Pathfinder Adventure: The Slithering

2.20/5 (based on 17 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure: The Slithering
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In the cosmopolitan trading city of Kibwe, at the edge of the Mwangi Expanse, innocent people struck by a terrible curse known as the slithering are melting into malevolent oozes. The heroes are at the epicenter of this slimy curse and might be the only ones capable of recovering the ancient magic required to break it. Tracking the course of the slithering through Kibwe's colorful markets and shrines, the heroes must untangle the curse's origin and discover the role the nefarious Aspis Consortium plays in the unfolding conspiracy. The mysteries the heroes uncover might usher in a new era of plenty and prosperity for Kibwe, if the heroes can survive the slithering to experience it!

The Slithering is a deluxe adventure for 5th-level characters written by Ron Lundeen. Featuring terrifying new monsters, repulsive new rules and magic items, and an in-depth look at one of the most exciting cities in the jungle-choked Mwangi Expanse, The Slithering provides a wealth of secrets and dangers!

This adventure can be used with the Pathfinder Flip-Mat: The Slithering.

ISBN: 978-1-64078-272-3

"The Slithering" is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download.

Note: All four pregenerated characters for The Slithering are available as a free download here!

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Pathfinder Nexus on Demiplane
Roll20 Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

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

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PZO9557


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2.20/5 (based on 17 ratings)

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Very Disappointing

1/5

I think the premise and primary narrative of this adventure had great promise. Unfortunately, the execution was about the worst I've seen in a Paizo product. The encounters were generally uninspired and bland. Essentially noting more than hit point attrition slug fests with numerous encounters later in the adventure that were really nothing more than rehashed ones from earlier.

No surprise based on the product description that oozes were prominent, but other than the main idea of the outbreak, they were unremarkable and often the location and environmental aspects made very little sense.

Despite being set in an otherwise robust urban environment, there was very little exposure to its unique features and little to no social encounters to speak of.

As this was the first, featured release post Advanced Player's Guide it didn't incorporate much of that other than to create pregens using the new class options. This was especially bad with the inclusion of the swashbuckler. Virtually none of its class features are effective in the first third of the book and by the time you get to the few occasions where they are useful, you are so disgusted with the character that you either want to walk away from the game or just get through it as quickly as possible on autopilot. I will reiterate what I said in the discussion thread, DO NOT PLAY THE SWASHBUCKLER IN THIS ADVENTURE, not even the pregen specifically built for it. You will be incredibly disappointed.

Its not uncommon, nor undesirable to have a severe or extreme challenge, but there are too many of them over too short a period of time. A party of four players using the provided pregens should expect to experience a TPK at least twice during gameplay, with more likely depending on luck of the dice and/or tactical mistakes. Many of the encounters are incredibly unforgiving and statistically are designed for the players to lose.

Overall, whoever wrote the project summary had a really interesting idea. Unfortunately, the execution by the author and perhaps the developer was incredibly sub-par. They really dropped the ball on this one. Reading the adventure, after playing it, and getting all the details that didn't come out during game play just made it worse. So much info is available to the GM with little to no way to share it without forced exposition.

Sorry, but I think this is the first module Paizo has ever published that I wished I had never played. Don't waste your time.


Could have been good...

2/5

I wish there was more emphasis on Kibwe itself. Going to Holy Xatramba was cool and all, but the combats on the way there were both far too hard as well as kind of boring that I just cut them. I also wish Xatramba had any kind of description to it. The plot is a bit all over the place. I ended up not running part 3 at all and just having them save the day after chapter 2 because it just was not worth continuing.

Oozes every so often are neat. An entire chapter of just oozes is really, really bad. They have very few unique mechanics, which makes it hard to stop the individual fights from feeling samey. The maps were also very tight.


Novel idea, light on roleplaying

3/5

There are more fights than in your regular scenario. They just keep coming.

If you like combat slogs and dungeon crawling, you'll probably enjoy this. There are some tough fights inside.

