Agents of Cheliax: Infiltrating, Subverting and Corrupting for Thrune (Inactive)

Game Master Molech


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Joynt Jezebel wrote:
On Diobel.

Holy crap that's a good plan.

And I can design it -- developing Lord Avid's resources, filling in his personality, etc. (It is already published what their grievance is; you may not have found it.)

I would say this, though -- if you put out any kind of 'attack' against Absalom and it's somehow discovered that YOU, and not Lord Avid, are responsible, well, bye bye PCs. Make sure you get it right if you go that direction.
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Joynt Jezebel wrote:
In Rahadoum-

I'll give you this as a freebee.... There are actually THREE underground religious cults in Rahadoum, maybe four! Now, you won't learn that until you go there and do some good Gather-Information roleplay, but it goes to show you: Keep your plans open-minded and maybe even open-ended.

Your idea of starting something between Rahadoum and Thuvia (its border state) is also a good idea. In fact, in this particular case, maybe a very good idea. (You'll have to wait and see how Rahadoum and Thuvia are described in game-play -- but knowing about all the Divs in Thuvia may give you an idea.
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Joynt Jezebel wrote:

On starting characters, I read you were contemplating starting people at level 8 to 13. Perhaps start people toward the lower end and have them progress relatively quickly.

It has a couple of benefits- it makes the starting characters a bit simpler. And players tend to like leveling up a lot.

I'm actually really close to positing a starting point for PC generation. And yes, I'm leaning to starting at 8th and playing a quick level in Cheliax, getting you guys some 'stuff-from-Home' with which to work before actually starting the "real" campaign in your first target nation. But I still have several posts to read from last night and more to think about.

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Joynt Jezebel wrote:
It is possible I will run a character with lots of undead minions. These can be used to create problems with rampaging hordes of undead the PCs can heroically step in to fight off.

More for me to think about.

My first question/concern: Where do you keep your undead when you're infiltrating & Gathering Info & Negotiating & such?


thunderbeard wrote:
Weakening Sarenrae's cult....

It's an interesting plan, that -- and something I can develop for play.

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thunderbeard wrote:
As for level — 9 to 11 is a good starting point for high-powered campaigns, because....

My Meta-thinking for 9th is that Teleport is available and that seems like a prerequisite for this campaign. My Meta-thinking for only-as-high as 13th is that you only scratch 7th level spells.

The more I think about the campaign as a whole, I think 8th level to start in Cheliax -- 9th level to begin going to other places, all the way to 11th level -- and 12th & 13th (and higher) for return trips and conclusions.
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thunderbeard wrote:
Also, thoughts on templates?

I'm a fan of keeping things simple and closer to Core (APG is quite close to Core, actually.) PC-balance is a BIG thing for me -- I know someone earlier said he didn't care. Also, the more 'moving-parts' of PCs there are, the more rules options there are, the more difficult it is for me to develop good combat encounters.

When I'm a bit closer to putting out PC-generation rules, I'll go into more detail.


@ Rostam,

The caveat I saw from the beginning with starting lower than 8th or 9th level is that Teleport seems to be necessary.


”Thunderbeard” wrote:
There's very little you can do on a nation-changing scale at level 5….
”Rostam” wrote:
I think we will just have to leave this as a difference in expectations….
”Thunderbeard” wrote:
If you want a campaign that's mostly roleplaying with no mechanics….

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Well I for one am glad this didn't get out of hand. Thank you for that.

I know that this has not been a typical Recruitment Thread. I know you're probably anxious to get started on PC-generation. All I can do is ask for patience on these Crunch issues.

I'm in a place now, mentally, where I can really develop some material for this campaign. Once I have a handle on the framework (of the sandbox) and have thought through a few things, I'll be able to post some Crunch stuff for everyone.

For now I'm leaning to starting at 8th level. Still too far off from deciding gestalt or not.


thunderbeard wrote:
I just don't want to start on a character until I know what resources I'll have.

VERY good idea -- highly recommended.

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NOTE: I THINK THAT ON MONDAY I WILL BE ABLE TO POST PC-GENERATION RULES AND MY FEW HOUSERULES.

Thanks for your patience.


DM Ray wrote:
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
On Diobel.

Holy crap that's a good plan.

