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Carrion Crown Is Coming

Friday, December 17, 2010

In a flurry of crunched stat blocks and flung pages, the last two weeks have seen us send two volumes of Pathfinder Adventure Path off to the printer, Pathfinder Adventure Path #42: "Sanctum of the Serpent God" and, right on its heels, Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: "The Haunting of Harrowstone". While the former brings the Serpent Skull Adventure Path to its climactic close, the latter marks a total shift, taking us from the wild jungles and hidden ruins of the Mwangi Expanse to the foggy moors and haunted ruins of Ustalav, the seat of gothic horror in Golarion. Longtime readers know that every new campaign gives us the opportunity to not just explore new themes, lands, and menaces, but to also reinvent Pathfinder's look for a new series.

And Carrion Crown looks incredible. Beyond Dave Rapoza's fantastic cover and the work of numerous talented interior illustrators, art director Sarah Robinson and graphic designer Andrew Vallas have put together something really amazing that perfectly captures the brooding menace of this grim campaign.

I'm probably more than a little biased, though, as besides the fact that gothic horror is my preferred cup of tea, the campaign is taking place in Ustalav, one of my favorite corners of Golarion. While Carrion Crown continues our long tradition of sword-swinging, spell-slinging high adventure, its inspirations come more from the pens of Bram Stoker, Mary Shelly, M. R. James, Shirley Jackson, and H. P. Lovecraft than J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, and Jack Vance. Think of it as a campaign set in Transylvania rather than Camelot or the Hyborian Age.

In the weeks before the Carrion Crown Adventure Path begins, check back here for more previews on what to expect from the campaign. Things kick off in the coming months with "The Haunting of Harrowstone," a ghost story that sets the tone for the series perfectly. That same volume also includes details on the sleepy town of Ravengro, new rules and examples that vastly expand the haunts presented in the GameMastery Guide, a creepy new series in the Pathfinder's Journal (by yours truly), an outline of the entire campaign, monthly details on the legends and superstitions of Ustalav, and something a little bit different added to the campaign's Bestiary to increase your toolbox of classic horrors. We've also built a ton of support for the campaign into our Pathfinder Campaign Setting and GameMastery lines, but I'll show off some of that awesome insanity a bit later.

So get ready to start wrapping up those Serpent Skull campaigns, as the Carrion Crown Adventure Path kicks off 2011 with terror.

F. Wesley Schneider
Managing Editor

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Carrion Crown Dave Rapoza Elves Familiars Feiya Iconics Merisiel Monsters Pathfinder Adventure Path Rogues Undead Ustalav Wallpapers Witches
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Cheliax

I can't wait for this AP to kick off!

The original Ravenloft was one of my all time favourite modules to play and later DM; and later on the campaign setting held some promise and had some high points as well.

I hope Wes gets to elaborate on the "built a ton of support for the campaign into our Pathfinder Campaign Setting and GameMastery" tidbits.

Can we expect the players guide out before February ?

I hope some of the Paizo staff gets to chime in with the rest of us on a message board discussion on how to create the proper "feel" of a Gothic horror campaign.

I would be surprised if this has not come up yet, but who are the iconics going to be in the AP? Are Feiya and Merisiel going to be two of the four?


Feiya and chains for Christmas..thank you Paizo

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

This one is going to have a HORROR adventure by Richard Pett ... the horror.

Shadow Lodge

Hurray! for more haunt rules. I just played a session with haunts over Halloween Weekend, complete with darkened room, candles and mood music. It was a blast.


I'll be stoked to see Wes' Pathfinder Journal! I hadn't hear about that - that's great news.

P.S. Awesome art piece!


Carrion Crown is the AP I've been looking forward to the most. I've been enjoying Serpent's Skull but gothic horror is definitely my preferred cup of tea too. If only the AP were coming out a month earlier, I could jump into it with my old gaming group that I only meet with three or four times a year. I might just have to run Souls of Smuggler's Shiv in January, and then have the surviving PC's head up to Ustalav in June for "The Haunting of Harrowstone."