The adventure lacks puzzles of any kind, and roleplaying / diplomatic encounters are very few. "Face" characters may feel less important.

Also, I like the premise of the curse, and there are nice flavorful elements like the pillar-watchers.


We slithered away from the adventure

1/5

I had a group of 5 players who participated in this game, non-PFS. Everyone had some experience with PF2e to a degree, but i don't think we were quite expecting what we dealt with here. We all made custom characters, but it didn't make too much of a difference.

We started a few months ago, going every other week, but had some weeks lost due to holidays, and people at times just feeling worn down while playing it. I had 2 character deaths early in the game of Chapter 1 (yes, those traditional typical TPK encounters), and at one point instituted a deus ex machina to prevent a TPK, as I felt the encounter that was presented was inherently unfair to the party.

The fact that even the Pregens are built poorly does not bode well for this -looking at the swashbuckler in particular does nothing but stand around (and not much else) for most of Chapter 1. Which is just bizarre. No mental effects/no precision damage/no piercing damage for the majority of enemies, which just makes you a table.

After finishing the first chapter tonight, I asked the group how they were feeling about the game, since they seemed exhausted, and they asked if the rest of the adventure seemed as heavy a slog of ridiculous combats and traps that just rip people to shreds. I looked ahead again, and confirmed that some of them would certainly be overwhelming challenging again, and asked if they would rather I just make something homebrew for a campaign instead of continuing the plot.

All the players said that while they had interest in the plot itself, if the encounters stayed the same level of punishment they were far less inclined to want to play. It soon after was brought to a vote of 5-0 for us to do a random campaign i make on the fly, rather than bother trying to continue for the next chapter.

My critiques come in 2 forms:
1. I felt as though there was a lack of testing to some degree for the encounter difficulties, either it was such a cakewalk that they took no damage at all (2 boggard warriors), or basilisks right after a trap room, before a trap stairwell that in most cases they could never spot the trap for it unless they broke the system for a Master in Perception.

2. It just didn't feel fun to run as a GM, I don't like playing the role of your out for blood GM, and honestly, the whole book just made it seem like it was built for people who want that experience. Character deaths can happen of course, but it just felt honestly unfair and unfun at times to even run it. Plus the parts I was actually interested in (the ritual, how did these statues come into play, what are their larger roles) is not as central to the plot as "welp they are gone, better get going!"

I hope going forward, the adventures get better, because honestly I was really excited for this one when it was released and told the group about running it to their excitement, and we just left disappointed.


Disappointing...avoid

2/5

Context: I own this in PDF, but have never run it. I generally run an adventure before I review it, but in this case I gave up on the first read-through knowing I would never run it.

The good:
* The art and graphic design are well done
* The need for a non-human party is a clever twist

The bad:
* The combats are super repetitive
* The maps are overly boxy and "samey"
* The plot strains credulity

The ugly:
* Backtracking through an (already lackluster) area was a big no no; it didn't work in Halo, and it doesn't work here.

Overall I cannot recommend this adventure.

(**---)


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I remember reading something about the 'hook' for this adventure, but I can't find it anymore. Could anyone confirm whether this is true, or whether it's something that my imagination conjured up? Might be a possible spoiler, so see below.

Spoiler:
I got the impression from somewhere that this adventure is about an ailment that only afflicts humans. Therefore, the PC's are supposed to play non-humans, and that is also the hook that gets them into the adventure.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Iff wrote:

I remember reading something about the 'hook' for this adventure, but I can't find it anymore. Could anyone confirm whether this is true, or whether it's something that my imagination conjured up? Might be a possible spoiler, so see below.

** spoiler omitted **

Thats what they said in paizocon online streams


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Iff wrote:

I remember reading something about the 'hook' for this adventure, but I can't find it anymore. Could anyone confirm whether this is true, or whether it's something that my imagination conjured up? Might be a possible spoiler, so see below.