And I can design it -- developing Lord Avid's resources, filling in his personality, etc. (It is already published what their grievance is; you may not have found it.)

I would say this, though -- if you put out any kind of 'attack' against Absalom and it's somehow discovered that YOU, and not Lord Avid, are responsible, well, bye bye PCs. Make sure you get it right if you go that direction.

The ruler of Absalom is that badass? Or some group working for him?

On where to store undead, interesting... Not done this before, so I don't know offhand. I know, they are just a work crew with poor personal hygiene and low educational attainment.


Chillel wrote:
The ruler of Absalom is that badass? Or some group working for him?

I think, like, the country.

And hmm. I can work with 8th level, but yeah, my concept will change a lot when we hit 9 and then again a bit at 10.


Monkeygod wrote:
Get your hands on all 3 intrigue books

I'm going to pass on that, but thanks for the advice. I will have to xerox the couple pages from my friend's Ultimate Intrigue for the Base Vigilante Class (asuming someone wants to play a Vigilante) but that's all I'll really get in to.

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Monkeygod wrote:

Think of it this way: Allowing us (to have) followers and cohorts lets us use them to help subvert towns, cities, and eventually nations. Sure, we could likely do that without them, but they at least give us an in road that will make it a little(but not by much) easier.

Another benefit is giving us a 'military' force without actually using Cheliax's army. We'll need some muscle/show of might here and there, and Leadership ....

I have to respectfully disagree, here. It's one of the three or four reasons Leadership is unappealing to me for this particular campaign.

If your Cohorts and NPC Followers are subverting NPCs and locations then that takes away opportunity for the PCs to do that roleplaying. I think it's more playable for the PCs to "subvert towns, cities and eventually nations" a few NPCs at a time.

So, instead of the focus being on subverting a particular gaggle of merchants in Ilizmagorti, you have your Cohorts do that while you go inland to the Crimson Citadel.

I dunno, for me, I don't like the idea of Leadership for this campaign.

I can ALWAYS change my mind at some point during the campaign and give everyone Leadership. But I like more the idea that NPCs Bob and Sue whom you roleplayed with a few sessions ago in Isger are citizens who are now pushing your agenda -- and they happen to already be citizens of Isger.
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Monkeygod wrote:
Allying with similar organizations could be important too. (Prophets) of Kalistrade and the Aspis Consortium immediately come to mind.

Oooh! I hadn't thought of this yet and you're the first to mention it. It has potential.

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I prefer Gestalt and over the years have tried a number of different methods, including something similar to what you describe. I still have to do some work before I can decide what's best for this campaign.


@ Joynt Jezebel, Monkeygod, Almagafor, Thunderbeard
One last thing on Leadership & Cohorts,

Again, for this campaign I just think it'll be more playable for the PCs to have to rely on the now-corrupted NPCs you've recently convinced or guided or bribed or bullied or blackmailed into service for Cheliax -- even in the cases where they don't realize it's service for Cheliax.

This puts the roleplay onus on YOU to make sure you're successful in your convincing/ guiding/ bribing/ bullying/ blackmailing during roleplay with those NPCs.

If you bring Cohorts and Followers and say, "Okay folks, set up your stall in the market and begin manipulating these natives," (or whatever) then that roleplaying opportunity is lost to you and I'm stuck with choosing, perhaps even arbitrarily, whether your Followers succeed or fail (or succeed in degrees).

Again, I can always change my mind after we've started the campaign. (Or you can convince me you're right and I'm wrong -- wouldn't be the first time my Players outsmarted me.)


The vigilante stuff, at least, is on the SRD websites. (If we go gestalt, I'm planning to do Vigilante for one side; it's an interesting thing that I'd like to try out)


Regarding Lord Avid, Lord Gyr and the power of Absalom....

It doesn't take much imagination to figure out what kind of resources Lord Gyr has at his disposal. He's The ruler of a powerful metropolis with virtually unlimited (on the Prime Material Plane, at least) supply of magical items, Divination magic and high level NPCs.

