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GM Bret's PBP GD VI: Masks of the Living God

Game Master BretI


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Hello all!

This will be my first attempt at GMing a PBP.

I've GMed a fair amount of Face-to-Face games for PFS and played in a few different PBP games.

This will be part of Play by Post Gameday VI. I intend to start the game September 2nd, 2017 although I will most likely open up gameplay a few days before that so that the characters can introduce themselves to each other.

I will be running Masks of the Living God, a 32-page module for 2nd to 4th level characters.

Masks of the Living God wrote:

An adventure for 3rd-level Pathfinder Roleplaying Game characters.

Cult of Personality

Razmir the Living God used his power to conquer an entire country; now he and his mask-wearing priests enforce peace and generosity—though some say their tools are intimidation and fear. His worshipers preach charity and self-worth, blaming rival faiths for crafting lies about the glories of the Living God. Now the cult has come to the city of Tamran, feeding the poor and promising happiness to those who serve Razmir. Yet ugly rumors persist of bribery, extortion, and strange disappearances associated with the new temple. Are these stories just gossip and lies spread by rival faiths? Or is the church of the Living God more than it seems?

Masks of the Living God is a adventure for 3rd-level characters, written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s oldest RPG. This city-based adventure involves infiltrating a fortified temple and exposing the evil deeds of its cultists.

This adventure is set in the wooded land of Nirmathas in the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting, but can easily be adapted for any game world. It can be used as a sequel to Crypt of the Everflame or as a stand-alone adventure, and is a prequel to the adventure City of Golden Death.

Written by Jason Bulmahn

If you are interested in playing, please fill out my questionnaire below.

Recruitment Questionaire

To apply for this PBP, please fill out my form:

1. Player Name:

2. Are you new to PBP, Organized Play, or both?

3. What interests you about playing in this game?

4. Tell me a little bit about your character. Where are they from, what have they accomplished, what do they contribute to their group?

5. Are you able to post two or more times a day? Are you able to post on weekends?

6. Are you submitting individually or as a pair? If as a pair, who are you paired with?

7. I like to keep a game moving. Do you give permission for the party to 'bot' your character as needed in combat or another situation?

8. Do you promise to tell me about upcoming vacations, busy times at work, conventions or other absences so we can bot you?

Grand Lodge

dotting...I have a bunch of characters in that range...as for your questions...

1. Paul McCrory..or grimdog73 here on the boards

2. No and no

3. A new scenario and trying out new features on my characters

4. TBD....but most of my characters are of a martial slant...i have a couple clerics...none of my characters are a liability out of combat

5. Yes almost certainly 2x a day and yes for weekends

6. Solo

7. Absolutely

8. Yes


Welcome grimdog73, and thank you for your interest.

If you have any questions, please ask here. I have played this module once (on my Nagaji warrior) and am also in the process of preparing for a home campaign of Ironfang Invasion that is set in the same general area.

Once we get closer to the date I will need a specific character, but for now what you have for that is just fine.

Grand Lodge

i also have 2 characters that i have yet to lvl up to 2nd...so i can remake them as whatever is needed


If you have never played a module in PFS, I should warn you that the modules tend to be balanced assuming the character levels up during the adventure. In PFS that level-up doesn't happen, which can make some of the later fights much more challenging.

Grand Lodge

oh i know...survived Feast of ravenmoor and one other as well...with different characters...i might have my lvl 4 swashbuckler free...this would put him almost at lvl 5.1


The recruitment thread looks nice, Bret! This will be such an awesome game! Can I ask how you will be making your selections? Will this be first come, first serve, lottery or will you be selecting the team from the applicants?

Hmm


I will be selecting the team from the applicants based on characters, background, and an attempt by the Society leadership to send a balanced team.

I will add that to the initial post.

Still getting used to the GM controls on these boards. I can edit the campaign information as much as I want, but it appears that the normal edit restrictions apply to this thread.


If you're selecting on the basis of background, I believe that means that it would be helpful for prospective applicants to apply in character and provide sample roleplay, yes?

Hmm


Yes, but given that the scenario is still over a month away I can understand someone not being sure at this time which character they will choose.


1. Tundran
2. No, no
3. I enjoy modules and this one looks really fun.
4. TBD. Probably level 3 depending who is available when we get closer.
5. Yes, yes
6. Just me
7. Yes
8. Yes


Thank you for your interest, Tundran!


If sign-ups,are still open, I'd like to play!

