Meet the Castaways!

Monday, July 12, 2010

With the first adventure in the Serpent's Skull Adventure Path, the PCs are shipwrecked on the notorious island of Smuggler's Shiv. But fortunately for the fragile 1st-level characters, they won't be alone against cannibals in the jungle, ghosts in the surf, dimorphodons in the sky, eurypterids in the tide pools, and mysterious bat-winged night monsters. Because they aren't the only ones lucky enough to be stranded on Smuggler's Shiv.

Presented here are five other castaways whom the players will be getting to know quite well during the course of their stay on Smuggler's Shiv. A couple of you out there will probably recognize these characters, since they're the ones I had you play at PaizoCon during the Serpent's Skull preview game I ran. In the actual adventure, though, these five are NPCs, complete with their own secrets and emotional baggage and talents. Keeping these NPCs from killing each other and working together to survive is a key part of the adventure—and each has a fun little boon to grant the PCs if they become good friends. These five will continue to play roles in the campaign as the Adventure Path unfolds, and how the PCs interact with Aerys, Gelik, Ishirou, Jask, and Sasha can ultimately mean the difference between success or failure!

Illustrations by Gonzalo Flores

James Jacobs
Creative Director

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Tags: Bards Clerics Elves Fighters Gnomes Gonzalo Flores Pathfinder Adventure Path Portraits Rangers Rogues Serpent's Skull
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David Fryer wrote:
Geistlinger wrote:
Courtney! wrote:


@David Fryer - Do you happen to remember anything else about that adventure, like what it was called or who published it? It sounds really neat.
I believe the adventure David was referring to was the AD&D module N4: Treasure Hunt
That would be the one.

If anyone wants to check it out it was run as a PbP on these very boards.

And now onto the next point..

VEGEPYGMIES!!..oh yes Mr Jacobs gives us Vegepygmies..and the first official Witch opponent in the same Adventure.


So when you say serpent folk, what exactly do you mean? Are we talking lizard folk, lizard like sentient beings (a new specific creature), or reptile themed creatures (exsisting creatures, kobolds, troglidites, lizard folk)?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Fraust wrote:
So when you say serpent folk, what exactly do you mean? Are we talking lizard folk, lizard like sentient beings (a new specific creature), or reptile themed creatures (exsisting creatures, kobolds, troglidites, lizard folk)?

The serpentfolk are a race of humanoid snake-people. They ruled vast regions of Golarion in ancient times (around the time the Azlanti Empire began it's rise to power). I think they were first statted up in the Into the Darklands sourcebook.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Tom Qadim wrote:
The serpentfolk are a race of humanoid snake-people. They ruled vast regions of Golarion in ancient times (around the time the Azlanti Empire began it's rise to power). I think they were first statted up in the Into the Darklands sourcebook.

Correct! And you're going to learn a LOT more about them in the Serpent's Skull adventure path. Souls for Smuggler's Shiv already explored an entire "Ecology of..." article for them. But I'm working on some further insight into more concrete examples of their culture right now! ;-)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

NSpicer wrote:
But I'm working on some further insight into more concrete examples of their culture right now! ;-)

Neil = shameless tease. Someone punish him!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Yeah; the serpentfolk are their own, separate race. We first detailed them in Into the Darklands; the baseline serpentfolk is a CR 4 monstrous humanoid with a poison bite and some pretty handy spell-like abilities and a few other tricks up their sleeves.

Pretty much EVERY volume of the Serpent's Skull Adventure Path is going to give more insight into this race and their role in Golarion's history. A role that's probably as important as ANY other race, in fact... they have a LONG legacy in Golarion.

These serpentfolk are, of course, originally inspired by the serpentfolk that featured in a lot of Robert E. Howard's stories, and who periodically made appearances in other pulp writings of the time by writers like Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith. Which, incidentally, is the same source that inspired Green Ronin to include them in their Freeport setting, and I suspect, the same source that originally inspired Gygax and crew to build the yuan-ti in the first place.


And my party includes

A female Conan clone

A Solomon Kane Clone

and

A gnomish Pathfinder who would make a great CoC investigator...

How perfect in terms of tribute can you get

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

I found this short article interesting. It talks a bit about serpentfolk in Howard's and Lovecraft's stories.


okie, so now we have seen jungles, and bit more coming, with a treasureunt twist if im not mistaken.. your own river empire, several cities, some desert, giants and mountains... and some underground too.

When do we get vikings?
-going into the northern mountains, perhaps prospecting for mithril, basically promise the players gold and green forests, should be revealing they wont be getting home anytime soon :D..
-being mountain-taken, by trolls (small magical variety)
-escape, and ending up in valhalla, as trolls dont use tunnels (phasing thru rock), so theyll have to go deeper into the mountains..
-having to convince the gods to let you get home, various wrestling, storytelling, drinking mead (should be level 16+ at that point, so tasks that they compete in could be quite, well, heroic in scope) Or youll be simply hunted if found lacking... by the cr 36+ gods :p ..still a chance to escape anyway

And then coming home as heroes, that have mettled the gods and won, one way or the other..


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
gaborg wrote:
Is that guy Gelik (in the purple big hat) a gnome? I am aching for gnome pirates with advanced technology :)
He is indeed a gnome. He's not a pirate, though, nor does he have any advanced technology. Gnomes with advanced tech aren't really a Golarion thing at all—that's a niche that's been MORE than covered by Dragonlance and Warcraft.

I am saddened by the fact that Gelik looks nothing like a Golarion gnome (i.e., he and Lini definitely don't look like the same species). Is it really that difficult for the artists to get the message? :(


These pictures remind me of good RP times for the first AP:

Gelik likes making fart sounds when the Tian paladin with Warrior of Holy Light archetype pulls his heirloom katana from its sheath. He also made rope tearing sound illusions as he was crossing our improvised bridges. He's especially cruel in our game, and none of us particularly like him, and everyone at the table laughed when he fell from a great height.