The bigger question is whether or not, if he did discover the PCs were trying to re-ignite something between him and Lord Avid, he would even raise his eyebrows.
--The answer would depend on whether he discovered you were working on behalf of Cheliax in order to bring Diobel under Chelaxian rule. If he only learned that some rebel rousers were causing problems in Diobel against Absalom he would likely just have an Undersecretary delegate it to a Guard Captain to delegate it to a few guards and may never hear about it again. ....But if he did learn that Cheliax herself were sending agents to corrupt Diobel into a Chelaxian colony, well yeah, Absalom would go after Cheliax.
--And even if you escape Lord Gyr's wrath (or more like, one of his Undersecretaries, you'd be less likely to escape the wrath of Abrogail Thrune, Gorthoklek, et. al. for revealing to Absalom the expansionist plans.


Perhaps we should move Diobel down the list of targets. To last.

On cohorts- I can see your reasoning. I have also suggested keeping things relatively simple [for this campaign, which is complicated by nature] to start. So I have not been 100% consistent. But we are tossing ideas around.

I don't care much about leadership either way to be honest.


I think you misunderstood my suggested use of cohorts and followers, which I admit is probably at least partially my fault for not explaining it, as well it being rather late at night when I posted.

I was not meaning to use them as a substitute for our own RP, but rather to assist us and supplement the NPCs we get on our side.

As an example: The stereotypical gather a large crowd and speak passionately in front of them, with the goal of maybe inciting a riot.

Ideally, we'll have already turned a handful of NPCs to our views, and use them as plants in the crowd. We could then sprinkle in a few of our followers as well, maybe even as 'enforcers' to make sure the NPCs do as their told/they promised.

Would you be more willing to allow Leadership if instead of all us starting the game with a cohort and followers, we gained them in game(perhaps during that prequel-esque 'adventure' in Cheliax that you mentioned to get us all set up) via roleplay and interaction?

Heck, if nobody minds, we could even gain the cohorts/followers while out doing our subversion/expansion.


Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Perhaps we should move Diobel down the list of targets. To last.

LOL

Oddly enough, in my mind's eye I figured this or Isger would go first. (Isger because it's already the "Thrall of Cheliax" and Diobel because it's just a little fishing village.

But yes, when one thinks about the ramifications of failure, ie. [i]being discovered,....

....And it seems as though folks are talking more about Rahadoum than other targets, so that may end up being first.
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Joynt Jezebel wrote:
But we are tossing ideas around.

That we are -- it's all open season now; keep 'em coming everyone.


Monkeygod wrote:
I think you misunderstood my suggested use of cohorts and followers

I think I understood you; at least, it seems the same to me in both posts.

In either case, it's still very helpful.

A few days ago all of this was just a brick wall that I had been slamming against for about two years, unsure if I could ever get this campaign idea playable.

With each post you guys give I'm thinking through more and more possibilities. It's moving forward.

Ultimately, I still feel that Leadership, RAW, is not good for this campaign. But we'll see when I've actually started building some framework for it (coming soon).
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Monkeygod wrote:

Would you be more willing to allow Leadership if instead of all us starting the game with a cohort and followers, we gained them in game(perhaps during that prequel-esque 'adventure' in Cheliax that you mentioned to get us all set up) via roleplay and interaction?

Heck, if nobody minds, we could even gain the cohorts/followers while out doing our subversion/expansion.

Yeah,....

This is more like what I was thinking.
Especially the second of your two ideas.
It's not Leadership/Cohort/Follower as per RAW, but these are NPCs who you meet, corrupt/subvert to support you.

Eureka -- I do believe that that's the whole premise of the Campaign!


Well—I've got a character concept now (though it took a bit of wrangling to fit the important feats in). Now waiting to see where creation goes.


FYI -- Friday and Saturday are likely out for me. Real life is about to be packed with stuff that keeps me away from here.


Regarding some of us being nobles, and thus being 'more powerful' than the others, I don't think this is a big a deal as you might think.

Especially if the other non noble PCs are of equivalent rank, for example a ranking Hellknight or member of one of the magic guilds/church.


Also! There are many ranks of nobility below Duke. And I'm planning for a Hamatulatsu monk, who'd hold high rank in a secret organization (the Chelish torture monks), maybe being rich enough to sponsor her own abbey somewhere.


One thing I keep meaning to mention but haven't.

