Night of the Pale

Monday, December 19, 2011

Night of the Pale is mentioned on page 249 of Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide. We are advised it is a night of morbid revelry, as people wait indoors for the ghosts of last year’s dead to pass by their homes.

Creative Director James Jacobs wrote the description below of the Night of the Pale and beneath that you’ll find a special Pathfinder Society Chronicle sheet you can download and apply to a Pathfinder Society character.


Illustration by John Gravato

Not all of Golarion’s holidays and festivals are times of rejoicing and delight. Holidays worshiped by dark and sinister cults and religions tend to be hidden affairs, their rituals and ceremonies involving cruelties and vile practices that send shivers of fear through gentler society. Scholars suspect that the Night of the Pale—a holiday that traditionally takes place on the last day of the year, the 31st of Kuthona—has links to several sinister religions, but today no one church has specific association with the event. Nonetheless, the Night of the Pale is an event that many look forward to all year, whether in fear or excitement.

On the Night of the Pale, it is said that the ghosts of those who died during the previous year manifest upon the world and come to visit the homes they lived in during life. Although some might think that the chance of seeing even the shade of a dearly departed one might be a blessing, the Night of the Pale is not a time for tearful reunions, for these ghosts, tradition says, do not return out of love for those they left behind but out of darker compulsions. Lingering jealousy, unfinished arguments, or the simmering need for revenge are said to be what compels the dead to return to torment the living on the Night of the Pale.

The evening of this night in many communities is celebrated by a morbid feast, the food prepared with themes revolving around graveyards, the dead, and other spooky traditions. This feast, on one level, helps the celebrants to make light of their fears while sharing good company with similarly nervous neighbors, but at another level is believed to placate vengeful spirits as toasts are raised to the memories of the recently departed. These feasts include retellings of favorite memories of the departed, in hopes of reminding the approaching ghosts of brighter and kinder memories than those that compel them to return. The feast always ends at least an hour before midnight in order to give participants time to return home, decorate doors and windows with salt and other trinkets taken from the feasting table (salted bread baked into crook-like shapes are a favorite, as these can be hung from doorknobs and eaves) to ward off evil spirits, and hide in their bedrooms until dawn. Brave youths and adventurers often deliberately stay out after midnight, either to dare the ghosts to challenge them or simply for the thrill of bucking tradition. Every Night of the Pale, it seems, there are disappearances among those who stay out after midnight, although whether these vanishings are the result of dissatisfied locals taking the opportunity to run away from home, murderers or wild animals or other mundane dangers, or the vengeful spirits carrying off their victims depends upon the circumstances.

The morning after a Night of the Pale is also the first day of the new year—a time that many celebrate more as a relief for surviving the night before than in anticipation of what the new year might bring, although regional preferences for how this day is celebrated vary enough that no single tradition holds over the other. Save, of course, the lingering fears of what dread spirits might come knocking upon warded doors one year away...

As always, I am interested in reading your thoughts on future holiday write-ups and boons. This is especially true in regard to the various equinoxes and solstices.

Download the Night of the Pale Boon! - (111 KB zip/PDF) This Boon is no longer available as of 1/9/12.

Mike Brock
Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Golarion John Gravato Pathfinder Campaign Setting Pathfinder Society
Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Very cool. Thanks for the treat.

I assume that like the previous Holiday boons, this one can also be taken by the GM and it may only be applied to only one character that a player has.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Correct


I really like these boons, I think my players tonight will be happy of a extra boon.

Keep them coming and keep up the good work. :)

Liberty's Edge

"I am the ghost of holiday past!"
*activate item* RAR!
*loot ghostly chain*

Thanks, Paizo!

Sovereign Court Owner - Art of War Gaming and Miniatures

Mike - These boons are awesome! Thanks for putting these together. The players in my group actually look at getting together more often to make sure they receive these boons.

Grand Lodge

Just finished a session here and my 'boys' will be delighted when they get an extra boon tomorrow. Still have to contemplate what I GM tomorrow.

Grand Lodge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thod wrote:
Just finished a session here and my 'boys' will be delighted when they get an extra boon tomorrow. Still have to contemplate what I GM tomorrow.

If you haven't run it yet, I highly suggest #6: Black Waters. This boon could easily be incorporated into the roleplaying of the dinner party. It could also be incorporated very easily into #2-25: You Only Die Twice.

Contributor

May we apply these to characters that haven't been played yet?

And how and where do we date it or otherwise confirm we applied it to the sheet within the appropriate time frame? (I'm assuming it only has to be applied/attached during that time, not used, right?)

The Exchange

Christopher Rowe wrote:

May we apply these to characters that haven't been played yet?

And how and where do we date it or otherwise confirm we applied it to the sheet within the appropriate time frame? (I'm assuming it only has to be applied/attached during that time, not used, right?)

I believe the intent of the boon is for you to play a PFS game between December 19th & January 8th, and for the boon to be applied to the PC that you played. Hence, the section at the bottom where your GM signs it along with the Event, Event Code & Date. These items should be a part of the documentation. I presume to know the intent, and Mike may decide to be more charitable in his official response...

You are correct that it only needs to be assigned to a PC within that window. After it is assigned, it can be expended at any point in your PC's lifetime.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Doug has interpreted it correctly. Thanks Doug.

