This artifact looks and functions very much like an ordinary deck of many things. The back of each card featured an intricate and ever-shifting ink pattern that seems at once to represent a viewer’s secret desires and a mocking grin. Those who look at the pattern for very long can almost hear a whispering voice urging them to draw a card.
Looking for a way to spice up your Pathfinder game with some free content, or just want to check out some great fiction by freelancers around the industry? The new issue of Wayfinder, the Pathfinder fanzine, is now available!
My contribution to this issue is the “Agents of the Worldwound,” a pair of NPCs that can help spice up any fantasy game but which are specifically tied to the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path.
Check it out! Download your free copy right here!
The roots shuddered and then became more flexible, bunching together and taking the rough form of a woman who stood just a little taller than Sarah and had a pronounced hunch. The treelike creature swayed from side to side but didn’t seem to have any feet with which to move. The two faeries darted to her side and landed on her wooden shoulders. The roots around the makeshift face twisted once more, leaving deep, empty sockets where the figure should have had eyes. In another moment, a pair of pale white lights in the shape of two crescent moons emerged from the sockets and looked at Sarah. The tree-formed face scrunched up and formed into a toothy smile as it saw her.
“Lovely little Linda. You look as young as the day we first met.”
“I’m not Linda,” Sarah said. She raised her wand defensively with her left hand and pointed toward her fallen mother with her right. “She is.”
The tree-creature shambled forward, leaving a raised trench in the earth where the roots pulled away from the ground. Bending her head, she smiled in a matronly way. “Of course it is. Well, this is truly, tantalizingly terrific. I didn’t know I had another grandchild.”
“Not literally, of course. Great-grandchild, at least. Or maybe even great-great. It’s so hard to keep track, especially since I’m a spirit now instead of a person with a real body.”
There are a thousand stories about the wizard who created Greystone Valley, all of them referring to him as a man who disappeared into the mists of history ages ago. There are an equal number of tales about the witch Sabrina, who taught the Wizard his power, but those stories don’t describe somebody distant and gone. Instead, they speak of a spirit who haunts the valley still, stalking the nights for her own mysterious motives.
Thanks to its roots in pulp fiction, the fantasy gaming genre goes very well with comic books. Sure, the mechanics and the fiction don’t always line up, and yes there are a fair share of duds out there. But overall, comics based on popular role-playing games is a consistent, if not high-profile, part of the industry.
There have been a lot of good fantasy RPG comics, from the fun albeit rough in quality Advanced Dungeons & Dragons series of the 1980s to 2016’s extremely fun Pathfinder: Worldscape, which mashed up the Pathfinder RPG with classic heroes such as Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, and Red Sonja. But my personal favorite RPG-based comic is the series that ran in the Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition days.
(Spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story below.)
My wife and I recently watched Rogue One. Better late than never, after all. Happily, I found it to be a really good movie. That really puts it into above and beyond territory, because it could have been awful and still been worth watching just for the Vader scene at the end.
I have a son who is getting interested in role-playing games. He is also extremely interested in the Mario franchise, to the point where he refers to himself as Mario. His sister gets to be Princess Peach, his mother gets to be Princess Daisy, and I’m stuck as Luigi.
Recently, I decided to fuse these two interests together, resulting in a Super Mario Brothers edition of Pathfinder.
The process was actually pretty easy. Since combat and task resolution in Pathfinder are abstract, you can fill the flavor text in yourself. If you hit and do 1d6 bludgeoning damage, what difference does it make if you’re swinging a mace or jumping on bad guys’ heads?
Previously, I covered how you can create Greystone Valley characters using the FATE Accelerated RPG. But what good is a character without an adventure to play through? Here’s an RPG introduction to the world of Greystone Valley. It takes place after the events of Conquest of Greystone Valley, but doesn’t include any spoilers for that novel.
The adventure is a simple, straightforward way to introduce younger players to the concept of role-playing. They can fight their way through the obstacles if they want, but there are plenty of opportunities for nonviolent solutions as well.
Not familiar with the game? No problem! You can get FATE Accelerated and its related games in PDF format for free right here. Or, if you’d prefer to access the game through a web browser, you can find all the rules in the online system reference document.
Read on to get started with the adventure Arrival in Greystone Valley!