Carnagecast 50: Pathfinder

Carnagecast logo.In episode 50 of Carnagecast, we kick off with breaking news about Carnage on the Mountain 2014! Then, in our regularly scheduled episode, John joins us to talk about Paizo’s Pathfinder role-playing game. Branching out from the d20 era of Dungeons & Dragons, made possible by the open game license, Pathfinder carried on that style of role-playing when Wizards of the Coast opted to revamp Dungeons & Dragons with a whole new set of rules. Talking about Pathfinder, John reveals one of the things he likes most about the game is the ever-expanding room for variation and experimentation. Mechanics and concepts swirl and blend, as sometimes a new class sparks inspiration, or a character concept strikes that he works to realize within the rules.

Pathfinder Society is a living campaign, wherein players across the world adventure through a shared canon of scenarios. John takes us through some of the ups and downs of the organized play model as it applies to role-playing, and even pulls back the curtain, as he’s a frequent GM at the local Pathfinder Society tables at Quarterstaff Games.

Go behind the jump to check out the show links and leave a comment with your thoughts on Pathfinder or living campaigns. Continue reading

Carnagecast 39: Carrion Crown: Broken Moon

Carnagecast logo.In episode 39 of Carnagecast, Dan, Hunter and Toby return to discuss the third chapter of the Carrion Crown adventure path, Broken Moon. Our heroes ventured into the Shudderwood of Ustalav, wherein Victor the unflappable coach driver made his debut, resolute against the strains of ethereal music. At an exclusive hunting lodge and in the depths of the forest, there was a cavalcade of every NPC in Golarion, their names all embroiled in a “Slavic consonant pile-up,” as Toby put it.

Broken Moon is somewhat characterized by that cavalcade of NPCs, many of which monologue about the minutiae of local lupine politics. Still, the adventure works in a fun final setpiece which sees a showdown with Auren Vrood, whom the characters have chased since The Haunting of Harrowstone. Dan marks Broken Moon as his favorite chapter in the path to date. Hunter reveals just how much he loves to play the ghost NPCs.

Also! Like the official Carnage page on Facebook. It’s page-riffic. Continue reading

Carnagecast 37: Carrion Crown: Trial of the Beast

In episode thirty-seven of Carnagecast, Dan, Hunter and Toby return to the show to discuss their further adventures in the Pathfinder adventure path, Carrion Crown, following on from their first excursion in The Haunting of Harrowstone. From the sleepy village of Ravengro, the heroes stride further to the relative metropolis of Lepidstadt, embroiling themselves in the trial of a monster and nefarious doings of the Whispering Way.

Trial of the Beast saw the birth of Ustalav’s pickle motif, viz. the “mob of angry pickle farmers,” plus some of the most fun Toby’s had in the campaign to date in the titular court proceedings, but also warrants critique on the topics of tacked-on dungeons for the purposes of leveling and deprotagonization of player characters during narrative climax. Continue reading

Carnagecast 36: Back from Hiatus

In episode 36 of Carnagecast, we emerge from hiatus just in time to still be able to wish everyone a happy new year. Pillar of the Carnage board Rod Sheldon is with us to talk about the highlights of this past Carnage Noir, the gaming we’ve gotten in over the holidays and plans for 2013: both at Carnage and conventions across New England. Continue reading

Carnagecast 31: Carrion Crown: The Haunting of Harrowstone

In episode 31 of Carnagecast, Dan, Hunter, Toby and Tyler talk about their experiences playing the Pathfinder role-playing module The Haunting of Harrowstone, first part of the overarching Carrion Crown adventure path. Filled with horror tropes, from the Gothic to the Hammeresque, Carrion Crown kicks off a tour of the Pathfinder campaign world’s Transylvania analogue, Ustalav, with the charred remains of a prison teeming with ghosts and supernatural phenomena.

Prospective players beware, this is spoil-all episode as Hunter pulls back the GM curtain to give a peek at how he chose to use and modify the written adventure. Dan, Toby and Tyler share their perspectives as players in the campaign, as well as some insight into their characters. Continue reading

Carnagecast 27: Companions of the Firmament and Geek Industrial Complex

In episode 27 of Carnagecast, we talk with Neil Carr of Geek Industrial Complex, based in Barre, Vermont. Neil’s raising funds via Kickstarter for his first role-playing publication, Companions of the Firmament, which brings flying characters, mount options and expanded aerial rules to the Pathfinder role-playing system.

Neil tells us about his goals for Companions of the Firmament: supporting a robust experience of flying in a Pathfinder-style role-playing game and using this book, along with previously published articles, to demonstrate to the role-playing community that Geek Industrial Complex can offer quality material. Neil also talks about his experiences with the crowdfunding model, including conducting a study of previous role-playing related funding campaigns and using that data as a guide to design his own crowdfunding effort.

