A Tiny Little Frozen Village

Game Master Goddity

Five brave adventurers vs the mysteries of a disappearing wizard
Kegan's House


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Good day Paizo online gamers! I’m opening recruitment for a campaign set in a small little village in the far north on a homebrew world. When I started writing, my design goal was ‘arctic survival horror’. It has since mutated from that into something else entirely, which I struggle to describe. This campaign will use Spheres of Power, but no experience with the system is required (I certainly don’t have any). I intend to go from level 3 to around 11, ending with a suitably climactic boss fight.

The campaign:

Welcome to Issen! A tiny little town in the far north, sitting on a major road between the cities of Besa and Ovaving. A town that only survives because it’s the perfect resting location for travelers on the most efficient winter road. A town, which has appeared perfectly normal, ever since that mysterious wizard Kagen disappeared 10 years ago, leaving only a locked and magically sealed mansion behind him. The entire campaign will be set in, or around Issen.

But times change. A strange monster prowls the tundra, looking for prey. The fey in the nearby woods are riled. The orcs are shifting. At night, people dream terrifying nightmares. Something is going on, and delving into the mysteries of one missing wizard is only the start.

Kagen is an old wizard who specializes in abjuration. He is particularly notable for inventing the first effective anti fey ward, as well as a number of others. Any writing on magic by him would be incredibly valuable. He disappeared from the public 20 years ago, claiming he was seeking Aza. He spent 5 of those years in Issen, living alone in a mansion outside of town, before suddenly disappearing. At the start of the campaign, he hasn’t been seen for a decade. The first major plot hook will be investigating his disappearance.

Character creation and houserules:

You do not need to include a stat block in your application. This is to keep the application open to people with no experience in Spheres of Power. Instead, I need a name, race, at least one sentence on some build ideas, an idea for your personal item, and some backstory including faction. The build ideas should be specific: ‘fire using attack mage’ instead of just ‘wizard’.

Each character’s backstory must include a reason they would be interested in finding Kagen. I’m giving you free reign here. You’re his long lost child, his old apprentice, an old rival, someone he tried to murder, someone he saved, a scholar, a treasure hunter, whatever. Be creative. You just need a reason to be invested in finding out what happened to him.

Characters
Characters are 3rd level, and each have 3000 gold. 20 point buy for ability scores. 2 traits. You can select from Reign of Winter traits as they're almost appropriate, although some may need to be reflavoured (especially the ones concerning witches). I'm going to try to be as open to negotiation on anything as possible. You want an exception to any rule here, gimme a reason for it and we can talk.

Sources include any Paizo and any Spheres of Power, with a couple caveats. All casting is based on Spheres. 9 level Paizo casters don’t exist. 4 and 6 level casters should use the appropriate Spheres archetype, if you cannot make your character out of existing Sphere classes. All sphere casters need a casting tradition. The most common source of power is following old rituals, or communing with extra planar beings, and whatever casting tradition you choose, it will have roleplaying consequences. Feat tax rules are in affect.

In order to keep up the intrigue aspects, the divination sphere does not exist. It may not be selected. There may be rituals allowing limited divination, however. Paladins lose the detect evil class feature, to be replaced with something that I haven’t quite decided on (I’m thinking an extra smite evil per day).

Additionally, each character gets a unique item of choice, which is not counted against your starting purchases. I’m open to suggestions for what it is, but there should be a reference to how you acquired it in your backstory, and why it’s special. This item should be more than a +1 sword, and can break normal rules such as being a magic item with bonus abilities and no enhancement bonus. We can negotiate this item growing in power with you as you level. Instead of a magic item, it can be a ritual allowing you access to powers beyond your spheres, or something else entirely. You don’t have to hammer it out exactly, but I need some thoughts about this in your application. This is to help your character stand out as unique.

Faction
Finally, each character begins the game belonging to a ‘faction’. This gives you the ability to have a relationship with a couple of NPCs at the start of the game. As well, before the game starts I’ll send you some general knowledge of the town someone in that faction would have. The factions are as follows (or you an suggest one to me):
Adventurer – The Frozen Dream inn is home to a group of adventurers, who spend their days looking for trouble. They are distrusted by the townsfolk, but tend to be skilled in their disciplines and know a lot about the surrounding area. Many of them are treasure seekers, investigating Kagen. This is the most vague faction, and can represent any character who is a visitor staying at the inn.

Orc Tribe – A group of orcs who primarily use shapeshifting magic and other nature magic camp on the outskirts of town. They used to be strong, until a war with The Spirit Wolf, a mythical large wolf, tore them apart. The 20 or so that remain are still looking for a way to defeat the Wolf.

Townsfolk – You live in the town. The townsfolk tend to distrust strangers, but as one of their own you will have larger amounts of respect.

Messenger – A group of travellers escorting a messenger from one city to another.

Other – Suggest something to me.

A few words on GMing style:

I’m very lenient and tend towards rule of fun. If something seems like it’ll make for a better story, or it’ll be more satisfying for you guys, I’m happy to completely revise my notes. I’ve never GMed a play-by-post, so we’ll see how this goes. If you ever have any feedback on my style, whether positive or negative, you can mention it in discussion or PM me.

I’m going to aim to post daily, although this may not always happen. We’ll see if we can find a working rhythm. I’m also content to go once every other day or something. No rush. Life comes first.

The campaign world:

Welcome to the world of Arkera! This is a world plagued by treachery, old gods, and decaying magic. There is no obligation to read this.

General history
Many many yeas ago, magic flowed freely. This led to an age of power, where many beings ascended and began ruling over the commoners and fighting each other. This ended when the God Pact was signed, a complex magical contract that bound all the newly christened ‘gods’ to follow certain rules. Now forbidden from interacting with the mortal plane, these beings retreated into the multiverse content to slowly consolidate power. Anytime a mortal reached a certain level of power, they were forced on threat of annihilation to also sign the pact.

When the pact went around, there was only one god who refused to sign. Aza the Planeswalker, the most powerful of the gods, simply left reality when the other gods tried to force her to sign. She returned a few centuries later, disappearing again whenever she drew the attention or the other gods. Eventually, they gave up trying to make her sign. She created a tower in the middle of Adina, a massive column of obsidian referred to as The Black Tower, and spent her days studying magic and exploring to unknown realms.

Many years passed, and Aza took on a series of apprentices. The 6 apprentices grew to be powerful mages under her teachings, and used their skill to aid the nations of Adina. Eventually for unknown reasons, the 6 betrayed Aza and tried to murder her. This brought on the Mage War, a horrific battle that ended with the 6 sealed away, Adina rendered inhospitable, and Aza having left the known multiverse, vowing never to return. Fast forward several centuries, and you find yourself in modern day.

Religion
Most people worship some or all of the normal gods, although some find their lack of interest in mortal affairs insulting and refuse to bow before them. However, this is primarily because the God Pact forbids any interference in mortal lives. There are many of these gods, especially because they keep having children. You can bring over any god from any other source you wish to be part of this pantheon.

A scattered few believe the Heretic Gods, or Aza’s six apprentices, are the only ones who can do the world right. They seek to free the Heretics, such that they may bring about a golden age. It is unclear whether or not the Heretics would, although many notable religious scholars feel that some of the Heretics are insane and would bring about an apocalypse for the hell of it.

The 6 Heretic gods are as follows:
Telloca the animist, god of creation, life, minds, and intelligence
Galhz the destroyer, god of destruction, fire, time, and entropy
Solroxoth the maw, god of hunger, shadows, nature, and the night
Opon the guardian, god of boundaries, walls, protection, and the home
Kimam the summoner, god of planes, outsiders, travel, and communication
Medolisy the universalist, god of magic, skill, knowledge, and luck

Worshipping Aza is an act few perform. She is seen as a merciful figure, a guardian of neutrality who aided people when the gods wouldn’t or who shut down planar incursions by strange forces to save the world. However, Aza is also known for sometimes refusing to do simple things for obscure reasons. Since she disappeared, her cult has shrunk slowly, as more and more people believe she’s a myth. Now, her worship is restricted to a tiny organization, who are respected by society and generally left alone.

The land
There are two known continents, Adina and Lyi. Adina is commonly known as the forbidden continent. After the mage war, it became uninhabitable and unstable. Magic fluctuates wildly there, and creatures mutate. No one has lived on Adina since it was hurriedly evacuated during the Mage War. The closest anyone has come to living on Adina is The Phleng Islands, a chain off the east shore of Adina. These islands are full of strange beings, and a native species of humans dedicated to protecting their own secrets and worshipping their own gods. A few small colonies have been established there, although their attempts to scout Adina have always been met with failure.

