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RPG Superstar 2015

Campaign set in Mendev - Inspired by Diablo 3


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion


I've been itching for a tabletop RPG experience that incorporates elements from the Diablo franchise for years, and lately I've been wanting to run a campaign set in Mendev. Last night, I realized that the two ideas mesh pretty well.

For those not in the know, Diablo is a hack-and-slash computer RPG franchise by Blizzard based in a typical fantasy world being invaded by the forces of the Burning Hells. For more, see here.

At the end of the second game, the archangel Tyrael destroys the Worldstone, which had been corrupted by the demon Baal. Twenty years later, during the third game, a meteor falls from the sky, heralding the end-times; meanwhile another demon lord spews from the rent in reality that Mount Arreat has become.

So here's what I'm thinking (so far):
Mount Arreat : Sarkoris, now the Worldwound
They were both home to proud barbarians, both now lay in ruins with demons spewing forth invading the rest of the world.

Meteor : Possibly the aftermath of the Second Darkness AP, or otherwise a plot to damage the wardstones that keep the demons contained (more-or-less) to the Worldwound

Azmodan : BBEG (possibly a nascent demon lord, lieutenant to Deskari)

Tyrael: Some powerful sngelic ally that can't get (even more) directly involved (possibly a planetar or star archon)

This is still a really rough idea, just thought I'd see what everybody thinks.


sounds fine to me, but sounds like a higher lvl campaign to me.


Well, I'm thinking they start with having just arrived in Mendev. Mendev lends itself well to many types of characters. For example, they could be a paladin or cleric come to join the Crusade to fight demons, they could be a fighter/rogue/anybody come to make some coin, they could be native Iobarians (of Kellid descent, treated as second-class citizens by the Crusaders, occasionally persecuted by inquisitors as witches for following the Green Faith), or even prisoners from Cheliax or Taldor, who treat Mendev as a sort of prison colony where they send their undesirables. So they start off in Mendev, where the demon invasion is mostly contained. They live their lives, do some stuff, explore the local flavor. Then, something happens, probably related to the meteor, and the demon threat has suddenly increased, so they get to do the demon-crusader thing for real.

For low-level characters, there wouldn't be much demon-killing to do. The wardstones keep the demons at bay for the most part. However, Mendev is much more than just the fight against the demon incursion. In the 100 years or so since the First Crusade, there's a veritable civilization that exists beyond the immediate military expeditions. So low-level PCs might make some forays into the Worldwound, check out some Iobarian ruins that may or may not be overrun by demons, save some locals from being destroyed by the inquisitors (or oppress the locals themselves if they so desire). They would probably be at least loosely tied to the military, so there's a quest-giving NPC doling out these assignments. I'm still brainstorming actual outlines for the plot, but I personally feel that there's plenty to do in Mendev besides killing demons.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Mmm. Diablo. I made this group for a one-shot Worldwound/Mendev game—you might find it useful. :)


First off, I've got to say: this is why I love Paizo. The writers post their own homebrew for us to enjoy, the same way everybody else does. That's great stuff, Liz, easily meeting the quality that you guys publish. I really like the theme and flavor. But the best part was the notable figures section. I don't know why, it just seems like the part that I would struggle with most to write, but you delivered! Thank you!

Sitting down and thinking about what I might want to do for the plot of the game, with most of the first portion being low-level intrigue before launching into a mission against the Worldwound, made me realize that coming up with plot is hard :/ I haven't had any inspiration for an over-arching plot. Yeah, there should be some cataclysmic threat, but what is it? How does it happen? And how do you get there?

And then I realized that, with a lot of reflavoring and editing, I could totally cannibalize Second Darkness for this.

Other miscellaneous thoughts that I've come up with:

The Zakarum : Paladins of Iomedae

The church of Abadar strikes me as being perfect for a group of holy bureaucrats. I could totally see them setting up an Ellis Island-type customs checkpoint at the Mendev border, with a magical church-wide filing system to track stuff like taxes.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

The Dread Pirate Hurley wrote:
First off, I've got to say: this is why I love Paizo. The writers post their own homebrew for us to enjoy, the same way everybody else does. That's great stuff, Liz, easily meeting the quality that you guys publish. I really like the theme and flavor. But the best part was the notable figures section. I don't know why, it just seems like the part that I would struggle with most to write, but you delivered! Thank you!

They were all the pregen paladins I came up with for the one-shot game. :D (And thank you!)


Necromancers of Whispering Way, from not quite far Ustalav allying with Paladins Of Iomedae against greater evil?

Also part of the story arc could be fighting with spreading corruption amongst Mendevian crusaders, clergy and so on - maybe early part could be based on investigating strange rumors coming from important monastery directed by abbot "Lazarus" (let say, a 9th level Cleric). The investigation slowly reveals corruption in the monastery spread when Lazarus attempted to resurrect his son, a crusader that fallen while fighting demons at the border of Worldwound: some cunning demon found a way of circumventing wardstones by placing a seed of own spirit within killed crusader. The attempt to revive the vessel partially releases the demon, but the sanctified wards of the monastery itself keep it trapped within. Of course the trapped demon turns to twisting the denizens into his minions but needs help of someone untainted to actually release him.


