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DM CD's Unrest in Atlus

Game Master Vethcyr


Sources:
You may draw from the following sources:
- Any official Paizo Pathfinder materials (much of this material may be found online here: PFSRD)
- 3.5 Complete series, Magic Item and Spell Compendia, PHB II.
- I may allow materials from other books on a case by case basis.

NOTE: Some items from outside these sources may show up from time to time. For instance, if you encounter a bunch of pirates, they will probably be using cutlasses, which are detailed in Stormwrack. Basically, if you want a feat or spell from outside the pre-approved sources, just ask me.


House Rules:
1) Classes
Paladins
- Paladins may follow any deity or cause – much akin to Clerics. Accordingly, Paladins follow the same rules for alignment as Clerics (within one step of deity).
- Smiting, Paladin codes, and other alignment-oriented abilities adjust as appropriate for your character and his or her cause/deity of choice.
- Paladins of deities or causes that would grant the Magic domain gain access to the following Mercies:
Dispelling: The Paladin’s Lay on Hands also acts as Dispel Magic, using the Paladin’s level as the caster level. As this is a mercy, the Paladin must succeed on a melee touch attack to apply the effect, and the ability may only be used as a targeted dispel. This mercy may first be selected at level 6.
- Greater Dispelling: The Paladin’s Lay on Hands now functions as Greater Dispel Magic, but otherwise remains subject to the same limitations as its lesser variant except as detailed below. It may also be used as a counterspell effect if the offending spellcaster would provoke an attack of opportunity from the Paladin by casting and the Paladin connects with his or her melee touch attack. At the cost of two uses of Lay on Hands, however, the paladin may use this mercy as an area dispel as normal for Greater Dispel Magic. This mercy may first be selected at level 12 and requires the Dispelling mercy as a prerequisite.

Bards and Barbarians
- May be of any alignment.

Monks
- May be of any non-Chaotic alignment (At least one archetype has no alignment limit)
- A monk may, as a swift action, expend one point from his ki pool to negate size modifiers on any combat maneuver checks he makes or are made against him during that turn. The monk gains this ability at level 4.
- At 16th level, a monk may, as a swift action, expend 4 ki points to gain the effects of a freedom of movement spell for a number of rounds equal to his or her wisdom modifier.

2) Alignment
- I’m fairly flexible on questions of character alignment, so anything goes. I do ask, however, that conflicts between characters come from in-character causes. Basically, try not to grief each other.

3) Critical Hits and Fumbles
- We will be using Paizo’s Critical hit deck to determine the effects of critical strikes. Every critical hit you lot score will prompt a certain number of cards to be drawn (x2 damage weapons draw one card, x3 draw 2, and x4 draw 3), from which you may choose one effect to apply to your critical strike. If no drawn effect is appropriate, simply apply additional weapon damage as normal. The drawn effects replace the regular critical damage multiplier of your weapon.
- Double (or more) crits prompt additional drawn cards, and you may apply multiple effects. Any critical may be doubled, and if a foe scores a multiple crit, that foe will also be entitled to use the deck.
- We will be using Paizo’s fumble deck for critical fumbles. If you roll a 1 on an attack roll, and then confirm the miss, you have fumbled! Draw a card! It is possible to score a multiple fumble.
- I have uploaded two excel files (one for crits, the other for fumbles) with all the cards indexed on them, such that you can make the appropriate roll.

4) Massive Damage
- We're not going to use the massive damage rules.

5) New Feats:
- “Trapfinding” is now a feat. It requires 4 ranks in perception as well as any one of the following: 4 ranks in knowledge: engineering, 4 ranks in knowledge: dungeoneering, or 4 ranks in survival. Anyone who meets these prerequisites may select this feat, which functions as the rogue class ability. Rogues still get this ability as a class feature.
- "Gun Training" is now a feat. It requires a BAB of +5 or higher, the Weapon Focus feat with the selected firearm, as well as firearm proficiency. This feat functions identically to the gunslinger's class ability, save for the feat requirement. This feat may be taken multiple times, applying the bonuses to an additional type of firearm each time.

6) Unconsciousness and Nonlethal Damage
- If an unconscious character suffers nonlethal damage, he or she must roll a fortitude save (DC = 10 + damage dealt). On a failure, half of that damage is instead lethal. Certain abilities, such as a merciful weapon, do not prompt this saving throw when used to inflict nonlethal damage.