After the mage war, the fleeing ships met up with the few colonies on Lyi and set up shop there. This leads us to today, when two large nations rule Lyi. As they’re not that relevant to this campaign, I haven’t detailed them greatly. In fact, you players get a say in what they’re like, through your characters and backstories.

If that’s too much reading for you, I’m looking for 3 to 4 players ready for ancient magic, strange monsters, cold nights, terrifying murders, and other mysteries.

I think that covers everything. If there are any questions, I’m happy to answer.


So, as you allow any paizo would a kineticist work? Because I have an interesting idea for a blood kineticist.


A couple of queries:

First, to double check: 9-level Paizo casters are out, but you're okay with Spheres high-caster classes? Or do you want to limit to low- and mid-casters?

Second, do you plan to allow Advanced Talents?

Third, when you say that most magic comes from rituals, are we talking about flavor or occult rituals? Flavor would be something like "I trace the sign of the Heliat on my forehead with the blessed chrism and invoke the names of the Nine Angels", but it's still a standard action to that results in the spheres equivalent of Protection from Evil. The other would be something like "I have to pass six skill checks over six hours to do anything and don't get to do much else with my day."

Fourth, what races are allowed?

I have a weird idea for a plant person healer/buffer with talents in Nature and Life. Each night she must rest on fertile soil, and as she sleeps she grows flowers in her hair. In order to cast a spell, she has to pluck a flower from her head, dealing nonlethal damage to herself as per the Draining Casting drawback (p. 156). She'd probably also have the Magical Signs drawback, making her casting super-obvious with relevant nature-themed bits of flavor, like healing that consists of ethereal butterflies who swarm around the wound and then dissipate leaving it healed. Or similar.

I was thinking perhaps she's a Townsfolk who is the way she is because of Kagen. Maybe he blessed her when she was a baby. Maybe his abandoned tower has been seeping alchemical runoff all this time, and she's been mutated into a plant person by it. Anyway, one way or another he'd be responsible for her condition. I would need to put more thought into the exact details.

What do you think?


Could I play a Mage Knight?

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/variant-magic-rules/spheres-of-power/spheres -of-power-classes-class-options/mageknight/

Seems like a unique chance to try one

The character concept is a Dwarven bounty hunter who seeks to specialize in taking down mages. He has come to learn Kagen’s abjuration secrets, and is none too pleased to find the mage missing.


Timeskeeper wrote:
So, as you allow any paizo would a kineticist work? Because I have an interesting idea for a blood kineticist.

Sure!

Tinalles wrote:

First, to double check: 9-level Paizo casters are out, but you're okay with Spheres high-caster classes? Or do you want to limit to low- and mid-casters?

Second, do you plan to allow Advanced Talents?

Third, when you say that most magic comes from rituals, are we talking about flavor or occult rituals? Flavor would be something like "I trace the sign of the Heliat on my forehead with the blessed chrism and invoke the names of the Nine Angels", but it's still a standard action to that results in the spheres equivalent of Protection from Evil. The other would be something like "I have to pass six skill checks over six hours to do anything and don't get to do much else with my day."

Fourth, what races are allowed?

1 - Yes, that's what I meant. Could've worded that better. I was trying to say I only want spheres for casting

2 - I don't see why not
3 - Flavour, see casting traditions
4 - Go wild! Any Paizo

Additionally, I love your character idea. Creative!

Grumbaki wrote:
Could I play a Mage Knight?

Yes. Also liking the character


Grumbaki here.

Will get this profile built and background written:)

Decided to go Life Sphere. Healing and Break Enchantment [Core]

“You may spend an additional spell point to allow your restore ability to removes all magic from the target that has a duration. This may be used against curses including cursed equipment, although it does not remove the curse from the equipment, but instead suppresses the effect long enough for the item to be removed. You must succeed at a magic skill check against each magical effect in order to remove it. You may choose not to remove certain effects if you so desire (for example, you may target only harmful effects and not beneficial ones). This counts as using the break enchantment or remove curse spell against those spells and effects that specify they can only be removed through those spells. This has no effect on instantaneous effects.”

So...I can heal an enemy wizard and at the same time dispel their buffs. Sounds useful for a bounty hunter seeking to bring in mages.

And for second talent:

Taste of Victory

“Whenever you successfully hit a creature with at least half as many Hit Dice as your character level with an attack that requires an attack roll, you may spend an additional spell point to use a Life sphere ability as a swift action on any willing creature within range. If the attack was a critical hit, knocked the target creature unconscious, or reduced the enemy to 0 or fewer hit points, you may use the Life sphere ability without spending the additional spell point required to use this talent.”

So he can heal the party by beating up enemies. :D


Questions:

1) May we take a drawback in exchange for an additional trait?

2) How do you feel about using the Background Skills subsystem from Pathfinder Unchained? I'm always hungry for skill points.

3) What languages are spoken in the area?


Tsk. No access to Spheres of Power since I had an idea for a character who was based on the Winter Voices main character. Young Witch whose father died and is now alone in the world.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm getting a "Forge in the Forest" vibe, for some reason, and that's one of my favourite books ever, so I am interested :)

I've tried to work some of these concepts into characters before, but this seems like they'd work together much better than normal pathfinder.

Hob is a Blacksmith Hedgewitch. His magic comes from secrets hidden in the core of old stories, half-lost arcana in crafting techniques, and long-forgotten pacts made with creatures the ignorant call monsters and the educated call myths.

Hob's master was Wayland, an old smith and a townfolk, from a long line of townsfolk. As a crafter of cold-iron, a reader of runes, and a former fighter he was often called to help with problems from Outside. When the hobgoblin stealing chickens and carrots turned out to be a young boy, he took the lad in, and treated him as a son and apprentice. Most of Hob's memories are from after this point, and his nightmares from before.

His item is his Heritage. Whatever he was before, there are things Outside town that will talk with Hob - even bargain with him - where they would simply fall upon most adventurers. They expect the same courtesy from him, however. If necessary this could be an actual item, with him when he was adopted. This seems to be most similar to Conciliator. It is worth noting I'm looking for this to give a more fairy-tale or mythic feel, not to try to just diplomance our way through every encounter.

Wayland is ancient now, and his apprentice is the one called out for issues with the Outside. Kagen was a good friend to Wayland decades ago, though they parted on poor terms, and as Wayland approaches the end of his life he's discovered a regret that he never knew what happened to the friend of his youth.

Mechanically...
There's two build paths...
1. Blacksmith
(if allowed) from Spheres of Power, with Basic and eventually Advanced Magical Training. Most of his magic would be through items imbued with tiny charms and magics; like Catching Cape or Feather Token. Over time he'd pick up a smattering of magic.
I'd be happy to trade out Combat Talents for Magical Talents if you'd prefer.
2. Hedgewitch
Not as clean, but much the same build. Craft Wondrous, for sure. More magical than option #1, but I'd be trying for a subtle magic.

Scarab Sages

Harakani wrote:

Mechanically...

There's two build paths...
1. Blacksmith
(if allowed) from Spheres of Power, with Basic and eventually Advanced Magical Training....

I was just getting ready to ask if it was going to be just about Spheres of Power or if Spheres of Might would be included.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm assuming Races can't have any racial hit points so something around Standard race correct?

Nothing like Dragonkin, Were(bear)- template, or such. right?

Also, love spheres of power! Always wanted to try it but was sad when it was never fully finished...


Are Background Skills in effect?

Also still thinking of what the unique item could be...


Grumbaki
Thurin looks great. Take your time with the item.

Tinalles
1 - Sure, you can have a drawback
2 - I like the system, but I forgot to mention it in the opening post. Since two of you have asked for it: Background skills are in affect as per this link

3 - Common for the town. Orcs speak orcish.

Harakani
I like the background

Keante
Hadn't considered Spheres of Might, but I'll say yes because two people asked.
Spheres of Might is allowed

Corerue
Correct, although if you really want something we could try to negotiate.


Great. On the languages thing, I'm building a half-elf (the plant-like features are cosmetic differences with no mechanical benefit). She's got Common, Elven, and can pick any one other language. I was thinking maybe a regional tongue? Or Sylvan. That's a fairly handy one.

I have her stats worked out, I think, but I need to spend a bit more time on her backstory. She's great at healing and buffing but has almost no offensive capability at all, so she absolutely needs party members around for combat, otherwise she's in big trouble.

Will post the finished version soon-ish -- probably tonight, possibly tomorrow. Oh, I've been assuming average HP.


"Thurin looks great. Take your time with the item."

