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Doug Benson wrote:
We all loved the Legendary Special “To Worlds Unknown” and plan on spending our money on the AP.
That's exactly the kind of interest we hoped the event would generate! Thank you for playing. We're looking to launch the Kickstarter in mid-June. That should let it run through the days leading up to GenCon, where Legendary Games will also be sharing a booth in the dealer's hall with Kobold Press and TPK Games.
Andrew Christian wrote:
I loved it, too, because it gave third-party publishers (like Legendary Games) an opportunity to fill that assumed "void" with several tables of our own special event to showcase the upcoming Legendary Planet Adventure Path we're doing. We got a lot of great feedback and participation, seating 59 players across Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And, I think a lot of those players might have been busier with PFS if the midday break hadn't existed. So, it helped give third-party publishers a window in which to shine, as well. If possible, I think it'd be cool to do that again next year, and maybe other publishers can run a slate of games and panels during that time, too.
We've run 10 tables so far for 59 total players at PaizoCon. They've either experienced "The Assimilation Strain" or "To Worlds Unknown" and every game has been an absolute blast. Not just for the players either. Our volunteer GMs are having a great time with these scenarios, as well. Mission accomplished. Can't wait to Kickstart this AP and get it into everyone's hands.
I strongly suggest that you use the mythic rules only for creature encounters and antagonists. You're going to have tech already and high level characters, that's enough already to balance out for the harried GM.
Hey, LazarX! I know a lot of people likely share your view on this topic, but I'd ask that you please reserve judgment until you see what we do with mythic in this AP. We already have plans to come at it from a couple different directions than folks have seen in the past. And, you can rest assured that the greatest mythic threats will be invested in the creature encounters and NPC antagonists...not the PCs.
That said, the PCs will get their own taste of mythic ability as they gain experience, but it won't be dialed all the way up for them, unlike some of the opponents they'll be facing. In addition, we've already published quite a few mythic supplements for Legendary Games, and they'll be tailored for AP play with a careful eye towards maintaining game balance. This is a challenge we don't take lightly, as there's a lot of value to the mythic rules if they're used the right way. And that's exactly what we intend to do with this Adventure Path and campaign setting. Hopefully, given our track record, we've earned everyone's patience and trust. So, don't give up on mythic just yet. We aim to make it work, and work well.
Also, in terms of the technology factor, we won't be going full-bore with that. This is meant to pay tribute to the sword-and-planet genre. So, much of the "tech" is going to have more of a magi-tech or alien feel to it than engineered electronics, blaster rifles, power armor, and robots. So, that'll help tamp down the power creep a bit, as well.
Has an author list been announced?
As a lead-in to PaizoCon (and because some of our contributors are already teasing their involvement), I'll share the first few authors of the Legendary Planet AP (including the prequel adventure):
Prequel - The Assimilation Strain by Tom Phillips and Neil Spicer
Chapter 1 - To Worlds Unknown by Jim Groves
Chapter 2 - The Scavenged Codex by Mike Shel
Chapter 3 - Dead Vault Descent by Matt Goodall
I hope to talk through a general synopsis of these adventures (and the ones which follow in the later chapters of the AP) at our "What's New With Legendary Games?" PaizoCon panel on Friday afternoon at 3PM. So, if you're going to be in Seattle and you can take an hour of your time to check us out, please drop by. We've got a lot to share about all our upcoming products, and that certainly includes Legendary Planet/Legendary Worlds.
The Assimilation Strain - To Worlds Unknown - The Scavenged Codex - Dead Vault Descent - Confederates of the Shattered Zone - The Depths of Desperation - Mind Tyrants of the Merciless Moons - To Kill A Star
I'm hoping there's enough time to give a brief rundown on what these adventures will include, but that'll depend on how the overall agenda flows. We have a LOT of newly-published and upcoming content to cover in this hour.
I've already started bugging my friends about it, and I can all but guarantee you'll be getting my money at least.
