June New Releases!

Hey, guys! It’s that time again! A new month brings new releases!

There were plenty of fun releases last month, including two awesome pawn collections I’d love to get my hands on: Ruins of Azlant Pawn Collection and Starfinder Pact Worlds Pawn Collection. We were also treated to War for the Crown: Part 4 of 6: City in the Lion’s Eye, and the Pathfinder Players Companion: Blood of the Ancients. The Pathfinder Society Scenarios were solid, and the Starfinder Society Scenarios really knocked it out of the park. Amazing! And this month? Well, I think it’s looking just as exciting…

PZO1141First up, Pathfinder’s released a new hardcover book: Planar Adventures. I’ve been a huge fan of Pathfinder Chronicles: Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Great Beyond since it’s release, so to see that the Planes are getting an entire hardcover complete with new archetypes, feats, spells, gear, monsters and three player races, is AWESOME!

Moving on from hardcovers into softcovers, we come to Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Realms. Inside this book you’ll find details on six completely different planar cities, complete with maps, history, locations and the cities movers and shakers. Which six cities does it contain? I’m not sure about all of them, but I do know you can expect to find the city of Dis in Hell, the isle of Yulgamot on the Astral Plane, Basrakal (I have no idea where that will be…) and, my personal favourite, Shadow Absalom! Colour me intrigued!

We’ve also got two other awesome adventure path volumes coming out. War for the Crown, which has been spectacularly popular, is getting it’s second last instalment! That’s right! War for the Crown: Part 5 of 6: The Reaper’s Right Hand! And on the Starfinder front? The finale of it’s first adventure path! Dead Suns: Part 6 of 6: Empire of Bones! I cannot wait to get my hands on that bad boy!

PZO90131On the Flip-Mat front we have two to peruse this month. Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Bigger Village is a super-sized play mat which features a desert oasis village on one side, and a walled village on the other side. Both sides seem quite nice looking, and rather usable. The second flip-mat is a super popular mat reprinted. Which one? Flip Mat: Classics: Pub Crawl! One side features a street lined with taverns, while the other is an expanded Flip-Mat: Warehouse for a more cheap and grungy kind of bar. This one’s bound to see a ton of use in PFS play, so I’d get your hands on it while you can.

Near the end of this month we’ll have two new Pathfinder Society Scenarios, and two new Starfinder Society Scenarios  to dive into. PFS: #9-22: Grotto of the Deluged God is a tier 1-5 scenario that tasks your PCs with investigating a shipwreck and contributes to the ongoing storyline of the Concordance faction. Meanwhile, PFS: #9-23: The Ghol-Gan Heresy is a tier 7-11 scenario that lets you take on the Aspis Consortium alongside your grippli allies! In addition to continuing previous events in the Kaava Lands, this scenario also contributes to the ongoing storyline of the Exchange.

SFS: #1-16: Dreaming of the Future is an exciting scenario! A series of four one-hour long quests that task your players with investigating the prophetic visions of a Liavaran Dreamer. These quests take you far across the Pact Worlds, into the Diaspora, Aballon, Verces and, of course, Liavara. This scenario is for tiers 1-4, features starship combat, and is REPEATABLE. Awesome! SFS: 1-17: Reclaiming the Time-Lost Tear is a tier 5-8 scenario. Yup, you heard that right! Tier 5-8! Even more exciting? It continues the story of the Scoured Stars! Pardon me while I squeal in delight!

June’s releases are looking amazing! Got a favourite? Let us know!

Jessica

 

Pathfinder Society Scenarios: Scourge of the Farheavens and In the Grandmaster’s Name!

Today we’re going to take a look at two of the most recent Pathfinder Society Scenarios that are currently available for purchase, and let you know we thought. Although you’ll find references to events in each that I liked or disliked, and comments about specific characters, these scenarios are not explored in detail. It’s not my intention to spoil the events in these scenarios, or give summaries and full reviews, but to share my opinions and provide recommendations. That said, if you want to avoid even minor spoilers then I recommend clicking on a different article. Whether you intend to use them in home games of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, sanctioned scenarios for use with the Pathfinder Society Organized Play, or just want to read a nifty new adventure, we’ve got you covered! So let’s get cracking!

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Scenario #9-18: Scourge of the Farheavens, by Jason Own Black.

Scenario #9-18: Scourge of the Farheavens is a Tier 1-5 adventure written by Jason Owen Black which takes place in Iobaria. For those of you who don’t know, Iobaria is located northeast of Brevoy, just off the map of the Inner Sea. It’s a place they’ve rarely focused on for Pathfinder products. As far as I know the only other adventure that takes place there is Pathfinder Adventure Path 69: Maiden, Mother, Crone (Reign of Winter Part 3 of 6), while Pathfinder Adventure Path 33: The Varnhold Vanishing (Kingmaker Part 3 of 6) features a gazetteer on the region. If you’re curious, check out this nifty map of Iobaria! But, if you want the short, short summary: Iobaria’s cold, sparsely populated, generally ‘uncivilized,’ and prone to devastating plagues. It was once home to a Cyclopian nation, as well as an Ulfen one, and some of its people have ties to old Sarkoris. Sounds fun, right? Right! More specifically, this scenario takes places in an independent city-state called Mishkar, as well as a ruined village in the Norinor Forest.  It features creatures from Bestiary 3 and Bestiary 4 (although all of the necessary stat blocks are included within the scenario) and utilizes the Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Bigger Forest, and Pathfinder Map Pack: Ruined Village.

