Erik Mona

Erik Mona's page

Chief Creative Officer, Publisher. Organized Play Member. 6,894 posts. 3 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 Organized Play character.


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Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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We're working in merch. Had to write the welcome letter to publishers and set up the Discord server first, but will be getting to that agenda item soon!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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We announce new products roughly 10 months in advance of when they come out, with new ones rolling out every month. The best solution is to watch product solicitations as they come out, and take a look at the prices. We're not raising prices on everything, but I wouldn't be surprised to see huge books like that come with a higher asking price next time around.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Yep. Books have become more expensive to produce, and analysis suggested we've been undercharging for our products. This price change is reflective of that.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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The Absalom book has a short section on sports on page 44. The game of ruk, from Katapesh, is a team sport involving knocking a sand-filled ball through a series of rings. Deskata is a sort of urban parkour race increasingly popular in the Puddles.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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CorvusMask wrote:

If somebody is still answering questions, here is another detail I'm confused by:

Absalom books keeps making references to Sarnia Blakros' taking over Onyx Alliance having happened in 4712 and that being public... But she was introduced in Daughter's Due (2019) right, so is this error or retcon or what?

This is a result of a continuity error in PFS scenarios, wherein an identical character was introduced years apart, with different names. The original events are (if memory serves) from the interactive special event "Grand Convocation 4712," where she appeared under a different name we have since retconned to match Sarnia. Her original name was Kamarina Blakros.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Phaye wrote:

Question about the Lady Michellia entry. Is this meaning to imply she is a triplet?

Quote:
After her older twin sister, Imrizade, fled Absalom before the twenty-first birthday that would have seen her handed over to the Onyx Alliance Michellia was substituted as the family’s generational sacrifice, beating her twin Eleanir as the eldest by a matter of minutes.

So the three would be:

Imrizade - ran away eldest
Michellia - middle
Eleanir - youngest triplet?

Am I just reading this wrong?

Imrizade is simply the twins' oldest sister. They are not triplets. When Imrizade fled from Absalom, she left Michellia holding the bag.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Andru C Watkins wrote:
Are minotaurs native to the Isle of Kortos?

In that they have inhabited the island since the era of the First Siege, yes. They were brought to the island from Casmaron by the warlord Voradni Voon in the early decades of Absalom's history, and have inhabited portions of the island ever since.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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keftiu wrote:
Leafing through a friend’s copy after reading that lovely fiction piece from the blog, and I’m a little disappointed to see that both Jalmeri characters in the book are unrelated martial artists. I hope we can see a little more variety in the future.

Fair! One of those NPCs was added very late in the game as a new watch captain, which accounts for at least a bit of parallel development there. Without him, there'd be only one Jalmeri character, though, so I'm not sure that's much better! There are lots of Vudran characters you could pretty easily modify to have Jalmeri connections, however, so with a bit of elbow grease not all is lost. ;)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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The map is the size it was always going to be. There is a Map Folio product coming next month with a map that is four times as large.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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It’s mostly lore. There is an Azarketi ancestry, some associated stat blocks, some rules for drugs popular in the city, and a feat associated with a magic school.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Yep, we caught that (too late, alas!), and the PDF should be updated with the correct info. Sorry!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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I call it Absalom, city of Lost Omens, and the cover goes with that because we didn’t want to repeat Lost Omens there. It is, none the less, in the Lost Omens line, so it gets catalogued that way on the website. Call it what you want. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

keftiu wrote:
Seems strange to make this so long after the original release. Are the contents the same?

Contents will be in line with the most recent print edition. I’m almost all cases (at least for now) that’s still the first, but it’s conceivable that we will have a reprint with changes before we get to the Special Edition. In that case we will go with the most recent standard edition printing.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Ellias Aubec wrote:
Very nice. Are we going to see the entire Lost Omens line be deluxified now? I'd prefer deluxe versions, but if it is going to be sporadic it will look weird.

Yes, we intend to do all of them monthly starting in July until we catch up, and then plan to release them day and date from that point forward if they sell well enough.

