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Back to Cherished Haunts

Monday, January 25, 2016

I recently returned from Columbia, South Carolina, where I was a guest at SCARAB, a gaming convention with a very strong Pathfinder Society presence operated by Regional Venture-Coordinator Delbert Collins II. This was my fifth year making the trip, and it's always a really great opportunity to see familiar faces, play a few adventures, and shout my throat raw while GMing. The kill count stayed relatively modest, barring two gentlemen laid low during Pathfinder Society Scenario #7-11: Ancients' Anguish who acknowledged their characters' demise with admirable grace and both came back to life in order to finish what they had started. I also enjoyed my first chance to actually play Pathfinder Society Special #6-98: Serpents Rise, as presented by Venture-Captain Matt Polkowsky.

The two slots on Monday were eerily repetitive yet uniquely enjoyable because I first played then GMed Pathfinder Society Scenario #7-13: Captive in Crystal. The first table (expertly run by Venture-Lieutenant Landon Hatfield) had some of the most bizarre characters, including a kitsune cleric of Daikitsu who stayed in Tiny fox form, a body-building monk/paladin of Kurgess (for some reason I never considered Kurgess as a patron of paladins, but it was fun), and an extraordinarily plucky investigator/swashbuckler fashioned after Nancy Drew—all teamed up with my "cleric" of the reformed Church of Razmir. When I ran the same adventure a few hours later, I had the pleasure of introducing a player's black blade magus to his intelligent sword ("What's your blade's agenda? Oh, would you like me to help you come up with one? Oh good..."), which kept whispering promises about something called "the Reclamation." We figured out that the chaotic good scimitar has somewhat cutthroat dreams of destroying Taldor and conquering it in Qadira's name, and by the end of the adventure, the magus had secured substantial resources that might fuel Kelishite aggression against their northern neighbors.

All in all, it was a great deal of fun. If you have a chance to make the trip to SCARAB in the future, I strongly encourage you check it out.


Illustrations by Marko Horvatin

In the meantime, why not plan ahead to experience some new stories together? This month we have two new adventures debuting this week. The first launches a three-part, Tier 1-5 series called "Faithless and Forgotten," in which infernal Cheliax opens its borders once more to Pathfinder explorers. During Let Bygones Be, the PCs are among the first sanctioned Pathfinders to travel Cheliax in decades, and their first destination is a relic of the Chelish civil war. In order to get there, they'll need to travel through the fortified port of Corentyn, where the streets are dangerous despite—or perhaps because of—the brutal regime's guards. It's up to the PCs to make a good first impression and make the most of this preliminary foray. Of course, the last time we traveled to Cheliax on official business, the Pathfinder Society had an official liaison to that nation: Paracountess Zarta Dralneen. Always one for formality, Cheliax has issued a new liaison to the Grand Lodge. As you can imagine, Zarta is going to be so thrilled to meet her replacement. This was also a great opportunity to revisit some known locations and personalities in Corentyn, including one Zefiro Balinger who plays a rather central role in the upcoming adventure.

About three years ago, the organized play campaign retired the Lantern Lodge as a playable faction, and it's certainly easy to assume that the Lantern Lodge itself (an estate in Goka) just faded into obscurity. In fact, the faction retired largely because it had fulfilled its goals of achieving recognition and resources for the Society's exploration of Tian Xia. I like to revisit the continent several times a season, and this month we're doing something a little different. Rather than just letting the players know that Venture-Captain Amara Li is still in charge of a thriving lodge, this time the PCs are working for her directly to hunt down an Aspis Consortium aggressor. What's more, this adventure has special metaplot opportunities for former members of the Lantern Lodge faction. That's not the only unique element in Pathfinder Society Scenario #7-15: The Deepmarket Deception. We're also exploring a hitherto unseen part of that metropolis: the Deepmarket tunnels that crisscross the city's foundation and overflow with smugglers and illicit commerce. Prepare for a Tier 3-7 challenge that expands on the events of Pathfinder Society Special #6-98: Serpents Rise!

John Compton
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Conventions Marko Horvatin Pathfinder Society Pathfinder Society Scenarios
Paizo Employee ** Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.

I read that title as "Back to Chelished Haunts"

** Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

Cheliax...my home. (Btw, Can someone tell me, either here or on the scenario page, what flip mats/map packs are used in Deepmarket? I'm running this weekend and want to order them if I do not already have them.)