The Pathfinder Society has recently gained access to some old Sarkorian ruins, and wants to get the assistance of Sarkorians (or their descendants) to help them interpret the ruins and culture, before it is lost forever. To that end, the PCs are sent to Mishkar to meet with a refugee by the name of Nelket, whom the Society hopes to ally with. It’s a delightfully fun romp, that has a wide variety of social encounters (some of which could be quite challenging). It gives you a bit of a glimpse into Iobarian culture, but Mishkar didn’t feel very different to me, which is a shame. That minor nitpick aside, I thought it was a great scenario. Now, I ADORE adventures where you get to explore exotic locales, ruins and cultures. So, it should come as no surprise that I loved this scenario. Admittedly, I might be biased. Haha. I give this scenario five out of five stars.

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Dolok Darkfur from Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-18: Scourge of the Farheavens. Illustration by Sebastian Rodriguez.
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Scenario #9-21: In the Grandmaster’s Name, by Jenny Jarzabski

Scenario #9-21: In the Grandmaster’s Name is a Tier 3-7 scenario written by Jenny Jarzabski. It takes place in Druma, and is of particular importance to members of the Grand Lodge Faction. It features enemies from Bestiary 2, Bestiary 4, and the NPC Codex, and uses a single custom map. It features subterfuge, reconnaissance, infiltration, and trickery, so be sure to choose your PC wisely!

Now, it should be noted, that Grandmaster Torch does not appear in this scenario. (I found this very disappointing! Haha.) Instead, the PCs are tasked with impersonating some of his couriers. They must deliver a message to another courier, this one serving two one-time allies turned enemies: Ex-Venture-Captain Thurl, and Pasha Muhlia al-Jakri. If the PCs are successful, the message will (hopefully) cause Thurl and Muhlia to leave their defensible hide-out and move on to a new location, giving the Pathfinder Society the perfect opportunity to strike against them! If you’ve got characters kicking around who have met these characters before, now is definitely the time to bring them out to play! No idea who those two are? Thurl can be found in Scenarios: #2-08: Sarkorian Prophesy, #5-09: The Traitor’s Lodge, #5-24: Assault on the Wound, #5-25: Vengeance at the Sundered Crag, #7-17: Thralls of the Shattered God, #9-06: Shores of Heaven, and the Special: Siege of the Diamond City. As for Muhlia? As the old leader of the Qadiran Faction, she’s been mentioned and featured in a ton of early scenarios, but most notably #2-21: The Dalsine Affair, #6-05: Slave Ships of Absalom, and #6-11: Slave Master’s Mirror. But enough about the past! What’s up with this scenario? In an effort to prevent too many spoilers, I won’t go into detail, but I will mention that it involves Kalistocrats and Blackjackets! Exciting! Finally, the events in this scenario directly lead to another upcoming scenario, #9-25: Betrayal in the Bones, which is a Seeker level mission. All that excitement aside, I found that this scenario fell short of what I expected. In the end, I’m only giving it three out of five stars.

Thanks for joining us today! We’ll see you again soon, when we take a look at the two newest Starfinder Society Scenarios!

Jessica

 

Pathfinder Society Scenario Reviews: A Case of Missing Persons and the Fury of the Final Blade!

Today we’re going to take a look at one of the most recent Pathfinder Society Scenarios that are currently available for purchase, as well as it’s prequel, and let you know what we thought. Although you’ll find references to events in each that I liked or disliked, and comments about specific characters, these scenarios are not explored in detail. It’s not my intention to spoil the events in these scenarios, or give summaries and full reviews, but to share my opinions and provide recommendations. That said, if you want to avoid even minor spoilers then I recommend clicking on a different article. Whether you intend to use them in home games of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, sanctioned scenarios for use with the Pathfinder Society Organized Play, or just want to read a nifty new adventure, we’ve got you covered! So without further ado, let’s get started!

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The sigil of the Liberty’s Edge Faction.

Today, both of our scenarios focus on the Liberty’s Edge faction of the Pathfinder Society. This group is run by Major Colson Maldris, and many members are willing to bend and break laws in order to promote freedom throughout Golarion. They tend to utilize diplomacy, sabotage, proselytizing, and trickery to their advantage, and in addition to battling slavers and fighting oppression, they seek to spread hope among the downtrodden, and to inspire others to fight. There’s plenty of Liberty’s Edge related missions out there, but today we’re going to take a look at the brand new Scenario #9-20: Fury of the Final Blade, as well as it’s prequel, Scenario #9-02: A Case of Missing Persons.

These scenarios are heavily influenced by events that occur in other scenarios, and feature a variety of characters who have made appearances in the past.  PCs who have played some of these older scenarios are bound to get some extra satisfaction from playing these two scenarios. To prevent too many spoilers, I won’t say why these scenarios are relevant, but I will mention them! Relevant scenarios include:  #6: Black Waters, #3-16: The Midnight Mauler, #4-16: The Fabric of Reality, #5-03: The Hellknight’s Feast, #5-04: The Stolen Heir, #5-99: The Paths We Choose, #7-05: School of Spirits and #8-06: Reaping What We Sow. Both scenarios also feature Eliza Petulengro as the Venture-Captain.

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Scenario #9-02: A Case of Missing Persons, written by Alex Greenshields

Scenario #9-02: A Case of Missing Persons is a Tier 3-7 adventure which takes place in Woodsedge in Galt, as well as the Verduran Forest. It also features travel through they mysterious Maze of the Open Road, which is an interesting (but brief) addition to the scenario. The Maze of the Open Road is described further in the Pathfinder Player Companion: Pathfinder Society Primer, and is featured in the Eyes of the Ten Pathfinder Scenarios (Scenarios #46: Requiem for the Red Raven, #54: Maze of the Open Road, #2-05: The Red Revolution, and #2-22: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained). Be forewarned: The Eyes of the Ten series is an oldie, but awesome, and I highly recommend experiencing it as a player before reading it.

