In Memoriam Mortis (Inactive)

Game Master JonGarrett

A tale of surviving when the zombies aren't the only thing out to play.

Sewer Map - Alley Encounter Map


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The rain hammered down as the footpad pulled his knife back out his victim. His most recent donor collapsed with barely a sigh - always the sign of a most satisfied customer - and the thief set to his work with a will. It was cold and miserable. Ideal weather for his work, of course, as it meant the guards and any potential do-gooders who objected to his business were more likely to be tucked up in a tavern, drinking and eating, but it was still not a great deal of fun from his point of view.

The man’s wallet was barely worth the effort of knifing him - the footpad was fairly sure he’d hit bone and would need to sharpen his knife again - which was not exactly improving his mood. Still, there wasn’t much point in stabbing someone again once they were dead. The last thing he wanted to knick the blade. It was a pretty good knife, all things considered.

The pain was sudden and crippling, dropping the footpad to his knees. His stomach felt like it was about to split, and he was violently and forcibly sick within seconds. If it had lasted seconds, that might not have been so bad, but he was still retching minutes later, the agony in his guts not better. It was hideous. He wanted to ask what he’d done to deserve such a fate but the sight of his latest customer answered that question rather succinctly.

Finally the misery stopped, or at least lessened to a point where coherent thought returned. He was still to his stomach, but the crippling pain was gone and it felt more like the time when he had eaten spoiled fish. It was horrible but it was fading.

Movement to the side caught his eye and he glanced up to see the customer rising to his feet. His jaw hang slack and the vicious stab wound that had punched up into his heart glistened wetly in the light. ”That almost never happens,” the footpad whispered hoarsely from his ravaged throat. The noise the other creature made held no coherence, no intelligence, only a mindless hunger. It’s dead eyes turned towards the footpad, unfocused. But the lunge that followed was surprisingly accurate. Lethally so. Unfortunately, the footpad’s screams soon lost their coherence. Or their uniqueness.

Well, welcome to the game. I’m Jon. I’m an awful person and I want to awful things to four or five of the finest characters. How do you do?

This will essentially be a game about survival. The initial stages of the game will involve surviving the brutal disaster that has engulfed the merchant town of Harper’s Bay. An incredibly powerful necromantic field has settled over the city. Undead are rising on an unprecedented scale. Almost anyone or anything that dies rises once more as a member of the undead.

Harper’s Bay is constructed across three islands at the end of an archipelago chain before connecting back to the mainland by a bridge. Needless to say getting out the town is...less than simple. And remaining in town will be even less simple. Hell, staying alive is likely to be a challenge whatever you want to try. But you are free to try whatever you think will work.

Crunch

Level: You will be starting at third. All characters

Funds: Average wealth for your level. 3000gp. Crafter characters cannot use this to get shiny stuff.

Resources: All Paizo Material is cool. Third party is happily accepted, but you will need to be able to run it past me somehow so I can see it. Rogue Genius Games and Dreamscarred Press’ Psionics are automatically available.

Traits: You get two Traits, one from the list below. You may select a third Trait with a Drawback. I will considered allowing Christina Style’s Major Drawbacks, depending on the situation.

Variant Rules: We will be using the Background Skills system and the Stamina rules from Unchained. Fighters get the Combat Stamina feat for free.

Demi-Gestalt

I’m a slightly kooky person, and I like to use some unusual rules for fun. So...you will also get a free Variant Multiclass. That is, you select one of the Variant Multiclass options and apply them without costing yourselves any feats. You will also get them one step earlier - 3rd level abilities at 1st level, 7th level at 3rd, etc.

For those of you who would like some of the other classes around, please check out The Genius Guide to Variant Multiclassing (Use the Full Size Preview to see some of the options). If you would like to use a Third-Party or Occult class then give me a yell and we’ll hash something out.

Mental Health

This game will not be PC friendly. It will be murderous, and NPC’s may occasionally explode or try to eat you.

As these events happen, you will wrack up mental health points. You may also lose points, depending on how you do and what you do.

When you hit ten points or more you will gain a special template that we’ll work out at the time. This will depend on your character and the circumstances that have pushed your character’s health to such a point, but it might involve your character become reckless (A bonus to hit with an AC penalty), miserly (requiring a will save to give away items) or something.

