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I've sketched out the general area ...big town, plains, canyon area, little settlement, etc. I've also plotted out 3 or 4 adventure arcs, starting with our Mag 7 tribute. Fleshing out the factions around now. When it's selection time, I want to work with the players to tie them in better, so some details are loose until decided.
Loving the samurai/luchador/kung fu direction some of you are thinking in. As for Occult Classes, like anything else, describe to me how it fits in and works, refluffing at will. I will say when I do this (gonna start building it tonight) and when I'm choosing characters, I want the majority to be some sort of take on a semi-traditional western theme. The silent gunman, the gambler, the sharpshooter, what-have-you. I'll be picking some samurai/luchador/kung fu types, but I want them to be the extra spice in a delicious western steak.
I'm currently thinking more earthly western with technology rules of pathfinder available to male extraordinary folk.
Story behind them has two meanings. A backstory is important regardless. As for starting at something higher than 1st level, I could easily be convinced to do so. These characters tend to not be neophytes. If someone still wanted to start at first, I'd find a counterbalance.
The idea of a short, but maybe able to continue, campaign is bearin down hard on me. I've played a lot of games but only dm-ed for irl games. But I'd love to run a Magnificent Seven riff using pathfinder rules. When it comes to classes, I'd say have a good story. I'd admit ninjas or winter witches if they had a good concept that fits in. Gunslingers obviously allowed, archetypes encouraged. Magic could exist if you explain it in genre or a fusion.
This is just an interest check. I'd have to develop it, but I want to see if there's interest first.
Caveat: race and the genre. I mean human constructs of race, and how that has shaped this country and in ways, this genre. This is a roundabout way of saying stereotypes will not get much consideration as pcs. Characters can be in-world racist, as was prevelent, but expect that to have negative karmic responce, unless we agree on an arc for your character. I'm not interested in hateful for hateful's sake.
EDIT: GOOD REFLUFFING ENCOURAGED
M Human (multi-ethnic) Rogue Charlatan 6
The swindler rogue archetype sounds super fun. But it loses trapfinding. I don't want to screw the party over. If trapfinding is as important as I'd imagine in this game, could I just trade trapfinding for the Let Fate Decide that replaces it? If neither of those would work, no worries, I'll just do a rogue with gambler flavor.
Trokar the Barbarian:
Trokar comes from a nomadic group of orcs, half-orcs, and humans in the Kelesh wastelands. They were led by a fierce and proud chieftan, Mokran the Merciless. Trokar suspects that, like most of the half-orcs in the tribe, Mokran is his father. He is correct, but Mokran is also his grandfather.
From the beginning, Trokar was different from his tribe. He …noticed things others simply took for granted. A vibrant sunset; the coloring of an exotic reptile; the garments of the latest village they sacked.
This growing tendency troubled the chief, as they were a very pragmatic group of nomads, with little time or desire for “art.” As the boy became more and more reluctant to slaughter for survival and spent more and more time painting with whatever he could find.
He was banished at the age of 15 (not really that unusual in his tribe …any male could be seen as a threat to the jealous chieftain), and began making his way west towards this “civilized world” his father so despised (despite never having been there). Getting to Taldor was fairly easy as he took on work as a guard for a caravan. The various goods from all over Golarion fascinated him, especially anything colorful or artistic. He has yet to make his way to any major city, but recently came to Helden on his way across the land. He has been staying there a short time, painting in his free time with legitimate materials for the first time.
1. An eye for beauty; Trokar is a secret aesthete sometimes carried away by inspiration, whether it come by way of rainbow, magic, or blood splatter on snow.
2. Homely but kind; Trokar has an impressive beer gut at an early age, uneven, snaggly teeth, and orcish rosacea, resulting in very dark green and blue splotches on his cheeks and nose; however, he is outgoing and friendly
3. Colorfol warrior; He loves painting and repainting his weapons and armor. The paints often don’t last more than a battle, but he doesn’t mind. “It’s the little things.”
4. Self-conscious racism; Kinda freaked out by small humanoids, but feels terrible guilt for this internalized racism, often overcompensating and making it worse.
5. Budding gourmand; now separated from his nomadic home life, Trokar is developing his palate bit by bit. He loves trying new things.
-Step 2: Trokar’s deepest goal is to become the best painter he can; perhaps the best painter alive. He enjoys travel to faraway lands as a way of absorbing more influences, seeing more unique sights, and, deep down, proving his father wrong.
