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GM Zimmer's Curse of the Crimson Throne (Inactive)

Game Master zimmerwald1915

The king is dead! In the Varisian port city of Korvosa, the death of a monarch leads to chaos. It's up to a band of bold adventurers to stop the spread of tyranny before all of Korvosa is crushed beneath the queen's iron fist.

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The king is dead! In the Varisian port city of Korvosa, the death of a monarch leads to chaos, and only the PCs can hope to save the city from its own darkest tendencies. As the rule of the young queen grows more and more draconian, it's up to a band of bold adventurers to stop the spread of tyranny before all of Korvosa is crushed beneath her iron fist.

Player's Guide

Deadline: February 6
Player Count: 5

  • Backstory: 500 words minimum; Should be the focus of your character and sync with most of the character's details, especially traits, and describe how the character was wronged by Gaedren Lamm. "The campaign you are about to begin starts as you and several other promising young heroes are brought together to do what the city guards cannot (or will not) do—to see that Gaedren Lamm answers for his crimes, be that in a court of law or at the edge of a vengeful blade." More info on Gaedren Lamm may be found in the Campaign Info tab.
  • Experience: 1st level
  • Ability Points: 20 Point Buy
  • Wealth: Maximum gold for desired starting class
  • Health: Max at first level, Average beyond.
  • Alignment Restrictions: no NE or CE. LE characters must have a heavy-set, semi-Paladinesque code of honor and sees evil as selfishness rather than stereotypical evil.
  • Racial Restrictions: Core races and Tieflings are allowed. Tieflings may take Fiendish Heritage as a social trait rather than a feat. Heritage may be chosen, however the race trait must be picked from three d% rolls.
  • Class Restrictions: No 3PP classes are allowed. Online reference must be available.
  • Traits: 2. One trait must come from the Curse of the Crimson Throne Player's Guide. (pp 14-16)
  • Favored Class Bonus: You may choose optional favored class bonuses of any of the core races.
  • Item Creation Feats: Characters with bonus Item Creation feats may choose their replacement PFS feat instead. Alchemists may replace Brew Potion with Extra Bombs; Wizards and Clerics of the Rune Domain may get Spell Focus instead of Scribe Scroll.
  • Clerics of Irori: Clerics of Irori gain Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat at level 1.

  • Sneak Attack: Any character that gains Sneak Attack as a class ability gains Cheapy's Oppurtunities Aplenty instead.
  • Leadership: The Leadership feat is not allowed. Clerics and Druids of the Nobility Domain gain the Persuasive feat instead.
  • 2d10: We will be using 2d10 instead of d20. For critical purposes in attack rolls, getting an 18-20 counts as a 20, 17 counts as a 19 or 20 keen, 16 counts as a 18, 15 counts as 19 keen, and 14 sounds as 18 keen. This allows a higher tendency to hit the average.
  • Multiclass BAB: If a character multiclasses between two classes with the same non-full BAB progression, the BAB advances as if he or she did not multiclass. I.E.: A rogue 1/bard 1 would have a BAB of +1, not +0.
  • Multiclass Saves: If a character multiclasses to a class with good saves in a save he or she is already good at, that save gains a -1 penalty.
  • Agile Finesse: Weapon Finesse and Agile Maneuvers are now combined into one feat called Agile Finesse
  • Weapon Proficiency: Each character may take Weapon Proficiency as a combat trait at level 1. This is only available at level 1 and applies only to one weapon. Any additional weapon proficiencies must be taken as a feat as normal.
  • Weapon Restrictions: No advanced firearms.
  • Spell Restrictions: No Time Stop, Wish, Miracle, or related spells.
  • Atonement: The Atonement spell does not exist. This is figured out through role-playing repentance and acts to prove it.

Tristain Intro:

My chalkwork does not sell. It rarely sells and too frequently I am forced to find other ways to eat.

Tristain sits at the corner of the merchant's market in Korvosa and watches man and woman alike ignore the beauty of his chalk-artistry. Nine scraps of be-chalked parchment lie before him, each a work of art, each showing another scene of city life.

A halfling comes nearby and Tristain watches him carefully, especially the cup of coin that receives the rare tips he gets.

I've learned to sense those who would appreciate my art and those who come to pass the time. That one there cares little for my work.

As the halfling moves away, Tristain pulls his cup closer to him and closes his eyes, listening to the sounds of the marketplace.

So many voices, so many songs of sale. This city sings with a life of its own.

As poor as Tristain is, he likes the marketplace...he feels connected and safe here. It is a living organism from when the first merchants open their doors to the early customers who visit the stalls to the busy aftermornings when the place is almost too full to walk. Tristain has been here most of his life, making his way in the city, practicing his chalkwork.

The city has a humm into itself and each providence of Korvosa is different but each serves a purpose to the whole.

Perhaps today I will try to earn some scraps sketching the rich as they walk to their parties. They sometimes offer good coin if the likeness is good enough, but even more coin if the likeness is further off, more grandiose as they wish to see themselves.

Tristain snarls at the idea of having to pervert his art in this way, but sometimes he must if he wishes to eat.

Though his life is hard, Tristain would not willingly change it: this city is perfect. A cauldron of races and people symbiotically living together...a balance of merchant and servant, noble and knave, a place where people are free to grow and learn and exist.

But a few coins more and I shall have enough money to purchase passage on a ship. My drawings of the Arch of Aroden or the Eye of Adendego will sell because so few have seen them. But *I* shall see them and bring them back to the city in my chalk-art.

Tristain smiles as he sits, dreaming,...maybe his next customer will be a wealthy patron of the arts...

Lamm, Blight of the City:

Tristain's head turns to look at two children running nearby. Instinctively, Tristain's gaze goes to each of their faces in hopes that they might be recognized by Tristain.

Nope. Way too old. And way too healthy, Tristain thinks as he sees a couple, presumably their parents, following the children.

