Agents of Cheliax Abroad

Game Master Molech

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


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How do you feel about this ARG conversion?


OPEN RECRUITMENT:
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Our one-year-and-counting PbP campaign has an open slot, looking for one new PC to join our INVESTIGATOR (HellKnight), SUMMONER, and WIZARD (who also is new to the group).

This is a heavy ROLEplay, very minimal ROLLplay, campaign all about intrigue, guile, manipulation, and long-term corruption.

The posting is somewhat slow-paced; as DM I'm here three or four times per week, usually to make a couple posts. And of course there are occasional times where I can't post at all for a few days or a week.

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Her Infernal Majestrix, Queen Abrogail Thrune II, Wants YOU:


The campaign will take place mostly in other parts of the Inner Sea rather than in Cheliax. The mission you will be given is to go to Diobel, Rahadoum, Sargava, Isger and Nisroch, under-the-radar so to speak, to slowly infiltrate, manipulate and corrupt the peoples there to favor The Empire of Devils.

You'll use your guile in a true Sandbox format to come up with various conspiracies and gambits to meet NPCs of influence in these places, and gradually get them to support Cheliax and revere the Nine Hells. Maybe you befriend, seduce or charm some, maybe you extort or intimidate some, maybe you make deals, maybe you use infernal logic -- whatever -- as a Sandbox, this campaign completely relies on YOUR roleplaying creativity and ingenuity.

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But we're starting IN Cheliax.

The PCs are near Corentyn in the Longmarch Archduchy insinuating themselves into a small noble House that is on the rise in Chelaxian feudal politics.

Soon, their success there will attract the attention of the Pit Fiend Gorthoklek and his Mistress, Queen Abrogail Thrune.

You will be summoned to the capital and given your long term mission.


I'll post all of the many little-tweaking Houserules -- and character creation guidelines -- in a moment, but FIRST, prospective Players should post ideas on how to make the campaign come alive and succeed....

Pick one (or more) of the target locations, Diobel for example-- How would you go about turning them to a pro-Cheliax society? It's not necessarily an easy question.
Do you come up with a plan to secretly unleash a few monsters on the fishing village, and then come in as the heroes that kill the monsters and save the people, eventually use your status as 'heroes' to turn the people? .... Maybe you spy on the mayor or the merchant lords, looking for political dirt with which you can use to extort support, blackmailing them to slowly change their community. .... Do you take over the education system and raise children to support Asmodeus? .... What do YOU think will be some good plans.

And it's critical to note that your instructions from Cheliax are to NOT do anything that would reveal Cheliax's plans to the greater Powers in Absalom, or Andoran, or Taldor, or Osirian, etc. This MUST be kept, um, on the Down-Lo.

This campaign really does rely on your creativity.


Even though this is an Evil campaign, your PC must work with the other PCs -- as a team. There will be no in-fighting allowed.

You can choose and somewhat define your own Alignment -- and it's okay for you to have a different interpretation of Lawful Evil than another Player's -- but the NPCs' Alignemnts are defined as such:

Good and Evil are "Moral" alignments. Good is pro- human rights and justice and freedom and such. Evil is selfish -- or racist -- or believes in slavery -- or is an arsonist, thief or rapist, etc., etc.

Lawful and Chaotic are "Personality" alignments. Lawful is a disciplined personality, rigid, thoughtful, consistent -- thinks things through and makes plans. Chaotic is flighty, undisciplined, spontaneous, sometimes frivolous.


Build an 8th Level PC.
(You will hit 9th Level as you are sent to your first target area by the Queen, and level-up as you achieve successes abroad, first making contacts & infiltrating, then really corrupting and turning them. I assume we'll hit 13th Level at the end.)

26 Point Buy for Ability Scores.

Every Race uses the +2/+2/-2 Ability Score modifier. YOU choose one Physical and one Mental Ability Score to get the +2, and one of the other four for the -2. ALL Races use this. You can play an Elf with a +2 CON and WIS with a -2 INT, or a Human with a +2 to DEX and CHA and a -2 STR -- or whatever. But everyone gets their choice of +2/+2/-2.

Max HP every Level.

Select three Traits (instead of two).

Gain TWO Ability Score points at 4th, 8th, 12th,...