In the past I’ve used alignments as a way to structure a character arc, but I see Trokar as starting out as fundamentally on the Good side, and I can’t see anything changing that. So I want to explore other ways of building a character, without a set ending point in mind. I want him to grow and change as he experiences things. It would also be awesome for him to do art stuff during down time.
The Secret he knows: he was not sent out on a mission from his chief. He was exiled.
The secret he doesn’t know: His chief is both his father and grandfather.
-Step 4: Ifeyani, his mother, was always kind and loving to the odd half-orc, but he hasn’t seen her in two years. In Helden, he has become somewhat attached to an eldery woman who is teaching him painting.
1. When nervous, he often mumbles a string of stream-of-consciousness jokes, sometimes without context at all.
2. He enjoys very loud music when he paints.
3. When bored or anxious he taps his feet or fingers almost subconsciously.
Profile to come.
Haven't come up with a name or bought equipment yet, but I've got the crunch and backstory. The short version is he was something of a street kid, petty thief, getting in trouble a lot, but a chef caught him stealing food and eating it with no regard for taste or manners. The chef took him in as an apprentice, and when he showed promise, indoctrinated him into the faith of Thisamet. He's still something of a fast-talking scoundrel, but his faith in the Empyreal Lord of Celebration and Feasting has softened his rougher edges. He worked with a few adventuring parties as a healer, but his services as a chef made him even more popular among delvers. Whether fighting or in the kitchen, his knife-work is his pride.
Male Human Rogue (Knife Master) 1/Cleric of Thisamet 6 (Fire and Community Domains)
CG Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +2 ; Perception +8
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will + 7
Speed 30 ft.
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 15 , Cha 17
Base Atk +4; CMB +4; CMD 16
Feats : Weapon Finesse, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Daggers), Extra Channel, Selective Channeling
Traits: Unpredictable, Empyreal Focus
Appraise 4 (0+1+3)
Bluff 12 (3+5+3+1)
Diplomacy 11 (3+5+3)
Intimidate 7 (3+1+3)
Knowledge Local 4 (0+1+3)
Linguistics 4 (0+1+3)
Perception 8 (2+3+3)
Profession (Chef) 10 (2+5+3)
Sleight of Hand 11 (2+5+3+1)
Languages: Common, Elvish
Spells and Special Abilities
Sneak Attack: If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.
The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.
With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.
The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.
Hidden Blade: A knife master adds 1/2 her level on Sleight of Hand checks made to conceal a light blade. This ability replaces trapfinding.
Sneak Stab (Ex): A knife master focuses her ability to deal sneak attack damage with daggers and similar weapons to such a degree that she can deal more sneak attack damage with those weapons at the expense of sneak attacks with other weapons. When she makes a sneak attack with a dagger, kerambit, kukri, punching daggers, starknife, or swordbreaker dagger (Advanced Player's Guide 178), she uses d8s to roll sneak attack damage instead of d6s. For sneak attacks with all other weapons, she uses d4s instead of d6s. This ability is identical in all other ways to sneak attack, and supplements that ability.
Channel Energy 3d6 8/day
Calming Touch (Sp): You can touch a creature as a standard action to heal it of 1d6 points of nonlethal damage + 1 point per cleric level. This touch also removes the fatigued, shaken, and sickened conditions (but has no effect on more severe conditions). You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier. 1d6+6 5/day
Fire Bolt (Sp): As a standard action, you can unleash a scorching bolt of divine fire from your outstretched hand. You can target any single foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack with this bolt of fire. If you hit the foe, the fire bolt deals 1d6 points of fire damage + 1 point for every two cleric levels you possess. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier. 1d6+3 5/day
Cleric Spells a Day:
Charles “Charlie” Dogwoodbloom
Male Halfling Rogue 1
Small Humanoid (halfling)
Init +3 ; Perception + 8 (9 for traps)
AC 16 (14 touch, 13 FF)
Fort +1, Ref +6, Will 0 (+2 vs. Fear)
BAB + 0
Speed 20 ft.
