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Age of Modern Magic

Game Master Dragonborn3

Magic is back! How are you dealing with that, and do you even know? For that matter, does anyone else on Earth?

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Shadow Lodge

So, with a bit of a confidence booster from a friend(in the form of tips for this particular game), I've decided to open up a game. This thread is merely an interest checker at the moment.

A day or two ago, maybe more, something very strange happened. A pulse of unknown origin and power washed over the entirety of planet Earth, changing reality in a way that is both miniscule and massive.

Magic is returning.

Slowly but surely, Earth is becoming as magical as the days when myths and legends were facts and true. Indeed, some of those myths and legends are coming back as well. Magic isn't effecting everything equally however.

In this setting, only 1/4 of the world's population is effected at this point in time. How this effects you character is up to you, since there is more to it than spells and rituals.

Now for the guidelines(as this is rules-light, thats what I'm calling them.

- Everyone starts as Human, but as time goes on they might change slightly over time to another race(Elf, Halfling, Ifrit, Kobold).

Sam is slowly turning into a tiefling. After hitting his forehead on a sharp edge of a door, he looks for a cut and instead finds fully formed horns. He blacks out from the shock and wakes up to find two pink marks, like scar tissue, where the horns were. Later, the horns return, but stay small enough for his bangs to hide them.

-Level 1, any class, 10 point. Realize you probably shouldn't have access to all the abilities of a first level character of you class though. You aren't used to the changes yet, so you don't have access to everything.

Charlie is becoming an Iquisitor. At the moment, he has enough energy to cast one spell(including cantrips) a day or use his Judgements. Since he has the Travel domain, he retains the +10ft to his base speed while he has that energy, but can't use the first level power.

Example 2:
Katie is becoming a Fighter. One day she decides to join a fencing club and finds that she instinctively knows how to use a fencing blade, and can provide a challenge for the fencing club's president. As she passes a construction sight, she realizes she knows what their building and how(Knowledge[Engineering]).

To represent a real change that is more obvious than getting a rank in Knowledge(Nature) and suddenly knowing not to eat that berry, everyone gains Magical Knack as a trait, with the change that it is at will instead of once per day.

Now remember that this is a free-form game with more emphasis on the story than rules. Much like the Avalon Chronicles the Rule of Cool is king. Don't be a jerk is also King. They share the crown.

One last thing. I'd like the majority of this game to start and take place in New York, New York. This doesn't mean you have to live there or even already be there. Maybe a friend of yours is going through the same thing you are(or close enough) and you're going there to meet him/her and possibly figure out whats happening. Perhaps you were on what appeared to be a messageboard for roleplay, but noticed a lot of people were explaining how they got their powers and are describing exactly what happened to you and they're all going to meet at a convention. Again, I'm leaving that up to you.

I need to give my fingers a break. Please ask any questions you've got about the game(it's player driven by the way, again just like Avalon)! This game is open to everyone who wants to play.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber


Any class, period? Any class on the srd? 10 points, as in point buy? I hope that changes eventually.

Are traits allowed? How we doin gear? especially with this apparently being semi-modern.

Shadow Lodge

Run non-Paizo classes by me first. 10 point buy since this is "low fantasy" instead of "standard"(this is likely to change as the game progresses).

One trait besides Magical Knack.

Your a formerly normal person on modern day Earth(we'll say it's May X, 2012). What do you have? Just don't go overboard.

EDIT: Yeah, we're using Pathfinder for this, in case you didn't look in the Examples or see the Magical Knack part. :)


You know I'm wanting to play this. :)

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Rather like that this is set in NYC, as I live not far away, and am quite familiar with the Greatest City in the World.

Shadow Lodge

At least someone will, I just picked it because it seemed like a good place for people to kinda fade into the background if they wanted to.

This does sound interesting. I will therefore express my interest for the interest check. ;)

Awesome, Dragonborn. I've always wanted to do this for my home off-line group, but never had the ambition to actually put it together.

