Steam and soot darken the skies above the docks as the clamor of voices and machines clash with each other for dominance. Winds sweeping across the harbor to blow the choking products of industrial forges into the snow capped mountains that loom around the city. Across the inner ring of the enclosed Yundalite Mountains, the march of progress and the demands of national defense produces similar results.
The great human colonies no longer fear the natural threats of Yundal, and tensions from home nations have spilled over into the colonies to end previous alliances. What was once a united front against the monstrous natives, savage barbarians, and formless abominations has become a cesspool of distrust and corruption and betrayal. The ever-present march of progress clashes with the prophetic warnings of the Church, and everybody from barbarians to soldiers of fortune want a piece of the profits and glory.
Times are turning. The last seven years of uneasy peace is overshadowed by the previous thirty years of war. The clash of the Church and technologists raises tensions by the day. Pirates and mercenaries make their fortune at the expense of others. The natives and barbarians seem to grow bolder with every skirmish. Even some of the skyseers begin preaching the warnings of the Church as the starry wheels of heaven tell of a new age. But what they cannot see, hidden beyond the steam and soot of the night sky, is if the new age is one of progress, or of catastrophe.
Hello everybody, and welcome to my homebrew Zeitgeist flavored campaign!
First, stuff about me. My main alias is CampinCarl9127, and I've been around the boards since 2012. I've run a number of games IRL, and one game on the boards that spanned a few years and went from levels 1-11. I'm currently active as a player in 7 games, and in the past I've been active in up to 20 at once. To make a long story short, I'm here for the long haul. And if you're going to apply for this game, I expect you to be as well.
There is a well written site that has a thing called “GM Merits”, found here. My merits are as follows:
My game will tell an interesting story.
My game will be scary (at times).
My game focuses on exploration and mystery.
Characters in my game are destined for greatness, not random death.
My game includes disturbing content (at times).
My games focus on interesting Characters and Drama
I frequently tinker with the rules of the game (rules are not a strict code to be adhered to, they are a tool to structure and enjoy the game)
Tactics are an important part of my game.
Players in my game should be prepared to run when the odds are against them.
There will be player vs player combat allowed in my game (but you better have a good reason).
I will Mirror back player ideas I think are interesting in the game
The GM is in charge in my game and “rule-zero” is in effect (but I am always open to discussion and questioning my rules/judgments. I will listen to you and carefully consider what you say)
Players characters death are not extremely likely in my game, but it can happen with bad luck or recklessness.
Second, what I mean by "Zeitgeist Flavored". This campaign was heavily inspired by the Zeitgeist adventure path by Ryan Nock. I read the extended player’s guide and fell in love with the setting and for years have wanted to run a campaign in it. As such much of Ikeroth was built with this influence, and although the plot and world history and current events and etc. are of my own design, too much was stolen from Mr. Nock to call this an original work. Ikeroth was designed solely for my personal use and will not be used in any commercial way.
What does that mean for you as a player? Not a whole lot. If you're familiar with the Zeitgeist setting you will definitely feel some similarities. But all of the names have been changed, and nothing about the plot will be even vaguely similar. So there are no spoilers if you are experienced with the Zeitgeist adventure path.
First, posting expectations. As detailed above, I expect my players to be dedicated for the long haul. In addition I expect to hear a post form players at least once a day (if currently involved in something) or at least once every other day (if not involved in something, such as waiting for another character to finish something before they can proceed). Weekends are an exception to this, and I will sporadically post on weekends if I suddenly find the time to do so.
Second, the google drive folder with the campaign details. There are four files: A player's guide, a shortened player's guide, a map of the area, and a map of the inner isles. I expect every applicant to be familiar with everything in the drive, with the exception of the longer player's guide (although you are more than welcome and encouraged to familiarize yourself with that as well, it's just rather long and not everybody wants to read 90 pages if they don't have to).
Third, character creation. Let me make this perfectly clear. I don't give a damn about your crunch. In fact you won't even get to generate stats until after you have been chosen for the game. Instead I want you guys to go through the google drive to familiarize yourself with the setting, then create the fluff of a character who is invested in the world. These are some of the answers I want addressed when creating your character, taken from this video. Although you don't have to watch this video I think it's a great resource for helping create a backstory.
1) Where were they born?
2) Who are their parents?
2a) Are they still alive? Are there any other guardians/close family members?
3) What were they doing before now?
3a) Why leave it all?
3b) What did they leave behind?
4) What does your character want?
Keep in mind this is just something to get you thinking. I don't expect you guys to answer these questions then be done, and you don't even have to answer these questions in some sort of formal format. I want to read a short synopsis about your character and be enticed as to how they will influence the world of Ikeroth if given the chance.
*Rolls eyes* "Yes we all know to do fluff" Ah except this campaign setting, while it exists and has a plot planned out, a massive amount of the story will be dependent upon the characters. Note that plot and story have different meanings. Plot is some background influences in the world, story is what's created by the characters and what they decide to do. It is impossible for this game to be run the same way twice, because so much of what happens depends on the characters selected. Do you have parents in the church of Azgaar who are influential? Perhaps you're researching a way to eradicate the Formless, and have petitioned governments to give resources for the endeavor? Maybe you think the Skives can be made into allies, and you constantly run peacekeeping missions? Your character backstory will create changes in Ikeroth before the campaign even starts. And throughout the course of the campaign you will be influencing where the world is going. This is not a written adventure path. Your decisions as a player will shape the future in ways that even I can't predict.
Once you've thought about this, I am interested to hear about your character theme chosen (see player's guide), as well as your class (and possibly archetype). And everybody is human, although there are some variant humans and a lot of variant racial abilities you should consider. And to keep in mind as far as crunch goes, here's something to consider: I am not a fan of the power creep that Pathfinder is currently suffering from. So as a general rule, if a source is more recent than around the 2013-2014 area, ask before you use it.
