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Hey everyone! I'm posting this thread for two reasons. The first is to head off the questions of when this Player's Guide is going to be available. The answer to that is: Hopefully around the same time that subscribers begin getting access to the download of the first volume.
Now for the fun, second reason...
I'm putting the final touches on the guide right now, and I wanted to see what y'all would like to see in the Player's Guide. I've asked this before for other Player's Guides and while I've often covered most of what's asked for (within reason) y'all always suggest something that I didn't think about. So, whatcha wanna see? (Or feel like you need?)
One thing I'm certainly paying attention to is the unconventional start of this AP having the PCs wake up in an asylum not knowing who they are or how they got there. I'll provide some good advice on how to deal with that and likely give some advice on how to get started if a group doesn't want to use that element in their campaign. (All while walking the fine line of not spoiling anything.)
This makes me very happy to see that people are still having fun running and playing this scenario. I wrote it when I was still just a freelancer and I took my assignment very seriously to provide a good range of encounters new players might expect to encounter and I'm glad the scenario is still providing what it was supposed to.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
In order to manage expectations, I have to let you know that the Flip-Mat is not a direct copy of the map for Briarstone Asylum that appears in this adventure. It's just way to big to be represented on even two sides of a Flip-Mat. I did, however, give a copy of the map to Stephen (who designs the initial maps that we give to the cartographer) so that he could use it as reference to make the Flip-Mat at least similar.
From the Office of Expectation Management:
I've really enjoyed seeing all of the cool character concepts that people have come up with, but I want to say–without spoiling too much of the story—that the reason the PCs have lost their memories and how they ended up in the asylum to begin with is addressed in the Adventure Path. That said, the PCs in this Adventure Path likely had full and exciting lives prior to this event, they just won't remember the full details of those experiences for a few adventures.
I plan on elaborating on this in the Player's Guide so that players come into the story on the best footing, but I'm not ready to reveal too much right now.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Mission accomplished! :)
Cool. Because, so far in my development, there's at least one NPC in each volume that uses either a class, archetype, spell, or feat from Occult Adventures. The flavor fits so well that I couldn't pass it up. Also, just to be as transparent as I can at this point, there is one adventure that deals heavily with dreams that uses material from Occult Adventures related to the Dreamlands/Dimension of Dreams.
That said, there's still plenty of rogues, wizards, fighters, clerics, sorcerers, and whatnot. :) Regardless, I hope you check out Strange Aeons. It should be a fun, weird, and scary ride.
Only slightly related, but I was curious to ask... How do you feel about the times when we use a class, feat, spell, or archetype for NPCs that come from other hardcover sources (like Advanced Player's Guide, Ultimate Combat, and Ultimate Magic) that are freely available on the PRD? I'm just trying to get a feel of where different people draw the line.
The one time we used that colonialist spelling. ;)
From the Office of Expectation Management...
We discussed it, but I'm here to report that there will be no integrated sanity system in this Adventure Path. There is a very good chance that an optional system for this might show up in Horror Adventures, but I didn't feel it was the best thing to hardcode into Strange Aeons. I know this might sound counterintuitive to people expecting a Pathfinderization of Call of Cthulhu, but that kind of system doesn't fit the broader game as a whole and is more appropriate for groups that opt in for that kind of system. The point I'm making about this is that in Pathfinder adventurers come across all kinds of forbidden lore and face a number of mind shattering monsters, and to this point we've never said that they wreck your mind or anything like that (with the exception of a couple of adventures). It seems weird to me that someone playing Pathfinder could come across some of this stuff in other games and then all of a sudden while playing in Strange Aeons be subjected to debilitating effects just for seeing or reading something in this campaign.
Now, that said... there are certainly moments in this Adventure Path that have negative effects on the characters involved. Some of these aren't in control of the PCs. For example, the premise of the start of the campaign has the PCs affected by an amnesiac fugue state from the start of the campaign (which gets resolved during the events in the storyline), and I think that's enough of a detriment for most characters (and players).
AND... this isn't to say that GMs can't or shouldn't use the potential sanity system if their group is down for that. If you think that's going to click with your group, there'll be plenty of opportunity for it. This AP is still in development (by me), and I can say that there are a few events in the story that force some sort of negative mental effects on the characters (if they fail saves, etc), and all of those are directly related to the story we're telling here.
Oh, man. Convention season is always weird for me in that I recognize so many people from previous years, but my big dumb name memory always fails me. I almost always remember folks that were in my games or other more intensive interactions, but I fail more often than not. I'm really happy that we let folks put their messageboard handles on their badges, because that helps me make the connection between real name and cool-person-from-the-messageboards-that-I've-interacted-with-for-years that much faster.
(Which I guess is me saying... Don't be upset if I forget your name. I meet hundreds of people every summer... and... tell me your messageboard name... and... don't be afraid to approach us, we're there to see all y'all!)
And to add to what Wayne said above... While we have a glimmer of an idea of an iconic when we plan them and send the art description to Wayne, we almost never write the backstory until we get the art in. Seeing the final piece always gives a wealth of inspiration for the character write up. For example, I started to make notes for what I wanted to do with Zelhara when the first sketches of her came in, but I didn't even get close to finalizing her until I saw her (wonderfully creepy) final painting.
The research rules from Ultimate Intrigue show up in a few of the adventures, but I made sure to provide enough information in the text for a GM to run those encounters without needing to reference Ultimate Intrigue.
Writing one of the adventures is freelance and not done on the clock. Crystal simply had too much on her plate to tackle writing the volume that I asked her to write. As for her developing, she is developing the (unannounced) Adventure Path after Strange Aeons.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
This was the line up when we announced the Adventure Path at GenCon, but between then and now things have changed a bit. The Thrushmoor Terror is by Tito Leati and Dreams of the Yellow King is by Ron Lundeen.