GM Dak - Second Darkness

Game Master Dakcenturi

Chapter 1: Shadow in the Sky
Part 4: Under the Gold Goblin

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Starting Day: Moonday, 1st of Calistril, 4709
Current Day: Toilday, 23nd of Calistril, 4709


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Greetings fellow PbPers!

I have recently picked up an abandoned Second Darkness game here on the forums. I am looking to add one more player. The group is currently near the end of Part 2 of Book 1, so about to go into the second half of Book 1. The current group consists of the following:

- Hedran - The no nonsense male half-orc Magus/Ranger
- Nessa - The seductive female tiefling Sorcerer who venerates Calistra
- Sarai - The down on her luck aristocratic female tiefling Rogue/Wizard
- Thrya - The tough female human Inquisitor of Torag, raised by dwarfs

I do have some very specific requirements in terms of the character and since this is for only one spot I also have higher expectations. There is also one caveat to mention from the start. While I am holding this recruitment now it could be a little while before you meet the group in character. As such, you need to be willing to just PbP with the GM solo for a bit through spoilers until it comes time for your characters introduction. Due to the specialized nature of this recruitment people who have already played through Book 1 & 2 may be a better fit than someone who hasn't played it at all. However, if you haven't played it and you are ok with my expectations then by all means feel free to apply. Please read over the expectations before any of the other spoilers!

Expectations:

1) You are an experienced PbPer. Sorry no new PbPers for this one.
2) You can commit to a long-term game, ie no major life changing events on the near horizon that you know will cause major interruptions.
3) You can post, almost always, at least once per weekday and often at least once per weekend. I know things come up, but the norm should be consistently at least once per weekday. If you can post more often, even better.
4) You enjoy roleplay just as much as roll-play!
5) MOST IMPORTANTLY, you are ok with being spoiled on a plot point of the AP and possibly still not being selected. The background options contain spoilers to the AP. Since I am only recruiting one person you need to be ok with being spoiled on some aspects of the AP and possibly not getting selected.

After reading my expectations if you are still interested character creation guidelines are below.

Character Creation Guidelines:

Level: 3rd
Stats: 20 point buy, no stat below 8 before racial modifiers
HP: Max at 1st, roll for other levels
Wealth: 3500 gp
Class: Anything except gunslinger, but party balance is important
Race: You must be an elf or half-elf
Alignment: Any non-evil, preferably something good
Traits: 2 Traits, one must be an elf or half-elf trait (depending on race selected) and one other of your choice. 1 Drawback may be selected to gain a third trait; all traits/drawbacks must be worked into character and will be enforced. Restricted drawbacks: Attached, Envy, Forgetful, Shadow Scarred, Umbral Unmasking, Warded Against Nature.
Misc: Paizo material only, no third party anything (this includes no feat-tax, etc)! No background skills.
Background: This is where things are a little more specific. You have two options as far as a key element of your background. Since there are so many details I’ve separated them into their own spoilers below. Fill in the blanks on the 'before' but you must choose one of the following background concepts.

Background Option 1 (SPOILERS FOR CURRENT PLAYERS, STAY OUT!):
You are a wild elf/(half-elf) of the Ekujae tribe of the distant Mwangi Expanse. You come from a long line of heroes who have served your tribe’s shamans since ancient times, and it was after one of those shamans received a vision of a pair of elves/(an elf and half-elf) holding aloft a single light against the darkness that you left your home with your good friend Kwava to seek your destiny. As a result, you both traveled Golarion for several years, eventually coming to the small town of Crying Leaf at the edge of the Mierani Forest. Here, you first learned of the Shin’Rakorath. After hearing the company’s rhetoric (“to be the light against the coming darkness”), you and Kwava took it as a sign and joined the mercenary company. Your direct superior in the Shin’Rakorath explained that he feared a renegade elf from the Mierani Forest might have fled to the human city of Riddleport, where the renegade might have recruited the aid of one of that city’s crimelords. Your first assignment is to scout out the city of Riddleport and the environs and to determine if any of the city’s crimelords had indeed taken in a mysterious elven ally of late.

Background Option 2 (SPOILERS FOR CURRENT PLAYERS, STAY OUT!):

#NOTE If you choose Option 1 I expect you will keep in mind that your character doesn't know these details!