People have been asking for these from the start, and since we are so proud of the Lost Omens line and it is doing so well, we figured let’s give it a shot!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Faux leather covers with a metallic ink process to make it shiny and a bound-in ribbon for marking your place. Limited edition, about $20 more than the regular price on account of premium materials. Game content is exactly the same.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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We don't currently have plans to produce Pocket Editions of the Lost Omens books.

We DO plan to release Special Editions of the Lost Omens books, however, so never say never. ;)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Kobold Catgirl wrote:

I think that's taking the posts to an extreme that neither of them really go to. I doubt Erik Mona is saying "we're going to rewrite and reprint Ironfang Invasion". More, "In the future, we're going to decenter slavery as a story device, and we're going to deemphasize it when explaining the lore of the world."

It's this.

The mistake I made with the Absalom book is in dwelling too much on a very sensitive topic. Yes, the PFS plotline helped by removing legal slavery from the city, but I should have just let well enough alone, mentioning that it had happened in the timeline and then moving on to any of a countless number of other evils.

Instead I wanted to flesh out the context more, and make the change a more holistic part of the setting while still giving a few illegal baddies for people to kill.

The thing is, with this topic, that's too much. People just hate it in the setting period. We really should not have put it in there in the first place. Trying to deal with "phasing it out" within the context of the story adds fuel to the fire and makes people even more uncomfortable.

It's not worth it.

So while I suspect the word may come up a time or two in the future, we're just not going to be covering it going forward. A few in-production items might reference it still, but it's no longer going to be a notable part of the Golarion campaign setting.

If you want to write a big adventure where people burn Okeno to the ground to have it all make sense within the fiction of the campaign world, you are free to do so.

But we are not going to.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Chemlak wrote:
Got email about poster map being added - it only seems to have been added to the File per Chapter download (or at least, I've re-downloaded the single file version 4 times and I don't get the 8-panel map in the zip file or the pdf). I would also ask someone to check the resolution of the map download, which looks amazing zoomed out or at 100% zoom, but that's probably the best resolution to view it at, which makes it less useful for looking at small areas (such as individual districts, let alone individual blocks).

We're looking into this and will likely update the file next week when we get back to the office (metaphorically speaking...).

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Kevin Mack wrote:


I was under the impresion the reopening of the world wound was due to outside factors

One of the most important factors is that Aroden's magic was failing.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Erik Mona wrote:
Gamerskum wrote:

Wasnt Zarta Dralneen a Wizard in 1e?

Not according to the Pathfinder World Guide.

Erp, I meant "Pathfinder Society Field Guide."

Long day, yesterday. ;)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Gamerskum wrote:

Wasnt Zarta Dralneen a Wizard in 1e?

Not according to the Pathfinder World Guide.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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CorvusMask wrote:

Was there aspect of them that I'm forgetting that would make it self evident what was dumb about them? :'D

(I'm seriously, I hear multiple people ask about them but I've never really learned what was the dumb part or really what they were about besides siege food. )

I'm going off memory and on my way to a meeting, operating on my increasingly failing memory rather than notes, but I think the aspect of "kill someone and take their Cornucopia and now you're on the High Council as a city leader" was probably not overwhelmingly popular among the folks involved in this decision.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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CorvusMask wrote:


This is good reason to ask why xD So yeah why do you think infinite food relic was dumb? Like is it because it would have far reaching consequences outside its intended purpose like "why would we ever trade or farm food" or such?

I strongly suspect that everyone has a different answer to this question. For me, a big part of it is that Aroden is dead, and most of the lingering magics fueled by his divine energy should be either dormant or fizzling out by now (I mean, this is what happened to re-open the Worldwound, for example).

So when you add to that the fact that the idea always struck me as kind of corny for economic and "maybe too high magic" reasons, it was a pretty easy thing for me to agree with when the PFS team decided they wanted to move away from it.

