Carrion Crown Adventure Path Announced


Carrion Crown

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Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Zaister wrote:
No, you certainly haven't left me cold before, and I'm optimistic that Paizo can make these things more interesting than it sounds at first glance. I don't mind clichés if they are well done, as long as they are clichés from a genre I enjoy. This kind of B-movie horror, however, is just not my type of fiction. But we'll see, I'm certainly giving you the benefit of the doubt.
To be clear, the inspiration for this series comes more from the greats of gothic literature (Walpole, Stoker, Poe), weird fiction (Lovecraft, Long, Howard), and the modern ghost story (James, Suzuki, Le Fanu) than from Mystery Science Theater or B monster movies. Pick nits or argue semantics, but there's a lot more going on in this AP then rehashing Christopher Lee's greatest hits. Understandably, horror doesn't float everyone's boat and that's just fine, but as far as "cliches" go, we've got a fantastic team of veteran adventure writers crewing this AP and drawing off a tradition of literature and storytelling just as rich (if not more so) than any previous series. Personally, I haven't been this excited for an Adventure Path in a long time - but then again, horror fantasy is DEFINITELY my thing.

You have Pett and Vaughan on this, and that's more than enough - The Handsome Yank and The Scruffy Saxon could get an assignment for Carebears vs. My Little Pony adventure and still make it a scarefest of epic proportions.

Given Paizo's uncanny history of horror adventures I expect this to be full of awesome. Just make sure that the plotline doesn't disconnect like it did in SD and we will get what we expect from Ustalav (read: Mist-Shrouded Land of Gothic Horror).


Gorbacz wrote:
You have Pett and Vaughan on this, and that's more than enough - The Handsome Yank and The Scruffy Saxon could get an assignment for Carebears vs. My Little Pony adventure and still make it a scarefest of epic proportions.

That´s right, oh yes. I´ve never read anything bad by RP and GAV.

Contributor

nightflier wrote:
Will there be some info on playing undead characters?

I talked this round and round with the designers on this series and the answer I finally decided on is no. There's a few reasons why.

First - and most majorly - because we haven't settled on how we're handing monstrous characters in Pathfinder, and when we do it should be addressed in a more comprehensive way than just a handful of undead stuck in the back of an AP volume.

Second, because it's too Ravenloft; the Requiem boxed set allowed players to play undead in - my opinion - a weak and unsatisfyingly game-changing way, and I'm not interested in retreading that ground (even if it would satisfy my endless desire for nostalgia).

Third, I feel like playing undead characters weakens the potential for fear in the adventures. As humans and human-like races the players can sympathize with the characters' situations and react in ways based off their own experiences. As undead, the characters become superhuman, immune to a host of dangers and effects and possessing weird new abilities. Such increased power, even if it does take a horrifying shape, doesn't serve to make the character's experiences more fearful or increase the relationship between character and player - a fundamental element to horror roleplaying to my mind.

Fourth, this isn't an Adventure Path about playing bad guys. Just as Johnathan Harker, Dr. Hesselius, Christine Daaé, or Princess Isabella face and overcome fearful temptations and their own fears and emotions to overcome horrifying villains (usually unnaturally more powerful than themselves) so too are the PCs meant to follow in such heroic footsteps in Carrion Crown. Part of what inspires fear in a gothic horror story is that there's something to lose, be it life, innocence, one's soul, etc. No one really "fears" for the monster in a movie like Freddy vs Jason or other monster mash-ups, as the opponents are irredeemable and the destruction of either results in a decrease in the sum terror. The good guys fighting and risking themselves to save something of value should remain a theme for parties playing this AP and playing unliving characters tends to weaken that.

Now, take all of this with a grain of salt. I'm not saying it's impossible to have a creepy story where a character returns from the grave to protect something he loves (like in the Crow), but Carrion Crown is designed to be a different story than that. If GMs want to take things that direction, awesome, but it's not an element we'll be incorporating.

If you do go this route, though, totally post it on here! I'd love to see how a GM might handle such challenges and how the whole story works out.

Silver Crusade

From the producers of Alien vs. Predator:

Carebears vs. My Little Pony: Hells Vengence.

Contributor

Gorbacz wrote:
Given Paizo's uncanny history of horror adventures I expect this to be full of awesome. Just make sure that the plotline doesn't disconnect like it did in SD and we will get what we expect from Ustalav (read: Mist-Shrouded Land of Gothic Horror).