As the title so clearly points out, A Case of Missing Persons tasks the PCs with investigating the abduction of a group of missing people. I won’t give away much more about the investigation, as following the clues yourself is one of the best parts of a good mystery, but what I will say is that it involves members of Andoran’s Free People’s Council, and the Grey Gardeners of Galt! This missions requires discretion, intelligence, cunning and inventiveness, so choose your PCs carefully! In addition, the amount of time that passes matters, which always ups the ante a bit. Occasionally this can be a source of distraction, but I found it both well handled and integral to the plot line, so I enjoyed it. The investigation itself was enjoyable. It has plenty of threads to pull at and clues to tie together. I was certainly surprised at certain points, which was fun to see! But, my favourite part of the scenario? The DELIGHTFUL fey encounters. SO GOOD! Overall, I give this scenario four out of five stars.

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Scenario #9-20: Fury of the Final Blade, written by Lyz Liddell.

Scenario #9-20: Fury of the Final Blade is a Tier 7-11 adventure which picks up a few weeks after the end of #9-02: A Case of Missing Persons. The difference in tier means that if you want to play them in close succession you’ll want to start as a level six or seven character. This scenario takes place in Rosehaven and Isarn, both of which are located in the nation of Galt, and tasks the PCs with recusing the missing persons from the previous scenario, as well as the leader of the Liberty’s Edge Faction, Major Colson Maldris himself! This means you’ll have to track down the locations of the prisoners, face of against the Grey Gardeners and enact a daring prison break, all before the prisoners lose their heads to the notorious, soul-stealing guillotines: the Final Blades. Once again, time is of the essence, as the PCs must race against the clock if they’re to have any chance of saving the prisoners. The stakes are very high in this adventure, and failure could mean the beginning of an international incident, and war. In addition, the life of Major Colson Maldris is literally in your hands! Whether he lives or dies is entirely up to your players.

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Colson Maldris from #9-20: Fury of the Final Blade. Illustrated by Marko Horvatin.

This scenario features some fun investigation elements, which are adaptable enough to allow all of the different members of the party a chance to shine. The infiltration segment is well created, allowing different groups to use different methods for accessing, and progressing through the location. It also has some very unexpected enemies. But, in my opinion, this scenario’s greatest strength is in it’s dynamic battles. Overall, I really enjoyed this scenario, and give it four out of five stars.

Thanks for joining us today on our foray into the recent events of the Liberty’s Edge Faction! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about them as much as I have! Tune in later this week for our sneak peek of the other most recent Pathfinder Society Scenario, and both of the brand new Starfinder Society Scenarios!

Until then, Get rolling!

Jessica

 

Farewell to OutPost

As we roll into the month of May, we reach the end of the online play-by-post convention for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Starfinder Roleplaying Game: OutPost!

OutPost marked my first PFS convention. It was also my husband and children’s first foray into play-by-post gaming, and their second adventure in the Pathfinder Society, so it was pretty exciting for us! My husband signed up for one game, while my children each signed up for two. And me? Well, I signed up for a lot. Three for Starfinder and three for Pathfinder. Plus the Solstice Scar Special.

All of the scenarios were a blast, and we had the wonderful luck to play alongside some awesome GMs and players. All told, not counting specials, OutPost hosted fourteen games of Core Pathfinder Society Scenarios, fifty-seven games of Classic/Standard Pathfinder Society scenarios, eleven games of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, and twenty-four games of Starfinder. That makes for nearly a hundred games!

So, what did we play?

I’ll tell you!


Black Waters

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Glyph of the Open Road, symbol of the Pathfinder Society and the Grand Lodge faction.

My husband, children and I all signed up for an old classic: Scenario #06: Black Waters. From season zero, this adventure is intended for tier 1-2 and 4-5, and was written by Tim and Eileen Connors back before Pathfinder had it’s own rules set. It was being run by one of my favourite GMs I’ve had the pleasure of playing alongside on Paizo’s Messageboards, GM Shieldbug, who gave us a great game. Seriously. It was such a wonderful experience, my kids and husband are now thoroughly spoiled. I warned them after we finished this scenario to lower their expectations for whatever scenario they signed up to next, because not all GMs are as awesome as Shieldbug. They didn’t believe me at the time, but for the record, they do now. If you happen to be lucky enough to join a game he’s running, I highly recommend leaping at the opportunity. You won’t regret it.

Black Waters takes place in the Beldrin’s Bluff district of Absalom. Once a neighbourhood full of the wealthy elite, this area was devastated by an earthquake a decade or so ago, which killed many, and sent an entire chunk of the cliffs the neighbourhood was built upon, tumbling into the sea. Included in this devastation was a school for the city’s elite called the Tri-Towers Yard, which collapsed into an ancient underground necropolis. As the buildings are destroyed, black foul water rose up from below, drowning all those who weren’t crushed. The Tri-Towers yard was sealed up, and no one has been allowed inside–or into the necropolis–since. Lucky for us, the Pathfinders have finally been granted clearance, presuming they treat the site with respect.

My husband played Enzo Jeggare, a well-groomed, Chelaxian nobleman with pale skin, black hair, grey eyes, and a fabulous moustache. He’s a handsome, if lanky, gentleman with a reputation as a philanthropist and a conjurer. He enjoys fine wine, fine company, and ancient magical objects. Enzo is a secretive man, which gives him an air of mystery. Though well-practised in the art of evasion, he’s an awkward liar. He is never without his Devil Deck—a beautifully illustrated harrow deck adorned with images of devils and infernal symbolism—and a worn-out dog figurine that he can occasionally be seen speaking to. Enzo’s an occultist who specializes in conjuring creatures. He used his esteemed family’s political connections to gain membership into the Dark Archive’s faction of the Pathfinders, and is hopeful that handling other objects of power will allow him to access other magical abilities.