After thousands of years, the elves returned to Golarion to find a world long-since recovered from the devastation of Earthfall. Humanity had become the dominant people of the world, and while their ways were often warlike, they
had, for the most part, become a peaceful and civilized people. Yet the first elves to return to Golarion were initially more concerned for those they left behind. As the elves spread out again through the world, reactivating lost elf gates and reclaiming ancient homes, they came at last to Celwynvian and were surprised to find evidence that their kinfolk had retreated beneath the ground with the city’s heirlooms and storehouses of knowledge. Scouts were sent into the Darklands to seek traces of these lost elves, and when they did not return, an army was sent. It was then that the elves first met the drow, and that first meeting was one of blood and ruin, for the elves were not prepared. The drow had grown in power and evil, spreading like a foul infection through the middle realm of the Darklands, and when they encountered their kindly cousins, their reaction was swift and brutal.

Thus began a bloody secret war between the elves and drow. The elves were desperate to keep the secret of their fallen race from the rest of the world, while the drow themselves now had a renewed interest in the surface world. Eventually, the elves were forced to retreat to the surface, where the light of the sun returned their advantage, for the drow were blinded by its brilliance and many of their most powerful weapons and armor swiftly decayed under its light. Celwynvian became a no-man’s land, an endless battleground between the elves and drow as each struggled to control the other, yet each being unable to fully claim the ruin as their own.

The elves of Golarion are desperate to keep their secret shame safe from the other races of Golarion at all costs, especially the worst secret of all: for once contact with the drow had been established, their taint seemed to spread through the elven people like a contagion. At first, the spontaneous transformation into drow among the elves was thought to be a drow weapon, yet investigation soon revealed the awful truth. Something had changed during Earthfall, and now, under the right conditions, any elf with enough cruelty and wrath hidden in her soul runs the risk of spontaneously transforming into a drow. Such spontaneous transformations thankfully remained rare, yet the elves were at a loss to predict when they would occur. Certainly, there were plenty of evil and cruel elves in the world who remained untransformed. Until the elves discovered a way to accurately predict the elements that would trigger such a transformation, they kept watch. Policing drow upon the surface world fell to a group of hunters called the Shin’Rakorath (elven for “Lantern Bearers”), elven rangers and arcanists who dedicated their lives to tracking down and eliminating drow as they appeared. To date, the Shin’Rakorath have been quite successful at handling drow—rumors of the dark-skinned and evil elves remain just rumors due to their actions, and most of Golarion’s surface-dwelling races think of the drow as little more than myths and nightmares.

Yet the drow are on the rise. Spontaneous transformation is increasing, but worse, the established drow of the Darklands are growing more bold. In places like the Worldwound, remote parts of Sargava, and particularly Celwynvian, the drow are pushing stronger than ever into the surface world. Recently an experienced elven ranger, Kwava has joined the ranks of the Shin’Rakorath. Being a new recruit yourself, you have been assigned to assist/keep an eye on Kwava for his first mission. Your direct superior in the Shin’Rakorath explained that he feared a renegade elf from the Mierani Forest might have fled to the human city of Riddleport, where the renegade might have recruited the aid of one of that city’s crimelords. You must scout out the city of Riddleport and the environs to determine if any of the city’s crimelords had indeed taken in a mysterious elven ally of late. What the Shin’Rakorath
leaders fear and have told you but didn’t tell Kwava is that this “renegade” is may in fact be a drow—they hope that their fears are unfounded.

Please, if you want to ask questions about background stuff either spoiler it to me or send me a PM. I'm doing my best to avoid potential spoilers for anyone who doesn't want to see them.

I will leave recruitment for this one open for a bit until March 21st. Of course, if I get a lot of applicants up front, or a few and things slow down, or if the game advances and I need to get someone in quicker I may close recruitment early. I look forward to what you have to offer!


just in case:
I stopped after reading option one. I actually have a Mwangi half-elf char that I really want to play. It's this guy actually (needs some adjustment, of course).
He's a wis-based Oradin, I believe the party could really need a dedicated healer.


I've played through this part of the AP before, if that's alright. I think I'd like to apply with an elven character from Background Option 1.

It looks like the team needs a healer of some sort, yes?


Yes some healing help wouldn't be a bad idea. Playing through this part is not a problem.


Alright--thinking of rolling up an Ekujae elf warpriest. Do you happen to know what sorts of gods the Ekujae worship?


Probably mostly Gozreh and the Green Faith.


Actually, now that I think about it, I think I'll roll up a druid instead. I've got a character in mind. :)


Yet another GM Dak recruitment thread?