- :D

Equipment
* Wayfinder (500 gold)
* Cracked Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone (500 gold)
- Resonant Power 1d100 ⇒ 8
- 25% chance that it doesn't work. low or high: 1d2 ⇒ 2 1d100 ⇒ 42 It works.
* Masterwork Breastplate (350 gold)
* Cloak of Resistance +1 (1000 gold)
* Fighter's Kit (9 gold)
* 641 gold left over

Casting Tradition: Inherent Divinity (divine)
For some, the source of divine power does not come from without, but from within. With nothing more than a word and their will, they can impose their desires on the world.

Thurin gained his arcane powers when he became soul-bound to his Foehammer

Drawbacks: Verbal Casting, Emotional Casting
Extra Drawback: Magical Signs

Boons: Easy Focus

Background
Thurin comes from Clan Foehammer. The dwarves of this clan once lived in their ancestral home within Adina. This ended during the Mage Wars. At first, the dwarves attempted to hide within the earth. They shut their doors and decided to wait out the folly of the other races. This proved to be a horrible mistake, for the magic unleashed was not contained to the surface. For years a hidden war was fought beneath the earth against the monstrous abominations which grew, hidden from the light of day. It was with heavy hearts that the clan abandoned all they knew, joining the refugees who fled from the continent.

Left homeless and destitute, for the last survivors of the clan fled only when their situation was completely untenable, Clan Foehammer faced extinction. The once proud dwarves became wanderers. Merchants. Mercenaries. Explorers. They scattered, with each dwarf and each family unit doing what they had to for survival.

Thurin is one such wandering dwarf. He and his Clan harbor within them a burning distrust for the magic which destroyed their home and drove them to their current state.

They are the Foehammers, and they know better than any other the danger of uncontrolled magic. As such, he and his family have trained themselves to be the hunters of wizards, magicians, warlocks and witches. Where untamed magic rises, they will be there. Ready to apply their hammers to the problem, for the good of all.

Thurin is the bearer of the last of the Foehammers (see below), though it is the belief of his clan that the remaining hammers survive still, deep beneath the earth in Adina. Someday, when the land can be retaken, Clan Foehammer will return and retake what was lost. For Thurin, he believes that the best way to achieve this dream is to understand all that the magic which harmed his people so. Like his forefathers before him, and all bearers of the Foehammers, he is a mageknight, a warrior who mixes hammer and spell together. Each of the Foehammers was linked to one of the spheres of magic, with the bearer of the hammer gaining his magical abilities once soul-bonded to the hammer. For Thurin, this is the sphere of life.

He has come to Issen, for he has heard rumor of a great abjurer who has learned how to protect himself and others from fey magic. This is of great interest to him, for anything which can combat magic will be of use in the centuries to come. It was with shock and anger than he learned Kagen to be gone. He has decided to join adventurer and local alike in finding the missing mage, and the secrets which he has taken with him.

Unique Magic Item: The Foehammer
Thurin carries with him "The Foehammer." It is an artifact of his clan, carried all the way from their lost hold in Adina. Legend states that there were once twelve of these hammers, and that they were made on the forge of a god as a gift to the champions of Clan's Founder. The Thane's hammer was said to be even greater than these, though it has long since been lost.

Clan Foehammer only fled their homeland after the loss of their last Thane and his bodyguards. Over a hundred dwarfs marched out into the darkness beneath their ancestral hold, led by their Thane. Of the force, only six dwarfs remained, one of whom was the Thane's last surviving guardian. He had managed to bring back the Thane's body, but not his hammer. It had been lost within the maw of the abomination which had taken the Thane's arm, and his life. That last, disastrous battle broke the spirit of Clan Foehammer, for it had taken their leader, the clan's heir, and all but one of their ancient weapons. The few dwarfs who remained could due little but wail in despair before silent gods, while fleeing with the rest of Adina's refugees.

The Foehammers all bore on them a simple inscription: "It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools." These hammers are the weapons of champions, and they are only as strong as the dwarf who wields them. This happens because the hammers imprint themselves on the souls of their bearers, becoming more than just a weapon, but an extension of the dwarf. The only way that a hammer can be passed on is through the death of the wielders, at which point the hammer becomes dormant until it is found again.

Thurin is fortunate enough to bear the last of the Foehammers, for he is a direct descendant of the bodyguard who brought back the body of the Thane. This hammer was wielded by his father, and his father before him, all the way back to the founding of the clan. To Thurin, and all within his clan, this is more than a weapon. It is a living monument to their heritage, and a reminder of what they have lost.

* Mechanically: Cold Iron Earthbreaker (2d6, x3 crit)
* Strength of the Mind: At caster level 1, and every 2 caster levels thereafter, gain +1 enchantment bonus, to a maximum of +5. Also does +wis modifier in psychic damage.
* Soul Bound: When dwarf from the Foehammer Clan picks up one of these weapons, it binds itself to the dwarf's soul. The hammer can be summoned to the dwarf's hand as a swift action, so long as the hammer is on the same plane of existence as the dwarf.
* Indestructible: A divine hand is evident in the creation of this weapon. It is immune to sunder, and any other effect which could damage the hammer.

Thoughts on the Hammer
You said that this should be more than just a +1 weapon. So I figured that I'd make it part of his and his clan's history. I figure that it should increase in power as he levels, so the hammer doesn't get tossed aside when a better weapon comes along.

Based on the above rules, the hammer will do this:

Lvl 3: +1 enchantment bonus and +3 psychic damage
Lvl 6: +2 enchantment bonus and +3 psychic damage
Lvl 10: +3 enchantment bonus and +3 psychic damage (campaign ends here)

If we went up to lvl 20, it would increase as follows:
Lvl 14: +4 enchantment bonus and +3 psychic damage
Lvl 18: +5 enchantment bonus and +3 psychic damage
* psychic damage can increase if wisdom increases

Besides for that, it has general abilities which make sure that Thurin is never without his signature weapon. Given that in all of my years of gaming (roughly 15 years) that I can count on one hand how many times this has been a real issue, I don't think that it is too OP. It just means that by mishap he can't lose something central to his character.

------

I'd also point out that Thurin is just about done here. If the above is approved, here is what he will look like:

* To Hit: +7
* Damage: 2d6+10 (this is with the Foehammer)
* HP: 28
* AC: 20/12/18
* Saves: 6/4/7, +6 vs spells and SLAs. Can use 1 spell point to re-roll a failed save
* Spell Points: 6
* Skills: Bluff/Intimidate/Diplomacy (+0!), Knowledge Arcana/Spellcraft (+6) Perception (+9)

Anyways, what do you think?

Scarab Sages

Tinalles wrote:

I have her stats worked out, I think, but I need to spend a bit more time on her backstory. She's great at healing and buffing but has almost no offensive capability at all, so she absolutely needs party members around for combat, otherwise she's in big trouble.

Will post the finished version soon-ish -- probably tonight, possibly tomorrow. Oh, I've been assuming average HP.

Can I ask what class you're building? The first thing that came to my mind after reading your description was a hedgewitch with herbology as one of her two hedgewitch traditions (not to be confused with casting traditions, a different game term).

I think I will go with one of the Spheres of Might classes, and may or may not dip into magic. I'm still musing...


Incanter. No specialization, currently. She has the following talents:

Life Sphere
- Ranged Healing
- Restore Movement

Fate Sphere
- Truth (Word)

Nature Sphere
- Geomancing: Plantlife
- Towering Growth
- Thorns

One of those came from the Extra Magic Talent feat at 3rd level. For her bonus feats from Incanter, Cantrips and Spellcrafting.

I'm kind of considering taking the channel energy specialization, which would basically cost me one of those two bonus feats at this level. But I worry that we've got plenty of healing and not enough damage.

Oh, and using Charisma as her spellcasting stat. I was tempted to go with the boon that lets you use Constitution as your casting stat, but it didn't really suit the character in my head.


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Yakkoing. (why should Dot get all the fun?)

Let me think about this and see if my muse wakes me up at 2:30 am to work on the character.

Scarab Sages

Okay so I'm going to be working on a skilled fighter. His class will probably be the conscript, and his main spheres will be Dueling, Fencing, and Lancing. I will probably put a little bit into Athletics and Scout, as well. I'm picturing him wielding a glaive at this point, but he won't be beholden to one weapon type in particular.


I'll dot here. This seems interesting.


So here is the character I'm starting to build:

Backstory:

Aza was known throughout the entire world (and beyond, if the mages of the world were to be believed) as a god, but she was so much more than that. She believed that it was her duty to protect the world from those who would corrupt it from outside, though even to her disciples she never explained why.

That had always bugged Tobin.

