Islands of Plunder: Scourge of the Steaming Isle (PFRPG)

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A rollicking high seas adventure for 9th-level characters!

All pirates acquire enemies at some point, and pirate PCs are no exception. Whether they've stolen a precious artifact or just because an old nemesis wants them dead, it makes little difference. When a rival pirate lord calls in a large amount of favors and sets the fearsome raiders of the Storm Wolf against the PCs, led by the vicious Captain Sculberd Craggs, nothing they prize is truly safe. These marauding raiders cut a bloody swath through the heroes' holdings while they are away adventuring, setting off a feud that can have but one ending. Such inexorable enmity can only be repaid in blood, and when the heroes discover the location of the raiders’ base on the volcanic island known as The Steaming Isle, it is their opportunity to turn the tables and unleash a roaring rampage of reaping revenge against Captain Craggs and his crew of blackguards and scoundrels.

"Islands of Plunder: Scourge of the Steaming Isle" is a 28-page adventure for 9th-level PCs full of mystery and peril upon the high seas, below the waves,, and on dangerous islands, incorporating investigation and negotiation alongside deadly danger on board ship and among the deadly reefs below. It includes two sets of maps, one for the GM and an unkeyed set for players.

"Scourge of the Steaming Isle" is the third in a series of pirate-themed Islands of Plunder adventures by superstar author Matt Goodall, collaborating on this adventure with Joshua Root, with amazing artwork by Ivan Dixon and William Hendershott and marvelous maps by Pedro Coelho. This adventure can be easily dropped into any seafaring campaign, though it also harmonizes beautifully with the official Pathfinder Roleplaying Game pirate-themed adventures. 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. This Island of Plunder is intended for 9th level characters, making it appropriate for just about all pirate-themed campaigns. Fluff-wise, this one gels particularly well with Razor Coast.

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

Sooner or later, PCs tend to make enemies. This holds true for pirate PCs more so than even for most regular adventurers and the PCs had this long-standing feud gone with certain people they robbed...right? Kidding aside, at this level, tying an enemy to the PCs due to their deeds ought to be no problem. The Steaming Isle has become the homebase for just such a selection of ne'er-do-wells - and there's more at stake than the PCs know...

Arriving at the isle, with vengeance in their hearts, the PC's are attacked by a water elemental which they can hopefully best before it smashes them and their vessel into the rocky cliffs. Should they demonstrate sufficient competence, Akoria, a gillman oracle shows up and begins negotiations with the PCs - turns out the gillmen want the PC's rivals gone from the island and be left alone - whether they comply or start beating gillmen troops into submission depends ultimately on the temperament of your PCs.

Entering the bay of the crescent-shaped island, the PCs will have to defeat their opposition in ship-to-ship combat, finally taking the fight to Captain Sculberd and his boatswain! Defeating their opposition on ship, the PCs can subsequently take the battle to the small raider base and its plantation and find the strange circle of stones and ruins - here, one can play the module up for pulpy scifi-fantasy or remain conventional, depending on personal tastes, but within a strange complex of an elder race, a device is sputtering forth flawed ioun stones, using the isle's volcano to generate the required mystical energy. Alas, so far, the first mate and final boss of this module has not managed to properly fix the device - but he *is* close! While the default assumption of the module is that the machine is destroyed/broken while fighting the strange crystalline/glass shield golem variant, this does not have to be true. Oh, and extra points for DMs properly setting up a sudden influx of unreliable ioun stones among the PC's enemies, to drive home before this module that they better should take care of the source...

And yes, we get player-friendly maps of the raider base, island and mini-dungeon!

