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PaizoCon 2014!

Introducing the Year of the Risen Rune

Monday, April 30, 2012

I took a break from the Gen Con push today to write this blog post, and my mind started to wander. I thought a bit about days gone by and how last year at this time we were under just as much pressure trying to get Ultimate Combat off to the presses in time. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Anyway, I also thought to myself, "Self, what sort of blog were you writing this time last year?"

"Aha!" myself answered. "I can do a search and find out!"

Now, those of you who've been following our Monday Pathfinder Society blog posts for a while likely remember this time in spring 2011, when we had a very lengthy series of posts covering "The Future of Pathfinder Society Organized Play." In fact, that series was when we started doing weekly posts and claimed Monday as our own special day of the week. So I checked back to Part VII of that series from May 2. And lo and behold, that was when we announced the title of the current season, the Year of the Ruby Phoenix.

"Self, you should do the same thing for Season 4 in your blog post for Monday," I said. And it seemed a reasonable suggestion, so I agreed.

Season 4 of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign will be entitled Year of the Risen Rune. The focus of the season is going to be the Pathfinder Society's burgeoning lodge in the Varisian city of Magnimar—the focal point of the forthcoming Shattered Star Adventure Path, which also debuts at Gen Con 2012. While that Adventure Path won't be sanctioned for Pathfinder Society credit and won't use the faction system we have in the organized play campaign, there will be a lot of overlap between the Adventure Path and the Pathfinder Society campaign. So whatever campaign you play, you'll have lots of options for exploring the untamed frontier region of Varisia and the ancient Thassilonian ruins located there.

We'll have a lot more information about both the Shattered Star Adventure Path and the Year of the Risen Rune in the coming months, but until we get closer to the launch of these exciting adventures, check out the venture-captain who Pathfinder players of all ilks are likely to get to know very well—Sheila Heidmarch—and the Pathfinder Society season's shiny new logo.


Sheila Heidmarch Illustration by Kieran Yanner

The Year of the Risen Rune and the Shattered Star Adventure Path both launch at Gen Con 2012 this August!

Mark Moreland
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Gen Con Kieran Yanner Pathfinder Adventure Path Pathfinder Society
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Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

Sweet! I love next season's logo.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Looking forward in seeing the overlap between the Shattered Star Adventure Path and the Pathfinder Society campaign.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Do I foresee a character that the PFS players at large can actually grow to like and support? Will they care enough to actually be concerned when she is in trouble or pay attention when she's in the story?

I hope so...

Silver Crusade ****

Woot! Called it!

Andoran *** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think I'll need to practice saying The Year of the Risen Rune a few times before saying it in public, but I like the sound of the theme. I also hope every theme is accompanied by a t-shirt worthy logo like that one.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Drogon wrote:
Will they care enough to actually ... pay attention when she's in the story?

*looks at picture*

Yeah, I think they will.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Vermont—Brattleboro aka ElyasRavenwood

I'm looking forward to this

Andoran *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Sheila Heidmarch has been in Scenarios before...

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Dragnmoon wrote:
Sheila Heidmarch has been in Scenarios before...

Yep. Cool to see her stepping more to the forefront.

Andoran **

Ryan. Costello wrote:
I think I'll need to practice saying The Year of the Risen Rune a few times before saying it in public, but I like the sound of the theme. I also hope every theme is accompanied by a t-shirt worthy logo like that one.

Agreed. I'm buying the t-shirt when it releases. Very cool logo!

Sczarni *** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

This sounds *really cool!*

So when will the T-Shirts be available? ;-)

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Carbondale aka Disturbed1

Sometimes this company makes me want to use words in this forum that would surely get bleeped. This is one of those times.

To this blog I say, F&^% Yea!

Shadow Lodge **

Ok, ancient thassalonian just got added to the short list of languages to add.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I am loving the synergy I am seeing between PFS and APs.

Silver Crusade ****

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ok, ancient thassalonian just got added to the short list of languages to add.

My paladin learned it last March when they announced the Gencon Scenarios and their blurbs and he leveled.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Daniel Luckett wrote:
My paladin learned it last March when they announced the Gencon Scenarios and their blurbs and he leveled.

Whoa! What feat did he need to be able to level just from hearing an announcement? I'm totally buying whatever book that's in!

