The City of Arch: Central Planning

Game Master Doomed Hero

Welcome to the City of Everywhere.

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This thread will be for discussion of the City of Arch game collective.

Out of Game discussion for each games should be kept to those individual threads. This Discussion thread is for general discussion pertaining to all Arch games, and as a space for Arch GMs to discuss rules issues with each other. It will also act as an informal space where players across arch games can banter. When rules or organization issues come up for discussion, we ask that any banter halt until those situations are sorted out.

The Central Planning Gameplay thread will act as a connection point for all characters to be able to interact across games. Between arcs the Gameplay thread will be used to recap and report, and to set up the next arc.

Information about Arch itself can be found in the Campaign Info tab.

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Correction: Character creation guidelines and house rules will be found in the Campaign Info tab.

Information about the city itself will be found in DM Doomed Hero's alias.

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Because of the nature of a shared campaign setting, some organization between GMs is required. (that's what this discussion thread is for)

Guidelines for GMs running Arch games::

1) Run short, goal-oriented stories. Think of Arch games sort of like Mission Impossible scenarios, or Shadowrun missions. Initial goals should be straightforward. Object Retrieval, Assassination, Rescue and Sabotage style missions are all good fits for Arch. Things like Mystery or Intrigue stories are not. Beware of dungeon crawls. Unless your group can keep up an impressive posting rate, they tend to bog down.

Running pre-published modules is fine. There are many short scenario modules like Carrion Hill and Dragon's Demand which would be good fits for Arch. The characters would just be contracted for the mission, rather than stumbling upon it or having personal reasons for getting involved.

2) The goal as a GM should be to be able to get through a scenario in four months. Each four month session will be called an Arc.

If you have an idea for a longer story arc, try to break it apart into pieces and run it as a number of linked scenarios rather than one long one. It is totally fine to "abort" a mission, have your group brought back to the city for debriefing, and then have a new group pick up where the last one left off. (the new group may very well be the same characters, in which case the break between arcs is just a "pit stop" back int the city to report in and resupply).

3) Only run one Arch game at a time. This helps prevent burnout. If you do get burned out, or need to take a break, having another Arch GM step in to run the basics of your game for you is an option. Taking a week off and letting someone else arbitrate combat can keep your game's momentum going while you are sick or dealing with real life stuff.

4) Do Not Wreck The City. If you would like to introduce a story element into your game that has the potential to threaten the city, please PM me. I don't mind occasionally kicking over the castles in the sandbox, but it is important to discuss the ramifications first.

5) If you come across a reliable, fun and creative player bring them to our attention. We'll add them to the invite list for the next Arc.

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Guidelines for Arch characters:

1) Leveling Up: Each time a character survives an Arc, they'll level up. Don't expect to level up mid-arc.
Think of leveling up like passing an exam. It's usually not a big, drawn out process. Your character's mission handler will just ask what the most powerful spell you can cast is, or ask to watch you shoot a few targets. Then your standing in the city will change and they'll assign you to missions who's threat assessment matches your skill level.
When you level up you will be given 1/2 your increased WBL allotment in gear. You can trade out old stuff and get new stuff, but no single item can be worth more than 1/3 your total WBL allotment. The other 1/2 of any level's WBL allotment is expected to be earned as spoils by your character while they are out on mission.

2) Gear: Record your gear costs meticulously. At the end of each Arc the city will audit your worth. If you have more wealth than you should, you'll have to give things up until you are back within your allotment.
Because equipment and gear allotment is measured by what items are worth, and not necessarily what they cost. This changes a bit about how crafting feats work. If you have time to craft between arcs, you might potentially end up with more than the 1/2 WBL increase you are given when you level up. However, even if you are a crafter you still will not be allowed to take items worth more than your WBL allotment on a mission. Crafting feats can give you an edge when prepping for a mission, but they will never allow you to break the WBL limits.
All this is because the city knows how powerful you are. They trained you, and they are constantly assessing the abilities of their operatives. This is an in-game reason for the Wealth By Level guidelines. Your character might actually have more money or equipment than the WBL guidelines permit, but the WBL guidelines set the limit of what you are allowed to take with you on a mission. It is a cost-benefit analysis. If a character dies on a mission, it isn't just the operative the city is lost. It is potentially all their powerful, expensive magic gear too. Then they have to send in a retrieval team to bring back your dead character's Nine-Lives Stealer, but by the time they get there it's been sold to some adventurer who is off in some dragon's lair, and things just get messier and messier.