Tobin had been born a long time ago, in a small village that was set upon by those who wished only to take what meager things it had. As a child, he would have lost all he had, including his meager life, to those who were raiding the village, had she not appeared. Watching her casually send magic flowing into and through the raiders, Tobin felt her power all too real himself when a stray bolt of eldritch might flew through his body and into the raider behind him.

His next memory was waking up with his head in the lap of the woman who had saved his village? he thought as he looked around at his destroyed home, before looking at the woman.

"It is my fault that your life was undone, so I have remade it as best I can. What you do now is up to you." She told him.

"I'll follow you then." was his reply.

While he never joined her on her planar excursions, it hardly mattered, as he discovered that he couldn't age, or grow old. Whatever magic she had worked on him had frozen his body in it's current age.

There was an offshoot to it, however; one he discovered during the times when his emotions boiled to the surface: he had the blood of the shifter in him. Some distant ancestor had been cursed with lycanthropy, and it's hidden taint manifested itself in his body.

While others who met Aza began to follow her throughout all of her trips, Tobin used the time away from her to hone his form and perfect his control over his change.

He has returned to the world only recently, and discovered that his friend was betrayed by her closest "disciples" and forced to flee the world forever.

Even with her gone, however, Tobin has not known the touch of death.

Now, however, he wants to travel the world that she defended and see it for himself.

---------

Mechanically, Tobin is going to be a Shabti, having been remade in the idealized image of what Aza saw him as, and a shifter, to represent his lycanthropic blood.

For his special thing, I think it's appropriate that it be his immortal youth. Of course, this will have it's drawbacks, as many people will likely ignore him or talk around him, and he'll win no favors when he calls people "youngster".

----------

For his organization, he is a member of the disciples if Aza, a group of her mortal followers (similar to the apostles in the bible).


Touching base -- didn't get a chance to work on her backstory last night, but I can definitely do it tonight after work.

GM, could I get a bit more detail about the town?

Roughly how many people live in Issen?

Is Kagen's mansion in the middle of town? At the edge?

What did Kagen look like before he vanished? My PC will have interacted with him at least once in backstory.

Climate: It's northern and cold obviously, but can I assume there is in fact a summer (however brief) when plants bloom and such?

Terrain: What's the terrain like? Forested? Wide open plains? Hills? Flat? I'm looking at taking the Highlander trait (+1 stealth, and it becomes a class skill), but the flavor calls for mountains or hills to grow up in. If that doesn't suit the terrain, I'd be happy to just adjust the trait's flavor so it suits the area while keeping the same mechanics.


Tinalles wrote:

Touching base -- didn't get a chance to work on her backstory last night, but I can definitely do it tonight after work.

GM, could I get a bit more detail about the town?

Roughly how many people live in Issen?

Is Kagen's mansion in the middle of town? At the edge?

What did Kagen look like before he vanished? My PC will have interacted with him at least once in backstory.

Climate: It's northern and cold obviously, but can I assume there is in fact a summer (however brief) when plants bloom and such?

Terrain: What's the terrain like? Forested? Wide open plains? Hills? Flat? I'm looking at taking the Highlander trait (+1 stealth, and it becomes a class skill), but the flavor calls for mountains or hills to grow up in. If that doesn't suit the terrain, I'd be happy to just adjust the trait's flavor so it suits the area while keeping the same mechanics.

Sure.

The population is about 100 mostly humans as permanent residents, plus around 20 orcs camped on the border. There's also around a dozen 'adventurers' who live in the inn. A healthy mix of treasure seekers, criminals in hiding, and other interesting folks.

Kagen's mansion appeared on the edge of town in one night, as is wont for mages with altogether too much power. The villagers are superstitious about it, and refer to it as a 'devil house'.

Kagen was a middle aged human, with a fairly nondescript appearance. Brown hair, beard, crazy eyes. He did not take care of his appearance, and is best described as 'eccentric'.

There is a short summer, but you may want to note that the game will start late autumn.

For the terrain, it's mostly flat. The town borders a lake and a forest. The forest is known for having a fey court in it. Kagen's mansion sits on the edge of the forest. The lake has a river which runs through the middle of town. I had intended for there to be mountains within a 2 hour walk. Is that close enough?


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Application Summary + More detailed comments (Say something if I missed you or made a mistake)

Grumbaki - Thurin Foehammer, dwarven bounty hunter (magenight)
The hammer is a little stronger than I intended, but you have done your math and I like that it can stick with you. Approved, and I like the backstory a lot.

Harakani - Hob, hobgoblin? blacksmith (blacksmith or hedgewitch)
Run with the blacksmith, if that's what you'd prefer.

Vrog Skyweaver - Tobin, shabti shifter (shifter)
That's an out of the box backstory, and I'll grant it to you. Enjoy! I'll try to think of some secret knowledge to shoot you, as part of your age. Count it as part of your gift.

Tinalles - Unnamed, plant person (half elf) healer (incanter)
I can confirm that there are entities that speak Sylvan within the campaign. Apart from that, all seems well.

Keante - Unnamed, skilled fighter (conscript)
Sounds good so far.

Not sure when I'll close recruitment yet, but definitely it'll stay open for a few more days at least.


Thank you for allowing it, and I’m glad you liked his background :)


I think this will make for an interesting character!


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“Vrog Skyweaver - Tobin, shabti shifter (shifter)
That's an out of the box backstory, and I'll grant it to you. Enjoy! I'll try to think of some secret knowledge to shoot you, as part of your age. Count it as part of your gift.”

The secret is that the answer is 42.

Scarab Sages

Big Bad Evil GM wrote:
All sphere casters need a casting tradition. The most common source of power is following old rituals, or communing with extra planar beings, and whatever casting tradition you choose, it will have roleplaying consequences.

BBEGM, can you comment on how you would like to run the Material Casting drawback? I'm considering a mixed magical/martial character like a martial hedgewitch (as an alternative to the full-martial conscript), and I'm looking at the Traveling Sage unified tradition, which includes the Material Casting drawback.


This is Tinalles. Here's my submission: Katsanóron Vazrasti, a half-elf incanter 3 who -- for reasons that not even she understands -- has green skin and hair, and grows flowers in her hair. She goes by Kat for short.

I will put her stat block and backstory in her profile later, but just now I have to get going to a game.

Backstory (long!):
Katsanóron Vazrasti is the first child of Selene Vazrasti and Inuksuk, two half-elves. Both are hunters, of vastly different backgrounds. Selene comes from far to the south, where she was raised in the elven lands and trained as a ranger. She came to Issen seeking her human parent, a man named Anders Magnorson.

Inuksuk comes from the nomadic Ipondilaq tribe of humans even further north of Issen, where the aurora dances in the long cold nights. He came to Issen to trade ivory, furs, and scrimshaw, fell for Selene, and settled in Issen to be with her. They married, and inherited Anders’ house at the edge of Issen when he died of pneumonia not long after.

Katsanóron is thus the child of two hunters, both half-elves. As a young girl, she showed enjoyed exploring the countryside around town, playing hide-and-seek, and pretending to shoot arrows at imaginary targets. She might well have continued in her parents’ profession — but then, Kagen’s mansion appeared not far from their small house. She did not see it arrive; but suddenly there it was, a large house where previously there had been nothing but empty land. Spooked by this sudden apparition, Inuksuk forbade Kat to go anywhere near it. But Katsanóron was fascinated by this sudden appearance, and took to lurking in the area to watch it and the eccentric middle-aged man who lived there. Two things in particular interested her: outside the mansion there was a garden, full of plants unlike any others she’d seen before; and the mansion had large windows full of elaborate, gleaming panes of some clear material. She had never seen glass before — Issen’s windows tended to be small to minimize heat loss, and to be closed with wooden shutters.

Eventually curiosity overcame caution, and Katsanóron snuck into the grounds. She remembers climbing over the wall, admiring the gardens, and making her way towards the building to look at its glass windows; and that is all. The next thing she remembers is waking up in her own bed, with her mother sitting by her side.

Selene gave a relieved sigh. “Oh good,” she said. “You’re awake. Inuksuk, she’s awake!”
Her father came to join them. “Good to see you return from the dream-ocean, little snow-drop,” he said, sitting on the side of the bed.

“What happened?” Katsanóron asked.

Her parents exchanged worried glances. “We were hoping you could tell us that,” Selene said. “We found you outside the front door, curled up in a ball and unconscious. You’ve been asleep for two days.”

“Two days?” Kat said in disbelief.

“Yes,” Inuksuk said. “What’s the last thing you remember?”

Kat guiltily thought of ignoring her father’s rule and entering the grounds of Kagen’s manor. “Nothing,” she lied. “I mean, I went out to play, and then ... I woke up here.”

