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The Strange Aeons Experiment


Strange Aeons

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Order of the Amber Die

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Strange Aeons fans:

We are pleased to announce that Order of the Amber Die will be starting a new project this coming week:
The Strange Aeons Experiment!

Here is what we can release so far:
9 months
6 marathons
1 entire Adventure Path

The party will consist of:

15-point builds
4 iconic characters featured in the concept art (as selected by James Jacobs)
1 campaign trait per iconic

As for what the "experiment" aspect of our project is, you'll have to tune into the Paizo Blog later this month when our first report drops.

In addition to our living PDF (containing tips and our play-by-play much like The Giantslayer Endeavor), we will also be answering questions on this thread about our project as we play through it. Obviously anything time-sensitive is off limits until each volume of the AP is released.

Check back on this thread as we reveal character builds for each of our iconics over the next two weeks!

Order of the Amber Die


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Woo! I am SO HYPED FOR THIS!

I LOVED the Emerald Spire and Giantslayer runs you folks did and if nothing else, those notes that were made about the technical side of things really helped me fix some plotholes in ES. Keep on rocking OotAD.


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I intend to play Erasmus closely to his backstory, channeling the spirits of his deceased family members according to the situations where each of them would be advantageous. That being said, I'd like to focus mainly on the Champion spirit, his older sister Nissa, but I selected the Varisian Tattoo race trait so he's proficient in starknife even when he doesn't channel her.

As he progresses in levels, I'm open to selecting feats according to whatever feels right or seems necessary at the time, but ideally I'd like to take Empath, Eerie Sense, and Harrowed if he ever comes into possession of a Harrow Deck, which I'm really hoping for since I've been looking forward to playing with one of those for some time. As for his skills, I'm going with what I think will be appropriate for his class, but I'd like to concentrate on the ones with occult skill unlocks, which should prove an interesting new addition to our game.

ERASMUS
Varisian human medium 1
N Medium humanoid (human)

AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +2 Dex)
hp 10 (1d8+2)
Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +3; +1 against charm and compulsion effects

Melee starknife +3 (1d4+3/x3)
Ranged starknife +2 (1d4+3/x3)
Medium spells known (CL 1st; concentration +2)
0 (at will)—grave words, read magic

Feats Spirit Focus (Champion)
Skills Appraise, Diplomacy, Linguistics, Sense Motive

Str 16, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 13

Traits Strange Aeons campaign trait [TBA]; Varisian Tattoo
Alternate Racial Traits Dual Talent

Soundtrack Song: "Eon" by Celldweller (Drop Remix)

For the complete stat block, see our Dropbox shortly after the first Paizo Blog report comes out.

See Erasmus's stunning miniature here!

Order of the Amber Die

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Bard of Ages wrote:

Woo! I am SO HYPED FOR THIS!

I LOVED the Emerald Spire and Giantslayer runs you folks did and if nothing else, those notes that were made about the technical side of things really helped me fix some plotholes in ES. Keep on rocking OotAD.

Bard, thank you so much! Getting feedback always helps us improve, so I'm glad you liked all the technical notes for The Emerald Spire Project. It takes a while to write all of those notes, so it's good to know that people do read it--and most importantly--benefit from it. It's been two years and I still can't believe we played that much in one summer!

We've got a lot of ideas floating around for Strange Aeons, and a great roster of four veteran players assembled from our membership (close to 100 years of combined experience among the four).

The next iconic is coming soon!

Adam
GM
Order of the Amber Die


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Can you post updates here? I've never heard of you before, but this looks interesting!

Especially curious to see how you make use of the Medium. :)


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Coffee Demon wrote:

Can you post updates here? I've never heard of you before, but this looks interesting!

Especially curious to see how you make use of the Medium. :)

Glad you're interested! I'm definitely nervous, there's a lot of pressure to succeed in these projects, and our GM pulls no punches.

We'll be posting all of our characters here, as well as responding to anything people ask about the project or the path. All of the updates will primarily be on the Paizo Blog, much as they were for Giantslayer, so I'd start by checking out that project to see a similar format to what this one will look like.

As far as the medium, I'm going to do my best to showcase him for the community in the same way that I did with Oloch the warpriest. Our full stat blocks will eventually be placed in our Dropbox, and I can definitely chat on this thread about what it's like to play a single-classed medium to very high levels!

The best way to keep updated would also be to like our Facebook page, as we'll have tons of content on there all year for Strange Aeons.


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Aerick-Order of the Amber Die wrote:
I'm definitely nervous, there's a lot of pressure to succeed in these projects, and our GM pulls no punches.

Well, I'd be interested to hear about failure OR success. That's the nature of using dice in this game, after all, and an epic loss can sometimes be a more amazing story than a white knuckled win :). But hey, that's just one bard's opinion.


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscriber

I just devoured the Emerald Spire write up on a flight, and it was really cool to see someone else's trials and tribulations over the course of a campaign. Great work, and a whole lot of it!

We're about to start Strange Aeons so I won't be following your latest adventures for a whole, but best of luck!


