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GM Edwin's Zeitgeist Campaign

Game Master Insnare

When the people and King of Risur have internal or external enemies but won't or can't call in the military... They Call in the RHC(Royal Homeland Constabulary)
Chapter 1: The Island at the Axis of the World
Chapter 2: The Dying Skyseer
Chapter 3: Digging for Lies
Chapter 4: Always on Time

RHC HQ
FLINT CITY
Zeigeist World Map
Avery Coast Train


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Background
Steam and soot darken the skies above the city
of Flint, and winds sweeping across its majestic
harbor blow the choking products of industrial
forges into the fey rainforests that dot its knifetoothed
mountains. Since the earliest ages when the
people of Risur founded this city, they feared the capricious
beings that hid in those fog-shrouded peaks,
but now, as the march of progress and the demands of
national defense turn Flint into a garden for artifice
and technology, the old faiths and rituals that kept
the lurkers of the woods at bay are being abandoned.
The Unseen Court, the Great Hunt, and the many
spirits of the land long ago conquered by Risur’s
kings no longer receive tribute, but they cannot
enter these new cities of steam and steel to demand
their tithe. The impoverished workers who huddle
in factory slums fear monsters of a different breed,
shadowy children of this new urban labyrinth. Even
their modern religions have no defenses against
these fiends.
Times are turning. The skyseers — Risur’s folk
prophets since their homeland’s birth — witness
omens in the starry wheels of heaven, and they warn
that a new age is nigh. But what they cannot foresee,
hidden beyond the steam and soot of the night sky, is
the face of this coming era, the spirit of the new age.
The zeitgeist.

Extrapolation

I found the Zeitgeist AP fascinating and thought it would be fun to run. It is a fantasy/steam punk setting, which can be challenging and that's why I think it will be awesome. In the Zeitgeist campaign, your charactersserve in the Royal Homeland Constabulary
of the nation of Risur, protecting the country
and its citizens from foreign threats lurking
within its borders. During missions of espionage
and assassination, your duty will be to root
out hostile spies and pursue international conspiracies.
As you learn more of your homeland’s
own secrets, however, your loyalties may be tested,
may even be turned, and you may find that
it is you whose hand controls the gears of the
turning age. Please check out the Players Guide and primer for information on the setting and things.

To keep things simpler, the pantheon of gods will be that of Golarion although this setting is not on Golarion. All Paizo accepted and interesting 3pp will be allowed if I can get my hands on the information. I am looking for 5 gumshoes...

Character Creation: 20 pt buy system, 2 traits, and 1 Theme, which should assist in articulating a backstory from the Zeitgeist Player's guide.

Since the RHC is an elite Police/Spy Agency/Militia Hybrid, answer me which police officer/soldier or spy from fiction your character would be closest to and why/how?


Here is a character I made up for a Zeitgeist game that never got off the ground. He's been in Cryogenic storage since then.

Dark Archive

Expressing interest. I've not partaken of a zeitgeist game. I need to draw up a character.


I'm interested, but would this be a PbP game or real-time using a VTT?


i am also interested! i tried to run this AP via maptools ages ago and it didnt get very far (not even halfway through the first book)

as for which character he is closest to, i'd have to say sherlock holmes! although i dont imagine my character will be half as good as he.


It would be a PBP game...


good, i dont like maptools.


Hi GMEDWYN,

I was looking at your JR campaign. How do you run combat? I can post regularly (every day), but not necessarily at any time, because of work and other commitments. Would that be a problem?


I will draw up a Technologist.

If using pathfinder classes: i will draw up a Rogue, either the Chameleon or Investigator archetype. most likely Human.

Dark Archive

I am very interested in this game, but I would like to play some 3pp classes. Do you allow some or any of the following: Spell-less Ranger by Kobold Press, Talented Fighter and Talented Rogue by SSG?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dotting for interest.


After having browsed through the Zeitgeist Player's Guide, I'm dotting for interest. Steampunk is a favorite of mine, although I've never before heard of this setting. Will ponder a character and post under an alias soonish.


might go Machinesmith (3PP) if allowed.


