It’s a big month for Paizo LIVE, our near-monthly, 2-hour live Twitch show featuring the Paizo staff and occasional guests talking about upcoming Pathfinder and Starfinder releases. This is the last episode before PaizoCon at the end of May, so we will preview Pathfinder Book of the Dead, Pathfinder Adventure Path #178: Punks in a Powderkeg (Outlaws of Alkenstar 1 of 3), Pathfinder Lost Omens: Knights of Lastwall, Starfinder Drift Crisis, Paizo Organized Play, upcoming conventions, and our new partnership with Foundry Virtual Tabletop. Please join us for Episode 011 from 4 to 6 p.m. Pacific on Friday, April 22, 2022.
Let’s prepare with some excerpts and preview images.
Excerpt from Pathfinder Lost Omens: Knights of Lastwall
Jessica Catalan, Ron Lundeen, and Isabelle Thorne
Banana Chan, Ryan Costello, Katina Davis, Alastor Guzman, Ianara Natividad, Erin Roberts, and Ashton Sperry
Internal preview art from the Introduction of Pathfinder Lost Omens: Knights of Lastwall by Will O’Brien.
Running a Knights of Lastwall Campaign
Campaigns that centrally feature the Knights of Lastwall can take many forms. The most obvious is a clash with the Whispering Way—necromancers who believe undeath is the apex of existence, from whose ranks the Whispering Tyrant arose—or other undead powers, from local malefactors to vampire barons or mummy pharaohs. This could be a glorious crusade or a desperate guerrilla war.
While the knights are a focused group with a specific goal, this doesn’t mean they’re suited only for campaigns involving undead powers. The order’s mission is to promote good, stop evil, and gather allies, and this is conducive to many urban-focused games. Knights in a city might navigate the web of local politics to stop a tyrant’s rise or a secret cult, all while recruiting squires and securing noble support for the cause.
Knights can appear in other campaigns as well. Many knight recruiters travel alone or with a retainer and might join other heroes to aid in their noble goals. Likewise, the organization and its members are far-ranging enough they might offer aid where player characters are members of an allied or sympathetic organization, like the Pathfinder Society, the Magaambya, or simply good folk doing good deeds.
The Knights of Lastwall are a friendly and accepting lot, but players might face them as foes. Particularly chaos-prone or destructive Firebrands, Gorumites, or Calistrians—or, conversely, particularly stringent or oppressive Hellknights or Abadarans— might come into conflict with the knights until they repent their ways and repair their harms. If the player characters are outright villains, the knights will be even more intent on stopping them. Woe betides a party of Whispering Way adherents should the knights catch them
For more Lastwall excerpts, read the Free Samples blog.
Excerpt from Starfinder Drift Crisis
Kate Baker, Rigby Bendele, Jessica Catalan, John Compton, John Curtin, Alison Cybe, Leo Glass, John Godek, Sen H.H.S., Joan Hong, Jenny Jarzabski, Jason Keeley, Joshua Kim, Mike Kimmel, Ron Lundeen, Dennis Muldoon, Emily Parks, Samantha Phelan, Mikhail Rekun, James Rodehaver, Solomon St. John, Paul Scofield, Shay Snow, Kendra Leigh Speedling, Jason Tondro, and Andrew White
Internal preview art of a Drift Beacon from Starfinder Drift Crisis by Alexander Gorbunov.
Over 300 years ago, the machine god Triune revealed itself to the galaxy and granted all who would listen a priceless gift: faster-than-light technology using the hyperspace realm now known as the Drift. Within decades, Drift travel had opened the galaxy to exploration, trade, and conquest on a previously unfathomable scale. Empires span multiple star systems. Companies ship essential products to countless worlds. Explorers cast off into the unknown to meet unfamiliar species and uncover wonders. Vacationers eagerly embark to reach distant attractions. And overall the galaxy has achieved prosperity and possibility, all thanks to the Drift.
So, what if, for reasons few could predict, the Drift just... broke?
In that instant, starships traveling the Drift are hurled about, landing in random and often perilous destinations (even on different planes altogether). Drift travel becomes more difficult, with each voyage taking longer, encountering frequent dangers, and sometimes failing altogether. Even long-range communication, which relied on the Drift to span the galaxy, fails, leaving worlds isolated in ways they haven’t experienced in centuries. Governments, civilians, scientists, and faiths all clamor for answers, yet Triune seems mysteriously absent.
Welcome to the Drift Crisis, a galaxy-wide calamity instigated when the Drift experiences a catastrophic failure. Unlike most Starfinder adventures published to date, Drift Crisis isn’t a single story told through a single group of heroes; it’s an event that spans countless worlds as the galaxy scrambles to make sense of the crisis, restore order, and repair the damage to an essential plane. Simultaneously, it’s a time of chaos as opportunists prey upon vulnerable neighbors, oppressed worlds overthrow their compromised tyrants, and zealots preach the downfall of technology to frightened masses.
