Strength of Thousands Adventure Path

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Strength of Thousands Adventure Path is coming in July 2021! This six-part, monthly Adventure Path takes characters from 1st to 20th level. It’s set in the Magaambya magic academy in the Mwangi Expanse, the oldest and most prestigious magic school in our world. We’ve been looking to tell a “magic school” story for a long time, and we’re thrilled to tell a non-Western magic school story set in the Magaambya. In Strength of Thousands, the characters start as students, become teachers, and ultimately hold the fate of the school in their hands.

Magaambya by Tomasz Chistowski

The name of this Adventure Path comes from a school motto; each teacher and student stands on the shoulders of thousands who have come before, so the weight of reputation and responsibility rests squarely on the heroes’ shoulders.

Strength of Thousands is open to characters of all kinds, but it’s a magic school, so some spellcasting ability is necessary. If you like playing fighters or monks or other non-spellcasting classes, don’t worry! We’re layering on additional spellcasting ability to all characters in this Adventure Path, so if you can’t normally cast spells, you get a little bit of spellcasting. If you are a spellcaster already, you get a little more. This makes the characters slightly more powerful than normal, but lets them feel like students in the world’s premiere magic school.

Celebration by Tomasz Chistowski

The adventures initially focus on the Magaambya, but soon expand to take place all over the Mwangi Expanse (and even beyond, in an interplanetary excursion!). The teachers at the Magaambya are also diplomats and guardians of the world, and we want the players to really feel that. You’ll undertake diplomatic missions in the dangerous city of Mzali, stage a rescue in the Sodden Lands, and uncover secrets lost for thousands of years.

Strength of Thousands gets tons of support in supplemental articles in each volume, including rosters of fellow students and faculty members and an academia downtime subsystem so characters get more skilled throughout their academic years as students (and as teachers). We expect Strength of Thousands to span many in-game years and thrill real-world players for a long time!

Storyteller - Mikhail Palamarchuk

We’ve established a diverse and talented team of authors for the Strength of Thousands Adventure Path. Rather than talk about them, let’s have them tell you who they are in their own words!

Kindled Magic, by Alexandria Bustion and Eleanor Ferron
Allie Bustion is an award-winning freelance narrative designer and writer who has worked on their own indie titles, like HEIST and Misbehavin', as well as Sea of Legends. You can find their name in recent and upcoming books from Paizo and others, including the Mwangi Expanse world guide, the Starship Operations Manual, and Lost Omens: Legends. More often than not, they can be found on Twitter (@madpierrot) taking a lot of pictures of their cat or analyzing popular media or on Twitch (MadPierrotTV) playing Apex Legends and Final Fantasy XIV. More of their work can be found on madpierrot.design, madpierrot.itch.io, and patreon.com/madpierrot.

Hello! I'm Eleanor Ferron, a mixed-race author, artist, and Developer here at Paizo. Along with my fabulous colleague Luis Loza, I work on the Lost Omens setting guides for Pathfinder 2E. I’ve also illustrated several RPG products, such as the role-playing card game and campaign assistant, Short Order Heroes. Both Luis and I have been working hard on coordinating an incredible crew of authors for the Lost Omens: Mwangi Expanse book that will accompany the Strength of Thousands Adventure Path, and so I am incredibly excited to see that setting come to life for players and GMs to explore!M.o


Spoken on the Song Wind, by Quinn Murphy
My name is Quinn Murphy. I’ve been doing freelance design and publishing my own games for a little over a decade, and have been in love with RPGs for most of my life. Over the years I’ve done design work for Dungeons & Dragons (4th Edition), Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Misspent Youth, Trinity Continuum: Aeon, and more. I’ve been working with Paizo since last year, starting with the Pathfinder Society Quest Archaeology in Aspenthar and other projects. I am really excited to be working on the Strength of Thousands Adventure Path, where we can introduce players to wonders and teachings of the Magaambya firsthand!

