Islands of Plunder: Tarin's Crown (PFRPG)

4.80/5 (based on 4 ratings)
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The treacherous jungle island known as Crown Isle was marked on every map for danger, as the verdant vegetation itself rose up to devour many who sought landing there until the infamous Captain Jared Tarin hacked out a refuge upon the mountain's hilly crest and made it his own. Other pirates sought to take him down, but each fell to the deadly dangers of the "Red Skewer" and his pirates, or to the still-wild jungle barely held at bay. When Tarin and his crew stole the Pirate Queen's Pearl, a flotilla of rivals blockaded his island for months, but none have dared to seize their chance. Can your eager band of buccaneers claim fame and fortune on the deadly isle of Tarin's Crown?

Islands of Plunder: "Tarin's Crown" is a 28-page adventure for 6th-level PCs fraught with harrowing battles on land and aboard ship, through treacherous terrain against even more treacherous foes. It includes two sets of maps, one for the GM an unkeyed set for players, as well as scaling notes to adjust the difficulty of the adventure for higher or lower-level characters.

Tarin's Crown is the first in a series of pirate-themed Islands of Plunder adventures by superstar author Matt Goodall, collaborating on this adventure with Geoffrey Roy, with amazing artwork by Ivan Dixon, Jason Juta, and Nick Russell, and marvelous maps by Pedro Coelho. This adventure can be easily dropped into any seafaring campaign, though it also harmonizes beautifully with a pirate-themed campaign. The Islands of Plunder series continues Legendary Games’ tradition of bringing you outstanding content by the best authors in the business, combined with amazing art and production values and innovative layout design. We hope you enjoy using our products as much as we enjoy making them, and that you’ll keep coming back again and again to Make Your Game Legendary!

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

All right, this installment of the "Islands of Plunder"-series is 28 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial/how to use, 1 page ToC, 1 page introduction, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 19 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Wait, before we go into the details - what is this series about? Well, essentially, the Islands of Plunder-sub-series is a part of expansions intended for the Skull & Shackles AP, providing sidetreks etc. on an island per island base - they can essentially be considered island-focused mini-adventures that work just as well within the context of a Freeport campaign, Razor Coast or Savage Tide - if it's remotely pirate/island-themed, these will work - and probably beyond that, but that I'll take a look at on a case by case basis.

In this case, should you wish to plug this into the AP, situate it between adventure #2 and #3; Its intended PC level of 6 makes it predisposed for early use in RC. It should be noted that the module contains handy scaling suggestions to make the module appropriate for levels 5 and 7.

Hence, since this is an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players are strongly advised to jump to the conclusion.

Still here? All right! The deadly island once known as "the Crown" has been developed into the base of the dread pirate Red Skewer Tarin - this notorious pirate seems to have stolen the notorious Pirates Queen's Pearl. Worse the man has obviously refused to face up to his deeds and even an embargo of the island has so far yielded no results - the man refuses to leave his siege weapon-equipped tower. His paranoia evident, he has even exiled his first mate and a bunch of his erstwhile crew, so infiltrating his hide-out will not be easy - whether by combat or parley with Tarin's erstwhile subordinates, it's up to the PCs on how they want to handle navigating into the sheltered bay and reach the tower without being pelted to death by the catapults. On the nitpicky side - the man in charge of the catapults has no Knowledge (engineering) or Siege Engineer-feat, which means the targeting check is off - BAB +4, Int-mod +3,+6 for firing at the same spots, -4 for not being proficient with the weapon; which would mean +9, not +8, without range-increment penalties. I may be missing something, but yeah. That being said, this does not impede the functionality of the module and probably is just me noticing a minor flaw.

If the first response of the PCs was to enter the jungle and trek through this green hell, good luck - deadly plant predators roam the jungles - vegepygmies, assassin vines and dangerous mold all prosper on the island. Worse, some of the aforementioned vines are even toxic!

Infiltrating the tower and defeating Tarin, his remaining crewmates and his navigator can result in the PCs inheriting the deadly island and the burden of the artifact - and all the people who want it! The pearl turns out to be a pretty unique and cool reward for overcoming the solidly designed adversaries.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a drop-dead gorgeous 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Each named NPC receives his/her own artwork, which is awesome. Even better, both island and fortress come in lavishly drawn full color maps that also sport player-friendly maps to use as handouts - kudos to the cartographer! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Matt Goodall and Geoffrey Roy have crafted a cool little sidetrek with a unique reward, a neat, dangerous fluff and build-wise, the use of multiclassing and archetypes help make the adversaries memorable. This is a production-value-wise glorious sidetrek for the small price and a thematically fitting sandbox that is easy to run and generally, I did enjoy the trip to Tarin's Crown. That being said, I do wish the dangerous island had more hazards and deadly adversaries for the PCs to face, a tad bit more unique options - perhaps deadly pollen, plant-based haunts, something like that to increase the mood setting before facing off with the main antagonist. Especially the cool defenses of the tower could have used a more pronounced chance to shine. That being said, consider this me complaining at a very high level. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 due to the awesome production values.

