What is Age of Ashes about?


Second Edition

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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I thought about it but both too obvious and not that well-known, at least as far as any individual is concerned IMO.


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The Raven Black wrote:

It came back to me : what about Tabris ?

We could even hope to get the Concordance of Rivals (with Neutral Champions in it) :-)

You mean like this

Liberty's Edge

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Justin Franklin wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

It came back to me : what about Tabris ?

We could even hope to get the Concordance of Rivals (with Neutral Champions in it) :-)

You mean like this

I missed the announcement. Good to see.

Come to think of it, I do not see Tabris trying to specifically wreck the Inner Sea Region, or even Golarion, with flights of dragons. He would be more of a cosmic-level BBEG


I don't know the dragons name, but isn't this adventure path essentially going to be about fighting the dragon that has been on the front cover of both core rule books?


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I am glad that Pathfinder 2E is able to build on a world that is developed enough that they no longer have to avoid a "dragon" campaign out of fear that it steps on the toes of D&D. I really hope the dragon fighting in this campaign involves Reign of fire level antics for having to research and develop plans for bringing down the most powerful of dragons, rather than just having dragon slaying XYZ items that reduce fighting dragons into numbers games of better bonuses for using the same old strategies used for fighting everything.

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Unicore wrote:
I don't know the dragons name, but isn't this adventure path essentially going to be about fighting the dragon that has been on the front cover of both core rule books?

That would be kind of awesome, but that critter seems a little small for somebody who can challenge a 20th-level party.


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In my experience, a well run dragon tends to dictate the terms of engagement. They are smart enough to have strategies of their own, are deadly at both range and melee, are highly resistant to magic, and have a 200 foot fly speed. And that's before you touch possible spells....

Planning against all that is rather difficult. It is still worth coming up with a plan, but there are few silver bullets for dragons.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

In my experience, a well run dragon tends to dictate the terms of engagement. They are smart enough to have strategies of their own, are deadly at both range and melee, are highly resistant to magic, and have a 200 foot fly speed. And that's before you touch possible spells....

Planning against all that is rather difficult. It is still worth coming up with a plan, but there are few silver bullets for dragons.

That is what has me excited for a dragon themed AP.


Me too! Is this the first dragon-themed Pathfinder AP? I'm not too familiar with the APs they've done,but all the ones I can think of have a lack of dragons as main enemies


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Me too! Is this the first dragon-themed Pathfinder AP? I'm not too familiar with the APs they've done,but all the ones I can think of have a lack of dragons as main enemies

Pretty much every AP has at least one dragon in it somewhere, but they have not been primary antagonists or movers of the plot before.


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CorvusMask wrote:
Come to think about it, how come on nobody has jokely guessed Vancaskerkins? :P Surely one BBEG has to fit the family tree

Given their well-documented penchant for having their plans blow up in their faces... I'm not sure the competence is there ;)


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Cole Deschain wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Come to think about it, how come on nobody has jokely guessed Vancaskerkins? :P Surely one BBEG has to fit the family tree
Given their well-documented penchant for having their plans blow up in their faces... I'm not sure the competence is there ;)

Looking at all the big bad evil bosses of the other APs... they don't have such a different track record... :O

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Elfteiroh wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Come to think about it, how come on nobody has jokely guessed Vancaskerkins? :P Surely one BBEG has to fit the family tree
Given their well-documented penchant for having their plans blow up in their faces... I'm not sure the competence is there ;)
Looking at all the big bad evil bosses of the other APs... they don't have such a different track record... :O

Plans rarely survive contact with PCs.

As GMs, we should all be well aware of this.


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Yeah, Clan Vancaskerkin's members manage to screw things up on their own..


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Ah, yes.
The Vancaskerkins:
Golarian's very own Beagle Boys!