7) Blasting Powder as Grenades
- A 5-pound bag of blasting powder can be used as a grenade, with stats equivalent to the fuse grenade. Because these are improvised thrown explosives, the delay is actually 1d4 - 1 rounds. This way, on a roll of 1 - 1 = 0, the explosive will go off while you are holding it.
- New rule as of 9/1/12

8) Moving Through Threatened Squares
- One function of the Acrobatics skill allows a character to move through a threatened square without provoking an attack of opportunity (often referred to as "tumbling").
- You may use the Fly and Swim skills in place of Acrobatics when appropriate. The checks are opposed by the threatening creature's CMD, as always.

We've had this rule unofficially in place for Fly checks for some time. I just wanted to make it official and point out that it should extend to the Swim skill when appropriate.


Campaign History:
Third Level

The adventure began in Silverkeep, a former elven mining colony. Now independent and ruled by its human king Heric, the city-state was in the midst of a war with Goldcrest, a rival city-state across the Merin'he river. With Goldcrest's army closing on Silverkeep and Silverkeep's own army away, the king offered a reward to any citizens of Silverkeep who would undertake a mission to delay the approaching army. Six people answered the call: Gareth Aldridge, a free-spirited human guardsman; Martin Stillwaters, a former royal guard who had since acted as a wilderness guide; Jamros Miltell, a halfling spellcaster with a checkered past; Pygrado Gerbir, a half-elven assassin-in-training; Caladrius, a cocky minor noble; and Eleri Warlaw, a human sorceress with an interest in old magics.

After a briefing with the king's spymaster, Vincenzo, the party decided on a two-pronged approach: Gareth, Jamros, and Martin would try to rile up the local goblin tribes and get them to attack the Goldcrest army as it passed through a narrow gorge, while Caladrius, Eleri, and Pygrado would travel to a vista overlooking the gorge and use explosives to collapse it and delay the army even further. After acquiring some supplies and deciding to meet the following morning at the vista, the two groups began their trek.

The group going to the goblins' lair encountered little difficulty on their way there, but upon arriving they began to have problems with the culture gap. The goblins were flighty, aggressive little sociopaths who were more interested in fighting each other and eating the party's horses than talking with the newcomers. Despite this, Gareth managed to secure an audience with their leader by pretending to be an emissary of the goblin's deity. He and Jamros descended to meet with the barghest who led the goblins. Jamros noticed that the goblins laired within an old elemental temple of fire, but negotiations broke down before he could learn more. The barghest, enraged at a perceived slight, decided that he and his goblins would hunt the party. Gareth and Jamros returned to the surface to find Martin defending the horses from interested goblins. The three adventurers defeated the goblins, but in the process a stray spell from Jamros ignited a forest fire. The party fled through the burning forest towards the vista, destroying the barghest and a cabin-full of weird snakes along the way.

The vista group, meanwhile, had a comparatively uneventful trek to the vista. Apart from a broken bridge, they arrived at the vista without difficulty. Once at the vista, however, they stumbled across a scouting party from Goldcrest. After a difficult battle, they captured one officer and slew the other soldiers, but not before the woman had sent up a distress signal. In the distance, they saw other signals fly up. Wasting little time, they immediately began rigging the explosives to collapse the vista while the forests on the far side of the gorge burned merrily away.

The goblin group, having camped overnight at a cave with a strange bloodstain and an ensorcelled grave nearby, arrived at the vista the following morning. The two groups exchanged stories, and began interrogating the prisoner. As this happened, Pygrado noticed someone sneaking through the nearby foliage. Before he could apprehend the person, the party's prisoner was killed. Pygrado attempted to tackle the halfling responsible but received a knife in the gut for his trouble, and a squad of halfling soldiers landed on the vista. Armed with firearms, the halflings forced the party to surrender and disarmed the explosives. While held captive, the party learned that the halflings and the Goldcrest army had external support: a diviner was sending them intelligence on Silverkeep's forces. Caladrius also identified the mercenaries as members of the Black Talon Company, out of Carron.

Later that day, Goldcrest's army passed beneath the vista unhindered, and the halflings were relieved by regular soldiers from Goldcrest, who informed the party that they were being blamed for murdering the female officer that morning. Shortly thereafter, night fell. During the night, something attacked the camp. The creature brutally and systematically slew all of the Goldcrest soldiers, all while searching for a halfling: Jamros. It found him in short order, cursed him so that he was unable to speak, and departed. The party found the key to their chains among the dead and outfitted themselves as best they could, their own gear having been taken by the halflings. The party trekked overland for a few hours, eventually arriving at the cave the goblin group had rested at the night before.