Now you won't get to see your stats yet, but I will tell you how the stats will be generated. Once chosen for the campaign, every character gets to roll 1d6+2d4+4, rerolling two 1's of their choice. They then place all of their numbers into a large pool, and all of the players decide democratically how to divvy up the numbers for their characters.
I will be picking 4 players. The recruitment will close once I have four players I am happy with. This campaign starts at level 4 and will go to around level 15.
That is all for now. Please feel free to bombard me with questions/comments/concerns. As it is the weekend I will be available sporadically, but will certainly be doing my best to check as often as I can.
I'm in. I have been in a Zeitgeist game already, and while I love the setting material, the AP (or perhaps how it was run) left me underwhelmed. I'd love to try another foray into that world.
I have a few questions before I jump into character creation-
Will we be members of the RHC? Is this an investigation game where we will need to take suspects in alive, or a more standard "kill 'em and loot the bodies" game?
WI'll this be a primarily urban or investigation game?
|Vitaliano da Riva|
~taps chin~ Hmm...what so 4 players will roll the formula 6 times and then all 24 rolls will go into a bank and the group will divvy out the stats based from the pool?
That's...intriguing. ~scratches chin~ And once a day posting. I'm ok with this as well. I'll read a bit, I'm curious of how the game might run...Torn between Bard or Alchemist I think for this type of campaign.
@Doomed Hero - It depends. Everybody gets to choose how they are involved in the world at the beginning of the game, which can include being a member of the government but could also be anything else. Maybe you're a pirate. Maybe you're a member of the church. Maybe you're a ettunium harvester. You get to be anything you want, and it's not limited by the other players!
As far as the direction the group takes, it again depends on you guys. It's rather open ended. But I can assure you there will be significant amount of investigation and intrigue. There are definitely mysteries and secrets to be figured out.
Basically it depends on what you guys want to do. Government investigators, marauding pirates, church enforcers, it's up to you!
@Vitallano da Riva - Correct, it will be a bit of an adventure figuring out stats :D
|Deaths Adorable Apprentice|
Hello dragon rider :D
This sounds interesting but I am very sleep deprived. Going on about an hour in the last 36 hours and that is a lot to read. I did skim though parts of it and I am very interested though I have no familiarity with Zeitgeist.
I love the idea of the Skyseer. One of my favorite class choices is a Seer Oracle. I love this option because it gives the GM a fair bit of power over the player character and I love those options. Seers are just all around fun times. Though I have been shot down many times and I can easily think of some other ideas or expand on this one.
Plus you have wild magic without a familiar or spell book and wild magic is fun shenanigans. And divination magic is so much fun and I never seem to get to play with. This tends to be my go to so long as a GM is willing to deal with something like that. Not all GMs like having that kind of power over a player for whatever reason. But these two things look like they would complement each other.
Hopefully I can get some sleep so I can read though the many pages of setting stuff after my live game. But I do have questions that I usually ask.
Agreeing with Doomed Hero on the investigation, murderhoob, political thriller, or wondering the countryside looking monsters to kill. Or do we get to pick? Your text wall imply that but checking is needed.
Is leadership an option? Not that I will go that way but knowing if it is an option helps.
Is there a preference on sexuality? Not all GMs want to deal with subjects such as Homosexuality or even Heterosexuality. Preferring that simply stay out of the game.
Is romance allowed? Either between players or with NPC's. I do not mean the naughty stuff, that fades to black, but the relationship thing. Love is a big part of the human condition.
I assume bigotry happens in game? based on what little I have managed to retain. And what kind of bigotry?
Are there age limits, to young or to old, on what we can play?
I really hope my text wall made sense. I am sure I will come up with more questions later when my brain is more functional.
@Deaths Adorable Apprentice - No familiarity with the setting is needed, everything you need is in the link!
A seer Oracle skyseer is definitely a combination that works well. However keep in mind the state of religion in this setting, because the only formally recognized god is Azgaar and his worshipers are almost exclusively controlled by the Church. Just make sure you read the religion sections!
Yes you're right that I implied you can do anything, see above. The players get to decide how they explore and interact with the world.
Leadership is allowed as long as it's used for a good story reason and not to get an overpowered cohort.
I'm open on sexuality, you can explore those themes if you want. The setting is slightly more progressive than a typical pathfinder setting, but not much.
Yes, relationships in the romantic way are not only allowed but encouraged as they help tie you into the world.
Oh yes, bigotry happens. Primarily bigotry towards the ternocks and the Skives. However there's also bigotry to and from members of the church, the magicless humans of Thane, between the upper and lower class, and between nobels and common born. Also there's a thriving underground as well as a lot of drug epidemic problems, which has it's own sort of bigotry. Definitely a large part of this setting.
Umm, I would suppose no hard limits on age. But if you're a child or ancient you need a good reason why you can be an adventurer.
I'm always open to more questions!
I love a good story based RP. I haven't read the material you supplied yet, but it has intrigued me. I am a fan of Roguish types and this seems a campaign that relies not only on storytelling from you but from us the player. I have a few ideas in my head and am wondering exactly where I want to go. I hope to solidify an idea more once I get into the material.
As for questions about character development, will we get opportunities to build something be it a business, army, network ect.?
Do you have a definite climax you want us to get to or points in the story we will end up in no matter what?
As for age are we taking normal starting ages, more traditional Medival ages, or something else?
I think that is all the questions I have for now before I begin reading things.
Indeed, you have a good sense of the kind of campaign I'm going for!
Yes you will have those opportunities. We can get more in depth if you wish. The question isn't really "can I do this?" but "how can we make this work?"
