... Ou la Mort

Game Master The Wyrm Ouroboros

Remove Citizen Goss; destroy the Gray Gardeners; liberate the souls from the final blades; end the Red Revolution.
Player Tools: Discord Channel, Trello War Table, Isarn Map, the Galt Gazette for this campaign, Distances in the city, and Organizations and Buildings spreadsheet

Links and Enhancements:

Individual Threads
Spoiler:

Dolores: Ou la Mort
Lilli: Ou la Mort
Lucien: Ou la Mort
Jerome: Ou la Mort
Manush: Ou la Mort

Estelle Delsarte: The Vigilant Guard
Eponine d'Ambreville: The Vigilant Guard
Athanas Sylvain: The Vigilant Guard


Additional Systems:
Spoiler:

We will be using all sorts of optional rule systems. Skill Unlocks from Unchained are one main one; Verbal Duels, Influence, Affiliations, Personas (standard and Masked), Mysteries and Investigations, Rumors, Research, Contracts, Downtime, Duels, Gambling and Games of Chance, Investments, Building and Organization rules, and all that sort of thing; if it's in Ultimate Intrigue, chances are it'll get used. If it has to do with intrigue and isn't found in UI, chances are it'll get used.

I strongly encourage you to examine the Building and Organization rules, as well as the Persona rules, as the Leadership feat is not so much being replaced as being dramatically enhanced by these two; the better your persona and organization, the better your chances of succeeding at your goals.

I strongly encourage you to examine the specific rules for Verbal Duels; Performance skills are highly useful in them, and

I strongly encourage you to consider the uses of news, art, and propaganda both overt and subtle in history, whether for revolution, war, or political change; the Artistry skills (and to a lesser extent the Craft skills) will enable you to spread your thoughts much farther than your voice can reach.

Though you may not yet have access to them, of note are the rules for Personas and Masked Personas.

Personas
Personas are a measure of how influential you can be in the world; at the end of the first adventure, we will put these together. For a game like this, these are very useful -- especially so for the more public figures of the Military Genius, the Reliable Statesman, and the Influential Merchant, but useful as well in some ways for the Criminal Mastermind and the Distressed Prelate. Your personas will give you dedicated agents to work for you, admirers, and possibly even friends in high places; your personas will make you the critcial linchpins in ending the Red Revolution.

Masked Personas
While vigilantes are the most obvious users of masked personas (and can do so with a speed and reliability that is staggering to see), these rules allow otherwise-ordinary people to keep a 'mask' behind the mirror, as it were. The long-time masters of the masked persona are actually the Gray Gardeners; few if any of them are vigilantes, yet their identities remain hidden. Many if not all of the PCs will acquire a masked persona (again, at the end of the first adventure); the primary development of it will have been accomplished prior to the campaign, with its fruits being seen only now.

Persona
Affiliations
Influence (Search “Jockeying”)
Contracts (See AP #101, Hell's Rebels 'The Kintargo Contract', section on Infernal Contracts)
Research (Search “Using a Library”)

Masked Persona
Mysteries and Investigations

Rumors
Bar Fights
Gambling and Games of Chance
Duels
Verbal Duels (and how they work)

Buildings and Organizations
General Downtime
Downtime Activities
Investments

Contacts

More as I think about it and/or am asked.


Languages
Spoiler:

Because I was asked ...

Because this is a PbP, we have the opportunity to use neat scripts and that sort of thing for different languages. For this campaign, we will use those languages that can be found in Google Translate. When doing so, for audible speech, use the Latin-alphabet phonetic translation (typically found underneath the box in which the script translation appears) so that we can read what it sounds like. If, however, the conversation is telepathic, mental, or if the words are physically written down, use the language's own script, if it has something else (Arabic, the Cyrillic alphabet, etc.), which is usually found inside the translation box.

Taldan is the 'Common' trade tongue, pretty much everyone uses it, therefore we use English.
Azlanti ==> Latin
Varisian ==> Spanish
Chelaxian ==> Italian
Garundi ==> Hebrew
Keleshite ==> Arabic
Hallit ==> Russian
Mwangi (Polyglot, I guess?) ==> Sesotho
Mwangi-related ==> Igbo
Shoanti ==> German
Ulfen ==> Norwegian
Vudrani ==> Punjabi
Osiriani ==> Amharic
Skald ==> Icelandic

Tien (Tian-Shu, Lung Wa)==> Chinese Traditional
Dan (Tian-Dan, Xa Hoi) ==> Myanmar
Dtang (Tian-Dtang, Dtang Ma) ==> Vietnamese
Hon-La (Tian-La, Hongal) ==> Mongolian
Hwan (Tian-Hwan, Hwanggot) ==> Korean
Minatan (Tian-Sing, Minata) ==> Indonesian
Minkaian (Tian-Min, Minkai) ==> Japanese

Druidic ==> Welsh

Elvish ==> Tamil
Dwarves ==> Ukranian
Gnomes ==> Armenian
Halfling ==> Greek
Draconic ==> Macedonian

Orc ==> Czech
Goblin ==> Estonian
Gnoll ==> Kyrgyz
Giant ==> Yiddish
Ettin ==> Haitian Creole
Undercommon ==> Bengali

Lizardfolk (or some reptilian race) ==> Telugu.

Sylvan ==> Gujarati
First Speech ==> Persian
Terran ==> Maori
Ignan ==> Nepali
Auran ==> Uzbek
Aquan ==> Lao
Aklo ==> Basque
Orvian ==> Malagasy

Celestial ==> Scots Gaelic
Abyssal ==> Yoruba
Daemonic ==> Marathi
Infernal ==> Javanese
Protean ==> Esperanto

'The Family' Gang Cant ==> Afrikaans
-----------------------

If you have a language that isn't found here, let me know and I'll figure something out. :) If you have a suggestion, even better.


Isarn Settlement Statblock:

See the Isarn and Its Districts page for an easier-to-read version of this information.

Isarn
CN metropolis
Corruption +2, Crime +1, Economy 0, Law +2, Lore +2, Society 0
Qualities Cultured, Defiant, Gang-Ridden*, Notorious, Rumormongering, Under-City*
Danger +40; Disadvantages Impoverished, Martial Law, Oppressed**
--------------------
Demographics
--------------------
Government Fascistic autotocracy
Population 42,800
--------------------
Marketplace
--------------------
Base Value 4,800gp Purchase Limit 50,000 gp Spellcasting 4th
*** Minor Items 4d4 Medium Items 2d4 Major Items 1d4
--------------------
* - Modified (Gang-Ridden derived from Cruel Watch)
** - Downgraded
*** - Available magic items are re-rolled at the end of every week; obviously, you can commission one, or try to find out if someone is wanting to sell or is about to finish making an item you're looking to acquire.