Why yes, I am in fact interested in getting into another one of your games, thank you for asking ;)

I will also be submitting a healer. A proactive healer. By which I mean a fighter. *chuckles at inferior divine casters*

But in all seriousness I've got a strong idea for a half-elf fighter who focuses on ranged DPS. A very classic build for a very classic module, and I don't get to enjoy the simple brutality of the fighter class as much as I would like to. Details to come.

P.S. Would you be alright with me using ancestral arms to pick up proficiency in the orc hornbow? I would want to flavor it as something of elven make (although still a greatbow made from horn), but I know that some consider it cheesy for any race but orcs/half-orcs to use that weapon.


Fun fact: Did you realize the archer archetype is just worse than going straight fighter? Neat.

Also I see we are rolling for HP. How risky.

HP: 2d10 ⇒ (4, 8) = 12

Slightly above average. Nothing to complain about there.

I'm getting off the boards for the day, I have most of the concept together but still need to write the backstory. Definitely going with background option 1. I don't get to play the "wild elf" flavor of elves very often so it will be a fun divergence for me.


No issue alternate racial traits.


Aww man, i was going to offer up a half-elf fighter and choose option 2. I dont have any exp with playing in the second darkness campaign, hence why playing at option 2 for me would work best. But since someone claimed the fighter spot....hmmmm....i could play an elven barbarian.


HP: 2d8 ⇒ (5, 6) = 11

So, 6 and 7 HP gained. I'll take it.


Note, Dak is not recruiting two characters, only 1.

Build the character you want to play (that meets his conditions). Either you'll beat the odds or you won't.

I'm enjoying my game with Dak, but I've got some things coming up this year that WILL mean I am on a BSA campground for a full month! I've been told the WiFi is brilliant on the facility in question, but I'll also be working my butt off the entire time, and I don't know how much time I will able to reasonably dedicate to keeping my part in my games going.

Makes it hard to justify applying. Even to myself.


After some further consideration I won't be applying after all. Just not really getting struck with inspiration for this one. Hope the game goes well!


@RIZZENMAGNUS As hustonj noted, I am only looking to fill one spot. Also, as he noted apply with what you would want to play.


So, thus far we have:

Ellioti - Oracle/Inquisitor that would need to be leveled up
Dragoncat - Druid?
Valjoen_KC - Oracle (via PM thus far)
Rizzenmagnus - Fighter?


GM Dak wrote:

So, thus far we have:

Ellioti - Oracle/Inquisitor that would need to be leveled up

it's actually a paladin/inquisitor. How much detail do you need for the crunch? because I applied in your other recruitment, too, and the rules are a little different.


How about a half elf Occultist.
With Option 1:
He can heal, he can fight, he can have a pet, so he is extremly flexible.


@Haji My mistake. Well, if you want to apply for both the only real difference is that this one has high stat distribution and the other one has 1 extra trait. So maybe build/level it with the lower stat distribution and the extra trait and just let me know what adjustments you would make (ie how you would raise the stats and which trait you would get rid of) to adjust for the other game.

@Ephiril Not opposed to an Occultist, but I haven't played with them much so be prepared for questions if they come up :D


@GM Dak I am more than happy to answer all your questions. Although I hate to admit, I have not had sooo much experience in higher levels. In lower levels they are loads of fun!


I would like to submit this character (crunch done, still need to write her backstory), using Option 1 for background.

She's well-intentioned but naive (and a little gullible), talkative, easily distracted, and with a very special interest in frogs.

I haven't played any part of Second Darkness, but I can read up on the gameplay thread and catch up that way.


Since my post apparently didn't make it last night let's have another go!

I've got an idea for an investigator elf using option 2, basically a xenobiologist/doctor who specialises in the physicality of the the elf-drow transformation. Will happily use alchemy for cures etc as needed. Think House, but without the dodgy leg and probably even less of a bedside manner!

