Make visibility, terrain, action economy, and expectations work for you rather than against you. Also, don't let them use 15 minute work days.
Examples for your APL 5 Party:
PCs must ford a series of stagnant ponds, parts of which are deep enough to require swim checks. As they cross, the pass into a pool containing a mostly submerged caryatid column, a leech swarm and a grappling skull swarm.
For extra fun, have this lead directly into:
Orc Ambush. 9 Orc Warriors (CR 1/3) with a Half Orc Fighter 5 or Barbarian 5 Leader and a Scarred Witch Doctor 3 or Blood God Disciple Summoner 3 attack the party utilizing intelligent tactics (such as the use of nets or "dog piling" weaker looking party members first, and recognizing that the eidolon is tied to the Summoner).
So you're basically doing the same thing, except instead of saying "this item requires 24 hours to attune" I would have a notation that says "Warmth: 24 hours". 6 of one, half-dozen of the other.
Also, I think you have me confused with the OP. I did not write up a multi-use Quick Runner's Shirt. I actually recommended against it.
Well, Razmiran has to win on the best con thus far, with the veiled master aboleth involved with Thassilon a close contender.
I thought I recalled something about a Sun Orchid elixer heist at one point, but can't remember or find where I read that, so it may have been in one of the numerous homebrew things I read too much of :)
Will post more if I think of them. Good queries.
Driver 325 yards wrote:
I have a metaphysics term called "warmth", which is basically a short hand way of describing how long it takes an item to attune to a person (or the person to an object in some cases) and become active. The main example I can think of out of base PF is a ring of sustenance. In my games, Quick Runner's Shirts have to be worn for a static amount of time (I'm at work not at home, so I can't recall how many hours it is, I think 4 hours though) before they are "warmed" to the character so that I don't have higher level PCs changing shirts after every battle and always having an extra move action available.
If you are the GM, yes, the pricing formula you posted for multiple activations looks accurate. I would recommend against it, however.
If you aren't, ask your GM as the quick runner's shirt is relatively broken and making it continuous is even more so. (It's actually one of the few things in Pathfinder I've house-ruled.)
So, The Lord of the Rings is Gandalf as the GM's Mary Sue GM-PC with all of the other hobbits as the Leadership NPCs from a GM that hates Leadership with all of the other PCs playing dwarven characters?...... wow, the trilogy never made so much sense as it does now.
P.S. on topic, my experiences with PFS have thus-far been positive and nothing at all like what you are describing, but I'm only 3 games in so far... the abrupt change may have thrown off your fellow players, who might have brought different characters had they realized you were changing your character up.
Another sterling example of why I've seen paladins banned in the past:
Depending on the timing of things and the characters' background, it might fall under the "exceptional circumstances" clause of the code regarding associates:
Story-wise it would be great for the paladin to convince the diabolist to get rid of the imp and send it back to the Hells in failure. Sadly, RAW does not often support such stories.
There are lots of variables in how long it takes folks to get to 20th.
The big ones are:
Throwing some VERY rough #'s on a spreadsheet and assuming that you play about once a week for about 4 hours with an average of 4 PCs, I came up with about 87 sessions (includes 3 sessions for "getting to know you / shopping / other no xp gaining ; 2 sessions each of "character activity spotlights" that might not get XP for the group and 4 sessions of "not enough accomplished").
You're probably safe figuring at just shy of two years if you play once a week on a medium track assuming your GM doesn't do odd things with XP or advancement. Optimized characters / vet players can probably shave it down to just over a year.
117. PCs find a rope, seemingly hanging from mid-air. It is an active rope trick spell and will last another 11 hours after the PCs find it. There is nothing inside.
118. PCs accidentally trigger a waiting magic mouth, which states in the voice of a harried-sounding old man. “My friend, if you are hearing this, it is likely too late for me and the daemons have found me. The command word is “veris atunkeh”. Raise a glass in my honor on Midsummer’s Eve and know that I go to my grave knowing that you will carry on.” The magic then fades away forever.
119. PCs are in the wrong place at the right time and receive a sending spell. “Our agreement is in jeopardy. The Red Mantis will visit your family if you don’t tell me right NOW what I want to know.”
120. PCs are approached by a young boy in some panic and disrepair. His sister has been bitten by a poisonous snake and sent him to get help. She is 1d4+1 hours away by the boy’s pace, but if the PCs have someone with swift tracking or the ability to get to her magically she is only an hour away via direct route or by magical flight. She is taking 1d3 con damage/ hour and has 1d6+2 con remaining when the boy finds the PCs.
