GM Roycilo's D&D Tropes and Clichés Game

Game Master Roycilo

A mysterious vision leads a group of strangers on a quest fraught with danger, and filled with classic adventuring clichés.

Link to the Map of Althamar


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Dungeons and Dragons has always been filled with iconic monsters and traps, and has spawned several tropes accordingly over the decades. Yet, many players haven’t fought a dragon. Or a Mind Flayer. Or even just goblins/hobgoblins/bugbears. Pathfinder has continued this tradition of excellence in gaming, and people have developed more clichés as they play.

I have a homebrewed campaign setting built around this idea that I’ve used successfully for several tabletop games. It is filled with iconic encounters, like rescuing a princess from a tower, fighting a red dragon to loot it’s treasure hoard, or protecting a village from bandits. I’m looking to bring it to the Paizo forums.

This game will be in a world that isn’t dissimilar to the way many people fondly remember their first adventures: Through Rose-Colored Glasses of Nostalgia and Fond Remembrance…tempered by lots and lots of TV and Internet Tropes. Players would assume the role of classic heroes, intentionally playing on fantasy clichés to really play up the setting. Previous F2F characters include the farmboy who picked up a magic sword and found out he is the long-lost prince of the kingdom. The virginal priestess who rode a unicorn. The halfling rogue who was something of a klepto, but with a heart of gold. The bard who died. A LOT. (That was the same month the Gamers: Dorkness Rising movie came out, with the pile of bards, so it has really stuck with my gaming group, having been solidified in a way we would have never imagined!) Additionally, every time I run this setting, the party goes through a classic adventure module as part of the main questline. Previous modules include the Tomb of Horrors, Expedition to Barrier Peaks, and even a brief foray into Ravenloft.

Would you like to come on this journey with me?

It will be Pathfinder rules; probably Roll20. Play-by-Post, with the expectation of at least one post a day. I would prefer more, but one will be the minimum standard.

While the premise does lend to some light-hearted moments, and occasional silliness, this will be a full-blown Pathfinder game. Be sure to make fun cliché characters, but nothing that would detract too much either.

Setting:

Spoiler:

Althamar
Althamar is a largely agrarian nation, ran by a family of Paladin-Kings. The Royal Bloodline is rich with Sorcerous power, and as such the threat of action by the King and his family is often enough to stay the hand of any would-be aggressor. Althamar’s population is approximated at two hundred twenty nine thousand people. About a third of the country’s population live away from towns or villages, and instead form a series of homestead communities with their closest neighbors. Often you will see four homes built very close together, forming a sort of square pattern, not unlike the Microsoft symbol. These families look out for one another, and foster a sense of community in their little neck of the woods. It is estimated that over 90% of the country’s population work in the farming industry, in one capacity or another. Halflings are by and large the most common non-human race in Althamarian cities, though they are actually third, not second, in population size. Althamar is unique in that it has several “kingdoms” within it’s borders: the Elven Kingdom in the eastern forests, the Sea Elves in the inland sea, and the dwarven kingdom in the northern mountains.
Althamarian Geography
Althamar is surrounded by mountains on about three sides, with coastal access in the southwest. Picture the country as a vast, flat plain of preternaturally-rich soil. The occasionally rivers and streams run all throughout the kingdom, and it has a large salt-water inland sea dominating the northwestern quadrant of the kingdom. Forests line the east and west foothills, with the forest on the eastern side being much larger.

Character Creation Rules:

Level: Characters will start at 1st level.

Stats: 25 Point Buy. No ability scores below 8.

Races: All Paizo races are allowed within reason. That said, the core races are a bit more “classic”, and will likely have an easier time getting in. You’ll notice that the primary kingdom is very human-heavy, as it is the “Old Standard”, and as such if you aren’t a core race, you are very likely from another kingdom. Which is fine; just understand you may have less of a motivation to help the country in it’s hour of need. So be sure to work that into your backstory.

Classes: Any Paizo class is allowed, excluding Gunslinger, since the tech level just isn’t there. Alchemist is allowed, but needs to have a more high-fantasy feel. This including prestige classes at higher levels; just run them by me first. Archetypes will all be permitted unless something really crazy comes up. No 3rd party material, and no early-entry shenanigans. The Varient Multiclassing system in Unchained is permitted.

Alignment: Anything non-evil is allowed. Good characters are more “classic heroes”, and much like the core races, will also likely have an easier time getting in.

Deities: Standard Pathfinder Pantheon.