For every multiple of ten, your health will worsen further, either adding to or increasing the severity of your previous conditions, depending on the exact circumstances.

FAQ:

So it’s a Zombie Apocalypse Game? Well...it’s an Apocalypse game. And there will be Zombies. Nasty, vicious Zombies. Zombies with Teamwork Feats! But no, it’s not a Zombie Apocalypse. There will be a lot of really unpleasant things trying to murder you. But being able to kill undead will certainly not hurt.

Why would I want to play? I dunno, why would you?

Well, for me it’s a case of telling a story of tragedy and horror with the potential for great deeds and heroism. For you guys it will be about a slightly different kind of Pathfinder. Encumbrance will matter, camp will never be truly secure and the five minute adventuring day will mean you or your allies starve to death.

What do you think of the recent FAQS? Ehh…

OK, I’m not an unreasonable Deity Games Master Rage Fueled Spite Engine. If a build requires a feat or feature that got FAQ’d into oblivion, I will be happy to hear it. Except for Divine Protection, of course. That thing needed to Nuked from Orbit, just be sure.

What are you looking for from players? I want you to post at least once a day. Everyone has off days, so the odd day missed won't hurt (but expect to get skipped in combat) but any more than that and I like a heads up.

I am also looking for a decent standard of spelling and punctuation. Don't worry, as you can see from my own spelling I don't mean perfect, but i dun lik posts wut look ike dis lol. If I have to translate your application, you're not likely getting in.

And finally, you need to play well with others. Glory hogs will die a glorious death, sneaks will die alone, etc.

What do you expect from my application? A complete, easy to read application. You can format it as you wish, whatever is most comfortable for you, but it needs to be simple enough for me to read and follow.

I also expect history, personality and appearance. They don't have to be brilliant, but I want to picture your character beyond 'FightBot 5000 - now with more sword!'

And don't build a character that cannot function in social situations. I like social. You'll find them cropping up more often than you might expect.

What can you expect of me? Well, I will post every day when I can, and often more than that. Just make sure you leave me something to reply to so I don't have to have a Flesh Golem break down the nearest wall.

I like to use 3rd party material, so expect the odd Tinker to show up among your Goblin enemies, or a Malefactor Ghoul.

Traits:

Here are some traits for you to enjoy. You will notice the huge, vicious plothook jabbed through each one. Don’t worry about those! It will be totally fine.

...mostly.

Missing Family: You were separated from your family in the chaos of this uprising. You have no idea where they are at the moment, nor do you know if they’re safe, but nothing in the city will stop you from finding out.
Benefit: You gain a +1 your will save, and adds 5 feet to your movement.
Downside: You start with 1d5 Mental Health Points.

Lost Family: Your family was lost in the disaster. Maybe you were there and couldn’t save them. Maybe you weren’t and found the...aftermath. Either way, you know they’re gone, and you want to find out what caused this disaster.
Benefit: You can use Rage upon yourself a number of times equal to half your Constitution Modifier as a supernatural ability upon yourself. If you gain levels in a class that grants you Rage you instead gain your Constitution modifier as bonus rounds of Rage.
Downside: You gain 2d5 Mental Health Points to start with.

Looter: Either from greed or necessity you have plundered supplies from the shops. You found some interesting things...but did some dark things.
Benefit: Gain up to 1000gp of equipment on top of your starting funds.
Downside: For every 100gp you gain add one Mental Health Point to your starting total.

Local: You lived in Harper’s Bay. You’re still living in Harper’s Bay. This is something of an achievement in and of itself. Part of how you’ve survived is
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to both Survival and Knowledge (Local), and one becomes a class skill for you. You also start with an extra weeks food.
Drawback: You will be hit harder moving through town than others. Expect to rack up points at a depressing rate.

Once Bittern, Twice Shy: You were savaged by the undead. They didn’t kill you, but you almost wish they had. They left you with thick scars over a portion of your body.
Benefit: You gain a +1 to Fortitude and +1 Natural Armour as a trait bonus.
Drawback:\ You take a -2 penalty against any saves regarding the undead.

