The Greatest Show on Golarion

Monday, March 2, 2020

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.

Illustration of a performer with the Juggler ArchetypeIllustration of a performer with the Staff Acrobat Archetype

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!

Adventures Ahead!

Aaron Shanks
Marketing and Media Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Extinction Curse Pathfinder Pathfinder Adventure Path Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This adventure path looks like fun.

A picture of a card thrower? Does that mean we might get the Deadly Dealer feat soon?!

(And hopefully not locked behind yet another archetype)

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Cyrad wrote:

This adventure path looks like fun.

A picture of a card thrower? Does that mean we might get the Deadly Dealer feat soon?!

(And hopefully not locked behind yet another archetype)

Isn't the action in the image inspiring?! If you look closely, that card thrower is gaunt with glowing eyes—a bone croupier, not a PC. I don't want to spoil the monster. So how might you turn a card into a dart with a touch of magic in Pathfinder Second Edition?


From what I can tell, the Deadly Dealer feat basically allowed a PF1 character to use "deck of cards" as darts (if we strip away the PF1-specific language).

I can't see much of an issue just allowing that as a feat in PF2. At best it's a specialized Quick Draw feat for darts only. Sure, PF2 normally restricts "quick draw" to only two classes, but since this is for a single non-OP weapon, I'm having trouble seeing why a fighter or wizard can't be allowed this, if it helps the player making a cool concept :)

As for the Bone Croupier, this blog has already revealed a) it's a monster that b) doesn't feature in the AP, so I feel safe in saying I wish I could find a good spot in the adventure to include it, since it is a cool monster indeed :) At least its level make it a non-urgent matter (to keep things vague).


This is the greatest show!


It's a hard task to manage the circus in trpg campaign.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love how this volume starts out in the midst of the action and how there is some great foreshadowing of the next adventure in the path! Rivals as opponents always make for memorable sessions and I'm really looking forward to next month's follow up.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Aaron Shanks wrote:
So how might you turn a card into a dart with a touch of magic in Pathfinder Second Edition? 

Good question! Something like this.

Quote:

Deadly Dealer (Feat 1)

General, Skill, Uncommon
Prerequisites trained in Arcana, Religion, or Occultism
Access You have a Background as an entertainer, fortune teller, gambler, or similar profession
You can throw a card as a ranged weapon with the same statistics as a shuriken, except it is a simple weapon that does not possess the monk weapon trait. A card without a returning property rune is destroyed when thrown as a weapon.

If you are an expert in the requisite skill, you may etch or transfer weapon runes to a belt pouch or other container that stores a deck of cards. You may also attach talismans. A card drawn from this pouch gains the benefits of the pouch's runes and talismans on the next thrown weapon attack. Only one deck of cards (maximum 54) may benefit from the pouch's magic, and the cards must be inserted or stored during your daily preparations.

Reasoning:

It should not be an archetype because dedications have a huge opportunity cost. Though, I could see an archetype that provides thematic abilities when using this feat with a harrow deck.

It should not be a class feat because many different types of characters could theoretically use this, and its abilities are not tied directly to any class feature. Even 1st Edition had class talents and archetypes that let different classes throw cards.

The benefit is in line with a General Skill feat as it mechanically just lets you use reflavored shurikens with some quality of life benefits at the cost of requiring training in a magical skill.

I added the second paragraph because thrown weapons currently have a problem where you can't efficiently apply runes on them unless you use a returning rune, which ruins the fantasy of tossing out tons of disposable weapons. It would be nice if we could get an item that's basically a handwraps of mighty blows for thrown weapons.

Maybe cardslinging options will be available by the time I get to play/run Extinction Curse! This adventure path looks like a blast and seems so unlike many adventures before it.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cyrad wrote:
Aaron Shanks wrote:
So how might you turn a card into a dart with a touch of magic in Pathfinder Second Edition? 

Good question! Something like this.

Quote:

Deadly Dealer (Feat 1)

General, Skill, Uncommon
Prerequisites trained in Arcana, Religion, or Occultism
Access You have a Background as an entertainer, fortune teller, gambler, or similar profession
You can throw a card as a ranged weapon with the same statistics as a shuriken, except it is a simple weapon that does not possess the monk weapon trait. A card without a returning property rune is destroyed when thrown as a weapon.

If you are an expert in the requisite skill, you may etch or transfer weapon runes to a belt pouch or other container that stores a deck of cards. You may also attach talismans. A card drawn from this pouch gains the benefits of the pouch's runes and talismans on the next thrown weapon attack. Only one deck of cards (maximum 54) may benefit from the pouch's magic, and the cards must be inserted or stored during your daily preparations.

** spoiler omitted **...

Thanks! By the way, you'll find many new general feats in the Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide this summer!

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

Aaron Shanks wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Aaron Shanks wrote:
So how might you turn a card into a dart with a touch of magic in Pathfinder Second Edition? 

Good question! Something like this.

Quote:

Deadly Dealer (Feat 1)

General, Skill, Uncommon
Prerequisites trained in Arcana, Religion, or Occultism
Access You have a Background as an entertainer, fortune teller, gambler, or similar profession
You can throw a card as a ranged weapon with the same statistics as a shuriken, except it is a simple weapon that does not possess the monk weapon trait. A card without a returning property rune is destroyed when thrown as a weapon.

If you are an expert in the requisite skill, you may etch or transfer weapon runes to a belt pouch or other container that stores a deck of cards. You may also attach talismans. A card drawn from this pouch gains the benefits of the pouch's runes and talismans on the next thrown weapon attack. Only one deck of cards (maximum 54) may benefit from the pouch's magic, and the cards must be inserted or stored during your daily preparations.

** spoiler omitted **...
Thanks! By the way, you'll find many new general feats in the Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide this summer!


Aaron Shanks wrote:
So how might you turn a card into a dart with a touch of magic in Pathfinder Second Edition?

The easiest way would probably be telekinetic projectile.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Apparently Uncommon means Uncommon within the AP too. Good to know.

Dark Archive

The Raven Black wrote:
Apparently Uncommon means Uncommon within the AP too. Good to know.

Umm, is that you taking snapshot at rarity again? :p

I mean I think its pretty clear you have access to circus themed options in circus ap?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
I mean I think its pretty clear you have access to circus themed options in circus ap?

The only thing that's obvious is that the decision is left up to each GM.

If your character can't access any Uncommon circus item or ability, that's entirely reasonable. If your character gets access to all Uncommon circus items or abilities right off the start of the campaign, that's entirely reasonable too. And if your GM decides to split the difference, by giving you access as soon as you stumble upon items and NPCs that justify you getting these things, yes, that's entirely within the rules as well.

"Ask your GM", is the only answer to the question "Can I have".

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