Islands of Plunder: Raid on the Emperor's Hand (PFRPG)

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With a Great Prize Comes Great Peril in this 8th-level pirate adventure!

A richly laden imperial merchant ship caught on a sandbar presents a tempting target to a crew of daring pirates. Her holds may be bursting with swag, but they are also laden with soldiers, with a cruel captain at the helm. At any moment the sails of her imperial escorts may appear on the horizon, but your scurvy scalawags have found her first. A daring assault might bring you more plunder than you've seen in a year, but many pirates greedy for gold have lingered too long over a prize they thought safe, until an enemy fleet sent them to a watery grave. Can the PCs stage a lightning raid on the immobilized ship and get away with their ill-gotten gains? Dare they risk a Raid on the Emperor’s Hand?

Raid on the Emperor's Hand is the latest 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 Pirate Adventure Path from Paizo, Inc. 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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5.00/5 (based on 2 ratings)

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An review


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 8th level PCs, which render it appropriate for just about every pirate-themed campaign

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

Captain Alban Thekros is back from a lucrative trade-run to the South -he's been drinking heavily, and, to be honest, he's not used to steering vessels of the size of the Emperor's Hand. Subsequently, he ran the massive ship aground a sandbank. While fortunately, the ship was damaged to sinking conditions, but the warship escort ships were not signaled and thus, sailed on. Now, things become interesting -the PCs have a massive treasure trove right before their noses - but they will have to hurry!

The massive Emperor's Hand is fully mapped and in order to take their spoils, the PCs will have to defeat the vessel's crew - and then it's looting like there is no tomorrow! The big issue becomes soon apparent - if the PCs are to try their hand at ransacking the boat, they better hurry: In order to win here, speed is the key - hence, this module uses a massively detailed ransacking mechanic to count points. This includes using extradimensional storage, creatures, etc. and on the combat-side, troop subtype adversaries and cool archetype'd, versatile builds for the NPCs to make the whole thing more interesting as well. Have I mentioned that the vessel has 6 (!!!) levels, fully mapped? This massive caper has all the makings of a cool heist indeed and sports easy ways for the PCs to actually come up with ways to efficiently plunder! Better yet, a DM can easily think about ways to make the misfortune of the Emperor's Hand the work of the PCs for a full-blown heist module!


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches, though e.g. one reference to the "King's Hand" instead of the "Emperor's Hand" could be consider a slight confusion-causing blunder. 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 have created one fast-paced, highly uncommon sidetrek - the looming return of the escort, the high-adrenaline escape, the unconventional focus of this sidetrek -all of these conspire to make this module fun and uncommon, eliciting a nice sense of jamais-vu. This Island of Plunder is very uncommon, fun and just exciting - well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

More Player Praise For Islands of Plunder


I ran this adventure for my gaming group this Sunday. They loved it. They enjoyed the surprise nature of the introduction, the quick paced plot, the boarding action, the capable and dangerous enemies, and the fact that they could tackle the situation in whatever manner that they could conceive. Matt Goodall and the rest of the Legendary Games Team have once again produced an outstanding piece of work and my players and I could not be more pleased.

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

And already a 5-star review! Glad you and your players enjoyed it, Weslocke!

Ah, a new one out! Nice. Just bought it, can't wait to read it ...

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

I think you should really enjoy it. It's a bit of a different take on adventure scenarios, but one that really works well in a pirate campaign.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

To be honest, I think this one is worth it simply for the maps alone. Pedro has done an excellent job and I'm a sucker for a really nice ship map.

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

Truth. If you are looking for great maps of a BIG ship, grab a copy of this one!

2 people marked this as a favorite.

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

What is an agile rapier? The captain's weapon is a+1 agile rapier but I can't find anything about what this enchantment does.

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

The agile enhancement lets you add your Dex instead of Str to damage. It's a +1 enhancement that can only be used on Weapon Finesse-able weapons. It was first published in the Pathfinder Society Field Guide.

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