Pathfinder Adventure Path #196: The Summer That Never Was (Season of Ghosts 1 of 4)

5.00/5 (based on 3 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #196: The Summer That Never Was (Season of Ghosts 1 of 4)

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The Season of Ghosts Adventure Path begins!

A terrible curse descends upon the town of Willowshore! Located in haunted Shenmen in the heart of the sprawling continent of Tian Xia, this horror-themed campaign pits the heroes against supernatural threats and the harsh realities of facing an upcoming winter when all contact with the outside world has been cut off by a mysterious wall of fog. What fiendish menace might be behind the Willowshore Curse, and can it be stopped before everyone in town is lost? The Season of Ghosts Adventure Path is a four-part series of connected adventures that form a complete Pathfinder campaign for characters of 1st to 12th level.

In the campaign’s opening adventure, the heroes awaken disoriented and alone in a forest clearing after taking part in a traditional festival on the last day of Spring. They soon discover their hometown of Willowshore has been invaded by monsters and has fallen under a sinister spell. Yet defeating the monsters is only the first step in discovering the frightening nature of a supernatural curse that has gripped the land, and as the days of a summer plagued with rain trudge on, the grim reality facing the people of Willowshore will need true heroes to confront!

The Summer That Never Was is a horror-themed Pathfinder adventure for four 1st-level characters. This adventure begins the Season of Ghosts Adventure Path, a four-part monthly campaign in which a group of adventurers fight to protect their home town from monsters and mysterious events that have isolated them from the rest of the world. This adventure also includes a detailed look at the small town of Willowshore, a selection of new magical items to discover, and several new monsters ready to bring a dose of fear to your table!

Each monthly full-color softcover Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign.

Written by: Sen H.H.S. and James Jacobs.

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-544-1

The Season of Ghosts Adventure Path is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle Sheets are available as a free download (860 KB PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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So well done!

5/5

This is by far the best AP I've read. The first adventure has a nice variety of encounters, full of surprises and foreshadowing. A colourful and well rounded set of NPCs offer multiple options for meaningful interactions and conflict resolutions. It uses a wide variety of P2e's mechanics, all done in a way to move the story forward.

Much like the structure of the greater AP, the first book is written using Kishōtenketsu narrative structure. It's a fun read, and does an excellent job of getting the PCs engaged while laying the foundation for future plot twists and revelations. "The Summer That Never Was" offers a fantastic setting and story. I can't wait to fill it out even more with information from the Tian Xia World Guide. This campaign is the top of my wish list for AP's to run.


Can you save a terrorized town?

5/5

Quick caveat; I've read through the adventure, but not yet run it for my players.

Willowshore is a quiet, remote village in Tian Xia with deep ties to the natural - and unnatural - world around it. The players awake after an annual festival to find the town has been seized by horrific monsters; they must defeat the invaders, rescue what citizens they are able to, and restore the protections of the village before investigating where the monsters came from and why. Many of the village locations (shops and features, etc) are quite detailed, as well as the non-violently opposed factions of the town; we get extensive summaries of the two village elders and shorter ones of other notables, plus more detail and history about the region where Willowshore is located. There's also a handful of thematic magic items, a good helping of new fulus, and quite a few neat but very creepy monsters.

Note that there are quite a few significant plot twists and secrets in the adventure path, so if you are interested in playing through it fresh, I'd recommend you avoid reading it ahead! Otherwise I'd say it's an excellent adventure, either for running it as-is or for harvesting bits for your own campaigns.


One of the best adventures ever written!

5/5

Absolutely one of the best adventures ever written!

No further notes.

Ten stars and a huge round of applause for everyone involved!


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Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Cori Marie wrote:
The Foundry modules typically release on release day at about 11 AM Pacific.

Correct and I have not heard of any delay. I appreciate you answering questions.

Paizo Employee Front-End Engineering Lead

4 people marked this as a favorite.