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Quote:
Well, I'd be interested to hear about failure OR success. That's the nature of using dice in this game, after all, and an epic loss can sometimes be a more amazing story than a white knuckled win :). But hey, that's just one bard's opinion.

An opinion well-founded. The dice play a part in the story as much as anything else, sometimes more so in the case of our namesake. In the Giantslayer Endeavor, the Amber Die killed Oloch in the middle of module one, and I can only hope it shows me mercy this time around. So go ahead and do what bards do best: inspire courage in us, because we'll certainly need it!

Order of the Amber Die

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Andrew Mullen wrote:

I just devoured the Emerald Spire write up on a flight, and it was really cool to see someone else's trials and tribulations over the course of a campaign. Great work, and a whole lot of it!

We're about to start Strange Aeons so I won't be following your latest adventures for a whole, but best of luck!

Andrew, it's great to hear that you read it all in one sitting, that's quite an accomplishment--congrats and thank you! No worries about following us in Strange Aeons, it will still be there when you are finished; in the meantime, your GM can benefit from all the material to be released as we plow through the AP.

Happy gaming!

Order of the Amber Die

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The Strange Aeons Experiment
Character Profile #2:

Since we started playing iconic characters I've been interested in playing Alahazra, almost getting a chance to play her in our Rise of the Runelords campaign, so I was excited to see that James Jacobs had chosen her for Strange Aeons. She was originally designed with the Flame mystery, which is evident in much of the artwork released for this adventure path, but after talking at length with developer Adam Daigle about our plans to push flavor in a direction more apropos to the Strange Aeons concept, I decided to select the time mystery.

Like most Rahadoumi she has no patron deity (even though she has divine powers) so she qualifies for the Godless Healing feat at 1st level, which is a rare opportunity, and will likely help her survive the early levels. For future feats, I'm going to push her time abilities to the limit and will likely take Extra Revelations for levels where she doesn't already receive them, as well as Abundant Revelations to get more use of the rarer once per day abilities. The oracle's curse will make things difficult, as I'll have to be mindful not to react to anything on the maps further than 30 ft, at least until her darkvision range increases. It'll take some getting used to and likely comes with some frustration but I welcome the challenge.

ALAHAZRA
Garundi human oracle 1
LG Medium humanoid (human)

AC 17, touch 11, flat-footed 16 (+6 armor, +1 Dex)
hp 11 (1d8+3)
Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +3

Melee quarterstaff +2 (1d6+3) or dagger +2 (1d4+2/19-20)
Ranged dagger +1 (1d4+2/19-20)
Oracle spells known (CL 1st; concentration +4)
1st—(4/day) cure light wounds, divine favor, protection from evil
0 (at will)—guidance, resistance, spark, virtue

Feats Godless Healing
Skills Intimidate, Perception, Sense Motive

Str 14, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 17

Traits Strange Aeons campaign trait [TBA]; Unnatural Presence
Alternate Racial Traits Dual Talent

SOUNDTRACK Song: "Oracle" by Haelos

For the complete stat block, see our Dropbox shortly after the first Paizo Blog report comes out.

Click here to see Alahazra's awesome miniature!


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BTW,
I love the pic of the GM stuff taking about 30%-40% of the table.
MDC


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I still think my favorite thing about you guys is the music selections :D

Order of the Amber Die

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Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

BTW,

I love the pic of the GM stuff taking about 30%-40% of the table.
MDC

Glad you like my GM-station! Actually, I was just talking about this at GenCon during our Marathon Gaming Seminar last weekend. Since we're playing such long sessions, it's important to have a lot space carved out for the GM, as everything he'll need for the equivalent of 8 or more sessions has to be there with him. I also prefer to have a lot of space because as GM I am primarily stuck in that space for more than three days sometimes. Players can get up and get food, walk around the room, stand and watch from afar, even switch seats when they feel like it; however, every time the GM leaves his station the action suffers (unless for some reason he doesn't need his materials at that moment). My GM screens are the walls of my house during a marathon! :)


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Order of the Amber Die wrote:
Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

BTW,

I love the pic of the GM stuff taking about 30%-40% of the table.
MDC
Glad you like my GM-station! Actually, I was just talking about this at GenCon during our Marathon Gaming Seminar last weekend. Since we're playing such long sessions, it's important to have a lot space carved out for the GM, as everything he'll need for the equivalent of 8 or more sessions has to be there with him. I also prefer to have a lot of space because as GM I am primarily stuck in that space for more than three days sometimes. Players can get up and get food, walk around the room, stand and watch from afar, even switch seats when they feel like it; however, every time the GM leaves his station the action suffers (unless for some reason he doesn't need his materials at that moment). My GM screens are the walls of my house during a marathon! :)

I agree often (if I had the space) I would use a whole separate table for my stuff and another 2 tables for the rest of the group. That way I could get up and draw maps if I needed to and or talk to them in front of my screens.

