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Shackles Pirate

The Dread Pirate Hurley's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 215 posts (965 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Here's a write-up for Rolando, a Varisian criminal who's very life feels like a prison. I'm presuming Brawler for now, but I'm ambivalent about the crunch at the moment. This submission is for the Second Chances character.

Rolando:
Rolando is a young Varisian boy, about 15 years old. He's thin and lanky, with brown eyes, greasy black hair pulled back into a short ponytail, and a few thin hairs starting to sprout on his chin. His parents came to Vigil shortly before Rolando was born. His father left the nomadic life behind for unknown reasons; neither of his parents ever talked much about their life before Vigil. Seeking to make his way in the world, Papa had intentions to start a small farm, but he found Vigil unwelcoming to people who wouldn't take their Oaths. The young family made do as they had before, performing for appreciative audiences and taking whatever work came their way. Things were not easy, but they always had enough to eat and a roof to sleep under. Papa would labor on local farms during the harvest season and find whatever work he could in the winter, and Mama found work as a seamstress for some of the women at the Castle. Rolando inherited his papa's musical talent and learned to play his violin. He also inherited his mama's temper and the impetuous child often got into fights with other local boys. And soon enough, the young family of three was joined by one more, and Rolando had a sister. But while his family had always been devout worshippers of the Song of the Spheres, Desna was not always kind to them. One winter, Papa became very sick. Though the disease passed, he never fully recovered and his health began to decline.

After years of slowly failing health, Papa died. Just before he passed, he made Rolando swear to take care of his Mama and sister, no matter what. Doing what he could, Rolando, about 11 or 12 years old, followed in his father's footsteps. He inherited Papa's violin, and he found a group of some older Varisian boys to play with, Felipe and Jorge. He and his friends were making good money, better than his parents ever had as performers, and things were starting to look up for the first time, until Rolando discovered that his friends were Sczarni con artists. The extra money came from picking pockets. Rolando was angry, but he couldn't ignore the benefits. Reluctantly, he went along with the scheme, and slowly started getting further entwined with the gang.

He was making good on his promise to Papa, he was taking care of Mama and Mirela, but he was ashamed of himself. He was becoming more irritable, and he started drinking heavily, getting into brawls and even ending up in jail for a week. In jail, he found something he hated even more than going hungry, even more than his own crimes - imprisonment. He couldn't stand being cooped up, and he found himself longing for the open road his parents had left behind before he had ever been born. He swore off his drinking upon his release, determined not to wind up in prison again. He promised Mama and Milena he would stay sober; he couldn't keep his promise to Papa if he was in jail.

But he couldn't keep his promise if he gave up his criminal ways, either. They needed the money, and it was getting harder and harder to find work as he grew older. People were even less trusting than they had been before, and deep down, he knew they had reason to be. He was as trapped in his life of crime as he had been trapped behind the bars of his jail cell. His prayers to Desna went unanswered, and that open road that he saw stretching out before him remained nothing more than an empty dream. He could always take his Oath, but that would amount to nothing more than another bar in the cage trapping him in Vigil, and an afront to his father's memory beside. At least this way he had his freedom, as long as he stayed out of jail. He could keep on telling himself that one day he might actually take his first steps onto that open road.

And so he did. Fantasies about escaping Vigil replaced the alcohol. They helped him fall asleep at night like all of Mama's stories and Papa's songs. He would dream about it day and night, and he told himself that all of this would be worth it in the end. He started volunteering for more dangerous jobs, hoping to score a prize big enough to free him from his promise. One day, soon, he would make enough to keep his family fed for months, maybe a year, and he could leave in search of a better life, and come back for them when he had finally made it. And soon enough, Desna smiled; the long-awaited opportunity presented itself. It would be a simple job, but very lucrative. Jorge hadn't wanted to bring him in on it, said he wasn't ready, but Felipe convinced him otherwise, a true friend. In the end, Jorge relented, especially since it was Felipe who had the tip.

But as easily as she smiles, Desna laughs. A trick of Fate's fickle hand: a botched job. The mark was being tailed by knights! The bluff hadn't worked, things were heading south... It was over almost before it had begun. Felipe lying dead in the alley. Jorge on his way to join him. It wasn't supposed to end like this. Rolando hadn't wanted to resort to swords, he tried to tell them they didn't need to use lethal force, but they wouldn't listen, and he was in no position to argue and...and...

Desna had one more trick up her sleeve, one more laugh. A choice: prison, or the Castle. Caught between the bull and the horns, as they say. But it was no choice. He had made promises, to Papa and to Mama. Perhaps the Song of the Spheres thought she was showing him mercy, but at that moment, Rolando thought maybe he'd be better off dead. Surely, death was the only way he would ever be free of Vigil now. He confessed, he sold out the others. They weren't even his friends. His only friend was dead in the alley. And so too was Rolando's life of crime. His life of freedom.

