Pathfinder Adventure Path #57: Tempest Rising (Skull & Shackles 3 of 6) (PFRPG)

****( ) (based on 6 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #57: Tempest Rising (Skull & Shackles 3 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 3: "Tempest Rising"
by Matthew Goodall

The time has come for the heroes to take their places as true pirate lords. But doing so will require more than a ship, a scallywag crew, and a hold full of plunder—they’ll need to win the esteem of the Hurricane King himself. If they succeed, they’ll earn the right to claim even greater glory by participating in the Free Captains’ Regatta, a grueling race along the fringes of the mighty hurricane called the Eye of Abendego. The winners receive a fat prize purse, their own private island, and a seat on the Pirate Council of the Shackles. Will the adventurers triumph against fierce competitors, old rivals, and the treacherous winds and currents of the Eye? Or will their ship be claimed by the storm, a doom that’s befallen so many before them?

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path includes:
  • “Tempest Rising,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 7th-level characters, by Matthew Goodall.
  • Details on the infamous pirate lords of the Shackles and new rules for storms at sea, by Tork Shaw.
  • A gazetteer of the infamous pirate city of Port Peril, by Liz Courts.
  • Ghosts and cylcopes in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Robin D. Laws.
  • Five new monsters, by Jesse Benner, Ryan Costello, Philip Minchin, and Tork Shaw.

Each monthly full-color softcover Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and 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 world's oldest fantasy RPG.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-413-9

Tempest Rising is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (479 KB zip/PDF).

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

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****( ) (based on 6 ratings)

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Brilliant piratical module

*****

The main premise of the adventure is that the PCs are a gang of would-be pirates on their way to establish their (bad) reputation. They need to convince the pirate lord that they are good enough as to earn a letter of marque and eventually a seat in the pirate council. The whole module is a test of skill and wits to increase their station among pirates.

Overall, all the parts offer enough variation to keep the players engaged and excited. The author has done a good job. I think it's an entertaining mid-level adventure that will not disappoint.

My rating: 5 stars. It's an exciting module with short location-based dungeon maps, lots of social interaction and a good story to back it up. Two thumbs up.

Read my whole review here


3 stars in most places but less in others

***( )( )

Another reviewer mentioned that this adventure needs a flow chart. That is exactly what I did and it was a headache. Other elements that made this frustrating was the need to bounce back and forth between locations just to gather information only after completing tasks that required more island hopping.

This is my first time running an adventure path and I'm doing it with experienced gamers. What I've noticed is that they largely eat up the challenges like they were nothing. In fact, the biggest challenges have mostly been went they went off book and I create encounters. I'm also running Rise of the Runelords for a much less experienced group and it poses a real challenge for them. I wish there were several power level options.

The biggest flop in this book- and it shouldn't have been- was the regatta at the end. The entire AP has been loading the adventurers up with treasure to give them an edge during the race. Also, my players have optimized themselves as sailors and able bodied adventurers on the sea. There was very little challenge for them during the race. They were so fast, they completed the race in one day. The storm bound hazards were no challenge since, the captain rolled between 35-45 consistently on every Profession Sailor DC needed. The Invisible Stalkers were the only thing that gave them a run for their money.

I'm hoping that the Island of Empty Eyes is more challenging, particularly since its on land.


Ring Side Report-Pathfinder Adventure Path Skull and Shackles- Tempest Rising

***( )( )

Originaly posted at www.throatpunchgames.com , a new idea every day!
TL;DR-And now the low point of the adventure path 2.5/5

Plot-Spoilers ahead!- The pirates are Full Free Captains of the Shackles, but now must prove that they are truly made for the Shackles and become members of the pirate council. Before this, they undertake an investigation to find who is feeding information to hated Cheliax. After the mystery, they are sponsored to undertake a race through the eye of Abendego. Finishing the race, the players are almost true members of the council.

GM Impressions-Well, my players were mostly bored at this point. The characters are mid level in this adventure, and this is where most campaigns die, and this one almost made mine go out too. The nature of this adventure is basically fun, but my players really didn’t enjoy the island hopping and social side of this adventure. Also, some of the plot does not make sense as extremely powerful groups know the answer and will only help the PCs if they perform a few fetch quests for them. This kind of killed the momentum of the previous, awesome adventure. I was bored, and the players were bored. Nothing in the story really fed my interest and the PCs had a hard time finding aspects to keep things going in their own right. Its not a bad adventure, its just not as much fun as the other parts of the adventure path. The adventure does finish with the amazing race through the storm. That really woke the PCs up, and gave me something to keep them going.

Good-This adventure finishes with a phenomenal race in a typhoon. Also, there is a chance to real build the work of the adventure path.

