Shadow of the Runelords

Game Master Yucale

Alternate Golarion, where the gods never gave mortals the gift of magic in abundance. When Xin's successors begin to rise from ages of slumber, a band of heroes must defend the Inner Sea from forces it can't even imagine.

Dear [],

The Embassy of Cheliax offers our condolences on your loss. As according to the final requests of the deceased, you are hereby invited to attend the funeral of the honorable Sir Nicolo Cosma, Hellnight of the Order of the Gate and honored servant of Queen Abrogail the Second. The service will be held at House Henderthane in Egorian on the 26th of Arodus.

Our condolences,

This is the letter you receive near the beginning of Arodus, from whatever stronghold the empire has near wherever you happen to be. Of course, even though they say it’s optional, it’s probably best to play it safe. Especially when there are Hellknights involved.
You knew Nicolo in life, of course. Somehow he did you a favor, even if you never really knew him- then again, maybe you did. A dignified, scholarly old gentleman, he was just as much a devil with a sword as one would expect from his order, and yet he was known to show mercy on occasion. And he tended to find himself in the company of rogues whenever he was off hunting down ancient artifacts and knowledge [Indianna Jones style]. Due to this and his contacts as a member of the Order of the Gate, you really have no idea who else might show up at his funeral.

The Setting

This-Golarion is a mish-mash of all sorts of things, mostly inspired by old pulp fantasy and sci-fi. The official version is fairly high-fantasy, with mages around every corner, but the version for this campaign is much more like Westeros, or Lankhmar. Magic (and monsters) exist- but you guys don’t know that (shush) (unless you happen to be a mage or a monster youself). I’ll be taking some cues from World of Darkness. The major exception to this style is that there are many races, and no one thinks that’s very strange. Though different races do have a hard time understanding each other at all most of the time.

Race is, of course, one of the most important aspects of your character. Also you can choose pretty much whatever on this page. I’ll be changing quite a bit of fluff, but that’s mostly a concern if you’re playing an elf. I’m changing the stat bonuses so you get a total of +0 at character creation. Once you have a race, simply choose one bonus to discard.

Terminology: I noticed through my last campaign that Isis in particular would refer to the different mechanics of, say, witches versus sorcerers or oracles. In this-Golarion, even if you happen to be a spellcaster yourself, it’s likely it affected your life much like rogue unknown superpowers versus something quanitfiable, and even if you come from an occult background, there is no accepted terminology over the planet. Someone could use the terms ‘sorcerer’ and ‘witch’ and ‘druid’ interchangably and be perfectly correct.

Everything Else: the srd is fair game. As for technology, primitive firearms are available, but if you play a gunslinger make sure to look over Alkenstar on the wiki. All spells concerned with reading/detecting magic (with the exception of Read Magic) are, for now, declared three levels higher than previously.

Character Creation, in short, is standard Pathfinder (4d6, drop the lowest) with the exception of race ability modifiers. Alignment, as per usual in my games, does not exist. We will be using a four-step per level method of advancement, and you will gain a step when I as the say so. You are encouraged to record XP, but it’s unlikely that we will use it.

Random Notes for Me

Vishkanyas, native to the first two layers of the Darklands underneath Vandu, are a highly secretive and isolationist race. Arranged into a surprisingly normal society in their underground cities, prestige is often based around what an individual can bring back to their family. Their largest institutions are their monastery-like academies. The Patriarchs of each family line sit in council for their people, but there have never been many vishkanyas to govern. Despite being a practical and down-to-earth people, with family and prosperity taking the place of religion and tradition, they hold in reverence art and status.

The issue of elves:
I'm doing almost a complete overhaul of the elven race. My elves are somewhere between Rothfuss' Bast and Tolkien's Noldor. With a sprinkling of Fae and land-bound ghosts. A variable people, in stature and culture. Their laws are more tradition, a complex web of favors and prowess, and they generally disdain laws for the sake of laws. Their society is mildly matriarchal; women inherent, and are the lorekeepers, though most elves don't want much responsibility anyway and say to hell with all that. They're fascinated with most of the younger races (i.e.) EVERYONE, and have absolutely no problem with halfbreeds. They reach physical and mental maturity (as much as 'mental maturity' ever applies) around thirty. Oh, and they're aliens.
Physical appearance can vary greatly, moreso as elven appearance changing based on being in a different environment long enough isn't entirely rumor. Generally taller than humans, lither, with a vaguely dissimilar bone structure. Most are intrigued by pretty things, and so even the most standoffish elf might not think it odd to bedeck himself in beads and silks. Their craftings do take after nature in aesthetic, but most elves would disdain buckskin, when their crafters might make a more wondrous fabric than silk. Sometimes an elven camp might look like a band of artisan fey had hijacked a scavenger spaceship and then had everything reorganized by a Tian ascetic. And that's in as much as they can agree on anything.

(There are some broken links and other issues on this page. I will fix them eventually. If you have a question, check my posts in the recruitment thread first).