Skills: In addition to your normal skills, I am using the Background Skills from Unchained. They can be found on the PFSRD for anyone without the book. These should be relevant to your back story. I will be giving an extra skill point per level, that must be spent on Appraise, a Craft, or a Profession skill. Three extra total. You’ll notice the heroes are often the best at what they do, even though you rarely see them ever practice. This is a fun way to acknowledge that, while making a roleplay skill easy to stay relevant. I’m also not of those GMs that punishes a group for not having a trapbreaker, or constantly screws people over for a lack of Perception or Sense Motive. Take those skills if you think your character would have them; don’t worry if you don’t.

Traits: You may select two traits. Campaign traits from APs may be allowed, but I reserve the right to approve or deny them on a case-by-case basis. Please no drawbacks.

Wealth: Max for your class.

Hit Points: Max hit points at each level.


... Sure we can't do level 2 start?

Also, can I request 1 3PP feat that is perfect for my character?

Silver Crusade

Will we be allowed to take the "Additional Traits" Feat?


Story-wise, I need a bunch of nobodys just living their lives.

Hence the level 1 start.

PM me the feat. I'm hesitant to use 3rdpp, but that is largely due to not being familiar with it. I'll look it over.

Additional Traits is fine, just stick with the "No More Than One of Each Type Rule".

Silver Crusade

It's not a 3PP it's in the Advanced Players Guide

EDIT: Ninja'd by the DM

Double EDIT: Oops


I was asking Fury of the Tempest to PM me the feat that is 3PP. Unless Additional Traits IS that feat.


Sent the feat as a PM. I think it will fit the character AMAZINGLY well. It just... fits the cliche so well.


I might like to play an Elven fighter/mage, come from the Eastern Forest to... Trade? Swap magical secrets with the local mages? Chase a white stag/badger? Will have a think. Interested, anyway :)


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Limeylongears wrote:
I might like to play an Elven fighter/mage, come from the Eastern Forest to... Trade? Swap magical secrets with the local mages? Chase a white stag/badger? Will have a think. Interested, anyway :)

If you are thinking a fighter/mage, Althamar has a terrific warmage academy in the north. It is a likely target for that kind of a character.


Maybe the gruff dwarven cleric or maybe fighter/cleric.


This tempts me...


I realized I didn't put an end date to the recruitment. I will let it got for a while, and will probably close recruitment around the 25th. I may even extend it, due to the American Thanksgiving and Black Friday busy season being right then.

That said, if we get a lot of candidates, it may close sooner. Take your time and make a quality submission. A well thought-out background will go far in the selection process.

For now:

Tentatively, the close date for recruitment is the 25th of November.


Edmund Human Paladin of Erastil

Edmund has grown up indoctrinated into the church of Erastil, devoting his life to the service of his god. As an infant Edmund was left on the steps of the church, his mother leaving a short note saying that she loved him very much but couldn’t condemn him to a life of misery as his father abandoned them as soon as she announced her pregnancy and she had no way to provide for an infant.

His childhood was filled with prayer and devotion to the church, providing for the poor and lending a hand to services wherever he could. In Edmunds off hours he often devoted himself to exercise and the pathetic attempt at weapon training with sticks of various sizes. One day after a particularly laughable training session during his fiftieth year Edmund was approached by Sean a local paladin who had heard of Edmunds situation and offered to teach him how to use a real weapon.

After training with Sean informally to the age of seventeen Edmund was accepted as a paladin’s apprentice to Jamil another brother of the order for further training. For eight years Edmund served under Jamil, and learned the path of righteousness until he was given his commission and status as a Paladin of Erastil and sent out to spread the word through honorable deeds and good works.

I created my character with PCGen and copied the primary statistics to mythweavers.

Mythweavers Sheet


Could we take an additional perform instead of profession. I was thinking profession singing or chanting since Edmund was brought up in the church.


Dojen wrote:
Could we take an additional perform instead of profession. I was thinking profession singing or chanting since Edmund was brought up in the church.

You know, I don't see why not. That's a fine idea. Go right ahead.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

Probably an ideal game for this: The Adequate Commoner.


I'll go ahead and dot in with my character alias, though I'll be working on her profile over the next few days.

Emily is an academic type who's channeled her natural cleverness and curiosity into an impressive array of knowledge - but tends to be too much inside her head to do something silly like use that knowledge to perform well in her studies or get ahead in a career. For years, she's gotten by as a guard at a repository of arcane artifacts, developing a talent for divination magics in the process.