Blessed: Faith has seen you through, and something agrees with you. You possess a handful of Divine powers that might help you survive...if you use them with wisdom and courage.
Benefit: You gain the ability to use as a spell-like ability at will. Additionally, once a day they can use a form of [url=http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/d/daylight]Daylight for a number of rounds equal to your will save. The undead cannot enter it’s range, and are forced to withdraw from it’s area as fast as they can, although it doesn’t harm them. Once used it leaves the user Exhausted for twice as many rounds as it was used.
Drawback: The Divine Forces that have granted you these gifts gave them to you for a reason. You aren’t sure what it is they want, however, and any action might risk them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Rolling stats or point buy, and if point buy, how many points?


Very interested, though I would have to read up on the variant multiclass rules... A lot of the variant multiclass options functions at level-x. Should we increase x by 4 since we get the abilities 4 level earlier? For example what level of inspire courage would a bard have or what level of animal companion would a druid have? I see that awesome display is not of the list over relevations I can chose if variant multiclassing into heavens oracle :'(. Could I take this anyway? Can we variant multiclass into the prestige classes in the pdf as well?


A short, stout woman bends over the corpse of a recently fallen shopkeeper, roughly shorn red hair falling forward into her face. She closely examines the fallen, reaching out to close his eyes and muttering what sounds like a prayer in a strange, guttural language.

Mai Magrim arwain eich enaid i orffwys tragwyddol, a gall Dranngvit y cennad dial yn dod â'r rhai sy'n gyfrifol at eu gwobr dragwyddol ...

Dwarvish:
May Magrim guide your soul to eternal rest, and may Dranngvit the harbinger of vengeance bring the ones responsible to their eternal reward...

And may it be at my hand, she adds, her voice near a growl. With a final nod, she straightens and leans against a dark grey wolf. The edges of his fur are tinged with black, and his oversized paws hint at youth, although that youth looks to be drawing to a close.

Come on, pup. Let's see what we can find here. The woman roughly ruffles the thick fur at the wolf's neck, and the two continue making their way deeper into Harper's Bay.

I'd like to throw my hat into the ring for consideration - this character came from another campaign that recently went under, and I was hoping to find another place for her. This seems like it'll do nicely. :)

Rennai's story is in her profile, but in short, she was a victim of an Urgathoan ascension ritual performed by her parents, barely escaping with her life and forced to kill her father and watch her siblings be murdered. She was blamed for the deaths and exiled from Five Kings Mountains. Now she works as a trapper and guide, as well as harboring a raging hatred for anything having to do with undeath. She's come to Harper's Bay in response to the first stirrings of the necromantic aura, in hopes it will help lead her to her mother, who disappeared after the ritual.

She is a dwarf ranger, specializing in archery. If we hit level four, she'll have Conri, a wolf, as her animal companion. (He's traveling with her now, just technically not an animal companion yet.)

As for the free variant multiclass, I'm leaning one of two ways. The first is cleric, as one of her coping mechanisms to deal with her exile has been a near-obsession with dwarven religious rituals. The other is druid, if you would be kind enough to let the animal companion levels from the druid VMC stack with my ranger animal companion levels to give me a full-level animal companion or have an animal companion now rather than having to wait a level. If not, it's totally cool.

One of her traits will definitely be Once Bitten, Twice Shy, as a connection to the ritual she was subjected to.

I hope you consider her a good fit!


Shoot, forgot to mention before - she's going to need a complete rebuild of her crunch, which I'll be working on over the next day or so once I know how to generate her stats. I just wanted to get her character out for consideration.

Also, may I add that I like your demi-gestalt idea? It's kind of fun. :D


dotty mcdotterson


This looks like it could be fun. i will look into what I could do.


very interesting.


Dot me intrigued.

Dark Archive

Dot


Nickadeamous wrote:
Rolling stats or point buy, and if point buy, how many points?

Oh you have got to be kidding...4 pages of text and I forgot to mention how to buy stats? I wouldn't mind so much if this wasn't the second time I did this. I swear, my memory is meomoriam mortis itself.

Let's go with 25 points buy. I want you guys to be a little tougher than the normal guy on the street. But we'll cap stats at 18 (racial bonuses) because, honestly, if you dump stat too much this game will eat you.