I like that it's set in NYC too, since I lived there not all that long ago and visit regularly.

So yeah, I'm interested. I've already got some thoughts for a character.

you know i am interested in this like some kids are interested in cake, DB3.... will work on getting something together

Shadow Lodge

Well, this thread id gonna turn into the recruitment thread anyway... so post away!

Glad to know people are interested, even if this is a rules-light(not that I doubted the Avalon group any).

Is this going to be a sand-box type of game where you adapt the plot in conjunction with the PCs intentions, or do you have a defined goal in mind for them to work toward?

Shadow Lodge

This is a player driven game, so it's a sand-box where the plot adapts.

So I am thinking I will put forth a monk. Half-Giant if you will allow. (well, slowly turning into a half-giant, anyway) how do you want me to write this up?

Shadow Lodge

Like you would a regular character, just cutting back a bit on what you can do. Maybe you keep Unarmed Strike, but can't use Stunning Fist yet. Maybe you can use Stunning Fist, but lose your bonus to AC for the rest of the day if you do.

Also, since I didn't mention this before, the +2 to an ability score for being Human won't go away when if you fully change into another race.

Example 1: Human to Elf: +2 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Con
Example 2: Human to Elf: +2 Dex, +4 Int, -2 Con
Example 3: Human to Elf: +2 Dex, +2 Int

Hope that makes sense. This means a Human that stays Human can have either a +4 to one ability score or a +2 to two, getting the bonus when the Humans that are changing to a different race would get their new scores. Just about any race is okay for play, just no custom ones from the ARG, and remember that you may want to hide the changes, such as a a pair of small horns(tiefling) or growing fur overnight(cat/ratfolk and vanara).

No drow please.

kk. how much of the new-race effects do you want us to apply at the beginning?

For example, how swiftly should we apply the physical changes? how should we stage in the more fantastic abilities? etc.

Shadow Lodge

Whether the class abilities come in first or the racial features do I'm leaving up to the players.

For example: Charlie is running around the track and suddenly feels like he can go faster(the Travel Domain's +10ft base speed) and beats his old time and a record.

The example of Sam finding out he has horns is another example. In his case though, the horns go away for a bit. Next time they show up though, they are there to stay(though still rather small). The point being that, at first anyway, the changes can be hidden if the character wants to hide them.

Very good. I will have something more definite written up soon. I very much like this idea. It reminds me a bit of my all-time favorite setting, and I am looking forward to it.

Hmm...I'm thinking elf. Either witch or wizard. Either way with a siamese kitten as her familiar. She picked it up as she was traveling and just couldn't give it away. :)

I'm contemplating either a druid or a barbarian. If I go with the druid I might also use human to elf, though I need to think about that more.

Either way, I'm thinking of a NYC resident who travels up to the Adirondacks for vacation (hiking and camping) when the weird stuff starts to happen for him.

Shadow Lodge

Give me a minute or two, and I'll provide links to stuff I'm allowing that I don't think is on d20pfsrd.

lynora wrote:
Hmm...I'm thinking elf. Either witch or wizard. Either way with a siamese kitten as her familiar. She picked it up as she was traveling and just couldn't give it away. :)

Telepathy still going strong. Cute little kitten(or puppy) familiars for witches, wizards, and arcane sorcerers was a though I had. ^-^

I use elf as an example and two people want to play elves now. Interesting... this requires further study! Bwahaha!

Liberty's Edge

Sounds like fun.

Alistair woke up Saturday morning and took a shower. He toweled off and started to shave. My beard's really thick this morning, he thinks, Like I haven't shaved all week. Weird. He started to get dressed. Pulling on his shirt, he realized the arms were too long, the cuffs hanging over his knuckles. When he tried to button the shirt, the buttons didn't reach. He finally found a pullover shirt he could squeeze into but it was a tight fit. His pants, when he put them on, ended about an inch below his feet. He rolled up the cuffs, shaking his head, and got ready to go to work. Outside he looked for his car, which he'd left parked in the lot, spotted it and walked over to it. As he opened the door, he suddenly realized How did I do that? It's pitch dark outside, not even a streetlight, and I spotted my car from twenty yards away? What the hell is going on?