Contributor

Thank you gentlemen. Looks like I'll miss out on this one as I'm not going to get a chance to do any PFS play until later in January. It's still a great idea though.

Liberty's Edge

Ah! Where was this yesterday?

Dark Archive 5/5

Michael Brock wrote:
Thod wrote:
Just finished a session here and my 'boys' will be delighted when they get an extra boon tomorrow. Still have to contemplate what I GM tomorrow.
If you haven't run it yet, I highly suggest #6: Black Waters. This boon could easily be incorporated into the roleplaying of the dinner party. It could also be incorporated very easily into #2-25: You Only Die Twice.

Thematically it will also work very well with The Palid Plague.

Dark Archive 5/5

I love these hollyday boons. Thanks Mike.

I would like to see a winter solstice boon. Modern Christmas celebrations are indirectly tied to old solstice festivals and I think celebrating Christmas/the new year with an Ulfen winter solstice boon would be cool.

Dark Archive

I like these just for the extra info about the holidays, for my home game.


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I imagine this is the night when all of Pharasma's clergy start drinking, because for them it's going to be a really long shift :)


Dark_Mistress wrote:
I like these just for the extra info about the holidays, for my home game.

I second what Dark_Mistress said here. I enjoy these little tidbits of world background.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really love these holiday boons. it's a great idea, and i'm loving the frequency with which they are appearing.

2/5

My players love these and we have a couple of games planned over the next two weeks where it is allowed- thank you Paizo for helping bring smiles to their faces. ;-) It's also fun trying to fit the holiday into the roleplaying parts of our games... maybe the players will see some long-departed soul they were responsible for dispatching, who knows?

Grand Lodge

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I agree, these are great. My only request is that you start including the flavor text that appears in the blog in the pdf along with the chronicle, much like how the chronicles for the sanctioned modules include the module specific rules.

By including the flavor text, you will have more people reading it (probably, anyway), which is kinda the point of the whole thing, right?

Grand Lodge

Mike and Diego

Thanks a lot for your suggestions. Black Water would have been great - but I GMed it for my son to ensure he would have played it ahead of the retirement (which then never happened).
Pallid Plague would have been great - actually it was one of the two scenarios I was thinking to run. In the end I ran out of preperation time as I left too much to the last minute.

So I ran Silent Tide.

How did I introduce the cup?

When we had finished I had the group go upstairs - for me to clean up. I then asked them 1 by 1 downstairs. I had prepared a large cup with J2O and some blue food colouring.

The Venture Captain then congratulated each person individually and told him he was raising in fame. He therefore was allowed - if he dared - to drink from the cup.

At that moment I asked ooc if he would like to take a sip. Only after they dared to take a drink did they get the extra boon. Not allowed to tell the other ones still outside.

Off course getting offered a drink at my table not always ends well

A scenario where been offered a drink can have bad side effects:

In the opening scene of Ghennett Manor I went outside and made some Turkish Apple Tea and came back with a silver tray - offering it to each player. 4 out of 5 players did take the drink which then also corresponded if you had taken the drink in game.
Only one refused - but he later went outside the room looking for his Mule companion - so I still did steal an item from the four that took the drink.


Can a GM sign one of for himself (same character as the GM credit goes to), or only for players?
And, if you play a different character during that time, can you ge a second sheet?


PeteZero wrote:
Can a GM sign one of for himself (same character as the GM credit goes to), or only for players?

Yes.

Quote:
And, if you play a different character during that time, can you ge a second sheet?

No.


Why are the boons taken down after the holiday passes? Even though they don't qualify for Pathfinder Society anymore, they could still be interesting for home games.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Because the Chronicle sheets are specifically for PFS. There is nothing advising you can't use the ideas for a home game anytime you like though,


Right, but the item/boon details are on the sheets, not in the text write-up in the blog, right?

Grand Lodge 5/5

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Macabre Goblet: Carved out of a single block of wood, this morbidly festive cup has spooky specters whittled into it and bears lingering magic from the Night of the Pale feast.

Drinking from the goblet grants the wearer a +1 sacred bonus to AC against incorporeal touch attacks for the duration of one scenario. This boon should be crossed off by the GM at the end of the scenario.

During the same scenario, any liquid may be poured into the cup and splashed on a manufactured weapon as a full round action to grant the equipment the ghost touch property for 1d4 rounds. This property is only available for use one time and should be crossed off after it has been used.

At the end of the scenario, the magic fades from the talisman, and it becomes a mundane keepsake of the Night of the Pale.

The Chronicle sheet may only be assigned to a Pathfinder Society character between December 19, 2011, and January 8, 2012. Once assigned, the effects may be used at anytime thereafter.


Thanks a bunch.

I hope you weren't too put-out by the request, just as someone running a home campaign, I never understood why they were completely removed once their PFS use expired. I do see that the wording of the effect even refers to scenarios specifically as a measure of duration, but that part will have to get changed a bit if I make use of it.

I do hope you do more of the holiday write-ups for upcoming Golarion holidays. Liked these a bunch last year. Even though I wasn't running a campaign at the time, I hope to make use of the information in my campaign this year. *crossing my fingers that it's still running to get to use them*

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