Thanks, Shisumo. This is definitely one of those Kickstarters where we'll be able to take it to greater heights as more people back it. So, please keep spreading the word and convince as many people to sign on as you can. In fact, I'd like to call in as many cards and favors as I may have amassed over my brief freelancing career to see this thing really soar.
Ideally, I'd like it to become the quintessential campaign for bridging a single homeworld into a larger multiverse. And, we'd all be thrilled to have it serve as the springboard for bringing that multiverse to life as a new, vibrant campaign setting capable of standing alongside so many others in the history of gaming.
This is kind of like my magnum opus. It's a concept which has weighed on my mind for many, many years. And, just in terms of giving back to the RPG community, I'd love to see it published and used by those who imagine taking their adventures across many different worlds...with literally, no end to the amount of new, creative content it can include, or have added to it over the years.
That's my vision, at least. The hard part is making it more than just a vision.
No problem. This is sort of a "dream" project for me...both in the sense that I've dreamt about it for a long time, and it represents an ambitious undertaking on my part. But, I consider myself quite lucky to have the support of more than a few industry veterans in writing and publishing it. And, I really do appreciate any and all support thrown our way in spreading the word and backing the Kickstarter.
Is it too soon to ask about a pricing structure? I sadly shant be at the event, but I'm eager to hear more.
Definitely too soon. Those details will be worked out and then shared via the Kickstarter announcement, but you can expect various options (including PDF-only versus single hardcover compilation, etc.).
Out of curiosity, with Occult Adventures right around the corner, will you be looking to use those rules for your psychic stuff, or Dreamscarred's work? Maybe both? (I'm curious to see a fully-fleshed-out take on how the two system might coexist...)
It may very well wind up being from both, but it'll depend on what we see with Occult Adventures and how much of that makes it into the PRD (i.e., I like to work mostly with stuff that's easily referenced from the main Paizo PRD). It's entirely possible that psionics on one world may reflect the Dreamscarred version, while psychic magic on another world uses the Occult Adventures version. Dreamscarred went the extra mile in helping us with our recent Mythic Mania Kickstarter, which included a lot of new content for how to take psionics to mythic heights. So, I have a feeling we'll be referencing that material at the very least. Tim Hitchcock and Jason Nelson will have the greatest opportunity to explore psionics, and a lot of it will really just depend on where their creativity takes them.
So, we're keeping an open mind (no pun intended). ;)
So how many parts are we looking at in this AP and what will be the level range. This looks right up my alley BTW.
If we're successfully funded via the Kickstarter, there'll be a total of 7 chapters to this AP (rather than the traditional 6). Chapter 1 starts with the PCs already at 2nd level. But, if you want the full experience of leveling up from 1st, you can play the prequel adventure (The Assimilation Strain) and it will foreshadow the circumstances which lead off Chapter 1 (while also getting the PCs to 2nd level).
From there, the remaining chapters will take PCs all the way up to 20th level (so they get their capstone ability--and enough adventuring room to actually use it in play). We'll also be including a dash of mythic rules available to the PCs...i.e., they'll gain a handful of mythic tiers over the course of the campaign, but not so much that it'll overpower the gameplay at the table. Of course, the NPC villains and monsters will be somewhat less restrained when it comes to mythic power...i.e., we can delve into that toolbox a little more deeply for the GM's use.
Lastly, we'll also be layering in a few experiences utilizing psionics. We don't intend to go crazy with it, as that's not everyone's favorite thing to deal with in play. But, if we're going to stay true to the tropes of sword-and-planet, psionics are very much in play for certain creatures. And, if your GM is a full-bore fan of psionics and you want to play a psionic character from the start, there'll be room for that, too.
It's not that we're trying to throw in the kitchen sink or anything. We're just committed to using a lot of these optional rules in a way that fully meshes with the Legendary Worlds Campaign Setting. And, we're approaching it with the intent of "doing it the right way" to hopefully serve as an example of how to get the most from these sub-systems at your gaming table. We also happen to think it'll help us tell a pretty epic story unique to this Adventure Path.