Stat Usage

Spoiler:
Each of a settlement's stat blocks are added to certain rolls, as follows:
Corruption +2: To Bluff vs. city officials/guards, Stealth outside (not underground)
Crime +1: To Sense Motive vs. Bluff, Sleight of Hand to pick pockets
Economy 0: To Craft, Perform*, Profession to Generate Income
Law +2: To Intimidate to force friendly, Diplomacy vs govt officials or to call guard
Lore +2: To Diplomacy to Gather Info, KS when using city libraries
Society 0: To Disguise, and Diplomacy to alter attitude of govt official
Danger +40: To random encounter table rolls (or chance for encounter)

These apply to all appropriate rolls, whether by you or by an NPC; obviously, the 'Danger' stat is essentially GM-only. If you are using Hero Lab and have ShadowChemosh's Adjustments, you can apply a 'Skill Bonus, Situational' for each of these, and that'll show up on your sheet in the correct places.

* - Due to Cultured, Isarn is always considered to be Prosperous (+1 to Economy) for the purpose of certain checks to generate income; briefly, the check has to create or express something 'artistic' in the 'high art' sense of the term -- statuary, paintings, opera, drama, orchestral music, and the like. Street musicians play the lute and sing arias and solos, or band together and perform 'chamber music' and the like. 'Low' art -- bawdy comedies and music, farcical plays, street art/graffiti, and similar activities, fiddlers with monkeys -- do not receive this bonus, but do not receive any penalty; the point is the people appreciate the 'high art' more.


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It was a wonderful rallying cry: "Liberté, Fraternité, Égalité". Liberty, Fraternity, Equality. Everyone forgot what ended the motto: "... ou la Mort", 'or Death.'

For fifty years, the Revolution has laid claim to Galt. For fifty years, councils have risen to power on the whipped-up fury of the mobs of Isarn, or seized it via ruthlessness and betrayal, only to fall to the mob's fury some months, some years down the road. For fifty years, the Gray Gardeners have willingly, even ruthlessly executed those sentenced to death by the mob (whether guilty or not) using the final blades, those terrible soul-seizing guillotines from which none return -- though there are rumors that the highest of the Gardeners know a ritual which can remove a soul from the blades.

Fifty years of 'la mort' ... is enough.

A disgruntled ex-nobleman. A military genius. A reliable statesman. A criminal mastermind. An influential merchant. A distressed prelate. United by their frustration with the constant pandering to the mob, by their disquiet at the methods used by the Gray Gardeners, by their desire for Galt to once again become a place of freedom, wisdom, learning, and beauty, these six have dedicated their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the cause of extracting Galt from the morass of anarchy, chaos -- and yes, evil -- in which it wallows and returning Isarn to what once it was: a shining city on a hill in the greatest culture in Golarion.

It's time for the Red Revolution to end.

Game Summary:

Combat: 1.5 out of 5
Frankly, I suck at large-scale combat, so the idea of that is going to be pretty much right out. How much other combat -- desperate knife-fights in alleys, magical battles, formal duels between fencers -- will depend strongly on how the players approach their objectives. Make no mistake, there will be combat, because some opponents you have to stand up to directly and accept their challenge, but by and large it will depend on the players. Large-scale maneuvers / battles (which may happen) would likely be glossed over by opposed skill checks, possibly using the Mass Combat systems.

That said, while force may provide an answer to many situations, it will will rarely be the best answer, and the more overt the application of force is, the more likely complications may arise.

Intrigue: 5 out of 5
You are five people looking to put down a perpetual revolution that has been churning for fifty years. You are going to have to be subtle, secretive, inquisitive, deliberate, and build up your organization(s) in order to have a chance at not only ending the Revolution, but also freeing the souls of thousands of innocents locked away within the final blades.

That means everything you do is going to have consequences. Murderhobos and psychotics need not apply.

Lethality: 4 out of 5
Death and the oblivion of the soul stalks the streets of Isarn, moving to the baying of the mob. There are powerful players in the city and in the country, and making the wrong decision on where, how, and whether to press an opponent can result in making enemies -- enemies with deep pockets, long arms, and a talent for keeping grudges alive.

Roleplay: 5 out of 5
I love roleplay; I love a well-written post. I may well be tempted to linger in an interaction that is entertaining me, but I will do my best to keep the flow of the game moving along. After all, this is play-by-post, and things are slow as it is ... but if the posting is steady, and the players are engaged, I may allow a scene to linger a bit.

However, never be afraid to PM me asking me to move it along. Many scenes of this game may be one-on-one between your character and the GM; this, too, may impede the flow of the game, and could result in others waiting on a scene to end. I will do my best to ensure this potential issue is minimized.


Recruitment:

Duration: Opening immediately, with an estimated closing date of 12:00 midnight US Eastern time, 12 May 2019. Accepted players to be determined no later than the same time, 19 May 2019.
Background: I have acquired permission from the writers to utilize The Galt Gazette, and so this information will provide the cornerstone of your experience in Isarn in specific and Galt as a whole. However, with the exception of Campaign Traits, do not use the Player's Guide, and please refer instead to the 'Character Creation' and 'Additional Systems' spoilers found below.
Openings: 5, all of whom have ICly known each other for some time (at least 3 years), and who trust each other with their Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honor. PvP except as a concealing action (i.e. cooperating with each other to deceive someone else, even if either or both of them take damage) will not be tolerated -- period.
. . The Disgruntled Ex-Nobleman: This will be the GM's central NPC host, information source and clearing-house. Obviously not a PC; he has 'Former Noble' for obvious reasons.
. . The Military Genius: You must have your PS: Soldier maxed out; the Campaign Trait 'Rising Star' is highly recommended, as are Feats and Traits that enhance that skill. Otherwise, build as you like.
. . The Reliable Statesman: This character will be a member of the Senate, and will be (at least at game start) the most high-profile member of the conspiracy. The Campaign Trait 'Affiliated Agent' would prove the most useful for making you a member of one of the three political parties. 'Historian of the Red Revolution', 'Barrister', or 'Passionate Orator' would all do well -- though the last might make you a bit too high-profile ... unless you happened to be a vigilante.
. . The Criminal Mastermind. Building an organization is liable to be very useful. Of the campaign traits, Catacomb Dweller' might be the perfect fit, while 'Affiliated Agent' and 'Menacing Mien' have advantages as well -- and don't underestimate being an 'Aspiring Sidekick', so long as your own ideals don't clash too hard with the vigilante's.
. . The Influential Merchant: 'Local Business Owner' is probably the prime Campaign Trait, but depending on what sort of business you wish to have (and how much of your WbL gold you are willing to use), 'Historian of the Red Revolution', 'Affiliated Agent', 'Barrister' -- almost any of the Campaign Traits could be useful.
. . The Distressed Prelate: You must intend to 'go undercover' within the Grey Gardeners in order to learn the secret of releasing the souls within the final blades to their eternal reward; this is a game requirement, and means being ready to take the Gray Gardener prestige class with your next level, and stick with it until Level 10. Feats and Traits that enhance your ability to carry off a long con (e.g. Bluff) are highly recommended; the Campaign Traits 'Secret Practitioner' and 'Menacing Mien' would both prove useful.

