The Precipice and The End of an Age

Game Master TheMightyAtom


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The Precipice and The End of an Age

The world is full of things that normal people aren’t prepared to know about. Cutthroat assassins and black ops agents skulk the shadows doing the dirty work of the world’s most rich and powerful. The world’s brightest minds are devoted to little more than developing new methods of deciding the outcomes of petty grudge matches between these plutocratic giants. And on top of all of it, monsters roam the world. Not the metaphorical meaning the word: zombies, aliens, and honest-to-god demons. And when monsters step a little too close to the public eye, someone has to step in and drive them back to the shadows where they belong.

That’s where you come in. Admittedly, with a name like “The Riot Crew”, you weren’t expecting work as a rent-a-cop or bouncer. Your job is simple: when night falls and the freaks come out to play, you keep anyone not in the know from seeing them. It’s not all bad: the pay is good, if you live long enough to enjoy it, and working outside of the law leaves you with certain… liberties others aren’t allowed to enjoy. But it requires nerves of steel, a strong stomach, and copious amounts of alcohol. Because after seeing half of the stuff you’ll be expected to not just face, but gun down? You’ll need it.

Think you’re up to the task?

Basic Premise
Most of this campaign takes place in and around Portland, Oregon, in the current year. In this alternate universe, magic existed for most of human history up until the mid 1300s, when a series of calamities caused magic to not only disappear, but for any evidence of its existence to be destroyed. History as you and I know it continued more or less as history describes it until June 30, 1908, when magic came flooding back into the world after an explosive event in Russia. Despite this, magic’s return has been rather slow, enough that the governments of the world have kept its existence mostly under wraps.

You and your fellow PCs are members of a self employed group of mercenaries called The Riot Crew. You take jobs from secretive employers to deal with unsavory magic threats or to perform sabotage on magical rivals. Anything from killing a rampaging ooze before it wanders into a local town, to stealing a magic knife from a dead wizard’s grave, to planting a bomb in the warehouse of a cult’s rival, this is where you shine.

But things are soon to get more complicated. New muscle has come on to the scene and is starting to threaten your job security. The masquerade is now thinner than ever, and when it inevitably comes crashing down the secrecy you so greatly value will be no more. And a grave threat, now sleeping in the space between the planes, has begun to stir.

We sit on the precipice.

Build Rules
[list]

  • Ability Scores are generated through point buy (20 points).
  • Humans are the most populous race on the planet, and the only one available unrestricted to PCs. With GM permission, the aasimar, android, changeling, dhampir, fetchling, ganzi, half-elf, half-orc, ifrit, oread, skinwalker, suli, sylph, tiefling, and undine races may be allowed. Other than when they use the abilities granted to them by their race, all members of these races look indistinguishably human.
  • All characters gain 2 background skill ranks each time they gain a level in a PC class.
  • PCs receive two traits at level one, and may take a drawback to receive a third one.
  • PCs receive hero points as per their rules. PCs can never choose to forgo hero points for a bonus feat.
  • Content from both the Occult Handbook and Technology Guide are allowed, with GM permission. Additionally, the game follows the Occult Rules shown in the Occult Guide.
  • This game includes unique equipment for the modern day: This information can be found here.
  • The game follows the “Pathfinder E6” rules detailed here. In addition, these rules include a house rule: if you meet the prerequisites of a prestige class, you may spend your bonus feats on class features from that class as if you had levels in it.
  • Starting wealth is the average by class.
  • All characters must spend a portion of their income every month on maintaining their current lifestyle: it is presumed that PCs start the game at the average level, living in a good apartment and able to afford proper living expenses.
  • PCs may choose to use Subtle Spellcasting, detailed in Clinton J. Boomer’s minisetting “Eve of Dreams & the AWAKE”.
  • Third Party content is allowed, with GM permission.

    Modern Skills
    The rules for some skills have changed in the modern age.

    Appraise: The skill to determine the price of gear is far different with magical items than with mundane ones. Thus, Appraise has been split into two separate skills: Audit and Appraise. Audit applies to mundane gear, while Appraise applies to magic gear.

    Craft: See the Gunsmithing feat and the Technologist feat and the Technology Skills pages for more information. Note that due to the reduced cost of modern firearms, guns on the Modern Equipment page count as 100x their listed price for the purpose of the Gunsmithing feat (thus, the Semi-Auto Pistol counts as 4000 gp).

    Interaction Skills (Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Sense Motive): The internet provides a unique avenue for research and to gain information, but makes interaction significantly more difficult. Checks used to verify the truth or to gain information (like Diplomacy or Sense Motive) gain +10 bonus. Checks to influence someone’s behaviour receive -5 penalty, as it is much harder to influence someone without using body language or choice of words.

    Ride: The Ride skill is used whenever a vehicle is being operated. Rules for vehicles and their operation can be found here.

    Modern Feats
    Guns Akimbo (Combat)
    You can manage recoil well enough that one handed firing becomes a breeze.
    Benefit: You treat the Big Bore Revolver, Submachine Gun, and Sawed-Off Shotgun as one-handed weapons for the purpose of firing one-handed. In addition, you treat the penalty for shooting two-handed firearms one-handed as one less.
    Normal: The Sawed-Off Shotgun, Submachine Gun, and Big Bore Revolver are treated as two-handed weapons for the purposes of firing one-handed. Firing a two-handed weapon one handed takes a -4 penalty to the attack roll.

    Modern Drawbacks
    Broke Wizard
    Though your dedication to magic has given you power, it’s left your bank account… sparse.

    Your cost of living cannot go above poor. This penalty does not affect your character wealth.

    Recruitment
    I'm looking for 4-6 players to join this campaign. To apply, I wish to see the following:
    [list]

  • A character build (it need not be finished, but it should at least be blatantly obvious what your character is built to do)
  • A written backstory
  • Three "hooks", or special connections to the setting: this can be anything from a character's family members and friends, to unique goals, even weaknesses that the character has

    Players will be chosen based on unique character concepts and filling out the central party roles.
    For questions on other rules or questions on the setting, go here.

    Finally, note that these guides are not set in stone, and may be changed based on player input or campaign needs.


  • Dotted, I'm going to work a bit on the build in the next few days. I'm still thinking about the character crunch, the general idea is a rogueish type with spheres of power\spheres of might, maybe a wraith, or an hedge witch with some rogue-friendly tradition (charlatanism, or a martial tradition). I'm of course open to suggestions.

    As for the character concept I'm thinking about a stage magician who has figured out that magic exists and had begun dabbling in the occult and working for the Riot Crew to feed his curiosity\nascent obsession.


    I'm deeply amused that the drawback I suggested made an appearance. Even more so due to the fact I'm intending to go for a barehanded fighter character.

    Just to confirm - are starting funds rolled for, average per class or max?

    Secondly, can we refluff old armours to new ones? So leather armour might be biker leathers with plating, or a breastplate with ballistic weave would be a bulletproof vest?


    JonGarrett wrote:

    I'm deeply amused that the drawback I suggested made an appearance. Even more so due to the fact I'm intending to go for a barehanded fighter character.

    Just to confirm - are starting funds rolled for, average per class or max?

    Secondly, can we refluff old armours to new ones? So leather armour might be biker leathers with plating, or a breastplate with ballistic weave would be a bulletproof vest?

    Starting funds are average for the class. I'll add that to the main post.

    Refluffing armor is totally cool. Do note, however, that armor does not protect against firearms unless it is ballistic.


    Gonna digest this for a bit ...never heard of the E6 ...could be interesting.


    I'm in as well! Will need to nail down a character concept now.


    This looks really neat! I'm going to work on a soldier/spec-ops type of character.


    On second thought, I think I will whip up an elementalist using the spheres of power options to bring some more firepower to the group.


    Dotting, thinking about an investigator.
    I assume we are starting at level 1?
    Also, would the sleepless detective prestige class be ok, even though it is technically specific to Golarion?


    Aipaca here submitting Cillian "Breach" Gibson, an ex-French Foreign Legion latent shifter who can alter his own body and is, as his name suggests, an expert at the breach and clear.

    Biography/Background:

    Cillian Gibson grew up in an average family in the suburbs of London. Decent house, happy loving parents, he had it all. That was until the accident. His parents died and Cillian was left alone, set adrift into a series of foster carers and group homes, never really settling down. After spending half of his life adrift Cillian decided he wanted to see the world, and so he did. Joining the French Foreign Legion, Cillian saw some shit you would not believe. Unless you've seen the kinda shit you really wouldn't believe. And that kind of shit? Someone actually saw that in Cillian.

    To be precise, Cillian's squad was playing bodyguard to some VIP in Venezuela when it all went FUBAR. Bullets were flying and Cillian got shot in the head. He was down, but not out. While he should have been lying in a pool of his over blood, Cillian got up and dragged the VIP out of there, saving his life. The VIP, Dr Claude Delannoy, saw Cillian's skin harden under the bullet, saving his life, just as it had saved his life in the accident that had claimed his parents' lives so many years ago.