We manage find time to ponder about the paradox of playing games of pretend that are structured to rule out certain modes of pretending. Why do people do that? Continue reading

Another 3 Pathfinder Society Games Added

Another three Pathfinder Society games (R76-78) have been added to the Carnage schedule in addition to those we added last week. The full Pathfinder Society schedule is now listed below and a complete list of all games added since the convention book went to press is available on the Addendum page. Our thanks to Judges Todd and Art for bringing in some fantastic PFS games!

If you have not already pre-registered for the con, please fill out the form at the back of the convention book and bring it with you to register on site at the Lake Morey Resort. We look forward to seeing you very soon!

R71 Pathfinder Society Scenario #6: Black Waters (GM: PFS Regional Director Art Lobdell Room: W) The Pathfinder Society seeks the ancient ruby ring of the salamander and it falls to a team of Pathfinders to find it. Last seen in the Tri-Towers Yard, a once elite academy for the youth of Absalom, the ruby ring is now lost in the Drownyard, all that remains of Tri-Towers after it was destroyed a decade ago in the great quake. The Pathfinders must risk the strange black ichors and salty brine to find their prize—will they risk their very souls as well? Written by Tim and Eileen Connors. This product is a Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters. (Tiers: 1–2, 4–5.) Pathfinder (Fri. 7p-11p)

R72 Pathfinder Society Scenario #11: The Third Riddle (OGL) (GM: PFS Regional Director Art Lobdell Room: W) When Pathfinder Colm Safan entered the Nethys-linked heart of the fabled dungeon known as the Ravenous Sphinx, the Pathfinder Society expected to solve one of Osirion’s greatest riddles. Months passed with no word from Safan, and you and your fellow Pathfinders find yourselves dispatched into the desolate wastes of Osirion’s notorious Parched Dunes to find the sphinx, locate Safan, and uncover the mystery he sought. With a band of cloaked riders on your trail and a trap-filled dungeon ahead, will you solve the third riddle before time runs out? Written by Clinton J. Boomer. This product is a Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters. (Tiers: 1–2, 4–5.) Pathfinder (Sat. 8a-12 noon)

R76 Pathfinder Society Scenario #19: Skeletal Moon (GM: PFS Judge Todd Lamison Room: W) When Pathfinder alchemist Andrax d’Aponte contracted a mysterious wasting sickness, he set his mind to feverishly researching the disease and its cures. With the rare skeleton moon hanging in the sky above Absalom, the Decemvirate sends you to an ancient siege castle outside the city to recover d’Aponte’s research notes and inquire about his involvement in recent Pathfinder deaths in Osirion. What you find, however, is a man changed by madness and paralyzed by paranoia and fear. Will you survive the night of the skeleton moon? Written by Benjamin Wenham. This product is a Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 7th level characters. (Tiers: 1–2, 3–4, and 6–7.) Pathfinder (Sat. 1p-5p)

R77 Pathfinder Society Scenario #33: Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible (GM: PFS Judge Todd Lamison Room: W) The Pathfinder Society sends you to the fabled Kingdom of the Impossible, the island of Jalmeray, to stop an Aspis Consortium black market relics dealer who is organizing the local bandits and violently robbing Jalmeray and Pathfinder Society caravans laden with relics, artifacts, and magical mysteries. When a venture-captain is murdered by the Aspis Consortium agent, it’s up to the PCs to find him and do whatever it takes to stop him. Written by Craig Shackleton. This product is a Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters (Tiers: 1–2 and 4–5.) Pathfinder (Sat. 7p-11p)

R74 Pathfinder Society Scenario #12: Stay of Execution (OGL) (GM: PFS Regional Director Art Lobdell Room: W) When a petty thief named Hadge gets a lucky break and makes off with a powerful divination focus of the Pathfinder Society’s masked leadership, you and your fellow Pathfinders set out to the sparsely populated Taldor frontier to find him and recover the focus. When the local governor tosses Hadge into the brutal Porthmos Prison for a minor crime, your mission suddenly becomes a jail break. Will you free Hadge and uncover the location of the focus before the gangs of Porthmos tear him apart? Written by Alison McKenzie. This product is a Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 3–4, 6–7). (Sat. 7p-11p)

R78 Pathfinder Society Scenario #37: The Beggar’s Pearl (GM: PFS Judge Todd Lamison Room: W) When a thief arrives at the Pathfinder Lodge in Almas bearing stolen artifacts and writings pointing the way to a lost dwarven gallery, you are sent into the rugged Aspodell Mountains both to find the famed dwarven explorer last known to be searching for the gallery and to locate the gallery itself. Once there, you find a tangled web of Darklands creatures in the thrall of a charismatic cult leader with ties to the darkest shadows of the First Realm. Written by James F. Mackenzie. This product is a Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 7th level characters. (Tiers: 1–2, 3–4, and 6–7.) Pathfinder (Sun. 9a-1p)