Motivations:
Rolando is torn between his love and duty to his family and his blooming wanderlust. He never wanted to be a criminal, always hated what he'd become, but it was his only ticket to freedom. He wants to make a better life for himself and his family, but he wants to do it on his own terms. Though he worships Desna, he blames her for his problems, never accepting responsibility for his own mistakes and always playing the victim of circumstance. He loves his Varisian heritage, having grown up on the songs and stories of his ancestral people, and he wants to reclaim what he thinks of as his birthright. He doesn't understand why his parents came to Vigil, but he understands why his family will never take the Oath. His father's violin is his most prized possession; it's all he has left of Papa besides the chains of his promise. He loves his Mama and Milena, but he wants to be free to live his own life, under his own stars.


DMRaven wrote:
The Dread Pirate Hurley wrote:

How much retconning do you anticipate on doing for the thieving character? Should we go back and read the interaction, or is it up for a complete re-write depending on the applicant?

I'm considering a Varisian Brawler with the Second Chances trait.

Pretty much what's in the trait is all that's needed. Name, appearance, gender, race, personality, background..that's all up in the air. The character could have given an alias the one time his name was asked. It was a very, very short interaction.

Yep, I read it. I was impressed with Eilidh's dedication to the stutter. The interaction actually seems like it would work pretty well without much retconning as long as a pseudonym was given. I like it. Would you prefer full applications or are you more interested in seeing the fluff/RP before anything else?


How much retconning do you anticipate on doing for the thieving character? Should we go back and read the interaction, or is it up for a complete re-write depending on the applicant?

I'm considering a Varisian Brawler with the Second Chances trait.


In that case, I'll avoid marrying any concepts. There's plenty of flavor in Korvosa to go around. I'd like to mention that I'm not unfamiliar with the setting material; I had a Skull & Shackles character that hailed from Korvosa.

You don't seem to be looking for character concepts from us at this time. Is there anything you require from me at this moment? I'm very interested in the setting, I've heard great things about CotCT, and I prefer narrative roleplay more than anything else in an RPG.


I'm still interested in the possibility of a Skype game. I'd be looking at a play time window starting about 8 PM EST.

Do you have other people interested, or is this your main outlet for recruitment?

What sort of characters are you interested in having? How do you feel about Diabolists? Acadamae students/graduates?


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The Aspis Consortium is Golarion's megacorporation. Founded hundreds of years ago in Cheliax, they've since grown worldwide. A massive organization with vast resources and hordes of lower-level underlings to do their bidding. Many times Aspis is behind something and nobody knows it; they like to hire people anonymously. Even their official agents don't typically know much about what's going on; the Consortium's biggest plots are intricate, long-term, and tend to be very VERY lucrative.

They're evil capitalists that are completely unhinged; profit is their ONLY motive. Did you see Pirates of the Caribbean? The East India Trading Company works very well for some inspiration. As do the various historical counterparts to that organization. Did you see the Robert Downey, Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies? Professor Moriarty would not be out of place in the Consortium.

These are the guys that start wars in the middle east to jack up oil prices and create demand for their munitions. These are the guys that bomb planes and short-sell the airline stock, while introducing some alternative transportation solution to the market. These are the guys that are slowly buying up all the unusable land out in the desert because it's secretly got the water resources for the entire region underneath. And that's just the big stuff. At the lower level, they've got their fingers in dang near everything. If there's a pocket, their hand is in it. If there's a pie, their fingers are there. If there's a politician to be bought, they own them.

If your players want to go after Aspis, they might discover they're in for way more than they bargained for. Or maybe they never do find out. Maybe it's just a little thing, and they put them out of their mind, only for it to come back in a big way later on. Maybe the hit was a botched job, but maybe it was never supposed to succeed. With Aspis, all you can know for certain is that money's changing hands.


I'm very interested in CotCT. Do you plan on using Skype for IRL-style gaming, or do you intend for characters to be played via the chat on Roll20 and Skype to be the OOC stuff?

You're currently thinking Mondays, what time? What's your timezone? I'd be very interested, but it's important that I'm available at the right time.


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Thanks for the clarification Papa.DRB. That tool looks very handy!

On the other side of the fence, I disagree with the OP about the inelegant system for selecting players. Aside from the fact that there are as many play styles as there are players, there are numerous ways of recruiting. Nonetheless, supply and demand make it a GM's market.

