Rasputin Must Die! [Spoilers]


Reign of Winter

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I'm incredibly pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response that the themes and setting of Rasputin Must Die! has gotten since its announcement. For months we had been prepared for the opposite, and I'd honestly buckled up for the big reveal while cringing at the thought of a public backlash or rejection of the concept, so the acceptance has been refreshing. Not that my guard's down, but I'm thrilled with the response so far.

I think we're here in this state of mind because there's an inherent trust that Paizo isn't out to scramble your expectations of what you've come to accept from them. Keep in mind that as much as you guys value and love Golarion, they're the actual caretakers and owners of that canon, and whatever affection we have for the setting and its adventures is multiplied by Paizo staff tenfold. So they aren't out to screw things up or set us up, as fans, for disappointment. They're honestly trying to give everyone something they think you are going to LOVE, and sometimes they have to assume some risk to provide that thrill. I think as we all tread parallel through Pathfinder together, we've all come to place our trust in that. While there will always be some detractors, we all realize that the last folks that are going to screw it all up is Paizo and the freelancers they entrust with bringing their world to life.

And there's a reason they came to me for this one. Some of you may know that I run a now-infamous annual Call of Cthulhu game at Lou's GenCon bash every year that many Paizo employees have played in. One of my favorite things to do as a game designer is play with real-world history by inserting fantastical events into recorded events, and I put on a yearly display of that skill with this particular game. In the case of my annual CoC adventure Black Cow's Milk, Black Hen's Eggs, I researched a regiment of real-world Civil War soldiers and a special mission they undertook during the Battle of White Oak Swamp, and I manipulated events to "Cthulhu-ize" it, to tell the untold history that you have to read between the lines to discern. But I always write so that whatever happens in those few short hours that we play the game, real-world history maintains something of a status quo. My greatest satisfaction would be to travel to some of those real locations with the players, point to some old burned-out, ruined building in Virginia, and say "remember that fire your characters started in my 1862 adventure? Yeah -YOU did this!"

That was the same approach and care I took with Rasputin Must Die. Paizo trusted me to do it, and I think you guys will really dig the results. It is really neat. And rest assured I'm not out to unduly scramble Golarion OR Earth history, and I'm proud that Paizo turned to me as caretaker of this momentous occasion. =-)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I should explain a bit better. The part I find distastefull is using A fairly recent historical figure who still has very close relatives (In this case grandchildren) and turning him into something you kill for xp

Contributor

Then I guess we can only hope PCs don't pursue Rasputin with the same mutilative vigor historically inflicted on him by his own countrymen. ;-)


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Kevin Mack wrote:
I should explain a bit better. The part I find distastefull is using A fairly recent historical figure who still has very close relatives (In this case grandchildren) and turning him into something you kill for xp

Hmmm. I don't think that bothers me, though I hadn't really considered it before.

Rasputin has been sufficiently mythologized and appeared, almost always as a villain, in enough fiction that any damage has long been done.
Besides, you're not killing him for the xp, you're killing him to rescue Baba Yaga.


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thejeff wrote:
Besides, you're not killing [Rasputin] for the xp, you're killing him to rescue Baba Yaga.

... one of the most amazing lines ever uttered in the entire world.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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TheLoneCleric wrote:
Any chance on a Earth sourcebook? For maybe...future adventures?

Not really. Not unless "Rasputin Must Die!" comes out and blows us away with its sales and universally high reviews and overwhelming demand from the customers for an Earth sourcebook.

This adventure is set on Earth for lots of reasons, but one of them is NOT to set Earth up as a common location for adventures. In fact, the more we do with Earth, the less special this adventure gets... and that's kinda against the whole point of the adventure.

I suppose we'll see how things work out though... never say never in this industry!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kevin Mack wrote:
I should explain a bit better. The part I find distastefull is using A fairly recent historical figure who still has very close relatives (In this case grandchildren) and turning him into something you kill for xp

This was actually a significant concern for me, and it was the thing that came the closest to me deciding NOT to do this adventure—not the fact that it's set on Earth, not the fact that it takes place during WWI, but because Rasputin WAS a real-world figure, and depending on who you talk to or what history you research or your politics, he was either a monster or a hero or something in-between.