Hurricane’s Howl, by Michelle Jones
I'm Michelle Jones, author of Hurricane's Howl and contributor to World Guide: Mwangi Expanse. I've been a Paizo freelancer for about 4 years now, and I'm so excited to finally write for an adventure path. Since most of my Pathfinder work up until now was on the Player Companion line, I always had to ask myself what new rules players would find exciting. It was always a fun challenge, but working on Hurricane's Howl and the World Guide gave me the opportunity to do what I'm really passionate about. The opportunity to tell a story, introduce new characters, and explore a part of the world that really deserves some love. So read World Guide: Mwangi Expanse and play Hurricane's Howl; I promise you are in for a good time. Find me on Twitter @AleshaKills.

Secrets of the Temple-City, by Luis Loza
Luis Loza is a developer at Paizo Inc. working on Pathfinder Second Edition. His work includes rules, campaign setting material, and adventure development for Pathfinder. As a writer, he takes inspiration from a variety of places including folklore from his Mexican heritage, books, movies, and video games. He lives in Seattle with his wife and a cat that should really be more cuddly if you ask him. You can learn more about him and his work at luisloza.com.

Doorway to the Red Star, by Michael Sayre
Hello! My name is Michael Sayre and I’m a designer and former Pathfinder Society developer here at Paizo. I was born and raised in Alaska, where my family is from for as far back as anyone can trace! I’m of primarily Tlingit and Irish descent, and my family are shareholders in the Goldbelt Corporation, a company formed for the Tlingit and Haida people of southeast Alaska following the Alaska Native Claims Act. Pushing the boundaries of the stories we tell beyond Golarion’s Inner Sea has been both a professional goal and a personal passion of mine since I started work at Paizo, and without giving any spoilers as to the particulars of my contribution to this project, that’s definitely something this adventure has allowed me to do!

Shadows of the Ancients, by Saif Ansari
Saif Ansari thought he had created role-playing games while making up stories with his brother in India. After emigrating to the US, he realized a whole gaming industry existed and has been running games ever since. Saif has published short fiction and short plays, appeared in anthologies, written for games, and was nominated for an ENnie back in 2017. He runs games in New York City and also lives there with his wife and two children.

Watch the Lost Omens Announcement Panel here!

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Tags: Conventions Lost Omens Mwangi Expanse Pathfinder Pathfinder Adventure Path Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition Strength of Thousands
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Wayfinders Contributor

16 people marked this as a favorite.

Ooh. An AP set in the Magaambya? I can't wait to play this!

Hmm

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Obligatory Hogwarts comment goes here. One thing that I am genuinely interested in here is the following:

How does this Adventure Path plan on tackling the whole "Children as adventurers" angle that is going to be inevitable given that it's billed as a "school/academy" instead of a University?

Perhaps some guidance in the Players Guide and adventure handouts/material to indicate that this is explicitly a COLLEGE of Magic meant for post-adolescence individuals?


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

Was literally talking to my sister last week and we were discussing how cool a magic school ap set in the magaambya academy would be! Should I be worried about Paizo spies?

Seriously though, this looks like it's going to be fantastic, the author list looks incredible, the concept is exactly what I wanted and the teases we;ve got are so exciting!!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps Subscriber
Quote:

Strength of Thousands gets tons of support in supplemental articles in each volume, including rosters of fellow students and faculty members and an academia downtime subsystem so characters get more skilled throughout their academic years as students (and as teachers). We expect Strength of Thousands to span many in-game years and thrill real-world players for a long time!

Storyteller - Mikhail Palamarchuk

We’ve established a diverse and talented team of authors for the Strength of Thousands Adventure Path. Rather than talk about them, let’s have them tell you who they are in their own words!

What is a Storyteller?

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
CrystalSeas wrote:
Quote:

Strength of Thousands gets tons of support in supplemental articles in each volume, including rosters of fellow students and faculty members and an academia downtime subsystem so characters get more skilled throughout their academic years as students (and as teachers). We expect Strength of Thousands to span many in-game years and thrill real-world players for a long time!

Storyteller - Mikhail Palamarchuk

We’ve established a diverse and talented team of authors for the Strength of Thousands Adventure Path. Rather than talk about them, let’s have them tell you who they are in their own words!

What is a Storyteller?

Its referring to the picture of a storyteller there :p Latter is the artist's name

Paizo Employee Creative Director

18 people marked this as a favorite.

The Magaambya is more akin to a college than an elementary school. The PCs are expected to be adults as this Adventure Path begins.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Its referring to the picture of a storyteller there :p Latter is the artist's name

duh.

