October scenarios always present an interesting challenge because they coincide so well with Halloween yet are also early enough in the season that I'm itching to develop the yearlong metaplot further. In the past we've had some creepy October adventures like Hall of the Flesh Eaters and To Judge a Soul, Part 2: Karma Reclaimed, but we've never had one with explicit Halloween imagery. This time, I carved out a piece of the Season 8 schedule like a chunk of pumpkin flesh from a cheerful jack-o'-lantern, tentatively naming the adventure "No seriously, Halloween." Linda and I didn't know quite what the plot would be until we combined it with another concept that had been percolating in our collection of madcap ideas. Then it all came together so beautifully that Linda couldn't resist writing Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-06: Reaping What We Sow herself. If we follow the jack-o'-lantern analogy, Linda is the candle—so often a cheerful source of light and warmth. From within the haunted depths of a jack-o'-lantern fortress, however, her creative energies shine with a truly sinister radiance. In this Tier 1-5 adventure, the PCs travel to a small town in northern Galt on a mission of peace and redemption, yet it can so quickly become a tragedy of blood and tears. Come for the Shelynite pumpkin-carving festival! Stay for the legacy of vengeance and terror (with notes so a GM can lighten the mood or play up the horror as befits the audience)!
Illustration by Marko Horvatin
In the office, we keep track of our long project queue with notecards. Early in the writing process for #8-06, Linda took a few artistic liberties with the scenario's project card, which I have photographed and spoilered below.
Illustration by Giorgio Baroni
The concept of an evergreen 1st-level adventure dates back to the First Steps adventures, and with The Confirmation in Season 5, it turned into something of a yearly tradition to release another evergreen adventure near the end of the calendar year. This has worked really well, providing players of all experience levels an infinitely replayable scenario designed to let the GM change several components to enhance the experience. This year, we made two big changes before we reached out to Andrew Hoskins to write the next evergreen adventure. First, we've changed the level, as Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-07: From the Tome of Righteous Repose is a Tier 3-7 scenario replayable for all of those levels. This helps address one of the big concerns that there are lots of low-level adventures—not that that's a bad thing—yet comparably fewer adventures that help a PC travel beyond the Tier 1-5 range.
Because we expect #8-07 will see a lot of play, we also aimed to increase the replayability beyond that of its evergreen predecessors by varying not only the creatures involved but also the location and the plot itself. The adventure allows the PCs to travel to three different locations and face off against one of four Major Threats, each of which has an assortment of possible Linked Threats (i.e. lieutenants and favored minions). On top of that, there are sundry additional monsters, traps, and hazards that a GM can use to populate the dungeons, each of which varies depending on whether the site appears in Lastwall, Ustalav, or the Hold of Belkzen. Don't fret though, as GMs just need to prepare what they plan to run, not every option. With Andrew Hoskins' writing, Linda's development work, and the guidance of our newest in-world venture-captain Shevar Besnik, you're in for many great adventures to come.
Pathfinder Society Lead Developer