Digging Deep, Branching Out

Monday, December 16, 2013


Illustration by Jon Hodgson

Part of what initially attracted me to Pathfinder Society Organized Play was the archaeological background, which resonated with my academic training and love of traveling abroad. Playing scenarios that explored ancient structures, visited dig sites, or required the PCs to understand a foreign culture made me really get what the Pathfinder Society was all about, so when I began writing support material as a volunteer—in particular the convention boons for Season 4—I made sure to highlight some of the archaeological feel in boons such as Expedition Manager.

Let be honest, though. Even though archaeology has an alluring mystique and can be both enjoyable and rewarding, its virtues don't always translate well in a four-hour time slot. Perhaps one day I'll develop an engaging, short challenge that features the joys of excavation and systematic discovery without boring the socks off of the players. A developer can dream!

Well, let's instead take a look at that other feature of Pathfinder Society: travel. With about 40 countries in the Inner Sea region alone, there's a lot to take in and explore—and only so many scenarios each season to see it all. Ever since Season 3, we've focused on a particular part of the world and explored it in depth. What we haven't done quite as much as a result is travel widely to less understood, less frequented locales to explore, report, and cooperate.

I'm feeling the itch to send Pathfinders to a few exciting places, and I would love to hear your feedback about what regions deserve more attention. Have you always wanted to travel to an island in the Shackles? How about a return to Jalmeray? Does Lastwall call to you? These could be places we've visited before but haven't seen for a long time, or they could be places where no PC Pathfinder has ever set foot.

John Compton
Developer

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Scarab Sages 5/5 RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

More Kaer Maga!
Mwangi Expanse (yay demon worshiping monkey men - charu-ka)
Osirion
Return to the Blackros Museum
Also more Hao Jin tapestry scenarios now that the Aspis have been evicted.
We need a vampire scenario in Ustalav.

Dark Archive

Places I'd like to go:
Quantium
Kaer Maga
Sodden Lands and a dip into the Eye of Abendego
Darklands
Five Kings Mountains
Shackles
Kapatesh
Orv

Archeological sites I'd like to explore:
Cyclopean Ruins of Ghol-gan
Shory Ruins
The Hanging City of Teskra
Serpentfolk Ruins
Ruins of Azlant

Dark Archive

Ustalav! It would be great to do a 'lil tour of Ustalav. Each scenario focusing on a different county/horror with a overarching goal.

Liberty's Edge

Arcadia, Azlant, or the First World all sound like cool places to visit.

Liberty's Edge

Or a return to the drowning stones!

The Exchange

+1 to jalmeray and hermea

5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Netopalis wrote:

Taldor. So few good scenarios are set in Taldor that really deal with it specifically. I'm really looking forward to Lion in the Library, as I think it will change that, but it's just a shame that practically every Taldor scenario released to date has sent people to *northern* Taldor rather than Oppara and treated the setting as practically any other wilderness setting.

Cheliax. The Society is technically not allowed access right now, but there's been rumbling about that changing. It could be interesting, dealing with wary Hellknights and trying to keep track of all the laws.

Those are both excellent points. I'd second both of those. Taldor really needs its own Adventure Path (Cheliax already had Council of Thieves) as well. Civil war, anyone? Or coup d'etat?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Personally, I'd love to see more adventures taking place in Nidal. After I played "The Midnight Mirror", I fell in love with the place and want to see it explored more.

4/5

I'd love to see a season arc (or whole season, one can dream) about an extended exploration of Arcadia. That would truly be a journey worth dying for.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Ryan Blomquist wrote:
Netopalis wrote:

Taldor. So few good scenarios are set in Taldor that really deal with it specifically. I'm really looking forward to Lion in the Library, as I think it will change that, but it's just a shame that practically every Taldor scenario released to date has sent people to *northern* Taldor rather than Oppara and treated the setting as practically any other wilderness setting.

Cheliax. The Society is technically not allowed access right now, but there's been rumbling about that changing. It could be interesting, dealing with wary Hellknights and trying to keep track of all the laws.

Those are both excellent points. I'd second both of those. Taldor really needs its own Adventure Path (Cheliax already had Council of Thieves) as well. Civil war, anyone? Or coup d'etat?