As the lie left her lips, Kat heard a faint, low chime. Looking down, she discovered that she was wearing a pair of thin silver bracelets engraved with images of tiny winged people chasing one another in circles, which she had never seen before.

Before she could comment on this, her parents exchanged a glance, seemingly unaware of the chime. “Nothing at all?” her mother pressed.

“No,” Kat said, and the bracelets chimed together.

“All right,” Inuksuk said.

And that was that. Katsanóron soon discovered that no one else could see her bracelets, and no one else could hear them. She looked at them closely when she was alone, and found nothing to show her where they came from. In time, she learned that once in a while they could help her — they help her to lie, or to sneak about. It made her games of hide and seek much easier, but she was never much given to lying, and so she didn’t use that part very much.

Strangely, it never occurred to her to try to take them off. They were just ... there. And hers. To this day it has never struck her as odd that she’s never tried to take them off. Ever. In the way of children, she just accepted this as part of how the world worked, and even as she grew to an adult it never struck her as odd that the bracelets continued to fit her perfectly as she grew.

Besides, she had other things to worry about. Starting about six months after her misadventure in Kagen’s manor, Katsanóron’s body began to change. Her skin slowly changed color from a normal skin tone to pale green. Her hair, originally black like her father’s, similarly turned to a deep green color; and tiny flowers began to bloom in it. This gradual transformation frightened her father a bit; but her mother interpreted it as a sign of divine favor. “Ostara has blessed you, Kat,” she said. “I don’t know why, or how, but you have the the goddess’ favor. Have faith in her, and she will see you through.” The rest of Issen was of mixed opinion — some people insisting that she was a freak and a danger, others that she must be cursed and needed help, and others just not knowing what to think of this bizarre transformation.

Then, one day in her teens, Kat walked into town with her mother to purchase some supplies — flour, sugar, other staples. Before they could get there, however, they caught sight of a plume of smoke rising from ahead; and rounding a bend in the road, they came across a scene of chaos: one of the older houses in town had caught fire. People were running and shouting, and a bucket brigade was forming. They rushed to join in, but something caught Kat’s eye: a row of three injured people lay to one side, out of the way, tended by Audra, one of the other villagers. Her bracelets chimed at her, and on a sudden impulse, Kat turned and went to them rather than joining the bucket brigade.

“How bad?” she asked as she got close.

“Old Man Jorenson’s like to die,” Audra said. “Burned badly. His lady wife is may live, but if she does she’ll be scarred for life. Young Einar there burned his hands badly pushing a burning beam out of the way to get them out. He’ll live, but the poor fool will never play his gitar again. I just hope the doctor can get here in time to save ... to ease ... hell, I don’t know what good he’ll be able to do.”

Einar, the only one of the three injured folk who was conscious, gritted his teeth and said nothing, but it was clear he was holding back tears at the thought of losing his music.

Katsanóron looked down on the injured townsfolk, and knew, without knowing how she knew, that she could save them. Reaching up to her dark hair, she found one of the white flowers that grew there and plucked it. It hurt. She knelt by Old Man Jorenson, and let the flower slip from her fingers. It fell, splitting as it did so from one flower to a hundred, dancing in the breeze and coalescing around the gravely burned man, leaving him all but buried in drift of glowing white flowers.

“What the ...” exclaimed Audra, eyes wide. Einar looked over, his eyebrows shooting up at the sight.

Then the flowers dissipated — blew away on some unseen, unfelt breeze — leaving behind Old Man Jorenson, his burns gone. The old man gave a sigh of relief and lapsed into a healing sleep.
Kat moved to the next — Hilda Jorenson, a wagging-tongued gossip who was one of the chief protagonists of the theory that Kat was a cursed freak who should be run out of town. She plucked another flower, and laid it on Hilda’s burned shoulder. This time, tiny green roots shot out of the flower into the burn, spreading through the damaged flesh, which regrew in response. The burns faded and seeped away, apparently drawn into the flower; which then dissipated in a tiny explosion of rapidly fading sparks. Like her husband, Hilda gave a sigh and slipped into a peaceful sleep.

Audra and Einar just gaped.

Kat was feeling a bit woozy, but she moved towards Einar. “Your hands,” she said.

He held them out to her. They were curled up in protective claws, but Kat could see charring and angry red flesh through the clenched fingers. “Please,” he whispered.

Once more Kat plucked a flower from her hair; acting purely on instinct, she clasped it in her fingers and spun her hand in a wide circle. The bell of the flower grew larger and larger, shining with a pale white light, until it was the size of a man’s head. Gently, she slipped the flower over his hands like a glove, the petals closing around his wrists. “Ah,” he said, as it pulsed with a gentle light. In a moment, the flower burst into sparks as Hilda’s had. Einar looked down and opened his hands.

“It’s ... it’s like they were never hurt,” he said. “I don’t know how to ... whoa!”
And with that he just had time to catch Katsanóron as she pitched forward, unconscious from the totally unexpected and unfamiliar strain.

After that, opinion in town rapidly turned in Kat’s favor. Far from being seen as a cursed freak, she was hailed as a miracle worker, favored of the gods. Maybe Ostara, maybe not, but clearly one of the good ones. It was ... frankly, embarrassing. And a bit disorienting to find herself suddenly lauded and regarded as a pillar of the community. But, Kat reflected wryly, better a pillar of the community than a borderline outcast.

In the subsequent years, Katsanóron has proven an able healer, capable of curing most injuries swiftly and without scar, though she has so far not manifested any ability to cure diseases. The town Doctor despises her for having reduced his business by at least half, but most of the rest of the village regards her with a sort of proprietorial affection. They pay for her healing services, mostly in kind rather than cash, but even so it has been sufficiently lucrative that she’s been able to have her own house built, complete with a small glass-making workshop, where she has spent several years teaching herself to glassworking from books and experimentation. Most recently, she added a greenhouse, with windows she made herself. Though she has not told the rest of the village this, she never sleeps well unless she’s in contact with fertile soil, and so she sleeps in the greenhouse rather than her bedroom. She rarely collapses from doing magic any longer, though it’s still draining, and has discovered a few other talents.

Lately, though, Katsanóron has grown troubled. She is 23 years old. It has been ten years since Kagen vanished; 14 since her incursion into his garden. She never told her parents about that, or anyone; and more and more she wonders if there might be a connection. Is she truly favored by Ostara? Or is it ... something else? What exactly happened to her in Kagen’s mansion? Soon, perhaps she will find out.

In case that was not enough, I have further backstory for her parents Selene and Inuksuk, about 300 words each.

Selene Vazrasti backstory:
Name: Selene Vazrasti
Gender: female
Race: half-elf
Class: Ranger 2
Notes:

Selene Vazrasti was the daughter of Elessal Vazrasti, an elven ranger, and Anders Magnorson, a wandering human mercenary. It was a casual liaison, and Elessal was somewhat surprised to find herself with child despite her precautions, but philosophically accepted this as part of nature’s path. She raised Selene in the elven lands.

Selene’s childhood was difficult. She grew much faster than her elven playmates, and found it difficult to maintain her friendships properly as a result. She also wondered a great deal about her father — what happened to him after he walked away from her mother’s side? Upon reaching maturity, and completing training as a ranger, she bid her mother farewell and set out to track down her father.

It took several years, but she eventually tracked her father down to the far northern town of Issen, apparently his hometown; only to find him an elderly, infirm bachelor living alone in a house on the edge of town. Anders was astounded and overjoyed to discover that he had a daughter, for he had never married, and produced no other offspring (that he knew of). Selene moved in with him. At the end of the first year, he named her his heir for what small worldly goods he had.

Not long after arriving, Selene met her future husband: Inuksuk, a half-elf hunter and trader from the far northern Ipondilaq tribe. Neither had ever met another half-elf before, and the connection was immediate. A year later, they married with Anders’ blessing. Not long after that, Anders contracted a severe case of pneumonia, and expired despite Selene’s devoted care.
Selene has pale blond hair, green eyes, and a steady, calm demeanor learned from the long-lived, philosophical elves she grew up with. She likes berry pies, freshly fallen snow, and the quiet peace of early dawn. She worships Ostara, a minor goddess of springtime, renewal, and community. She and Inuksuk have two children: Katsonoron (23) and Tulimaq (a boy, age 3).

Inuksuk backstory:
Name: Inuksuk
Gender: male
Race: half-elf
Class: Ranger 2
Notes:
Inuksuk was born to Amka, a woman of the Ipondilaq tribe, and Lesandrian Terambulis, a far-ranging elf explorer who was ill-prepared for the far northern winter. Its swift arrival and deep chill caught him unprepared, and he was on the verge of death when the Ipondilaq found him. Amka nursed him back to health, and in time they became lovers.