My daughter played a two-tailed kitsune druid (saurian shaman) with pink fur and eyes by the name of Bunny Paras. She is always accompanied by her pink and yellow pet parasaurolophus, called Paras, and adores rabbits. She and Paras run a rabbit farm–although they are sold only as pets, and are not for eating! Bunny Paras is a vegetarian, and a good healer. Paras loves to sing and dance, and is very, very loud.

My son is playing Senton, a pale Ulfen ranger better known as Mr. Ice. He is always shivering with cold, and has constantly chattering teeth.  He wears warm winter clothes in every weather, including a big furry hat on his head, and a fur cloak and boots. He has a black patch on his cheek from some old frost bite, a big bushy beard, and a full moustache. Under his hat his hair is grey and his eyes are blue. He likes to fight with his short swords and his fine longbow. Senton works on Bunny Paras’ rabbit farm as a guard. He often lays traps to protect the farm.

Their characters were first introduced in the d20 Diaries blog post: Joining the Pathfinder Society, where I talked about their backgrounds, creation, and mechanics. Their first adventure, playing Scenario #9-10: Signs in Senghor, was chronicled in a two part series on d20 Diaries: Signs in Senghor: Part One and Signs in Senghor: Part Two.

But, this kooky trio wasn’t the only Pathfinders on the case. I played my wood kineticist, Everbloom, a wild and curious kitsune who grew up alone in the wilds and views life and death as just another fascinating part of existence. Her fur is an orangy-brown, with bits of leaves and flower petals constantly tangled in its length. Everbloom’s easily fascinated by people and places, and just as easily bores of them. More than a little aloof and uncaring, Everbloom comes off as way nicer than she actually is.

The final character was Tera Fosham, a veiled ifrit oracle with clouded vision whose healing touch and blessings were invaluable on this adventure.

Together, these five Pathfinders enjoyed some awesome roleplaying with their venture captain (Drandle Dreng), at a fancy dinner party held alongside Absalom’s nobility, and with the caretaker of the Tri-Towers Yard, who is equal parts sad, deluded, and gifted. Possibly insane. I’ll leave that up for debate! From there they investigated the haunted classrooms, and foul black waters of the estate. Battling off monstrous bugs and undead, they descended into the ancient necropolis to discover its secrets. Along the way, they made some amazing discoveries, and even saved a little girl. The frail–but still alive–Junia Dacilane. Junia reappears a decade down the road in the Pathfinder Society Scenario #7-05: School of Spirits (which is a delight), and can even be found in the  Pathfinder Society Pawn Collection, which I only recently discovered and am itching to get my hands on!

Want to follow along with their adventures? Check out the complete gameplay for our group here.

In the time since playing Black Waters, Enzo, Bunny Paras, Paras and Mr. Ice have played through the Many Fortunes of Grandmaster Torch, and are soon to begin Scenario #7-10: The Consortium Compact!


Delirium’s Tangle

My children were so excited to play in OutPost that they created a second character each for the occasion, a pair of twenty-five year olds who couldn’t be more different. Lady Naysha is an oracle of whimsy who stumbled in the First World through a fairy ring, and came back over a decade later looking like not a day had passed. A few years have passed since then, but she still doesn’t look a day over twelve. Lady Naysha has a child-like enthusiasm and innocence about her. She believes her stuffed rabbit, Miss Whiskers, is the source of her powers (which is entirely false, by the way), and can all upon her fairy friend to play tricks on her enemies.  Contrariwise, my son made a paladin of Iomedae who is brave, bold and true! Unfortunately, he died fighting in the Worldwound. Iomedae took pity on him and granted him a second life, but he was reincarnated as an old man, with horrible memory problems. Unable to even remember his name, he calls himself Fuzzzy, and he relies on his pet owl, Bobby, to keep him on track. For full details on my Lady Naysha and Fuzzzy, check out my blog post OutPost Commences.

I joined them, with my dwarven fighter, Juno Berik, a self-centred woman who believes she’s far more important than she’s given credit for. Together with some other quirky characters, they entered a complicated maze underneath Absalom City to search for a lost minotaur prince, Nuar Spiritskin, in another classic PFS Scenario, #45: Delirium’s Tangle. This is a tier 1-5 scenario written by Crystal Frasier. Personally, I find this is a difficult scenario to run by play-by-post, as navigating a maze is always tricky in person, never mind over message boards. When it could take an entire day for a team to roll a single perception or survival check–which could be done in seconds in person–there’s a high probability the game will get bogged down. Fortunately, our GM was wonderful at streamlining the navigation process. In fact, this scenario finished first out of all the games I played! As poor navigators, the sheer number of pit traps we endured (and by endured I mean fell into over and over again) was painful (literally), and has left permanent mental scarring on Juno. Fuzzzy was also traumatized by the event–for about a minute before he promptly forgot about it. The fights and secret chambers were interesting, and left my kids hungry for more information on the maze and its connecting chambers. The final battle was interesting, as was the wrap-up roleplaying. All in all, we had a lot of fun, although this one certainly left a lot of unanswered questions.

You can read our complete gameplay experience here, if you’re interested.

In the time since, Lady Naysha’s begun Scenario #5-08: The Confirmation, alongside my husband’s character, Toban Tangletop (check out the ongoing gameplay here). Fuzzzy’s moved on to combat the Master of the Fallen Fortress (a free download on Paizo’s website, by the way) and rescue a lost Pathfinder (check out the ongoing gameplay here). And, Juno’s decided to tell the Aspis Consortium where to shove it, in Scenario #4-07: Severing Ties. Currently being as boorish and mean as she can be, she’s in Riddleport, happily dragging the Aspis Consortium’s name through the mud. This scenario’s about to begin a two-week break while some of the participants go on vacation, but you can check out it’s progress so far, here.