Except for the two bolded 'must' requirements, these are only suggestions. Build your character the way you want for the slot you desire to fill. Prospective players may submit as many characters as they desire, for as many slots as they desire; indicate which slot you wish a particular submission to be considered for.


Character Creation:

Level: 5
Attributes: Point buy, 25 points. Standard maximum 18, minimum 8 before racial modifiers. Charisma should not be considered a dump stat in this campaign.
. . Level Ability Score Bonus: Doubled, but must be spent on seperate ability scores.
Races: Core plus tiefling.
. . Special: Tiefling may appear as derivative of any race, not just human, but in all cases ages as half-elf.
Alignment: Any Lawful, any ethically-neutral (NG, TN, NE), Chaotic Good.
Classes: Gestalt; Paizo only. No Spheres.
. . Unchained: Required.
. . Variant Multiclassing (VMC): Not allowed. You're gestalt, act like it.
. . Special: One side of your gestalt must remain constant. If you decide to play, for example, a wizard/fighter, if you wish to add in any other class, it must replace one and only one of those two; at 20th level, therefore, you might be a Wizard 20/Fighter 5/Rogue 5/Arcane Archer 10 -- or a Fighter 20/Wizard 5/Rogue 5/Arcane Archer 10. You could NOT be a Wizard 15/Fighter 15/Arcane Archer 10.
Archetypes: All Paizo. Purple Duck Games archetype replacements for UC Monk. Other 3PP potentially on request -- but make sure you have a 'Plan B' for it.
HP: Roll the higher die of your two Gestalt classes, with a minimum of half-plus-one of that class.
Feats:
. . Feat Tax: World is Square / Elephant in the Room is active. Characters who normally receive the Weapon Finesse feat -- not a version of the feat for a specific sub-set -- for free instead receive Deft Maneuvers.
. . Skill-Based Feat: Players receive 1 free "skill feat" [Acrobatic, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Magical Aptitude, Nature Soul, Persuasive, Prodigy, Scholar, Self-Sufficient, Skill Focus, Stealthy, Street Smarts] at 1st level.
. . Bonus Feats: At level 3 and every 4 levels afterwards, characters will receive 1 additional bonus feat for which they qualify.
. . Disallowed: Leadership and similar feats. See 'Additional Systems' spoiler.
Traits: Two traits, +1 drawback for a third trait. One trait must be a campaign trait; an additional campaign trait has been created.
Rising Star
Spoiler:
You're becoming well-known within the current Council not only as a politically reliable individual within the officer corps, but as someone who is capable of getting the troops to get the job done.

Benefit: You have 750 GP to spend on creating a military force (see the Ultimate Campaign rules for building organizations out of teams) using primarily military teams (Archers, Cavalry, Cavalry Archers, Elite Archers, Elite Guards, Elite Soldiers, Guards, and Soldiers). You must have at least 15 military people (3 of the above teams) in your organization, though you may add on any other type of team (a team of bureaucrats would be useful, just as an FYI) in addition to them. You may add GP from your WbL if you wish, but if any GP from the 750 remains it is wasted.

During downtime, 1 of every 7 days will be spent keeping the peace in the city (and cannot therefore be used in any other way, using a variant on the 'Enforce Order' Downtime Activity); however, each time you roll for an event (using the Mercenary Company Events table) during the downtime event phase you may roll twice and choose your result.


Skills:
. . Type: Unchained. +1 background skill point per level.
. . Total: Skill point bonus option: higher skills per level of the two classes chosen at any particular level, plus 1/2 the points of the second class, plus bonus points from Intelligence. Even the pairing of low-skill classes will gain a moderately respectable number of skills over time.
. . Notice: See 'Additional Systems' spoiler below. Artistry and Performance skills may be as deadly in this game as any assassin's knife. Ignore them at your peril!!
Wealth: 10,500gp (standard WbL for 5th)
. . Profession/Crafting: Downtime rules apply. Crafting will not be allowed for game-start gear.
. . Magic Items: Please be sensible in your purchases.
. . Firearms: Emerging. Note that gunfire is not only unusual, it's loud, and people (like guards!) will go looking for what caused that strange noise; the base Perception DC for hearing gunfire is set at -10. (This is why oil of silence exists.)
Spellbooks, Formula Books, Etc: Receive +4 free 1st level spells and +4 free 2nd level spells in your book at game start.

Other things as questions are asked.


Additional Systems:

We will be using Verbal Duels, Influence, Skill Unlocks, Building and Organization rules, and all that sort of thing; if it's in Ultimate Intrigue, chances are it'll get used.

I strongly encourage you to examine the B&O rules, as leadership is functionally being replaced by the Organizations you build, and the better your organization, the better your chances of succeeding at your goals.

I strongly encourage you to examine the specific rules for Verbal Duels; Performance skills are highly useful in them.

I strongly encourage you to consider the uses of news, art, and propaganda both overt and subtle in history, whether for revolution, war, or political change; the Artistry skills (and to a lesser extent the Craft skills) will enable you to spread your thoughts much farther than your voice can reach.

Expectations, Both Positive and Negative:

Posting: How and When
Spoiler:

  • If you aren't sure if you should post, post. I expect to post 5-6 times per week; I acknowledge that life happens, and I may post only 4 times some weeks. (More, some other weeks.) I expect the same from my players. If life does happen, I intend on giving an apology and notice on expected resumption on the second day of not posting; I expect the same from my players. I don't care if your characters have nothing to do in their part of the game, they're sitting back and watching the opera or the murderfest or whatever it is that's going on; post and let the rest of us know you're not only alive, you're paying attention to the game. I know that sometimes Paizo.com doesn't let you know that something's active and bump it to the top of the list; check every day or two or three anyhow, and when you do, post to indicate 'hey, still in the game!!' Even if it's a ten-word sentence, yawning, scratching your side, and rolling over in your sleep.
  • If it's not IC, put it in either the discussion thread or in spoilers. My ideal is for a thread to read like a novel, or a chapter out of one. Naked dice rolls, OOC conversation, all that jazz breaks that flow up. Put it in a spoiler tag, or if it isn't a question for clarification for the GM, take it to the discussion thread; that's what that thread is for. Try to avoid using OOC tags to aside something; definitely do not do it in the middle of a paragraph or sentence; that's breaking the fourth wall as well, and either belongs in a spoiler, or doesn't belong at all.
  • Post your die roll builds. If you have a half-dozen feats adding and taking dice away, let me know what's happening. "+4 BAB + 3 Dex + 1 Point-Blank - 1 Deadly Aim + 1 Weapon Focus = +8". Until you change things you can just use the +8, but if you decide not to take Deadly Aim, then 'rebuild' it for me. This helps to keep everyone honest - including me.
  • I won't always show my work. While I will keep a spoiler here with general Perception and Initiative rolls, and while it will be rare that I post something that you see, or more likely that you DON'T see, I will do so. Rarely. Believe that I will always have rolled your Perception scores (with circumstantial bonuses), potentially against a Stealth score; I just don't want you to see the fact that hey, I rolled a stealth roll!! This too helps to keep everyone honest. Well, all of you, anyhow, but it means it helps me fudge the game from time to time. Like I said, rarely.