$40,000 GP, no single item can exceed $16,500 GP.

The Core is legal. Base Classes from the APG, ACG, UM, UI, and New Paths Compendium are allowed. (UC & OA not allowed) Feats, Spells, Equipment and Archetypes from the five are allowed upon request (not from UC, OA or UE). Unchained versions are preferable to Core versions of Classes.
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Consider background carefully.

Your PC should have a background equivalent to an 8th Level PC, probably mostly supporting Cheliax. It's a good idea to put forth ideas and questions for feedback.

Requesting a bit of background on the Noble Houses of Cheliax, regarding something specific in which you're interested, may help tremendously.


I am very interested! Sandbox + intrigue + heavy on the RP = exactly the type of game that I enjoy. I would be interested in playing a charismatic skill monkey. Not at all optimized for combat, but definitely useful for infiltration, spying, manipulation... I love the idea of shapechanging and impersonation, of complex con jobs, if choosing a fall guy, and doing everything and anything to get the job done!

Hence, my previous post about playing a Changeling – the Eberron version. Your thoughts?


HOUSERULES:

Knowledge Skills:
My own 'Unchained' Skills predate Paizo's Pathfinder Unchained but you'll see some similarities:

Cosmology = Knowledge Planes & Religion -- without Undead

Arcane = Arcane and includes Undead

Society = Geography, History, Nobility and fluff from Local

Local = Knowledge of Humanoids: Racial features and CLASS LEVELS & Archetypes & Feats, etc.
Local is a Class Skill for EVERY PC Class!

Nature = Nature & Dungeoneering

(Engineering is Profession, not Knowledge.)

Languages:
There is NO 'Common' Language. If you're from Cheliax your common Language is Chelaxian.
Absalom & Taldor = Taldoran
Cheliax & Andoran = Chelaxian
Osirian & northern Garund = Osiriani
Qadira & Katapesh = Kelesh
Sargava = Chelaxian
Nisroch = Chelaxian & Shadowtongue
Isger = Chelaxian
(Others upon request)
When you put a Rank in Linguistics you get a second bonus Language that must be a 'Human' language. So for one Rank you can select Goblinoid and Taldoran -- or Draconic and Osiriani -- or Infernal and Varisian -- or Taldoran and Osiriani -- but NOT Draconic and Goblinoid.

Healing:
Reroll all 1s for the healing of Hit Points. All Cure Spells and Lay on Hands and Channeling Energy, reroll ones.

The spell Breath of Life is now Cure Deadly Wounds -- as such, as a "Cure" spell, can be spontaneously cast by Clerics like the other "Cure" spells.

The Heal Skill is also somewhat better in play.

Critical Hits:
A 20 is ALWAYS a Crit. There is no need to confirm a 20.

NO weapon has a natural Threat Range. They all Crit on a 20. The Feat can give you a Threat of 19. And the Keen magical enchantment can give you a Threat of 19. AND, Keen and Improved Crit will stack so with both you can Threat an 18 or 19, and still always Crit on a 20.

Leadership & Item Creation:
Feats are NOT allowed for this campaign -- except Scribe Scroll and Brew Potion.

Miscellaneous:

Elven Curved Blade is an Exotic weapon even for Elves. (Same with Dwarven Urgosh and Orc Double Axe)

You get ONE Hero Point at the start of play and can get others during play and leveling-up

Adamantine can not be purchased, only found in game.

We will not be using a Grid map for combat.


I had a character built for an in-person intrigue game that never came to fruition who I believe is perfect for this style game.In fact, he was built with remarkably similar conditions (8th level, about equal wealth, similar point-buy). His backstory will need to be adjusted slightly, but should actually port reasonably as is.

Build Summary:

He's a Kitsune, which I know some people have reservations about, but the race is chosen for its ability to change into different human forms at will, repeatedly, and without a duration. The character never appears in his true form, though he will hide and shift between forms. It isn't a mandatory feature, but I would like to keep it if you're not terribly opposed.

Renard is a Mesmerist 6 / Enchanting Courtesan 2. He is a true infiltrator. All of his abilities are based on avoiding detection. Always appearing to be someone of little consequence except under the most through scrutiny.