I often made a joke that the reverse table % of equal to game time prep % of me vs the rest of the group. ie I did 60%+ of the prep so I got at least 40% of the table. We were a math heavy group.
MDC

Order of the Amber Die

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Great idea, I love how your percentages work for space--I'll use that next time I put them all in folding chairs and have a sectional couch for myself!

Order of the Amber Die

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Bard of Ages wrote:

I still think my favorite thing about you guys is the music selections :D

Thanks Bard!

That soundtrack is something we've been doing for about 20 years now. Luckliy I am a music producer and Aerick is a composer; as for the rest of the group, we all share a fierce passion for music and prefer to have it in all our sessions. For those who don't know, the character songs you see in these profiles go on a larger soundtrack that can be seen in our Dropbox in the PDFs for each of our projects. When you're playing long hours, it's always nice to have some tempo to the sessions, and especially when the songs are keyed specifically to events/locations/characters!


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Order of the Amber Die wrote:
Great idea, I love how your percentages work for space--I'll use that next time I put them all in folding chairs and have a sectional couch for myself!

GM has got to be comfortable. If I am not comfortable then I generally roll better and the player's suffer. If that is a couch and them in folding chairs so be it.

MDC

BTW, Good luck and have fun.

Order of the Amber Die

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Mark Carlson 255 wrote:
Order of the Amber Die wrote:
Great idea, I love how your percentages work for space--I'll use that next time I put them all in folding chairs and have a sectional couch for myself!

GM has got to be comfortable. If I am not comfortable then I generally roll better and the player's suffer. If that is a couch and them in folding chairs so be it.

MDC

BTW, Good luck and have fun.

Thanks for the well wishes Mark. The couch will remain a dream though, as you guys can tell from the photos I usually stand most of the time.

Stay tuned for character profile #3, right around the corner!

Order of the Amber Die

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The Strange Aeons Experiment
Character Profile #3:

When I heard that I would be playing Quinn I was excited. I got my first taste of an alchemist last year at Philly Games Con where I reconnected with the Order, and since then I've been itching to try one. Skills and spells are two of my favorite types of characters to play--playing Lem in RotR is evidence of that--so this gave me a chance to do both, and brush up on my melee skills as well.

I'll be building him towards Two-Weapon Fighting, as he appears to be doing so in some of the recent art, so I'll be allocating several feats for that. When it comes to his investigator abilities, I'll be focusing on Inspiration over Alchemy, and pushing his usage of Knowledge skills as much as possible. I'm interested to see what I can accomplish with his archetype changes, as they seem like they'll be both useful and appropriate for this adventure path.

QUINN
Mwangi human investigator (cult hunter) 1
LG Medium humanoid (human)

AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (+3 armor, +3 Dex)
hp 10 (1d8+2)
Fort +1, Ref +5, Will +3

Melee mwk sword cane +4 (1d6+1) or dagger +3 (1d4+1/19-20)
Ranged dagger +3 (1d4+1/19-20)
Investigator formulae known (CL 1st)
1st—(2/day) cure light wounds, shield

Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Craft (alchemy), Diplomacy, Disable Device, Knowledge (dungeoneering), Linguistics, Perception, Sense Motive, Spellcraft

Str 12, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 10

Traits Strange Aeons campaign trait [TBA]; Rich Parents
Alternate Racial Traits Dual Talent

SOUNDTRACK Song: "Trust Me" by Zola Jesus

For the complete stat block, see our Dropbox shortly after the first Paizo Blog report comes out.

Quinn's incredible miniature can be seen here!

Order of the Amber Die

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The Strange Aeons Experiment
Character Profile #4:

I've always liked playing spellcasters, so Feiya was a good fit for me. I've never played a witch before, but after reading and researching about the class I thought it would be interesting to try something different; I gave her the hex channeler archetype, since it's specifically mentioned as keyed to the path in the Players Guide.

Then there's Daji. I've got an affinity for animals anyway, so I went with something experimental and gave him the sage archetype. Using Feral Speech as her first Hex, Feiya is able to communicate with him from the start, and as he gains levels and their intellectual bond grows stronger, Daji will be able to compliment the group as another source of Knowledge skills, which I suspect will be very important to have in this adventure path.

FEIYA
Tian human witch (hex channeler) 1
CG Medium humanoid (human)

AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10 (+1 Dex)
hp 10 (1d6+4)
Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +3

Melee quarterstaff +0 (1d6) or dagger +0 (1d4/19-20)
Ranged dagger +1 (1d4/19-20)
Witch spells prepared (CL 1st; concentration +5)
1st—(2/day) mage armor, snowball
0 (at will)—detect magic, light, read magic

Feats Toughness
Skills Heal, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (planes), Spellcraft

Str 10, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 15

Traits Strange Aeons campaign trait [TBA]; Huldra's Luck
Alternate Racial Traits Dual Talent

SOUNDTRACK Song: "Black Magic Woman" by Santana

For the complete stat block, see our Dropbox shortly after the first Paizo Blog report comes out.

Feiya's highly detailed miniature can be viewed here!