1. JAF0
2. No
3. Sounds like fun
4. Tbd depends on party mix
5. Yes and yes
6. Solo
7. Yes
8. Of course yes


Me as well. I have a few characters that can go.
1.Terevalis Unctio
2. No
3. I like modules and this is one i have not done. I also like to support new DM's.
4. At 2nd level right now I have a paladin but might have others by the time this gets going. I might also have a 3rd level halfling rogue.
5. Yes, I am very active in my games
6. Solo
7. Yes I do
8. Yes

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'll express interest here, even though initially I was considering taking a step back and minimizing PbP profile this Gameday.

1. Jim Page AKA Wei Ji The Learner
2. No.
3. Love to see new GM talent stepping up, hoping to learn a bit and perhaps expedite my own long-delayed plans to do so via PbP. Played Crypt of the Everflame on the character I'd be bringing, would love to preserve some continuity with said character.
4.

Ramon 'Ray' Azure:
Ramon was a human merchant working for the Exchange in Sales and one day short of retirement when the draconic aspects started making themselves prevalent. Desperate for a cure, they turned to an exceptionally untried and untested (but remarkably inexpensive) potential cure, which utilized a great deal of the element of Water.
The cure didn't really seem to take, and the side effects were rather... jarring. Right now, they can be more accurately called 'undine', in all but mind, and the very fluid nature of water plays holy havoc with their entire being. It's resulted in having to have two separate outfits until their situation settles out completely.
Ramon is an Undine Oracle(Dragon Mystery)/Lore Warden(Though that may be changing quite soon, depending on errata and information) 2.2 They are built around a 'slightly better than average in most regards' ability array, and have mostly focused on Bodyguarding other party members and keeping them up, based on their experiences from Crypt of the Everflame.

5. It depends on work schedule and other activities. I try to post at least once per day, and can spoiler 'bot' actions if needed.
6.Individual submission
7.Permission given. I know action can move quickly and then stall on PbP, and I'd rather it not stall because I'm stuck at work (where I have no Internet access).
8.That is common courtesy and I try to adhere to it as best as possible. Also, if I get 'stuck' or have no ideas, I will also post that to the Discussion thread to try and keep things rolling.


Welcome to you all JAFO, Terevalis, and Ramon/Wei Ji!

Thanks for the support and if you've got questions feel free to ask.


Hi! Thought I'd express my interest :)

1: Lady Ladile

2: Nope! I've been PbPing on the forums for about three and 1/2 years now and doing Organized Play for maybe two and 1/2.

3: I've not done a module in Organized Play before and so I thought I'd like to give it a try. I also like to try and support new GMs where I can!

4: This will vary depending on which character I play; answer forthcoming if selected, if that will work.

5: Two+ a day might honestly be a stretch for me on days that I work. Generally I can manage 1/post a day, including weekends, with more on days that I'm not working.

6: This is a solo submission!

7: Sure thing!

8: Of course!


Welcome Lady Ladile! I look forward to seeing what you bring for a character!

The exact posting rate will depend on who we have in the group. Being able to post on weekends helps quite a bit.

In live play the module takes around 10-12 hours. I'm guessing that will translate into between 24-36 days. I haven't received the module yet, so I can't do a more detailed breakdown.

The PBP Gameday is scheduled to end by November 11th.

---

@Terevalis,

This is an infiltration mission. Paladins are welcome, but they may find navigating elements of this mission challenging.

Quote:
This city-based adventure involves infiltrating a fortified temple and exposing the evil deeds of its cultists.

It depends on who you worship, but some Paladins have problems with that sort of thing.

I do not consider failing to correct a false impression nor providing an incomplete answer a lie. You will just need to consider carefully before you speak. Since you are a Pathfinder, at times you can just allow the others to do something which you can not aid. As I see it cooperating with the group is part of your duties.

If you like situations where the obvious answer conflicts with your code and you need to find another way, then you will likely love this module.

BTW, I love creative solutions.

Silver Crusade

The paladin, whose profile I am writing under, worships Apsu.

Dark Archive

This is an amazing module, and it can shift the course of your character as you realize important things about yourself. My bard, Jasmine, had much of her character developed during this time! When you guys are done with this, remind me to tell you how Jasmine changed... It's a great story.


Talondreal wrote:
The paladin, whose profile I am writing under, worships Apsu.

That seems very workable.

