Crouching Dragon, Smoking Barrel (Inactive)

Game Master Pixel Cube

A Western and Eastern flavored adventure, with gun wielding pistoleros, ninjas and samurais.

Even the kids in town talk about it: the largest bounty ever issued, 60 thousands golds, and all for a single man. You didn't even know that there was that much money in all of Hangman's Noose, but it seems the Constable can afford it. But it doesn't matter: every bounty hunter and on the run adventurer in miles came to this small and dirty city on the edge of the Salt Desert, and they are all here for a piece of the cake. And with the last wave of immigrants from the Eastern continent that just arrived, Hangman's Noose looks is now an overcrowded powder keg ready to explode. You see, just some years ago the dwarves discovered a large jade deposit in the mines just outside town. And the Easterns love their jade. Merchants came from across the ocean, and with the merchants came diplomats, entire families, and even lone warriors, capable of cutting you up in a single blow or punch your face through a brick wall. Some of them decided to try their luck with the bounty. You decided to try your luck too. Adrian Slate, ruthless criminal and convicted murderer, is worth 60,000 gold pieces, dead or alive, and even the best paid job in the world isn't going to give you that much. And after all, death isn't the worst thing it could happen in the Salt Desert...

The game is set in Hangman's Noose, an unremarkable western town in the middle of the Salt Desert, populated mostly by humans, dwarf miners, gnome merchants, and half orcs and halfling laborers. There are also elves, mostly a savage, spiritual and noble race that dwells the plains and the deserts (akin to the Redskins of your standard Western). The Salt Desert is quite a dangerous place, with roaming beasts and oversized vermins always on the hunt.

Four years ago, the dwarves of the Hearthstrike Mining Company discovered a very large deposit of jade and other precious stones in a mine that was believed to be depleted. Jade is the most valuable material for the merchants of the Eastern regions across the ocean, and once word came to them of the discovery, they arrived in Hangman's Noose for business. The town suddely became pretty rich, and soon waves of immigrants of every race from the East arrived: families trying to make a living in a new land of opportunity, diplomats trying to make a good deal with the town authorities, and mysterious warriors ready to sell their services to the best offer. Hangman's Noose is now the edge where West and East meet.

The city is part of a reign called Valderran, ruled by King Jhelial III. The reign just declared war to the rebels regions of the north, and while Hangman's Noose is untouched by this impeding conflict, the national government decided to keep most of the town's profit for itself for financing the war and raised the taxes. The city is nowhere as rich as it would have been, but there's still a lot of jade, and a lot of people determined to get gold in a way or another.

Of course, there are guns in this setting. Loads of them. Technology levels are constantly rising, but magic is not disappeared. Some considers spells as the works of evil forces, there is much superstition and pratictioners of the dark arts are feared, but magicians and magical items exist and are allowed, provided they don't mess with the wrong people. There are no clear deities in this setting, just mysterious good forces and evil forces in constant struggle. The elves hare mostly shamanic, and there are plenty of small cults and sects around. Morality is not black and white: when there's money involved, every sinner is a saint.

Allowed Classes:

- Alchemist (may allow archetypes)
- Barbarian (may allow archetypes)
- Bard (may allow archetypes)
- Cavalier (Honor Guard, Gendarme and Musketeer only)
- Cleric (Evangelist and Mercyful Healer only)
- Druid (may allow archetypes)
- Gunslinger (all archetypes)
- Inquisitor (Exorcist, Preacher and Witch Hunter only)
- Magus (Kensai only)
- Monk (all archetypes)
- Ninja (may allow Rogue archetypes)
- Paladin (Holy Gun only)
- Ranger (Guide, Trapper and Trophy Hunter only)
- Rogue (may allow archetypes)
- Samurai (or Ronin)
- Witch (all archetypes except Winter and Sea)
- Wizard (Spellslinger only)

Campaign traits:

Cowboy: You are expert in handling cattle and riding animals. You get a +1 trait bonus to Handle animals, Knowledge (geography) and Ride.

Dark Magician: You are expert in the obscure magic arts. You get a +1 trait bonus to Knowledge (Arcana), Spellcraft and Concentration checks.