One of the problems with having a bunch of character LFG threads is that a prospective GM has to go through a lot of different threads to find characters that they think will work with the game. That puts even more work on the GM at the beginning. There are plenty of posters who create in-depth characters tailored to the specific game they're applying for; that's what GMs who care want to see. Players who care enough to create awesome characters who intentionally fit in the setting and tone are probably going to be more fun to play with.

There are also plenty of posters who want to play one specific character and apply all over the place with that one character or without really trying to tailor their character to the game. That's not typically an effective strategy, and players who do so are likely to end up very frustrated. I'm sorry, but Skull & Shackles is probably not the game for your favorite four-armed pony Doctor Who-Lelouch Lamperouge lovechild character. As tragic as it is, there probably isn't any game for that character this side of Gaia Online.

The conversation about recruitment is definitely worth having though. I'm really glad we have this new General Discussion section for the Online Campaigns subforum. For now, the overwhelming supply of players and the very high rate of game failure are huge obstacles that we should all be working to overcome.


I believe what was meant was that, once you've given it a name, that alias is permanently listed on your account. Aliases can't be deleted, and there are a lot of people with cluttered lists of aliases with similar characters.


Checking in. Should have an alias and a gameplay post tomorrow as well.


Finally finished, save for equipment. I decided to go Gunslinger instead of Ranger; the Ranger abilities were flavorful, but Gunslinger does everything I want to do better than Ranger could hope to. And with access to real revolvers, I couldn't resist the opportunity to play a guns akimbo Gunslinger the way everybody wants to without the weapon cord juggling routine cheese.

The site seems to be having problems with aliases at the moment, so I haven't been able to make one. I also don't have Hero Lab, so I'll have to do the statblock by hand.

I present to you Erasmus 'Raz' Ames - ex-Shieldmarshall, outlaw, adventure capitalist.

Backstory:
Name: Erasmus Ames
Wanted: Alive
Crimes: Conspiracy, Nighthawking, Disturbing the Peace
Reward: 5000
Notes: Suspect was last seen fleeing north into the Mana Wastes following the Urstradi River. Considered to be armed and dangerous.

Erasmus Ames was never bothered by the corruption in the Shieldmarshalls. He took his bribes the same as anybody else, looked the other way for the right people the same as anybody else, neglected unimportant details the same as anybody else. It was just an ugly word for the grease on the cogs that kept the Clockwork City running smoothly, and his polished badge and oiled six-guns didn't shine any less for it. After all, the hours were long, the Wastes were brutal, and justice doesn't come cheap in the City of Smog. Greasy palms and greasy guns are what kept the mutants at bay and everybody knew it, so it didn't bother 'ol Raz one bit. That is, until the day he found himself on the wrong side of it.

Maybe it was political, maybe it was personal, but Erasmus Ames didn't stick around long enough to find out. He high-tailed it out of the Grand Duchy out into the Spellscar just as fast as his horse could take him. The snipers on the wall didn't even waste their ammo trying to pick him off; everybody knew that a lone rider, ill-equipped and unprotected, was as good as dead out in the Wastes - if they were lucky. If not - well, the life of a mutant is never very long anyway.

At least, that's what they thought. For his part, that's what Raz thought too, until he stumbled across one of the ruins. The Wastes were littered with them, the last remains of thousand-year-old cities blasted off the face of the planet during Nex and Geb's pissing contest of magical holocaust. Teams of outriders came through every so often and cleared the mutants out of them ahead of trade caravans traveling through the desert. Raz was familiar with the ruins, having cleared some of them out himself (and finding some trinkets to line his pockets with beside). But off the main highways you were taking your chances. It was a lucky break for Mr. Ames; there was no better time for taking chances. He rode that luck all the way through the desert, escaping on the other side into Nex. He worked his way north, guarding caravans all the way through Nex and Katapesh. He took a liking to Katapesh; a man like him could find a lot of work and make a lot of coin. He took a liking to the pesh, too, and found many ways to spend a lot of coin. Too many ways and too much coin. Plagued by debt and pesh nightmares, he took a desperate job, signing on to guard some whackjob scholarly expedition following some phony map out to some secret forgotten ruin in Osirion.

Sometimes looks can be deceiving. That was only the first lesson Raz learned on that expedition. He also learned that 'guard' translates roughly as 'expendable trap fodder' in Osiriani, to always bring a mirror into the tomb with you, that his shiny badge makes a surprisingly good mirror, and to never take an artifact without leaving a sandbag in its place. But the most important lesson of all, the one rule to hold to above all others, is that, when it comes to mummies, shoot first and ask questions never. Aim for the head, always make sure to double-tap, and burn the remains for good measure.

