Pathfinder Module: Plunder & Peril (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Module: Plunder & Peril (PFRPG)
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Legendary Treasure!

Tall tales of hidden riches are common in the pirate-infested taverns of the Shackles, but when Captain Varossa Lanteri claims to know the location of the secret treasure hoard of legendary Captain Jemma Redclaw, it seems she may be telling the truth. Captain Lanteri hires the PCs on as crew to help her assemble the magic key that will open the door to Redclaw’s treasure... and the ancient cyclops stronghold in which it’s hidden! Can the PCs survive long enough to claim their share of the lost loot, or will their enemies—or their allies—send them to a watery grave?

Plunder & Peril is a collection of three adventures that link to form one deluxe super-adventure for 4th-level characters, and includes 64 action-packed pages filled with aquatic predators, marauding dragons, cyclopean horrors, and more! These tales parallel and elaborate upon the swashbuckling excitement of the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles Base Set. Plus, chart your course through pirate plagued seas with a full-color poster map featuring the most detailed view of the Shackles ever released. Players can expect to reach 7th level by the time they complete the third adventure and claim their share of Redclaw’s treasure—if they can survive the ancient terrors that guard the hoard!

Written by Matthew Goodall, Alex Greenshields, Ben McFarland, Steven Helt.
Cover Art by Kiki Moch Rizky.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-680-5

Pathfinder Modules are 64-page, high-quality, full-color, adventures using the Open Game License to work with both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set. This Pathfinder Module includes new monsters, treasure, a double-sided poster map, and a fully detailed bonus location that can be used as part of the adventure or in any other game!

Pluder & Peril is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download (807 kb zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Subscription.

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4.30/5 (based on 9 ratings)

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Great start, disappointing finish but overall a neat swashbuckler tale

3/5

This is simultaneously one of the most interesting and most frustrating modules I've used. At a glance, it's a fun, rollicking swashbuckling sea adventure, with a good mixture of intrigue, skill challenges, and good old fashioned dungeon crawls to keep players on their toes. NPCs are well-developed and fun to flesh out. But as one digs deeper into the story--and the workings behind it as a GM--a bevy of inconsistencies, both mechanical and narrative, and poorly prioritized information plague the module and make it frequently difficult to run.

I recommend this module for experienced GMs who need a decent seafaring story but are able to adapt on the fly--and time on their hands to do so--and for those who can make use less of the module itself but would benefit from the appendices, e.g., the excellent Shackles map, the map of Lilywhite, the mini-guide to the Shackles in the back, the map of the Magpie Princess, etc. I do not recommend this module for those looking for ease of use or timesaving.

I should note I am judging this module as a GM, and I believe modules should first and foremost exist to make life easier for the GM, and evaluate modules primarily on this factor. While of course narrative and fun factor are important--after all, it's no fun to run a boring story--my key criteria for a module is that it saves time and eliminates--not creates--frustration factors of being a GM. People who purchase modules solely for narrative value will not find much use in my review.

In short, while there is a lot I admire in the module, that I found it frequently and deeply frustrating to run lowers its score quite a bit.

One of the advertised bonuses of this module is that you can use it as a substitution for Skull and Shackles part 2: Raiders of the Fever Sea. I purchased this module for this purpose, unsure my players would find Raiders as fun. Unfortunately, the module's introduction and guidelines provide far too little advice for how to insert the module into the AP, and barely address the key challenge to adaptation: at the end of Skull and Shackles' first part, the party has just gained its own ship, a huge and hard-won prize after a grueling and difficult adventure. The premise of Plunder and Peril, however, requires you join a different captain's ship and submit to a new captain's orders--not something very fair to ask of your players when they've just gained their own captaincy and own ship. There absolutely are ways to work around this--but it is nowhere near as easy to "slip" the module into the AP as the marketing and early product chatter suggested. By sheer chance, some of the choices my players made led this to be easier for me (their encounter with Hyrix and Mother Grund went poorly, and I had them wake up "rescued" by Varossa). Some of the changes I made to adjust to the AP also made more work for me down the line, though some of this was how I was trying to create some open ended options for my players. I accept any changes I made that caused things to be more difficult were MY choices, and the effect of my choices are not part of this evaluation. Regardless, using this module as a substitute for S&S part 2 is not as easy as implied.