Although obviously important to the city's history, the items also had a relatively brief write-up in the original books and never really played into anything else we had done with the city, so we decided to move on from it.

Other developers likely have other answers to this question, but that's mine.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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The Gold Sovereign wrote:


You know, we can identify the Whispering Tyrant easily, but there were only two illustrations of Ged so far, and none are even close in appearance to this one. I only found out it was him when someone else confirmed it.

We've updated Geb's look a bit for this one.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Pretty sure it was in one of the final 1e PFS convention interactive specials. It wasn't the focus of the plotline, just a part of it.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Naurgul wrote:

Is there a reason the cornucopia stuff from 1e Guide to Absalom was removed?

Yes. We all thought it was dumb, and it got wrapped up in a PFS plot line a couple years ago.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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There are a ton of super exciting plans for the future. The Drift Crisis will set into motion events that we are charting out over several years.

There will be much more to come!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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CorvusMask wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Why does the book describe CG pirate Torius Vin from pathfinder tales books as CE ruthless privateer? ^_^;

That's an excellent question. Honestly I think I just messed that one up and the name slipped past me. :/

Vile, vile propaganda, perhaps? :I

Evil impostor? ;D Another one of his disguises and personas?

Still though I guess this means he was originally mentioned in the 3.5 campaign setting book, I didn't know that xD

Actually I think what happened is that we had a sidebar with ships known to frequent the harbor, a few of whom had named captains. In the course of expanding that material, we added backstories to the named captains, and I brainfarted and didn’t make the connection to the Pathfinder Tales character, because I am dumb.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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CorvusMask wrote:
Why does the book describe CG pirate Torius Vin from pathfinder tales books as CE ruthless privateer? ^_^;

That's an excellent question. Honestly I think I just messed that one up and the name slipped past me. :/

Vile, vile propaganda, perhaps? :I

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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I count about 8.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Rysky wrote:
Thankies Erik. The backmatter of Devil of the Dreaming Palace had retconned the status of the Precipe District, changing it from a monster infested wasteland that no one lived in, voluntarily or not, into a refuge for the poor and homeless that had been forced out because of the renovations, so that’s what I was concerned with.

Just looked over the chapter again. There's really none of this in there. I'd have to assume that the Precipice has more than its fair share of squatters, but the Absalom book itself doesn't really touch on that aspect much, if at all.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Mine too!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Rysky wrote:
Not a heartening answer, but I thank you for the answer all the same, Aaron. Much appreciated.

I'm not sure what answer you were looking for, but the focus of the Precipice Quarter section is much more on hauntings and monsters and adventure locations than it is focused on poor squatters. I don't think there's anything about pushing out poor people one way or the other. I could be wrong and it appears in a line or two, but it is definitely not the focus of the book or the section.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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KaiBlob1 wrote:
are the effects of agents of edgewatch/the radiant festival discussed in the precipice quarter chapter or elsewhere in the book?

There are a couple of sidebars with references to the campaign. The book is written with the assumption that this campaign has not happened yet, so while there are references to the city forming the Edgewatch to help prepare for the festival and some information about the festival itself, most of that is left to the AP.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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CorvusMask wrote:
So any mentions of minotaurs in general or that one mad scientist troll?

Nuar Spiritskin gets a write up, the history section contextualizes minotaurs within the Starstone Isle a bit better (First Siege warlord Voradni Voon is identified as a minotaur, for example), and there are small bits about some minotaur stuff going on in the wilderness.

The mad scientist troll, Dr. Bensi Skule, is a major character in the city underworld and gets a pretty extensive write-up.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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CorvusMask wrote:

While waiting for the book, question for my character's backstory: is

The Brine prison still a hellhole prison in 2e?

Yes. Very much so. There's a fair amount of information about the Chelish house (Tevineg) that runs the place, as well.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

I don't know what is happening with this project, but here's my guess.