How to Play Like A Star:

Spoiler:
  • Personality: Give your characters this one, and not a two-dimensional cardboard ones. Take a moment while writing your post to come up with adverbs or adjectives that describe what she's doing. Lively; bubbly; disgruntled; thoughtful; irascible; tender-hearted. Whatever they are, come up with them, and then infuse them through your post.
  • Equippage: You have stuff. People fidget. Unless you're playing a strictly-disciplined monk (and there aren't many who do), consider medieval standards of cleanliness. Dirt is everywhere; you live an active life. Brush off dirt, straighten your tunic, fiddle with the flap to your pouch, hook a thumb in your belt
  • Background: Overcomplex is overcomplicated is bad. Simple is beautiful. Most people are just people; most heroes are just the right people in the right place at the wrong damn time. Have one twist that turns you from 'ordinary guy' into 'person with a mission in life'; one twist is really all you need.
  • Location: You're in Galt; don't come from the far side of the world without a Very Good Reason. If you ARE from the far side of the world, infuse your posts with that 'out of place' vibe - Galt is not Vudra, or Absalom, or where-ever you're from.
  • Description: What's that 12+ Charisma mean? Are you a stunning 20 Cha elf with legs that go all the way up? Or a 16 CHA half-orc who might have a certain rough attractiveness, but whose power of personality lights peoples' spirits on fire?
  • Movement: People are rarely still. Some people gesture when they speak; people rarely keep their eyes fixed on the same part of the same thing for more than a few seconds, and even if they do, they're likely to blink -- or shift their body. Scratch; rub your chin, or eye, or behind your ear. Play with your hair. If you find yourself making a post that is entirely spoken word, start breaking up sentences with physical gestures.

How to Waste Your Time and Mine:

Spoiler:
  • Repeatedly ask to use your own race / class / 3rd-party product/item/spell/whatever and expect an immediate answer. Yes, the GM can introduce variants; yes, you can combine items and the like, making unique magic items. If you do this, however, show your work. If you don't show your work, don't expect it to be accepted.
  • Take three years to make a combat post. If two or three days go by with you doing nothing, then congrats - you did nothing.
  • Ignore what's been going on, and not read what I've written in posts and spoilers -- including these. Ignoring the NPCs or the universe around you may force me to repeat myself, which I hate. Far more likely, you will receive some penalty for your IC inattention, from a one-time skill roll penalty up to and including the infliction massive damage on you, which may well result in your character's death. I hate hate hate this sort of crap. If you can't manage to be involved in the game, the game will not continue to include you.
  • Be incoherent, writing posts that make no sense. If the 'making sense' isn't part of the bolded verbal explanation by your character, at the very least make it part of the italicised internal dialogue.
  • Dictate the actions and reactions of the world and people around you. While I allow this to a limited extent, that extent ends just a couple steps before reasonableness does. Posting that a classless, mundane NPC takes a step or two backwards (i.e. out of your reach) when you draw your sword, or runs for cover when (having drawn your sword) you tell them to hide? That's cool. Having them run from you terrified out of their wits when you show a couple inches of steel? That's not cool. In fact, it's stupid -- and I'll turn this on its head and to your detriment by having them go to get someone they trust and who is going to be a complication for you.

About Myself:

I am an assh0le.

Let me say that again, just so that you and I are on the same fvcking page:

I am an assh0le.

I will not coddle you. I will not automatically be careful not to insult your tender-wender feelings. I will kick your ass when you're being a schmuck, I will kick your head when you're being a pedant, and I will kick you out of the game if you deliberately wind me up. If you don't need any of those things done to you, you will find that I generally like people, that I'm a laugh riot, that I don't take myself too seriously, and that I can take an insult like a champ. But make sure you're wearing your big-boy/girl pants if you want to play here, dammit.

I run with an eye towards realism. That doesn't make my game a slavish image of reality, and that won't make this a simulation instead of a game, but someone who uses ass-backwards logic in the vein of 'well, the X here could be anything, it's a fantasy X with magic' is going to get Gibbs-slapped the first time they say it, and b!tch-slapped the second, and kicked out the third - because fantasy games like this one have their core roots in what we as humans know. Isarn is practically Paris. Galt is revolutionary France turned up to 11. Leaders have a vested interest in remaining leaders, which means making sure that someone who offends them gets put in their place. Anarchy does not even begin to describe the insanity that's been Galt for the past half-century.

I do not play your character - only the rest of the world. This means that you control what your character does, I do not. What I do control and dictate is how the rest of the world reacts to your charater. If you diss the high priestess, the organization heads around her take affront on her behalf -- not that she can't take care of herself, but there are still certain proprieties to be observed. As a consequence, you might get repeatedly challenged to duels. You might be seized by the house guards for being a classless idiot, sent to a kangaroo court that's made up its mind before you even get there, and have a night with Madame Margaery because you pissed in the wrong cornflakes. I don't dictate what you do; I only dictate what the rest of the world does in reaction to what you do. Heal a person? Defend a town? Slay a marauding dragon? They love you, your reputation grows. Start throwing fireballs around the tavern - or the town? Well, they don't love you, but your reputation DOES grow; just not the sort of reputation you might want.

I write the way I want myself, my character, or the world to be viewed. I write so that both you and I can enjoy reading what I wrote. It is a statement of fact that I still return to scenes I have written in years (and, at this point, decades) past to enjoy the story and the writing there. I also write very, very well for an amateur, and I've been trying to break into the pro scene (if I can get at least one of my ten different projects done), but it means that I write well. And I check my writing before posting it. And I tend to use word selection specifically for its implications and impact. (Subtlety is my friend, though it may not be yours.) The more you write, the more you learn to write; the better you write, the more people want to play with you. It is my hope that you write well for this campaign, and if you don't write well, that you will Learn To Write Well - and then do so.

