What is Age of Ashes about?


Second Edition

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Don't get me wrong, it's great to finally get some news but I'm afraid the name Age of Ashes doesn't really tell me anything, other than I'll need a respirator mask, and there's apparently a hill chock full of Hellknights.

So, I'm curious if a general plot has been announced and I'm just missing it or if they're doing it to cultivate mystique.

It all sounds fun, just curious. :-)

Liberty's Edge

Nothing beyond the description on the product page seems to have been released beyond the fact that Chapter 1 is in Isger. The implication seems to be that the main villain of the whole AP is a dragon, but that's purely from the product description itself.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Apparently the AP will be about stopping some super dooper fire-breathing dragon who, if not stopped, will convert matter to ash at a rapid pace, thus leading to an age of, erm, ashes.

I sincerely hope it's about Mengkare losing his peanuts after a latest failed batch of "candidates" and deciding TO END THIS WORLD IF HE CAN'T FIX IT.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh well, I was hoping for something a bit more... Exciting.

At least it's not giants.


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captain yesterday wrote:

Oh well, I was hoping for something a bit more... Exciting.

At least it's not giants.

As was discussed recently on the playtest boards, it stands to reason that the first AP is going to be a fairly classic adventure style. Having familiarity with the narrative structure of the adventure will help people adjust to the new mechanics.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

I don't expect to get a full ap rundown until Paizocon. Maybe see part 2, but I doubt the other 4 to 5 parts be named until the Adventure Path panel at paizocon


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If the adventure takes place in Isger, then the Hellknights are most likely the Order of the Godclaw.

Edit: I was wrong -- It's Order of the Nail, as their Citadel is the one mentioned elsewhere.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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We're still working out the best way to do a proper, full on Age of Ashes reveal/announcement. For prior Adventure Paths, of course, we did an hour long seminar at PaizoCon or Gen Con to introduce them and then do a Question/Answer session.

We'll certainly have a seminar about the Age of Ashes Adventure Path at PaizoCon, but I'm hoping to be able to chat a bit more about it somehow, somewhere, someday before then. At this point, my best guess is that it'll be on a stream on a Friday... but I only suggest topics for those streams. I don't make the final decisions about them.

I HAVE revealed that it focuses on the now-abandoned Citadel Altaerein in Isger, so it's the Order of the Nail's original (and much smaller than their bigger citadel in Varisia) castle that features in Hellknight Hill.

We pretty much told the story we want to tell about the Godclaw already as part of Hell's Vengeance.

I can also say that while Hellknight history and stuff does serve as a theme in the first adventure, they are not the primary focus of the whole Adventure Path.

Sczarni

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James Jacobs wrote:


We'll certainly have a seminar about the Age of Ashes Adventure Path at PaizoCon, but I'm hoping to be able to chat a bit more about it somehow, somewhere, someday before then.

*Casts Know Direction*


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I suspect it's about all the ashtrays that everyone had in the '70s and how they were successfully driven away by a band of heroes.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Apparently the AP will be about stopping some super dooper fire-breathing dragon who, if not stopped, will convert matter to ash at a rapid pace, thus leading to an age of, erm, ashes.

So Dark Souls then...*sigh* Better get my Estus Flasks.


An epidemic of Dragon Cold.


Magus Black wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Apparently the AP will be about stopping some super dooper fire-breathing dragon who, if not stopped, will convert matter to ash at a rapid pace, thus leading to an age of, erm, ashes.
So Dark Souls then...*sigh* Better get my Estus Flasks.

Hey, it could always be a meta-game shift like adventures of edition changes past. (See time of troubles, fate of istus and the the general insanity that wrapped around the 4e forgotten realms)


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Voss wrote:
Magus Black wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Apparently the AP will be about stopping some super dooper fire-breathing dragon who, if not stopped, will convert matter to ash at a rapid pace, thus leading to an age of, erm, ashes.
So Dark Souls then...*sigh* Better get my Estus Flasks.
Hey, it could always be a meta-game shift like adventures of edition changes past. (See time of troubles, fate of istus and the the general insanity that wrapped around the 4e forgotten realms)

No, they already said they're not doing the cataclism edition change trope.


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Since this is a thread about the AP I guess it's not necessary with spoiler-tags.
From the Friday chat with Erik Mona:
Starts out at 1st level, PCs will probably be mostly natives of Isger. If you draw a straight line from where the Whispering Tyrant is to Absalom, that would run straight through Isger (relevance to the AP is uncertain or if it's just a bit of background on Isger).
The heroes start in a small town close to the Hellknight fortress and they go explore it. In the basement they find a network of ancient portals that will take them to various spots all throughout the "new" campaign setting, including places off the map that we've not gone to before, ever, but that people are asking for constantly.
In the course of doing that the players uncover a sort of conspiracy that is geared towards unleashing a flight of dragons to devastate the Inner Sea area.
So, it's a "Draconic conspiracy", it's a wide ranging adventure path that in some ways will make a perfect introduction to some of the goings on in the "new" campaign setting.
The ultimate villain is a character that people who have been paying attention to Pathfinder for a while have definitely heard of (but Erik, of course, didn't reveal who exactly). He thinks it's going to be really interesting and probably very surprising.