It didn't take long to become disillusioned with the treasure-hunting scene in Osirion. The thing about 'scholarly expeditions' is that the most dangerous jobs always seem to pay the least. Mr. Ames was used to putting his life in danger for petty monetary compensation, but the only thing worse than mutants are mummies. One close call too many and he finally decided he was done with 'guard' work. He was ready to get out of Osirion, with the 'scholars' and the 'collectors' ruining things for solid, honest adventure capitalists like himself. But he'd need a partner if he was ever going to strike it rich. Foreign lands and foreign tombs call for good friends to have your back. There was only one man that Erasmus Ames knew he could trust, and he'd always given Raz a frosty welcome.

From the moment they met, Baqir Iskandar and Erasmus Ames were doomed to make history. It would be the history of desperate fools, bad ideas, and success that comes at too high a price. Geb was a bad idea, possibly the worst, and it had been his. They escaped with their lives, but they would live with the scars. There aren't many terrors worse than pesh nightmares, but forbidden knowledge is one helluva drug.

Role:
Raz is good for two things: fodder and killing weird things real good. He has a special hatred for mummies and Mana Waste mutants. He has a good mix of Knowledge skills and investigative capability with Sense Motive and Survival, but he's not here to be the super sleuth.


Update: I'll be throwing in with a Ranger with the Trophy Hunter and Skirmisher archetypes for a little more gun expertise and to get rid of divine spellcasting. Changing the tech level does interesting things to the game mechanically, especially when it comes to picking feats.

Next post should include the crunch and hopefully backstory if Baqir and I can get it sorted out enough for both of us to submit that today.

Thematically, I'm channeling characters like Rick O'Connell and Jack Burton into a pulp action cowboy who shuns magic and whose only real expertise lies in knowing how to kill weird things real good. Like I told Baqir, I think this game could benefit from a mundane character to give the Holmes-lympics competitors something to play off of, like a rough-and-tumble cowboy Watson. Or maybe a little Karrin Murphy/Agent Scully if the DM prefers.


Just posting to announce official interest. I'll be working up some sort of gunslinger-type character from Alkenstar to pair with Baqir. More to come.


You're going for a Victorian feel and the year isn't set. How much freedom do we have with the setting elements, especially with some of the organizations? If, for example, somebody wanted to play a member of the Knights of Ozem? Are they intact as a well-known order of holy knights, or would they be a shadow of their former glory, a forgotten cabal of once-legendary heroes that now fight in obscurity? The same question could be extended to how the churches are perceived by the rest of the campaign setting as well. Do the common folk know much about the existence of monsters?

EDIT: A careful re-reading would at least suggest that most people are in the dark, but I'm still curious about the organizations. If we have some flexibility, I'd be more than happy to try to come up with something to satisfy the flavor. Golarion is full of organizations that could fit the bill, especially if we're going for a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen feel with horror themes.


Night action, eh? Can I try a Diplomacy check to get Peppery to help with keeping Sh'torek alive?

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14

"I have a spell or two that may allow him to escape, but we would simply be trading our lives for his. There may be something of use in Ms. Longfarthing's laboratory."


Here's the link to the Community group of sub-forums. When you're on the main Messageboards page it's very close to the bottom, so it's easy to miss. The subforum you're probably most interested in is Recruitment, which is where the ads and applications for PbP games are posted.

EDIT: Gah! Ninja'd by a Gninja! How fitting. Btw, I've always wondered, what does the 'G' stand for?


No worries. My posting has been spotty lately, too. Finals coming up and I was just sick as well. It's nothing worth getting burnt out over.


I'm not going to have time to put together a full submission, so I'll need to withdraw. Good luck everybody!


There's also the Wizard. The Conjuration school has a sub-school specialization for this: the Infernal Binder. I'm playing one fluffed as a graduate of the Acadamae, known for its devil binders, and it's a lot of fun. You get the versatility of a full wizard but a bit of extra summoning power. Good feat choices are Improved Initiative, Spell Focus: Conjuration, Augment Summoning and Skill Focus: Diplomacy/Bluff/Sense Motive. The True Name arcane discovery for wizards fits extremely well. For Prestige Classes, Paizo has Diabolist and Blackfire Adept.


Inquisitor of Calistria anyone? The Savored Sting is not amused by the hubris of these so-called 'leather goddesses'.

Bonus points, the inquisitor could be an elf from Castrovel, helping the aliens fight the enemy from his own world.


I've got a concept for a Saerenrae-worshipping druid, but I'm not sure If I'd be able to get crunch up by tomorrow.


Cloudy with a chance of imps, I'd say.


Florian, thanks for the catch. I always forget that EWP requires a BAB of 1. That's annoying, but I guess I can just use a longsword for now.


This is still a work-in-progress, and I'll eventually have an alias set up, too. I'm just posting this to save my spot.

Valkus Lebeda, Taldan bard and rondelero practitioner.


