Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–05: Slave Ships of Absalom (PFRPG) PDF

4.40/5 (based on 28 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-5.

The metropolis of Absalom promotes commerce in its many forms, and although slavery is legal, it is increasingly common for citizens to frown on the institution. The practice becomes more questionable when an ally of the Pathfinder Society traces an attempt at supernatural surveillance through a slave. Sent as independent sleuths, the PCs must track down the source of this espionage, which takes them deep into underbelly of one of Absalom’s darkest industries.

Content in “Slave Ships of Absalom” also contributes directly to the ongoing storylines of the Liberty’s Edge and Sovereign Court factions.

Written by Mark Garringer.

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world. This scenario is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZOPSS0605E


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4.40/5 (based on 28 ratings)

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3/5


Great roleplay-filled adventure that isn't just talking.

4/5

(I GMed this.)

Great, great scenario. It does so many things right that I recommend it without any reservations, yet it still isn't amazing. It somehow fails to leave a lasting impression, which is a shame, because this scenario deserves it.

Combats are great. Enemies put up a good fight and are tough customers. The only downside is that the combat maps are pretty small, and my players had difficulty moving around. There's a good chance of enemies bottlenecking entrances, leaving team members with not much to do.

But that's just one half of the story. The other half is the excellent roleplay. A lot of care has gone into making these NPCs memorable, and maybe a little too much care. Each box text has little affectations the characters keep doing, and it sort of distracted the group from the main objective. I do like how they're more realistic than most other NPCs who spout their information and are never seen again, but maybe a little more character building would've been appreciated. Others won't need it, but I personally need a little more to flesh a character out. The gestures help inform, but listing some keywords would've been nice (Lawyer: weaselly, slick; Majordomo: haughty, professional, and so on). One final problem, though: there are too many NPCs and names in this scenario. There's a little too much worldbuilding for a four-hour adventure. Some spoilers:

Major NPCs:
The players are introduced to two noblehouses, a lawyer, a protection racket, the Harbourmaster's Grange and two NPCs, a band of pirates, the slave that started the adventure and a slave that turns out to be a Pathfinder, and several districts and customs of Absalom. It's a bit much.

My players liked the worldbuilding, but I could sense they'd had enough at some point, and couldn't discern between the NPCs anymore at one point and kept referring to them by their role in the plot, rather than by their actual name. It's especially vexing since some names sound very similar (the noble ladies both end in -ana, for instance), and having to ask "wait, who was <X> again?" really takes you out of the adventure. Also, for me as a GM it was pretty difficult, since I had to leaf through multiple pages to find the relevant information. I marked it in the scenario, but it's still pretty hard to find in the moment. Paizo could still improve on its formatting, I feel.

Still, apart from this, really great scenario. It does nothing extraordinarily well, but its dedication to roleplay does make it a recommendation for me.


One of my favorite, combines well with roleplay and combat

5/5

Played once(low tier), runned once(high tier).

Both subtiers are fun to play, well-scaled, chanllenging but not overwhelming.

Slaveship is also shine with RP, each of the four main NPCs are so memorable, and the storyline connects with many former of later scenarios as well.

The only drawback is Slavship heavily relys on GM, either in playing so many strongly themed NPCs, and complicated relationships of the Innersea.


A dangerous investigation

4/5

One of my friends described the scenario as a level 1-5 scenario with tough, dangerous fights. I thought at first he was kidding, but little did I know he was spot on. The fights are indeed harsh and can easily kill characters. Especially near the end, when you can trigger everything to happen at the same time, has the potential for a TPK written all over it. You really don't want to fool around in this scenario, for it will cost you dearly.

Other than the fights, the investigating and role-play elements in the first part were pretty fun. They didn't exactly stand out from other similar situations, which is neither a problem or a necessity. It's just a calm before the storm, one could say. They were an adequate way of slowly improving the pace of the scenario.

However, one thing really did bother me in this scenario: the names of the various characters. One of the most important rules a writer should remember, is to add variety to the names. No two names should start with the same letter and, unless used to help deliberately deceive the reader, should they sound the same. The majority of the names in this scenario were far too similar to eachother, which made the game at times more confusing than necessary, ruining the flow somewhat.


