Inside volume one of the Pathfinder Extinction Curse Adventure Path, The Show Must Go On, by Jason Tondro.
Our series of blogs exploring the Extinction Curse Adventure Path includes Come One, Come All, to the Extinction Curse Player’s Guide!, the web flash fiction Extinction Curse: Waiting in the Wings, and Extinction Curse Extravaganza! Now, let’s start looking more deeply into what each volume adds to the Pathfinder Second Edition game. (I don’t see spoilers in this blog, but they are ahead, so proceed accordingly.)
The Show Must Go On is a Pathfinder Second Edition adventure for four 1st-level characters. This adventure begins the Extinction Curse Adventure Path, a six-part, monthly campaign in which the heroes lead a traveling circus as they unravel a plot to eradicate all life from the Starstone Isles at the heart of the Inner Sea. The adventure also includes advice on how to run a traveling circus, new circus-themed rules, and a menagerie of monsters both wondrous and wicked.
The free Extinction Curse Player’s Guide by Ron Lundeen provided six new backgrounds—the aerialist, animal wrangler, barker, blow-in, butcher (not what you might think), circus-born, clown, mystic seer, and rigger. It also shared player-friendly lore on the isles of Erran and Kortos.
But a Pathfinder Adventure Path is more than just an exciting plot written by a collection of the best authors in the industry. It also includes new rules, stats, and support articles to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. So let’s start to shine the spotlight on the backmatter from the Extinction Curse.
A circus can now be added to any Pathfinder game. You can start by using the Life in the Circus article by Patrick Renie. Here’s an excerpt:
“The smell of animals, incense, and burning pitch fills the air. Murmurs of excitement punctuate the dark, open space. From outside, silver light cast by a crescent moon slices through the tent’s entryway. Suddenly, music bursts in from all sides. The curtain rises, spotlights flood the ring in the middle of the tent, and a lone figure standing in the center spurs the crowd’s cacophonous applause. “Welcome, welcome!” the figure booms. “Welcome to the greatest show on Golarion!”
At the start of this adventure, the PCs inherit the Circus of Wayward Wonders, and they’re thrust into the roles of showrunners in addition to their responsibilities as adventurers. Throughout the Extinction Curse Adventure Path, the PCs will travel all over the Isle of Erran and the Isle of Kortos, undertaking a grand adventure to save the land from an ancient evil. Thankfully, it’s not all dire omens and life-or-death circumstances—during their off time, the PCs can unwind by running a joyous circus where the worst case scenario is a comically clumsy show. To ensure their circus is a success, the PCs will need to promote, orchestrate, and execute fantastic shows in towns big and small.
The rules in this article are designed to give the PCs agency over their circus and approximate the fun and responsibility of running a traveling troupe of entertainers. While intended for use throughout the Extinction Curse Adventure Path, the rules are flexible enough to be used in any campaign...”
For more rules and guidance on running a circus, preparing for the show, putting on a show, payout, prestige, and more read the full article in print or PDF.
Bring your circus to vivid life with a million dreams and the Adventure Toolbox by Andrew Mullen, Patrick Renie, David N. Ross, and Michael Sayre. This includes two new uncommon player archetypes—the juggler and staff acrobat, the juggle skill feat, five nature snares—like dust pods, seven circus weapons—like the scorpion whip, eight environment spells—like personal rain cloud, and new nine monsters. In fact, we can name a few of the monsters without spoilers—the bone croupier, flea, living graffiti, and luminous ooze—because they are not used in The Show Must Go On. There are also two unique foes that are fully detailed with two pages each. All of these new materials can be dropped into your Age of Lost Omens or homebrew games and are available in print or PDF.
Juggler Archetype You’re a skilled performer, with impressive balance and coordination that help you greatly in battle. And the Staff Acrobat Archetype You can perform amazing acts in and out of combat when you have a spear, staff, or polearm.
This is a good opportunity for a Pathfinder Second Edition vocabulary reminder from the Core Rulebook. Many of these new materials are uncommon—meaning available only to those who have special training, grew up in a certain culture, or come from a particular part of the world. As we just learned from the Gamemastery Guide, “Uncommon elements are difficult to access, but a PC can usually find them eventually with enough effort, potentially by choosing a specific character option or spending substantial downtime tracking them down.”
We release Pathfinder Adventure Paths monthly in six-volume arcs, meaning each year sees the release of two complete Adventure Path campaigns. You can acquire them at your favorite local gaming store. Or with your ongoing Pathfinder Adventure Path subscription, we'll send you each new Pathfinder Adventure Path volume and charge your payment method automatically as we ship each product. You only need to sign up once, and never need to worry about renewal notice or missed products.
Next, we will look inside volume two, Legacy of the Lost God, with information about the catfolk of Golarion and the villainous xulgaths, as well as new monsters and circus-themed rules!
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The Greatest Show on Golarion
Monday, March 2, 2020