Thanks

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
The Magaambya is more akin to a college than an elementary school. The PCs are expected to be adults as this Adventure Path begins.

That's good to hear as it helps avoid undesirable story elements and pushes it aside from some of the more popular "magic school" fiction that springs to mind.

Thanks JJ!


Quote:
We expect Strength of Thousands to span many in-game years and thrill real-world players for a long time!

How will this work with Pathfinder's assumption that 1 real-life year is equivalent to 1 in-universe year?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This sounded so awesome in the Pax panel revealing it. Is it 2021 yet?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

16 people marked this as a favorite.
Themetricsystem wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The Magaambya is more akin to a college than an elementary school. The PCs are expected to be adults as this Adventure Path begins.

That's good to hear as it helps avoid undesirable story elements and pushes it aside from some of the more popular "magic school" fiction that springs to mind.

Thanks JJ!

Magic school stories are undeniably popular, which is one of the reasons we're doing this Adventure Path, but Harry Potter is not a primary source of inspiration for it, and it's not going to be pushed by us as the "Harry Potter" Adventure Path. Because it's not. It's a very different story.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

9 people marked this as a favorite.
TridentBoy wrote:
Quote:
We expect Strength of Thousands to span many in-game years and thrill real-world players for a long time!
How will this work with Pathfinder's assumption that 1 real-life year is equivalent to 1 in-universe year?

That's an assumption that's by and large something that the fandom has championed, but we've never limited our Adventure Paths to being "each volume takes place over a month." The pace at which the events of an Adventure Path play out at your table are primarially set by your group's pace.

Now and then we'll code time limits or expectations into an Adventure Path (we hard-coded a year of downtime in between the 1st and 2nd volumes of Legacy of Fire, for example, and assume that each volume of Kingmaker takes several months in-world to play out as the PC kingdom grows), but for the most part, even the order in which any one table plays them is up to them.

Paizo Employee Developer

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Themetricsystem wrote:

Perhaps some guidance in the Players Guide and adventure handouts/material to indicate that this is explicitly a COLLEGE of Magic meant for post-adolescence individuals?

Yes, that's where this guidance will be. We avoid putting children in danger in our products, and that means we don't expect the players' characters to be children, either.

Dark Archive

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

I would love if one of the red doors shows up in this - seems very much like it could...

Dark Archive

I'm so excited for this. June is much too far away.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Northern Dreamer wrote:

I would love if one of the red doors shows up in this - seems very much like it could...

"red door"? Is that distinct from the Doorway to the Red Star?

Contributor

This AP sounds amazing and that is one heck of an awesome list of authors writing it!

Contributor

12 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm so glad the announcement is finally up! It's been so hard staying quiet about this.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am super excited for this. I want to play in it, run it, or even both sequentially (though lack of separate Pathfinder groups makes that unlikely...I could do either because we swap who GMs sometimes, but there's not two separate groups).

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I am Reign of Winter levels of hype right now.

Gimme.

Gimmegimmegimmegimme.


Ooooh! Very excited for this one!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

"Start as students, end up as teachers" as part of a narrative arc reads more like "Graduate students" than "high schoolers" anyway.

Presumably Golarion has a better system for advancement for Academics than the "eternal post-doc treadmill" I pray you are not intimately familiar with.

Wayfinders Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Michelle A.J. wrote:
I'm so glad the announcement is finally up! It's been so hard staying quiet about this.

Congratulations, Michelle! I am so excited to see you announced amongst the authors!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The AP is a cool enough concept by itself but I think I'm most excited about the homebrew-ish system for giving martial classes a bit of magic to be appropriate for the campaign. It sets a precedent I'm very excited to potentially see in other settings such as, for example, the Mana Wastes...


Looks pretty bomb! I just hope the subsystem isn't too fiddly. I'm also excited to see what the "new" adventure path authors have to bring to the table.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I want it. NOW!!!!!!!. Please drop everything else and move up the release date :-) :-) :-)

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Arachnofiend wrote:
The AP is a cool enough concept by itself but I think I'm most excited about the homebrew-ish system for giving martial classes a bit of magic to be appropriate for the campaign. It sets a precedent I'm very excited to potentially see in other settings such as, for example, the Mana Wastes...