The Unseen Inclusion

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Symbol of the Scarab Sages, a faction of the Pathfinder Society.

I was positively thrilled to bring my beloved half-orc monk, Kenza Bloodborn, through Scenario #9-04: The Unseen Inclusion. Why? Well, as a member of the Scarab Sages, whose faction stories have come to an end, I wanted to see my stoic warrior tackle a Scarab Sage-centric mission. Taking place in the Thuvian city of Merab, Kenza delved into haunted ruins on the hunt for a mysterious spirit that even now seeks her master’s jewels… Part dungeon delve and part investigation, I had no idea what to expect with this scenario when I signed up for it, but I ended up having a blast. She had plenty of opportunities to hurl herself into danger to protect her allies, and nearly died on more than one occasion. You can check out the complete gamplay here.

In the time since, Kenza’s journeyed to Absalom for the first time, in order to pay her respect to the centre of her order. There, she’s been called on by Venture Captain Drandle Dreng, on a mission of great importance… Fetching him a bottle of wine. Fortunately, this mission is a lot more than it seems at first, leading the group through hidden chambers, abandoned homes, conspiracies and secrets, and even into Absalom’s Temple of the Fallen. That’s right, she’s playing through a super quick run of Scenario #6-10: The Wounded Wisp. Check out her adventure so far, here.


Yesteryear’s Truth

But not everything’s about Pathfinder! I’m also involved in three wonderful Starfinder Society Scenarios. My primary SFS character, a bold, boastful vesk solarion with far more brawn than brains by the name of Julakesh Starfist participated in Scenario #1-03: Yesteryear’s Truth. We’ve already spoken about Julakesh earlier this week, but if you’ve missed it, check out my blog post Competitions and Compliments. If you’re interested in reading Julakesh’s experiences in Yesteryear’s Truth, the complete gameplay if found here. Want a summary? She discovered a new planet, engaged in amazing battles, attempted to befriend the planet’s natives, and made a lot of people laugh! Seriously, a ton of fun. Speaking of fun, Julakesh recently began a new adventure that’s tailor made for her: Scenario #1-07: The Solar Sortie. Or, it’s half made for her, anyway… Sent to retrieve information from a corporation that orbits the Sun, Julakesh gets to begin this infiltration by impersonating a gladiator! This pretty much consists of her being herself, in front of a large adoring crowd. Awesome! And all that other subtle espionage stuff? Well…. we’ll cross that bridge up (and mess it up horribly) when we get to it! Check out the start of out adventures, here! It’s been a ton of fun so far (and it’s only just begun).


Fugitive on the Red Planet

I also used OutPost as an opportunity to try out two Starfinder classes I had yet to have a chance to test. Firstly, I created a proud, smooth-talking ysoki xenoseeker envoy by the name of Aurora Vim (Rora, for short) who was tasked with finding a rogue Starfinder and retrieving an powerful object he stole from the Society in Scenario #1-02: Fugitive on the Red Planet. Her adventures took her to  the grungy planet of Akiton alongside a haan, a human, and a whopping three other ysoki! Apparently those furry little fellows are popular! All in all this scenario was a lot of fun, and Rora really had a chance to shine throughout its length. It was completed quite quickly, and was hosted by a wonderfully humorous GM. You can check out the complete gameplay here.

Following her adventures on Akiton, Rora hopped a shuttle back to Absalom Station, where she’s been invited to attend a gala in honour of the First Seeker, Luwazi Elsebo. Scenario #1-05: First Mandate is right up her alley, and has seen her wheeling and dealing with a bunch of movers and shakers–including Zo!, who I’ve been dying for her to meet! This scenario is reaching its climax, but you can check out its progress so far, here.


Cries from the Drift

I also made a curious but awkward shirrin spacefarer operative, Zez’ka, who is prone to announcing her emotions to the world. She’s friendly, but super awkward, and honestly a blast to play. Unfortunately, Scenario #1-04: Cries from the Drift, is a horror scenario, which tossed my chipper shirren into the most traumatizing, suspenseful, and gory Starfinder Scenario to date. This adventure particularly benefits from having the element of surprise, so I won’t mention much more in the way of spoilers. What I will say is that if you’re uncomfortable with body horror, don’t play it. That being said, when played by play-by-post the suspense is lost, so it turned out to be a fun, romp despite the tone. For those of you who aren’t afraid of spoilers, our complete gameplay can be read here. In the time since, Zez’ka has joined a delightfully fun and carefree mission, which won’t possibly be as traumatizing for her as her previous one was! Right? Right…? Wrong. She’s currently engaged in Starfinder’s second horror scenario, Scenario #1-10: The Half-Alive Streets, which amuses me to no end. She’s currently oblivious to the dark turn this scenario’s going to take, and is currently having great fun making friends and shopping. You can check it out here.


The end to these Starfinder scenarios will mark the sixth games I’ve played in the SFS, which means I’ve reach a milestone on my Alien Archive Boon. No idea what that means?

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The alien archive boon features creatures from Starfinder Roleplaying Game: Alien Archive, which you will need to make full use of the boon.

Well, let me enlighten you!

For every Starfinder Society game you participate in as a player (not a GM) you can get your GM to sign your boon sheet, which is available here. When you have six games played you can apply this sheet to a new character to make them either a wrikreechee, or a ryphorian. Or, you can wait until you have twelve games played, and then apply it to a new character to make them a barathu. After applying it you can start a new boon, and begin earning new plays. Note, that there is a time limit on earning credit for this boon. After June 14th of this year they’ll be releasing a new boon in its place, which will let you unlock other races for play.

