Agents of Cheliax Abroad

Game Master Molech

Expanding Cheliax: Infiltrating, Manipulating, Corrupting, and Subverting for The Empire of Devils

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DM Ray wrote:

ARSENAL destroys Preston in the FA Cup

Its a key 3ed round game, and I'm a gunners fan as well, I will be waiting the match. Really don't think Preston will do more the draw at best, but "Its a funny old game"

What about a Insinuator antipaladin? It sounds perfect for this campaign.

W E Ray wrote:

Yaos wrote:
Is the Johnny Panic the same as in "Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams"?


W E Ray wrote:
Daddy You Bastard!


Yaos wrote:
I don't have any children. But I certainly hope that if I did they would not write poems like that about me.


I don't have children of my own either, but oh god!, if I did I would Love for one to be able to write like that, not bothered at all that I was depicted Nazi-like and such. Are you kidding, to have a kid with genius that incomparable?! Yeah, I'd jump at it. With pride: "That's my girl!"

I agree about the quality of her poetry.

Given a choice, I would still rather a daughter who was not Sylvia Plath. An offspring with a healthier attitude to her family who lived a happier life- meaning most anyone really- would suit me better.

Paizo was down. And now its almost midnight. Hope i can get a proper background and story in by tomorrow

Yaos wrote:

I agree about the quality of her poetry.

Given a choice, I would still rather a daughter who was not Sylvia Plath. An offspring with a healthier attitude to her family who lived a happier life- meaning most anyone really- would suit me better.

That is hard one, my son likes painting, but I don't want him to be the next vincent van gogh, next Andrew Wyeth would be fine with me.

Any how, she is done, "The Emerald Snake" Crime boss and all round bad egg.

Do you all mind keeping the non character/game chatter to a bare minimum.

It's a distraction to other players and doesn't serve to add anything useful to the game, which is the entire point of this thread, trying to gain a new player or two.

Plenty of time for PC application -- Paizo was down for 24 hours.

Don't worry about Monday.


Drow ranger 5/shadowdancer 3 (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 114)
LE Medium humanoid (elf)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 150 ft.; Perception +15
AC 22, touch 16, flat-footed 16 (+6 armor, +5 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 90 (8 HD; 3d8+5d10+16)
Fort +7, Ref +11, Will +4; +2 vs. enchantments
Defensive Abilities evasion, uncanny dodge; Immune sleep; SR 14
Weaknesses light blindness
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 nodachi +11 (2d10+14/18-20) or
. . dagger +10 (2d4+9/19-20)
Ranged +1 adaptive composite longbow +13 (2d8+6/×3)
Special Attacks combat style (two-handed weapon[APG]), favored enemies (elves +2, humans +4)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +11)
. . 1/day—dancing lights, darkness, faerie fire
Shadowdancer Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd; concentration +6)
. . 1/day—shadow illusion (DC 14)
Ranger Spells Prepared (CL 4th; concentration +6)
. . 1st—urban grace[ARG] (2)
Str 20, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 16
Base Atk +7; CMB +10; CMD 28
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Endurance, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Vital Strike
Traits magical knack
Skills Acrobatics +15, Bluff +13, Craft (alchemy) +12, Escape Artist +15, Knowledge (nobility) +8, Perception +15, Perform (dance) +8, Sleight of Hand +12, Stealth +23, Survival +2 (+4 to avoid becoming lost); Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
Languages Elven, Undercommon
SQ favored terrain (urban +2), hide in plain sight, hunter's bond (companions), paranoid, poison use, rogue talent (fast stealth), summon shadow, track +2, wild empathy
Other Gear +2 mithral chain shirt, +1 adaptive composite longbow, +1 nodachi[UC], arrows (20), blunt arrows[APG] (20), dagger, belt of physical perfection +2, cloak of elvenkind, cracked orange prism ioun stone (penumbra)[UE], headband of mental prowess +2 (Wis, Cha), wayfinder[ISWG], alchemist's lab, bedroll, belt pouch, canteen[UE], fishhook (2), flint and steel, masterwork backpack[APG], mug/tankard, poison lip paint, poison pill ring[UE], poisoning sheath[UE], sewing needle, signal whistle, string or twine[APG], thread (50 ft.), trail rations (7), waterskin, whetstone, 58 gp
Special Abilities
Combat Reflexes (6 AoO/round) Can make extra attacks of opportunity/rd, and even when flat-footed.
Darkvision (150 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Drow Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Endurance +4 to a variety of fort saves, skill and ability checks. Sleep in L/M armor with no fatigue.
Evasion (Ex) If succeed on Reflex save for half dam, take none instead.
Fast Stealth (Ex) Move at full speed while using the Stealth skill at no penalty.
Favored Enemy (Elves +2) (Ex) +2 to rolls vs. Favored Enemy (Elves) foes.
Favored Enemy (Humans +4) (Ex) +4 to rolls vs. Favored Enemy (Humans) foes.
Favored Terrain (Urban +2) (Ex) +2 to rolls when in Favored Terrain (Urban).
Hide in Plain Sight (Su) Can use Stealth even while observed, if there is a shadow in 10 ft.
Hunter's Bond (Companions) (2 rounds) (Ex) As a move action, grant half favored enemy bonus to allies in 30 ft.
Light Blindness (Ex) Bright light blinds for 1 rd, then dazzled as long as remain in it.
Mobility +4 to AC vs. AoO provoked by moving out of or through a threatened area.
Paranoid Aid Another DC 15 for attempts to help you.
Poison Use (Ex) You do not risk poisoning yourself accidentally while poisoning a weapon.
Power Attack -2/+4 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Spell Resistance (14) You have Spell Resistance.
Spring Attack You can move - attack - move when attacking with a melee weapon.
Summon Shadow (Su) Summon a Shadow to serve as your companion.
Track +2 Add the listed bonus to survival checks made to track.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex) Retain Dex bonus to AC when flat-footed.
Vital Strike Standard action: x2 weapon damage dice.
Wild Empathy +8 (Ex) Improve the attitude of an animal, as if using Diplomacy.

