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FredBest's Untitled Campaign

Game Master FredBest



I am starting a Sunday afternoon villainous Pathfinder campaign. I am going to start it at Coliseum of Comics (4672 Millenia Plaza Way, Orlando, FL 32839). Which is near the Target, that is north of Millenia Mall.

The campaign is on Golarion, mostly in the Andoran/Cheliax/Isger region. The campaign is a villainous one with only evil and neutral characters allowed. That way you have the option to play Anti-paladins, Red Mantis Assassins, etc. The campaign uses smost of the material from Fire Mountains Games “Way of the Wicked” adventure path.


Introduction
Guilty. You are a lawbreaker – the worst of the worst. Too dangerous to live amongst the good people of Andoran, they dragged you in chains before a magistrate and condemned you. They sent you to the worst prison in the land and there they forever marked you. They held you down and branded you with a runic F. You are forsaken. You won’t be at Branderscar Prison for long. Branderscar is only a holding pen. In three days – justice comes. In three days – everything ends.

What a pity. If only there was a way out of this stinking rat-hole. If only there was a way to escape. If only…

No. No one has ever escaped from Branderscar Prison. This is where your story ends.

How did they catch me?
You tell us. You must pick a crime (there is a list provided below) that you were condemned for. They are only two requirements – you got caught and you really did it. Crime (especially a heinous crime like yours) is not tolerated.

It’s not surprising that the people of Andoran caught you, though. Andoran is a fiercely good society. Before the revolt against Cheliax and the Diabolist of House Thrune, Andoran worshipped an entire pantheon of deities. Among those deities was Asmodeus, Prince of Hell, Lord of Ambition and Order. After the revolt, it is forbidden to worship Asmodeus or any other evil deity. To do so is to be condemned. The Andorans destroyed all the Asmodean temples and burned his books and priests. There are no followers of Asmodeus anymore in Andoran – at least none you know of. Devout Andorans will not say the name Asmodeus. He is simply “The Fallen” or “The Enemy”.

Character Creation
Making a character is similar to making characters for any campaign using The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game with just a few modifications. Your character starts the campaign in an Andoran prison, but can be from any location that fits with your character's background.

Step 1 -- Determine Ability Scores
Use the 25 point buy method. It’s challenging being a villain with the whole world against you.

Step 2 -- Pick Your Race
All races in The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game are permitted.

Step 3 -- Pick Your Class
All classes are permitted except the Paladin. A few classes require some special consideration below.

The Anti-paladin is well suited themetically for this campaign. The house rule “The anti-paladin may be of any evil alignment” is in effect. Further, the anti-paladin may have cohorts, followers and henchmen who are of any evil alignment instead of the usual “chaotic evil” requirement. Also, a lawful evil anti-paladin may not use their fiendish boon to add the ‘anarchic’ property to a weapon. Instead, they may add the ‘axiomatic’ property. A neutral evil anti-paladin may use their fiendish boon to add either the ‘anarchic’ property or the ‘axiomatic’ property to a weapon.

Assassins are a great choice for this campaign. Subtle killing can potentially be useful again and again. Yes, this is a prestige class not a core class. But it’s a great prestige class to be working towards at level one.

Cavaliers are a fine choice for a PC but must be careful about their Order selection. An Order that defend the common folk (The Order of the Shield) is probably not appropriate. Self-serving orders (for example the Order of the Cockatrice) are very appropriate indeed.

Clerics and inquisitors are allowed but must worship a god who approves of the villainous path ahead of you. The following deities may be selected: Achaekek (Red Mantis God), Asmodeus, Calistria, Droskar (The Dark Smith), Ghlaunder, Gorum, Gozreh, Gyronna (The Angry Hag), Lamashtu, Minderhal, Nethys, Norgorber, Rovagug, Thamir Gixx (The Silent Blade), Urgathoa, Zon-Kuthon, and Zyphus (The Grim Harvestman). Selecting a archdevil, demon lord, or archdaemon (horseman) as a divine source of spells and domain powers is allowed. Worshipping the lawful evil god Asmodeus is very appropriate.

Druids are permitted though neutral good druids are not. Evil druids are a perfectly valid choice.

Gunslingers are permitted but you must explain how you learned gunsmithing and became proficient with firearms.

Monks may not be lawful good and are recommended to be lawful evil. A lawful neutral monk is technically allowed but would be a difficult choice.

