As Aeons End

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Illustrations by Kent Hamilton

This month the Strange Aeons Adventure Path wraps up, and by the time this blog goes live some subscribers will have already dug their claws into the adventure while others have to wait for stores to put them on the shelves next Wednesday.

Over the course of this Adventure Path, readers have seen how subtle corruptions can boil over into dangerous territory, leaving those that witness them to gestate further horrors in their own minds that can threated the world at large. Within this Adventure Path, we got a look at the Great Old Ones and Elder Gods that make up the Elder Mythos. We explored Hastur's cult and had a glimpse into what might happen if that Great Old One was to rise as an Outer Gods. We got to look deeper into the vile evil of the Necronomicon, and explored the strange world of the Dreamlands. We ventured to forgotten locations in Golarion and stepped beyond the gap between worlds to set foot on lost Carcosa. In the Adventure Path bestiary, we got to show you new statistics for a Great Old One in each installment, as well as a double handful of other Mythos creatures throughout. It's been a strange journey to say the least.

I'm terrible at picking favorites, be it a favorite color, favorite song, favorite food, whatever. However, since I had so many great writers on this Adventure Path, I felt the need to pick my favorite thing that they created in each of the six adventures. Like always, it's difficult picking my favorite things that I liked about each one, so in some cases I just went with my gut when picking from my lengthy lists. Here goes!

Pathfinder Adventure Path #109: In Search of Sanity

Favorite Thing: The whole first act.

The starting encounter with the PCs asleep and encountering the Tatterman and the fugue state set up of the whole AP seemed challenging in the outline, but Wes Schneider killed it in a way that was better than I could imagine.

Honorable Mentions: That attic whisperer illustration; the Argus Wall; and Red Destiny.

Pathfinder Adventure Path #110: The Thrushmoor Terror

Favorite Thing: Thrushmoor's weird townsfolk.

Tito Leati is great at writing character that interconnect, so I loved his backstory of Nemira Lowls and how she tied in with Clymes Prett and the history of Thrushmoor's leadership, as well as the other characters he introduced.

Honorable Mentions: Fun Star Stelae mechanics; the Hastur article; and meeting Weiralai the first time.

Pathfinder Adventure Path #111: Dreams of the Yellow King

Favorite Thing: The adventure's entire structure.

I love that this adventure takes place in two worlds during a long river journey, and with most of it in the Dreamlands Ron Lundeen was able to give out powerful treasure and present some nearly impossible fights (I'm looking at you, Bokrug).

Honorable Mentions: Abdul Alhazred; Skywin Freeling as a breath of fresh, positive air; and fighting yourselves.

Pathfinder Adventure Path #112: A Whisper Out of Time

Favorite Thing: Creepy derro madness.

Rich Pett is a master of the weird and unsettling, and I really adored what he did with Miacknian Mun's house (and his weird experiments that look like him).

Honorable Mentions: The derro leader Twain; the weirdness of the Mysterium; and betrayal and blood in Okeno.

Pathfinder Adventure Path #113: What Grows Within

Favorite Thing: The strange allies you encounter.

This trip into a forgotten and inhospitable location in Golarion was made extra fun and interesting with the rich characters John Compton introduced. I adored Hoshbagh, the otyugh tome eater occultist and the frightening Mother Grim Moon, as well as the broken soul manu and the Saffron Prince.

Honorable Mentions: The return of Weiralai in her advanced form; the Necronomicon article; and the child of Yog-Sothoth template.

Pathfinder Adventure Path #114: Black Stars Beckon

Favorite Thing: Packing varied locations into one adventure.

It was a tough challenge to show different parts of Carcosa in such a tight space, but Jim did a great job of it. I especially liked seeing the Paris element of Carcosa, but getting to see Azlanti vampires and an elder thing "ghost town" was delightful as well. Man, I really love this cover.

Honorable Mentions: The cast of familiar characters like Erich Zann, Cassilda, and the Pallid Mask.