In general, we always aim to make the Foundry modules go live at 11am Pacific on the same day the PDF releases. In practice, we're occasionally a few hours late due to some unforeseen minor issue, so if 11am rolls around tomorrow and the page (http://paizo.com/products/btq02etk?Pathfinder-Adventure-Path-196-The-Summer -That-Never-Was-BUNDLE) isn't live yet, just give us another hour or two.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...Well, frick, now I want to run this ._.; I didn't even realize how much I missed horror themed art and premise of this one is great x'D I hope adventure lives up to my excitement


Andrew White wrote:
In general, we always aim to make the Foundry modules go live at 11am Pacific on the same day the PDF releases. In practice, we're occasionally a few hours late due to some unforeseen minor issue, so if 11am rolls around tomorrow and the page (http://paizo.com/products/btq02etk?Pathfinder-Adventure-Path-196-The-Summer -That-Never-Was-BUNDLE) isn't live yet, just give us another hour or two.

1) Thank you to all the amazing Paizo staff, writers, artists, and more. Keep up the amazing work.

2) I just asked if it was going to be up today and no sooner than posting is working. Thanks again y'all.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

*Reads the forward material*

Well….HUH.

Now that is an interesting twist for this little tale.


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

What other books or adventures tie in to this one?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

5 people marked this as a favorite.
raysbane wrote:
What other books or adventures tie in to this one?

It's pretty self-contained. The two Tian-Xia hardcover books coming out later in 2024 will help bring more context and lore and player options to all of the continent, Shenmen included, but since those books got a bit delayed, I did my best to make Season of Ghosts as self-contained as possible. So, the end result being you don't NEED those Tian-Xia books to run this Adventure Path. They'll certainly be great resources for GMs and players to use once they are out if you aren't starting Season of Ghosts until later in 2024, of course.

But in the end, Season of Ghosts is pretty self-contained, as far as tying in to other books or adventures.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Give the horror aspect of the adventure, would we be able to get a small list of potential triggers that the story covers?

I'm really on the fence about buying it right now, as all I've read about it seems really positive but also horror is new to my group so I'm treading carefully when it comes to this genre.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Tom___zz wrote:

Give the horror aspect of the adventure, would we be able to get a small list of potential triggers that the story covers?

I'm really on the fence about buying it right now, as all I've read about it seems really positive but also horror is new to my group so I'm treading carefully when it comes to this genre.

Sure! I think that, in the end, each individual GM will know best what parts of an adventure might be triggering to their particular group, but I'll do my best to list the most likely triggers in the spoiler below for the whole adventure path:

Spoiler:

Spiders (and other creepy crawlies, but mostly spiders)
Body Horror
Substance Abuse/Alcohol
Young Adults in Peril
Claustrophobia/being buried alive
And, of course, ghosts and death

I'm sure I've missed some, though, so if anyone else who reads the adventure has any other trigger warnings they'd like to add, please don't hesitate! I only ask they be put into a spoiler context (if you don't know how to format for spoilers, you can see the helpful "How to format your text" button at the bottom of this page for directions), since there's some big plot twists that I'd love to keep secret for players to experience as they play the campaign.

Dark Archive

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I might add:
Cute Spiders In Peril

But maybe that's just me

Dark Archive

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Trigger warning spoiler:
If you are not afraid of drowning by the end of the chapter 1, then I have failed to teach you all a crucial part of how to survive ghost month in Taiwan!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sidenote, was this one getting eventually roll20 version when all parts are out :O I still don't want to start using foundry xD

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is the first thread ever where I do not click on any spoiler button. THE FRUSTRATION IS OVERWHELMING. Maybe I should hide the threads about this AP.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
This is the first thread ever where I do not click on any spoiler button. THE FRUSTRATION IS OVERWHELMING. Maybe I should hide the threads about this AP.