Ninja and Samurai are permitted but you must explain how your villainous ninja or samurai ended up in the western nation of Andoran.

Rangers will find that Humanoid (Human) and Outsider (Good) are solid choices for their favored enemy.

Sorcerers of any bloodline are permitted. Abyssal, Infernal, and Undead blooded sorcerers are a particularly good choices.

Step 4 -- Pick Skills and Select Feats
This step is unchanged. However, this campaign has a house rule that gives everyone two more skill points per level. The PCs will be on their own for much of the campaign and will have difficulty relying on others for skills. This house rule will make them more self-reliant. Besides, villains should more competent than the average hero.

Step 5 -- Buy Equipment
The characters begin with nothing. They have no money, no weapons or armor, no gear, no animal companions of any sort and no material possessions besides tattered, dirty prison clothes. Equipment will be acquired in game.

Alchemists begin without their formulae book, extracts, bombs or mutagens. They must have access to an alchemical lab or chemicals to have any of these abilities restored.

Bards begin without their instruments.

Cavaliers have lost their mount. Presumably their mount was given to another after their capture.

Clerics begin having chosen all their spells for the day. They do not have their holy symbol or any material components however.

Druids also begin having chosen all their spells for the day. They do not, however, have their animal companion with them. Presumably such a companion escaped and awaits them outside. Only if they escape from Branderscar prison will they have a chance to reunite with their companion.

Gunslingers do not have their starting firearm, ammunition, or gunsmith's kit.

Inquisitors and Oracles lack their holy symbol if they need one.

Summoners begin the game with their Eidolon unsummoned. They begin the game shackled so they are unable to perform the necessary ritual until they are free.

Witches, Wizards and Magi do not have their spell books, material components, familiars or bonded objects. Presumably their familiar escaped and awaits them outside. They do however begin with a full selection of memorized spells from before their incarceration.

Step 6 -- Finishing Details
As normal except that good alignments are not allowed. Every character must be lawful neutral, lawful evil, neutral evil, chaotic evil, chaotic neutral, or neutral.

Further, every character must choose a crime that landed in them in Branderscar. They were not wrongly imprisoned, they are guilty of their charge. Each crime grants a different benefit, similar to a trait. Choosing this crime is in addition to selecting two traits.

There is a further requirement and it is something of an intangible quality. At some point in this campaign, every character is going to have the chance to join an evil organization and swear allegiance to the master of that organization. The campaign assumes you say yes to this chance. Therefore, you should make a character who can say yes.

The Path of Vengeance
This campaign is about breaking out of prison, joining an evil organization and then seeking revenge. This is not the campaign for chaotic loners or freespirited vagabonds. This is a campaign about joining an evil organization with a wicked agenda. Eventually, you may even come to control that evil organization or start your own.

This campaign is a chance to play an unusual sort of character. You will play a burgeoning dark lord -- someone who will rise from imprisonment and destitution to become one of the greatest villains of this age. At first, you will be a minion in service to a sinister plot. But eventually, you will be a minion no longer. You, if you can survive, will become the master.

Crimes of the Forsaken
Each character chooses one heinous crime that has earned them a place in Branderscar Prison. You may have committed many crimes during your lifetime, but this is the crime that finally got you branded and condemned.

Besides simplying choosing a crime, you should also consider how the crime was done. Was this a wellplanned
criminal enterprise or a crime of passion? Did you do it alone or did you have accomplices? Was this the first time you did this crime or are you a repeat offender? Answering these questions will help flesh out your character’s background.

This has been said before, but it bears repeating. Your character actually perpetrated this crime. You may have done it for what seemed like noble reasons. You may have gotten entangled in this criminal enterprise unwillingly. But there is no doubt that you are guilty. You have not been sentenced to the worse prison in Andoran unjustly. You are here because you deserve to be.

Arson
You have willfully started a fire that destroyed property. To be sent to Branderscar, you didn’t start just a minor little trash fire. Your act of arson threatened a major town, city, church or castle and cost someone their life. You’ll be punished for your crime by facing the fire yourself.
Punishment: Death by burning
Benefit: Whenever you score a critical hit with a fire attack, you receive a +2 fire damage bonus to your damage roll. This bonus is a trait bonus.

