Order of the Amber Die—The Strange Aeons Experiment, Part 5

Sunday, April 30, 2017

They made it off the map! Well, off the map of the Inner Sea and deep into parts unknown. The folks from the Order of the Amber Die recently completed their fifth marathon session of running the delightfully creepy Strange Aeons Adventure Path. I'm going to keep this introduction short and let all of you dive right into the action as the Order of the Amber Die recaps their experiences with Pathfinder Adventure Path #113: What Grows Within.

As usual, proceed with caution if you are playing in this campaign, as spoilers abound!

Author John Compton handed us an experience in this marathon that had a horrifically epic feel from the opening hours, and didn't let up. We dealt with threats that dwarfed anything we've seen in this Adventure Path, perhaps in a dozen campaigns we've played. As this year marked the 30th anniversary of Order of the Amber Die, we decided to try for a new record regarding the total time spent together during a marathon. Ninty-six hours was our previous tally, but we're proud to say that part five of Strange Aeons allowed for a new achievement:

  • Adventure: Pathfinder Adventure Path #113: What Grows Within
  • Marathon Length: 108 hours
  • Session Hours: 64

For immersion, the audio engineers at Axion Studios provided custom sounds of the eerie wind that blew through Neruzavin. We also used modeling clay and clumps of foliage to make unique versions of the fungal monsters we encountered. Lastly, we employed the author's suggestion for enhancing horror in roleplaying games (see John's foreword in "What Grows Within"), by silencing our phones and severely curtailing their usage.

Highlights From What Grows Within

  • Finding the forgotten city of Neruzavin was our first challenge, made more difficult after our gnoll guides ditched us and the camels were killed by drakes. Upon surviving our first day in that terrible metropolis, the camels might have been better off.
  • To earn the respect of an ash giant tribe in control of the Parchlands, we had to draw on our skill set from Giantslayer and best a colossal scorpion. Their skeptical leader shouted three words that were guaranteed to fire up our room: "Prove your might!"
  • We tried everything to get answers to the mysteries hidden within Neruzavin, including a legend lore spell, a real-time harrowing by Erasmus, and a conference with an otyugh tome eater who chomped down our scrolls faster than a bag of Doritos.
  • During our daily seance, an unknown spirit forced its way into Erasmus and began battling Nissa for control of his body. We don't know much about it, or even how to rid Erasmus of it; unfortunately, the spirit is beginning to manifest its unpleasant personality, and it suffers no rivals.
  • Even our new companion Amrivast, a lammasu paladin, wasn't safe from the evil present in Neruzavin. We could do nothing as he struggled against its dark influences and eventually abandoned us. The lammasu returned later as a fungal abomination, calling himself "Amrivast the Seeded, herald of Xhamen-Dor!" We didn't want to put him down, but we had to.
  • We found the Necronomicon, and even being Elder Mythos rookies we'd heard the name before. It didn't help that Quinn was the one who read it—or that Dan laughed sadistically while our GM told him its secrets.
  • After having our flesh and egos scoured by what our GM told us was a "flying polyp," our poor reflex saves began dreading what was around every street corner, if corner is even the word. Please, no more polyps.

The Experiment

Quinn broke. Out-of-game too. Our lawful good companion murdered a man right in front of our eyes. The diseased member of a prior expedition to Neruzavin was clearly suffering from seedborne consumption, but we hadn't tried everything to save him before Quinn acted. It didn't go down easy either—the man screamed while Quinn drove his dagger home again and again.

Character Deaths

This marathon was as deadly as you'd expect from a semi-final matchup. On our side were stats such as Feiya's nine instant kills via flesh to stone, and Erasmus's 142 points of damage in a single round. On the opposing side were John Compton's twelve character deaths scored, with five of them coming from the graveknight inquisitor of Rovagug he designed. It's important to note that we had easy access to breath of life through Feiya's hex channeling, and Winter carried two in her daily complement.

Best Quote From Marathon 5

Alahazra (during a tense parley with an irritated moon giant): "I need money. I am negotiating with a massive giant, OR WE ARE GOING TO DIE. What do we have?"