I believe they've specified it's 'just' the Free Archetype variant with a spellcasting archetype. Still seems fine to me.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
The AP is a cool enough concept by itself but I think I'm most excited about the homebrew-ish system for giving martial classes a bit of magic to be appropriate for the campaign. It sets a precedent I'm very excited to potentially see in other settings such as, for example, the Mana Wastes...
I believe they've specified it's 'just' the Free Archetype variant with a spellcasting archetype. Still seems fine to me.

Ahh, that makes sense. Still it sets a precedent for using non-standard rules to fit the setting of an official campaign.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Still it sets a precedent for using non-standard rules to fit the setting of an official campaign.

Aren't the non-lethal weapons rules for Agents of Edgewatch a similar change?


Out of curiosity, is the "layered spellcasting" mentioned in the blog post going to be the Free Archetype optional rule from the Gamemastery Guide?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would love to run or play this. :sigh: Oh well.


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

"Start as students, end up as teachers" as part of a narrative arc reads more like "Graduate students" than "high schoolers" anyway.

Presumably Golarion has a better system for advancement for Academics than the "eternal post-doc treadmill" I pray you are not intimately familiar with.

On the other hand most post-docs I know don't have to go out and slay actual monsters as they try to get tenure.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I am so happy to see this happening. This is my dream come true in AP form.

Liberty's Edge

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

"Start as students, end up as teachers" as part of a narrative arc reads more like "Graduate students" than "high schoolers" anyway.

Presumably Golarion has a better system for advancement for Academics than the "eternal post-doc treadmill" I pray you are not intimately familiar with.

On the other hand most post-docs I know don't have to go out and slay actual monsters as they try to get tenure.

Given the choice between monsters and a tenure review committee, I'll take the monsters.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Alright, 3 Houses PF2 edition! Going to have to play this one.


12 people marked this as a favorite.

A Mwangi AP focused on native peoples written by a diverse team AND Luis Loza is giving Mzali the attention it deserves AND we go to space? And you can play a gnoll in it?

Maybe tradgames aren’t so bad after all.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So in the live stream it was mentioned that there would be options for non-casters to have some casting they can take. Which really sounded like John Smedley and Star Wars Galaxies when he said that if you didn't want to be a Jedi you could always just be force sensitive - AKA a Jedi. This was horribly unsatisfying for those who really didn't want to be a Jedi.

This really made me a sad panda when I heard it. So I wanted to come talk about Legend of the Five Rings and the Yojimbo. Specifically the Yojimbo of the Phoenix Clan who were bodyguards for the Shugenja. They studied in the same schools together but the Yojimbo never learned spells. They learned to protect their Shugenja, to increase the spells cast upon them by their allies and resist those cast by their enemies. Yojimbo were always melee artist, without any casting ability. But they learned at magic schools with the casters.

That is all.

Order of the Amber Die

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I've spent my career teaching, and now could GM my players as they go from students to teachers--to administration--and beyond?

Very, VERY intrigued. :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

This is easily the most excited I've been for an AP in a long, long time. Kudos to the diverse talent as well!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is amazing news. Make July 2021 come faster!


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Totally hype for this!


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

So in the live stream it was mentioned that there would be options for non-casters to have some casting they can take. Which really sounded like John Smedley and Star Wars Galaxies when he said that if you didn't want to be a Jedi you could always just be force sensitive - AKA a Jedi. This was horribly unsatisfying for those who really didn't want to be a Jedi.

This really made me a sad panda when I heard it. So I wanted to come talk about Legend of the Five Rings and the Yojimbo. Specifically the Yojimbo of the Phoenix Clan who were bodyguards for the Shugenja. They studied in the same schools together but the Yojimbo never learned spells. They learned to protect their Shugenja, to increase the spells cast upon them by their allies and resist those cast by their enemies. Yojimbo were always melee artist, without any casting ability. But they learned at magic schools with the casters.

That is all.

I like that idea. It would be cool to have as an option some training on fighting or resisting magic, rather than using it.

Without, I think, the emphasis on the martials as bodyguards.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Neume wrote:

So in the live stream it was mentioned that there would be options for non-casters to have some casting they can take. Which really sounded like John Smedley and Star Wars Galaxies when he said that if you didn't want to be a Jedi you could always just be force sensitive - AKA a Jedi. This was horribly unsatisfying for those who really didn't want to be a Jedi.