We've got a detailed storyline for this one, a longer outline than any previous AP (it tops out around 16,000 words!), and a lot of stops to hit if we're going to make this the "world-tour" of horror I want it to be (not travel-wise, just hitting on different types of terror). So don't worry about this turning into a Pirates and Vikings AP in the fourth adventure. I got to sit down with Greg, Tim, and Neil at Gen Con and talk about the series and I'm really excited about the ideas they've already got bubbling away. I'm also - as the author of Second Darkness's UNIVERSALLY PRAISED Endless Night - very aware of the concerns of GMs out there who aren't interested in deals with devils or embracing evil to put an end to another threat, and as a result so are all of the AP's authors.

So I really do feel like the writers are well prepped and heading in some really exciting directions that will satisfy both grim and gritty GMs (like me) and GMs who like their good guys to be good guys. After all, for all the great villains in gothic literature and horror stories, there's a ton of equally memorable heroes.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Third, I feel like playing undead characters weakens the potential for fear in the adventures. As humans and human-like races the players can sympathize with the characters' situations and react in ways based off their own experiences. As undead, the characters become superhuman, immune to a host of dangers and effects and possessing weird new abilities. Such increased power, even if it does take a horrifying shape, doesn't serve to make the character's experiences more fearful or increase the relationship between character and player - a fundamental element to horror roleplaying to my mind.

I don´t think that "fear" is a factor in a fantasy roleplaying game. Sure, there can be a creepy atmosphere, but the Pathfinder (or D&D) characters ARE superhuman. That´s the reason why for my group Ravenloft never really worked. Fantasy PCs are meant to slay evil. A paladin running from ghouls and ghosts? Pah! A game like Call of Cthulhu is far superior in that regard.

Silver Crusade

Honestly how can you not play an Inquisitor on this one?

I fully expect my group to consist of 4 Inquisitors with floppy hats.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Given Paizo's uncanny history of horror adventures I expect this to be full of awesome. Just make sure that the plotline doesn't disconnect like it did in SD and we will get what we expect from Ustalav (read: Mist-Shrouded Land of Gothic Horror).

We've got a detailed storyline for this one, a longer outline than any previous AP (it tops out around 16,000 words!), and a lot of stops to hit if we're going to make this the "world-tour" of horror I want it to be (not travel-wise, just hitting on different types of terror). So don't worry about this turning into a Pirates and Vikings AP in the fourth adventure. I got to sit down with Greg, Tim, and Neil at Gen Con and talk about the series and I'm really excited about the ideas they've already got bubbling away. I'm also - as the author of Second Darkness's UNIVERSALLY PRAISED Endless Night - very aware of the concerns of GMs out there who aren't interested in deals with devils or embracing evil to put an end to another threat, and as a result so are all of the AP's authors.

So I really do feel like the writers are well prepped and heading in some really exciting directions that will satisfy both grim and gritty GMs (like me) and GMs who like their good guys to be good guys. After all, for all the great villains in gothic literature and horror stories, there's a ton of equally memorable heroes.

Don't beat yourself. Endless Night wasn't half as bad as Memory of Darkness was. :) And EN was a very fine adventure on its own, but sadly it was sitting in the middle of AP where it disconnected with both previous and following volumes. It's more a global problem with SD.

Actually, what I am wary of is making the same mistake as CoT did. When I heard "urban AP in Cheliax" I got all excited. Devils in the streets. Inquisitors of Asmodeus knocking on the door. Hellknights going bananas and smashing heretics to dust. PCs as members of heroic viva la resistance, running interference against devil dukes and infernalists. YAY !

And then I got the AP, which didn't feel like set in Cheliax at all, where Church of Asmodeus played a marginal role, where Hellknights were reduced to some pathetic wannabes in leather armor, where the bad guys were shadow vampires and troubled teen tieflings instead of The Evil Empire I expected, and at the end of the AP instead of kicking some solid infernal booty the PCs were expected to kindly ask the Cheliaxian government to be nice and not take the city over.

One big "meh". I hope for desperate struggle against iconic horror villains in a dark, grim and hopeless land of fear. Tell me you're on it :)

Grand Lodge

I'm just hoping that there will be lots of opportunity for the late-teen girl PC's to be torn between their love for the brooding sparkly vampire and the energetic wolf-boy....

Maybe in Vaughan's chapter.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Scribbling Rambler wrote:

I'm just hoping that there will be lots of opportunity for the late-teen girl PC's to be torn between their love for the brooding sparkly vampire and the energetic wolf-boy....

Maybe in Vaughan's chapter.