The Sounds of Madness

Today we're also excited to announce that our partners at Syrinscape have released the first Strange Aeons SoundPack! Ben has, yet again, worked his magic on bringing "In Search of Sanity" alive in all of its delightfully creepy beauty. After listening to it at my desk, I nabbed Wes so he could get a chance to hear the demented sounds of his adventure. This SoundSet really captures the fear and uncertainty of trying to survive an asylum that has descended into monstrous chaos. I loved hearing the sounds for the argus wall, and the encounter with what Debis Lieklan has become is especially unnerving. Listening to this also made me realize that I need to put more dialog in adventures, as it was great hearing the NPCs in this adventure come to life.

The first volume in the new Strange Aeons Adventure Path, "In Search of Sanity", is a fantastically intense and ghastly adventure needing equally fantastic and horrible sounds. You can get a peek at the process behind how the Syrinscape team worked their magic to bring this adventure to spine tinglingly disturbing 3D life on our YouTube channel. (Who would have thought you could voice a Nightgaunt with a fur seal?)

With the In Search of Sanity SoundPack you'll be able to carefully and finely tune your player's discomfort. Subtly ramping up or down from one so-called "Tension Level" is simply a matter of touching a single button. Your players probably won't even notice just how intensely immersed and involved they've been in the adventure session. Not until you stop Syrinscape to take a break and the mood weirdly drains from the room will they know just how you've been masterfully you've been controlling the ebb and flow of this horror adventure with a few subtle mostly subliminal tones.

Watch the demo below and grab the first Strange Aeons SoundPack here! If you're looking for more creepy sounds, check out the whole range of Syrinscape products.

Benjamin Loomes
Creative Director
Syrinscape

Illustrations by Miguel Regodón Harkness

Crossing the Streams

For those of you who want more Call of Cthulhu chocolate in their Pathfinder peanut butter (or vice versa—it's your metaphor to manipulate as needed), James Jacobs worked up a clever system in the Continuing the Campaign article to merge your Strange Aeons characters with investigators working against the sinister machinations of the Mythos in this final Strange Aeons Adventure Path volume, Pathfinder Adventure Path #114: Black Stars Beckon.

When using this system, at the climax of the Adventure Path, the PCs don't return to Golarion, but instead a magical vortex opens in Carcosa that blasts their consciousness out to the stars where they arrive in the minds of humans on a planet with a strong connection to Carcosa—Earth.

This provides an option to play adventures with the Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game where the investigators have the spirit essences of the characters the players controlled throughout the Strange Aeons Adventure Path inhabiting their minds on Earth. These spirit essences want to return to Golarion, but can't make the transition until they achieve some goals on Earth such as preventing the rise of eldritch forces and fighting against Mythos influence. With enough successes, the characters' spirit essences are freed from the human investigators and can safely return to their selves on Golarion.

This is an interesting approach to merging two different games and campaigns, and I'm interested in seeing how folks use it.

This month's Pathfinder Adventure Path closes out the Strange Aeons Adventure Path and I hope that you've enjoyed the weird ride as much as we've enjoyed bringing to you. Stay tuned to this blog for deeper looks into the Adventure Path as we bring you more reports from the Order of the Amber Die as they run marathon sessions of the remaining adventures in this campaign. You're not getting this Adventure Path out of your head that easy.

Adam Daigle
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Kent Hamilton Licensed Products Miguel Regodón Harkness Pathfinder Adventure Path Strange Aeons Syrinscape

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Was hoping for a Vegas Showgirl Seoni but I'll take what I can get. ;)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That's a pretty cool idea.


Berselius wrote:
Was hoping for a Vegas Showgirl Seoni but I'll take what I can get. ;)
TriOmegaZero wrote:
That's a pretty cool idea.

Then you'd ABSOLUTELY LOVE united states military Amiri, police officer Seelah, medical doctor Kyra, nightclub performer Alahazra, and government spy Feiya. ;) :D

Dark Archive

That is so cool.

