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Tales from the City of Opal

Game Master Patrick Curtin

This is my homebrew world Arcaia. This particular setting is the free city of Opal, a lush equatorial city set on the edge of an immense jungle rife with undead , ancient civilizations, and dinosaurs.


Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi all:

I am considering starting up yet another PbP, mostly because I am a masochist who doesn't get out much, LOL.

I am currently working on my own setting, a city called Opal.

Opal is a city that sits on the edge of a huge tropical jungle. It is the only large settlement for hundreds of miles, but there are many settled islands nearby, so most travelling is done by ship. Surrounding the city are many plantations growing exotic crops for the trade market (indigo, coffee, tea, chocolate, etc.). There are extensive gem and precious metal deposits in the hinterlands (especially black opals, which the city takes its name from).

The jungle has been host to at least three distinct lost civilizations (one Aztec-like, one lizardfolk, one Lovecraftian beings from the dawn of time). The jungle also features a lot of dinosaurs, spiders and scads of undead (from the lost Aztec civilization --will elaborate on this further later).

Opal is a city of immigrants. It was originally founded by the refugees of a war three hundred years in the past. Since then, many outcasts and misfits have settled here, some becoming fabulously wealthy from the artifacts, gold or natural resources the jungle provides. Opal was also the site of several previous cities from the lost civilizations mentioned earlier.

I am considering revving up a PbP set in this area if there is any interest. I am thinking 6-8 players to start. Level .... say 3rd. Pathfinder is still in Beta, but I am hip to using pretty much any splats out there. Epic Fantasy point buy. I would appreciate players who are committed to regular postings.

If you would be interested, post your interest here. I am thinking possibly starting after the (American) holiday of Thanksgiving if there is interest.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I'd be interested in this. I've got a concept I've been thinking about...Kind of an Archaic Weapons Big Game Hunter. Ranger/Fighter/Rogue combination of some sort. I will be home Sunday if in and will develop a concept. Maybe a hired scout/guide from the city of Opal?

Qadira

Patrick, I'd also be interested. Right now, I've got a lot of free time, so regular posting isn't an issue. I've been wanting to try out the new PFRPG eldritch knight PrC, so I was thinking along the lines of starting out as a fighter/wizard (half-elf, I think).


Well, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to join one more pbp, would it? Right now, I'm leaning towards trying out a sorcerer.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks for the interest guys!

Go ahead and stat something up when you have a free moment. Your concepts as stated sound good so far. I am posting a little bit of history on the setting I had stored on my computer. The world's name is Arcaia, the continent that Opal is situated is called Mazatil.

Overview of the Mazatil continent

Southwest of the continent Dragora, close to the Arcaian equator is the continent of Mazatil. It is a wild and forbidding continent, wrapped in jungle, desert and forbidding mountains known as the Skyspears.

Unlike Dragora's history, which began with a draconic civilization, Mazatil started much earlier as the home continent of the enigmatic race known as the Old Ones. High up on the slopes of the Skyspear mountains, which in some places top 50,000 feet, these otherworldly creatures built their domains. For eons this race continued to live and work high above the continent, until a new race began to develop beneath them in the eastern section of Mazatil.

This was a race of lizard men that evolved from the reptiles that ruled the humid jungle, and settled along the rivers and swamps of southern Mazatil. Calling themselves the Slisss'pok (with the ' standing for a click on the tongue), these lizard men were great builders and excellent animal breeders, and their civilization became quite advanced around the same time as the Draconic civilization reached its height in Dragora.

At some point there was a conflict between the Old Ones and the Slisss'pok in the Blackwraith Desert, which caused the Old Ones to disappear. Relatively soon afterwards the Slisss'pok civilization fell into savagery, which they never recovered from. To this day, tribes of lizardmen roam the jungles, barbaric, but wise and very knowlegable of the creatures and plants within their domain. Their once mighty cities are a lure to adventurers, but they are known as death traps filled with the decendents of the Slisss'pok's domesticated animals.

The Old One's civilization is a much more problematic venture. Very few have the skills to surmount a 50,000 foot climb and all that entails. Even the atmosphere is thin at that range (although not as thin as it would be in a normal physics scenario). The cold at that height and the shreiking winds make it a dangerous climb. The few accounts of explorers that suceeded in entering any of their habitations tell of cyclopean tunnels and lightless galleries that stretch far into the center of the mountains. The Old Ones dabbled in what can only be termed as bio-magical golem construction, and surrounded themselves with unearthly creations that served many bizarre purposes. Many of these creations were never truly alive in any sense we know, and they are still prowling the darkened depths.