Now that right there is gold... :D

Silver Crusade

Nah it will go like this:

Book 1: This one will concern vampires. Halfway through the PC's will kill the Master Vampire only for a friendly brooding vampire to turn on them after his soul is removed.

Book 2: Will concern the machinations of an evil mayor who is attempting to become a Demon Lord.

Book 3: Will concern the Ustalav military doing strange experiments underneath a magical academy and creating an almost unstoppable flesh golem. The last encounter will be wierd and involves cheese.

Book 4: Will introduce an annoying sister character who has the power to unlock things (maybe multiple knock spells?) Eventually one of the PC's will have to sacrifice themselves to save said sister. Frankly, I doubt many people will bother...

Book 5: Will concern a triumverate of opponents who oppose the heroes. Singing will be involved.

Book 6: Will conclude with an ally NPC with the leadership feat attempting to stop the release of Rovugug with an army of annoying girls. The final battle will be a doozy.

I predict that the first couple of books will be damn good but after this the quality will decline.

Contributor

Stephan wrote:
I don´t think that "fear" is a factor in a fantasy roleplaying game. Sure, there can be a creepy atmosphere, but the Pathfinder (or D&D) characters ARE superhuman. That´s the reason why for my group Ravenloft never really worked. Fantasy PCs are meant to slay evil. A paladin running from ghouls and ghosts? Pah! A game like Call of Cthulhu is far superior in that regard.

I've had quite the contrary gaming experience. While fear isn't usually a factor in fantasy RPGs or discussed in many rulebooks, neither is any other emotion that might come up around a game table. The potential for creativity provided by a customizable rules system like Pathfinder allows for far too many options and play styles to equivocally say "Pathfinder PCs do or don't do X." I've seen players pursue romances, yell at villains, sacrifice themselves for allies, and gape at descriptions of terror, all without any rulebook chapter explaining how or when to get emotionally involved in a story or their characters. Fear is part of that, and largely reliant on the showmanship of the GM and the interest and involvement of the players. There's nothing in the Call of Cthulhu game rules that make percentile dice inherently creepier than d20s. Pathfinder, and incarnations before it, often overlook the value of such immersion in favor of creating balanced encounters and sound tactical rules - and rightly so for RPGs that want to provide GMs with the tools to build the games they want to play. But is that to say storytellers can't craft a frightening experience for their players just because there's rules for grappling and because clerics can channel energy? Not only don't I think so, but as my personal favorite style of roleplaying and favorite rules set, I know that's not the case.

Do the PCs have a variety of options and supernatural abilities that set them apart from the Professor Armitages and Mina Harkers of the world? Definitely. But they're not the only ones by any stretch of the imagination. Villains and monsters in the Pathfinder rules have every advantage available to the characters and more, along with the benefit of the GM's foresight and creativity. So if the baseline powers of the heroes and opponents are the same, if not skewed in favor of the monsters, how is this different from other RPGs? And if a GM wishes to further skew a story in a thematic direction, it's completely within his purview to make use of a slower experience progression, a subset of races and classes, and other trappings advantageous to the story he wants to tell and his players want to play.

Sure, the Pathfinder tradition is based more in Tolkien than Lovecraft, but that doesn't mean that everything created using the Pathfinder tool set needs to look the same. If you feel like some element of Pathfinder inhibits the immersive quality of your game, nix it. I for one prefer not to have miniatures and a grid mat at my moodier stories, as I feel they take the players out of the story. But doing that's not even breaking the game rules - the Core Rulebook doesn't come with a flip mat after all. Rule of Fear includes advice and techniques for making your Pathfinder game more frightening, but really, that's too specific a description. Rather, all the advice in there serves to help make for moodier games and little, reasonable things you can do to encourage more immersive gaming.

Ultimately, that's the difference between Pathfinder and a game like Call of Cthulhu. One presupposes the use of minis and a game mat, one doesn't. One presupposes the heroes are more powerful than the villains, one doesn't. One presupposes a tradition of slashing through orcs and taking their treasure, one doesn't. But, again, presuppositions aren't rules and changing those assumptions in your game can make for some very exciting, rewarding, and memorable roleplaying.

