Year of the Serpent

Monday, June 1, 2015

Season 6 of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign is coming to a close, and the Society has finally pieced together the Numerian relic that gave this season its name: the Year of the Sky Key. During the second of this year's interactive Specials, The Sky Key Solution, we're going to fire up the device and see what happens!

Then again, the Sky Key helped us look back across the ages once before, and I want to look ahead to the future—namely Season 7. As I announced at the PaizoCon 2015 Preview Banquet and the Pathfinder Society Q&A panel about a week ago, Season 7 is going to be the Year of the Serpent! Too long has the Aspis Consortium been the source of ridicule and easily defeated low-level rogues, and I began to ask what would happen if the Aspis Consortium made a serious, concerted effort to tear down the Pathfinder Society. Where are those elite operatives we've always heard about, and what can they accomplish when bankrolled by one of the wealthiest operations in the Inner Sea? If you had a chance to play Pathfinder Society Special #6-97: Siege of Serpents and Pathfinder Society Special #6-98: Serpents Rise, you've had a good look at the Consortium's first major operation. However, there's a whole lot more in the works for this season with plenty of opportunities to foil Aspis plans (and occasionally even be foiled by Aspis plans). I'll let our new, serpentine overlords introduce the season's logo: a serpent consuming the Pathfinder Society's Glyph of the Open Road.

Of course, every great season becomes even better when we pick up a few loose threads in addition to spinning new stories, and I have already begun outlining some stories that pick up where we left off in far-flung locations from the Mwangi Expanse to Mendev—plus at least one more in the earthquake-shattered Precipice Quarter in Absalom.

And for those of you who were guessing whether the Year of the Serpent would involve the Aspis Consortium or the serpentfolk, why can't it be both?

John Compton
Developer

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Tags: Pathfinder Society Year of the Serpent
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RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Given the themes of the next APs, will the "Year of the Serpent" involve Cheliax?

The Exchange

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Lord Fyre wrote:
Given the themes of the next APs, will the "Year of the Serpent" involve Cheliax?

I thought they said they are moving past tying seasons to AP's and instead focusing on building their own narratives.

More on topic, I am absolutely on board, I've often wanted the Aspis to play a larger role in the Society. For so long they were a low-level foil to the Pathfinder Society. I hope this actually expands on them being evil as well because so far while their stats block may say "LE" or "NE" rarely are they doing anything particularly evil. I didn't get the chance to play either of the specials though so I definitely look forward to the opportunity to play them.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

4 people marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
And for those of you who were guessing whether the Year of the Serpent would involve the Aspis Consortium or the serpentfolk, why can't it be both?

Union of the Snake!

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd love to find out just what information was extracted from this Frostfur captives we escorted...

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Jim Groves wrote:
John Compton wrote:
And for those of you who were guessing whether the Year of the Serpent would involve the Aspis Consortium or the serpentfolk, why can't it be both?
Union of the Snake!

I hear it's on the rise.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mizkitty wrote:
I'd love to find out just what information was extracted from this Frostfur captives we escorted...

I am having tea with the Foxglove sisters this afternoon, I shall endeavor to ask!

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵

Just like I thaught, but this is definetifly the opponent our lodge will love because we are playing the Aspissaga/Tapestryarc at the moment and they liked the aspisstuff in season 6 very much.

3/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Codanous wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Given the themes of the next APs, will the "Year of the Serpent" involve Cheliax?

I thought they said they are moving past tying seasons to AP's and instead focusing on building their own narratives.

More on topic, I am absolutely on board, I've often wanted the Aspis to play a larger role in the Society. For so long they were a low-level foil to the Pathfinder Society. I hope this actually expands on them being evil as well because so far while their stats block may say "LE" or "NE" rarely are they doing anything particularly evil. I didn't get the chance to play either of the specials though so I definitely look forward to the opportunity to play them.

Only playing Rise of Serpents, I am fully on board for Aspis shenanigans this season.

No more with the chop and mop of our breathren! This time, we shall send out better agents of the Consortium!

Shadow Lodge 4/5

5 people marked this as a favorite.

"And for those of you who were guessing whether the Year of the Serpent would involve the Aspis Consortium or the serpentfolk, why can't it be both?"

Eeeexcellent

Time to sanction Serpent's Skull?

Grand Lodge 4/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Indiana—Decatur aka Kadasbrass Loreweaver

Codanous wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Given the themes of the next APs, will the "Year of the Serpent" involve Cheliax?

I thought they said they are moving past tying seasons to AP's and instead focusing on building their own narratives.

They also mentioned that they are willing to tie some scenarios to an AP in a small dose, like Destiny of the Sands and the Mummy's Mask. Season 6 does end with a Cheliax Scenario just as a Cheliax AP begins.

Spoiler:
Plus we have it from a good authority there will be plenty of action for those that pursue the cause of Freedom.