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 Joshua Root deliver a nice, versatile and interesting module here - beyond working as a cool, interesting sidetrek, it has massive potential by further development in any direction by an enterprising DM. The module presents diverse challenges, eerie atmosphere and can be considered a cool, potentially pulpy sidetrek, depending on your tastes. Modular and without any real flaws, this receives a final rating of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


Even More Player Praise For Islands of Plunder

5/5

I recently ran this adventure for the players of my pirate AP and afterwards they were very vocal about how much they had enjoyed it. They cited the fact that they could approach the scenario from whatever angle they chose as a big plus. They stated that the opening was a complete surprise and that the surprises just kept coming. They found their adversaries to be both complex and dangerous. In short they loved playing it just as much as I loved running it. Matt Goodall and everyone else involved on the Legendary team deserves every bit of praise they receive for this adventure. It is truly a gem of adventure writing and design.

If you have not tried Legendary Games Adventure Path Plug-Ins then you seriously ought to. I, personally, have run more than a half-dozen of them now and they all bring something unique to the table as well as serve to expand and complement the Adventure Paths in a seamless and synergistic fashion. Simply put, if you are running the AP's without these plug-ins then you are missing out. They are that much fun.


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

Yay! Glad to see this one in print! Can't wait to see what Matt and Joshua's final product looks like. :)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like to think of Scourge of the Steaming Isle as a spiritual sequel to Tarin's Crown. Even though the adventures are 3 levels apart, and they each certainly work perfectly well by themselves, I'm sure that people who read both will be able to see ways to link the adventures together in ways that suit their campaign.

This comes from the cool collaboration of ideas between Joshua, Geoff, James, and myself as we were outlining what we wanted to create for Islands of Plunder.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

These are very cool adventures. And a nice, potentially linked series for anyone running a pirate-themed campaign or adventure path. Well done, guys!

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

Print copies should be available soon. I just didn't have time to do the uploads during PaizoCon week, but this week is catch-up week!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've picked this up and given it a look through, looks quite nice and well polished, looking forward to running it!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Feels like something is wrong with this line in the product description: "When a rival pirate lord calls in a large amount of favors and sets a fearsome raiders of the Storm Wolf against the PCs,led by the vicious Captain Sculberd Craggs, nothing they prize is truly safe." In the book it reads "a fearsome band of raiders".


Matt Goodall wrote:

I like to think of Scourge of the Steaming Isle as a spiritual sequel to Tarin's Crown. Even though the adventures are 3 levels apart, and they each certainly work perfectly well by themselves, I'm sure that people who read both will be able to see ways to link the adventures together in ways that suit their campaign.

This comes from the cool collaboration of ideas between Joshua, Geoff, James, and myself as we were outlining what we wanted to create for Islands of Plunder.

I ran them as linked adventures. It worked wonderfully. That final encounter really had my players on the ropes for a few rounds but they pulled it off. Hats off to Matt Goodall and everyone else involved for their work on this entire series of adventures. My players have loved all 4 of them released so far. In fact, my players pay close attention to who wrote each of the AP's chapters or plug-ins that they play and Matts name has quickly risen to the top of their list of favorites.

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

Glad to hear they had such a great time with them. Matt's been cranking out some great material. Originally this was just going to be one project, with each of the Kickstarter backers from our Gothic Campaign Compendium providing an idea for an island or a ship, but Matt kept writing and the ideas kept growing and I said, "Hey, let's make a series of adventures out of this!" And here we are, four adventures later and tons of fun all around.


We had a great time with them, Jason. I ran them in order of release so I had to do a little juggling but I kept the core of the adventures and antagonists the same. I think the biggest alteration that I made was to Scourge when I re-skinned the wizard in the final encounter into Thai Huong (a pirate lord who was the original owner of the pearl) and altered Captain Scraggs into Tsia Huong (the pirate lords daughter). Oh, and I changed the name of the Storm Wolf to the WarpWolf. :)

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

Ha, WarpWolf = awesome. :)

Pirate adventures are perfect candidates for tinkering and shuffling, so it's great to see you finding the right way to tailor them to your campaign.


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

Grand Lodge

Do you guys plan to publish more piratical adventures in the near future?

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