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Decatur aka Kadasbrass Loreweaver

Wait... this is dated Jan 18, I had to go back and make sure this was a new blog.... Am I lost in some space time demiplane/pocket?

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

Robert Reine wrote:
Cheliax...my home. (Btw, Can someone tell me, either here or on the scenario page, what flip mats/map packs are used in Deepmarket? I'm running this weekend and want to order them if I do not already have them.)

Answered for you in the product thread

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

Mark Moreland wrote:
I read that title as "Back to Chelished Haunts"

You're not wrong!

** Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

John Compton wrote:
Robert Reine wrote:
Cheliax...my home. (Btw, Can someone tell me, either here or on the scenario page, what flip mats/map packs are used in Deepmarket? I'm running this weekend and want to order them if I do not already have them.)
Answered for you in the product thread

Thanks John. Looking forward to adventures in Cheliax. Its kind of like the Mos Eisley of PFS :)

The Exchange ****

but not Haunts...

especially this close to Christmas

Lantern Lodge *** Venture-Captain, Germany–Hannover aka Hayato Ken

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Back to TianXia and the Lantern Lodge! That´s good news!
Please let it be a faction again^^

***

John Compton wrote:
About three years ago, the organized play campaign retired the Lantern Lodge as a playable faction, and it's certainly easy to assume that the Lantern Lodge itself (an estate in Goka) just faded into obscurity. In fact, the faction retired largely because it had fulfilled its goals of achieving recognition and resources for the Society's exploration of Tian Xia. I like to revisit the continent several times a season, and this month we're doing something a little different. Rather than just letting the players know that Venture-Captain Amara Li is still in charge of a thriving lodge, this time the PCs are working for her directly to hunt down an Aspis Consortium aggressor. What's more, this adventure has special metaplot opportunities for former members of the Lantern Lodge faction.

This is exciting, but very disappointing. In the three years since Amara Li completing her goals, my "Lantern Lodge" PC has now graduated past 7th level, even only playing occasionally and on slow track.

So John, is there a legal way to backdate a PC so we can play it in this adventure or can we transfer any boons we receive from the PC that plays The Deepmarket Deception to a former Lantern Lodge PC?

** Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

Swiftbrook wrote:
John Compton wrote:
About three years ago, the organized play campaign retired the Lantern Lodge as a playable faction, and it's certainly easy to assume that the Lantern Lodge itself (an estate in Goka) just faded into obscurity. In fact, the faction retired largely because it had fulfilled its goals of achieving recognition and resources for the Society's exploration of Tian Xia. I like to revisit the continent several times a season, and this month we're doing something a little different. Rather than just letting the players know that Venture-Captain Amara Li is still in charge of a thriving lodge, this time the PCs are working for her directly to hunt down an Aspis Consortium aggressor. What's more, this adventure has special metaplot opportunities for former members of the Lantern Lodge faction.

This is exciting, but very disappointing. In the three years since Amara Li completing her goals, my "Lantern Lodge" PC has now graduated past 7th level, even only playing occasionally and on slow track.

So John, is there a legal way to backdate a PC so we can play it in this adventure or can we transfer any boons we receive from the PC that plays The Deepmarket Deception to a former Lantern Lodge PC?

I don't know about the exact scenario and what boon it may or may not have but there is a convention boon that allows you to transfer a boon from one chronicle sheet to another one of your characters.

The Exchange ****

Swiftbrook wrote:
John Compton wrote:
About three years ago, the organized play campaign retired the Lantern Lodge as a playable faction, and it's certainly easy to assume that the Lantern Lodge itself (an estate in Goka) just faded into obscurity. In fact, the faction retired largely because it had fulfilled its goals of achieving recognition and resources for the Society's exploration of Tian Xia. I like to revisit the continent several times a season, and this month we're doing something a little different. Rather than just letting the players know that Venture-Captain Amara Li is still in charge of a thriving lodge, this time the PCs are working for her directly to hunt down an Aspis Consortium aggressor. What's more, this adventure has special metaplot opportunities for former members of the Lantern Lodge faction.

This is exciting, but very disappointing. In the three years since Amara Li completing her goals, my "Lantern Lodge" PC has now graduated past 7th level, even only playing occasionally and on slow track.

So John, is there a legal way to backdate a PC so we can play it in this adventure or can we transfer any boons we receive from the PC that plays The Deepmarket Deception to a former Lantern Lodge PC?

wow... my former LL PC is only 5th? maybe 6th now... not played much sense the end of Lantern Lodge...