Mhhmm... I have this here picture to go off of right now. Sheet will look something like this, built on a 30pb, so I'd have to adjust that, either by dumping something, or more likely by moving some things around. He doesn't strictly need 12 charisma, and if I shave a point off of his wisdom, that's the five points I need to cut right there.

Will guns be availible?

Is it okay for me to grab thestalker class, with the judge archetype?


Ok, 25 point buy, perfect. I should have her re-crunched sometime in the next several hours.

By the way, it was disguised as a statement in my wall of text above, but I had a question about the free VMC. Would it be all right if I took the druid VMC and let the animal companion levels it gives stack with the animal companion levels from ranger, so I could start the game with my animal companion instead of having to wait a level for him to grow into it? If not, it's totally cool. I just figured I'd give it a shot.


Another couple questions real quick.

First, those major drawbacks you mentioned are actually interesting. I'm assuming they'd be used to get an extra feat like their description says? I am a ranged character - I could always use more feats.

Second, do you want hit points to just be the usual half+1 per hit die, or do you want us to roll?


JonGarrett wrote:
Nickadeamous wrote:
Rolling stats or point buy, and if point buy, how many points?

Oh you have got to be kidding...4 pages of text and I forgot to mention how to buy stats? I wouldn't mind so much if this wasn't the second time I did this. I swear, my memory is meomoriam mortis itself.

Let's go with 25 points buy. I want you guys to be a little tougher than the normal guy on the street. But we'll cap stats at 18 (racial bonuses) because, honestly, if you dump stat too much this game will eat you.

Is that 18 before or after racial bonuses?

Also did you see my questions about variant multiclassing above? Do we still get the same penalty to level adjustment for variant multiclassing despite getting the powers earlier? Can I take oracle with heavens mystery for my variant multiclass but chose Awesome Display for my relevation despite it not normally being in the list?


Renna Brarzanslag

Hit points are max for first level, either half +1 or roll if you're feeling brave.

Major Drawbacks will only net you a feat if it's really a major drawback for your build. Taking a major drawback that affects spellcasting is obviously kinda cheese-tastic.

I will allow Druid to combine with Ranger for an earlier Companion. But under no circumstances will it take the animal companion over your level.

Martin Warren

I'll admit, I don't have much familiarity with Path of War, hence why it wasn't automatically accepted. I'll allow you to take the stuff, but you may well have to explain how, exactly, you're doing a thing, and I may ask you to tone something back if I didn't understand the repercussions 'cos I can't read. From what I can see the Stalker is a Rogue/Monk with some tweeks, and the Judge adds a bit of Inquisitor to the mix, but I'm not seeing anything too terrifying.

Oyzar

Yes, I saw, but was pondering my choices. Sorry, should have let you know that.

An ability would function at the level you got, minus whatever penalty you receive from the ability. So a Bard's Inspire Courage would be active, but thanks to the minus 4 penalty would only function like a level 1 version. So yes, same penalty. It's for the same reason I'm not just going Gestalt, in that I'm trying to boost your abilities without making the party too powerful.

I'm still pondering the ramifications of allowing Awesome Display and will get back to you when I work out how horrifying it might be.

And yes, you guys can take the Variant Prestige Multiclasses at level 5.

EDIT: And that would 20 after racial modifiers.


Hi Jon! Sent you a PM :)


JonGarrett wrote:

Renna Brarzanslag

Hit points are max for first level, either half +1 or roll if you're feeling brave.

Major Drawbacks will only net you a feat if it's really a major drawback for your build. Taking a major drawback that affects spellcasting is obviously kinda cheese-tastic.

I will allow Druid to combine with Ranger for an earlier Companion. But under no circumstances will it take the animal companion over your level.

I'll be taking half+1 because I'm a wimp and luck does not favor me much of the time. :)

I'm taking Spell Vulnerability for -2 on saves v. necromancy spells, since she was already suffused with necromantic energy in the ritual she was caught up in, so it has easier inroads now. (I'm taking Power Attack as the feat to go with it, to make me a halfway decent switch hitter.)

Actually, looking at the druid VMC, I'm seeing two problems I didn't notice before. One, the companion is at level-4, so right now I actually have an effective druid level of -1. Two, I forgot that wearing metal armor would violate the druidic code, and she's in a +1 breastplate right now. So I'll be going with the cleric VMC instead, domain TBA.


