Paizo, publisher of the Pathfinder and Starfinder Roleplaying games, has announced starting this fall, Pathfinder will be turning the globe a bit as it heads to a region that players have been waiting for—the setting of the next few Pathfinder projects coming down the road: Tian Xia! Starting at the end of this year and continuing into 2024, Pathfinder will dive into this region like never before to bring adventures, stories, and character options inspired by this land!
The setting of Tian Xia first appeared back in 2008 as part of the Campaign Setting book, with further info in the Inner Sea World Guide and The Dragon Empires Gazetteer. The new books will be the biggest release ever for the setting.
Season of Ghosts Adventure Path
First, the narrative team will kick things off with the Season of Ghosts Adventure Path in October of 2023 horror-themed campaign is set in the haunted land of Shenmen and begins just after the small town of Willowshore celebrates the Season of Ghosts—a local festival to appease Shenmen’s many evil ghosts and spirits and ensure safety for the coming year. Yet 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?
Season of Ghosts will take your PCs from 1st to 12th level over the following volumes!
- 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
You might notice that this is Pathfinder’s first four-part adventure path, for a very good reason! Each of this Adventure Path’s volumes take place over the course of a different season, starting with the rainy summer and ending in the spring. With each season’s passing, the stakes the heroes face escalate, and the revelations in store will shock the townsfolk of Willowshore to the core! Will your group of adventures be able to save their hometown from a mysterious supernatural horror, or will your hometown simply become the next of Shenmen’s haunted ruins?
Lost Omens Tian Xia
Then, in 2024, prepare for not one but two Lost Omens books from the rules and lore team!
The Lost Omens Tian Xia World Guide covers the many diverse nations and cultures that inhabit Tian Xia. Snippets of Tian Xia’s lore and history have come to Avistan via merchants and immigrants, but this book will present a look at the whole picture, from the elemental hegemony and yaoguai wars that shaped the landscape in ancient times to the return of Hao Jin in the modern era. Learn the secrets behind the undying emperor of Yixing, whose return is still awaited in Po Li. Offer a small prayer to the local kami, anito, or kaiju. See if you find satisfaction in the service of the Empress of Heaven, Shizuru, or in the explosive rivalry between the dancing gods Mugura and Nrithu.
In an age ruled by heroes unfettered by prophecy, change is sweeping across the continent. Some of you might have helped Ameiko Kaijitsu depose the Jade Regent and ascend to the throne of Minkai—now witness the new Ondori era under her rule. Step into the nation of Bachuan, now that a Po Li oracle has convinced it to ease its restrictions and open its borders; Hao Jin’s tapestry people now live here too, descendants of a past once thought lost for good. Amanandar, a nation now as Tian in heritage as it is Taldan, has declared its independence with the blessings of Queen Eutropia and renamed itself as Linvarre—visitors from Avistan may delight in its Grogrisant lion dances or pick up a few words of its national language of Taltien. Journey the perilous Valashmai Jungle and find your way upon the Valash Raj, flourishing among the ruins shattered by giant beasts and monsters. The World Guide will lead you through these nations and more before giving GMs a bestiary containing the continent’s monsters, from the ferocious, four-horned aoyin to the aristocrat-eating yeongno.
After finding a nation or city that sparks your interest in the World Guide, it’s only natural to want to make a character from there! The Lost Omens Tian Xia Character Guide will introduce new rules options to bring your characters to life! The book will contain six brand-new ancestries and numerous backgrounds to provide the seeds for new PCs. You’ll also find expanded heritages and feats for existing ancestries that might be more common in Tian Xia than in other areas, like the peachchild leshy heritage, which might have come from a fruit that floated down a river, or the bakuwa lizardfolk heritage, possibly responsible for eclipses over Minata when they eat the moon! The book also contains numerous character options to flesh out Tian adventurers, whether that’s skill feats to prepare elemental Tian medicine or a new magus hybrid study that lets you leap weightlessly through the air with your cultivated magic, before your sword strikes home.
Here is a tiny sneak peek into three of the new ancestries coming in the Character Guide:
Samsarans have reincarnated many times, and they will do so many times more. This ancestry dwells in enclaves, though often a samsaran will journey to learn more about the world in pursuit of their goal of enlightenment. Samsarans can call upon the memories of their past selves to aid them in skill checks—perhaps recalling a life as a painter as they observe a piece of art—and they can even share some of their powerful life essence with an ally to heal them! Samsarans are great for characters with deep knowledge and experience but who always seek to learn new things.
Next are the wayangs, a diasporic people who have sailed from the Shadow Plane to the oceans and forests of Tian Xia. Wayangs value freedom and knowledge, often organizing their societies in overlapping circles around wise teachers or artisans. Unsurprisingly, wayangs have abilities that let them harness their shadows, often through specific dances, and more magically inclined wayangs might gain a unique dreaming heirloom with occult powers. Wayangs are great for artistic or expressive characters, or ones who want to use their magical powers to liberate others.
The last ancestry previewed is a new one! Scurrying underfoot, tanuki are a fun-loving people who are determined to get the most out of life before their luck runs out! Tanuki can shapeshift into a variety of forms, whether that’s turning into a teapot to hide in a room or turning into a priest to get a bit of extra respect. Tanuki also use illusions to play tricks on others or get a laugh, and they enjoy drumming on their bellies under the full moon. Tanuki are a great ancestry for players who want to play underdogs or just have fun!
Lastly, Pazio couldn’t have put these books together without an amazing team of writers, with over 40 AAPI creators! The Lost Omens Tian Xia books are brought to you by Eren Ahn, Jeremy Blum, Alyx Bui, James Case, Banana Chan, Connie Chang, Rick Chia, Hiromi Cota, Hans Chun, Theta Chun, Dana Ebert, Basheer Ghouse, John Godek III, Joan Hong, Sen H.H.S., Michelle Jones, Joshua Kim, Daniel Kwan, Dash Kwiatkowski, Jacky Leung, Jesse J. Leung, Monte Lin, Jessie “Aki” Lo, Adam Ma, Liane Merciel, Ashley Moni, Kevin Thien Vu Long Nguyen, Collette Quach, Andrew Quon, Kyra Arsenault Rivera, Christopher Rondeau, Joaquin Kyle “Makapatag” Saavedra, Shahreena Shahrani, Kienna Shaw, Philip Shen, Tan Shao Han, Mari Tokuda, Ruvaid Virk, Viditya Voleti, Grady Wang, Emma Yasui, and Jay Zhang.
Paizo hopes that you’re as excited to check out these lands and tales as they are! They’ll have updates and information coming in the upcoming weeks and months, so stay tuned and subscribe to the Lost Omens and Adventure Path lines to ensure you catch updates as we all make our way to Tian Xia!
Images via Paizo Publishing
Have strong thoughts about this piece you need to share? Or maybe there’s something else on your mind you’re wanting to talk about with fellow Fandomentals? Head on over to our Community server to join in the conversation!