DM Fflash's Shattered Star Campaign

Game Master DM Fflash

Chapter 3: The Asylum Stone
The Hanging Manse

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This thread is for the start up of the closed campaign led by DM Fflash. If you don't personally know either Fflash, m3mnoch, or nomadicc, please kindly refrain from posting character input here.

Invitees, once you've created a profile (not necessarily a character) please post here and we'll start with deciding which adventure path we will run and then allow the group of you to develop a cohesive party makeup before diving into detailed character development.

Character creation rules to follow once we've determined what we're playing.

A reminder: the PRD trumps all other rules and house rules will hopefully be kept to a minimum, I'm pretty happy with the balance that Paizo has struck. I reserve the right to disallow anything outside the PRD, but most assuredly will not allow anything that isn't Paizo or Fflash produced.

Basic posting rules:

Gameplay Tab: In character commentary only (with small ooc-flagged injects where required)

Discussion Tab (i.e. this one): Out of character discussion, level ups, non role-played loot dissemination and announcement of real-life interruptions to posting ability

"Indicates speaking"
Indicates thinking
Used for out of character commentary

All rolls will be used with the in-game dice roller.
DM rolls initiative for everyone
All saving throws will be the affected individuals very next post and roll else it's an automatic failure. Prevents abuse of the preview feature and sets priority for rolls.

We will be using flex time and dungeon crawl mode for expedited posting but I'll explain that later. I use Picasa albums for distributing handouts and maps (generally built with MapTools)

Welcome to the game!

DM Fflash wrote:
Invitees, once you've created a profile (not necessarily a character) please post here




Female Azlanti Pureblood Alchemist (Trap Breaker) 8

I vote for Shattered Star, but the Skulls & Shackles is fine also. I'd like to play this character, an alchemist, for either. I can tweak the backstory easily.

Braelex is an alchemist, so basically a grenade-hurling, buffing 'caster'.

Tike, I'll need your approval on the tiefling traits, etc.

Hi there! Thanks for the invite, m3mnoch; this should be interesting.

I'm a newb at this format, but have been playing/running table-top off-and-on for 30 years, so hopefully I can catch on quick. :)

I like dungeons, so I'd lean towards Shattered Star, but will be happy with either. Still thinking on a character design.

Welcom Jhyrrl, looking forward to this! Worry not about being a newb, the beauty of this is you have time to craft your reply, so things generally come out the way you want them to, vice reactionary.

Role playing opportunities are unique on the boards ... much more time to think through and less reactionary reacting. Player-player and character-character dialogue are exceptionally important to get a good feel for party cohesion and to keep the game flowing without me.

I've been DMing on these boards for about 9 months now and just finished a very long chapter of Shackled City within that timeline. With the right engagment, I believe we can crank through a module in about 6 months. An entire adventure path is 6 parts (generally taking you to 16-17th level) so hopefully you guys enjoy this enough to stick with it.

For the 2 paths, I've read all of Skulls and Shackles and while very interesting, there are a couple of things that I struggle with. The hook is a bang over the head ... literally, but the AP itself is very sandboxy and parts of it feel almost generic or repetitive. I'd remove a lot of that for sake of the boards. Ship-to-ship combat may be difficult to do, I'm not sure, but that's a minor issue. It's much more leaned to more selfishly motivated characters vice do-gooders and there's a ton of very unique, fun encounters and environments (think all the great stuff from Clash of the Titans) to include underwater and shipboard stuff.

Shattered Star is a much more traditional "go fetch" dungeon crawl, but the adventure is dripping with history and fascinating interlinks with older modules and very smart/living dungeons. Based mainly out of the city of Magnimaar, there's opportunity to put some sandbox elements into it, but I'd probably not focus too much on that, since the goal is to execute the adventure path. Small parts of it may feel a bit linear (as compared to Skulls and Shackles) but honestly what I've read so far is very, very good. That said, only 3 of the modules have been released and the 4th is enroute to my house, so I hope the conclusion to the AP is satisfying. Many good writers involved in this path. Oh, and the hook is pretty weak, but we can probably move past that.

I'm definitely leaning towards Shattered Star, but am by no means committed to it.

If we run Shattered Star, I would like all the PCs to know each other (or be related) etc in advance, so I'd ask that you work that out in advance.

If we run Skulls and Shackles, you all meet as players at the same table in a poker/dice game at a dock-side tavern in Port Peril one evening. You can have pre-established relationships if you so desire.

DM Fflash wrote:
I'm definitely leaning towards Shattered Star, but am by no means committed to it.

that's you, me, mike, and dave. i think that's enough votes to call it shattered star, eh?


m3mnoch wrote:

that's you, me, mike, and dave. i think that's enough votes to call it shattered star, eh?