Current Situation

We had to make one of the toughest decisions of our Pathfinder careers, and it will surely trouble us throughout the last chapter of our story. Desperately low on resources, the debate came down to saving the multiverse from Hastur, or merely saving Golarion in the present. The vote was 3-2 in favor of leaving Golarion behind, forcing our world to face the reviving threat of a Great Old One and the polyps we unleashed. Moreover, we had taken the Necronomicon away from Quinn and given it to exscinder archons, which meant we would have to attempt the Path to the Black Stars occult ritual without a key focus—the ritual's costly toll now meant we had only one chance at completing it.

The result: We're headed to Carcosa and the finals of this AP!

More Content

Read through the entirety of The Strange Aeons Experiment.

For character builds, questions about Strange Aeons, content and more, see our thread here on the messageboards.

Give Order of the Amber Die a Like on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for more!

If this is the first time you're reading one of these Order of the Amber Die blogs and want to catch up, check out the Strange Aeons Experiment Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Until next time, stay safe and keep alert, because the next time you hear from the Order of the Amber Die they'll be sharing tales of the finale of the Strange Aeons Adventure Path! This probably won't happen until after PaizoCon where I'll run into a few of the Order of the Amber Die folks as they come to Seattle to play some games and talk about their marathon experiences. If you're at the show, make sure to say "Hi!" You can't miss their custom shirts.

Adam Daigle
Developer

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Tags: Community Order of the Amber Die Pathfinder Adventure Path Strange Aeons

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Just counting PC deaths alone, this was easily the most intense module I've ever played through. I don't think I've ever dropped as many breath of life spells in my entire gaming career as I did this marathon!

The Exchange Order of the Amber Die

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Savannah Broadway wrote:
Just counting PC deaths alone, this was easily the most intense module I've ever played through. I don't think I've ever dropped as many breath of life spells in my entire gaming career as I did this marathon!

The brutality of this module and city took its toll, even surpassing our infamous "Summer of TPK." Dying twice within the same round was something that I never thought possible but leave it to me to accomplish something like that. I can only imagine the horror of being paralyzed while watching your death coming only to momentarily be revived and watch it happen again within fractions of a second. This module was full of loss for our characters; I'm still not certain how upset I am at the loss of Quinn's morality.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not sure Im reading the Dropbox document, but were there any deaths that weren't reversed by a Breath of Life spell? Cuz if not, that's clearly the MVP spell of the AP!

Order of the Amber Die

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Porridge wrote:
I'm not sure Im reading the Dropbox document, but were there any deaths that weren't reversed by a Breath of Life spell? Cuz if not, that's clearly the MVP spell of the AP!

Hi Porridge! We were tossing around how to document the deaths that were reversed by breath of life, and ultimately decided that we did want to count them as standard deaths alongside the others. For that reason, we didn't add them to the living PDF yet, but soon we will describe each of them in detail. :)

As for MVP spells, breath of life is certainly near the top, and I can think of a few others that the players have relied upon:

release the hounds (like the party name: "Winter's Wolves")
burst of radiance
flesh to stone

On the reverse side, here are a couple of stingers which are prevalent in the path and caused much distress:

black tentacles
feeblemind

I think Feiya in particular has succumbed to feeblemind at least four times!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Adam Smith wrote:
We were tossing around how to document the deaths that were reversed by breath of life, and ultimately decided that we did want to count them as standard deaths alongside the others. For that reason, we didn't add them to the living PDF yet, but soon we will describe each of them in detail. :)

Cool! Looking forward to reading about them. :)

Adam Smith wrote:

As for MVP spells, breath of life is certainly near the top, and I can think of a few others that the players have relied upon:

release the hounds (like the party name: "Winter's Wolves")
burst of radiance
flesh to stone

I don't think I'd seen Release the Hounds before. That's a pretty nice spell. A good one to keep in mind in the future...

Adam Smith wrote:

On the reverse side, here are a couple of stingers which are prevalent in the path and caused much distress:

black tentacles
feeblemind

I think Feiya in particular has succumbed to feeblemind at least four times!

...ouch. Just ouch.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Definitely interested in hearing more about this.

Module 5 had (I thought) a really interesting setting. Did that come across in play?

Doug M.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Also, if your players are having problems with flying polyps, they may wish to consult this short video. (Not a spoiler at this point, I don't think.)