I don't know about Cheliax, but its very likely to be similar. In the real world, only the oldest son will inherit a title. Younger sons would get some money and support from their family, but only one can get the rank. So they sought other careers.

If you want your PC to be from a very important family that is a way that makes a lot of sense.


Joynt Jezebel wrote:
I don't know about Cheliax, but its very likely to be similar. In the real world, only the oldest son will inherit a title. Younger sons would get some money and support from their family, but only one can get the rank. So they sought other careers.

Err... not really. This changes a LOT between countries and cultures. (Absolute primogeniture, where only one son gets the title, is actually mostly limited to certain periods and Western Europe). That said, it's a common trope, and not a bad idea—with the caveat that in these cases, sometimes a younger son joins the clergy, or goes on to win success in the military which gets them appointed new land and title.


Potentially considering a Hellknight as my character, taking levels in the Commander PrC. If we end up going gestalt, I might make him an Enforcer as well.


I am just looking at what characters people are contemplating. It can't go far until we have guidelines, but jus thinking.

Monkeygod is looking at Hellknight Commander or Hellknight Commander/ Hellknight enforcer, which means there is a spellcasting class in there.

Thunderbeard is looking at monk or monk/assassin.

Almagafor is looking at a Duke. Have not seen a class looking back.

Me, I will likely be a dedicated or near dedicated spellcaster.

At least we don't all want to be the same thing.


So I'm planning to play a somewhat elderly Hamatalatsu monk... which means my character would've spent 2-3 decades training Chelish orphans to be Hellknights. Maybe there's a backstory connection there.

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Also, I'm going LE/LN vigilante (zealot of asmodeus)/unchained monk going kirin style, which should play out as a pretty decent assassin, disguise expert, and backup party face/divine caster/skill monkey (currently looking at around 10-15 skill points/level).


How do you get to that number of skill points?

It is an awful lot. I am jealous [you, by contrast will be zealous.]


Hmm, thought I had mentioned a class. His Grace would be an Inquisitor of Dispater, not sure what the other half would be if gestalt. I'm working on two secondary concepts as well. One is an Elven Ranger who would be a resurrection of an old character, the other is less fleshed out but probably try something from Occult cause I haven't had opportunity to toy with it yet.


You might have mentioned a class, buried somewhere among 76 posts.

So perhaps I overlooked it. Or it may have slipped my mind as nobody expects the Spanish [or Chelian] inquisition.

2 divine casters with 6 levels of spells, and monkeygod being a hellknight commander/ something, maybe caster of some sort. And at least 2 PCs good in melee.

I will be a full arcane caster on at least one side. Which is fine, that is what I tend to play anyway.


Vigilante is a high-skill point class; Kirin Style works best with high intelligence; and Lore Warden gives extra skill points at the levels it's gestalted.

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While looking at classes, keep in mind we might be going places where auras of evil are frowned upon. At level 8, everyone detects as evil; anyone with cleric levels detects as really evil. For Inquisitor, the Infiltrator PrC is a handy way to get around this; anyone else could benefit from a Misdirection spell, but that requires being able to hit a high spell DC, for illusions at least (because the people with at-will detect evil have excellent will saves). Hellknight armor/masks, etc. should at the very least be glamered.

* * *

Also, generally good classes to gestalt with for a social campaign are things that give good skills and/or charisma-tied abilities; bard, rogue, ranger/slayer, and investigator all clean up real nice, and cavalier works well with certain archetypes. The best scouts are summoners, though witches, spiritualists, and wiz/sorc/arcanists work well too—with magic jar or possession at level 9-10, you can *become* your eidolon/familiar, and get into all sorts of places you shouldn't.

As for anyone who wants to try occult things—psychics are really interesting if you like being the guy who reads thoughts (they're less versatile than wizards, but have a better set of save-or-die and AoE blast spells, especially if you go psychic duelist). Mesmerists are just an occult bard, and can be fun if you want to hypnotize people. Mediums (with spirit dancer being the best archetype if you're under cover, though other archetypes also take away commune locations) are the ultimate versatility class, and hold up well in gestalt.