    Dr Delannoy recognised Cillian's latent magical powers and had him transferred to become his personal bodyguard, as Dr Delannoy was in fact well versed in the returning magical world. Unfortunately their relationship was to be short lived. Cillian was sick of the poking and prodding, so he ghosted the good Dr and with his new-found knowledge of the arcane joined up with the The Riot Crew to make some money and disappear for a while.

    Cillian's specialty is right there in his nickname. "Breach" has learned how to do things with a riot shield you would not believe, and is adept at covering his team-mates and drawing fire while rushing defensive positions and breaking them from the inside out.

    Crunch not 100% finalised but it's pretty close.


    Captain collateral damage wrote:

    Dotting, thinking about an investigator.

    I assume we are starting at level 1?
    Also, would the sleepless detective prestige class be ok, even though it is technically specific to Golarion?

    Yes, starting at level 1. Prestige class is totally good, and looks very interesting.


    Cillian "Breach" Gibson wrote:

    Aipaca here submitting Cillian "Breach" Gibson, an ex-French Foreign Legion latent shifter who can alter his own body and is, as his name suggests, an expert at the breach and clear.

    ** spoiler omitted **

    Crunch not...

    Very interesting! I especially like the combination of gear and magic. One thing to note:

    “Cillian “Breach” Gibson” wrote:


    Firearm Proficiency (discipline): You gain proficiency with all firearms (except siege weapons) and the Gunsmithing feat.

    This is not necessary. Having martial weapon proficiency means that you have proficiency with all modern weapons except for the rocket launcher, grenade launcher, and flamethrower.

    Also, I don’t see if you’be included any above mentioned hooks. It might just be that you included them but didn’t label them as such, but it would be very helpful if they were labeled separately from the rest of the build.

    Other than that, great job!


    My bad on the hooks, I'll add those shortly. As for proficiencies, the Spheres of Might archetypes lose most proficiencies and replace them with a martial tradition, which is generally a couple of proficiency talents and a couple of base trope-solidifying talents. Hence, I don't have martial weapon proficiency, only simple weapons, light armour, and what is given to my by my talents.


    Carnival:
    Male Human Silverblade Hunter Myrimidon Fighter 1
    Chaotic Neutral Humanoid (Human)
    Initiative; +4 Perception +7
    --------------------
    Defense
    --------------------

    AC 18, touch 14 flat-footed 14 (Base +10, Dex +4, Armour +4.)
    hp 16
    Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +4 (Base Fort +2 - Ref +0 - Will +0 - Con+2 - Dex +4 - Will +2)
    Resistance: None
    --------------------
    Offence
    --------------------

    Speed 20 ft.
    Melee - Unarmed Strikes - +5 to Hit - +3/+3 Dual Wield - 2d6+6 Bludgeoning, Piercing or Slashing Damage - +4 Force Damage - x2 Crit.
    (1d6 Unarmed Strike - 1d6+2 Pugilist Stance - +4 Dex - +4 Force Forcestrike Knuckle Veil)

    --------------------
    Spheres of Might
    --------------------

    Martial Tradition - Unarmed Combatant
    Finesse Fighting, Open Hand Sphere, Flesh Tearer, Duel Wielding Sphere, Mercurial Flow
    Drawback - Savage Combatant - Loose the Sweep ability of the Open Hand Sphere in return for the Flesh Tearer ability.

    Equipment Sphere - The equipment spheres allows the use of items and equipments
    - Finesse Fighting - Use Dexterity to hit with light weapons and those with the Finesse trait.

    Open Hand Sphere - Grants Improved Unarmed Strike.
    - Flesh Tearer - Unarmed strikes inflict 1 point of bleed and reduce natural armour by 1 as long as they suffer bleed damage. Unarmed strikes inflict bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage as desired.

    Duel Wielding Sphere - Use two separate attacks as a standard action, with a -2 to hit. Off hand weapons do not get full damage.
    - Mercurial Flow - Offhand attacks do full damage.

    --------------------
    Veils
    --------------------

    Essence Pool - 1
    Essence Capacity - 1 per veil.
    Veils Available 1
    Veil Binds 0

    Veils Known

    Forcestrike Knuckles
    Slot - Hands
    Essence Invested - 1 Point
    Description - Add +2 force damage to unarmed strikes

    --------------------
    Stances and Maneuvers
    --------------------

    Initiator Level: 1
    Stances Known: 1
    Maneuvers Known: 3
    Maneuvers Prepared: 3
    Disciplines Known: Broken Blade (Acrobatics), Thrashing Dragon (Acrobatics), Golden Lion (Diplomacy), Tempest Gale (Sleight of Hand)

    Stances

    Pugilist Stance
    Discipline: Broken Blade
    Level: 1
    Description: Add 1d6+2 to qualifying attacks.

    Maneuvers

    Pommel Bash
    Discipline: Broken Blade
    Saving Throw: N/A
    Level: 1
    Action: Swift
    Type: Boost
    Description: Add an extra 1d6 damage.

    Leaping Dragon
    Discipline: Thrashing Dragon
    Saving Throw: N/A
    Level: 1
    Action: Swift
    Type: Boost
    Description: Make an acrobatics check to jump 10ft.

    Flurry Strike
    Discipline: Broken Blade
    Saving Throw: N/A
    Level: 1
    Action: Standard
    Type: Strike
    Description: Make two attacks with no penalties.

    --------------------
    Statistics
    --------------------

    Str 10 Dex 18, Con 14, Int 10 Wis 14, Cha 10
    Base Atk +1; CMB +1; CMD 15

    Bonus Feats
    Human Bonus Feat - Akashic Imbued Body - Gain 2hp for every Akashic Feat taken, and one point of Essence.
    Fighter Bonus Feat 1st - Deadly Agility - Use Dexterity for damage with Finesse weapons rather than Strength.

    Feats
    1st - Shape Veil - Shape a Veil.

    Traits
    Talented Knuckles -.Count as having 2 more unarmed spheres for the purposes of determining unarmed damaged.
    Blood of Dragons - Gain low light vision.

    Racial Traits
    Bonus Feat - Gain a bonus feat at first level.
    Skilled - Gain an additional Skill Point each level.

    Skills
    4 per level - 2 additional spent on Wisdom Based Skills - +1 bonus.
    Acrobatics - +8 (+4 Dex - 1 Ranks - Class Skill)
    Appraise - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Bluff - +4 (0 Cha - 1 Ranks - Class Skill)
    Climb - +4 (0 Str - 1 Ranks - Class Skill)
    Craft (Tattoo) - +4 (+0 Int - 1 Rank - Class Skill - Background Skill)
    Diplomacy - +4 (0 Cha - 1 Ranks - Class Skill)
    Disable Device - +14 (+4 Dex - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Disguise - +0 (0 Cha - 0 Ranks - Untrained )
    Escape Artist - +4 (+4 Dex - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Fly - +4 (+4 Dex - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Handle Animal - +0 (0 Cha - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Heal - +2 (+2 Wis - 0 Ranks - Untrainedl)
    Intimidate - +4 (0 Cha - 1 Ranks - Class Skill)
    Knowledge (Arcana) - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Knowledge (Dungeoneering) - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Class Skill)
    Knowledge (Engineering) - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Knowledge (Geography) - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Knowledge (History) - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Knowledge (Local) - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Knowledge (Nature) - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Knowledge (Nobility) - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Knowledge (Planes) - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Knowledge (Religion) - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Linguistics - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Perception - +7 (+2 Wisdom - 1 Ranks - Class Skill)
    Perform (Sing) - + 0 (+0 Dex - 0 Ranks - Class Skill)
    Profession (Merc) - +7 (+2 Wisdom - 1 Ranks - Class Skill - Background)
    Ride - +4 (+4 Dex - 0 Rank - Class Skil)
    Sense Motive - +7 (+2 Wisdom - 1 Ranks - Class Skill)
    Sleight of Hand - +4 (+4 Dex - 0 Rank - Untrained)
    Spellcraft - +0 (+0 Int - 0 Ranks - Untrained)
    Stealth - +4 (+4 Dex - 0 Rank - Class Skill)
    Survival - +2 (+2 Wisdom - 1 Ranks - Class Skill)
    Swim - +0 (0 Str - 0 Ranks - Class Skill)
    Languages English

    Combat Gear Modified Shark Suit (+4 AC - Max 4 Dex - ACP -2 - 25lbs)
    Gear
    Money 75gp

    --------------------
    Special Abilities
    --------------------

    Deeds - Special abilities that use Grit to power them.
    - Unbreakable - Spend a point to gain +4 on a save.
    - Heroic Recovery - Spend a point to recover a maneuver.
    - Man of Action - Spend a point to get a bonus on Acrobatics, Climb or Swim equal to level.
    Grit - The ability to use certain special abilities. Grit starts the day equal to the characters Wisdom modifier, but can be spent to do various abilities and regained via defeating opponents and critical hits.
    Instinctive - Gain two additional skill points a level. They must be used on Wisdom-based skills.
    Mithral Armament - Unarmed Strikes count as Mithral.