Now, of the current options, I think I’d get a kick out of a Barathu, but I won’t have a chance to earn that bad boy. I’ll be hitting six, which leaves the wrikreechee and ryphorians. And for me, the choice is clear! Ryphorians! I have honestly no idea what I’m going to make for her class, but its definitely going to be different than the others I’ve got! Soldier, perhaps? That’s a question for another day!


And that’s it!

OutPost and its associated adventures have come to an end–for this year. But, there’s plenty more adventures out there waiting to be played!

Until next time,

Jessica

 

May New Releases

Well, another month has come and gone, which means there’s a whole bunch of new and awesome products coming out from Paizo. But first, it should be noted that today’s your last day to pre-order physical copies of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, Pathfinder Playtest Adventure: Doomsday Dawn, and the Flip-mat multipack. If you intend to pick up a copy of any of them, now’s your last chance. Free copies of the PDF will be available in late August.

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The Pathfinder Society’s Glyph of the Open Road

Two new Pathfinder Society Scenarios were recently released, Scenario #9-18: Scourge of the Farheavens is a tier 1-5 scenario that sends the players all the way to Iobaria, which promises to be a blast. This is definitely the scenario I’m most excited for, and I hope to pick it up soon. The second PFS release is Scenario #9-19: Clash in the Kaimuko Wood, is a tier 5-9 scenario that takes place on the border of Kwanlai and Tianjing in Tian Xia. Involving abyssal corruption, this adventure continues events in Scenario #9-12: Shrine of the Sacred Tempest, and directly contributes to the ongoing storyline of the Silver Crusades.

Near the end of May there’ll be two more scenarios for us to sink our teeth into. Scenario #9-20:  Fury of the Final Blade is a tier 7-11 scenario that sees the Liberty’s Edge faction leader, Colson Maldris, up to some shifty underhanded shenanigans, involving Andoran’s corrupt elite, the Grey Gardeners of Galt, and the soul-trapping guillotines they’re known for. Turning to the Pathfinders for aid Maldris set out to lay the groundwork for a rescue plan–only to end up captured himself. This awesome-sounding scenario leaves the fate of Colson Maldris in your players hands, and directly affects the Liberty’s Edge faction’s ongoing plot. Finally, we have Scenario #9-21: In the Grandmaster’s Name, which is a tier 3-7 adventure that lets your players pose as intercepted agents of Grandmaster Torch, and perform some underhanded espionage in Druma. I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited for this mission, as my whole family loves the Grandmaster (or rather, some love him, and some love to hate him!).

There’s two new awesome pawn collections coming out soon, the Ruins of Azlanti Pawn Collection, which contains just over 100 pawns from the Ruins of Azlant Adventure Path (including minis from Part One: The Lost Outpost, Part Two: Into the Shattered Continent , Part Three:: The Flooded Cathedral, Part Four: City in the Deep, Part Five: Tower of the Drowned Dead and Part Six: Beyond the Veiled Past). The second is the Starfinder Pact Worlds Pawn Collection, which features over 200 pawns, including creatures and starships. As I’ve recently come to own Pact Worlds, I can assure you these pawns have a ton of cool artwork. I can’t wait to see how they look.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path: War for the Crown Part 4 of 6: City in the Lion’s Eye

The very intriguing War for the Crown Adventure Path continues this month with Part Four: City in the Lion’s Eye. Previous releases include Part One: Crownfall, Part Two: Songbird, Scion, Saboteur, and Part Three: Twilight Child. We’ve talked plenty on d20diaries about the War for the Crown, so if you’d like to learn more, click away: Preview: War for the Crown, Paizo New Releases, War for the Crown: Player’s Guide and April Blooms and d20 News.

While last month brought us the delightfully dark Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Nidal, Land of Shadows, this month brings us a Player Companion that looks like it’s handy for everyone. Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Ancients, looks like it’s going to focus on both unlocking the powers of your own ancestry, and on the remnants of ancient civilizations. I’m particularly curious about the Azlanti ioun kineticist archetype, and the Jistkan artificers. But, we’ll have to wait to find out more.

There’s two new Pocket Editions out: Ultimate Magic and Bestiary 4; and a whopping four play-mats. Two of the Play-mats are brand new: Starfinder Flip-mat: Starship: Sunrise Maiden, and Pathfinder Flip-mat: Carnival. The other two are reprints from the Pathfinder Flip-mat Classics line: Darklands and Battlefield. Both are popular mats which are pretty heavily used in Pathfinder Society Scenarios.

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Ancients

But, the most exciting new release? The Jungle of Despair pre-painted plastic minis! Like the rest of the randomized Pathfinder Battles minis, they come in four-figure boosters (with one large and three medium minis inside). You can also buy a brick (which is eight booster boxes) or a case (which contains four bricks).

Whatever you’re interested in, there’s a lot of neat stuff coming out this month. Far more than I could indulge in, that’s for sure! It’s the two pawn collections that I’m most interested in getting my hands on. That and the Scourge of the Farheavens PFS scenario. What about you? What are you most excited for from Paizo’s upcoming products? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Jessica

Unleash the Wilds!