121. PCs notice a glint in the firelight of the campfire. It appears that a metal chest containing 15 silver pieces in ancient silver coin was buried in their fire pit. Inside is a weather-worn scroll that reads “As agreed, half now, and half upon delivery of the oracle” in a very old script. The box has apparently been there for years.
122. A local pet sees the camp and comes to investigate. It is friendly and will eagerly accept any food it is given. If the PCs return it to the owner, a nearby hermit, he will be so appreciative of the return of his only friend he will give them a masterwork tool or 1st level scroll that they may find useful. If they leave without seeking out the owner, the animal will follow them for 3d4 miles before falling behind and perhaps becoming lost for good.
398. Redemption of the faith: PCs are townsfolk in an agrarian culture in an oft-forgotten corner of a larger kingdom. On their naming-day / rite to adulthood, they travel to an old monastery of the patron empyreal of the region for the traditional night of fasting & meditation before their name-day celebration the following day. While there, they are visited by either a dream or actual manifestation of the empyreal who enjoins them to help it save the soul of their country – a greater evil has been corrupting the kingdom and has been rewriting the chronicles of history to its own twisted view. The very nature of their agrarian community has warded them from the worst of the atrocities that are being committed as the expansionist devil-led kingdom always needs supplies. The PCs are charged to infiltrate and redeem both their kingdom and their faith from the shackles of evil which hold it.
399. Thicker than water and stronger than steel: PCs are all members of the same extended family (brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, whatever) who are part of a long line of famous adventurers. One of the great family matriarchs or patriarchs organized a huge family reunion with the entire extended family attending a week-long celebration. The PCs and some of the other younger cousins decided to go visit one of the famous family sites of a great battle, where one of the grand-parents tricked a powerful enemy into a trap creating a dead magic area. They have a picnic there and marvel over the statuary and the signs of battle which still persist after almost a century. When they return, however, it appears that everyone else in their family has been killed in a huge and violent attack. Worse, somehow their family has been implicated in treason and any titles, lands, or monies have been seized by the crown or church and all members of the family, down the youngest child are under an order or execution. The PCs must hide their family name and determine what enemy could have accomplished all that has occurred. Rumors of a secret family demi plane may be the only hope to find records of ancient enemies and allies both in order to redeem their family name and avenge their dead.
400. The price of second chances: On the night of the Gambler’s Lament, the night where no fortune is set and both weal and woe strike unexpectedly, each of the PCs awakens from a horrible dream where some chance event in their past that had no particular repercussion instead had dire consequences. Perhaps they fell asleep on watch, but awoke before they were caught – in the dream, enemy infiltrators snuck past them and killed their fellows, leaving them alive and asleep in the brush. Perhaps, they stepped outside for a moment to enjoy a quick smoke and a bit of quiet as their teething infant slept, with nothing going amiss – in the dream, a fire was started and the infant died, destroying family & home. In all of their dreams, they swore to do anything to undo what had occurred, before they awaken from their dream, the a voice tells them that their debt has come due. In the morning, when they awaken, they have a clear memory of the dream and some physical manifestation of what occurred (scars from a scourge for dereliction of duty, burn scars on their hands from trying to save their child, etc.).
401. Strange bedfellows: PCs are a group of lawful-aligned characters, who may fall under good, evil, or neutral. They are a special cadre of their various churches used to deal with the threats posed by Chaos and against which the normal aegis of their churches have little influence. In a standard “hero” campaign, the enemy might primarily be demons. In a grey or other darker campaign, the PCs may have to challenge good-aligned outsiders in order to defend their lawful evil patrons or party members as well. PCs must discern both where their faith in their church lies in comparison to that of those who have become their family by baptism in fire, especially when orthodox clergy attempt to use the PCs to set up their own party members, against both their personal loyalty and sense of honor as well as the compact agreed upon by all of the faiths which formed their cadre. Recommended for mature players who may be interested in role-playing antagonistic characters with minimal actual PvP violence.