Now, all of that said, lets put this in context. Do my opinions here mean that Carrion Crown will be screwing with the base assumptions GMs have come to expect from Pathfinder Adventure Paths? No. As a product meant to be useful to the greatest number of GMs Pathfinder AP assumes elements like door-kicking characters and minis-based combat. And for those players, its my expectation that the themes, challenges, and skillful adventure design will come together to create a more unnerving story than those in more familiar sword and sorcery adventures, but maintain the same tradition of challenging encounters and excellent adventure design Pathfinder readers have come to expect. Yet, for GMs who want to dim the lights, take away the game mat, and really try to engage their players in a tale of intrigue and terror, this AP will also be right up their alleys.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
To be clear, the inspiration for this series comes more from the greats of gothic literature (Walpole, Stoker, Poe), weird fiction (Lovecraft, Long, Howard), and the modern ghost story (James, Suzuki, Le Fanu) than from Mystery Science Theater or B monster movies. Pick nits or argue semantics, but there's a lot more going on in this AP then rehashing Christopher Lee's greatest hits. Understandably, horror doesn't float everyone's boat and that's just fine, but as far as "cliches" go, we've got a fantastic team of veteran adventure writers crewing this AP and drawing off a tradition of literature and storytelling just as rich (if not more so) than any previous series. Personally, I haven't been this excited for an Adventure Path in a long time - but then again, horror fantasy is DEFINITELY my thing.

Thanks, Wes, for putting this a bit more in perspective. Although this will probably not be my favorite adventure path, it makes me a bit more optimistic.

Contributor

Gorbacz wrote:
Tell me you're on it :)

If you like secret societies, morbid conspiracies, a tour of an entire country, Golarion continuity, haunts, vampires, werewolves, mi-go, serial killers, dark magic, liches (those that whisper and those that don't), and a half dozen different flavors of literary, film, and fantasy terror: I'm on it.

If you don't... well... you and I might not be able to be friends. ;)

Contributor

Zaister wrote:
Thanks, Wes, for putting this a bit more in perspective. Although this will probably not be my favorite adventure path, it makes me a bit more optimistic.

No prob! This early on, optimism is all we can ask for. I leave all my doom for the dire corbies. ;)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Tell me you're on it :)

If you like secret societies, morbid conspiracies, a tour of an entire country, Golarion continuity, haunts, vampires, werewolves, mi-go, serial killers, dark magic, liches (those that whisper and those that don't), and a half dozen different flavors of literary, film, and fantasy terror: I'm on it.

If you don't... well... you and I might not be able to be friends. ;)

Phew. Sounds just like Ustalav I imagined. Go for it !

Contributor

FallofCamelot wrote:

Honestly how can you not play an Inquisitor on this one?

I fully expect my group to consist of 4 Inquisitors with floppy hats.

We had Imrika planned to be one of the four iconics on the covers and in the adventure art in this one... but it turns out she just looks too much like a monster amid all the other gothicy beasties.

So we did the only logical thing: we went full on Charlie's Angels.

Dark Archive

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
nightflier wrote:
Will there be some info on playing undead characters?
If you do go this route, though, totally post it on here! I'd love to see how a GM might handle such challenges and how the whole story works out.

I'm running a game here on the boards that had an undead as PC and one necromancer-type character. It was both interesting and difficult. The undead player had to leave the game because of time constraints, but it worked rather nicely while he was playing. Here is the link. PCs in question are Eyvindr and Ragnar.


Mike Kortes writing a level 1 adventure is the best news about this AP to me. Most of the adventures I've seen from him are mid-level. And I'm eager to see what he can do with level 1-3 stuff (AKA the "sweet spot".)

The fact that the rest of the AP is being handled by the usual cast of amazing adventure writers is nothing to sneeze at either.

My group & I are enjoying the hell out of Kingmaker right now. But it's nice to know we've got another stellar AP lined up for when Kingmaker concludes. We're not that in to the Red Mantis/jungle stuff.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:


We had Imrika planned to be one of the four iconics on the covers and in the adventure art in this one... but it turns out she just looks too much like a monster amid all the other gothicy beasties.

So we did the only logical thing: we went full on Charlie's Angels.

Oooh Witch, Oracle, Paladin, Thief iconics ???? and are we talking proper Charlie's Angels or the crap movie Charlie's Angels?.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

If you like secret societies, morbid conspiracies, a tour of an entire country, Golarion continuity, haunts, vampires, werewolves, mi-go, serial killers, dark magic, liches (those that whisper and those that don't), and a half dozen different flavors of literary, film, and fantasy terror: I'm on it.

All that works for me. As a major fan of Call of Cthulhu I also happen to believe that terror can happen in fantasy; I've seen it happen before and I hope to see it happen again with the Carrion Crown AP.

I think the constructive criticism offered by some others: Ensuring that story continuity is maintained throughout the AP, bringing the setting to life, providing a good mix of established horrors and new ones...if all those elements can be maintained the AP can exceed people's expectations.