So, if I've whetted anyone's appetite here, please make an effort to check us out...whether that's at PaizoCon later this week, a future podcast, our website, or the eventual Kickstarter. We'll need pretty much everyone to help spread the news about this undertaking if we're going to take it to Legendary heights. And we'll be most appreciative of anyone who helps us get it off the ground in a big, big way.
You had to mention Planescape, huh? That will cause some nerdrage discussions.
I look forward to the conversation. But, in actuality, I know very little about Planescape. I myself have never played in that setting, but I did spend some time reading through a few of the books many years ago. Thus, I'm not beholden to making Legendary Planet exactly like Planescape. There are just some unconscious parallels there which others have pointed out as we've talked about the setting we're designing.
I for one liked Planescape and also would very much like to see Golarion-like planets included in the AP. So the planets visited in the AP, who are they?
They're not all named or fully fleshed out yet, but we'll probably share a few more specifics about them at PaizoCon with a step-through of the planned adventures and their themes. In general, however...
1) A desert-like "hub" world (very Tatooine-esque) with multiple gateways to other planets across the multiverse.
2) A post-apocalyptic world (somewhat reminiscent of Mad Max, but a bit less barren)
3) A tidally-locked world (with lots of underground vaults built by the Ancients)
4) A shattered world (essentially, a bunch of floating asteroids with their sustained ecosystems, heavily mined by squatters)
5) A water world (essentially a planet whose melted ice caps flooded an entire civilization, but gave rise to a new one below the waves)
6) A gas giant world (with several moons which have their own unique ecosystems)
7) A Dyson-sphere world (i.e., a manufactured "shell" surrounding an entire star at a range where its inner surface is within the habitability zone)
Technically, there's an 8th planet, but that's for the prequel adventure and it can be any homeworld where the PCs get to experience a low-level alien incursion, of sorts. So, it can be a planet like Golarion, some other published setting, your own homebrew world, or a generic planet within the larger LP multiverse.
Hope that helps stir the pot,
One other little tidbit. Jason and I talked at length about Legendary Planet with Ryan Costello of Know Direction at last year's PaizoCon. Jason and Rachel will likely speak about it again during their 10 minutes with him at his "Know Direction Live!" event this year.
Another venue for hearing more about it would be to check out the various podcasts. Jason and I did a fairly lengthy one last year with Ryan Costello from Know Direction. And, I believe Jason and Rachel will have about 10 minutes with him at his Know Direction Live! event at this year's PaizoCon, too, so I'm sure Legendary Planet/Legendary Worlds is bound to come up again.
Interesting... I assume that this will effectively be its own setting? Or is it tied to a known setting?
Eventually, it will be its own setting.
For the moment, we're focused on starting it out as a single Adventure Path designed to introduce portions of the setting in an epic campaign which you can link up to your existing homeworld--whether that's Golarion, Oerth, Faerun, Eberron, Midgard, homebrew, or whatever. The interplanetary gates which link the multiverse together could very well exist on any of those other worlds, too. And our Adventure Path will basically be a demonstration of how to link it with something else if you just want to expand your horizon a bit from the single planet your PCs may already be adventuring on. Of course, it can also stand alone, if you prefer to start with a clean slate and not link it to any other existing campaign setting. The choice is yours.
In addition, each of the AP chapters will include support articles. They'll be purposefully designed to provide even more information about the specific planets where each adventure takes place. And, there'll be an expanded bestiary section to present new fauna and flora from those worlds, as well as other races, monsters, and alien lifeforms the PCs might encounter...or even play if they need a replacement character over the course of the campaign.
