Order of the Amber Die—The Azlant Odyssey, Part 1

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Order of the Amber Die is back with another marathon run through an Adventure Path, and this time they've picked the Ruins of Azlant Adventure Path. I'm not going to spend too much time introducing this blog, but I do want to warn readers that there are some spoilers in here. If you're a player or just want to be surprised when you read The Lost Outpost, read at your own risk!

In case you're new to our projects or what Order of the Amber Die is all about, here's a quick summary: We play the longest sessions in the industry, we've been through a couple of lifetime's worth of published adventures, and we like to push the envelope of gaming as far as it can go—and then some.

During the Adventure Path seminar at Gen Con 50, Managing Developer Adam Daigle said Paizo had waited ten long years to release an Azlant-themed AP, and despite not having much of a break after The Strange Aeons Experiment, we couldn't resist the call to play it. Further, if Paizo waited this long to unveil Azlant, we needed to match the significance with something equally monumental: We would take our game on-location. Just as we started off “The Lost Outpost” with our characters approaching a beach, we put nine members of the Order from different parts of the country into a New Jersey beach house for many days of straight gaming. With this much immersion, the long weekend was bound to end up like an episode of Survivor or Jersey Shore-gone-Pathfinder, so we filmed portions of the escapade—and yes, we even did confessionals.

Session Stats

  • Adventure: Pathfinder Adventure Path #121: The Lost Outpost
  • Marathon Length: 113 hours
  • Session Hours: 51hrs, 15min

We like to give each of our projects a spin or focus, and for The Azlant Odyssey we'll be highlighting the setting and atmosphere throughout. Submerged ruins, forgotten islands, lore lost for millennia—it's too exciting not to detail it as we explore. To prepare for the launch of this project, the four core players were assigned homework: to study the Pathfinder comics and master their iconic characters. Finally, with such a large number of colonists available for role-playing opportunities, our GM tapped four additional members of the Order for live-NPC roles throughout the marathon.

Highlights From The Lost Outpost

  • Our characters arrived on the beach to find the colony of Talmandor's Bounty deserted and the first wave of colonists missing. During our subsequent search, a distressed poltergeist sent our characters sprinting for the water quite a few times. Our GM ruled that since our characters were running from the grass to the waterline, we should leave our dice and make the mad dash across the sand ourselves. Harder than it seemed!
  • Intermingling with the colonists and their elaborate backgrounds kept us right on track with reality TV, as we had two separate love triangles running: Anya Sandstrider the stoic Shoanti ranger with a crush on Harcourt Carrolby, the arrogant well-to-do, who was in turn the enemy of Leutin Calewick, the hefty blacksmith with a thing for Anya. That's all aside from the usual Kyra and Merisiel flame, where Ramona Avandth, the expedition's capable facilitator, added in some tension with Kyra while refuting the advances of Antona Sedgewick—one of the colony's most prominent soldiers. Can you follow all that drama?
  • A self-controlled defense mechanism of ancient Azlant stalked the island, leaving ominous tracks that built fear in us until the confrontation finally occurred. It consisted of thousands of tiny spheres that could emit spikes and even knock you to the ground. Merisiel, our relic raider, had studied its path on the island carefully, and enabled us to exploit its weakness: it couldn't climb most objects.
  • During an incident involving quicksand, Valeros the aquanaut pulled off his best rendition of Baywatch as he ran to the rescue and dove in with his swim speed, while we sweated round-by-round watching the drowning colonist. Even Merisiel was impressed.
  • Author Jim Groves never let us get comfortable with the island or our mission, as this adventure tested a wide array of tabletop RPG skills: social combat from Ultimate Intrigue, roleplaying, investigation, traditional combat, underwater combat, linguistics, and even a player's ability to adapt to a new mechanic: "soft initiative." If the rest of the Adventure Path is anything like The Lost Outpost in this regard, we're going to find out what we're made of.
  • Class was in session when we came across two celedons who wanted nothing more than to teach us about their goddess, Acavna. The academics in our group grabbed a bench and started taking notes, until our teachers casually mentioned that instruction would take years to complete—and that we couldn't leave until it was over. We brainstormed ways to cut class, but we were terrified about getting disciplined by the eternal guardians.

The Odyssey

Sand, seagulls, and the smell of salt water completely immersed us in even the most nominal role-playing encounters. We also wanted to emphasize the role of sunlight in island survival, so as a group we decided to get up before dawn every day and begin playing with the sun's rays streaming in. So far, Ruins of Azlant is clearly more than just "the underwater AP." Survival has been the most important skill—used more often than swim—and both the exploration and discovery aspects of our Odyssey left our lore-delvers with plenty of knowledge checks throughout.

Character Deaths

None! We'll leave the credit to the preparatory underwater grid-training sessions run by our Player Captain.

Best Quote From Marathon 1

Valeros (needlessly shouting): Madam, your colony is clear!
Ramona Avandth: How much has this man had to drink?
Valeros: I've been drinking all day.
Ramona (to the party): Is this true?
Ezren: Yes, he has been drinking all day, but he can be trusted.