Y'know, I hadn't thought to take it all the way back to the original Diablo. That would work pretty well for a first arc, though the arc boss that's taking the place of the first Diablo would have to be only a fraction of the demon's true power. And once defeated, he'd merely be banished back to the Abyss.

The necromancers of Sanctuary would actually translate far better to an undead lord archetype cleric of Pharasma hailing from within the Mwangi expanse, though it goes heavily against the fluff for Pharasma. But who cares? Rule of Cool. Actually, for a compromise, the necromancers could be some of the local Kellid-descendant Iobarians, practicing necromancy and following the Green Faith. They're probably some of those hunted by the inquisitions for being witches.

So, Sir Albrecht, son of Lazarus, paladin of Iomedae and member of the Company of the Blessed, has fallen to the demon hordes behind enemy lines. The Company retrieves their slain comrade, but Lazarus intercepts the body before it can get back to their headquarters (the body, already tainted with the seed of the demon's soul, wouldn't have been able to enter the headquarters, which would have tipped them off and ended this all before it has a chance to start). I like this...I like this very much.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

The Dread Pirate Hurley wrote:
The necromancers of Sanctuary would actually translate far better to an undead lord archetype cleric of Pharasma hailing from within the Mwangi expanse, though it goes heavily against the fluff for Pharasma. But who cares? Rule of Cool. Actually, for a compromise, the necromancers could be some of the local Kellid-descendant Iobarians, practicing necromancy and following the Green Faith. They're probably some of those hunted by the inquisitions for being witches.

This sounds like a perfect opportunity for a Juju Mystery Oracle. Debatably even has non-Evil undead. :)


The Dread Pirate Hurley wrote:
So, Sir Albrecht, son of Lazarus, paladin of Iomedae and member of the Company of the Blessed, has fallen to the demon hordes behind enemy lines. The Company retrieves their slain comrade, but Lazarus intercepts the body before it can get back to their headquarters (the body, already tainted with the seed of the demon's soul, wouldn't have been able to enter the headquarters, which would have tipped them off and ended this all before it has a chance to start). I like this...I like this very much.

Maybe it was Lazarus who send them to retrieve the body of his son - and maybe he won't be aware of the seed until the revival and the corruption of both the father and the son? Maybe it was Lazarus himself who at the last moment of lucidity sanctified the perimeter of the monastery preventing the escape of the demonic corruptor?


Well, as I understand it, the Company are pretty low-key. Most people probably don't even know they exist. So either Lazarus is in with them, or they returned Albrecht's body to his father. I don't like the idea of Lazarus being in with the Company, as it becomes difficult to justify why the body wasn't taken to their HQ. As soon as that body gets to the HQ, the evil hiding within will destroy it, or at least notify everybody else who will destroy it. As far as Lazarus becoming corrupted, I think we can draw that out a bit more and introduce the PCs before Lazarus discovers the demon and/or goes mad and/or seals the monastery.

So the Company recovers the body and returns it to Lazarus, as per Albrecht's pre-arranged wishes. Maybe Lazarus attempts to raise his son, but is prevented from doing so by the demon's power lurking in the body. Lazarus merely takes it as his son not wanting to return, and interrs the body, feeling that it's better this way and that it would be selfish of him to delay his son's well-earned afterlife. The demon feeds more power into his vessel, and begins to slowly corrupt Lazarus. Meanwhile, the Crusade is picking up. Albrecht may have fallen, but in that battle, he won a great victory for Mendev, having slain (or so they think) a powerful demon lieutenant. Pressing their advantage, the army begins to mobilize, so that by the time the demon has taken full control of his vessel, most of the crusaders have joined the renewed campaign. Enter the PCs, arriving in town, possibly with the intent to join the Crusade. Before they can be processed and sent to the front lines, the local priest of Iomedae discovers discovers that the catacombs have become overrun by undead! Enlisting the PCs, they clear the tainted catacombs.

So Drejk, since we seem to be plotting this thing out together, any objections or changes you'd like to make so far? I think the PCs should at this point get a "break" from the events in this area, to give the demon time to work on Lazarus. Also, the module "The Demon Within" would work beautifully with this campaign. If you don't own it, here's a brief synopsis:

Spoiler:
An Iomedean knight about to be appointed a place of honor in guarding the artifact that keeps the wardstones active has a serious crisis of faith, and is convinced in a dream by a demon disguised as an angel that said artifact is a corrupt tool used by the Iomedeans who have become perverted by misguided teachings and must therefore be destroyed. So...he does. The wardstones begin to fail, demon invasion begins, PCs have to stop it.

The character responsible for all that nonsense definitely reminds me of Marius, and the whole set-up contains elements of both Lazarus's and Marius's roles. It sets up the story to follow the gameplay of Diablo pretty closely, while incorporating a lot of the elements of Diablo II with the Worldstone and the Hellforge. It's really kind of amazing how well it fits in.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
The Dread Pirate Hurley wrote:
The necromancers of Sanctuary would actually translate far better to an undead lord archetype cleric of Pharasma hailing from within the Mwangi expanse, though it goes heavily against the fluff for Pharasma. But who cares? Rule of Cool. Actually, for a compromise, the necromancers could be some of the local Kellid-descendant Iobarians, practicing necromancy and following the Green Faith. They're probably some of those hunted by the inquisitions for being witches.
This sounds like a perfect opportunity for a Juju Mystery Oracle. Debatably even has non-Evil undead. :)

I agree! Local Iobarian juju oracles would be a great mechanical translation to bring the necromancers from Sanctuary to Golarion. I also think that the Iobarians also work pretty well for the druids and barbarians. I don't really know what to do with the Amazons. The assassin could be from Nidal (Shadowdancer PrC anyone?). The paladins we've already got covered. The rogues, as members of the Order of the Sightless Eye seem more like Nirmathi rangers, the fighter and the sorceress are generic enough to be anybody. However, the Sanctuary mages are either members of the Horadrim (and Cain's the last one of them) or the other Mage Clans of Aranoch, which could definitely be the northern region of Garund, especially Geb, Nex, Osirion, and Qadira.


