Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 has been a good year for Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild adventures. We set some ambitious goals, including doubling the number of interactive special events and providing several new exclusive scenarios that let players portray Aspis Consortium agents and the kobolds that live below Absalom—far more ways for aspiring 5-star GMs to run their 10 special adventures. We reassembled the powerful Sky Key and activated it to see what would happen. We have since struck back against the Aspis Consortium for its unprovoked (okay, only somewhat provoked) attack on the Grand Lodge in this first half of the Year of the Serpent, and there's more excitement to come in 2016.

It's also been a great year for new talent, whether that's the four new authors I learned about through the Open Call program or the 21 other authors (both familiar and new) whose names have appeared on the 31 adventures we've published over the past twelve months. Perhaps most significantly of all, Linda Zayas-Palmer joined the development team, greatly helping us not only give each scenario the development time that it deserves but also providing us additional time to plan out the rest of Season 7 and Season 8.


Illustration by Dion Harris

That's not to say that we've accomplished quite everything that we had hoped. There are still some sanctioning projects on the back burner, but I look forward to the long flights to and from seeing family to catch up on my Pathfinder Tales reading list. I've also packed the last few volumes of the Iron Gods Adventure Path to work on those Chronicle sheets.

So let's look at what's coming out right before your New Year's celebrations—both of which take us to uncharted territory. In fact, despite neither one being terribly Christmas-y at first glance, both of them promote the virtue of helping someone in need.

In Pathfinder Society Scenario #7-12: The Twisted Circle by Jon Cazares, the Pathfinders set out from Katapesh in order to investigate the disappearance of an Osiriani researcher who has spent the last several years studying the Mana Wastes. The trail leads to a tight-knit community south of Alkenstar, where the proud villagers endure and thrive despite the bizarre magical events that sweep through the area. I'm really looking forward to stories about this Tier 1-5 scenario, as it really lends itself well to building atmosphere, fun dialogue, and uncovering one of the spell-scarred region's secrets.

We can also look forward to Pathfinder Society Scenario #7-13: Captive in Crystal by Monica Marlowe (RPG Superstar 2015). In this Tier 5-9 adventure, the Society needs a team to track down whatever remains of five Pathfinders who disappeared years ago while using a strange wayfinder. Chief among those missing in action was Sorrina Westyr, the Society's former Master of Spells until a decade ago, when Aram Zey filled the vacancy. I've wondered for a long time who preceded the current three Masters of Scrolls, Spells, and Swords, and I had an opportunity to explore one of them while writing an entry in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Lost Treasures. Now at last we get to follow up on that loose thread and learn what befell Sorrina Westyr and her team. I'll give you one hint in the form of an art preview: an imposing shaitan genie with the kind of muscles that cause Seltyiel to weep with envy and drive Sajan to make a new year's resolution to do more crunches. If you want your Pathfinder Society character to look this cool, take heart! This scenario also revisits one of the boons I've received the most questions about in the past year, and as a special gift to you, you don't need to have it on the same character who plays this adventure.

I'd love to share more of the art, but there's some major spoiler material among them; I want to give folks a month or so to play through the adventures before I add it to a blog. After all, 'tis the season for avoiding spoilers, thanks to the new Star Wars movie's release. As of writing this blog, I still haven't seen it, but no doubt that will have changed by the time this goes live.

May your 2015 conclude peacefully, safely, and with some great gaming memories!

John Compton
Developer

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Tags: Dion Harris Pathfinder Society Pathfinder Society Scenarios
4/5 Venture-Captain, South America aka Draco Bahamut

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I allways wandered why Pathfinder Society does not have a Master of Secrets, someone must teach subtly.

The Exchange 3/5

4 people marked this as a favorite.

If you knew about her she wouldn't be a master of secrets.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think this is a win for those of us who wanted more good-looking guys in the art :)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

But if he is good looking than how am I supposed to know if I should beat his face in or not?

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ascalaphus wrote:
I think this is a win for those of us who wanted more good-looking guys in the art :)

I agree! I am very often pleased with how Pathfinder Society art turns, yet sometimes a sketch or final approval piece shows up and really wows me. This new piece really impressed me.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Indiana—Bloomington aka Kot the Protector

8 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm excited to hear that Iron Gods sanctioning is getting closer! I can't wait to share this adventure path with my local lodge!

The Exchange

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I must say, of all the things to take away from this is that Iron Gods is inching ever closer.

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Sajan only needs a new year's resolution because the rest of these sloughing lolligaggers are rubbing off on him. If it wasn't for Valeros always taking up a room in the tavern that serves the most bloating ale and food in town, and then working it off with a new wench every night, Sajan might have actually stood a chance at keeping his physique up without a lot of effort. He might even be better off if it weren't for the fact that the two craziest members (the barbarian and the rogue) getting Unchained alongside him... along with... are you kidding me? The gnome summoner? Of course he is feeling like he needs to refine himself. Sajan is probably feeling dirty and unloved right now - an emotion better suited for the magus.