Endzeitgeist out.


Great Short Adventure for Skulls & Shackles

4/5

This is the first third-party Pathfinder product I purchased. I used it to give the PCs some more XP in my Skulls & Shackles campaign, where it filled one session nicely. The players had a good time.

The greatest gift of Goodall's writing is this adventure is his skill with building character stats. All of the NPCs make good use of their feats, and they aren't restricted to just the feats in the Core Rulebook either. The main characters are interesting, especially Alsindra Devrol, who manages to avoid the most common appearance and temperament of a character in her role. The adventure is short, but still manages to cover all the likely avenues the PCs could take.

I was a little wary of the treasure at the end having minor artifact status, but the abilities are unique while remaining low-powered enough to not disrupt the campaign. Nice tie in to the goddess of piracy.

Why only four stars? The adventure is fantastic and solid, but the hook doesn't grab me enough to want to run it outside of Skulls & Shackles or another larger pirate campaign. If you are running such a campaign, though, it's a nice short addition.


Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Now available from Legendary Games!

P.S. YARRRRR!!!!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

Very happy to see this one out for public consumption!


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

My very first title credit! *Swoon!*

Seriously proud here, and I learned A LOT about how a product goes through changes from concept to final product at least from the contributor end. Thank you Matt and Jason for the amazing opportunity!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good for you Feros!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Thanks for the great review, Weslocke!


You are most welcome, Jason.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

WOW! Thank you very much, Weslocke! That review made my day! :D


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thanks for the review, Cavian! Greatly appreciated!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Agreed - thanks so much for the reviews guys! Cross-posted on our website!

Grand Lodge

Do you think this can be integrated in a S&S campaign?

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Manuelexar wrote:
Do you think this can be integrated in a S&S campaign?

Of course. That's pretty much the exact purpose of these Adventure Path Plug-Ins.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Manuelexar wrote:
Do you think this can be integrated in a S&S campaign?

I integrated this into the Pirate AP in the middle of Raiders of the Fever Sea. It works wonderfully.

In fact, I have had positive experiences with every Legendary Games AP plug-in that I have run or played. Those include: Horns of the Hunted, Tarin's Crown, The Baleful Coven, Road to Destiny, Cold Mountain and Under Frozen Stars.

Grand Lodge

Sorry, I didn't notice that it's from Legendary Games... I already used the fiddler's lament and the murmuring fountain in the "horror ap" and those were the parts of the first chapter that my players enjoyed most. if I will ever resume my S&S campaign (since some of my players wants to resume s&s after we complete ROW) I will definitely use this.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Thanks for your support of our past adventures, and I hope you enjoy this one (and Islands of Plunder: Spices and Flesh) as much as you did our earlier installments. Also, keep a weather eye on the horizon, as we have plenty more pirate product coming your way!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Neil Spicer wrote:
Manuelexar wrote:
Do you think this can be integrated in a S&S campaign?
Of course. That's pretty much the exact purpose of these Adventure Path Plug-Ins.

How much Experience does a party get from this side-trek?

(As in, would it replace/mitigate the repetitive nature of the submerged dungeons? -- Riptide Cove followed by Mancatcher Cove.)

Or better, with scaling, replace the silly "Tidewater Rock" section?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

I haven't run the numbers on xp in the official adventure, but I think you'd be reasonably in the neighborhood for using it in place of either section. It also depends on how much story award xp you want to award in and around the adventure, since some of the encounters can be overcome without combat with clever roleplay (some GMs give xp for that, some don't).

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Well, if you get enough to make all (or most) of a level, then it works. (Yes, I give XP for non-violent conflict resolution.)


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

Sorry about the lateness in thanking you for this! Thanks so much for the great review! :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.

No problem - let me just say - not many designers score this high with their first offering, even as a joint-venture. :)


Weird reference in the adventure to "Steam Island" - "...adventure in this volume..."

What's up with that? (And strange it hasn't been called out anywhere.)

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Should say "adventure in this series," referring to the later adventure Scourge of the Steaming Isle.

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