Dreamy and introverted, she's spent little time in the "real world", and as such is easy to catch off guard. She's definitely not a social butterfly, and doesn't read people well, but she's good at heart and always means the best, even if she's not good at getting that across. Good conversation is actually one of her greatest delights, although her attention can wander when the topic doesn't excite her. Her closest companion is her pet cat Hera - after all, cats always live in a state of vague offense at the world, and it's not like social awkwardness offends them more.

Mechanically, she'll be an arcanist with School Understanding: Divination (Scryer), focusing on support and battlefield control, with a cat familiar. I'm considering taking VMC: Bard or Oracle as well, but I'm undecided.


Question: I'm considering the School Savant archetype to take the divination (scryer) school, but I'd also been planning to take Extra Arcanist Exploit as a first level feat to get my familiar. With the archetype, I trade away my first and third level exploits, which means I technically don't have the arcane exploit class feature until fifth level, at least according to interpretations I've heard from others before. Is there a chance I could talk you into letting me take Extra Arcanist Exploit anyway, or a chance you don't share that interpretation? If not, it's just fine, but I figured I'd ask.


Would you allow my drow to take the Hateful Rager archetype? It works really well for what I'm up to, but it's normally restricted to half-orcs.

Alkathel
Male CG Drow Barbarian [Hateful Rager] 1
Init +5
AC 16, FF 13, T 13
Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +1
HP: 14
Speed: 40ft
Scimitar +4, 1d6+4
Shortbow +4, 1d6
Class Features: Rage 11rds/d, Fast Movement.
Feat: Extra Rage, Nimble Moves.
Traits: Reactionary, Silent Hunter.
Racial Traits: Ancestral Grudge, Darkvision 120ft, Drow Immunities, Keen Senses, Light Blindness, Spell Resistance 7, Stalker, Weapon Familiarity.
Skills: Acrobatics +6, Stealth +7, Perception +7, Survival +5
Gear: Studded Leather, Scimitar, Chakram*6, 18pp, 4gp.


Emily Dunn wrote:
Question: I'm considering the School Savant archetype to take the divination (scryer) school, but I'd also been planning to take Extra Arcanist Exploit as a first level feat to get my familiar. With the archetype, I trade away my first and third level exploits, which means I technically don't have the arcane exploit class feature until fifth level, at least according to interpretations I've heard from others before. Is there a chance I could talk you into letting me take Extra Arcanist Exploit anyway, or a chance you don't share that interpretation? If not, it's just fine, but I figured I'd ask.

Normally I would say no, but to get a familiar, which fits the classic arcane caster feel, I'll allow it.

GM Runescarred Dragon wrote:
Would you allow my drow to take the Hateful Rager archetype? It works really well for what I'm up to, but it's normally restricted to half-orcs.

That is in no way a crazy powerful archetype, and it fits well. Sure, go ahead. Racial archetypes often aren't actually tied to that race anyway.


GM Roycilo wrote:
Emily Dunn wrote:
Question: I'm considering the School Savant archetype to take the divination (scryer) school, but I'd also been planning to take Extra Arcanist Exploit as a first level feat to get my familiar. With the archetype, I trade away my first and third level exploits, which means I technically don't have the arcane exploit class feature until fifth level, at least according to interpretations I've heard from others before. Is there a chance I could talk you into letting me take Extra Arcanist Exploit anyway, or a chance you don't share that interpretation? If not, it's just fine, but I figured I'd ask.
Normally I would say no, but to get a familiar, which fits the classic arcane caster feel, I'll allow it.

And the introverted cat-lady feel. :) It basically means I'll be playing a wizard, except that I really don't like ordinary prepared casting.


Emily Dunn wrote:
GM Roycilo wrote:
Emily Dunn wrote:
Question: I'm considering the School Savant archetype to take the divination (scryer) school, but I'd also been planning to take Extra Arcanist Exploit as a first level feat to get my familiar. With the archetype, I trade away my first and third level exploits, which means I technically don't have the arcane exploit class feature until fifth level, at least according to interpretations I've heard from others before. Is there a chance I could talk you into letting me take Extra Arcanist Exploit anyway, or a chance you don't share that interpretation? If not, it's just fine, but I figured I'd ask.
Normally I would say no, but to get a familiar, which fits the classic arcane caster feel, I'll allow it.

And the introverted cat-lady feel. :) It basically means I'll be playing a wizard, except that I really don't like ordinary prepared casting.

Personally I find spontaneous casters both easier to GM, and more fun to play myself.

Which, not to worry, has zero influence on the selection process. Just something I've noticed in my time. Prepared casters are a TON easier to GM on a PbP.

Silver Crusade

Under Construction


I think I'll probably put together some kind of standard halfling rogue for this. Or else something along those lines.