402. Crimson Sails: PCs are fisherfolk, pirates, or other nautical sorts who live on the coast of a continent with a rich history of mostly fallen civilizations. There have long been rumors of furtive trade with another continent, but those who make the long journey have long guarded the secret route well. The PCs have discounted this rumor. Until today, when a dozen ships larger than anything the PCs could envision were sighted on the horizon, bearing for their home. With crimson sails and wyvern-riders they quickly overtake and capture the PCs’ and their vessel, demanding information on behalf of their empire. They arrive in the PCs village and promptly decimate it (literally killing one in ten people) as a sacrifice to the gods for a successful journey and as a tithe to the Emperor. Though their ships are huge and well-defended, they make it known that they are merely the scouts for a potentially much larger invasion from the other continent. The PCs must escape their village and spread word of these invaders throughout the shattered kingdoms before the Empire can add their lands to the vast Empire of the Heart Eaters. Perhaps rumors of the reclusive arch wizards and the enigmatic draconic council of five metals can help.
If you have ever had cheap Puerto Rican rum you would care where it came from. That stuff is nasty! Release the Kraken!
I fear you've been lead astray, neighbor.
While I will grant you that Kraken is better than that crap-tastic Myer's, Cruzan Rum is the rum of choice for those more discerning of something other than grog, most especially their blackstrap rum - which makes the best rum n coke you will ever experience :)
I tend to picture Mediogalti Island as a source for sugar cane and rum.
P.S. in all fairness, it's probably because I like to imagine a weird scenario in which Red Mantis assassins team up with inquisitors of Cayden Cailean to oppose Chelaxians plotting to impose Prohibition upon an unsuspecting world...
P.P.S. Sargava IS probably a far better source for sugar cane. That or Bloodcove / Mwangi.
As it appears a decision was made already to go over the 100… a few more:
104. After years of silence your biological father finally acknowledged you on his deathbed, surrounded by witnesses with infallible proof of your paternity. Unfortunately, he was riddled with debt and far below the station you were born into. Now the rest of your brothers and sisters seem to be shunning you, your mother has vanished under mysterious circumstances, and your dog just died in convulsions after taking a bite of your dinner…
105. You have inherited the soul-gem of one of the most renowned necromancers in history from your grandfather, a former paladin who wrestled with the morality of freeing the trapped soul of an evil so great that it would surely be returned to life against that of holding a soul trapped. He died choking on a prune and now you’ve lost both your appreciation for moral arguments involving paladins as well as your taste for prunes. Both your regularity and your decisiveness have both been affected by his loss and your inheritance…
106. You have inherited a pair of slightly mildewed, sentient and telepathic slippers. They refuse to tell you their powers and have thus far used their telepathy to drive anyone attempting to discern their purpose to distraction. Though they speak with male voices, they answer to Ethel and Irma and wish to continue to spend their existence lounging near a fireplace and nowhere near any “vile, sweaty feet”.
107. The archenemy of your family has finally died after generations of feuding between your families, yours is the only one remaining. Unfortunately, he very clear instructions to the executors of his estate – the hundreds of thousands of gold they had saved will be used to assist orphans and the poor, doled out quarterly for the next 200 years, so long as you bear the hated sword, Childrensbane – a sentient chaotic evil weapon capable of self-casting message spells to the clergy of Abadar. Should you and the next three generations after you fail to bear Childrensbane the money will instead be used to purchase slaves to be sacrificed to demons with the instruction to hunt down and destroy you and the rest of your family. Disturbingly, Childrensbane seems to have taken quite a liking to you and has said you have “potential”…
108. You’ve inherited a bridge… in a desert… with the taxes that are due upon it... family tradition holds that so long as it remains in your family, the djinn of the desert will hold to their peace treaty, but the new government neither knows nor cares about the djinn and insist upon their money, which you don’t have…
109. You’ve inherited a lich’s phylactery. Nothing is known about the lich. The phylactery resists any and all divination magics cast upon it. You’ve been advised that if the lich is alive when the phylactery is destroyed, it can just make another one – and it will be VERY angry. If it dies, however, odds are it will reform from the closest available body.
Point of view from someone who rarely buys 3PP for use as a player, but occasionally reviews and allows it from players when GMing:
I’ve been somewhat intrigued by the WoP system since I saw it, but as described above, it seemed a “hot mess” – especially to try to explain to folks who aren’t rules or systems adept and I’m one of those folks that thinks that a lot of the flavor from D&D and its successive generations is the vancian magic system.
Love the concept behind 340. :) the price of immortality / longevity is always fun to play with…
A few intrigue-based ideas for those who may prefer a bit more “low fantasy” in their options… with nods to Condon, Cook, and Dumas…
342. Manchurian Heroes / the Bourne Enchantment
343. Sleeper Agents
344. In Service to Hope
345. For King or Kingdom?
FYI, I believe your count is 10 too many. There was a repeat of #64, and it jumped from 122 to 133, and there was two 142.