Backstory:

Renard grew up in Galt during the bloody revolution. His parents were farmers in a small village, always maintaining their human form. One day, a very young Renard was found out to be shapeshifter while testing his abilities. The villagers formed a mob, their paranoia and bloodlust leading them to lynch Renard's parents.

Renard's experience with shapeshifting allowed him to take a different guise and escape the mob. He assumed the identity of the child of some traders, having to kill the boy in the process, and left his village with them. The event left Renard with a sense for the importance of law. Renard spent some of his first years of adulthood setting up roots in Galt, trying to gain influence and reestablish order by subtly affecting those around him.

(This is where his backstory deviates, I could work with you to flesh it out more if you're interested in picking Renard).
Ultimately, he realized that the chaos had gone on so long, that order could not come through just his subtle influences. Renard defected, he moved to Cheliax, seeking their power and iron fist as the way to establish order in the world. He's spent a few years developing networks in Egorian under various disguises including: traders, barkeeps, and courtesans.

After developing his networks, he asked to join her majestrix's service as a covert agent. He's gathered information from rebels and enemies of the state by always appearing the right way, be it a friendly bartender, be it a love interest, or perhaps a fellow rebel looking to aid the cause.

Sheet:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qOIJ_oWt3EOpJx-Kp-_JOG4XGjQf2A5pbtIjRfa WPxQ/edit?usp=sharing

I have his sheet in a google doc for now, as I like using that for reference. This is his old sheet. I'm at work so I don't have the time to make an alias and transfer everything right now (this is built under the old rules and may not conform exactly to the build specs you have, I will definitely make adjustments). I was just excited to see this game and wanted to make sure to get him in.


Aaaaaaand I just read that OA is not allowed. I missed a pretty key element there. I was so excited I jumped the gun. I could port the character to a Sorcerer or some type of Bard if you believe the concept for the character fits well.

Sorry for that.


No problem, Yiannisph. I was just looking at your proposal and seeing it was from the OA. I'm confident you'll be able to come up with something you like.

Current PCs:
Summoner
Investigator/Inquisitor
Wizard.

The Summoner is good at conjuring lots of soldiers for combat -- and we don't really have much in the way of combat. Really we have everything, mechanics-wise we need. So propose what you want.


One more clarifying question. When you say 2 ability score increases, I assume that means 2 different ability scores, not that you could increase 1 stat by 2?

Also, the initial character creation post mentioned an 8th level feat, but the newer post doesn't. Is that no longer a thing? (Just looking to clarify)


You can increase one Ability Score by 2 points or two Ability Scores each by 1. This is at 4th, 8th, 12th Level. ....So you get TWO points at 4th Level instead of one point.


Well, if Yiannisph is going to run with the ultimate infiltrator, and you need some muscle... I'll build some muscle! Truth be told, I have yet to try my hand at playing the muscle, so it'll be a welcome change...


Anyone else having issues with the Preview function?


I never use it. I cut/paste my texts before I hit 'Submit' to make sure I don't lose them, that's it.

I'll take a long look at Azlain soon. (and Yiannisph when we get a newer model) Meanwhile I'd love to hear some ideas about the campaign and what you guys can add to it, roleplay-wise.


Here goes some idea of how the build could work... Basically, I am thinking Hellknight of the Nail with a particular focus on guarding missionaries, diplomats, and whoever else he has been commanded to accompany.

Probably a good idea to find a way to conceal his conspicuous look!

(In Alias ad Tempus' profile for the time being, until I figure out a name + background)


Azlain is just about done.


And so is his familiar


Renard as a Bard

I managed to keep a lot themes for the build very similar by pursuing the Brazen Deceiver Bard archetype. However, it is from Adventurer's Guide, so I'm not sure it's fair game. Conveniently, the archetype is tied to Westcrown, where it seems like your group is going next. (This might require changing the backstory if that's particularly significant.) I'll create an Alias if the character is brought in.

It's difficult to know exactly what I'd plan to do in this particular situation. But I'll share a little about how I imagine his strengths playing out.

Renard is designed to be the perfect infiltrator and spy. He doesn't even like to carry weapons with him. He views other people as tools or weapons he can turn to his own will, killing them is such a waste when they could be serving your purposes (wittingly or unwittingly, voluntarily or involuntarily).