Mhmm that's a hard question to answer directly without giving too much away. Let me out it this way. There is a plot planned, and there will definitely be a definitive climax, but how exactly that manifests and the journey you take to get there depends entirely on your actions. Nobody else could run this campaign, because there's no written manifesto of the events to occur. There's players and influences and the campaign is the story of how those reach and interact with the inserted will of the players. I hope that makes sense?
By age do you mean time setting or character age? For time setting it's in the players guide. Basically we're around primitive firearms. For character age standard is fine.
I love story driven games. Dotting for interest and I'll make a character later tonight. From I've seen this looks like it'll be awesome.
Currently I'm feeling like I want to come up with a rogue-ish, piratey type. Think Balthier from FF12 or Star Lord before he became a guardian of the galaxy. I'll read through the info you gave to further flesh out his story but I already have one or two paragraphs written in my head.
Great, let me know what you guys come up with!
Steven I think that Helikon us looking more at a gunslinger right now, so don't worry about overlap :)
Also as a note to everyone, while I don't completely ignore party composition, it's not a huge deal. We can work around strong players with invested characters, and lacking something won't be game ending since the story will be tailor made.
Ok, so I'm definitely going with an urbanite high class gunsmith mysterious stranger archetype dual classed into archaeologist bard. I'm going to play off his luck quite a bit. For now, here's his intro and backstory.
Damned fool, he made it sound so easy. I should've known there would "complications" by the price tag attached to the job. Still, I've pulled off harder jobs for less, so how was I supposed to know? Whatever that thing was, they didn't want to let it go easy...
That was an understatement, really. Half the damned church was after him into the streets of Munsberg, and his priest disguise was damn near perfect! As far as he could tell, it was just a chunk of ettunium in a fancy gold setting, anyway. No reason at all for the death threats and chasing through the streets, as far as he was concerned.
His eyes drifted on to the ship in the dock, the same one that brought him here, to a shady tavern on the coast of Breica. The captain was nice enough, even offering Sevas a job as a guard and deckhand, after seeing how the youth handled his pistol. Sevas chuckled at the memory, how the captain had looked so... hopeful at first, and then so crestfallen when the boy declined. Oh, father, if you could see me now... a deckhand on a merchant ship would be far more pleasing to you than... What was it you called me again? Oh yes, a "lowly thief, pirate, and disgrace to the Deraika name! I didn't spend my life in the military just to have a son who spit in the face of everything I stand for!"
For a short second, the memory of the day he left his parents and little sister behind surfaced, his sister Becca's tears, his mother's broken stance, and his father's rage all following him out of the huge iron gate of the family estate, but he squashed it quickly. They never could understand that he craved excitement, and to discover the world himself, not through some old dusty history book.
Books. The word in his mind brought him back to just yesterday, when he went back to the collector's manor in Valancia to drop off the damned relic. When he found the collector in a pool of blood, dead from some kind of projectile wound, though Sevas had no idea what sort. It was as if someone had a gun that shot flames hot enough to burn a hole through a torso, and put a bigger hole in the wall behind said torso. Sevas didn't stick around long enough to see if the weapon, or it's wielder, were still around. He made his exit, heading to a tavern he knew was safe, to figure out his next move. Maybe taking the captain up on his offer wasn't such a bad idea after all. At least until Sevas could find a buyer for... whatever the thing in his bag was, and get out of the area.
But such was life for the young gunsmith. Taking jobs from rich men who had nothing better to do than collect old artifacts, men who wanted things that others possessed, men who simply wanted, and Sevas was there to oblige. He made his living off the weak, rich, and lazy.
A smirk made its way onto the boy's face, as he downed the rest of his ale. The captain be damned. My luck hasn't run out yet, and I don't mind pushing it. I still have enough gold to restock my ammo, and there's that one woman in Novaria, Madame Dressich, I think? She paid quite a bit for that one job, perhaps she'll be interested in some old dusty Skyseer stuff. I daresay I should pay her a visit...
He stood, making sure his pistol was loose in it's holster before pulling his cloak around him, and started toward the door. It was time to make some gold.
That's the gist of him. Let me know of there is anything amiss, or if you would like me to add more. As far as my plans for him, like I said, he'll be a gunslinger/bard, with the mysterious stranger and archaeologist archetypes, respectively. I see you're replacing traits with the theme feats, and I'll be going with the gunsmith, however, I really would like to somehow incorporate the fates favored trait. Is there a way to gain it with a feat in your game or, or perhaps trade one of the high class human traits, such as hatred for it? I don't see hatred fitting Sevas well anyway, as he chose to leave an esteemed war veteran's family to pursue a life of piracy and adventure. I'll be looking at all the luck based feats as well. This will be far from a metagamed character, but I don't expect him to be weak, either. His personality will be very much the dashing gentlemanly rogue, much like Baltheir from FF12, with a sense of dry wit and humor akin to Star Lord. He'll be around 20ish. He will absolutely be the most charismatic in the group, which is my goal of blending the two charisma based archetypes together, and I will more than likely play him like the suave womanizer, much like Captain Kirk from Star Trek.
Let me know what you think DM!
Hello again boards. It's good to see that you're alive and well again :D
@Steven_Evil - Nice write up! Definitely gives me a lot of plot hooks to play with, which is fantastic.
So your parents, and maybe more so your father, are involved in the military? Would that mean they'd be heavily involved in the church as well? A black sheep of a noble church family whose out stirring up trouble as a soldier of fortune, how scandalous.
As far as the fate's favored trait, you're correct there are no starting traits in this game. However if you were selected I would work with you to get it into your build somehow. Perhaps you simply take the additional traits feat? Perhaps we replace some racial abilities? Perhaps we work it into your class? Regardless, don't let mechanics be a barrier to the kind of character you want to play. I will work with you to get that sorted out. See above in the spoiler of me as a GM, "I frequently tinker with the rules of the game (rules are not a strict code to be adhered to, they are a tool to structure and enjoy the game)".