I think the civil war theme would best fit in Brevoy. But a Taldan based AP that deals with the empire re-expanding and becoming great again (of course after a coup) would be really cool. Most likely would need some sort of social mechanic to pull the political strings all Machiavellian like.

5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northeast aka Shivok

Andrew Christian wrote:
But a Taldan based AP that deals with the empire re-expanding and becoming great again (of course after a coup) would be really cool. Most likely would need some sort of social mechanic to pull the political strings all Machiavellian like.

+1 I would so love a Taldor AP to bring back the lost glory of the Empire!

Long Live Taldor!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Evan Whitefield wrote:


Hao Jin tapestry - I'm with Chris, with all the hype that went into getting the tapestry the only thing the PFS is using it for now is as an express highway

The Society is using it for other things. But they only send the good and well equipped agents there ;-)


Ryan Blomquist wrote:
Those are both excellent points. I'd second both of those. Taldor really needs its own Adventure Path (Cheliax already had Council of Thieves) as well. Civil war, anyone? Or coup d'etat?

That's probably the one AP I'd be truly excited to see and eager to play. There's just so much swashbuckling potential there.

-Matt

Shadow Lodge

As someone who loves his gunslinger and really doesn't keep up with Golarion lore or geography that well, I've been itching since forever to see what Alkenstar is like.

Though I fear for my less dexterous companions.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Mana Wastes would be interesting. But I'd also like to see more adventuring into the non-human lands as well: Kyonin, Hold of Belkzen, The Five Kings Mountains, the Darklands. Human areas get a lot of play and that's understandable, humans are the majority race on Golarion. But there must be artefacts of interest to the Pathfinders among the non-human races, many who were around before humans.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

The Five Kings Mountains would be cool, since we haven't seen that yet (although maybe Season 5 will have something happening there?)

Shadow Lodge 5/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.

A mystery entirely within Skyreach could be cool...get a real good insider's view of the place we presumably spend a whole lot of time.

Scarab Sages 4/5 RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Love to explore some Jistka Imperium ruins.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Iobaria would be fun to explore

Dark Archive

Have Sheila Heidmarch send level 1 Pathfinders into Ravenloft. She seems to like sending them on suicide missions. >_> But all joking aside, any lands with a heavy focus on dwarves would be interesting. We've barely seen any dwarven involvement at all up till now.

3/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I vote for Ninshabur. And then onwards to the Pit of Gormuz.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

Alkenstar, especially given that there's now some background material for the city in Wardens of the Reborn Forge. Are gunslingers the only base class not to be seen in a scenario so far?

3/5

I’ve not played the majority of the scenarios that are out there, so I’m not quite as jaded on locales as many on the boards.
That said…

The Hao Jin tapestry is intriguing to me.
Kaer Maga is what sold me on buying stuff for Golarion & the PF setting, so I would love to see some more stuff there, especially for any hints of what it was like before the Runelords.
I think we would need more support than we’re likely to get in just a PFS scenario to go to unknown continents, but could see some neat stuff involving Casmaron via Qadira – I think the legend of Namzaruum is ripe for a PFS scenario, especially with warring faction interests between finding out about it and burying it deep.

… and of course, I’ll go most anywhere that Captain Tanner is willing to sail me :)

-TimD

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Well, one of my characters is all about the Sodden Lands around the Eye of Abendago. Plenty of ruins around there.

Alkenstar and Numeria are also high on my list to visit.

Somewhere in the Crown of the World. Maybe those towers that we saw when Jade Regent went through there.

Also, the first (in-universe) Pathfinder Chronicle wrote about the remains of the Azlanti continent. It'd be a nifty scenario to return to there. Maybe there's a long-term field outpost there or something.

Grand Lodge 4/5

My picks in order
Ustalav
Geb
Nex
Numeria

Shadow Lodge

In no particular order, reinforcing some places already mentioned:

Alkenstar
Iobaria
Ustalav
Galt
Nidal
Sargava
Outsea
Uringen


Heck yeah. I love the weirdness that is Kaer Maga! It really provides some unique role playing experiences.