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Erasmus's campaign trait:

Sensitive Mind: You awake in the asylum horribly aware of dangers lurking nearby. While your memories are hazy and indistinct, everything around you looks vibrant and clear. You have an inkling that you have always been perceptive and can tell a lot about a person even in a quick meeting. This sensitivity can overwhelm you at times, especially in your current situation. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Appraise, Perception, and Sense Motive checks, and one of these (your choice) is a class skill for you. In addition, once per week you can use the psychometry occult skill unlock even if you are not capable of casting psychic spells or have the Psychic Sensitivity feat. See Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures for more information on psychometry and other relevant occult skill unlocks.

I selected this trait because it fits Erasmus's disposition as well as his abilities. A medium should be able to read people easily, and his connection with the spirit realm should make him even more supernaturally observant, so this seemed the clear choice compared to the other traits. Also, I have a feeling that the psychometry skill unlock will be useful throughout this adventure path, so adding Appraise to his class skills with this trait should help him succeed the check more often. The additional bonuses to Perception and Sense Motive should come in handy with the read aura and prognostication skill unlocks too.


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Very awesome stuff so far. I especially love how Daji may get some spotlight time as well. Intelligent SPEAKING familiars (in some way or another) are far more fun. Probably why when I play wizards I choose ravens :D

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Wait, is the first Paizo Blog report you guys playing Part 1 or just pre-campaign stuff?

(I'll be running this starting in October, so I'll be keeping a closer eye on your reports for this AP.)

Order of the Amber Die

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Bard of Ages wrote:
Very awesome stuff so far. I especially love how Daji may get some spotlight time as well. Intelligent SPEAKING familiars (in some way or another) are far more fun. Probably why when I play wizards I choose ravens :D

Bard, definitely agree with you about ravens, and can't wait to see this familiar in action from the GM's side of the screen. After so many years and so many campaigns, I'm finally going to see a familiar that will (by campaign's end) be smarter than everyone in the party! Plus, Daji has his own very special miniature for when he leaves Feiya's side. Oh, and this fox might just have already earned himself a place in a Bard's tale--but we've got to wait just a bit longer to talk about it. :D

Order of the Amber Die

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Iammars wrote:

Wait, is the first Paizo Blog report you guys playing Part 1 or just pre-campaign stuff?

(I'll be running this starting in October, so I'll be keeping a closer eye on your reports for this AP.)

The first report will have a little intro about what The Strange Aeons Experiment is all about, and will also have all of our highlights from In Search of Sanity. The other reports will be 100% highlights and experiences; everything will look a lot like our format for The Giantslayer Endeavor. Since you're running it in October, perhaps the best part about this is that all of us involved can chat freely about our experience beyond what just goes up in the blog. This thread, or even the comments section of each blog are great places to go over what we come across in Strange Aeons. Our Facebook will have way more photos than the blog will, and our living PDF will contain goodies as well. If you're GMing it and prefer to create your own maps, the map gallery in the PDF will probably be really useful. Get ready to have your skills tested if you're going to draw the beast of a map from PF109!

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Order of the Amber Die wrote:
The first report will have a little intro about what The Strange Aeons Experiment is all about, and will also have all of our highlights from In Search of Sanity. The other reports will be 100% highlights and experiences; everything will look a lot like our format for The Giantslayer Endeavor. Since you're running it in October, perhaps the best part about this is that all of us involved can chat freely about our experience beyond what just goes up in the blog. This thread, or even the comments section of each blog are great places to go over what we come across in Strange Aeons. Our Facebook will have way more photos than the blog will, and our living PDF will contain goodies as well. If you're GMing it and prefer to create your own maps, the map gallery in the PDF will probably be really useful. Get ready to have your skills tested if you're going to draw the beast of a map from PF109!

Well, I'm running it online, so I get to just copy the map from the pdf and put it on Roll20, so easy map drawing for me!

Figured I'd let you guys know - remember those stat blocks I did for Emerald Spire? I'm planning on doing something similar for Strange Aeons. We'll see how well I'm keeping up by Book 6, but Book 1 seems really reasonable so far.


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Bard of Ages wrote:
Very awesome stuff so far. I especially love how Daji may get some spotlight time as well. Intelligent SPEAKING familiars (in some way or another) are far more fun. Probably why when I play wizards I choose ravens :D

Since this is a Horror campaign, do speaking familiars taste different from normal animals?

(I am just saying be prepared for the worst often when you play a horror game and eating your own familiar is fairly high up there on my scale of horror. I also do not think the a horror game is just so the GM can mess with PC's but I have seen it happen more often than not.)

MDC

Order of the Amber Die

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Iammars wrote:
Order of the Amber Die wrote:
The first report will have a little intro about what The Strange Aeons Experiment is all about, and will also have all of our highlights from In Search of Sanity. The other reports will be 100% highlights and experiences; everything will look a lot like our format for The Giantslayer Endeavor. Since you're running it in October, perhaps the best part about this is that all of us involved can chat freely about our experience beyond what just goes up in the blog. This thread, or even the comments section of each blog are great places to go over what we come across in Strange Aeons. Our Facebook will have way more photos than the blog will, and our living PDF will contain goodies as well. If you're GMing it and prefer to create your own maps, the map gallery in the PDF will probably be really useful. Get ready to have your skills tested if you're going to draw the beast of a map from PF109!