    Appearance:
    A tall, lanky man with a shock of red hair, Carnival is often noted for his perpetual grin an immaculate dress sense. Although not heavily built for his six-foot build, he is in obviously good condition. Anyone seeing him eat a cheeseburger has to wonder exactly how he manages that trick, but...he is.

    Oddly for a mercenary, Carnival rarely wears anything remotely resembling military gear. His prefered armour is a modified set of shark armour hidden beneath an immaculately tailored suit, black vest, pants, shirt and shoes with bronze buttons and a bronze coloured tie. And black leather gloves. Over the top he tends to wear a long woollen coat. It’s always good to look good while killing people.

    He also wears a pair of mirrored sunglasses, usually tinted blue with side covers. This is for both his comfort and to his eyes which are mildly...draconic. He claims it’s a medical condition, you insensitive ass.

    Not surprisingly for someone so pedantic about their appearance he usually smells most strongly of soap and deodorant. He wears his bear long but combed and waxed straight, and has his red hair tied back in a ponytail from the crown of his head. His voice is a reverberant tenor with a thick accent from Northern England.

    Of note, however, is that Carnival has tattoos running along his arms, from the right shoulder to his hand and from the left to the elbow. Both take the form of a tree with silver leaves. On the complete one on the left are several names - Martin and Sarah in the roots, Jennifer in the trunk and Jessica in the branches.

    Personality:
    It’s difficult to pin down Carnival’s personality, and several psychiatrists have tried. Pedantically neat is not usually a character trait for someone who beats people to mush with their bare hands. Professional behaviour does not mesh with an irreverent attitude and a cocky smirk.

    What’s clear to most who know what to look for is that Carnival puts on a show. At least some of his comments, actions and even his neatness is a show. What’s hiding behind it is harder to say. He’s calm, certainly. You don’t get hired on many jobs to do what he does without that. He’s surprisingly good at working with others, using edging one the right side of annoying people into wanting to stab him.

    Those who’ve seen him fight suggest that he’s reckless, although that’s not true. He certainly takes pains to avoid being harmed. He’ll calmly fight the monstrous so long as he thinks he can win, and will equally calmly fall back if he thinks he can’t.

    The closest anyone has ever got to working him out is by looking into his eyes. They’re weird looking, yes, but there’s very little of anything else in there. Carnival doesn’t care. Not whether he lives. Not whether he dies. For whatever reason he is simply existing, going through the motions until something changes. As to what that is...well, the only hint is when something threatens kids. The fate of those people, human or monstrous, is often best described by ‘bloody smear’. It usually costs a suit.

    Background:
    Very little is known about Carnival. Which is obviously an assumed codename. The truth is that his accent, his looks and his mannerisms should make it easy enough to hunt down some information. But at least part of his pay for several past jobs was to erase those traces. And there are rumours that bad things happen when you stare into Carnival’s past. The most obvious one being you p*** him off.

    His accent places him from Northern England - somewhere north of Newcastle, since it isn’t a Geordie accent but a strange mish-mash of Scottish, English and several others - and he’s made several references to the country. His appearance suggests an age range somewhere in the thirties, with young looking forties a possibility.

    It’s likely his employers in the Riot Crew know who is, but part of his contract stipulates keeping that information off the record. Still, given that he fights without obvious magic and leaves no trace when he unsummons his forceknuckles, and hits far harder than a human should be able to, means most of his employers have agreed to such eccentricities.

    Once or twice when he was drunk, he has let one or two things slip. Something happened. Something bad enough that he doesn’t like to think about it. Something that made him join up with the army to escape. Something that helped him embrace becoming a violent solution to all life’s problems when he found he could kill with few qualms and little remorse.

    It was from there that the public persona of Carnival first appeared. A killer, but not indiscriminate - as far as anyone can work out he’s never killed someone that wasn’t either trying to kill his current employers or had done something to meet a fate of having their skull crushed in a back alley.

    Over the few years he’s been active among his peers, Carnival has generally gotten a good reputation. If you can tolerate the fact he’s a smart arse you get a decent heavy hitter with a solid head on his shoulders and an ability to literally punch other people’s heads off there shoulder. And he wouldn’t work for anyone who hurt kids. In fact, he turned down several lucrative contracts because of this.

    Being in the Riot Crew seems to sit well with him. He hasn’t tried to renegotiate or get more money, certainly, and he likes the work. Or at least as far as anyone can tell he does.

    Recanted Backstory - Not Recommended for Players:
    Born Alexander Wood in the little town of Ashington, Northumberland, it’s not hard to see how someone might grow up a little...violent. Angry. The people of Northumberland were not the most liberal of people, and when a kid shows up with the devil’s own eyes on him...well, he better be a big, strapping lad or he’s going to learn the taste of his own teeth soon enough.

    Alexander was not a big, strapping lad. And his family was very glad that the NHS Dentistry service was free to use, because he was in there a lot.

    Growing up with a daily fear of beatings cows many, makes them humble. It just p****d the prideful Alexander off greatly, both at the bullies who beat him and himself for not being able to fight back. He knew, from his mam’s tales, that his eyes were no devil mark - they were the eyes of a dragon, the Lambton Worm of legend and tale, that had been part of his bloodline for ages passed. That it showed up so strongly in little Alexander was not the best blessing a young boy might want.

    The abuse drove him, though. He never got to be big, or at least strapping - but enough viewings of Enter the Dragon gave him an alternative to that. He got fast. He learned martial arts. By high school it was a well-known truth that if you took a swing at Alexander, you would miss and take two shots to the kidneys for your troubles.

    He became the Patron Saint of the Downtrodden for his school, at that. Whenever one of his old bullies thought they’d found a new victim they found they were wrong. Perhaps it was gratitude, or perhaps it was a desire for safety, but slowly Alexander got a little group of friends. He even got a girlfriend - someone who thought his eyes were cool, not some terrifying mark of shame.

    Hormonal teenagers being hormonal teenagers, Jennifer and Alexander were only 17 when she became pregnant. It wasn’t an ideal situation. There families were less than thrilled. But Alexander was never going to be a scholar of great renown. Jennifer was smarter, though. So he gave up on the idea of A-Levels and left school, getting a job as a tattoo artist. It wasn’t the best money, but again his eyes actually benefited him - many assumed he had them tattooed, which meant he was, in the local parlance, Well’Ard.

    And if Fate wasn’t a spiteful ass that’s where it would have stayed - a rough childhood, a young fatherhood and a difficult life, but normal enough. Happy enough. Loved.

    But Fate is a spiteful little arse.

    You see, Carnival isn’t the first monster to come out of Northumberland. Before him were the Redcaps.

    A type of Fae, according to some, and a violent one. The Redcaps get their name from the lovely shade of their hat, which is kept red with fresh human blood. They ambush the unwary in the form of an old man who needs help.

    And when Jennifer was taking the six-month-old Jessica to see her grandparents one day, she saw an old man broke down at the edge of the road.

    When they vanished, there were a lot of questions. Even with a foolproof alibi so many thought Alexander - a man known for such violence in school - was behind it. When the pair were finally found, brutally killed, weeks later...it got worse.

    But Alexander didn’t care. He didn’t care what people thought, he didn’t care what happened. He cared about finding who did it. And killing them. And so he hunted. He searched the road where they’d last been seen, hunted the woods where they’d been found. People started to say it was sick, that he was revisiting the scene of his crimes for a thrill, but they also told the stories of the Redcaps…

    It was a long shot - but Alexander was a man with dragon’s blood and dragonic eyes. Maybe other strange stuff was out there. So he looked them up. They matched what he knew. And apparently, you could scare them off with recited scripture. Well, that was nice. But Alexander did not want to scare them off. Oh no.

    And so he became bait, hunting endlessly to find the creature. And one day he did. An old man, who needed help, and wanted him to come to a little cabin that Alexander knew hadn’t been there before. So Alexander went. And when the creatures went to crush Alexander’s skull like so many before him...he shattered its nose.

    Because mortal strength couldn’t affect a Redcap. But Alexander had more than mortal strength to call on as bands of his own life’s essence formed around his hands that allowed him to beat the Redcap into a thin paste, chanting his lover and his child’s name over, and over, until even his magic gave out and dispersed. He left was left of the Redcap there. It wasn’t a lot.

    In fact, Alexander left home completely. Everywhere he looked he saw the ghosts of what had been, what could have been, what should have been. Joining the army was an easy way out - they didn’t give a crap about his eyes if he could shoot straight, take orders and kill things. And he could.