Doug M.

Order of the Amber Die

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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Definitely interested in hearing more about this.

Module 5 had (I thought) a really interesting setting. Did that come across in play?

Doug M.

Doug, good to hear from you!

This was an adventure I'll be telling stories about for a long time, so anything you're interested in I'd be more than happy to elaborate on. As for the setting in particular, I found it one of the most unique locations I've adventured in. Part one saw us on a long trek but without a map, so more than two weeks of travel had the PCs feeling very much out of their comfort zone when they arrived in Neruzavin. The desert was inhospitable, but so was the city. The place seemed deserted, yet a couple of hours in they realized that it was anything but that, since seeded creatures lurked at the edges of dark and strangely angled streets (and in doorways that weren't really doorways). With such a long marathon, I had time to employ all of Compton's street encounters at appropriate moments, including the rift drakes that are found eating a colossal carcass, juggernauts, aerial assassin, etc. When they PCs grew tired and low on resources, drakes watched them from high perches, biding their time to strike. Even the one place the group felt safe resting in this adventure contained a ghost that the characters empathized with, but couldn't fully trust either.

With the impending feeling of being smothered by fungus as it grew in scope throughout the days the party spent exploring the city, there was a sinking feeling of struggling against something far larger and more powerful than the characters--yet not being able to stop it. Once Winter and Daji became infected by seedborne consumption, the stress level was upped considerably, and there was definitely an urgency to everything. Add in the eerie wind and some exceptionally tough encounters, and you've got a recipe for PC-breakdown in the greatest way. :) There was one point in the marathon where I made them listen to the wind tracks we had for nearly an hour on repeat. The dice did some of the work for me too, in that they delivered serious punishment in key battles (fortunately the Amber Die itself went easy on them). I'd highly recommend playing this adventure in long sessions, as it gives the sinister setting time to fray even the most veteran party.

If you're looking to see more photos of how we emphasized the setting, we just released the first shots from part one a couple of days ago on our Facebook.

Order of the Amber Die

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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Definitely interested in hearing more about this.

Module 5 had (I thought) a really interesting setting. Did that come across in play?

Doug M.

Doug,

The setting definitely came across amazingly during the Marathon. I would highly recommend this AP to anyone looking for something to spice up their game.

We also employed very bright yellow tinted lights to try and recreate the burn of the desert sun, then switched over to a diffused version when wandering the streets of Neruzavin (buildings blocking out the sun).

Having a great soundtrack (the track list from our Marathons can be found here in our Living PDF) along with the wind noise from the polyps (now one of my most despised monsters) and under city kept us all on edge. I would also mirror what our GM said above for session time. The longer you're in the game, the more ominous and nerve-wracking it all becomes. We never truly felt comfortable and anytime we got a little too relaxed there was always something to remind us we weren't in Kansas anymore.

Keep the pressure on high!

The Exchange Order of the Amber Die

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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Also, if your players are having problems with flying polyps, they may wish to consult this short video. (Not a spoiler at this point, I don't think.)

Doug M.

I've done my best to avoid any spoilers of the genre until the game is finished but I'll make sure that is the first video I watch once I can finally delve into the Cthulu mythos and fill in some of the gaps information. The Necronomicon is first on my reading list since I now have an official reason to read it!

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Definitely interested in hearing more about this.

Module 5 had (I thought) a really interesting setting. Did that come across in play?

Doug M.

I'm glad we've piqued your interest, we're looking forward to finishing this story no matter the outcome. Module 5 did a number on both Quinn and me; the amount of immersion we put ourselves through definitely helped intensify how alien and disconcerting Neruzavin was. The sheer size of the buildings and the interiors reminiscent of Escher made me feel insignificant and powerless, not to mention the fear that around the next corner would be another creature to pummel us. I don't think I have the requisite sanity remaining to play another horror campaign with Adam again!

Sczarni Order of the Amber Die

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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Module 5 had (I thought) a really interesting setting. Did that come across in play?

