GM Poetics Presents: The Last Continent, Table 2

Game Master Azure Poetics

Welcome to the last chunk of Existence that hasn't fallen into darkness. Saddle up, lazybones - the world's waiting for you.

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You wouldn't think that a material plane that supposedly stretches for an infinite distance could ever be truly conquered, but somehow, the Defilers found a way to do it. They clawed their way across the surface of reality and spread their filthy shadow to everything they touched - well, sort of. There's still this little rock in the ocean, the so-called "Last Continent", and it's basically the only place we've got that's worth holding onto. It looks like the gods aren't willing to give up on us just yet. Maybe we'll survive, or even push the Defilers back a little bit. What do you think? It could be worth a shot...

Part 1: The Crunch:
Bros and brodettes, I'm looking to run a game. More than that, I'm hoping to build a world, or at least continue/finish up building what I've got so far. I'd like to keep this one firmly in the Pathfinder family, so if you get to the end of this post with your interest intact and have strong feelings about using either 1.0 or the Playtest for this game, please dish the details down below.

The Last Continent is a setting I've used over two prior RL campaigns, but after some heavy stuff happened that resulted in the abrupt end of the second campaign, it's been sitting on the shelf collecting dust for over a year.

Until now, anyway.

I've decided that the best thing I can do is officially reopen the setting, and rather than jump around in the established timeline as I've been wont to do in the past, we're gonna take it from the top and start at the first major event in the history of the Last Continent. Without further ado, let's dive into the campaign rules that will provide you with loose guidelines to follow as we play.

Character Creation

  • 20-point buy, 2 traits and 1 drawback. 'Nuff said.
  • Race options will be more limited due to the very specific lore I've made up for this setting, so even the Core races will need some reflavoring to fit in. Ask Me How.
  • 3PP content is generally a no-fly zone for me, but I'm open to ideas if they fit the campaign and don't totally screw up the balance for everyone else.
  • Evil characters are allowed, but Chaotic Stupid is just as invalid as Lawful Stupid. I'd challenge you to make your character really compelling if you plan to go down this road.
  • Summoners need to be Unchained. Fight me.

Other Housekeeping

  • When all is said and done, there won't be a lot of homebrew content added to the game - it's more like minor tweaks to help bring the mechanics into the world of the game. True homebrew content, such as archetypes/prestige classes/feats/items, might come at a later date.
  • There's a substantial pantheon of Greater and Lesser Divines for the deity-centric classes, and it's not the same as Paizo's. Surprise, surprise.
  • Everything is magic. That is, the Last Continent is a high-magic setting, so certain (Ex) abilities may be retooled to (Su) or (Sp) abilities as needed - I'll give you a heads-up if it applies to your choice of class.

That about wraps it up. Now, let's talk about why you're here.

Part 2: The Fluff:
The blurb at the beginning sums things up pretty nicely: it's not called "the Last Continent" for no reason, after all. The Defilers are nasty buggers intent on corrupting and despoiling everything good about the material plane, aptly named Existence by many of the people who live there (and due in no small part to their hubris that "this is all there is"). Of course, Existence isn't the only plane you'll have to worry about, and over the course of exploring and defending the Last Continent - or, if destruction is more your style, banishing it to the Shadow Realm - you'll have the option of participating in some merry jaunts across Tempest, the realm of chaos and magic, and Uvast, the divine plane of order.

Each of the planes has a symbiotic relationship with the others, and the flow of anima from one plane to the next creates a cycle of life, death, and rebirth that is essential to the stability of the Last Continent. The Defilers, endearing little monsters they are, tried to get right in the middle of that cycle and wound up turning one of the Greater Divines, a real mean customer named Tornorus, into a magic-guzzling psychopath. Tornorus breached the plane of Tempest to absorb more power, which released some nasty Riftspawn (in layman's terms, "demons") that now want to chow on anything and everything remotely connected to the Last Continent.

That's where you came in. When the first waves of demonic slaughter came crashing down in all their crimson glory, you decided to step up and take the fight to the Riftspawn. It was gonna be a war for the ages. We were gonna win.

Except... the war didn't exactly happen... like, at all.

Part 3: The Hook:
There was a big ol' flash of light right when you were marching toward the bad guys. Then, you woke up with your back in the grass and your eyes to the sky, completely intact. You're the living definition of in medias res, but now it's your job to figure out with the HFIL happened when you got sucker-punched by 1.21 gigawatts of pure pain to the eyeballs... and why the world seems to have changed into something totally different in the time it took you to wake up. The Divines are pretty tight-lipped about it all, but hey, at least the Riftspawn seem to have disappeared. Now you just have to make it back home - assuming it's still where you left it, of course.

So, what's it gonna be, champ? Ready to write your side of the story?