Ability Breakdown:
+2 Dex
+2 Cha
-2 Int

+2 Str from lvl
+2 Con from lvl

10pts to str
10pts to dex
2pts to int
2pts to wis
2pts to cha

+2 Stealth
+2 K.Nobility
+2 Initiative

Background will be done soon, crunch just easy to do due to Herolab :)

@ Waskally,
Insinuator Paladins are not allowed.
(sorry for the long delay)

Just to get a quick roll-call of applicants -- please confirm you're still interested in the slot we have open....

Zartana .... LE Drow Ranger-5 / Shadowdancer-3 .... Seth 86

Lady Narkisssa Kekaku Eyota .... LE Dhampir Investigator-8 …. Johnny Panic

Meliora Castafiore …. NE Human Sorcerer-8 …. Trinam

Aurilous …. LE Half-Elf FTR/BRW/VIG/HK …. Grumbaki

Possibly characters from Krek, Banesama, The Chess, and The Waskally

I haven’t had time to look at the crunch for any of these PCs yet, but there’s no harm in your going back through to make sure the sources from which you got your build are okay and all my niggling Houserules, notably Skills & Languages, are observed.

Please let me know of any questions and concerns you have.


will update profile if chosen :)

I'm stepping out of the race. Good luck you all!

The only thing I'm wondering rn is if 'Infernal' could be an INT modifier bonus language. Right now I've taken it as her third language (alongside rogue's cant and chelaxian), but if it takes more than a +1 to do that I can always pick something else and grab comprehend languages instead.

Infernal as an INT modifier language, despite your Class, is fine. I'm not going to make a fuss over a Chelaxian being able to speak Infernal outside of a Rank in Linguistics.

Alright, thanks much.

(I went ahead and got comprehend languages anyways, since it fit her theme better than disguise self. I just need to get around 300gp of incidental adventuring supplies and I'm done.)

Yes very much, still want to be in this one.

Languages: I was thinking of adding what others do not have at start of game so, that we have a full spread. Comprehend languages is good for, well comprehending them but you can't speak them. I have given Narkisssa Osiriani as I feel someone should have it and it fits her background well. Vampires, Undead all that.

Human racial traits, straight from Core:

Languages: Humans begin play speaking Common. Humans with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).

Thus, Infernal is always a possible choice for a high Int, as a human. As far as I can tell, Ray's language houserule only covered spending points in the linguistics skill, not bonus languages via high Int scores.

Hey Ray, I just noticed something you never addressed, even from the original game:

We each get a Hero point, which you mentioned are 'somewhat stronger than the published version'.

1) How much stronger, and what exactly can one do with them?

2) Which system are you using to determine how/when we get more, assuming we get more? There's a bunch out there, official and otherwise.