** spoiler omitted **

The Slithering Spoiler:
It was originally drafted to be an ailment/disease, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they changed it to being a type of curse. But yes, it's supposed to affect all humans, so you'll need to play a non-human for this adventure.

Given the APG comes out at the same time as this adventure, it opens up a lot of options in that regard.


Thanks, folks. It's good to know I hadn't just dreamed that up.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

In response to Ezekieru's:
"It was originally drafted to be an ailment/disease, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they changed it to being a type of curse."

Up to Paizo, but to me it just seems silly.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Humor Indicated So all the Oozemorphs from PF1 decided to found their own nation and Kibwe seemed like a good place to start? And the Aspis was willing to fund their efforts?

Because my memory is shot of what is and isn't under Spoilers..:
All joking aside, I'm curious if it'd be playable as a human character, potentially with long-term effects from said curse...

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That cover art is wonderful.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Humor Indicated So all the Oozemorphs from PF1 decided to found their own nation and Kibwe seemed like a good place to start? And the Aspis was willing to fund their efforts?

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
I just recently listened to the Paizocon panel about this. Pure human characters are pretty much unplayable in this adventure, but it is up to the GM whether humans with heritages such as half-elf, half-orc, or one of the universal heritages from the Advanced Player's Guide might be immune.
Developer

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Ezekieru wrote:
Iff wrote:

I remember reading something about the 'hook' for this adventure, but I can't find it anymore. Could anyone confirm whether this is true, or whether it's something that my imagination conjured up? Might be a possible spoiler, so see below.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

This isn't exactly right.

Plot Origin:
I originally proposed this concept as a disease, many many months before Covid-19, but was almost immediately reminded that our first Pathfinder Second Edition adventure, The Fall of Plaguestone, involves a disease. So this was set to be a curse before the first word of the outline was even written, more than a year ago.
I had always planned to showcase Kibwe, though, and I'm glad we kept that!

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ron Lundeen wrote:
Ezekieru wrote:
Iff wrote:

I remember reading something about the 'hook' for this adventure, but I can't find it anymore. Could anyone confirm whether this is true, or whether it's something that my imagination conjured up? Might be a possible spoiler, so see below.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

This isn't exactly right. ** spoiler omitted ** I had always planned to showcase Kibwe, though, and I'm glad we kept that!

Oops, sorry that I spread misinformation! Glad to see that straightened out.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I hope there are a lot more if these stand alone modules. Good stuff.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
"Ron Lundeen wrote:
It just matters that your heroes are in the right place at the right time...for danger!

So you're saying we should get ready for...

action?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

"He's ready for mystery! He's ready for excitement! He's ready for anything! He's..."

"Nick Danger, Third Eye."

The Exchange

Can anybody provide the link to the pregenerated characters the adventure mentions at page 3? Thanks!

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
marcopico wrote:
Can anybody provide the link to the pregenerated characters the adventure mentions at page 3? Thanks!

Here ya go!

Envoy's Alliance

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am excited to see another Ron Lundeen adventure and more excitement in the Mwangi Expanse! Several of my favorite PFS adventures took place in Mwangi lands this year.

Hmm

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:
marcopico wrote:
Can anybody provide the link to the pregenerated characters the adventure mentions at page 3? Thanks!
Here ya go!

Oh, those are adorable!

Hmm


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I just got this at my local game store. I haven't started reading it yet and was wondering if there were any projections as to when the society play chronicle sheet would be available for this. Right now the guys I've been running society for aren't yet level 5 so no rush, but it would be nice to have an idea. Thanks in advance.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I know this has been released only recently, but my players are ravenous for new content. I should say, "New Sanctioned Content," because more than a few of my locals won't play unless there's a Chronicle sheet. Hrmph.

So.... Any word on sanctioning? Also, how does this work with ACP?

Thanks!


