Product– Pathfinder Adventure Path-Skull and Shackles- The Price of Infamy
TL;DR-Not pirates, but fun! 88%
Basics-The plot thickens! In the previous adventures, the players have gone from scrappy slaves to pirate lords of the Shackles. At the start after a council meeting, the players receive a secret note telling them that they will soon be attacked by on old rival who has amassed a fleet to destroy them. Can the players get enough help and ships to save themselves? Will they put an end to an old rivalry that’s been plaguing them since the beginning? This book also contains fleet battle rules, more monsters and NPCs, another piece of the fiction for this adventure path, and background on Norgorber.
Fluff or Story-This one has a fun story. It goes back to the sandbox approach that has dominated all the really fun parts of the AP. The players don’t get to be excessively pirate-y, but they do get to be adventurers as this part is several small requests for help tied together. This adventure is fun if a little scattered, but your players will mostly feel catharsis as they get some revenge. Also, the fiction story and Norgorber give great background on the world. 4.5/5
Crunch or Mechanics-There is good and bad here. But, the good is great, and the bad can’t be helped. The bad is Pathfinder has the 3.X problem of players becoming a little too godlike at around ~11 compared to the monsters they are facing. Having only one monster in a fight will result in the players somehow locking that monster down too quickly for it to damage them. To have more than one monster in a fight, the CR of each monster has to be two less, and the problem intensifies as you add more monsters. Thus, the players are not threatened by piles of CR 3 monsters, since the players can’t be hit on anything less than a natural 20. So, if you want to challenge your players, you as a GM will need to change things on the fly quite often! However, what is awesome in this book is the fleet rules! The fleet rules give a great way for Pathfinder players to have a massive ship battle without having to have massive amounts of ships. Again, any smart pathfinder group will break them quite easy as the main skill that the fleet rules use is profession(sailor) (which most players will have maxed out by now!). So battles tend to be a bit one-sided, but they are still somewhat tense. Overall, I liked what I saw in this one except for the problems that can’t really be helped or fixed. 4/5
Execution-This is well done. Paizo again delivers an excellent product that was fun to read. I would have liked a few more ways to break up text as there are a few pages that are two columns of text next to one another, but nothing is perfect. But, it’s not bad, generally laid out well, and an easy read. 4.75/5
Summary– This was a fun one. Still not my favorite as the second part of this adventure path is my favorite since that one is the most pirate-y by far, but this is a good one. It features MASSIVE navel battles, raids into long forgotten tombs, see-through wizards, and an event your players have been looking forward to since the very first day the Skull and Shackles Campaign started! It’s a blast from start to finish. 88%