Tristain sighs and puts his head back against the wall while he waits for another chalk-art buyer to approach.

I wonder what happened to Daedric and Trina. They were both friends of mine...way back before they met Gaedren Lamm. Now they are gone. I hate him.

Now Tristain just feels sad...and recounts all the orphan friends he's lost over the years to Lamm's enterprises.

I miss Trina the most...she was pretty and she was my friend.

Tristain's fist curls tightly before he slowly lets the anger go.

"Where is Trina?" Tristain asks while imagining beating Lamm's head against a wall. "What did you do with her, you jerk!?" Tristain mentally screams in impotent rage.

Lamm...someday when I'm rich and famous, I'm going to get you.

Background and Appearance:

Tristain, a youngish half-elf on the cusps of maturity, was left by his human mother at an orphanage when he was born. She was too embarrassed by her mistake to raise Tristain herself. Since growing up and leaving the orphanage, Tristain has made his living as a chalk artist, drawing upon parchment for sale and often seeking commissions from storekeeps to decorate the outsides of their shops.

Tristain is a self-taught artist, using ash and charred sticks for his early artworks and when they proved somewhat profitable, he was able to buy more elaborate colored chalks. Tristain knows the city well as he explores frequently for new vistas to sketch and new people to hawk to.

Despite his upbringing, Tristain is gregarious and friendly, more out of his good nature, but has learned that being friendly will more often lead to a sale of chalkwork than not. He will helpful to newcomers to the city (and sometimes offers his services as a tour guide to new visitors to the city in exchange for tips). Tristain has no life aspirations yet, he is currently struggling to survive the City and but hopes to find his path soon.

Tristain is a bit of a loner, saving money by sleeping out of doors (trusting in his survival instincts, unless it is winter and too cold) and keeping his meager possessions with him. After he left the orphanage, he has largely lost contact with his fellow orphans forgoing them to create a relationship with the city itself.

Tristain is of medium build, standing 5'10", with black hair and green eyes (a gift from his mother).

Build, TBD:

NG Half Elf Urban Druid
Exact Build TBD
Missing Sibling(another orphan, likely) Trait

Dotting while I work on a backstory. Also. Would you mind explaining what you'd want out of a LE character a bit more? Seems a little vague as it is.

Just lawful enough that he wouldn't break the party on a whim. Like so.

Alright! Sounds about like how I'd play it normally. Thanks for clearing it up for me.

Dotting, I'll have a character up in a bit, but do you mind if I have someone of Ulfen descent? She'll be born in Korvosa and have some good ties into the AP, but I wanted to make sure that was okay, and if you want a reason I'll be happy to provide it.

As long as it fits the story, that's cool.

And just to be clear. Archetypes are good, right?

GM Squawk wrote:
As long as it fits the story, that's cool.

She should, big time. Thanks, I'll have up with preliminary stats in a bit.

Archetypes are cool. No 3pp ones though. Also I have a copy of Dragon Empires Primer, so the ones there are cool too. Hopefully those will be up at D20PFSRD soon.

Dotting for possible interest.

Test rolls:
In case I decide on a tiefling?
1d100 ⇒ 78
1d100 ⇒ 12
1d100 ⇒ 89

I'd also like to throw my name in the hat, although im still coming up with a character. I think i have a pretty cool concept but i wanna get it straight in my head before i submit it.
What is your deadline?
Also, i should note i've never played by messageboard before, so there is that.

That's alright. I'll post a few guidelines in the Discussion thread when I have my chosen 5. Deadline's Feb 6, 11:59 PM. I live in the Philippines, so that's GMT +8.

I present Raseri Whitescale, a female human barbarian.

Raseri's Search:

Four years.

Four. Long. Horrid. Years.

Raseri wanted to cry, to scream, to let the icy rage that filled her veins to take over and slaughter the dog that would dare take her sisters and make them thieves. She wanted to leave this city that seemed to squeeze her. She wanted to see Moonwing's Bough. She wanted to come home to her clan's ancient keep on the north of the Grungir Forest for the first time. She wanted to hug her sisters tight. She wanted to be happy. But she had to find Gaedren Lamm and choke him until he told her where she could find her sisters, laws be damned.

The blonde woman took in a deep breath and slowly relaxed her fingers one by one. She remembered her parents, both of them from the north, both of them tall and proud, especially among the shorter Varisians and Chelish. She remembered the day her sisters were born. She remembered every story they told her, from how Alfweard defended a group of gnomes and elves from his former tribe to the time when her father thought a stump was a linnorm. She remembered when they died from some plague.

How frail they looked.

She had wanted to cry then too, but couldn't. She was now the one that needed to look after the little ones. She had to be strong for them. She had to put on her brave face, and it nearly broke her to tell the five-year-olds that Momma and Poppa wouldn't be waking up. She stayed with them that night as they cried themselves to sleep. The funeral was even harder. That day was just a blur of numbness and sobs from the twins.

Raseri had been working in a tavern near where her parents lived. She begged the owner to let work more to earn enough to feed her and her sisters, and to pay for living in the small apartment that had been her home for her whole life. He agreed and even let her bring the twins to play with his younger children from time to time.

Life seemed to fall into a new normal. After almost a year, Raseri was feeling like she used, happy, wild, and more than a bit brash. Unfortunately, that's when Gaedren Lamm first entered into her life. She came home from working a late evening at the tavern to find her home broken into, the sword her father had owned gone, and her sisters missing.

She ran to the nearest guards; guards who happened to know her from more than one bar fight. She tried to tell them what had happened, but emotions that had been bottled up for a year came bursting out in a torrent of sobs, screams, and hysterical babbling. She managed to calm down and get the story out. She pleaded for their help in finding her sisters. When they refused saying that they had bigger problems, she demanded a sword so she could kill the one who did this. They locked her up for a couple of days, as they said, "for the good of the city and her own well-being."