Yup Yup, once we have 5 chime in, we'll start with party makeup before I entertain specific character ideas.

DM Fflash wrote:
...we'll start with party makeup before I entertain specific character ideas.

For the record, I'll play just about anything and am happy to fill gaps in party make-up.


Oh and for those of you who haven't read the entire Player's Guide, Andel Gesseran will be accompanying you all as a scribe. I'll use him as a knowledge base and to inject in character thoughts and ideas, but you all determine how you wish him to advance etc. Great resource to be aware of when you're figuring out who's gonna do what and you start spending skill points.

I recognize this is a holiday weekend and things like this are low priority. Post as able, I'm not going anywhere so will check here and there and answer if required.

Also note the Campaign Info Tab at the top has some of my thoughts on play and format. Suggestions and feedback on anything are welcome now before we start.

I haven't done this in a while, but I'll try to get through the player's guide to refresh my memory of the rules. I'm not a big fan of the privateer type campaigns so my vote would be for the Shattered Star.

Do we know how we'll be handling ability scores? Point-buy, dice rules, et cetera?

We will be using a 15 point buy, max HP at 1st, 2 traits ... 1 must be a campaign, average starting gold.

Also consider this house rule: no save or die. All such fails take you to -9 and dying. In pathfinder, death happens at -Con.

I also will be removing raise dead from the game although reincarnate and ressurection are still options. Death will be a real thing and I don't fudge the dice.

Hardcore. :)

Took awhile to find rules on traits in the PRD; there's not a specific link in the ToC. For anyone else who doesn't own the Advanced Player's Guide:

The PRD search engine is horrible, I've found better luck typing in what I want followed by "pathfinder" or "PRD" in Google and generally find everything I need.

*Note the campaign traits come out of the player's guide.

Just waiting on 1 more guy. Looks like I've tapped out the resources on my end (I could invite a player from my other game but I'd like new blood). I'm assuming that the "House that Chris and Mike work in" may have more.

With that said, we can start building a party. I won't direct what you have to fill, but I'll tell you it's a PITA for everyone when a key role is missing (just ask my Shackled City group who's gone without a healer for nearly the entire game).

For the "how the party knows each other" again it's up to you, but some (not limited to) options are below:

1) Family members or hometown friends
2) Graduates of the same Pathfinder class in Absalom (or at least attended at the same time)
3) Parents were acquainted
4) Traveling troupe of some sort (actors/singers/carnival)

None of these are integral to the game flow. The AP is actually built around throwing you together but I'd rather there be some sort of investment in each other as well vice the standard selfish personal agenda of your own PC. Just something that I haven't seen before and I'd like to try it out for it's role-playing value primarily, but also to see if it affects gameplay in a (hopefully) positive way. If you all find it nausea-inducing, let me know, and I'll scrap it.

DM Fflash wrote:
Just waiting on 1 more guy.

I see 5 of us currently (m3mnoch, nomadicc, Braelex, shumpal, Jhyrryl), and believe that 2 co-workers were interested; I'll let them know that they'll need to fight over that slot.

DM Fflash wrote:
it's a PITA for everyone when a key role is missing

If needed, I'll play a multi-class rogue / oracle (life) to fill both healing and stealth. :)

DM Fflash wrote:
"how the party knows each other"

I was thinking about an orphaned, multi-class elven cleric of Desna who is local to Magnimar, so would prefer a party back-story that supports that. Hometown friends or Pathfinder classmates would work.

nomadicc and Bralex are the same guy so we are still short one. Looking forward to the winner of the fight :).

Male Elf Cleric 1 (AC: 15, Touch: 11, Flat: 14, HP: 11; Per: +4; Init: +1)

Ah, aliases. So this is the character that I'd play.


Lorlenn wrote:

Ah, aliases. So this is the character that I'd play.


  • Nice start ... short 1 skill point. I'm showing you should start w/6.
  • Dungeoneering should be +8 (because of the trait)
  • Pick a favored class and then a favored class bonus if the class is cleric

Steve and Chris, you guys can start chiming in with your characters as well. So far you've got arcane probably covered, divine's average, and a little bit of ranged.

Update on the scribe, I'll need to roll him back to level 1 and I'll post him shortly. Generally, you wait until you have 20 fame and then spend points to "hire" one to come along, I'd rather he be a permanent fixture of the party from the beginning, so will make him that way. You guys will decide certain aspects of his level ups, mainly skill placement. Any items given to him are his, unless expressly being used as a pack mule to distribute weight amongst the party members.