Inner Sea Faiths wrote:

APSU'S PALADIN CODE

Paladins of Apsu valiantly follow the dragon god's tenets of holy vigilance against evil. Those following the rigid code of a paladin must sacrifice the sedentary lifestyle of living in a single place in exchange for continuous travel and hardship. The tenets of such paladins include the following maxims.
• I am the talon of Apsu's wrath. I strike where I am needed, but only when evil has been unmasked and there can be no doubt of my enemy's malice.
• When my purpose is unclear, I will walk the roads of the world to find a fresh focus. Every road leads to a new beginning.
• Nothing is worth sacrificing my life for, except protecting the lives of others. I will retreat when needed, and come back to vex my foes once again.
• Mercy is offered, but only once. Should I be betrayed in my moment of kindness, I will not stop until I have put my enemy down.
• It is not enough to slay evil and carry on. I will spend the time necessary to help those I've protected to fend for themselves.

Investigating a cult and unmasking them if they are evil is very much within Apsu's interests.

Silver Crusade

I agree. I like this character alot. Just hit 2nd level. I want to go dragon disciple with him.


Talondreal wrote:
I agree. I like this character alot. Just hit 2nd level. I want to go dragon disciple with him.

Sounds fun! I wish you the best.

Which dragon bloodline are you looking at? I am guessing you are looking to multiclass with Sorcerer, since it would take four levels of Bloodrager to qualify for the PrC.


@GM Bret - As of right now, the two likeliest candidates for my PC would either be my half-elf witch (at 2.1 exp) or my undine shaman (at 2.0 exp). I could also bring if a pregen if needed, but would prefer to play one of my own characters :)

Silver Crusade

I am thinking of gold or silver.


I have a strong preference for people playing their own characters.

---

@Talondreal

Both fine choices!

I've always been somewhat fond of Bronze myself.

Puff, the magic dragon,
Lived by the sea...

The Exchange

*A snow leopard pops in to inspect how things have been going, and satisfied everything is in order, flops off to a corner of the room to take a nap.*

Silver Crusade

GM Bret wrote:

I have a strong preference for people playing their own characters.

---

@Talondreal

Both fine choices!

I've always been somewhat fond of Bronze myself.

Puff, the magic dragon,
Lived by the sea...

I have a second level CORE bronze dragon blooded sorcerer. My favorite though, for some reason, is the green dragon.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'd love to join if here are still openings. I have yet to come up with a character. Just browsing through the forums when I came across this.

Quick application
1] Name: Sam or -lupus- as per the avatar

2] Have taken part in various PBP games before, just not Pathfinder. (Previously took part in a WoD and Heavy Gear games). I am new to organised play though

3] Why this game? I am trying to return to a Pathfinder/DnD rule set. My face to face group is very anti DnD/Pathfinder, claiming it does not promote role playing, but rather roll playing. My counter is the group tends to fall back to old habits when using a d20 system. Almost got kicked out of the group.....so seeking a fix elsewhere :) I am looking for a game which is friendly to new players (original d20 gamer, but from a long long time ago )

4] Character: to be decided. I tend to play or used to play rangers but wouldn't mind looking through the rule set to look at the new Pathfinder classes. What has drawn me back to d20 is the rich world that Paizo has created in Golarion and I would like to examine it more. Even look at it through the eyes of a new character rather than fall back to old habits

5] Posting rate: I tend to work near a computer most of the time, even weekends, so posting rate is usually not an issue. Definitely at least two posts a day, probably more if my character is engaged in a scene.

6] posting solo

7] no problems someone taking over a character to keep things rolling, so long as it fits what my character has been doing. best way to keep the game momentum building

8] timetable: do a lot of computer work, so generally trips away are not an issue as I usually have access to a computer. I do promise to keep the DM up to date with my poorer access times though. Possibly the biggest issue is that I am an Australian, so hours may be skewed from US players. But that should be about it.

Hope this does not rule me out of applying with a character concept later :)


@lupus

Yes, I am still taking applications.

I am sorry you've had poor experiences with your local gaming group. Have you tried a face-to-face game of PFS? Big Norse Wolf has made a map of sites that offer PFS, perhaps that could help you locally.

If you have never played in a PFS game before, you may want to start with an adventure for first level characters. This module is for characters of 2nd to 4th level. Although there are pre-generated characters that could be used, I think you may have more fun using a character you design.

If you have never created a character for PFS, you should read the Role Playing Guild Guide. It has the campaign rules in it including an appendix about how to create characters for PFS.

