Meet the Authors: Year of Shattered Sanctuaries

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Hello again! As we mentioned in our Starfinder Society edition of this blog, we wanted to give our wonderful digital adventure authors a chance to brag about the awesome scenarios they wrote during the Year of Shattered Sanctuaries. We hope you enjoy hearing from them and that you’re looking forward to our new metaplot, the Year of Boundless Wonder!

Alex Speidel
Organized Play Coordinator




Kim Frandsen (he/him)
Pathfinder Bounty #12: Somewhere Below

The inspiration came from the prompt provided by Mike Kimmel who was the Organized Play Developer back then. Along with a few too many ghost stories that I’d been reading at the time, and Indiana Jones (for the NPC), Somewhere Below was born.

Favorite Part: it has to be the haunt at the end. Ghosts reaching out from beyond the veil to drag you across will always be a great visual, and it’s not often you get to combine that with a bunch of crawling claws or deal negative damage at 1st level. A particular challenge for the adventure though was to make one of the other encounters variable so the adventure could be run multiple times.

Plugs: I’m currently working on a Starship heist adventure for Starfinder, that I hope to put out on Starfinder Infinite in the not-too-distant future. It’ll work as both a 0-level adventure and a hook or lead-in to both Dead Suns and Drift Crashers. The heroes perform an “Ocean’s 11” style theft of a starship on behalf of a crime boss that they know. They get to keep the ship afterward instead of rolling it up during character creation—and it comes with something special.

If you’re ever interested in what I’m up to, regardless of whether that’s for Pathfinder, Starfinder, or something else, I have a small publishing outfit over at https://www.beyond-the-horizon-games.com/


Letterio Mammoliti (he/him)
PFS 3-08: Foundation’s Price

Hello, hello!
My name is Letterio Mammoliti (he/him) and I wrote Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-08: Foundation's Price for the Year of Shattered Sanctuaries. For my inspiration, I like to dive deep into the lore of a region, time period, or monster to get ideas and connect things together, so when they appear together in the story, the connections feel natural. Besides that, I tend to dust off anything and everything that even tangentially relates to the focus of the adventure, like old books or music that could help me capture its feel. My favorite part of Foundation’s Price is without a doubt the marketplace section. In my home games (as a forever DM) I love giving players a chance to interact with the world and get to know the people in it, so writing this section and coming up with different ideas was a lot of fun.

My twitter is @Letterio_DM, where I should probably be more active. I have worked on Starfinder Society Scenario #5-09: Counterfeit History and I am working on something yet to be announced (I wish I could say more about it!).

Working on these projects was fantastic, especially considering the incredible work from the other writers, the artists that made the characters come to life, and the amazing editors at Paizo.

Thank you Paizo for these wonderful opportunities!



A pile of rubble with several ghostly hands reaching out of it. I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about here
A pile of rubble with several ghostly hands reaching out of it. I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about here.

Lysle Kapp (he/him)
PFS #3-09: The Secluded Siege

Hello all! My author contribution to the Year of Shattered Sanctuaries was Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-09: The Secluded Siege. When I first received the project outline for The Secluded Siege, I was thrilled to learn I had been assigned to “shatter” the Sandswept Hall, a Pathfinder Lodge with a long, less than wholesome, history. Researching a wealth of past adventures, I poured as much of them into The Secluded Siege as word count would allow. Within its pages, veteran Pathfinders must not only overcome hordes of undead, but also face deadly defenses, gnawing rumors, and perilous locations drawn from the Lodge’s storied past, each of which dates all the way back to Season 0 of Pathfinder Society Organized Play, before the first edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game had even seen print!

After turning in my draft of The Secluded Siege, I soon became thrilled once again. I received a new project outline where I had been assigned to “shatter” another notable sanctuary, one with a long, less than wholesome, history. You will have to pour into the pages of last month’s Starfinder Society #5-05: Boom-Block Gambit to find out what threats from the past veteran Starfinder agents must face within the Adamantine Bastille. I had so much fun researching the Adamantine Bastille that the prison setting became the subject of my very first offering for Starfinder Infinite!


Jacob W. Michaels (he/him)
PFS #3-14: The Tomb Between Worlds

Greetings Pathfinder Society agents, I’m Jacob W. Michaels (he/him), the author of Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-14: The Tomb Between Worlds. Knowing I was going to be working in an undead-filled pyramid and playing with the Shadow Plane, I wanted to try to make as sandbox-y a dungeon as possible, with lots of opportunities for PCs to jump back and forth between planes, because who doesn’t love a little plane hopping, especially at lower levels? The Shadow Plane has so many great options, and adding a velstrac felt like a perfect, unexpected challenge amid all the undead. The fact that he just wants to be friends (or does he just maybe have an ulterior motive?) made him even more delicious, and I hope I gave players some moral quandaries to figure out (and fun for the GM to roleplay). I was also thrilled to include the cu sith–which I created in my first second edition assignment (for Pathfinder Adventure Path #153: Life’s Long Shadows), but which I don’t think had been part of any Paizo encounter until now. (Lastly, I recognize the final fight’s been polarizing. I’m sorry for those whose characters died, since I know how frustrating that is, and appreciate those who really enjoyed being pushed to the limits before triumphing in the end.)



A crystal dragon, be not afraid!
A crystal dragon, be not afraid!

Kate Baker (she/her)
SFS Intro 2: For the Factions; PFS 3-15: Cavern of the Sundered Song

Hi all! I’m Kate Baker (she/her), and I was delighted to write both Starfinder Society Intro #2: For the Factions and Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-15: Cavern of the Sundered Song. These represent the extreme ends of the level range for Society products, with For the Factions serving as an introductory scenario for first and second level PCs and Cavern of the Sundered Song releasing as the first 9-12 scenario for Pathfinder Society! Both were lots of fun to write, in very different ways. With Intro 2, I wanted to make sure that even a brand-new group of players would be successful, while I knew only very experienced players would take on Cavern of the Sundered Song and they would expect a challenge! My favorite part of For the Factions is the interview and getting to hear the neat backstories and talents of all the PCs. My favorite part of Cavern of the Sundered Song is the NPC who shows off his crystal collection (strike a pose!).