Current Situation

We managed to scout some of the island, but many questions remain about why the former colonists disappeared. We did rescue and return the original expedition leader, Rayland Arkley, and another colonist that we hope can provide more answers in the coming days. Between adventures, we'll be taking the author's suggestion of utilizing the downtime rules from Ultimate Campaign as we attempt to rebuild the colony of Talmandor's Bounty.

More Content

For character builds, questions about The Azlant Odyssey, additional content and more, see our thread [Link: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2unce?The-Azlant-Odyssey] on the Paizo messageboards.

Follow Order of the Amber Die on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.

Adam Daigle
Managing Developer

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Tags: Community Order of the Amber Die Pathfinder Adventure Path Ruins of Azlant

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Long time follower, first time poster. I love reading through your paths, I've been waiting for this write up since I saw you posting from the beach on Facebook last month! You guys are crazy, playing on the beach. In November! How'd you get everyone to agree to that, and how long did you last out there?!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I found you guys on FB but wasn't sure about posting because I'm newer to Pathfinder. You remind me of the Stranger Things kids. I really love the group pic, you guys are cute:)

Order of the Amber Die

4 people marked this as a favorite.
misterbonaduce wrote:
Long time follower, first time poster. I love reading through your paths, I've been waiting for this write up since I saw you posting from the beach on Facebook last month! You guys are crazy, playing on the beach. In November! How'd you get everyone to agree to that, and how long did you last out there?!

Thanks so much for following! Going on-location was something we always wanted to do, and this adventure coincided perfectly with having our base of operations only an hour from the Jersey shore. We lasted about four hours out there, and despite the wind it was one of the most immersive gaming experiences we've ever had. The sand wasn't anywhere near as bad as we thought it might be, and moving the game from the beach house down to the water only took about fifteen minutes.

As far as getting everyone to agree, being a member of the Order means being eager to help push this game to even higher ceilings, and so it was simply a matter of me telling the group a few months before: "Guys, we're going to the beach when we play Azlant." (with one of those looks I give them)

Game on!

Order of the Amber Die

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bailey O wrote:
I found you guys on FB but wasn't sure about posting because I'm newer to Pathfinder. You remind me of the Stranger Things kids. I really love the group pic, you guys are cute:)

Hi, Bailey. Thanks so much for the compliment and welcome to the greatest game in the world!

Although we take our game very seriously, we have a lot of fun doing what we do and putting together our group shots is always a great part of it all. This one was cool because everyone in the picture is posing/acting as their character. We were lucky with the weather over this weekend and got to enjoy our time outside.

We hope you come to love Pathfinder as much as we do.

Adventure awaits!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope you guys decide to do Wrath of the Righteous or Hell's Rebels some time next year. Also I hope you get one or two female members to join the Order of the Amber Die again. ^_^

Order of the Amber Die

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Berselius wrote:
I hope you guys decide to do Wrath of the Righteous or Hell's Rebels some time next year. Also I hope you get one or two female members to join the Order of the Amber Die again. ^_^

Berselius, good to hear from you! This project is slated to run (fingers crossed for no TPK) through next fall, but we'll keep Hell's Rebels and WotR in mind when we start planning for the following AP to run. We always love to hear from fans what they'd like to see us play, so your input is much appreciated. We had quite a few calls for a throwback to Serpent's Skull last year, so that's on the docket as well. We're also looking to close up our Runelords campaign that we've been playing since 2013 as our side campaign, and so we'll have lots of pictures and drops coming from Sins of the Saviors this spring.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

You guys rock! Thank you!

Sczarni Order of the Amber Die

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Elorebaen wrote:
You guys rock! Thank you!

Much obliged, Elorebaen! Speaking of rocks, our GM and a few others were bold enough to climb a few of them on a nearby bluff, then one of us even meandered out onto a jetty to take in the scenery. All nine of us were running around out there at one point, and despite being so cold we'd definitely do it all over again. Expect some videos of us at the beach house soon!

Thank you for your support, and with everyone's continued encouragement we'll look for another place to play on-location during this AP--likely somewhere even more extreme next time!

Order of the Amber Die

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The first batch of photos from the marathon were posted on our Facebook this morning!

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Stay tuned for Book 3, where the Order of the Amber Die takes gaming on-location to the extreme, and plays underwater for 17 hours straight!

Order of the Amber Die

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Misroi wrote:
Stay tuned for Book 3, where the Order of the Amber Die takes gaming on-location to the extreme, and plays underwater for 17 hours straight!

Yes Misroi, haha!

We jest, but just wait, I may have found a way to get as close as we can to playing underwater for volume four...

OAD life!

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm definitely paying attention to the Azlant Odyssey for when I run this... being part fiendish seagull (certified diver) means I want to bring in the claustrophobic feeling of being underwater with its muffled sounds and distorted optics. Playing on the beach is a brilliant idea! The sound of actual surf beats any soundboard or playlist for ambiance.

--Vrock the Boat!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You guys going to post your character builds for this one? I love seeing the different choices the group makes.

Order of the Amber Die

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Gerald wrote:
You guys going to post your character builds for this one? I love seeing the different choices the group makes.