Kyle Baird wrote:
Let's go back to Kaer Maga!


I already mentioned Kaer Maga, but I would also be interested in more scenarios in Ustalav
and we need to visit Casmaron.

Sczarni

<--*His eyes light up*

Ustalav!! Oh please, oh please let us visit Ustalav! I've built several characters with strong backstories hailing from the area. I so very much want to visit Caliphas, Lepidstadt, Thrushmoor, Illmarsh, etc.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Just to give everyone a bit of return feedback, the Pathfinder Society team recently had a meeting, and I brought up this blog and your many responses. Many at the meeting had read over what you've requested, and we found the insights really fun. Here are a few quotes from that discussion.

"I thought it was really cool how everyone was asking for [redacted]."
"Yeah, and I was pleased to see some folks asking about [redacted]. Weren't we just talking about including that last week?"
"Actually, there's a great hook for [redacted] in [published material] that we could explore. That could be really awesome."
General excitement ensues.

By all means, keep the suggestions coming.

Lantern Lodge 5/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Why have we never returned to Bloodcove? An actual "unfriendly" place, instead of the myriad "indifferent" towns?

And add +1 to Westcrown (or anywhere else in Cheliax), +1 to more tapestry adventures, and +1 to heading back to Goka to

Spoiler:
see how Amara Li is doing with the newly forged Kirin alliance.

Venture-Captain, Germany–Hannover aka Hayato Ken

How about some Tian Xia?
Especially the kraken run country might do for something interesting.

Long live the krakens!

2/5

Iobaria, Dumagrod, and the Khozan Realms in between!

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Diego aka RAdeMorris

Cheliax. Kaer Maga.

I'd also like to see a capital city kind of (thematically) linked scenarios.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest some locales that do not need an entire setting line to support them(Casmaron, Arcadia*, etc) or feature heavily in this campaign as it is(Osirion, Absalom, Mwangi, etc).

1. Nidal. The Midnight Mirror put a dark hunger inside me: An Inner Sea regional that has yet to be visited? An evil nation full of intrigue and mind-shattering horror? A chance for the creative minds at Paizo to flex their Dark Tapestry thoughtpans? Sign me up for an adventure or two. Hell, forget the Kuthites - we never get to explore dystopias in this campaign. And that needs to be rectified.

2. Thuvia. Hey, how about that? Place is pretty cool. Has everything from magical caravans to divs and from ancient fortresses to high alchemy. Have the Pathfinders join in on the festivities of a recent Sun Orchid elixir auction! And of course somebody goes and steals the damn thing. Have an optional boon where you lose the respect of the Society put stop aging for the moment!

3. Belkzen. I just really want to explore the Brimstone Haruspex. And need moar orcs. Throw me a bone please. A man needs his orc fix every once in a while. Don't leave me hanging.

EDIT: *Not that I'm against going to such exotic places. It's just that they kinda sorta need proper treatment. The seasonal climax, Gazetteer and Companion kinda treatment.

Liberty's Edge 4/5

roll4initiative wrote:
Arctic wilderness adventures!

Good point here. I like it when the environment plays a part in the story. it's part of what lifts the world off the page and makes it "feel" like your characters are in an unusual environment.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think that a third City of Strangers can be done, a belated part three.

Liberty's Edge

The Inner Sea is a rich and vibrant area and I don't want to see it become less central than it is now, but Arcadia needs to be visited in some capacity. It's silly to think that the Society has been all over Tian Xia but not the continent lying in-between. There is so much potential there with a fallen Greek-esque region and an Indian-style area not to discount the great Persian-type empire.

So let's get to exploring Arcadia a bit.

EDIT:

Clearly I was thinking of Casmaron...

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Numeria. send up some of us as ambassadors to the Technic League or something.

Also, some seeker-arc level locales could possibly include some new planets or some plane-jumping.

Liberty's Edge 4/5

hxcmike wrote:
Also, some seeker-arc level locales could possibly include some new planets or some plane-jumping.