When this became known it caused a great deal of friction in the tribe, as the chieftain’s son Amaqjuaq had greatly desired Amka for himself. Eventually, tensions boiled over, and Amaqjuaq demanded that the outsider Lesandrian be cast out. Lesandrian objected to being thrown out after two years with the tribe, particularly as Amka was pregnant. It came to a duel in which both Amaqjuaq and Lesandrian died.

Compared to the other children, Inuksuk grew slowly; and he was always shadowed by the knowledge that his conception had resulted in the death of both his father and the previous chieftain’s only son. He was accepted as a member of the tribe, and trained as a hunter like all young men, but struggled to form close ties with his age-mates, who grew so much faster.

On reaching maturity, Inuksuk became an accomplished trapper, walrus hunter and scrimshaw artist. Eventually, he took to making long trips south to sell ivory, furs, and scrimshaw in the town of Issen. It was on one such trip that he met Selene Vazrasti, his future wife. He had never met another half-elf before, and fell head over heels for her. He returned briefly to his tribe to ask permission to marry of Amka (now the tribe’s midwife, and a devotee of Akna, a fertility goddess). She granted it, and he returned to Issen to make Selene his bride. There they settled.

“Inuksuk” means “on the right path,” and refers to a cairn of stones placed as a wayfinding marker on long trails across flat, snow-covered tundra. He has dark skin tanned by the glare of the sun off snow, straight black hair, and black eyes. He likes fine scrimshaw work, raunchy jokes, and listening to long stories by firelight. He dislikes the taste of alcohol and refuses to drink any more than a courtesy sip. He and Selene have two children: Katsanóron (23) and Tulimaq (a boy, age 3).

Stats:
Katsanóron Vazrasti
Half-elf incanter 3
NG Medium humanoid (elf, human)
Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +0
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10 (+1 Dex)
hp 25 (3d6+12)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +3
Resist cold 2
Weaknesses draining casting, magical signs, somatic casting
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk cold iron dagger +0 (1d4-2/19-20)
Special Attacks channel positive energy 7/day (DC 15, 2d6)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 7, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 19
Base Atk +1; CMB -1; CMD 10
Feats Cantrips, Fast Learner[ARG], Selective Channeling
Traits highlander (hills or mountains), northern ancestry, trustworthy
Skills Bluff +4 (+5 to fool others), Craft (glass) +9, Diplomacy +11, Profession (gardener) +6, Sense Motive +3, Spellcraft +7, Stealth +8 (+10 in hilly or rocky areas); Racial Modifiers highlander (hills or mountains)
Languages Common, Elven, Sylvan
SQ casting, cure, easy focus, elf blood, entangle, geomancing, growth, hallow, invigorate, pummel, restore, restore movement, serendipity, specialization (channel energy), tainted spirit, thorns, towering growth, truth
Other Gear mwk cold iron dagger, bracelets of the fey touch, backpack, bedroll, belt pouch, candle (10), chalk (10), flint and steel, folding shovel[UE], ink, inkpen, masterwork glassblowing tools, mess kit[UE], pot, soap, spell component pouch, torch (10), trail rations (5), waterskin, 1,623 gp
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Cantrips You can create a variety of small magical effects
Casting (CL 3, MSB +3, MSD 14, Concentration +7, DC 15) You can cast sphere effects.
Draining Casting (1 nonlethal damage) You take nonlethal damage when you cast sphere effects
Easy Focus Maintaining a sphere effect takes a move action instead of a standard action
Elf Blood Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.
Energy Resistance, Cold (2) You have the specified Energy Resistance against Cold attacks.
Fate: Hallow +1 Grant target bonuses vs. opposed alignment and immunity to mind control
Fate: Serendipity Nearby allies gain luck bonuses
Fate: Truth (DC 15) Target is unable to lie
Incanter Channel Positive Energy 2d6 (7/day, DC 15) (Su) Positive energy heals the living and harms the undead; negative has the reverse effect.
Life: Cure 2d8+3 (DC 15) Heal a target
Life: Invigorate (Up to 3 temp HP) Grant up to 3 temporary HP to an injured target
Life: Restore Heal a target's ability damage and remove negative conditions
Life: Restore Movement Cure heals +1d8 HP, and restore can free the target from movement-impairing effects
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in dim light, distinguishing color and detail.
Magical Signs Your use of magic is obvious to all observers
Nature: Entangle (DC 15) Cause plants to grow rapidly, entangling creatures in an area
Nature: Geomancing (Plantlife) You may command terrain and natural effects to act on your behalf
Nature: Growth Cause plants to grow food instantly
Nature: Pummel Cause a tree to attack enemies
Nature: Thorns 1d6+1 (DC 15) Cause spiny plants to grow rapidly, damaging creatures in an area
Nature: Towering Growth Entangle or thorns grows high enough to affect flying creatures
Selective Channeling Exclude targets from the area of your Channel Energy.
Somatic Casting You must have at least 1 hand free to use magic, and may be susceptible to ASF
Tainted Spirit Fort save DC 10 + rounds of combat after combat or become fatigued.

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Note that my selection of talents and class abilities has changed slightly since my previous post.

Stats discussion:

Race: Half-elf

Alternate racial trait: kindred-raised. (Gives up Adaptability, Multitalented, Elven Immunities, Keen Senses in exchange for +2 CHA.)

Although she appears plant-like, with pale green skin, dark green hair, and flowers growing in it, these are cosmetic details that have no added mechanical effect (though the flowers interact with her casting).

Languages: Common, Elven, Sylvan

Ability scores (20 point buy):

7 STR; (-4 points)
13 DEX; (3 points)
16 CON; 14 base (5 points) + 2 racial
13 INT; (3 points)
10 WIS; (0 points)
19 CHA; 17 base (13 points) + 2 racial

Feats:

1 Fast Learner - gain both hp and skill points each favored class level
1 Cantrips (Incanter bonus feat)
3 Selective Channeling

Drawback: Tainted Spirit. She acquired this during her foray into Kagen's manor -- something saps her physical strength, which is reflected both in her low, low STR score, and also in the trait's mechanics (fort save after each fight to avoid fatigue for quite a while).

Traits:

[/url] - this is from Inuksuk. +1 fort saves and cold resist 2. The Ipondilaq are great at dealing with cold.

[url=http://archivesofnethys.com/TraitDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Highlander]Highlander - I think this needs to be reflavored given that the closes hills are too far away to visit regularly. All it does is give +1 Stealth and make it a class skill. GM, could we rename it "Hunter's Child"? Both of her parents are rangers after all.

Trustworthy - Kat is pretty likeable once you get past the weird plant features. This gives her Diplomacy as a class skill.

Skills:

2 base + 1 INT + 1 favored class = 4 * 3 levels = 12 points

3 ranks each in: Diplomacy, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Stealth.

She's quite good at casting spells, but totally ignorant of arcane theory.

Background skills:

2 * 3 levels = 6 points

3 in Craft (glass)
3 in Profession (gardener)

She's got quite a green thumb (literally!) and likes glasswork.

Class: Incanter 3.

Casting Ability Modifier: Charisma.

Specializations: Channel Energy

Talent Selections:

Level 1: Nature Sphere (Plantlife geomancing package)
Level 1: Fate Sphere
Level 1: Life Sphere
Level 1: Life Sphere: Restore Movement
Level 2: Fate Sphere: Truth (Word)
Level 3: Nature Sphere: Towering Growth
Level 3: Nature Sphere: Thorns

Gear

Special Magic Item: the silver bracelets referred to in her backstory are Bracelets of the Fey Touch, a scaling bauble from Pathfinder Unchained. They give her a 1/day +4 bonus on a Bluff or Stealth check. At 6th level it would grant her a +1 bonus on the save DC of an enchantment spell -- which is likely to be useless to her since I don't think she's going to go into enchantment, and anyway sphere abilities aren't spells exactly. At 8th level it can be used twice a day, and that's it.

Beyond that, I bought a witch's kit for some basic gear, a mwk cold iron dagger, and a folding shovel (see below). I don't know what else to get her. She's not proficient with armor, and hasn't got any magic equivalent, so her AC is probably just going to be terrible, full stop.

