It’s already been a huge year for Pathfinder fans, with the popular Reign of Winter Adventure Path, the Ultimate Campaign hardcover, and the new format for Pathfinder Modules unveiled with The Dragon’s Demand super-module, but starting in August, the summer really explodes with a handful of huge product releases. Because things can get daunting running up to the big Gen Con release date, here’s a quick overview of important August Pathfinder releases to help you plan for a season of truly mythic scope!
~ Pathfinder RPG Mythic Adventures ~
The year’s major RPG rules hardcover release is Mythic Adventures, a comprehensive guide to infusing your campaigns with amazingly powerful potential. Mythic Adventures introduces six new mythic paths like the archmage, champion, and guardian that allow characters of all levels to experience an entirely new style of high adventure, granting them abilities far beyond those of mere mortals. With extensive support in the form of the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path, Pathfinder Society scenarios that grant limited access to mythic abilities, and sourcebooks weaving the mythic rules into the Pathfinder world of Golarion, Mythic Adventures sets a new standard for high-octane play, and is poised to be one of the major RPG releases of 2013.
~ Pathfinder Adventure Card Game ~
This year, Pathfinder steps beyond the GM screen to enter a new product category with the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, a major new product line with bimonthly releases that bring the adventure and excitement of Paizo’s popular Adventure Paths to a quick-play cooperative card game format. It all gets started in August with the Rise of the Runelords Base Set, a huge box featuring more than 500 cards depicting characters, scenarios, treasures, and monsters inspired by Pathfinder’s most popular campaign ever. Players develop their characters over numerous scenarios, advancing in power each time they play and carrying over benefits from game to game. The first Adventure Deck, pitting the players against the villainous goblins of “Burnt Offerings,” is included in the Rise of the Runelords Base Set. Other $19.99 Adventure Decks will follow on a bi-monthly basis starting in October.
~ The Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path ~
From the very beginning of the Pathfinder Adventure Path, players have been demanding a campaign where they take on the role of straight-up “good guys.” In August’s Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path, it’s time for true heroes to take the spotlight when a horde of demons seeping from the evil Worldwound in the northern regions of the Inner Sea begins to spill out of the tainted hellscape of their realm, threatening the civilized lands of Golarion. It’ll take all the power the heroes can muster to push back the demonic horde, so the campaign makes healthy use of Paizo’s new Mythic Adventures hardcover, granting the player characters awesome new mythic abilities with each adventure and containing tons of tips and examples of how to weave mythic play into Pathfinder campaigns. With six monthly volumes running through the end of the year, extensive in-store and convention gaming support through the Pathfinder Society’s “Year of the Demon” storyline, and numerous product tie-ins like August’s Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Demons Revisited and Pathfinder Player Companion: Demon Hunter’s Handbook, the Wrath of the Righteous puts heroes to a test of heroism they will not soon forget!
~ And That’s Not All! ~
In addition to the exciting releases listed above, Paizo has a ton of other great products coming out in the summer, from the Skull & Shackles set of Pathfinder Battles pre-painted miniatures produced in collaboration with WizKids to the Pathfinder: Dark Waters Rising hardcover compilation of the first six issues of Dynamite’s critically acclaimed Pathfinder comic series to new Pathfinder Modules, Map Packs, Flip-Mats, and more! This August looks to be a great one for Pathfinder players. Plan carefully to make sure you don’t miss a single release!
Earlier this year, Privateer Press announced LEVEL 7 [OMEGA PROTOCOL], the next game set in the terrifying world of LEVEL 7. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the components and mechanics of the new game and which new aspects of the setting it explores.
In LEVEL 7 [ESCAPE] players take on the roll of escaped test subjects frantically trying to find their way out of the Subterra Bravo facility. The actions of these escapees destabilize the relationship between the human and alien elements in the base. By the end of the story the situation is completely out of the government’s control.
The government had planned for this contingency, however, and that’s where the LEVEL 7 [OMEGA PROTOCOL] story picks up. In this new game players take on the roll of either a highly trained commando team sent to pacify the situation or as the overseer in control of the enemy forces trying to stop the commandos.
Much like the alien creatures in LEVEL 7 [ESCAPE] are drawn to a player’s fear, both sides in this confrontation are tied together by their use of the adrenaline system. During a commandos turn he can perform a variety of actions, like moving, attacking, and opening doors. Each of these actions has an associated adrenaline cost. A commando increases his adrenaline for each action by taking adrenaline tokens but can gain only a set amount of tokens each turn. This adrenaline is then passed to the overseer who uses it as fuel for activating his abilities and figures. The system creates a situation where skill and luck can allow the commandos to limit the amount of actions the overseer can perform during his turn.
