Pathfinder One-Shot #1: Sundered Waves

4.10/5 (based on 18 ratings)
Pathfinder One-Shot #1: Sundered Waves

Add Waves $9.99

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For years, the pirate Captain Renlock sailed the coast of the Arcadian Ocean from the Shackles to the south to the waters of Varisia to the north searching for plunder and adventure—until one day his luck ran out. The ship was captured by a navy and the captain and his crew were apprehended and imprisoned. Years later, after the captain's death in prison, the four released crewmembers receive a message from the deceased captain pointing them to treasure he hid for them.

This short Pathfinder 2nd edition adventure written by Jason Bulmahn is intended to be completed in a single session and includes four 5th-level pregenerated characters whose backstories and motivations tie closely into the plot of the adventure. This adventure can be easily incorporated into various virtual tabletops, run off of digital devices, or printed out and played at a table.

"Sundered Waves" is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (942 kb PDF).

Pregenerated characters for this adventure are also available as a free download, as well as a free digital wallpaper of the cover art in a variety of sizes.

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

Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Pathfinder Nexus on Demiplane
Roll20 Virtual Tabletop

Product Availability

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

PZOPF1001E


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4.10/5 (based on 18 ratings)

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Great adventure for newer players

5/5

Just ran this adventure for my table of players this last weekend. We all loved it. I have one experienced PF2e player, an experienced D&D player, and a newer (less than 25 sessions) PF2e player. Our 4th player was out of town so we ran this one-shot instead, and I ran a GMPC.

Nice tight story, good challenges and puzzles, and interesting characters. We did the full adventure (including the optional first fight) in almost exactly 4 hours on Foundry. My players laughed at the “friends-along-the-way” ending, but in a good-natured way. We all left the game feeling like we had a blast.

Definitely recommend for newer players to showcase the system, or for experienced players looking for a break from a long campaign. 5/5 stars.


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I don't do Roll 20 because it does not work with my low tech. I need the map for Google Slides. Is there anyone who can help me get an untagged gridded map? I've been hoping that Paizo will release a revised map like they did with the pregens, but don't know if that is feasible before this weekend.

Hmm


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

Why is the download for this adventure so huge? Even the inclusion of the pregen PCs should not do more than double its size over that of a standard adventure with a similar page count.


David knott 242 wrote:
Why is the download for this adventure so huge? Even the inclusion of the pregen PCs should not do more than double its size over that of a standard adventure with a similar page count.

I don't know how big the files should be, but it has a lot more extra handouts than the average PFS scenario.

Sovereign Court

I'd imagine it would be the various image files included in it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

I ran this over the weekend

It was a joy to run and my players loved it

Highly recommended

Radiant Oath

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This was fun, but way too short. It's barely two hours. I'm also unsure who this product is for. The 5th level characters are too complicated for beginners, and experienced players would probably rather be playing their own characters. The characters have nice backgrounds, but only the cleric is really integrated to the adventure. There's one good puzzle. There's no reason to recommend this adventure when you could run anything else for more playtime and with your own character.


Dr A Gon wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Why is the download for this adventure so huge? Even the inclusion of the pregen PCs should not do more than double its size over that of a standard adventure with a similar page count.
I don't know how big the files should be, but it has a lot more extra handouts than the average PFS scenario.

Well, the similarly sized Pathfinder Bounty was 2.8 MB. This file is a bit over 125 MB.

To break it down further:

Adventure - 42 mb
Pregens - 64 mb
Art file - 23 mb


1 person marked this as a favorite.
AceofMoxen wrote:
This was fun, but way too short. It's barely two hours. I'm also unsure who this product is for. The 5th level characters are too complicated for beginners, and experienced players would probably rather be playing their own characters. The characters have nice backgrounds, but only the cleric is really integrated to the adventure. There's one good puzzle. There's no reason to recommend this adventure when you could run anything else for more playtime and with your own character.

People going to a convention or Free RPG day event where there's a limited time slot.

If I think about the Goblin, Skittermander, and Kobold adventures as precursors to this line, it makes a bit more sense to me.

My one wish would if there was 6 pregens, and the adventure was tuned for 4 characters still. That way you can hand out the extra characters if more people show up to your slot, and it would offer a bit more variety. Meanwhile keeping yhe tuning the same would allow for easier learning curve while getting to know your character, and also speed up combat that gets bogged down by more people at the table.


Any idea why the Fighter is a fighter and not a Champion?


Unikatze wrote:

Any idea why the Fighter is a fighter and not a Champion?

If I had to guess, he's trying to work towards being a Champion, but isn't there yet. A lot of his story hooks are about facing his past here.

If that character appears in another story (unlikely), I'd suspect they'd be a champion as part of resolving their character growth here, etc.

Radiant Oath

2 people marked this as a favorite.
AnimatedPaper wrote:
AceofMoxen wrote:
This was fun, but way too short. It's barely two hours. I'm also unsure who this product is for. The 5th level characters are too complicated for beginners, and experienced players would probably rather be playing their own characters. The characters have nice backgrounds, but only the cleric is really integrated to the adventure. There's one good puzzle. There's no reason to recommend this adventure when you could run anything else for more playtime and with your own character.

People going to a convention or Free RPG day event where there's a limited time slot.

If I think about the Goblin, Skittermander, and Kobold adventures as precursors to this line, it makes a bit more sense to me.

Well, it's not for Free RPG day, it's $5. On warhorn and other places, this was placed in four-hour time slots. I'm a little miffed that I signed up to play for 4 hours and only had content for two.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
AceofMoxen wrote:
Well, it's not for Free RPG day, it's $5. On warhorn and other places, this was placed in four-hour time slots. I'm a little miffed that I signed up to play for 4 hours and only had content for two.