Dark Archive

Berselius wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Was hoping for a Vegas Showgirl Seoni but I'll take what I can get. ;)
TriOmegaZero wrote:
That's a pretty cool idea.
Then you'd ABSOLUTELY LOVE united states military Amiri, police officer Seelah, medical doctor Kyra, nightclub performer Alahazra, and government spy Feiya. ;) :D

Will those be in volume six?

Syrinscape

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This was so fun to build sounds for!

Have a peek behind the curtain at some of the fun we had making these noises here:
Behind the curtain of Syrinscape's "In search of sanity" SoundPack ..

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm rather happy with this AP overall - just need to find some 'volunteers' now.

Will have to checkout the soundpack as well!


Shouldn't Crossing the Streams have been in a Spoiler?

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Oh man I need more time in my life so I can GM this


It seemed to me like this AP has much more "wall o' text" and less art. Flipping through it, I wasn't grabbed as much as usual in other APs. Not that the art included wasn't excellent, but the ratio seemed off. Anyone else get this vibe?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Love the artwork.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

... Cassilda is gorgeous.


...one more reason I want to run this Adventure Path with GURPS. This way, I won't even have to switch the rule system...

Paizo Employee Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
A Mite Excessive wrote:
It seemed to me like this AP has much more "wall o' text" and less art. Flipping through it, I wasn't grabbed as much as usual in other APs. Not that the art included wasn't excellent, but the ratio seemed off. Anyone else get this vibe?

I think eldritch forces have influenced your mind. ;)

This AP had the same art budget and roughly the same number of pieces as other APs. With a few exceptions here and there, putting together an Adventure Path volume is a formula. For the adventure itself, we typically run ~9 full-body illustrations, 5–7 portrait or spot illustrations, and 3 half-page illustrations. The articles and bestiary have an illustration per spread.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the opportunity to write some weird characters and contribute to my first Adventure Path, Adam!

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Any time, my friend!

Scarab Sages

Now comes the long wait till the PFS Chronicle sheets for this AP are released!


Seoni's wearing clothes!

I remember her legs being meatier, though...

Berselius wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Was hoping for a Vegas Showgirl Seoni but I'll take what I can get. ;)
TriOmegaZero wrote:
That's a pretty cool idea.
Then you'd ABSOLUTELY LOVE united states military Amiri, police officer Seelah, medical doctor Kyra, nightclub performer Alahazra, and government spy Feiya. ;) :D

Seelah and Alahazra (and probably Kyra too) might have some problems in certain countries, though. :/

"Why are they treating us like half-orcs?"


#tooreal


Pathfinder/CoC crossover?

Sign me up!


Spastic Puma wrote:
#tooreal

Well, we are talking about a horror setting...

But yeah, I get where you're coming from.


I would've rather had guidelines for running a proper Pathfinder game on Earth.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
IonutRO wrote:
I would've rather had guidelines for running a proper Pathfinder game on Earth.

Take Rasputin Must Die and work from there - it has automatic weapons, explosives, flamethrowers, grenades, heck, stats for tanks. You can pretty much do everything using that and Technology Guide, as most of current tech is either advanced versions of early XX century stuff or early versions of future tech described in Tech Guide.


Gorbacz wrote:
Take Rasputin Must Die and work from there - it has automatic weapons, explosives, flamethrowers, grenades, heck, stats for tanks. You can pretty much do everything using that and Technology Guide, as most of current tech is either advanced versions of early XX century stuff or early versions of future tech described in Tech Guide.

Rasputin Must Die is set in the wilderness, though, so the characters never have to deal with Earth's economy, culture, and lack of any real magical presence. The magic at play in RMD is due to Rasputin's influence, so RMD doesn't actually address moving your PCs into a modern setting with motorized infrastructure, electricity, long range communications, and virtually no magic.

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