Highly recommended

5/5

This was a great scenario I like the story arc its setting up, and it was well written with a really fun encounter at the end.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations Mark! Can't wait to run this a few times at FlatCon now.

Liberty's Edge

Other than the name, does this scenario have a link back to #8: Slave Pits of Absalom?

Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.

*eep!* That's my name up there! :D

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations, Mark!

Looking forward to playing (and hopefully running) this one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations Mark! I'm looking forward to playing this one!

Shadow Lodge

Paz wrote:
Other than the name, does this scenario have a link back to #8: Slave Pits of Absalom?

I've been wondering, too, but I'm starting to think since it hasn't been really answered or mentioned, probably not related at all.

Grand Lodge

I was kind of leaving it for an official answer. :)

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DM Beckett wrote:
Paz wrote:
Other than the name, does this scenario have a link back to #8: Slave Pits of Absalom?
I've been wondering, too, but I'm starting to think since it hasn't been really answered or mentioned, probably not related at all.

There are some significant thematic ties, but I think it's just a bit to much of a stretch to call this a true sequel.

Shadow Lodge

Sounds good. Not really a great deal to be a sequel too, story-wise, but it sounds like it could work very well for a follow-up scenario, doing the two close to together.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm counting on a visit to Misery Row. And possibly to a certain drug den to yet again pouch their profits for the good of society.

Also, I'm hoping on running this ASAP, possibly on Friday (GMT+2...) so if Paizo releases this on Thursday afternoon (say, 5pm), I'll have maybe 15 hours before I'm supposed to run it.

Paizo Employee Developer

It is worth noting that Slave Ships of Absalom references a particular Chronicle sheet that the player might have earned, even if her PC did not. Having this Chronicle sheet on hand can influence a minor element of the adventure, and there are alternative means to accomplish that feature.

Virtually non-spoiler detail that is spoiler-ed just for spoilers' sake:

Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–03: The Hellknight's Feast

Deussu wrote:

I'm counting on a visit to Misery Row. And possibly to a certain drug den to yet again pouch their profits for the good of society.

Also, I'm hoping on running this ASAP, possibly on Friday (GMT+2...) so if Paizo releases this on Thursday afternoon (say, 5pm), I'll have maybe 15 hours before I'm supposed to run it.

That's a side effect of our production schedule and differing time zones. As always, we're striving to get a quality adventure into GMs' hands in a timely fashion, and the last Wednesday of each month is our target for…9 months out of each year (conventions actually push up the June–August schedule).

Sovereign Court

Regarding stuff John Compton just wrote:
Curious as I am, would it be advisable for the GM to know what happens in that particular scenario? As a matter of fact I belive most of the players coming to play Slave Ships of Absalom have played Hellknight's Feast whereas I have not.

Paizo Employee Developer

Deussu wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

In Response:
The Chronicle sheet has a boon that explains in broad terms how the PC earned it, and this should provide a basis for the GM to provide roleplaying context in addition to the mechanical benefit presented in #6–05. It is not essential to have read or played #5–03 to implement the feature, yet knowing more can't hurt.
Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Who's this Garringer fellow?


Hey there, just wondering if there is a likely release time for this? I'd like to block out some time for making the first in-scenario post on a PbP I'm running. Really looking forward to this - we've been bar-fighting on the forums just to pass the time. ;-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

New products are usually posted for purchase at close of business in the Pacific timezone. Hopefully this isn't delayed or anything!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

New products will always have a release/ship date of "Soon."

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Hey guys, this one has been pushed out to tomorrow afternoon. #6-04 is available tonight, however.

Grand Lodge

I missed the previous scenario tie-in until now! Very much looking forward to running these back to back over the next month :)

Sovereign Court

Chris Lambertz wrote:
Hey guys, this one has been pushed out to tomorrow afternoon. #6-04 is available tonight, however.

I noticed, and actually I'm surprised #6-04 got released one day early!

Lantern Lodge

Chris Lambertz wrote:
Hey guys, this one has been pushed out to tomorrow afternoon. #6-04 is available tonight, however.