;p


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SO, after watching Pathfinder friday, it sounds like each AP book is going to include an "adventure toolbox" that includes the bestiary/magic items stuff we are familiar with in APs, but they are also going to include new player options that are adventure path specific. I have always loved adventures that allow for thematic story driven rewards that are more than equipment, but it raises a lot of questions about how specific these new feats, spells, powers, etc are going to be revealed to players and whether these things will be opened to general play, or if they will be rare/unique options that are really only supposed to exist within the specific adventure path.

I guess it is my hope that they are incredibly restricted because I worry about new stuff being released every month that ends up becoming confusing with inconsistent rules (haunting mists for example). In theory, I am thinking that is what the whole rarity system is for, but I am curious about whether these adventurer tools will be useful to players that will not know what is coming, especially if there are new ones in every book.


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I think that means they'll be more like the Starfinder Adventure Paths.

Liberty's Edge

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Unicore wrote:
I have always loved adventures that allow for thematic story driven rewards that are more than equipment, but it raises a lot of questions about how specific these new feats, spells, powers, etc are going to be revealed to players and whether these things will be opened to general play, or if they will be rare/unique options that are really only supposed to exist within the specific adventure path.

Based on what they've talked about regarding how Rarity will be used, I'd bet good money that most things from a specific adventure will be Rare, making them impossible to get without either playing that adventure or convincing your GM to alter their rarity.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I have always loved adventures that allow for thematic story driven rewards that are more than equipment, but it raises a lot of questions about how specific these new feats, spells, powers, etc are going to be revealed to players and whether these things will be opened to general play, or if they will be rare/unique options that are really only supposed to exist within the specific adventure path.
Based on what they've talked about regarding how Rarity will be used, I'd bet good money that most things from a specific adventure will be Rare, making them impossible to get without either playing that adventure or convincing your GM to alter their rarity.

I hope that is the approach they take. It makes sense, and will give DMs a relatively easy way to adjudicate these various options.

Love the idea of the adventure toolbox. This sort of thing can help make the AP more of a unique experience.

Silver Crusade

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I have always loved adventures that allow for thematic story driven rewards that are more than equipment, but it raises a lot of questions about how specific these new feats, spells, powers, etc are going to be revealed to players and whether these things will be opened to general play, or if they will be rare/unique options that are really only supposed to exist within the specific adventure path.
Based on what they've talked about regarding how Rarity will be used, I'd bet good money that most things from a specific adventure will be Rare, making them impossible to get without either playing that adventure or convincing your GM to alter their rarity.

Yes, in the GaryCon PF2 Seminar Jason talked about this. He said when he likes to look at an adventure as, what rare things will the players get, so if you see a pc with it you know she must have played this adventure. So it sounds like what you're hoping for


It will be interesting to see how specifically targeted to the campaign they are, or if the toolbox serves somewhat as a testing grounds for abilities that might eventually reappear as an uncommon or common option for classes down the road. Especially with Archetypes being mentioned as a thing that might appear here.


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I am definitely happy for the design space where we can print more things *like* Blood Money without having to deal with every arcane caster just having it "randomly" pop in their head at level up.

Likewise introducing certain magic items in contexts which make their use clearer is going to help people actually want to use those.


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Joe M. wrote:
Yes, in the GaryCon PF2 Seminar Jason talked about this. He said when he likes to look at an adventure as, what rare things will the players get, so if you see a pc with it you know she must have played this adventure. So it sounds like what you're hoping for

Heh, my ranger from my first Rise of the Runelords playthrough wore the Boots of the Mire from Hook Mountain Massacre long after they weren't an optimal choice simply because I'd never seen them before and liked the idea of keeping 'em as a trophy.

I therefore embrace this design direction with unabashed glee.


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Correct me if I'm wrong, but they are moving away from the pfsrd and more to Archive of Nethys, right? That will help keep adventure specific stuff straight because they actually include Golarion specific info. It can actually say "Gray Maiden Dedication" for example.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but they are moving away from the pfsrd and more to Archive of Nethys, right? That will help keep adventure specific stuff straight because they actually include Golarion specific info. It can actually say "Gray Maiden Dedication" for example.