I want you to have fun. Being a player means wanting your character to do Cool Sh!t(TM). That means Spotlight Time - you know, the moment in the game where you do Cool Sh!t(TM)? That's when the spotlight is on you and your character, and you do your Cool Sh!t(TM). That spotlight can move fast - there's a lot of characters that are going to be here - but if you want to try some wild-ass stunt, then by all means, try your wild-ass stunt. I am, in fact, here to facilitate your wild-ass stunts. I am also here to provide you with Object Lessons on why wild-ass stunts are wild-ass, because when you fail, you look like a wild ass. (And if it's a wild-ass stunt, then I think there should be a reasonable chance of you failing - but I'm pretty sure we'll figure out together what 'reason' in such a case means.) But I'm also here to cheer when your wild-ass stunt succeeds, and reward you appropriately for managing to pull it off, you crazy kid.

I will be flexible - within reason. If I have a set-piece I need to run you through, then you will encounter that set-piece no matter where you go - Mivon, Daggermark, or Absalom. However, if you try to hie yourself all the way to Absalom or some other place that is clearly well out of the campaign expectations (e.g. Isarn in specific and Galt in general), then I reserve the right to be a bit cross about it, and Gibbs-slap you for making me twist reality not only into a pretzel, but into a Moebius strip in order to make everything work because of your ludicrous craptastic journey to Absalom just because your oats are up and you want to have a go at the Starstone.

I want to have fun too. I am not going to get involved in huge arguments about politics, an off-the-wall interpretation of a rule that depends on how you define one word, or whatever. I am open-minded, and I know what I don't know - to wit, much of the system. However, I've been playing and running pen-and-paper RPGs for over thirty years, and so I can smell a bullsh!t attempt at sixty paces. You have one (1) chance - that means two (2) posts max, and maybe one (1) post - to convince me of a rule interpretation. If I say no, roll with it, and try again the next time, because the next time I may agree with you for a myriad of reasons. Like I said above about realism and playing the rest of the world, though, it means that for the most part, 'usual consequences' will be usual. What I said above about you having fun means that I WILL adapt the game to the wild stunts you crazy kids try to pull off - either through consequences due to your failures, or amazement due to your successes. But if I start approaching this game with trepidation, if the moment I see '3 new messages' I get a sour feeling in my gut, I will locate the cause of my upset and I will make it not be a cause of upset any more, either through telling the offender to get their act together, or removing them from the game for not having done so. Because I want to have fun too.

And because I am an assh0le. I reserve lots of rights - the right to Gibbs-slap you, to tell you you're being a schmuck or a pedant, to ask you what drugs you're smoking if you think you can use two lances at once during a charge, to take a phone book to you if you think your special snowflake deserves special treatment. I especially reserve the right to kick your butt out if you not only go out into left field, but stay out there and scream and whine and cry and tell me I'm being unfair for doing all of the things I've already warned you right above this very statement that I was going to do. I also reserve the right to run a howling good game, to write like a poet (and to write entirely new poetry appropriate to the game), to make pugnacious NPCs, to make you fear for your character's life, to run you ragged, and to try to make this the best game ever played on Paizo.com.

And I'm setting out to finish this game, not just start it.

Now, you got all that? You did? And you're still here? Smokin'. Go put together a character, and let's go make fvckin' magic.


Oh this sounds fascinating.

Thinking of either going for the Influential Merchant role as running a Theatre (something with Bard, obviously), or maybe going with the Distressed Prelate as a Mesmerist with something from Paladin, Warpriest, or Swashbuckler.


It is time! Time for me to bring in the Dwarven Diplomat. I’ve heard it said that only those with Charisma can be diplomatic. Fie! That I say to them.

Thus I’ll be bringing in a gestalt Dwarven Relic Hunter/Infiltrator Inquisitor (of Magrim) and Elemental Annihilator Kineticist.

His Cha won’t be high. But he is going to have great face skills! He will be the prelate, looking into what has happened with the souls.

For the Kineticist, one of the big reasons is that I don’t want him to be armed. In a campaign revolving around talking, I’d like him to be able to walk around looking like a priest and not a warrior. And doing so without being at risk of dying.


Oh, man. This sounds awesome. I love me some good Galt action, especially with the emphasis on intrigue and political scheming you're suggesting here. Not certain what role I'd shoot for, maybe the Criminal Mastermind, perhaps the Statesman. In any case, I think I'll rebuild a character concept I've toyed with in the past and make a forlorn elf whose family came from Kyonin during the good old days where art and philosophy were pursued for their own ends, not just tools for bloody revolution. He remembers those times fondly and desperately wants to bring an end to the violence.

Of course, if I go the Criminal Mastermind route, that might be slightly altered. But I'll take a look over all the info and figure it out. Very excited!


Character crunch is done! Some highlights...

HP: 8 + 4d8 ⇒ 8 + (7, 1, 3, 2) = 21
HP with con and FCB: 8 + 7 + 15 + 20 + 5 = 55

Face Skills
* Diplomacy: 5 SP (+16)
* Bluff: 5 SP (+14)
* Sense Motive: 5 SP (+14)
* Intimidate: 5 SP (+13)

Priest Skills
* Perception: 5 SP (+12)
* Knowledge Religion: 5 SP (+10)
* BS Knowledge History: 5 SP (+10 / + 12 on dwarves and their enemies)
* BS Craft Calligraphy: 5 SP (+11)
* Breadth of Experience: All profession +6 (+8 merchant) All Knowledge +2

This is a dwarf who knows how to talk! She is also is quite decent at being a priest!

Spells
Lvl 0: Prestidigitation, Create Water, Stabilize, Mend, Brand, Virtue
Lvl 1 (5 per day): Cure Light Wounds, Shield of Faith, Alarm, Protection from Evil
Lvl 2 (3 per day): Cure Moderate Wounds, Delay Disease, Lessor Restoration

She is very limited in his spell choice, but I focused on healing and support spells. He won't be casting spells in combat, but out of combat he is a decent priest, if I do say so myself. Heals all around!

Combat
* Close Combat: +14 Hit with 1d8+15 damage
* Ranged 120ft: +10/+10 with 1d8+11 damage
* Standard Action to give himself bane for 1 minute (+2 hit +2 damage +2d6 damage)

She's pretty darn good in close combat. As these are blasts, he can walk around unarmed! Great for a campaign focusing on talking and subterfuge. When fighting happens though, he is a switch hitter who can fight in close combat or at range

Defenses
* AC 20 Touch 15 Flat Footed 15 (22 with shield of faith)
* DR/5 Adamantine
* CMD 20
* Non lethal: 10 (always has this due to burn)

Her AC is not the best, but it could be worse. That's why she has DR! Quite useful for making sure she doesn't take too much damage.

Saves
* Fort: +10
* Ref: +11
* Will: +10
* Hardy: +5 vs spells, spell like effects and poison

And this is where she shines! Dwarves are great at resisting magic. Having a character with all 3 saves being good and whose main stats are Dex (to hit) Con (damage) and Wis (spells) means that her saves are good even without Hardy. Being a dwarf just means that she laughs at any wizard who tries to get into her head.