Ooohh! Wonder what is reason the delay? :S

Set to run #6-05, the following week.
While #0-8 Slave Pits is set for next week in my area.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

"Soon". (All in good natured fun)

;)


Afternoon PDT has officially become evening PDT... we're hanging out, man! I'm wearing out the refresh key.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Now available!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Woot. Thanks Chris


Yay!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Will be available today still.

Grand Lodge

It was announced as now available... has anyone had any success of adding it to their cart? It is still showing up as "will be available today" for me too.

Grand Lodge

I was able to download it! :D


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Clear your cache. It showed up for me.


Got it. Yeah, browser caches are your enemy. Got my first post up on the PbP. Looks good. Anyone else notice that the cover changed... is that normal?


Not sure if Paizo ever does re-prints of Scenarios, but there is a typo on page 3: "She magically the spell back to its source...". Presumably the word "tracked" or something similar is missing.

Paizo Employee Developer

jmclaus wrote:
Not sure if Paizo ever does re-prints of Scenarios, but there is a typo on page 3: "She magically the spell back to its source...". Presumably the word "tracked" or something similar is missing.

"Traced" or "tracked" would be the correct word. I'm surprised it disappeared.

Webstore Gninja Minion

John Compton wrote:
jmclaus wrote:
Not sure if Paizo ever does re-prints of Scenarios, but there is a typo on page 3: "She magically the spell back to its source...". Presumably the word "tracked" or something similar is missing.
"Traced" or "tracked" would be the correct word. I'm surprised it disappeared.

Probably because there wasn't a tracker on it. :D


Liz Courts wrote:
John Compton wrote:
jmclaus wrote:
Not sure if Paizo ever does re-prints of Scenarios, but there is a typo on page 3: "She magically the spell back to its source...". Presumably the word "tracked" or something similar is missing.
"Traced" or "tracked" would be the correct word. I'm surprised it disappeared.
Probably because there wasn't a tracker on it. :D

I'm going to have to ask you to reTRACt that statement. *rimshot*

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
bugleyman wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
John Compton wrote:
jmclaus wrote:
Not sure if Paizo ever does re-prints of Scenarios, but there is a typo on page 3: "She magically the spell back to its source...". Presumably the word "tracked" or something similar is missing.
"Traced" or "tracked" would be the correct word. I'm surprised it disappeared.
Probably because there wasn't a tracker on it. :D
I'm going to have to ask you to reTRACt that statement. *rimshot*

Every time someone tells a pun that bad, Grandmaster Torch betrays a kitten.

Shadow Lodge

I should add an entry for him here.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Man this was a hard read. The simular names make it way way to confusing.

Silver Crusade

My local player pool has a lot of Silver Crusade and Liberty's Edge players. This thing right here? This is gonna be fuuuuuuun. >:)

Scarab Sages

A grief I have on this, is with the treatment of slavery.

It's OK for the rich to own slaves. In fact, we should help them be compensated for getting a 'bad' slave.
It's OK to be the middle man and negotiate a good price. We can intimidate them for a better price, but not beat them up.
It's BAD to be the people capturing and selling them. Those people we can beat up and kill.

Because slavery will only end if we stop all the people from capturing and selling them.
NOT IF WE STOP BUYING THEM.

This is the flawed morality that allowed slavery to persist for so long.
Speaking of that, when are we going to get a season where Liberty's Edge and Silver Crusade finally get to end slavery?
I'm getting tired of explaining that slavery is OK in Pathfinder.

Shadow Lodge

John Compton wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
John Compton wrote:
jmclaus wrote:
Not sure if Paizo ever does re-prints of Scenarios, but there is a typo on page 3: "She magically the spell back to its source...". Presumably the word "tracked" or something similar is missing.
"Traced" or "tracked" would be the correct word. I'm surprised it disappeared.
Probably because there wasn't a tracker on it. :D
I'm going to have to ask you to reTRACt that statement. *rimshot*
Every time someone tells a pun that bad, Grandmaster Torch betrays a kitten.

Yeah guys, it really burns him up.

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