With his skill set, all new methods of subterfuge are opened up for taking down enemies. Be it by causing dissent from within the enemy's ranks, spying on them to gather damning information, or even just subtly influencing enemies that perhaps they'd be better off working with Cheliax after all.

For example, I saw that there was mention of going to Westcrown to hunt down some members of the Bellflower Network. Renard would suggest first gathering information about a low level Bellflower Network contact. Once our information gathering has given us a target, approach him as modest adventurer interested in helping those slips gain their freedom. With some skill coaxing, possible some magical coaxing (after checking for protections, subtly), and a few days, we'll certainly be thick as thieves with some people inside the Network.

It's difficult to plan further than that without knowing any of the specific people involved. Do we want to just gather information on the Bellflower Network's operatives throughout the Inner Sea? Would we rather crumble the Network in Westcrown through misinformation and in-fighting? Or do we want to just find the target and take him out for drinks, where he might just meet an untimely end?


The Bellflower agents we have fought in the past. We want to hunt them down as they killed an ally's fiancee Phandros, thus earning the wrath of her family with who we are now allied.

We have not told our ally we let the Bellflower agents kill Phandros, because they attacked us and we were losing. Or that Phandros's retainers attacked us so we slaughtered the retainers who were supposed to be guarding him. Not that we lied, not us, never, just sort of didn't mention it. I mean if they were curious they would have asked yes?

So our agenda is to track down the Bellflower agents responsible and murder them to death. If need be, we can just kill someone and say they were the Bellflower agents responsible.


Yaos wrote:
We have not told our ally we let the Bellflower agents kill Phandros, because they attacked us and we were losing. Or that Phandros's retainers attacked us so we slaughtered the retainers who were supposed to be guarding him. Not that we lied, not us, never, just sort of didn't mention it. I mean if they were curious they would have asked yes?

We are going to get along just fine...


Yaos wrote:

The Bellflower agents we have fought in the past. We want to hunt them down as they killed an ally's fiancee Phandros, thus earning the wrath of her family with who we are now allied.

We have not told our ally we let the Bellflower agents kill Phandros, because they attacked us and we were losing. Or that Phandros's retainers attacked us so we slaughtered the retainers who were supposed to be guarding him. Not that we lied, not us, never, just sort of didn't mention it. I mean if they were curious they would have asked yes?

So our agenda is to track down the Bellflower agents responsible and murder them to death. If need be, we can just kill someone and say they were the Bellflower agents responsible.

Ah, well I was coming up with ideas lacking context.

Loose ends must certainly be cleaned up. It's just sloppy to have them lying around. If this how it looks, then I still like the idea of infiltrating the group a little first. Drawing the men into an ambush. Perhaps take them out drinking one evening (on me of course), after some success. Or perhaps I just draw them out with some bad intelligence about where some halflings can be rescued.


I went ahead and made a profile for him.

I wasn't able to take the alias Renard, and I don't want the character to have a last name. It's more of a title as this point. He spends all of his time in different identities, so his actual name from before are of little consequence. He operates as an agent / spy with the name Vulpus, developing a reputation, but not tied to any specific identity of his.

I switched to Vulpus to move more towards Cheliax's Latin influence from Galt (the original character's setting) French influence.

His sheet is linked again in the profile. I like the google doc sheet, but I can port it in here if you like that format more.

I'll be adding more history to the profile this evening.


I'm having a helluva time in Minneapolis-- once I get back to FL I'll start really giving these the attention they deserve. (I did say we are slow paced.)

I hope you are enjoying the weekend as much as I!


Ray,

I'm not sure it's physically possible for someone to have enjoyed their weekend as much as you did lol.

I think Vulpus and Magnius will be be quite the devastating pair, as our tactics seem similar, with Vulpus focused more on infiltration/spying.


I'm going over the builds for Vulpus, Azlain and Yiannisph now; please confirm you're still here and I'll be giving feedback when I'm able.


I am still around as well. I've been delaying working on the backstory, wondering if a fighter type makes any sense in your campaign... Your thoughts?