Gerald, awesome to have you along for the ride! The Azlant Odyssey thread is where you'll want to start. Our players will gladly discuss anything you want to talk about on there, and when it comes to builds they can offer the reasons behind a lot of their decisions. I'm also excited to see how they adjust to tackle the variety of challenges this AP has to offer!

Order of the Amber Die

1 person marked this as a favorite.
King of Vrock wrote:

I'm definitely paying attention to the Azlant Odyssey for when I run this... being part fiendish seagull (certified diver) means I want to bring in the claustrophobic feeling of being underwater with its muffled sounds and distorted optics. Playing on the beach is a brilliant idea! The sound of actual surf beats any soundboard or playlist for ambiance.

--Vrock the Boat!

Vrock, that is fantastic to hear, since more than anything we love when our efforts contribute to the community. I've run a pretty wild number of published adventures, and yet this AP's ambiance has me totally hooked. The sound of waves for days throughout this marathon was incredible, and while we have some plans on how to bring the beach to us for volume two in January, we'll always remember that time we played at the shore house...

When it comes to the underwater sounds you're mentioning, has anyone running Ruins of Azlant seen this?

Underwater sounds for your Azlant soundtrack

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adam Smith wrote:
King of Vrock wrote:

I'm definitely paying attention to the Azlant Odyssey for when I run this... being part fiendish seagull (certified diver) means I want to bring in the claustrophobic feeling of being underwater with its muffled sounds and distorted optics. Playing on the beach is a brilliant idea! The sound of actual surf beats any soundboard or playlist for ambiance.

--Vrock the Boat!

When it comes to the underwater sounds you're mentioning, has anyone running Ruins of Azlant seen this?

Underwater sounds for your Azlant soundtrack

Wow, that's trippy. I'm a big fan of Cryo Chamber for ambient themed soundtracks. They do a lot of Lovecraftian themed albums.

--Vrock Lobster

Order of the Amber Die

King of Vrock wrote:


Wow, that's trippy. I'm a big fan of Cryo Chamber for ambient themed soundtracks. They do a lot of Lovecraftian themed albums.

--Vrock Lobster

Scott, thanks for stopping by! Cryo is indeed great for ambient sound. We tried to approach the soundtrack to this project from a different angle than we have some of our other stuff, with only a single song that had any lyrics. As you and Adam mentioned, having the surf so close was amazing and we often opened up the doors to the deck and let the waves become the soundtrack. We will be releasing the track list eventually and I think people will really enjoy some of the options and themes it presents (Our GM worked on finding just the right list over many months and it really paid off!).

Hope to see you at Origins or GenCon this coming year!

Sczarni Order of the Amber Die

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I have to say that one of the things I appreciated the most about this adventure wasn't the encounters or problem-solving, but the roleplaying. Going in, I anticipated the challenges of underwater combat and the dangers of exploring uncharted territory, but what I didn't expect was the various conflicts between the colonists.

My favorite moment, personally, was after we cleared Talmandor's Bounty and the colonists moved in. Two influential members were arguing over who should claim one of the larger buildings in the palisade and things got out of hand rather quickly. Playing Ezren, I didn't think there was much I could do about this so I stayed out of it while Merisiel tried distracting one of them with some shameless flirting, although her Bluff attempt failed to pay off. Then Valeros tried to step in physically, but worried that injuring one of them might only make things worse, I said (in an irritated Sean Connery accent) "If the two of you don't shut up and find a way to resolve this like gentlemen, I'll burn this place to the ground." At this point I leveled my wand of flaming sphere at the building, and our GM called for an Intimidate check. I gulped since the old wizard has a 9 Charisma and no ranks in Intimidate, but luckily I rolled super high and got them both to stand down until Kyra ended the conflict with a nice Diplomacy check. Anyway, I don't know where that came from--the intense roleplaying must've brought it out of me, which, like most dramatic scenes, starts with good writing!

Grand Lodge

Hey, guys! Ever since I got the first five books of the AP for Christmas, I've been eager to run it. And when a good friend told me you were going to post about it, I've been eager to see what you guys encountered. Do you guys do video, audio, quick reports, what?

Order of the Amber Die

leaper182 wrote:
Hey, guys! Ever since I got the first five books of the AP for Christmas, I've been eager to run it. And when a good friend told me you were going to post about it, I've been eager to see what you guys encountered. Do you guys do video, audio, quick reports, what?

Hi Leaper, glad you're interested, it's a great AP so far. We do regular Facebook posts with photos from our marathons, some video on our YouTube channel, and we release data in a PDF that usually comes out later on as we approach the midpoint of each AP. During the last two projects we also got a chance to do some audio in the form of interviews with podcasts where we talked about our experiences in Giantslayer and Strange Aeons. I also post occasionally on the GM Reference Threads for each adventure after we play them (as I did for The Lost Outpost).

If you're looking for direct contact in the form of questions regarding what we've experienced so far, one of the best places to reach out to us is the the main thread for The Azlant Odyssey, or you can always ask questions in the comments section of each blog report.

Hope this helps, and best of luck in the path!

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