Foxy! And the girls don't look bad either.

Anyone know some good creepy background music?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Question is there anyone who plans on running this when it comes out as a pbp?


This one.

Osirion

I love the skeleton in the left foreground. My thoughts on seeing Merisiel were, "slashing weapons on skeletons? She's gotta hit extra hard!" Then I saw the skeleton with the knife wound deep in its skull. Haha!

I'm looking forward to running this after my CoT campaign ends!


Kajehase wrote:
Foxy! And the girls don't look bad either.

It's fun to see the new Advanced class iconics start to make a showing on the covers, too. Are we ever going to get the rest of those character bios on the blog?

Kajehase wrote:
Anyone know some good creepy background music?

Yeah, sure. I have tons of it. Try anything by Nox Arcana or Midnight Syndicate for a pretty good "Halloween Haunted House" type feel.

For specifically gothic horror with real instruments, check out Danny Elfman's soundtracks for Sleepy Hollow and The Wolfman. The soundtrack to Bram Stoker's Dracula from the 90s is pretty good too, but you'll have to avoid some of the songs that are overly romantic sounding, and for the love of all that's holy, don't play the Annie Lennox song during a session.

Not quite so gothic, but still very appropriate for just about campaign that's got any kind of horror vibe to it at all, you could check out the soundtracks for Solomon Kane, Constantine, Van Helsing, and especially End of Days. Note: I'm not recommending the movies by any means, just the soundtracks as non-stop creepiness in background music that's great for RPG sessions.

For something a little more exotic, there's some really creepy music in the soundtracks for The Mummy, Stargate, and Raiders of the Lost Ark but you have to take out the more upbeat adventurous sounding tracks, or the really familiar songs like "Raiders March" if you want to maintain a creepy mood.

You can also listen to most of the tracks of most of these soundtracks on youtube to see if you like them before you go out of your way to hunt down the CDs or mp3 downloads.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Wes wrote:
So get ready to start wrapping up those Serpent Skull campaigns

Ha!!!! I'm not even through Book 2 of Kingmaker with my group much less Serpent Skull.

Sczarni

Righteous! This is so going to be my new campaign in 2011.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM Wellard wrote:
Feiya and chains for Christmas..thank you Paizo

What more could you ask for?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Dave Rapoza ftw

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Deidre Tiriel wrote:

I love the skeleton in the left foreground. My thoughts on seeing Merisiel were, "slashing weapons on skeletons? She's gotta hit extra hard!" Then I saw the skeleton with the knife wound deep in its skull. Haha!

I'm looking forward to running this after my CoT campaign ends!

Having actually played Merisiel in one of Jason Bulmahn's playtests, and with Jason being as obsessed as he is with skeletons... yes. She is indeed pretty cranky about the situation. But she's doing pretty good with the murder nevertheless! That's my girl!!!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Kajehase wrote:
Anyone know some good creepy background music?

Aside from a thread that's been going on for a long time just for this reason, I totally do! In fact, check out my forwards throughout this series. On top of the usual editorial digressions and descriptions of who's on the cover, I'm using a column to recommend music that GMs can use to create playlists appropriate for the month's adventure. And that'll be every month for this entire AP! I actually put two in the first one, one general one of music that would be great for the whole campaign, and one specific to ghost stories like Harrowstone. And then, of course, there's always the list of recommended music in the GameMastery Guide that James and I put together. I'm trying not to repeat too much between these two lists, so there won't be much overlap.

But yeah! It's in there!

Paizo Employee Developer

Time to buy stock in the iTunes store.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

You know, back in the Dragon days I wrote an article called like "iDragon" or something, that was a big using music in RPGs article - like the 5,000 articles with the same gist that had come before it. BUT, to make it a little different, I created playlists on the iTunes store to go along with it, one general (I think it was called iDragon) and one for the Savage Tide Adventure Path.