Bonus Features:
About Me
I've been haunting the messageboards for a pretty short time compared to most people I've met on here, but I'd like to think I have something to offer the community with this campaign, plus any others that pop up after it's done. I've been GMing for about four years, mostly because it's one of the best outlets for me to put that high-priced piece of paper I call an English degree to work.

My RL alignment is definitely True Neutral, so consider yourself warned. I enjoy literary allusions and goofy pop culture references out-of-character (except that one time I made a skald whose sole purpose was to quote Led Zeppelin lyrics), though I try to keep things serious when it comes to the emotional storytelling bits. I'm taking this one a bit slow as I reacquaint myself with the setting, so bear with me and we'll figure this stuff out as a team.

As for the liberal doses of attitude I've thrown into the earlier paragraphs, blame my love of cyberpunk. It's all Gibson's fault.

Interested? Got some suggestions that'd make this campaign really pop? Just let me know.


Interesting. Consider me having dotted and whatnot.


I love getting to know people's custom settings. Would this game be starting at first level, though?


My wife and me are interested looks pretty cool.

Edit: What kind of reflavoring would you need for half-elves?


Looks very interesting!

Strong preference for PF 1.0

How do dwarves (or the equivalent) look in your setting?


Color me intrigued!

Curiosity naturally follows interest, so if you'd be so kind as to reply to a few of my questions, I'd have a better go of tailoring a submission for the world you've created:

1. As everything is magic, has the progress of technology been different than what we might expect in Golarion and/or on a different path than what we've experienced on earth? For example, the prevalence of teleportation may make training of sailors to navigate oceans a moot point, and watercraft may be coastal transports only.

2. Is every person capable of magical manipulation? Are those who cannot seen as an underclass of sorts?

3. Similar to havoc, how significant is the reflavoring? For non-core races, especially the non-magically-inclined, I'm assuming this is moreso? Lizardfolk would be a good case, particularly in conjunction with (2).

4. Given the nature of "Existence" being assumed as all there is, how do summoners or those invoking positive/negative energy justify where their abilities originate?

5. Are there platypi in your world?

6. How halcyon were world societies preceding the defilers?

7. What sorts of themes are you looking to explore? Depending on the DM, some like to delve into individual vs. society, love & loss, dynamic characters, etc. Are there any themes which you would be looking to avoid?

I'm also a vote for 1.0. Thanks for giving this a read!


First off, thank you all for taking the time to read through the post and express your interest so far. It's enough to give a guy the warm 'n' fuzzies just thinking about it. I'm happy to answer your questions and offer clarification where I can, which I will now attempt to do.

Deep breath...

Groundhog wrote:
I love getting to know people's custom settings. Would this game be starting at first level, though?

I'm feeling a slightly higher-level start (maybe 2 or 3) for two major reasons.

1. Starting at level 1 is a drag and just delays getting to the good stuff.
2. Lore-wise, a bunch of first-time adventurers fresh out the kitchen would be a nice snack for the Riftspawn army they were going out to face, so they would only have been recruited once they got a little more experience under their belts.

I'm leaning toward a level 3 start just so we have all our basic class features and feats set up, which will reduce some unnecessary pain and suffering in the long run.

havoc xiii wrote:

My wife and me are interested looks pretty cool.

Edit: What kind of reflavoring would you need for half-elves?

Bring the spouse - the more, the merrier! Half-elves don't require many changes (half-dwarves, on the other hand, are definitely valid and still in the works). The biggest adaptations would be the fact that half-elves aren't the social outcasts they're made out to be by Paizo, and that both human and elf culture are different enough to warrant one/several post/s on the lore that would be better served once recruitment officially begins. Stay tuned for details - same bat time, same bat channel.

Miner Cotren wrote:

Looks very interesting!

Strong preference for PF 1.0

How do dwarves (or the equivalent) look in your setting?

Well, they look like dwarves with a dash of isolationist policy and a bit more of an engineering focus than their other iterations - the clash of technological advancement versus ancient tradition is at the forefront of their cultural discourse. Also, female dwarves have facial hair, and all is right with the world.

Felix Shadowshifter wrote:

Color me intrigued!

Curiosity naturally follows interest, so if you'd be so kind as to reply to a few of my questions, I'd have a better go of tailoring a submission for the world you've created...

I'm also a vote for 1.0. Thanks for giving this a read!

You. You... will get your own post here in a moment.


As promised, the aforementioned post.

Felix Shadowshifter wrote:


1. As everything is magic, has the progress of technology been different than what we might expect in Golarion and/or on a different path than what we've experienced on earth? For example, the prevalence of teleportation may make training of sailors to navigate oceans a moot point, and watercraft may be coastal transports only.