Upon examining the situation more closely, the party discovered three things: that the grave was the burial mound of an infamous "Sir Leonard, champion of the fallen," that the bloodstain was some sort of extraplanar anomaly, and that the creature was punishing Jamros for setting the forest ablaze and had given Jamros until spring to live.

Fourth Level

After resting in the cave, the party talked strategy. Goldcrest's army would make it to Silverkeep before Silverkeep's own army could arrive. The party figured that their best bet was to go to Silverkeep and try to interfere with Goldcrest's plans. The party set out, traveling overland through an abandoned village, whereupon they discovered that the leader of the Goldcrest Army, a dwarf called Stronginthearm, had split his forces. The main force continued to head for Silverkeep, while he and the smaller force took a different route. The party chose to follow the leader, and went after the smaller force. As they camped one night, Eleri was abducted by one of the halfling eagle-riders. The party eventually reached a fort belonging to Silverkeep, whose guards and staff had been slaughtered. The party discovered a secret passage in the fort commander's quarters - a tunnel that led to Silverkeep. Stronginthearm had evidently known about this passageway, and must have decided that he could bring his troops up from beneath the city itself, overwhelming the defenders.

The party rushed along the passageway, and, fearing they might stumble upon the army themselves, took a side passageway. They discovered an ancient altar and its bizarre guardians. After defeating the guardians, they found a dwarven miner who had been captured. They learned from him that Stronginthearm's plan was to undermine the palace and capture the king. Also, he had heard that they (the party) were war criminals with a huge bounty on their heads.

Taking the dwarf with them as their captive, the party pressed on. They soon found a workshop. Stopping to eavesdrop on the golems within it, they learned that someone or something had turned the mining golems against Silverkeep, and that one of the mine's administrators had released a drone, which the golems were actively hunting. The party stepped in, and after a difficult fight, defeated the golems and found the drone, which led them through the tunnels to the mine headquarters.

Listening at the door once again, the party determined that several assassins had holed up within. Hidden within a closet, a human sorcerer named Leto Anguis listened in. Having witnessed the assassins' slaughter of everyone in the headquarters, he intended to hide until the coast was clear. The party broke down the door and fought three of the assassins. They were victorious, but learned from Leto that the two most dangerous assassins, both black-haired elves, had already left for the palace, where they intended to kill the king. While in the headquarters, they discovered the corpse of the gnome who had built the mines, and recovered from one of the slain assassins his magical punching dagger that could fire rays of energy, which Jamros claimed. The party then used the supply of blasting powder to collapse the room, preventing the Goldcrest army from coming through to the palace.

The party ran up through the network of tunnels beneath the palace, learning from guards along the way that a pair of elven mithral guards had run past minutes earlier. The party reached the palace and found a mithral guard to escort them to the king. When they arrived at the war room, they discovered that the elven assassins had beat them there. The commanders of Silverkeep's guards were dead, as were several other guard officers. The king and Vincenzo remained alive, but were losing to the two elves. The male elf slew the party's mithral guard escort easily, and severely wounded Vincenzo. The female elf dueled the king, causing major wounds. In a desperate move, Martin leapt between her and the king, protecting him from her spell but being turned to ice for his trouble. The two elves teleported away, and the party summoned aid. By the efforts of the high priest of Nethys, a human man named Lord Galliani, Martin was unfrozen and the curse upon Jamros was undone.

The party then reported to Vincenzo. He rewarded them for their service and told them to go to Carron. The halfling mercenaries hailed from there, and they might know more about the elven assassins who attempted to kill the king. The party rested in a guest suite in the palace, and then went shopping. Pygrado witnessed an ominous murder and received a troubling message from his guild: the Red Mantis Assassins, the same guild the three assassins they had slain the previous day had belonged to.