Dead Shot: You are an expert in firearms use. You add half your Dexterity bonus to the damage of every firearm you fire. This bonus does not stack with Gun Training. You also gain 1 additional Grit point.

Deadly Draw: You are an expert duelist and fast drawer. You get a +1 trait bonus to Reflexes, and a +2 bonus to the drawing phase of a Showdown Duel (see below).

Doc: You are expert in anatomy and surgery. You get a +1 trait bonus to Heal, Heal is always a class skill for you, and every healing spell you cast (or potion you drink) will heal 1 additional hit point.

Drunkard: Your prowess with alcoholic drinks is legendary. You gain a +4 trait bonus on saving throws when you drink and against mind influencing spells and abilities.

Hand-Mucker: You are an expert gambler and cheater. You get a +1 trait bonus to Bluff, Sense Motive and Sleigh of Hands.

Holy Man: You are the herald of a deity, seen as a saint by most people. You get a +2 trait bonus to Knowledge (religion), always a class skill for you, and +1 to Reputation.

I know Kung Fu: You are a master in unarmed combat. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Acrobacy and a +1 trait bonus to all the unarmed damage you deal.

Impertubable Mind: You are trained in focusing your mind even in dangerous situations. Your gain a +1 trait bonus to Will and 1 additional ki point.

Infamous: You reputation precedes you. You gain +2 to Reputation and a +1 trait bonus to Intimidate, and Intimidate is always a class skill for you.

Killer Eyes: You have a history of violence, and people notice that by just looking into your eyes. You gain +2 to Reputation and a +1 trait bonus to confirm critical hits.

Martial Artist: You are a master in an exotic combat style. Pick a Combat Manouver of your choice: your receive a +1 trait bonus to both CMB and CMD when using or defending against that manouver.

No Name: Nobody knows your name, but everyone realizes that you aren't someone to mess with. You get a +1 to Reputation and a +1 luck bonus to a saving throw of your choice.

Not Quite Dead: You received a blow that would have killed most people, but managed to survive against the odds. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Fortitude and 2 additional hit points.

Saloon Pianist: You are an expert intertainer. You gain a +1 trait bonus to a Perform skill of your choice, and +1 trait bonus to Knowledge (local). Both are always class skills for you.

Sneaky as a snake: You are an expert in working unseen or undercover. You get a +1 trait bonus to Disable Device, Disguise and Stealth.

The Law: Whether you are a sheriff, a law enforcer or because people simply fear your judgement, your word is law when you're around. You gain +2 to Reputation and a +1 trait bonus to Diplomacy, and Diplomacy is always a class skill for you.

Trapper: You are at ease in the wilderness. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Knowledge (nature), Perception and Survival.

Warrior Spirit: You are a master in the way of the sword. Pick a non-firearm weapon of your choice: you gain a +1 trait bonus to both attack and damage with that weapon only.

Variant Rules:

- Firearms: Firearms are common and easy to find in this setting. Early firearms are simple weapons and cost 1/4 of their original price. Advanced firearms are considered martial weapon and cost half of their original price. Ammo is abundant and cost 1/5 of the original price.

- Ninja and Samurai are proficient with eastern weapons and armors; Monks are proficient with all eastern weapons. Neither are proficient in any kind of firearms.

- Hero points: Yes, we will be using hero points. You start with 1 hero point.

- Reputation: This is an homebrew rule. Your Reputation score is a measure of how famous or infamous you are. It comes in use both in non combat situations (Reputation influences the reaction and starting attidude of NPCs, and can even let you avoid fights altogether) and combat ones (Duels). Your Reputation is equal to half your level + Cha modifier + trait bonuses.

- Showdown Duels: When the chips are down and it's time to really mean business, a Showdown Duel may be called. They rely on quick reflexes, lighting draw, and intimidating your opponent. Usually a one versus one matter, a duel is a way of quickly ending a confrontation with a single blow.