2. Is every person capable of magical manipulation? Are those who cannot seen as an underclass of sorts?

3. Similar to havoc, how significant is the reflavoring? For non-core races, especially the non-magically-inclined, I'm assuming this is moreso? Lizardfolk would be a good case, particularly in conjunction with (2).

4. Given the nature of "Existence" being assumed as all there is, how do summoners or those invoking positive/negative energy justify where their abilities originate?

5. Are there platypi in your world?

6. How halcyon were world societies preceding the defilers?

7. What sorts of themes are you looking to explore? Depending on the DM, some like to delve into individual vs. society, love & loss, dynamic characters, etc. Are there any themes which you would be looking to avoid?

1 and 2 (the answers to these two are pretty closely related). Magic and technology have tended to go hand-in-hand, namely because of a little thing called backlash. There are a host of mental and physical drawbacks to life as a full-time spellcaster, and attempting to employ magic beyond the scope of one's current abilities is hazardous to one's health, to put it mildly. Magic is still potent and still very costly, so while every person has the potential to utilize magic by simple virtue of resonating with the massive quantities of magic that suffuse every inch of the continent, they don't necessarily have the skill or fortitude to harness it on a large-enough scale to render certain technologies obsolete. There's no discrimination against the majority that aren't adept at magic, but those who succeed with spells tend to earn a fair bit of prestige.

3. Many elements will be familiar, particularly as far as Core race choices go, but I went with some sweeping changes to some of the others. First, every race has a unique name and culture that differentiates them from your bog-standard fantasy tropes (or at least assigns them a different bog-standard fantasy trope instead; I'm a sucker for clichés when they're fun). For instance, orcs as you may know them don't exist; the creatures called "orcs" in this setting constitute several varieties of elementals that are more territorial and wary than they are savage and warlike. On that note, the analog of half-orcs doesn't exist at this point in the timeline. This also restricts choices outside the Core races because, with this being so early in the history of the Last Continent, certain peoples just haven't had time to evolve/emigrate/be spontaneously generated by divine providence.

4. Fair question. It was a major point of hubris until Tornorus went nuts and basically blew the cover of the Divines, who had been keeping a low profile in the hopes that their lack of intervention would hide the Last Continent from the Defilers for a while and give them more time to prepare for its defenses. So, the arrogant humans (who happen to be the "firstborn" of this setting, not the elves) suddenly realized that Existence was not, in fact, the whole of existence. At this point in history, it's still a significant source of existential dilemmas for the heroes of our story. Nevertheless, channeling energy is suddenly a very real power that is directly obtained from Uvast, the plane of the divine, while the existence of outsiders like eidolons is a major head-scratcher that your characters have the potential to find the answer to themselves if they feel so inclined.

5. There may or may not be some platypus-esque creatures that would present a pretty clear allegory for them within the setting. Mammals laying eggs? Just another day in the Last Continent, especially ever since the Divines soft-nuked the whole place...

6. More than you might expect. Humans being who they are, there were some conflicts prior to the opening of the Rift, but they were mostly relegated to inter-kingdom political squabbles and the occasional war over territory. Many of their major kingdoms had already solidified by then, and even the smaller settlements enjoyed stability and prosperity when the kingdoms weren't throwing their weight around. Recent events have certainly taken a turn for the worse, the full extent of which won't be revealed until your characters get to experience the world they once knew and see what's changed.

7. I would hope that dynamic characters are a given, if only because static characters don't give the story much wiggle room. Major themes of this campaign will likely be something like the following.

  • Loss of the familiar and adjusting to a new world
  • Discovering powers far greater than your own that are outside your control
  • Surviving as a group while confronting individual shortcomings and insecurities
  • Seeing into the dark corners of reality

I'm gonna be adventurous and say that no themes are off-limits, provided you keep your attitude and content in-line with what the rest of the players are comfortable with. If something makes even one player uncomfortable, it's better to nix it entirely for their comfort - this is designed to be a fun game that can teach us something about ourselves.

Whew. I hope all of this helps!


Azure Poetics wrote:

First off, thank you all for taking the time to read through the post and express your interest so far. It's enough to give a guy the warm 'n' fuzzies just thinking about it. I'm happy to answer your questions and offer clarification where I can, which I will now attempt to do.

Deep breath...

havoc xiii wrote:

My wife and me are interested looks pretty cool.

Edit: What kind of reflavoring would you need for half-elves?

Bring the spouse - the more, the merrier! Half-elves don't require many changes (half-dwarves, on the other hand, are definitely valid and still in the works). The biggest adaptations would be the fact that half-elves aren't the social outcasts they're made out to be by Paizo, and that both human and elf culture are different enough to warrant one/several post/s on the lore that would be better served once recruitment officially begins. Stay tuned for details - same bat time, same bat channel.