A thing to consider (cosmological musings, actually, I love playing with construction of world cosmology):

Success of revival - I always considered that it is not the character that decides if he wants to be revived but the player. Afterlife is not some sort of fancy otherworld resort where you are asked if you want to stay or to be resurrected - its confusing state of half-existence until the soul reaches its destination and afterwards everything changes. From some James Jacobs comments in few threads it may be deemed that on Golarion the choice if the character will be resurrected or not would be based on the player deciding if soul of his character was judged by Pharasma or is still waiting in the queue... To the point: this generally means that Lazarus will assume that his son was already "processed" in afterlife instead of not wanting to return. Nothing big but may give somewhat different assumptions.

About the early events:
Before the players clear the catacombs from Undead, they should have a chance of learning of local denizens, meet a few NPCs so they could notice differences when they return to the area after corruption spreads.

What levels is The Demon Within? Do you intend to place it between the early "Diablo 1" events and middle-to-late "Diablo 1" events or set chronology in some other order?


My assumption that the revival choice was probably something of a hold-over from D&D, but I'll keep it in mind. It's certainly an interesting perspective, if nothing else. I was never sure how the whole resurrection thing worked with Pharasma and the Boneyard. Is there anything about in in The Great Beyond?

I agree, the first part of the arc would be more than just "Oh, look! Undead!" In execution, I see it being a bit like the Haunting of Harrowstone. The PCs arrive in town, grouped together during the customs border-crossing process. The characters who are interested in military service have to wait out the process of receiving orders, being assigned a unit, etc. while the others do whatever they intended in town. The end result is that the characters have a few days to kill together in town during which they explore the local are, learn a bit about the history of Mendev and the current situation, etc. The crusaders are assigned to a unit that is currently out drilling or on patrol and will return to town within the week. Sir Albrecht's body is returned to his father, a funeral is held (maybe a good point to explain the current situation or the history of the Crusades). Around this time (possibly the same day), the Queen orders that the armies press the advantage hard-won by Sir Albrecht and his men, and most of the city clears out. The PCs are still stuck in town while they wait for their unit to report in before being given the orders to head out. During this time, maybe two or three days after the funeral, Lazarus enlists their aid in clearing out the Catacombs. After they finish that unpleasant business, their unit returns, and the PCs head out to the front lines.

Here we have an interlude of sorts. The PCs are at the front lines, fighting the demon hordes, but they get sent back to the starting city for some reason (appointed as an honor guard to see somebody back to the city safely and a brief reprieve as reward for valor on the field of battle?) and they discover that things have changed. This is the part where The Demon Within comes into play. As written, it's for characters levels 11-13. If played to those specifications, their time on the front lines of the Crusade would be more than a mere "interlude", as it'll have been the lion's share of the campaign at that point. That's acceptable, though it just means that some substantial plot must be brainstormed to fill up that chunk of time. The alternative is that The Demon Within gets adjusted down a bit, say to level 5 or 6.

In either case, I think that, on the military campaign side of things, the battle that Sir Albrecht and friends won was merely a ploy by the demon to acquire a suitable host for his seed of corruption. On that note, Seeds of Corruption sounds like a great name for the campaign. During the course of the Demon Within arc of the story, something happens to the wardstones. According the module, the heroes succeed and all is well. That doesn't really suit our purposes, as we're probably still only at the end of Act III of V. I think that this would be a really good point to bring the Company of the Blessed fully into the campaign, with the heroes joining. This may, fittingly, also be the point where their angelic ally is introduced.

So here's a brief outline of what we've got so far. Like I said, feel free to disagree, clarify, propose changes, etc. I like what we've got going and I value your opinions (everyone who feels like contributing, not just Drejk, though I'm certainly grateful to him for getting this ball rolling).

Spoiler:
Seeds of Corruption (name subject to change)
Act I wherein our heroes are introduced, the setting is established, a funeral is held, and many undead are destroyed.
Act II wherein our heroes become heroes in their own right. Still completely undefined.
Act III: The Demon Within wherein our heroes return to the town, a plot is discovered, an old friend is corrupted, and new friends are made.
Act IV Still completely undefined.
Act V Still completely undefined.

For perspective on how it all lines up with the Diablo storyline, Acts I and III are the first and second parts of Diablo. Acts IV and possibly V encompass the later events of Diablo II, specifically relating to destroying the Soulstones. It's really kind of ridiculous how awesome The Demon Within[I] works for this, because the relevant artifact that keeps the [I]wardstones functioning, called the Demonscope is functionally very similar to the Worldstone, relative to the plot, as they are both artifacts that keep the world safe from the demons (though, in Diablo, the Worldstone is more geared to keeping Sanctuary hidden from the High Heavens and the Burning Hells). Even better, the Demonscope gets broken into shards that house pieces of a demon's soul, and they have to be destroyed. At least, that's what I understand so far; I haven't had a chance to read it in as much detail as I'd like.