My contributions to get our numbering is back on track…
123. Gideon Mithrilpot’s Adventurers’ Cookbook, Anniversary Edition – a famous work from a now-deceased adventuring chef, which includes the recipes to properly cook naturally dangerous and venomous creatures such as wyverns and gorgons. Gives a +4 insight bonus to Profession (Chef) when used to prepare “exotic” foods (loosely defined as anything “uncommon” or “rare” for a knowledge DC check). Includes autograph that reads “Thanks for not eating ME! -G. Mithrilpot”
124. Gnomes – a Book of Questioning & Curry by Blackmaw of Ripper’s Bite – what appears to be both a demented cookbook as well as a treatise on gnome physiology and psychology, including detailed illustrations of nerve centers and the baking and burning temperatures of most organs and skin. Also details differing cooking temperatures for svirfneblin and spriggans. Gives a +2 insight bonus to sense motive if consulted while questioning a gnome or a +4 insight bonus to Profession (Chef, Tanner or Torturer) when the subject is a gnome. Also includes a delectable curry recipe which works equally well with halfling, fish, chicken and pork. The publisher notes that the author is a half orc alchemist and assassin, who is wanted for murder and that the book is also available in drow and infernal print editions (gnome leather cover limited editions are now sold out).
125. Visions of Inspiring Beauty & Tears of Blood by Kelveth Planestrider – a book of magically reproduced paintings from a famous painter who was once a powerful horizon walker. The book shows magically reproduced paintings of both the upper and lower planes in great detail. There are images from all four elemental planes, all nine hells, all seven heavens and the first six layers of the Abyss. Images focus on the souls of the deceased in the upper and lower planes and the architecture and “rulers” of the elemental planes. The images from the Astral & Etheric planes appear to have been ripped out.
126. Living under a Curse by Magdelaina Crowsbait – a “self help” / “uplifting” book about how to deal with life under an irrevocable curse. Sections include hereditary curses, lycanthropy, and even the rare direct curse from a deity. Readers gain a +2 Insight bonus for sense motive, diplomacy or bluff for those who have been suffering under a curse for a month or more or a +2 insight bonus to saves related to losing control or resisting secondary effects of the curse for those who suffer a curse.
127. Pejorative Prophecies a book by [redacted] of [redacted physiological activity] – the introduction from a renowned scholar of other prophecies notes that, while uncouth in the extreme, many of the prophecies researched in the book are actually more accurate than their more civilized variants as its well-known that mad rambling prophets tend to have very foul mouths. May give a +2 insight bonus to characters who are able to make their way through the vitriol. The book is also a collectors piece as it is one that tends to be burned by conservative churches at every opportunity.
128. The Shapechangers’ Bedchambers, Volume II by Ilyessa Silken – a collection of lurid stories about the various author’s encounters with differing types of shapechangers written as “dear Silken, I never thought I’d write one of THESE letters” format. Though written for titillating entertainment, the details of the stories also provide insight into the shapechanging process and physiology and may give the reader a +2 insight bonus to sense motive of perception checks to recognize a shapechanger.
129. Three Faces of Honor a collection from the writings of Sir Roland Shatterspear, Sir Durandor of Highpass, and Sir Lucien Hammerstrike – this solid tome is divided into three parts and is a collection of insights into the various codes of honor and etiquette appropriate for those of Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral and Lawful Evil alignments. Readers able to quote or meditate upon the insights provided may gain a +2 bonus to bluff, diplomacy or sense motive rolls when speaking or corresponding with martial characters of those alignments. The Faces of Honor was once required reading at prestigious military academies and may still find some usage there. This copy is a rare autographed edition.
130. Wonders from the Waves, Volume IV by Phelissa Griffonquill – a treatise on the various cities, civilizations and other monuments which have either been lost to the sea or revealed to have once been under the sea over a 500 year period along with a description of those civilizations and their hallmarks and a short history. Readers may use the book as a reference point to try to find the locations established in the book with a +2 bonus on the survival rolls as well as gaining a +2 bonus on Appraise rolls to determine if an object is from one of the civilizations mentioned in the book.