Right now, we're targeting the summer timeframe to launch a Kickstarter to fund the Adventure Path. Provided that's successful, the support articles will be used as foundational "building blocks" for expanding the overall Legendary Worlds Campaign Setting down the line. It's my hope that we receive enough backing to fund both undertakings, though the campaign setting may require it's own separate Kickstarter after we fulfill the Adventure Path for our initial backers.
With the exception of the Kickstarter element, this is somewhat similar to the way Paizo first launched Golarion. It started out as a single AP (Rise of the Runelords) for only a portion of their yet-to-be-published campaign setting (i.e., it only took place in Varisia and Golarion hadn't really been fully defined yet). Assuming the AP helps us launch the first renderings of the larger Legendary Worlds campaign setting, there'll be more to come.
Bottom line, if you have an interest in this kind of world-spanning adventure and you'd prefer that it focus more on sword-and-planet tropes than hard sci-fi, this will be your jam.
As far as I can tell, yes, they do. Legendary Planet is a planet-hopping, pulp-esque saga with its own setting rules that can fit into any established campaign setting. Think John Carter meets Stargate. At least that's what I took from the stuff revealed so far.
Very much this.
Legendary Worlds (or Legendary Planet, as we've called it before) centers on an entire multiverse of worlds all joined by Stargate-like portals which are Ancient artifacts in the hands of various interstellar factions. We're eschewing starships in favor of gates because we didn't want to bog down an adventuring day with lots of downtime aboard a ship or take on the headaches of ship-to-ship combat in space. In its place, we'll very much focus the action on the planets. That way, you get things going right away in familiar surroundings akin to any other fantasy RPG setting. I've heard it favorably compared to Planescape, as well, because of the approach we're taking with it.
So, if you were to link up John Carter with Stargate with Planescape and maybe a low-tech dash of Thundarr the Barbarian and Flash Gordon, you'd be on the right track. Ultimately, it's multiverse-spanning, sword-and-planet pulp.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Will it be using the Technology Guide rules?
Yes. To a fair degree. But we won't constrain ourselves to that...i.e., we may very well wind up adding further to it, in the sense that the Legendary Worlds/Legendary Planet milieu is a bit less sci-fi and a bit more sci-fantasy. Think more along the lines of the kinds of technology you see on Barsoom in John Carter of Mars and you'll be heeling a lot closer to what we have in mind. So, many of the high-end technological items in the Technology Guide won't have a place in our setting. Instead, we may well have different analogues for those kinds of devices, just using a different technological explanation for it.
James Sutter wrote:
And for folks wondering, this is one of the best novels we've published in the line. And I'm not just saying that because Wes works here—he really busted his ass making this book the best it can be, and it shows. As editor, I'm really proud of it, and can't wait for everyone to get their Ustalav and vampire fix. :)
I've been eagerly awaiting this one. And, with commentary like that, now even moreso. :)
Man, I probably couldn't have made it regardless, but if I'd known you were going to be be there, I'd have much more of an effort to get to Mepacon. My friend Kris, who was there, said he was going to try to go say hello, though.
I'd certainly recommend going, and there's a possibility I may return again at another time (provided the wife approves). Your friend, Kris, did indeed seek me out and we spoke for a bit. He mentioned you and I immediately responded with, "Oh...you know one of the Jacobs from the Paizo messageboards!" :)
...any of the designer insights and director's cut materials sharable?