Erik Mona is not just a creative. He's also publisher at a time when Paizo has had a couple of horrendous months. Sometimes when you are under tremendous stress, the well goes dry for a bit. I want to see this book as much as anyone, but I know what it's like to hit a creative wall. And since this is a deeply personal project as Aroden and Absalom are Erik Mona's beloved brain children, this might not be a project where Paizo feels comfortable bringing in another freelancer to finish it.

Sometimes the only thing you can do when you hit a wall is allow a project to rest for a while, and let the creative well refill. We have lots of other wonderful content coming out.

Looking forward to the Absalom book, and to this adventure, when there's time and energy to come back to it.

Hugs,
Hmm

This is pretty accurate. Finishing Absalom took a lot out of me and while there is relatively little left to do for DGH, I haven't had the time or energy to devote to it for the last couple of months.

I will get back to it soon, but for now the adventure is on indefinite hiatus. Apologies to everyone who has been so patiently waiting for it.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Alas, we can't find any evidence of that, either.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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We have investigated the long-running "there are secret royalties involved in the website" rumor, and there is absolutely no truth to it.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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You know what, let's cut Mark some slack here.

In fact, everyone in the thread please cut some slack toward each other.

I have had great times and great conversations with Mark at conventions, and know he cares passionately about Pathfinder and Pathfinder Society. His feelings about this stuff are his to process, and I respect that. If emotions run high, it's because he genuinely cares deeply about Pathfinder.

He's not trying to make himself feel important. He is concerned because Pathfinder is important to him.

That's the one thing all of you share. Please keep that in mind, even when disagreeing with each other.

Thanks.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Mark Stratton wrote:


I appreciate this post, Erik, though I didn’t call you a Nazi, nor did any post I saw. But, thanks for the link to your response, which I of course will read.

No, you didn't, but somebody out there sure implied it.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Mark Stratton wrote:


I thought I read it was both an Iron Cross *and* a swastika. But, in either case, if he just ignored their concerns, that doesn’t speak well of him.

I am not saying that people did not have concerns.

I AM saying that I have ZERO memory of any such concerns ever being raised to me at the time, and last week was the first time I have ever been made aware that the image made anyone uncomfortable.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Mark Stratton wrote:


Someone help me make sense of all of this because I clearly misjudged a LOT of people.

Mark, you have every right to be disappointed in Paizo for this, but I do want to say that this Nazi business has been grossly mischaracterized.

I released a public statement about it on Tuesday that should provide a bit more clarity. You can read it here.

I do not recall ever being told that the poster in my office offended anyone, and (as I said in the statement), I categorically apologize for not anticipating that it may have done so. It has not been on display for years.

There are a pile of problems floating around, some of which are not easily solved. But "Erik has a swastika in his office," something that has never been true (and was not even alleged), is not one of them.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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vagrant-poet wrote:
I had never played or really heard of roleplaying games, when I saw a green devil face in a magazine shop in 2004 when I was 16.

Fun fact. That Green Devil Face sculpture is currently in my closet. ;)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Cade Herrig wrote:
Paizo also announced its new organized play campaign, Pathfinder Society, headed up by veteran Nicholas Logue, who had co-founded the Wizards’ Living Grayhawk organized play campaign during his tenure at that company.

A couple of quick notes and corrections.

It's "Lucasfilm," not "Lucasfilms."

It's "Greyhawk," not "Grayhawk."

When you mention Kyle Hunter as an original employee you are correct, but from what you wrote I inferred that he had been with the company all along, which is not the case. He was the art director for Undefeated, and left the staff during that round of layoffs, only to return last year. If you want an interesting Kyle Hunter fact, he's the guy who designed the Paizo logo.

Also, this line:

"Paizo also announced its new organized play campaign, Pathfinder Society, headed up by veteran Nicholas Logue, who had co-founded the Wizards’ Living Grayhawk organized play campaign during his tenure at that company."

Is not correct. Lisa and I were co-founders of Living Greyhawk. Nick was not involved with that campaign's launch or administration, and I don't know off hand if he ever participated in it at all.

