Rappan Athuk set in Nirmathas, Golarion

Game Master baldwin the merciful

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This particular game is a published mega-dungeon called “Rappan Athuk” by Frog God Game, I’ve placed the setting in Nirmathas. I will make changes to the published material as I see fit. I will toughen up, or lessen, the encounters based on the party strengths and weaknesses. I don’t realistically expect to get through the entire dungeon and surrounding area but we can see how a few levels turn out. This is not a fair dungeon so expect the worse.

Some believe the world changed in 4606 with the death of Aroden, others know there is evil lurking below the surface seeking vengeance, and the god’s death was a precursor to the dawn of a resurrection. Far below the surface in Nirmathas, a long forgotten legend lays waiting exploration.

Many hundreds of years ago, the forces of good allied to destroy the main Temple of Orcus in the ancient, and now lost, city of Tsar. With their temple in ruins, the surviving high priests of this accursed demongod fled the city with an army of enemies on their trail—an army of heroic fighters, clerics and paladins—led by Zelkor, a powerful wizard. The exact fate of these evil priests was then unknown, for not only did the remnants of the followers of Orcus disappear from all human reckoning, but so did the army of light that followed after them disappear as well. Some said that in the eternal scales the loss of so many good men was a fair price to pay to rid the world of so much evil.

The evil cult, however, had not been destroyed. The surviving priests and their followers instead settled on a hill near the Forest of Hope, a sylvan woodland near the Coast Road. There they found a vast underground complex of caverns and mazes, carving out a volcanic intrusion beneath the hill. There, the priests of Orcus found the perfect lair to continue their vile rituals. For many years, they carried on in secret, hidden from the light and from the knowledge of men.

Many years later, their underground delving completed, the evil priests erected a hideous mausoleum and a sunken graveyard atop the hill. It is believed that these graves are in fact the final resting place of the pursuing army of heroes that had been destroyed to a man. Soon after the mausoleum was erected the peaceful creatures of the wood began to disappear. Though many rangers and druids investigated these happenings, the cause of the creatures’ disappearance was not immediately determined. Some years later a powerful group of adventurers, led by Bofred, a high priest of Thyr, investigated the evil happenings and found the sunken graveyard leading to a labyrinthine complex. Bofred and his companions found great hordes of evil creatures in the complex. Though some of his companions returned from their expedition, telling tales of fantastic treasure and ferocious monsters, Bofred was never seen again—lost in the catacombs beneath the cursed mausoleum. For the last one hundred years, ranks of adventurers have ventured to the newfound dungeon. Many fell prey to bandits and monsters in the surrounding wilderness. Rumors suggest that of those who survived to reach the mausoleum and sunken graveyard, most were slain by guardians of green stone or perished on the very first level. Those rare few who return from deeper treks speak of horrible undead and creatures that cannot be slain. All who have explored Rappan Athuk offer this one universal piece of advice: “Don’t go down the Well.”

Rappan Athuk is a hard adventure; some even call it a deathtrap. Many will try; most will die. I’m looking for 6 brave, or foolish adventurers. I plan to keep this recruitment open for a week, depending on the response. I’ll check several times a day and review entries as they come in.

Here are the rules for the build:

20 Pt buy

No score below a 10, before racial adjustment.

1 trait from the APG

No real alignment restrictions, except you must work well together.

Max HP’s level one and two, thereafter you roll HPs. Reroll 1’s.

You begin at 2nd level but with 3rd level wealth of 3000 GP (3rd lv) No more than 50% in one item. Do not multi-class - yet.

Every character gets the innate ability to heal themselves 1d4+1 HP, 2/day, as a standard action.

A very brief one, or two, short paragraph description/background.

Note: those selected will get a few extra trinkets of gear after they are selected.

Adult themed, but well within Paizo's PBP standards. When in doubt put it behind a spoiler.

I’m looking for players that can work together and post more than a simple line, or two, of dice stats – descriptive actions will make it enjoyable to read. I try to be descriptive in my posting.


This particular game is combat heavy and the roleplay is really intra-party. This is different from most games that I run, which I tend to have heavy roleplay and character development. I wanted to run a meat grinder for a change of pace.

It is ok to run away from some scenarios and combat, it is better to live another day.