Edit: Perhaps I'll go investigator and stress the rogue side of things to add a bit of spice to it. Investigator fits well enough into the "curious and adventurous" halfling trope, anyway. And I quite honestly am not super fond of the actual rogue mechanically. ;)


I plan on submitting the painfully curious bumbling halfling who seems too lost in his curiosity and ineptitude to be effective in combat, yet somehow manages to press the right button or hit the right spot to cause some sort of damage or catastrophic effect.
I'm thinking some sort of investigator, and then maybe going down the halfling opportunist prestige eventually. It may be a hard concept to translate on PbP, but I think it would be fun.

And to not steal your thunder, ImperialSunlight, I say the two halflings team together (if they both are selected). It'll be like a constant straight man, funny man routine.


GM, by "No ability scores below 8", do you mean before or after racial mods?

Echos Myron wrote:
And to not steal your thunder, ImperialSunlight, I say the two halflings team together (if they both are selected). It'll be like a constant straight man, funny man routine.

No problem, I'm always game for a bit of competition. And yeah, if we're both selected, we could team together. It'd probably make sense if a couple of halfling rogue types knew and/or worked together in the past. And my character would indeed probably be the more serious type, so it'd likely be a fun dynamic.


ImperialSunlight wrote:
GM, by "No ability scores below 8", do you mean before or after racial mods?

I meant before racial adjustments, but I would prefer nothing below 8 after racial adjustments.


Halfling Monk, Drunken Style?


What about the small paladin who laughs at the bigger races for judging him based on his size?


Some great ideas so far.

Keep them coming!


ImperialSunlight's character here. He seems to think I'm done.

Oh. I seem to have turned out to be a slayer. Funny thing, that. Wasn't what I originally was. But that'll happen. You never know what you'll end up becoming after a bit of time.


Update: story and description are mostly done. I'll be working now on mechanics. I am planning on going School Savant, since I'll still be able to start with a familiar thanks to your kind fiat. :)

Another update: mechanics are now pretty much done. Pretty much all that's left is me spending money. I'm assuming the usual basic traveling gear?

Silver Crusade

Alrighty, I believe I am done. I went with a slight variation on a classic D&D trope.


Dotting. Sounds like a great time.


Emily Dunn wrote:

Update: story and description are mostly done. I'll be working now on mechanics. I am planning on going School Savant, since I'll still be able to start with a familiar thanks to your kind fiat. :)

Another update: mechanics are now pretty much done. Pretty much all that's left is me spending money. I'm assuming the usual basic traveling gear?

Well, you DO get max for your class, so I highly encourage you to buy some adventuring gear. I'm not a huge stickler for making sure you have everything on your sheet, but even so, having a few basic essentials will certainly help.


i usually get a good number of items from kit (class). It has a good selection of items, though I drop food prep items off this list as they are rarely used.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateEquipment/gear/adventuringGear.h tml

search the page for kit and look for your class or a similar class.


How about these, updated to Pathfinder rule?

Dojen wrote:

i usually get a good number of items from kit (class). It has a good selection of items, though I drop food prep items off this list as they are rarely used.

Adventuring Gear.

search the page for kit and look for your class or a similar class.

Fixed your link.


Oh yeah, I'm familiar with the kits - that's exactly what I was talking about getting. I was mostly checking on whether there was some particular circumstance the characters would reasonably know about going in that would necessitate anything unusual.


All done except for one thing - crafting feats, yes or no? I took Scribe Scroll in keeping with the stereotypical wizard feel, and I was wondering if having it would mean I could have a scroll or two scribed at half price already, or if all such half-price crafting would have to take place during gameplay. Whichever you prefer is totally fine. (I'm leaning toward at least Craft Wondrous Items later in the game as well.)


I'm not familiar with the custom classes, but if you want to put one together, I'll take a look.

Pre-crafting of items, through the craft skill, or Scribe Scroll, is fine. Just pay the standard crafting costs.

As for anything sinister or bizarre in the world, not really. Everything is always happy and peaceful in Althamar.

For now.


Alright, you hooked me. I have a couple of ideas I could throw at this.

One would be a Fighter who grew up in her Father's shadow, and has a bit of an inferiority complex as a result. She would be a Two-Handed Fighter or Titan Mauler out of her desire to separate herself from her Father, who was about as cliche a Sword and Board Fighter as you could get. She could also theoretically be a Paladin / Antipaladin depending on how you view alignments, since her conviction to make a name for herself would be powerful enough to commit to such things.

She's based on a few tropes, mostly her goal to avert the classic Hero that her Father ended up becoming, which may ironically involve her becoming one herself.