Scarab Sages ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Southeast aka DCII

Thanks John for coming out once more and bring lots of smiles and laughs to SCARAB. We love having you and hope to see you again in 2017. Team Rat-Monkey is already planning to make sure we get on a John Compton table for year 7.

Scarab Sages ***

I'm less worried about any boons than I am just slightly disappointed I can't play it with either of my former LL characters. The Way of the Kirin boon was already one of the best boons ever given out. But as I just posted in the product thread, I'm excited that I can experience it as a player, regardless of what tier.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, South Carolina—Columbia aka bcgambrell

Delbert Collins II wrote:
Thanks John for coming out once more and bring lots of smiles and laughs to SCARAB. We love having you and hope to see you again in 2017. Team Rat-Monkey is already planning to make sure we get on a John Compton table for year 7.

Team Rat-Cheese-Monkey you mean.

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

Swiftbrook wrote:
John Compton wrote:
About three years ago, the organized play campaign retired the Lantern Lodge as a playable faction, and it's certainly easy to assume that the Lantern Lodge itself (an estate in Goka) just faded into obscurity. In fact, the faction retired largely because it had fulfilled its goals of achieving recognition and resources for the Society's exploration of Tian Xia. I like to revisit the continent several times a season, and this month we're doing something a little different. Rather than just letting the players know that Venture-Captain Amara Li is still in charge of a thriving lodge, this time the PCs are working for her directly to hunt down an Aspis Consortium aggressor. What's more, this adventure has special metaplot opportunities for former members of the Lantern Lodge faction.

This is exciting, but very disappointing. In the three years since Amara Li completing her goals, my "Lantern Lodge" PC has now graduated past 7th level, even only playing occasionally and on slow track.

So John, is there a legal way to backdate a PC so we can play it in this adventure or can we transfer any boons we receive from the PC that plays The Deepmarket Deception to a former Lantern Lodge PC?

There is not a way to backdate a PC. I acknowledge that the tier for the adventure does not serve the pool of prospective players as well as it could. To be honest the ideal time to do such an adventure would have been within a year of the Lantern Lodge faction's retirement, and every month since #4–21 has no doubt seen a diminishing number of old Lantern Lodge PCs reach 12th level. Unfortunately, that ship sailed rather early in my time as developer. What I can do is ensure that the retired faction sees continued relevance and that we continue to adventure in Tian Xia with some regularity.

While planning out the season, I had to balance the needs of this adventure (its story is more conducive to a lower level play), when it would occur in the season, and the tiers of other adventures that I knew needed to happen around the same time. At the end of that process, it ended up being a Tier 3–7 adventure.

If you have a higher-level Lantern Lodge PC, I also recommend playing Pathfinder Society Scenario #6–13: Of Kirin and Kraken.

***

John Compton wrote:

There is not a way to backdate a PC. I acknowledge that the tier for the adventure does not serve the pool of prospective players as well as it could. To be honest the ideal time to do such an adventure would have been within a year of the Lantern Lodge faction's retirement, and every month since #4–21 has no doubt seen a diminishing number of old Lantern Lodge PCs reach 12th level. Unfortunately, that ship sailed rather early in my time as developer. What I can do is ensure that the retired faction sees continued relevance and that we continue to adventure in Tian Xia with some regularity.

While planning out the season, I had to balance the needs of this adventure (its story is more conducive to a lower level play), when it would occur in the season, and the tiers of other adventures that I knew needed to happen around the same time. At the end of that process, it ended up being a Tier 3–7 adventure.

If you have a higher-level Lantern Lodge PC, I also recommend playing Pathfinder Society Scenario [url=http://paizo.com/products/btpy9am5?Pathfinder-Society-Scenario-6-13-Of-Kirin-and-Kraken=#6–13: Of Kirin and Kraken.[/url]

John, thanks! We always like hearing how you and the staff approach game and campaign design.

I played Of Kirin and Kraken, with the correct PC and had a blast. I do look forward to playing The Deepmarket Deception sometime in the near future.

Shadow Lodge ****

5 people marked this as a favorite.

CHANNELS POSITIVE ENERGY

oh.. sorry. Reflex

Scarab Sages ***** Venture-Captain, South Carolina aka DarthGoob

3 people marked this as a favorite.