3) Mythic Ranks: Survive long enough and you'll get them. They come from the Noble Houses. Arch is essentially a city of fantasy-superheroes. The houses are where the big, awesome powers come from.
There's a few changes to the standard Mythic stuff though, so don't make big linchpin plans regarding certain mythic abilities. You might not have access to the things you're thinking about at 1st level. The particulars of Arch's slightly altered Mythic system will be revealed when the campaign reaches that point (sometime around 4th level).

4) Retraining: In Arch, retraining is super easy. It can be done for free between Arcs. All it entails is visiting the Experience Vault and having a few things removed and added. Think of this sort of like Neo learning Kung Fu in the Matrix. Someone out there has done what you wan to learn, and you have the foundation already to understand those Experiences. You just give up some of your own in trade. Your character's history and core personality will remain intact, but what they can do is subject to change. Arch is a place where a Fighter could become a Wizard overnight. The limits on retraining are set by a character's level, and by their attributes.

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Dotting in here for interest and for ease of finding later. *reads stuff*

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Half-elf Rogue 2 | HP 17/17 | AC 18 - T13 FF15 | F+1 R+6 W+0 (+2 vs enchantments) | Per 10 (+11 vs traps), Init +3

Already dotted. ;) REDOT!

Male Varisian 2nd level Monk | HP 20/20 | AC 16 | T 16 | FF 12 | CMD 20 | Fort +5 | Ref +7 | Will +2 | Init +4 | Perc +7 | Sense Motive +6


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We're going to start things off with a scene that introduces your characters. There will be no mechanics posted in this flashback. It is narrative only. The whole thing is a memory caught in a gem, told from Thedra's POV. It is her first major impressions of how your character's handle themselves in a fight. I'm going to lay the scene. You're going to post an "i'm so cool" moment, then I'll do Thedra's internal thoughts and adjust the scene. Rinse repeat a bit until we're ready to move on.

At this point you've been hired as local guides by a pair of adventurers. Thedra and Spectrum.

Thedra looks like Harley Quinn without her makeup on. Blond, bob cut, athletic, attractive and snarky.

Spectrum is an insanely attractive elf male with a no-nonsense academic personality.

The job seemed pretty straightforward. They needed lead through the desert near Sandpoint to find a ruin they intended on exploring. Turned out the whole place was just swarming with Gnolls.

We're going to play out a short flashback that shows off your personal style a little bit, and showcases the kinds of characters Arch sends on missions.

Your characters are quite competent. A few gnolls is a dangerous, but within the realm of things you can handle. This is a lot of gnolls. You two are in way over your heads. Thedra and Spectrum, by comparison, are 7th level characters with a Mythic tier or two.

As a note, I will not be using this as a bad-gm ploy to show off my super-kewel GMPCs. This is a short flashback intended to leave an impression on your characters that would be a bar-room story they'd tell later about an adventure they went on once. It's a big fish story that no one would believe. You certainly wouldn't if you hadn't been there.

Style is key with Arch. Be an action movie hero. Make quips during fights. Tough it out through nasty wounds. Be badass. If this was a TV show, this would be your character's intro montage clip.

Let's get to it.

Half-elf Rogue 2 | HP 17/17 | AC 18 - T13 FF15 | F+1 R+6 W+0 (+2 vs enchantments) | Per 10 (+11 vs traps), Init +3

Sounds awesome. :) I'm down.

Male Dwarf Fighter 2 | HP 22/22 | AC 16 T 11 FF 15 | Ft +6 Rf +1 Wi +0* | Init +5 | Perc +0 l CMD 16 l

Perfect. May the best dwarf win

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Dolgrin, you're not in this scene. You'll be introduced when this one is done.

Male Dwarf Fighter 2 | HP 22/22 | AC 16 T 11 FF 15 | Ft +6 Rf +1 Wi +0* | Init +5 | Perc +0 l CMD 16 l

Roger dat

Half-elf Rogue 2 | HP 17/17 | AC 18 - T13 FF15 | F+1 R+6 W+0 (+2 vs enchantments) | Per 10 (+11 vs traps), Init +3

Herp-derp, I could have sworn I saw references to Sandpoint in Thedra's first 'scene-setting' memory. Hence my insertions about coming back to Varisia. I may have hallucinated them. T___T I'm not figuring it's going to be a big deal, since I know this is just a cinematic intro and will have nothing to do with the actual game, haha, just trying to explain away my dumb there.

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I did some editing after taking a closer look at what you two talked about. Don't worry about it.