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Wilderness

There’s been exciting changes to the Pathfinder Society Organized Play this past week. On Wednesday, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Wilderness became legal for play. So crack out your books, and calculating statistics, it’s time to make some Shifters! In addition to the Shifter class, there’s a ton of wilderness themed archetypes that became usable. Around 80 archetypes from the book are now considered legal, and nine of them are not (blighted defiler, blighted myrmidon, fiendflesh shifter, flood walker, rageshaper, raging cannibal, verdant grappler, wildborn and wild soul). Happily, all three of my favourites, the oozemorph, the season sage and the viking, made it into PFS. Nearly all of the familiar and animal companion options were made legal, as were all of the animal tricks (excluding mark territory). All but three of the spells were added to the additional resources document (with forest’s sense, grasping vine, and vine strike being the spells left out of play), making around fifty new spells up for grabs. Feats had nearly as good luck, with around a hundred feats sanctioned for play and only ten being left out (Cultivate Magic Plants, Expert Cartographer, Expert Explorer, Expert Salvager, Hide Worker, Mutated Shape, Natural Poison Antitoxin, Sproutling, Wild Growth Hex, and Wood Crafter are still not allowed). Nearly all of the miscellaneous character rules like discoveries and rage powers were made legal. All in all it’s an exciting, vast collection of new player options for us to tinker with. For full details on what’s become legal from Ultimate Wilderness for PFS Organized Play, check out the Additional Resources document on Paizo’s website and scroll down to the bottom.

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The sigil of the Scarab Sages, a faction of the Pathfinder Society whose relevance is coming to an end.

On a related note, another major announcement was made last week. The storyline of the Scarab Sages Faction has officially come to an end, although characters are still allowed to keep their Pathfinder Society Characters in the faction and continue earning their season goals. In it’s place we get a new faction, Concordance. As the only ‘nature’ or ‘wilderness’ themed faction, this group was a long time coming. The two main members of the group we’ve been introduced to so far were met quite a long time ago, with the janni Jamila being introduced back in the third PFS scenario ever published, #03: Murder on the Silken Caravan, and the gnome Falbis being introduced in scenario #3-05: Tide of Twilight. The actual leader of the group, Ashasar, was introduced in scenarios #8-12: Caught in the Eclipse, and #8-24: Raid on the Cloudborne Keep. The Concordance was first utilized in the Tyranny of Winds Trilogy, which includes scenarios #8-08: The Sandstorm Prophecy, #8-10: Secrets of the Endless Sky, and #8-12: Caught in the Eclipse.

 

Now, I mentioned that The Concordance is a ‘nature’ themed Faction, but this isn’t strictly true. They’re not some ring of tree-hugging druids, or animal-loving rangers. They’re concerned with keeping the elements, and the elemental planes, in balance. Although they’re typically involved in affairs on the elemental planes themselves, a group of the Concordance has recently established itself on the material plane, upon realizing that its home to many extra-planar rifts, wild magic, elemental surges and the like. More properly known as the Concordance of Elements, this group is ancient and diverse. Honestly, I think they sound awesome.

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The sigil of The Concordance of Elements, a new Faction joining the Pathfinder Society.

The Concordance wasn’t released on it’s own. It was also released with a society scenario which features the organization, and offers Pathfinders who play in it the chance to join the faction after playing it through to its completion (without cost or penalty). That’s pretty neat! Very rarely do you get the chance to test out a faction in this way, without committing.

 

The scenario itself, #9-14: Down the Verdant Path, was a lot of fun. I won’t get into the plot line too much, but know that it involves a bleached gnome, the First World of the Fey, and unnatural weather. Down the Verdant Path makes spectacular use of NPCs, both allies and enemies, and in addition to starring new characters it also features all three of the above-mentioned members of the Concordance Faction (Jamila, Falbis and Ashashar). They did a splendid job of bringing these characters to life in an engaging, fun way. Down the Verdant Path is a splendid tier 1-5 scenario, which I can’t wait to play in.

With who?

A member of the Concordance, of course! As to WHAT I’ll make her, I’m not quite sure. I’m contemplating an elf druid of some kind. I never make elves. Haha.

What are you waiting for? Unleash the WILD!

Thanks for joining us on d20 Diaries.

Jessica

 

Pathfinder Playtest: Actions! Reactions! And a Glass Cannon!

As you may have heard, Pathfinder recently announced that in August they’ll be releasing the beta version of Pathfinder’s Second Edition ruleset. For the first few months these rules will be available for a free download on Paizo’s website, and feedback will be collected from us, the players. Known as Pathfinder Playtest, this news has stirred up a lot of excitement. As mentioned in my previous post on the matter, I’m excited for the new edition, but also afraid. It’s not that I worry about the rules–I know I’ll like them–but I worry about the investment. I have no intention of leaving behind 1e, especially in regards to the Pathfinder Society. Although I know I’ll switch over to 2e eventually, the cost that’s going to be involved when 2e officially launches is going to prevent me from making the transition immediately.

Pathfinder is slowly releasing some spoilers and details on their blog of the new Playtest rules, and has an extensive FAQ section dedicated to the game already. So what do we know? For starters, alchemist will be one of the classes released with the original core classes in the first book. Also, goblins will be among the core ancestries up for offer, which is exciting! Who doesn’t love goblins? Wait! Ancestries? What’s that? It’s a new name for races, which will influence your character as it always has. In addition to ancestry and class, your character will also be influenced by a third category called your Background. I’m not sure what this is exactly, as details haven’t launched yet, but it sounds like having a theme from Starfinder. There’s also plenty of other little things that have been hinted at, but the only things that have been spoilered in any kind of detail is the action system.

You know all that work you put into learning which actions are standard, move, swift and free actions? Ignore that! Instead, everything costs one Action. During each round, every player gets three actions. Want to attack three times? Go for it! Draw a potion, move and administer it to someone else? Sure! Move and attack twice? Yup! Open a door, move through, shut a door? Yup! Three actions. Do what you will. Those of you choosing to attack multiple times take a cumulative -5 penalty on those additional attacks (so the second attack is at a -5 penalty and the third is at a -10). The only exception mentioned so far in regards to the ‘one Action’ rule is spells. Most spells will cost 2 Actions, some can be cast as 1 Action, and some will be cast at variable Action costs, which will increase the spell’s effectiveness. Every character also gets a single Reaction that they can take between the start of their turn and the start of their next turn. In addition to attacks of opportunity, each class has special Reactions they can take, like a fighter readying a shield against an attack in order to reduce its damage. So far I like this concept. It’s effective and uncomplicated. But will it work? After hearing it in action on the Glass Cannon Podcast special where they tried out Pathfinder Playtest alongside Jason Bulmahn and Erik Mona, I think it’s going to be great. This podcast was a lot of fun to listen to, and featured a lot of cool glimpses at the new rules.