About 3,000 years ago, a tribe of humans landed upon the shores of Mazatil, possibly from farther west towards the twin continents of Seng and Avmar and the Coral Sea. During the millenia that followed these humans interacted with the remnants of the Sliss'pok and began what became known as the Xoltec (shoul-tek) civilization.

The Xoltecs were dominated by a class of necromantic wizard-priests who worshipped the flayed god Xipe Totec. These priests refined and perfected the art of raising undead, animating the bodies of the many sacrifices they made to Xipe Totec, which they then used as cheap labor to construct their temples. As time progressed, they began to animate specialized undead minions to fight for them, and to keep the populace of the cities cowed. As the Xoltec priests grew in power and arrogance, a resistance movement known as the Jaguar's Shadow developed among those who would see Xipe Totec's priests cast down.

The Jaguar's Shadow was a mix of elite Arcanists and rogues who despised the priests for their iron control of the Xoltec cities and their taboo on exploring Sliss'pok and Old One ruins. In secret they began to explore the forbidden ruins, gaining knowlege over many forgotten arts. About 500 years ago, they decided to strike.

The Shadow War was brief but horrid. For roughly three years the battles raged among the Xoltec cities, with the Jaguar's Shadow (or Shadow Men as they became known) losing ground after a few brief victories. They simply didn't have the manpower to fight waves of fearless undead minions. In desperation, the Shadow Men unleashed a previously unknown magical effect which broke the priest's control over the undead. The vast Xoltec army of undead turned on their former masters and the surrounding populace in what became known as the Night of the Bloody Bones.

After the Night of the Bloody Bones the Xoltec civilization collapsed completely. Several other magical curses manifested themselves at the same time, transforming some Xoltecs into feral beast creatures or undead monstrosities. The main temple of Xipe Totec at the capital city of Chichen Ipec was abandoned to the swarming undead. A plauge of monstrous spiders followed soon afterward, scattering what few survivors there were.

Cuurently the remaining Mazatilians have formed a political body called the Zapatec Confederation, a collection of citystates that are strung along Mazatil's eastern coast. Opal is a member of this confederation, but due to its remote location and unique history it remains its own distinct culture.

the Free City of Opal:

Right on the Southeast corner of the Mazatil continent is a sheltered stretch of water known as Turquoise Bay. A city has grown there on the bones of far older civilizations. Opal is a city of outcasts, of refugee gentry from the wars in Dragora and the survivors of the Xoltec Empire.

Opal is a study in contrasts, old and new, rich and poor, civlilized but wild. In its present form Opal was founded by refugees from the Night of Bloody Bones when the Xoltec Empire fell. Relatively soon after refugees from the Wars of Consolidation in Dragora began arriving looking for somewhere to settle. The surrounding area was in need of brave settlers as there were still many rogue undead in the surrounding jungles to contend with. The melding of the two civilizations created the modern Opaline society.

Although the surrounding jungles are dangerous, there is much wealth to be had for the brave. Many Opalines and immigrants alike start farming communities. These farms are usually held in fief by a local feudal lord. There is a lot of undead/monster activity from the jungle and most freeholders know how to fight and recognize the need to underwrite a military class. The feudal gentry are very competitive as well as deadly and enjoy a lot of intrigue among themselves during the Opaline social season.

The city and most of the surrounding area is ruled by the Grand Duke of Opal, who traces his family back to both the Zapatec and Vellasian royal family. The present Grand Duke's ancestor Arturo, the second son of Vellasia's last king, fled his country after its fall to Auria during the formation of the Golden Empire 300 years ago. He mockingly called himself the Grand Duke of Opal after the title offered to him by Avros I's agents if he returned to administer Vellasia for him.

Arturo and his adherents were given leave by the Zapatecs to settle along the Opal River to help secure that valuable area and assist the people there in their constant fight against the hordes of undead still wandering the jungle from the Night of Bloody Bones. Although nominally a Zapatec city, the unique melding of Dragoran and Mazatil influences and its remoteness from the core of Zapatec society makes Opal its own unique civilization.