Fair warning:

I'm not a big fan of mega-game breaking builds, just because it’s arguably RAW doesn’t make it acceptable in my game. Power-gaming and cookie cutter builds lifted from some forum post are frowned upon. Well balance characters are ideal.


Minimum posting 2 a day, it’s combat heavy so the more the merrier. When you submit your character, acknowledge how frequently you can post and when you tend to post (mornings, afternoons, evenings, all day). Be descriptive in your posting that does make it more enjoyable to read.

Permitted books:

CRB, APG, UE, UM, UC. I do not permit ARG.

No 3PP material, although the GM is not contained by this rule.
There are parts of permitted books that I do not use including but not limited to: Word of Power, Spell Duels and Primitive Weapons. Eastern equipment doesn’t really fit this adventure, so think twice if you design an eastern themed character, gear will be hard to come by.

GM reserves right to amend.


Core deities in CRB only.

Prohibited Classes:

Summoner, Magus, Gunslinger, Alchemist and their variants.

Eastern equipment doesn’t really fit this adventure, so think twice if you design an eastern themed character, gear will be hard to come by.


Core races, alternative race traits from APG. If you swap out a race trait clearly, disclose it to me, so I can review it. No racial feats.

I will permit goblins and drow with their standard race traits only. These can be found on the PFSRD. No racial feats or racial archetypes.



1. I do not retcon actions. This game is designed to move quickly. It potentially becomes problematic for me to redo actions and consequences. Sorry.

2. A natural "1" on an attack roll is a possible fumble. The player makes a DC10 DEX check, including any ability modifier in the roll. A number below a 10 means you have either dropped your melee weapon or snapped your bow/crossbow string or your thrown weapon was dropped.

3. Roll HPs each level, reroll 1’s.

4. I will occasionally dip into the sanity/madness rules if the situation arises.

5. Just because something appears in a book does not make it automatically available for game play.

There may be others, GM reserves right to amend.

*I currently run a successful pbp COT game, that has over 15,000 posts.

The 20 point buy array are in a one-on-one basis, or using the chart given by the CRB?

Reshar wrote:
The 20 point buy array are in a one-on-one basis, or using the chart given by the CRB?

CRB point buy.

I'm thinking I'll bring the meat shield. Will post some fluff and crunch shortly.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

will post something shortly

Definitely interested, I've wanted to play this for years. I'll have a mull, but I'm thinking of trying my first ever Inquisitor - assuming that was a intentional omission from the list of banned classes.

Still thinking... I'll try to pull out something later.

The Exchange

*Wave* Afternoon Baldwin. I applied to your CoT when you last had some openings. I'm hope I have better luck this time. Still working out an idea, leaning towards a Dwarf of some sort. Best of luck for everyone who is applying!

I will be open for a week, so take some time to put things together.

Celeador - I do remember, I think you had an urban ranger if memory serves.

DM Carpe wrote:
Definitely interested, I've wanted to play this for years. I'll have a mull, but I'm thinking of trying my first ever Inquisitor - assuming that was a intentional omission from the list of banned classes.

An inquisitor is fine. There is one in my COT game and it's played very well too.

Don't go through the trouble creating a second character, but you should have an idea in mind in case you become one of the departed.

I ran my RL group through the Well level, as a one shot a couple weeks back - TPK. Unfair at times...tsk..tsk..tsk...it is ok to run away. This is, also, why I will tone down a few areas if need be.

Thinking about a possible Rogue. Not positive.


Half-orc Monk(Drunken Master?)
Str 16
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 14
Cha 10

Alternate racial traits: Toothy or Bestial/Acute Darkvision, Cavewight/Rockclimer, and Chainfighter

Trait: Bullied

Skills: Acrobatics, Perception, Stealth, Climb/Profestion: Miner?

Feats: Power Attack, Improved Grapple, Deflect Arrows/Dodge

For magic items, I'm think a Tumbler's belt, maybe some Armbands of the Brawler. That sort of thing.

Step right up folks! We've got an excellent assortment for you today. From the hold Belkzen, these hardy half-breeds make excellent miners, especially for those rich veins where torches could touch off an explosion. Now, let's start the bidding...