As far as any other background or personality development, you have done fantastic for setting up a background and a lot of plot hooks. However I do have one question: What does Sevas Deraika want? What does he want to accomplish? Is there something about the world he seeks to change? Or discover? Acquiring gold is definitely a goal that many people have, but most people use money as a means to an end. Even greedy pirates, who seek to use it to buy women and drinks or whatever else. Tell me what drives him!
I'm one of those who let's the character reveal themselves over time, so his motivations may very well change depending on where he finds himself. As for what he wants, I feel like he simply lives for the excitement. The knowledge that he can do things others can't, the knowledge that people come to him when they want something done, or want something... Acquired. Partly for a power trip. Partly for an ego boost. Partly for the gold. Partly to challenge himself, to push his own limits. Though he has a particular distaste for book learning, that's only because he was forced to do so by his parents, so he's extremely knowledgeable about the world, history, and religion. I have a feeling that his curiosity will become a major driving force for him as well. Im considering having him become mildly obsessed with finding out more uses for Ettunium, or refining it's current uses even more in some way.
As for his parents, his father would definitely be retired military, with an excellent service record and an exemplar of the military lifestyle and mindset, which makes Sevas becoming a soldier of fortune or sorts even more insulting to the family name. I've played around with the notion of having his mother be heavily involved in the church, perhaps as a high priestess or some such. At some point I would love for his family to recur and have him have to deal with whatever that fallout may be.
Mechanically, I'd be fine with dumping the hatred racial trait for Fates Favored. I don't feel like hatred really fits him that well, and it seems the simplest fix to me at least. I'm far more of a role player than a meta gamer, and that just feels right.
@Steven_Evil - The adrenaline rush of danger and excitement is definitely a good desire for a character to have! Curiosity about ettunium is also great, especially since it's unique to this setting and there's a lot of mystery around it.
At some point I would love for his family to recur and have him have to deal with whatever that fallout may be.
Oh yes. That is exactly why I'm asking for these kinds of details. The reason I want such a detailed backstory is not only to help you flesh out your characters, but also because I plan on going through and visiting the implications and fallout of such events and relationships. :)
I definitely want to flesh his family out some more. I kind of want his sister to either "come of age" and try to follow in his footsteps as an adventurer, or to show up as a total badass herself with the intent of basically beating him into submission and making him come back home in order to stop him from tarnishing the family name.
Greetings. I've read the Ikeroth Player's Guide and had one question. I know we can't take the Character Theme feats after 1st level but are they exclusive or is it possible to start with two difference Character Theme feats at first level?
I have a concept of a Skive warrior who became injured. As he laid on his back recovering night after night, he stared up at the stars, questioning their existence until he was finally blessed with divine power. He continued to serve his clan for many years as somewhat of a spiritual leader until the present day. An unlikely encounter with technology has called out to him. Now he seeks to learn as much about the enemies weapons as he cans. The metal speaks to him, calls to him to bend it to his will. After finding a simulacrum, he has left his clan behind and travels in search of more of these technology-based artifacts, hoping to one day understand them enough to construct his own. He would be a middle-aged male and most likely will be built as a warsighted oracle of metal. I have more details but wanted to get in a brief post about interest.
Thanks for any input, oh, and thanks for turning me on to greatgamemaster. Definitely a kindred spirit.
*gasps for air* please Paizo I'm trying to do something here
@Steven_Evil - Interesting! Many loose threads to be addressed :D
@Nickadeamous - They are exclusive, but that doesn't mean you can't have the flavor of multiple in your character!
Hmm. Definitely an interesting concept. I wonder how we could make an Oracle of metal work? Right now the only religions available is the church of Azgaar, and the more vague and ambiguous folk spirituality of the less civilized nations and skyseers and druids which are all very nature focused. I would recommend looking over the sections on Azgaar, as well as the religious sections in the beginning and Brieca, Eclus, and Skive.
I don't want to say "no" because I would much rather say "hmm how can we make that work", but right now I'm struggling to think of a way to do that. Any thoughts or inspiration are highly appreciated.
|Deaths Adorable Apprentice|
Filling in party gaps is the main reason I asked about the Leadership feat. You only want four players so there are bound to be some gaps. I can easily go healer with an Oracle, I seems trapped in that role though I have grown to like it.
I have a few mechanical questions since the mysteries and curses should be heavily tied to what make up my so far unnamed character.
I had a GM, I do not remember if you were in that game or not, who let me take the Dual Cursed archetype but we remade it. No spells changed and the fortune and misfortune thing vanished. Instead you could have two mysteries and two curses, one of which never got any better. Would I be able to do something like that?
How do you feel about summons?
Azgaar kind of reminds me of the Godclaw in Pathfinder. Though I think I will be going with a relatively nonreligious character, not sure yet....
I like the Skives now that I have read about them so I will be going with one of those.
Is there info on the four clans that I missed in the players guide.
As teens are considered nomads until they choose a clan my character would have had her vision stuff set in during her preteens. And instead of picking a clan they would have left for the Skyseers. How would that be perceived by the clans? I am assuming not well but I may be wrong.
I am wanting to mix the violent brutality of the Skives that they were raised with the floaty, absentmindedness of someone who's mind it partially trapped elsewhere.
If I can blend two mystries I would probably take the battle or ancestors one, since they are good for melee focused oracle and fit the Skives. And the other I am thinking the Spellscar one. You have a lot or weird thing happening with magic and I feel that one is thematically fitting for how magic works here. It is also one of my favorites. Alternatively I could go with really any of them. But I need to know if two are ok as which everone I pick will dictate some of how they behave.