    The Her Majesty’s Armed Forces are not without their own knowledge of the magical world, of course, and Alexander was quickly picked up and given some training in...additional skills. Killing werewolves barehanded is challenging, after all.

    Once his time with the British Army was up, Alexander left, leaving everything behind. Even hisn name. He chose Carnival out of a sense of bitter amusement and started taking merc jobs that tended to be on the spooky side of things and building a reputation. He didn’t care about the money so much as the chance to stop the things that went bump in the night. When an invitation to join the Riot Crew was extended he jumped at the chance.

    Plot Hooks:

    1. Carnival is loyal to the Riot Crew. They let him do a job he wants and there’s almost nothing he cares about enough to make him turn. Almost nothing...but his family. An offer to return them to the living…

    2. Family history has it that the blood of dragons runs in Carnival’s veins, and is the source of his powers and skills. There’s a good chance that he has some kin that he doesn’t know about, albeit distantly related. And scaly.

    3. Carnival left the British Army’s Paranormal on good terms. He has several, for lack of a better word, friends there who might call upon his help occasionally.


    Cillian "Breach" Gibson wrote:
    My bad on the hooks, I'll add those shortly. As for proficiencies, the Spheres of Might archetypes lose most proficiencies and replace them with a martial tradition, which is generally a couple of proficiency talents and a couple of base trope-solidifying talents. Hence, I don't have martial weapon proficiency, only simple weapons, light armour, and what is given to my by my talents.

    Looking at your build again, I can see that it is the case, and completely missed it. >_<


    JonGarrett wrote:
    ** spoiler omitted **...

    Very nice! You clearly put a lot of work into this character, and it shows. One thing I notice about your build though: touch ac is a tad low. A lot of enemies in this setting use ranged touch attacks (including the advanced firearms everyone is using). Of course, you might already have an answer to this, I just don’t see it. Otherwise, great work!


    One other thing I wanted to check, Cillian has the talent:

    Deflecting Shield: Your shield bonus to AC applies against touch attacks.

    I was wondering whether this would apply to firearms or not? I realise I don't meet the ballistics criteria but it might be a pretty lackluster talent in this setting without it, in which case I'd swap it back for the base sphere ability.


    I was wondering, with most builds so far being on the fighty side of things do you think I should make more of a support caster maybe, or I can stick with the rogue(ish) type?

    Personally I like both ideas, but I'm open to suggestions. And in a modern occult campaign i certainly won't mind playing a caster type too.

    Assuming I don't have another 12 hours shift today I plant o make the build this evening :) Or at least write the background and hooks.


    Aipaca wrote:

    One other thing I wanted to check, Cillian has the talent:

    Deflecting Shield: Your shield bonus to AC applies against touch attacks.

    I was wondering whether this would apply to firearms or not? I realise I don't meet the ballistics criteria but it might be a pretty lackluster talent in this setting without it, in which case I'd swap it back for the base sphere ability.

    It totally counts against firearms. I included Ballistic armor and shields more as a way for characters without magic to protect themselves against firearms. Having a class feature that does the same thing is not only good, it’s almost better since it makes your character seem that much more special.


    Nerdzul wrote:

    I was wondering, with most builds so far being on the fighty side of things do you think I should make more of a support caster maybe, or I can stick with the rogue(ish) type?

    Personally I like both ideas, but I'm open to suggestions. And in a modern occult campaign i certainly won't mind playing a caster type too.

    Assuming I don't have another 12 hours shift today I plant o make the build this evening :) Or at least write the background and hooks.

    Make whatever you want. I’m hoping for the four roles of the party (A fighter type, a rogue type, a wizard type, and a cleric type) to be filled out at some point but I’m totally cool with you building whatever character you want.


    I am totally making a professor/magician, a sort of fish-out-of-water scholar who is fighting depsite being most at ease in a dusty library! I love the idea of magic in the modern world... How do you get away with it? How do you keep the secret?


    I’m totally interested in this setting! I immediately had an idea for a character, but before I delve into her backstory I wanted to check with some things with you first.

    I would like this character to be a Vox Mesmerist, mostly for thematic reasons, although the archetype is a bit weaker. Specifically, I was wondering if a small adjustment to the third level ability “Wounding Words” could be changed to work in conjunction with firearms. Perhaps allowing the ability to work with a firearm instead of a melee weapon, or allowing the ability to be used with the same range increments as the character’s firearm?

    This is certainly not a deal breaker - just something that would help create the character I’m conceptualizing. Thanks!


    TheMightyAtom wrote:
    Very nice! You clearly put a lot of work into this character, and it shows. One thing I notice about your build though: touch ac is a tad low. A lot of enemies in this setting use ranged touch attacks (including the advanced firearms everyone is using). Of course, you might already have an answer to this, I just don’t see it. Otherwise, great work!

    Nope, I'm gonna get my ass handed to me by bullets until I can buy bulletproofing. That's why I'm personally hoping the first job we do is a very well paying zombie extermination!

    But yeah, it was a case of not having the funds to buy better armour and not having enough feats/spheres to do it another way. First Level Problems, man. At third level I'm weighing up getting Unarmoured Training and being able to kick ass in nothing but a strategically placed comedy pillow and sunglasses Vs spending cash to get better armour and saving those spheres/feats for other things. Until then I'll just pretend I'm too cool to bleed and wear a suit that hides most of the blood.


    Magicblast wrote:

    I’m totally interested in this setting! I immediately had an idea for a character, but before I delve into her backstory I wanted to check with some things with you first.

    I would like this character to be a Vox Mesmerist, mostly for thematic reasons, although the archetype is a bit weaker. Specifically, I was wondering if a small adjustment to the third level ability “Wounding Words” could be changed to work in conjunction with firearms. Perhaps allowing the ability to work with a firearm instead of a melee weapon, or allowing the ability to be used with the same range increments as the character’s firearm?

    This is certainly not a deal breaker - just something that would help create the character I’m conceptualizing. Thanks!

    I’m going to say no, because of this right here:

    Vox Mesmerist Archetype wrote:

    Subsonic Strike (Su)

    At 10th level, a vox is able to unleash a deadly flurry of his wounding words as a standard action. He can target a number of creatures or objects equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1) within 30 feet, requiring a ranged touch attack against each target. If the target of his compelling voice is within 30 feet, he can choose to instead target only that creature with a single ranged touch or melee touch attack, dealing double normal damage on a successful attack.

    Whatever choice he makes, the vox must expend one use of wounding words.

    This ability replaces touch treatment (major).

    This ability already does what you describe, and you would likely get it near the campaign’s midpoint to climax.


    Seeing what other people are planning (and because family and work have kept me busy), I am going to make a healer.

    TheMightyAtom: Can we purchase equipment from here?

    http://www.d20modernpf.com/wealth-and-equipment/general-equipment/

    ("All items are listed in USD ($) prices. To buy a fantasy item that is listed in gold pieces; count one USD to be equivalent to one silver piece. This isn’t a perfect conversion, but a simple way to easily convert fantasy to a modern currency system.")


    Magicblast wrote:

    I’m totally interested in this setting! I immediately had an idea for a character, but before I delve into her backstory I wanted to check with some things with you first.

    I would like this character to be a Vox Mesmerist, mostly for thematic reasons, although the archetype is a bit weaker. Specifically, I was wondering if a small adjustment to the third level ability “Wounding Words” could be changed to work in conjunction with firearms. Perhaps allowing the ability to work with a firearm instead of a melee weapon, or allowing the ability to be used with the same range increments as the character’s firearm?

    This is certainly not a deal breaker - just something that would help create the character I’m conceptualizing. Thanks!

    Since the boss has voided that, you could also consider picking up the Destruction Sphere with the Energy Blade talent and the Thunder Blast and Reveberating Blast to do something akin. You could add on 1d6 Sonic or Bludgeoning damage with a single weapon attack (melee or ranged) and Reverberating Blast would cost a spell point, but add some nastiness of there own.

    Of course, if you aren't a Sphere Caster it'll be a little challenging to do at first level, but it can be done with enough feats.


    Mr. Rattlebones wrote:

    Seeing what other people are planning (and because family and work have kept me busy), I am going to make a healer.

    TheMightyAtom: Can we purchase equipment from here?

    http://www.d20modernpf.com/wealth-and-equipment/general-equipment/

    ("All items are listed in USD ($) prices. To buy a fantasy item that is listed in gold pieces; count one USD to be equivalent to one silver piece. This isn’t a perfect conversion, but a simple way to easily convert fantasy to a modern currency system.")

    I do like the Modern Path (it’s part of what inspired this campaign). It depends: what equipment are you buying?


    TheMightyAtom wrote:
    Mr. Rattlebones wrote:

    Seeing what other people are planning (and because family and work have kept me busy), I am going to make a healer.

