As we enter the dark winter of Pathfinder Society's Year of the Risen Rune, campaign HQ is already thinking ahead to the warming months of spring that still seem so distant. Just last week, I assigned scenarios for April, and we're in the process of outlining and approving the May scenarios to be commissioned in the coming weeks. Since the season's endgame is quickly being decided, I thought it might be a good time to give folks a little preview of where the season is set to go from here, what challenges Pathfinders are bound to face, and what changes look likely based on our reporting data.
What follows includes spoilers for the remainder of the season, so if you don't like knowing anything until your PC busts down the door, the rest of this blog might not be for you. Fair warning and all that.
First, we're now two scenarios into the core Year of the Risen Rune metaplot, and PCs who've been through either The Cultist's Kiss or Feast of Sigils already know that the stage is set for the season to end with a confrontation with a waking runelord, and that's exactly what's going to happen. Over the next few months, the Pathfinder Society will race with the cult of Lissala to uncover the components needed to bring a runelord back from his millennial slumber, and members of all factions are going to need to work together to prevent this terrible evil from returning to the world.
Later this month, a prominent faction head is going to need the entire society's help, and characters from 1st to 9th levels will be able to assist in tracking the missing NPC down and ultimately deciding if he or she is rescued from certain death or written out of the campaign. We'll be looking very closely at the early reporting data from Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–13: Fortress of the Nail as a result, and the sooner you play that scenario, the more likely your actions will be to directly affect the campaign world.
Along similar lines, judging by reported data since Gen Con, it looks like two factions are in serious jeopardy of being written out of the campaign. We've known for some time that several factions were struggling, but looking at play results over the last few months means that some major changes may be coming. We've only got another month or two before any faction-eliminating scenarios would need to be written, so there's not much longer for folks to turn things around for their ailing factions. I recommend playing often and doing your best to accomplish both your primary and secondary missions with characters of your favorite factions in the next two months. Because after we change course to reflect a faction's failures or successes, we won't be able to go back and change things.
Sometime next month, look for another letter from each of the faction heads to report on their respective factions' successes and failures thus far in the season, and to get an idea of whether or not your favorite faction might be in desperate need of help. If you didn't receive the last faction goal email over the summer, make sure to set your privacy settings to accept non-transactional emails from Paizo so you don't miss the next one.
With the holidays coming up, it's likely many people will be traveling to see family or staying home to enjoy some much needed time off from work. In either case, there's a Pathfinder Society game happening close to wherever you'll be, so make sure to check the Pathfinder Society events page to find a game between fruitcakes and egg nog. And hope Santa gives you lots of natural 20s when you're playing.
P.S. Some folks on the messageboards requested we show off some NPC headshot art here so they can make handouts with them and share them under the Community Use Policy. That's what the art is from/for. Merry Christmas!