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DM Panic's Scourge of the Slavelords Prologue

Game Master wakedown

Prologue in the Free City of Greyhawk to a campaign that may lead into the Scourge of the Slavelords arc.


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Welcome to the prologue...

The campaign should span levels 1 through 10.

I will be adapting a handful of modules to cover the experience from 1-4. The early adventures will be mostly urban adventures set in The Free City of Greyhawk and Safeton along the Wild Coast.

Then I plan to unleash the Scourge of the Slavelords adventure path somewhere around level ~5, which includes all four original adventures. This will be a fairly equal distribution of urban, rural and dungeon adventuring.

I will be adapting all of this to Pathfinder rules.

Slavelords will be decently retrofitted to make it less boring than some of the parts originally penned by Gygax.

Characters will be generated using the following ability array (which is a 12-point buy):

15, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9

Then apply a +2 bonus and a +1 bonus to apply to any two abilities, prior to racial bonuses. These two bonuses must be used on different abilities.

This is intended to calibrate characters somewhere between a 15 and 20 point buy. This will be fine, as PFRPG characters are already more powerful than 3.5 and AD&D equivalents.

You'll get 2 traits to begin play, along with a bonus campaign trait as your 3rd trait (which will likely be worth a full feat).

I'll put additional information for races and rules in my DM profile. Details on elves, dwarves, etc is already there.

Any material published by Paizo is allowed (UC, UM, APG). Obvious regional or racial fare is subject to approval (i.e. a Varisian themed ability can be retrofitted as a Rhenee ability).

Actual play will begin in The Free City of Greyhawk, so you'll want a reason for either going there, or to be a local.

Shadow Lodge

Hello hello.


Dibbs on a... um... um... um... whatever no one else wants unless I figure something out in the meantime.


First person to solidify a working concept gets a bonus scroll case filled with confetti added to their starting gear!

I'm told the scroll case is made from a hollowed leg bone of a gnome.

And 2 lbs of lavender-scented soap imported from Hardby.

No joke

Shadow Lodge

Got it. Human Cleric of Pelor with the Sun and Restoration Domain.

Qadira

Male Humanoidish Yahoo 4/Painlord 6/Punk 2/Cleric of Happiness & Sunshine 1

Rawr!

I exist on this thread.

And will begin beating my head against my keyboard until a new character concept is forged.


I'll work on something as well...


Here is what you have all mentioned so far (some in passing):

Balodek: Cleric of Pelor (Sun/Restoration)
Pain: possibly an alchemist?
D30: "brutish burglar"
Euan: "front-line thug"
Chris: ... table scraps ...

If all 5 of you play, I may not even recruit a 6th.

If for some reason only 4 of you play, I'd go recruit 2.

Don't worry about mechanical optimization. I'm of course most interested in party dynamics, which will transcend whatever classes are selected (mostly).

Since I think most of you have my IM handles, feel free to hit me up if you have questions about Greyhawk, or how I adjudicate specifics.


Male Human (Oerdian) (Per +2 | Fort +5 Ref +2 Will +1 | AC 26 (f24/t12) | CMD 21)

"Hello all! I am Doruk, and I am eager to join you to hone my skills, and maybe teach you a thing or two as well. Do we yet have a grand purpose, or at least a taste of what is in store tomorrow?"

A motley lot. Still, perfection has been impossible to find. Perhaps I can improve myself while I continue to cast about for a better group. My strength is sapping each day I sit around this otherwise marvelous city.

Doruk is a young human wearing a chain shirt and carrying a variety of weapons, the most obvious and imposing of which is a shiny well tended guisarme. He stands firmly before you, sure of himself and ready to move. His pack is bulging with various gear and though he is young, much of it looks well worn but in good condition. Also unusual for one so young in this unclean age, Doruk is extremely clean cut and doesn't stink like a fighter from many yards away...


Is ultimate combat out? If so I'd like to peek in that.


Paizo let me download the PDF a few nights ago. If you are lacking a copy, send me an IM and I can copy/paste anything you'd be curious about.

I'm having to do a lot of work in advance of my vacation next week, so I'm chained to my computer tonight and somewhat this weekend.

Qadira

Male Humanoidish Yahoo 4/Painlord 6/Punk 2/Cleric of Happiness & Sunshine 1

Hmm....still pondering my options.