When she once again had her freedom, she started to scrimp and save. She began to hunt for her sisters. She knew the sword was gone, but her sisters may still be in the city.

For three years she found nothing. Those that might know learned to flee when her blonde hair showed up in a crowd. Hope, it seemed, was futile. Then a stroke of luck happened. She caught a pickpocket trying to grab her coin purse. Instead of the sniveling rat-like man or plump-faced halfling she had expected, she found a scrawny boy that looked younger than her sisters should have. She began asking him questions which lead to two discoveries. First, her sisters were indeed in the city. Second, they were in the "care" of a old man named Gaedren Lamm.

Hope burned bright in Raseri's eyes for the first time in three years. She took the boy to her old employer to find him some honest work, and to get him away from his abusive, so-called master.

Now, it's been over a year since then. she isn't much closer to finding Gaedren, but she has seen her sisters. They were pulled away by others under Gaedren's thrall, but she had seen them, had called their names, and had recognized them.

She was frustrated by losing them, but overjoyed at seeing them. Now, it was only a matter of time, Raseri hoped anyway.

Appearance and Personality:

Raseri is about 5 feet 2 inches tall. Her fair skin and blonde, almost platinum, are often the topic of discussion when she is around, but it is her cold, gray eyes that are her most striking feature. She is slimmer than most Ulfen women, and shorter, but her face and body still show signs of her heritage, such as a strong jaw and corded muscles, though they are more wiry and less bulky.

Her most memorable feature is her temper. Regulars at the tavern learned quickly that one does not grope the petite blonde girl if they wanted to keep their fingers unbroken. Those prone to drunken fights also learned that one better listen to the petite blonde girl when she says to knock it off. Although it's easy to rouse her anger, he friendships are not broken so easily and many still find her willing to help even if they haven't seen her in a year or three. She has what many of the guards call "a severe disrespect for proper authority."

Raseri is a follower of Desna and is prone to star-gazing on clear nights. She finds herself wandering the city, looking at it from a different angle, or even leaving to go find a new secluded spot when she's exhausted, or just needs to not think about anything for a while.

She smiles a lot when in a good mood, which has become, surprisingly, more frequent. Her laugh has been noted for being a rather feminine giggle, and on a few occasions has been heard to include a mouse like squeak.

Extra Info:
Just a few extra tidbits

Her sisters are named Alfhildr and Alfsigr. Both look like shorter, younger versions of Raseri, but they also look like they'll probably be a good bit taller than her when grown.

Raseri usually doesn't rage in combat until she is absolutely frustrated or until they have roused her anger with insults to her, her friends, or her family/heritage. If she can, she try to trip her opponent or pin them against a wall so she can get a surrender and information out of them.


Female Human (Ulfen) Barbarian 1
CG Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +5; Senses Perception +4
AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 13. . (+3 armor, +3 Dex)
hp 14 (1d12+2)
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +0
Spd 40 ft.
Melee Greatsword +3 (2d6+3/19-20/x2) and
. . Unarmed Strike +3 (1d3+2/20/x2)
Ranged Longbow +4 (1d8/20/x3)
Str 14, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 13
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 16
Feats Extra Rage, Power Attack -1/+2
Traits Missing Child (Sibling), Reactionary
Skills Acrobatics +6, Climb +5, Diplomacy +5, Escape Artist +2, Fly +2, Intimidate +5, Perception +4, Ride +2, Sense Motive +4, Stealth +2, Swim +1
Languages Common, Skald
SQ Fast Movement +10 (Ex), Rage (12 rounds/day) (Ex)
Combat Gear Arrows (20), Arrows, Blunt (20), Greatsword, Longbow, Studded Leather; Other Gear Backpack (empty), Crowbar, Grappling hook, Rope, silk (50 ft.), Sunrod (3)
Fast Movement +10 (Ex) +10 feet to speed, unless heavily loaded.
Power Attack -1/+2 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Rage (12 rounds/day) (Ex) +4 Str, +4 Con, +2 to Will saves, -2 to AC when enraged.

Ugh, Well this might be a problem. After doing a bit of checking, in order to make this character how I want...I may have to engage in what some may consider cheese.

The idea was for an Air bloodline Sorcerer that uses int instead of cha for her casting. Which I can do if I take the Wildblooded and Crossblooded Archetypes. Would this be ok, or is it pushing it? I can rework the character if it's too much.

It doesn't imbalance things and the two don't clash. I'm alright with it. Now cheese is Crossblooded Wildblooded with Eldritch Heritage Wildblooded, and I'd still be ok with that.

Also "A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature."

I'll dot for interest. I'll read the player's guide before settling on a character.

Making some rolls for a daemon-spawned tiefling magus (probably vanilla, though maybe blackblade or staff).

1d100 ⇒ 44
1d100 ⇒ 20
1d100 ⇒ 28

Hmmm...does all the traits of a small creature mean -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity and all the size bonuses and penalties to attack, CMB, Stealth, etc.? Slow speed of 20, I assume. Interesting for a Dervish Dancer based magus...

Shadow Lodge

Registering interest. I'll post a background when I'm happy with it.

Nazard: huh... Gray area... +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB) and Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD), and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks. Abilities and speed remain the same.

Everyone: I also forgot to mention... by applying here, you state that you can post at least once a day and hopefully on average even more

GM Squawk wrote:
Everyone: I also forgot to mention... by applying here, you state that you can post at least once a day and hopefully on average even more

Oh, most definitely.

Currently have characters in two 4K+ post PbPs, another in a 3K...two of my characters have over 800+ posts in about a year of play.

This is lankyogre. I'd like to draw up a human monk. I've written up the background, I'll finish up the crunch soon.

Dotting for interest. I can definitely keep up the posting pace. I'm writing the background for my rogue now and it should be up in a day or 2.

Tristain the Chalker wrote:
GM Squawk wrote:
Everyone: I also forgot to mention... by applying here, you state that you can post at least once a day and hopefully on average even more

Oh, most definitely.