I'll work on crunch this morning when I get a chance. I've not played Second Darkness but I'm familiar with the AP, just not from first hand experience! :)


I’m afraid I’m going to have to withdraw. Got too much on my plate for now.


ready for submission

Adjustments to this campaign:

Things I will change: up CHA and WIS by 1, make the bow mw, take the second set of traits in the profile.

add this to the background story:
Because he had nowhere else to go, he went back home to his father's Ekujae tribe. He was not welcomed very much, but the story of his father's demise somewhat joined them together. While he was tolerated to stay, he befriended an elf named Kwava who was less xenophobic than the rest. After a few months, the shamans had a vision and set them both out to seek their destiny. Together they traveled Golarion for several years, eventually coming to the small town of Crying Leaf at the edge of the Mierani Forest. Here, they first learned of the Shin’Rakorath. After hearing the company’s rhetoric (“to be the light against the coming darkness”), Haji and Kwava took it as a sign and joined the mercenary company. Their direct superior in the Shin’Rakorath explained that he feared a renegade elf from the Mierani Forest might have fled to the human city of Riddleport, where the renegade might have recruited the aid of one of that city’s crimelords. So their first assignment is to scout out the city of Riddleport and the environs and to determine if any of the city’s crimelords had indeed taken in a mysterious elven ally of late.

Liberty's Edge

Looking to submit a half-elf monk/ninja. The monk will be a Zen Archer and no archetype for the ninja. I might look to get him into the Arcane Archer Prestige class, but not too sure right now.

Roll 2nd level HP: 1d8 ⇒ 3
Roll 3rd level HP: 1d8 ⇒ 7

Also I will be looking at taking the Second Background, so will make my history match that...crunch and fluff will be coming soon.


Still working up her backstory and need to finish her equipment, but this is Alderin Érgwÿnn, Oracle of Ketephys.


Some Hp rolls...

HP: 2d8 ⇒ (1, 8) = 9 Extreme - but in a reasonable way.


I have updated the character.
I have chosen to add the conjuration implent to work as a backup healer. But I can easely change that to abjuration or necromancy.


Wrote up Deli's background.

If more frontline power is required, I can restat them to be Str-based instead of Dex, and then I would also change their curse to Clouded Vision instead of Lame.

Also rolling for HP. 2d8 ⇒ (6, 5) = 11


Forgot to roll for HP
HP: 2d8 ⇒ (5, 6) = 11


Updating the list to just include those of you who have actually submitted something so far:

Ellioti - Paladin/Inquisitor
Kittenmancer - Paladin/Oracle
Helikon - Occultist
Valjoen_KC - Oracle

No major issues at first glance so far.


Totally missed that we're rolling for levels 2-3. My bad.

2d8 ⇒ (6, 7) = 13 Nice!


Wait is that Nessa Meertrix? I might be interested in reprising my old Cleric that was running though this AP. We got towards the end of book 1 and was enjoying the RP but unfortunately the game died.

I'll rebuild Cameron according to the rules and of course a new background.


HP: 2d8 ⇒ (7, 7) = 14 Nice!


I see you're giving until the 21st! That's good, I'll probably need some time to make something good. I'll give the game thread and your players' characters a read to see what might fit - it looks to me like your team needs either a dedicated skill character or a dedicated martial - perhaps both.

I will probably choose Option One, that seems like it'll fit with my ideas better.

I will be back tomorrow with some actual detail, and what will likely be lots of questions!


I'm back with the a starter-kit concept for you to criticize.

Ingwë
Male Ekujae elf spiritualist (phantom blade) 3
Str 8, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 8

Ingwë was one of several warrior-apprentices of the Ekujae elf shamans in his tribe. Every high shaman trains several apprentices at once, and when any apprentice graduates to being a full member of the tribe, they are rewarded in a ceremony with a guiding spirit of a past shaman. Ingwë excelled during training, and so when his High Shaman received a guiding vision and knew that someone needed to answer it, Ingwë was one of two who was chosen to be sent abroad in pursuit. He was given the shaman-spirit of one of the most warlike and powerful former shamans, which guides him in battle.

(Basically, I'm making some cultural assumptions about the Ekujae elves. Ingwë is guided in battle by an intelligent spirit of a passed-on former shaman from the distant past. My thought is that the shamans pass on the spirits inside their own bodies and bequeath them as is useful to people. Ingwë's powers come from his guiding shaman spirit, which takes the form of a weapon and allows him to fight like a monk and cast spells. This is also just an outline, I will provide more detail later. Please let me know of your thoughts.)


Hey leinathan - I am one of the players.

Dropping by to say I'm not sure exactly how a Phantom Blade plays out, but we do already have a Magus in the group - just to let you know ;)

As for the others, and for me as a player, besides crunch and background, I am mostly curious regarding how your character will play/interact with others, whether NPCs or players, in and out of combat - if you guys could add a couple details to your applications regarding that, it would be cool.