I agree, the twists do add a little wrinkle that should ripple out in very interesting ways. It should give more weight to the political aspect of the campaign that so often goes ignored. I'm looking forward to see how this turns out.

EDIT: And the Swordlords have already begun to pour in. Competition is going to get fierce.


Legacy of Fire.


I'm interested in most of the APs, but Legacy of Fire holds a special place in my heart, though I've never managed to get terribly far.

Also, there's usually one or two games looking for a replacement GM after having been abandoned. I'm in a Skull & Shackles game that's in that boat. If you'd consider picking that up, we'd be very grateful. If not, that's understandable. Link is here:

Looking for a possible DM for Skull & Shackles


I've submitted Ambrose Jeggare, LN wizard, Infernal Binder specialization.


I wonder how Citadel Gheradesca compares with Gallowspire...


Anzyr wrote:
Honestly, while I don't hate the alignment system, I do think it sometimes leads to very silly things. I am perfectly ok with some spells making you a complete monster just by using them. But I've always dislike the "negative energy equal evil" that 3.5 and by extension PF have going for it, since negative energy is just another aspect of the 3.5/PF cosmos, that is opposed to positive energy. Presumably the cosmos needs both to function, so why is using negative energy to make some bodies without souls in it move around "Evil". Creepy? Sure.

We have multiple conflicting canonical stories of creation, so it hasn't been specified exactly how all that works. However, the general treatment seems to be that negative energy equals evil because positive energy equals good. It's a moral dichotomy made real. I agree with your assessment that the cosmos (which, in PF, includes separate planes of existence like Heaven, Hell, the elemental planes, the Abyss, and the Planes of Positive and Negative Energy) needs both to exist, it needs them in the exact same way it needs good and evil. But that raises the question about equivalent energies for law and chaos, and the whole system gets pretty wonky.

Ilja wrote:
Honestly, while by RAW casting undead-creating spells is an evil action, it doesnt state HOW evil. For some, its evil assaying something mean to a farmer. For others, its nearly irredeemably evil, similar to murdering an angel child. So in some games yes, in some games no.

The RAW impose the [evil] descriptor, which informs, if not specifies, the degree of evil. Fireball, a spell that is nothing but pure destruction, is not inherently evil, as it lacks that mechanical descriptor. Evil spells are anathema to good creatures. If anything, the campaign would be defined more by the degree of evil in saying mean things to a farmer than in casting an evil spell.


Anzyr wrote:
Look casting Animate Dead makes you as evil as casting Protection from Evil makes you good. So I feel it sort of does a disservice to the magic system to pretend that casting evil spells is really an issue (also it shows how silly the alignment system can be). Really being able to switch your alignment on the fly by casting lots of spells with [X] descriptor seems like it could be really convenient in some situations.

Emphasis mine.

Yeah, Protection From Evil's got the [good] descriptor. In that case, the soul-taintingly evil argument falls flat, and I abandon it as far as canon and mechanics are concerned. Now it's just my own unsupported preference.


Zhayne wrote:
The Dread Pirate Hurley wrote:
Do you want the [evil] descriptor removed from the spells entirely?
Frankly, yes.

Good. That's about the only way I can see reconciling the issue, so it seems like a valid houserule. At least we don't disagree that, as written, those spells are soul-tainting and thus probably shouldn't be ignored.

Mikaze wrote:

Evil necromancer uses vile magic to force dead souls into service.

Good necromancer uses gentler magics to help dead souls walk the earth to do what needs doing.

That depends on the mechanics of the spell (not game mechanics, narrative mechanics). I've always gotten the impression that the undead in Golarion aren't souls forced back into bodies, but rather are created from negative energy given some form of sentience. As such, there isn't a "nicer" way of creating them. That does, however, open the question about what happens when positive energy is used in such a manner. It seems like there's also some moral baggage pertaining to the whole "animated earthly remains" part, but that's purely conjecture. I would be open to having alternative means to achieve similar ends for Team Good, but I don't see the necromancy spells and corpses as being the way to go about it.

Also, there are spells that can return dead generals to life without having to go the reanimation route. There's always raise dead and resurrection, which explicitly bring a person back to life, rather than merely animating their remains with dark energies.

Quirel wrote:

If we go by "Actions determine alignment", I'd have to say that using an evil spell to do good averages out to neutral.

Remember reading a play-by-post where a guy rolled a sorcerer that specialized in necromancy, raised bodies from a nearby battlefield, and then directed his minions to rebuild the defenses around a village.
At the end of the campaign, he had the undead build a cemetery and inter themselves, the only time in the history of mass graves where people were killed before they dug their own graves.