Bad-If your PCs don’t want world building, then they will get bored. My PCs decided to ask for a simpler way to get out of the fetch quests. Your PCs may to if they are the killy-killy stab-stab types. Keep that in mind

Final Thoughts- This is the low point of the path. It’s not “bad” as Paizo doesn’t do much bad, but coming of the high of the previous adventure, it’s the low point of the path (not Jurassic Park 3 bad compared to Jurassic Park 1, but Star Wars 6 compared to Star Wars 5). Keep in mind the wants of the PCs and you may have to do some heavy lifting as a GM to keep the pace going 2.5/5


Make Waves on a Pirate Ship: TEMPEST RISING: SKULL & SHACKLES III

****( )

This leg of the adventure path is where the characters prove themselves worthy of leadership. It combines both daring-so, in the form of the Regata and the test for the title Free Captains. There is also a mystery portion which will either delight of frustrate your players. It's a hard balance to hit; we found it too easy. I have seen others miss the most obvious clues...mysteries are hard to balance. Still, this is a great continuation of my favorite Adventure Path thus far. Check my full review here: Tempest Rising


Paizo needs plot flow charts

***( )( )

This adventure is pretty fun for my players right now, but the hodge-podge of clues and intrigue points starts to make running the adventure somewhat tedious.

I propose that Paizo include one page in each adventure path that details all of the plot progression points in a flow chart, or plot circle fashion so the GM can easily track the plot and can navigate the adventure without having to jump around in the book randomly to try set up his/her own plot flow chart.

I think this simple inclusion would make Tempest rising and other adventure paths more exciting to run and less tedious for GMs

[update 2/7/2013] The players finished this AP. The beginning portion of the AP was basically skipped over due to the fact that the contests and the whole setup felt somewhat contrived with a nobody orc insinuating himself into the pirate's lives. The second part of the AP was the most difficult as it was a large intrigue involving many NPC's and locales. I purchased the Isles of the Shackles supplement to augment the locales with hopefully some visuals (maps of the ports of call) but was disappointed that it didn't contain island maps I needed to make the locales come to life.
The AP picked up noticeably towards the end with the regatta, and the players were noticeably more excited to get involved in a seafaring adventure at the end of the AP. The way scoring was done worked well and the introduction of the PC's nemesis gave them some motivation.

Overall, I would have liked to have seen the locales fleshed out more. The inner sea world guide is replete with maps of each locale in the book and the middle part of the adventure would have been better served by having some visual aides.


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RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Announced! Cover image is a mockup.

Dark Archive

Sounds very cool. Sounds like we might be getting some rules for storms and ships.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Oo, Matt Goodall. Another RPGSS-alum becomes AP author. Let's see what you do, man!


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Cool, a ship race in and around a storm.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've updated the product description. (The cover is still a mockup.)


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Let us not forgget the brave pirates who gave there lives to fight off the robot menace.

I love see monsters and some exotic creatures from various islands sound interesting too.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Product description and cover image have been updated to match the final product.


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

I like her!


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Bring on the miniatures!

Or will the cover NPCs be in the Pawn Collection?


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Your not the only one Zaister.


Damn, that's nice art.


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

Is she Sandara Quinn? The art looks similar to the one in The Wormwood Mutiny Or maybe she's Tessa Fairwind?


I am looking forward to this one as much for the information on the pirate lords and Port Peril as anything else. I'd like to see how it stacks up against some of the fictional and historical ddescrptions of places like Port Royal and the original Caribbean pirates.

Contributor

Eric Hinkle wrote:
I am looking forward to this one as much for the information on the pirate lords and Port Peril as anything else. I'd like to see how it stacks up against some of the fictional and historical ddescrptions of places like Port Royal and the original Caribbean pirates.

My marching orders for Port Peril was "Make it like Tortuga and Port Royal." Hopefully you'll like how it came out. :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
I am looking forward to this one as much for the information on the pirate lords and Port Peril as anything else. I'd like to see how it stacks up against some of the fictional and historical ddescrptions of places like Port Royal and the original Caribbean pirates.
My marching orders for Port Peril was "Make it like Tortuga and Port Royal." Hopefully you'll like how it came out. :D

I already love the sound of it!

Contributor

I've been loving the first two in this AP, and can't wait for the third! Getting some friends together for a marathon session in July, let's see how many pirate paths they can follow... Muaaa haa haaaa!

Grand Lodge

Yeah! Just received the email! Can't wait to read it!


Got my email for this and I can't wait! Just finished reading through part 2. I know, I've been slacking, but I'm really hyped for the next installment. I probably won't get to run these until the fall at the earliest but more pirate goodness is never turned down!