I like:
1) Flexibility
2) Skillz, lots and lots of skill points
3) Spellcasting
4) Did I mention flexibility?

I think I'm going full elf. Male. Maybe. Likely.

DM Panic - what is the timeline on getting started? I drive down to LA soon (leave in an hour) and will be coming back on Sunday, but I'll have computer access.


Ah yes, the timeline.

If I don't have to go to the forums to recruit, that actually compresses things, since I would've budgeted 10+ days to allow folks to see the game and apply.

If all five of you are in, then we could start sooner.

I'll need to see all your backgrounds and characters to determine how we start.

I have three ways I start a group off, and I'm not sure which I'll do yet.

a) I drop you into a place (an inn, the mercenary's guildhall, etc) and you guys roleplay for a bit, and that sets up the relationship for you guys to stick together.

b) Based on your backstories, I come up with a little solo-play that puts you on a crash course.

c) Sandbox, where it's free-form and I take subtle actions to establish the crash course.

If a couple of you end up with juicy "DM-bait" in your backstories, I go (b) first.

If you guys establish (on your own) some relationships between PCs, I next go to (c).

Lastly, there's (a).

How we start ultimately rests on who you guys play - their motivations, their histories, their personalities.

Once I get a big picture of the party, I may iterate with you guys to flesh out a couple things and tighten your relationship to some of the planned subplots. The train doesn't leave the railroad station for a few levels, so you guys should feel free to dress up your characters histories and motivations liberally. You are in one of the most populated cities in the world, so you can invent most any NPCs you like.


Painlord wrote:
I think I'm going full elf. Male. Maybe. Likely.

OK, I differentiate between the three elven subraces - High Elf, Gray Elf and Wild Elf. If you are contemplating arcane caster, then likely High Elf or Gray Elf.

Here's some flavor text to help.

High Elves
High elves are usually dark-haired and green-eyed. Consider them your traditional elf stereotype.

Gray Elves
Taller and grander in physical appearance than others of their race, gray elves have a reputation for being aloof and arrogant (even by elven standards). They have either silver hair and amber eyes or pale golden hair and violet eyes. They prefer clothing of white, silver, yellow, or gold, with cloaks of deep blue or purple.

If you guys elect to be Human, I'd like some idea of your ancestry. Your human ancestry is typically one of:

Baklunish: This is roughly like a Golarion Keleshite. Their homeland was originally destroyed by their powerful magic in a fight against the Suel.

Flan: The closest in Golarion would be a Shoanti, but more wiry like Native Americans.

Oerdian: This one is hard to equate to Golarion. A pure northern Oerdian would be like an Ulfen.

Olman: Like Aztecs. Far from the jungles to the South.

Rhennee: These are the Varisians of Oerth. Short, good-natured, gypsy-folk.

Suloise: Closest in Golarion is a Chelaxian, palest complexion, and there's some offshoots that are very Aryan (this is the Scarlet Brotherhood).

Hopefully there's something inspiring above.


DM Panic wrote:
Paizo let me download the PDF a few nights ago. If you are lacking a copy, send me an IM and I can copy/paste anything you'd be curious about.

Thanks for the offer, though there is nothing specific I was looking for. All I know is it will have archetypes, ninjas and gunslingers.

I'd like to play a cat-burglar / skill specialist type character, I just haven't decided on the mechanical skeleton for him. I'll try and work on the back story in the meantime.


DM Panic wrote:

Here is what you have all mentioned so far (some in passing):

Balodek: Cleric of Pelor (Sun/Restoration)
Pain: possibly an alchemist?
D30: "brutish burglar"
Euan: "front-line thug"
Chris: ... table scraps ...

I've been thinking about an archer so this should work out. Still up in the air about a ranger, a fighter, or a zen archer. We'll see what gels.

Ultimate Combat is released Aug. 4th. I'd be curious to possibly alter things then, but will work with what's available now.


I'll happily let you guys know in advance things that will be very synergistic to the campaign. I suspect for most 10+ level campaigns, DMs should be very open about what concepts/themes will be strongest.

On Doruk...

Doruk is the only PC I know mechanics for at this point, reached weapon going for the phalanx build makes him pretty useful. I'm still curious if he's in the front, or if there will be another PC in front of him in those 5ft hallways. Hailing from the Shield Lands, he won't see a lot of opportunity to face off against Iuz, but he seems to be more adventurer than nationalist (which is good).