Definitely interesting. But, to me, Neruzavin was more disorienting than anything else. We initially expected a grind against the Seeded throughout the city, but we could barely make our way around; it had an inter-dimensional feel to it, almost like it kept changing around us. Alahazra tried to use chalk to mark the buildings by numbering them and drawing arrows to indicate which direction we turned as we passed through, although unfortunately that didn't seem to help in the slightest. In fact, we ascended high up one of the structures, but when we went through the last door we found ourselves at ground level again! I think it was at that point when we gave up trying to figure out where we were and what was going on, going into survival mode and hoping that we would eventually find our way. Surely not a place I would want to go back to any time soon.

Order of the Amber Die

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Feeblemind. Really, really hate that one at this point.

As for the setting, give me giants, giant scorpions, and desert any day over Neruzavin. Don't get me wrong, it was an amazing setting, especially the view from on high. But, I'd be happy never walking through its streets again.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

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This is a fun summary, and it was lovely following your group's updates in-process. I'm glad I could be a part of the experience, however remotely.


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Daniel Scholler wrote:
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Also, if your players are having problems with flying polyps, they may wish to consult this short video. (Not a spoiler at this point, I don't think.)

Doug M.

I've done my best to avoid any spoilers of the genre until the game is finished but I'll make sure that is the first video I watch once I can finally delve into the Cthulu mythos and fill in some of the gaps information. The Necronomicon is first on my reading list since I now have an official reason to read it!

It's a short video, and it really isn't a spoiler...

There isn't actually a Necronomicon! But there are a bunch of interesting stories by HP Lovecraft. (Note: People, even people who really like Lovecraft -- no, /especially/ them -- disagree sharply on which are the best. Don't want to threadjack, so won't get into it here, but don't be surprised if different people give you dramatically different reading lists.)

Doug M.


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Adam, everyone, thanks very much for the additional information! It sounds like this was atmospheric, creepy, and stressful -- exactly what you'd want for a romp through Lovecraft-land. Having a PC crack under the strain (and maybe change alignment?) is also totally appropriate!

Your add-ons (lighting and wind sounds) sound awesome.

One further question. Were you players actually able to get enough sleep? 68 hours of play in 108 hours... in theory, that leaves you just enough time to eat, get eight hours of sleep, and maybe check your e-mail. In practice, though, were you guys getting a bit worn down by the end of it? And if so, how much of that was "we're playing a long time and very intensively", and how much was this particular module?

Curiously yours,

Doug M.

Order of the Amber Die

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Adam, everyone, thanks very much for the additional information! It sounds like this was atmospheric, creepy, and stressful -- exactly what you'd want for a romp through Lovecraft-land. Having a PC crack under the strain (and maybe change alignment?) is also totally appropriate!

Your add-ons (lighting and wind sounds) sound awesome.

One further question. Were you players actually able to get enough sleep? 68 hours of play in 108 hours... in theory, that leaves you just enough time to eat, get eight hours of sleep, and maybe check your e-mail. In practice, though, were you guys getting a bit worn down by the end of it? And if so, how much of that was "we're playing a long time and very intensively", and how much was this particular module?

Curiously yours,

Doug M.

Doug,

Thanks for the great engagement here! We usually average about 6 hours of sleep a night. Some of us get less if there are "administrative" responsibilities for social media, etc. but we try hard to get decent rest. When we first started doing this years ago we would push the Marathons to the limit going with no sleep at all for as long as possible. This usually resulted in a TPK or major melt-down around the 32-hour mark. As we became more experienced we started to enforce sleeping times to avoid the inevitable mess.

As far as the hours in this Marathon, most of it driven by the fact that we only have a set number of days to finish the entire module. With Order members traveling from hundreds and thousands (literally) of miles away and people using vacation days to play, we really do have to finish each adventure in one shot. For the most part there is no coming back to wrap things up the way many groups can in a regular campaign. So, we have to push ourselves physically and mentally to finish.