I think it would be very interesting to play a Skyseer druid.

Will need to look into it more, but the character as he stands right now... the closest spy character is Frank Martin, the Transporter.


Combat, I do by turn... if i have the time or better said if there is a map available I use it and I wait 24 hours before botting a character in combat to keep the game moving.

I understand that people have different time schedules and I would gather that most are at least 4 time zones away from where I am. I also think its fine if a character retroactively responds to something to keep rp going. Hitting the pavement talking to sources and finding informants are very important pieces to this game.

Remember to look at the themes in the player's guide and check out the setting. Themes are mega traits which I think flesh out your character and link you to the setting. btw, everyone should have one.

Technologist sounds cool,

Nightflier, which one do you want?


Very fascinating.
Must investigate in more detail, but I think a Yerasol Veteran Magus.

And without question, Nick Charles.

Dark Archive

I would prefer Spell-less Ranger.


Then do it my friend... Make the backstory good.

I would like to keep the game going briskly and have a post rate of about once per day more is definitely ok.

Dark Archive

I will have the character ready tomorrow.


Interested. :)

I'm looking at a Rogue with Gunsmith (Multi to Gunslinger at 2nd or 3rd level...)


Stat block for Aggie is complete. Background will follow shortly; I need to go over the Zeitgeist Player's Guide again for details and links.


settled on a Danoran Tiefling Machinesmith. I've got the beginnings of a backstory swirling in my head. just making sure he fits in with RHC as somewhat of an outside consultant (after having lived near Flint for a good amount of years).


what kind of wealth are we starting with? i am thinking of buying a modest carriage if i can afford it.


and would Rich Parents be allowed?


Background:
Sagosmer's mother lived in one of the many valleys of the Cloudwood, hiding from powers she never spoke of. She told Sagosmer when the girl was still a child that her father was a refugee from Avilona, and that he had gone on his way not long after the child was conceived. The girl grew up fascinated by the high mountains and by magic, and had an unremarkable childhood.

When the fourth Yerasol war began, she lied about her age and joined the fight. Her mother was heartbroken, but to Sagosmer, it was an opportunity to escape a dreary life in a dull village. It was also a chance for her to learn magic. Shortly after arrival in the archipelago, she found out that war was not a grand adventure, but a desperate struggle for survival against horrors of magic and technology.

The armies suffered defeat after defeat, and Sagosmer survived, but saw her friends and comrades die by the dozens. In the final battles, she dropped her sword and shield, picking up a staff and fighting with magic, and managed to save the lives of several members of her company. Though the battle - and the war - were ultimately lost, the girl from Cloudwood had found a sort of heroism in herself.

On returning to Flint, she found a Magus who understood what she had discovered, and used her pay from the war to apprentice herself to him. Now, she has completed her training, and has found a place in the Royal Homeland Constabulary.


stats:
Sylph Magus
Sylph Magus (Hexcrafter, Staff Magus) 1
NG Medium Outsider (native)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +3 Dex)
hp 12 (1d8+4)
Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +2
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 35 ft.
Melee Quarterstaff +3 (1d6+4/x2)
Magus (Hexcrafter, Staff Magus) Spells Prepared (CL 1):
1 (2/day) Shield, Ray of Enfeeblement (DC 14)
0 (at will) Detect Magic, Prestidigitation (DC 13), Brand (DC 13)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 16, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 17, Wis 10, Cha 7
Base Atk +0; CMB +3; CMD 16
Feats Quarterstaff Master, Toughness +3
Traits Magical Lineage (Shocking Grasp), Reactionary
Skills Acrobatics +2, Climb +1, Escape Artist +1, Fly +5, Knowledge (arcana) +7, Knowledge (planes) +7, Ride +1, Spellcraft +7, Stealth +5, Swim +1; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth
Languages Aquan, Auran, Common, Elven, Ignan
SQ air insight, arcane pool (+1) (4/day), hex arcana, spell combat
Other Gear Chain shirt, Quarterstaff, 150 GP
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Air Insight +2 rounds duration when summoning air subtype creature.
Arcane Pool (+1) (4/day) (Su) Infuse own power into a held weapon, granting enhancement bonus or selected item powers.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Hex Arcana You can substitute Hexes for Magus Arcana.
Magical Lineage (Shocking Grasp) A chosen spell counts as 1 level lower when metamagic feats are applied to it.
Quarterstaff Master Use a quarterstaff one-handed
Spell Combat (Ex) Use a weapon with one hand at -2 and cast a spell with the other.