On the archer, possibly a ranger...

The Survival skill will be exceptionally handy in the outdoor elements. There will be a smattering of these early, and a lot later.

As I've professed to running Scourge of the Slavelords in the later half of the adventure, you have some insight that you will be squaring off against the nasty, evil slavers that plague the Wild Coast. Favored Enemy (human) will of course prove very useful at this stage.

Zen archer is a bit rough, just because it's hard to buy a bow with a monk's starting coin. I'm good with the newly errata'd heirloom weapon to make this work, though.

On the cleric of Pelor...

Pelor is perhaps one of the most prominent deities in the Free City, with a very sizable cathedral. It's hard to go wrong with The Sun Father. His favored weapon (in CY579 at least) is the mace (heavy or light).

I will let slip that there will not be a tremendous amount of undead, so you will lose a little of Pelor's zealous/righteous vibe driving the shadows from of the dark corners of the world.

Trithereon is a great deity to look at for crazy synergy for later.

On elves...

An elf (or two) will do well. When I originally ran Scourge of the Slavelords eons ago, the campaign featured a fair of high elves from Ulek. There's some good tie-ins with the areas of the Pomarj and the longevity of elves. There was a major war between elves/dwarves and the orcs CY498 (81 years ago), so there is a lot of opportunity for it to be close to home to elf PCs (adult elves are 110-175 years old).

Feel free to ask any questions. I know it can be tough without a fancy player's guide PDF.

Shadow Lodge

I was more focused on the healing aspects of the cleric. Playing a healer without channel seems like it'd be tough, or I'd make a bard, but the Songhealer just didn't seem to have the chops to be a primary healer.

As for build he's bog standard, high Wisdom, armor/shield/mace, with Selective Channel and Extra Channel.


I never played in living greyhawk and what I know of the setting comes from some old mods. I think as a kid I read a book about a night watchman set in the city, though I can't bring up any details.

What is the situation with thieves / thieves guilds / criminals?

I'd like to try a character that burgles from the usual rich targets but is not above rolling other criminals if the opportunity is right. I am thinking of someone focused on lots of skills backed by a callous disregard for the sanctity of intelligent life and the strength to make good on threats.

I figure his motivation for adventuring would be greed. He would be someone who has worked with crews on some larger heists so is not a backstabby / brooding loaner type.

This sound reasonable or is it too much of a stretch?


Greyhawk is a city ruled by thieves. Thieving is serious business there.

You would absolutely need to be part of the Thieves Guild, or else your career would be very short. It's a huge organization with a rival Beggar's Guild. Some outstanding politics, actually. The guild master sits on the city council openly.

There are wealthy in the northern quarters, but there's a lot of rules governing if you can steal from them, how much.

If you aggregated all the class levels of NPCs in the city, you'd be surprised how many level 3-12 thieves there are (possibly even a thousand), so a level 1 PC would likely be small-time to start.

I regret to say your stay in Greyhawk will likely end by level 3, but you could make that be a big fish/small pond motivation quite easily, or have just given yourself to adventuring by that point.


Balodek wrote:
I was more focused on the healing aspects of the cleric. Playing a healer without channel seems like it'd be tough, or I'd make a bard, but the Songhealer just didn't seem to have the chops to be a primary healer.

This is where it'll help to have me share more of the DM-side with you guys.

As I'm using classic old-school nostalgic modules for a lot of what's going on, they were all built prior to Channel Energy existing.

What does this mean?

This means the treasure, as written, includes ridiculous amounts of healing potions and wands. In fact, most of the adventures were written before a cleric could even spontaneously cast a cure spell by losing another spell.

With a full Paizo-style cleric with channel and spontaneous casting, I would likely revise the prolific amounts of healing treasure down considerably and come up with other clever things to put in their place.

Now that I've said that, I'm certain if you were without it, there will be cries of "channel energy would be real nice about here, Balodek" between coughs.


I'm going to leave the classic Greyhawk spells intact. Obviously these don't have a Pathfinder counterpart available in a handy online SRD.

When you guys find scrolls of Bigby's Pugnacious Pugilist, Bigby's Dextrous Digits, Mordenkainen's Defense Against Non-magical Reptiles and Amphibians, Nystul's Blazing Beam, Otiluke's Boiling Bath or Otto's Tin Soldiers...

I'll need to figure out how to convert them and determine what classes would get to cast them on their spell list (if there's a "fringe" caster like a Witch).