While they said they're not doing the cataclysmic edition change thing, they did say there will be AP changes to the setting. And I'm getting the impression more and more that The Whispering Tyrant isn't going to be destroyed at the end of Tyrant's Grasp, and will probably be ruling the Vyrlich region of Ustalav and possibly much of what is currently Lastwall (likely in a diminished form and not full power, but a presence in the world). Not quite a Time of Troubles, but in line with some of the changes from previous APs. The straight line from Gallowspire to Absalom thing, I suspect is a reference to him leaving a trail of destruction, accidentally setting off whatever happens in Age of Ashes.


So lets speculate a bit - what are the interesting places to visit?
New Thassilon is probably a given. Will they Close the worldwound as after Wrath of the Righteous? Which other Adventure Paths have resulted in drastically changed countries?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This could get awful spoilery in a hurry, best to use spoiler tags if we're going down that road.


As for locations. I'd bet that one of them is going to be Arcadia. There was mention of going to multiple locations, including some off the map that people have wanted to see for a long time. Arcadia is clearly the top there. But maybe something like Vudra too.


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I think Arcadia is less likely because

recent Adventure Paths spoilers:
Tyrant's Grasp goes there.

Liberty's Edge

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I would say Orb of Dragonkind

Vudra ; Jalmeray ; but especially Hermea. Though unlikely that Mengkare is the BBEG because that would not be very surprising


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Hm... I'm not sure it'll be an Orb of Dragonkind either, at least not as the main thing, because we already had an AP where the main villain used one.

I think "powerful dragon marshaling army of similar dragons" is much more likely.


Places we haven't visited yet that would be interesting to drop into: Geb, Nex, Alkenstar, Nidal, Galt, Hermea, Vudra, Sarusan (I hope we don't go to Sarusan.)


Good point about Arcadia. In which case I think Vudra might be the most likely candidate after that for an off-map location. I'm pretty sure they've said that they're not going to do anything on Sarusan. Leaving it as kind of a GM playground that won't be contradicted by canon. There's also Southern Garund and Casmaron.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I can say this—for Age of Ashes, we're not going "off map." The entire Adventure Path takes place in areas that show up on the map on page 7 of the Inner Sea World Guide (although some of those locations are brand new areas we've never talked about before, like the small town of Breachill in Isger, where the Adventure Path begins).


James Jacobs wrote:
I can say this—for Age of Ashes, we're not going "off map." The entire Adventure Path takes place in areas that show up on the map on page 7 of the Inner Sea World Guide (although some of those locations are brand new areas we've never talked about before, like the small town of Breachill in Isger, where the Adventure Path begins).

I also took Erik's "off map" comment to mean areas that hadn't been detailed before, but were within the scope of the world as had been revealed so far.


James Jacobs wrote:
I can say this—for Age of Ashes, we're not going "off map." The entire Adventure Path takes place in areas that show up on the map on page 7 of the Inner Sea World Guide (although some of those locations are brand new areas we've never talked about before, like the small town of Breachill in Isger, where the Adventure Path begins).

Ah ok. So still in the Inner Sea region. There are quite a few places that haven't been explored, so that's still good. Hermea would be a fun stop, especially because dragons, and because It's been so closed off and unseen. Galt maybe. Druma? Jalmeray would be cool.

Dark Archive

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When someone mentions an extremely powerful dragon my first thought is

AP Spoiler:
Choral the Conqueror from the "Continuing the Campaign" section of Kingmaker. Seems like someone that longtime fans would recognize, being from one of the most popular APs from PF1.

But that's probably just wishful thinking on my part.

Sovereign Court

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Gorbacz wrote:

Apparently the AP will be about stopping some super dooper fire-breathing dragon who, if not stopped, will convert matter to ash at a rapid pace, thus leading to an age of, erm, ashes.

I sincerely hope it's about Mengkare losing his peanuts after a latest failed batch of "candidates" and deciding TO END THIS WORLD IF HE CAN'T FIX IT.

The Age of Ashes is about Damiel creating his own Army of Darkness Ashness consisting solely of Evil Ash Williamses to loot, pillage, run amok, snark, and groove-ily conquer Cheliax from Queen Abri Normal and her gang of Looney Thrunes.


It'll span multiple continents (revealed by Erik in the Game Trade Media Twitch stream from GAMA - Q&A after the game run by Jason).

Liberty's Edge

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GentleGiant wrote:
It'll span multiple continents (revealed by Erik in the Game Trade Media Twitch stream from GAMA - Q&A after the game run by Jason).

This is slightly misleading. It's true, but the continents in question are Avistan and Garund (ie: he immediately followed up by saying it all occurs in the Inner Sea area).

Scarab Sages

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LuniasM wrote:

When someone mentions an extremely powerful dragon my first thought is

** spoiler omitted **

But that's probably just wishful thinking on my part.

They did just release a video game set near there, and they are planning on advancing the timeline and describing how changes from each AP success shows up in world. I think this is a likely choice!

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Another red I just thought of would be Glarataxus, but I don't think we'll be going back there so soon. Maybe we'll find out where G disappears to.