Currently have characters in two 4K+ post PbPs, another in a 3K...two of my characters have over 800+ posts in about a year of play.

Yes! Now I don't have to keep hoping for updates!

Sorry about that. Some of the games I've been in have been rather slow, and it drives me bonkers because I want to post, but nothing's happened.

but yeah, I can manage multiple (read: as fast as things develop) posts.

Things may be a little slow from me at times because of school, gaming (PFS at the local shop), or going home. Okay I need to shut it. I promise that Raseri won't ramble this much.

Raseri, my thoughts exactly!

Checking in with a Human Ranger. Seemed a perfect setting to flesh out this particular concept.

Dwarven Zen Archer Monk left at the altar of another PbP recruitment. Looking to pepper a drow with arrows to get closure.

Let me know if the background is enough.

Shadow Lodge

No, no, Raseri, ramble away! As for availablity, I can for sure manage at least two posts per day, possibly more depending on how much I put into each post.

Background's almost done. It's getting a little long thanks to the format in which I chose to write it. Question: if chosen this would be my first PbP on the Paizo boards (I've done quite a bit more PbP on the gitp and other boards, if experience is an issue). Is creating a character alias prior to being chosen for a game accepted and expected? If so, should I create one for Goffred, my transmuter?

It's generally expected, but whether it's required or not depends on the GM, I think. Once the characters are chosen, it's definitely a good idea to use the alias.

I don't know if you know this yet or not, but it still might be useful to see it written down.

Useful Tags to know (remove the "?"):

[?ooc]Out of character[/ooc]
[?dice=Dice Rolls]1d20+3;1d8+2[/dice]
or Dice Rolls:[?dice]1d20+3;1d8+2[/dice]

Out of character
Dice Rolls: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 231d8 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
or Dice Rolls:1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 141d8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8

"What your character says goes in bold"
What your character is thinking goes in italics
Discussing plans, and other out of character stuff goes in the [ooc] tags
What your character is doing goes in regular text.

[ spoiler ] tags are also used in games to relay info that only certain players would know or that players don't want other players to know, or relay info to the GM that the other players wouldn't know. You can find this and the other tags used by clicking on the button next to "How to format your text," but here's an example in easy reach.
[?spoiler=This is an example][/spoiler]

Pulling it all together...:

Body slam:1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Raseri takes the grappled bard and hauls him over her shoulder to slam into the rough wooden table.
She gives him a look that might set the dry wood on fire.
"I told you to stop grabbing my arse! Now I'm gonna break yer fingers music boy."

I thought this would stop after I stopped working for Malvus, or at least when I got my sword.

If the bard is still feeling flirtatious, he'll e getting real intimate with that sword, or at least his spleen will.

Hope that helps and no bards were harmed in the making of this example.

lol. Thanks Adam. I was going to post that when the characters were chosen. XD

GM Squawk wrote:
lol. Thanks Adam. I was going to post that when the characters were chosen. XD

That flirty Bards get to be aquainted with Raseri's sword? :P

Joking, never hurts to help right? I'm just glad people like to play on the boards at all, I'm getting a chance to try out several characters that I wouldn't otherwise. I'm happy to help where I can.

lol. If you guys are about to create Aliases, I think it's safe to say that this is how I'd like them done for uniform sake. link

AdamWarnock wrote:
That flirty Bards get to be aquainted with Raseri's sword? :P

Was this ever in doubt?

Anyway, here', I guess. Just made a profile too.

Six Years Ago:
Fredo squirmed against the two large hands gripping his shoulders. He could not see the men they belonged to. The hallway under Citadel Volshyenek was dimly lit, and they were pushing him from behind. Step by step, they were forcing him forward to a doorway at the end of the hall. The door itself was old, but sound wood, set in a threshold of the same dark stone as the hall. There was nothing threatening about it, but Fredo did not want to pass. He dug his heels into the floor, and was shoved to the ground for his trouble. His hands were bound behind him and could not stop his fall, so his face hit the floor with a sickening crunch. The grit on the floor lodged in his burnt cheek. The guards chuckled. Keys jangled, and one of them went to open the door. The other, still laughing to himself, picked Fredo’s head up by his hair.

Alone in front of a mirror, and at parties, Fredo had cursed his scalp for letting his hair thin so easily. Now, though, it let him wriggle out of the guard’s grasp, leaving a wad of hair behind. He turned around and fled back up the hall as fast as his legs would carry him, not looking back at the shouts of the guards or the slaps of their pursuing boots on the floor. He made it about twenty paces before one of the guards caught him in a flying tackle and bore him down to the ground. Fredo screamed as one of his ribs cracked, and moaned as the guard made it worse by throwing Fredo over his shoulder. It didn’t look like they were taking any more chances.

The door led to a small room. A sconce holding a continual flame hung from the ceiling, set so that it lit the center of the room, with its table and two chairs, brightly, while leaving the corners all in shadow. The guards shoved Fredo down into one of the chairs, and left. Across from Fredo sat an unremarkable-looking man using an ornate silver dagger to flip through the pages of a file. Fredo sat as tall as he could in the face of this man. It helped ease the pain in his side, and it might help hide his fear.

“Goffred Giulianoff,” the man said slowly, setting the file down and sheathing the dagger lovingly in his belt. “Why don’t you tell me how you got that burn on your face?”

Fredo answered in a flat voice. “I was preparing fires in the Hall of Shaping so that older students could practice their Pyrotechnics. Fire can be wild, but its wielder may never be. His body must stay under control at all times if he is to master what emerges.”

“Very good,” said the man. “A near-perfect quotation from the chapter on hazards in Ornelos’ Primer on Devil-Summoning. Now, I’m no devil-binder,” he continued, standing up and leaning forward, propping his body up on his hands. “You want to guess how I know that?”