--------------------

So there we have it. This is one dwarf who is ready to start investigating. I'll get background up soon. But I think, overall, this is the kind of character who will do well in this kind of campaign.


Fair warning, I do not know much about Golarion lore, and by extension Galt. I'm willing to do the readings to find out though!

With that in mind, this sounds like fun. All of the roles sound interesting, but my favourites are the distressed prelate or the criminal.

I'm thinking inquisitor sounds perfect for the prelate, maybe with ninja or rogue by the side. You get your bluffing skills and the divine spellcasting for the prestige class prereqs. Or, I could build a rogue / wizard.


This sounds incredible. I'm out of town all weekend but will submit a character for selection on Monday/Tuesday at the latest.

I plan on building for the distressed prelate, probably a gestalt oracle/bard of some form in order to take advantage of CHA. That might change of course but wanted to get the initial intent in before disappearing for the weekend, and the prestige class looks interesting so that requirement is not at all an issue.

Edit: Just realized there's already two others looking at the prelate so I'll probably have more than one submission

Edit 2: Over the weekend I'm going to work up an Agitator Rogue/Lotus Geisha Bard (with intent to PrC into Enchanting Courtesan on the Bard side) for the Criminal Mastermind role. Looking forward to seeing what others come upu with


Oh yes, very excited for this. Galt is probably my favorite campaign setting and I love some good intrigue in my games. I'll likely have more than one submission; I have a few characters that might be perfect for this, just gotta tweak them a little to fulfill the Gestalt build.

First off, in role of the Influential Merchant, I'll be submitting a Calistrian madam who operates a brothel in La Lumière Rouge. She's renowned for her discretion, and hears lots of secrets in her line of work... She'll likely be a Cleric/Rogue.


Background

For fifty years, the Revolution has laid claim to Galt. For fifty years, councils have risen to power on the whipped-up fury of the mobs of Isarn, or seized it via ruthlessness and betrayal, only to fall to the mob's fury some months, some years down the road. For fifty years, the Gray Gardeners have willingly, even ruthlessly executed those sentenced to death by the mob (whether guilty or not) using the final blades, those terrible soul-seizing guillotines from which none return -- though there are rumors that the highest of the Gardeners know a ritual which can remove a soul from the blades.

Dragana family is from Kolvar, in the Five King Mountains. She traces her ancestry back to Saggorak, the great dwarven city which fell to the orcs in 2519AR. When her people came to reclaim the city they found that it was befouled by undead dwarves; far too many to resettle their ancient realm. Kolvar was thus built on the outskirts.

Dragana comes from a long line of priests. The presence of so many undead dwarves meant that the clergy of Magrim, the dwarven god of the dead, were in great demand. She is one such priests, merely one in a very long line. She, however, has never seen her homeland. For her parents joined a band of dwarves which came to Galt as merchants. The small dwarven community needed someone to look after their spiritual needs, and to see to the task of taking care of the dead. Little did they know that Dragana's mother was already with child. She was thus born away from the mountains, within human lands.

For fifty one years she lived in 'Old Galt.' She thrived within a land of art and learning. Surrounded by the small dwarven community, she did her duty and followed in her parents' footsteps. She became a dedicated priest of Magrim, learning all she could of her people and the history which was her birthright. At the same time she was born in human lands, surrounded by the tall-folk. Art, literature, culture, foreign foods, she was just as much at home in the sprawling cities of men as she was with her own kind.

This of course, all changed, with the revolution. Cheliax was overthrown. The old were thrown out. The nobility were massacred or driven off. Sympathizers were executed. It was a trying time. It was a battle which did not belong to the dwarves. Her people began to leave. Before long, the small community had all but vanished, with only the most opportunistic arms merchants left behind. Even her own parents left, and they wanted her to come too.

But she could not. For Galt was her home. That, and she felt a sense of duty. Duty to both the dwarves who stayed, and to the dead who were interred. And so for fifty years she lived through the Revolution. She kept her head down, focusing on her duties even as government after government fell. Even as everything she knew and loved about Galt faded. She remembered how it was once. And with each passing year she grew more and more saddened.

Now though, she has had enough. She had turned a blind eye long enough! For one of her own, one of the few dwarves of Galt, has been executed. Executed with a Final Blade! She knows that his soul will not go to Magrim. She knows that anything she does with the body will just be out of respect. She knows that what has happened is a crime unlike anything else in the world. And she is sickened by it. She is sickened also by herself, for keeping her own head down while this crime has been done to those outside of her community.

She intends to 'go undercover' within the Grey Gardeners in order to learn the secret of releasing the souls within the final blades to their eternal reward. She is ready and willing to play the long game, and to do whatever is needed. For she knows that this is the only way to make right what is wrong. It is the only way to give Magrim his due, by freeing the souls trapped within the Final Death.

----------------------

Why would she make a good distressed prelate?

(1) She has the face skills for it. +14 Bluff is really not bad at lvl5. Her other face skills are, as stated above, just as good.
(2) I've re-read the Gray Gardener prestige class. And while I really didn't want to do it, I took away the inquisitor archetypes that I had. A pretty big hit mechanically, as it means losing 2 points of dexterity and it meant -2 all saves, but it will make the transition to the prestige class very smooth.
(3) I believe that she has a good IC reason for opposing the revolution, wanting Galt to go back how it was, and to only start acting now against the Final Death.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the idea of playing a criminal mastermind whose main motivation is to take advantage of the regime change for purely financial reasons.


That's similar to what I'm working up, except mine is based entirely on influence and connections as opposed to money. Then again influence and connections = money so I guess it is the same XD.


Quick question as I'm looking at options: should we build characters in later age categories, should we apply the ability score changes? I'm not looking past middle age for my elf.


I like the look of this - thinking Military Genius, probably a young soldier who has made a name for himself by being a brilliant tactician and winning a number of 'unwinnable' battles. This has made him a minor hero, and therefore a political liability.

(Basically think Napoleon as a young man, probably crossed with Kaladin Stormblessed from the Stormlight Archive). I may go tiefling to add to the whole 'too useful to get rid of, but we really don't like him!' vibe.

Let me also add my voice to the list of people saying Fabulous Idea! I'm looking forward to building for this!

Question: Are the tiefling variant heritages available?


I have not yet decided on whether to use the bonuses and penalties for age; I am leaning towards ‘no’. Tiefling heritages are available.

When constructing your background, be wary of superlatives; be certain your character can cash the checks you're writing for them. Also note all the requirements for feats, abilities, etc. — when you build, make sure you slot them in at places appropriate to those requirements: 1st-level feats at 1st level, prereqs before advanced, etc. Remember that I have to build your character from the notes you put up.


Sorry about the extra post but I want to make sure these extra questions are seen.

1. Can we roll on the variant abilities table instead of the SLA?

2. Also, could I get a glaive or some other polearm with the Bladebound archetype? It specifies one-handed slashing weapon, rapier or sword cane but I'm looking at building an agile spear fighting type probably using the Bladed Brush feat. Hence the question - could I have a Bladebound glaive?