Vulpus is an alias for yiannisph. Definitely still interested


Alias ad Tempus wrote:
I am still around as well. I've been delaying working on the backstory, wondering if a fighter type makes any sense in your campaign... Your thoughts?

My opinion, I am a player, is a fighter type is OK but not really optimal.

We have had, from memory, 2 major combats and one minor in over a year of play.

For the most part it is about roleplaying and aspects of the game aside from combat.

However, I am a master summoner, essentially a combat character but I call things to fight for me. I get on fine, although Magnius and Alfred, before he left, are much better equipped with skills than I.


Alias ad Tempus

If you do want to be full BAB, there are still some decent choices.

Avenger vigilante is also full BAB, 6+ skill ranks, and a number of intrigue tools for disguise and skill uses.

The Dandy Ranger uses CHA and has some skill points to throw around, as well as some relevant abilities.

Daring Infiltrator and Noble Fencer Swashbucklers also seem to fit rather well.

Though not full BAB, a Rogue / Stalker Vigilante could obviously fit rather well.


Indeed, if this is not a combat-oriented game (much like the game that I am GMing), then a full fighter is probably not the way to go. It comes down to what role-playing angle remain to be explored, given the current group...

...and I have been wanting to play a vigilante...

When does recruitment end?


There is not going to be much combat, at least that I foresee -- you never know. But this is a Game-of-Thrones-like roleplay campaign. It's all Player-driven planning and manipulating and infiltrating and corrupting.

A Vigilante is a great option. It'll be a bit odd, considering you're not in one location for a great amount of time, moving from place to place across the Inner Sea -- but considering how slowly PbP plays anyway, I do think a Vigilante is a great choice. You could even multi-class Vigilante and other builds.

Recruitment ends, um, when I'm ready to introduce your PC to everyone else???

I want to see the PC build, obviously, but I'm *Much* more curious to see ideas and possible gambits and questions about moving the campaign forward. Any ideas for Sargava or Diobel or Nisroch, etc.?


An analysis of nearby territories from Vulpus:

Hermea: Distant and ruled absolutely by a gold dragon. Seeing as people have given up their will to the dragon, they can only be as corruptible as he, which is to say not very. This seems like a fool's errand, but the chance to pull from their talent for Cheliax is certainly tantalizing.

Sargava: While formerly a Chelish holding, the distance and protection from the Shackles makes it a difficult target. It would likely be better to target parts of the Shackles first and weaken the protections surrounding Sargava. Once the Free Captains' hold is weakened, it sounds like the people can easily be incited to revolt as there is little wealth to be had in the area. If we come with the promise of gold and investment, it's likely Her Majestrix's influence would be welcomed back.

The Shackles: While undoing the entirety of The Shackles would be difficult work, the fractured nature of the Free Captains could make it possible to sow instability. Some options include converting current Free Captains to privateers for Cheliax. A little discord can go a long way in a group so loosely held together. Alternatively, we could try to set up our own crews with Chelish seamen and have them pretend to be pirates. If we have a Free Captain plant (or plants) we could likely regain a foothold in The Shackles. Regaining control here would also reduce piracy targeting our vessels.

Diobel: A promising target to increase Cheliax's influence on Absalom. Having a rocky relationship with the Pathfinders, having more leverage over the city will certainly prove useful. There appear to be a few avenues to gain influence. With the government rarely changing, it seems like it would be easier to gain influence with the current Teriarch than try to install new governance. There are a few possible angles of attack from my initial assessment. The current Teriarch has a tense relationship with the Primarch, so we could spread rumors that would strain the relationship even more, leading the Teriarch seek powerful allies. A second option would be to target the Kortos Consortium. They have a fair amount of influence in the city and seek to reduce smuggling. As an expert infiltrator, I would be more than happy to set up some new smuggling supply routes to and from Absalom. This increased smuggling activity is sure to cause panic among the Consortium. This will allow us to either degrade their influence until Diobel's stability wavers, or we could offer them assistance in tracking down and eliminating those supply lines. Certainly, a prestigious Chelish Inquisitor like Magnius would have the pedigree for such an operation. Both can be used in unison as well. With the Consortium's influence diminished and reduced control, perhaps the Teriarch will be easier to influence.