Anyone actually run this yet? How long does it take? Trying to figure out how much time to set aside? TIA


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Brian Raivel wrote:
Anyone actually run this yet? How long does it take? Trying to figure out how much time to set aside? TIA

It looks pretty comparable in a lot of ways to Fall of Plaguestone. 2-3 sessions per level, depending on how your group plays. I'd say 5 sessions at the very fastest, 10 at the slowest (well, without going significantly off script for the module as written).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Ed Reppert wrote:

"He's ready for mystery! He's ready for excitement! He's ready for anything! He's..."

"Nick Danger, Third Eye."

Why, that's nothing but a two-bit ring from a CrackerBack Jox!


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

Awesome idea for an adventure! Kudos Ron!


Not For Players!:
Question about the curse. Do you think that the clothes and equipment of whoever undergoes transformation survives? Or does it all get eaten by the acidic nature of this transformation?

Media Specialist, SmiteWorks USA (Fantasy Grounds)

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Hello everyone! This is now available for purchase from Fantasy Grounds or on Steam. Sync your FG account first to get it a discount equivalent to the PDF Price ($15.99)

Pathfinder Adventure: The Slithering
Publisher: Paizo Inc.
System: Pathfinder 2
Type: Adventure
Get it on Steam


1 person marked this as a favorite.

That cover art really takes me back to the early 3E days. Go ahead and google "The Speaker in Dreams", you will see what I mean.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yup, I thought so too, Krathanos.

Scarab Sages

Farnaby wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

also not for players:
Gonna assume the answer to that is hard no with the exception of magical objects, since the opening market encounter describes how the first morph destroys the darkwood on sale as a result of the acid.
Acquisitives

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Are they planning on Sanctioning this? Session 1 is about to start in a few hours here and the way Ive it scheduled (bi-weekly) should take a little bit to get through it, hoping it gets a sheet soon.

Shadow Lodge

BigPaul wrote:
Are they planning on Sanctioning this?

Of course they are.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm curious how the sanctioning for the scenario will roll.

I have an interesting concept for a character that may be embodying a bit too much Chaos for their own good... :>


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Probably not going to be much different to Fall of Plaguestone.


The Slithering's web supplement needs to be linked in the product description page, as the book merely advises the reader to go to "paizo.com", not the blog post.

Grand Lodge

So, we've only played one session so far, but it appears to be a really poor decision to feature a swashbuckler in an adventure when all the enemies we have fought so far are immune to virtually everything I do...not resistant, immune


TwilightKnight wrote:
So, we've only played one session so far, but it appears to be a really poor decision to feature a swashbuckler in an adventure when all the enemies we have fought so far are immune to virtually everything I do...not resistant, immune

It doesnt seem to get much better. We finished part 1 in 3 sessions using our ownn PCs. I cannot see how the pregen party provided for this has any chance whatsoever unless the GM constantly pulls their punches.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Would this be a good adventure for the Secrets of Magic playtest?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, to follow up on my last comment, DO NOT PLAY A SWASHBUCKLER! especially not the pregen version. There are waaay too many oozes in this that are immune to all your damage types. Ordinarily I wouldn't spoiler in the open, but this is too important.

The swashbuckler is an awesome class, the pregen is a well-built character and I really like this module. However, IMO it is incredibly bad design to release an adventure with the intention of featuring the four new classes from the APG when nearly all of the creatures in the first Chapter of the adventure are immune to virtually everything you do. During the first chapter of the adventure, the swashbuckler is essentially nothing more than a an NPC class, punching with their first and hoping (very unlikely) to win the battle of hit point attrition.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's not exactly a new thing, of course... *looks at Risen From The Sands*

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As someone who is running this to pregens, its really weird how after first two parts of chapter 1 all pregens can finally play themselves(besides the witch who is mvp vs oozes, the oracle's only damage cantrip has mental trait, and investigator's abilities are fairly useless vs oozes as well)

I think this ap has two really big problems: Almost every ooze has split. If party is playing blindly, well uh... This splitted oozes don't become smaller and weaker, that just means when encounter is vs single high level ooze, now you just made encounter to be extreme :P

Second is that

which really irks me:
is that even oozes that don't split in this moudle are immune to piercing and slashing damage. Seriously, did fuming sludge need to be immune to 2/3 damage types on TOP of its really nasty abilities?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TwilightKnight wrote:

Yeah, to follow up on my last comment, DO NOT PLAY A SWASHBUCKLER! especially not the pregen version. There are waaay too many oozes in this that are immune to all your damage types. Ordinarily I wouldn't spoiler in the open, but this is too important.