As a standalone module, it will of course be much easier to use. Each of the three sections are also designed to be used separately if a GM needed a shorter adventure, and I would say that, with some adjustment, the first and last sections especially can be easily adapted to shorter adventures. If the GM is willing to do the (relatively minor) work of removing Varossa from chapter one and presenting the challenges within as simply activities available at the Rum Punch Festival, section one can also provide an excellent "shore leave" adventure for a low to mid-level party. Chapter 3 feels like a dungeon crawl designed for an entirely different adventure with Plunder and Peril shoehorned in, so it of course would be easy enough to extract and use as a standalone adventure--again, just remove Varossa and give the PCs a different hook to explore the island.

I found section 1 most fun to run--the town of Lilywhite is well-realized, with the Rum Punch Festival a refreshing backdrop to adventure compared to more gritty or typical spooky dungeon crawls and the like. Its lighthearted tone was especially welcome after the often dark and malevolent feel of the first book of Skull and Shackles--the PCs needed some respite and this provided it (and in a much better way than Rickety's Squibs would have offered). There is a lot of story potential for developing the town further, and the town's features are provided in just enough detail without distracting from the actual narrative. I enjoyed the variety of challenges offered in this section, from some fairly standard combats to some unorthodox skill challenges, including a race that uses a variation of Pathfinder's chase scene rules and a drinking contest, crucial for any pirate campaign worth its salt.

The only--but rather outstanding--flaw in the first section is the poor setup for the two "bosses" that challenge the PCs at the end of the story. Firstly, the narrative makes clear that one of the "bosses" is spying on the party, but it isn't clear how he is doing it, or if the PCs should notice (I think the presumption is that the PCs shouldn't, but I'm not sure why). Secondly, and more mechanically problematic, the second "boss" is described in detail about her actions, motivations, and ways of approaching combat---and then her statblock is for a creature that does not have any of the abilities described in the narrative. Per the product discussion thread, this was a development error: this "boss" was originally given a unique stablock, but it was removed for space reasons. Unfortunately, her narrative was not updated to match the new stats she was given. This is a glaring editorial error that absolutely should have been caught prior to publication--especially since verbiage is now wasted describing actions she could not possibly take. Personally, I would have gladly sacrificed any number of things--artwork, other statblocks, descriptions (especially much of the useless dungeon descriptions in chapter 3)--to have kept the creature's original stats, for as described, she had a lot of narrative potential. I opted to create new stats to reflect the story rather than use the stats listed in the module. This worked much better me, but it was work I was forced to do just to make sure mechanics and narrative matched, and should have been unnecessary.

The second section is solid series of sea adventures. A combat-heavy chapter, I wish some of the fights had offered the GM more tactical guidance--particularly in Blackwarns Gallows, where the players can approach the treacherous situation in numerous ways, and one has to navigate a potentially incredibly diffficult fight between land, rough waters, and high up terrain with almost no guidance as how to do so. Another encounter, with a ghost on a shipwreck, also needed more details--particularly, there is a potential fight and a hazard, but depending on how you enter, you might be able to avoid the fight/hazard entirely which makes the whole scenario anticlimactic. How to time events and manage the encounter (whether diplomatic or hostile) seemed very vague. I could have used less of another NPC's backstory there and more tactical guidance for what was an unusually set up scenario. At the same time, I liked indeed that there were several encounters and challenges that could be managed by skill, diplomacy and cleverness, counterbalancing some of the combat focus. My players seemed to really enjoy negotiating with the dragon in particular.

My only concern about chapter three was the final encounter. As written, the game presumes characters escape a situation by riding some creatures provided them. However, you have to interact with a certain NPC and navigate a fight a very specific way in order to be able to gain the new mounts. There are a number of missteps the PCs could take--or they could simply opt to avoid the NPC or situation--that would as written leave them stranded, with zero suggestions for alternatives. Because I was using the adventure as part of Skull and Shackles, I found a way out using characters and resources from that AP, but standalone, it would have been a challenge to find other solutions. The other problem with the mounts being the only presented solution to the PCs problem is Ride is seldom a skill most PCs prioritize having on a seafaring adventure. As written, this was a glaringly annoying railroad solution in a story that up to this point usually accounted for a few ways to resolve challenges.