Escadar: Escadar is likely a poor target. They help suppress piracy for us so until we've made some dent in the Shackles it seems foolhardy to try and bring Escadar low. However, Escadar must be dealt with before any large naval operations across the Inner Sea can take place. There are not many obvious opportunities for sowing dissent. They openly invite dens of vice in the city, but at a steep price. Those are likely our best angle. That aside, formal diplomatic efforts seem likely to yield better results.

Vyre: Vyre is technically under our banner, but hardly even in name. The city is ruled independently and our complete lack of influence there makes it an easy place for rebel nobles to meet up and discuss their plots. Even if we are unable to expand our influence in Vyre, it is an opportunity to gather numerous salacious details about those we can identify. It's certainly a place of high intrigue, but we also stand to be figured out, as its leaders have endless experience in matters of politics and espionage.

Augustana: An ambitious target, certainly. While this is likely not a city we can significantly corrupt due to its strategic importance, it does seem like a valuable strategic target for infiltration. It's one of the largest sources of naval vessels in all of the Inner Sea, as well as a naval base of great significance. Being so close to our borders, diminishing the city's might would certainly serve our navy well, leaving it with little contest in the Inner Sea. Damaging their shipyards or munitions in an significant capacity would definitely give the Chelish a signigicant advantage in any upcoming efforts.


Nice job!


In 300 words or less, it would go something like this...

The affable Difax arrives in Diobel unannounced. A stranger in a strange city, he takes the time to explore the town and meet a few locals before making his way to Hoag's Rickets and Rumples. He is quick to make friends, and to regale them with any number of stories. He buys the first round, but soon enough Filian himself is offering him a drink. A few days later, Difax is Filian’s honoured guest, and the Rickets and Rumples is full of people come to listen to this newcomer’s tales. Within a week, Difax is known by all in Diobel as a genuinely memorable storyteller, and a genuinely good man.

Then, one night, members of the Barge Gang are ruthlessly killed near the Devil’s Pier. The one survivor tells the story of a wicked-looking demon. Upon hearing the description, Difax recognizes Marbas – one of the beasts of Azmodeus, sent forth to impose his law. Difax warns the people of Diobel to be careful: Marbas defends the followers of Asmodeus and brings ruin to all others. Difax curses Marbas, and shares tales of his cruelty with any who will listen, which is everyone. ”I am not afraid of the beast,” Difax claims, but it is plain to see that he is terrified.

Still, he continues to speak against Cheliax, and soon enough those who, like him, would stand against tyranny and oppression seek his help and alliance.

In the meantime, the monster Marbas has been helping those who would stand with Cheliax, while terrifying the enemies of Azmodeus. And Marbas is remarkably well-informed...

How is it that Marbas always seems to know where and when to strike? The answer eludes them all and may elude them forever as it is too strange to consider: Difax and Marbas are the same, both come to wreak ruin on Absalom...

A tentative build in the profile, for your consideration!


"Oderint dum metuant."
Let them hate, so long as they fear.


Here is the completed character for your consideration!


@ Amergin the Wise,

I really like Lucious Difax. This could be my first real work with a Vigilante and I think I like the idea of it. His backstory would make an easy introduction to the group since they're in Westcrown now, and all we'd need to do is think of a reason Lucius Difax would leave Westcrown with the PCs once they move on.

If you're still here (I told you we are on a slow pace.), I'd love to hear your thoughts on why Lucious Difax would want to join the PCs.

Feel free to read the last dozen or so posts in Gameplay and Discussion to see where were at -- if you haven't already.

....I also like how you have a ready-made gambit that you like to use to get a community to support or oppose what he wants them to by using his Bogeyman alter-ego.


@ Yiannisph,

Looking at Vulpus I can see the Kitsune could make an excellent fit for the group. You clearly have a mind to make up ideas for the mission Queen Abrogail will eventually give the PCs, corrupting other nations for Cheliax on the down-lo.

The fact that he's a Bard will help, as will the fact he's a Kitsune.

My concern is his near anti-social personality. Can you see 'Vulpus' evolving his personality so that he trusts the other PCs and shares with them what he learns as he works with them in the campaign? There has been, and I anticipate rather a lot more, much splitting-up of the party. One PC goes to deal with NPC A and another PC goes to deal with NPC B. And we usually segue when the PCs get back together to compare notes and what they've learned. If Vulpus isn't the kind of guy who wants to share info with the PCs, I don't know how well he'll fit with the needs of the campaign.