Your example about the Play-by-Post, while interesting, seems to ignore the part where raising dead is soul-taintingly evil. I agree that casting evil spells shouldn't be automatic damnation for everybody involved, but I feel that most people do evil spells a disservice by trivializing them, making them less evil than they should be.

Raising a skeleton isn't on the order of assassinating a fully grown Hitler to end the war. It's on the order of killing his mother before he's born, removing the appropriate organs and cremating them for good measure. And then hunting down his father to make sure he never procreates, finishing off any progeny he may have already sired. You averted a war and saved millions of lives, but you did some pretty dark things to do it, and even if you can justify it to yourself, you'll probably never sleep quite as well at night.


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Personally, I'm very happy with the canon that undead are always evil. Other people are entitled to their opinion, but I have yet to see one that really makes a whole lot of sense, at least where the flavor is concerned. Often, it seems that little consideration is given to what actually happens when you cast one of these spells. Casting evil spells isn't some walk in the park, and it isn't without consequences. To illustrate:

You invoke and channel the forces of darkness, the very stuff that evil is made of, using your body as a conduit for malevolent energies. Once the fell words have fallen from your lips like a poisonous curse, you cast it out and into the worldly remains of Farmer Jenkins, put solemnly to rest twelve years past. The creature, this undead abomination fueled by a tortuous hatred of life, now inhabits the rotting skeleton of Farmer Jenkins, called into this world to do your bidding. It digs its way up through the dirt, pale bone clothed in mouldering tatters. The ritual complete, you point your finger toward the lumbering army of orcs and issue your command. "Defend the village." Knowing that what you have done, you have done for the good of others, you still cannot help but feel an inky stain begin to spread across your soul, even as you turn to the next grave, taking a breath to steel yourself before you cast the spell again.

Now, that's all fluff, and fluff conforms to the will of the group. If you want to change it, that's your prerogative. But think about what you're changing. Do you want the [evil] descriptor removed from the spells entirely? Or are you merely advocating that we shouldn't think about the narrative consequences of your character's actions, because you're trying to uphold the integrity of the narra... oh wait.

Alignment has only very sketchy rules to support it, even with the inclusion of Ultimate Campaign. It's not a mechanical construct, it's narrative. As such, there aren't really a whole lot of mechanical implications attached to things like evil acts, unless you're a paladin, and even then, the mechanical consequences are arbitrated by the GM's personal sense of narrative rather than specific rules. If that weren't the case, we wouldn't have a new topic on fallen paladins every week. Alignment is a narrative concept, and must be dealt with in terms of the narrative. So let's not ignore or trivialize the narrative when dealing with these issues.


She could have taken the throne before the prince died.


Claxon, Malwing and The Crusader are generally correct, while Anzyr does a good job demonstrating the capabilities of such a character. The basic idea of the God Wizard is that, rather than directly intervene in combat, they control combat by empowering friendly combatants (buffs), depowering enemy combatants (debuff), creating more friendly combatants (summoning spells) and creating effects that change the literal and figurative shape of the battlefield (battlefield control) to harass the enemy, separate and divide great numbers of enemies, forcing them into terrain that is disadvantageous (either because they'll be in the effect of a spell or because they'll have to avoid the effect of a spell), etc. Such a wizard is like unto a god, for they defeat enemies not by directly harming them but instead by creating or altering the conditions for defeat, such that they've all but won to begin with. This playstyle usually eschews both SoD spells and blast spells, though exceptions exist in each case.

As another correction, the Schrodinger's Wizard isn't a caster that has a spell for every situation; that would the Batman Wizard. The Schrodinger's Wizard is a cheater that abuses a DM's lack of attention and just casts whatever spells they want. The name is a wordplay on quantum mechanics, specifically the Schrodinger Equation and the superposition of states, which is the concept that a system (in this case, the spellbook) exists in a state composed of two or more basic position-states (in this case, prepared spell lists). When a superposition is observed (in quantum mechanics, this would be achieved by taking a measurement of the system; in Pathfinder, this would be achieved by asking the wizard what spells he has prepared), the superposition itself collapses and acts as if it exists as one of the basic position-states that composed the original superposition.

The Schrodinger's Wizard appears to be a Batman wizard because he always, conveniently (suspiciously so, even) has the ability to cast the correct the spell needed to fix any problem. This is because the character's player is cheating and lying about what spells they actually have prepared.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Cyrad. Also a good description.


You play a very high-level game, Klokk. I believe the usual progression is:

Book 1 - Levels 1-3
Book 2 - 4-6
Book 3 - 7-8
Book 4 - 9-10
Book 5 - 11-12
Book 6 - 13-16

There's some variation within that progression, of course, but the APs (with the exception of Wrath of the Righteous, which explicitly goes to level 20, mythic tier 10) usually cap off at about level 16 without some serious DM rewrites. Wardens of the Reborn Forge would cleanly replace book 6, as far as levels are concerned. However, it's very unlikely that the Wardens module will actually fit in well enough with the AP's plot to do so.