“You flunked out of the Twilight Academy?” That earned Fredo a slap, right across his burned cheek. He grimaced at the pain, and then at the pain in his side as he shied away from the guard. He ended up doubled over, his face a few inches from the tabletop.

“Don’t get smart. I know because I read it out of your copy. It was found…” he said, pulling papers out of the file and setting them before Fredo, “at the scene of the crime.” Fredo’s eyes went wide when he saw the face the artist had sketched. Somehow it looked to have escaped the burns all over the rest of the man’s body. “Maybe you can tell me what you and your brother were really doing with a pack full of bombs less than a block away from Carowyn Manor?”

“I wasn’t with him. I don’t know what he was doing.” Fredo’s mind raced as his throat croaked out the denial. What would Alessandro be doing with bombs near Carowyn Manor? And how did he get Fredo’s book? Fredo had looked everywhere for it when it had gone missing, but Alessandro was an outsider. He could not have taken it.

“Really,” said the man, breathing hot on Fredo’s ear as he leaned in. “Maybe another quotation will refresh your memory. ‘we must spread our principles, not with words but with deeds, for this is the most popular, the most potent, and the most irresistible form of propaganda.’ Did not your father keep books by Jubannich?”

“He was also the prefect of Sirathu a crown-appointed position that carries honor and various responsibilities, including the collection of taxes until he passed, and a loyal Korvosan.” Fredo’s throat was almost entirely choked up now. He coughed, and spat blood onto the table. Papa, Eilso, had died only months ago of a stroke.

“Be that as it may, your excellency, I have you on attempted murder at least. Why don’t you think about that?” The man clicked his fingers and the guards reappeared to drag a limp and unresisting Fredo to his cell.


Fredo sat up against the wall of his cell, breathing slowly in and out. His side still hurt, but much less since the coated doctor with his mask pushed up over his brow had bound his chest up with bandages. The tightly tied gauze and rags kept the broken bone in place, but they also made it hard to breathe deeply, and with each inhalation Fredo’s chest strained against its bonds. Maybe his torso would be as chafed as his wrists soon.

A door opened, and slammed back shut, at the end of the hall, and Fredo could hear the stump of boots headed towards his cell. A number of the other prisoners called out to what was clearly a guard, but Fredo stayed silent, not expecting they’d want to talk to him again so soon after the first time. He was surprised when the guard did indeed stop outside his cell, carrying a bundle wrapped in brown paper and twine, as well as an envelope. He was more surprised to see that it was the guard who had interrogated him. He looked different in the different light, almost handsome and good-natured. Fredo wouldn’t have recognized him if not for the gleaming silver dagger on his belt.

“You’re free to go,” he said, shoving the parcel and envelope through the bars and reaching for his keys. Fredo didn’t move from where he was, but reached over for the items.

“May I ask why?” he said. The guard had opened the door and, seeing that Fredo wasn’t going to move, knelt down to unlock his manacles.

“Some other college brat came in and gave a statement that he did set you to lighting fires. He also came in with a bound imp, which told us it had pushed you into the coals as a prank.” The manacles snapped off. “I don’t believe it,” he continued, straightening up and going back to the door, “but we don’t have enough to hold you anymore. Keep it that way.”

And just like that, the man was gone. Fredo hefted the package, then tore it open. From the weight and the feel he was not surprised to find his spellbook and components, as well as his other possessions. The envelope was more of a mystery. Turning it over, Fredo saw it bore the seal of the Acadamae, and he opened it carefully. It contained two pieces of paper, which he read in order.

“Dear Neophyte Giulianoff

Please find enclosed the results of your Hall of Shaping Entrance Exam. These results notwithstanding, it is incumbent upon the faculty to remind you that students and staff of the Acadamae are obliged to avoid the appearance of impropriety should they wish to maintain their places. The circumstances of this message’s receipt should indicate to you our position on your place within our institution.

As such, it is our duty to inform you that all possessions on loan from the Acadamae, including but not limited to study texts, writing implements, spell reagents, lodging, and uniforms are to be repossessed forthwith. You shall be allowed one week from the receipt of this message to collect any personal belongings you brought with you to the Acadamae. Should you fail to do so, ownership will devolve on the Acadamae.

We wish you great success in all your future endeavors,
The Board of Acadamae Regents”

The message on the next paper was comparatively short, printed in big, ornate letters and stamped again with the Acadamae’s seal.

“This is to certify that Neophyte Goffred Giulianoff has passed with honors his examination to enter the Hall of Shaping as an Acolyte of Transmutation.”


Two days later found Fredo at the post office. It hadn’t taken him long to collect his possessions from the Acadamae, but he hadn’t yet found a new place to live. He’d been staying at a cheap inn. He expected he’s have to stay there several more nights while he waited for replies to the letters he was posting. The replies from Theumanexus, the Stone of the Seers, and the Twilight Academy would tell him whether he could stay in Korvosa and look for a flat or if he would have to leave. The clerk took the letters and looked for quite a long time at the return address, as if trying to remember something, before she put them in the bin to be mailed. “Mister Giulianoff is it?”

“Yes…” said Fredo, not really sure where this was going.

“Your picture’s up on the far wall,” she said, pointing. “You’re wanted at the Citadel.” She whispered. “I don’t think it’s for anything bad, just questioning.”

“Thank you,” said Fredo uncomfortably, stepping out of the line. He supposed it was better he find out like this than to have the Guard capture him again. He sighed, and left the post office.

When he got to Citadel Volshyenek he was pleasantly surprised not to be clapped in irons again. Instead, he was escorted to the cell of a man with long black hair and a squashed nose that might once have been very prominent. His eyes were wide and pleading, and he was panting. The guard with the silver dagger was standing in the cell with him. “Do you recognize this man?” he said.

“No,” said Fredo. “Who are you?” he asked the panting man. He started to answer, but the guard smacked him on the mouth.