I don't really have any of those insights written out in a major way (other than what already appeared on the Paizo blog awhile back with the Arvormeigh encounter and random encounters in the Fellnight mist). The other insights are just explanations I shared with the gaming group about the story behind certain elements appearing in the adventure. There's also the director's cut of what I termed "fey impulses" in Rhoswen's palace. At Legendary Games, we eventually repackaged that concept into our Faerie Mysteries product. I originally coined the idea, but then turned it over to Jason, Todd, and Alistair to flesh it out. If I run Realm of the Fellnight Queen again, I'll definitely find ways of including that material, and you could probably find it useful for Kingmaker, as well. Also, I totally had the Fellnight spriggans in Rhoswen's realm riding evil blink dogs which were capable of carrying their riders with them when they blink. Fun, fun, fun. ;)
Update: The adventure ran well. I included a fair amount of designer insights and director's cut material in some places, but also glossed over some other stuff to ensure I kept the game moving. Squeezing it all into a single 9-hour gaming slot with a break for lunch still wasn't enough time to explore everything. But, the players still seemed to have a good time. All of them survived, despite the party paladin getting polymorphed into a songbird. Hopefully we made a few gaming memories for everyone. :)
I'll reiterate Jason's assertions above. The Mythic Mania hardcovers, including the Mythic Monster Manual, Mythic Spell Compendium, and Mythic Hero's Handbook represent a seminal moment for Legendary Games. These books lay a foundation for how to enhance the mythic ruleset in ways that anyone who might have passed on them before should re-examine just how much they can enhance your game. Hats off to Jason and the entire design team, as well as our third-party team-ups with Kobold Press, Rogue Genius, and Dreamscarred Press. We really pulled out the stops on this one...
...and we're not done yet.
While this Kickstarter may be winding down, we're also on the verge of launching another--one which we alluded to during Mythic Mania and then teased at last year's PaizoCon. It'll involve our very first Adventure Path using sword-and-planet themes, and eventually usher us into a brand new campaign setting down the road. You'll have a chance to not only hear more about this endeavor at the "So What's New With Legendary Games?" panel at this year's PaizoCon, but also experience some of it with 10 tables of gaming which we've sponsored across Friday, Saturday, and Sunday--including the open gaming slots during the afternoons as Pathfinder Society play takes a break.
So, there are some BIG things happening at Legendary Games. Please help us spread the word, and come out and see us at PaizoCon and GenCon in the coming weeks.
Really nice review, Endy. One of the aspects of Path of Villains that I like the most is how it starts to explore the various ways Legendary Games is approaching the mythic ruleset for Pathfinder. There are many different ways in which the rules can be applied to widen and enhance how the game plays at the table, not just in a mechanical/crunch kind of way, but in a storytelling/roleplaying kind of way, as well.
Path of Villains is one of the first LG products to explore mythic potential to its fullest, but it's by no means the last, as evidenced by the various mythic monster, mythic paths, and mythic feats which Jason and the team have been cranking out. But, the real kicker for exploring the mythic ruleset will be the three books we're doing under the Mythic Mania Kickstarter. Jason and the crew have just gotten the PDFs out the door for that, and print copies should hopefully become available soon.
Plus, for those keeping an eye on the Legendary Games activities of late, the next step in applying mythic will manifest in our upcoming Legendary Planet Adventure Path...a little something we'll be Kickstarting in the coming days, and also previewing at PaizoCon. If folks haven't planned to attend the "What's New With Legendary Games?" panel yet, you might want to come join us for an hour. Additionally, we're running 10 tables of games across Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to give a few gamers even further insight into what this sword-and-planet AP will be like.
My preference is to leave that to the purchaser. Research indicates the two most often used point-buy methods rely on basic 15-point or PFS-sanctioned 20-point. Once you go higher than that, you're getting too far outside the Challenge Ratings of the published adventure paths these characters are designed for. If people are going to be taking the time to adjust the encounters for that kind of game, we're going to leave it to them to do the same for the PCs.
I was just wondering - how is the serpent army supposed to reach the surface? Via the broken portal? Which the PCs are fixing? Why are they fixing it, then?
The serpentfolk have long emerged from the Darklands to threaten the surface, and that was never solely dependent on portals in the past. Perhaps more importantly, the advanced serpentfolk (as opposed to the degenerate kind) also have substantial magic at their command, so they most certainly will have many alternative means of reaching the surface. Even a quick study of the Darklands sourcebook should demonstrate that there are other natural access points they could use after journeying further along the underground tunnels. Where they emerge with their serpent armies isn't as important as the fact that they will...and when they do, their powerful leaders emerging from stasis (as well as those infused with the reborn power of Ydersius) will pose a global threat as high as what you see with the demons emerging from the Worldwound, or what would happen if the Runelords returned in Varisia, or what would happen if Tar-Baphon were released from Gallowspire. As long as you look at it in those terms, I think you'll have a better understanding of the scope and scale of the serpentfolk threat.