That said... we're hardly the first to use Rasputin as a character in entertainment. He's shown up in Hellboy, in Call of Cthulhu adventures, and in a LOT of movies. Most of which portray him as either a villain or as a sinister figure with supernatural powers. In the end, the Rasputin that appears in this adventure is very much NOT the real-world Rasputin, and not just because we assume it's an alternative timeline in which he survived beyond his death, but because he DOES have powers that the real Rasputin did not have. This Rasputin is more in the realm of the mythical figure than a historical one.

I suspect we'll be putting a disclaimer into this volume though, somewhat akin to the ones that Ubisoft puts on their Assassin's Creed games to remind folks that we aren't actually trying to push a real-world political or religious agenda by including elements from real world history in the form of entertainment.

In the end, each person will need to decide for themselves how they feel about this topic and make the appropriate decision. Let us know what you decide if you feel strongly about it, because going by our customers' replies and reactions and concerns is a big part of what drives Paizo to do what it does.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Probably I will never get the chance to play it, but I will buy it for sure.
I will see what my current Carrion Crown GM will think of it, 50/50 that he will either love or hate it on first sight. If he reject it it will be a interesting read, if the want to GM it after we end CC it will stay unread till after we play it.

Contributor

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James Jacobs wrote:
TheLoneCleric wrote:
Any chance on a Earth sourcebook? For maybe...future adventures?
Not really. Not unless "Rasputin Must Die!" comes out and blows us away with its sales and universally high reviews and overwhelming demand from the customers for an Earth sourcebook.

Yeah? How about for Unspeakable future adventures. ;-)

Grand Lodge

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thejeff wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
I should explain a bit better. The part I find distastefull is using A fairly recent historical figure who still has very close relatives (In this case grandchildren) and turning him into something you kill for xp

Hmmm. I don't think that bothers me, though I hadn't really considered it before.

Rasputin has been sufficiently mythologized and appeared, almost always as a villain, in enough fiction that any damage has long been done.
Besides, you're not killing him for the xp, you're killing him to rescue Baba Yaga.

Here's a list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grigori_Rasputin_in_popular_culture

The people at White Wolf loved Rasputin. He was, after all, a werewolf kinfolk, a hunter, several different vampires, a mummy, a ghost, and quite possibly a fairy.


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The thing to keep in mind as a prospective purchaser is that you're going to 1918 SIBERIA - early, in the winter at a guess. Nasty business all the way 'round. Siberia was not (to my limited knowledge) a major or even a minor front of World War I as far as participatory nations. (As far as the Whites vs. Reds in Russia, that's another matter altogether.)

And it could be a LOT worse ... you could be going there in 1908 instead. *grins*


I'd do it!

(Presuming my friends were able and willing to stand by from off-world, ready with a true resurrection.)

I mean, hey: it's for SCIENCE!


Turin the Mad wrote:

The thing to keep in mind as a prospective purchaser is that you're going to 1918 SIBERIA - early, in the winter at a guess. Nasty business all the way 'round. Siberia was not (to my limited knowledge) a major or even a minor front of World War I as far as participatory nations. (As far as the Whites vs. Reds in Russia, that's another matter altogether.)

And it could be a LOT worse ... you could be going there in 1908 instead. *grins*

Things I didn't know until today
Quote:

The joint Allied intervention began in August 1918. The Japanese entered through Vladivostok and points along the Manchurian border with more than 70,000 Japanese troops being involved. The deployment of a large force for a rescue expedition made the Allies wary of Japanese intentions. On September 5, the Japanese linked up with the vanguard of the Czech Legion. A few days later the British, Italian and French contingents joined the Czechs in an effort to re-establish the east Front beyond the Urals; as a result the European allies trekked westwards. The Japanese, with their own objectives in mind, refused to proceed west of Lake Baikal and stayed behind. The Americans, suspicious of Japanese intentions, also stayed behind to keep an eye on the Japanese. By November, the Japanese occupied all ports and major towns in the Russian Maritime Provinces and in Siberia east of the city of Chita.

In the summer of 1918 onwards, the Japanese army lent its support to White Russian elements; the 5th infantry division and the Japanese-backed Special Manchurian Detachment of Grigory Semyonov took control over Transbaikalia and founded a short-lived White Transbaikalia government.