The third section, the big finale, was sadly most disappointing. After two sections featuring a wide variety of challenges and creative scenarios, the third section moves into an uninspired, bog-standard dungeon crawl. What is worse is, as mentioned above, the dungeon feels very much like it was designed for an entirely different adventure and then shoehorned into the module---complete with hundreds of wasted words on background lore of the dungeon that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the adventure itself. The not-too-spoilery gist is the PCs are chasing someone who has run into an old cyclops fortress, which was repurposed at some point by a long-dead pirate queen, who is relavant to the plot. We get almost nothing on what the pirate queen did with the fortress, but paragraphs upon paragraphs about what some cyclops did there millennia ago that provides no information or insight upon the present story. Not to mention half of the information is translation of ancient runes that the PCs have a very small chance of actually being able to translate (and they gain absolutely nothing of value by doing so). If I want to read information on an ancient Golarion empire, I will purchase the appropriate campaign setting guidebook. For a module, I want material that helps me and the players tell the PCs' story in the best and most dramatic way. This section of the module utterly failed in this regard.

Here's what we do NOT get in section 3, that would have been far, far, far more helpful to have:
- Enough guidance on the approach to the area (which may vary considerably depending on how the PCs leave the ending of section 2) and different ways the PCs may deal with an enemy ship they approach, save from who might or might not attack them.
- Information on how to run an encounter with a bard NPC who could be friendly but whom the PCs may equally see as an enemy and attack immediately. We are given full stats for the NPC--but in the scenario he is supposed to be badly wounded after a fight, and it's not clear, for example how many spells or rounds of bardic performance he has left. Further, the stats provided show the bard can cast cure light wounds but the scenario describes him at zero hit points and thus helpless--but if he has spells left, wouldn't he heal himself? Yes, as GM I can make this call, but it is very unclear as to what his status would be--and how to respond if the PCs attack him and how difficult an encounter that should be.
- Information on the following NPC encounter, where a possibly-formerly friendly NPC is now hostile and insane. The too minimal text on the encounter seems to assume the encounter will turn into a combat to the death, and yet the party could very much want to try to subdue or talk down the NPC (and indeed, my PCs wanted to talk him down). There is NO guidance on if he can be talked down, how, or what to do with the NPC if he is subdued and captured (or how the other NPC interacts with him). We know what the g$@&&@n cyclops runes say, but no clue what to do with two extremely major NPCs whose presence could dramatically alter the PCs experience and challenge level in this dungeon.
- For the very crucial boss fight, additional guidance on placement and starting tactics. Especially given the big boss has telepathy and would likely sense the PCs coming, the module needs to provide some approaches both the PCs and monsters might take to the end game. There is SOME advice offered here, but not enough for how important and challenging the fight should be.

The boss fight also illustrates a distinct flaw in how Paizo overall chooses to organize its modules in general, which is that they put "lesser" enemy statistics in the adventure text, "important" NPC statistics in one appendix, and other "important" and additional monster statistics in a different appendix. This means in general the GM has to constantly flip through the book or .pdf to get different combat stats, which is very time consuming and frustrating. In this module's final fight, there are three enemies in the final combat. One enemy's statistics are included within the module's narrative text. Another enemy's statistics are in the Bestiary appendix. And to make things extra confusing, there are two sets of statistics for the third enemy, one in the NPC appendix and one in the Bestiary appendix (the latter of which is the correct one to use, but the module directs you to the NPC appendix). So to run the fight straight from the booklet, you need to be constantly flipping between separate sections of the module--the last thing you want to be doing while running an intense boss fight. I had to make my own combat sheet to make the thing runnable, which took time a module should not have to make me take. Personally, I think all enemy statblocks should be put in one place--a single appendix--that GMs can pull out or print separately from the running adventure text, so they can have all the stats they need in one place and can place it side-by-side with any relevant adventure text or maps. This alone would make the entire module line easier to use and, for me, I would purchase more of them were they organized in this fashion.