Suffice to say, there's some cool spells that hopefully will at least be worthy of a UMD roll.


Male Human (Oerdian) (Per +2 | Fort +5 Ref +2 Will +1 | AC 26 (f24/t12) | CMD 21)

Doruk sees himself as a front line fighter. Put someone in front of him and he gets a -4 to hit (for reaching over their head) which he doesn't like much. That said it'll be a fluid front line as he positions himself to keep opponents at bay and on the ground. We'll see how that works out over time. :)


Looking at our lack of arcane I'm thinking of an elementalist wizard. Maybe a fire type. I'm thinking fire eating, manipulation, circus performer. Still working on the rest.

Qadira

Male Humanoidish Yahoo 4/Painlord 6/Punk 2/Cleric of Happiness & Sunshine 1
GM_Chris wrote:
Looking at our lack of arcane I'm thinking of an elementalist wizard. Maybe a fire type. I'm thinking fire eating, manipulation, circus performer. Still working on the rest.

WUT!? I just statted up two wizards!

I was going Earth elementalist. :(

In fact, I still am. I think. Maybe. Or not.

Visiting family right now (still) and less time to ponderify than I'd like. I should be able to finalize a concept this on the morrow.

Shadow Lodge

If there is a lot of healing built in to the adventure I might switch to a different class and keep the healing concept. I want to heal but I've never been good at Clerics. Healing capable classes:

Paladin
Cleric
Druid
Bard
Oracle
Alchemist
Witch

I'm already playing a life oracle in a game, so that's out.
Paladin (Hospitaler) gets Channel at level 4 equal to (Paladin Level -3).
Alchemist with the Infusion discovery can hand out Cure Light Wounds potions, but that's about it, so that's out.
Witch (Hedge Witch) can sub out cure spells
Bard (Archaeologist) can Cure Light Wounds, but no Channel.

Paladin (Hospitaler)
Witch (Hedge Witch)
Bard (Archaeologist)
Cleric (Bog Standard)

So those are the four healing classes I'm currently kicking around. Are any of those going to be a liability in this adventure? I know in SCAP we have a lot of healing, but it sounds like in this one it'll be just myself, so I want to make sure I can keep everybody up while still playing a fun concept.

Too many cool classes, that's the problem.


An arcane caster is an excellent idea. Heck, two is fine too... add a third and one of you can be Harry Potter.

As for a "healer", play whichever concept comes up most interesting. All of your choices should have enough healing potential to get you through, especially if one of you five plays a class with some secondary healing (a witch, an inquisitor, a hexcrafter magus with healing hex, etc).

I've never seen the Witch class in Greyhawk yet, which is a tragedy since it's the genesis of Iggwilv

I added links to some of the most popular Greyhawk deities on my DM Profile.


Painlord wrote:
GM_Chris wrote:
Looking at our lack of arcane I'm thinking of an elementalist wizard. Maybe a fire type. I'm thinking fire eating, manipulation, circus performer. Still working on the rest.

WUT!? I just statted up two wizards!

I was going Earth elementalist. :(

In fact, I still am. I think. Maybe. Or not.

Visiting family right now (still) and less time to ponderify than I'd like. I should be able to finalize a concept this on the morrow.

Earth elementalist? That idea sucks. Where did you steal it from? My fire elementalist or fire happy alchemist will totally rule.


GM_Chris wrote:
Earth elementalist? That idea sucks. Where did you steal it from? My fire elementalist or fire happy alchemist will totally rule.

+1 for rival arcanists.

Qadira

Male Humanoidish Yahoo 4/Painlord 6/Punk 2/Cleric of Happiness & Sunshine 1

Sitting at the Original Pancake House in Orange, still pondering my options....

...choc chip pancakes? 49er special? Lots of tough choices.

Oh yeah. Thinking about my character as well.


I can assign your choice.

Georgia Pecan. Mmm.


We could roll once for all of us on the big d20 table of classes in shackled cities OOC thread and play the result. :)

I like the idea of rival fire & earth elementalists myself.

Qadira

Male Humanoidish Yahoo 4/Painlord 6/Punk 2/Cleric of Happiness & Sunshine 1

Long drive home on the yester, but I did have time to think upon the important stuff.

I'm definitely arcanist.

I have two builds in process: halforc & dwarven.