Is it me or is it getting kinda silly that the iconic characters are running around their standard outfits when they are supposed to be pirates? The priestess looks very silly at the wheel of the ship.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just you.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Not just you. But she looks even sillier here.


Scourge: BY BESMARA'S DIMPLED BUTTOCKS! GET THAT THING OFF!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

Liz Courts wrote:
My marching orders for Port Peril was "Make it like Tortuga and Port Royal." Hopefully you'll like how it came out. :D

I got that feel off it Liz.

I also have to say:

slight Port Peril spoiler:
I was surprised (pleasantly) to see use of caves as part of the township's suburbs.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Andrea1 wrote:
Is it me or is it getting kinda silly that the iconic characters are running around their standard outfits when they are supposed to be pirates? The priestess looks very silly at the wheel of the ship.

If you dress Superman up as a pirate, it's no longer obvious that he's Superman. At least, not without the context of a specific story, which these bits of art don't really get to benefit from.


I burst out laughing when I saw the bestiary entry for 'Ship in a Bottle'..anyone know a man with a Goat?

Liberty's Edge

DM Wellard wrote:

I burst out laughing when I saw the bestiary entry for 'Ship in a Bottle'..anyone know a man with a Goat?

Linky fixed.

Contributor

Fixed BBC code in post. Carry on!


So Ryan, which of the monsters is yours?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Still waiting on a magic hook hand!

Contributor

xn0o0cl3 wrote:
Still waiting on a magic hook hand!

You should check out construct limbs.

Spoiler:
I'll also note that there is a cleric of the Whisper in Bronze (a.k.a. Brigh) living in Port Peril.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Do we know who the covery Hottie is yet?

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Tessa Fairwind.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Liz Courts wrote:
Tessa Fairwind.

Darn! I was hoping for the infinitely more "accessable" Sandara Quinn. :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Tessa Fairwind.

Interesting! I figured that was her on The Price of Infamy.

Sovereign Court

Another red-head? Seriously?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Another red-head? Seriously?

You say that like it's a bad thing. There can never be too many red-heads.

Sovereign Court

We'll have to agree to disagree on that one...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Personally I'm waiting on the AP that delivers a hot, Helpful male NPC all gift-wrapped and "accessible" as a door prize in book one. :P

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

Joana wrote:
Personally I'm waiting on the AP that delivers a hot, Helpful male NPC all gift-wrapped and "accessible" as a door prize in book one. :P

Check out the NPCs for this issue.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Got my email notification yesterday and downloaded it immediately (already tired out from hitting F5 every 10 seconds). Had to laugh about the "Savage Tide" wink with

Spoiler:
Roweena Kellet

when my players ask what she looks like I already know how to describe her :-).

I'm not quite finished reading the whole thing but great stuff so far and I know my players will love it all, especially the

Spoiler:
wreck of the "Brine Banshee" part which screams "Direption".


Oh I agree there can never be too many redheads..but which one is being played by Maureen O'Hara.

Just my luck to have chosen to play a female character in the PbP


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Matt Goodall wrote:
Joana wrote:
Personally I'm waiting on the AP that delivers a hot, Helpful male NPC all gift-wrapped and "accessible" as a door prize in book one. :P
Check out the NPCs for this issue.

Sadly, I've already quit this AP because I hated it so much, thanks largely to Sandara Quinn being shoved in our faces. As a high Cha female PC, I didn't feel like playing second fiddle in the shadow of an hot, higher-level NPC for the second AP in a row.

Shadow Lodge

Zaister wrote:
Is she Sandara Quinn? The art looks similar to the one in The Wormwood Mutiny Or maybe she's Tessa Fairwind?

My first thought was what happened to Sandara's tattoos. The only difference is Sandara wears pants. A tad ridiculous, imo, but nothing I cant work around.


Joana wrote:
Matt Goodall wrote:
Joana wrote:
Personally I'm waiting on the AP that delivers a hot, Helpful male NPC all gift-wrapped and "accessible" as a door prize in book one. :P
Check out the NPCs for this issue.
Sadly, I've already quit this AP because I hated it so much, thanks largely to Sandara Quinn being shoved in our faces. As a high Cha female PC, I didn't feel like playing second fiddle in the shadow of an hot, higher-level NPC for the second AP in a row.

I am not sure if you have or not, but this might be an issue that you might want to bring up with you GM. I sort of have seen Sandra as a support role, I can not really see a good reason why she would need to be shoved in anyone's face unless the PCs were sort of uncertain on where or what to do next or if the party was short on people.