Play times vary. Always. My group took over 4 hours.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
AceofMoxen wrote:
This was . . . way too short.

Agreed. My group finished in about two and a half hours, and that was even with a couple interruptions. This didn't actually shake out to be much more content than the average PFS Quest / Bounty.

Marketing & Media Manager

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Regarding duration, pulling back the curtain, One-Shots are designed, in part, with Twitch streamers in mind. These shows are more likely to take the time in the telling for entertainment purposes. But of course we want them to work for everyone, so thank you all very much for the feedback. This is a new line and I am excited to see it evolve!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've said this elsewhere but I couldn't find this thread or I would have put in in there, in its correct place.

Sundered Waves seems light on NPC interaction, and it's got a lot of information for newer GMs in.

We enjoyed it, but I do hope that this trend doesn't creep over into the rest of the line - I don't mind new GM instruction, but lack of NPC interaction is undesirable, and having an NPC shouting hints to the party is kinda cheesy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Personally, I think the reported time to complete this module is perfect. I would rather finish early than run out of time and not be sure about getting everyone back together to finish the module off. My group generally has 3-4 hours on a Saturday evening to finish a scenario. Sometimes we run late, but we really don't want to make a habit of doing so.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Luke Styer wrote:
AceofMoxen wrote:
This was . . . way too short.
Agreed. My group finished in about two and a half hours, and that was even with a couple interruptions. This didn't actually shake out to be much more content than the average PFS Quest / Bounty.

Short runtimes will arise from playing it like a PFS quest or bounty. Most of the story in those products comes from the plot. In this adventure, most of the story comes from the characters. Players need to come prepared to do a lot of character interaction to get the most out of this story.

Again, this different style of gameplay is a departure from PFS-style products. It takes a different mindset or style of play.

Radiant Oath

1 person marked this as a favorite.
GM OfAnything wrote:
Luke Styer wrote:
AceofMoxen wrote:
This was . . . way too short.
Agreed. My group finished in about two and a half hours, and that was even with a couple interruptions. This didn't actually shake out to be much more content than the average PFS Quest / Bounty.

Short runtimes will arise from playing it like a PFS quest or bounty. Most of the story in those products comes from the plot. In this adventure, most of the story comes from the characters. Players need to come prepared to do a lot of character interaction to get the most out of this story.

Again, this different style of gameplay is a departure from PFS-style products. It takes a different mindset or style of play.

This could have been better communicated before we played. I also wonder if the double Achievement points was the wrong approach to marketing this.


Double ACP weekend probably contributed to an unhealthy air of urgency, yeah. But I do think the blog, product page, and detailed character write-ups should point players toward the characters. I know I will emphasize their interaction when I GM this in the future.

Ultimately, it’s a new product line. There is going to be some adjustment necessary. Now we know what to expect for the next entry and will be prepared to play.

Radiant Oath

Is the second one-shot going to have a double ACP weekend over Paizocon?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As a Paizo sponsored convention there should already be a higher rate on ACP for those sessions. So yes, but not exactly that.

Edit: If we're talking non-PaizoCon sessions, it will only have extra ACP if they add another double weekend. No idea if that is planned.

Marketing & Media Manager

Sundered Waves in now available on both Fantasy Grounds and Roll20.


Also on Astral


So the one-shot comes with pre-gen. How well does it work for a group of people who wants to use their own characters for it?


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rekijan wrote:
So the one-shot comes with pre-gen. How well does it work for a group of people who wants to use their own characters for it?

Probably not the right adventure for this. The pre-gens are quite tied into the history of the adventure. Well, you can play it with random characters, if you want to, but doesn't really make much sense.


Zaister wrote:
Rekijan wrote:
So the one-shot comes with pre-gen. How well does it work for a group of people who wants to use their own characters for it?
Probably not the right adventure for this. The pre-gens are quite tied into the history of the adventure. Well, you can play it with random characters, if you want to, but doesn't really make much sense.

Well I was wondering more mechanically than RP. It shouldn't be too hard to copy paste a background onto a different stat block for example. But it is quite another thing if they need spell X to progress which one of the pre-gens just happens to have.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Anyone found any appropriate minis for the pregens?


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just a note, the sanctioning documents have not been updated yet. As per this blog post the adventure now awards 4 Reputation with your chosen Faction.


This is the second pre written adventure I see where the spellcasters aren't given Read Aura to identify magical items.

The other being the Beginner Box, which I guess may get a pass for simplicity (still ignoring a core mechanic though).

Is it assumed when a character already owns an item with a +1 rune, it's easy for them to tell other what other +1 items are by just noticing the runes look the same?
Or is Paizo just low key ignoring one of the more cumbersome mechanics in the game on purpose?

(Read aura is in Dinner at Lionlodge. So I'm assuming not)

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There's nothing in the Identify Magic downtime activity that implies that one needs to know the aura or the school as you did in first edition. You just need to know an item is magical. I tend to be pretty lenient—with a few minutes downtime, a PC could find a non-magical 30' area and then move a suspected item into it and cast Detect Magic again. So I don't require Read Aura as a prerequisite to identifying.

For what it's worth, I've seen it run the same way in PFS where they tend to stick to RAW interpretations.


This adventure was a lot of fun! It is also easy to modify for a 5th player. Cut map #4 in half, and on the left half use MS Paint to draw a little inset map of 4-5 islands with pirate names like "The Parrot's Nest", "Trader's bay", or "The Shattered Keep". Then change the sailing riddle to refer to those islands instead of the map of Golarion.

The 5th player can use their map to help solve the riddle. Everything else is pretty easy to balance by slightly tweaking the encounters. For the pregenerated character, I added an irongut Goblin Bard named Maz who was the Ship's cook, renowned with the crew for her horrible food experiments and her friendly attitude.


Good one

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