“His name was on sales receipts we found on your brother’s body.” Fredo swallowed and blinked rapidly a half-dozen times to keep his throat and eyes clear. “He ran an alchemist’s shop, and we believe he sold your brother the bombs he was going to use on the Carowyns.”

“I’ve never seen him before in my life,” said Fredo icily, his fists clenching and unclenching. “Would you like me to use smaller words?”

“Get him out of here,” said the guard to the one who had escorted Fredo. The latter shrugged and motioned for Fredo to come, and he did. As they were leaving the alchemist called out “I never met your brother either! I couldn’t have sold him bombs! My entire stock was stolen by Gaedren Lamm! Check the files!” The guard with the dagger laughed as the door closed behind Fredo and his escort.

“Who is Gaedren Lamm?” said Fredo.

“A nobody,” said the guard. “There was a small-time crook by that name a few years back but he’s probably dead by now. Every poor fool looking for an excuse uses him as a scapegoat. If you ask me he’s becoming the git counterpart to Blackjack.” The guard shook his head.

“But what if he were still alive?” said Fredo. “And suppose that man’s story is true. Why would he want me and my brother to look like assassins?”

“No idea,” said the guard. “Pissed off the Carowyns lately? Or some other blue-bloods? It’s not unheard of for high politics to be done by low-down dirty folk.”

Fredo wears a mustache and beard to compensate for his balding scalp. His brows and eyes are both dark and strong, and sit over a thick nose. The burn scar on his face is mostly healed, but can still be seen in the right light or if you look closely. His ears are narrow and stick out to the sides; some have mistaken him for a half-elf. In truth, Fredo is of mixed blood; his father Eilso was Chelaxian and his mother, who still lives in Sirathu, is largely Varisian with some distant Shoanti descent.

Fredo tries to blend in wherever he goes. As such, he keeps a fairly large wardrobe full of nondescript clothing appropriate for any given situation. He believes not sticking out lets him connect with people better.

Fredo usually needs only to become familiar with a situation or person before he begins to care deeply about it or them. He tends not to talk about it, however, and prefers to intervene actively to change wheatever's the matter. He is loyal to his friends and will defend their names and their well-being; he expects loyalty in return. Fredo can be pedantic and stubborn. He knows quite a lot intellectually, and can easily convince himself that all he needs to patiently explain the state of things to someone before they will come around to his position.

Male Human (Chelaxian) Thassilonian “Greed” Transmuter 1
Init +2; Senses Perception +0
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex)
hp 8 (1d6+2)
Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +2
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Dagger +0 (1d4/19-20)
Ranged Light Crossbow +2 (1d8/19-20)
School Powers 7/day Augment +2 to ability score or +1 to natural armor
Spells Prepared (CL 1st)
1st—Mage Armor, Cause Fear, Burning Disarm, Enlarge Person, Enlarge Person
0th –Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Mage Hand
Opposition Schools Enchantment, Illusion
Str10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB +0; CMD 13
Feats Combat Casting, Defensive Combat Training, Scribe Scroll
Traits Classically Schooled, Framed (self)
Skills Fly +6, Knowledge: Arcana +8, Knowledge: History +8, Knowledge: Local +8, Knowledge: Nature +8, Knowledge: Nobility +8, Linguistics +8, Spellcraft +11
Languages Common (Taldane), Draconic, Elven, Shoanti, Thassilonian, Varisian
SQ arcane bond (ring bonded object), physical enhancement
Combat Gear Dagger, Light Crossbow; Other Gear 10 Crossbow Bolts, Artisan’s Outfit, 2 phials of Ink, 2 Inkpens, 6 pieces of Parchment, 10 pieces of Chalk, 2 sticks of Charcoal, Waterskin, Scroll Case, Spellbook, Spell Component Pouch, 2 Belt Pouches 7 gp; Not On Person 3 days Trail Rations, Courtier’s Outfit, Scholar’s Outfit, Traveller’s Outfit

Spellbook (26/100 pages):
Abjuration Resistance; Conjuration Acid Splash; Divination Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Read Magic; Evocation Dancing Lights, Flare, Light, Ray of Frost, Spark; Necromancy Bleed, Disrupt Undead, Touch of Fatigue; Transmutation Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Open/Close; Universal Arcane Mark, Prestidigitation
Abjuration; Conjuration Mage Armor; Divination Identify; Evocation; Necromancy Cause Fear; Transmutation Burning Disarm, Enlarge Person, Reduce Person, Touch of Gracelessness

Goffred Giulianoff wrote:

** spoiler omitted **...

Dang, Geoff, well done. Good read.

Glad you liked it! I need to work on...brevity though.

Goffred Giulianoff wrote:
Glad you liked it! I need to work on...brevity though.

Nah, you're good. That has to be one of the best ones so far.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Here's a weird character I've come up with after reading the player's guide and the awesome backgrounds presented here. I've long struggled to understand the concept behind the summoner, outside the obvious FF references. So I've imagined that within a fantasy world, drug-induced hallucinations may not be simply mental imagery, but actual creatures from strange planes to which the drug allows to form a psychic link. To be honest, I'm a bit bewildered by this character myself... Here goes.

Lagrin Miellar,
CN Male Half-Elf
Drug addict


He struggles to remember when it began. Snow... He remembers the snow. And the icy, biting cold. He wasn’t properly dressed for the weather. He was shivering.

He shambled slowly by Korvosa’s frozen dockside, his head tilted forward to counter the freezing wind. He barely saw anything around him. More than once he stumbled upon a rough docker and was ruthlessly pushed away. He heard the insults thrown at him but his mind didn’t register them.

He walked this path instinctively, barely consciously. He walked this path often. Too often... But not often enough.

How many days has it been? Five? Ten? Several months ago his gait would have been different - confident, arrogant. He was different then, a promising young sorcerer, drunk on realization of his own budding powers. That man was now gone, barely a shell remained. A delivery vehicle.