Aerys... we basically forgot about. Our cleric of Desna decided that 50 days was too long a time to go without female companionship and started to hit on her on the rescue ship.

Sasha hung around with our ranger for most of the AP.

Ishirou hit on my rogue. He got his heart broken, literally. *chuckle*

Jask carved jungle rot off our cleric's feet with his dagger. Aaaah, the jungle diseases. Will not miss those any time soon.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Joana wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
gaborg wrote:
Is that guy Gelik (in the purple big hat) a gnome? I am aching for gnome pirates with advanced technology :)
He is indeed a gnome. He's not a pirate, though, nor does he have any advanced technology. Gnomes with advanced tech aren't really a Golarion thing at all—that's a niche that's been MORE than covered by Dragonlance and Warcraft.
I am saddened by the fact that Gelik looks nothing like a Golarion gnome (i.e., he and Lini definitely don't look like the same species). Is it really that difficult for the artists to get the message? :(

Actually, it can be very hard to get the right art for characters. Ishioru, for example, was supposed to be a lot younger, and Jask was supposed to be a lot older. It was also weirdly tough to get Jask to look like a black guy and not a white guy.

That said, not all gnomes need or SHOULD look like Lini. Some of them are relatively mellow looking, with normal colored hair and even normal eyebrows. And while Lini is really cool, we've actually had a hell of a time getting cool pictures of male gnomes. We've thrown out more than we've published, so when we get one that looks good like Gelik does, we run with it even if he's not "crazy" enough looking. And again... it's okay for some gnomes to be not "crazy" looking.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
That said, not all gnomes need or SHOULD look like Lini. Some of them are relatively mellow looking, with normal colored hair and even normal eyebrows. And while Lini is really cool, we've actually had a hell of a time getting cool pictures of male gnomes. We've thrown out more than we've published, so when we get one that looks good like Gelik does, we run with it even if he's not "crazy" enough looking. And again... it's okay for some gnomes to be not "crazy" looking.

I'm running a gnome in Serpent's Skull, and in her opinion, Gelik is half-Bleached already just based on his appearance. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


Actually, it can be very hard to get the right art for characters. Ishioru, for example, was supposed to be a lot younger, and Jask was supposed to be a lot older. It was also weirdly tough to get Jask to look like a black guy and not a white guy.

Despite my descriptions, my group has really latched on to the npc pictures. They were concerned that Ishirou might only be able to eat fruit since it appeared he is an old man with a single tooth!


Tom Qadim wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Do I spy a Red Mantis tattoo ?

It looks like one.

Hmmm. I'm guessing she was a slave or bonded to the Red Mantis somehow. Maybe it's just my vision of the RM, but I would think the actual assassins wouldn't put such a mark on public display.

Maybe she's a Red Mantis Assassin wannabe? "I am TOO a member! See? I've got the secret tattoo and everything!"


James Jacobs wrote:

Yeah; the serpentfolk are their own, separate race. We first detailed them in Into the Darklands; the baseline serpentfolk is a CR 4 monstrous humanoid with a poison bite and some pretty handy spell-like abilities and a few other tricks up their sleeves.

Pretty much EVERY volume of the Serpent's Skull Adventure Path is going to give more insight into this race and their role in Golarion's history. A role that's probably as important as ANY other race, in fact... they have a LONG legacy in Golarion.

These serpentfolk are, of course, originally inspired by the serpentfolk that featured in a lot of Robert E. Howard's stories, and who periodically made appearances in other pulp writings of the time by writers like Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith. Which, incidentally, is the same source that inspired Green Ronin to include them in their Freeport setting, and I suspect, the same source that originally inspired Gygax and crew to build the yuan-ti in the first place.

And I love what Paizo has done with the Serpentfolk in Golarion. Hmm, and talking about that... will we see any more of Eando Kline in this AP? He's had some experience with the serpentfolk before, and it'd be good to know what became of him. Dare we hope for 'Eando Kline: Serpentfolk Hunter'?


Eric Hinkle wrote:
Hmm, and talking about that... will we see any more of Eando Kline in this AP? He's had some experience with the serpentfolk before, and it'd be good to know what became of him. Dare we hope for 'Eando Kline: Serpentfolk Hunter'?

Heh.

Heh heh.

HEHEHEHEHEHEHEE!!!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder

Eric Hinkle wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Yeah; the serpentfolk are their own, separate race. We first detailed them in Into the Darklands; the baseline serpentfolk is a CR 4 monstrous humanoid with a poison bite and some pretty handy spell-like abilities and a few other tricks up their sleeves.

Pretty much EVERY volume of the Serpent's Skull Adventure Path is going to give more insight into this race and their role in Golarion's history. A role that's probably as important as ANY other race, in fact... they have a LONG legacy in Golarion.

These serpentfolk are, of course, originally inspired by the serpentfolk that featured in a lot of Robert E. Howard's stories, and who periodically made appearances in other pulp writings of the time by writers like Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith. Which, incidentally, is the same source that inspired Green Ronin to include them in their Freeport setting, and I suspect, the same source that originally inspired Gygax and crew to build the yuan-ti in the first place.

And I love what Paizo has done with the Serpentfolk in Golarion. Hmm, and talking about that... will we see any more of Eando Kline in this AP? He's had some experience with the serpentfolk before, and it'd be good to know what became of him. Dare we hope for 'Eando Kline: Serpentfolk Hunter'?

Spoiler:
Yes.

Mister McCreary: thanks for the confirmation. I was wondering what'd become of everyone's favorite rogue Pathfinder.

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