I'm sure our GM, Adam, can give some of his own insights but I think many of the AP modules require a decent time investment to really get high quality play experiences. The team at Paizo puts very rich material together for these APs and sometimes it takes some heavy lifting to explore everything to its fullest extent (as I'm sure you're aware). I don't know that this module in-particular is per se longer than any of the others, however I think it is fair to note that it was somewhat of a "sandbox" adventure without feeling like a sandbox (hats off to author John Compton for achieving this). In our last project with Paizo, The Giantslayer Endeavor, Marathon 3 was also a sandbox style adventure (Tim Hitchcock's Forge of the Giant God). Similarly, that weekend was an endurance test, requiring us to push hard with a 25-hour session to finish up and saw some of our players going to work that morning straight from the Marathon with no sleep. If I remember correctly, at the time it was one of our longest Marathons. Some players don't like sandbox style adventures but I think they can be quite enjoyable as long as your GM is managing the material well. Lucky for us, we have--in my opinion--maybe the best GM in the world so there isn't much standing in the way of having truly life-changing gaming experiences regardless of how the adventure is laid out.

Order of the Amber Die

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John Compton wrote:
This is a fun summary, and it was lovely following your group's updates in-process. I'm glad I could be a part of the experience, however remotely.

John, thank you for not just the effort you put into writing such a brilliant adventure, but also the time you gave to helping us get the most out of it. It was truly a marathon for the ages!

Order of the Amber Die

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Adam, everyone, thanks very much for the additional information! It sounds like this was atmospheric, creepy, and stressful -- exactly what you'd want for a romp through Lovecraft-land. Having a PC crack under the strain (and maybe change alignment?) is also totally appropriate!

Your add-ons (lighting and wind sounds) sound awesome.

One further question. Were you players actually able to get enough sleep? 68 hours of play in 108 hours... in theory, that leaves you just enough time to eat, get eight hours of sleep, and maybe check your e-mail. In practice, though, were you guys getting a bit worn down by the end of it? And if so, how much of that was "we're playing a long time and very intensively", and how much was this particular module?

Curiously yours,

Doug M.

You're welcome Doug! Sterling is right that I could add a little bit here from the GM-perspective on marathons. Aside from mentioning sleep, there is the matter of taking breaks. At higher levels in Pathfinder I've found the encounters to be so much more complex because of the wide range of abilities available to both PCs and monsters, that I've taken very few breaks during the closing marathons of our last two APs. To be completely honest, I didn't take any breaks at all during What Grows Within. Part of this is a compliment to the author, as I was as much engrossed in the richly detailed setting as everyone else, and the other is because we were determined to develop the adventure as much as possible--which meant committing the hours. One example of this would be making sure that any time the author mentioned an encounter recurring (i.e, Aerial Assassin p. 18-19), I wanted to make sure and fulfill the author's intent. Another example would be utilizing the unique encounters available to GMs in the bestiary section (see Amrivast above); these are a real gift to GMs, and something that I always strive to expand on in our games.

In case you're looking for more, I discussed a lot of this in our interview with Nerd Podcast Radio, which took place during the marathon (so maybe that counts as a break, haha).

I'm not sure if you're headed to PaizoCon, but for anyone out there who want to know what it takes to run a marathon session of Pathfinder, we'll be hosting a seminar on marathon gaming at PaizoCon this year. Just look for event #94620, on Sunday from 4pm-5pm!


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Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Adam,

I'm going to take a listen. I've fallen a bit behind in my review/reading of your and the Amber d20's efforts but I've caught up now! My group is ending our Eberron-Apocalypse preventing game this summer and Strange Aeons is the next up! I verified with the team and we've agreed, so come the fall we'll be starting it up.

That means I'll be reading all your notes and the comments from each player very closely for useful information, inspiration, and clever ideas! It's very much appreciated.

Thanks for linking the Nerd Podcast link. I'll listen to that as well.

My group won't be marathon-ing, but we will play every other Saturday in the afternoon into the night. We'll see how long it takes! I'm going to use the syrinscape sounds as well but try to blend in some of your soundtrack. Oh and I'm going to make the asylum map. Yours was a thing of beauty! Thanks for those notes.

I wish I going to PaizoCon now! Maybe next year! Looking forward to hearing about the last marathon!

Thanks Order of the Amber Die!

Order of the Amber Die

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SilentInfinity wrote:

Adam,

I'm going to take a listen. I've fallen a bit behind in my review/reading of your and the Amber d20's efforts but I've caught up now! My group is ending our Eberron-Apocalypse preventing game this summer and Strange Aeons is the next up! I verified with the team and we've agreed, so come the fall we'll be starting it up.

That means I'll be reading all your notes and the comments from each player very closely for useful information, inspiration, and clever ideas! It's very much appreciated.