    TheMightyAtom: Can we purchase equipment from here?

    http://www.d20modernpf.com/wealth-and-equipment/general-equipment/

    ("All items are listed in USD ($) prices. To buy a fantasy item that is listed in gold pieces; count one USD to be equivalent to one silver piece. This isn’t a perfect conversion, but a simple way to easily convert fantasy to a modern currency system.")

    I do like the Modern Path (it’s part of what inspired this campaign). It depends: what equipment are you buying?

    Now:

    smart phone, 20gp
    standard binoculars, 5gp
    standard flashlight, 1gp
    suppressor, 25gp

    Later:
    pharmacist kit, 15gp
    surgery kit, 12.5gp


    Mr. Rattlebones wrote:
    TheMightyAtom wrote:
    Mr. Rattlebones wrote:

    Seeing what other people are planning (and because family and work have kept me busy), I am going to make a healer.

    TheMightyAtom: Can we purchase equipment from here?

    http://www.d20modernpf.com/wealth-and-equipment/general-equipment/

    ("All items are listed in USD ($) prices. To buy a fantasy item that is listed in gold pieces; count one USD to be equivalent to one silver piece. This isn’t a perfect conversion, but a simple way to easily convert fantasy to a modern currency system.")

    I do like the Modern Path (it’s part of what inspired this campaign). It depends: what equipment are you buying?

    Now:

    smart phone, 20gp
    standard binoculars, 5gp
    standard flashlight, 1gp
    suppressor, 25gp

    Later:
    pharmacist kit, 15gp
    surgery kit, 12.5gp

    Looking over the Modern Path’s equipment, I’ll allow it, but I reserve the right to veto anything that seems op.


    TheMightyAtom wrote:
    This ability already does what you describe, and you would likely get it near the campaign’s midpoint to climax.

    Right! I forgot that class features could be earned in the E6 system - never mind then! I hope to have my submission up soon.


    I’ve got a bit of a pactmaker finished, still need the background though.


    What fantasy languages might be used in this game?


    Hey, I'm not sure how much time there is for this, but I'd like to at least dot. However, I wanted to ask: would it be alright if I played a changeling? I don't really mean the "daughter of a hag and a human" type of changeling, but the more traditional "replacement for someone's missing human baby" or "human who got taken into the Feywild and then escaped" type of character.

    A character who has had a traumatic personal experience with the dangers of magic firsthand I think would be an interesting take on this type of game. I would probably want to run with a rogue / witch multiclass build. Alternately, might it be possible to use Dreamscarred Press' "malefex" class, which is like a witch/rogue hybrid class?


    Mr. Rattlebones wrote:
    What fantasy languages might be used in this game?

    Outsider languages will definitely play some role. Other than that: Orc, Elf, and Goblinoid might at least make passing appearances. Other languages might show up too.


    leinathan wrote:

    Hey, I'm not sure how much time there is for this, but I'd like to at least dot. However, I wanted to ask: would it be alright if I played a changeling? I don't really mean the "daughter of a hag and a human" type of changeling, but the more traditional "replacement for someone's missing human baby" or "human who got taken into the Feywild and then escaped" type of character.

    A character who has had a traumatic personal experience with the dangers of magic firsthand I think would be an interesting take on this type of game. I would probably want to run with a rogue / witch multiclass build. Alternately, might it be possible to use Dreamscarred Press' "malefex" class, which is like a witch/rogue hybrid class?

    I’m planning on letting this recruitment last at least until this weekend and possibly part of next week too. A changeling character is strange, but if you can make it work within the setting than I’m good with it. Malefex is a solid yes.


    Are you familiar with the book Bloodforge, also by Dreamscarred Press?

    It's full of hybrid monster/human races. Seems like a good fit for my primordial idea as well. Would that be allowed material?


    leinathan wrote:

    Are you familiar with the book Bloodforge, also by Dreamscarred Press?

    It's full of hybrid monster/human races. Seems like a good fit for my primordial idea as well. Would that be allowed material?

    Do you have a link to what you were thinking of? I’m being very selective when it comes to races that aren’t human.


    Halfway through the build, in the end the main idea is went for a martial hedgewitch, more focused on being a skill monkey\rogue than a spellcaster. Hopefully I'll be able to complete it soon and won't get sidetracked again by other concepts. There really are too many cool tricks to choose from by the way.

    But if you don't mind I would like having the weekend to work on it a bit and write a background I like.


    Well, on second thought it probably won't work out. Most of the races are kind of monstrous, which won't really fly in a modern game. Also, I don't think it's on the pfsrd.

    I'll work on my character's backstory today. A 1st-level malefex won't be too much trouble to finish up, and I want to tell you I will most likely multiclass into mystic and have a whole bunch of cool supernatural abilities to pull from.


    Here is the submission for Mr. Rattlebones.

    Ulrich Brauer
    LN Male Human
    Incanter 1
    Medical Doctor and Magical Healer

    Background:

    Ulrich Brauer was born in Greifswald, Germany in 1982 -- the son of a Hans Brauer (dentist) and Erika Brauer (housewife). He attended a local private school, earned good marks in his classes, was nice to his siblings, respected the elderly, and always followed the rules. His wish was to some day attend medical university and become a physician, marry a girl, start a family, and live a comfortable life in a safe suburb. 

    Of course, that all came to a sudden halt one day at age 16. He was chasing his younger brother around the house after a video game argument, when he tripped down the stairs and broke a finger. Ulrich touched the finger with his other hand and -- pop -- a flash of light and the finger was healed as though nothing ever happened. Too scared to share his discover with his family, he began experimenting in secret. Testing on himself first, he found he could heal cuts, bruises, and minor broken bones just by touching and concentrating. He tried healing animals when he could find one that was injured, and discovered similar success. One sad experiment with a mouse taught him that he could heal, but not bring things back from the dead.

    He kept his powers secret, and finished secondary school and most of university before he was contacted through a mysterious envelope left at his dorm room. It was from an organization known as 'The Riot Crew.' Apparently his magical abilities had been under surveillance, and certain persons were interested in paying him for his services. For once in his life, Ulrich decided to be impulsive, and found himself whisked away shortly after graduation to a private training facility outside New York City. He received a crash course in military protcols and basic training from a private military corporation before he was sent to Portland, Oregon for his first field deployment. His parent think he is attending a fellowship program in dermatology... Ulrich hopes to learn as much as possible about the intersection of magic and medicine.


    Present: Huang Mei Yu, a woman whose investigations into her origin uncovered her innate magical power. She exercised this power as a P.I. and was taken in as a suspect by the The Riot Crew. However, she was able to spin it into a job with them.

    Let me know if anything is unclear.

    Backstory/Fluff:
    1. The town which Mei Yu is from is in Guangdong Province in southern China. Forced to comply with China's one-child policy, the families there still fervently wished for boys, and they unknowingly made deals with fey creatures from other realms to grant them the male children that they so desperately wished for. For little more than the memories of first loves, the sanctity of their favorite places, the health of their mothers, and more, they were granted many more male children than most regions have.

    However, these children were overwhelmingly born with deformities - shrivelled limbs, congenital diseases, grown-together fingers and toes, and other strangeness. Many of the families wept at their own foolishness.

    2. Mei Yu is a product of another arcane deal. She is a fetch, created in the realm of the fey in 1989 and used as a replacement for a real human child, who is stolen away by the fey as payment for the deal. Mei Yu's parents had had a deformed boy, one who must have had some problems in the womb that resulted in his having been born with shriveled limbs and an expected lifespan of a few years at best. His parents made offerings, prayed, and wished fervently for a solution.

    They got one. They were met by a mysterious creature who offered them a trade: A superior child in exchange for their own child. Desperately, they accepted, and they received Mei Yu in exchange for their original child, who disappeared. Mei Yu, while a girl, was a fulfillment of their wish in nearly every way - beautiful, intelligent, strong, she grew fast and had many skills.

    3. Mei Yu's childhood was normal, albeit mostly in poverty. The area in which her family lived became more and more urban as Guangjiu was designated a Special Economic Zone and it became more urbanized, which allowed Mei Yu to attend schools with more resources than many of her more-rural childhood playmates.

    4. The first supernatural experience that Mei Yu had was when her home was visited by a strange old man with extremely deformed limbs. He must have been eighty, and visibly struggled with moving. He wore strange clothes, like he was dressed for someone's idea of a party in the year 1300, and he claimed to be Mei Yu's brother. Though he had much to say - he had been stolen as a baby, he just barely managed to escape, "they" would soon be after him, he wasn't able to truly give satisfactory examples before he expired, apparently of old age, right on their couch.

    To further complicate things, a medical examination confirmed his relation to their mother.

    Troubled, Mei Yu got a DNA test as well and found that, indeed, she was not her mother's daughter.