I'm going to let them battle it up.

The halforc has a better backstory and history, but want to see if I can get something behind the dwarf to match.

I'll be talking to DM Panic to see about the flexibility of fluff (much like Dyrant's abby-normal fluffage).

So, there you go.

I could have the winner up tomorrow or Wednesday.

Shadow Lodge

I may end up switching to Witch. I have this odd desire to play a whip wielding Witch (Hedge Witch)/Bard of Pelor with prehensile hair...


My ideal would have you guys having your tentative characters by tomorrow.

I'll be on the freeway for about 10 hours on Wednesday, so I'd love to know what everyone intentions are by Tuesday night so those seeds can germinate during the long drive.

I added some information about the various schools and colleges within Greyhawk for those of you who might wish to either be from them, working for them, or aspiring to join them. The details are at the bottom of my DM profile.

Qadira

Male Humanoidish Yahoo 4/Painlord 6/Punk 2/Cleric of Happiness & Sunshine 1

DM Panic--

I'm on a different computer...can you send me your google address again or put it below?

I need to add you to this instance of googlechat. I have questions.

-Pain

Shadow Lodge

Sticking with a Shield Lands Defender Cleric of Pelor. Basic background will be veteran of the shield lands who is in the city after being discharged. I'll come up with more after I read the background.

Martigan the Sun-Touched:

MARTIGAN THE SUN-TOUCHED CR 1/2
Male Human Cleric 1
NG Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +0; Senses Perception +3
--------------------
DEFENSE
--------------------
AC 18, touch 10, flat-footed 18. . (+5 armor, +3 shield)
hp 10 (1d8+1)
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +5
--------------------
OFFENSE
--------------------
Spd 20 ft.
Melee Mace, Heavy +1 (1d8+1/20/x2) and
. . Shield, Heavy Wooden -3 (1d4+1/20/x2)
Special Attacks Sun's Blessing
Cleric Spells Known (CL 1, 1 melee touch, 0 ranged touch):
1 (2/day) Cure Light Wounds (DC 14), Bless, Sun Metal (DC 14)
0 (at will) Purify Food and Drink (DC 13), Create Water, Light
--------------------
STATISTICS
--------------------
Str 13, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 13
Base Atk +0; CMB +1; CMD 11
Feats Extra Channel, Selective Channeling, Shield Focus
Traits Birthmark, Deft Dodger
Skills Acrobatics -6, Climb -5, Escape Artist -6, Fly -6, Heal +7, Knowledge: Religion +4, Ride -6, Spellcraft +4, Stealth -6, Swim -5
Languages Common
SQ Aura (Ex), Channel Positive Energy 1d6 (6/day) (DC 11) (Su), Cleric Domain: Restoration, Cleric Domain: Sun, Restorative Touch (6/day) (Su), Spontaneous Casting
Combat Gear Mace, Heavy, Scale Mail, Shield, Heavy Wooden; Other Gear Backpack (13 @ 20 lbs), Bedroll, Blanket, Flask, Flint and steel, Mirror, small steel, Pouch, belt (1 @ 0.94 lbs), Pouch, belt (2 @ 0.5 lbs), Rations, trail (per day) (3), Rope, silk (50 ft.), Shaving kit, Shield Sconce, Soap, Bar (50 uses), Torch (5), Waterskin
--------------------
SPECIAL ABILITIES
--------------------
Aura (Ex) The Cleric has an aura corresponding to his deity's alignment.
Birthmark +2 save vs. charm & compulsion
Channel Positive Energy 1d6 (6/day) (DC 11) (Su) A good cleric can channel positive energy to heal the living and injure the undead; an evil cleric can channel negative energy to injure the living and heal the undead.
Cleric Domain: Restoration Associated Domain: Restoration
Cleric Domain: Sun Granted Powers: You see truth in the pure and burning light of the sun, and can call upon its blessing or wrath to work great deeds.
Restorative Touch (6/day) (Su) Remove the dazed, fatigued, shaken, sickened, or staggered conditions by touch.
Selective Channeling Exclude targets from the area of your Channel Energy.
Shield Focus +1 Shield AC
Spontaneous Casting The Cleric can convert stored spells into Cure or Inflict spells.
Sun's Blessing (Su) +1 to channel positive energy's damage to undead.


Alright, if you guys are up for it, I'd suggest Doruk and Martigan know one another, at least as acquaintances.