The other choice is a former Wizard in training who was always viewed as the runt of the family due to being short for his age, and being quite inept with traditional prepared magic. Through misfiled parchment when signing up for an auction at a marketplace, he found himself taking the path of the Summoner when circumstances bound to him a fire spirit / succubus (whichever is more flavorful). So he, as a good person, needs to balance this evil voice always subtly tugging at him.

He's a magic user who, in a weird and unintentional way, has made his own Deal With The Devil. Both he, and the Demon, are keen on figuring out how to separate themselves.

Which do you think would work better?


BigBenClockTower wrote:

Alright, you hooked me. I have a couple of ideas I could throw at this.

One would be a Fighter who grew up in her Father's shadow, and has a bit of an inferiority complex as a result. She would be a Two-Handed Fighter or Titan Mauler out of her desire to separate herself from her Father, who was about as cliche a Sword and Board Fighter as you could get. She could also theoretically be a Paladin / Antipaladin depending on how you view alignments, since her conviction to make a name for herself would be powerful enough to commit to such things.

She's based on a few tropes, mostly her goal to avert the classic Hero that her Father ended up becoming, which may ironically involve her becoming one herself.

The other choice is a former Wizard in training who was always viewed as the runt of the family due to being short for his age, and being quite inept with traditional prepared magic. Through misfiled parchment when signing up for an auction at a marketplace, he found himself taking the path of the Summoner when circumstances bound to him a fire spirit / succubus (whichever is more flavorful). So he, as a good person, needs to balance this evil voice always subtly tugging at him.

He's a magic user who, in a weird and unintentional way, has made his own Deal With The Devil. Both he, and the Demon, are keen on figuring out how to separate themselves.

Which do you think would work better?

That's actually a tough question.

On the one hand, paladins are all over, so having a paladin would certainly fit the world quite well.

On the other hand, I think there is a lot of roleplaying capacity between the Summoner/Eidolon, especially if you make a separate alias for posting purposes.

Both are solid options. Personally, I would combine them, and have a the Summoner have been an inept caster trying to separate themselves from Dear Old Dad.

Whatever works for you is good, and whichever backstory is more complete would be better.


Dot. This is right up my alley.


Would you be all right with me creating and submitting another character? I'm noticing a lack of divine casters at the moment and have a couple ideas, but I don't want to hog the spotlight.


Count me in on this. I plan on making a classic elf witch (herb witch archetype) with a white owl familiar, the very good witch that is shunned her community for her habits, so she goes and adventures. She heals everyone, keeps the community disease free for years, and no one said a word of thanks in thirty years.

I plan on building up the aspects of the witch, she will cackle, and evil eye, and tote around a cauldron. What makes her different? She is a LG witch.

Plan to start with extra hex feat and healing hex. She likes to help people. If allowed, I will pick cauldron at first level (archetype says you get it at second level mandatory, instead I would choose another). Evil eye at second, cackle at third with feat extra hex.

I may never take the sleep hex, as I consider it broken.


Emily Dunn wrote:
Would you be all right with me creating and submitting another character? I'm noticing a lack of divine casters at the moment and have a couple ideas, but I don't want to hog the spotlight.

I don't currently have 30+ applicants like poor Faceless GM does over on his Apocalypse recruitment page, so go ahead.

I would like to limit applicants to no more than two submissions each.

That should help keep me sane.

GM Tribute, I'd really rather not start mucking around with archetypes. If I let you move one thing, then it will open the door, so to speak. That said, I am ok with you "starting" with it in terms of buying a cauldron and simply say she's been making the potions and whatnot all along.


I guess the archetype says your second level hex is cauldron--no choice. If you already picked up cauldron (a valid level 1 selection) would you retrain the hex? Or just pick another?


Meet the mightiest champion the world has ever seen! Draxwile, a kobold playing the typical paladin who laughs at the bigger races who assume he is too small to use a sword properly and faces evil much larger than him fearlessly... and possibly stupidly!

"You bigger races are so silly - what matters is how you use the sword, not who wields it!"


GM Tribute wrote:

I guess the archetype says your second level hex is cauldron--no choice. If you already picked up cauldron (a valid level 1 selection) would you retrain the hex? Or just pick another?

That is a good point. I suppose it would give it to you a second time. Which is ridiculous, and redundant. So you'd just retrain the first level hex. That seems fair.


I was in on his Reign of Winter recruitment - it was crazy amounts of people there too.

Yeah, two max is totally fine - and probably about all I have in me right now, haha. :)

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