Human turning into dwarf

i am immune to your suggestion powers! :)

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I want to play something a bit superheroy. Something that's probably a little flashier than what might be in a normal Pathfinder game.

Would you be opposed to Psionics from Dreamscarred Press? Is so, that's fine, I might go Sorc then, though I am totally open to suggestions.

Shadow Lodge

Epic Meepo's Archtypes
Classes by SmiloDan
Maxximilius's Archetypes

Some, but far from all, of the class and archtypes found in those threads just won't work in this setting. so run them by me first if one catches your eye, okay? :)

normanak wrote:
Human turning into dwarf

Neat. Remember that physical changes go away for a bit after they first appear. Usually come back in, oh, a day. Helps make people think they're going crazy! ;)

Shadow Lodge

Monkeygod wrote:

I want to play something a bit superheroy. Something that's probably a little flashier than what might be in a normal Pathfinder game.

Would you be opposed to Psionics from Dreamscarred Press? Is so, that's fine, I might go Sorc then, though I am totally open to suggestions.

DSP is a great company, and I love psionics, so go ahead. Wild Talent isn't needed for a non-psionic race.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Thinking Human, who will eventually become a psionic race, probably Elan, since that fits, or maybe Maenad. Psion or Wilder, Egoist, going Metamorph.

Silver Crusade

Very tempted. I can see a withdrawn but brilliant lab assistant who lives in a run down studio apartment slowly becoming a ratfolk, and also finding that his curious homemade concoctions are having new and unforeseen powers (alchemist).

Shadow Lodge

Come on, CH, you know you want too... just screams "I was online when I saw this weird messageboard that describe what's happening to me".

Silver Crusade

That is exactly how it would happen :)

Wow--how about a kid that runs off to New York to become a street busker and begins to turn into a bard?

Shadow Lodge

Sounds like a plan. Street Performer Bard in particular is a nice fit, obviously.

I think I'm going to go with a teen living in the heart of NYC with a group of similar-minded teens, where the whole group has little/no money and basically steals what they need to survive, kind of a bit of self-formed thief outfit. Over time, he starts to notice that he's a bit stealthier than his companions, quicker at breaking in, etc. Add to that the slow growth of extra hair over the whole body (turning into fur), as well as nails slowly lengthening into claws. Basically a slow transition from human to a catfolk rogue, or cat burglar, if you will.

Count me in! Now to work on a Samsaran Time Oracle, Haunted by both memories of the last age of magic and temporal glitches happening around him.

Dragonborn, just how many people are you going to accept for this campaign?

P.S. -- Did you mean we should all start with Magical Talent as a trait, instead of Magical Knack? Magical Knack increases your CL by 2 as long as it doesn't surpass your HD; it isn't usable once per day.

I took a stab at creating a character, doing my best to follow the rules you outlined, O wise GM. Let me know what you think ...

dragonborn3 wrote:
Magical Knack as a trait, with the change that it is at will instead of once per day.

One quick question, I was looking at magical knack and it doesn't quite seem to fit what you've said as far as an at will or once per day type thing.