;)

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

I think its VC dependent... You know, one of their many many perks... ;)

Silver Crusade ****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

*Thick Sarcasm*
Yep, truly. Every time a blog comes out, I level. I've already retired 5-6 characters due to this.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Dragnmoon wrote:
Sheila Heidmarch has been in Scenarios before...

Indeed. But if the writers/developers actually give her a personality that we can all see grow and change, then that will hopefully create a character that we all actually care about, vs the "ho-hum" attitude that is given to most Venture Captains that hand out missions.

More than anything else, I think PFS lacks characters that make people sit up and take notice.

Jiggy wrote:
Drogon wrote:


Will they care enough to actually ... pay attention when she's in the story?

*looks at picture*

Yeah, I think they will.

I almost made the unfortunate mistake of saying "a character that PFS players can get behind." Then I realized what I was typing. Of course, here I am revisiting that little slip...

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Carbondale aka Disturbed1

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Drogon wrote:
I almost made the unfortunate mistake of saying "a character that PFS players can get behind." Then I realized what I was typing. Of course, here I am revisiting that little slip...

Giggity.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, New York—New York City aka VLTRokktor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Seth Gipson wrote:
Drogon wrote:
I almost made the unfortunate mistake of saying "a character that PFS players can get behind." Then I realized what I was typing. Of course, here I am revisiting that little slip...
Giggity.

She may be drop dead gorgeous, but has been portrayed a strong woman. This is The para countess, this woman KNOWS how to take care of anyone who gets in her way, and where to hide the bodies.

Let's pre- order te T Shirt

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Carbondale aka Disturbed1

David Santana wrote:
Seth Gipson wrote:
Drogon wrote:
I almost made the unfortunate mistake of saying "a character that PFS players can get behind." Then I realized what I was typing. Of course, here I am revisiting that little slip...
Giggity.

She may be drop dead gorgeous, but has been portrayed a strong woman. This is The para countess, this woman KNOWS how to take care of anyone who gets in her way, and where to hide the bodies.

Let's pre- order te T Shirt

That's Sheila Heidmarch, not the Paracountess. ;)

Silver Crusade **

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Funnily enough he's still not wrong.

Silver Crusade **

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

An entire year of PFS scenarios about Varisia?

Fantastic! The whole area has had very little development in the past and it will make a nice change to go somewhere else rather than the usual run of scenarios and AP's set in Nirmathas, Molthune and Lastwall. (/sarcasm)

**** Venture-Captain, New Jersey aka Shivok

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sandpoint, Varisia 4712AR:

Earth tremors occasionlly rattled some of the houses in Sandpoint, most usually escaped with minor damage. After a series of particularly strong tremors a knock came at Old Quink's door late at night as he tried to place books and artifacts that had fallen back into their shelves.

"Who's there?", yelled the startled Quink.

At first there was silence, but shortly after a voice responded in a vaguely familiar language. Brodert Quink thought for a while as the knocking became stronger and the yelling became louder.

He finally realized that the voice. A male by the sound of it, was speaking in a highly accented form of Thassalonian. Quink's interest piqued and he gathered the courage to open the door.

With an orb of continuous light in one hand and his other firmly gripping the door handle he slowly opened the door.

He peered through the doorway and standing before him was a disheveled man in his mid-thirties with long dark hair, expressive eyebrows and piercing grey eyes. He wore a long robe of silky red material, highlighted with strange arcane symbols at the edges, some of which he recognized.

"Is this any way to treat a Warmage of the 3rd Legion" intoned the stranger.

"Umm, no...good Sir... where are you from.... and how ca..can I help you?" responded Brodert.

"You can help by telling me what happened to the Hellfire Flume! Did Karzoug's armies destroy it? Why is the Sea of Azlant so close to us? Why are the stars in a strange alignment?" rattled the stranger in rapid succession.

Brodert Quink took in all of this and a strange thought came upon him.
"Sir, where exactly did you just come from? a now inquisitive Brodert asked.

" I came from ruins of the Legion's Hellfire Flume, the last I remember Imlith, may Lissala curse his name, cast a stasis spell to ....to....I am not sure to what. My... memory has faded...perhaps some side effect of the spell..."

Quickly Brodert decided to allow the man inside as his mind raced with thoughts and endless possibilities. It had not occured to him but several years ago a group of adventurers ventured into the Hellfire Flume or the Old Light as it was now called. Brodert was sure it was a device of unimaginable power but was laughed out of Magnimar because of it. Now he may have made the discovery of a lifetime.