And in a gestalt social game, kineticists surprisingly become really good—elemental ascetic is the clear winner for damage, but regardless of archetype, kineticist isn't about the blasts; it's about the utility talents (air kineticist can pass secret messages, disguise your voice better than almost any class, spy via wind, constantly fly, and eventually control the weather; aether kineticist has all-day short-term scrying, constant invisibility, and eventually the ability to force-choke someone through a window, silently, invisibly, and immediately killing them; and at this level, a kineticist can pick up at least two elements).


Oh, also: Looks like there's a great new feat for undercover casters.


You can put away Occult materials for this one, and in general -- keep to the simpler stuff.


thunderbeard wrote:

The best scouts are summoners, though witches, spiritualists, and wiz/sorc/arcanists work well too—with magic jar or possession at level 9-10, you can *become* your eidolon/familiar, and get into all sorts of places you shouldn't.

I would have thought becoming a familiar was better for scouting than becoming an eidolon. Summoned creatures could be used to scout as well, and at level 11 they can use things like commune.

Question to all- how much use would you get out of hordes of undead minions in this campaign? I would have thought not a huge lot, so that character idea may have to await another campaign.


Undead hordes are a cool idea, but when trying to use them to be sneaky, you run into this problem.


We'll just have to abuse the 5 mile limit then. :)

Undead hordes can be useful but a handful of more powerful and intelligent undead maybe more our speed. It depends on circumstances though and if we go the "good publicity" route it may be handy to use the hordes to help people and make them think that all that talk about the evil of undead is just propaganda. From there you just segue into the rest of the problems with evil being "propaganda."


Thunderbeard, need I remind you of how we get around spells like that in Darklands? :p


Monkeygod wrote:
Potentially considering a Hellknight as my character, taking levels in the Commander PrC. If we end up going gestalt, I might make him an Enforcer as well.

Monkeygod- If you have a minute could you elaborate a bit on your character idea if we go gestalt, which seems likely.

If you go double hellknight you will need a casting class, which one?

I have rather too many character ideas floating around in my head, and trying to consider what the rest of the party can and can't do.

And there is a rule against taking two PrCs at once in the gestalt rules. GM Ray may allow it, it seems harmless here to me.

thunderbeard wrote:
Undead hordes are a cool idea, but when trying to use them to be sneaky, you run into this problem.

YUK! Gross.

As Amalgafor says, I can just make myself scarce.


If I decide to go Hellknight, and I'm not positive I will, I will probably go Magus or Inquisitor for casting.


I'm doing quite a bit of work tonight, expect some posts either in a few hours or Monday morning sometime.


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

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WELCOME TO OPEN RECRUITMENT

A small, varied group of Chelaxian nationalists – hungry with ambition and talent – are looking for a way to not merely advance their station in Cheliax, but to eventually become great heroes for their Mother Empire, earning not just notice and consideration from, but also respect and authority from, Queen Abrogail Thrune, and perhaps even Asmodeus himself.

Little do they realize, they are about to be joined together by chance or by fate in circumstance to advance not merely their ambitions to become powers in Cheliax, but their dreams of becoming named amongst the great heroes the Empire has ever known.

Can their ambition and talent push them to greatness? Or will they become just another group of promising adventurers who die before their names can be remembered?

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This is a PC-driven, almost Sandbox in design, roleplaying campaign of intrigue, guile, subversion, corruption, manipulation, diplomacy, negotiation, intimidation and bribery. The PCs, who know ‘OF’ each other prior to the beginning of play, will find themselves in a position to work together for the furtherance of their own grand plans. Once they succeed in working together in Cheliax, they will be noticed and recruited for a mission from House Thrune herself.

This mission, which will span years, will take the PCs to a number of nations that Queen Abrogail Thrune, Gorthoklek, and their advisors have deemed ripe for insidious conquest. With the Chelaxian military might on high alert on her eastern border with Andoran -- and with Abslom, Taldor (among others) constantly looking for weaknesses in Her Infernal Majestrix’s Empire of Devils, the PCs will be charged with keeping as low a profile as possible – yet commanded to succeed nonetheless.

This campaign takes place after the events of Curse of the Crimson Throne but shortly before the events of Council of Thieves (or obviously, Hell’s Rebels and Hell’s Vengenace).


I’m looking for a small group of heavy roleplayers who can drive the campaign forward with ideas of how to bend Nations and City-States, one small step at a time and without the explicit power of Cheliax behind them, under the sway of The Empire of Devils.