    5. Driven by the strange mystery, Mei Yu launched herself into research of strange and esoteric topics, despite her mother's insistence that she begin searching for a husband and preparing herself for her adult life. She had to travel a lot to find the information she sought, and sometimes it was kept within collections that were not open to the public... so Mei Yu began to sneak into these places, usually private libraries, to obtain the information that she looked for. While most of what she found was nothing, the more she looked the more she became certain that there was something to this whole... 'supernatural world' idea. She pursued it with a fervor and energy, and that drive pushed her right into a dangerous situation.

    Pursuing leads on a supernatural creature, she accidentally stumbled into its urban lair and was forced into a battle for her life, and this is when the supernatural powers of her own made themselves clear. She found while battling the creature that she had minor tricks at her disposal, and as she desperately pulled upon them, more made themselves clear - she could manipulate shadow, time, and energy with but a thought, the power granted by her supernatural heritage ensuring her survival along with her own innate resistance to the magics of others.

    6. Galvanized by this sudden discovery of the proof of magical creatures, Mei Yu became a private investigator, taking on whatever jobs it would take that might bring her closer to the truth of the magical world. However, her subject matter and the usage of her own powers brought the notice of the Riot Crew, and she was taken in by them. Forced to explain herself, she found that she had too little information to be thought of as a threat, and she was instead offered a position with them: train with their fighters, show them what she was capable of, and be given the chance to seek out what she looked for in exchange.

    Statblock:
    Huang Mei Yu (周美玉)
    Female changeling (sea-born) mystic (gunsmoke mystic) 1
    NG Medium humanoid (changeling)
    Init +3; Senses Perception +7, darkvision 60ft.
    --------------------
    DEFENSE
    --------------------
    AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (+2 armor, +3 Dex, +1 natural)
    hp 10 (1d8+2)
    Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +5
    Defensive Abilities hold breath (3xCon) SR 7
    --------------------
    OFFENSE
    --------------------
    Spd 30ft.
    Melee 2 claws +1 (1d4+1)
    Ranged big bore revolver +3 (1d10/x4)
    Special Attacks animus, animus ammunition, blade meditation
    Maneuvers Known (IL 1st) (5 readied, 2 available)
    Stances - Embrace the Elements
    Boosts - Minute Hand, Fluctuation Movement, Horizon Wind Lancet
    Counters - Inner Sense, Eldritch Shield
    Strikes - Dimensional Strike, Copycat Cut
    --------------------
    STATISTICS
    --------------------
    Str 12, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 8
    Base Atk +0; CMB +1; CMD 14
    Feats Gunsmithing, Rapid Reload, Mother's Gift
    Traits Switched at Birth, Theoretical Magician
    Skills Knowledge (planes) [1] +6, Lore (the fey) [1] +6, Perception [1] +7, Sense Motive [1] +7, Sleight of Hand [1] +7, Spellcraft [1] +9, Stealth [1] +7, Swim [1] +5
    Languages Mandarin, Cantonese, English
    SQ the way of the gun (animus flush), elemental attunement
    Worn Gear big bore revolver, leather armor
    Other Gear 40gp


    I admit I'm completely new to PbP and somewhat new to roleplaying in general, but I'm fascinated with this campaign idea and so I'd like to throw my hat in the ring. I've rolled up a ranged character with the idea of becoming a sniper, but she's also a bit of a skill monkey.

    Character Build:

    Alexandra (Alex) Weir
    NG Female Human
    Slayer (Sniper Archetype) 1
    Str 11, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 10
    Languages: English, Spanish

    ------------
    Defense
    ------------

    AC: 17, Touch: 14, Flat 13 (3 Armour + 4 Dex + 0 Shield)
    HP 12/12 (10 class + 2 Con)
    Fort +4 (2 class + 2 Con), Ref +6 (2 class + 2 Dex), Will +2 (1 trait + 1 Wis)
    CMD: 15 (10 + 1 BAB + 4 Dex)

    ------------
    Offense
    ------------

    Base Atk +1
    CMB: +1 (1 BAB)
    Speed: 30 ft.
    Melee: Knife, Switchblade +1 (1d4, 19-20x2)
    Ranged: Assault Rifle +5 (1d10, 20x4)
    Ranged: Semi-Auto Pistol +5 (1d8, 20x4)

    ------------
    Class Features
    ------------

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A slayer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as with light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).

    Studied Target (Ex): A slayer can study an opponent he can see as a move action. The slayer then gains a +1 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks attempted against that opponent, and a +1 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against it. The DCs of slayer class abilities against that opponent increase by 1. A slayer can only maintain these bonuses against one opponent at a time; these bonuses remain in effect until either the opponent is dead or the slayer studies a new target. If a slayer deals sneak attack damage to a target, he can study that target as an immediate action, allowing him to apply his studied target bonuses against that target (including to the normal weapon damage roll).

    Accuracy: At 1st level, a sniper halves all range increment penalties when making ranged attacks with a bow, crossbow, or firearm.

    ------------
    Feats
    ------------

    Point Blank Shot: +1 attack and damage on targets within 30 feet

    Precise Shot: No penalty for shooting into melee

    ------------
    Traits
    ------------

    Hunter’s Blood: You earn a +1 trait bonus on Diplomacy when used to gather information, Knowledge (religion), and Survival when used for tracking when related to an undead quarry. Choose one as these as a class skill. The undead have a +1 bonus on any roll to learn about you, as your family’s fame precedes you.

    Auspicious Tattoo: You gain a +1 trait bonus on Will saving throws

    ------------
    Skills
    ------------

    8 skill ranks (+6 class +1 Int +1 FCB)

    Bluff [1] +4
    Diplomacy [1] +4
    Intimidate [1] +4
    Knowledge (Local) [1] +5
    Perception [1] +5
    Sense Motive [1] +5
    Stealth [1] +7
    Survival [1] +5

    ------------
    Equipment
    ------------

    Semi-auto pistol (40gp, 2lb)
    Pistol cartridges (50) (5gp, --lb)
    Assault Rifle (50gp, 9lb)
    Assault Rifle Cartridges (100) (10gp, --lb)
    Knife, Switchblade (5gp, 1lb)
    Studded leather armor (25gp, 20lb)
    Smartphone (20gp, --lb)
    20gp

    Backstory:

    Nobody quite knew when it started, but everyone in their small Appalachian town knew that the Weirs were the ones to call if anything, well, weird happened. Spooky noises in the cemetery? A creature in the woods that didn’t seem natural? Somebody dabbling in Things Man Ought Not To Know? Let the Weirs know and they'd take care of it, so everyone else could go on with their lives.

    Most kids got a party to commemorate turning 13. Alexandra Weir got her own gun and an intricate tattoo on her back.

    “An abstract representation of the seven-pointed star” her father told her when showing her the design. “A symbol of the Cherokee nation, but also one of protection.” He sighed, and kissed her forehead gently. “You’ll need it, little one. We all do.”

    One of the downsides to that kind of life is that you don’t get to spend too much time thinking about the future. When Alex graduated high school she still didn’t have any idea of what to do next. She was good with a gun and excelled at hunting down monsters, but she wasn’t sure how to turn that into a career. Maybe the military? In the meantime, she stayed home and worked at the local gas station.

    The rest of her class split into two camps: those like Alex who stuck around, and those who used college as an excuse to get as far away as possible. Alex’s best friend, Sam Royston, was one of the latter. He was going to Portland State University. Basically as far away as he could get while still technically being in the same country. When Alex asked him why, he just shrugged. “There’s gotta be more than this out there, right? And I’m going to find it.”

    They promised to keep in touch, but that resolution didn’t last long. Sam didn’t come home for Christmas, and by February Alex hadn’t heard from him in weeks. Then one morning she woke up to a panicked voicemail.

    “Alex?” Sam’s voice was shaking. “Alex please I need your help. I’m in over my head and I don’t know what to do. You’re the only one I know who handles this sort of stuff. Just...just please call me back as soon as you get this.”

    Alex called back immediately, but Sam didn’t pick up. He didn’t respond to her texts either. She kept calling him, over and over, leaving her own voicemails. She never got a response. His parents hadn’t heard from him in a few days. No one had.

    The next day Alex took her savings and bought a one-way ticket to Portland. Her parents thought she was crazy. Hell, she thought she was crazy. But Sam was her friend, and he’d begged her for help.

    In Portland, Alex headed straight for the college. She managed to track down Sam’s roommate, and with a bit of fast-talking got him to let her in the room. Unfortunately all he could tell her was that Sam hadn’t been to the dorms in a week. He hadn’t realized there was anything wrong, as Sam had been spending a lot of time over at a friend’s place. The roommate had no idea who this friend might be, and Alex couldn’t find any clues among Sam’s belongings. She filed a missing person’s report, got a motel room, and kept looking.

    Three days later, the police pulled a body out of the Columbia with Sam’s school ID in its pocket. The body was too mangled to really be identified, but given the circumstances they were sure it was Sam’s. She’d been too late.

    Common sense told Alex to head back home. Sam was dead. There was nothing more she could do in Portland.

