About King Markadian V
Parchment 1 Sailor HP
OM1: Dead by drowning
LG small town
Corruption +0; Crime +0; Economy +2; Law +1; Lore[b] +0; [b]Society +2
Qualities pious, prosperous, strategic location
Government hereditary mayorship
Population 1,800 (1,500 humans;150 dwarves; 50 halflings; 100 other)
Base Value 1,400 gp; Purchase Limit 7500 gp ; Spellcasting 3rd level divine, 4th level arcane
Minor Items 3d4 items (+1 Longbow, +2 Shortbow, +2 Longsword, +1 Light Wooden Shield, +2 Chainmail, Mistmail, Miser's Mask, Cauldron of Brewing); Medium Items 1d6 items (+1 Holy Light Crossbow, +2 Heavy Flail, Bracelet of Friends, Snakeskin Tunic); Major Items --
"Hail, Villainous scum of Talingarde! I am Markadian V, King of Talingarde!! You lot have been arrested for crimes against our soverign nation, protected under the watchful eye of our beloved Iomadae! By her will, you have been sent to Branderscar prison, where in 3 days time, you shall all be given to your fates. In 3 days, be it by axe, by rope, by fire, or a lifetime of servitude in the salt mines, judgement shall be thrust upon you. In 3 days time, your story will end, and this evil shall be defeated."
Welcome to Way of the Wicked: A Knot of Thorns, an AP designed by Fire Mountain Games. In this adventure, you take on the rolls of condemned criminals who, in three days time, will be sentenced to your final fate. Your goal? Escape, and revenge upon Talingarde.
First a note. I plan to set this in Golarion. How much Golarion will play into is should be minor. This is mostly to have a fully fleshed out pantheon available to use, as well as additional resources and flavor to be had. I will be changing references to Mitra as appropriate (mostly Iomadae or Sarenrae).
Ability Scores: Ability Scores will be determined by either the Focus/Foible system or 25 point buy. Under the Focus/Foible system, each player will choose one stat to be an 18 (the Focus), and another to be an 8 (the Foible). Afterwards, each stat will be rolled in order by a 1d10+7 roll. If you would rather use the point buy (or just don't like your rolls), please go ahead.
Races: All races from the Core Rulebook will be allowed. Races from other sources may be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
Classes: All classes from the PHB, APG, UC, UM will be allowed, as well as all Archtypes. If playing something unusual to Talingarde (such as a Ninja or Samurai), a good backstory should be presented.
All classes are permitted except the Paladin. Paladins do not walk the Way of the Wicked. A few classes require some special consideration below.
Skills: Each character will receive two additional Skill Points at each level.
Feats: Each character will receive an additional non-combat feat at first level. Approval of such feats are subject to GM approval.
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.
HP: Max to start. At each level you roll 1/2 your classes HD, and add the other half. So a 1d6 will roll 1d3+3, a 1d10 will roll 1d5+5.
Finishing Details: As normal except that good and chaotic alignments are not allowed. Every character must be lawful neutral, lawful evil, neutral or neutral evil. Of those four alignments, lawful evil is definitely the preferred choice. At the Game Master’s discretion, lawful evil may be the required alignment.
Further, every character must choose a crime that landed in them in Branderscar. They were not wrongly imprisoned -- they are guilty of their charge. If you are using the trait system in the Advanced Player’s Guide, choosing this crime counts as one of your traits.
There is a further requirement and it is something of an intangible quality. At some point in this adventure path every character is going to have the chance to join an evil organization and swear allegiance to the master of that organization and its patron – the lawful evil god Asmodeus. The adventure path assumes you say yes to this chance. Therefore, you should make a character who can say yes.
Crimes of the Forsaken:
Each character chooses one heinous crime that has earned them a place in Branderscar Prison. Each crime grants a different benefit, similar to a trait. You may have committed many crimes during your lifetime, but this is the crime that finally got you branded and condemned.
This list of twenty crimes is not intended to be comprehensive. Feel free to invent your own crime, punishment and benefit (with the GM’s approval of course). 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
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
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 likely cost someone their life. You’ll be punished for your crime by facing the fire yourself.
Attempted Murder: You tried to kill someone and botched the job. To be sent to Branderscar Prison, you did not try to kill just anyone. You likely assaulted someone of great importance and prominence.