Great idea here. I'd love the idea of season-specific seeker-arc games. While the lower lever Pathfinders are working on the various tiers of the meta-plot, the seekers are working at the highest levels...and heck, don't some season 5 reporting sheets have special event-based reporting boxes? It would be cool to have meta arc and lore based history be effected by the seeker-level events gathered over a year of PFS play.

Silver Crusade

Galt.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think a 3-part planet hoping series would be mind blowing.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The current seeker arc is very tied to the seasonal arc. I believe it seriously suffers for players who haven't played in that season. To be honest I'd prefer to see a seeker arc that has no seasonal implications. Single seeker scenarios, however would be very welcome with seasonal plot implications.


Kaer Maga is by far my favorite locale in Golarion so that would be my first choice.

Numeria
Shackles
Tian Xia
Darklands
And maybe some more PFS featuring the conflict between Nirmathas and Molthune.

Shadow Lodge

I think we need more Blakros Museum. ;)

The First World.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Humble greetings from this unworthy warrior to the august Pathfinder Society,

Once again I petition that the Society might lend aid to the Mizu Ki Hikari in our endeavor to free Chu Ye from the Oni overlords who oppress it. We have much history and culture for the Society to explore, which the Oni will certainly never allow you access to. Our elaborate traditions of medicine and acupuncture would be most intriguing to you, but there is much we could offer in exchange for your help. The Way of the Kirin has been providing us with some resources, but the skill of the Pathfinders is renown throughout all Golarion. A single team of your most skilled operatives could, with our aid, even defeat the Voidlord Shogun Tsuneni. We have heard how you organize a new Crusade into the Worldwound of the Inner Sea — surely our fiend-held country of Tian Xia is no less deserving?

With the utmost respect, I remain your humble servant,

He Whose Form is the Imperial Dragon of the River,

Chu Ken.

3/5

I've always been intrigued to know more about the Hao Jin Tapestry, and I really liked the ideas about digging more into Azlant.

The Exchange

Kyle Elliott wrote:

I would like to see an elf gate story...dealing with their reactivation, or perhaps even their deactivation...or further understanding them, and this arc taking you to various locations, some ruined, some vibrant...like the Mordant Spire, or the forgotten reaches of some nameless forest where elves no longer tread.

Also, an adventure dealing with a caravan traveling through the Osirion lands...perhaps during the migration of the great caravans when the Sun Orchid Elixir is transported...maybe even being the ones to transport it, once.

(^..interesting. are there any varisians specific caravan scenario? i want to explore the transportation and trading of child laborers as part of a backstory>prosser

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

Knothero wrote:
Kyle Elliott wrote:

I would like to see an elf gate story...dealing with their reactivation, or perhaps even their deactivation...or further understanding them, and this arc taking you to various locations, some ruined, some vibrant...like the Mordant Spire, or the forgotten reaches of some nameless forest where elves no longer tread.

Also, an adventure dealing with a caravan traveling through the Osirion lands...perhaps during the migration of the great caravans when the Sun Orchid Elixir is transported...maybe even being the ones to transport it, once.

(^..interesting. are there any varisians specific caravan scenario? i want to explore the transportation and trading of child laborers as part of a backstory>prosser

The closest I can think of regarding your bolded inquiry would be the Jade Regent Adventure Path, which is sanctioned for Pathfinder Society Organized Play and involves a recurring Varisian caravan theme. There are scenarios that involve slavery, and I can think of one scenario that references fairly mild child labor, but we tend to shy away from elements of child exploitation in scenarios.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Knothero wrote:
Kyle Elliott wrote:

I would like to see an elf gate story...dealing with their reactivation, or perhaps even their deactivation...or further understanding them, and this arc taking you to various locations, some ruined, some vibrant...like the Mordant Spire, or the forgotten reaches of some nameless forest where elves no longer tread.

Also, an adventure dealing with a caravan traveling through the Osirion lands...perhaps during the migration of the great caravans when the Sun Orchid Elixir is transported...maybe even being the ones to transport it, once.

(^..interesting. are there any varisians specific caravan scenario? i want to explore the transportation and trading of child laborers as part of a backstory>prosser

There's also 3-23 The Goblinblood Dead where you're traveling with a sczarni caravan for the first part.

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