Well, I'm running it online, so I get to just copy the map from the pdf and put it on Roll20, so easy map drawing for me!

Figured I'd let you guys know - remember those stat blocks I did for Emerald Spire? I'm planning on doing something similar for Strange Aeons. We'll see how well I'm keeping up by Book 6, but Book 1 seems really reasonable so far.

Those stat blocks were incredible! In fact, when we saw there wasn't a Philly Games Con this year, we used them again while running the The Emerald Spire at DexCon instead. If you're still in the Philly area, maybe we'll reconnect at Legacies Game Day in the spring? It was the sort-of replacement for PGC this year, and it's small but the concept is genuine and we're going to support it again by converting a 1st edition module to Pathfinder. It's sad about GM Shared Prep, they removed our material because they said it's not PFS. We tried to explain that even though it's not PFS, it helps people run scenarios because of all the tips and errata included. If you happen to catch someone's ear at Shared Prep, feel free to verify the applicability of our work. :)

Looking forward to much Strange Aeons this year!

Order of the Amber Die

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Mark Carlson 255 wrote:
Bard of Ages wrote:
Very awesome stuff so far. I especially love how Daji may get some spotlight time as well. Intelligent SPEAKING familiars (in some way or another) are far more fun. Probably why when I play wizards I choose ravens :D

Since this is a Horror campaign, do speaking familiars taste different from normal animals?

(I am just saying be prepared for the worst often when you play a horror game and eating your own familiar is fairly high up there on my scale of horror. I also do not think the a horror game is just so the GM can mess with PC's but I have seen it happen more often than not.)

MDC

Good question Mark, I'll let you know after I take a bite out of Daji with my first scary bad guy. Now getting Feiya to eat her own familiar...hmmmm...I'm keeping that one in mind!

Order of the Amber Die

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Alahazra's campaign trait:

Enduring Stoicism: Even though your pulse is pounding in your ears when you awake in the asylum, you feel strangely nonplussed. You can recognize that the situation you find yourself in is horrific, but you refuse to let that fear control you. It doesn’t feel like it’s worth worrying over too much. You know that when you face unspeakable forces, keeping your cool will keep you alive. You gain a +2 trait bonus on all saving throws against spells or effects with the fear or emotion descriptors. In addition, you gain a +1 trait bonus on Intimidate checks due to your intimidating presence, as people don’t know what to expect from you.

No stranger to strange things, this seems like an appropriate trait for Alahazra. The save bonus will surely be beneficial in what has been dubbed the "horror" AP and I expect the benefit to make the difference between failure and success right away. The Intimidate bonus will work in tandem with her Unnatural Presence trait that makes it a class skill, and lets her demoralize animals and vermin as well.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Order of the Amber Die wrote:

Those stat blocks were incredible! In fact, when we saw there wasn't a Philly Games Con this year, we used them again while running the The Emerald Spire at DexCon instead. If you're still in the Philly area, maybe we'll reconnect at Legacies Game Day in the spring? It was the sort-of replacement for PGC this year, and it's small but the concept is genuine and we're going to support it again by converting a 1st edition module to Pathfinder. It's sad about GM Shared Prep, they removed our material because they said it's not PFS. We tried to explain that even though it's not PFS, it helps people run scenarios because of all the tips and errata included. If you happen to catch someone's ear at Shared Prep, feel free to verify the applicability of our work. :)

Looking forward to much Strange Aeons this year!

Unfortunately, I'm no longer in the Philly area. I moved up to Providence at the beginning of 2016 because me and the significant other being multiple states apart was killing us. I wouldn't be adverse to trips back down to the area, but it's going to come down to what weekends I have free and if I can make it to something like Dexcon. (I do have my own cons that I organize to worry about.)

Order of the Amber Die

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Quinn's campaign trait:

Foe of the Strange: You awake feeling emboldened after a terrifying nightmare. Instead of being frightened by the bizarre creatures from your nightmares, these experiences have steeled you against these startling alien beings. You know that you fell victim to strange circumstances and loathsome forces, but you refuse to give in to a creeping sense of helplessness. Instead, you vow to fight back against whoever or whatever is responsible for your current situation. The creatures of your nightmares won’t hold fear over your head. You’ll take the fight to them. You gain a +1 trait bonus on saving throws against extraordinary, spell-like, and supernatural abilities of aberrations (for example, a gibbering mouther’s gibbering or an intellect devourer’s confusion). In addition, whenever you’re confused and roll to determine behavior in a given round, subtract 10 from the result.

Since I changed his character concept from the psychic detective in Occult Adventures to the cult hunter in Horror Adventures, this campaign trait matched Quinn perfectly. It's what he does. Also, it actually helped me allay some of my own fears as a player, as I'm quite nervous playing Quinn as one of the main melee combatants against what'll probably be a daunting selection of scary creatures throughout the game.


