
The PCs are hired by the authorities and have to take the noble to court, extract information and work with the noble to find his coconspirators - at least those who have not turned themselves in, for they start dying like flies. Someone is mopping up and the conspirators a loose ends to be tied - fires fueled by elementals, poison via charmed unwitting dupes - the kills are smart and show that the adversary of the PCs is nothing to be trifled with.

Via their investigations, the PCs may also unearth connections between several of the characters, the origin of the mysterious prophet Lazarus and finally recon and find the lab of the perpetrator who worked for the cabal. The trail leads them to the sinkhole and here, they have to fight the powerful foe on rickety constructions atop the massive hole - only to have the bastard jump right into the hole while strange, aberrant beasts of a civilization long since gone emerge to challenge the PCs. Once these new monsters have been dispatched, the season is concluded with a strong teaser to the second season - to which I'm now looking forward even more!

Editing and formatting constitute the only problem with this pdf - there are unfortunately more glitches in this installment than in other parts of the sinking. Worse, there's e.g. one in the stat-block of the new monster, which mentions a reach with gore, but no gore attack. I think it should read stinger instead. Layout adheres to 0onegames' b/w-2-column standard and the original pieces of b/w-artwork are stunning. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and a variety of maps is provided, though not one for every location - the courthouse would have been nice, for example. Tim Hitchcock is a great writer and one of the people I have seen come up with great adventure after great adventure. In fact, the Malchort Cabal squeezes what could easily fill 70 pages into 19 without detracting from the overall plot, making this a stellar example of concise writing. However, that also means that a DM potentially has to fill in at least some of the blanks. The tie-ins to the other parts of "The Sinking" are awesome and the finale has me stoked for season II indeed. Were it not for the editing glitches, I'd go 5 stars + seal of approval, but with them, I'll have to detract half a star for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform. Apart from the STELLAR "Politics Unusual" my favorite installment of Season 1 and a must buy for fans of urban adventures, the great city or the series.

Endzeitgeist out.

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


Tim will be pleased also (he's currently writing the Season II opening... :)

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