Finally, I must note that the third chapter ends on a bit of a disappointment--the whole point of the adventure is the hunt for a legendary treasure horde, which in the end turns out is not very much of a treasure hoard at all. I understand wanting to make the treasure level-appropriate, but I had to find some creative ways to bolster it (and explain why there wasn't more). (The in-game explanation for where some of it went doesn't make any sense--it says a dragon in the backstory stole most of it, but the whole way the adventure begins is that a background NPC killed said background dragon and found the key to this treasure in its hoard. If the dragon already had most of the hoard to begin with, then the background NPC would have already had it and there would be no point to looking for the treasure!) The larger "treasure" is really the ship and the cyclops fortress that the PCs can move into, but the narrative itself downplays this. I up-played it. Since I WAS indeed running this for Skull and Shackles, gaining an extra ship and fortress for establishing credibility in the Shackles was valuable. If this had ended as a standalone adventure, however, I think the ending as written would have been a considerable let-down for the PCs.

In the end I don't regret running this module--and I'm even glad I chose it over Raiders of the Fever Sea. But it did demand a lot more work than I had hoped, and the inconsistencies between chapters and chapter quality speaks to the fact that having three different people write three different sections of a module is a bad idea. Still absolutely the module was worth it for the first two sections, and a great set of NPCs on a ship crew that is usable for many seafaring adventures. I really loved the backdrop of Lilywhite and Captain Varossa and her loyal (and not so loyal) crew, so whoever was responsble for those developments especially deserve kudos. I hope the PCs can return to Lilywhite later and I can play more in it as a sandbox.

I like the idea of modules serving as possible "alternate routes" for APs and I also like the idea of developing modules in chapters that can be broken down to standalone. However, I'm not sure Plunder and Peril in particular succeeded in those areas. I hope Paizo tries the idea again, but is careful to develop it consistently and have one main writer for all three


Some good, some bad, overall mediocre

3/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

I like much of Plunder & Peril, but I feel it fails in certain key areas. It’s an interesting experiment to present three short adventures in a Pathfinder Module. However, I think trying to make them both linked and workable as stand-alones was not necessarily the best decision. It has resulted in three adventures that don’t work well on their own (except maybe “Rum Punch”), but as linked adventures, have many ways in which the PCs can go drastically off-script. I also feel it was a poor decision to conclude the three adventures with a dungeon crawl. It loses the style and flair of the other adventures and doesn’t have the opportunity to regain them that it might have if the dungeon crawl happened in the middle. In the end, Plunder & Peril ends up as a mostly mediocre module.


5/5

first off, I dinot play this module yet. I have just read this module.
All I can say its a must-have module for someone who realy like corsair storys / enviroment.


5/5

We had so much fun with this!

Its everything you want from a pirate adventure and more!

From a GM perspective, its has a good build up, the information is where you expect it to be, and if you want, you can easily expand on this.

It was an awesome ride!


Great high seas adventure!

4/5

After finishing this module last night, I have to say I will miss it. It has been an enjoyable time with my group and I wanted to say well done to the creator. There is variety here, and although the end may seem a little dungeon crawlish, it pays off in the end with a very interesting encounter. Each chapter has a different feel, with chapter 2 being the longest of the three. If I had to knock off a point for anything it was the lack of a ship to ship battle. I felt any pirate adventure on the high seas should include at least one ship battle. However, the way the game is designed you can easily create your own encounter and insert it as a "random" encounter, since you can roll for those anyway. If ship combat doesn't appeal to you, you can skip it and the module runs fine as is.

The only other criticism I got from the players was how the game really doesn't reward the players until the end, which is a huge haul to be sure. However, they felt some better rewards should have been sprinkled along the way more often. This could also be fixed by not following a strict path and allowing the players to sandbox more. It will just take more work from the GM.

Overall, if you are looking for some high seas adventure and want to see exotic locals and meet interesting NPC's while roleplaying or rollplaying your way to a hoard of treasure, look no further than Plunder and Peril.