Hm, I thought about placing the finale of Diablo I around 10th level (I admit that I have fondness for that level to be campaign culmination).

So in version A:
It would make act I levels 1-3 (assuming you would start everything at level 1): visit to "Tristam", funeral, first friends, beginning of the crusade, early corruption, catacombs.

Act II: levels 4-7, crusade, military or scouting campaign on the border of Worldwound or even within Worldwound... Maybe one of the acts from the Diablo 2 could be inspiration: I am thinking about the one taking place in the jungle (a spread of fiendish vegetation and demon-tainted creatures or something like that, I think there was mentioned the city somewhere in Worldwound that was overcame with fiendish vegetation) or desert.

Act III: levels 8-10 perhaps. I don't know the Demon Within module - you are certainly better suited to judge if it is correct fit for finishing Diablo 1 arc in act III or maybe move it to be act IV taking place after the corruption in monastery discovered and taken care of (superficially). Maybe character could, after succeeding in Act II, return to monastery to discover Lazarus corruption with Albrecht body risen as fiendish grave knight or maybe outrightly transformed into demon knight posing as the source of corruption. The party would probably clear the monastery (depending upon how much dunegon crawlish you'd like to make it), face the leader of the demons and destroy him freeing the monastery from corruption. The true demon-spirit wouldn't be defeated - incapable of physically manifesting it could still be able of leaving the monastery boundaries and haunt and corrupt the crusader you mentioned tricking him into:

Act IV: the Demon Within would take place at levels 11-13 as you said it was designed for. The demon-spirit tricks crusader into breaking the wardstone and the party has to either mend it or at least perform damage control to reduce the threat to the crusade, Mendev and the whole world.

Act V: Levels 14+. I still have no idea for it, but at least for a part of this act, the party should be required to venture into the depths of Abyss... Maybe they would need to seek the stolen soul of Albrecht needing it to finally banish the demon-spirit back to Abyss and sever its connection to Golaron?

Or version B:
If you merge Diablo 1 finale and the Demon Within then act I could be scaled for levels 1 to 4 or 5, act II extended from 4/5 to 10th level, act III (Diablo 1/Demon Within) set at levels 11-13 or 14th and act IV (fallout of Demon Within and venturing into Abyss) at 14th+.

Liberty's Edge

For Necromancers, if you accept 3rd party material, there's Kobold Quarterly #19, which introduces the White Necromancer, a non-evil variant class. They are a spontaneous-caster class with a more limited range of spells, but also gain the ability to Rebuke Death and Turn Undead. And from 4th level onwards, they can also create Undead, but which are either Neutral (in the case of mindless undead) or match the white necromancer's alignment (in the case of intelligent ones).


I took a long, hard look at the (admittedly very little) info published on Mendev and the Worldwound. The city that is to function as Tristram is St. Clydewell's Keep. It's described in The Demon Within as being one of many keeps on the border between Mendev and the Worldwound, but it's not actually on any of the maps. The city of Kenabres is the hotspot for the inquisition against the locals; this city is also on the border. The top brass are trying to eliminate the oppression of the natives, so that might be a good low-level mission. The demon vegetation that Drejk mentioned is in the Shudderwood on the Worldwound side of the border (the southern portion of the Shudderwood is in Ustulav). In the Worldwound, the city of Gundrun is in the south-eastern area that seems pretty removed from most of the conflict. The Sarkorians have fallen back to that settlement as the only remaining bastion of Sarkoris; it may be a good place for the Crusaders to occupy. Lastly, Deskari, the demon in charge of the entire invasion, is known as Lord of the Locust Host, and looks rather insectile. I can definitely see a hive similar to the Maggot Lair being a location of interest.

I've been trying to think of a way to get the PCs from either Egede (the eastern-most city in Mendev, situated on the Lake of Mists and Veils) or Nerosyan (the capital city, in the south-west corner of Mendev, situated on a river) all the way to St. Clydewell's Keep. Egede and Nerosyan are the two entrance points for people coming to Mendev, but the bulk of the action is going to take place on the border. So far, the best idea I've had is to start the game in one of the cities or keeps on the border.


If I correctly associate information, the St. Clydwell's Keep, like some other module locations is deliberately not placed on map to allow the GM place it according to his needs.

Another ordering idea: make the Act I (level 1-3) arrival to and some adventuring through Mendev, first visit to Clydwell's Keep Act II (4-6), crusading afterwards Act III (7-10), return to Clydwell's Keep Act IV (11-13), Act V would be second crusade into Worldwound and Act VI abyssal quest (If you go with my idea of visiting Abyss). Or maybe change the Act V and VI.


That's a good thought. If the first act is the journey to the front lines, I can pepper the way with crusader camps and Iobarian villages. It would give me a chance to insert little plot seeds that they can follow up on later, such as the zealous inquisition and the tenuous grip that the Queen has on her forces. Nerosyan has a history of piracy, presumably it was a friendly port for river pirates before the Crusades.