Shadow Lodge

Turin the Mad wrote:

And it could be a LOT worse ... you could be going there in 1908 instead. *grins*

...which I've used in Shadowrun, actually.

Really looking forward to this adventure path.

Silver Crusade

James Jacobs wrote:
I suspect we'll be putting a disclaimer into this volume though, somewhat akin to the ones that Ubisoft puts on their Assassin's Creed games to remind folks that we aren't actually trying to push a real-world political or religious agenda by including elements from real world history in the form of entertainment.

Being very sympathetic to the concerns expressed upthread, really think this would be a good idea. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

*THUD* (falls over in surprise after seeing AP 71's full description on the product page)

Wow! This is looking better and better!

And my wallet is feeling smaller and smaller! Damn you, Paizo! :)


Mikaze wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:


I suspect we'll be putting a disclaimer into this volume though, somewhat akin to the ones that Ubisoft puts on their Assassin's Creed games to remind folks that we aren't actually trying to push a real-world political or religious agenda by including elements from real world history in the form of entertainment.
Being very sympathetic to the concerns expressed upthread, really think this would be a good idea. :)

Agreed. I remember hearing some rants about the Assassin's Creed III DLC about George Washington...


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I am sure my party will kill Rasputin in a far more gruesome manner than history.
It will probably involve fish hooks and insects.

I had family in Siberia during WWI. one notable relation was blind, escaped from prison and then walked to China! The story says it took him 2 years of near constant travel to make the trek. We like to believe his prison was on the border- and he only had to walk 100 feet, but somebody gave him bad directions as a joke. He will be in my campaign FOR SURE! In fact, if they cure his blindness I'll give bonus xps.

Oh, can a paladin have a tank for a mount?
Will gunslingers be proficient with modern weapons?
Will aeroplane be a valid ranger foe type?

Shadow Lodge

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Ethandrul wrote:
Will aeroplane be a valid ranger foe type?

"Zee plane, bawss, zee plane!"


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Brandon Hodge wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
TheLoneCleric wrote:
Any chance on a Earth sourcebook? For maybe...future adventures?
Not really. Not unless "Rasputin Must Die!" comes out and blows us away with its sales and universally high reviews and overwhelming demand from the customers for an Earth sourcebook.
Yeah? How about for Unspeakable future adventures. ;-)

Brandon! Don't tease me so. My heart can only take so many surprises at once. Unspeakable Futures making it to print might just be the end of me!


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Kevin Mack wrote:
I should explain a bit better. The part I find distastefull is using A fairly recent historical figure who still has very close relatives (In this case grandchildren) and turning him into something you kill for xp

As James and others have already noted upthread, Paizo is hardly the first. Video games, RPGs, comics, and movies have been using him for years. Heck, even cartoons have taken a crack at it.

Ethandrul wrote:
I had family in Siberia during WWI. one notable relation was blind, escaped from prison and then walked to China! The story says it took him 2 years of near constant travel to make the trek.

Very interesting. I'm familiar with the group of seven that escaped a Siberian gulag in WWII and did the same (they didn't stop in China though, they had to keep going). They also had a blind companion.


The Block Knight wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
I should explain a bit better. The part I find distastefull is using A fairly recent historical figure who still has very close relatives (In this case grandchildren) and turning him into something you kill for xp

As James and others have already noted upthread, Paizo is hardly the first. Video games, RPGs, comics, and movies have been using him for years. Heck, even cartoons have taken a crack at it.

Ethandrul wrote:
I had family in Siberia during WWI. one notable relation was blind, escaped from prison and then walked to China! The story says it took him 2 years of near constant travel to make the trek.
Very interesting. I'm familiar with the group of seven that escaped a Siberian gulag in WWII and did the same (they didn't stop in China though, they had to keep going). They also had a blind companion.

really? i wonder if it's the same group! I accept that my time frame may be off.

Sovereign Court

ARGH !

Well it is original and daring. Though if I am offered to play it, I will definitely pass. Don't like the idea of gaming on Earth.


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I game on earth every friday and sunday. It's not so bad, really.

Sovereign Court

I get you :)

I just don't like the very idea of the D&D verse spilling into the real world at all.


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All I want for Christmas is a really big gun, a really big gun, a really big gun...