131. Harmonics of the Planes by Lenlehatha Silverfork – a dry academic book on the various theories of harmonic energy variations in the different planes of existence. Most reading the book will gain little insight, but those who seek to make a tuning fork attuned to a specific plane or an attempt to jury-rig a fork to a plan described (a VERY dangerous proposition) will gain a +2 insight bonus to their craft roll. Those hearing the sound of an attuned fork will gain a +4 insight bonus to their Knowledge (planes) or Spellcraft check to determine where the fork may be attuned. There is a copy of the arcane spell plane shift inscribed in a chemically inert metal on the back cover of the book. This book has a permanent book ward spell cast upon it.
132. Reinholdt’s Replacements, 8th Edition – the mostly burnt tome still contains the introduction advising that it is for advanced students of wizardry who may elect to utilize alternate or even no material components for common spells. A month of study with an undamage tome allows a wizard reading the book to purchase the Eschew Material feat without the need for a teacher (if that rule is used in your campaign). In addition, the appendices at the end may also contain alternate material components for common spells and notes on components which can be used to increase the efficacy of spells (such as the use of alchemical grease with a grease spell). The book contains copies of the cantrips for read magic and detect magic.
154. The Manuel of Rapid Golem Deconstruction by Klavin the Quick, Jr. – this beautifully illustrated book is written from the perspective of a “fighting engineer” (in the authors words) and describes tactics which can be used with a variety of both weapons and tools to rapidly “deconstruct” metal contructs and clockwork creatures. The book gives a +2 insight bonus on all knowledge or craft checks involving golems and gives a special bonus to melee characters with knowledge engineering – when utilizing the tactics outlines in the book they may ignore up to 1 point of DR from a golem per point of Knowledge (Engineering) up to a maximum of DR 10 after making a successful Knowledge (Engineering) check with a DC 15+ the CR of the golem. This bonus lasts for a number of rounds equal to the number of ranks the character has in Knowledge (Engineering).
What best stuff I get if you die?
There are some valid concerns mentioned up-thread, specifically the potential for abuse by ignoring WBL and the fact that any character “going solo” effectively leaves the rest of the players literally or figuratively twiddling their thumbs while the GM and the player going solo resolves the encounter.
There are a few ways to address both –
The “thumb twiddling” is one of the more difficult things to address in any given game. You can outright ban it, as recommended above, or you can try to find a way to bring the other PCs in on it, depending on how much work you want to put into the side encounter. I’ve seen other players used to RP bit NPCs or manage specific sub systems used to good effect in the past, but it needs to be something both the “solo” player and the other players are comfortable with. In this case, you should be fine. In situations where the “solo” player is selling out the party for whatever reason, likely not.
As an example, and assuming you have a group of four PCs… we’ll go with the “traditional four”, though it doesn’t really matter what the actual class is of the PC.
Fighter player – bit character (shopkeep)
DM hands the Fighter Player & Cleric player a 3x5 card with some basic info about the bit character (I would recommend will save, hp, AC, CMB, languages, diplomacy, bluff, sense motive, perception & appropriate craft/ profession skills ; sleight of hand & perform if applicable, such as if the other customer is also a thief).
Per normal, DM narrates the scene as the Rogue enters the shop and advises results and changes in the environment (such as city guards walking by outside if noticed).
If the Rogue is caught, they can try to talk their way out or break to a possible chase scene.
I would probably use mechanics similar to those of chase scenes for various tests inside – especially the two options to try to get a result (ie bluff for a high dc vs. sleight of hand for a lower dc to swipe something from the counter).
Hope that helps.
I’ve seen campaigns that are all over the place.
For some time I had a particular hatred of staring characters at first that evolves from playing more than two mages who start at one hit point and die from a short fall or a rat bite. Ignoble deaths to put it mildly.
Barring PFS (which I only recently started and am currently abysmally low level) as a PC I currently have a 3rd, 10th and 17th level characters active; with a some “on hold campaigns” consisting of a 3rd, 7th and two 9th level characters.
Most campaigns I see now don’t wrap well and are mostly cancelled due to scheduling issues from real life work & family time constraints.
As far as the games I’m running go, I currently have a 3-facet campaign in a pre-spellplague Forgotten Realms home game that has been converted to PF that the PCs are currently 11th level in and which will also have an 18th level arc and a 28th level arc before all is said and done. I don’t anticipate it resolving for at least six or seven years, however as we are lucky to all be able to get together even once a month at this point.
TimD, that's some darn good stuff right there!
Mark Hoover wrote:
@TimD - wow. Is Awesterrifying a word? If not, it should be trademarked for your post.