Rimethorn, there's been relatively little information about the Mummy's Mask AP revealed, but I doubt that it will play out very much like 'The Mummy', in the sense that the setting elements are very unlikely to resemble British-occupied Egypt in the early 20th century. It's likely to be very pulp, but not very industrial. Like every other AP, however, it will probably be very high-magic, rather than low-fantasy pulp. Wizards will not be out-of-place.

Now, that said, there's definitely a place for the gunslinger within the Mummy's Mask AP; Alkenstar hires out gunslingers as mercenaries, and they're probably not terribly uncommon throughout Garund. Aside from that, the setting itself is set up to be a thematic kitchen sink; it's totally okay for your typical adventuring party to wander into Steampunk Kingdom. If you're uncomfortable with that kind of transition, you can also play up the wild magic/magic-dead element of the Mana Wastes, which adds another wrinkle to playing typical adventurers and might add that touch of low-fantasy you seem to be craving.


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The Wormwood Mutiny micromanages the timeline throughout the adventure, but as soon as Book 2 starts, the nature of the game changes completely. All of a sudden, the players are thrust into a potential sandbox. Even with a train conductor of a GM, the transition from day-to-day play is problematic.

My biggest concern is what to do concerning the pacing of the game? Do you play out some of the shipboard scenes between destinations? Do you skip right to the destination? I'm worried that the game will quickly become Adam Sandler's Click: The Musical RPG, with months passing by in seconds. But the other end of the spectrum is to continue to play out every single day, which was bad enough for the first twenty-one. In your game, what, exactly, happens after the captain says "Set sail for Port Peril/Quent/Tortuga!"?


On the topic of footwear, the pic that Halae's avatar is taken from comes from Blood of Fiends, in the Social traits chapter if I'm not mistaken. She's wearing some kind of boot or high-heeled shoe made for hooves. It doesn't look bad.

I'm playing a Korvosan devilblooded tiefling in S&S. I opted for human eyes with black sclera and red irises (any Gambit fans?), vestigial horns and prehensile tail. He spews smoke from his sinuses when angry; that's been a lot of fun, and a very memorable quirk.

I don't mind being treated differently; the only time when NPC treatment was a problem was when it was inconsistent. At the beginning of the game, there were no social repercussions at all. About ten days into the voyage, however, the racism came out of nowhere. It was a bit jarring having Sandara Quinn (whom I had saved from being raped previously) accuse me of being a traitor without grounds. I would have rather been treated with hostility from the start than to have to suffer the whiplash, immersion-breaking change.

I enjoy tieflings. They're one of the most inherently varied races (each with some sort of explicit theme that tends to be great roleplay fodder), and canon in-world attitudes about them are just as varied. Frankly, I like them way more than aasimars; maybe I just have a much more finely-grained understanding of evil than of good, but I would find it much easier to create ten distinct tiefling characters than ten distinct aasimar characters.


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There are a lot of good ideas being thrown around here.

While it may not be exactly a swashbuckler, I've played an Aldori Swordlord build with Crane Style that was a lot of fun and fulfilled most of the dueling criteria. A lot of people complain about the low DPS, but I didn't mind too much, and the constant disarming worked great, even on groups. Of course, once I got disarmed, things changed very quickly...

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the possibility of utilizing the grit mechanic. Using grit to grant extra actions or temporary bonuses/invulnerability to certain things like AoOs, rough terrain and the like seem like a great way to do things. Especially when combined with the rogue/ninja tricks, you could have a swashbuckler built from a list of grit-fueled combat tricks.


Yes yes yes yes yes!


Early on, it seemed to me that a lot of the pirates actually went north of the Eye of Abendego to raid, only to retreat back into the Shackles to evade capture.


Contrary to the many gunslingers and machinesmiths, I'm interested in playing as either a paladin or inquisitor of Abadar. Especially now that magic works again, or at least it might, it seems like's it time for servant of order to try and tame the Wild, Wild Wastes.

EDIT: And now I've got Bad Company stuck in my head. Rogues and fighters and bards... the gunslinger seems almost boring in comparison!


The fluff text of Golarion has many contradictory origin myths. This is done on purpose. However, Asmodeus is, indeed, a god, as he has his own entry in most of the books on evil gods and has his own deity article in Pathfinder #29, Mother of Flies. The mechanical writing has never portrayed him as anything other than a god. Razmir, on the other hand...