    Common sense could go to hell. Someone or something had killed Sam, and if left alone it would just keep killing. This may not have been her town, but this was what she did. It didn’t take her too long to find a group of people that handled more...unusual situations. Working with the Riot Crew gave her a job to pay the bills and access to information that might help her figure out what had happened to Sam.

    Sam had been right. There was something more out there.

    And she was going to kill it.

    Plot Hooks:

    1. Alex is determined to find out what happened to Sam. She wants to track down whatever or whoever killed him so she can stop them from hurting anything else. However, with no real clues to go on, she's currently limited to feeling out what's going on in the magical community and seeing if any of it seems relevant.

    2. No one ever talks about when the Weirs became the unofficial guardians of their small town. However, Alex believes that it started with her father. He came from somewhere other than Appalachia, though he's never said where, and he has an almost encyclopedic knowledge about the monsters they fight.

    3. Alex feels very strongly that it's her duty to protect people from the things they don't know exist, and feels a little guilty about working as a mercenary. Unfortunately good intentions don't pay the bills, but she worries that if she ever compromises her ideals for money she'd be no better than a monster herself.

    Appearance:

    Alex is small, quiet, and easy to miss if you're not specifically looking for her. Like many from the Appalachians she has some Cherokee in her background, which shows in her straight black hair, dark eyes, and high cheekbones. She typically dresses in a leather jacket, t-shirt, and faded blue jeans. Hidden beneath those clothes she has an intricate tattoo on her back.


    Well, here's a question I'd never thought I ask a GM, but, uh... what domains does our lord and savior Jesus Christ offer?

    Father Asher Anderson, LG human Cleric 1

    Crunch:

    Asher Anderson
    Male Human Cleric 1
    30 Years of Age
    LG Medium Humanoid (human)
    Init +4; Perception +8
    --------------------
    Defense
    --------------------
    AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+5 armor, +2 Dex)
    HP 9/9 (1d8 + 1 Con)
    Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +5
    --------------------
    Offense
    --------------------
    Speed 20 ft.
    Weapon: dagger, -1 attack, 1d4-1 damage, 19-20/x2 crit, slashing or piercing
    Weapon: big bore revolver, +2 attack, 1d10 damage, 20/x4 crit, bludgeoning & piercing
    --------------------
    Statistics
    --------------------
    Str 9 (-1), Dex 15 (+2), Con 12 (+1), Int 12 (+1), Wis 16 (+3), Cha 14 (+2)

    Base Atk +0; CMB -1; CMD 11

    Feats: Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot

    Traits: Seeker [+1 Perception, class skill]; Reactionary [+2 initiative]

    Skills - (4 points + 1 FC; armor penalties not included):
    Diplomacy +7
    Heal +7
    Perception +8 [3 class + 3 mod + 1 trait + 1 rank]
    Know (religion) +5
    Sense Motive +7

    Skills - background: Profession (priest), Know (history) +5

    Languages: English, Latin
    --------------------
    Wealth
    --------------------
    Adventuring Gear: scale mail, revolver cartridges (20)
    Coin: 4 gp
    Other: holy symbol (wooden) x2
    Weight: 35 lbs.

    --------------------
    Special Abilities
    --------------------
    Class: Aura (LG): Channel Positive Energy, 1d6, 5/day, DC 15 [10 + 1/2 level + 2 Cha + 2 Heroism domain]; domains (Heroism, Restoration)
    Racial: Skilled [+1 skill point per level]

    --------------------
    Spell-like, extraordinary or supernatural
    --------------------
    Touch of Glory (Sp): You can cause your hand to shimmer with divine radiance, allowing you to touch a creature as a standard action and give it a bonus equal to your cleric level on a single Charisma-based skill check or Charisma ability check. This ability lasts for 1 hour or until the creature touched elects to apply the bonus to a roll. You can use this ability to grant the bonus a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

    Restorative Touch (Su): You can touch a creature, letting the healing power of your deity flow through you to relieve the creature of a minor condition. Your touch can remove the dazed, fatigued, shaken, sickened, or staggered condition. You choose which condition is removed. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

    --------------------
    Spells
    --------------------
    0th: Create Water, Light, Mending
    1st: to be determined

    Background (apologies in advance, it goes on for a bit):

    "Pater noster, qui es in caelis,
    sanctificetur nomen tuum,
    adveniat regnum tuum..."

    "Somebody get this crazy bastard offa me!"

    The legionnaire tried to fight off the strange chanting man, tried to move away from him, but it was no use; the wound was too deep. She'd taken a hit as her squad had moved to engage the... she'd didn't even know what to call it. Looked like a god da*n movie monster. Certainly not what the briefing had described. Everything had gone to sh*t and now she was separated from her squad, lying bleeding on the street. She could still hear her teammates' gunfire in the distance. And then this freak shows up.

    "Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra.
    Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie,
    et dimitte nobis debita nostra..."

    "Shut the fu*k up and get away from me, you AAAH...!"

    Pain. Trying to kick the stranger had been a poor idea as the open wound cruelly informed her via fresh waves of searing agony. The legionnaire was in no state to do anything but pass out. She might have done so already had it not been for her alarm at seeing this bizarre man. He'd appeared almost as soon as she fell, which convinced her that he'd been surreptitiously following her squad for God knows what reason. And if that wasn't suspicious enough, there was his appearance. Tall and lanky with no bulk to speak of, he had the slightly disturbing proportions of a man stretched by a torture rack. Coupled with his dark clothing and intense grey eyes, he came off very foreboding. This impression was heightened by a vague unnatural air which hung about him, perhaps primarily owing to his hair: he was completely bald. His pale dome of a scalp reflected the streetlight while even his brow was devoid of hair, making him appear all the more stark and severe. Did he even have any eyelashes? The hairlessness should have indicated a man in his older years, but instead his features were smooth, rendering his age ambiguous and only adding to his unsettling aspect. Of course, all of this could be forgiven had he just behaved in any way like a normal person, rather than holding her down and ominously chanting in what she could only presume was Latin.

    "Let me go... Just let me go. Please. I need..."

    The thought had slowly emerged to the legionnaire that this could be how she died. The bleeding wasn't stopping. Her comrades were busy fighting for their own lives. She could die here, on a dingy street corner with an anonymous maniac holding her down. That was no way to die.

    And fortunately, this was not to be the case.

    "Sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris,
    et ne nos inducas in tentationem,
    sed libera nos a malo.
    Amen!"

    As the man's intonations concluded, his hand lit up with radiant light that put the dull rays of the streetlamp to shame. It looked like sunlight. Felt like sunlight too, as the legionnaire could feel the heat emanating from him. She jerked in panic as she expected to feel pain too, as the man laid his hand upon the open wound. But instead there was nothing. No pain whatsoever, in fact. The wound stopped aching altogether, and when the man's hand gradually stopped glowing and he removed it, she could see why: there was no wound. Where there had been a gaping gash seconds earlier, there was now only smooth skin. There wasn't even a scar; only the blood remained as evidence of there ever being an injury.

    While she was still inspecting herself in wonder, the man relinquished his hold on the legionnaire and stood up. She looked at him again as he retrieved a pistol from an inner pocket and silently offered his other hand to her to help her get up. It was then she saw one detail of his dark dress that had gone unnoticed up until now: at the neck he wore the white tab collar of a priest.

    "How did you...?"

    "Praise the Lord. And pass the ammo."

    -----

    It has been said that Portland is the least religious city in the US. How appropriate then that it is home to Father Asher Anderson, who, until recently, could be said to be among the least religious priests in the US. Despite being brought up in a god-fearing household (or perhaps because of this), Asher would not identify as a Christian until much later in life. A bright but typical teenager, he latched onto a rejection of faith as a means of rebelling against his parents, as all teenagers must. School life was also difficult, as despite having a good head on his shoulders, said head was rather out of the ordinary: an autoimmune disease rendered him completely hairless. Children being notoriously cruel to anyone different, young Asher had few allies in his early life. At eighteen, his parents not being willing to fund any higher education for their wayward son, he joined the US army, more so out of a lack of personal direction than patriotism. There he underwent basic and then infantry training, eventually being deployed to the Middle-East.

    Travelling has a curious effect on some: many never feel a sense of national identity, the quirks, virtues and vices imparted on one by their 'natural' surroundings, until they visit a foreign environment. Just as the chameleon is undetectable in its own habitat, a person's cultural baggage may be invisible unless contrasted against a different culture. Asher felt this effect strongly whilst deployed, and was especially struck by how significant the Christian faith was to his own identity. No, he still wasn't a believer, but he noted how much of his morality was directly informed by Christianity. Charity, respect and goodwill for one's fellow man, forgiveness, the rejection of riches, love... every value he held dear, was willing to fight for, were all those the Christian church espoused. With a thoroughly un-Christian environment acting as contrast, this became obvious.