As for Seltyiel - whatever, boy. Eat your heart out. This genie has you in the bag. Maybe you can get those abs without any effort at all - the next time you make an infernal deal with some wretched, dark being, for more personal power.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

*fires his +5 railgun three times into the air in celebration*

Love your work Mr Compton!

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

Ascalaphus wrote:
I think this is a win for those of us who wanted more good-looking guys in the art :)

*high five*

Shadow Lodge 4/5

KestlerGunner wrote:

*fires his +5 railgun three times into the air in celebration*

Love your work Mr Compton!

DUDE, think of the ammo! Stahp!

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber
Mahtobedis wrote:
But if he is good looking than how am I supposed to know if I should beat his face in or not?

Evil often comes in a pleasing form....

Good looking, male or female, you should beat their face in. Unless it's Aya, the acting VC in Nantambu. She's on our side.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Muser wrote:
KestlerGunner wrote:

*fires his +5 railgun three times into the air in celebration*

Love your work Mr Compton!

DUDE, think of the ammo! Stahp!

*Dodges ammo as it falls from the sky* As a public service announcement—especially with New Years coming up—remember that projectiles fired into the air do fall somewhere and can still cause harm. Please gunsling responsibly.

(Glad to hear that you're excited!)

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
Muser wrote:
KestlerGunner wrote:

*fires his +5 railgun three times into the air in celebration*

Love your work Mr Compton!

DUDE, think of the ammo! Stahp!

*Dodges ammo as it falls from the sky* As a public service announcement—especially with New Years coming up—remember that projectiles fired into the air do fall somewhere and can still cause harm. Please gunsling responsibly.

(Glad to hear that you're excited!)

What goes up must come down...provided:
    V < Vescape

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Draco Bahamut wrote:
I allways wandered why Pathfinder Society does not have a Master of Secrets, someone must teach subtly.

You imply that pathfinders value subtlety...

"Assembled the Sky Key and activated it to see what would happen."

Only the pathfinders would assemble an artifact that powerful, and turn it on *just* to "see what would happen"

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jared Thaler wrote:
Draco Bahamut wrote:
I allways wandered why Pathfinder Society does not have a Master of Secrets, someone must teach subtly.

You imply that pathfinders value subtlety...

"Assembled the Sky Key and activated it to see what would happen."

Only the pathfinders would assemble an artifact that powerful, and turn it on *just* to "see what would happen"

You are correct. The Aspis Consortium would assemble it, then sell it to the highest bidder. "Let them deal with it!"

Silver Crusade 5/5

After checking out Lost Treasures and reading John's entry in Lost Treasures, I'm pretty excited to play/run Captive in Crystal.

Also, beefcake shaitan is not amused by our antics.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jared Thaler wrote:

You imply that pathfinders value subtlety...

"Assembled the Sky Key and activated it to see what would happen."

Only the pathfinders would assemble an artifact that powerful, and turn it on *just* to "see what would happen"

I was sitting there shaking my head so hard I thought it was going to come off my shoulders at the special when Kreighton was all "And we're going to do the most AMAZING THINGS with this!"

You FOOL! Dost thou not know that thou shalt not invoke the *redacted* Plot??!!

*coughs*

At any rate, yes, to the many awesome things hinted at here, including more sanctioning.. er... isn't that what some organizations use to descr--

*Pffft. Pffft. Pffft.*

Don't worry, they're just tranq darts. Wei Ji will be back after the appropriate re-educational period. There are no *redacted* plots in *redacted*

5/5 ⦵⦵

"This scenario also revisits one of the boons I've received the most questions about in the past year, and as a special gift to you, you don't need to have it on the same character who plays this adventure."

Oooooh intrigued - wonder what it is!?

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Shifty wrote:

"This scenario also revisits one of the boons I've received the most questions about in the past year, and as a special gift to you, you don't need to have it on the same character who plays this adventure."

Oooooh intrigued - wonder what it is!?

I suspect it's one of those "this boon in combination with others can give you access to [Oread/Grippli/Wayang] options.

Grippli would be soooo cool.

But given that there's a Shaitan there, I suspect Oread instead.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Still haven't played Fires of Karamoss. That better not be involved or I'll...uh, cry a bit.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I doubt it. I'm guessing it's actually

Spoiler:
Valley of Veiled Flame


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Not gonna lie, I'd love to see a mythic-level interstellar Adventure Path featuring Castrovel, Akiton, Eox, and other worlds of Golarion's solar system with a focus of stopping a possible invasion by the Dominion of the Black either next year or the year after that! :D

Silver Crusade 5/5

Amid all this fascinating litany of hints and speculation, I just want to give thanks for having John Compton heading this campaign, with the talents of Mark Seifter & Linda Zayas-Palmer to aid and abet, building on the groundwork of Mark Moreland. What a crew!

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