Vincenzo chartered a ship for the party to use, and they set off the next day aboard the Swiftsure, which was neither. About a week into their journey, the ship was attacked and sunk by a black dragon. Jamros was washed out to sea, along with whatever crewmen survived. Stranded, the party trekked along the coast for most of the day. That evening, they found another shipwreck, and Jamros. He had washed ashore further west than the party, and had taken shelter within the wreck. Upon closer examination, the party realized that the ship was very new, and must have been wrecked within the last couple of days. It showed no sign of having been attacked by the dragon, but did show signs of violence. The party learned that the survivors of the wreck had camped out on the surf for a while, before getting back up and walking into the surf. Small bloodstains were everywhere, but the stains looked like they came from non-fatal injuries. In the cargo hold, they found a destroyed cell and a chest with a ruined dress that Leto recognized. Martin and his recently-acquired wolf companion, Ankou, found tracks leading inland, away from the wreck. Following the tracks, the party found a locked set of manacles but no wearer.

To be continued...


Cast of Characters:
Player Characters, past and present:

Alaric Zimmel - An enigmatic old man accompanied by a flying, speaking golden crown called Castiel. A capable spellcaster and healer, he recently joined Martin and Hascya as they investigated some rabble-rousers. He seems to have known Leto quite well.
Caladrius - A stuffy courtier from Silverkeep, Caladrius was one of the first to aid his city against Goldcrest's army. Although he helped save the king, he has left the company of his comrades.
Eleri Warlaw - A studious and abrasive woman, Eleri served on the faculty at Silverkeep's academy of magic before joining in the defense of the city. She was abducted by halfling mercenaries and is no longer with the party.
Gareth Aldridge - A capable archer, Gareth fought against Goldcrest's forces and helped to save the king. Courageous and affable, he has since been assigned guard duty at the palace gates to keep him out of trouble.
Hascya - A strange fellow from far to the southwest, Hascya is a large, tattooed man who is led around by a small owl called Twohey. Despite his eccentricity, Hascya is a skilled warrior and is actually quite intelligent when he isn't speaking.
Jamros Milltell - A lively halfling oracle, Jamros has a somewhat checkered past. Nonetheless, he stepped up and fought to protect Silverkeep. He has since recovered from a fey curse inflicted upon him in the process, but left with the elves in Westwend.
Leto Anguis - A troubled young sorcerer, Leto met the rest of the adventurers down in the mines below Silverkeep. After helping them save the king, he accompanied them to Windrip Isle. He gave his life to destroy a Carronite scout vessel.
Martin Stillwaters - A grumpy but idealistic knight from Silverkeep, Martin and his trusty wolf companion Ankou have shown themselves to be the toughest adventurers around. He is utterly loyal to King Heric, and directly intervened to save the king's life when it was threatened.
Pygrado Gerbir - As a loudmouthed trainee assassin, Pygrado Gerbir sought adventure to increase his skill. He helped save the king, but had a falling out with his fellow adventurers when faced with a woman who sought to destroy his fellow assassins. He has since apparently murdered a high-ranking noble from Carron.

People from Silverkeep

King Heric the Wise - Silverkeep's current ruler. He is a capable leader, and was a noted adventurer in his youth. He was recently attacked by a pair of elves, but this strike was stopped by the timely intervention of the party. The shock of this attempt, coupled with recent events in Silverkeep, may have caused him to become paranoid and reclusive.
Princess Lynessa - King Heric's only child, this young woman is the heir to the throne and, rumor has it, isn't interested. She has a poor reputation amongst the nobles and clergy of Silverkeep, but a good reputation with the commoners. Time will tell what comes of this.
Master Vincenzo di Tezirah - The court's master of ceremonies, a.k.a. "noble wrangler," Vincenzo acts as the go-between for the party and King Heric. He is Silverkeep's spymaster.
Lord Ocasso Galliani - Amongst his many titles, this man is the High Priest of Nethys, and the Duke of Aurra. He was a close friend and adventuring partner of the king, and his blood is nearly as blue. He tried to seize the throne twenty years ago, but Heric put down the attempt. The two aren't close, but have worked well together ever since.
Lord Hekkard - Silverkeep's top general, he directed the raid on Goldcrest during the war. He was forced to turn his army around when word came that Stronginthearm's army was bearing down on the city, but his forces were too delayed by travel to play much role in breaking the siege.

People from Goldcrest

General Stronginthearm - The leader of Goldcrest's main army, he briefly laid siege to Silverkeep. When the tunnel his elite troops were attempting to infiltrate through collapsed, he broke off the attack. He has since organized a ceasefire between the two cities. If Vincenzo is correct, he will likely become the next ruler of Goldcrest.
Milea Carrelli - A blonde human woman, she hired the halfling mercenaries on Goldcrest's behalf. She is a capable spellcaster, and there seems to be bad blood between her and the Red Mantis Assassins.
Lieutenant Lyrie Symond - An officer in Goldcrest's army, Symond was captured by the party atop the vista. While she was being interrogated, a halfling assassin murdered her and blamed the party for her death.

