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Pathfinder’s Tian Xia setting is back with a horror-themed campaign

The Season of Ghosts Adventure Path starts in October

Ghosts walk out of a dark forest in key art for Season of Ghosts Adventure Path in Pathfinder. Image: Paizo Publishing
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Pathfinder will return to its classic Tian Xia setting in October with a four-part campaign. The Season of Ghosts Adventure Path begins this fall, and will take players from level 1 all the way to level 12. The series will culminate in 2024 with a handful of new hardcover books, publisher Paizo announced on Thursday.

Season of Ghosts is described as a horror-themed campaign set in the land of Shenmen, during a local festival. From the official description:

This year, something’s gone wrong, and the PCs wake to find their hometown of Willowshore has fallen under a sinister curse and been invaded by monsters. In the months to come, the heroes must help the people of Willowshore prepare for winter while working to discover the cause of the curse that’s cut them all off from the rest of the world. Is it the work of a fiend? The machinations of vengeful spirits? Or is it something much, much worse?

Paizo offers its Adventure Paths as serialized releases, and this time it will be a four-part series based on the seasons. Season of Ghosts will include the following:

  • The Summer that Never Was, by Sen H.H.S.
  • Let the Leaves Fall, by Joan Hong, with additional articles by Tan Shao Han and Grady Wang
  • With No Breath to Cry, by Dan Cascone & Eleanor Ferron, with additional articles by Jeremy Blum, Dana Ebert, Joshua Kim, and Michelle Y. Kim
  • To Bloom Below the Web, by Liane Merciel, with additional articles by Jeremy Blum, Joshua Kim, and Michelle Y. Kim

Later releases will include the Lost Omens Tian Xia World Guide and The Lost Omens Tian Xia Character Guide, which will introduce new rules options and character ancestries, among other additions to the game.

Of note here is the huge cast of writers, which include tabletop veterans Banana Chan (Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall), Daniel Kwan (Candlekeep Mysteries, Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game), Kienna Shaw, and Joaquin Kyle Saavedra (Makapatag) among others.

Paizo has been riding a sudden wave of popularity following the Dungeons & Dragons Open Gaming License (OGL) fiasco, which had the potential to upend its long history building its business from the rules of 3.5 edition D&D. The company said that a flurry of sales burned through nearly a years’ worth of product in January alone.