Pathfinder 2 – Thassilonian Resurgence Design
Part 1 – The Concept for the Campaign
This is my design for a campaign I am calling the Thassilonian Resurgence Adventure Path. This has recently been cleaned up after I have written the following ten articles on the campaign, so I hope it makes more sense now. This design description goes into my choices with the campaign, the history of the setting, the structure, cities, languages, religions and character advancement.
Why Revisit Rise of the Runelords?
Firstly I will start with why I am incorporating Rise of the Runelords into the storyline.
It has been almost ten years since I started running Pathfinder, and it all started with this adventure path.
The Runelords are an interesting aspect of the campaign world storyline having been 10,000 years since the Thassilon empire was at its height, and only rumours and ruins are available at the start of the campaign.
There are seven Runelords from the ancient nation, and only one was in the first adventure path. They have brought in the rest over the last ten years, but I thought it might be a good story to have them all start to awaken at the start of the campaign.
Why Run in Varisia?
With the upcoming release of Pathfinder 2 on August 1st, I have a grand new experiment for my players. This is taking in all the adventures set in Varisia and merging them into a single cohesive storyline I am calling Thassilonian Resurgence.
Pathfinder has been running for ten years of storylines. Each year has been introducing new elements as part of the Pathfinder Society, and adventure paths which have two released each year.
History of the setting
Since the time of the Runelords 10,000 years ago there have been:
- an earth breaking asteroid strike known as Earthfall (the Age of Legend)
- 1,000 years of darkness (Age of Darkness)
- followed by 800 years of the surface recovering enough to sustain life (Age of Anguish)
- then 3,500 years of Osirian culture before the founding of the worlds capital at Absalom (Age of Destiny)
- About 4,600 years later the god of humanity died at his prophesied return to their world (Age of Enthronement)
- Now the current age was supposed to be “Age of Glory” but has instead become “Age of Lost Omens” with the characters starting 100 years after the age has started in the year AR 4708.
What is the Campaign Structure?
There are 78 separate adventure sources I will keep in mind for this exercise, with 28 of them part of adventure paths, 38 of them pathfinder society scenarios and the other 12 being modules.
What adventure paths fit the setting? This makes good use of the following adventure paths:
- Rise of the Runelords
- Curse of the Crimson Throne
- Second Darkness
- Jade Regent
- Shattered Star
- Return of the Runelords
- It will also draw heavily on the Pathfinder Society adventures (mostly season 4) and will pull in quite a few modules from the region as well.
What language options fit the setting – This also gives me the base languages people should be able to speak as:
- Shoanti (nomadic barbarians)
- Varisian (gypsy locals)
Where to start the story? What I have in mind is a group of characters who each belong to a different settlement starting the storyline with links to their home. While they may not adventure in their home, they will be expected to visit that location from time to time just to maintain what family holdings they retain.
The concept of this new adventure path will take the players from level 1 and to level 20 in a ten year story going through the history of the region. This history will be reworked to keep the narrative, and will incorporate the Pathfinder Society intrigue that also existed during this timeframe.
Cities of the Region
The character starting cities are planned to be:
- Crying Leaf – Elves, Half-Elves
- Galduria – Humans
- Janderhoff – Dwarves, Humans, Halflings and Gnomes
- Kaer Maga – Humans, Halflings, Half-Elves, Half-Orcs, Gnomes, Elves, Goblins
- Korvosa – Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Halflings, Half-Elves
- Magnimar – Humans, Halflings, Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Half-Elves, Half-Orcs
- Palin’s Cove – Humans
- Riddleport – Humans, Dwarves, Half-Elves, Half-Orcs, Tieflings, Halflings, Gnomes
- Roderic’s Cove – Humans, Half-Elves, Halflings, Elves, Gnomes, Tieflings
- Sandpoint – Humans, Halflings, Elves, Gnomes, Half-Elves, Half-Orcs
- Sipplerose – Gnomes
- Urglin – Half-Orcs, Shoanti
Others based on discussion.
Religions of Varisa
While these religions will all be known by the players, they will not all be player options. To belong to one of the religions, they will need an appropriate backstory relating to the location their character is based in. So it will be story focused.
What religions are available for characters and the starting religions for this story would also be:
What will be the starting resources?
The big starting resource for this campaign will be you have access to a teleportation circle within your family holdings as long as you maintain a membership with the Pathfinder Society in the setting, with no two characters to be based in the same settlement. Starting choices will not penalise the characters, so there is not a need to try and game the system of where you think the story should start.
As part of this, characters will be able to access these teleportation circles, and gain more during the course of the campaign, making the ability to travel between settlements trivial once you have earnt the right to use the circle.
Each character will also have a form of holdings associated with them where the teleportation circle is housed. This will depend on their background, family and standing in the community.
What is the planned advancement?
The idea at this stage is a character level ever six months of time in the game world. So no matter what the characters choose to do, they will be gaining a level regularly.
The downside to this is that I intend to have windows of opportunity for all the storylines, so if a group of characters fails to interact with a point of interest in that six month period (or year) then it may be resolved as if it was not successfully completed by heroes with ongoing repercussions.
With the scope of the adventures pulled together, I don’t expect any characters to be able to achieve all the storylines, so I can have forces at work competing with them, assisting them, or even getting in their way.
With the inclusion of the factions of the pathfinder society into the playing field of the characters, this will include more intrigue as not all factions will want characters to make it to the end of the storyline.
Lastly there is a special kind of magic in the setting relating to the power of the Sihedron rune and the seven virtues of rule, that also related to the seven sins.
This is a positive plan going ahead for my pathfinder games allowing me to potentially have two separate nights competing for the same objectives and influencing the world and storyline.
This will be a good addition to my two planned campaigns with Genesys and Star Wars and existing campaigns in Mystara. This time next year it will be interesting to see what games continued, and what systems I am will be running as I have three Mystara Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition games and three Pathfinder 1st Edition games.
- 2021-07-29 – Content layout cleanup.
- 2020-03-24 – Structure.
- 2020-03-08 – Structure and content update.
- 2019-08-16 – Reworked the content.
Creating a New Campaign: Part 1 (The Concept), Part 2 (Main Cities and Guide), Part 3 (The Adventure Path), Part 4 (House Rules), Part 5 (Thassilonia), Part 6 (Factions and Characters), Part 7 (Pathfinder Factions), Part 8 (Learning from Conversion), Part 9 (Half-Breed), Part 10 (Using Renown), Part 11 (Gaining Renown and Fame), Part 12 (Location Feats), Part 13 (Adventures), Part 14 (Faction Points)
Thassilonian Resurgence Adventure Path (TRAP) Campaign
Jade Regent Adventure Path (JRAP) Campaign
This site is constantly under revision, no blog posts are final as this is a work in progress place for me to develop my game settings and rules. Some posts might be placeholders for future content, so feel free to check back later for updated information.
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