With that said I can't wait til the faction letters for Season 7 come out.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Do we already have a set date when the new season will start?

Sovereign Court

YES! This is the year in which S.E.R.P.E.N.T. will finally take control!

*a bald man in a silver mask fitted to his face whispers in Serpent Shogun's ear*

WHAT!?

THE ASPIS CONSORTIUM?!

THIS INSULT WILL NOT STAND! THE ASPIS CONSORTIUM WILL FALL IN THE NAME OF S.E.R.P.E.N.T.!

There can only be one snake-themed organization in the Inner Sea!

Scarab Sages

Traditionally, the new season starts at Gencon.


Now I am tempted to make a serpent themed cleric.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston

1 person marked this as a favorite.

To be fair not every Aspis agent were push overs.

Earlier Season Spoilers:
The Spider, and both Anglorn and Tancred were all Aspis agents. So we know some of them can at least situationally put up a fight. Also there are the current contremps from a certain mirror using assassin.

In any case I look forwards to return the favor after this years siege, to go beat the Aspis in their own little club house. I mean this is the second time someone has come in and tried assaulting the Grand Lodge.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

RISE!

5/5

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Personally, I'm thinking Ambrus Valsin's reaction to recent events would sound a lot like this: https://youtu.be/mwKxK3N2_no?t=51s

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

Can't wait. Looking forward this season.

Dark Archive 3/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Serpentfolk cleric of Ydersius.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

Oh, looking good! I think I will need to shell out for another t-shirt!

Scarab Sages

I'm thinking a it's time to finally get around to playing a Nagaji.

Scarab Sages

16 people marked this as a favorite.

I've had it with these **** snakes on this Material Plane!

Liberty's Edge 1/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I'm hoping that some of us will get to play undercover Aspis agents. That would be fun!

3/5

RobertTHEPerylous wrote:
I'm hoping that some of us will get to play undercover Aspis agents. That would be fun!

oh, it would prove most delightful indeed!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

1 person marked this as a favorite.
RobertTHEPerylous wrote:
I'm hoping that some of us will get to play undercover Aspis agents. That would be fun!

You mean other than a particular Year 4 adventure?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

I think he means playing as aspis agents infiltrating the pathfinder society. Though it would be funny if you got a boon for playing an aspis infiltrator, then played the season 4 scenario mentioned.

Actually, I would not be surprised to see an Aspis Infiltrator boon in the Gen Con charity auction.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well now we know and knowing is half the battle.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Washington—Seattle aka Taenia

1 person marked this as a favorite.

COBRA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!!!!

Liberty's Edge

A new Organized Play Campaign? The Evil Campaign?
Maybe now is the moment for the third Campaign for the PFS: evil characters of the Aspis Consortium, could be a new decoy for people that don't like the excesive goodish Pathfinder Society!!

I wait the return of the serpent folk and a new attempt of the Starstone over the new empires after the first one!!

Aspis are like Shadow lodge...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Ngrundir Skagerrak wrote:

A new Organized Play Campaign? The Evil Campaign?

Maybe now is the moment for the third Campaign for the PFS: evil characters of the Aspis Consortium, could be a new decoy for people that don't like the excesive goodish Pathfinder Society!!

I wait the return of the serpent folk and a new attempt of the Starstone over the new empires after the first one!!

Aspis are like Shadow lodge...

Not going to happen. :)

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I recently ran "By Way of Bloodcove" and I just could not convince the PCs that they may not want to anger the Apsis hive. I tried, but they've been mowing down that Consortium for seasons now. At level 4, they expected to wade through the city as if the Aspis were nothing more than tired kobolds, rather than the nominal rulers of the wildest city on the continent.

Please, Season 7. Help me bring the fear.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

New available races? Races no longer available?

Vishkanya, hello? Kitsune, goodbye?

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Louis Manko Levite wrote:
COBRA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!!!!

"I wasss once a maaaan! Once a maaaaan!"

Sovereign Court

COBRAAAAAAAAAAA!

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston

Arkos wrote:

I recently ran "By Way of Bloodcove" and I just could not convince the PCs that they may not want to anger the Apsis hive. I tried, but they've been mowing down that Consortium for seasons now. At level 4, they expected to wade through the city as if the Aspis were nothing more than tired kobolds, rather than the nominal rulers of the wildest city on the continent.

Please, Season 7. Help me bring the fear.