Sandra:
She is only a 3rd level Cleric, and there is no real reason to level her in the AP so the PCs should out level her by the end of the first book. Also her Cha is only 14, which is higher then average, but there is no reason if someone is playing the faceman they can not outshine her by the time the PCs make it out on their own.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Joana wrote:
Sadly, I've already quit this AP because I hated it so much, thanks largely to Sandara Quinn being shoved in our faces. As a high Cha female PC, I didn't feel like playing second fiddle in the shadow of an hot, higher-level NPC for the second AP in a row.

I also think this is more an issue with your GM and not with the adventure. Who was the first NPC?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zaister wrote:
I also think this is more an issue with your GM and not with the adventure. Who was the first NPC?

Jade Regent:
Ameiko Kaijitsu. And that wasn't the GM; it was the players. She's such a Mary Sue her reputation preceded her. I was running a wizard with tricked-out Knowledges and had an awful run of dice where I couldn't make a DC 15 check with a +9 bonus, and all the other PCs were like, "So what? We'll just go ask Ameiko; she knows everything! And she's beautiful and talented and wonderful!" I came close to quitting that game, too, as the whole adventure hook seems to be "drop everything at Ameiko's whim to go make her a princess just because you all love her so much."

I admit I had a bad reaction immediately upon meeting Sandara based on Jade Regent. I resent Paizo's shorthand for "here's an NPC the party should like" being "Look! She's hot!" I would have loved it if the Helpful NPC in Skull and Shackles had been an ugly but kind half-orc or a crusty old dwarf. Why did it have to be a hot, "accessible" human female yet again?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I agree to disagree here. So what? When did guys start hating attractive women characters? Answer, we haven't. Is it shorthand or is it knowing the bulk of your target audience likes that? Besides, all you have to do is call the character Sam and say it's a friendly guy. Problem solved.


I could see how the Jade Regent might be played that way for sure. I think maybe Greg Vaughan might agree with you as well since he pretty much uses "Fishguts" as the advice giver/ go to guy in the second book, and he pretty much fits the crusty old male criteria no problem. I could also see a party sort of latching on to the "hot female character" even if it not the intention of the writers just based on the demographics of your typical RPG player. I have not started it yet, but I think it is just a matter of style that your group has gone with. Jade Regent was very NPC oriented, can not really do much about that, but if you talk to your group and GM there is no reason Sandra needs to be that important.


Joana wrote:
I admit I had a bad reaction immediately upon meeting Sandara based on Jade Regent. I resent Paizo's shorthand for "here's an NPC the party should like" being "Look! She's hot!" I would have loved it if the Helpful NPC in Skull and Shackles had been an ugly but kind half-orc or a crusty old dwarf. Why did it have to be a hot, "accessible" human female yet again?

Spoilered for being a tangent:
Sigh. This is going to be one of those that, now that you have pointed it out, I won't be able to stop noticing. It is orange-teal in movies all over again. A quick run-threw of the 1st volumes of APs gives me 7 out of 10 with female humans of various levels of hotness as the main NPCs. You might argue that one isn't particularly hot, but that is balanced out by half-elves and an ensemble that includes a hot female human. Besides, regardless of specific count, this is a bit inordinate. Some more variety would be nice. Can I vote for a rugged Peter Dinklage-type for the next AP to balance things out?

.
Although, in Paizo's defense, the women at least tend to avoid the "damsel in distress" and "women in refrigerators" tropes. And in the defense of the campaigns, they are usually written such that any offending characters can be trivially switched out. Sandara's role could be filled by Kroop or an entirely new NPC, for example (heck, Kroop and Grock fill your desired concepts pretty darn well). A GM who knew their audience, or at least saw that there was PC very similar to the NPC, should probably have taken this route to avoid trouble. The AP has been pretty good so far, and I'd hope you can give it another chance despite the existence of NPCs you find grating.

This new one looks pretty great, too. And I'm not just saying that to make this whole post not a huge tangent. I can't wait for the 20th.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Joana wrote:
I resent Paizo's shorthand for "here's an NPC the party should like" being "Look! She's hot!" I would have loved it if the Helpful NPC in Skull and Shackles had been an ugly but kind half-orc or a crusty old dwarf. Why did it have to be a hot, "accessible" human female yet again?

It's a shame you quit before the second book - there's a much hotter female character there, but that doesn't mean she's going to be more helpful!

The Wormwood Mutiny:
In fact there is an ugly but kind half-orc member of the crew who can be more useful to the PCs than Sandara can. In fact Sandara isn't even the second most worthwhile character for most parties to work with. As for "accessibility" - I see her more as showing that is is possible for the players to find friends among the crew, rather than displaying any overt sexuality.

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