PCs should probably be Lawful Evil though I suppose a couple other alignments may work out as well.

PCs should know of each other by reputation (at least) prior to the start of play. As you will be starting at eighth level, please design an appropriate background, ie. not too experienced or influential, not too little experienced or influential.

More importantly, you’ve all made at least one enemy in the Empire who you’d love to see overthrown but who has a bit too much power, not to mention a bit of ‘dirt’ on you. It is this circumstance which begins our campaign: Your finding out about a potential weak spot against this minor nobleman is what will bring you together in common cause. (Details forthcoming, likely after character creation but prior to gameplay.)

As this is an ‘Evil’ campaign, please note that no PvP will be allowed and that, moreover, PCs must be able to work together as a team -- sharing treasure, considering everyone’s opinion and playing together in common cause.

It will also be important for us to express how far our comfort level for mature content goes.

Further, please include in your background some detail on YOUR interpretation of Alignment for your PC (explicitly agreeing that others may have a slightly different view of the same Alignment that works for their PC).

Finally, spend your starting treasure on yourself. One of the default assumptions of the campaign (from the DM) is that you are finally coming to the realization that one person by him or herself has trouble advancing past a certain point in the Chelaxian hierarchy – and that vast sums of money are needed, not just for personal magical items for aid in security and combat, but just to get through the bureaucracy. (You get a dinner invitation from the Queen, perhaps, now you just have to pay to the $50,000 gp fee to attend!) And the early treasure you find in-game will likely be more importantly used for these kinds of fees.


Character Generation Guidelines:

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8th Level

26 point buy for Ability Scores
2 Ability points gained every four levels, to be used however the Player wants (instead of just one)

Max HP every Level

40,000 GP – no single item may cost more than 16,500gp

Feats & Traits:

Select three Traits.
Please list the mechanical effect of the Trait for me, not the name.
Further, since a Trait is half the strength of a Feat, you can make up Traits pretty easily: +2 to one Skill; +1 to two Skills; +2 Initiative; +1 to a Saving Throw; +2 to Concentration checks; +1 Spell Penetration; +1 to attack rolls vs a Type of monster – that kind of stuff. I’m pretty easy here.

Select one extra Feat.
Taken at 8th level.
Feats may be selected from the Core Rulebook and the APG. Feats from additional sources may be allowed – please send me a PM for specific requests. Some few of these others, such as Fey Foundling in the “Inner Sea Guide,” are approved with some Houserule modification.

Race:

ALL Races shall instead conform to the “Standard” Ability Score Modifier Quality as defined in the ARG chapter four: Pick one Physical stat for a +2 / Pick one Mental stat for a +2 / and pick one of the other stats for a -2.
(This hopefully encourages the Player to select Race based on racial Fluff rather than Crunch: If you want a Catfolk Cleric or a Dwarven Sorcerer, for example, than you can do so without crippling your PC at creation. Further, it makes the Aasimar more balanced, forcing it to take a -2 to one score.).

In the ARG, almost all material from Chapter 1: Core Races, is allowed.
Much of the material from Chapter 2: Featured Races, is allowed. (Prehensile Tail is NOT.)

A tiny bit of the material from Chapter 3: Uncommon Races, is allowed – often with Houserule modification.

Optional:
You may build a Race using the ARG under the following Houserules:
1) You have 13 points to spend.
2) You may only use “Standard” Traits.
3) You may not have ANY Trait costing four points or more – also, the Spell Resistance, Greater Trait is disallowed.
4) You must still use the “Standard” Ability Score Modifier Quality as mentioned earlier for ALL Races.
5) You must work with the DM on Background and History for the Race, which is ultimately subject for DM approval, revision or refusal. –As a note, I am more likely to accept Races that are defined as a mix-race or a little-known ethnicity: a Nidalese Halfing, a half Dwarf/Gnome,…. What DO you get from an Aasimar parent and a Tiefling parent?....

Class:

All Core Classes accepted.

All APG Base Classes (and many APG Archtypes) accepted.

The Magus Base Class in th UM is accepted (You may request other UM material – Feats, Archtypes, Spells, Equipment, etc. via PM.)