    Asher's Mid-East tour turned out somewhat anticlimactic as he never saw combat there. What he did end up seeing a lot of was the good book; Asher spent the uneventful days at the army base reading the Bible in its entirety. He found much of it very agreeable; Joseph's life, for example, acting as a parable for how intent should trump the letter of law appealed to him. Other parts of the book were harder to swallow; turning women into salt pillars ain't cool.
    On the whole, however, Asher had much less trouble reconciling the vengeful Old Testament deity with the more modern benevolent view of the Christian God than most. After all, he still believed in neither. Despite a growing fascination with the faith, Asher remained wholly secular. The Bible was in his eyes nothing more than a collection of ancient allegories and fables, not to be taken literally. But then, why should this matter? What did it matter, he questioned, if Methuselah really lived to the ripe old age of 969? These were good parables, good moral lessons that could guide people to a fulfilling and harmonious life. They lost no value in being fiction rather than fact - what they had to teach remained true. So taken was Asher with the ideas of Christianity that he decided upon a career after leaving the army: he would become a priest.

    With his tour of duty completed (and not a moment too soon as he was slowly earning the nickname 'Preacher' among fellow soldiers), Asher returned home where, after working menial jobs for a few years to build up some savings, he entered the Roman Catholic University of Portland. The academic life agreed with him, but truth be told the young man almost felt like he'd gone from soldier to undercover agent. Here he was, learning divinity from master theologians and even making friends at the local parish, whilst ostensibly a heathen. Asher still had no faith. He wanted to help people and fervently believed that the Bible's lessons were the key to happiness and contentment, but as for belief in an omnipotent benign creator? No, just as everything else in the book 'God' was simply a metaphor, a symbol of everything good in the world, just as his nemesis Satan represented all that is evil. Asher told no one of his secular thoughts, fearing how they would be received. And one Masters degree in Divinity later he then joined seminary school, after which he could finally call himself Father Anderson.

    And this is where the troubles began.

    Father Anderson was well received by his local flock, strange appearance aside, and Asher himself was happier than ever before. Yes, he was essentially living a lie, heathen priest that he was, but what did it matter? He was helping people lead more fulfilling lives and that was enough. But his life was to take another strange turn one late evening when he ambushed a grave robber desecrating the local cemetery. The ghoul had dug up a grave and made off with his prize upon being startled by the cleric. Asher gave chase but halted to help a young bystander knocked unconscious by the fleeing perpetrator. The culprit was never found.
    This is what the preacher told the police, and to his great shame it is all a lie. Asher could not bear revealing what really happened because the truth is infinitely weirder and far more terrifying. The truth is that he saw two figures in the graveyard that night, not one. The first had been a cloaked man, standing by a grave speaking, or rather orating, in a language utterly unknown to the priest. This person had not dug the hole the police later witnessed. In fact, there had been no need for digging. For a second figure emerged from the ground, out of the grave by the other's feet. Asher had not ambushed the two, but rather cried out in shock at the sight. Neither apparently wanted to be seen by anyone as they both fled, the second mud-covered figure bizarrely bestial in pace. The cleric, frankly frozen in fear, had only followed upon hearing a scream as the two exited the cemetery, to find an innocent bystander lying on the ground. Except while the ambulance crew would later determine that the young man had only suffered the most minor of concussions, this was not what Asher had found. When he arrived, it was to find a person utterly savaged, bite and claw marks indicating an attack by a beast the priest could scarcely imagine. Asher immediately phoned for help, and was then left with an obviously swiftly dying man, simply waiting for help to arrive. With the meager medical training he had received in the army, Asher tried stemming the poor man's rapid blood loss with his bare hands, fully aware that this was useless.

    This moment was the turning point for Asher Anderson. Because it marked the first time he truly prayed. Despite his vocation, Asher's faith in Christianity was purely philosophical. He believed in the moral virtues espoused, not in any man in the sky. But people pray for two fundamental reasons: either out of reverence or in desperation, and it was the latter the priest was feeling now. With no other options, he prayed for the life of the innocent bystander like he had never prayed before.
    Nothing can describe the atheist priest's surprise as the wounds beneath his clutching hands began stitching themselves together.

    This is where we now find Father Asher Anderson, a man in turmoil. The cleric's entire world has been turned upside down as he now knows that not only are miracles real, the divine has chosen to act through him. Why him over any other, genuine, priest is the question that hounds him, as well as the matter of what he is to do with this power? Asher has refrained from telling anyone else within the church about his newfound abilities, partly out of fear and sheer unwillingness to be a modern-day prophet and partly out of a need to get a better grasp of his position first. The man still only wants to help others, and is deeply confused about how best to utilize his gift.
    But the graveyard incident made one thing clear: there are dark forces at work in Portland. Asher has taken to skulking about the city at night, slowly learning of the mystical side of the world and the factions that seek to control it. Like a pseudo-vigilante, he has tried to help where possible, but now realizes that he can't get far alone. Desperate for an outlet for his power, Asher seeks like-minded individuals to help protect the city.

    For he is a shepherd. And the good people of Portland are his flock.

    Hooks:

    God may work in mysterious ways, but he does not play dice. Is there some deeper reason for Asher being able to work miracles?

    Is necromancy afoot in the good city of Portland? Who was the mysterious stranger who raised a corpse out of the cemetery?

    Are there others in the organized church who wield miracles? Is the pope a lv.6 cleric?

    Who will discover Asher's most shameful secret? Namely that his favorite film is The Boondock Saints.

    Thanks for reading. And thanks for introducing me to the E6 rules, Atom. I really like the grittier feel of early level Pathfinder and that rule set seems like a neat way of preserving that feeling whilst incorporating some high level mechanics.


    Before anyone else posts their character’s backstories, I want to clear up a misconception about the Riot Crew, and the magical world of this setting.

    In the state of Oregon, there’s just over 1200 people who know about magic, and 3/4s of them live in Portland. Magic isn’t just a heavily enforced secret, it’s effects in most people’s lives in insignificant. Most of the country’s magic leaders barely have more than a thousand people working for them.

    In this respect, then, the Riot Crew is less known than even that. It’s not well armed, well trained, or well funded. It’s members don’t even number above thirty. It’s right there in the name: not an organization, but a crew.

    That’s not to say that you all need to scrap your character concepts, just keep these facts in mind, possibly make some tweaks to your backstories.


    How much is the secrecy of magic enforced?


    leinathan wrote:
    How much is the secrecy of magic enforced?

    Check the discussion page for more information, but one of three most powerful organizations in this world is called FACCS, and they are essentially this world’s equivilant to the MIB. They constantly scour public media looking for signs of magic, and when they find it, they contain all evidence and erase the memories of local witnesses.


    So then my concept of getting pulled in by the authorities for getting noticed using magic works, then?

    I think it would help us all tailor our characters to your campaign a lot better if you had specific notes for specific characters rather than like "remember this, and if you're wrong, well that's too bad!"


    leinathan wrote:

    So then my concept of getting pulled in by the authorities for getting noticed using magic works, then?

    I think it would help us all tailor our characters to your campaign a lot better if you had specific notes for specific characters rather than like "remember this, and if you're wrong, well that's too bad!"

    I wasn't trying to invalidate anyone's backstory; if anything, this is my fault, because I neglected to mention this at the beginning.

    I have been trying to go character by character, but so far I've been focusing more on character concept and build rather than just implicitly backstory. That's also why I required three "hooks" as part of the recruiting process, to get a feel for how each character might effect the story (I like running games where the plot is tied into the character's decisions rather than a main plot that must be rigidly followed).

    If you'd like, I can post a review of your character entry?


    Please do! I'm always looking for notes.


    leinathan wrote:

    Present: Huang Mei Yu, a woman whose investigations into her origin uncovered her innate magical power. She exercised this power as a P.I. and was taken in as a suspect by the The Riot Crew. However, she was able to spin it into a job with them.

    Let me know if anything is unclear.

    ** spoiler omitted **...

    I like the backstory, a perfect combination of magical elements and human social pressure explains why Huang does what she does. The main issue is point #6: Riot Crew is really more like a team of combination PIs and mercenaries, investigating trouble and then dealing with it. If you want to keep that part of the backstory, just change it slightly so that it was a Riot Crew benefactor rather than the team itself. Perhaps the Society of Gilded Oak, considering they are in the business of training young spell casters already.

    Beyond that, my issues are mostly cosmetic.I can tell that the numbered fluff and backstory points were meant to fulfill the three hooks requirement, but it would be easier to see if you just separated the fluff and backstory into separate categories. The hooks don't need to be particularly long or complicated, just specific facts that connect your character to the universe: look at JonGarret or Ever_Anon's posts to see what I mean.

    The other part is that because you chose a third party class, I'm not immediately sure what your character can do without having to look into it. It would be very helpful if you put in a few descriptions of your class features.

    Finally, one minor detail, in your character build you didn't actually buy any ammo for your revolver.

    Other than those small issues, I really like your character!

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