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One thing I am curious about and a poster in another thread has asked is just what concepts do you think should be ruled out as a PC? Now I know this is highly game style and game group centered but something like this would be a big help for some people.

The other area I am curious about is after reading a thread about will saves and how important they are in a Horror campaign just how do you feel about it after running the adventures? Is it ok to use willpower as a dump stat? If you did this in a normal CoC. game it is almost like saying you want to create a new PC or you want to play out the drama of insanity, which may not be good for all game styles if one of the PC's is in the insane asylum most games to help get their sanity back leaving the rest of the group exposed.
So a paragraph or two on just how important willpower is over other stats might be a good info article.

Thanks
MDC

Order of the Amber Die

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Feiya's campaign trait:

Formerly Mind-Swapped: You awake with a strange sensation beyond the frightening experience of extensive memory loss. Full recollections of the experience—like so many others—have been wiped from your mind, but at some point in your past your mind was swapped with that of a yithian, an alien being from beyond time and space. You don’t remember details of your experiences wandering the yithians’ peculiar city in a foreign body—and even worry whether this might be some strange hallucination—but every so often, a flash of insight strikes you as a result of this experience. You know that you can rely on these alien flashbacks during your investigation into your current situation, as it gives you greater perspective into an otherwise confusing world.Once per day, you can reroll one Knowledge check that you have just failed. In addition, you can attempt untrained Knowledge checks with DCs up to 20 instead of 10.

The idea behind choosing this trait started with the relationship between Feiya and Daji and the witch’s familiar feature. I have no idea what a yithian is, but swapping minds with one can’t be good. Since they share a mental bond, when this thing swapped minds with Feiya, part of Daji was pulled along too. (I imagine this would make the experience that much more interesting, which may be why the yithian chose her in the first place.) After whatever happened that they can't remember, once she snapped back to herself she and Daji were connected in a whole new way, like a residual effect of one other was imprinted by their magical connection. Her Feral Speech hex represents the animalistic nature Feiya retained from her familiar, whereas Daji acquired some of her intellectual facilities, which is personified by the sage archetype. So with this campaign trait, both can attempt Knowledge checks untrained and are able to communicate their findings with each other! I’m really looking forward to playing with it.


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Mark Carlson 255 wrote:
One thing I am curious about and a poster in another thread has asked is just what concepts do you think should be ruled out as a PC?

In Strange Aeons, I'm inclined to say almost anything goes. Because of the freaky nature of the first module alone, even the more outlandish PCs could find themselves not entirely out of place. That being said, I would still recommend adhering to the Strange Aeons Player's Guide to better embed characters in the setting, as PCs who more closely fit the theme will likely find it more rewarding.

The ideal character for this campaign should be well-rounded, although that doesn’t necessarily mean multi-classed because we all know what happens to base attack and saves when progressions are stretched too thin. To reinforce that point, a PC will greatly benefit from a sense of identity, especially when sanity is concerned. Otherwise the resulting role-playing could be awkward, digressive, confusing, or any combination of the three. Just remember that PCs are not just stat blocks, they're "characters" in every sense of the word, so the more you develop them the more you'll feel like they're really a part of the game. The best example of this is the fugue state, which is a unique aspect of this adventure path, so if you want the complete experience, be bold, trust your GM, and commit your PC to the process.

Mark Carlson 255 wrote:
The other area I am curious about is after reading a thread about will saves and how important they are in a Horror campaign just how do you feel about it after running the adventures?

Saving throws will be crucial, especially if you’re playing with the new “granular” rules for escalating fear in Horror Adventures. In fact, at the next level when our group can select a new feat, we’re all taking the Shake it Off teamwork feat to mitigate catastrophic failures. We play in tight formation anyway, so a varying +1 to +3 bonus to all saves will surely go a long way in our success. The featured iconics in Strange Aeons may lack a high BAB character, but as we played them we quickly realized that even if we had one it wouldn’t do us any good while running away in fear or - worse - turning against us after succumbing to one of many charm or compulsion effects. What these iconics do have, however, is good Will saves, which I can honestly believe is one of the main reasons we'll be successful.

Mark Carlson 255 wrote:
Is it ok to use willpower as a dump stat?

I guess I just answered this question too. Further, I don't think there really is a dump stat when it comes to this style of game. Obviously you need decent physical attributes for combat, but you also need INT for Knowledge skills to figure out what’s going on, WIS for Perception and Sense Motive checks to thwart people (and creatures – not sure which is worse in this module) who are trying to kill you, and CHA to be able to interact with the multitude of NPCs to gain as many allies as possible, because you’ll need all the help you can get to survive. Trust me.


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Thanks for the input and I think the other poster in the other thread will also really benefit from your advice and experience's.

MDC

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Are these characters 15 or 20 point Builds?
I'm going to run this one so loving this, fantastic read


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Cat-thulhu wrote:

Are these characters 15 or 20 point Builds?

I'm going to run this one so loving this, fantastic read

We're playing the iconics with 15-point builds instead of their normal 20-point builds, but after playing the first module it still would've been really challenging with 25-point builds!