I'm really excited about the AP. I just hope I have a group to play it with when it gets released!


Scribbling Rambler wrote:

I'm just hoping that there will be lots of opportunity for the late-teen girl PC's to be torn between their love for the brooding sparkly vampire and the energetic wolf-boy....

Maybe in Vaughan's chapter.

Please hold still while I rip your heart out.

Thank you for your cooperation.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
nightflier wrote:
Will there be some info on playing undead characters?
I talked this round and round with the designers on this series and the answer I finally decided on is no.

A very good decision.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Arnwyn wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
nightflier wrote:
Will there be some info on playing undead characters?
I talked this round and round with the designers on this series and the answer I finally decided on is no.
A very good decision.

I am very much looking forward to this AP. I am looking forward to the Paizo take on the Universal (the movie studio) Monsters.


I have to figure out how to set the mood for this AP.

Fear begins with the mood at the gaming table. :D

Sovereign Court

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Sure, the Pathfinder tradition is based more in Tolkien than Lovecraft...

And is Lovecraft actually scary? It's weird and *wrong* but I found talking about Lovecraft much scarier than reading the stories.

By contrast, fleeing from the Black Riders made me genuinely afraid for Frodo and co. The Barrow Downs were a scary place, the scene in which Old Man Willow tries to consume the hobbits freaked me out, the Dead Marshes were all kinds of creepy wrongness, travelling through the mountain to recruit the souls of a dead army was pretty horror-tastic and when I first read the scene with Shelob I was so tense I nearly forgot to breathe.

Fantasy fans seem to come to accept the caricature of Tolkein that non-fans (who at most had The Hobbit read to them when they were eight years old) put on the old master, either that or they dismiss him because he's too mainstream.

Tolkein wrote some seriously scary stuff - it' just that he had more range than just horror. Part of the reason that he is more effective in his horror is that the reader comes to like his characters and therefore responds powerfully to them being threatened. Lovecraft lacks that light and shade (as does some Poe) and thus diminishes the capacity to really scare or un-nerve the reader.

Lovecraft created fantastic horror environments and set-pieces but he rarely made them scary.

All of this is, of course, just my opinion and I fully expect to be slapped down by the many Lovecraft fans here (including the staff) but the main reason for my ramble is this appeal.

Can we please have some characters/places/things that are worth saving and that my characters will feel compassion for. The genius of Burnt Offerings is to make the PCs love Sandpoint so much that they took the threat incredibly seriously and the flaw in the Darkmoon Vale adventures is that the GM is obliged to invent a few decent folk worth saving in that terrible town, and then persuade the players to do more than simply escort those dozen characters to a better life elsewhere.
Genuine horror begins with a threat to people and places, that is to say communities that we care for. Unending grimness is dull.


GeraintElberion wrote:

Genuine horror begins with a threat to people and places, that is to say communities that we care for. Unending grimness is dull.

I absolutely agree. That's what really makes Stephen King such an effective horror writer. It's not the gore and the monsters. It's the way he brings the characters to life so that you care for the characters and their communities so much that you fear for them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Memorable NPCs, both good and bad, are something that I would like EVERY Adventure Path to have. Giving the PCs things to care about apart from XP and loot is very important to me and to Wes, so I'm confident that we'll not abandon this philosophy when we start work on Carrion Crown.


James Jacobs wrote:
Memorable NPCs, both good and bad, are something that I would like EVERY Adventure Path to have. Giving the PCs things to care about apart from XP and loot is very important to me and to Wes, so I'm confident that we'll not abandon this philosophy when we start work on Carrion Crown.

Isn't this AP going to be a bit hard to balance correctly? I can easily see a group of Paladin, Cleric (Sun, Fire), Ranger (Favored Enemies Undead and Lycanthropes), Inquisitor and Celestial bloodlines sorcerer going through much of the combat like a hot knife through butter. That's going to be hard to balance against less specialized groups.

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:
Memorable NPCs, both good and bad, are something that I would like EVERY Adventure Path to have. Giving the PCs things to care about apart from XP and loot is very important to me and to Wes, so I'm confident that we'll not abandon this philosophy when we start work on Carrion Crown.

I have a lot of faith in Paizo and Dave Gross' Ustalav fiction gave us amaxingly sympathetic characters. I'm concerned that the focus on: "Wow, awesome horror moment, dude!" may diminish this but, in all honesty, I'm keeping the faith.