@Deaths Adorable Apprentice - I wouldn't worry about filling in party gaps. I already understand that the nature of the setting will make it unlikely to have a healer. This campaign will be run with your composition in mind. I won't suddenly spring complex extraplanar magical problems on you if you don't have a full progression arcane caster, for instance.
Hmm, I'd have to look at the class in more detail to give you an exact response. I'm very happy to tinker with the rules of the games to make it more enjoyable, but I also do it in such a way that keeps the game balanced. So my answer would be "Yes I will work with you to alter it, no I can't tell you exactly how it would look quite yet".
I'm a big summoning player myself. This is the rule I think all characters who summon should follow: You should have the stats of your creatures ready at all time. We cannot and will not wait as you try to figure out the complexities of the thing you just summoned. Know how they work and know what they can do when you summon them. Obviously this rule is a lot easier to follow on PbP format where you have more time. Oh and as a general rule, don't literally drown the battlefield in creatures. I'm fine if you want to summon, but don't spam 1d6+2 creatures every round in order to roll 30 dice for attacks that are all likely to miss.
No there's not any more info on the four clans that you would know unless your backstory heavily involved you there.
As for leaving to be with the Skyseers, they aren't really a strictly hierarchical organization with a base of operations. They're just loosely associated spiritualists who pass their teachings on. The Skives would have a number of Skyseers within their clans, but not particularly populous. But no longer being part of a clan (which you would have to do in order to take part in the campaign) would almost certainly make you disdained by all other clan-bound Skives.
@Everybody - As a note to everybody in response to DAA's question, while Skives are a playable race, much of the campaign takes place outside of Skive. You would likely be an outcast or a bastard, and will almost certainly have to deal with a lot of racism from the colonials.
Also since I've had multiple people express interest in playing an oracle, keep in mind the religion in this setting. Read on "The Separation", as well as Azgaar and the loose folk religions of Eclus and Skive, and the spirituality of the skyseers. Oracles have become extraordinarily rare, and even then most of them are devotees of Azgaar.
|Deaths Adorable Apprentice|
I will give a little while to get an idea for the mechanical changes. Please let me know when you come up with an answer as the one I proposed has some role play elements with the two curses.
I am totally cool with dealing with the racism stuff.
I think I will stick with the leaving the Skive's since I need to be gone anyways. Possibly a panicked flight as the visions start to flood her mind.
The delightful thing about Oracles is that they do not have to be devout like a cleric. Their power comes from somewhere and they do not even have to know where. That is kind of appealing in the way a witch is appealing. I have thing for letting the Storyteller have a fair amount of control. I mean you are basically in complete control with the exception of the PC's but that unknown is lots of fun.
Them being rare is fine by me. Players tend to be the oddities in the world and I am defiantly ok with leaning heavily into the 'outcast' troupe. Also something I have not played with much now that I think about it.
I will probably be leaning into the less than religious aspects of the Skive's as that is something I have never done in a setting where the Divine is indisputable.
I have a bit of a concept bubbling in my mind.
I think I would like to go with the
Another mind shares your body, interfering with your control, and it’s more difficult for you to concentrate as a result.
You take a –2 penalty on all concentration checks, and concentrating to maintain a spell duration provokes attacks of opportunity. Whenever a foe attempts to use an effect to possess or dominate you and the effect allows a saving throw to negate, you may roll twice and take the better of the two results.
At 5th level, if you become dazed or stunned, you can choose instead to become confused for twice the duration the daze or stun effect would have normally lasted
At 10th level, add possession to your list of 5th-level oracle spells known
At 15th level, add greater object possession to your list of 7th-level oracle spells known.
I would tie that one in with her awakening. Would I be able to have the thing that is in her mind be a ternock? If I had to pick another curse, assuming that the option I proposed is ok, it would the
You suffer from a minor form of lycanthropy.
The exact animal your body and mind are aligned with can vary, but you should choose an animal that matches your faith thematically. In times of stress or unease, you cannot speak—only growl and snarl like an animal. This ability works similarly to the tongues curse, but whenever you are in combat, you cannot speak at all. This does not interfere with spellcasting but does apply to spells that are language dependent. A character under the effects of speak with animals can understand you, and you can communicate with such characters normally. You can speak with animals when in this condition. Choose one type of animal commonly associated with lycanthropy (such as rats, wolves, or bears); you gain a +4 bonus on Handle Animal checks with these creatures.
At 5th level, add charm animal to your list of 1st-level oracle spells known and animal messenger to your list of 2nd-level oracle spells known
At 10th level, add beast shape I to your list of 3rd-level oracle spells known and beast shape II to your list of 5th-level oracle spells known
At 15th level, you gain damage reduction 5/silver, and if you already have this type of damage reduction, it increases in value by 5 (to a maximum of DR 15/silver).
@DAA - Don't worry too much about mechanics. If selected we will work things until we are both happy. Right now mechanics are neither a boon or a barrier for the selection process.
@Decimus Observet - Do you mean Briecan? Would definitely work. The higher ups in the church are almost exclusively nobles, and philosophy is a big thing, especially with the eschatologists in the church. You should read on them as well as their prestige class, the logos.
|Deaths Adorable Apprentice|
Damn website is on the fritz today. I was only asking because with those things go with the concept I have in mind.
Still working out the reason being there but I was thinking something along the idea that she was with a ternock, reason unknown currently, and some weird magic happened. That ended in the two sort of melded. That was why I mentioned the mechanics since they work with the role-play. I am thinking I want that to be when her visions started.
Would I be able to have something like that happen?
@DAA - Basically my answer at this point is "We will figure out the mechanics, we will make any idea work one way or another".
For that, perhaps some sort of ritual that went horribly awry. Perhaps the ternock she was with was a spellcaster and tried to make it possible to impregnate her, but instead just mutated her. Vaguely similar to the beginning of full metal alchemist if that makes sense.