1) DM fiat, with an eye for consistency. It's easier to answer that in my Homegames, and even then it's a tough answer. A good rule of thumb is to start with the RAW in the APG and figure it'll be a bit better.

2) I usually give one every level -- and they don't expire. But I think it wise to play it by ear, here. It seems that PbP can take so much longer than a homegame that I my decide it's good to give PCs an extra one despite not leveling yet. ....And I guess sometimes there is a case where something really special happens in-game and I spontaneously give the PCs another one. (But after almost 40 years of D&D it's harder and harder to get blown away.)

In my Houserules I forgot to mention that on the healing-of-Hit-Points rolls (Cure Light Wounds, Lay on Hands, Channel Energy to Heal, etc.) you Always re-roll ones!


One never thinks of these things at the appropriate time. It has always seemed to me that I have so few Houserules: bulking up Skills (that Unchained did later), tinkering with Languages, adjusting the Racial Ability Scores, using a more old-school crit rule,.... But when one adds them up-- holy cow.

It doesn't seem like that much at the gaming table. But man does it seem like a lot here among strangers. For the record, thanks for agreeing to play with them. ....And I'd love some feedback, if you want to call me a fool for adjusting so much!

I don't think your rules are bad and frankly a lot of this stuff seems like free benefits for us (YAY NO MORE NAT 1S ON HEALING!!), but I like calling people fools so can I do it anyways? Pretty please?

I'm fine with all house rules but the engineering one. Why did you scrap it GM?
Lack of use in game, and what would take its place if any thing.

DM Ray- On your question about house rules, I don't think there is anything wrong with any of them in themselves.

Well, I am not sure why you scrapped Engineering either. It may be related to not allowing firearms [which I would certainly do myself if firearms didn't fir the atmosphere or period I had in mind]. Being lower tech there may be less for Engineering to do.

However, I am currently in 3 PbP campaigns and 1 tabletop. I don't have a huge knowledge of the Pathfinder rules as I have not played the game as much as many.

There are a lot of rules to keep track of in just Paizo Pathfinder and I have made mistakes once or twice by mixing Pathfinder up with D & D rules on the same thing.

Keeping track of what house rules apply in which campaign complicates things. If I was going to run PbP I would keep house rules to a minimum, perhaps using none at all. Just to keep things simpler for the players. Tabletop and if you are familiar with the GM it is fine. You get instant feedback if you forget, but they tend to be harder to keep track of in PbP.

In a sentence, I don't mind any of the house rules, but I have come to realise that house rules are significantly harder to keep track of in net RPGs.

It won't be the first time I've been called a fool.


Engineering, well, I've never seen a use for it and, honestly, if there is an occasional appropriate use, would that actually make it a Skill balanced with Arcana, Religion and Nature? Is it worth taking? ....I think it's much better as a Profession than a Knowledge. Giving a PC interested in such the ability to make a day job roll for a few extra gp and use it the way Players sometimes use Profession is better.


'Keeping track of what house rules apply in which campaign' does, absolutely, complicate things. And you're right, I probably should have considered that and curbed them a bit. I was thinking of my friend Mike who, when he does a PbP, says what he wants, and then whoever shows up, shows up. (And both PbPs he's DMed have gone well into the 20s of Gameplay pages, well over 1000 posts -- and been completed (are being) from 1st to 20th level.) But Mike and I are very different types of gamers and I shouldn't have taken his stance. Also, really, I didn't realize there were that many. At my Homegames it doesn't seem like much; I don't even notice them.

For the record, when I started the original Recruitment Thread I told prospective applicants that I was willing to discuss my Houserules and we could ax any during Recruitment if there seemed anything unreasonable or unplayable or whatever. No one said anything.

Oh, I wasn't really complaining.

I have just been thinking through the differences between PbP and tabletop. And houserules are one thing that plays out differently. You get more roleplaying in PbP too, which is a good thing. Nobody wants to post a dice roll and nothing else.

No, you fooooooooool!!!! You blew it up! You blew it all up!!!

But yeah, I get the divide, particularly as I couldn't really tell what engineering the knowledge vs the profession normally would matter for. (Iron Gods being the one major exception, due to all the technology.) I get he house rules tracking thing, too: In addition to trying to get into this PbP I run a couple games myself, one that is big standard pf with the house rule of 'I'm too lazy to check weight rules just don't overtly abuse that' and another with a bunch of actual house rules designed to help with MAD classes and feat taxes, largely for martials.