Tenro's character, checking in.

Appearance and Background:

Cretien Dufrene looks like most tieflings, save he is considerably more savage looking. He is covered in short, coarse blue fur and sports horns on his head that are larger and more numerous than many of his race. Furthermore, his mouth is lined with teeth that are considerably sharper and than his brethren, and the bottom row often protrudes thanks to a significant underbite. Even more unique are his stunted wings, which although small, are covered in well-kept feathers ranging from black to violet to dark blue. In contrast to his extremely bestial appearance, Cretien prefers to dress in finer clothes to help put people at ease, and speaks with a soft, even tone.

Cretien is one of several scions of House Dufrene, a prominent seat of power in his native Cherage. His family was one of several that began the push for industrialization in Danor, and they rode that train to prosperity. Having hit somewhat of a plateau, Cretien decided that the only way to further improve upon the industrial foundation already laid out was to find a way to combine the magic that his nation sorely lacked (however little they lamented such) with the industrial machines that were slowly becoming more complex.

Having a firm grasp on mechanics, Cretien cast his lot outside the nation of Danor and towards Risur, a nation that yet had the magic he sought to study. There he took on a position in somewhat of an exchange program at Pardwight University, wherein he tought the fundamentals of advanced engineering and sat in on a variety of subjects regarding arcana. It was here that he toiled in the small hours, eking out minor prototypes of arcana-infused machinery. Finally, he achieved what he originally set out to do: to make a complex machine animated by magical energies. Envigorated by his newfound success, he took what he considered to be the apotheosis of his studies here and sought oppotunities to test it in the field.

It was while seeking these opportunities that he was signed on by the Royal Homeland Constabulary (RHC) to work for the nation of Risur. He didn't mind working for another nation, he held no plans to return to Danor soon nor did the background check on him reveal any nefarious dealings that would suggest him to be an enemy of Risur. Indeed, his loyalties were to his work first, family second, all else last. Even so, it wouldn't surprise him to discover that the RHC still has him under close observation. His work for the RHC consisted primarily of consulting work regarding engines, devices, and arcana.

Although people aren't quick to trust Cretien, likewise no one would suspect that he works for RHC, save those "in the know".

all that i need to have this complete is:

a.) a yes/no on the Rich Parents trait
b.) if Rich Parents is a no, then guidelines on wealth (Average? max? etc.)


Tenro the rich parents trait is ok.

Sagosmer, what is your theme is it Veteran?


Finally came up with a brief background story for Aggie which gives her a reason for wanting to join the RHC in Flint. I hope it's suitable.

GMEdwin asked for applicants to say which detective or spy from fiction our characters most resembled, but to be honest Aggie doesn't really resemble any of the ones I'm familiar with. Personality wise she's probably closest to the portrayal of Detective Deborah Morgan from the Dexter TV series (no, I haven't read the books)... maybe.

If I'd styled the character after my favorite fictional detectives, it would have ended up either as a Sherlockian clone, a parasol-wielding, sassy egyptologist (Amelia Peabody/Elizabeth Peters), or a cynical, anti-authoritarian private informer (Marcus Didus Falco/Lindsey Davis).


Hmmm sounds interesting

Think I'll work up a inquisitor with the spirit medium trait. Should have it up in the next day or so.


Agfriti, I like your story so far, some info about your character in Flint would be great.


GMEDWIN wrote:
Agfriti, I like your story so far, some info about your character in Flint would be great.

If you mean I should extend the background to expand a little on what Aggie has done since arriving in Flint, what district she's living in, how she is trying to behave herself... no problem, I'll expand on it shortly.