Edit: Ooh perhaps that kind of event is what actually gave her divine Oracle powers, it seeped into her from that ternock and his botched ritual?
Alright, character concept, entirely revised!
Draegar was one of the many Skivians born to captured parents during the skirmishes between Thane and the barbarian tribes. Draegar never really knew his parents. His mother was a captive put to work in the mines, and when Draegar was born he was taken from his mother and put into one of the many orphanages in Feld Forge. He was lucky. He tested well at a young age and was taken to a research factory to be trained as an engineer's apprentice.
When he was an adolescent, he was caught in an unstable Ettunium reaction. According to everything he knows, and all the engineers and scientists he's talked to, he should be dead. His body was peppered with Ettunium shrapnel, in addition to the energy of the reaction itself.
The facility he was at was on the edge of one of the dead magic territories, where research was being done on how Ettenium interacts with magical energies. Draegar is convinced that magic has something to do with why he survived. Now, he's become obsessed with interfacing science and magic, and using Ettenium as the means of bridging them.
He left because he saw the writing on the wall. He was about to become an experiment himself. He had no desire to be hauled to some lab to be poked and prodded and subjected to tests until he died. So, he escaped. He was smart, and being the biggest, strongest guy around didn't hurt either. It did make hiding harder though.
He vanished into Skivian territory and has been making his living as a hired tech expert ever since. He's trying to build up enough money to put together a lab where he can start running his own experiments and working out how Ettunium works in both scientific and magical conditions. Along the way, maybe he'll figure out why he isn't dead.
Mechanically, Draegar will be a Savage Technologist Barbarian, eventually going into the Steamsuit Pilot prestige class.
@Doomed Hero - Wow, very much revisited! Helps when you read the setting :P
One small, inconsequential correction. All of Thane is a dead magic zone, but the southern inner peninsula was taken from Skive during the Berivian War, so if you place the facility where Draegar had his ettunium accident in Volistein it would make more sense to have some traces of magical energy there. He could definitely still have everything else based in Feld Forge, but perhaps he was shipped to Volistein once he got work. Plus it helps greatly since he escaped to Skive, which is right next to Volistein.
Also I like the ettunium shards thing. Very Tony Stark, fun! Props to you for happening to hit my favorite Marvel movie ;)
I like the backstory! Some follow up questions:
How is the operating right now? Skive itself doesn't have a massive demand for tech experts, and plus he would likely face some prejudice since he's not a clan member. Does he make his home in a small Skive village and act as a expert for hire to governments and entrepreneurs perhaps? Or perhaps he is creating a demand for a tech expert since most Skives are so awful with tech, and he is actually able to help them get some more of the advanced tech working? Is this contributing to a power imbalance if he is giving most of his work to one clan?
The other thing, which I know I will ask of almost everybody because of how much I love this question, is what does Draegar want? What drives him? Is it learning more about ettunium? It is just the way it works, or also how it came to be? Does he seek belonging with the Skive clans again? Or perhaps hopes to enlighten them to more progressive values? Maybe he wishes to get back at the people who captured his parents, or the ones that forced him into labor and a terrible accident?
Lastly, we will need to get some more names to the people involved with Draegar's background. Naming individuals gives them humanity, which makes closer connections to them, and also gives some plot hooks to work with ;)
This is good stuff. The details definitely help flesh out the concept.
All of Thane is a dead magic zone, but the southern inner peninsula was taken from Skive during the Berivian War, so if you place the facility where Draegar had his ettunium accident in Volistein it would make more sense to have some traces of magical energy there. He could definitely still have everything else based in Feld Forge, but perhaps he was shipped to Volistein once he got work. Plus it helps greatly since he escaped to Skive, which is right next to Volistein.
Great. I'll replace Feld Forge with Volistein. There's no real reason to involve the capital at all. Volistein seems perfect as a location.
How is he operating right now? Skive itself doesn't have a massive demand for tech experts, and plus he would likely face some prejudice since he's not a clan member. Does he make his home in a small Skive village and act as a expert for hire to governments and entrepreneurs perhaps? Or perhaps he is creating a demand for a tech expert since most Skives are so awful with tech, and he is actually able to help them get some more of the advanced tech working? Is this contributing to a power imbalance if he is giving most of his work to one clan?
Good question. Since Skeive tech experts are rare, I'd imagine that some smart Merc or Clan leader would jump at the opportunity to get Draegar on the payroll.
Is there a group that relates to your plot that would be good (or bad) for Draegar to be connected with?
what does Draegar want?
In spite of being a musclebound hulk, Draegar is a scientist at heart. His drive is the thirst for knowledge, and his primary focus is ettunium. He wants to know more about it. He particularly wants to figure out how to make science and magic play nice together.
So, not surprisingly, he wants to learn more about magic, which means traveling to places where it's studied as an art.
Beyond that, he wants to help people. Having grown up under an oppressive regime and it's destructive industry, he wants justice against Thane. He'd love to see the entire Thane government brought down and rebuilt as a positive force. He believes science and technology should exist to better people and bring them out of oppression and poverty, not force them further into it.
Lastly, we will need to get some more names to the people involved with Draegar's background. Naming individuals gives them humanity, which makes closer connections to them, and also gives some plot hooks to work with ;)
Any suggestions? Anyone plot-relevant I can staple Draegar to?
I can make stuff up, but I would prefer to work myself into the existing story's architecture, if possible.
I have an idea for a bastard daughter of a noble house. One who is more at home in the woods then a regular city person. Am looking at A Trap Ranger or if Hunter is allowed a Patient Ambusher Hunter type character who hates the push in technology preferring the wilds and the bounty it holds. Especially as all the formal gatherings and education, she was sneered at by her peers for being a bastard daughter of a very distinguished noble family
@Doomed Hero - Volistein it is!