Liberty's Edge

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I'm really looking forward to this adventure path (especially since it will be one I wont be running [hopefully] with another still fairly new storyteller) He is letting me try out an experiment with a 'custom built' race that was really just translated from Eberron (the changeling) but to have real fun I went with the Shattered Psyche Curse as an Oracle and Drawback trait Dependent to make a character that would want to be with the group and try to fit in every chance they had since the players guide for the game hinted at such weaknesses would be more fun and so far. Just the character alone in my head seems to be fun.

Although playing such a race will have its own drawbacks I'm sure at some point in the story. I think it will still be enjoyable.


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Michael Talley 759 wrote:
I'm really looking forward to this adventure path (especially since it will be one I wont be running [hopefully] with another still fairly new storyteller) He is letting me try out an experiment with a 'custom built' race that was really just translated from Eberron (the changeling) but to have real fun I went with the Shattered Psyche Curse as an Oracle and Drawback trait Dependent to make a character that would want to be with the group and try to fit in every chance they had since the players guide for the game hinted at such weaknesses would be more fun and so far. Just the character alone in my head seems to be fun.

I assume your custom race has the ability to shapechange into other humanoid forms? If so, then you should have a VERY interesting experience with this module. (I'd say more, but I'd hate to spoil it for you.)

Let us know how it goes!

Liberty's Edge

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Aerick-Order of the Amber Die wrote:
Michael Talley 759 wrote:
I'm really looking forward to this adventure path (especially since it will be one I wont be running [hopefully] with another still fairly new storyteller) He is letting me try out an experiment with a 'custom built' race that was really just translated from Eberron (the changeling) but to have real fun I went with the Shattered Psyche Curse as an Oracle and Drawback trait Dependent to make a character that would want to be with the group and try to fit in every chance they had since the players guide for the game hinted at such weaknesses would be more fun and so far. Just the character alone in my head seems to be fun.

I assume your custom race has the ability to shapechange into other humanoid forms? If so, then you should have a VERY interesting experience with this module. (I'd say more, but I'd hate to spoil it for you.)

Let us know how it goes!

Yup Minor Shape Change. :-3 and will do, maybe I'll even attempt another Character journal here on the boards for him

Apparently we are now working with 15-pt character builds and no starting gear.

Character Odbrun:

Odbrun
Humanoid (Shapechanger), CN, Dark Tapestry Oracle 1
Initiative: +0, Senses: Perception +1
AC: 14 Touch: 14, Flat-Footed: 14 (+4 Armor Bonus)
HP: 9 (HD: 1d8+1)
Fortitude: +2, Reflex: +0, Will: +3
SD: +6 bonus against Mind-Affecting Effects, +2 Bonus against Poison
Melee: Touch of the Void -1 (1d6+1 Cold/x2)

Str 8 Dex 10 Con 12 Int 16 Wis 13 Cha 15
BAB +0 CMB -1 CMD 9
Feats
Extra Revelation

Skills
[All Int & Wis based skills suffer a -2, the following account for them]
Bluff +9, Heal +5, Intimidate +6, KS: Arcana/History +5, Linguistics +5, PS: Cook +3, Sense Motive +5, Stealth +4 (+6 with Cloak of Darkness)

Spells
Concentration -1 (Shattered Psyche imposes a -4 to concentration)
0 Level- Detect Magic, Light, Purify Food & Water, Read magic
1 Level(4/day)- Cure Light Wounds, Magic Weapon, Shield Of faith

Special Abilities
Mutable Mind & Body, Naturally Social, Blend-In, Minor Change Shape (su)
Oracles Curse [Shattered Psyche], Orisons, Touch of the Void(Su) 5/Dy
Cloak of Darkness (Su) 1hr/Day


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Michael Talley 759 wrote:

Yup Minor Shape Change. :-3 and will do, maybe I'll even attempt another Character journal here on the boards for him

Apparently we are now working with 15-pt character builds and no starting gear.

** spoiler omitted **...

Ah, 15-points...it sure does make it feel like a survival horror game.

Good luck to you and your group!

Order of the Amber Die

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Michael Talley 759 wrote:

Yup Minor Shape Change. :-3 and will do, maybe I'll even attempt another Character journal here on the boards for him

Apparently we are now working with 15-pt character builds and no starting gear.

** spoiler omitted **...

Michael, thanks so much for taking the time to post this with the stat block. We love it when the community reaches out like this. Best of luck!


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Wellp, my own group just confirmed our start date and I'm excited. :D

There is one thing I have been meaning to ask, however.

Is it the nature of the people you picked that you folks have all decided on a teamwork feat, and that you have combats in tight formations? Or is the nature of the module itself? Because I'm running Kingmaker and I can never get my party to work together, they all "break off" to do their own thing in combats, and it has gotten them nearly killed many times. So the fact that you folks play so tactically is such a breath of fresh air for me.

So I guess a followup question would be: what is a typical combat like for you folk?