The Archlich wrote:
Hi Jon! Sent you a PM :)

And replied!

Oyzar, I will allow Awesome Display. It's a good ability, but probably not as awesome in a game that will (initially) have a metric ton of undead.

Edit:

Rennai Barzanslag wrote:


I'll be taking half+1 because I'm a wimp and luck does not favor me much of the time. :)

I'm taking Spell Vulnerability for -2 on saves v. necromancy spells, since she was already suffused with necromantic energy in the ritual she was caught up in, so it has easier inroads now. (I'm taking Power Attack as the feat to go with it, to make me a halfway decent switch hitter.)

That works for me. A weakness to Necromantic Energies will...be a weakness.


JonGarrett wrote:


Rennai Barzanslag wrote:


I'll be taking half+1 because I'm a wimp and luck does not favor me much of the time. :)

I'm taking Spell Vulnerability for -2 on saves v. necromancy spells, since she was already suffused with necromantic energy in the ritual she was caught up in, so it has easier inroads now. (I'm taking Power Attack as the feat to go with it, to make me a halfway decent switch hitter.)

That works for me. A weakness to Necromantic Energies will...be a weakness.

Oh, I thought it might. :) But it was the truest of them, and as you said, a drawback that buys you a feat should be a significant weakness. (I considered Magical Ineptitude to highlight a fear of magic, which would have lowered Spellcraft and Use Magic Device checks, but like you said, it felt like too much of a cop-out.)

Note that that is just spells of the necromancy subtype, not channeled negative energy or anything, at least as far as I know.


Dotting.


Just so you aren't surprised... I will be combining it with an undead bloodline sorcerer(which is extremely fitting flavorwise for this campaign), which would allow it to affect some undead. Would that still be ok? Taking a relevation that hardly ever works wouldn't have been much fun... It's not like it's free though, undead bloodline is lackluster outside of the arcana and it means I can't take any of the other great bloodlines out there.

Rennai Barzanslag wrote:


I'll be taking half+1 because I'm a wimp and luck does not favor me much of the time. :)

The expected value of rolling is lower than half+1, so even just having average luck would leave you with lower HP ;).


It's an interesting idea. Go for it.

But just so folks know...there will be a plentiful supply of undead, but there will be some other stuff too. Don't get too focused on undead that you can't deal with packs of angry wild dogs, looting Dwarfs and the occasion demon summoned from the darkest pits.


Oh, I'll be able to deal with just about anything. :) (By the way, I did end up taking three separate archetypes - I hope that's ok. They're all compatible with each other; I was a little surprised, too.)


Nothing I've not done before, especially with a Ranger.


I may or may not apply - waiting on word for another campaign first.


Oh Rednal, you know my games are too sexy to resist.


Esquire Cavalier okay?

Thinking of going Sean of the Dead with a pair of friends and town guards.


Well, the tone will be more end-bit-when-Mum-is-bit than the rest of the movie, but sure.

And Dogs CAN look up.


*Taps chin*

How about an Ethermancer? Endzeitgeist has an in-depth explanation of the class and its functions here, though in summary, it's basically a Cha-based all-day caster that actually does the job reasonably well. XD


I was half expecting you to bring in a tweeked version of Korina, sent by her twisted masters to find out why somewhere is being stewed in necromantic energy.

Ethermancer looks good, but I'd like to see the PDF if you can share it? Just because...well...I like to see shiny things.


I suspect they wouldn't care much about simple necromantic energy. XD Korina's patrons are... interesting. Gimme a few minutes and I'll whip something together for ya.


JonGarrett wrote:
Nickadeamous wrote:
Rolling stats or point buy, and if point buy, how many points?

Oh you have got to be kidding...4 pages of text and I forgot to mention how to buy stats? I wouldn't mind so much if this wasn't the second time I did this. I swear, my memory is meomoriam mortis itself.

Let's go with 25 points buy. I want you guys to be a little tougher than the normal guy on the street. But we'll cap stats at 18 (racial bonuses) because, honestly, if you dump stat too much this game will eat you.