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Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

I believe there is a serious error in the module in Chapter 2, Event 3-H:

Spoiler:
In section H of Event 3 for Kelizar's Atoll the encounter states Adaros (2) and Great White Sharks (2). This would make the encounter worth 4000XP falling between a CR 7 and a CR 8 which classifies the encounter as being ewither Hard or Epic in it's Challenge Rating. I believe the module should reflect only (1) Great White Shark as that would put the encounter at 2800XP which is just above a CR 6 as reflected in the module on page. 23

I ran this encounter the way it was written and the group nearly TPK'd, if it wasn't for Hero Points, but they did lose the fight. I am hoping to get some clarification on the matter so I know whether I am accounting for all aspects of the Chapter (as there are a fair amount of them).

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Now that I am rereading, I am having a similar problem as Jester, but in chapter 1.

In the fight with Mother Grund, the text calls out for two Onwu Azu's accompanying her, while the statblock says there are four of them.

While not as much as an impact as the white shark, its another inconsistency.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

the Haunted Jester wrote:
I believe there is a serious error in the module in Chapter 2, Event 3-H:

Spoiler:

The two sharks accompanying the adaros could either be hammerhead sharks (CR 3), or sharks (CR 2), or bull sharks (CR 2).

Having 1 great white shark also works but is likely to make the adaros feel like an incidental part of an encounter with a Huge shark.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber
Matt Goodall wrote:
the Haunted Jester wrote:
I believe there is a serious error in the module in Chapter 2, Event 3-H:

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
The module specifically states that they call for a Great White Shark in two places which is why I didn't think of altering it in any other fashion that adjusting what was stated.
Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
the Haunted Jester wrote:
Matt Goodall wrote:
the Haunted Jester wrote:
I believe there is a serious error in the module in Chapter 2, Event 3-H:

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Also, I have the additional problem that I am running this for Pathfinder Society. I cant alter what's in the module, unless there is official errate or an official post telling me what has to be adjusted.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

I checked my turnover and I had them down as 2 hammerhead sharks.
There's a problem because 2 CR 4s = CR 6 (not CR 4) as listed in the module. I'd go with 1 great white if I was running it for PFS, that way the CR for the whole encounter is correct. Woran if you want something official for PFS, I'd recommend you email Mike/John and/or Owen.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I e-mailed Mike:

mike brock wrote:

Please post in the product message thread so that the dev team can take notice. Please don’t alter the scenario as run. If you feel it will lead to a TPK, and you are not comfortable with this, I suggest choosing a different adventure to run.

Thanks,
Mike

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

4 people marked this as a favorite.

The problem with using hammerhead sharks is they aren't in the PRD, so we'd have to reprint the stat blocks. It should be one great white shark for CR 4.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

Thanks Owen for looking into this matter.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Yes thank you very much!

Liberty's Edge

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

The problem with using hammerhead sharks is they aren't in the PRD, so we'd have to reprint the stat blocks. It should be one great white shark for CR 4.

Is this an official errata? :)

Mike

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Unfortunately there isn't currently a system in place for "official errata" on Pathfinder Modules. There's a specific process for errata that includes having it written, double-checked, and edited, and we haven;t done that in the past on the softcover books (with one noble exception), so I can't say this is the same category of correction as the things we normally call official errata. That's something we're looking into, but there's no change on how we handle those things at this time.

That correction IS what I am saying on the matter in my capacity as developer of the adventure. This was my very first product developed for Paizo, and I made a mistake here. Mea culpa, and I'm already better at that job, but this one I got wrong.

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

That said, I have no problem with your using Owen's advised creatures entry when running this adventure in the context of Pathfinder Society Organized Play.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You are both super-awesome.

Scarab Sages

Another problem I discovered:

Spoiler:

It states that Mother Grund is an Advanced 'Green' Hag, which is CR 5, and that she opens with 'horrific appearance.' Green hags don't have that ability, and advanced green hags would be CR 6. However, an advanced SEA hag has that power and would be of the appropriate CR.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

My copy is missing pages 33-48. Sucks.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ruki the Drunken Master wrote:
My copy is missing pages 33-48. Sucks.

If you bought it from Paizo (or can't exchange it where you did buy it for some reason), post in the Customer Service forum. They can replace a defective book.