Order of the Amber Die

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Bard of Ages wrote:

Wellp, my own group just confirmed our start date and I'm excited. :D

There is one thing I have been meaning to ask, however.

Is it the nature of the people you picked that you folks have all decided on a teamwork feat, and that you have combats in tight formations? Or is the nature of the module itself? Because I'm running Kingmaker and I can never get my party to work together, they all "break off" to do their own thing in combats, and it has gotten them nearly killed many times. So the fact that you folks play so tactically is such a breath of fresh air for me.

So I guess a followup question would be: what is a typical combat like for you folk?

Congrats on selecting the start date, the launch of a campaign is always an exciting time, and just has a special feel to it.

You ask excellent questions Bard, it must be that 18 CHA. This one is probably a question the players should respond to also, but I can tell you a lot about what I've seen of combat over many years in the Order.

When it comes to a typical combat, it depends on the campaign, so I'll offer three examples. In Giantslayer it meant a lot of heavy grid-work and reach manipulation; the focus was always on avoiding AoOs. Players held combat training sessions (not kidding) between marathons to practice some of their teamwork feats on the grid. In The Emerald Spire, combats varied so dramatically from level to level that it was about adaptability; players had to adjust in but one or two rounds to whatever new and deadly foe challenged them, while utilizing the Superdungeon's shifting terrain features. In Strange Aeons, so far it has been a story about 4 characters who are slowly becoming comfortable with one another enough to trust each other--and much like a classic horror film--they have no choice but to depend on each other. The teamwork they intend to take, Shake It Off, is as much to do with roleplaying what they have already been through than anything else. They often found themselves in tight formation and hoping to bolster one another against fear or some other mind-affecting madness, and they wanted to manifest that through game mechanics.

While all players possess various levels of ability in the associated tabletop RPG skill set, I would say that the Order contains a higher than usual ratio of players who have excellent grid skills. Some have earned this through blood and toil, the hard work of completing many published adventures and being exposed to so many different combats. Others are experienced tabletop wargamers who bring with them a familiarity for turn-based strategy. Of course, some are just naturals; in fact, our youngest member (participant in The Emerald Spire Project) is an elite-tier videogamer and one of the best grid players we have seen.

If you want to build great players, think about it like a varsity team and you are the coach, just another hat for the GM. Don't be afraid to TPK them if the dice and module call for it--they will only get better. A player who believes that not only she but the entire party can die--and has been through it enough before--will try harder and make fewer mistakes. Fewer mistakes leads to better combat. Better combat often leads to a stronger game.

One thing about Order members in combat: they rarely lose their cool. You'll hear things like "Guys, we're not out of this, remember when Elian pulled off the 20-20 to save us in the bottom of G3, or when Valeros did the impossible and brought down Black Magga? Pull it together!" It is rare to see anyone sitting during combat, and there is a lot of cheering, hand-slapping, and serious screaming when things go our way. It's important that the community remembers how much pressure these guys are under, and if you've never played under the lights, it gives the game a championship feel. Everything these players do is being recorded; every miscalculation relived for eternity, instead of becoming fuzzy in our memories over time. If you forgot a 5ft. step and cost someone their character, the photos will remind you. Your character died twice or three times during the AP? Everyone who reads the Paizo Blog will know. Every player also has their unique way of rolling during combat, and we have quite a few theatrics in the Order (though I'm opening myself up here, as Amber Die 20s are always animated).

My comments here are solely in reference to combat. We value all aspects of tabletop RPGs, which can clearly be seen in the photos of our ambiance and atmosphere we set up, as well as using live NPCs to enhance verisimilitude. Still, I'm sure many in the Order would agree that there's nothing like a good scrap.


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Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have really missed out not having seen your previous marathons! The map work you did for the first module is amazing. The rubble... Dear Cthulhu, that alone must have driven you crazy! Amazing. Looking forward to reading more!

Liberty's Edge

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Sadly seems I wont get to play my character Odbrun. Gm decided to have everyone play only Pathfinder races. But he is letting create a new character based on his racial okay since he was sure it was similar enough to the Eberron Changelings. A Reptoid.

Not really all that thrilled, especially since hunting for info on how the race generally behaves and what they eat, doesn't give me much to work with for personality creation. So went with Alignment and stats found in Bestiary 5 for them. Still an oracle, but of Lore now.

Order of the Amber Die

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SilentInfinity wrote:
I have really missed out not having seen your previous marathons! The map work you did for the first module is amazing. The rubble... Dear Cthulhu, that alone must have driven you crazy! Amazing. Looking forward to reading more!

Thanks Infinity! You are so right about the rubble. I made a little booklet that's in our Dropbox, which describes how I made the map and contains a lot of close-ups and production photos. In there you will see some comments about the rubble in particular. It was so challenging to create it all that I had to start every session with rubble, draw for a few hours, then finish with some rubble. I once threw myself at a rubble pile for about two hours, but that was too much.

As for our previous marathons, don't worry, it's all on our Facebook and in our Dropbox, so you can catch up! Glad to have you on board, Strange Aeons looks like a great AP so far.

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