Indeed, I think that background will work very well as him with a current tech expert for one of the clans using his knowledge as leverage against the other clans. We can get into the dirty details later.
Alright, nice goals! Some abstract concepts as well as come concrete objectives.
I will answer your last question below.
@Everybody - Feel free to take some liberty with NPCs. Don't do anything crazy like "his father was the last king of Almor", but you can definitely work them into the world and take some creative liberties. Not only will you be able to influence the future of Ikeroth with your character choices, you will also be able to influence the past (somewhat) with your character background :D
And to further elaborate Doomed Hero, feel free to make stuff up that is connected to the world. Trust me, named NPCs will find their way into the story ;)
@Critzible - Not a bad starting concept! Maybe as somebody attuned to the wilderness she is a black market hire to smuggle people between the inner and outer mountain rings, away from the eyes of the church?
I can work with that. Taking people sick of the church and of the fighting in general. Figured she was the result of a Diplomatic or Military mission her father taking privilege with a local who later shows up with a surprise for him and pawns her off on the man
This, in turn, sours her to her father's culture and researches all she can about her mother's culture only to find out it's just as bad so she is like screw it I'll do what I want. Which leads her to love the outdoors and later find like-minded people fed up with all the nations crap and want out to just be able to live there lives
Sevas' mother: Elonia Dreschan-Deraika is high ranking priestess in the church of Azgaar, following in her family's tradition. Her family has been steeped in the history of Brieca since it's inception, nearly, and her family adheres to many of the old ways of nobility. Completely dedicated to her country, and the worship of Azgaar, she will do whatever her duties to country, family, and church demand. So much so that her marriage to Sevas' father was arranged by the two noble families in order to increase wealth and ties between the two, and to further solidify the church and the military. She bore the responsibility without question and without complaint, and while she has no particular feelings for Sevas' father, she bears her station with grace and dignity.
Sevas' Father: Mikail Deraika is the fourth son of an ancient noble family in Breica, with heavy ties to the military. He enlisted as soon as he was of age, as all of the male children in his family were expected to do. He rose quickly in the ranks of the Breican army, eventually leading his own campaign into the wilds to push back the Ternocs and make way for civilization. The campaign was marketed to the populace as an effort to civilize the land and create cities and work, but the truth is that the country wanted easier access to Ettunium. The campaign as a whole was a failure, as the military force he led simply wasn't suited or equipped for combat against a foe as wild as the Ternocs, and in their own territory. The campaign fell apart from disease, guerilla tactics by the Ternocs, and an overall lack of supplies. To save face, the Deraika family married him off to the Dreschan noble family, under the excuse of solidifying ties with the church and to extend both families' wealth. In reality, it was to make the rest of the Breican nobility forget about his failed excursion. Mikail is bothered to this day by his failure and his dead end position as little more than a figurehead for the country to see the church and the military as a combined unit.
Sevas' sister: Becca Deraika was barely a teen when he left home, yet was brought up the same way as he. Learning the ways of nobility, an expensive and thorough education, and a cushioned life. Time will tell if she takes the path of her parents, or that of her brother...
I think for me, that's a really good start to a background, but I'd like to wait until the party is selected before cementing the NPCs. I have a few ideas in mind, but I think it would be fun to see if I can intigrate my NPC ideas with other characters, and create backstory ties through shared NPC connections.
So if you're comfortable with what we have already discussed, I'll just wait to see if I make it into the group before doing the rest.
|Deaths Adorable Apprentice|
Alright, I'm interested, the sheer detail of this campaign setting you've developed has hooked me hard.
I did have a couple of questions. First, what's the status of women in this world? I noticed that the church seems to only mention men being priests, and Azgaar and his aspects seem to be all masculine. And, does anyone still use traditional weapons? Early firearms still have the misfire problem, and I wonder if a bow might be even more effective than usual since if people are expecting gunfights then they might set aside heavy armor.
I'm thinking of a Zen Archer, Martial Scientist who got kicked out of her war college for heresy, classically educated but with a dangerous temper.
This is a really interesting world! If nothing else, thank you for sharing your creativity.
A question: there's brief mention of a slave trade. How widespread is it? What's the general societal attitude toward it? I've got the beginnings of an idea for a Docker-type character who's involved in something like the Underground Railroad (though probably less complex) that works to free slaves, but I can't tell from the brief mention whether that would make sense in the world or not. Thoughts?
Also, I second TheSilverDreamer's question about the status of women. Thanks!
@Critzible - Hmm, interesting. Let me know if you come up with any further ideas!
@Steven_Evil - Nice details! I can definitely tell you read the guide in detail and incorporated those characters into the world. Very nice.
@Doomed Hero - That's reasonable, and ultimately it would create more connections if wound in with others.
@DAA - Yes mechanics are important, but it's actually for my own benefit I intentionally avoid placing emphasis on them. When I began playing I was an insufferable power gamer. No worries!
Since you used female pronouns when referring to your character, I assume she would be the one being impregnated. Yes I was referring to some kind of blend of the species, as they are definitely not able to cross breed naturally in any way. Also I think it goes a long way to explaining having Oracle powers, since after The Separation spontaneous divine casters are extraordinarily rare and don't tend to pop up out of nowhere. Don't feel compelled to stick with that idea though, just something I was snowballing!
@TheSilverDreamer - Glad to hear my writing hooked you!
Ah, excellent question. Here are women in society:
Brieca is more traditional. Women can have some positions of power but it's mostly a patriarchal structure. However women are highly valued for their role in society and the family. Some of the inspiration for their system of values was taken from Confucius relationships, which I can tell you more about if you wish.
Almor is kind of like America a few decades after women's suffrage. Technically speaking gender equality is a thing and there are no written laws or rules against what women can do...but men still hold much more of the power.
Thane is more progressive. In fact the current Sovereign (leader) is Natalia Eradius, a woman. There are still bigoted people to be sure, but it's a much more even playing ground.