(Also because Mel has some kind of eldritch serpent blood in her could she be a scaletouched human, which is a race I just totally made up that is human but adds on Fleet-Footed to total 12 RP overall? (My inner minmaxer demands that I ask, but realtalk it's perfectly fine if not.))

Still interested. :)

Btw, instead of +2 to a stat when leveling up can I have +1/+1?

I'd like to change his Str22 into Str20 and bump his Int/Cha13 up to Int/Cha14.

DM Ray wrote:

It won't be the first time I've been called a fool.

Engineering, well, I've never seen a use for it and, honestly, if there is an occasional appropriate use, would that actually make it a Skill balanced with Arcana, Religion and Nature? Is it worth taking? ....I think it's much better as a Profession than a Knowledge. Giving a PC interested in such the ability to make a day job roll for a few extra gp and use it the way Players sometimes use Profession is better.

That seems logical, as its linked to only a few classes and settings.

As for house rules, other than that, this one is not so bad, I have seen some... etc. All good if you get the 'feel' your after.

I do like the idea of Stat fixing, [+2+2-1] is a neat idea, that I may borrow for my games. With Race builder as well in there I was able to get my idea for Narkisssa to be a Noble Dhampir down to a nice mix. With her being a high int, skills, poison using spy type. Also altered her background and bedded it more into the setting and events.

I don't really think you have too many house rules, and for the most part they are pretty minor.

I will say I still think it's a bit unfair to single out Elven Curve Blade, and would rather all racial weapons be turned into exotics that weapon familiarity doesn't cover, but I suppose for this specific game, it's not that big a deal.

I do like you skill changes, a lot. Akin to background skills, it lets one get more use out of the skills they take, plus allows one to make better overall skill selections.

About the only 'issue' there might be is the linguistic skill cost, but I don't think its anything to problematic.


I believe that's how the ability score increases work. You get 2 vs 1, and you can spend them any way you like.

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@ Aurilous,
Yes, at 4th level (and 8th, 12th, etc.) you get two points to put wherever you want.


@ Lady Narkissa,
The Racial Ability Score thing bothered me for almost all of 3E.
....There are so many good ideas for a Dwarf Sorcerer or Oracle -- a Catfolk or Fetchling Cleric. And it's just not right that the Aasimar and Hobgoblin get two +2s without a -2. (I remember confronting Jacobs on the Boards when the Aasimar was first published for Pathfiner, certain it was a typo. Jacobs posted that the Races for PCs weren't meant to be balanced; I was so unsatisfied with that answer.)
....For quite a while I allowed Players to put their -2 in the same Ability that they put one of their +2s -- making it the same as the RAW Human, H-Elf & H-Orc (a +2 to one score). But when the ARG was published I saw that the cost of that is greater than the cost of the +2/+2/-2. So I stopped -- assuming that if Paizo said one cost more it must be better.
....In any event, my experience has shown me that opening up the Races like that, while it seems silly to give every Race the flexibility in, you know, A POINT-BUY SYSTEM, most Players like being able to choose a Race not based on what is appropriate for their Class choice, but for what feels like would be fun, Fluff-wise.


@ Magnius,
Thanks. I've gotten quite a bit of positive feedback on my houserule tweaks over the years as new Players join in my games. And I still grin inwardly when my buddy Mike DMs and the Players forget that they actually have to roll to confirm a nat 20 (That's just unnatural!) or that they don't get to re-roll ones when healing. It just sucks for me because I HAVE to play a Peri-Blooded Aasimar every. single. time. Mike DMs. That sucks. I wanna play a Dwarf Wizard diplomat one day. You know the only Race with a +2 INT and a -2 STR is Ratfolk?! I don't want to play a Ratfolk Wizard. Well, enough of that....
I remember when I moved 'knowledge of Undead' from Religion (Cosmology) to Arcane -- that raised eyebrows at my table. They all readily agreed it was more balanced, more fair, but one of the Players just 'felt' like it ought to be Religion, most probably because of his Judaeo-Christian background and popular culture linking undead with religion.

....Don't forget, you get TWO languages for every Rank in Linguistics. So even though there isn't one 'common' human language, it can be fixed. And since Players know prior to building their PCs where a particular campaign will take place,....