She hasn't been an adventurer yet; so far she's just been living in Issen working as a healer. So most adventuring gear doesn't really make sense. Therefore I used the Downtime rules to earn a bunch of capitol and build her a house:

8 goods, 7 labor Bedroom
4 goods, 4 labor Kitchen
3 goods, 3 labor Lavatory
12 goods, 12 labor Sitting Room
3 goods, 3 labor Storage
9 goods, 9 labor Artisan's Workshop
8 goods, 7 labor Greenhouse
3 goods, 2 labor, 1 influence Bath
=
42 goods, 40 labor, 1 influence
Earned for 985 gp

I didn't include sewer access because Issen seems too small to have a sewer.

After all that she's got 1,635 gp left. I really don't know what else to get her, so she just has a pile of money saved up, I guess.

Casting Tradition: This character is weird. She's kind of like a sorcerer, except not really. She's kind of like a cleric, except not really. None of the pre-packaged casting traditions really made sense for her. But it looks like they mostly consist of a handful of drawbacks and a boon, so I took these:

Draining Casting: she takes nonlethal damage for using a sphere ability.
Magical Signs: her magic is showy and obvious, and I'm going to have all kinds of fun describing it.
Somatic Casting: She has to be able to pluck a flower from her hair in order to cast.

In addition -- and there was nothing in the book for this -- she has to rest on fertile soil to get her spell points back. For purposes of this, I'd consider the soil fertile if it is capable of sustaining plant life, even if it currently isn't doing so. So a patch of dirt on a cave floor would be fine, but soil in a poisoned or cursed area would not work (and might sicken her). If she can't rest on fertile soil, her non-lethal damage from draining casting still goes away normally, but she doesn't get her spell points back. She'll probably need a shovel. And later a talent for shifting earth around.

I took the Easy Focus boon, because it seems useful. GM, if you want to adjust any of this further, let me know.


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Well played Thurin...Well played.


Katsanóron Vazrasti wrote:

This is Tinalles. Here's my submission: Katsanóron Vazrasti, a half-elf incanter 3 who -- for reasons that not even she understands -- has green skin and hair, and grows flowers in her hair. She goes by Kat for short.

I will put her stat block and backstory in her profile later, but just now I have to get going to a game.

** spoiler omitted **...

Looking good. Feel free to rename the trait, I like that. Everything looks good at first glance.


Thurin Foehammer wrote:

“Vrog Skyweaver - Tobin, shabti shifter (shifter)

That's an out of the box backstory, and I'll grant it to you. Enjoy! I'll try to think of some secret knowledge to shoot you, as part of your age. Count it as part of your gift.”

The secret is that the answer is 42.

Ha. True, very true.


Keante wrote:
Big Bad Evil GM wrote:
All sphere casters need a casting tradition. The most common source of power is following old rituals, or communing with extra planar beings, and whatever casting tradition you choose, it will have roleplaying consequences.
BBEGM, can you comment on how you would like to run the Material Casting drawback? I'm considering a mixed magical/martial character like a martial hedgewitch (as an alternative to the full-martial conscript), and I'm looking at the Traveling Sage unified tradition, which includes the Material Casting drawback.

Material casting...

You know, I have no idea. I'll get back to you on that. If you have any ideas for how to handle it, I'm listening. The rest of the build sounds good.


Okay, trait renamed. The original gave a +1 trait bonus and made Stealth a class skill, and the trait bonus increased to +2 in rocky or hilly terrain.

In my reflavored version it's mechanically identical except the conditional +2 trait bonus applies to forests, not hills.

I think she's as ready as she's going to get. Wow, she is frail. Good CON score, but she is going to be taking non-lethal damage every time she uses a sphere ability, and has an AC of a whopping 11. I think Katsanóron will need to stay as far from enemies as humanly possible, otherwise she's going to get squashed like a bug.


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Big Bad Evil GM wrote:

Harakani - Hob, hobgoblin? blacksmith (blacksmith or hedgewitch)

Run with the blacksmith, if that's what you'd prefer.

Ah - in fact I meant the old mythological Hob - which is to say a puck.

I was looking at getting the Feat Transformation for Fey Form, and playing up the fey nature and young age. I'm a little worried we're a trifle oversubscribed on those concepts now.

I can see the term was confusing - I should have just said "Fey".

On the other hand the core of the concept is still untouched. An Outsider with the pull of another culture, trained to be a creator and protector. Rather than introduce yet another outsider group though, I might link up with the one already there - the Orcs. I'm suprised we haven't had more people jump on them already.

@BBEGM: How long ago did the Orcs come to town? How long ago were they defeated? What was their relationship with the townsfolk before that?

I'm now thinking Hob could have been an Orc child, lost in the woods and drawn to the village. Wayland found him and took him in. Hob eventually went looking for his people, but they didn't feel like "his" anymore. Still when they were all but destroyed he let them camp on the land outside town he'd bought to slowly turn into a farm.

This would give him ties to two Factions: Townsfolk and Orcs. I can see him half-belonging to both.

Orc is an interesting choice for an int/wis based crafter, but I like a challenge. They're a great choice for a pure fighter, and we seem to have a lot of casters.

Ideally I'd like the following points in Canon, if you are okay with them. Please tell me if any of them are problematic.

(A) The Orcs were far enough away that they would not have kept looking for a lost kid.
(B) The Orcs were close enough that a lost kid could have made it to Wayland's - potentially with help, or taken by something else.
(C) Wayland's Forge is a small distance out of town, possibly at the point the road first reaches the town. The Forge is also a small farm, and has some woods that Wayland uses for particular charcoals.
(D) Smithing is one of the first lines of defence against the Fey, as most smiths have ready access to cold iron. As a result the Smiths in this area have a tendency to collect snippets of lore, stories of nearby monsters, and ensure their apprentices know how to forge and use weapons as well as plows.
(E) Smithing has a few mysteries to it that require serious training, and as a result all Smiths are well educated, and often have a small store of precious books. This results in a bit of overlap with more educated crafters. It also means Smith training takes many years, and passes through Apprentice, Journeyman and finally Master.
(F) Smiths are important members of the community given (D) and (E), on par with a cleric. This was true of many real-world cultures as well. They have duties as well as status, however.
(G) The Orcs are (if I read right) a bit druidic, and not very keen on metalwork. They tend not to have Smiths as such, though they may pay for an occasional piece of work if they need it.
(H) When Hob finished his apprenticeship he stayed on to help Wayland (who was becoming infirm) rather than become a journeyman. He used his wages to buy a large plot of undeveloped, possibly monster infested land near Wayland's Forge, with the eventual goal of turning it into a farm. When he discovered the Orcs were all but wiped out, he let them stay on it - which had the result of giving it away. This bought him goodwill with the Orcs, but lost him much goodwill with the Townsfolk. His Townsfolk reputation now depends on the Orcs behaving themselves.
(I) Journeyman Smiths (like Hob) are supposed to travel to find new techniques, and ensure the dissemination of what they know.
(J) Wayland and Kagen were good friends a long time ago.

For special item, I'm now thinking something that ties Hob more to his Orc culture.
I'd like a tribal spirit. Something under godlike power, but powerful. Something only Hob can see - whether because it is in his head, using visions to communicate, looking mundane or something else. At the start Hob would see it from time to time. I'm thinking something like a Muse, or a Nymph or a Leanen Sidhe, but I'm not sure of the exact mythology/theology for the orcs.
I'd like it to have taught him bits and pieces about his culture, but filtered through the mind of a kid desperately trying to fit in to human culture.

@BBEGM: For craftable items before play, can we buy at cost, or do we need to pay full price? Looking at Magical and Mundane. Also wondering about buying things like a Farm, or Apprentices.

Mechanicaly I'm thinking of taking the Item Creation feats Harvest Parts and Grisly Ornament. Seems "Orcish" enough, but also works nicely with some of the viking smithing mythology. Obviously given Hob's magic is entirely bound up in his items, crafting is going to be pretty important for him.


I'm catching up on the thread, but I figured I'd post to see if this was still open for players. My initial thought is a Fey Adept sent to destroy Kegan's work who may find he's on the wrong side of history. More once I've caught up and read more about spheres.


Harakani wrote:
Big Bad Evil GM wrote:

Harakani - Hob, hobgoblin? blacksmith (blacksmith or hedgewitch)

Run with the blacksmith, if that's what you'd prefer.

Ah - in fact I meant the old mythological Hob - which is to say a puck.

I was looking at getting the Feat Transformation for Fey Form, and playing up the fey nature and young age. I'm a little worried we're a trifle oversubscribed on those concepts now.

I can see the term was confusing - I should have just said "Fey".

On the other hand the core of the concept is still untouched. An Outsider with the pull of another culture, trained to be a creator and protector. Rather than introduce yet another outsider group though, I might link up with the one already there - the Orcs. I'm suprised we haven't had more people jump on them already.