Well I generally find when people are told "Keep a low profile" they keep a low profile. Though honestly I do not think there is a real solution to players being cock sure, and I am not sure there should be at times.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is going to be a real challenge for the scenario writers.
By and large enemy humanoids with class levels always fall to the PCs because the wealth difference is so large, they are vulnerable to every status condition and their stats are comparatively poor compared to monsters.
Unless the Aspis agents outnumber the PCs, they're going to get rolled every time.
In the few times that an Aspis combatant has been scary, they've had half the scenario treasure equipped, the terrain is massively in their favour and they are at least two levels higher than the team of PCs. Also summoning.
Maybe the Aspis can hire some monster-tamers to keep the challenge up?
I appreciate the narrative direction to 'reboot' the Consortium, but I'm seriously expecting Season 7 to be easy mode.
Really hoping and praying that PFS didn't peak with the Lissala Season + Worldwound Season back to back.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Indiana—Hammond

I would presume that the Aspis Consortium and/or the Serpentfolk would try to recruit PFS enemies. I would presume that the Aspis Consortium would fear the rise of the Pathfinder Society as an influence in the world after events in Mendev and in Numeria. If the Serpentfolk are involved they could have the Aspis Consortium knowingly or unwittingly help their goals. I look forward to the new season.

The Exchange

KestlerGunner wrote:

This is going to be a real challenge for the scenario writers.

By and large enemy humanoids with class levels always fall to the PCs because the wealth difference is so large, they are vulnerable to every status condition and their stats are comparatively poor compared to monsters.
Unless the Aspis agents outnumber the PCs, they're going to get rolled every time.
In the few times that an Aspis combatant has been scary, they've had half the scenario treasure equipped, the terrain is massively in their favour and they are at least two levels higher than the team of PCs. Also summoning.
Maybe the Aspis can hire some monster-tamers to keep the challenge up?
I appreciate the narrative direction to 'reboot' the Consortium, but I'm seriously expecting Season 7 to be easy mode.
Really hoping and praying that PFS didn't peak with the Lissala Season + Worldwound Season back to back.

In my experience, it seems most pathfinders roll over most enemies, sure certain scenarios have higher death rates but for the most part pathfinders do one thing very well and that is defeat all their foes. Sure humanoid enemies won't have the same inherent defenses as say Demons and devils did but that's not to say that that will make them pushovers.

I expect and hope we'll see more ambushes, more traps and by and large more nefarious deeds.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Why did it have to be snakes?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

He's right though that there's a serious problem with NPCs being so treasure reliant to provide a challange. In one scenario, the party of level 3-5 pcs went offscript a bit and managed to tick off the level 11 fighter... and beat him. The lack of gear makes them far weaker than their alleged CR, especially when action economy doesn't go in their favor. There are too many ways to get knocked out of a fight, and without gear NPCs can't cover them all.

Paizo Employee Contributor—Canadian Maplecakes

18 people marked this as a favorite.

Less scrupulous authors might take all this talk of humanoid NPCs as a challenge...

The Exchange

BigNorseWolf wrote:

He's right though that there's a serious problem with NPCs being so treasure reliant to provide a challange. In one scenario, the party of level 3-5 pcs went offscript a bit and managed to tick off the level 11 fighter... and beat him. The lack of gear makes them far weaker than their alleged CR, especially when action economy doesn't go in their favor. There are too many ways to get knocked out of a fight, and without gear NPCs can't cover them all.

I hadn't meant to say he was wrong, only that most enemies are pushovers in society unless the scenario really doesn't want them to be and even then most humans are still easily defeated. I agree that humans(and other 0HD races) are definitely inherently weaker when compared to PCs of the same level which is why I hope we see scenario authors utilize them in different ways, ones in which these weaknesses aren't so emphasized.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Official end date of Season 6?

I must have missed it.


RobertTHEPerylous wrote:
I'm hoping that some of us will get to play undercover Aspis agents. That would be fun!

Year of the Hydra?

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Aspis. Very dangerous. You go first.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Could they be renegade shadow lodgers too?

I'd like to use BOTH my vanities please an thank you...

Rubs her masterwork intimidate tool, a Kapempia laced with Aspsis badges riddled with bullet holes.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

David Neilson wrote:
Arkos wrote:

I recently ran "By Way of Bloodcove" and I just could not convince the PCs that they may not want to anger the Apsis hive. I tried, but they've been mowing down that Consortium for seasons now. At level 4, they expected to wade through the city as if the Aspis were nothing more than tired kobolds, rather than the nominal rulers of the wildest city on the continent.

Please, Season 7. Help me bring the fear.

Well I generally find when people are told "Keep a low profile" they keep a low profile. Though honestly I do not think there is a real solution to players being cock sure, and I am not sure there should be at times.

Well there are, but they are pretty much reserved for egregious behavior, such as killing a guy, bragging about it in a bar, and then sticking around till the authorities arrive.

Grand Lodge 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quadstriker wrote:
Aspis. Very dangerous. You go first.

"Nope..this goes first..." Pulls out a bandolier of fuse grenades and Alchemists fire, tosses it into the room, the follows it with an alchemists bomb. Waits for the screams to end, turns to the rest of the party.

"NOW, we enter. "

Shadow Lodge 4/5

New season always starts at GenCon. Or has for at least the last couple of years.

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