Melee: Dagger +1 (1d3)
Melee : Club +4 (1d4)
Ranged: Sling +4 (1d3)
Str 10, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 9, Cha 17
Base Atk +0; CMB -1; CMD 11
Feats: Skill Focus (Perception)
Traits: Successful Shirker, Vexing Defender
Acrobatics 10 (14 when tumbling to avoid AoO) (3+1+3+2+1)
Appraise 7 (3+1+3)
Bluff 7 (10 vs. lawful authority) (3+1+3)
Diplomacy 7 (10 vs. lawful authority) (3+1+3)
Disable Device 10 (3+1+3+1+2)
Escape Artist 7 (3+1+3)
Knowledge (local) 7 (3+1+3)
Linguistics 7 (3+1+3)
Perception 8 (9 for traps) (-1+1+3+2+3)
Sense Motive 3 (-1+1+3)
Sleight of Hand 7 (3+1+3)
Stealth 12 (3+1+3+4+1)
Languages: Common, Halfing, Dwarven, Goblin, Elven, Giant
Charlie is the son of two Halfling slaves owned by a minor Chelish lord, Montgomery Hallifax. His mother worked in the house, cooking and doing laundry, while his father worked the farm, enduring backbreaking labor every day. They both soon realized Charlie was a bright young boy, much to their dismay. It’s easier to explain the realities of slavery to a less observant child. Their misgivings seemed appropriate when Charlie early on started to chafe under the yolk of slavery. His mother Consuela tried to focus his intelligence on literacy, hoping to make her son a useful house slave, desperately hoping to avoid seeing her son broken like her husband Maurice, who died of heat exhaustion in the fields after Charlie’s fourth birthday.
Small even for a Halfling child, Charlie went mostly unnoticed by the humans. However, one day Lord Hallifax was receiving his daily grooming via Consuela when he began to speak of the boy. “He’ll be a fine, strong worker like his father. You should be proud,” he said as she cut his hair. She mentioned his skills with figures and letters, but the Chelish Lord laughed off the idea that the boy would be of intellectual use to him.
That was the day Consuela changed everything. Moments later, she was in her hovel, holding Charlie with hands covered in blood. “You get out of here, boy. You go east. You get out of this devil-spawned place and you use your mind to make a better life. Never let anyone own you. Never.”
Charlie had never seen his mother like this in all of his 16 years. He protested, tried to convince his mother to come with him. “My old legs would slow you down. Besides, I’m not quite finished here.” Charlie then saw the look in her eyes, the blood on her hands, and knew what she had done. “They’ll forget you …all they’ll remember is what I did.”
Charlie took off and ran for what seemed like days. On the road, he survived at first by snatching up scraps other travelers left. But over time he got bolder and bolder, and better and better at not being noticed. By the time he hit his first major village he was an accomplished thief. Charlie at first enjoyed the life of a drifter …thinking the complete freedom the absolute opposite of being owned. He never thought much about the future, instead reveling in the pleasures of the now. Trunau changed all that forever.
Here was a people united by danger and oppression. Their hard lives reminded him of his parents and the other slaves …the eyes that have felt pain. But instead of being crushed they banded together. Humans, Halflings, dwarves …all united as one by constant threat of orc domination. This stirred something in the little thief, something he found hard to explain …hard even to understand. He had been running for years, with no home to speak of, family long left behind in sorrow, and friendship mostly understood in the abstract, not in the practical. These people fought to defend their home, and it made Charlie realize that what he really wanted was a home. He stopped drifting when he hit Trunau. His skills and abilities may not be the most noble. His moral core is only now developing to include empathy. But he will stand and fight (well, hop around and fight). He will make this exceptional town his own. He will learn to trust. And if he becomes rich and powerful, well, all the better. Maybe one day he can go back to that hellhole and root out the evils of slavery.
But that’s not anytime soon. Now, his new home needs him.
I am a public school teacher on the east coast. Paizo boards are accessible at work, so during prep periods and lunch, I can read and post. I get out around three and can post after work as well. I can, in theory, post multiple times a day, but when I was learning the craft of writing, it was drilled into me to pack every word with power. That is to say, though this application may seem verbose, my actual in character posts are not always this voluminous. I prefer to show and not tell, to play off other characters as we all find exactly who are characters are. This is all to say I prefer quality over quantity in my own writings. My posts can be short, but that is because I craft them to be so. I’m not a huge fan of spelling out the internal life of a character through massive blocks of inner monologues.
I see Alignment as a storytelling tool, as in character arcs can be defined by changes in alignment. Charlie is currently CN due to his effed-up childhood. But the steadfast heroism of Trunau has begun a shift towards CG, as he finally has something to believe in other than his own pleasure and the evilness of others.
This trait from the Cheliax book would be perfect for my escaped slave ...what do you think, Trips?
"PFS Legal Successful Shirker [Link]
Source Cheliax, Empire of Devils pg. 19 (Amazon)