The land itself is intensely fertile, and lush farms of sugarcane, tobacco, chocolate, and oranges (among others) dot the Opal River's banks. West up the Opal River is the Uplands, a string of high hills/low mountains that are producers of Arcaia's best coffee beans and tea leaves.

Along with the fertile wealth of the farms there are veins of ore and gems to be had from the Uplands streams that feed the Opal River. Many prospecting teams hope to find wealth in the thinly settled Uplands, but it is not a journey for the faint at heart. The Opal River was first named that from the fantastic black opals that can be found in some of the Uplands and often wash into the neighboring streams.

The fishing is very good in the Turquoise Bay area as well, with the Kraken clan of aquatic giants ruling the undersea part of Turquoise Bay and bringing in huge catches. The Kraken clan is also known for their pearls, which they hunt in the depths from the giant oysters that thrive in the brackish waters where the Opal River empties into the Turquiose Bay.

Opal also does a thriving trade in antiquities from previous civilizations. The Sliss'pok and the Xoltecs also built at the very foundations of modern Opal, and Opal uses some of their original sewer layouts underneath its streets today. Most of the artifacts recovered in the jungles of southern Mazatil flow through Opal.

Opal is also the prime jumping off point for any exploration of the southern jungles. It is the only large city for any appreciable distance, and the only other city in Southern Mazatil, Threepenny Port, has a dark reputation. Opal is one of the few cities that has an actual guild for adventuring. Any new arrivals looking to explore the wilderness are encouraged to join, and there is always plenty of work for the strong of arm.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

So Pat.
Me being the glutton for punishment that I am and you being the masochist that you are... maybe you could branch out and inflict some of that pain on me.
I am always interested in another game and playing under your illustrious self would be an honour.
Of course, feel free to kick me in the nads and cast me aside in favour of better fodde... errr I mean players.
;D

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Welcome aboard glutton for punishment! The safety word is 'Sfanislitherxian'.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Patrick Curtin wrote:


Welcome aboard glutton for punishment! The safety word is 'Sfanislitherxian'.

I'm gonna have to get that tattoo'd somewhere I think.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Wealth by Level for a 3rd level Character or will you assign starting gold?
Is there anything that's off limits? (eg. Evil Alignments, certain PrCs, Feats, Weapons and/or Armour, Magic Items)


From the standard of posting in Z-day I would love to join you guys in anything you do.

Fell free to say "get lost" if you would prefer a different player, otherwise I would bite your hand off to join.

I DM so much that I will play any class and any race.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

If you still need players, I would like to join as well.
I was thinking about a paladin, maybe elven (if they are on this world, haven't seen any mention of them yet).


Character is started.

Concept is Dark Swashbuckler type who will move into Shadowdancer at 6th level.

When is Thanksgiving for you guys? (So I know how long before the game starts).

How are you doing Hit Points Pat?
* Are you doing one of the Starting Hit Point Options?
* When we level how many Hit Points do we get? Half/Die, Full/Die or Roll?

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ok thats six. I'll shut off for now. DM, Nathan, welcome aboard! I will allow max HP for now, assume you are maxed out for 3rd level. Use the Epic Fantasy point build from Beta rules.

Paladins are fine Nathan, but we will have to see what the others say. Paladins impose certain strictures on what others can play and still maintain a cohesive group. There are elves on this world, they actually were once a big civilization on the continent of Dragora. They have been diminished over time, and their civilization fell during the Giant Wars (I will detail that later if you are interested). There is a colony of elves that live in the nearby Eastern Isles.

As far as I am concerned, everything is on the table. I prefer to allow players to make the character they want. HOWEVER, I frown on munchkining. Make a character that you can have fun with, not one to get the most damage per attack.

Those of you who play with me in other areas know I am more of a roleplayer than a rules monkey. I do have a massive 3.5/Pathfinder library, basically every WotC book put out except for the setting-specific stuff (I do have some, just not the whole collection). I work by Rule 0: i.e. the DM has the final say and trumps any rule he pleases. I weild my omnipotent powers gently, and I will not kill you off just because I can.


I can feel a big fat evangelistic cleric coming on. Especially with all the undead you have mentioned. Dwarven, Human or Half Orc, now that is the question.