Male Varisian 2nd level Monk | HP 20/20 | AC 16 | T 16 | FF 12 | CMD 20 | Fort +5 | Ref +7 | Will +2 | Init +4 | Perc +7 | Sense Motive +6

Whoops... I clearly missed that as well... That's what I get for posting before I have my coffee...

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Normally, I'd be handling what the individual gnolls attacking you guys would do. In this scene I'll leave that up to you. I'm painting the bigger picture. The details are up to you.

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Talas, enjoy some Improved Invisibilty for the rest of the scene. A rogue's best friend.

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Everything that's happened in the game has a mechanical reason. I'd love to see if people can figure out what effects caused what. :)

(I'll reveal it all in game, don't worry.)

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It's been brought to my attention that my "combat maneuvers can be done as attack actions" house rule makes grapple artists much more powerful than other Martials.

So, the house rule has been adjusted so that the Pin maneuver is excluded. That gives enemies a chance to reverse or escape the grapple on their round before the pin gets attempted.

Male Varisian 2nd level Monk | HP 20/20 | AC 16 | T 16 | FF 12 | CMD 20 | Fort +5 | Ref +7 | Will +2 | Init +4 | Perc +7 | Sense Motive +6

I believe that is an acceptable change. Grapplers can be quite powerful if properly built, giving them an easier time could definitely create imbalance issues.

I've been playing a grappling based Brawler, only level 2 currently, but I ran the numbers for high level play and with good rolls I can grapple a whole lot of stuff! And even keep them grappled/pinned... Human brawlers have a phenomenal FCB for grappling builds. You get a +1 to your CMD for any two combat maneuvers every level. So, by 10th level you have a base 30 for your grapple CMD not including Str/Dex bonus and other miscellaneous bonuses.

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Garridan, Talas, please report to The Academy!

Dolgrin, Ariela, expect your intro to begin in a couple hours.

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Dolgrin, you are currently chained up with a lock binding your legs and another binding your chest/arms.

Ariela, you were bound with rope, but are likely free by now.

There are 9 more more monastery acolytes with you.

Ogres are not kind to their captives. The extent of your current injuries are up to you.

Male Human 2 hit dice, Hp: 20/20, Ac. 22 Touch Ac. 12, FF Ac. 19, Bab. +1, Cmb. +3, CMD: 15, Init: +2, Fort: +, Refl: +, Will +*, Perception +. S. Motive +,

I am occasionally reminded of the Paizo forums most notable flaw when I go to hit save after spending over an hour of time working on character profile info and then promptly lose all of it due to the system time out... And forgetting to have copied all of the information.

Esoteric (Magus) 2: HP 15/15 : AC/T/FF 16/13/12 (20/17/12 w/Shield): Fort: + 4 Reflex: + 2 Will: +3 : Perception +0

Yeah I never do anything on Paizo without Word open unless it's a 2 minute post.

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If you're using Firefox, download the Lazarus browser extension. It has saved my posts more times than I can count.

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I Copy all my posts before I try to post them.

I should look into whether Chrome has something like Lazarus.

Esoteric (Magus) 2: HP 15/15 : AC/T/FF 16/13/12 (20/17/12 w/Shield): Fort: + 4 Reflex: + 2 Will: +3 : Perception +0

Gonna give Dolgrin time to get a post or two in.

Male Dwarf Fighter 2 | HP 22/22 | AC 16 T 11 FF 15 | Ft +6 Rf +1 Wi +0* | Init +5 | Perc +0 l CMD 16 l

Thanks for waiting, I just woke up and am sipping my morning coffee. I'll have a post in shortly.

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I'm just going to bed. Don't expect a reply for a while. :)

Male Dwarf Fighter 2 | HP 22/22 | AC 16 T 11 FF 15 | Ft +6 Rf +1 Wi +0* | Init +5 | Perc +0 l CMD 16 l

Welp, that took me forever to write. Hope you enjoy it in the morning =]

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As with the previous scene, usually I'd be handling what the ogress' actions are, but for this one it's up to you two. Have fun with it.

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Ari, Dolgrin, you two are both being introduced in the Academy thread now. This is a few tears after the escape from the Ogre camp, and the first time you've seen Thedra since.

you are aware of the Great City where the Master Temple trains acolytes who have proven exceptional worth. The invitation to train with the Masters there is the highest honor your temple bestows. You also know that visitors from the Great City arrive unexpectedly through the garden sometimes.

you are aware that your Grandfather came from the Great Clan of a far away city, and that he went back there when you were a child. Your father didn't speak much more of it. Your mother is a staunch traditionalist, and apparently a lot of your grandfather's notions challenged what she considered proper. Your mother wanted you exiled for your indiscretions. Your father's compromise was to send you here. You have your suspicions that your father knew this place was connected to your grandfather's home when he picked it.