Some of the sentences are fragmented - maybe when you get to a tricky bit of wording, you move onto the next line? I do that all the time, have to make sure I read over my posts after I post them, otherwise it'll look silly.

And thanks for letting me mess about with the stalker, I can give you a rundown on the various abilities and how I plan to use them together, if you like. My only really big trick is an effectively once per combat shot with my pistol that deals 1d8+1d6+3d6fire and ignores cover.


Yeah, my writing is usually edited by my wife...but I posted this at three or so in the morning. I may have been over eager. I don't actually mean to fragment sentences, and to my mind they're all complete, but...

That's a big gun. Sounds good though.


Question for you: I was looking at the Protection domain, Solitude subdomain for my cleric VMC. (Cause, you know, exile and all.) The issue is, it's unclear whether the cleric VMC grants the +1 to saves the domain gives you, and without that, the Solitude subdomain power doesn't work. Your opinion?

Edit: And of course, naturally, the other domain I'm thematically interested in, Travel, has the same issue, a benefit that's given at first level, but isn't technically the "first level granted domain power". -.-


This character is heavily tied to Golarion, but I've had a blast playing him in the past - and he's half-mad already! I'd have to tweak his story plenty, as well as adjust his stats. He'd be an investigator, most likely with the slayer VMC. His combat effectiveness would be questionable, but he'd be a heavy-duty skill monkey with knowledge coming out of his ears - if he can separate it from the voices of his past lives.

I'd like to ask if he seems like a good fit before I work on him too much, because I understand some of the themes at play (extract abuse, personality disorder) might be confronting and unwelcome in some games.


Rennai - For our purposes you don't get the default ability. So you won't have a +1 to loose. Yay?

Henric - Although Harper's Bay is homebrew, we're in Golarion, so don't worry about that. It's just my Golarion. So yeah, once you've tweaked him to end up the city somehow, you should be good.


Ok, so the taboo will work despite not having the save bonuses to give up. That works.


Yup.

Oh, also, the recruitment thread will end on Friday the 18th at 23.59 GMT.


JonGarrett wrote:

Well, the tone will be more end-bit-when-Mum-is-bit than the rest of the movie, but sure.

And Dogs CAN look up.

Well the first step is to pick up the girlfriend....

So is Esquire Cavalier okay?


Yeah. Cavaliers aren't exactly the most powerful class ever, and I can accommodate someone essentially having two characters in return for half there class features.


JonGarrett wrote:
Yeah. Cavaliers aren't exactly the most powerful class ever, and I can accommodate someone essentially having two characters in return for half there class features.

How would you prefer the NPC built up?


Standard NPC Build rules for point buy and wealth by level, no Demi-Gestalt and traits. They'll pretty much be an Animal Companion that can talk back and wear armour. And people won't look at you too funny for talking to them.


Okay, got a rough theme for my character. Haven't done the crunch or anything yet, but it basically goes: A human (maybe half-elf) malefactor who believes that she is to blame for what's happening to the city. Gonna choose either Missing Family or Local as my campaign trait. Sound good so far? Otherwise I have a metric crap-ton of ideas floating around.


Looks like they don't have a point buy for npc's.

Will the elite array be okay? That's 15,14,13,12,10,8 for scores.

Dark Archive

Hi ive been wanting to play a zombie apocalypse game for quite some time now! you said third party was OK so does that include Path of War? if so id play the Harbinger class variant multi-classed with cleric.


TarkXT - They don't? Well...crap. So much for my assumption. It ammounts to a 15 point buy, if I'm doing my maths right, so go for that if you prefer.

TheGwarganaught - Well...it's not just zombies. Oh no.

As I've mentioned to someone else, I'm not that familiar with Paths of War. I'll allow it, but might ask you to explain and possibly change things, depending.

I really need to dedicate some cash to grabbing Path of War and reading it. And yes, I know it's available on the SRD, but I don't like reading a whole system there. I'm never sure if I've read it all.

Dark Archive

Thats totally cool. I do not actually own Path of War but i have read it thoroughly on the SRD, but i think ill stay with pathfinder core classes then. is the Kineticist alright?


Yup. That one's fun.

Dark Archive

Another thing. what is your criteria for character backstory and description? something short? long? doesn't matter?

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