Oh My Heavens

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I've been loving this season from the moment we started planning it, and every batch of scenarios makes me love Season 9 of Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild a little more. Not only are we gearing up for a series of Sovereign Court adventures leading up to the War for the Crown Adventure Path, working on an exciting Exchange storyline, outlining a powerful Silver Crusade arc, and using the Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild to pursue one of the perpetrators behind Pathfinder Society Special #9-00: Assault on Absalom, but we're also in the early stages of locking down Pathfinder Society's Season 10. If you've seen team members cackling with barely-contained glee on social media, it's likely for these reasons and more.

And if you've seen us bouncing excitedly in the months leading up to now, it's probably because of the excellent scenarios we're releasing today.

Illustrations by Juzef Kucera

First up is the Tier 1-5 delight Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-06: The Shores of Heaven, which dispatches the PCs to Heaven itself to research and perform a ritual that might purify a beloved Pathfinder colleague. This is exciting for several reasons. First, this scenario's a direct result of the reporting data participants like you provided for Pathfinder Society Scenario #7-17: Thralls of the Shattered God. Second, it's another chance to adventure with the Pathfinder "venture-captain" Valais. Third, it's an adventure... in Heaven. This last point's been something of a personal challenge for me, as the common response to proposing a Heaven adventure is "There's no point; the archons would destroy any threats immediately." Linda and I have had a few days where we shouted the equivalent of "They said it couldn't be done! They said we were MAD!" Then we would cackle and go back to outlining. More accurately, Linda would go back to outlining, as she oversaw this project as its development lead.

Really, though, this came together as cleanly and beautifully as it did thanks to the author, Cole Kronewitter. Cole's worked on several other scenarios, and we found his character portrayals in Pathfinder Society Scenario #7-25: Orders from the Gate represented exactly the kind of talent we'd need to make this scenario happen. He delivered, and this scenario with Silver Crusade ties is absolutely charming. What's more, there's a delightful section about how characters with evil auras or evil familiars function during this adventure, including one of the most explicit "Don't mess this up" warnings I think we've ever included in a scenario—including in the Bonekeep series.

Included here are two preview illustrations, including a powerful celestial you'll meet as well as a disfigured fiend that's played an ongoing roll in Valais's story.

Last month we featured Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-04: The Unseen Inclusion by Mike Kimmel, which kicked off a very fun Scarab Sages narrative in Thuvia. This month, Matt Duval has taken the baton and brought us Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-07: Salvation of the Sages, an epic Tier 7-11 showdown in which the PCs face off against an ancient enemy and hold the fate of a faction in their hands. Need another reason to be excited? How would you like the opportunity to adventure alongside all of the Jeweled Sages? Yes, all of them. Yes, that includes one who might not be on the best of terms with the Society.

Illustration by Marco Horvatin

I recruited Matt Duval to write this in part because he has such a history with the Scarab Sages storyline, but also because he knows how to make a big and flashy event that reveals long-held secrets. The two of us had a chance to brainstorm the details at Gen Con, where we devised some terrific scenes that I feel really shed light on many of the extant sages and allow the PCs to uncover information central to the campaign and its NPCs in new ways.

There are a few tools and design variations that appear in this scenario that we're testing out. These won't necessarily become the norm, but Linda and I are interested in hearing whether these are easy to use, helpful, and something you might want to see more in the future. Specifically, #9-07 uses a skill DC table that has appeared in past multi-table interactive specials, which assigns an Easy, Average, and Hard DC value for each level range. This scenario also provides a few GM reference handouts that summarize who certain NPCs are and which past Chronicle sheets the players have might factor into the scenario. Although I don't plan on including these handouts in anything but very canon-heavy adventures, I would like to hear how we can make them as useful as possible for GMs.

This is a big scenario with big implications for the Scarab Sages, and our team reserved it as high a level tier as we could to ensure that as many faction PCs can play this—and enjoy its Chronicle sheet—as possible. I think Salvation of the Sages really drives home that Season 9 really is the Season of Factions' Favor, and we're only three months in!

John Compton
Organized Play Lead Developer

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Tags: Josef Kucera Marco Horvatin Organized Play Pathfinder Society Pathfinder Society Scenarios
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