Looking at the Play by Post Gameday site, there are still a lot of games for characters of level 1-2 or 1-5 with seats open. Scenarios like The Confirmation, The Wounded Wisp or The Consortium Compact (all listed as levels 1-2) are specifically balanced to help a starting character get started. Any scenario listed as levels 1-5 may have a seat available for a starting character.

Since my game isn't starting right away, you may be able to create and level a character before this game starts in September.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. My attitude is this is a game, and I want everyone to have a fun time!


Lupus, you might want to look in the Flaxseed PFS thread, usually at the top of the main recruitment thread. There are games starting there all the time and people wanting to help new players play.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

@GM Bret:
many thanks for the links. Unfortunately, part of my problem is making it to a fce to face PFS game. There is only one public PFS game in my region, and unfortunately the games are held on a nights, I am unable to get to due to family responsibilities.

I was hoping the freedom of a PbP format would allow me to engage without having to dedicate a solid chunk of time to gaming. Smaller parcels of time for daily posts are usually easier to allocate and find than a dedicated night. Unfortunately, that is one of the reasons I have not engaged in any organised play.

Thanks for the links to the Role Playing Guild Guide. It is good to read and see the expectations and gain a basic understanding of the 'rules'.

With regards to commencing with a lower level game, might I enquire about the benefit of that? Is it a matter of learning the etiquette of a PbP game? Or an issue of 'making my bones' and developing an online reputation before working my way up the organised hierarchy? Or is it a matter of learning the rules?

Happy to consider it, but was curious as to the reasoning. As indicated, I am not a new gamer, but unfortunately an ancient one, having started with Basic D&D red box set many many moons ago. Agreed I am not up to date with the intricacies of Pathfinder, but I also know what I'm like and there is nothing better than on the job training.

@ Terevalis

Many thanks for the link. I will look into it when I get a chance later today.


@-lupus-

I am sorry there aren't any games you can catch face-to-face. I thought it worth mentioning since some people may not be aware of what is available in their area.

I started with Blackmoor and some of the other books from D&D myself, but our group quickly transitioned to AD&D. I remember using the monster listings in the back of the DMG because the Monster Manual wasn't released yet. A lot of things are similar, but some of the changes can be quite surprising -- even between 3.0 and Pathfinder.

As for the format, You are correct that PbP allows a lot of flexibility and works very well when someone can only get short breaks for gaming.

There are a few benefits to starting with one of the tier 1-2 adventures:
* The tier 1-2 adventures are specifically written for groups of low level characters. This means they assume you have less equipment and that there will be less disparity in power between characters.
* The tier 1-2 adventures also tend to teach you the basic format and expectations of PFS scenarios.
* You can create your own character for the adventure. Since you don't currently have a character, if you were to play in a higher level adventure (such as this one) you would have to play one of the pre-generated characters instead.

None of this is required, but I do think it is often a good idea.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

@ GM Bret
many thanks for the information. makes sense and I guess its a gradual transition into not only PbP, Pathfinder and organised play as well.

Will look for a starter game and hopefully manage to get a character levelled enough to hopefully participate in your game :)

Silver Crusade

ipus, this game is looking for a player Helikon's game


Hi Lupus, my name is Hilary and I'm the Venture Lieutenant for the Play-by-Post region. I am so happy that you are expressing an interest in PbP! PFS starts all characters at level one. That doesn't mean that you cannot play in a higher level adventure, but it does mean that if you do you'll have to do so with a pregenerated character.

If you want to level fast, your best bet may be playing a few games in Virtual Table Top. But I think that you'll find that some of the low level PBP adventures can be lots of fun! Be sure to ask your GM if you can sign a Welcome to Pathfinder Boon for you! It is a special boon just for new players on their very first PFS character.

I do hope you introduce yourself in Flaxseed discussion. Mention that you are brand new and I guarantee our GMs will go out of their way to get you into a game!

Hmm

Silver Crusade

If I were running any new games I would be happy to have him join but I am finishing up things in a few scenarios right now.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

@Talondreal
Many thanks for the link. I have throw my hat in and hope to see what the DM response will be :)

@ DM Hmm
To be honest, I'm not after a fast level up. I am returning to the d20 arena after many many years away. The rich depth and history created in Golarion is the biggest drawcard for me, thus Pathfinder.