My favourite thing I learned from the podcast? Initiative is no longer a single score. Instead, what you roll for initiative is determined by what you’re doing. For example, if you’re looking around and keeping alert it will run off of your Perception. If you’re slinking around and hiding at the time, Stealth will be what you’re rolling. And if you’re checking out the terrain and looking for tracks, you’ll roll Survival for your initiative. It’s a neat way to run initiative that sounds like a lot of fun.

For further details on Pathfinder Playtest check out Paizo’s website, blog post, or the podcast mentioned above.

What’s surprised me more than the new rules we’ve heard about is the variety of attitudes I’ve seen on the Paizo Messageboards about it. Some people are thrilled, which is what I expected, and some people are worried–also expected. Some are upset. One GM was so angry he immediately dropped every game he was GMing, leaving dozens of players in the lurch! Seriously!? How unprofessional can you be? Luckily, the wonderful community of players on the Paizo Messageboards leapt to the rescue and are managing replacement GMs as we speak. My character leaps for joy and thanks her lucky stars.

Since the announcement of Pathfinder Playtest, the news has settled. The shock has faded. And we’ve received a glimpse at the new rules and how play works.  So how do I feel now? Excited. I can’t wait until we get to learn more about the new system.

And you? How are you feeling about Pathfinder Playtest and the upcoming Pathfinder 2e?

I’d love to hear your opinions!

Jessica

OutPost Commences!

Today is the official start date for OutPost I, an online play-by-post Pathfinder convention hosted on Paizo’s message boards and a few other websites. As mentioned in a previous post, my whole family is taking part, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

OutPost is hosting a wide variety of games, including Pathfinder, Starfinder and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. My husband is playing in one scenario as his Pathfinder Society character Enzo Jeggare (a Chelaxian occultist who specializes in conjuring creatures), alongside my children, who will be playing Bunny Paras (a kitsune druid), Paras (Bunny Paras’ parasaurolophus animal companion), and Senton (an Ulfen ranger better known as Mr. Ice). These characters were first introduced on d20 Diaries, here. I’ll be joining them, as well, with my uncaring kitsune kineticist, Everbloom. They’ll be trying their hand at the classic scenario, Black Waters, from Season Zero! Run by one of my favourite GMs I’ve had the pleasure of playing alongside on Paizo’s Messageboards, I’m sure GM Shieldbug’s going to give us a great game.

My children and I are playing in a second scenario together, as well. Lady Naysha (an oracle of whimsy who looks like a child) alongside her stuffed rabbit, Miss Whiskers, is setting out with a very forgetful old wizard, Fuzzzy, and his pet owl, Bobby. Bobby’s a clever little bird who helps keep Fuzzzy on task. I’ll be joining them with my dwarven fighter, Juno Berik, a self-centred woman who believes she’s far more important than she’s given credit for. They’re going to be tackling a complicated maze underneath Absalom City on the search for a lost minotaur prince, Nuar Spiritskin, in another classic PFS Scenario, #45: Delirium’s Tangle.

I’m playing another Pathfinder Scenario with my beloved half-orc monk, Kenza Bloodborn. As a member of the Scarab Sages, whose faction stories are coming to an end, I’m excited to see this stoic, warrior tackle a Scarab Sage-centric mission. Taking place in the Thuvian city of Merab, Kenza’s going to be delving into haunted ruins on the hunt for a mysterious spirit that even now seeks her master’s jewels… That’s right, she’s participating in Scenario #9-04: The Unseen Inclusion! As I only own one Season Nine Scenario, I have no idea what’s down the road for her.

But not everything’s about Pathfinder! I’m also involved in three wonderful Starfinder Society Scenarios. My primary SFS character, a bold, boastful vesk solarion with far more brawn than brains by the name of Julakesh Starfist is going to be participating in SFS #1-03: Yesteryear’s Truth. I’m also using OutPost as an opportunity to try out two Starfinder classes I’ve yet to have a chance to test. I’ve created a proud, smooth-talking ysoki xenoseeker envoy by the name of Aurora Vim (Rora, for short) who will be giving SFS #1-02: Fugitive on the Red Planet a try with a whopping three other ysoki! Apparently those furry little fellows are popular! I’ve also made a curious but awkward shirrin spacefarer operative, Zez’ka, whose keen to head off on her first mission, SFS #1-04: Cries from the Drift.

However these adventures turn out, my family and I are happy to be participating. It can be really difficult to find games for children to play via play-by-post, especially ones as young as mine, so being able to sign them up not only together, but alongside myself and my husband is a really great experience. Both of them are having a ton of fun already, especially my daughter. She asks me every few hours if she can have another turn yet, and is always giggling as she contemplates what she’s going to post.

Updates on our experiences throughout OutPost won’t be up for some time. Due to the slow pace of play-by-post games, these short scenarios will take a long time to play out. However, further details on the various Starfinder Society Scenario’s currently out for purchase will be coming later this week.

So, if you’re going to be participating in OutPost, be sure to check into your games and get posting! Let us know what you’ll be playing in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.

And for everyone else? Enjoy the start of your week!

Mine came with a minor blizzard. So much for spring! Haha.

Jessica

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