And on Elven Curved Blade,.... I'm sure you're right; I should do it for all the Race weapons. It's just that Elven Curved Blade is the one that I have personally seen abused over and over again. It's like when one chooses his Cleric's Deity ONLY for the purposes of Favored Weapon and nothing else. ....Which, I openly acknowledge, is no different than my choosing my Inquisitor Deity based ONLY on which Deity has the Travel Domain. I swear I'm always an Inquisitor of Apsu, LG INQ with the Travel Domain. (Or Barbatos: LE INQ with the Travel Domain)

In any case, I'm glad Lord Magnius Arvanxi is in the group.

Thank you. Character finalized, with languages added.

Also, completely agreed with the races and points. I've made some characters which don't seem obvious before with the rules (Dwarf magus diplomat...really great diplomacy!), but it's hard. And some characters just can't be done.

I for one would love to play a dwarven skald, and the only way to do so is using your rules.

Dwarf Skald
+ 2 Constitution

The 'songs' are grudges.

* Inspired Rage (The most violent and atrocious of grudges, inciting rage in those who hear it)
* Song of Marching (Long unfulfilled grudges, to inspire those to march without fatigue)
* Song of Strength (Tales of grudges fulfilled by great heroes)
* Dirge of Doom (Tales of grudges fulfilled, emphasizing the fate of those who would wrong your people)
* Song of the Fallen (Martyrs who died righting great wrongs)

He'd walk around with a dwarven war axe and a book of grudges. Written in blood, it would detail every wrong done to him, his family, his people and his comrades. When vengeance or recompense is gained, the entry is crossed out and the tale of how is written instead. His goal would be to right every wrong ever done to the dwarven race.

Unfortunately, that just isn't mechanically feasible unless using your rule set.

DM Ray wrote:
... most Players like being able to choose a Race not based on what is appropriate for their Class choice, but for what feels like would be fun, Fluff-wise.

That is what I like about it, it really frees things up.

With four great character ideas and interested Players: Zartana the Drow, Lady Narkisssa the Dhampir, Meliora Castafiore the Human and Aurilous the H-Elf, I'd like to reiturate the nature of this Sandbox-like campaign and hear your ideas for how to play it, make it playable....

Her Infernal Majestrix, Queen Abrogail Thrune II, and her Pit Fiend Adviser, Gorthoklek, have summoned you to the capital for a long-term mission abroad, as agents of Cheliax.

Diobel, Rahadoum, Mediogalti, Sargava, Nidal and Isger (in whatever order you choose) have been targeted by House Thrune for absorption and assimilation into Cheliax, The Empire of Devils.

You have your guile, sagacity, ingenuity and audacity with which to work. So how do you plan to infiltrate, subvert, manipulate, cajole, and corrupt these peoples for Cheliax?

As you guys come up with various playable ideas for different places during the campaign, I will design them, and we'll play them out. Then you can move to the next place and the next place, with the intention of returning to the first later on to see how well your initial gambits and plans worked.

The tricky part is playability. Since yo can't just go door-to-door in Nisroch, asking people if they would support becoming citizens of Cheliax like some kind of survey takers, what do you do?

Just going up to a barkeep in Diobel and rolling a Diplomacy check to convince him to support Cheliax isn't a playable game. So what DO say/do to the barkeep in Diobel? The onus is on you to come up with a plan to slowly get that barkeep,.... and the merchant lord in Sargava,.... and the mayor of Ilizmagorti,.... and a clan of berbers in Rahadoum -- to listen to you, to like you, to support you, etc. In time they will become like 'Cohorts' and 'Followers.' And in more time they'll convince others, and eventually you'll be able to support open revolution from within.

So what are some ideas, even small-scale for how to achieve these plans?

So what are some ideas, even small-scale for how to achieve these plans?

Aurilous strides over to the group. He is clad from head to toe in the black plate of a hellknight. The livery of the Godhand can be seen from a careful eye, emblazoned in black across his armor. In one hand is a spear, with a curved blade hooking out from one end, and in the other a large shield. As he walks, his helm shimmers and vanishes, revealing his face beneath (while obviously an illusion, DC18 for it being noticeably an illusion while looking at him). Surprisingly, for a Hellknight, he has a warm and friendly smile upon his lips. He has the soft skin and features of an elf, only without the extraordinarily long ears and eyes of a full blooded elf. His skin is pale and his hair pure white, suggesting at his ancestry.

"It truly is a pleasure to meet such fine and upstanding Chelaxian gentlemen. It will be an honor to spread the influence of our lands with you. Though, if I may be so presumptuous I have a few ideas on how best to go about gaining the influence we desire.