Duel Rules:

Both parties must declare and agree that they want to duel, and decide what exactly signals when it's time to attack (it's usually a bell, or the ring of a timed clock, or the shot in the air of another party). Third parties cannot act during a duel, but may influence it in some way (DM call).You don't necessarely have to use a firearm for the duel: you can use every weapon, both ranged and melee. In case of melee weapons, the duelists simply stand close, so they can charge at each other in a single turn. Mixed duels (ranged versus melee) also take place with the opponents close. You can't duel with a spell but you may influence a duel with spells (see below). A duel is made up of 5 phases, during which the bonuses of the opponents are matched to see who wins a specific phase. Highest bonuses means you win that phase, and a tie is possible (neither wins that bonus). You don't roll any dice during the phases, but simply compare the modifiers. Each won phase gives you a +1 bonus to the final roll.

- Reputation phase: Where your name and former deeds are taken into account. The highest Reputation wins; remember to add the Reputation bonuses from the traits.

- Gaze phase: The opponents look straight into each other eyes, in a contest of sheer determination. Each of the following counts towards calculation your bonus: challenge class ability, at least 4 ranks in Intimidate, the Killer Eyes trait, the Impertubable Mind trait, stern gaze class ability, and the ability to cast any gaze spell or one that influences the opponents eyes (you don't really cast the spell but still lose the spell slot). The duelist with the most of these wins the phase.

- Reaction phase: How quickly the duelists can react to the signal. Each opponent add his Initiative to his base Reflexes Save bonus, plus every trait, magic or feat bonus that might improve Reflexes: the highest result wins the phase.

- Draw phase: Both duelists draw their weapon extremely fast. Each of the following counts towards calculation your bonus: using a 1 handed weapon, Quick Draw feat, every other draw feat, the Deadly Draw trait (+2 bonus), at least 4 ranks in Sleigh of Hands, at least 4 ranks in Bluff, Gunslinger Initiative deed (must have at least 1 Grit point to get the bonus), mage hand or other spells that might help drawing a weapon (you don't really cast the spell but still lose the spell slot). The duelist with the most of these wins the phase.

- Attack phase: Both duelist finally attack. Each opponents takes the attack bonus with the weapon he's using (magic and feat bonuses included), and adds +1 for every one of the following: using two handed weapon, using two weapons or a weapon and a shield, charging at the opponent with a melee weapon, having a weapon with the reach ability, having a weapon with the deadly ability, the Warrior Spirit trait, Dodge feat or any Dodge bonus, Evasion or ather forms of dodging an attack, any Critical feat, any Improved (Combat Manouver) feat, magic weapon/true strike/blessing or any other spells that add to the attack bonus (the spells must have been cast beforehand). The highest final bonus wins the phase.

- REVENGE bonus: Include this one as an external bonus to the final d6 roll, but you must have the proper motivation towards getting REVENGE from a certain opponent. "He looked at me funny" is not a proper one. Also, REVENGE always goes in all caps.

Resolution: After the 5 phases, each opponent roll a single d6, and add the bonuses for every phase they have won.

Compare the final results: the one with the highest roll wins the duel, and automatically confirms a critical hit against the opponent with the weapon he's using, with the max possible damage (for example a weapon that does 1d8+3/x4 will automatically deal 44 damage). The attack always hits and ignores armor and damage reduction.Forms of precision damage, like Sneak attack, couts for calculating the damage you deal. For example, if you have sneak attack +2d6, you add 12 damage (without multipling for the critical) to the final damage, since the opponent you just attacked is considered flat footed.

Should the opponent that lost the duel not die after this attack, he will be knocked prone, be staggered for 1 round, and last in Initiative in the following round. The winning duelist may decide not to kill or damage his opponent, but disarm it or immobilize him instead.

In case both opponents obtain the exact same results with the resolutive d6 roll, the one that collected the most bonuses during the phases wins. Should both opponents have the same results and bonuses, they will deal damage to each other at the same time, and suffer the same consequences of a losing duelist. Yes, you can use your Hero point to reroll the d6 of a duel if you want.

To save time and cut straight to the chase, it's better to calculate your Duel stats beforehand, and put them in you character sheet. For example:
Duel: Reputation 5, Gaze 2, Reaction 10, Draw 4, Attack 11
This way you only need to roll a d6 to duel against an opponent. Write additional sets of stats if you plan to due with different weapons. If you are not sure if some of your abilities or feats might improve your duel stats, ask away.