Ustalav AP = massively excited anticipation

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The Forgotten wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Memorable NPCs, both good and bad, are something that I would like EVERY Adventure Path to have. Giving the PCs things to care about apart from XP and loot is very important to me and to Wes, so I'm confident that we'll not abandon this philosophy when we start work on Carrion Crown.
Isn't this AP going to be a bit hard to balance correctly? I can easily see a group of Paladin, Cleric (Sun, Fire), Ranger (Favored Enemies Undead and Lycanthropes), Inquisitor and Celestial bloodlines sorcerer going through much of the combat like a hot knife through butter. That's going to be hard to balance against less specialized groups.

Not at all. There's going to be more than werewolves and vampires and ghosts in this AP first of all. And not everything is going to have a combat solution.

I honestly don't see this one being any more difficult to balance than any other AP, especially since in our player's guides we essentially DO tell the players what the best types of characters are.

Sczarni

Yeah I mean there's that whole HP Lovecraft "Beyond the stars" thing going there too besides undead and lycanthropes. So Aberrations will be a fairly large factor too.

The Exchange

Even just Humans can be quite horrific if you set the scene correctly.


GeraintElberion wrote:
Can we please have some characters/places/things that are worth saving and that my characters will feel compassion for. The genius of Burnt Offerings is to make the PCs love Sandpoint so much that they took the threat incredibly seriously and the flaw in the Darkmoon Vale adventures is that the GM is obliged to invent a few decent folk worth saving in that terrible town, and then persuade the players to do more than simply escort those...

That aren't undead or monsters. Please.

Trial of the Beast: "In this adventure the heroes struggle to defend a creature that may or may not be murderous monster,"

Okay... that might be interesting.

Broken Moon: "Entreated by a lord of the werewolves to help unite his savage people, the heroes must risk becoming tainted by the curse of lycanthropy"

Hrrmm. I doubt it.

Ashes at Dawn: "...the adventurers put an end to the murderer terrorizing the city’s vampires. This leads the heroes into an underworld of endless night, where they must explore the vampires’ deadly society and indulge its blasphemous traditions if they’re to discover who’s murdering the undead."

Okay, what's with this trend? Not gonna happen.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks, Paizo, for an AP which is not about saving Sleepy Sunny Villages By The Sea. Or Elven Kingdoms That Screw You Over, for that matter.


Gorbacz wrote:
Thanks, Paizo, for an AP which is not about saving Sleepy Sunny Villages By The Sea. Or Elven Kingdoms That Screw You Over, for that matter.

You really didn't get over the elves, did you? :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Malaclypse wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Thanks, Paizo, for an AP which is not about saving Sleepy Sunny Villages By The Sea. Or Elven Kingdoms That Screw You Over, for that matter.
You really didn't get over the elves, did you? :)

I really wish it were dwarves instead ...

Sczarni

I'd been alright saving some halflings maybe.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Arnwyn wrote:
Ashes at Dawn: "...the adventurers put an end to the murderer terrorizing the city’s vampires. This leads the heroes into an underworld of endless night, where they must explore the vampires’ deadly society and indulge its blasphemous traditions if they’re to discover who’s murdering the undead." ...Okay, what's with this trend? Not gonna happen.

Hey! That one's mine! And I hope to do it justice for you, Arnwyn. Early on in my conversation with Wes, I brought up the exact concern you've raised...i.e., that many of these undead, gothic beings are monstrous and shouldn't necessarily be portrayed as easy allies or even erstwhile allies in everything the PCs are doing over the course of the Carrion Crown AP. Obviously, I can't clue you into exactly how we're attempting to address that. But I believe I can say Wes has heard those concerns and discussed it with us as authors as well as how he'd like to see the AP develop.

With regard to the vampires in "Ashes at Dawn," I'd ask that you keep an open mind on the subject. Sometimes PCs have to deal with evil, monstrous powers to get information they couldn't otherwise access any other way. And there's nothing that says they won't be fighting any number of these particular undead over the course of the adventure. So, be patient. Set aside your worries for now. And rest assured your concern has been heard and deemed valid...at least, in my opinion, based on what I know so far about the direction Paizo's taking with Carrion Crown. I think you'll enjoy it as long as you don't talk yourself out of it ahead of time. ;-)

My two-cents,
--Neil

Sczarni

My two cents:

Anything involving Tar-Baphon and Ulavsta is much better than some generic horror stuff. :P :)

Sovereign Court

Arnwyn wrote:
Lots of worrying quotes and stuff.

So, um...

This seems like the bit from Second Darkness that was pretty unpopular.