Thanks. So, Lorlenn should be starting with 6 skills because of the favored class bonus? Or is there some other source that I'm missing? I see 2+Int for cleric with an Int bonus of +3.

Jhyrryl wrote:
Thanks. So, Lorlenn should be starting with 6 skills because of the favored class bonus? Or is there some other source that I'm missing? I see 2+Int for cleric with an Int bonus of +3.

Ah yes, I did have the skill point bonus switched on. You are correct, if you choose a different favored class or decide to go with a different bonus, your 5 point distro is correct.

Human Male Expert 1/Bard 4 (AC: 16, Touch: 11, Flat: 15, HP: 36/36; Saves: F:3, R:8, W:6; Per: +4; Init: +5)
  • Thassilonian
  • Aklo
  • Boggard
  • Goblin
  • Giant
  • Undercommon
  • Engineering +11
  • Geography +11
  • History +13
  • Local +14
  • Nature +10
  • Nobility +11
  • Planes +11
Spells Known:
  • 2nd: heroism, allegro
  • 1st: borrow skill (DC15), chord of shards (DC15), comprehend langs, timely inspiration (DC15)
  • 0: dancing lights, mage hand, message, read magic, summon instrument, unwitting ally (DC14)

Here's the profile for the scribe. Scholar selections and skill point distro can be adjusted by you guys if so desired.

I was thinking a Druid type or a fighter. I'll play anything really.

Recent birthday boy, what are you thinking of playing?

Greetings everyone, thanks for having me.

Im new to this format, played a little D&D back when i was a teenager but nothing really focused or official. Looking forward this, so feel free to hit me up with any advice (esp if im getting something wrong).

Im thinking Fighter class, since i tend to that with all new games, i could also go with a Rogue type as well.

Excellent, that's 5. Let's make some characters.

So far:

Tiefling Alchemist
Elven cleric of Desna/diviner on his way to mystic theurge
Druid or fighter
Fighter or rogue
Whatever Chris is gonna play

For folks new to Pathfinder, I recommend walking step by step through the character creation process in the PRD or the PFSRD, if you wish. For character ideas, look at the archetypes for each of the classes and see if any of them grab you or help you with an idea.

I didn't actually make them fight it out. Do you think that there's still room for a 6th?

I'd really like to keep it to 5. The AP is written for 4 and the less I have to add/rewrite, the better.

Ill fight it out with the other guy today and see where we stand ;)

Copy all :)

We won't need a rogue, if our Alchemist keeps up some Disable Device training. We'll just have to rely on magic to help find traps, and healing for when we fail.

Jhyrryl wrote:
We won't need a rogue, if our Alchemist keeps up some Disable Device training. We'll just have to rely on magic to help find traps, and healing for when we fail.

True ... He may fail a bit more without the bonus, but very doable. Note that trapfinding is required to disable magic traps.

A 1-level splash in rogue will give it to you though.

What are the duties of: Timekeeper, Chronicler, and Quartermaster?

Excellent question:

Timekeeper: keep track of the major passage of time mainly for day/night concerns and for mid to long duration spells. This player will ask the DM how much time has passed since xyz to keep the party in sync.

Quartermaster: records loot received, allocated and sold. Based on how the party decides to handle loot distro, he also determines shares of cash from sold items.

Chronicler: track main and side quest requirements. In a PbP, its easy to forget that Lord Hienmite asked you to keep an eye out for red crystals of doom.

Female Azlanti Pureblood Alchemist (Trap Breaker) 8

Braelex would be happy to take the Quartermaster duties.

I'll take Chronicler.

Btw, Mr. Chris is on a business trip at the moment. Not sure when he gets back. And it looks like CJ (KStarfire) won the fight.

Regarding party makeup:

I think we'll be good on light and moderate healing (at least 3 characters with access to cure spells), but we'll be behind the curve on big healing spells, so will need to not be shy about resting.

CJ, I think we need a good tank more than a rogue, per my earlier comments. Traps may get us sometimes, but creatures will maul us constantly if we don't have someone to step in the way.

We're going to have a lot of short and mid-range DPS, especially if Chris leans towards any sort of spellcaster.

Tanking, its what i do. Fighter it is. :)

Doling out a few more things as we move forward.

Character profile (as an alias)
I don't care how you keep track of your character, but I would like the important crunchy bits included in the profile for any rolls I need to make. I will build your character in Hero Lab for my own use as well, mainly to help me identify point distro and some other automatic math stuff. If for some reason, you use Hero Lab, feel free to send me your portfolio file for your character at every level up. Hero Lab is relatively expensive so if you're only using it for this game, it's probably not worth it for you. Just my 2 cents.