Though desired for their darkvision, half-orcs' penchant for violence is well-known, and the picks were kept under lock and key. With weapons scarce, he learned to defend himself with what nature had given him. It takes disciple to survive as a slave. Losing control means death, as does giving in to despair. You have to be strong, but nonthreatening. Complaint without truly giving in. Thus, without really meaning to, Tzelvek began to tread the path of the monk.

He look much like the rest of his kin, though a certain fluidity to his movements suggests that this isn't just another brawler.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

Thinking of a good old hardcore smackdown Paladin

Lloyd Jackson aka Tzelvek-

I take it you're a bit undecided on the Alt. race traits.

Mining is interesting potential profession - that could be a useful skill.

It's good start, finish him up.

Yep, wanted to get your imput before settling on any traits. Are you okay with them? Curious, do you want a finished sheet?

Lloyd Jackson wrote:
Yep, wanted to get your imput before settling on any traits. Are you okay with them? Curious, do you want a finished sheet?

I'm fine with the RT, I'm sure you know but it's a one for one trade. So if you want acute darkvision that replaces orc ferocity. You don't also get bestial. You can't exchange the same racial trait more than once.

I'm online quite a bit and I'm happy to provide input...time permitting.

Yes, create an avatar/alias, or a spoiler, or list him under your profile for a character sheet. I understand some folks don't like to pick an avatar during the creation process that's fine.

But if you do create an avatar for the submission put your vital stats: AC, saves, Init., Perception, Current HP/Total HP, CMB/CMD next to your avatar. This, generally, makes my job easier during gameplay.

Always wanted to play Rappan Athuk, I'll have something up shortly.

However, from what I've heard about this adventure I can't help but look at you name and think, "It's a trap!"

monjebleu wrote:

Always wanted to play Rappan Athuk, I'll have something up shortly.

However, from what I've heard about this adventure I can't help but look at you name and think, "It's a trap!"

It's an illusion. LOL

Akbar, is that you?

Spoiler it is. I dislike unused alias cluttering up my account.


Male Half-orc Monk(Drunken Master)
LN Medium Humanoid (human/orc)
Init +2; Perception +6
AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex, +2 Wis)
hp 20 (1d8+2)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +5
Speed 30 ft.
Melee: Unarmed +4;1d6 + 3
Melee: Flurry of Blows +3/+3;1d6 + 3
Melee: Bite +4;1d4 + 3
Ranged: Shuriken +3;4
Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +1; CMB +4(+6 Grapple); CMD 16(20 Grapple)
Feats: Power Attack, Improved Grapple, Deflect Arrows
Traits: Bullied
Skills: Acrobatics +8, Perception +7, Stealth +7, Profession(Miner) +6, Climb +8
Languages: Common, Orc
Racial Traits: Toothy, Rock Climber, Chain Fighter
SQ: Flurry of Blows, Stunning Fist 3/day (DC 13), Evasion
Equipment: ?

What are your thoughts adding feats to the Monk's bonus feats? Like the style feats, which didn't exist when the list was created, or adding Greater Grapple to those available at lvl 6?

I am available to post in the mornings and evenings, and usually throughout the day. Posting 2+ times a day won't be a problem. Currently in MST

@Llyod Jackson - re: style feats being added to the monk's bonus feat list - if they are not currently on the bonus feat list I'm inclined to stick to the list as written. If you have a link to where this issue was discussed, or where the game designers weighed in on the issue, I'm happy to review it and reconsider.

Sovereign Court

While I have not run this dungeon as of yet and would like to try something new, I find myself wondering: Why the change to Nirmathas from Mendev (memory serving)? It would see your background is aligned to the forests of your area, but as the dungeon is beneath the soil, I am scatching my head as to the change in geography. Is there a particularly compelling regional scenario prospective characters should be aware of?

Hmmm. I'd like to see if I can get a wizard or a sorcerer to survive this ...

@Stratos - I'm not sure why you think Mendev is the location RA is set in. Is that where another GM placed the 3rd party dungeon in their campaign? Perhaps, I missed something in the introduction. The setting of Nirmathas works for me especially with the surrounding terrain and pre-dungeon encounters.

I hope that the seat for a Gnome Bard isn't taken yet...

Sovereign Court

That may have been the case; it was the lore of a forbidden catacomb under the earth which intruiged me, but the particular campaign I observed was taking place in Mendev. I suppose it's not setting-specific?