Thanks - that should be all my questions.


GM Two! It's good to see you back running a game. I feel like I've learned a lot about being a player since you ran Kingmaker, and I'm eager for the chance to once again try one of your games.

Let's see... Criminal Mastermind is probably my first leaning, but I play those characters a lot and there's already a decent number of people looking at it. Then again being the Statesman is basically the same thing (except more high-profile), so I might go with that.

Sovereign Court

Interested in rolling up a Vigilante/Bard for the Statesman.

I do have one question:

With background skills, is that 1 BG skill pt per level or 2+1 for 3 total?

Sczarni

Ok, first. I have to say, the fact that you reference NCIS Gibbs "how dare you be a dumb dumb" slap in your speaking about yourself makes me interested in running under you. I'm not sure if I can live up to the writing expectations of the game.

I am never sure where I stand as far as posting capability given I'm not an English major or anything so I can assume you'll likely check my past posts. If I am lacking in any way, please let me know even it means at that point I'm disqualified as I can only improve by advice and being told about my mistakes.

Criminal Mastermind sounds like where I am pushing my thoughts/build. I will begin working on it over the weekend. There will be a slight slack in my posting back and forth in here (if there is any back and forth to be had) between the 4th and the 8th. I have a convention I am helping run that weekend and then straight into a surgery. But I should be up and recovered enough to continue posting by the 9th I hope. I apologize in advance if complications mean I may have wasted your time.


This sounds really fun!

GM TWO wrote:
Traits: Two traits, +1 drawback for a third trait.

I'd just like to confirm that the "+1 drawback" is an option (like I usually see) and not a requirement.

Roughly how many character levels are you expecting the game to reach?

I'm mulling over a Mesmerist/Gunslinger (Mysterious Stranger archetype). I could create him for the Statesman or Merchant role.


If you are inquiring after something specific and/or complex, be kind and provide links as appropriate. I do not, unfortunately, have the length and breadth and depth of the Pathfinder system memorized, to be recognized at a glance or by a name. Please do the same with acronyms, just in case.

In regards to the quality of anyone's writing, I will concern myself with that in two weeks. The building of your background is where I'll be paying first and closest attention to that, of course.

For tiefling variant SLAs (spell-like abilities), after you have created your character you may provide me with a list of no less than 5 and no more than 10 SLA choices from the Abilities table. For every 3 choices or fraction thereof, you will also provide me with 1 alternate physical feature, whether from the appropriate table or self-created, one of which I will inflict upon you. As an example, even though Androk Jeggare does not have a variant SLA, he does have 'hair' that is more like porcupine quills.

-----------------------------------

Chapel Ty'El: Unchained skills automatically give you 2 skill points exclusively for background skills. If it was going to be only 1 per level, you would see 'Unchained. -1 background skill point per level' instead of 'Unchained. +1 background skill point per level.' The total, tl;dr, is 3/level.

-----------------------------------

Nikolaus de'Shade: Regarding having a glaive as a Black Blade -- this is a tricky one, and I'm going to talk my way through this, just to give you my line-of-reasoning here. Now generally, a Magus isn't willing to use a glaive, because it's a two-handed weapon, and they want a hand free to use magic; not even humans would be able to evade that, because a magus doesn't get the necessary +1 BAB for Weapon Focus (which is itself a prereq for Bladed Brush) until 2nd, and other races don't (by standard) receive a second feat until 3rd. However, a glaive Black Blade is cool, even if it's bloody difficult to conceal, but that'll be your problem, not mine.

With this in mind, I will say yes to this, but there are a few requirements and (comparative) negatives that will apply. (As per game standard, I will be determining the attitude and decisions of the black blade. I have had one in each of my two previous games, so while I can only give you a link to the play with the first (here, look for 'Ardafax'; much of the other game's interaction was, alas, by PM), understand that I have a fair experience with black blades -- including how to use them as leverage 'against' you. ;) That said, the requirements:
-- First, you are obviously required to be a dedicated worshipper of Shelyn; that's needed for Bladed Brush.
-- Second, you will need a +1 BAB at the time of your 1st level of Magus; I don't care how you handle that, if you only are 3rd Magus at this point with a couple levels of Fighter before it, whatever, but that's how it needs to be handled -- +1 BAB or better at Magus 1.
-- Third, while you will add merciful to the list of properties which you can add to the black blade, merciful must always be the first property added. Commanding the glaive to suppress the property against anything but an outsider will always result in a conflict of egos (see intelligent items), and frequent and extensive suppression of merciful may result in the loss of the black blade itself -- and thus the archetype.
-- Fourth and last, the so-called 'life-drinker' ability gained at 19th level can only be used when subduing a target with nonlethal damage; if more than half the damage you cause is lethal, the ability will not function.

-----------------------------------

Androste: The Drawback and additional trait is optional, yes. Looking forward far into the future, I am expecting the characters to reach at least 15th level -- because that's the minimum level for a Gray Gardener to know the extraction ritual.


The Campaign Info page has been created with the first post's information. It has been, and will continue to be, expanded with information coming from answers to questions, as well as thoughts and explanations of various points of interest. Several such points of interest can be found in the CI page's 'Additional Systems' spoiler


HP: 4d10 ⇒ (4, 6, 7, 5) = 22 So 6,6,7,6 for 25.

Small point to clear up - using Slashing Grace on a glaive do I add my dex to damage or 1.5x Dex as with Str for 2 handed weapons? The consensus I've seen online is 1.5x but I can't find anything official.

Otherwise I'm done for crunch, just need a bit more information so I can write up my background. This has been fun so far! :D


HP: 8 + 4d8 ⇒ 8 + (8, 8, 2, 7) = 33 So, 36 total

Almost done working on the build!


HP rolls: 4d8 ⇒ (3, 7, 2, 7) = 19 so 5, 7, 5, 7

Also almost done with a build, working on full background now. Mama Lily is a bard/rogue I'm prepping for the criminal mastermind. She runs a local tea house/tavern/something similar and has almost a double life. She is just Lily the former dancer/courtesan who now runs her own place and is well known and liked among the community, but she also has a lot of connections to things that an honest woman wouldn't and runs a group of her "boys and girls" from the back of her establishment (They call her Mama, hence the char name Mama Lily)

Build is complete but waiting until I get a full background set up and added to actually post it.

While working on the background and reading back through the building and organization rules I had a question: Since we're starting at lvl 5 is it safe to assume that we can already have access to at least a building if not a small organization from the start? I would like to have Mama already in place as the owner of a small teahouse and have some thieves on the payroll as well but don't want to add it in to her back story and then find out it isn't allowed.


@rutaskadis here! My build for the Influential Merchant role is done and in this profile. I just need to polish a few minor details, including finalizing her business.