Sovereign Court

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Turin the Mad wrote:
All I want for Christmas is a really big gun, a really big gun, a really big gun...

Hehehhehehehehehehehahahahhahahahohohohohhuahahahahaha...


Wow! I want that gun too.


When you get back to Golarion with the linkied rifle ... it's time to go dragon hunting!! Just be sure to properly document how the ammunition is made before going hunting dragons with it... not to mention the weapon itself. Stashing the original and a box of ammo in a Very Safe Place is a Good Thing... just in case.

Dark Archive

Turin the Mad wrote:
All I want for Christmas is a really big gun, a really big gun, a really big gun...

Wouldn't you rather have this? The caliber is almost the same size (.50 BMG adds up to 12.7mm)and it was even first made in 1918.


Atrocious wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
All I want for Christmas is a really big gun, a really big gun, a really big gun...
Wouldn't you rather have this? The caliber is almost the same size (.50 BMG adds up to 12.7mm)and it was even first made in 1918.

Well ... machine guns are fun and all, but ammunition consumption is mind boggling. They probably don't work well with the deadly shot gunslinger deed, whereas the anti-material rifle should.

Also, the M2 wasn't field tested until October 1918, whereas the Tankgewhr has been in use in some form or fashion since the winter of 1917-1918. I suspect the PCs would be more likely to come across the rifle.

Purely from an encumbrance standpoint, the rifle with bipod is 41 lbs, loaded. The M2 is anywhere from 84 to 128 lbs' encumbrance ... yeah, I'll go with the 41 lb. rifle.

Besides, part of the fun of the rifle is the "vicious" nature of using it! BLAM!! ow ow BLAM!! ow ow ^____^

Shadow Lodge

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Turin the Mad wrote:
Atrocious wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
All I want for Christmas is a really big gun, a really big gun, a really big gun...
Wouldn't you rather have this? The caliber is almost the same size (.50 BMG adds up to 12.7mm)and it was even first made in 1918.

Besides, part of the fun of the rifle is the "vicious" nature of using it! BLAM!! ow ow BLAM!! ow ow ^____^

Treat it like the double hackbut. Use sovregin glue to attach an immovable rod to it. Click before shooting, recoil gone.


thistledown wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
Atrocious wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
All I want for Christmas is a really big gun, a really big gun, a really big gun...
Wouldn't you rather have this? The caliber is almost the same size (.50 BMG adds up to 12.7mm)and it was even first made in 1918.

Besides, part of the fun of the rifle is the "vicious" nature of using it! BLAM!! ow ow BLAM!! ow ow ^____^

Treat it like the double hackbut. Use sovregin glue to attach an immovable rod to it. Click before shooting, recoil gone.

Interesting ... although how much damage the recoil does is still transmitted to the rod. Let's hope that the recoil doesn't do more than 2d6. :-D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
R_Chance wrote:
Ethandrul wrote:


The 8th Dwarf wrote:

First world war & pathfinder mark me interested.

ooooh good one! and Theodore Roosavelt!

Might as well throw in H.G. Wells, or Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter while you're at it...

I'm shocked nobody has mentioned Nikola Tesla yet. ^^


magnuskn wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
Ethandrul wrote:


The 8th Dwarf wrote:

First world war & pathfinder mark me interested.

ooooh good one! and Theodore Roosavelt!

Might as well throw in H.G. Wells, or Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter while you're at it...
I'm shocked nobody has mentioned Nikola Tesla yet. ^^

In certain "alternate histories", Tesla is responsible for the Tunguska 'event' by way of field testing a certain device/weapon of his. Rather severely off-target, the device was shelved for 'not producing the intended result' or somesuch, whereas there was simply no one around that survived when the 'event' occured.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just imagine that if the synopsis for the module would be "The party teams up with Theodore Roosevelt and Nikola Tesla to take down Rasputin, so they can free Baba Yaga", the world would collapse from the accumulated awesome. So, ultimately, it's a good thing that Paizo didn't go with that.


Turin the Mad wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
Ethandrul wrote:


The 8th Dwarf wrote:

First world war & pathfinder mark me interested.

ooooh good one! and Theodore Roosavelt!