This really made me a sad panda when I heard it. So I wanted to come talk about Legend of the Five Rings and the Yojimbo. Specifically the Yojimbo of the Phoenix Clan who were bodyguards for the Shugenja. They studied in the same schools together but the Yojimbo never learned spells. They learned to protect their Shugenja, to increase the spells cast upon them by their allies and resist those cast by their enemies. Yojimbo were always melee artist, without any casting ability. But they learned at magic schools with the casters.

That is all.

I get what you mean but this is a preexisting magic school in the setting with a curriculum that's already been spelled out in setting material. I doubt it would have been satisfactory to retcon the nature of Magaambyan teaching to be inclusive to martials.

Even as someone who almost always plays martials, I think it's okay to have an AP where some classes aren't appropriate for the setting (Paladins weren't appropriate for Hell's Vengeance, for example). I'm just waiting for the Mana Wastes AP that bans casters now. :)

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Arachnofiend wrote:


I get what you mean but this is a preexisting magic school in the setting with a curriculum that's already been spelled out in setting material. I doubt it would have been satisfactory to retcon the nature of Magaambyan teaching to be inclusive to martials.

There may well be nuances of the setting I'm missing but we already have the Magic Warriors who only have access to focus spells.

I could see martials with focus spells fitting the kinds of characters a magic school would teach


I'd count focus spell martials as real casters for this purpose too. I guess we'll see how Paizo feels about it; the free archetype rules aren't only going to apply to martials obviously (that would be silly) so a Ranger that starts with Gravity Weapon would likely get the option to pick a non-casting archetype, same as the Wizard.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Neume wrote:

So in the live stream it was mentioned that there would be options for non-casters to have some casting they can take. Which really sounded like John Smedley and Star Wars Galaxies when he said that if you didn't want to be a Jedi you could always just be force sensitive - AKA a Jedi. This was horribly unsatisfying for those who really didn't want to be a Jedi.

This really made me a sad panda when I heard it. So I wanted to come talk about Legend of the Five Rings and the Yojimbo. Specifically the Yojimbo of the Phoenix Clan who were bodyguards for the Shugenja. They studied in the same schools together but the Yojimbo never learned spells. They learned to protect their Shugenja, to increase the spells cast upon them by their allies and resist those cast by their enemies. Yojimbo were always melee artist, without any casting ability. But they learned at magic schools with the casters.

That is all.

I get what you mean but this is a preexisting magic school in the setting with a curriculum that's already been spelled out in setting material. I doubt it would have been satisfactory to retcon the nature of Magaambyan teaching to be inclusive to martials.

Even as someone who almost always plays martials, I think it's okay to have an AP where some classes aren't appropriate for the setting (Paladins weren't appropriate for Hell's Vengeance, for example). I'm just waiting for the Mana Wastes AP that bans casters now. :)

I'm not sure how much detail the curriculum has been spelled out in, but an idea like that doesn't see that much of a retcon. Especially if we're already including "mostly martials with only a little bit of casting". Fluff it as teaching them to use their innate magic to resist or enhance other magic or something.

Sovereign Court

This sounds great and I'll be looking forward to play in it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I absolutely love how the major books being released at the beginning of the year are seemingly tied together. Secrets of Magic and LO: Mwangi Expanse will offer magic and lore that can be used in this AP. And that, is simply amazing. Seems to me that this may be a sort of theme we may see in the future. At least, if LO: City of Lost Omens and the Agents of Edgewatch AP are anything to go by. And, if so, i really dig it. I hope this kind of interconnected books continue.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice I will have to get this AP.


I have some doubts about this part

Quote:
Strength of Thousands is open to characters of all kinds, but it’s a magic school, so some spellcasting ability is necessary. If you like playing fighters or monks or other non-spellcasting classes, don’t worry! We’re layering on additional spellcasting ability to all characters in this Adventure Path, so if you can’t normally cast spells, you get a little bit of spellcasting. If you are a spellcaster already, you get a little more. This makes the characters slightly more powerful than normal, but lets them feel like students in the world’s premiere magic school.

does it mean that players could be an exception or that even in that school there might be some combatants "gifted" with some magical power?

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