The commandos each have a military specialty and plenty of training and equipment to get the job done. These aspects are represented in character creation when the players select cards from both a personal and common deck of kit cards. These kits make the different commandos stand apart from each other and add plenty of replayablity to the game. During gameplay, kit cards grant a wide range of abilities to commandos, allowing them to do things like deploy drones or use abilities that improve the performance of the entire team.
Stance cards are another aspect of the game that makes each commando a little different. Each commando chooses which stance cards he will use at the beginning of every round. They determine some of the commando’s abilities, his movement and defense stats and how many adrenaline tokens he can gain in a turn.
The commandos must work together to accomplish a series of missions and stop the insurrection. They are not only working against the overseer player, but also against a clock counting down to the Crisis Point. When the Crisis Point is triggered, the danger level increases, and the overseer has a much greater chance of winning.
The overseer spends each of the nine missions attempting to destroy the commandos. He controls distribution of the map elements and the movements of the inhuman creatures that have overrun the facility.
During the setup of a mission the overseer determines what will be in each room and which doors the commandos will have to breach. During the game, the overseer has access to a force of dangerous creatures he will place on the map when the commandos explore new rooms. A few of these creatures will be familiar to players of LEVEL 7 [ESCAPE], but there are new threats that Dr. Cronos has kept hidden as his own contingency plan.
The overseer’s dashboard is a collection of abilities determined by the mission. He spends adrenaline tokens on these abilities to spawn new threats on the map and improve the capabilities of his creatures. Each ability has a cool-down period that restricts how it functions for a specific amount of time. The overseer must manage the number of adrenaline tokens he spends each turn and be careful he doesn’t use an ability too early.
LEVEL 7 [OMEGA PROTOCOL] is a tactical miniatures-based board game for 2-6 players releasing this fall. Fearlessly enter the belly of the beast as part of a highly trained team of operatives and work together to neutralize all threats or take control of the swarms of creatures inhabiting Subterra Bravo and ensure the human intruders know true terror before they meet their grisly fate.
~ In its infancy ~
It was 1998, I had a newly acquired Mac on which I played numerous games, among them: Spaceward Ho! I loved the fact that in the game you had to terraform planets before you could inhabit them. I thought that was a great mechanism. My brother Anselm soon started designing a board game with this mechanism at its core. We were also major fans of Settlers of Catan and played the game a lot, so we thought to use the idea of a modular board in the game we were designing.
After many playtests with family and friends, we decided to present the game at the International Game Inventors Fair in Munich. We met the people at Hans im Glück who playtested it for a while and then decided not to publish it. This rejection made us abandon the game altogether for many years until I started redesigning it in 2002.
~ What did the game look like before it became Terra Mystica? ~
At first, the game was called Gorod. There were five different landscapes and five unique fantasy races, each with their own specialties, inhabiting the different areas. Players had to terraform adjacent regions into their landscape before they were able to build on it. There were three types of buildings that you could construct, each provided players with a specific advantage (worker, money or action cards). In light of the rejection from Hans im Glück, we realized that the action cards were adding too much of a “luck” aspect to the game and decided to scrap that idea.
After more playtests with a new testing group, Gorod was still a hit. I added two more landscapes and two new races, experimented with a modular board, and played with the number of buildings you could eventually build. We playtested it for another two years, and then I put the game back in my drawer.
In 2009, the game came out of the drawer again, and I was set on completing it. This time, I focused on the civilization aspect of the game. I wanted to give players different abilities to improve their buildings and to gain additional advantages. I decided to bring the number of races up to fourteen. This sounded like the best number yet. It is also in 2009 that I met Andreas and Bernadette from Cliquenabend. I soon became a regular member of their gaming group and decided to show them Gorod. They all loved it!
In 2010, Cliquenabend organized its first Mallorca-gathering event that brought together designers and publishers for a ten-day prototype-testing show. That’s where I met Uwe Rosenberg. He really enjoyed the game and promised me it would be published, but also said that it still needed tons of work. We had a few gaming weekends together where I also met Jens Drögemüller, who after a few more gaming sessions became my co-designer, and Frank Heeren, who became the publisher with Feuerland Spiele.~ The birth of Terra Mystica! ~
For a long time the game had only the working title "Gorod" which is Russian for town/city. In early versions of the game, the founding of towns was the essential aim of the game. Even though the game had evolved a lot over the years, the working title stayed the same. The title "Terra Mystica" was created in the title searching process. It includes the mysteries and the magic of many of the factions present in the game, as well as the importance of TERRAforming.
In 2012, we had finally devised all fourteen races with select abilities, and were now perfectly balanced. The game had a great new name and we were ready to show the world. Terra Mystica was released at Spiel 2012, which was very exciting for all involved!