The swashbuckler is an awesome class, the pregen is a well-built character and I really like this module. However, IMO it is incredibly bad design to release an adventure with the intention of featuring the four new classes from the APG when nearly all of the creatures in the first Chapter of the adventure are immune to virtually everything you do. During the first chapter of the adventure, the swashbuckler is essentially nothing more than a an NPC class, punching with their first and hoping (very unlikely) to win the battle of hit point attrition.

What's up with the open spoilers? That's pretty inconsiderate.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
PFRPGrognard wrote:
TwilightKnight wrote:

Yeah, to follow up on my last comment, DO NOT PLAY A SWASHBUCKLER! especially not the pregen version. There are waaay too many oozes in this that are immune to all your damage types. Ordinarily I wouldn't spoiler in the open, but this is too important.

The swashbuckler is an awesome class, the pregen is a well-built character and I really like this module. However, IMO it is incredibly bad design to release an adventure with the intention of featuring the four new classes from the APG when nearly all of the creatures in the first Chapter of the adventure are immune to virtually everything you do. During the first chapter of the adventure, the swashbuckler is essentially nothing more than a an NPC class, punching with their first and hoping (very unlikely) to win the battle of hit point attrition.

What's up with the open spoilers? That's pretty inconsiderate.

I mean, is it really spoiler that ooze adventure has lot of oozes(all of oozes in entire 2e are immune to precision damage as well)? And that in level range of 5, almost all oozes are immune to every common damage type?

Like seriously, this adventure made me realize that we really need more oozes in this level range that don't split <_< Or more fair rules for it


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
TheCalicoKid wrote:
Would this be a good adventure for the Secrets of Magic playtest?

Has to be built carefully, but sure. I ran a Magus through the module.

Two, actually, because the first did not survive encounter 1.

Grand Lodge

PFRPGrognard wrote:
What's up with the open spoilers? That's pretty inconsiderate.
TwilightKnight wrote:
Ordinarily I wouldn't spoiler in the open, but this is too important.

Maybe you missed the answer to your question in the text you were quoting. Besides, as indicated above, it’s not much of a spoiler given that oozes are revealed in the module summary.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It's a new edition still. No doubt there are plenty of people entirely new to RPGs who wouldn't know every creature's special abilities and immunities.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Fumarole wrote:
It's a new edition still. No doubt there are plenty of people entirely new to RPGs who wouldn't know every creature's special abilities and immunities.

Its still weird to call it spoilers when literally every ooze is immune to precision damage in both editions.

Like, sure, new edition so monster abilities might be different, but saying trolls don't like fire or skeletons don't like bludgeoning is a spoiler is really weird :P Its usually something gms tells to players as tutorial on how weaknesses and regeneration and such work.

Also, if you play this module blindly(as in have no absolutely idea how oozes work in this edition), you will most likely absolutely hate it and have terrible time.


TwilightKnight wrote:
PFRPGrognard wrote:
What's up with the open spoilers? That's pretty inconsiderate.
TwilightKnight wrote:
Ordinarily I wouldn't spoiler in the open, but this is too important.
Maybe you missed the answer to your question in the text you were quoting. Besides, as indicated above, it’s not much of a spoiler given that oozes are revealed in the module summary.

No, I didn't ignore you justifying being inconsiderate. I'm pointing it out whether you like it or not.

Shadow Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.

So you knew the answer and still asked the question?

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