With the Year of the Serpent in full swing, many players have had an opportunity to clash with the Society's old enemy, the Aspis Consortium. While that organization plays a major role in the season's plotline, Linda and I are also revisiting some older stories, continuing more recent narrative threads, and exploring places that the campaign has never seen. We'd like to pull back the curtain a bit on how we came up with the outlines for the August scenarios. As you might guess there are some MINOR SPOILERS ahead—more to help you choose which character to play, and less to ruin the story.
It's been years since we've had a good rumble with giants, and I wanted to give a tip of the hat to the recently concluded Giantslayer Adventure Path. Also, there have been some great options appearing in books like the Giant Hunter's Handbook, and I like knowing that there are some fun adventures out there that give specialized characters a chance to shine.
Things really started to come together when I spoke with Rob McCreary—senior developer and lead developer for Giantslayer—and confirmed that the Adventure Path had not traveled to Averaka. I love Averaka. In part it's because I like the idea of a town eking out a living while clashing with giants. Even more than that, I really like having a proud settlement comprised almost entirely of half-orcs who are working to define themselves not as what they are not (i.e. full humans or full orcs) but what they are: a distinct people worthy of respect and free to live their lives without fear of persecution. Add to that its location in an old Thassilonian kingdom, and we couldn't resist. We put a pin in the isle of Flintyreach and started writing.
Of course, this isn't just any slugfest with giants. While Linda and I wrote it, we added in some twists that should keep the combats interesting and the players guessing. Break out your titan-felling champions, your scholars of Thassilonian lore, and your loyal members of the Scarab Sages faction (they have a fun metaplot opportunity here), and set sail for Averaka!
Whether on the forums or at conventions, I get a lot of questions about when we'll revisit some beloved loose thread that has been dangling for years. It can be a lot of fun to realize that a past author or developer left room for a sequel, and it's all the better when scores of players cite the original as one of their favorite adventures. At long last the timeline and stars aligned, and we devised a follow-up to a choice Season 0 scenario: Black Waters.
We're heading back into the Absalom's decrepit Precipice Quarter, once the elite neighborhood of Beldrin's Bluff and now a run-down eyesore inhabited by cutpurses and ghost stories. A former resident who barely survived the earthquake years ago has returned to sift through the wreckage for some key to her past, and who better to help her than a team of Pathfinders?
I was very particular when considering the author for this adventure, both because it involves some deep character development and because it follows in the footsteps of such a popular scenario from the earliest days of the campaign. I was very pleased to have Alex Greenshields (author of #5-02: The Wardstone Patrol, which features several very powerful NPC scenes), and he did a great job of illustrating how a central NPC has weathered the intervening years.
I strongly recommend playing this after Black Waters. This is also a great adventure for members of the Liberty's Edge faction, who have a strong metaplot opportunity. We can't wait to hear what you think of it.