"Please Sir, come in. Welcome to my home. You did not give me your name. What is it?" said Brodert

"I am Eldarius of Thassilon, Warmage of Bakrakhan" intoned the stranger.

"I am Brodert Quink, a sage of some renown, I specialize in ancient history, particularly that of Ancient Thassilon, an empire that existed over ten thousand years ago." he let his last few words trail a bit to allow Eldarius time to absorb them.

"What is this nonsense you speak of old man?" said Eldarius.

"Why dont you come into my study and sit by the fire, I believe this will take a while." smiled Brodert.

And so began my seventh PFS Character Eldarius of Thassilon, Warmage of Bakrakhan!

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Shirt! Shirt! Shirt! Shirt! :)

Qadira ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Drogon wrote:

Do I foresee a character that the PFS players at large can actually grow to like and support? Will they care enough to actually be concerned when she is in trouble or pay attention when she's in the story?

I hope so...

+1. I really hope that the Society does or stands for something in Season 4. I hope that there are situations, stories, NPCs, and things that I (and my characters) want to care about.

I really support making this campaign more 'living' and story-driven rather than an endless series of meaningless errand missions.

-Pain

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Massachusetts—Boston aka Rogue Eidolon

Shivok wrote:
And so began my seventh PFS Character Eldarius of Thassilon, Warmage of Bakrakhan!

Why, do my eyes deceive me? Is that the runic tattoo marking a Warmage of Batrakhan? I hope from before the end times when Alasznist became more and more...unhinged?

I am Lazeril, a humble servant of Lissala as she was worshipped in the early empire. Hard work and its proper reward. It is good to see another who remembers our great empire in this most unimpressive future. Truly, I would have hoped they had discovered great wonders in ten thousand years rather than sliding backwards as they have. Perhaps this coming year will allow us to educate them in what they have lost.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Man, I would love to see (and buy) this logo as an amulet of some kind.

Shadow Lodge ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Drogon wrote:
Indeed. But if the writers/developers actually give her a personality that we can all see grow and change, then that will hopefully create a character that we all actually care about, vs the "ho-hum" attitude that is given to most Venture Captains that hand out missions.

They're only ho-hum if you read them that way. ;-) Though I suspect Ambris Valsin has it in for most PCs and just wants to see them dead.

Cool logo, cool name, can't wait.

Taldor ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia aka Iammars

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Drogon wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Sheila Heidmarch has been in Scenarios before...

Indeed. But if the writers/developers actually give her a personality that we can all see grow and change, then that will hopefully create a character that we all actually care about, vs the "ho-hum" attitude that is given to most Venture Captains that hand out missions.

I like playing other VCs from Absalom as happy that the PCs they planned for their missions actually came, instead of being whisked away in the middle of the night by Drendle Dreng without regard to who else was going to use them.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Ryan Bolduan wrote:
Drogon wrote:
Indeed. But if the writers/developers actually give her a personality that we can all see grow and change, then that will hopefully create a character that we all actually care about, vs the "ho-hum" attitude that is given to most Venture Captains that hand out missions.

They're only ho-hum if you read them that way. ;-) Though I suspect Ambris Valsin has it in for most PCs and just wants to see them dead.

Let me clarify:

The "ho-hum" attitude comes from the players. And by "ho-hum" I should probably say, instead, "don't care" or even, "hate that guy." And if the last quote were even a genuine visceral reaction, that would be awesome. Instead, it's the kind of feeling you get when you're watching a movie with lousy character development: "Ugh. This guy, again?"

For an example of how PFS NPCs are received, read this thread and this thread.

The last one you have to go looking for the statements people make about NPCs, but they are there. To put it bluntly: PFS players (for the most part) don't give a hoot about what happens to any of the NPCs in the scenarios, be they faction leaders, VCs, or just the average schmo on the street. I know the writers and developers are capable of making characters that resonate (for reference, see the Paracountess). I would like to see more of that.

I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of players have no clue who sent them on their last mission, and often don't really know why, as Painlord alluded to. I hope Sheila Heidmarch changes that in this coming season. [Edit]Which looks awesome, by the way. I'm looking forward to it. And, for what it's worth, I'd continue playing whether or not Sheila "matters." I just want to see more investment in character.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—Melbourne aka KestlerGunner

I love 100% of what's written here.
My PFS characters have their rooms booked at the Varisian Pathfinder Lodge and they are raring to go.
Just one query: Do ancient Thassilonian ruins have traps?