He would have taken it much better, he knew he would. If only he could sleep. But after every dose of shiver he has seen it. His nightmare. At first he didn’t remember it, just another in a kaleidoscope of wild hallucinations in his altered consciousness. Gradually it became different. More vivid, more terrifying, larger, closer, heavier. But he wasn’t scared. He got scared only when it started talking to him.

It didn’t actually speak - he wasn’t sure if it even had a mouth, but somehow he knew it was talking. It was addressing him, calling him, ordering him. It needed the shiver to survive, to feed on his thoughts and emotions.

He tried to resist, he tried to abstain, but his body betrayed him. Every day he was struggling with pain, which pierced his every bone and throbbed in his every muscle. Every night he was struggling with his nightmare. It refused to go away; every other dream has gone away but this one. It screamed at him, it compelled him. And he gave up. He knew he was going to die, he only wished to die with the least pain possible.

The sewer grate. Three knocks, pause, two knocks, then three. He knew the awful stench surrounding him, but he couldn’t feel it anymore.

“Yes, it’s me again. Long time no see. Not your effing business where I’ve been, Lamm! I’ve been ill. Had some problems. Had to go out of the city. Not your business. Just give me what it is you have and I’ll be gone.”

“What do you mean there’s not enough?! I know how much it costs, Lamm, I’m not out of my mind yet! And quit with your stupid snickering! What?! You can’t just raise the price at your whim, you cheating bastard! Okay, I don’t have time for this, just give me the stuff and I’ll bring you the rest. Tomorrow, same time. Deal?”

He didn’t remember the way back home. Didn’t remember cracking open the package and pouring the contents out with the shaking hands. Didn’t remember squirming on the floor in agony, spouting insane gibberish, foaming at the mouth, clawing at the floor until his nails started bleeding. He did remember that there was no nightmare. Until he woke up.

It was there, in his room, shifting, shaping, as it slithered around the two dead bodies. These must have been Lamm’s collectors, he realized. Did he kill them while drugged? Or... He looked at the thing and it responded. It was no longer threatening, no longer hostile. He has given birth to this creature, he was its gateway to the world, its maternal passage. He retched as the realization occupied his mind. But then another realization dawned: he was now free. Everything that bound him to the shiver was now gone, concentrated in the living nightmare beneath him.

His first instinctive motion was to kill it, to get rid of it, but as soon as the thought entered his mind, another formed: they are one, parts of a greater whole. He would become weak again, vulnerable. As long as he kept it close, it could absorb that what could damage him, just as it did with his addiction.

He felt cheated, cursed. He knew that he was denied access to his former life. And he remembered the name and the nasty snarl on the face of the man responsible: Gaedren Lamm. He looked at the thing again and it seemed to nod in agreement. The seed Gaedren Lamm planted has bore fruit, and it was time for Lamm to face it.


Lagrin is pale and thin, but he doesn't have any of the telltale markings of a drug addict. In fact, he looks better than ever before. He is hauntingly handsome, with dark hair and gleaming eyes attenuated by his pale complexion. This is a stark contrast to what he has looked like a mere month ago, but no one really has to know about this page of his past.


Before his addiction, Lagrin was a flamboyant, proud and self-assured young man, eager to try every experience life has to offer. After his cathartic transformation, though, he has severed all ties with his past and most of his former acquaintances presume he is missing or has moved out of Korvosa. His life starts anew, and the result of his past weaknesses has physically manifested in front of him, constantly reminding him of the horrors which unrestrainted passions can bring. At the same time, its presence seems to guard him agains any adverse side effects, so the temptations are stronger than ever...

In case DM Squawk is willing to consider me, I'd like to ask if I'm allowed to make an eidolon look like a Lovecraftian aberration? Would Aquatic subtype work for it (as Shoggoth is listed as Ooze(aquatic), for example). Can I pick Gills evolution for it the second time to make it amphibious (as it already has free Gills)? Or is Aquatic subtype allowed to breathe air as is?

*whistles* talking of good backgrounds, that was a doozy.

Goffred Giulianoff wrote:
*whistles* talking of good backgrounds, that was a doozy.

Yep. Well done, flykiller.

Yeah, not envying Squawk right about now. Think how many of these he'll have to review on the 6th!

EDIT: speaking of which, I've modified Fredo's statblock a bit. The one I posted in the thread is obsolete: please use the one in my profile.

Those are some pretty hot characters. Started writing this guy's bio for a submission, but was getting too sad .. like the second act of a senior citizen revenge flick. Good luck all .. nice writing.

I have been trying to use this character concept for quite a while. Here are the basics and I will write up something more extensive in the next day or so. A Alchemist/Vivesectionalist who is unclaimed scion of a greater house. The spymaster of the house discovered his existence and decided to train him as an apprentice. The character's alignment is neutral, but i see him as someone for whom the ends justifies the means. A person who wants a good and just society, but a spymaster and killer by trade and necessity. I don't plan on getting into the more nasty of the Vivasectionist abilities, such as Torturous Transformation. His public face is as a physician and he has attended university ostentatiously to study medicine, but really to cement his assumed identity. The social standing of his trade is just enough to allow him entry into higher society, but not too much notoriety.

This community amuses me. 6 days before the actual game and people already have inside jokes on one of the characters.

Keep it rolling guys! These are really good!

So far the submissions are:

  • Tristain the Chalker- Half-elf Urban Druid
  • Raseri Whitescale- Ulfen Barbarian
  • Jal Piercing- Human Monk
  • Durriken Garde- Human Skirmisher
  • Bimbur Longstrike- Dwarf Zen Archer
  • Goffred Giulianoff- Chelaxian Greed Wizard
  • Lagrin Miellar- Half Elf Summoner
  • Theron the Absolver- Taldan Inquisitor

Flykiller- I would be ok with it, but please note that Curse of the Crimson Throne is an urban campaign. And although Korvosa is a port city, Think of your eidolon's use within dry land. But yes. An aquatic eidolon is already fully amphibious.