Thanks much :)
For your kind words, a few more:
318. Unto the 9th Generation - PCs are all under a familial curse “unto the 9th generation” and must strive to show that the qualities (or lack of qualities) which caused their forbearers to become cursed have been overcome in order to remove the curse from themselves and their families. The familial curses cannot be removed by remove curse, though Wish may work on a PCs. Thematically they should be similar to the Sorcerous Bloodlines or Oracle Curses & Revelations, but not identical. At some point, when the curse is removed it should instead be “flipped” to provide a boon for overcoming the curse. PCs may have to either defeat or make amends to whichever entity or entities cursed them and their families in order to have the curse removed. Focus on the suffering of the rest of their family under the curse and it is best if the PCs are only 2 or 3 generations in so that they know that their children & children’s children will also be suffering if they are unable to have the curse removed.
319. Familiarity & Contempt - PCs are the reincarnated spirits of familiars which were sacrificed or otherwise killed by their masters turning to evil or otherwise embracing the service of the lower planes. They have been returned to either avenge themselves or otherwise keep their former masters in check or otherwise defeat them, but must be very wary. Thematic elements could include insight back and forth between their former masters & themselves and “interference” or other abilities to manipulate or communicate with actual familiars.
320. It’s not easy being green - PCs are orcs, half-orcs or some other form of socially undesirable pariahs of their area. They have been chosen by one or more deities to not only demonstrate that their race is capable of reform, but to guide their race to a greater future. The intercession should be in a dream or drugged state so that PCs must initially operate on faith rather than direct divine intervention that what they are doing is for the good and may allow a bit of reversed metagame to make the players wonder if their characters are being tricked by a malevolent deity or avenging deity as a set-up. This is a campaign to change the viewpoints of the world, more than just for loot and the DM should make sure the players are ok with the different feel.
321. Agents of Balance - PCs are those who have been positively affected at some point by a wish or other great magics. Their existence and perhaps those of their loved ones has skewed the universe somewhat out of balance. In order to address this imbalance, a Thelotos Aeon or similar has made them an offer they can ill-afford to refuse – to work and become agents of cosmic balance or to be removed from the universe to set things right. This campaign is one of resolving extremes – enemies of the Abyss one day and perhaps assassinating a too-influential paladin the next. It’s somewhat similar to the “Unto the 9th Generation” plothook, but will require that the PCs be much more neutral or evil in their outlook as they will not be traditional “good guys”. PC challenges may include trying to maintain some sort of sense of honor or code so that they aren’t viewed as inconsistent by NPCs, attempting to break free from the “balance obligation” or attempting to shatter the very laws of the universe which seem to require balance if the campaign goes “out of the stadium epic”.
My interest would be dependent on the size of the book – the bigger the better. I would pass if it were a 32 page and buy if it were a 256 page hardback.
Both the desire to see options that wouldn’t be taken by players as “haha, I broke PF” and the very real need to market to more than just game masters are both valid concerns. Scaling in RPGs is definitely more art than a science.
I would definitely like to see sidebars on design intents in something like this as well, if possible (ex: notes on thematic choices vs. mechanically optimal choices).
Not sure how I missed this thread for so long… here are a few:
301. The Bookburner’s Crusade – The PCs have been inducted into the greatest and most dangerous conspiracy, a war against otherworldly opponents who are able to gain power over those who are aware of them. The only true defense is ignorance and their followers seek to spread the knowledge of their names and rites throughout the world. The world will be unmade should enough of the world know the six secret names of the apocalypse.
302. The Turning Point – the PCs live in a world where good has long triumphed, the lower planes safely locked away and the dark powers are barely a myth. Their destiny is to change all of that. In “perfect world” where good has triumphed for so long, the golden glow of purity has begun to show a bit of taint. Tradition and law hold greater sway in the name of the “greater good” than acts of charity, kindness or comfort. Reform is anathema as it is believed to show weakness against the dark powers.
303. The Restoration of Life – PCs live in world where the living have long been enslaved by the dead. As the Long Night continues, the wise amongst the dead have realized that their hold over the living is spelling the doom of all the world – those few who are turned are lackluster idiots and even in death there is attrition – they fear their empire will crumble and oblivion will take all. PCs are the last of the “young elite” amongst the dead and are charged with leading the living to revolution and perhaps even restoring themselves to life in order to restore change and hope to the world and interesting enemies to their undead masters.
