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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4.40/5 (based on 28 ratings)

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It's a talkie!

4/5

Totally enjoyed running this scenario, as did the players who went back to play secondary encounters they knew, at that point, were unnecessarily. The combats are well paced and inventive, and the seeds sewn for later this season (I'm assuming) that I can't wait to see sprout.

It ran on the short side (@ 3 hours) with a lot of role playing but the party of six; they smashed the combats, which may have accounted for another half an hours playtime. Not taking points away for that from what is an awesome scenario.

Bring you're talkie characters, Chronicle Sheets to get some previous achievement love and take a wander down Misery Row; you might just see some familiar faces...


Oh, the social

5/5

This adventure was an absolute delight to run. I ran it on Play-by-Post (PbP), so there was ample opportunity to play with the NPCs in this - the roleplaying tips were a real treat, and the characters really came alive for me. This right here is the bar for where all PFS scenarios should aspire to be. The combats were fluid and engaging, the unnecessary combats could be bypassed with roleplaying, and (most importantly) an incredible depth of setting could be conveyed within such a short format. As a cherry on the top, in-depth knowledge of PFS was rewarded (but was by no means required).

Groups who will love this: those who are heavy on the roleplay.
Groups who won't love this as much: those who just want to roll dice (go play a wargame).

Actually, even those who like combat will really enjoy the final battle. There are a number of options for approaching it, and doing a good job preparing for it is very well rewarded.

Spoiler:
Some players may not like the few occasions where a failed diplomacy roll means they need to pay their way out of the situation. If you are going to GM this, I would strongly recommend allowing the players to roleplay it out and them allowing them a decent circumstance bonus on their diplomacy check for well thought out discourse. If they're not interested, make them roll and make them pay!

The only negative was a small one:
It was sometimes hard to find / calculate the stats for the encounters. On PbP this was a very minor issue, but if I were running the game in real life it would have been a lot of flicking back and forth. Reusing Mezuk's stats (half-orc early on) for Curtzog (half-orc first mate) felt a little lazy and meant a lot of back and forth in the final combat. Having to apply the young template to a creature at the end was also a pain, and I would have appreciated the main combat stats in the printed profile. GMs can mitigate this by statting out the NPCs in advance. I also know that Paizo have some pretty strict rules about what they print in a scenario / adventure so that they can sell more copies of their source material, so it's not unusual to find this sort of thing. Just a small gripe I had.

Very well done, and my hearty congratulations to the author!


Slave Ships of Absalom was great!

5/5

Just got done with this one as a player on the PbP boards, and it was a very well-written scenario! It had plenty of intrigue and opportunities for non-combat skilled players (like myself) could contribute, but still had a nice encounter at the end for those who are only satisified by sating their bloodlust!

A great job by GM Damo in running the game, and a great job by Mark Garringer in writing the scenario itself.


Great scenario for Pathfinders

5/5

This scenario exemplifies the duties of a Pathfinder - a mix of investigation, diplomacy, political intrigue, and all-out assault combat. Clumsy players can miss a lot of clues early on by upsetting their contacts, but most encounters can be solved in multiple ways.

My players also had trouble keeping track of all of the NPC names, even though they were keeping notes - I made face cards for a few, but should have done so for the rest. A lot of the names are three-syllable ones with similar cadence (especially the two principle NPCs), which seemed to trip people up.

As has been noted, players who have played through 5-03 The Hellknight's Feast have a potential tie-in to this scenario, so make sure your players check in advance and bring that Chronicle along, even if it is from another character. None of the players in my group had these accessible for me to check, so I had to wing it. (Not a big deal, but it's nice to utilize these tie-ins where they exist.)

Some things for the GM to watch for:

Spoiler:

One potential difficulty for GMs is the significant difference between subtiers in the combats - it's not just extra minions of class levels/templates, but whole new characters and their part in the hierarchy of information. This makes it harder to correct the odd "wrong subtier" issue without a full ret-con. (Yes, guilty!)

Also, the Sovereign Court faction doesn't really get their mission until midway through the scenario (although they might succeed anyway). My group was eager to move forward and almost skipped that meeting. Make sure they get the chance to talk to their patron and receive the mission before they move on to the finale.

I will run this one again for sure!


Murderhobo's need not apply

5/5

Oh dear, it seems the Pathfinder Society has built up a bit of a reputation lately... it seems that many think we are all rough, aggressive and bad company.
Then there is this scenario, where our social characters really got to shine. No sir, we are actual investigators with excellent social skills.

I agree with Woran: the GM is key here in portraying all the NPCs right. And indeed, a quiet place to play is probably best.

Otherwise you could miss out on fun like:

short spoiler:

Our GM told us that we had roleplayed our way out of one or two combat encounters, by rolling some good diplomacy checks and the clever use of a "Charm Person" spell.

We payed off thugs to leave an NPC alone (only then to start harassing that NPC ourselves of course).
Oh my word, the houses that you get to visit. My sorceress had a fangirl moment while meeting a very important archdean.

Why can I only play this scenario once? More like these please!


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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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