The Base Classes in the ACG are accepted. (You may request other ACG material – Feats, Archtypes, Spells, Equipment, etc. via PM.)

A good rule of Thumb for character creation:
The CORE is okay.
The APG is okay.
Some stuff in the UM is okay.
Some stuff in the ACG is okay.
Some stuff in the ARG is okay.


Houserules:
Your input is welcome here – none of the following need be absolute. Discussion encouraged.

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Critical Hits:

If you roll a 20, you Crit. It’s as simple as that.
If you Threat on lower than a 20, you still have to Confirm the Crit.
I will NOT allow Threat ranges to go below 18. (So if you have a Scimitar, there’s never any point in getting Keen. And a Longsword with Keen only Threats from18.

Skills:

Heal is more powerful than the book indicates. You can know how bad-off another PC is, HP-wise, with this, and even many monsters to a lesser degree. You can heal more than just a few pitiful HP with Heal as well.

Knowledge Skills:
Geography, History & Nobility are Combined. (making this one Skill closer in strength to the ‘monster’ Skills)

Religion and Planes are combined. (If it has to do with Cosmology—gods are Outsiders, too, this is the Skill. It includes rituals, customs and dogma of the Outsiders, as well as geography and history of the Planes.)

Arcane now also includes knowledge of Undead. Religion no longer does. (This makes Arcane on-par with Cosmology.)

Nature and Dungeoneering are now combined. (I’m still working on ways to make it stronger.)

Local is for PC-playable Class and Race information. Class Features and power levels are included in these rolls. All races that advance “By Class” can be learned about through Knowledge: Local.

Engineering is, in the opinion of this DM, stupid, irrelevant and of no use.

Miscellaneous:

Adamantine can only be found in-game, not purchased.

The Elven Curved Blade is an Exotic Weapon – EVEN for Elves (Weapon Familiarity be damned).

Everyone has One Hero Point and these are somewhat stronger than the published version.

The Leadership Feat is not allowed.

Item Creation (except for Scrolls & Potions) Feats are not allowed for this campaign.

We will not be using a grip map for combat.


NPC and world Alignment:

All of the NPCs you meet, characters, monsters, villains, allies – whoever – and for societies and cultures that have overwhelming Alignment tendencies, Alignment is defined as thus:
Good and Evil are Morality alignments. This has to do with a person’s ethics, moral compass and view of the cosmos.
Lawful and Chaotic are Personality alignments. This has to do with temperament, behavior, personality and how a person reacts to stimuli.

Please don’t tell me (or anyone else) that Chaotic Good means you believe in personal freedom – as if Lawful Good doesn’t believe in freedom. That’s okay for YOUR PC, of course, but don’t try to shovel it on my NPCs or the other Players.

You certainly have the prerogative to define Alignment for your PC as you see fit.


Finally, please only give advice on PC generation if asked for. There’s nothing wrong with a Player building a Paladin whose highest Ability Score is Intelligence (to use me as an example). Of course, as this is, afterall, The Boards, there are certainly a number of people from whom to ask advice.

On a related note, remember that this is a PC-driven, nearly Sandbox campaign, working together on ideas and sharing input about plans can be tricky. It’s important to word advice and suggestions as opinion rather than something like words of wisdom.


Hello GM Ray.

I have been awaiting character guidelines. Great to see the idea moving forward. The potential players were getting a bit carried away with the idea of gestalt characters, which I am pretty sure you considered but had not decided upon.

I have a few questions.

1 Races in Cheliax.

I doubt I will be creating a race. But I read the section on Cheliax in Inner Sea Guide and the treatment of Tieflings and Halflings is really dire. Is this the same in your campaign? And how do they treat other races?

Races I am considering are half orc, half elf, skinwalker [bat blooded] and kitsune. I could always be human.

2 I have some character ideas. I don't want to get too carried away until I get some idea what others are playing. But I want to ask about if some things would be allowed. Being-

a) Master Summoner- It is from Ultimate Magic. Played one before and I liked it.

On this topic the feats Scouting Summons, Verstaile Summon Monster [both Monster Summoners Handbook] Summon Evil Monster [champions of corruption] and Superior Summons [Ultimate Magic ] available?

b) Another idea is a Sorcerer, Arcane Bloodline, all Core so far, and of the Razmiran Priest aka False Priest archetype. The archetype is from inner sea magic.