Dark Archive

any solution yet to this only granting players one module of prestige (and the Gm only 2 tables of credit) for three adventures that award three levels worth of xp and prestige? the scenario tracker is still saying

Player has already run scenario

when they play part 2 and 3 (and the bonus chron) if they have played part 1 =/


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Our party Consists of a lizard-folk Brawler, a Skald/Hunter Half-orc whom has a trait that makes him look Full orc and a Kobald Sorcerer / Dragon disciple. Our skald/hunter friend has 3 companions all of whom are Dinosaurs. Trixie, Lilu and Tank. He has made it so we each can command one of them. as such The Kobald Rides on Tank whom is an Ankylosaurus while the other two are T-Rex's, I (the lizard-folk Brawler) Ride on Lilu. Yes they are all of Large size for riding. Our party banner is that of Tooth & Claw which Our skald Christoph Christopherson flies high and proud off the back of his Trusty steed Trixie. Our Kobald Friend Gek'ik being our parties source of amusement and also source of fear. During our previous endeavours He has been able to obtain many artifacts which cause terror in the hearts of any who come near. Seriously he has a mask that effects all adjacent people with a will save vs Fear even allies. As well with some Bullsh**ery we were able to obtain a book which allows him to steal the shadows of anyone who is either Not moving and willing or helpless. Which he can than summon from the book at any time to obey one command of them.:
During our adventure When we came to the part with the Brine dragon we were able to roll a grand total of 44 on our diplomacy check, causing Kelizar to become helpful to our cause. Later the captain abandoned us on the island her husband was once marooned on claiming that she would be back for us. Of course we didn't trust her so we Set off on the backs of the Hippocampi. but NOT to go after her as it had already been a day since she had left because of what we did to help the island lizard folk. Instead we rode back to the dragon and had him fly us off to the captains location. Using Kelizar to intimidate the ever-loving crap out of the crew along with getting his help with decoding the riddle to get inside the caves. After we conquered the dungeon and free'd the captain Our party skald who swayed the dragons heart took Jemma red-claws Claw arm for his own. Amputating his own arm to get the replacement. Now we own both ships as they sail under our flag which depicts our Parties name in its design. Tooth and claw. along with the skull of the Brine dragon.

Oh and did I mention that when we got to the inner cave we were like F*** that noise as we looked at the water and we cast Spider climb and Monkey-fish on our mounts. WHICH ARE T-REX'S. Imagine T-Rex's walking along the walls of the cave over the walkway.


A little frustrated by the encounter mistakes in this book. in addition to the ability problems with the Green/Sea hag, it's strategy says it lands when reduced to 45 hit points which makes sense with a Green Hag, but with a Sea Hag that means it only needs to take 1 point of damage.

Hyrix is also repeatedly referred to as a Jinx Eater, but as he is a Magus I have no idea if he is supposed to have the special abilities of a Jinx Eater but with different class levels or if it was just flavor.

Liberty's Edge

I got the feeling that Jinx Eater was just a title.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Jinx Eater was just a title.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Yeah, sorry I deleted the post that had the question. I read on and found the answer.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

We are near the end of part one and so far they had fun. Rum Punch festival was great!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

The hag encounter is all kinds of messed up; I know this is an older module now but if anyone sees this and has any thoughts as to how they chose to run it, I'd appreciate insights as I've got to figure out how to run this (and what CR it should be). Here are the various issues; some of this is mentioned above but it's even more complicated than has been discussed, and no solutions have been offered, and I could use some suggestions sooner rather than later, so here's all the issues (again):

Spoiler:

1. Mother Grund statblock describes her as an "advanced green hag" at CR 5, worth 1,200 XP. Green hags (non-advanced) are CR 5 worth 1,600 XP.

2. Her tactics require her to use sea hag, not green hag abilities (evil eye and horrific appearance). She is also described as a sea hag earlier in the narrative. She COULD be an advanced sea hag (CR 5) and the green a misprint. But it gets more complicated...

3. An advanced sea hag has 46 hp. A green hag has 58. One of the tactics says she enters melee at 45 hp or less, which makes it sound like after she's been wounded a bit. The advanced sea hag needs lose only 1 hp for this condition to be hit and even the green hag only needs 13 hp dealt, which could be easily done by 1 4th level PC in a single lucky attack. In either case you could say "she enters melee once she is injured" and save some verbiage.