Alright she is thinking unchained summoner, either a rag team partner or your more traditional I stand back here and my eidolon attacks over there. Mine is half-elven phantom blade spiritualist with ancestral arms for elven thornblade.


Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
Interesting. Consider me having dotted and whatnot.

How could I forget a shout-out to the legendary Vrog Skyreaver dotting one of my posts?

havoc xiii wrote:
Alright she is thinking unchained summoner, either a rag team partner or your more traditional I stand back here and my eidolon attacks over there. Mine is half-elven phantom blade spiritualist with ancestral arms for elven thornblade.

Psychics make for some interesting philosophical discussions on the Last Continent, so this could be fun. I look forward to seeing the RP potential for the characters once I fill you guys in on more of the lore.


Legendary? I'll take it!


Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
Legendary? I'll take it!

Well-earned, I'd say.

In other news, there's a Google Drive folder containing some lovely little tidbits about the setting and playable races. Keep this in mind: all the stuff I've bothered to homebrew is untested and liable to be changed, so if something strikes you as downright horrible, let me know and fire off some suggestions about how to fix it.

  • The introductory packet for people who like the short version of things (like me).
  • Deities and domains! Remember those?
  • Some hefty rearrangements of Ability Score bonuses and other racial traits, even among the Core races. Give it a look before grabbing your torches and pitchforks. My end goal is to make races more viable, and I'm open to ideas about how to make that happen.
  • Languages - they matter.

What's that, Lassie? A recruitment thread?

Yeah, I'll get to that later because I don't want to seem totally overeager to run this game (but I am, so...). That'll give anyone else interested in the campaign time to catch up on the details and get some character concepts made.

Thanks again for reading!


Interesting read. I'm looking forward to reading info about the nations.

That being said, tell me about the Titans, cause I has an idear.


It mentions that Yggdrians are proficient with weapons their racial weapons. What are those also what about their appearance how animalistic is it?


Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
That being said, tell me about the Titans, cause I has an idear.

Lend me your idears.

On Upholders:
The Last Continent is founded on sets of six - Six Greater Divines, Six Great Nations, etc. It's built into the mythos that the number three, while generally accepted as the number of completion, fails to reflect the inherent dichotomies of life (good and evil, creation and destruction, life and death, etc.). In that vein, there are six fundamental "elements": air, earth, fire, light, shadow, and water. Each one is a tangible force capable of shaping the world in unique ways, is associated with one of the Greater Divines, and has an Upholder tasked with preserving the balance among the six elements.

These elemental titans mostly keep to themselves, acting through the various races of elementals (including imps, orcs, and golems, all of which have strong elemental ties in this setting) whenever they need to get things done. There are legends that say if an Upholder ever becomes too powerful, the other five will forcibly take back the balance; likewise, if one becomes too weak, the other five will sacrifice some of their essence to preserve the sanctity of the land.

Some, such as Pyrrhion and Lephalir, occasionally indulge in more direct dealings with the Mortal Races, but none have ever ventured outside their own domain for fear of destabilizing the surrounding lands.

I hope that gives you some material to work with, and I look forward to hearing what you've got on these guys.

havoc xiii wrote:
It mentions that Yggdrians are proficient with weapons their racial weapons. What are those also what about their appearance how animalistic is it?

For the purposes of the settings, orc weapons are reflavored as yggdrian weapons - this affects the orc double axe, orc skull ram, and orc hornbow, and allows yggdrians to treat them as martial weapons.

Yggdrian appearance actually varies based on the strength of the disease within them. Some resemble archetypal werewolves because of how strong it is, and their forms are savage-looking beast/man hybrids. The majority are more humanoid than beast, but maintain several outward markers of beasthood, so picture half-orcs without the green skin and with more hair and claws. There's a silent minority that actually shows very few markers of the virus, but they also lack many of the advantages (and disadvantages) that it carries.

Of course, the appearance/bestial details are irrelevant to the campaign because yggdrians don't exist yet; their human counterparts, the Kekowa tribes, are still around. It'll be taking place in the year AC 13, named for the "Age of Constellations" when more non-human races began to populate the surface world and gain influence.

Races for this part of the timeline

  • Dwarves, AKA Rufalg
  • Elves, AKA Kiranae
  • Half-elves
  • Halflings, AKA Altruans
  • Humans - Ashcleft, Galshan, Kekowa (no Uladr)
  • Kestari *

* Kestari wouldn't actually know what they are yet. You would still have all the features of the race, but you'd easily be able to pass for human and would only have just begun experiencing the side effects of Rift energy. That could be an excellent source of personal conflict and create a strong character arc.


Oh, and there's a recruitment thread now. Ta-dah!

GM Poetics presents: The Last Continent

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