Everyone needs to pick a campaign trait. I'd like for you all to use different ones for background purposes, but it's not required.

Please include your background. Use Golarion examples only if you're familiar. If you're not or there's not enough info in pathfinder wiki, I can help you if you give me an idea of what you're looking for.

Based on earlier discussions, the party will know each other from Pathfinder training in Absalom. You all have graduated within the past 6 months. You will need to be in Magnimaar for at least 2 weeks (up to 6 months) and have a relatively permanent presence.

Golarion lore
Some of you won't know much about the world of Golarion. The pathfinder wiki will be helpful for those of you that like to read up. I'll dole out information as applicable, but feel free to ask questions in character or out and those of us very familiar (nomadicc and myself) will answer appropriately. If it's something that's uncommon, I'll throw a knowledge check spoiler on it.

Female Azlanti Pureblood Alchemist (Trap Breaker) 8

I'm going to take the 'Ruin Raider' campaign trait. Braelex is still relatively new to Magnimar, having only just come from Korvosa after joining the PFS.

Once the other characters are more fleshed out, I'll make some suggestions for our prior acquaintance. My background is in my profile, so feel free to use it for ideas...

Tike, when do we start?

OK, let's set a noon Sunday deadline for character creation completion, to include equipment purchases and back story. I know Chris is out of town.

In the mean time, I'll post a couple top-level geography/history posts (stuff everyone knows kinda thing) in the Campaign Tab. It'll be a bit about Golarion, some map links, info on Varisia, and info on Magnimaar and the surrounding area as well as some current events. I am assuming everyone will read the player's guide and at least have the city knowledge that exists in there.

I recommend hitting favorites on any posts that have critical or reference-worthy information. Allows you to hunt and find them later. Technique only.

Experience Points vs Fame/Prestige

Since this is PbP, I'll be removing encounters from the game that I think are extraneous and likely refrain from rolling on random encounter tables. There's enough scripted stuff in the adventure. This removes potential XP from the game, though. Instead of artificially inflating it or having you all run around trying to kill monsters for XP, I'm going to do away with XP all together and just tell you when you've done enough to level up ... all at once.

What you will get, though, are fame and prestige for pursuing adventure and Pathfinder Society objectives. So if you pursue side quests etc., you'll gain more from doing those. This gives benefit to overcoming encounters diplomatically, through combat, or byt avoidance as long as you achieve your objective and prevents you from the "need" to clear every room. Not that you can't, just taking away XP as the motivator.

If you find that abhorrent, let me know and we'll discuss.

DM Fflash wrote:
I know Chris is out of town.

i'm here. i'm here. lemme catch up.


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okay. i think i know what i'm wanting to play.

a trapper ranger archetype: er-archetypes/trapper

with a larry personality:

sound like a plan?


p.s. i'm so unbearably awesome.

Im thinking Serpent Runner campaign trait. Working on the rest.

So Chris's trapper answers your rogue question plus some ranged DPS.

CJ's got the melee dps/tank? Make sure you pick which of the Serpent Runner bennies you want to take.

I believe Steve is going with the druid, which I learned something awesome about today. You can swap your animal companion every 24 hours. So, change terrain? Release the first and order up a new one. Pretty sweet.

Lorlenn's stats are pretty solid. Couple minor things. Hvy encumbrance also gives a -6 armor check penalty, so just recall that on those appropriate skills.

I'm only showing 3 0-level spells for 1st level cleric to memorize. No bonus spells for Wisdom for 0-levels.

DM Fflash wrote:
I'm only showing 3 0-level spells for 1st level cleric to memorize. No bonus spells for Wisdom for 0-levels.

Oops, you're right. They're 4 from 2nd-on, so must have overlooked that in the book. Will fix this evening when I write my background.

I have a couple files idike to send via email. If Mike and CJ don't mind, could you guys send me your address either via Chris or PM me on the boards.

How are we coming on the other 3 characters?

Male Half-elf Druid 3 Monk 2

I'm doing away with the animal campanion as a starter option and chose domain instead. While having a campanion is cool, it often gets forgotten and usually drives a DM crazy having to keep track.

You can see where I'm going with as I've updated my alias, Fulmen, with most of the pertinent stats.


I've started posting some historical stuff in the gameplay tab. Best looked at with a map. Ask questions here about the world for now ... there's a ton of stuff out there, most of it not relevant to the campaign but can help flesh out the "feel" of the world.

Once I post the prologue and beginning of Chapter 1, you guys can start posting in character (should be tomorrow assuming all characters are complete).


What are you putting skill focus into?
You're missing one 0-level spell memorized.
Equipment and Background when able

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