I think I'd like to incorporate something with the humans who have sided with the demons. Sarkoris was originally home to a cult of Deskari that Aroden destroyed. They appeared again just before his death, but were mostly rooted out during the First Crusade. The demons' campaign of whispers during the Third Crusade ignited paranoia and the Crusaders began an inquisition to root out the last remnants of the Deskari cult among the native Iobarians. That inquisition has mostly died down, but persists in more-or-less isolated incidents around Mendev, and in Kenabres especially. The figurehead for that movement is a good candidate for corruption. The city of Storasta in the Worldwound is only 70 miles from the capital of Mendev, and while once known for its gardens and druid groves, has become overgrown with assassin vines and blighted treants. I think that was the city with the demon vegetation you mentioned. It seems like a good place for the remnants of the Deskari cult to hole up. That might also be a good site for that hive dungeon, infested with abyssal swarms and insects. That, and there's a half-fiend witch, known as Areelu Volesh, who studied the Abyss even before the Worldwound opened. At the time, she was still human, but when Deskari's forces invaded, she joined with them and was transformed into a half-fiend. She controls the city of Undarin and acts as an advisor to many of the demon warlords. She seems a good candidate for the head villain of the Deskari Cult portion of the plot.

It doesn't really seem plausible that they would be assigned to a military unit that would travel all around like this, especially if the Crusaders are pressing an advantage. Most of that exploration and adventuring could take up the latter half of the campaign, after becoming members of the Company of the Blessed. In fact, since the Company of the Blessed accepts PCs at 6th level (at the earliest), they could possibly be given a trial mission as part of their induction after the unfortunate business with the catacombs in St. Clydeswell's Keep. Act III could be that job. It might be a good place to insert the trip to Kenabres to help end the Deskari Inquisition once and for all. They find clues that point to Storasta, which they can follow up on after returning to St. Clydeswell's Keep for their official induction.

So, updated outline:

Spoiler:

Seed of Corruption
Act I - the Seed is sown: Our heroes meet, receive orders, and depart for their station at St. Clydeswell's Keep to await further orders. Fandango fun and wacky hijinks ensue. Requires further planning.
Act II - the Seed takes root: Our heroes arrive at St. Clydeswell's Keep, are told to await assignment to a unit and further orders. The catacombs become infested with undead. Our heroes help quell crisis. They are approached by the Company of the Blessed.
Act III - the Seed flowers: As a trial mission for the Company of the Blessed, our heroes go to Kenabres to put a stop to the Deskari Inquisition. They discover the corruption among the church of Iomedae and hints of a Deskari cult still active in Storasta.
Act IV - the Seed bears fruit: Our heroes return to St. Clydeswell's Keep to report. Meanwhile, the Bishop goes mad and descends into the depths of the catacombs, leaving demons in his wake. Our heroes follow him, discovering his corruption and thwarting his attempt to disable the wardstones.
Act V - the Fruit ripens: Our heroes continue their investigation, heading to Storasta to elliminate the corrupting influence of the Deskari cult. In turn, they find that the half-fiend witch Areelu Vorlesh is behind the cult's activities. She presides over the city of Undarin, up the river from Storasta. Requires further planning.
Act VI: Requires further planning.
Act VII: Requires further planning.


Diablo 3 cartoon posted somewhere else.

How are preparations going? Also, the cartoon started me to think do you have any ideas for Tyrael role?


I had to halt prep to study for finals and such. That was 2 or 3 weeks ago, and I'm finally done. I'll be getting back to the planning...soon? Diablo III goes live in approx. 7 hours, 20 minutes at this posting, so I may be delayed in facing reality for a time.

I'm thinking the Tyrael character will be introduced for Act V or VI as an ally. He may possibly go with them into battle, but the only solid ideas I have for him at this point is that he's an angelic higher-up member of the Company or is in some way associated with them.

Liberty's Edge

This sounds like a fantastic idea that you have given a lot of thought to. I hope you and your players have fun with this.


Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad somebody else is enjoying this; I figured it was pretty much just me and Drejk.

Diablo III is awesome, by the way. The cutscene at the end of Act I was OMGWTFBBQ epic! I'm only in Act II now, but I'm loving it. It might be a little while before I'm done play---I mean..."conducting research", but when I am, I'll probably have enough new ideas to actually finish the dang plot. Not that it matters anyhow; no plot survives contact with the PCs.


You know they will flee Mendev for Numeria and steal that crashed starship, repair it and fly to the moon just to avoid demons, right? :D

Damn. I can't afford diablo and it would be too strenous for my computer but I played a bit with skill sets on battlenet and seemed intersting. I'd gladly play a wizard... Blasting looks fun.

Liberty's Edge

Drejk wrote:
You know they will flee Mendev for Numeria and steal that crashed starship, repair it and fly to the moon just to avoid demons, right? :D

Actually, according to Distant Worlds, if you are looking to avoid demons, the Moon is the LAST place you would want to travel to.


Louis Lyons wrote:
Drejk wrote:
You know they will flee Mendev for Numeria and steal that crashed starship, repair it and fly to the moon just to avoid demons, right? :D
Actually, according to Distant Worlds, if you are looking to avoid demons, the Moon is the LAST place you would want to travel to.

Yes, but would the PCs know that? It would be a cool lead-up for The Moonscar.

Liberty's Edge

Macharius wrote:


Yes, but would the PCs know that? It would be a cool lead-up for The Moonscar.