AoN is, I believe, the official partner for Paizo for a systems reference document. People are still going to use PFSRD for various reasons (their google fu is pretty good) because they are allowed under the OGL to use the rules minus the product identity.

But expect to see a lot more "Greatsword Battler" or "Way of the Shooting Star" over on PFSRD.


OK:
Paizo were never closely affiliated with pfsrd in the first place, so they can't move away from it.
They did drop hosting original srd on paizo.com, and 'publically announced' it is now being hosted on AoN's Legacy section,
but the srd is also being hosted on d20srd.org with no involvement or acknowledgement from them, just standard OGL.
(like Paizo's own SRD which it directly mirrored, it only covers "Core Rules" line including Bestiaries, not Setting splat or AP content)
IMHO the d20srd site is superior (faster) to AoN for Legacy SRD, I believe due to caching issues.
(AoN caches their most popular/recent pages, but since legacy PRD is hidden from main page, and most people use it for "new style" AoN...)

The difference in Golarion IP usage was due to OGL allowing freer usage for non-commercial, conflicting with pfsrd usage of ads.
If they actually were ever "close" to d20pfsrd, they certainly could have given them unique licence exception.
AoN never needed any unique licence exception because they are within non-commercial terms of Golarion IP usage.

AFAIK the question remains if Paizo will be creating new 2ndEd 'classic srd' (keeping book/chapter formatting),
or will assume others will harvest and format book (/PDF) content into usable webpages without them.
Given AoN doesn't even put their 'classic SRD' mirror on main page (it was only linked in one 'blog' entry there),
I don't expect them to divert effort from their chosen primary approach towards creating a 'classic' style srd from scratch.
While AFAIK d20srd.org did just directly mirror/copy Paizo's classic Pathfinder SRD, they DID do some minor
formatting adjustments as well as "linkifying" etc when creating 5e SRD based on WotC's SRD (PDF), so they may do similar for P2E.


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BBEG suspicions arising from here and some guesswork...

Something deific- either a deity, or a particularly devout follower.


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I've suspected it was Mammon related for awhile now, on account of his church being based in Isger.

Though, the dragon threw me off for a bit.


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Warning: Wild speculation below!

So, considering the title of the adventure path & Cole Deschain's hint above & the draconic implications...

Could Dahak (& most likely Apsu, too) have a role to play?

Continues speculating...


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James Jacobs on Ask him anything thread wrote:
Jareth Elirae wrote:
Are there any specific deities who like to push the boundaries of the "non-interference in the mortal world" edict (Iomedae seems to have tried to see the limits, in some manner, during Wrath of the Righteous) and is this something Casandalee and Nocticula would struggle with upon becoming new divinities?

Yes, and when they do, they'll show up in adventures or adventure paths*. It's not something Casandalee or Nocticula would struggle with though.

*Age of Ashes spoiler!

hmmm...

Silver Crusade

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I mean, I dropped in in the middle of the Friday twitch stream about the AP but I thought JJ was pretty clear about who the ultimate villain is (PCs know by the end of vol.1)

Spoiler:
Dahak! Though JJ was also clear that PCs don't fight the god, bc they'd immediately lose—just his minions and plots and such

But because I came in midway I may have missed some context.


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Aashaq the Annihilator!

That's my guess for a big bad.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

If Dahak is the overarching threat, then Aashaq as the big bad is effectively confirmed; she is the most powerful cleric of Dahak in the world.

Dark Archive

I mean, it doesn't HAVE to be Aashaq, its not like all clerics of Dahak know each other :p

Joke aside, it could be that Aashaq is leader of the dragon army that happens if PCs fail the campaign instead of final boss of the campaign. I'm kinda disappointed if they nerf Aashaq's power level


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It doesn't even really have to be a nerf - level and CR do not correlate 1-to-1. Aashaq in PF1e is a deadly encounter to a group of 20th level PCs (or would be if PF1e's math weren't so wonky, anyway), and since the campaign goes to 20th I'm sure Aashaq will still be a deadly encounter to a group of 20th level PCs.