I will get to considering a story. One thing to note if a I can compose a tale to my liking: is the dungeon lit in areas, or is the entire thing pitch black?

Oh, yeah. An aberrant-blooded sorcerer ...his fluff is coming together nicely.

@Reshar no seats are taken yet there is plenty of time for character creation. Once I start to get an assortment of completed characters posted, I'll narrow down the closing date. I don't expect to close this out until mid-next week.

@Stratos the lore that character's know is listed above. Specifics on whether the dungeon is lit, or not lit, you don't know. Since this is a third party creation it not really Golarion specific; this latest book is simply updated for Pathfinder material.

I read before that you won't allow racial feats...

What about racial traits?

Advanced Player's Guide:
Race traits are tied to specific races or ethnicities. In order to select a race trait, your character must be of the specified race or ethnicity.

Are they allowed?

@Reshar - Alternative racial traits are fine, racial feats are not.

Characters submitted:

Lloyd Jackson aka Tzelvek, Monk. Needs equip.

Dotted for interest:

Rehar, possibly gnome bard
Loup Blanc -meat shield?
Mark thomas 66 - Pally?
DM Carpe - Inquisitor?
Celeador -dwarf?
Monkeygod -rogue?
Stratos ?
Digger Chandler - aberrant-blooded sorcerer ?

If I've missed someone it's unintentional, politely nudge me to include the missing name.

Sovereign Court

I was looking on the SRD, and I could've sworn there was a Nirmathas-specific ranger archetype at one point but can no longer find it. The idea was to tie the character to the region and use the archetype as a way to highlight his connection to the land (though I admittedly don't remember the fine points of what it did). Can anyone confirm/deny my suspicion? Am I just being crazy?

The two don't have to be mutually-exclusive!

@Stratos - You may be thinking of the Nirmathi Irregular. I think the Parting Shot local feat originated in Nirmathas. I have a copy of the old Pathfinder Campaign Setting that I can look at when I get home. If memory serves that was in that book. I think it was reprinted in the Inner Sea World Guide. There is a Fangwood Diplomat regional trait that is Nirmathas specific but that really is a waste for this game setting.

Sovereign Court

They must have secularized the name then, for I don't see it anywhere. I knew they did it with a couple deity-named feats and whatnot so as to make them less restrictive. I like the story behind why they were made in the first place though.

In any event, the ranger bug is strong in me now, so I will puzzle one out this evening.

Kalim Gudluvaletti:

Male Rahadoumi Aberrent-Blooded Sorcerer
CN Medium Humanoid (human)
Init +; Perception +
AC , touch , flat-footed
hp 19
Fort +1, Ref +0, Will +4
Speed 30 ft.
Str 10, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 18
Base Atk +1; CMB ; CMD
Feats: Eschew Materials (Sorcerer Free Feat), Weapon Focus (Spear), Toughness
Traits: Scholar of Ruins

Skills: Intimidate 9 (4+2+3), Knowledge Arcana 5 (0+2+3), Knowledge Dungeoneering 6 (0+2+3+1), Spellcraft 5 (0+2+3)
Languages: Common
Spells and Special Abilities

Bloodline Arcana: Whenever you cast a spell of the polymorph subschool, increase the duration of the spell by 50% (minimum 1 round). This bonus does not stack with the increase granted by the Extend Spell feat.

Acidic Ray (Sp): Starting at 1st level, you can fire an acidic ray as a standard action, targeting any foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack. The acidic ray deals 1d6 points of acid damage + 1 for every two sorcerer levels you possess. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.

Spells Known:
0: Daze, Message, Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Resistance
1 (5/day): Mage Armor, Ray of Enfeeblement


I see him as a one-time Rahadoumi militiaman that encountered ...something. It awakened a deeply-buried bloodline. Now he's the same spearman of mediocre quality ...BUT NOT THE SAME!!!!

psst.. Stratos! linky.

And here is my bard. It's obvious that is not complete yet, but you can be taking a look on it (is in the alias profile).

Working on a spellscar oracle. She is the twin of a reincarnated being. Background in progress is on profile.

My hope is to have legalistic as a curse, if that no workie I'll just RP it.


Source Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of Fiends

The shackles of Hell impose savage consequences should you violate a covenant, but also imbue you with remarkable guile.