Might as well throw in H.G. Wells, or Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter while you're at it...
I'm shocked nobody has mentioned Nikola Tesla yet. ^^
In certain "alternate histories", Tesla is responsible for the Tunguska 'event' by way of field testing a certain device/weapon of his. Rather severely off-target, the device was shelved for 'not producing the intended result' or somesuch, whereas there was simply no one around that survived when the 'event' occured.

I mentioned him in an earlier post.


magnuskn wrote:
I just imagine that if the synopsis for the module would be "The party teams up with Theodore Roosevelt and Nikola Tesla to take down Rasputin, so they can free Baba Yaga", the world would collapse from the accumulated awesome. So, ultimately, it's a good thing that Paizo didn't go with that.

What if the PCs are spirit-projected into a thematically appropriate collection of historical figures from Golarion to Earth?

The options presented: Theodore Roosevelt, Nikola Tesla, Alain Quartermain, John Carter, Doctor Jekyll, Prince Dakkar (Captain Nemo) ... ;)

Dark Archive

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The blurb had the opposite effect on me. When only the first book was posted it sounded like an interesting mileau-the whole Ice Queen/ Eastern Europe snowbound take. But the later digressions into world hopping and the 20th century just sound too silly to be bearable.

Utterly offputting.


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To be fair, a chicken legged walking hut that bites people and can dimensionally travel, all while being piloted by a witch who flies around in a mortar and pestle is extremely silly too.


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I approve of this discussion.

Dark Archive

It's a question of the threshold you'll accept: different for a fantasy game, hard sci fi, historical etc etc.

It's still possible to exceed that threshold beyond what an individual player/ GM deems playable. This exceeds mine, that's all.

Shadow Lodge

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Again, sorry it's not for you.

Doesn't belay my enthusiasm in the slightest. As I said, if this was just a straight Winterland adventure, I'd have not given it a second look myself. The more bizarre the later chapters have become, the more interested I became.

To each their own.

Dark Archive

What is this obsession with Nikola Tesla anyway? Tesla wasn't Russian, he was Serbian, and he immigrated to the United States in 1884, where he lived the remainder of his life. During WW1 he was working on a cross Atlantic radio tower in New York state (The Wardenclyffe facility, aka. the Tesla Tower), which ultimately failed and was demolished in 1917. As far as I know he never had any involvement with Russia or WW1 at any point in his life.


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Atrocious wrote:
What is this obsession with Nikola Tesla anyway? Tesla wasn't Russian, he was Serbian, and he immigrated to the United States in 1884, where he lived the remainder of his life. During WW1 he was working on a cross Atlantic radio tower in New York state (The Wardenclyffe facility, aka. the Tesla Tower), which ultimately failed and was demolished in 1917. As far as I know he never had any involvement with Russia or WW1 at any point in his life.

Invented Alternating Current. More importantly, came up with a bunch of really cool ideas that 'spark' the imagination. :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also, he was David Bowie. Or David was Tesla. Or just they were time-skipping twins. Or something.


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Also he built Atomic Robo.

Sovereign Court

At an impressionable age, at school, I was shown cool things called Tesla Coils... they grabbed the imagination.


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Atrocious wrote:
During WW1 he was working on a cross Atlantic radio tower in New York state (The Wardenclyffe facility, aka. the Tesla Tower), which ultimately failed and was demolished in 1917.

Enterprising souls are doing me the kindness of seeing something done with that old tower...

Dark Archive

Turin the Mad wrote:
Atrocious wrote:
What is this obsession with Nikola Tesla anyway? Tesla wasn't Russian, he was Serbian, and he immigrated to the United States in 1884, where he lived the remainder of his life. During WW1 he was working on a cross Atlantic radio tower in New York state (The Wardenclyffe facility, aka. the Tesla Tower), which ultimately failed and was demolished in 1917. As far as I know he never had any involvement with Russia or WW1 at any point in his life.
Invented Alternating Current. More importantly, came up with a bunch of really cool ideas that 'spark' the imagination. :)

Alternating current was known way before Tesla came along, he did however invent an AC transformer.

I'm an engineer, so insane and dangerous experiments with electricity is just a part of my day job, so I guess it's just too everyday for me to feel the childlike glee you guys do at the thought of electrocuting everyone within a large radius. Ahh, to be young again for just one day...

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