...I bet they're still up there.


I find it odd that the description of the nation quoted many authors and settings as inspiration and the writer tried real hard to avoid mentioning the #1 all-time inspiration and first gothic medieval swords&sorcery setting, RAVENLOFT!


I like the art, but why is everyone always leaping?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Reynolds wrote:
I like the art, but why is everyone always leaping?

The floors hot?

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

Kevin Reynolds wrote:
I like the art, but why is everyone always leaping?

It's ACTION!


Running, swinging, gawking, crouching, biting so many more actions :D

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Kevin Reynolds wrote:
I like the art, but why is everyone always leaping?

That's how everyone at Paizo gets around. There's a better way?

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I'm so picturing you guys playing leapfrog right now.

Cheliax

Hobo wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
Foxy! And the girls don't look bad either.
It's fun to see the new Advanced class iconics start to make a showing on the covers, too.

My thought exactly.

Cheliax

Hobo wrote:

Kajehase wrote:
Anyone know some good creepy background music?

Yeah, sure. I have tons of it. Try anything by Nox Arcana or Midnight Syndicate for a pretty good "Halloween Haunted House" type feel.

A few years back, Mannheim Steamroller did a collection of Halloween CDs, you might want to check them out too. You can even listen to samples on Amazon.


Razz wrote:
I find it odd that the description of the nation quoted many authors and settings as inspiration and the writer tried real hard to avoid mentioning the #1 all-time inspiration and first gothic medieval swords&sorcery setting, RAVENLOFT!

The Ravenloft brand belongs to a competitor? I don't think anyone doubts it's an inspiration. ;-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, what is the titular Carrion Crown? Some ideas off the top of my head:

A potent evil artifact utilized by Tar-Baphon
A metaphor for mastery over death
A gross new fashion trend


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh, and as for creepy music, you can't do much better than the soundtrack for Resident Evil Remake. The songs Lost in Darkness, Rush of Fear, and Rush of Horror are amazingly spooky ambient music.


perfect soundtrack for gothic horror:
The name of the rose

nothing beats chanting monks. I used it to great effect in Foxglove manor


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Any chance this Adventure Path, or at least one of its adventures, will incorporate the Harrow deck for some macabre purpose?

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Torpedo wrote:
Any chance this Adventure Path, or at least one of its adventures, will incorporate the Harrow deck for some macabre purpose?

We kind of already did the Harrow deck heavy thing with Curse of the Crimson throne, so the Harrow doesn't play a huge role in the AP in the hands of NPCs. In the hands of PCs however...

Check out the Carrion Crown Player's Guide we'll be releasing as a free PDF in a few weeks here.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
You know, back in the Dragon days I wrote an article called like "iDragon" or something, that was a big using music in RPGs article...I bet they're still up there.

Yeah, I remember getting that Dragon issue, being all excited ... and then finding out that said playlists were only available in the US iTunes store, and I couldn't access them :(. Just mentioning it in case you decide to do something like that again :D.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
You know, back in the Dragon days I wrote an article called like "iDragon" or something, that was a big using music in RPGs article...I bet they're still up there.

I demand a new artice or blog like this!!!! Please with sugar, cherries, and impladed goblins :)

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Lazaro wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
You know, back in the Dragon days I wrote an article called like "iDragon" or something, that was a big using music in RPGs article...I bet they're still up there.
I demand a new artice or blog like this!!!! Please with sugar, cherries, and impladed goblins :)

How about this: Remind us in a few months here and once we have all of Carrion Crown out, I'll compile the playlists I'm presenting in the volumes' forewords into one big playlist blog. Cool?

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Dance of Ruin wrote:
Yeah, I remember getting that Dragon issue, being all excited ... and then finding out that said playlists were only available in the US iTunes store, and I couldn't access them :(. Just mentioning it in case you decide to do something like that again :D.