304. Breaking the Seal – the Thousand-Thousand years are almost at an end and the PCs are part of a small order or monks (not necessarily the class) who are responsible for maintaining the Records of the Sanctum. They are amongst the few who are told the great secret – that their world is but a hidden place within the depths of the Abyss and that in the next 10 years the wards holding out the hordes of the Abyss will fail. The PCs must find a way to journey to the Prime Material plane, discover how to return their wold to the Prime, and journey back to the Abyss to restore their world to the Prime before the Abyss consumes their world and all of the souls who have been born and died there are consigned to its torment.
305. Through the Mirror Wall – the PCs have discovered that they are merely reflections for that which lies on the other side of the mirror and that something is destroying Those Who Cast. Something from their side of the mirror. PCs must find a way to journey to the other side of the Mirror Wall and then make sure that their doubles on the other side remain alive so that they don’t fade into oblivion. Extra fun if they are opposite alignments of their doubles.
306. The Forging of Legacy – the PCs are actually intelligent magic items who were created at the same time for the same purpose. Each is to groom a champion of the great purpose subtly in order bring their mission to completion. They were not the only items created, however, and something has gone wrong – some of the others have turned and now go against the Purpose. Items advance in a manner similar to Weapons of Legacy in 3E, based on the power of their wielder, but they are also able to discard, recruit and maybe even “steal” champions of other items..
307. Dragon’s Hope – all PCs have some sort of dragonic bloodline background or potential. The world is similar to Golarion several hundred years in the future and the race of dragons have all but been eliminated. Alkenstar (or its variant) is, unknown to most, a vast citadel of might for the nine hells. The discovery and proliferation of firearms has been a fiendish plot to eliminate most of the fiends’ enemies upon Golarion and force those who remain to bind themselves forever. PCs are on a quest to find a way to change the very fabric of reality so that the Dragons’ Bane (firearms) either no longer function or are unable to harm those of dragons’ blood. Epic wishes or time travel may be required.
308. The Other Side of Oblivion – PCs are struck by the dreaded sphere of annihilation – they are not however, dead, but rather transported to a strange new world where not even their souls seem able to escape. They must find a way to reverse the sphere to allow them to return, but many threats also reside within the sphere and the PCs must either stop them from escaping as well or find a way to deal with them once they all escape together.
309. Second Chances – PCs have the memories of great heroes from days of yore, but they are only low level characters to begin with. Some great events are stirring, but no one knows why or how they have been restored. Shadows of memory and shards of mostly forgotten dreams must guide them to places where momentous events in their past lives occurred so that they can find the pattern in order to save not only their world but their souls. Unfortunately, many of their enemies were either also reincarnated or remain from their ancient times and will not sit idly by…
To start with, I would think about using kobolds as a theme that draws everything together – probably would use kobolds with the elemental resistances and class levels with their resistance/ dragon scale type based on the element.
If you aren’t a fan of kobolds, maybe use some sort of elemental cult theme with members of the elemental alternate PC races (Oread, Sylph, etc.) as the minion creatures. Maybe a Suli Elemental Knight Magus as a boss.
+1 for side encounters tending to be more character driven that overall group storyline driven. I've seen it used to good effect many times and is usually better than the GM walking away with a player or two for 10+ minutes to deal side issues.
Places I’ve seen it used best:
Places it works out very poorly:
As long as it's not always the same folks over and over again with those who are doing the solo missions not meeting back up with the group for the main game, I don't see why camaraderie will suffer, but maybe I'm missing something…
Way of the Wicked AP by Fire Mountain Games. Buy it. Read it. Love it. Tell them how much they rock for writing for the black hats. Fanfic might be a bit much, but only a bit, slashfic is almost definitely too much. Almost definitely.
Lay the ground work – talk with your players about expectations on an evil game and what they consider evil. Some people have issues believing that evil is more than just murder-hobo paladins who don’t stop at monsters. Some think that it’s a great way to do some spontaneous PvP. Others just like to role-play the other end of the spectrum. Some like the “squick factor”. Make sure everyone’s motives jive or at least aren’t going to drive each other way screaming or attempting to gouge their eyes out with a brass d4. Personally, I’ve found it’s easier to mix a bit of evil into a party than have everyone evil, but I’ve also been pleasantly surprised and have played in a few successful all-evil groups over the years.
Remember that the PCs aren’t heroes. I cannot stress this enough. There should and will be a lot of “what’s in it for us” and the “well you have to save the world because you live on it too” gets over-used a lot. I recommend writing a lot of “conspiracy”, “revenge” and “misinformation” plotlines.
Should note that stats increased via items do NOT effect feat requirements.