John, it was a true pleasure running Serpents Rise for you. I was a little nervous (sort of like giving a book report to the author of the book), but I appreciate the life you gave to your pregen and even dared to impersonate Janira Gavix with the help of your fellow Aspis Agents, with fun and hilarity to be had by all. I look forward to running for and playing under you again at SCARAB and elsewhere!

Silver Crusade ***

Well, my Lantern Lodger is still only level 5. I have way too many characters, so I don't play any of them that frequently.

Actually, I had a second Lantern Lodger, but I recently rebuilt him. I never actually played him, so he was level 2 on GM credits. I just never found him that interesting, so I never really wanted to play him, which is why I gave up on him and rebuilt him before ever playing him.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Portsmouth aka CsonTep

My former LL is just about to hit 7. I should be able to get this played at one of the two cons coming up!

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The artwork is amazing (especially Ianareth). I'd like to see more from Marko Horvatin. Paizo, make it so. What do you mean "that's now how it works"?

Grand Lodge *****

Yay, Fen can play this! I built him back when you needed a boon to play a wayang, and specifically to be Lantern Lodge, but I play so infrequently he hasn't really moved up.

Silver Crusade ***

Fensyriath Orochi wrote:
Yay, Fen can play this! I built him back when you needed a boon to play a wayang, and specifically to be Lantern Lodge, but I play so infrequently he hasn't really moved up.

Funny enough, my level 5 former Lantern Lodger is also a race boon baby that no longer needs it. He was a nagaji, made using one of those season 3 boons that let you play a kitsune, nagaji, or wayang. He also has the season 3 boon that lets you take a third trait, as long as it's from the Dragon Empires Primer.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My former Lantern Lodger is also a former pathfinder and is currently mulch. So he's not playing this scenario.

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area aka JohnF

My primary Lantern Lodge character levelled out of Tier 3-7 a year ago (playing "Of Kirin and Kraken" as his last scenario at level 7). My wife, however, had one less chronicle on her Lantern Lodge character, and has not played her since then, so she's good to go.

Fortunately I had a second Lantern Lodge character (whose backstory was that he was bodyguard to my wife's character), and he's got up to Level 6 by now, so we'll be running those two through 7-15.

(I wonder how many Kitsune boons ended up on Lantern Lodge characters; both my wife and I certainly used ours that way!)

Liberty's Edge **** Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

These all sound really interesting, although I'm not sure I'll be able to hold my nose through three whole scenarios in 'infernal Cheliax'!

As convention season gets closer, when can we expect to know more about the other scenarios to be released in Mar/Apr (and maybe beyond)?

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Iammars

I am also in the situation that I have a Kitsune back from when they required a boon who is a former Lantern Lodge character. I haven't played him in forever, but I might just dust him off for Deepmarket Deception.

**

Interestingly enough, I traded my kitsune boon to someone so he could build a kitsune (before John & company made them playable). That player/character later joined my PbP table for Library of the Lion. He warned me he had knowledge of the scenario. I was a little nervous running it for him because....

Matt Polkowsky wrote:
John, it was a true pleasure running Serpents Rise for you. I was a little nervous (sort of like giving a book report to the author of the book), but I appreciate the life you gave to your pregen and even dared to impersonate Janira Gavix with the help of your fellow Aspis Agents, with fun and hilarity to be had by all. I look forward to running for and playing under you again at SCARAB and elsewhere!

The Exchange *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matt Lewis wrote:
These all sound really interesting, although I'm not sure I'll be able to hold my nose through three whole scenarios in 'infernal Cheliax'!

And what exactly is wrong with Cheliax you despicable southern peasant!

I should have left you to fry in the bowels of that damn volcanic Siege Tower!

:)

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Savannah aka Jon Davis-GA

Delbert Collins II wrote:
Thanks John for coming out once more and bring lots of smiles and laughs to SCARAB. We love having you and hope to see you again in 2017. Team Rat-Monkey is already planning to make sure we get on a John Compton table for year 7.

John - As one of the "two gentlemen laid low during Pathfinder Society Scenario #7-11: Ancients' Anguish who acknowledged their characters' demise with admirable grace and both came back to life in order to finish what they had started", I just wanted to say that it was great fun despite the "PC health issues". I highly recommend #7-11 to anyone who hasn't played it yet. Thanks again for running & I look forward to playing in one of your games again (as long as the character has plenty of Prestige saved up!)...

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