That would admittedly be pretty hilarious.

PCs: "At last! It may be a desolate place, but a least we are safe from demons upon the surface of the Moon."

*looks and sees what is crawling out of the Moonscar*

"Oh COME ON!"


Louis Lyons wrote:
Macharius wrote:


Yes, but would the PCs know that? It would be a cool lead-up for The Moonscar.

That would admittedly be pretty hilarious.

PCs: "At last! It may be a desolate place, but a least we are safe from demons upon the surface of the Moon."

*looks and sees what is crawling out of the Moonscar*

"Oh COME ON!"

(To GM) "You promised no rail-roading this time!"

(GM) "But... but..."


That would be so awesome! (Un)Fortunately, nobody else in my group knows very much about Golarion, so they might not even be aware of Numeria or the crashed starship, and I'm certainly not about to mention it.

Then again, fighting demons on the moon just might be too awesome to ignore. That might have to be the Secret-Cow-Level-style content. I wish it was already out; I can't look it over ahead of time and plan for it. And the campaign should be finishing up by it's release.

Drejk, I'm playing a Wizard now. I really wanted to go Demon Hunter, but I thought that, for my first play-through, Wizard seemed like the best choice overall. It's pretty flashy, and some of the combos I've found offer interesting play styles. If you want, I have a free guest pass for access to the Beta content that came with my Collector's Edition (birthday present :D). I know you said your computer wouldn't run it, but I thought I'd offer.


Thank you for your kind offer but I must decline to resist the temptation of frying my already-repaired-twice gfx card while I can't afford replacement and installation :(

Have fun with pla... er, research! :D


Summer sessions are getting underway. They're doing character creation on Thursday, and I'm starting to get a bit nervous. I'm going to try to finish putting together some kind of player handout for the setting, but they probably wouldn't read it anyway.

Now it's time to flesh out the first act. They'll be heading toward the border, so there won't actually be much demon-slaying yet. I'm thinking maybe an encounter with some highwaymen claiming to be crusaders, collecting money from the locals to fund the campaign. Maybe it's a one-off encounter, maybe they have to track down the bandit leader. All within a time frame, of course; can't be late to report in. There should be enough action to get them to level two or three at least, but I need some ideas ASAP; the first actual play session would be two weeks after character creation.


Bandits (or even actual crusade marauders who decided that they are not so keen on risking their lives and souls and would rather help themselves on the road) are good idea.

A runaway crusader that went insane or just had his courage shreded by
his experiences that deserted.

A village where our courageous crusaders witness, and possibly are requested to oversee a trial of a witch accused of placing curses, hexing livestock, that sort of things. May be made interesting if some of the accusations are actually true and some are not.

Single encounter with a minor demon... Vermlek or Shir/Hala that was weakened by distance from the Worldwound.

Spoiler:
I'd have Mendev and surroundings of Worldwound crawling with occassional minor demons that managed to slip past the protection offered by the Wardstones to better symbolize threat of the Worldwound.

Maybe I will get some more ideas later.


Somehow, I'm only now finding out about the details of the Fourth Mendevian Crusade. http://www.pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Mendevian_Crusades

Apparently, the Fourth Crusade is focused on pushing back the followers of a new demon lord, a balor known as the Storm King. He managed to damage a wardstone and cross into Mendev, but he was repelled and the wardstone was repaired. Since we don't have a definitive BBEG yet, aside from Deskari himself, this particular conflict might be a good direction to focus on. Everything we've got so far still works; the demons wouldn't necessarily have much inter-communication or cooperation going on; they're not really a cohesive army. While the PCs are busy in Storasta and then maybe Undarin, the Storm King could take advantage of their absence and press his plans. I'm thinking he might actually be the one who was responsible for the corruption of the Bishop.

I'm going to have to change the names of some of these characters; they did a lot more with the Diablo I backstory and lore in Diablo III, and I'm afraid that the names would be familiar to my players who've picked up the game.


Are your players reading pfwiki? If not maybe make the BBEG the Storm King - either *he* managed to be the possessing spirit, or the possessing spirit is his minion that intends to build a cult that will serve the Storm King.

Liberty's Edge

So, will the campaign last only 6h?


Last only 6h? 6 hours? I certainly hope not!

Some of my players will probably read the Wiki, most won't care. I plan on delivering interesting historical notes in-game through handouts, as I've learned that nobody remembers verbal narration, unless the historical notes relate to the conversation they're having with the PCs.

Some "current events" that I plan on altering for the game: I like the idea that the wardstones have already started to fail again. The SK got through once, and they may have been fixed, but they're not perfect. There won't be a lot, but I do like the idea of having a couple of demons roaming about. I'm thinking the players will just encounter a demon on the road, report about it when they get to the Keep. The NPCs at the Keep have a collective "Oh crap!" moment, and the PCs get fast-tracked into service. They get a special audience with the commander, and they get front-row seats for the burial ceremony. The undead rise that night, the PCs have to quell them.

