4 out of 5 rating for Pathfinder Module: Plunder & Peril
This is an adventure in three chapters that can be played separately but are connected by common plot threads, a ship,and its NPC captain and crew. The adventures are well written and conceived, mixing dangerous challenges with the more mundane details of pirate life in a way that allows both heroism and character development. It has both high and low pace without ever drifting. What this is not is pirate action. You won't be capturing fat merchantmen, run from pirate-hunters, or kidnap the governor. This is more like a heroic pirate movie; we are in a pirate setting but all actual piracy is going on off-stage. A funny thing about the presentation is that this is explicitly suggested as a replacement of the 2nd part of the Skull & Shackles adventure path. The part where you are supposed to engage in some actual piracy. So if you want to play Skull & Shackles entirely without actual piracy, this is a good option. Naturally, another option is to just include this as extra adventures in the main adventure path, you will have to reduce xp and perhaps treasure if you do so. What keeps this from being top grade is that the drama does not entirely make up for the story being quite linear. It is hard to make the setting truly come alive unless the GM does quite a bit of work fleshing it out.
I like much of Plunder & Peril, but I feel it fails in certain key areas. It’s an interesting experiment to present three short adventures in a Pathfinder Module. However, I think trying to make them both linked and workable as stand-alones was not necessarily the best decision. It has resulted in three adventures that don’t work well on their own (except maybe “Rum Punch”), but as linked adventures, have many ways in which the PCs can go drastically off-script. I also feel it was a poor decision to conclude the three adventures with a dungeon crawl. It loses the style and flair of the other adventures and doesn’t have the opportunity to regain them that it might have if the dungeon crawl happened in the middle. In the end, Plunder & Peril ends up as a mostly mediocre module.