Shieldlanders are tight like that.


Male Human (Oerdian) (Per +2 | Fort +5 Ref +2 Will +1 | AC 26 (f24/t12) | CMD 21)
DM Panic wrote:

Alright, if you guys are up for it, I'd suggest Doruk and Martigan know one another, at least as acquaintances.

Shieldlanders are tight like that.

It's likely why Doruk picked this group among all the other random groups out there.


Doruk wrote:
It's likely why Doruk picked this group among all the other random groups out there.

I'm not clear yet that you guys will start all immediately as just one big group... it will depend on what the others come up with.

I'm planning on hitting up everyone with some questions once I see the big picture.


Things are still in flux, but how about a half-elf zen archer from the Shield Lands if you'll allow the Landless Nobility for a half-elf--not sure if the "counts as human" covers that. This would overcome the initial gold problems for a zen archer and I believe works for this character.

Aralynn Huntinghawk:

Aralynn is a bastard daughter of the Shield Lands that was given a small amount of gold to go away. As it turns out she was actually the lucky one. When the forces of Luz invaded, her father's family was killed and their lands annexed.

Shunned by most as a half-breed, Aralynn tried living with some compassionate elves where she learned her skill in archery. She learned to appreciate her elven half and the archery itself brought her peace. However, she realized that she would only find true balance and peace if she could reconcile her human half also.

Araylnn moved to Greyhawk and secured a position as a soldier defending the free city state while learning to accept her human half.

ARALYNN HUNTINGHAWK CR 1/2
Male Half-Elf Monk (Zen Archer) 1
LN Medium Humanoid (Elf, Human)
Init +1; Senses Low-Light Vision; Perception +15
--------------------
DEFENSE
--------------------
AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex)
hp 9 (1d8)
Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +6
Immune sleep; Resist Elven Immunities
--------------------
OFFENSE
--------------------
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Unarmed Strike +2 (1d6+2/20/x2)
Ranged Longbow, Comp. (Str +1) +1 (1d8+1/20/x3)
Special Attacks Flurry of Blows -1/-1
--------------------
STATISTICS
--------------------
Str 14, Dex 12, Con 11, Int 10, Wis 19, Cha 9
Base Atk +0; CMB +2; CMD 17
Feats Improved Unarmed Strike, Monk Weapon Proficiencies, Perfect Strike (2d20) (1/day), Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Skill Focus: Perception (Adaptability)
Skills Diplomacy +5, Perception +15, Profession: Soldier +10, Sense Motive +8
Languages Common, Elven
SQ AC Bonus +4, Elf Blood, Unarmed Strike (1d6)
Combat Gear Arrows (20), Longbow, Comp. (Str +1);
--------------------
SPECIAL ABILITIES
--------------------
AC Bonus +4 The Monk adds his Wisdom bonus to AC and CMD, more at higher levels.
Elf Blood You are counted as both elves and humans for any effect relating to race.
Elven Immunities +2 save bonus vs Enchantments.
Elven Immunities - Sleep You are immune to Sleep effects.
Flurry of Blows -1/-1 (Ex) Make Flurry of Blows attack as a full action.
Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed strikes don't cause attacks of opportunity, and can be lethal.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Perfect Strike (2d20) (1/day) Roll 2d20 for an attack with a Monk weapon and use the higher as your attack roll, the next as your critical confirmation.
Point Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Precise Shot You don't get -4 to hit when shooting or throwing into combat.
Unarmed Strike (1d6) The Monk does lethal damage with his unarmed strikes.
Landless Nobility (Human from Geoff, Shield Lands, Sterich, Tenh): You belong to a noble line that has utterly lost its homeland due to war, incompetence, politics, or fate. Your status as a noble nonetheless grants you some measure of financial comfort, despite your lack of land. Diplomacy is always a class skill. You gain +2 to Diplomacy checks. You also begin with an additional 200 starting gold and a signet ring valued at 100 gold.
Border Watch: Your experience watching the horizon for enemy troop movements has made you a better soldier.
Perception is always a class skill. You gain a +2 bonus to Perception checks and +2 bonus to Profession (soldier) checks.


All of the following @Aralynn:

Aralynn can certainly pick up Landless Nobility.

For me that bonus feat comes with some "baggage" as well, in the form of renown, so if you're good to commit to the concept, I have questions for you.