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I highly doubt it will be Choral, because a number of people (myself including) will have already killed Choral off via that same continuing the campaign section.

My players remember Choral and his army of fire giants as one of the most epic victories they ever had, and I doubt Paizo would risk decanonizing stories like that by using him in another AP.

Silver Crusade

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Gorbacz wrote:
I sincerely hope it's about Mengkare losing his peanuts after a latest failed batch of "candidates" and deciding TO END THIS WORLD IF HE CAN'T FIX IT.

Still my favorite theory, especially after Erik's comment on last week's Twitch stream (timestamped link):

Erik Mona wrote:
And the last thing I'll say about it is the ultimate villain is a character that people who have been paying attention to Pathfinder for a while have definitely heard of, and I cannot wait to reveal it. It's gonna be really interesting, I think in some ways it's gonna be very surprising, and it's gonna be rad.

Mengkare is the suggestion I've seen so far that most seems to fit with "really interesting ... in some ways very surprising."

Sczarni

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Age of Ashes is

avengers spoilers:
what happens after The Snap

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Someone very well known for quite some time but who might have enjoyed lesser exposure recently, likely because they were chosen to be this BBEG ?

And both interesting (as in allows to explore new kinds of stories, I would guess), and very surprising, as in someone we would not expect to be a BBEG, maybe because of apparent alignment or power.

I do not believe Mengkare fits the bill though. He is not that well-known by people, even in years past, and many are already quite suspicious about him so it would not be that surprising.

It might be Razmir, though I think such a story would be too close to that of the Whispering Tyrant.

At first I thought of someone like that kindly Cleric in Sandpoint whose name eludes me. But not sure he is that well-known if you have not played in Sandpoint.

I thought of Seltyiel too. Or Durvin Gest.

Arggh. Just thought of someone else who was a potential candidate and the thought escaped me and I cannot find it again. Surely it was them


I confess, I know who Mengkare is and what he's about but could not tell you the first thing about Durvin Gest or Seltyiel.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I confess, I know who Mengkare is and what he's about but could not tell you the first thing about Durvin Gest or Seltyiel.

<shocked!>

Surely you're having a brain-fart!?

<shocked!>

He's an ICONIC !

<shocked!>

;p

Dark Archive

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I confess, I know who Mengkare is and what he's about but could not tell you the first thing about Durvin Gest or Seltyiel.

Durvin Gest on other hand is just the most famous Pathfinder in existence :p

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It came back to me : what about Tabris ?

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


I'm curious if that Ghost Dragon in Rahadoum shows up.
Seems like could be potential ally who knows the dirt on the ones behind this plot.
Rahadoum also has been less explored AFAIK, so would be reasonable locale to visit...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I can say this for sure: Iconics pretty much NEVER show up in our adventures or Adventure Paths–they're meant to be stand-ins for your PCs. The only time we've used an iconic as a character in anything we've published (other than as sample pregenerated characters) is in Return of the Runelords, where they served as proxies for whoever played the prior adventures (Rise of the Runelords or Shattered Star) at your table.

AKA: The BBG of Age of Ashes is not Seltyiel. Or any iconic, for that matter.

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:

I can say this for sure: Iconics pretty much NEVER show up in our adventures or Adventure Paths–they're meant to be stand-ins for your PCs. The only time we've used an iconic as a character in anything we've published (other than as sample pregenerated characters) is in Return of the Runelords, where they served as proxies for whoever played the prior adventures (Rise of the Runelords or Shattered Star) at your table.

AKA: The BBG of Age of Ashes is not Seltyiel. Or any iconic, for that matter.

It’s Alain’s horsie isn’t it?


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CorvusMask wrote:
Durvin Gest on other hand is just the most famous Pathfinder in existence :p

It feels like if you play APs (making your own characters) but never PFS you hear very little about the iconics (though you probably know what they look like from the art) or the Pathfinder Society.

Like in all the games of Pathfinder I have been part of I've probably been to more haunted or abandoned Pathfinder Lodges than met living Pathfinders.

Dark Archive

Mammon!


James Jacobs wrote:

I can say this for sure: Iconics pretty much NEVER show up in our adventures or Adventure Paths–they're meant to be stand-ins for your PCs. The only time we've used an iconic as a character in anything we've published (other than as sample pregenerated characters) is in Return of the Runelords, where they served as proxies for whoever played the prior adventures (Rise of the Runelords or Shattered Star) at your table.

AKA: The BBG of Age of Ashes is not Seltyiel. Or any iconic, for that matter.

It's Damiel, isn't it? His experiments turned him into a dragon-like creature and since he's no longer an iconic, replaced by Fumbus, he'd make the obvious, non-obvious villain!


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I'm still betting on Reincarnated Goblin Aroden turned Evil... Good guy act has to get boring eventually.

Dark Archive

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I do admit that Durvin Gest is HISTORICAL pathfinder :D Just has his statue around Grand Lodge and all.(and famous for random deeds like throwing one lens into bottomless well iirc)

Anyhoo, I'm in "I hope its actual dragon" since monster bbegs are actually kinda rare in APs :D

Dark Archive

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

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