That said, characters in Golarion aren't necessarily aware of the coosmology of the universe they live in. Asmodeus being a devil masquerading as a god could be a fun in-game conspiracy theory. But in-game characters also don't know about mythic levels...


I'm interested! Legacy of Fire is my favorite AP, but I've never gotten a chance to play (on either side of the screen), outside of some very short-lived or slow-moving PbP games. I can get Skype, but I don't have a webcam. Is it a chat-based or audio-visual game?

I have a wizard PC generated specifically for this AP. LG, friendly, with a naughty monkey familiar. He comes pre-packaged with a piece of prose fiction I wrote in place of a conventional backstory. PC is Alem abd-al-Hassan, and you can find him as an alias under my profile.


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I've played a fair number of one-on-ones. You can tell a completely different kind of story this way, with a playstyle to match.

Assuming you don't want to depart too terribly much from the usual playstyle, there are a number of options. You can allow the player to control multiple characters, PCs and NPCs alike. A single character can potentially deal a good amount of damage, but they can be overwhelmed very easily. Use lots of low-powered mooks. You can also use a variant HP system that allows a character to recover some amount of HP more quickly.

A good thing to remember is that, when you only have one player, party balance doesn't mean squat. You don't have to worry about making a character too weak or too strong, and the GM can tailor encounters much more easily, as you should easily be able to predict what options the player has available.


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ericthetolle wrote:

First of all, food logistics aren't a problem; just create a couple command-word activated Create Food and Water items, and you can feed an army... at least until a ninja steals them.

The real problem with a Golarian World War is that it will continue exactly until some high-level wizard pokes her head out of her private demi-plane and shouts "Oi you kids! Stop with the racket!" and some high-level cleric shoots back "Make me!", and then it's all about the spellcasters.

War in a D&D world isn't going to resemble a 16th century war at all, being more like a combination of W.W.II and modern terrorist operations. Even a mid- level wizard can wreck an army witha few midnight scry/ teleport/cloudkill attacks, and high-level spellcasters can destroy cities.

With armies being just fodder for the local necromancer, war would consist of a series of lightning-quick raids against important infrastructure; visible effects would involve cities and fleets being destroyed, while the real action would be the game of teleport tag where each side tries to catch the other side's high-level spellcasters off guard. The nation that runs out of spellcasters first loses.

But hey, you want a real world war? How about this? A necromancer decides to wraith bomb a major city. A couple months later, the shattered remnants of the inner sea armies are fighting a desperate rear-guard action to allow the last few refugee ships to embark overseas. Of course that's more of a "World War W" scenario.

You're assuming an overabundance of high-level casters. This isn't Faerun; Golarion is not overrun by mages or clerics. The prominent casters tend to be rulers of some sort (the Ruby Prince is a high-level cleric, Geb and Nex were wizard god-kings, Tar Baphon is probably mythic, Winter Witches in Irrisen, etc.). Even assuming the existence of some high-level casters, there are very few that actually have the power to oppose an entire nation, much less a power bloc, on their own.

You're also ignoring the very probable possibility that the casters could be opposed by others aligned with the armies, and thus the casters do nothing but negate each other, either via counterspelling or an epic magic duel that ultimately doesn't affect the rest of the battle going on. In this sense, casters are more like warplanes and bombers rather than nuclear weapons.

Also, why are these mysterious casters neutral or impartial in the first place? Being individually powerful doesn't automatically make you an uninvolved third party. In fact, given my above point about caster rulers, I'd argue that it's the opposite.


At least he actually plays the character, going so far as to mimic speech patterns. We had a guy that only ever played Link from The Legend of Zelda. We even statted up some of the items like the Hookshot for him, but we couldn't get him to do anything even remotely RP-related.


Given that spontaneous casters still require verbal and somatic components (though they do eschew materials), I would imagine that young spontaneous casters haven't figured out exactly what to do to cast yet. "It's Levi-o-sa, not Levio-sa!"


I was hoping for a Midkemia homebrew. But who knows? Feist's just about done. You could be next!


Nem-Z wrote:
I prefer spontanious because it requires less bookeeping, encourages more thematic choices in spells that say something about the caster as a person, and also specifically because the delayed spell growth rates extends the game's 'sweet spot' by another level or two.

I disagree with the bolded portion here. I feel that wizards, while lacking the baked-in theme of a bloodline, are actually more flavorful. Their greater number of spells in no way reduces their ability to be thematic, and there are plenty of different spellcasters in fiction who seem more like wizards than sorcerers.

Wizards as prepared casters make magic feel deeper, more mysterious, more... arcane. I appreciate the flavor that accompanies them, the erudite academia. Now, a sorcerer is in no way precluded from being a wizened sage locked away in a dusty library; it just doesn't serve their flavor terribly well.

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