Theron the Absolver wrote:

Whoa, this guy is going to be a bit on the creepy side, isn't he. Don't worry about the backstory being too sad. We're all supposed to want this guy dead.

Also, Jal. Don't be afraid to use one of the regional humans for an extra language. Since your character is born in Korvosa, I'm guessing that would be Varisian.

I'm confused, is Theron's daughter dead, and if so, did he euthanize her?

EDIT: I've added another section to my backstory to briefly cover what Fredo's been up to between the events I wrote about - that happened six years before the campaign starts - and the campaign start itself. The mentality I'd envisioned for him didn't quite emerge naturally from the story I'd told, and required further explanation, precisely because he elaborated it in light of those events and after the fact. Furthermore, leaving that much time unaccounted for wasn't exactly wise on my part.

My concept is a rogue that is focused primarily on intellectual skills rather than physical ones. A watcher, a thinker, and a detective. He is not your typical brutish half-orc.

Shadeos T'syn
NG Male Half-Orc

“Is that you my little lamm?” Gaedren Lamm said to the darkness in a soothing whisper.

Gaedren watched silently as a young boy moved warily forward and dropped a small sack at his feet. The boy was growing at an alarming rate and appeared more feral with each meeting. Gaedren knew without bothering to look that the contents of the sack were less than they should be. “Shadeos, Shadeos, Have you become a wolf among my lamms? Lamms don’t steal from Gaedren.”

Shadeos’ sensed the tension in the room and decided to flee a moment too late. Geadren’s henchmen exploded into the room and overwhelmed him in a matter of seconds. There was nowhere to run. There was no escape.

“Make him suffer and then kill him!” Gaedren Lamm said coldly before turning to leave without looking back. Gaedren laughed as he walked away listening to the sounds of his henchmen beating young Shadeos. He was a bit disconcerted that the boy had not screamed or cried out.

This was not the first time Shadeos had been beaten by Gaedren’s lackeys. He did his best to protect his head but it was not long before he slipped into unconsciousness.

Shadeos was back in the creaking slave wagon that had taken him to Korsova many years ago. The wagon had been the entirety of his world for countless days. The slaves were given barely enough food and water. Many weakened and eventually gave up and died. Shadeos ate the rats that infested the wagon. He survived and he escaped.

Gaedren Lamm found him scavenging in Korsova’s streets. To a starving child on streets, Gaedren was a savior. Gaedren was kind at first and Shadeos would have done anything to please him. He was one of Gaedren’s little Lamms. That was before the beatings began. Before he saw Gaedren’s cruel heart. Gaedren’s little Lamms all get led to slaughter.

Memories faded and the flood of pain brought Shadeos into sharp focus. He had one thought. Survive. Shadeos lunged towards a tormentor’s leg and drew blood with a vicious bite. The man screamed and fought to get away and knocked over the room’s only lamp. Everything went dark causing a chaotic confusion of sounds and bodies. Shadeos lunged towards a door and felt a surge of elation as he slipped free and tumbled down the stairs. The henchmen did not follow. The stairs led into the darkness of the Vaults. They feared the darkness. Shadeos did not.

At first glance, Shadeos seems natural part of the crowd and would likely go un-noticed by even the most observant travelers. He seems distracted as if he is looking at things very far away. It is as if he is watching some complex totality that absorbs most of his attention. Most would focus on his beastial orcish features and dismiss him as dumb brute. Few would realize how far his perception extended, how much he saw at a glance, how much he heard and knew.

I will be providing additional detail in the next couple of days. I would love to get some feedback from anyone willing to give it.

Profile fixed to match the GM's specifications.
"Is it Moonday yet?"
Raseri asks the GM. Her eyes are wide in anticipation, even if her voice says she's bored out of her skull.
Come on! all this waiting is killing me!

With no answer forth coming she returns to sharpening the huge sword normally strapped to her back. Every local bard gives a wide berth and keeps their eyes averted, most have either made the mistake of being a little too flirty with the fiery little barbarian, or have seen the aftermath first-hand.

Goffred Giulianoff wrote:
I'm confused, is Theron's daughter dead, and if so, did he euthanize her?

Sorry was still working on it. Knew what I was going for but was hard to get across. Didn't euthanize .. but whoever or whatever gives him his power must have deemed him responsible for her death.


Theron's calling drove his family apart years ago .. they did not understand and therefore did not support him. The gods he followed were not the gods they grew up on - or their neighbors. Theron became increasingly .. eccentric, and his faith did not waiver when his wife and children left. He felt weightless, his spirit soared to the heavens.
For years he lived the life of a wandering ascetic until he found his gift. He found he was able to heal by sheer force of will. This will rose from his faith in the gifts he had unlocked in himself - through the guidance of Korada.
He decided he needed to share the exciting news with his family. They needed to know it was all worth it.

After months of searching he tracked them down to Korvosa. His jubilance was dampened with the news of his wife's death .. and he discovered his daughter was barely hanging on .. her mind and body ravaged by drugs. He felt the yoke of guilt try to pull him down. Had his actions led them to this .. He was determined to take control. He would not let her out of his sight, physically held her down at times. He was certain, if she is my daughter she will beat this.

First he discovered the limits of his power. He needed to rest in order to replenish, but he could not risk his daughter slipping away. She was in agony and too weak to fight. He had underestimated the toll withdrawal would take on her. As he held his dying daughter he could feel her pain rush into him .. and tranquility to her. The turmoil absorbed was difficult to control .. the rage - an intangible chaos of life force.
Shutting out the voice in his head telling him what the rush meant, he combed the streets from shack to alley. With every lowlife he compelled to speak, it became clearer. The center of this enterprise was a crimelord named Gaedren.

Lots of great stories and concepts here. Looking forward to following this adventure, even if I'm not selected.

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