Whenever you break your word (either purposefully or unintentionally), you become sickened for 24 hours or until you meet your obligation, whichever comes first. However, once per day, you can make a vow to yourself that grants a +4 morale bonus on any one roll you make while trying to fulfill a promise made to another individual.

At 5th level, you gain a +3 competence bonus on Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks while talking to an individual one-on-one.

At 10th level, you can make a new saving throw each minute to resist mind-affecting effects as your subconscious searches for loopholes.

At 15th level, any creature that violates its freely given word to you takes a penalty to AC, to spell resistance, and on saving throws against your attacks and abilities equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1) for 24 hours.

@Nibb - On a quick review I noticed you had your alignment as LG and then CN in two different locations on your sheet. It, also, looks like you had some cavalier special abilities listed on the bottom of the sheet. Perhaps you didn't edit those off. Clean it up, write your short background, equip him then holler when your done and I will put on in the submission list.

@Kalim Gudluvaletti - on quick review it looks good, finish up your background and equip him.

FYI to all submissions: I haven't done the math on the point buy, I trust everyone is doing that correctly. If there are any questions just ask.

The Exchange

@Reshar: Gah! You wrote up an Archaeologist! There goes my concept.. of a Dwarf "reclaimer" Bah, back to the thought process.

@Vateelda Lateef - I don't want to start making a exceptions regarding books to be used right now. I don't want to open Pandora's box. If selected, we can discuss it then.

@Celeador you can can submit an archaeologist too.

It is still early in the submission process but cleric(s) and rogue(s) are important in this game.

Characters submitted


Lloyd Jackson aka Tzelvek, H/Orc Monk. Needs equip.


Rehar aka Nibbfir Grumepgarth, Gnome bard/Archaeologist, needs equip, bio and finishing work

Arcane Spellcaster

Digger Chandler aka Kalim Gudluvaletti- human, aberrant-blooded sorcerer, needs equip and bio

Divine Spellcaster

Vateelda Lateef- Human spellscar oracle

Dotted for interest

Loup Blanc -meat shield?
Mark Thomas 66 - Pally?
DM Carpe - Inquisitor?
Celeador -dwarf?
Monkeygod -rogue?
Stratos ?

If I've forgotten anyone let me know, it was unintentional.

Don't forget to include your posting availability as request.

I seem to be developing some mild psychic powers. Every character concept I have (first a half Orc drunken master, then a spellscar oracle) seems to get claimed before me. I must look into this. And think up some more characters!

Ah, Rappan Athuk. I would be lying if I didn't say I was interested. We will see if we have enough time to put together a character. If we do, then we have enough time to play.

Note to Self:
Figure out why I suddenly switched to third person plural when referring to myself. Don't do it again. And pick up some dog food for Jessie.

Tzelvek's equipment:

Shawl of Life Keeping: 1000gp?
Belt of Tumbling: 800
Mwk Darkwood Quarterstaff: 340
Armbands of the Brawler: 500
These are the magical/standard gear I'm looking at. Shawl of life keeping would be great for this game with the house rule, but not sure it really fits. The other three are definite ins. How do you feel about Keen Scent?

This is to give you an idea of the kind of mundane stuff I'm thinking about.

Obsidian Shuriken:
Spelunker's Kit: 174
Surival Kit: 5
Pathfinder's Kit: 12
Mule: 8
Bear Trap x5: 10
Marbles x10: 5
Alchemist's Fire x5: 100
Oil x40: 4
Tindertwig x10: 10
Thunderstone x2: 60
Acid x10: 100

@ Tzelvek - Keen scent is a half-orc racial feat. Right now hold off on it, I may let racial feats in but that depends on if there are drow in the party. No racial feats is because I'm permitting drow. I don't have the ARG to do racial builds but the drow race is a bit stronger than others. So rather than singling out drow only for no race feats, I had it across the board. I may readdress this after selection and if I do, I will let those selected make some alterations.

Here's a quick overview on how I plan to run the early stages of the campaign. I'll track XP and advise when its time to level this makes it easier on me. I plan on leveling characters up to 3rd very quickly. Then everyone will spend a little time exploring the surrounding area, again leveling pretty quickly through 4th and 5th level, this will let everyone get an idea of the group's abilities and perhaps, there can be some small character adjustments. After that it's into the dungeon.

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