First of all, we can create problems that only we can solve. This undermines the confidence of the people in the local authorities, and increases the prestige of Cheliax. For example. Let us say that there is a town that we are in, and we wish for their merchants to trade with Cheliax. Well, a few of us come into town, disguised preferably, and lay low for awhile. Get to know the place, the people. Make them feel like we belong. And then, let us say...the dead start to rise. Our comrades outside the town kill members of the political establishment and the local watch, while chasing away the merchants. Allowing them to flee into town. Those inside the town feed information to those outside of it. Get the townspeople nice and scared. Well, you can imagine the joy and gratitude of the townspeople, when the big, strong Chelaxians stride in and solve the problem for them. You can imagine the pressure that the mayor would be under to deal with us. For he would look weak, and us strong. And if he turns us away, the people will turn on him.

Or, let us say, that the local establishment does not want to work with us. They are against Cheliax and would throw us out before talking to us. So we pose as their enforcers. Use their own laws against them. In their name, we abuse the people. For example, let us say that there is a tax for every window in a house. So, dressed as lawmen, we knock a hole in the wall and extort money from the businessman. Or if there is a law stating that a picture of the local lord must be placed in every business. We stroll in, take the picture off the wall, and charge the owner for not having it up. Petty, spiteful, annoyances, which make the ruler look like a dictator. Spread discontent through his lands. Spread rumors of corruption. Work the people towards anger. When there are proclamations, we print forgeries, that are subtly changed, so as to twist their meaning and cause confusion. Then we support people in power who would support us, and get the people to rise up to put our puppets in charge. Puppets who would be more than glad to not see such an event occur again.

Though, the easiest, and my favorite, method is simple blackmail. Infiltrate the ranks of the organization you wish to subvert, and find information that their leaders do not want made known. Then make demands of them which are within their power to grant. And the best part of blackmailing someone is that you always have the power to release the information. The trick though, is to have a carrot and a stick. So that not only do they protect themselves, but they get something in return.

Violence is always a last resort. Unless, of course, you are dealing with tribesmen in some gods forgotten backwater who only respect strength.

As a final word here, and I suppose this is because I see that this conversation is an interview of sorts, is this: If we must be cruel, we be cruel all at once. We destroy our enemies in one stroke, and make all fear the same. Then the cruelty stops, and life goes on. That makes all fear us, but feel safe enough not to rise up. But small cruelties, delivered as a steady drip, makes all fear us without fearing safe. It makes our presence intolerable, and soon fear turns into bravery. That we cannot stand."

I see that I can now see the discussion for the campaign. Does that mean Aurilous is in?

No. Discussion for the Group began quite a while ago but only the four original PCs are in. You guys (in this Recruitment) are starting later. The original group has been together since November.


@ Aurilous,
I like your thinking.

Your 'creating a problem only we can solve' is precisely the kind of thing that I can design for a playable scenario in this campaign. And specifically, your idea of insinuating yourself in town and then unleashing a horde of Undead on them, is playable and cool. I'm wondering who you mean by "our comrades outside the town" who are to kill politicos and watch guards. it seems that would be part of the PCs' job. But this is certainly a playable gambit.

I love your next two ideas even more.

Your final word seems more playable near the end of your time in a certain place -- after many of the people support you -- and you're "cruel" to the ones who don't. ....But my initial impression aside, it's still a very playable gambit.


I struggled for over two years trying to figure out how to make this into a campaign. It always just seemed like I was either designing a campaign full of Diplomacy checks and nothing else -- which is NOT a game at all. Or writing a novel that could never be made into a campaign for an RPG. It was only a few months ago that I thought maybe, maybe, it could work as a Sandbox. Making the Players figure out how to play it.

[ooc]I can indeed see it working as a campaign, without just being endless diplomacy checks. At least from where I'm standing, the campaign looks to be broken up into:

Mediogalti Island,
Isger, and

That comes down to 6 places. Each of which, for the sake of fun, should be approached in different ways. Now, just spitballing here...

Diobel. It is a small island near Absalom. To me that means that it can't be taken over militarily. Absalom would never allow Cheliax in like that. Likewise, it can't fly the colors of Cheliax. The Kortos consortium doesn't like smugglers and seems to be on the up-and-up. So we go in and make contact with the smugglers. We tell them that we will make their lives of smuggling easier, but what we want in return is for Cheliaxian goods to be moved by them so as to avoid being taxed...and for them to pass information to Cheliax when important artifacts are being moved. So once we have our friendly contact, our campaign plan becomes planing evidence that the Kortos higher-ups are involved in smuggling themselves, and are just trying to eliminate competition. This is a two-step program. First, plant the evidence of smuggling...on behest of of Lord Gyr. The second part is ensuring that the current mayor finds out about it. The current mayor is a rival of Lord Gyr of Absalom. If we can make him believe that Lord Gyr is undermining him by using the Kortos Consortium, then the mayor will strike out at the consortium. This creates instability, as the two major powers of the town would go at each other, and the authorities would be in no position to stop any smuggling. Now, our smuggling friends have free reign, and they will support Chelaxian interests.