She might be "level 23" instead of "CR 25", but that doesn't mean she was nerfed; the new math means that a level 23 creature is probably more dangerous to a group of level 20 PCs than a CR 25 creature was in 1e.

Silver Crusade

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At this point I'd like to point out that Mythic foes (like the Devastator from Wrath of the Righteous) was in the Playtestiary so I'd be cautious of saying creatures at higher levels/CR map the same.

Dark Archive

Wasn't Devastator same CR as original mythic one, just without mythic?

That said, Aashaq was never mythic.

But yeah, I agree that mechanics wise they aren't the same, but flavorwise CR 25 is supposed to be "impossible" for 4 level 20 pcs, meanwhile 23 level creature is just hard(unless that was epic? I remember epic being 4 levels higher than APL) for 4 level 20 pcs.

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From the office of expectation management:

Aashaq does not play a role in this Adventure Path.


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Aww... That means the BBEG probably isn't a dragon, then. When are we going to get a proper dragon BBEG, Paizo? :P


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James Jacobs wrote:

From the office of expectation management:

Aashaq does not play a role in this Adventure Path.

If the question can be answered, how directly involved are the PCs supposed to be with this villain?

previous AP spoilers for clarification:
Not big spoilers, but best to be safe.

What I mean is, where on a scale from say, Reign of Winter to Hell's Rebels is this villain? Elvanna in RoW was barely involved in most of the campain, while Barzilai in Hell's Rebels bloodied the PCs nose on day one.

Basically I'm interested in the idea of a dragon centric campaign, but I am less interested in running a series of five underlings before the boss shows up in book six. I'm hoping for a Vader, not a Palpatine.

I mean, both is fine too, but if it is one or the other I'd rather have the Vader.


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I think that scale might actually have Kingmaker at the low end; if you run the campaign as written, the Kingmaker PCs literally won't know the main villain exists until late book 5. :P


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I only own those two, so they are my examples. ;)


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Hell's Rebels is actually the outlier, really. I don't think Paizo has ever done another AP where the villain interacts that closely with the PCs. Very refreshingly different, but I wouldn't expect another AP like that for a while.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sde I have a feeling we may be getting something similar to what we saw from Serpent's Skull, where we do fight a God in a way near the end. But rather then his full physical form (which ss a God the pcs would lose asap) but instead fight Dahak's Avatar on Golarion, and should they fail. Dragonstorms and the full force of the actual God will come to burn the world.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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MaxAstro wrote:
Aww... That means the BBEG probably isn't a dragon, then. When are we going to get a proper dragon BBEG, Paizo? :P

Age of Ashes. That's when. One of the elements of building out this AP was to address comments that we've never done a dragon BBEG Adventure Path.

There are plenty other dragons other than Aashaq in the world. Be they established already in lore or brand new. Of which this campaign will have a mix of both.

EDIT: By the time volume one is out at Gen Con, we'll be saying everything about the plot in that book in a sort of "GM's supplement" part. I'm going to try very hard until then to keep spoilers tight on the plot though.

Dark Archive

I'm happy about dragon big bad that won't be Aashaq since like I said, I kinda think Aashaq should be powerful non mythic foe for low mythic level 20 party :D (or six level 20 party)

Also its fun that we can keep guessing which dragon it is


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks for the info! I do like that Paizo doesn’t toss dragons around willy-nilly; it makes something like this a lot more impactful.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
By the time volume one is out at Gen Con, we'll be saying everything about the plot in that book in a sort of "GM's supplement" part. I'm going to try very hard until then to keep spoilers tight on the plot though.

So the backmatter of Hellknight Hill will include a summary of thefull AP's plot, is that what you're saying? If so, that's interesting; it would very much help avoid issues like the aforementioned Kingmaker with its villain's late appearance


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Way to toy with my emotions, James. :P

I'm back to fully excited about Age of Ashes again, and now doubly curious about which dragon the villain will be. Maybe it WILL be Daralathyxl, after all...

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