I have never had any association with organised play and am intrigued by PFS but find it hard to make face to face PFS games in my area. How do I find out more? And is membership/games in PFS PbP possible without a face to face membership? Would love to find out more

And thanks to all on this thread. Its been the most helpful in trying to establish an identity and pointers as to where I can break into a game! :)


@-lupus-,

There is no difference for PFS in characters between one in play by post and one in face to face gaming. You register the characters in exactly the same way and need to keep the same records. The chronicles for PbP tend to be PDFs instead of pieces of paper, but that is about it. Since I've played the same character in both, I tend to print the chronicles so I have them for the face to face games.

There are some differences in how you play the game, but the scenarios and modules are the same. So are the rewards.

You will need to register for a PFS number. Once you have that number, it is used to prefix all of your characters. That number is followed by a dash and the character number; -1 for the first, -2 for the second, etc. You can look at my aliases to see the list of my 18 characters I currently have in PFS.

The thing that does happen in PbP is you can not play the same character in two adventures at the same time. You must get the chronicle from your first adventure before starting a new one. This isn't normally a consideration for face to face games -- most people can't be two places at once.

Hopefully I've explained this well enough. If you still have questions, you can either ask here or in one of the PFS sections of the boards.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

@GM Hmm
GM Bratpony has msged me with an invite to a new game of his.

Thanks all for the welcome and suggestions :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

1. Stephen Wight (tchman35)

2. I've only participated in one pbp. Not new to OP.

3. I liked this one when I ran it 2 years ago. (I guess I should be asking the gm to allow someone who's read the module. Pretty please? )

4. Kriklishik looks to be red-haired human, except for the nubby horns on his head just inside the hairline. He's explored the first and third levels of the emerald spire, he rescued a Janni caravan leader from an otherwise deadly assassination attempt, and he has explored an ancient crypt in Belkzen. I really, really enjoy setting things on fire.

GM info:
Ifrit
overwhelming soul kineticist level 4
Very high initiative
A couple of important racial traits (fire starter, wildfire heart)
Elemental whispers (greensting scorpion)

I bring ranged DPR, face abilities, and charm and joie de vivre to every party I join.

5. I can post twice most days. Weekends will be fine most of the time. Marching Band engagements might limit me to one post on a given Saturday.

6. Individually

7. If you must. I try very hard to post regularly.

8. Yes


Welcome tchrman!

Thanks for applying.

As for botting, I'll keep your preference in mind. If you can post regularly there shouldn't be a need to bot.


Hello GM Bret,

GM Beckett linked me to this thread, and i'd like to apply.

1. Chyrone
2. No
3. It is a new adventure for me, and it sounds ominous and fun.
4. I am thinking of applying with my Kitsune Swash1/Ninja 2. While he is part of the society, the western continent is still quite new to him.
He participated in a special where the Shadow Lodge made a move against the society. He's a sneaky yet cheerful type, good at lock picking and bluffing, and being the curious foreigner.
5. More often than not, twice a day. Sometimes three, if i have time.
No problem with posting during the weekend.
6. Individually.
7. I prefer own control (death by botting sucks ^^), but i can make a -bot me spoiler-, with tactics.
8. Sure.


Welcome Chyrone!

As I've said above, if you can post regularly there shouldn't be a need to bot. A bot me spoiler is always great. I need some ability to bot in case a player disappears.

Ninja/Swashbuckler sounds like fun! This is an infiltration mission, so there will be plenty of opportunities to be sneaky!

I'll have to thank GM Beckett for pointing you my way.

---

I will continue to accept applications for a while, but it looks like we will be able to fill a table now. We have a few people who weren't sure which character they wanted to bring.

I haven't received the module yet, but I have gathered information from other areas.

Since they are connected to this module, have any of you played either Crypt of the Everflame (a module) or 7-07 Trouble in Tamran (a PFS scenario) on these characters?


Alas, I've not played either of those on any of my characters.


It isn't a problem if people haven't played either of them.

I haven't played or GMed either of them and had plenty of fun playing this module.

I'm just searching them for background information. That plus the Lands of Conflict splatbook.


Have not played those with any character I might play in this (my character that played 7-07 is 6th lvl now and my character in Crypt is playing it currently and won't be done by the time this starts.)


I will be playing 7-07 during Gameday and I'm not finished with Crypt of the Everflame yet either.


I haven't played either, but i have GM'ed Crypt of the Everflame.

Pretty lethal potential for lvl 1 PCs there.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes, I've heard that Crypt has at least one encounter that many low level parties do not have a good way to deal with.

So far, it sounds like we will not have a character that has done either of these. I am interested because I like the NPCs to react appropriately if your character has previously worked with them.

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