I have no problems with a Paladin, I might even follow the same faith to give the group some cohesion.

I tend to stick to what I know so only core books for me, keeps me in my comfort zone. I'll be going pure pathfinder if that is OK, are you using the pathfinder turning rules?

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Patrick Curtin wrote:
Ok thats six. I'll shut off for now.

Pat if you will allow one more I might have someone. One of my PnP friends recently joined Paizo and told me he was interested in joining a PbP game (I should have thought of him before, but only just thought about his interest this morning). I will ring him and direct him here if you are willing.

Qadira

Patrick, a couple of questions as I work up my character:
- What starting gold should we use?
- Are you using the Pathfinder traits rules?
- If we take a feat from a splatbook, should we "Pathfinder-ize" the requirements? For instance, say a feat requires 5 ranks in Concentration; should we consider it changed to 2 ranks in Spellcraft?

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Should I use the paladin rules in the Beta book, or the most recent ones Jason Buhlman posted.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Bryan wrote:

Patrick, a couple of questions as I work up my character:

- What starting gold should we use?
- Are you using the Pathfinder traits rules?
- If we take a feat from a splatbook, should we "Pathfinder-ize" the requirements? For instance, say a feat requires 5 ranks in Concentration; should we consider it changed to 2 ranks in Spellcraft?

I'm wondering about the gold as well.

Traits are interesting. I'd be willing to use them if you want, but some (especially Religious) are Golarion specific.

Wouldn't it still be 5 Ranks in Spellcraft? The +3 bonus doesn't get added onto your Base Ranks, it is a Bonus.

Also, are we using any of the Starting Hit Point Options from p.14 of the Beta Rulebook?

Qadira

flash_cxxi wrote:
Bryan wrote:

Patrick, a couple of questions as I work up my character:

- What starting gold should we use?
- Are you using the Pathfinder traits rules?
- If we take a feat from a splatbook, should we "Pathfinder-ize" the requirements? For instance, say a feat requires 5 ranks in Concentration; should we consider it changed to 2 ranks in Spellcraft?

I'm wondering about the gold as well.

Traits are interesting. I'd be willing to use them if you want, but some (especially Religious) are Golarion specific.

Wouldn't it still be 5 Ranks in Spellcraft? The +3 bonus doesn't get added onto your Base Ranks, it is a Bonus.

Also, are we using any of the Starting Hit Point Options from p.14 of the Beta Rulebook?

Well, usually in the 3.5 books, the ranks required take into account that for characters with a class skill, they will usually have 4 ranks at 1st level. In PFRPG, your max ranks equal your level. So a 3.5 feat with a requirement of 5 ranks in a skill means that the minimum level you can be to qualify is 2nd. In PFRPG, if it was left at 5 ranks, you couldn't qualify until 5th level. So it's not a question of the bonus, per se, it has to do with the changed maximum skill ranks. I'm fine either way, but it obviously can affect what feats we can take at 3rd level (there was one I was considering that fits into that category).

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Patrick Curtin wrote:
Paladins are fine Nathan, but we will have to see what the others say. Paladins impose certain strictures on what others can play and still maintain a cohesive group.

Personally I have seen too many fights occur between player (both in and out of character) from someone being a stick in the mud regarding Paladin Rules.

Note: I am currently playing a Paladin in one of my PbPs (so I have nothing against them, in fact I like them very much as a Class) and I am playing him as a somewhat "Grey" Paladin. He upholds the Law and believes in it to it's full extent, but he is also flexible in the implementation of that Rule of Law and it's occasional bending in the cause of Good.

I am willing to say yes to the Paladin because I as a player I don't want to restrict others as to what they can play. I do however seriously feel it could conflict heavily with the style of character I am playing.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Bryan wrote:
Well, usually in the 3.5 books, the ranks required take into account that for characters with a class skill, they will usually have 4 ranks at 1st level. In PFRPG, your max ranks equal your level. So a 3.5 feat with a requirement of 5 ranks in a skill means that the minimum level you can be to qualify is 2nd. In PFRPG, if it was left at 5 ranks, you couldn't qualify until 5th level. So it's not a question of the bonus, per se, it has to do with the changed maximum skill ranks. I'm fine either way, but it obviously can affect what feats we can take at 3rd level (there was one I was considering that fits into that category).