Rahadoum. A country without religion. This part of the campaign could be cult building. We have two Godclaw members and an inquisitor. More than enough expertise in converting locals to a variety of faiths. We do this by going around doing good deeds in the name of our faith. Hell...go into towns and poison their drinking water. Spread sickness and disease...and then cure the blight that we started. Save children. Save crops. Do all the things that good clerics do...only after we cause the infliction. Spread a mass of people who now see Cheliax as their saviors. Create a network of spies and informants among the local populace, all along the border regions. A place ready for rebellion, in an effort to join Cheliax against the oppression of their uncaring masters.


Etc etc. Basically, rather than being "diplomacy check fest", each area becomes a self-contained campaign with different goals and methods of subversion. And different ways to measure success. So in the end, we don't do the same thing twice.

If we're looking for instability, there's also the spice of adding a third faction into things. There are some harpies and minotaurs up in the mountains, right? They'll never see the magnificence of Asmodeus themselves (being far too... flighty. Ha.), but we can work with them at similar purposes for a while. While an undead swarm means that there's obviously someone at work behind the scenes making the undead, the island's had indigenous species problems for years. If we convince them that the town's in disarray, we should be able to inspire them to try and take advantage of the situation to do some raiding. It'd probably temporarily put the rivalry on ice since there's another threat to deal with...

Unless we convince the harpies/minotaurs to only strike at targets associated with one of the sides. Like, say, if the mayor's supporters and whatnot aren't getting randomly attackeed by harpies while people who threw in with the consortium are, what would that say about the mayor?

The we just have to expose the mayor as dealing with monsters to throw them out via a frame-up (and of course, slaughtering the entire harpy nest or minotaur group or whatever we hire), and we're heroes who stopped some evil monsters and revealed corruption in the system. From there we'd just need someone to incite a lynch mob--and the party has a bard, right? The consortium'd be weakened, the mayor's all but disposed, and we've even dealt with some of the indigenous threats. A three-for-one special.

Aaand while I'm thinking about it, Sargrava. They're paying out cash to the Shackles for protection from Cheliax, but their treasury is mostly empty. It'd be possible to incite a riot among the natives to overthrow the colonists, but they're just Mwangi and we want to keep as much of the Chelish blood from spilling as possible. We can do better.

What do you think would happen if we were to, say, find out when the next payment would be sent and intercepted it instead? Yeah, a sum like that is probably well guarded, but pulling off that kind of heist would likely make the Free Captains withdraw their support because they're no charity. From there, the city's vulnerable and they'd need a new army to protect them. To do that, we'd have to indebt the ruling parties to us by solving problems, and then make it abundantly clear that there's an unusually large threat to the payment itself happening... big enough that they'd want their new heroes to help them out.

We'd just have to raise an army from our already-existing friends to fill the power vacuum after they leave, so it'll be a ways off before we could do this plan, but. Once we have enough 'friends' to offer a similar fighting force (and no way to have their supposed leaders easily traced to us), it shouldn't be hard to give 'em the old bait and switch with a new group of protectors.

Or just walk in and conquer it through proper force of arms. Either-or.

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I think braking this down into small event plot parts would work really well. And all the suggestions so far have legs.

GM I have a small radical idea that I think may be very cool and let ALL player have some fun.

At the moment from the looks of things you have two groups of 4 players.

The four Original players Group 1, and the 4 newly submitted players Group 2.

All the ideas so far have an "action / reaction" element, where an event one group is both antagonist and protagonist.

What if you where to keep the two groups. 4 and 4 as interchangeable antagonist and protagonist groups.

As one group came up with a action plat, that needed a seed event. The other came in as the counter.

Plating evidence, [group 1], offering to help find evidence [group 2].
Attacks on shipments [Group 2] stopping attack [group 1]
Assassinations [group 1], protection from [Group 2]

you get the idea. In each sup plan, when the groups find and area where they can course instability and gain advantage, each of the two groups is given a roll in that grand plan for that area. They know of each other and coordinate efforts to maximize effect.