It might be a good idea. More than most APs this one contains twists you do NOT want to be spoilered on, so if you're considering playing, avoid the spoilers however you can.

Liberty's Edge

Paul Watson wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
This is the first thread ever where I do not click on any spoiler button. THE FRUSTRATION IS OVERWHELMING. Maybe I should hide the threads about this AP.
It might be a good idea. More than most APs this one contains twists you do NOT want to be spoilered on, so if you're considering playing, avoid the spoilers however you can.

Yes. I will stop checking all threads talking about this AP. Until I play it one day.


Is there a foundry bundle without the PDF yet?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Here


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm definitely looking at running this, and it looks like there will be a LOT of new monsters and important NPCs - will there be a pawn box for this AP?


Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I doubt there'll be a pawn box unless Paizo have changed their minds about not producing any more pawns.

Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There will be more pawns, but no pawns for APs any more.


Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I suppose that's okay, as long as we can put together whatever pawns we need for an AP (or other adventure/scenario) from the pawns we have available.


I really enjoyed reading the first part. Is there an estimate on when this will be available for Fantasy Grounds Unity? Thanks in advance.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This ap doesn't have roll20 module in plans right? Kinda wondering if I should start to prep it or wait more(I kinda want to wait for soundtrack, but I realized there is no guarantee I can upload it to roll20 jukebox because) :O


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
This ap doesn't have roll20 module in plans right? Kinda wondering if I should start to prep it or wait more(I kinda want to wait for soundtrack, but I realized there is no guarantee I can upload it to roll20 jukebox because) :O

Not that they've announced. On 1/30, they posted "the bare minimum Paizo releases that [they] planned for the next few months" and this wasn't on the list. They might add it, but as of 1/30, it wasn't on the docket (See below for that docket).

January
(PF1e) Return of the Runelords AP 4 of 6 - Temple of the Peacock Spirit

February
(PF1e) Return of the Runelords AP 5 of 6 - The City Outside of Time

March
(PF1e) Return of the Runelords AP 6 of 6 - Rise of New Thassilon
(PF2e) Pathfinder Monster Core
(PF2e) Seven Dooms for Sandpoint

April
(PF1e) Return of the Runelords APs 1, 2, and 3 (updates)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
xNellynelx wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
This ap doesn't have roll20 module in plans right? Kinda wondering if I should start to prep it or wait more(I kinda want to wait for soundtrack, but I realized there is no guarantee I can upload it to roll20 jukebox because) :O

Not that they've announced. On 1/30, they posted "the bare minimum Paizo releases that [they] planned for the next few months" and this wasn't on the list. They might add it, but as of 1/30, it wasn't on the docket (See below for that docket).

January
(PF1e) Return of the Runelords AP 4 of 6 - Temple of the Peacock Spirit

February
(PF1e) Return of the Runelords AP 5 of 6 - The City Outside of Time

March
(PF1e) Return of the Runelords AP 6 of 6 - Rise of New Thassilon
(PF2e) Pathfinder Monster Core
(PF2e) Seven Dooms for Sandpoint

April
(PF1e) Return of the Runelords APs 1, 2, and 3 (updates)

I'm super excited about the Return of the Runelords stuff since I plan to run a 2E conversion of it in the future. I hope they do this AP and Fists of the Ruby Phoenix in the future as well. Seven Dooms for Sandpoint is of course also on my list of stuff I want to run.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

We got that list because I asked them in a live post a few months ago for it (and miracle of miracles they came through), then in another thread I started in the Roll20 forums on Paizo products for Roll20, this

"Todd Roll20 Team
Permalink for 11786066Quote Report
Thanks Tom! Love the insights. Consider this HEARD.

And between you and me, Season of Ghosts might not have released day-and-date, but I wouldn't count it out of the cards just yet for a Roll20 VTT conversion."

That was 6 days ago so if Roll20 peeps start posting about what they are interested in seeing on Roll20 we just might get it (WINK)

Tom

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