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Pathfinder Adventure Path: The Serpent's Skull Part 1 - Souls for the Smuggler's Shiv (Pathfinder Adventure Path: Serpent's Skull) Paperback – August 26, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Pathfinder Adventure Path: Serpent's Skull (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Paizo Publishing, LLC. (August 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601252544
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601252548
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,263,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris on February 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
The first module in the Serpent's Skull Adventure Path starts off with the players being shipwrecked and stranded on a jungle island. It's a massive sandbox for your players to explore while they attempt to escape. Think Mysterious Island meets Indiana Jones, with a little bit of Morrowind.

The island, Smuggler's Shiv, is filled with set-piece locales, monster lairs, and vile cannibals. Plus, there's a half-dozen fellow castaways to roleplay, each with their own... issues. Lots of wilderness survival and jungle encounters, but also several solid dungeons near the end of the Path, and some roleplay/story encounters thrown in. Also, if you want to ramp up the Survivor angle, there's disease, morale, and camp-building to deal with. Quite a lot of variety.

Really, there's a lot to do, and plenty of room for a GM to add more. The encounters are balanced; some are quite challenging, others are a lot of fun. The NPCs have a lot of flavor, plus some quests (and rewards!) of their own. The set adventure locales cover a wide spectrum, and they're all really interesting.

As a sandbox, though, the module has a lot for the GM to keep track of: the NPCs' morale and helpfulness, the camp, random encounters, weather, etc. If you're strapped for time, this is not the Path to get started on; if you like modifying and expanding pre-packaged modules, this Path has plenty of room for you to work with. If found it a lot of fun to run, but also pretty labor-intensive for a canned adventure.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. Hart on June 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have just recently returned to the realm of table top RPG after a hiatus of 20 years, first as a player and now once again as a game master. I always appreciated the work and effort that went into the old 80's gaming modules, and the amount of planning that I didn't have to do as a result.

This is my first module that I have run in two decades and let me say that if all of the games are at this level now, then they have come a long way, baby!!

This will take a lot of the planning out of mastering a game, but there is still much to study of the setting and a lot to keep up with during the game. The characters are stranded on an island along with 5 NPC's and their interactions while trying to escape and discover the secrets of the islands are much more than I could have planned. The adventure itself is also nonlinear in that the PC's can go anywhere they want on the island, or they can try to build a raft or swim out to sea on day 1. I guess they could get mad at each other and go their separate ways (not recommended.)

Again, I cannot speak to how this module compares to other 'modern' ones, but let me say that it is involved and our group is having a great time with it. The NPC's really add something extra to the game and move the game away from just hack and slash. The module also takes into consideration jungle conditions such as rain, heat, and disease, in addition to the usual dinosaurs, cannibals, ghosts, snake priests, etc...

I highly recommend this module especially for a GM who can keep a lot of things going at one time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Garber on May 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
My first purchase of a Pathfinder adventure path, and I am pleasantly surprised. This adventure starts the players, not in the stereotypical city tavern, but thrown together washed up on a jungle island, together with some significant NPCs, full of disease, heat, and more sinister dangers. The players are free to go anywhere on the detailed map and follow any leads from the NPCs or their own promptings. The NPCs play a significant role in the upcoming adventures as well. I played this with my nine-year-old daughter as her first official Pathfinder adventure, and she is loving every minute so far. Well written, creative, and engaging.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jason Schaaf on July 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Like all Paizo books, this was a pleasure to read. The NPCs are all really well fleshed out which allows the GM to develop some great RP scenes. As stated before, the Adventure Path has a built in reason for the players to be assembled and continue working together. Overall the feel of the scenario presented invokes the high adventure ideals of Indiana Jones, King Solomon's Mines and Pirates of the Caribbean.
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