Thanks for linking the Nerd Podcast link. I'll listen to that as well.

My group won't be marathon-ing, but we will play every other Saturday in the afternoon into the night. We'll see how long it takes! I'm going to use the syrinscape sounds as well but try to blend in some of your soundtrack. Oh and I'm going to make the asylum map. Yours was a thing of beauty! Thanks for those notes.

I wish I going to PaizoCon now! Maybe next year! Looking forward to hearing about the last marathon!

Thanks Order of the Amber Die!

SilentInfinity, thanks for keeping up with our journey! This AP has delivered everything we hoped for when we first decided on it. From the research rules to the rituals, this campaign has felt different from the rest. We can't leave out the selected team of iconics, or the plethora of far-out monsters which have also added to the sense of unfamiliarity. We've all felt fortunate to have made it this deep into the AP, especially considering some of the close calls and the current state of the party headed into the finals.

I'm glad to hear that you're going through all of our material, it takes a while to put it together, so it's nice to know when it helps others in the community. As for the living PDF, I have a lot more to add to it this summer after Strange Aeons ends; it's been one of those long years as a teacher, but I'm looking forward to having the time to catch up with the sections that still need to be finished. The soundtrack in particular has expanded quite a bit since the campaign headed further south and into Casmaron. In addition, I've got plenty of GM tips that I scrawled down in the middle of marathons, and I'll be getting those sorted and added to the PDF as well.

I'd love to see what some of your numbers look like on the sessions you'll be running, and playing every other week for what sounds like 10 hours or so should keep a nice pace up. With such an emphasis on atmosphere in these adventures, I think long sessions are great for enhancing immersion. Also, take pictures of your asylum map! It's awesome to know that so many people were able to make use of the map procedure booklet--we GMs can only benefit (as does the game and community) from seeing each other's work.

Since you'll be running Strange Aeons soon, stay tuned for more of our map giveaways throughout the summer--we've got a lot more to send off!

Dark Archive

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I recommend adding Apocalyptica to the sound track. They have an album of all Metallica songs, but with just 4 cellos playing...


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Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Adam Smith wrote:

SilentInfinity, thanks for keeping up with our journey! This AP has delivered everything we hoped for when we first decided on it. From the research rules to the rituals, this campaign has felt different from the rest. We can't leave out the selected team of iconics, or the plethora of far-out monsters which have also added to the sense of unfamiliarity. We've all felt fortunate to have made it this deep into the AP, especially considering some of the close calls and the current state of the party headed into the finals.

I'm glad to hear that you're going through all of our material, it takes a while to put it together, so it's nice to know when it helps others in the community. As for the living PDF, I have a lot more to add to it this summer after Strange Aeons ends; it's been one of those long years as a teacher, but I'm looking forward to having the time to catch up with the sections that still need to be finished. The...

Happy to be reading, and eager to see these extra notes! Yeah I plan to have the team track expenditures and deaths like your team did. I will CERTAINLY take pictures of the map. I've got my fresh chessex mondo and mega ready to go! I do need to get in (and try to win) at least one map give away. I saw that on FB last month. I've got a fair amount of DwarvenForge I may blend here and there. I've got the castles coming soon so I might try to use some of that then or maybe later. The real challenge is having enough table for the map!

We'll get 8 hours a session in at least but we'll see how long into the night people want to play. I have a feeling they'll be hard pressed to want to stop.

I do have some extra work cut out for myself. I'm using Hero Lab and I bought the encounters pack. However, I'm allowing 6 players (provided the 6th definitely can join in) as they're all for eager to try this path. I'm going to need to do some encounter balancing but it's worth it. I've always done home brew games before with inspiration from some source material or mini adventures. With this path there's all the stats and story ready, which I can build on top of for character handouts, story elements, etc. Some extra number crunching for the encounters is worth it.

I was actually re-reading your and Daniel's Thrushmoor notes last night since we proudly have another gay iconic in Quinn. I was looking into where the bar fight became the bar fight for his boyfriend's honor. Nicely done! I expect my group will also take time really enjoying being in a town that knows them but they don't know what's going on. Your notes for handling some of the events will be very helpful thank you!