Of course, you can come up with any reason you want to make him view the group differently than he views the rest of people-kind -- maybe he just gets tired of being so alone and just wants to risk trying to trust someone -- a PC. Maybe Asmodeus comes to him in a vision. Maybe he joins the PCs for mutual gain and when Queen Abrogail summons you all for the long-term mission overseas, scares him into joining the group completely -- whatever reason you want to come up with.


@ Doomed Hero,

I think Azlain is going to be great. There are a couple things on the equipment list that made me raise my eyebrows but ultimately nothing worth causing a raucous. (That preconstructed spellbook with Harmful Surge only costing a few hundred GP is ridiculous, though, you gotta admit.) But I like Azlain as is.

On your backstory.... Queen Abrogail Thrune hasn't yet called the PCs to the capital to send them on the campaign mission, yet -- although I'm hoping that happens sooner rather than later. If you could make a reason to be in Westcrown, we can work on a way to get you to join the PCs.

Also, I'd love to hear some ideas from you on how, in a true Sandbox campaign, you'd help manipulate people in Sargava or Diobel or Isger or Nisroch or Rahadoum to become sympathetic toward, and eventually supportive of Cheliax and Abrogail Thrune.


And everyone, feel free to look over your fellow Player's posts and browse our Campaign Info tabs and Gameplay & Discussion.

There is a Kitsune community in Gheradescci County, you know -- and the PCs in the group playing now are both members of noble Houses. We just entered Westcrown looking for some Halfling agents in the Bellflower Network and have established a good rapport with a minor noble House -- Spartaco -- that is on the rise in the Longmarch ArchDuchy in the swath of land just southeast of the Eismonts and northeast of Anferita Wood.


DM Ray wrote:

@ Amergin the Wise,

I really like Lucious Difax. This could be my first real work with a Vigilante and I think I like the idea of it. His backstory would make an easy introduction to the group since they're in Westcrown now, and all we'd need to do is think of a reason Lucius Difax would leave Westcrown with the PCs once they move on.

If you're still here (I told you we are on a slow pace.), I'd love to hear your thoughts on why Lucious Difax would want to join the PCs.

Feel free to read the last dozen or so posts in Gameplay and Discussion to see where were at -- if you haven't already.

....I also like how you have a ready-made gambit that you like to use to get a community to support or oppose what he wants them to by using his Bogeyman alter-ego.

Still here!

I believe that Lucious Difax seeks meaning and validation. Queen Abrogail's call would be just that, and he would jump at the occasion to serve her – and Asmodeus.

In the meantime, with regards to collaborating with the PCs: perhaps they learn about Lucious Difax (who is known to sympathize with the Halfling) and when he learns who they are, he reveals himself to them? Or they hunt down the Bogeyman on account of his being both well-informed and like-minded? Or if we want to put the onus on Lucius, he seeks them out to reveal some useful information about the Bellflower Network?

Food for thought...


Do you see Lucious Difax being the face that joins the PCs or do you see The Bogeyman travelling with them?

I assume it would be Lucious Difax who may meet the PCs and join them. But your Avatar is The Bogeyman and we haven't yet seen an Avatar for Lucious Difax.


I plan to have an avatar for both. And obviously, if only for group cohesion, I believe that they will need to know about both identities. That being said, if the PCs are known agents of Asmodeus, it may be counter-productive for Lucius to travel with them? And he can't walk around as the Bogeyman! So he may end up taking the guise of a commoner – a slave or servant of sorts. Would that make sense?


Here he is!


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DM Ray wrote:

@ Doomed Hero,

I think Azlain is going to be great. There are a couple things on the equipment list that made me raise my eyebrows but ultimately nothing worth causing a raucous. (That preconstructed spellbook with Harmful Surge only costing a few hundred GP is ridiculous, though, you gotta admit.) But I like Azlain as is.

On your backstory.... Queen Abrogail Thrune hasn't yet called the PCs to the capital to send them on the campaign mission, yet -- although I'm hoping that happens sooner rather than later. If you could make a reason to be in Westcrown, we can work on a way to get you to join the PCs.