Urgathoa approves of your post.The rest of us wonder about the purpose of your thread necromancy. After more than two years, they've probably finished their build. :)
This is one of those things that goes either really well (about 20% of the time) or really, really south (about 65% of the time).
For verisimilitude purposes, it’s great. Making PCs see themselves as part of a larger world, with stuff going on that doesn’t always involve them can be very rewarding for bringing your game world alive. Having someone to match themselves against and become emotionally invested to defeat or as rivals is an excellent goal. It can also be a great way to introduce alternate PCs if a PC dies by having a respected rival join the group. Interesting NPCs make for an interesting game world.
The problem arises when the NPCs start to outshine the players or if there is an either real or perceived “Mary Sue” syndrome going on with the NPCs as the “DM’s PCs” and the players or the DM starts to see the PCs as secondary to the NPCs. The other issue that may arise is that if the NPCs are actually geared out as the PCs are, they are way over the recommended wealth scales and the players may be out of their depth when confronting them or decide that they are the best prey for loot purposes. Be prepared for either viewpoint and eventuality and make sure that it’s not going to skew your game too far from where you want it going.
Just remember to always make sure your story stays focused on the PCs, not the NPCs, no matter how interesting you write them.
If you actually roleplayed LE correctly, you would eventually murder your fellow PC's to gain advantage.
Obviously “He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order” means that I should always murder-face my party like a dumbass. [/sarcasm.]I’ve been playing LE characters in AD&D and its variants and descendents for about 25 years now. I think I may possibly know something about it.
LE is not an allowed alignment in Pathfinder rules, period. Your DM is obviously making an exception, and just as obviously, doesn't know the meaning of LE, imo.
PRD quote for that?I see “Assassin” and "Red Mantis Assassin" listed as a Prestige Classes, not an NPC classes. I see Anti-Paladin listed as an alternate paladin class, not an NPC class (unless you are argueing that CE is ok, but LE is not). I see the Iconic Magus, Seltyiel, listed with an LE alignment. I see that there is a whole 3PP adventure path (Way of the Wicked) which pretty much focuses on LE characters.
I short, I see you are playing in a whole different world, than what I see on the Paizo site and the books I own.
Jason S wrote:
Please do not turn this into an alignment thread...
Valid – apologies, I should know better than to use the p-word.
Paladins aren't like that.
Actually, paladins are EXACTLY like that:
Paladin Code wrote:
a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance
Translation: if I want to play one of my favorite lawful evil assassin-themed characters, who plays well with groups, I can't play in the same group as a paladin.
You may note that most games don't allow Evil alignments, and neither do Paladins. That's no restriction, that's the norm.
Your “norm” and mine differ greatly.The only time I see “no evil” as a “norm” is when dealing with PFS organized play, when playing with inexperienced GMs, or when playing with minors.
Barring PFS, most games I’m involved with don’t allow Gunslingers (including any I run – reasons being more for the mechanics than the aesthetic).
The ones I see most are fighters and rangers, followed by wizards and oracles.
Word-choice: I usually feel that maiming players for their characters’ actions is a bit excessive. You may want to keep it in-game. :)
As far as in-play ways to dissuade or punish characters goes, you may want to consider branding or forced tattoos (“Idiot” tattooed across their forehead may have a chilling effect on their effectiveness in convincing others to mutiny with them) on the character.
For an intrigue-heavy game a lot of what I would recommend would depend on what other folks in your group are playing and the background of game world.
Feats-wise, you may also want to branch into create magic tattoo if you’re going the Varisian route and studying rune magic ala Cypher Mages … having both magical tattoo’s and scrolls at your beck and call could be fun, thematically and it fits in with the Golarion world well … of course, if you’re not playing on Golarion, ymmv as usual. Other feats to consider: Cypher Script, Superior Summoning, Academae Graduate, and maybe some of the Skill Foci for areas you intend to specialize in for intrigue. Toughness & Dodge are almost always good buys, as well. If you think that there is a good likelihood of spending time constrained, imprisoned, or otherwise unable to have normal access to your resources, you may want to consider Silent Spell, Eschew Materials, and maybe Spell Mastery. At 7th Level you’re also where you can qualify for Prestige Classes, if you think you may go that route.
Hope that helped.
Word choice lessons learned by gaming (mostly DM’ing) while exhausted:
Double vs. Both: when one has Spell Penetration & Greater Spell Penetration one should never say “I have the double penetration feats”.