I hope you and the Order of the Amber Die have a great time at PaizoCon. I'm sure you'll meet some eager fans. You deserve it!

Order of the Amber Die

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Davor Firetusk wrote:
I recommend adding Apocalyptica to the sound track. They have an album of all Metallica songs, but with just 4 cellos playing...

Hi Davor, yes, we love that album! We used a song from it on our soundtrack to The Emerald Spire Project. Strange Aeons has been great for dark atmospheric music, we've had a good time constructing a soundtrack that is now ten hours long. When you're playing for 64 session hours, that still means hearing it repeat quite a few times each marathon...

The Exchange Order of the Amber Die

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SilentInfinity wrote:


I was actually re-reading your and Daniel's Thrushmoor notes last night since we proudly have another gay iconic in Quinn. I was looking into where the bar fight became the bar fight for his boyfriend's honor. Nicely done! I expect my group will also take time really enjoying being in a town that knows them but they don't know what's going on. Your notes for handling some of the events will be very helpful thank you!

It was very fulfilling for me to play an iconic character that was legitimately gay for the first time, especially with a chance for such a large exposure. I'm glad that you were inspired by it, I loved what Adam did with that whole thing. He was so nonchalant in his delivery that it caught me off guard and became this side quest for me that was has yet to finish. I asked all around about him but could never find any info, so I'm assuming he was an outsider brought in.

That was one of my most nostalgic times, especially as Quinn as taken a turn towards the darker and nihilistic parts of his mind. Trying to figure out what was going on, what we had done, and making amends for our actions was thrilling. I hope your players get as much out of it as I did. The payout for all of that was felt modules later when we ran across an NPC that was written as gay and Quinn was able to allow himself a moment of need for companionship and vulnerability. Hopefully whomever is playing Quinn will have that opportunity as well, they are few and far between.

I look forward to hearing how your campaign unfolds, it sounds like you are preparing for an immersive and detailed campaign. Enjoy yourself, this is such an amazing Adventure Path!


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Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Daniel Scholler wrote:

It was very fulfilling for me to play an iconic character that was legitimately gay for the first time, especially with a chance for such a large exposure. I'm glad that you were inspired by it, I loved what Adam did with that whole thing. He was so nonchalant in his delivery that it caught me off guard and became this side quest for me that was has yet to finish. I asked all around about him but could never find any info, so I'm assuming he was an outsider brought in.

That was one of my most nostalgic times, especially as Quinn as taken a turn towards the darker and nihilistic parts of his mind. Trying to figure out what was going on, what we had done, and making amends for our actions was thrilling. I hope your players get as much out of it as I did. The payout for all of that was felt modules later when we ran across an NPC that was written as gay and Quinn was able to allow himself a moment of need for companionship and vulnerability. Hopefully whomever is playing Quinn will have that opportunity as well, they are few and far between.

I look forward to hearing how your campaign unfolds, it sounds like you are preparing for an immersive and detailed campaign. Enjoy yourself, this is such an amazing Adventure Path!

It's one reason I like Paizo so much. Inclusion means a lot that sadly, not all understand. The "it's not about that, it's about a game" argument is upsetting to hear. To instead see oneself reflected in literature is a great feeling let alone adds to relating to it.

My team and I are going to have to work very hard to measure up to the Order. I'll be working hard to achieve as Adam did. Again, all the notes and information (as well as contributions from this community) will go a long way toward that. For the first path I'm DMing straight from the pages, I'm really excited.

I'm definitely trying to build a rich, immersive world and have all the detail I can. We aren't actually playing the iconics; I'm letting the group build their own characters. However, I'm hoping at least one will be or will be open to playing some of the differences celebrated in Paizo fiction. Our current game has a character who's changed genders and dated men and women, so I've a fairly open-minded group. I've asked and there's only one specific kind of violent action a player doesn't want to have done or be responsible for in their unknown past. The players are both worried and excited for the mysteries that will unfold for them!

I didn't realize there was an NPC specifically written as gay in a later module. Though Wren Elbourne in "In Search of Sanity" does kind of come off as possibly not heterosexual. I've only skimmed the later ones so I need to find that. That's great! Maybe it was this one, module 5?

Thanks again for your contribution and comments Daniel. They're very much appreciated.

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