Haunting of Harrowstone
: When cultists seeking to free the imprisoned lich king Tar-Baphon violate the ruined prison of Harrowstone, the long-quiet ghostly inmates rise in undead revolt! Brought together by the death of a common ally, the heroes unite to save the residents of a tormented town and lay the spirits of Harrowstone to rest.

Save the residents of a tormented town sounds good.

Trial of the Beast
: When the reign of terror of a savagely cunning flesh golem comes to an end, the enlightened folk of Lepidstadt insist that the creature face a lawful trial. While on the trail of the Whispering Way cultists, the heroes find their fates entwined with that of the beast when they are enlisted to guard it against infuriated townsfolk, scholars of the macabre, and the slaves of its mad creator!

Interesting...

Broken Moon
: The mysterious murder of Ustalav's lord of werewolves triggers a war in the nation's grim forests that soon spills onto the streets. The forlorn land's desperate people begin a hunt to scour the nation of its deadly shape-shifters. Entreated by the lord of the werewolves to help unite his savage people, the heroes must risk becoming tainted by the curse of lycanthropy as they race to find an outcast lair.

Can't the heroes just help to wipe out the evil werewolves? Because, y'know, they're evil and killing people.

Wake of the Watcher
: When the heroes learn of an unholy bargain between the cultists of the Whispering Way and the drowned gods of the wretched town of Illmarsh, they must journey through a wilderness gone wrong to prevent the terrible union. But an eerie eye has fallen upon Illmarsh, and the community's deep lords are the first to fall! Can the heroes discover what foulness festers in the minds of Illmarsh? And will they be able to withstand the whispers of an insanity from beyond the stars?

So, at this point we're saving Ustalav/the world - do we care about Ustalav by now?

Ashes at Dawn
: A murderer stalks the streets of Caliphas, a slasher who only hunts a particular type of victim: vampires. As the heroes track the cultists of the Whispering Way, they lose their quarry amid the mazelike alleys of Ustalav’s crowded capital city. But from the shadows, a dark patron rises with offers of aid and insights into the cult’s ultimate evil. All he asks in return is that the adventurers put an end to the murderer terrorizing the city’s vampires. This leads the heroes into an underworld of endless night, where they must explore the vampires’ deadly society and indulge its blasphemous traditions if they’re to discover who’s murdering the undead.

What's wrong with slaying vampires now? Why are we helping werewolves and vampires to continue their evil, cruel, murderous reigns?
Is there anyway to get the info. from the vampires by helping to kill them all and extorting the information from the final few?

Shadows of Gallowspire
: The deadly plot of the Whispering Way cultists comes to its terrifying climax in the shadows of the tower imprisoning the Whispering Tyrant himself! There the cultists plot to conduct a ritual to resurrect the notorious villain, using their collected relics to transform an innocent into a new undead body for the imprisoned lich king. Can the heroes withstand the ageless evil to Gallowspire to finally defeat the Whispering Way? Or will the Whispering Tyrant, one of the greatest villains of known history, be unleashed upon the world once more?

Sounds awesome.

Confidence in AP ebbing... We prefer slaying epic villains (drow, vampires, werewolves) to helping them or doing what they do.

Of course, I may be getting ahead of myself but please, CoT, RotRL, CotCT... all had NPCs and communities the PCs really want to protect. Please, please give us that. I want to know, in no uncertain terms, that I'm only helping the vampires in order to get what I want, that I can take opportunities to trick the vampires (Nah, nah, thanks for the info. We didn't really kill him, but now we're about to kill you - you murderous monstrosities) and that I won't leave my players feeling sullied and dirty after they have 'indulged in its blasphemous traditions'.


NSpicer wrote:
With regard to the vampires in "Ashes at Dawn," I'd ask that you keep an open mind on the subject. Sometimes PCs have to deal with evil, monstrous powers to get information they couldn't otherwise access any other way. And there's nothing that says they won't be fighting any number of these particular undead over the course of the adventure. So, be patient. Set aside your worries for now.

Actually, I do the reverse: I worry until I see otherwise!

I do have hope, because (other than SD and some of CoT), the APs have been pretty good. So, yeah. Hope and all that.

But you can rest assured that:
1) My players and I will not be playing anything even remotely like Vampire: The Emo.

2) The comment "sometimes PCs have to deal with evil, monstrous powers to get information they couldn't otherwise access any other way" is falling on relatively deaf ears, as I've seen enough of that by now. My players very much make a distinction between 'helping' sniveling goblins/cowardly orcs... and vampires (not to mention the previous adventure's lycanthropes, which also so won't be happening). They will be killing them (and rightfully so).