Brent Bowser
PFS 3-16: Escape from Oppara

I love Taldor, so when I got the chance to write Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-16: Escape From Oppara, I immediately dove back into the deep history of the country. Reading that the First through Eighth Armies were recognized for their conquests, I had a pretty solid idea of who The Ninth Army was. Writing them was cathartic. Narratively, I enjoyed writing the spy games between Lady Gloriana and The Peddler and exploring Taldor in the aftermath of War for the Crown. Mechanically, it’s very important to me that I wrote a scenario where everyone who gets dispatched into the completely random, unorthodox, and oftentimes illogical party composition for a Pathfinder Society mission had a chance to contribute to the skill tests. I also wanted to push some boundaries of monster design, so I hope everyone enjoyed the final encounter.


Matt Morris
PFS #3-18: Dacilane Academy’s Delightful Disaster

I’m Matt Morris (he/him), and I’ve been lucky enough to do freelance writing for Pathfinder and Starfinder for several years now, working with Paizo and a few 3rd-party companies, including Everybody Games and Rogue Genius Games.

Getting to write my first scenario for Pathfinder Society was a real treat—particularly since I was able to draw on years of teaching experience as inspiration for the events of Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-18: Dacilane Academy’s Delightful Disaster. While none of my field trips have gone quite this awry, it was fun to imagine how students would react to a truly strange enrichment trip. Luckily, I knew Pathfinders would be the perfect chaperones for the Academy’s pupils, whose quirks and personality traits were influenced by some of my most memorable students.

I keep an up-to-date list of my work on my Paizo profile, and I’m always looking for interesting projects, so feel free to contact me if you are looking for a reliable writer!

When not writing, I’m teaching high school English near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



A grandmother from the shadow plane offering you some very normal cookies
A grandmother from the shadow plane offering you some very normal cookies

Amber Stewart (she/her)
PFS 3-19: Mean Streets of Shadow Absalom

Hi! My name is Amber Stewart (she/her) and I wrote Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-19: Mean Streets of Shadow Absalom. This was a real treat for me since it marks my first opportunity to expand upon Shadow Absalom since I created it way back in Pathfinder Chronicles: The Great Beyond—A Guide to the Multiverse. In my scenario, I got to touch upon and use people and places from my original work way back when and also use new content by other awesome folks that have since expanded and developed Absalom’s dark mirror in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Realms, Planar Adventures, and elsewhere. My favorite things in the adventure I think have to be various in-game city scenes and vignettes to set the stage for the planar city’s tone and atmosphere. I also so very much enjoyed the NPCs I created for the PCs to encounter and banter with for information, chief among them the d’ziriak lightweaver K’kaviim, the fetchling lich Viriseth and his mortal fetchling apprentice Rensivir, and most of all the night hag Gremala the Dream-Monger. For the moment I don’t have any further announced projects, but I’m working on a few things of my own and getting to run my first home campaign in a few years (set on Golarion but with a ton of planar content, as is absolutely on-brand for me).


Rigby Bendele (they/them)
SFS #4-04: Mission Not Found;
PFS #3-98: Expedition into Pallid Peril;
PFS #3-11: No Time for Treason

You all may know me from my recently released masterpiece, the interactive special Pathfinder Society Special #3-98: Expedition into Pallid Peril. Or perhaps you know me from my other masterpiece works:

Adventures are where I shine. Part of my background is in poetry and fiction-writing, and adventures are the closest to those forms out of all tabletop game design. I truly love to dig into the emotional world of villains, consider the full context of the players, PCs, and NPCs, and find ways to delight those at the table. You almost assuredly haven’t seen the last of me—though I will admit, since adventure design is such a solitary act, I’m not sure how many people are actually playing the adventures I’ve written. If you’ve played one of mine, could you mention it in the comments below?

If you want to hear more from me, you can find me on Twitter @rigbeesknees or follow my queer speculative lit newsletter Transgenre Books.


More Paizo Blog.
1/5 **

Huzzah!
Thank you to all our fabulous freelancer for providing such wonderful adventures.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Those cookies were delicious

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 *** Contributor

Thank you all for being fabulous!

Hmm

1/5 ** Venture-Agent, Online—PbP

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I loved getting to write a scenario this season, but I also had some great times playing most of the scenarios mentioned above. Thanks to all of you fantastic authors for some memorable and awesome table experiences this past season. I am really looking forward to seeing the recurring NPCs that you created and the story threads that you’ve woven appear in the new season that has just begun.

It was great working with Mike Kimmel. He will be missed, but I recently got the chance to play the introduction to the Year of Boundless Wonder, so his presence is still very much felt this season.

I wanted to include a favorite "Mike Moment" in my write-up above, but wasn't sure how to do that without also including spoilers. Before submitting my turnover for PFS #3-09: The Secluded Siege, the final encounter went through a number of different variations and playtests where I tried various mechanics to make it challenging, but not too overwhelming for a gamemaster to run. After sharing several of my thoughts and alternative ideas with Mike, he noted the following regarding that final encounter:

Spoiler:
"It’s pretty neat that we get paid to talk about the mechanics and logistics of humongous zombies throwing other zombies at people."
- Mike Kimmel

I couldn’t agree more, Mike! Looking forward to your next addition to the Society and hope to have an opportunity to discuss more “mechanics and logistics” in the future!

As for this new season of Society play... Bring on the Wonder!

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