Skive is interesting. They believe people only deserve freedom if they're willing to fight for it. That means women who assert themselves are seen as equals. But more timid ones are seen as inferior. Within their own society things tend to be on equal footing since the women grew up there, but the way they tend to treat women from other places is noticeable since they tend to be more meek.
Eclus, and the ternocks, don't give a s@&@ about gender. The only exception is when a female is pregnant, when the elders of their tribe will fiercely protect them and shelter them.
Onto weapons: yes traditional weapons are still very popular. Early firearms have misfire issues, as well as being expensive and very time consuming to reload. And you are right to assume that bows are still efficient. Heavy armor has somewhat fallen out of favor due to firearms, but also because the area is so heavily dependent on ships that soldiers need to be able to not drown if thrown overboard. Heavy armor still exists however.
Alright, got a starting idea. Let me know what you come up with!
@Saxikath - I really appreciate that. It is my pleasure to share.
The slave trade has always existed somewhat but has definitely been rising in recent years. The attitude towards it depends on where you're at, but the more civilized nations all despise it, while the Skives have a complicated relationship with it (see the section on gender above), and the ternocks like owning human slaves. Of course in the civilized nations there's obviously a market for slave trade, so the slimy underbelly of society approves of it, especially sex trafficking which is the most prominent issue for them.
See above for gender :)
Okay, here's a stab at a background. Meet Topaz!
Hello, I’m Topaz. Well, that’s the name I go by when I’m singing in the bars. My real name? I don’t normally share that with strangers, but I’ll let you in on the secret: I was born Mida Ranald.
My parents worked in the factories in Flint. My ma still does. My da might too, for all I know. Haven’t seen him since Ma threw him out for coming home one too many times with someone else’s perfume on him. That was when I was, what, eight? Thereabouts. Ma (her name’s Rina Ranald – she stopped using Da’s name after she kicked him out) raised me and my older brother Sallo by herself after that. Sallo went into the factories too. Sallo's going up in the world – he married the foreman’s daughter! Ma’s getting awful old for factory work, but she keeps saying she doesn’t know what she’d do with herself if she stopped working. Sallo keeps trying to get her to quit and move in with him.
Me? I wasn’t much good at factory work. Got bored too easily. Lucky for me, someone heard me singing around home one day and told me I should try my luck working the bars down at the docks. So I did. Found out I liked it, and I seem to have more than the usual knack for it. Music sometimes does stuff to folks, y’know? Makes ‘em feel good, or bad, or pay attention, or not pay attention, depending what you want. I ain’t getting rich, but I keep body and soul together singing and telling tales and stuff like that to keep folks entertained. I like working at the Bell and Frog best – they’re the best tippers in town and the bouncers are really good about keeping the troublemakers off you. The Ship’s Wheel is the worst. Don’t go there if you don’t have to. Beer’s weak and the clientele are mostly thugs and lowlifes.
But, that’s where I first saw ‘em – the women, girls, sometimes boys too, that get shoved in by someone lookin’ to sell their services. Awful. Got a chance to talk to one of them once for a few when no one was looking, and they’re slaves, all of ‘em, being sold off to whoever wants them – for whatever they want to use ‘em for. I may not know much, but Ma taught me right from wrong and that’s wrong. I started trying to slip ‘em a little cash or help when I could. And *that’s* how I met Pella and got in with the Whispers.
The Whispers? Haven’t heard of us? Good, that’s how we like it. We’re folks that don’t like slavers, and do what we can to drive ‘em off and help slaves get free. Sometimes that means getting into places and letting folks loose. Sometimes it means a well-timed bribe, or bonk on the head. Sometimes it means playing nice with someone while someone else unlocks a door. I’m usually on the distracting side more than the head-bonking side; the music and tale-telling helps with that. People also like to talk to you when they’ve had a bit to drink. Good way to learn what’s going on out of sight, y’know?
Pella’s the one in charge of the Whispers around here. Hear tell there are other groups of Whispers in other parts of Flint, and other places too. Maybe even in Thane – don’t like those folks but I guess even some of them are willing to do what’s right. Don’t know about Brieca. They may be too uptight to do the kinds of things we do, but maybe not. Never been there.
Ma keeps telling me I should come home and settle down. She says Sallo’s done so well she’s sure he could set me up with a proper life instead of “singing for my supper” all the time. I’m sure if she knew what I was doing with the Whispers she’d be even more upset. Sure, it can be dangerous, but – it means something, and I’m not quitting now.
Mechanically, I'm thinking the Bard Street Performer archetype with the Docker theme.
@Saxikath - Ah, the first stab at a distinctly lower class character. And a freedom fighter! Or at least an aspiring one.
I like the creative liberty you took with your backstory!
However I would push for you to be more...aspirational. How exactly did she meet Pella? Did she stumble upon a fight happening with some traffickers? Has Topaz had any run ins with memorable traffickers that hold a grudge against her? Does she have a complicated relationship with the law for extracting vigilante justice? Maybe she has a record?
Basically what I'm saying is that's a great backstory if we were starting at level 1. But she has a little experience, a little history under her belt as a 4th level. Does that make sense?
As for the Whispers, that kind of group actually sounds like a great story reason to pick up leadership. They may not be an international organization...yet.
|Deaths Adorable Apprentice|
I wellcome you to look at my other character to promise I am not a power gamer. The only thing that trumps that style is a the murderhobo, at least for me. I tend to build my backstory around my mechanics.
Anyways, I actually like the idea of trying to make a new species, teenagers are typically rather dumb and I had been struggling on what caused the magical mishap.
And now that I know, not sure if I missed it earlier, that we are a higher level I can plan for that. I will try to get something written up but apparently I decided to oversleep so I only have a little while before work.