City of Strangers

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It is still coming.

City of Strangers
Illustration by Alberto Dal Lago

...Man, it's so tempting to leave the blog post at that, but I've got to stop with these one-line blog posts. They're too addictive!

Suffice to say, then, that City of Strangers, the new Pathfinder Chronicles guide to Varisia's outlaw city of Kaer Maga, has shipped to the printer. What you may not know is that this book has been in the works, in one form or another, for more than two years at this point. What started out as a few-page setting for Seven Swords of Sin grew into one of the first Pathfinder's Journals in Pathfinder Adventure Path #3: "The Hook Mountain Massacre." From there, with it clear to everyone around that I was in love with this city beyond any affection I'd felt for a game setting before (though a few have since come to rival it—*cough*solarsystem*cough*), it was decided that there should be a book... and not just any book. A setting that was at once a bizarre city filled with subterfuge and strange sights, but also containing a monumental dungeon that people could venture into again and again, with different tropes and themes to the various layers. Not a small order (especially considering Erik, James, and Jason had just finished writing the new Castle Greyhawk book, whose map turnovers were a million times cooler than anything I'd ever drawn). If it was going to be done, Erik decided, it had to be done right, and that meant it needed to take as long as it took. Rather than announce the project and a projected release date, we wouldn't so much as acknowledge the book publicly until it had been completely written.

And so, with nothing on the schedule, I officially unofficially began work on City of Strangers. Six months and a learning curve or two later, I turned over the completed manuscript, and the book was officially put on the schedule. If I may say so myself, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. All the gangs are there—the Sweettalkers, who sew their own lips shut, and the troll augurs, who read the future in their own entrails. The wormfolk and the Tallow Boys, the golem-crafting Ardocs and the mysterious Temple of the Child Goddess. All the districts are there, from the egalitarian Bottoms where freed slaves fight a shadow war of abolition, to the necromantic markets of Ankar-Te where zombies trail after their masters like faithful dogs. The Undercity is there, with levels like the Godsmouth Ossuary, the Dark Forest, the Forever Bore, the Still Place, and of course Xavorax, City of Silence, the city-beneath-the-city that houses the mysterious Caulborn. And despite all the words in this book, I'm perhaps most pleased with the maps—it's downright intimidating trying to design a city map of a Jacobsian or Schneiderian level of detail (especially when they're sitting 20 feet from you), yet Jared Blando did an unbelievable job of bringing both the city and the dungeons beneath it to life in a way that both mirrored and exceeded my imagination.

And now it's away to the printer, set to hit stores and subscribers this summer. I hope you enjoy visiting it as much as I have. It's been a long, strange journey...


James Sutter
Editor

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Tags: Alberto Dal Lago Iconics Kaer Maga Merisiel Pathfinder Campaign Setting Rogues Wizards
Dark Archive

Congratulations on your baby James !

Sometimes the best of happenstance come after a long unexpected wait.

I hope the good vibes keep on coming.


I think this book might be the one book I've been the most eager to get since I started subscribing to the AP's 3 years ago.

Scarab Sages

Yes!! I have been wanting to see a Bloatmage PrC since they were very first mentioned!! During my RoRL campaign a couple of my characters traveled through Kaer Maga for side-plot purposes and turned a blind corner into a troll augur. The were second level and almost pooped themselves. Then the troll didn't attack, but gave a reading... and they almost pooped themselves a second time. Then it demanded payment. They almost pooped themselves, but quickly and quietly found their coin purses. I love this town and I'm sooooo ready to love it even more!


Sounds incredibly interesting, but I'm just worried that the page count won't allow for the proper coverage of all that neat stuff.

And I hate hate hate "too big for its britches" modules/accessories. Hate.


Yay, more Jared Blando!

Scarab Sages

Gavgoyle wrote:
Yes!! I have been wanting to see a Bloatmage PrC since they were very first mentioned!! During my RoRL campaign a couple of my characters traveled through Kaer Maga for side-plot purposes and turned a blind corner into a troll augur. The were second level and almost pooped themselves. Then the troll didn't attack, but gave a reading... and they almost pooped themselves a second time. Then it demanded payment. They almost pooped themselves, but quickly and quietly found their coin purses. I love this town and I'm sooooo ready to love it even more!

I am SO going to use that in my game!


OMG the bloatmage PrC is GROSS.

Spoiler:
AND AWESOME!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looking forward to this.


It's the love of the game, and the heart, and the passion, and the sheer brilliance in creativity like this that won me over immediately to Pathfinder. I look forward to this one.

Sovereign Court

Ooo, just can't wait to get my hands on this! We just started a campaign in Varisia because it was so open and my PC's are treasure hunters who'll just love the this City and it's Dungeon!!!

Any clues as to who built the undercity? Is it Thassilonian or some other civilization/race that came between?

--Vrock a by baby

Contributor

King of Vrock wrote:


Any clues as to who built the undercity? Is it Thassilonian or some other civilization/race that came between?

Yes!

Sovereign Court

Grrr... stupid commune spell, shoulda cast legend lore.

--Radio City Vrockette's Kick Line of Ruin!

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