Also run by PFS Regional Director Art Lobdell:

R73 WH Dark Providence: Swans (GM: PFS Regional Director Art Lobdell Room: W) Wrath is said to be the “love of justice perverted to revenge and spite.” It goes hand-in-hand with Pride as the two common Deadly Sins. These sins are deadly indeed for the village of Boswyck, not far from New Amsterdam, on a fine summer day in 1689. By P. Dennis Waltman. Witch Hunter: Dark Providence 1-02 (Sat. 1p-5p)

R75 Fellowship of the White Star B105: The Rock (GM: PFS Regional Director Art Lobdell Room: W ) A series of unexplained deaths on Gibraltar has been brought to the attention of the Fellowship. With the Queen of England visiting soon, you are tasked with investigation the deaths and seeing if there is any danger for the Queen. A module designed for any-level characters set in the Fellowship of the White Star campaign of Earth, 03/23/1905. Written by: David Nadolny. Fellowship of the White Star (Sun. 8a-12 noon)

Pathfinder Society Games Now On Schedule

Great news! Pathfinder Society Regional Director Art Lobdell will be joining us at Carnage to offer Pathfinder Society games as well as Witch Hunter: Dark Providence and Fellowship of the White Star. Additional PFS games may be added soon, so check back for updates. Art’s games are listed below and a complete list of added games is available on the Addendum page. Many thanks to Art for bringing us some fantastic games!

R71 Pathfinder Society Scenario #6: Black Waters (GM: PFS Regional Director Art Lobdell Room: W) The Pathfinder Society seeks the ancient ruby ring of the salamander and it falls to a team of Pathfinders to find it. Last seen in the Tri-Towers Yard, a once elite academy for the youth of Absalom, the ruby ring is now lost in the Drownyard, all that remains of Tri-Towers after it was destroyed a decade ago in the great quake. The Pathfinders must risk the strange black ichors and salty brine to find their prize—will they risk their very souls as well? Written by Tim and Eileen Connors. This product is a Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters. (Tiers: 1–2, 4–5.) Pathfinder (Fri. 7p-11p)

R72 Pathfinder Society Scenario #11: The Third Riddle (OGL) (GM: PFS Regional Director Art Lobdell Room: W) When Pathfinder Colm Safan entered the Nethys-linked heart of the fabled dungeon known as the Ravenous Sphinx, the Pathfinder Society expected to solve one of Osirion’s greatest riddles. Months passed with no word from Safan, and you and your fellow Pathfinders find yourselves dispatched into the desolate wastes of Osirion’s notorious Parched Dunes to find the sphinx, locate Safan, and uncover the mystery he sought. With a band of cloaked riders on your trail and a trap-filled dungeon ahead, will you solve the third riddle before time runs out? Written by Clinton J. Boomer. This product is a Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters. (Tiers: 1–2, 4–5.) Pathfinder (Sat. 8a-12 noon)

R73 WH Dark Providence: Swans (GM: PFS Regional Director Art Lobdell Room: W) Wrath is said to be the “love of justice perverted to revenge and spite.” It goes hand-in-hand with Pride as the two common Deadly Sins. These sins are deadly indeed for the village of Boswyck, not far from New Amsterdam, on a fine summer day in 1689. By P. Dennis Waltman. Witch Hunter: Dark Providence 1-02 (Sat. 1p-5p)

R74 Pathfinder Society Scenario #12: Stay of Execution (OGL) (GM: PFS Regional Director Art Lobdell Room: W) When a petty thief named Hadge gets a lucky break and makes off with a powerful divination focus of the Pathfinder Society’s masked leadership, you and your fellow Pathfinders set out to the sparsely populated Taldor frontier to find him and recover the focus. When the local governor tosses Hadge into the brutal Porthmos Prison for a minor crime, your mission suddenly becomes a jail break. Will you free Hadge and uncover the location of the focus before the gangs of Porthmos tear him apart? Written by Alison McKenzie. This product is a Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 3–4, 6–7). (Sat. 7p-11p)

R75 Fellowship of the White Star B105: The Rock (GM: PFS Regional Director Art Lobdell Room: W ) A series of unexplained deaths on Gibraltar has been brought to the attention of the Fellowship. With the Queen of England visiting soon, you are tasked with investigation the deaths and seeing if there is any danger for the Queen. A module designed for any-level characters set in the Fellowship of the White Star campaign of Earth, 03/23/1905. Written by: David Nadolny. Fellowship of the White Star (Sun. 8a-12 noon)