If that isn't what you meant...? :P


Yup and how the RHC became aware of her.


Cretien's sheet is complete.

His role has become more of a "Dr. Watson" than a "Sherlock" as he is more of a focused expert and less of an investigator.


GMEDWIN wrote:
Agfriti, I like your story so far, some info about your character in Flint would be great.

I've now expanded the background a little to explain what Aggie has been doing in Flint since arriving there and why the RHC may have recruited her. It's still brief but I can build on it later if you like the foundations of the story.


Though not a detective I would put Merle in the "Jack Reacher" role.


GMEDWIN wrote:

Tenro the rich parents trait is ok.

Sagosmer, what is your theme is it Veteran?

Oops, sorry.

Yes, Veteran, and my detective is likely to be the Continental Op (Red Harvest)


Merle what is your theme?

We got a Ranger, Fighter, Machinesmith, and Magus, so far...


Sounds interesting....any race restrictions?


nope, but read the player's guide for help...


Just for the record, although I sent a PM to GMEdwin about changing my build to urban ranger, Agfritha will be starting as a Gunslinger (pistolero), then multi-classing with Ranger (urban/skirmisher). I hope that's acceptable.

Dark Archive

I am still working on my character, but I should be done soon.


I would like to throw Mithas Aran into the running. He's a half-orc inquisitor with the Spirit medium theme. As is, he'll focus on intimidation and using non-lethal damage so as to bring his targets in alive.

As for inspiration, I'll go with Sam Steele of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police.

@GMEDWIN: What's the starting wealth? Also, out of curiosity, how gun heavy is this AP? From reading the player's guide they seem pretty commonplace. Can we expect most of our enemies to have them?


Zeitgeist Player's Guide pg 5 wrote:

While the city of Flint sits under a haze of coal soot, its streets illuminated

at night by gaslight lanterns and its ferries powered by steam
boilers, the majority of Risur remains at roughly a Renaissance level of
technology. Soldiers carry alchemical pistols as back-up weapons, and
elite fusilier units carry muskets and carbines, but aside from the occasional
new rail line splitting the countryside, most citizens of Risur never
see any of the new technology that is changing the world around them.
To be clear, though, there are no automobiles, electric lights, or flying
vehicles. Most firearms still are muzzle-loaders, and rifles only exist as
custom creations of innovative gunsmiths.


Sorry. Yerasol Veteran. It was worked into his background...but I didn't list it in the profile.


Just for the record in this campaign all damage will be nonlethal unless the player states he or she is out for the kill, with no penalties for doing nonlethal damage as long as your character is part of the RHC, however if you choose to be a consultant damage will be normal and enemies will die at 0hp its due to the special law enforcement training of the RHC.

The themes part are very important and add an extra level to your character and have important story elements later.

I would equate firearms in this setting with Europe during the 30 years war, if Wallenstein or his enemies were in town you would see guns but most people wouldnt have them. Metagaming, a few encounters will have them.

Average wealth would be fine to start out, the RHC pays well with stipends and the like.


Ah i meant for my character to be part of the RHC, i just used consultant to describe what it is he does, as he isn't a good investigator. i wasnt trying to avoid being part of the RHC (dont want to be the one outside the group in that respect)


Understood, this game should be real fun, good combat, intrigue, mystery and some good politicking later on. I want to keep it open until Saturday, I want to give it the grit of the Wire with the spycraft of Smiley(see either The Honorable Schoolboy or Smiley's people) and the action of The Unit all in a fantastical steam punk setting.. I am pumped!


GMEDWIN, what's your opinion on artificer


Sounds interesting to me... make a character, give me a backstory...


Still intrigued and lurking.

Thinking of a scoundrel type (Magnus Pym from A Perfect Spy), or a low-profile/high-thinking type (Smiley from Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy).

For the operative type, I was thinking bard, Sorcerer (Rakshasa bloodline) or inquisitor/monk, among other things...

For the "Brain", perhaps wizard or cleric, but I'm still thinking!

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