Anyway, here's my concept:
Jared Parson has been writing fantasy since he was 12 years old. He was reading it long before that though. His first chapter books were from Rhode Dhal. He then moved on to J.R.R. Tolkien, Salvatore, McAffery, and Herbert. He reads everything he can get his hands on. The problem is that his writing is far too steeped in the tropes and clichés of the genre. He has been trying to get his latest story published. After many previous failures, he has now decided that he needs to get an agent first. So he saved up some money to fly to New York.
Jared grew up in a small town called Delta, UT. It’s the type of place that’s had the same people around for far too long. Enough so that, growing up, he had to ask his grandmother if he was related to this girl or that girl before asking any of them on dates. This is his first big trip out of that town.
Jared is a dreamer and an optimist. Sometimes to the point of naivety. He believes that going to New York will really get him an agent.
While there, he also began working on his next book—because if you’ve got a project you’re working on as well as one you’re selling, they’ll take you more seriously. Last night while working on his book, he started developing this weird rash on his lower back. It kept bothering him all night, yet somehow, he fell asleep on his typewriter—a typewriter is what all the successful writers use, so that’s how I’ll become successful—long before he normally goes to sleep. When he woke up, the rash had become a small bump. Besides that, he felt strange the whole rest of the day. His shoes no longer seemed to fit right, so he decided it must be time to get a new pair. As he went out on the streets of New York, he discovered that he felt keenly aware of his movements and the movements of those around him. He managed to dodge through the crowds of New York without even touching more than a few people. This was not like him. He had always been somewhat of a klutz. Lastly, he is starting to occasionally slip into a strange form of speech that sounds somewhat like a monkey.

Jared is making a change from Human to Vanaran. He is also becoming a monk (Flowing Monk archetype). He has access to the bonus feat (Improved Trip) and redirection (the class feature) as well as improved unarmed strike. But he cannot use flurry of blows yet, nor does he have access to his other two feats Agile maneuvers and weapon finesse. He is also starting to pick up Vanaran, because it is built into his Vanaran system, he will have a hard time differentiating when he is speaking English or Vanaran for a small amount of time.

Jared has not figured out what is happening to him at all. Currently he just thinks he’s sick (he hasn’t had any major powers reveal yet) but when he does figure it out he will be ecstatic. He will think he is—or needs to be—THE hero of the story. And sometime later, he’ll be disappointed to find out that he is not. I’m not sure (and I’d like to see) how well he will eventually deal with this revelation.

I’ll have his build up soon.

i am pretty sure DB3 is talking about the magical talent trait which gives you a 0-level spell useable once per day.

Shadow Lodge

L. A. Paladin wrote:
Dragonborn, just how many people are you going to accept for this campaign?

Just like the pbp The Avalon Chronicles, this game will always open to people. Admittedly, that's a bit more than I've ever technically run a game for, but since this game is based more around the actual story than the mechanics behind it, I feel I can handle.

L. A. Paladin wrote:
P.S. -- Did you mean we should all start with Magical Talent as a trait, instead of Magical Knack? Magical Knack increases your CL by 2 as long as it doesn't surpass your HD; it isn't usable once per day.
Runner188 wrote:
One quick question, I was looking at magical knack and it doesn't quite seem to fit what you've said as far as an at will or once per day type thing.
MisterLurch wrote:
i am pretty sure DB3 is talking about the magical talent trait which gives you a 0-level spell useable once per day.

This is correct. Can't believe I mixed them up.

Shadow Lodge

Skivven, the concept sounds interesting enough to give me ideas.

Ivan looks good. I like how you made the things he doesn't have access to smaller and in italics.

I was looking at what Jared kept and thought it still felt like a little much. I'm not sure though, so if others could comment on it too that would be appreciated. Otherwise he's fine.

Shadow Lodge

Oops, forgot about LordDarrn. Looks like a good idea.

Here's a sketch for a bard.