Murder
You killed someone. To be sent to Branderscar Prison, you did not kill just anyone. You likely murdered someone of great importance and prominence.
Punishment: Death by beheading
Benefit: You gain a +2 trait bonus to Intimidate checks, and Intimidate is always a class skill for you.

Blasphemy
You have been found guilty of worshipping one of the forbidden deities.
Punishment: Death by burning
Benefit: +2 trait bonus to Knowledge (religion) and Knowledge (religion) is always a class skill for you.

Consorting with the Dark Powers (Witchcraft)
You have been found guilty of summoning an evil outsider.
Punishment: Death by burning
Benefit: You receive a +1 trait bonus to Knowledge (planes) and Knowledge (arcana) checks, and one of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill for you.

Desecration
You have violated one of the churchs, cathedrals or holy shrines of the great goddess Iomedae.
Punishment: Death by burning
Benefit: You receive +1 trait bonus on all saving throws against divine spells.

Desertion
You have deserted from the Andoran military and been recaptured. To get sent to Branderscar this was not some minor or routine dereliction of duty. Instead, you abandoned your post during a time of crisis -- perhaps battle or while defending the Watch Wall. Regardless of the exact circumstances, your laziness and cowardness must have caused loss of life.
Punishment: Death by hanging
Benefit: You receive one bonus skill point per level that must be spent on the Profession (Soldier) skill. Profession (Soldier) is always a class skill for you.

Dueling unto Death
You have engaged in a duel to the death and mortally wounded an opponent. The opponent was honorable enough to say nothing before he expired. Alas that his family or companions was nowhere near so honorable. Dueling was once common in Andoran before the revolt. Now, dueling of any sort is punished severely. Dueling to the death is a sure way to be sent to Branderscar Prison.
Punishment: Death by beheading
Benefit: You gain a +1 trait bonus to Fortitude saves

Extortion
You have defrauded money from someone by holding information of their wrongdoing over their heads. To end up in Branderscar, this was no minor act of merely threatening to expose someone. Instead you ave attempted extortion against someone of great prominence and for exorbitant stakes.
Punishment: Life at hard labor in the salt mines
Benefit: You receive a +2 trait bonus to Intimidate checks, and Intimidate is always a class skill for you.

Forgery
You have forged documents issued by the government. Alas, that your forgery while competent was not entirely undetectable. To be sent to Branderscar, this was no minor finagling of paperwork. This forged document could have cost lives or endangered the security of the nation.
Punishment: Life at hard labor in the salt mines
Benefit: You gain a +3 trait bonus to Linguistics skill checks to commit forgery and Linguistics is always a class skill for you.

Fraud
You tried to bilk someone out of their cash. To end up in Brandescar Prison, this was no petty con job or penny ante racket. Instead, you brazenly tried to defraud someone important of a huge sum of money. And it almost worked too!
Punishment: Life at hard labor in the salt mines
Benefit: You receive a +2 trait bonus to Bluff checks and Bluff is always a class kill for you.

Grave Robbery
It is forbidden by sacred law to dishonor a corpse after it is been sealed in its tomb. Some may not honor this ban: necromancers, golem crafters, self-styled scientists, and alchemists delving into the forbidden secrets of life and death. These ghouls can expect no mercy from the Andoran Magistrates. And by sending you to Branderscar Prison, you have received none.
Punishment: Death by beheading
Benefit: You receive a +1 trait bonus to confirm critical hits.


Very cool.

If you get this game off the ground, I for one would love to read about your progress. You can post them here on in the product discussion board or simply shoot me a link.

I love actual play reports!

And thanks for supporting "Way of the Wicked".

Game on, my friend. And enjoy being wicked.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Additional Crimes of the Forsaken

Slaver
You have been found guilty of trafficking in slaves or enslaving humanoids and other intelligent creatures.
Punishment: Life at hard labor in the salt mines
Benefit: You gain proficiency with nets. You gain a +1 trait bonus on attacks of opportunity with nets.


Two of the players have already created characters. I am still looking for more players for the campaign.

Characters:

Jacques de Rippier, a vivisectionist from Taldor who while in training as a Chirurgeon became the antithesis of his former self.

D'tasher is a Gnoll slaver from Katapesh who was transporting slaves and drugs (pesh, flayleaf, etc.) to Cheliax when he was captured by Andoran Gray Corsiars.

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