Ahh, that's something that I hadn't actually considered. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
flash_cxxi wrote:
Patrick Curtin wrote:
Ok thats six. I'll shut off for now.
Pat if you will allow one more I might have someone. One of my PnP friends recently joined Paizo and told me he was interested in joining a PbP game (I should have thought of him before, but only just thought about his interest this morning). I will ring him and direct him here if you are willing.

Hee hee. That's why I shut it down at six. No prob Flash, one more will be OK.


Well, here's what I have of my character so far. Infernally blooded sorcerer. Long story short, his father was a devil cultist, he found out, he decided to leave, hopped on a boat, and came to Opal hoping to make a reasonably honest living somewhere he's less likely to be sacrificed to some dark god. Name will be put on as soon as I think of one.

Also, in regards to the paladin, we should all be fine together if you try to do one thing; emphisize the good over the law, you know what I mean?

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ok: couple quick answers, then I gotta go do the family time thing:

Fast experience table -- this is PbP and advancement is slow

We should Pathfinderize the splat feats. Please mention the adjustments so everyone can look over them. I will be putting up the OOC and main thread for the game tomorrow.

Epic Fantasy point buy for stats.

Starting Gold: 3,000. No one item can be more than 1,000 GP in price. Any Mgic items must be previewed and Okayed by me

Paladins: I haven't been keeping up on the changes. I will peruse them as I can. I think that if we can agree to play more 'grey' as a paladin that it shouldn't be a problem. There is an order of holy warriors dedicated to eliminating undead from Mazatil, I will post info on it tomorrow, it might be a thought.

Traits: We had a lot of fun in my other PbP coming up with our own traits. Usually a +1 to a general bonus or +2 to something more restrected in application, i.e. setting/situation. Post anything you have working.

Note: I am NOT a very good when it comes to memorizing rules, especially in the ever-changing Pathfinder climate. I ask all my players who are good with the rules to please feel free to discuss/comment as we put the game together. I sometimes goof, and I am more than happy to retcon if I get something wrong. Also, I appreciate if everyone can check everyone else's characters for anything I might have missed.

Andoran

You got any more room?

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Patrick Curtin wrote:
Starting Gold: 3,000. No one item can be more than 1,000 GP in price.

So that means no +1 Armour or Weapons right, as +1 Armour is Base 1,000 + Armour Cost and +1 Weapons are Base 2,000 + Weapon Cost? Just making sure.

Patrick Curtin wrote:
There is an order of holy warriors dedicated to eliminating undead from Mazatil, I will post info on it tomorrow, it might be a thought.

What are the Gods of the Setting and their Portfolios?

Are we using 3.5 PHB Gods, PFRPG Gods or does your World have it's own Gods?

I promise I won't bug you anymore! =)

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Grey Paladin is awesome with me. The Slayer of Domiel (rogue/paladin PrC/basically a holy assassin) was always one of my favorite paladin concepts. I can definatly deal wirh my paladin being mainly focused on taking out undead, maybe even multiclassing as a ranger to reflect his elven woods-lore.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
You got any more room?

OK Shiny, you can join. That and Flash's friend officially makes it eight. I'm cutting it off fer shure there.

Flash: Gods ... Since we are using Pathfinder we can use the God & Magic for deities. 3.5 Deities and Demigods are OK as well. In my conception the native Xoltec culture of Mazatil worshipped Xipe Totec, a fundamentally NE god, but their successor Zapatec culture venerates Quetzlcoatl, more LG. Opal being a busy port city most likely has a chapel for any god you could want.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Patrick Curtin wrote:
Flash: In my conception the native Xoltec culture of Mazatil worshipped Xipe Totec, a fundamentally NE god, but their successor Zapatec culture venerates Quetzlcoatl, more LG.

The last few issues of Dragon had details on South/Central American Deities. I think there were 3 articles spread over three issues, with 2 Gods per Article (6 Total). I'll have a look tomorrow and see if I can dig them up for you.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Discussion thread is HERE.

Actual PbP thread is HERE

Andoran

Patrick Curtin wrote:
The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
You got any more room?
OK Shiny, you can join. That and Flash's friend officially makes it eight. I'm cutting it off fer shure there.

I feel like a jerk now...

Anyway, what's your stand on psionics?

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