Roger Detson:
Male Human Bard 1
CG Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +5; Senses Perception +4
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14. . (+3 armor, +1 shield, +1 Dex)
hp 8 (1d8)
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +2
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Sap +1 (1d6+1/20/x2) and
. . Unarmed Strike +1 (1d3+1/20/x2) and
. . Whip +1 (1d3+1/20/x2)
Special Attacks Bardic Performance (standard action) (7 rounds/day, Bardic Performance: Countersong, Bardic Performance: Distraction, Bardic Performance: Fascinate (1 targets) (DC 13), Bardic Performance: Inspire Courage +1
Bard Spells Known (CL 1, +1 melee touch, +1 ranged touch):
1 (2/day) Silent Image (DC 14), Grease (DC 14)
0 (at will) Prestidigitation (DC 13), Detect Magic, Message, Light
Str 13, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +0; CMB +1; CMD 12
Feats Bard Weapon Proficiencies, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus: Perform (String Instruments)
Traits Ease of Faith, Resilient
Skills Acrobatics -1, Bluff +7, Climb +3, Diplomacy +8, Disguise +7, Escape Artist -1, Fly -1, Intimidate +7, Perception +4, Perform (String Instruments) +10, Ride -1, Stealth -1, Swim -1
Languages Common
SQ Bardic Knowledge +1 (Ex), Heart of the Streets
Combat Gear Buckler, Sap, Studded Leather, Whip; Other Gear Musical instrument, masterwork: Oud
Bardic Knowledge +1 (Ex) Add + 1 to all knowledge skill checks.
Bardic Performance (standard action) (7 rounds/day) Your performances can create magical effects.
Bardic Performance: Countersong (Su) Counter magical effects that depend on sound.
Bardic Performance: Distraction (Su) Counter magical effects that depend on sight.
Bardic Performance: Fascinate (1 targets) (DC 13) (Su) One or more creatures becomes fascinated with you.
Bardic Performance: Inspire Courage +1 (Su) Morale bonus on some saving throws, attack and damage rolls.
Heart of the Streets +1 AC while adjacent to at least two allies. Crowds do not count as difficult terrain.
Roger Detson grew up bouncing around all parts of San Francisco; such is the life with bohemian parents. He followed his own muse to UC Santa Cruz and studied music and ethnomusicology, although more often than not wandering off to rock climb, hang out at all-night Burner or Ren Faire type events. He eventually found his love in the Arabic 'oud, if not also with a revolving cast of girlfriends.

Not having any real plans of his own, he followed one who stuck around longer, by the name of Lydia, to New York, where she started medical school. After a few months, she was exasperated with him and they parted ways. Since then he has been living the dream of a working musician, busking in the Park or the High Line and performing in night clubs with belly dancers, dumbek players, and the like. His tiny apartment in the Village barely fits his lanky frame and his scores of musical instruments, spiritual knick-knacks, and vintage LPs.

Roger is tall with a great mane of dark hair and hypnotic green eyes, owing to some heritage on his mom's side. Although skinny, he has some muscle from climbing and working out in the park. He dresses in various styles, from dark beaten up shirts and pants, to more ethnic getups for busking, to Ren Faire outfits. Extremely easy going and relaxed, he is sometimes confused when people get upset with him, for example, when he fails to show up on time.

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Shadow Lodge

So which abilities are manifesting first, is he changing race, and how is he reacting to all the changes?

I've liked all the proposed ideas so far, keep 'em coming folks! ^^

how do you want us to treat modern skills?

Shadow Lodge

Give me an example.

No race changes, and I have no idea which ones would come first. Some Bardic Performance Abilities or Ability, I reckon!

Drive (Car) Actually, no one has that skill in NYC. :D

Shadow Lodge

If you do choose to go with the Street Performer archetype, the ability to make one person invisible to another could be interesting.

Just treat Ride and Drive as the same skill.

computer use? also, are guns martial or simple weapons, or is the returning magic interfering with guns and computers?

Shadow Lodge

No interference yet. Proper gun use requires at least some training, so they are still exotic.

When you say computer use, what do you mean? Hacking(Knowledge[egineering] + Disable Device), programming(Knowledge[engineering]), looking for information(Diplmacy used for gather information)?

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Let me check Monk and Flowing Monk archetype before I get back to you on Jared. But I can see where ya comin from

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