1. Was your father or mother the noble? Or both? The noble side - what did they do? (i.e. just land-owners, merchants that traded sea lion pelts, etc)

2. Is your elf side gray elf or high elf?

3. Would Huntinghawk be the human side's surname? Elf side? Or an adopted 'bastard' name? If it's not the noble name, go ahead and invent one that we can tie the noble lineage to.

4. The way I handle monks in Greyhawk is they are servants of Xan Yae. If this looks acceptable to you (Xan Yae is awesome, I don't know why it wouldn't), I'd hope you wouldn't mind adding some relationship with other Perfect Brothers and Perfect Sisters from which you learned at least the initial art of mind-over-body. Your choice here - a monastery you spent some time at isolated in the mountains, an elf in the militia, your own personal Syrio Forel as a girl, whatever you want.


Now that I've seen Aralynn and I know I have at least 3 "militant types" that have fled the Shield Lands, I am thinking that I would like to start the campaign with two subgroups and roll back the clock to run two short prequels.

These vignettes would be 2-3 scenes tops. Then there's a "hand wave" and I fast forward the timeline several weeks to months to the shared scene.

Group 1 would be Aralynn, Martigan and Doruk - still in the Shield Lands. You guys tell me if you would rather this be as members of a group of sellswords (mercenaries) or as part of the country's militia.

As you would expect, it would be flavored for a trio of martial types.

Group 2 would be Pain and D30's submissions together. I have a hunch you both may have been planning locals or semi-locals. Your vignette(s) would take place in or about the Free City.

As you would expect, it would be flavored for a rogue/bard/arcanist duo.

@Balodek: As part of sorting this out, can you give me some more information about why you were (or are about to be) discharged?


DM Panic wrote:


Group 2 would be Pain and D30's submissions together. I have a hunch you both may have been planning locals or semi-locals. Your vignette(s) would take place in or about the Free City.

As you would expect, it would be flavored for a rogue/bard/arcanist duo.

Maybe for once Painlord won't rebel against / dislike one of my characters :)

Shadow Lodge

The pre-group works for me. I was thinking discharged at the end of a tour and not sure if he's willing to go back after all he's seen, but without knowing enough of the setting I'm not sure if that makes sense.


Balodek wrote:
I was thinking discharged at the end of a tour and not sure if he's willing to go back after all he's seen, but without knowing enough of the setting I'm not sure if that makes sense.

There is not a lot that you'll need to worry about having to know from the setting, but I'll share some information since three of you are hailing from one location.

Shield Lands:

The key things about The Shield Lands are:

* Proud people, often refuse help from their larger neighbor, Furyondy, fear of it being a ploy for annexation.

* Borders The Horned Society, a land filled with hobgoblin armies that continue to press attacks into their lands (they are openly at war)

* Main military might is a group known as The Knights of the Holy Shielding. Heironeous (the god of valor) is very big among their ranks.

* Recently an impressive fortress called Torkeep was raised on the front.

As of right now, CY579 no major invasion has begun on The Shield Lands, so there hasn't been an epic battle here, but you can expect there have been raids, etc happening for the better part of a decade that seem to be growing more bold.

A glimpse of history follows:

When Ferrond broke from the Great Kingdom in 254 CY, the nobles of the Nyr Dyv's north shore refused to acknowledge the new king.

Loyal to the ideal of ancient Aerdy but wholly opposed to the decadent regime in Rauxes, these nobles failed to declare complete independence,
instead existing somewhere in-between autonomy and their former status as vassals to the viceroy.

When similar circumstances resulted, ultimately, in the formation of the lawless Combination of Free Lords to the north, the southern nobles banded together, forming the "Shield Lands" as a bulwark against the depredations and chaos of the north. Since the earl of Walworth commanded Admundfort, at the time the only notable city in the region, he was chosen as the knight commander of the combined forces of the nobles. Within a handful of years, the new capital saw the formation of the Knights of Holy Shielding, a Heironean order that both formed the core of the new national army and served as an example of good, clean living through dedication to strict, militaristic goals.

The first true challenge to the authority of the shield came during 420-445 CY, when a local warlord gained the Hand and Eye of Vecna, two surpassingly evil artifacts. The lord, Halmadar the Cruel, conquered the region near Delcomben and laid siege to Critwall before being drugged by his subjects and interred alive in the Kron Hills. After the Halmadar affair, the earl of Walworth increased the size of the Knights of Holy Shielding, stationing his holy warriors as advisers throughout the land.