My thinking is in this way, all eight players have things to play, it can be done with in one game, with in most cases simultaneous action. Groups and be mixed and matched so that per sub plot/plan the best skilled PCs get to play the rolls needed for that plot on each side of the antagonist and protagonist sides.

I know its a lot of work for a GM, but I also know most of the players are experienced and will work with you.

I am happy to take a back seat while others have their go, fixing problems my PC just made pretending to be some Demon cult or such.

One way to do this is to have the PCs pitch ideas to the teams in game, saying they have and idea for a plan at such a location. The advanced team will head over and check that out for viability [Investigation faze] the put a plan in action. While the stand by team can do the same at another location.

In this way ALL teams or working, have something to do, then when a plan is ripe, in act it. swooping locations to be the antagonist then swooping locations again as the scouting team go back to be the hero protagonists. etc. All the time working to gain a foot hold for the powers that be.

As a GM with 8 great PCs that's what I would be looking to do, but that is just me.

So basically, one group makes trouble, one group solves trouble and pulls things for Cheliax, both groups are workin' together the whole time, and each gets their own set of challenges?

It'd even be possible to trade off which side is which, but.

Holy schawesome, that sounds hard to actually run but if it works... amazing.

In a nutshell yes, and I feel as well it would be amazing fun to do. I know we have skilled players who can aid the GM in this. Cutting the work load down to a min.

Just looking at the ideas here so far, we can flesh things out by onsite reserch, then have the GM being set problems with our nefarious plans. Making Obstacles to overcome and unforeseen problems crop up,

We however have to come up with the plans in the 1st place. This will me a lot more roll playing than Die rolling, more fluff than Crunch for the most part while we investigate and plan. GM could place nice hooks here and there, weak points or points of conflict in any 3ed party we are seeking to destabilize or strengthen.

Then once we have a plan, we split into one trouble making team and one trouble fixing team. In acting the plan. I have no problem taking a back seat while on a team waiting for it turn.

As all players and both teams having the Challenge of making this something that will aid Cheliax in the great game we will be playing.

In game my PC would suggest this while wearing what ever body suit she has on that week, Assume Appearance being in use

--------Cut scene - Interior -- Noble house, closes room ------

The small serving slave girl who had just placed a bowl of fruit on a side stand, then walked over to the meet table and taking a seat nodded at the others.

"All very good ideas, Lord Aurilous and lady Castafiore and others. Would you mind myself making a suggestion. I have a small idea of how we could accomplish such plans, I think you may want to consider it..."

Says the human girl.

---------------- Pan shot of others -----------------

Sorry, I'm not going to do that, no "action/ reaction" campaign element for two groups. I acknowledge that it sounds cool. I even acknowledge that it sounds playable despite being difficult. But it's not at all the kind of game that I am hoping to run.

I will say that I really like all four PCs in what has recently been dubbed "Group 2." (I know you guys are only seeing what is posted here, and not posts sent to me via PM.)

And that is perfectly understandable, because running it would be hell on earth for any GM, not even including things like 'having real life obligations.'

I may add it to my bucket list of 'things to someday do' though.

Aye, many good submissions here. But completely understand on there being a max limit of players before things get unwieldy. How many PCs are you looking for in total?

understood GM.

*OPENING FOR NEW PCs * (Jan 2018)


(I'll put out a couple new posts introducing the campaign and all the Houserules asap.)

@ Doomed Hero,


Of your two PC concepts, the one that fits more with our game and group need is the Wizard. Significantly. If you are equally enthused or interested in the two, I'd prefer the Wizard. If, however, the Wizard is a distant second place choice, the Anti-Paladin sounds good, too, and is absolutely acceptable. But the Wizard will likely fit better.

....As soon as I am able I'll post a couple boxes of text introducing the campaign and how it's playing out, followed by my various Houserules. I'm also going to start another Recruitment Thread with a Link to this one so we can maybe get one more PC after Doomed Hero.

I'll go with the wizard then.

As a note, I'm going on a trip Saturday morning and will be gone until the following sunday. During that time I will have limited ability to post and probably won't be able to devote time to character building.

I'll try to get as much of my build hundred before I leave.

Doomed Here here.

The bare bones of the character are starting to come together. Real life is getting in my way a bit

Alright, I'm back from my trip and will be finishing up this character this week. He's at about 75% done for anyone who wants to take a look.

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