Indeed, Drift Crisis isn’t a single story—it’s a framework for telling innumerable stories. In this book, you’ll find 20 exciting adventure seeds that explore different angles of the Drift Crisis, letting player characters aid victims, rebuild damaged worlds, take down once-untouchable villains, travel to exciting realms, and even reshape the galaxy. And this book isn’t alone. Drift Crisis forms the core of a larger narrative event presented by Paizo, including Adventure Paths, Starfinder Adventures, and Starfinder One-Shots that all present different angles of the Drift Crisis. Enjoy these on their own or use them to springboard your own Drift Crisis campaign!
Excerpt from Pathfinder Book of the Dead
Jason Bulmahn and Jessica Catalan
Brian Bauman, Tineke Bolleman, Logan Bonner, John Compton, Chris Eng, Logan Harper, Michelle Jones, Jason Keeley, Luis Loza, Ron Lundeen, Liane Merciel, Patchen Mortimer, Quinn Murphy, Jessica Redekop, Mikhail Rekun, Solomon St. John, Michael Sayre, Mark Seifter, Sen H.H.S., Kendra Leigh Speedling, Jason Tondro, and Andrew White
Internal preview art of the rare scion of slayers background from Pathfinder Book of the Dead by Roberto Pitturru
BOOK OF THE DEAD IN YOUR GAME
You can incorporate Book of the Dead into a campaign to give it a strong undead theme, using the options from Chapter 1 for a group that wants to slay undead or those from Chapter 2 to play undead, get undead animal companions, or otherwise access the tools of undeath for players. Many of these options aren’t suitable for all games, making them uncommon or rare accordingly.
The creatures in Chapter 3 can be adversaries in all kinds of games. Many of them have additional options for expansion or adjustments to make them more versatile, and you’ll also find undead adjustments to quickly make zombie ogres, vampiric monkeys, ghost hobgoblins, or any other kinds of undead creatures you might need for your game!
The sections of world lore in this book can be interesting whether you’re a player, Game Master, or reader. Chapter 4 contains the highest concentration of lore, but there’s some in other chapters, including details from Geb’s notes on some iconic undead creatures in Chapter 3.
Internal preview art of the March of the Dead adventure from Pathfinder Book of the Dead by Kiki Moch Rizky
THE MARCH OF THE DEAD
The final chapter of this book is a short adventure titled “March of the Dead.” This grim adventure takes place in a small town where an undead uprising presents a real threat. Face the zombie horde if you dare!
Excerpts from the Pathfinder Adventure Path #178: Punks in a Powderkeg (Outlaws of Alkenstar 1 of 3)
Adventure by Vanessa Hoskins
Barrel & Bullet Saloon by Stephanie Lundeen
Internal preview art of the Barrel & Bullet Saloon from Pathfinder Adventure Path #178: Punks in a Powderkeg (Outlaws of Alkenstar 1 of 3) by Tuan Duong Chu
Barrel & Bullet Saloon
Down a minor side street in the grimy, smog-clogged Ferrous Quarter of Alkenstar lies a squat, nondescript, two-story building whose weathered sign reads “The Barrel & Bullet Saloon. Drinks—Meals—Fireproof Rooms.” Its dingy white plaster and off-center porch encourage the refined guest to look elsewhere. Indeed, the cosmopolitan traveler who does venture inside is likely to be greeted with derogatory comments from a goggle-clad goblin inventor or by rude stares from a hard-drinking patron long since mutated by the wild magic of the Mana Wastes. To mitigate this reception the dwarven gunslinger behind the bar, Foebe Dunsmith, is always ready to share a welcoming word and drink on the house. Even so, this is the kind of bar where an introduction—or a good deal of diplomatic hard work—is necessary to navigate the dwarven desperados, goblin grenadiers, irascible inventors, and hard-drinking hoodlums who make up the unruly crowd of regulars. Jumping into a high-stakes game of bootbeer (an unexplainably popular guessing game in which players try to hide as much beer on their person as possible) or wagering on a hand of cards can win friends, but it can just as easily make enemies. And no night at the Barrel & Bullet seems complete without at least one knock-down, drag-out barfight!
OUTLAWS OF ALKENSTAR PLAYER’S GUIDE
Before running this Adventure Path, provide your players with copies of the Outlaws of Alkenstar Player’s Guide, a free download from www.paizo.com. This spoiler free supplement includes details to get your players up to speed on the goings-on in Alkenstar, plus suggestions for creating characters with abilities that complement the challenges they’ll face throughout the campaign.
Have questions about upcoming products? Ask them here or save them for the Twitch chat! We’ll see you on Friday, April 22, for Paizo LIVE at twitch.tv/officialpaizo!You can catch all the past episodes on YouTube!
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On the Next Paizo LIVE: Slayers and more!
Friday, April 15, 2022