Hedran wrote:
As for the others, and for me as a player, besides crunch and background, I am mostly curious regarding how your character will play/interact with others, whether NPCs or players, in and out of combat - if you guys could add a couple details to your applications regarding that, it would be cool.

Good point!

Deli is curious about anything and anyone, and often doesn't have the sense to know when to stop asking questions. At first they will be very reluctant to fight sentient humanoids, unless really there is no other way and/or they threaten Deli's friends. They are very eager to please, so once part of the group they'll jump at any opportunity to contribute. Deli really assumes the best about everyone and tend to take things rather literally, so they are easily duped and confused by figures of speech. Their quest is extremely important to them, and they will pursue it to the utmost extent of their abilities.

Mechanically, Deli will do their best to buff the party and keep everyone alive while providing ranged damage (or being a frontliner, if that is needed more, then I can easily restat them).


I've rebuilt Cameron according to the rules and adjusted his background (conforms to #1). I had to drop the card sharp theme, it doesn't really fit anymore (also don't have the skill points). Combat wise I'm going for the reach cleric thing, so standard action buffs and fishing for AOOs to do damage.

To get an idea how he might interact with NPCs and players I found a couple of posts you might like: 1 & 2.


Hmm... I have an idea for an Occultist, since the party could probably stand to have someone else patching people up. I'm thinking option 2, being some kind of medic. Everyone needs a friendly field doc.

Would a straight caster (IE a Silksworn) work better for the group or would a more capable combatant (vanilla Occultist makes a great Archer!) work best?


Thank you for the added details Deliwe and Cameron - for me, those help envisioning the character in the group. Sometimes I feel the crunch and background are not enough (please keep in mind I am not the GM).

@Josh.Ingle - I am not very familiar with Occult classes, though from what I have seen, they appear to be extremely versatile, which in my book is great. Just remember we already have two Int based casters in our group, and a full fledged Sorcerer.


Well, the reason I'd want to go Occultist is the int focus giving me more skill points, and gelling well with Focused Shot and, eventually, Kirin Strike. Instead of the (admittedly optimal) machine gun Archer I'd like to be an int-focused one with a lot of capacity to ID creatures and exploit weaknesses, and Occultist lets me do that as well as pick up some healing spells and useful focus powers. The group looks a tad light on healing magic; Inquisitors are casters with access to healing spells, but they're also usually in melee, which... well, they're one of the people who usually need the heals.

Plus, I like the idea of focusing on clever tricks and lower levels of straight magic. It's fun.


Understood Josh - believe me versatile characters are my definite preference. And I do believe we could maybe use a character along those lines (am I correct in assuming the Occultist you are thinking about plays kinda like a Bard?).

It was only a friendly reminder regarding too much stat overlapping ;)


Well I already applied with an occultist, more melee focused, but second line. And also decent diplomancer. Nothing to steal the spotlight, more to support the others and being able to distribute the pressure.


True Ephiril, and in that case I would extend my opinion regarding stat overlapping to your character also.

Please keep in mind this is only the opinion of a player, and not at all any deciding factor - those are up to GM Dak ;)


Yes it is me Cameron!

The mesmerist plays more like a bard I think that the occultist, though I have no experience with the occultist so I don't know what it feels like. Maybe more of a rogue?


Hedran wrote:

True Ephiril, and in that case I would extend my opinion regarding stat overlapping to your character also.

Please keep in mind this is only the opinion of a player, and not at all any deciding factor - those are up to GM Dak ;)

I also admit that the silksworn offers more flexibility, but far less combat ability. And they look way sexier most of the times!


Occultist plays like a Rogue with magic instead of Sneak Attack would play, IMO. It's not a perfect comparison, but it's pretty close.

Then again, there's an awful lot of INT in the party, maybe something else could work better. It's just that, being an elf, INT focus really stands out. I could do half-elf, but I usually prefer to not multiclass if I can help it and that's what they're best at.


Updating the list once again

Haji - Paladin/Inquisitor
Deliwe - Paladin/Oracle
Ephiril - Occultist
Adelrin - Oracle
Cameron - Cleric
Ingwe - Spiritualist

We've got a little more than a week. I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. Will do a full review of characters after the submission deadline has closed.

Dark Archive

I'm in this group and am playing an Arcane Trickster. I'll have most of the rogue/skills bases covered.

A full divine caster is ideal, as well as another body to keep the two squishier characters alive.

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