Also, I'd love to hear some ideas from you on how, in a true Sandbox campaign, you'd help manipulate people in Sargava or Diobel or Isger or Nisroch or Rahadoum to become sympathetic toward, and eventually supportive of Cheliax and Abrogail Thrune.

I fully admit the Harmful Surge book seemed a bit cheap. Most of those were spells I was going to purchase anyway. I can drop it if you like. Or pay more.

Since I still work for the Sisterhood, they could have me in Westcrown for any number of reasons. I haven't read back into gameplay much, so I don't know what would tie me to the party. Any suggestions would be great.

As for bending the people of other nations towards being sympathetic toward Thrune, the first thing that pops to mind is clever application of contract law. Give people what they want and convince them that consequences are just punishments enforced by selfish and short-sighted governments. "In Cheliax, nobody has to worry about being punished for pursuing their desires. It seems so wrong that you shouldn't be able to do what you want with your own life and wealth. If you can pay for something, you deserve to have it."

Azlain's general philosophy is that you catch more flies with honey. Trade and bribery are his favored weapons. After that, blackmail. Then fireballs.


Various bribery and blackmail gambits are the ones that sound most fun to me, too. And considering that large scale fighting gambits would more likely catch the notice of Absalom and Andorran and Taldor and Osirion, etc., it's probably good that large scale combat isn't your preferred MO. But you like trade, well, make as many powerful friends as you can through roleplay here in Cheliax.

I'll try to spend some thought on why the Darklight Sisterhood, out of Korvosa, would send you to Westcrown. But the obvious reason is Delhaven, the former Pathfinder Lodge in Westcrown. The real trick will be finding a reason to leave that mission (or complete it) and join the PCs.


DM Ray wrote:
I'll try to spend some thought on why the Darklight Sisterhood, out of Korvosa, would send you to Westcrown. But the obvious reason is Delhaven, the former Pathfinder Lodge in Westcrown. The real trick will be finding a reason to leave that mission (or complete it) and join the PCs.

I didn't realize they were Korvosa-specific. According to the wiki their organization is small, public, and widespread. They're basically the Chelaxian Pathfinders, so they go everywhere.

I might be wrong on that since my only real knowledge of them is from that article and a few threads on the forums.


You are right, Sir. I've been using Guide to Korvosa since that book was published and always just thought they were in Korvosa. Looking at it now I see it's clearly a Chelaxian organization (in the Korvosa book?!) But it doesn't matter. This makes it easier for all of us!

In my Saturday homegame the PCs have started a Pathfinder Lodge in Korvosa, rival to Guaril Karela (and forcing him to flee to Absalom where he'll found the Sczarni Faction and then eventually co-found the Exchange Faction). But Queen Ileosa, recently resurrected after events in Curse of the Crimson Throne (see the 'continuing the adventure' possibilities) is not happy with the PCs and wants another option. That's where the Darklight Sisterhood is coming into play in my Saturday campaign. And I'm a big fan for continuity -- I'm glad my PbP here is congruous with my Saturday homegame. Queen Ileosa will have just contacted Cheliax to bring the Darklight Sisterhood to Korvosa. (Which is funny because the only published details on them is with Theandra -- IN Korvosa.) But now I've got it all worked out.

PFS Scenario 7:14 Faithless and Forgotten p1: Let Bygones Be:
I just ran this Scenario for PFS in my LGS and as it turns out, it could really help us. The Pathfinders are sent to a location that happens to be just outside of Gheradescci County in my PbP here.

I could absolutely see Azlain finding something in Delhaven (in Westcrown) that makes him very interested in going to Gheradescci County to track down the bit of lore from PFS 7:14.

The next part is trickier. Making him want to join the group because of their connection to Gheradescci County is easy. He's after knowledge at all costs, according to his personality. But what he has found in Delhaven, and what he will find with the other PCs' help just west of Gheradescci County, is illegal! The Order of the Rack (book-burners) will want to destroy that knowledge. So it's up to us -- you mostly -- to come up with a reason he sticks with the PCs once he is summoned to the capital to meet with Queen Abrogail Thrune.

More food for thought.

What do you think?

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