I've just had a couple more thoughts. Firstly, the whole "trial mission for the Company of the Blessed" thing seeks kind of forced; there's no reason for the PCs to have distinguished themselves enough for service. I also really like the fluff that Liz had built around it, especially the part that requires members to have lost a close friend; it gives the whole thing more significance. To this end, I'm proposing a change to the "Lazarus" and "Albrecht" characters, to give both of them a larger role in the story. I'm thinking of swapping the roles of father and son. The Bishop is instead the son of the slain war hero. Saddened by the loss of his father and inspired by the PCs' heroism, he decides to step down from the pulpit and aid the cause in a more concrete fashion. NPC healbot cleric and exposition pet joins the party. They are all sent to Kenabres as planned, but unbeknownst to them, the Bishop is the vessel for corruption. After everything in Kenabres, they return to the Keep, but the Bishop is having a semi-private crisis of faith after seeing the corruption in his own church. The corruption takes hold, and he descends into madness, going to disable the wardstones. After putting him down, they are finally approached by the Company of the Blessed, revealing that the slain war hero/father of the Bishop was secretly a high-ranking member in the Company and expressing condolences for the death of their friend the Bishop. More importantly, they approach with a mission to investigate the young cleric's corruption, and as the PCs were his friends, they're the perfect candidates. Thus, the are inducted into the Company of the Blessed and must continue their investigation into the corruption of the church.

Lastly, I just wanted to say that we had character creation last night. After much brainstorming, here's what we ended up with:

Cleric of either Pharasma or Iomedae, Undead Lord/Crusader archetypes
Oracle of Ancestors
Inquisitor of Iomedae
Magus
Summoner, master summoner archetype

For the Undead Lord, we've got a really cool idea based on something I thought I read somewhere but have been having a very hard time finding info about. IIRC, there's something called the Eternal Charge or the Eternal Crusade, where crusaders are resurrected to continue the battle. I don't remember if this was a Mendevian operation, or if it was instead related to the Shining Crusade against the Whispering Tyrant. If anybody could confirm the existence of this, I would be most grateful.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

WOTC actually published a D20 ruleset for Diablo 2 back in the day. "Diablo 2, To Hell And Back".


Yeah, I saw it. I was...not a fan. It seemed poorly-done and the altered mechanics didn't seem well-thought-out to me. Thanks for mentioning it, though.

Liberty's Edge

that was a joke, i was refering to the fact that Diablo 3 can be beaten in like, 6 hrs. some asian guys finished normal before the game was released in the Americas region, or something like that.

Marathon Voter 2013

If you haven't done it yet, check out the entry for Storasta, in the Lost Cities of Golarion. It's a great location pretty close to Kenabres, IIRC. Also, bear in mind, for your early encounters, that animals, fey, plants, and humanoids still live in the Worldwound, and while they are twisted, evil, and frequently in service to powerful demons, they are not constrained by the wardstones. I'm not sure, but I don't believe even demonblooded tieflings are prevented from crossing the borders.


@The Crusader: Sorry for the delay, but thanks for the source on Storasta! I had planned to send them there, but with that resource, there's a lot more I can do with it now, with significantly less prep.

@Paladinosaur: Oh, I get it now. Sorry, a little slow on the uptake there. Yeah, the Asians were pretty far into Nightmare before we got it, IIRC.

So, update: the Magus has decided he's going to be from Osirion. The bastard's going to be forcing me to do a lot of work to make him relevant, but I look forward to working it out. Depending on how things shake out with his backstory, I'll likely be including a group of Chelish low templars who are causing some of the early troubles. In other news, the Undead Lord has switched to Paladin, so I'm looking forward to a sweet joint backstory from the Inquisitor and Paladin players.


Didn't get a chance to update lately; I'm in Indianapolis at the moment. We had our first session on Friday, and it went longer than I thought. Notably, the Summoner switched to Undead Lord cleric.

So, the Magus is from Osirion. Some time ago, he aided some Chelaxians, the Leroung brothers, in treasure hunt, and they screwed him over and stole some important historical artifact from him. He's in Mendev looking for them, and along the way he came into the employ of a Taldan noblewoman and her daughter on their way to Clydewell Keep (which I've found out is actually just a few miles from Kenabres) for a relative's funeral. Said relative is Lucas Albright, a commander in the Eternal Crusade.

The Paladin and Inquisitor of Iomedae duo are from Absalom by way of Taldor, and they are a nephew/uncle respectively. They received a summons from Queen Galfrey, who has recruited them to be part of a secret initiative trying to root out suspected corruption in the crusaders, especially Kenabres.

The Undead Lord cleric of Pharasma is in the Eternal Crusade, assigned to the same unit as Lucas Albright; Lucas was the commanding officer and fell in battle with the Storm King's forces. He's a childhood friend of Lucas' son, Holton Albright, a cleric in the church of Iomedae.

The oracle is a native Kellid, descended from demon-worshipping Sarkorians. He's currently the least fleshed-out, but he's currently in captivity by the Leroung brothers.

The session started with the Magus, the Bancrofts, and the Paladin and Inquisitor all arriving at the gates of Nerosyan. They went throught the customs checkpoint run by the church of Abadar and the Paladin and Inquisitor were whisked away by an armed escort to Starrise Spire to see the Queen. They agreed to provide their aid and received instructions to go to Clydewell Keep to meet with an informant from Kenabres. They were provided with supplies and put up in The Crusader's Cup, a high-end restaurant, and met up with the Bancrofts and their Osiriani bodyguard. After a bottle of Elven berrywine, Lady Bancroft invited the Iomedeans to travel with them, which they accepted. The first four days of the journey (which would take eight) were quiet, but on the fifth, they encountered some bandits impersonating clerics of Abadar collecting tolls. The Magus recognized three of them as the Leroung brothers, and battle ensued. The brothers escaped, but the party managed to capture one of the bandits. The Paladin went unconscious and the Bancroft girl was kidnapped.