There will be other non-PFS events scheduled in that time frame, including some of the special games run by Paizo staff.
And quite a few from a handful of third-party publishers, as well. I think Legendary Games alone is contributing 10 tables to the mix spread over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And I know Kobold Press is coming with a slate of games, too. So, stay tuned indeed.
Glad you had fun with this one, Rakshaka. The mythic additions you implemented make perfect sense, and tailoring the adventure to your play group is exactly the best way to get the most out of it. My best to you and your players. Also, if you have the time, please write a review of the adventure and post it here at Paizo. Even with the caveat of having changed a fair amount of stuff, any guidance you can provide to potential buyers on the NPCs and storylines involved would probably be helpful. Same goes for the rest of the Carrion Crown adventures you've played. Give back by writing a review, not so much for the authors, but rather as a way of lending insight to those considering running the campaign for their groups, as well.
John Kretzer wrote:
I would love to see a witch as one of main good character in one of these books. Maybe there is one out there admittedly I still have 8 books left before I completely catch up.
I believe you're going to want to pick up Firesoul. There's a good character in there I'd likely classify as a witch. Not the main protagonist, but certainly someone with a fair amount of "screen time."
Awesome review, Endy. Full of praise, but still room for improvement. We'll take that every time and keep raising the bar on ourselves. Kudos to Mike and Jason, as well, for rocking the guardians of good and earning that seal of approval. And now that you're back on your game (and fully recovered?), I hope you'll eventually work your way back to our Heroes line, as well. There are a couple you haven't reviewed yet. ;)
I'll be there. Full docket of gaming, though. Legendary Games is running a large slate of events this year across multiple days. So, I've got gaming blocks on Friday morning, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and again on Monday morning. Outside of that, I'm sure you guys will have me on a panel or two. Hope to run into you at some point in between all of that.
Damon Griffin wrote:
Our Pharasmin Cleric remains squicked out at the prospect of allying with vampires for any reason, but we'll see how it goes.
I'd suggest that you approach your GM about giving the Pharasmin cleric some major opportunities to learn more about the vampire history of Ustalav and the role they played during the Shining Crusade, both during the war and the aftermath of it. That alone should start opening the cleric's eyes to the possibility of greater shades of evil and the necessity for setting aside a 100% completely hostile agenda against them in the interests of serving a greater purpose in Pharasma's opposition to the Whispering Way.
But that's just my two cents,
P.S. Additionally, if your GM would like further insight into the vampire situation in Ustalav and its historic background, I'd be happy to discuss it with him via the messaging system here on the Paizo boards. Just have him drop me a note and I'll help out where I can. Most of it should be evident in the adventure's background and the campaign setting material on Ustalav, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to talk it through and explore some of the thoughts behind that whole region.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
I'd modestly like to have one round that's less adventure-design-focused each year, but I can't do that at the expense of finding someone who can write a module we can publish....But I do like the round, so I'm still thinking about it...
I really liked the change to have a separate mapping round this year, but personally I think it would be even better if it was accompanied by a 300-word, sidebar-equivalent write-up of an organization, region, or even a small nation description reminiscent of the first year of the contest which synergizes with the map itself. That way, there's some context given to the area depicted in the map, and it also showcases a bit more of a contestant's creativity with the written word, even if it's not too crunch-heavy. I think both of those components (i.e., map plus sidebar exposition) still lend themselves well to what it takes for a person to write an adventure module, which is most certainly what you want to test in these potential freelancers.
But that's just my two cents,