A GM could rule that Razmiran priest makes no sense, though I have a cool background idea that involves my character being enslaved, freed, marrying into nobility and being widowed.


Can I get a ruling on Unchained Monk? It turns monks into a more martial class, and combines some of the more popular archetype abilities into a single class with no archetypes allowed.


Three questions while things stew in my brain:

1) Gestalt? I know it was talked about heavily but it's not on the character creation guidelines, so I was unsure if it was left off intentionally.

2) Is Gunslinger available? Just curious, toying with an idea that would require firearms.

3) Can I tweak the racial ability mods on Tiefling? Since Race creation is available and it would fit my primary concept better if I could say go +2 Dex, -2 Con, +2 Wis. Fluff-wise I'm not quite going for a true Tiefling but it's the closest available. (Human Looking is on my traits to pick up)


If Tieflings in Cheliax are treated as described in "The Inner Sea Guide" you might want to reconsider Almagafor.


Thanks for sticking around, folks; it's always a scare when you throw out all your crazy DM houserules & preferences for PC-creation after Players have shown an interest (afraid they'll change their minds).

@ Joynt Jezebel:

Tieflings & Halflings are fine; you don't have to worry about constant racism or problems due to race in Cheliax. (Though of course there would be some specific NPCs who are designed to be anti- one or the other, that racism will not be the norm.)

Skinwalker is not allowed.

Kitsune IS allowed but with the following modification: It is a Full Round action to change shape, not a Standard Action.

Note that all Races, including H-Orc and H-Elf, get the "Standard" Ability Score modifier. So you will be choosing two stats for the +2 and one for the -2

Master Summoner is available for play.

The Feat, False Casting is acceptable for play; the Prestige Class False Priest is acceptable for play with the following modification: Even at 1st level of the PrC you gain a level of your Arcane Caster Spellcasting ability :)

@ ThunderBeard:

Unchained Monk is available for play.

@ Almagafor:

After much consideration during the design for this game over the weekend, including thoughts on likely Class choices for this kind of game, the NPCs, settings and theme of this campaign, and the fact that this is a PbP with unknowns -- I concluded that Gestalt (despite being my general preference) is not a good choice for "Expanding Cheliax."

Gunslinger is NOT available for play.

The "Standard" Racial Ability Modifier means that, regardless of Race, the Player chooses where to put the +2 / +2 / -2. If you want +2 DEX / +2 WIS / -2 CON then you can do that for your Tiefling. And you can do that with a Human. Or a Dwarf or a Halfling or an Oread or a Catfolk or an Ifrit or an Aasimar or a....

And you don't have to deal with widespread racism toward Tieflings in Cheliax. (Certainly there will be some people who are racist but it is not a default nor even a norm.)


Houserule:
(accidentally forgot earlier)

Languages:

There is NO "common" language for humans. Your "common" language will be appropriate to the land from which you come-- Chelaxian in all likelihood. (PCs with backgrounds from places not Cheliax can ask me ('Chelaxian' from Andoran, 'Taldoran' from Absalom & Taldor).

With each Rank in Linguistics you can select an additional Language that must be a 'Human' Language. (1 Rank for Draconic & Varisian, or 1 Rank for Goblinoid & Osiriani, or perhaps one Rank for Varisian & Osiriani -- Not one Rank for Draconic & Goblinoid)

Unfortunately, I am a Language "Nazi," so to speak.

It takes FOUR Ranks in Linguistics to know Azlanti. It takes FOUR Ranks in Linguistics to know Thassilonian (and four ranks for the other ancient, long dead languages -- only two for Ancient Osirini).

"Undercommon" is a silent form of Sign Language.

"Rogue's Cant & Innuendo" is an additional choice to the list of Languages on page 251 of the Inner Sea Guide.


@ Joynt Jezebel:
Oops, I just saw these questions of yours:

Scouting Summons is not available for play.

Versatile Summon Monster is available for play.

Summon Evil Monster is not available for play. (I don't like the 'Standard Action' part.)

Sacred Summons is not available for play. (the Standard Action part, again)

Superior Summoning is not available for play.

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