Next session will be their pursuit of the bandits, their rescue of the daughter, their discovery of an imprisoned oracle, and their arrival in Clydewell Keep. I have plans for keeping the Leroung brothers alive, refusing to give the Magus the information pertaining to the relic they stole unless they are delivered safely to prison instead of being killed. When the party arrives at the Keep, they'll get moved up to second level (I'm handing levels out arbitrarily, when the story requires, instead of based on XP). The Iomedeans will meet with their informant, who happens to be Holton Albright, after the funeral for Lucas. By this point, the entire party should be introduced, as the Undead Lord will be introduced with Holton at the funeral when the Bancrofts seek him out to pay their respects (Lady Yasmine Angelique Bancroft is Lucas' sister, making her daughter Elise Carmina Bancroft the cousin of Holton). The next day, Lucas' body will be prepared for resurrection (as he's a commander of the Eternal Crusade, his battle does not end at death), where the Undead Lord will be attending. Commander Albright will not rise, but instead many other skeletons in the catacombs will, and begin attacking. The party will have to defeat the undead, and their heroism, combined with his respect for his father, will inspire Holton to join the party. Interrogation of the Leroung brothers will reveal that they sold the relic to some people in Kenabres.

I'm not exactly sure what part the oracle plays, but he'll have had dreams of the artifact and other interesting things, which prompted his kidnapping by the Leroungs. I plan on tying the stolen Osiriani artifacts to a Deskari cult, but I'm not entirely sure how to do that, as going with the "the Osirianis were actually demon worshipers" angle doesn't really feel right. I plan for the Leroungs to eventually break out of prison, probably during the havoc that will ensue much later, during the Demon Within arc of the story. Anglo Leroung is a fighter, Alessio is a rogue/wizard, and Antonio is a cleric of Asmodeus. I have plans for them to join the Deskari cult later on, but it's not important yet.


Bump. How it is going?


Crap, I forgot to update. I'll have the second session overview up later today.


Somehow "later today" must mean "sometime within the next month". But it's been that kind of month. After the second session, I realized that, with everybody's schedules for the summer, we wouldn't even be able to get anywhere plot-wise. Combined with my own personal problems, we cancelled the game.

They did go after the bandits, but they lost their next run-in and managed to get themselves captured by the Leroungs. Instead of killing them outright, they bound them and healed their wounds, to keep them from dying. Once they all came to consciousness, the paladin managed to escape from his bonds and freed the others. They found a strange-looking creature locked in a cage (the fiend-blooded tiefling oracle), snuck around the camp, retrieved their equipment, and managed to defeat and capture the Leroungs while the rest of their small gang fled.

They finally made it to the city, and the paladin/inquisitor duo made their rendezvous with Holton. After that, everybody had dinner with the Bancrofts, where the Undead Lord character was introduced. Holton was also there, as the Bancrofts are his relatives, prompting a surprised reaction from the inquisitor that they managed to cover up. They had dinner and conversation, and that was the end of the session.


The Dread Pirate Hurley wrote:
Somehow "later today" must mean "sometime within the next month". But it's been that kind of month. After the second session, I realized that, with everybody's schedules for the summer, we wouldn't even be able to get anywhere plot-wise. Combined with my own personal problems, we cancelled the game.

I hope that cancelled does not mean permanently ended the game?


Yeah, pretty much. I leave for university in approx. 34 hours. Three others are leaving town as well. If things go as I plan, I won't be in town next summer, and there's really no way to continue. That, and the fact that I had no idea what I wanted to do with the story, led me to end the game.

I had enough planned for one more session. That would have been the undead bit, and afterward they might have made it to level three. Holton would have joined them, and they would have gone to Kenabres to do...I have no clue. That's the roadblock I hit. Once they go to Kenabres, two of them are supposed to investigate the Burners (the heretical sect of Iomedae responsible for all the persecution and such), but I had no idea what to do with it. It wouldn't be an open investigation where they walk up to the bad guy and ask him if he's the bad guy. I had to figure out something for them to do as a cover while there, or at least some side-ventures and other things to pad the levels out. I couldn't do it, especially with some serious real-life issues getting in the way (I've spent most of the summer freaking out about trying to pay for my upcoming year of college; it's still partially unresolved and I leave in less than two days).

I think there are some good ideas here; it just wasn't the right time yet. Lost Kingdoms has come out, and it's got a feature on the kingdom of Sarkoris. I might pick that up; it would have been good information to have.


Hopefully you will assemble a new team in your time and lead them through this once it is better polished. If I get more ideas I will post them here.


Now that Demon Blight Crusade has been announced, I'll just have to wait. Frankly, a lot of the problem was the lack of info pertaining to the Worldwound. I don't have the time or the inclination to flesh out that entire region, but I'll definitely be buying the support books. Depending on how DBC goes, I might still try to run a different version of Seed of Corruption. Definitely subscribing when Reign of Winter starts, though.


Yeah, the AP announcement changes a lot - it means more informaton about the Mendev/Worldwound... Except it will be so far away from now.

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