Both of you please report to the other thread and jump in. You'll be running both scenes concurrently until the ogre escape wraps up.

DH- I've posted with my character alias in the academy discussion thread. You can add that alias to the game list. There are a few sections of that alias profile i'll be filling in this evening, mostly background info and equipment and spell details. My character, Ylmen Arquesse (ILL-min arr-KESS) is mechanically complete, but I'm not sure the details of his current situation. Will he already be in the city as a petitioning bondsman at the start of play? Also, i showed Kelly around the site, she should have an alias up very soon if she doesn't already.

Let me know if there is more information you need for Ylmen, besides that which I've yet to fill in at the end of the description.

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Ylmen will be picked up in this Forest scene, as will our other characters who have yet to join the group.

His backstory requires some conversation. The short version is that he knows about Arch but hasn't been there yet.

To add Ylmen to the gameplay thread and attach the game to your Campsigns tab, all you need to do is post in the Gameplay thread. Some people just post an out of character 'dot' as a first character post. Personally, I prefer to make a post, then delete it. The site still tracks the post and attaches the alias to the game, but it doesn't visibly show up in gameplay.

You'll want to do something like that for both arch gameplay threads.

Male Half-Elf Witch 1, Cleric 1, HP 13/13 (14 NL dmg)

Hiya folks. Heard you could use a divine caster.

Your friendly neighborhood Luck Cleric here, reporting for duty.

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I'll have a game update up late tomorrow night. Anyone who hasn't acted yet, please do.

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Kenna, you're up in gameplay.

Please check the beginning of the Dolgren/Ariela section and try to match the "header" I did there. I want to know the planar designation (PM number) and other general information of Kenna's plane in case we want to use it in game later.

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Kenna, did you have more to add, or do you want me to move on to another intro?

Female Human Rogue 1 / Ranger 1 ; HP 15 / 21 ; AC 17 (touch 14 / ff 13) ; ER Fire 2 ; BAB +1 CMB +1 CMD 15 ; INIT +4 ; F+3 R+7 W+3 ; Perception +8 (+1 vs. traps, +2 vs. humans), S. Motive +7 (+2 vs. humans) ; exhausted

If you're happy, I'm happy.

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Works for me. Not everyone needs a hollywood blockbuster intro.

I'll set up the next intro tonight.

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Ylmen, it's your turn for an intro. Take it away.

Did you want me to mark this as inactive for you?

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No, this is still a thread I'm using. It's going to be organization between games, once multiple games start running.

Esoteric (Magus) 2: HP 15/15 : AC/T/FF 16/13/12 (20/17/12 w/Shield): Fort: + 4 Reflex: + 2 Will: +3 : Perception +0

I was wondering because this would be a huge party to run long term.

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Don't worry, everything is working according to plan.

Male Caligni 2nd Level Chaokineticist | HP 23/23 (NLD 0) | AC 16 | T 13 | FF 13 | CMD 14 | Fort +7 | Ref +6 | Will +1 | Init +3 | Perc +6 | Burn: 0/7

Hey DH, are you allowing any 3pp material? N. Jolly has done three books for kineticists that really expand and open up some extra infusions and utility talents for the class (including Void), so I wanted to look back through them and see if anything really caught my eye for Maltorin and see if you were allowing anything.

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I'd like to stay away from Non-Paizo sources.

I won't be the only one running games in this setting, so I want to keep things as easy for other GMs to manage as possible.

If there's something your character doesn't really work without, or something that you feel the existing mechanics just don't do right, bring it up and we'll look it over.

Male Caligni 2nd Level Chaokineticist | HP 23/23 (NLD 0) | AC 16 | T 13 | FF 13 | CMD 14 | Fort +7 | Ref +6 | Will +1 | Init +3 | Perc +6 | Burn: 0/7

Understandable! There's a few utility talents that fit the character concept better than what is currently available to Void kineticists; such as Skilled Kineticst... It's a terribly weak utility talent and the only one available at 2nd level other than Void healer which is pointless unless used on undead... So it's really up to you and I won't be upset if decide to keep Paizo only.

The two I was looking at would allow Maltorin to be healed by negative energy (making Void healer actually useful) and a 3rd level utility which would cause his square to be under constant Darkness effect.

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Given that Kineticss blasts are at-will, wouldn't that give you unlimited self-healing?

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