The first savage tide has already touched the mortal world, yet none who live today recall this time of red ruin. Unleashed from the cruel heart of a fell seed known as a shadow pearl, this savage tide swept over an ancient city perched atop the crown of a remote island. The tide transformed beggar and noble, merchant and thief, resident and visitor into feral, ravenous fiends. The fruits of centuries of labor came crumbling down in a matter of days, and when the survivors tried to stem the tide by destroying the pearl, the resulting blast of power sunk their city into the boiling lake of death. Through it all, the Abyssal architect of the savage tide watched, taking pride in the ruin. When the tide's final ripples had faded, what was left became known as the Isle of Dread.
Now, after a thousand years, the true masters of the Isle of Dread look upon new targets, new cities beyond the horizon, compelled by the hateful will of their demonic lord Demogorgon to prepare for the coming glory. This time, the doom will not be limited to one hapless city. This time, all of civilization waits unknowing on the shore, blissfully ignorant of what the incoming tide brings in.
"There Is No Honor" is the first chapter of the Savage Tide Adventure Path, a complete campaign consisting of 12 adventures that will appear in the next twelve issues of Dungeon. For additional aid in running this campaign, check out Dragon's monthly "Savage Tidings" articles, a series that helps players and DMs prepare for and expand upon the campaign. Issue #348 of Dragon kicks off this series with details on six affiliations based in Sasserine that your players may wish to join. And if you're running Savage Tides in the Forgotten Realms or Eberron, make sure to check paizo.com for the latest conversion notes for each adventure.
The Savage Tide Adventure Path debuts as a new band of heroes confronts exotic monsters, undead pirates, and a sinister guild of thieves on the cusp of unleashing a murderous coup.
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cr4nk13 has played this adventure and would recommend it.
I'm in the middle of running Savage Tide AP for the second time; I'll review the chapters we've passed so far. The first party I played with got to chapter 4 when we quit due to life happening, the current run is in that exact chapter. Let me just start off by saying that this adventure path is great on the whole, if you read it all the way through as a DM you get so inspired because you can see all the connecting dots from the beginning and it offers a lot of space to expand on what's going on along the way. That being said; the entire adventure can get a little "railroad-y", not in the sense that there's not a lot of different ways to approach the problem (there are various ways even addressed in the AP itself), but rather that the story kind of forces the party to "keep moving".
There are a few down-time moments; but from the instant the big bad-guy plot Demogorgon has for the world with the black pearls; I felt my players were constantly being forced to follow the clues very quickly because it's kind of a "end of the world" kind of scenario we're dealing with. That being said; Both times I ran this AP it was for the large part for first-time and inexperienced players and they never had a problem with being pulled along with the story as written.
As for this chapter specifically; this is a great great start to the AP. You get: 0. A gigantic setting explained in the city of sasserine including a players handout of the city for them to get inspired with (this is not part of the AP itself just the setting which is great)
- A very simple to run but functionally great introduction roleplaying scene to the AP and why the PC's are at the same place including a great NPC (Kora) as well as some minor antagonists (the jade ravens)
- A challenging but manageable first quest to reclaim a stolen ship docked in the harbor which offers a lot of different ways to approach (stealth / diplomacy / combat)
- A puzzle which does not seem very complex from a dm's perspective, but still got both my groups fudging around with for at least 30-45 minutes each (to my merriment obviously)
- A whodunnit investigation of what's going on, followed by an ambush of the 1st BBEG who both of my groups immediately grew to hate intensely because he traps them in an underground dungeon full of zombies and worse
- Another investigation to find a thieves guild lair including a potential interrogation scene
- The rooting out of said thieves guild lair in a dungeon crawl which includes a potential ambush in a well with a crocodile which is always epic...:)
Complaints and tips to fix:
- I have very little complaints with anything here, there is so much diversity in this 25 page chapter alone that I can recommend it to be used for any campaign opener played in the region. In fact, since the 5e module for the Tomb of Annihalation takes place in the exact same region/city it might be a great opener for that module as well if you update it to 5e rules.
- The only thing I'd watch out for is to run the dungeon crawl of the thieves guild lair as written; it's quite big and not very exciting to run the way it's written anyway. The first time I did and it got quite tedious, so the second time around I sped things up by just having the thieves make 2 or 3 stands at important positions in the complex, which helped a lot with the pacing.
9/10 if you ask me, so much going on and so many different ways to approach the given problems/challenges, it's a great adventure
DGoldDragon28 has played this adventure and would recommend it.
Looking ahead, the Savage Tide adventure path as a whole looks quite good, although so far my group has only finished "There Is No Honour", and this introductory module leaves much to be desired.
The puzzle in the Vanderboren Vault is terrible as written. Leave it out or replace it with a better puzzle. In fact, why have the characters accompany Lady Vanderboren into the vault at all? I guess the idea is to give the players the idea that the late Lord and Lady Vanderboren were eccentric types (read: adventurers), but there's probably a better way of doing that. And it depends on your party a bit, but it's a bit of a stretch for the Lady to trust the players that much this early on.
My players pieced together the clues pointing to Parrot Island before the informant showed up. This was good -- it made the investigation actually feel meaningful (I didn't change anything here: they deduced Parrot Island from the city map and the fact that the boat had headed west from the shop). The encounters in the tunnels were decent, but a bit repetitive.
My players skipped much of the Lotus Dragon base, happening to take the turns that lead them to Rowyn. She died to a lucky crit on AoO when she was trying to chug her potion.
The adventure has some potential but it really needs retooling -- something I would have done if I had had the time.