One of my players happened to catch the brief synopses of the adventures, and he was utterly flabbergasted. "Why the hell am I helping all these horrible monsters? You won't be buying that AP, will you?" And he likes the gothic horror genre.

Oh, and +1 to GeraintElberion's post, above.


I've got to admit, the initial concept of helping vampires sounds a little too much Twilight-y to me. I do have faith in Paizo, however, not to make the result as full of teen-emo-vampire-and-werewolf-love as the blurbs might make it sound.

I'm hoping that the reasons we will want to help the vampires is due to understanding that the end results behind the murders are far more dire than a bunch of piles of dust.

Then again, maybe there's a huge fan base of Twilight/ Buffy-Angel-Spike Triangle/ True Blood supporters in the Paizo community that's crying out for an adventure where vampires and werewolves and telepaths all get along (and frequently copulate or contemplate copulating) that I don't know about. If that's the case, I'll be disappointed, sure (and consequently drop my subscription until something that better fulfills my interest comes along) but I'm not going to hold it against them. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Arnwyn wrote:
But you can rest assured that....My players and I will not be playing anything even remotely like Vampire: The Emo.
Wander Weir wrote:
I've got to admit, the initial concept of helping vampires sounds a little too much Twilight-y to me.

Trust me. That is SO not the direction I'm taking. I feel a lot of weight to deliver on this adventure. And to do it right. So I'm listening and reading what everyone posts about their likes/dislikes and expectations regarding both the AP, as well as "Ashes at Dawn" specifically.

Sczarni

Help the vampires, don't help the vampires. I honestly don't care about that aspect so much as "Will it aid in the return of the Whispering Tyrant if you kill or don't kill?" Beyond that, and the fact I generally make ALL D&D vampires bloodsucking psychos, not glitter-girlie vampires, I'm unconcerned.

I just want the awesome. :P


NSpicer wrote:


Trust me. That is SO not the direction I'm taking. I feel a lot of weight to deliver on this adventure. And to do it right. So I'm listening and reading what everyone posts about their likes/dislikes and expectations regarding both the AP, as well as "Ashes at Dawn" specifically.

Dont stress Neil - You do good work and I am sure it will be great.

People tend to forget that Dracula could and did mingle among society and interact with people.

The terror of a vampire is not the dark lord sitting in his high crumbling castle ripping peasants to shreds (that is B grade slasher horror). The terror of a vampire is that he is a wolf that can walk among the sheep choosing his prey at a whim, toying with it to satisfy his unnatural lust and then suck the enslaved victims soul dry only to thirst for more. The vampire is the expression of the Victorians fear of Sex, disease, and drugs. It would not be beyond the Vampires to manipulate the players into helping them and then to the thank the PC's open their throats and feast on the terror and fear.


Arnwyn wrote:

[...]

But you can rest assured that:
1) My players and I will not be playing anything even remotely like Vampire: The Emo.

My experience with Vampire games indicates that most people agree with that sentiment. I've got bikers, prepubescent casanovas, emterprising businesswoman feminists and fixers. Under Vampire: Dark Ages none the less (for those wondering - concepts listed above were adapted prior to implementation).

Arnwyn wrote:
2) The comment "sometimes PCs have to deal with evil, monstrous powers to get information they couldn't otherwise access any other way" is falling on relatively deaf ears, as I've seen enough of that by now. My players very much make a distinction between 'helping' sniveling goblins/cowardly orcs... and vampires (not to mention the previous adventure's lycanthropes, which also so won't be happening). They will be killing them (and rightfully so).

It's a matter of ecosystem, GM's evilness or grabbing players by their balls. It's also fun to watch uncertain alliances dissolve once the big threat has been taken care of.

True, sometimes you may have problems dealing with a devil, but that's what various misdirection and nondetection spells are for. For example, one of the most interesting NPCs in one of the campaigns, was actually an undercover lich. He was not monstrous by any measure, just occasionally he could not help himself... and then always tried to tidy up afterwards.
It was fun watching PCs realize whom they had worked with...

Regards,
Ruemere


Hmm the old wizard who walks into the Tavern and hires the adventurers to collect various items for him is in fact a high level vampire using the heroes to slowly defeat several annoyances and build himself a positive reputation within the community.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Should go without saying... but maybe not.

Until these adventures are actually out, it's a bit early to start panicking that we're going to be producing an adventure that everyone will hate. We DO listen to feedback from our customers, and the dissatisfaction with certain elements of Second Darkness has been made quite clear.


JJ I must be the odd man out, most of the stuff people whine about I kinda like. Weird.

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