In this, the first volume of the Hell’s Vengeance Adventure Path, the players take on the roles of scoundrels at the beginning of their nefarious careers. As the first Paizo Adventure Path that assumes the players are villains, I eagerly grabbed the opportunity to write the first volume to set the tone of the AP—though Senior Developer Rob McCreary’s elaborate master plan for the series scripted out the majority of the series’s beats. Still, I wanted to write this adventure (and the “Longacre” support article) to establish that an “evil campaign” and a full-on id-fest are not the same thing. As a result, I feel like the story ended up feeling something like a Western, with a group of scofflaws showing up in town and taking over the place. There’s something that I felt like worked with that, as classic Westerns have deplorable characters, but rarely devolve into true nightmares. If groups want that, they can bring it themselves and make it as dark as they want, but at the baseline, things stay at a pretty Deadwood level of depravity… if Deadwood had necromancy. The adventure also starts off in media res with an in-progress heist of sorts, which I know distressed some used to gradual ramp-ups and discussions of motivations. But it’s been gratifying to hear that most players have really enjoyed getting right into the action and being thrown into a teamwork situation despite being baddies. I also snuck another boy dryad into this one (see Pathfinder Origins #5)—one with a Hawaiian sounding name, which has also been an unexpected trend in 2016 (see Eclipse Phase: After the Fall). Really enjoying slipping gender-swapped versions of classic seductresses into things. We’ll see where that takes us.
Oh, and this was also the book where I learned about denatsates and found a place for them in Golarion. So good times!
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