4. She is described as using several potions to prep for combat (alter self and fly) but we don't get a gear or treasure list otherwise. And then there's the best bit...

5. A tactic described in the narrative section (not the combat tactics section of the statblock) says she uses ray of enfeeblement on the party when they get in range, but neither sea hags nor green hags have the ability to cast this spell. FURTHERMORE, she is described as having a king crab familiar but hags do not have familiars.

I'm wondering if the original designer made her a sea hag with a class level in witch, wizard, or sorcerer (who can cast ray of enfeeblement and have a familiar) but then someone decided space needed to be save and changed her unique statblock for a generic one, but failed to update the narrative text AND statblock appropriately. ((It probably would have been better to trim unnecessary fluff and leave the statblock, which in my experience is far more what a GM needs than backstory!))

As I write this I'm realizing I should probably just write up a sea hag witch 1 and use those stats... I started running from modules to save me time and half the time they seem to do the opposite... *sigh*

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Yeah, noticed that too, did the following:

Spoiler:
I ran her as green hag with her alter self and a potion of fly used.
The treasure is listed as standard, so you have to make it up on your own anyway, but she doesn't use armor or weapons, so any other treasure is good. I just used some more potions and gems and such stuff.
I didn't use the narrative ray of enfeeblement because, as you point out, neither hag has that ability.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Thanks. The more I read the text, the more I think the original writer intended her for to be a sea hag witch 1, which is why both a familiar and ray of enfeeblement are mentioned in the text. Then one of the developers/editors decided they didn't have enough space for unique stat blocks so wanted to change her to a more generic creature, and decided to change her into an advanced sea hag (to keep the CR the same) but accidentally wrote "green" instead of sea AND failed to fix the accompanying text that referenced her spellcaster features (which, ironically, would have freed up even more verbiage). This was then either missed through the editing phase--which, I hope not; I'd definitely kick myself if I'd been the editor and missed this--or it was quickly changed after the proper editing phases were finished and no one took the time to throw it back to an editor to be sure the adjusted text/statblocks were still consistent.

(This also explains the shark issue later in the book).

I think if you want the easy route, it's best to do as you did and run her as a (non-advanced) green hag. She doesn't even need a potion of alter self that way and her spell-like abilities make her a more versatile challenge for the party.

For suiting the narrative, one would probably have to re-write her up as a sea hag witch 1, probably with the sea witch archetype (so sea hag witch (sea witch) 1 -- also she sells seashells down by the seashore) -- which I'm probably going to do as having that class level helps explain why she's got onwu azus helping her out among other things.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

She was originally written as an "old sea hag witch 2" with a scroll of fly. As you mentioned, that got changed in the development process.

Grand Lodge

I'm going to be running this for our PFS group, and wow does this need some errata. At the very least some of these clarifications should be put ON the Campaign Clarifications page.

Paizo Employee Developer

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For Pathfinder Society, you can make the following adjustments to resolve the discrepancies.

Changes:

The Racers in Rum Punch: Use the pickpockets from page 264 of GameMastery Guide, as listed. These NPCs have only 5 hit points, so change their morale to "A racer who takes damage yields."
Mother Grund: Make her an advanced sea hag, matching the CR, page citation, and general combat tactics. She enters melee only if reduced to 30 hit points or fewer. Since she does not have ray of enfeeblement, she instead uses a ruse to get the PCs within 30 feet so that they are within the range of her evil eye. The king crab is a pet, rather than a familiar. Instead of having a Knowledge skill, she has Handle Animal +6. Instead of having potions of the listed spells (alter self and fly), she can cast each spell as a spell-like ability 1/day.
Onwu Azu: In the mother grund encounter, there are four of these fish.

Grand Lodge

Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:

For Pathfinder Society, you can make the following adjustments to resolve the discrepancies.

** spoiler omitted **

This helps immensely. Thanks for the update. Still suggest being put on the Campaign Clarifications page as not everyone will come looking here for the changes and corrections.

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