When the Horned Society appeared after the disappearance of Iuz, affairs in the Shield Lands reached a desperate crescendo. Here were enemies dedicated to vile darkness and evil sacrifice, who had sworn upon the ashen altars of Molag's Hall of Dread that they would march to Admundfort and line the walls with the earl's intestines. Though years passed without significant military activity, the period between 550-570 saw heavy skirmishing along the western banks of the Ritensa River. Great forts such as Torkeep were raised, but such defenses may soon prove inadequate.


Male Human (Oerdian) (Per +2 | Fort +5 Ref +2 Will +1 | AC 26 (f24/t12) | CMD 21)

Doruk normally picks his loyalties carefully, so I'd prefer he was in a mercenary group rather than the formal government. If the latter, he needs a reason to lose his faith and I'd rather have him still loyal to the gov. for now. :)

As for the mercenary group a simple disagreement with the hierarchy as to how the team should be focused lead to his departure. It was a fundamental difference in approaches though they left on good terms. Doruk does not burn bridges feeling that life is to short to have a long list of enemies...


Doruk Martigan and Aralynn:

If it helps your bearings in any way: Here is a map of The Shield Lands

I would like to go with the following, assuming there are no objections...

The three of you joined a sellsword company known as the Sons of Sand that came by way of Axeport in a recruiting drive to fill their ranks. They promised you glory, freedom to make your own choices, and weekly pay with warm meals. It sounded great and the three of your lined up in the port town, coincidentally all in a neat row.

The Sons of Sand are led by a "reformed" Bandit Kingdoms warrior know named Niclos, but most men in the company refer to him as The Duke of Sand, whispering tales that he lays claim to some holdings that are nothing but barren wastes.

The Sons count about one-hundred members in their company, and have been retained by The Shield Lands in their continual struggle against the encroaching and ever-more-aggressive attacks coming from The Horned Society and The Bandit Kingdoms.

Joining the Sons meant signing a contract to pledge a minimum of one year of service.

Most of the ranks of the Sons are godless, but a few pay homage to Heironeous, St Cuthbert, Pholtus or Pelor (with Martigan's help). The Pholtans have jeered Martigan from time to time for his worship of the "false Sun God".

The Sons, like many sellsword companies, have been quite clever in where they have committed to actual combat.

As we begin play, I'm going to have your vignette be a brief glimpse into your time in the employ of The Sons of Sand.

Then we'll jump several months into the future after your year of service has ended and landed you within The Free City.

Let me know if you guys have questions, comments or complaints about this shared vignette. Feel free to invent any additional NPCs you would like as part of the backstory leading to this vignette (rivals, love interests, fellow acolytes, etc)

Your IC gaming can begin whenever you three announce to me that you "are ready to begin". I'll then create the IC thread.

Now we await Mukluk the Dwarven Wizard and his roguish (bardic?) companion...


Female Half-Elf Monk (Zen Archer) 1

Ideas changing, but beginning to gel. See profile.


@Aralynn:

Questions for Aralynn:

Feats
You have the following feats listed, I presume with their sources:

1st Level: Point Blank
Monk 1 Bonus: Precise Shot
Zen Archer 1 Bonus: Perfect Strike
Campaign Bonus: Landless Nobility

... this leaves Border Watch off the table. The campaign bonus "feat" isn't the same as your standard PFRPG traits. You can still pick 2 traits.

Age

You have Aralynn listed at 19 years. This is actually pre-adulthood for a half-elf (even by PFRPG standards). 15 years for human = 20 years for half-elf, so you would be as matured as a 13-14 year old human girl. I presume you want to be slightly more mature than this? Standard half-elf monk age range is 23-38.

History

Aralynn wrote:
Ronald Huntinghawk possessed a few acres of land outside Admundfort, but in reality he was a full time soldier. When Luz invaded in CY 587, his few lands were lost and all he was left with was his career and Aralynn.

The game will begin in CY579, so the Shield Lands have not yet lost much lands to Iuz. In fact, Iuz hasn't even attacked yet, most of the attacks on The Shield Lands are coming from The Horned Society, led by the Thirteen Hierachs. The coup by Iuz has yet to happen.

This shouldn't affect the mechanics of your backstory much, likely your father lost his lands in the last couple of years instead to The Horned Society.

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