I actually just looked for this yesterday and the iMix technology on iTunes seems to have been replaced with the recent creation of iPing. So I'm not sure how to get to them now...

Update: I Found Them! So, give this a try. Go to iTunes and search for "iDragon." In what it returned for me, an app called "iDragon Ball Sports" and the Master and Commander soundtrack showed up. If you look to the bar on the left and scroll down you'll see a header for playlists, with "iDragon Savage Tide" on the list. Hit the option for "More" and the first seven should be those iDragon playlists. I'd actually forgotten I did so many, there's ones for Savage Tide, battles, dungeons, heroes, villains, towns, and - appropriately - horror. Like DoR said above, these might not be available to iTunes users outside the states, and I'm also not sure if these are only coming up for me due to the program's freaky ability to determine what its user wants, but if anyone looks for these check back in here tell us how your search went.

If this technology proves useful and widely accessible.. well, we might just be on to something here.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Lazaro wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
You know, back in the Dragon days I wrote an article called like "iDragon" or something, that was a big using music in RPGs article...I bet they're still up there.
I demand a new artice or blog like this!!!! Please with sugar, cherries, and impladed goblins :)
How about this: Remind us in a few months here and once we have all of Carrion Crown out, I'll compile the playlists I'm presenting in the volumes' forewords into one big playlist blog. Cool?

You sir are awesome!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Dance of Ruin wrote:
Yeah, I remember getting that Dragon issue, being all excited ... and then finding out that said playlists were only available in the US iTunes store, and I couldn't access them :(. Just mentioning it in case you decide to do something like that again :D.

I actually just looked for this yesterday and the iMix technology on iTunes seems to have been replaced with the recent creation of iPing. So I'm not sure how to get to them now...

Update: I Found Them! So, give this a try. Go to iTunes and search for "iDragon." In what it returned for me, an app called "iDragon Ball Sports" and the Master and Commander soundtrack showed up. If you look to the bar on the left and scroll down you'll see a header for playlists, with "iDragon Savage Tide" on the list. Hit the option for "More" and the first seven should be those iDragon playlists. I'd actually forgotten I did so many, there's ones for Savage Tide, battles, dungeons, heroes, villains, towns, and - appropriately - horror. Like DoR said above, these might not be available to iTunes users outside the states, and I'm also not sure if these are only coming up for me due to the program's freaky ability to determine what its user wants, but if anyone looks for these check back in here tell us how your search went.

If this technology proves useful and widely accessible.. well, we might just be on to something here.

Worked fine for me when i tried that.


Can anyone, at least, copy/paste the name and performer of the songs for us who don't use iTunes?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Can anyone, at least, copy/paste the name and performer of the songs for us who don't use iTunes?

I just tired and I can't find out a way to copy and past. So short of typing every song from every list which would be a lot of songs. I don't see how it could be done. Least I can't figure out how.

I just counted there is a 124 songs in 7 albums.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If no one's posted it by later, I'll dig up my dragon mag and type the list out.


Could you take a screenshot of every album and upload it?

I checked the iDragon article, there's only 4 playlists listed, meaning there's more in iTunes.

If somebody could at least write the names and artists of the Horror playlist, I'd be much grateful.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I checked again and couldn't find a way to do a screen shot, copy and paste etc. I think it would have to be done by hand.


Dark_Mistress wrote:
I checked again and couldn't find a way to do a screen shot, copy and paste etc. I think it would have to be done by hand.

You just press Print Screen button on your keyboard, open MS Paint and press ctrl+v.

Paizo Employee Developer

How's this?

Heroes

Villains

Town

Battle

Dungeon

Horror

I left the Savage Tide one off because it's too long to fit without scrolling and snapping the screenshot twice, plus, I figured it was in the article already.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Nice. Thanks a ton Adam!

Paizo Employee Developer

Quite welcome.


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

Awesome cover art folks. Bravo.

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