Blasphemy: Either you have defamed the great god Mitra or you have been found guilty of worshipping one of the forbidden deities (who preeminent among them is Asmodeus).
Consorting with the Dark Powers (Witchcraft): You have been found guilty of summoning an evil outsider. Likely you were captured by the famed witch hunter Sir Balin of Karfeld. The last thing he said to you was, “May Mitra have mercy upon your wretched, damned soul.” If only you could get a chance at revenge!
Desecration: You have violated one of the churchs, cathedrals or holy shrines of the great god Mitra. To be sent to Branderscar this was no minor act of vandalism. Instead you have done something flagrant and spectacular to dishonor the Shining Lord.
Desertion: You have deserted from the Talirean 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.
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 Talingarde before the House of Darius came to power. The House of Barca all but encouraged duels of honor. Now, dueling of any sort is punished severely. Dueling to the death is a sure way to be sent to Branderscar Prison.
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.
Forgery: You have forged documents issued either by the crown or by the Church of Mitra. 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, undermined the reputation of the Church or endangered the security of the realm.
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!
Grave Robbery: It is forbidden by sacred law to dishonor a corpse after it is been sealed in its tomb by a clergy of the Mitran faith. 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 Talirean Magistrates. And by sending you to Branderscar Prison, you have received none.
Heresy: You have denied the supremacy of Mitra and been condemned for it. For this to be a crime, you were not content to keep your heresy to yourself. You tried to sway others. Likely you were captured by the famed witch hunter Sir Balin of Karfeld. The last thing he said to you was: “Mitra may forgive you yet for your lies. Talingarde will not.” If only you could get a chance at revenge!
High Theft: You had a foolproof plan to steal some great treasure. Alas, the scheme had a fatal flaw and went horribly awry. To be sent to Branderscar prison, this was no ordinary robbery attempt. You tried to steal something of great value or religious significance.
High Treason: You have willfully worked to bring down the current Monarch of Talingarde -- the beloved King Markadian V called the Brave of House Darius. To be successfully tried for High Treason you have done more than merely dislike the king, you did something tangible to undermine his rule. Alas, that you failed at your plot and are now headed to Branderscar Prison. Treason is the only crime that is still punished by the gruesome ritual of being drawn and quartered. Your stay at Branderscar will be brief.
Kidnapping: You have abducted someone perhaps to ransom them or do unspeakable things to them. Unfortunately, you were caught and your victim was rescued (if they weren’t rescued -- you would be guilty of murder instead). To be sent to Branderscar Prison, you must have abducted someone of great importance or in a particularly gruesome manner.
Murder: You have killed without just cause and been condemned for it. To be sent to Branderscar Prison, this was no typical killing but a particularly savage and unforgiveable act. You may also have killed someone with powerful friends.
Piracy: You have been caught in the act of piracy on the high seas. This is a rare crime these days since Markadian I called the Victorious burned the last major pirate fleet to threaten these isles. Still the crime is punished harshly. Likely you are the sole survivor of your ship.
Sedition: You have attempted to covertly stir up rebellion against your rightful sovereign. This differs from high treason in that you attempted to convince others to make war against Talingarde instead of taking direct action yourself. A subtle difference to be sure. But it is the difference between receiving the swift justice of the axe instead of the slow suffering upon the rack.
Slave-Taking: Slavery is illegal in Talingarde and a very rare crime. Still, once in a great while, slavers from the mainland will foolishly make an incursion into Talirean protected territories. When they are captured alive they are always made an example of.
Slave Trading: Slavery is legal in other parts of the world and it can be tempting to the most decadent of Talingarde’s nobility to acquire a “souvenir” when traveling abroad or to purchase the object of their desire from a less reputable merchant. However you ended up trading slaves in Talingarde, you were caught red handed and now you will lose more than simply your freedom.
Each submission should include the following.
1) Tell me who you are. Race/class at a minimum, but more is always better. How you came about the path of evil helps.
2) What crime did you commit, and how did you get caught?
3) What do you look like?
4) Why do you want revenge against Talingarde?
I am not sure when I will close out recruitment for this AP but will give at least 24 hours notice before I do so. Please feel free to ask any questions necessary.