More as I keep reading through this. Overall it is very remarkable!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Lonesomechunk wrote:
Will this cover any of the isle of kortos? I know its called "Absalom, City of Lost Omens" but I wasnt sure if since we just got the Mwangi Expanse region book if this would cover all of the Isles of Kortos

The book is done and in final approvals before going to the printer on Friday, btw. Thanks for your patience as we've polished it up and made it even more awesome. We'll update the release date once we get final word back from the printer, but it's looking like it will release in 2021 for sure, maybe sliding to December just in time for Christmas. More on that specifically soon, but at this point it's out of my hands.

The book WILL discuss a few things about the rest of the Isle of Kortos, with a few paragraphs on Diobel and Escadar specifically (though they're more summaries, and interested parties should check out Towns of the Inner Sea for Diobel and Extinction Curse for Escadar if they want more information).

There's a TON of information to be gleaned from side references and allusions, like who is working for the Kortos Consortium, what happened to the aeon orb outside Willowsedge, more information on the Siege of the Prophets and its tie to High Harbor and the Isle of Erran, etc. There are 410 NPCs, and a good number have some ties to the island outside Absalom, so there should be plenty of gold to pan, even if the isle itself could also use its own big sourcebook somewhere down the road.

I promise this Absalom book is going to keep Wikipedians active for many years to come. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Fun idea, but a big part of the plot involves lots of existing "helper NPCs," so at a certain point the cast list can get a little out of control.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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logic_poet wrote:
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Yakman wrote:

what are the levels for this?

1st - ?

The Dead God’s Hand is a campaign-arc adventure for five 1st-level characters. Throughout the course of play, the player characters should advance to 4th level. Product is not final and subject to change.
Is this really for five characters instead of the usual 4?

That's the way I'm writing it (because that's the way it was in our office campaign), but I suppose that could change in development if someone gets super ornery about it.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

It's not something we've strongly considered. This is in fact the first time I've seen someone ask about it.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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A few updates, long overdue.

The final adventure will probably get you to 6th level.

It's about 9,000 words (of 80,000) from completion, and is still parked behind the Absalom book, which is more or less in its final stages and should go to editing this week or next (meaning my grubby, omnipotent hands are for the most part off it and "the process" carries it through to completion).

The Dead God's Hand will now be a 2022 release. Still planning/hoping Absalom is out by Christmas.

Creatively, the delay has done a world of good for The Dead God's Hand. The adventure is based off the dungeon I used to run at conventions and the Paizo staff "home game" we played at the office about the time the Advanced Player's Guide came out for Pathfinder 1. I converted the adventure from my notes and audio recordings of all those games, and while that generated a lot of cool asides and corner cases, there were some aspects of how the adventure tied into Absalom and the overall "continuing the campaign" threads that I never felt quite connected in my notes (because they never happened at the table, where our play ended at the end of the adventure).

The Dead God's Hand is designed to be a lead-in adventure to a longer campaign, either something we will eventually publish over geologic time or (much more likely) with further adventures of your own design, inspired by some of the plot threads that run through it and stick out the end. In this regards, it is not a wholly self-contained dungeon.

By the time you complete the adventure and have interacted with the NPCs and clues discovered within, you not only (I hope) have a satisfying conclusion to the "story" of the Sanctum of Aroden, but you've also got a huge number of story and motivational ties to things that can be resolved later in the campaign. That runs from potentially campaign-lasting major enemies to minor friends, each with their own connections to Absalom and adventure hooks for further development once you make it back to the surface.

In these regards, the delay has been enormously helpful. It's allowed me to more elegantly tie the NPCs to Absalom (because there is now much more of Absalom available for tie-ins), massage major elements related to at least five critical NPCs, and so on.

It's also nice, as I did just yesterday, to come back to a manuscript that you've had to set aside for a while. It's much better to approach it with fresh eyes, and it's easier to be more objective about what works and what doesn't work.

So, the Dead God's Hand will be a much stronger adventure with a much stronger Absalom book to back it up, so at least there's that.

But yeah, 2022. Bummer. Sorry.

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