@BBEGM: How long ago did the Orcs come to town? How long ago were they defeated? What was their relationship with the townsfolk before that?

I'm now thinking Hob could have been an Orc child, lost in the woods and drawn to the village. Wayland found him and took him in. Hob eventually went looking for his people, but they didn't feel like "his" anymore. Still when they were all but destroyed he let them camp on the land outside town he'd bought to slowly turn into a farm.

This would give him ties to two Factions: Townsfolk and Orcs. I can see him half-belonging to both.

Orc is an interesting choice for an int/wis based crafter, but I like a challenge. They're a great choice for a pure fighter, and we seem to have a lot of casters.

Ideally I'd like the following points in Canon, if you are okay with them. Please tell me if any of them are problematic.

(A) The Orcs were far enough away that they would not have kept looking for a lost kid.
(B) The Orcs were close enough that a lost kid could have made it to Wayland's - potentially with help, or taken by something else.
(C) Wayland's Forge is a small distance out of town, possibly at the point the road first reaches the town. The Forge is...

I highly recommend:

(1) Trait Heritage Weapon for Weapon Proficiency Butchering Axe
(2) Str 19-20 (easy as an orc)
(3) Rock that 3d6 damage x3 crit oversized axe

http://archivesofnethys.com/EquipmentWeaponsDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Butcherin g%20axe

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

This sounds extremely cool. Just dotting for now while I consider my options.


Harakani wrote:


@BBEGM: How long ago did the Orcs come to town? How long ago were they defeated? What was their relationship with the townsfolk before that?

I'm now thinking Hob could have been an Orc child, lost in the woods and drawn to the village. Wayland found him and took him in. Hob eventually went looking for his people, but they didn't feel like "his" anymore. Still when they were all but destroyed he let them camp on the land outside town he'd bought to slowly turn into a farm.

This would give him ties to two Factions: Townsfolk and Orcs. I can see him half-belonging to both.

@BBEGM: For craftable items before play, can we buy at cost, or do we need to pay full price? Looking at Magical and Mundane. Also wondering about buying things like a Farm, or Apprentices.

Sorry about the hobgoblin confusion! Oops. Don't worry about overlapping character roles too much, it doesn't bother me. I quite like the concept. Your questions:

They arrived around 15 years ago, shortly after their big defeat. Before that, the townsfolk knew of them, but preferred to think of them as mythical. The orcs thought of the villagers as 'soft'.

You can have all those points of cannon. They're either really appropriate or scarily similar to something I already have in my notes.

Go for the half price. It'll be useful for the party to have a crafter around, as magic items will be limited. Kat set a precedent for owning property, so you can have a farm and apprentices. I have a rough copy of the town map (not to scale or anything) I'd been scrawling notes on. Let me edit it to contain no spoilers, and then I'll post it for you guys.


BastianQuinn wrote:
I'm catching up on the thread, but I figured I'd post to see if this was still open for players. My initial thought is a Fey Adept sent to destroy Kegan's work who may find he's on the wrong side of history. More once I've caught up and read more about spheres.

Still open! There were a couple of additions to character options a few posts in, but apart from that you don't need to worry too much about reading the whole thing. The initial thought seem promising.


Hrm... PCGen doesn't seem to have spheres of power, so this will be my first freehand Pathfinder PC. I'd appreciate any help more experienced players might offer.

Ganzorig really hopes the whispering things that follow him are going to let him back into the First World. It would be an absolute shame to succumb to bleaching so young, but aside from the tricks the whispering things can perform for him, there is not much in this white-on-white desolate tundra to spark a gnome's interest.

The desperate gnome came to Issen in his father's arms. His father died of bleaching shortly thereafter, the condition worsened by the wards put in place by Kegan. Ganzorig grew up with a family of human hunters, knowing only hearsay of his own heritage, origin, and his cravings.

Ganzorig was a simple trapsmith when he came upon the thing. The town had issues with magical creatures prowling the night, and devising traps for such unique creatures served the town, but it served his own designs on returning to the First World. The thing promised him, they did. They just need this Kegan's books burned, his artifacts disposed of, his wards broken down. Surely Ganzorig can find some folk to help him fight through the beasts and locks, and then he'll be free to return.

I'd like to mix and match for my casting tradition. I want Addictive Magic, Wild Magic, and Focus Casting with the Easy Focus and Bound Creature boons. I for sure want some input on what that companion would be, with the understanding that some plot event might separate them in the future. Something a Gnome could ride would be useful.

How does that sound?

Edit: I think I'm building Naruto...


@Ganzorig -- Note that when building a casting tradition, you have to take two drawbacks for each boon you want. With three drawbacks, you can't have both Easy Focus and Bound Creature.

What class are you going with?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Question: how do you see your GM'ing style (story first) interacting with the frozen climate? In other words, do you see the scope of this game wanting to tell the story (at times) of surviving the extreme temperatures and hostile wilderness, making checks against the cold and making sure we have enough to eat? Or are we more focused on surviving strange forces and investigating mysteries old and new?


Katsanóron Vazrasti wrote:

@Ganzorig -- Note that when building a casting tradition, you have to take two drawbacks for each boon you want. With three drawbacks, you can't have both Easy Focus and Bound Creature.

What class are you going with?

Addictive Casting counts as 2 drawbacks. or is that just for spell points? If that's the case, I'd fall back to Wild/Addictive Magic and Bound Creature... not sure if another drawback would fit.

The class would be Fey Adept.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Changed my boon from Easy Focus (which I won’t use) is to Deathful Magic [Core]

The closer you are to death, the more powerful your magic. When you are at half hit points or less, you gain a +1 temporary bonus to your caster level. When you are at 1/4th your total hit points or less, this temporary bonus increases to +2.

——

Seemed more appropriate for a melee healer who can self-heal by hitting the enemy.


@Ganzorig The exact phrasing from the book is "This counts as 2 drawbacks when determining the number of spell points gained." I don't think the same holds true for boons. However, that's really up to the GM; perhaps they'll allow it.

Scarab Sages

I hate to pass on a game that uses Spheres (I REALLY do), but I just was accepted into a different game, and I'm not going to finish an application for this game--I have enough to keep me busy.

I hope you all enjoy this game!


Ganzorig wrote:

Hrm... PCGen doesn't seem to have spheres of power, so this will be my first freehand Pathfinder PC. I'd appreciate any help more experienced players might offer.

Ganzorig really hopes the whispering things that follow him are going to let him back into the First World. It would be an absolute shame to succumb to bleaching so young, but aside from the tricks the whispering things can perform for him, there is not much in this white-on-white desolate tundra to spark a gnome's interest.

The desperate gnome came to Issen in his father's arms. His father died of bleaching shortly thereafter, the condition worsened by the wards put in place by Kegan. Ganzorig grew up with a family of human hunters, knowing only hearsay of his own heritage, origin, and his cravings.

Ganzorig was a simple trapsmith when he came upon the thing. The town had issues with magical creatures prowling the night, and devising traps for such unique creatures served the town, but it served his own designs on returning to the First World. The thing promised him, they did. They just need this Kegan's books burned, his artifacts disposed of, his wards broken down. Surely Ganzorig can find some folk to help him fight through the beasts and locks, and then he'll be free to return.

I'd like to mix and match for my casting tradition. I want Addictive Magic, Wild Magic, and Focus Casting with the Easy Focus and Bound Creature boons. I for sure want some input on what that companion would be, with the understanding that some plot event might separate them in the future. Something a Gnome could ride would be useful.

How does that sound?

Edit: I think I'm building Naruto...

I quite like it! It's creative. Don't worry about the statblock too much, I'll be accepting people based on backstories and character concepts. You can have both boons with those 3 drawbacks. Addictive casting is nasty, so it balances.

Your companion is a fey of some sort? I can come up with some ideas if you wish. I like the angle of you eventually arguing with it.


mechaPoet wrote:
Question: how do you see your GM'ing style (story first) interacting with the frozen climate? In other words, do you see the scope of this game wanting to tell the story (at times) of surviving the extreme temperatures and hostile wilderness, making checks against the cold and making sure we have enough to eat? Or are we more focused on surviving strange forces and investigating mysteries old and new?

Good question! I hope to do a bit of both, but you'll never be too far from the town. There will be times of food counting and extreme temperatures, but it's mostly about mysteries and strange forces.


Keante wrote:

I hate to pass on a game that uses Spheres (I REALLY do), but I just was accepted into a different game, and I'm not going to finish an application for this game--I have enough to keep me busy.

I hope you all enjoy this game!

Nice having you, and good luck in your future gaming endeavours!

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