Paizo Employee ** Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
KestlerGunner wrote:
Just one query: Do ancient Thassilonian ruins have traps?

Make a Perception check...

Silver Crusade ***

I approve of this announced season. Sounds like it should be fun.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—Melbourne aka KestlerGunner

Licks lips, adjusts collar and looks about for free treasure.
1d20 - 2 ⇒ (10) - 2 = 8


First thoughts on seeing the new title: Alright, which Runelord is working behind the scenes and pulling the strings? Is it an old one from Rise of the Runelords or a new one that people have not met yet? And will the finale of the season involve one of those big all-levels specials where the high level Pathfinders deal with the Runelord and the low level ones deal with his minions?

Paizo Employee ** Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
KestlerGunner wrote:

Licks lips, adjusts collar and looks about for free treasure.

1d20 - 2

There are no traps in any Thassilonian ruins.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Mark Moreland wrote:
KestlerGunner wrote:

Licks lips, adjusts collar and looks about for free treasure.

1d20 - 2
There are no traps in any Thassilonian ruins.

O.o

I've GM'd the Rise of the Runelords AP, sir. I know of a door in there that proves you wrong in a dramatic (and very deadly) way...

[Edit]Heh. Just noticed his stats...no poker face, have I...

Osirion

I've loved Kieran Yanner's art since I first saw his pencil sketches in 2005 (i think) in a 3.5 3rd party book on Oriental monsters. He's still doing marvelous work.
Hopefully someday, I'll get to work with him on a project.

... Oh, yeah: that Sheila Heidmarch is just h-a-dubya-double t, hawtt!!!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

I've got to pile on the Kieran Yanner love here. Good to see his work in PFland again.

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Reckless wrote:
Shirt! Shirt! Shirt! Shirt! :)

Shirt! SHIRT! SHIRT! SHIRT! SHIRT!

Grand Lodge *

FallofCamelot wrote:

An entire year of PFS scenarios about Varisia?

Fantastic! The whole area has had very little development in the past and it will make a nice change to go somewhere else rather than the usual run of scenarios and AP's set in Nirmathas, Molthune and Lastwall. (/sarcasm)

+1


Sold, Ill be getting every season four adventure if they are set in Varisia and runelord themed. Nice.

***

The Heidmarch estate is pretty nice... I always imagine it being a great setting for Pathfinder characters to roleplay- possibly even a great setting for romance where couples can walk among the ponds of koi and gardens. A peaceful place to rest between deadly adventures and think of more pleasant things.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Whiskey Jack wrote:
The Heidmarch estate is pretty nice...

I was considering asking if that was a euphemism (childish, I know), then I read the rest of your post and couldn't stop laughing.

Quote:
I always imagine it being a great setting for Pathfinder characters to roleplay- possibly even a great setting for romance where couples can walk among the ponds of koi and gardens. A peaceful place to rest between deadly adventures and think of more pleasant things.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Ontario aka Feegle

Which book is the map of the Heidmarch Estate in? Seekers of Secrets?

Lantern Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Australia—Melbourne aka DarkWhite

I usually try to get a handle on roleplaying some of these characters via an accent or speech mannerisms.

Eg, I speak for Drandle Dreng as a cross between Sean Connery and Deckard Cain of Diablo.

Key to roleplaying Sheila Heidmarch: "Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch pours the coffee as she begins to speak about the mission at hand in her distinctively low, breathy voice."

Distinctively low, breathy voice? So, cross between Marilyn Munroe and Margaret Thatcher?

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Stephen White wrote:

Key to roleplaying Sheila Heidmarch: "Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch pours the coffee as she begins to speak about the mission at hand in her distinctively low, breathy voice."

Distinctively low, breathy voice? So, cross between Marilyn Munroe and Margaret Thatcher?

Interestingly, all I could imagine was Captain Janeway.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

Jeff Mahood wrote:
Which book is the map of the Heidmarch Estate in? Seekers of Secrets?

Because the manor plays a prominent role in both Shattered Star and the Year of the Risen Rune, it will be getting a new map which will reflect its location, size, and general layout in a way that meshes with Magnimar. The current map isn't an accurate depiction of a city estate, and since we have a Magnimar book coming soon and a year's worth of adventured based there, it seemed the right time to remodel the manor.

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