People from Carron

Duchess Gwyndolyne Persillinus - The ruler of Carron. She has issued an ultimatum in response to the party's actions in Carron.
Sea Lord Quentus Marius - The military leader of Carron, Marius oversees the city-state's fleets and is responsible for much of Carron's military success in the last two centuries.
Baron Xavier McSweeney - A nobleman apparently murdered by Pygrado. His death is named as a charge against Silverkeep.
Commander Lou Dunnegan - The leader of the halflings who captured the party on the vista. He was the officer who saw through their ruse in Carron, and who was attacked by Gareth immediately afterwards. While most of the halflings ride giant eagles, he rides some sort of drake.
Charles Dunnegan - Lou Dunnegan's father, he formed the Black Talon mercenary Company. He's still alive, but mostly retired. According to the admiral of Carron's fleet, he is in charge of Carron's defenses while the Sea Lord is away.
Seth Dunnegan - Lou's brother. Handles administrative and bookkeeping stuff more often than not, but is capable in a fight.
Perias Skalhanon - The admiral of the blockading fleet, Skalhanon is an albino elven man. His flagship is the Dominance, a mastless greatship that carries Carron's halfling airforce around.
The Honorguard - Carron's intelligence agency/secret police. Think of the rumors about the cold war-era KGB. That's more or less what these folks get up to.

People from Westwend

Daren Kuros - Briefly joined the party following Leto's death. Is the nephew of Westwend's top admiral, and a lieutenant in its navy. Found himself in charge of the survivors of the undead attack. Remained with the refugees when the party abandoned them.
Refugees - About 1000 people fled the ruined city in the wake of the undead catastrophe. They are presumed to have been captured by Carron.

The Elven Nations

The Imperial Knights - A holdover from the days of Elven unification, this military order existed to serve the emperor directly. Without an emperor, the order serves the empire as a whole. These days, they function as peacekeepers between nobles and act against those who threaten elven interests.

The Benighted

General Info - This group of shadow-wreathed, red-eyed undead was responsible for the undead outbreak in Westwend and for the cult in Silverkeep. These creatures are smart and deadly, but they appear vulnerable in bright light.
Vorel, a.k.a. "Luca Greywater" - A mute human warlock who ensorcelled Miles Greywater as part of a conspiracy to cause an undead outbreak in Silverkeep and to sow discontent within the city. Vorel oversaw the conversion ritual in the docks district, as well as taking part in the attempt to create a bodak beneath the city. After the party interrupted both rituals, he fled to the shadow plane with his boss, a benighted serpentfolk necromancer and illusionist. The party encountered Vorel, now undead, inside the lighthouse on the edge of the chasm that marks the boundary between the shadow and negative energy planes. After a lengthy battle, Martin was able to bash the warlock hard enough that he tumbled into the rift.
The Benighted Serpentfolk Lich - Vorel's boss, this undead spellcaster was first encountered performing the ritual to animate a bodak in the ancient tunnels beneath Silverkeep. He and Vorel retreated to the shadow plane when the party interrupted the ritual. His whereabouts are unknown.

Unaffiliated/Other Characters

Nerissa - A black-haired elven woman, Nerissa is a frighteningly capable spellcaster. She was one of two elves who threatened the life of Silverkeep's King Heric. She later reappeared during the undead crisis in Westwend, convincing the party to defend the survivors of the catastrophe while she dealt with the undead. She released a massive wave of energy that destroyed all unprotected creatures and living beings within the city walls. She seems to have a penchant for immobilizing Martin whenever their paths cross.
Miles Greywater - A small-time crook and mercenary who was first encountered with his brother Luca when the two attempted to stir up discontent in the streets of Silverkeep. He was later encountered and captured at the warehouse in the docks, where he was involved with some sort of dark ritual. He was later sent by the commander of the mithral guards to aid the party, as he had been the victim of the warlock's mind control. He was last seen returning to the keep to bring reinforcements as the party explored the tunnels beneath the abandoned prison.
"That thing on the Vista" - A fey beast that slaughtered the party's captors after they were taken prisoner by Goldcrest. It was after Jamros for burning down its forest, and cursed him with an inability to speak. It also declared that the halfling has until spring before it resumes its hunt for him.


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