I'm setting aside some starting wealth to set up a Temple of Calistria/brothel in La Lumiere Rouge using the Building/Organization rules; I strongly considered taking the Local Business Owner campaign trait, but went with Affiliated Agent because I thought it would be really odd for a 5th level Calistrian Cleric to be unassociated with the Court of Bees.

Backstory to follow after I'm happy with it, but the very short version is; Phalera's birth was the result of an affair, and she was the black sheep of her (very large) family because of it. She was initially drawn to her faith largely because of Calistria's association with elves, and worked as a sacred courtesan in the House of Joy for ~10 years until she had the means to open her own business. Her sacred brothel is well established at this point, but only just beginning to take off.


Well looks like we're both building the same (or very similar) backstory with just a twist making mine a criminal and yours a merchant.


Okay, I think I have a couple of solid concepts rolling at the moment, two variations on my elf who's seen it all: one who's still an optimist and wants to return Galt to a place of learning and peace, the other a cynical opportunist who sees it as a grand chance to really step up his position in the criminal underworld. The first would serve as the statesman; the second, the criminal mastermind. I'm planning full submissions for both, but for right now, I'll at least roll HP so I can see what that's looking like.

HP for Statesman Build: 4d10 ⇒ (2, 6, 1, 6) = 15 So 6s across the board, for 24.
HP for Criminal Build: 4d8 ⇒ (1, 3, 2, 6) = 12 Three 5s and a 6, for 21.


@Mat_H there’s definitely some similarities, but hopefully very different results (besides the obvious different role & class)! Phalera is completely open about her work (it being part of her faith) and in good standing with the Court of Bees. Her establishment would also double as a temple, where citizens can come for healing or education.


Could you tell me whether a skald/Paladin with an oath of the people’s champion would be able to maintain ranging song and inspire courage easily with Lingering performance?

I have thought about an orator who’s skill at inspiration is supernaturally powerful, and how that would work for bardsong and raging song on the same gestalt.


Here's Mama Lily's first background draft for initial comments. I'll have a profile for her with the crunch done soonish.

@rutaskadis I tried to tweak her story a bit to ensure that she was a completely different character than yours, so that we aren't stepping on each others toes. Other than the fact that they both started off working in La Lumiere Rouge and earned enough money to open their own places, they have no real similarities.

Here is the draft for Lilli Popescu, more commonly known as either Lily or Mama, for the role of criminal mastermind.

Lilli Popescu (Mama Lily):

Lilli Popescu is a woman of Varisian heritage who was raised in Galt by devout Calistrian parents. She had a relatively safe upbringing in La Lumiere Rouge under the protection of the church, and when she was of age she began working at Unchained Melody as a courtesan and escort. Her connection to the more art themed brothel invariably led her to contact with the group The Starving Artists and she would spend much of her free time with them at the Isarn School of Fine Arts both making connections and learning to dance, sing, and pick pockets.

She was very careful to keep the two sides of her life separate, using her social skills and her knack with disguise to keep the women at Unchained Melody and the hooligans of The Starving Artists unaware of her connection to the other. The only exception were several of her criminal friends who frequented the brothel, but they also saw the potential use of keeping Lilli's connections a secret and did not betray her confidence.

As she began to grow in both of her new lives, she became intrigued by the geisha of the east who brought so much more social intimacy and performance to the art of the courtesan, as opposed to simply the physical intimacy of the prostitute, and she spent what small time she had away from both of her haunts in studying and learning those arts, lending new qualities to both her profession as a courtesan and her skills as a thief.

By the time she was in her thirties, she was no longer in as much demand as a prostitute and stood out too much when compared to the mostly younger Artists, and Lilli took her savings and invested them into a small teahouse which she named The Gilded Lily. Here she could act as 'mother' to courtesans of both genders and bringing the art of the geisha more formally to Isarn.

Out of The Gilded Lily she continued to keep her duality alive, She now uses the name Lily when among her geisha and runs a small group of thieves and pickpockets who simply call her Mama, keeping her connection to the Artists intact. Her geisha have no idea about her criminal connection, and when she does need to meet with her 'boys and girls' as she calls them, they utilize a secret entrance to her office so as not to be seen by her clientele.

As more upscale customers began to come to The Gilded Lily, she became a well known and respected member of the neighborhood. Her ever increasing influence in the society of Isarn and the underworld of the Artists has led her to make additional connections, and having watched many of her acquaintances, customers, or connections fall to the revolution, she has decided it is time to try and bring an end to the ongoing violence.

On a side note, I went with both the Galtan Agitator and Lotus Geisha archetypes so that she has a LOT of abilities related to Influence and Connections in addition to a lot of social skills and some craft and performance skills, and I've saved over 3k of the starting wealth to be able to hopefully start with both a building and an organization (or two actually) if the GM allows us to do that.


It's Mat_H. Here is Mama Lily's profile and the draft of her crunch. I'm sure there will be many changes made, especially to gear and spells and such, but the main build is pretty much set unless there are questions or concerns.


Something I forget to say every time: if you have a question, please do not PM me with it. Please put it here, so that I can have an easily-searched archive of my own decisions, because I am an idiot who can't remember from one day to the next what the hell I said. :P :) If it's long, by all means put it into a spoiler.

That said, I'm going to put the two PMs I've received here into the thread, then proceed to answer them. ;)

JonGarrett, 3PP Oracle archetype:
Hey there, I was wondering if the following Oracle archetype from Misfit Studios would be acceptable? It feels like a great fit for the game and a follower of Milani.

The archetype basically replaces the bonus skills and spells from the Oracle's Mystery, and gives them access to several new Revelations, so if there are any Revelations you don't especially like we can axe them from the list. The one I'm mostly interested in is, not shockingly, Secret Identity, which functions pretty much as the Magical Child Vigilante.

Beautiful Champion (Oracle Archetype, Misfit Studios):

Spoiler:

Some oracles are called to avenge great wrongs at personal risk, never revealing their true identity to the ones they help.

Alignment: Any good.

Recommended Mysteries: battle, fire, heavens, metal, nature

Class Skills: A beautiful champion adds Bluff, Intimidate, and Use Magic Device to her list of class skills. These replace the additional class skills from her mystery.

Bonus Spells: These bonus spells replace the oracle’s mystery bonus spells at these levels: light lance (4th), aura of the unremarkable (6th), ancestral gift (any one simple, martial or exotic weapon) (8th), atonement (10th), greater teleport (14th).

Revelations: A beautiful champion may select the following revelations in place of a mystery revelation.

Arcane Bond (Su): You gain an arcane bond, as a wizard equal to your oracle level. Your oracle levels stack with any wizard levels you possess when determining the powers of your bonded object or familiar. This ability does not allow you to have both a bonded object and a familiar. If you choose a familiar, at 11th level your familiar gains the celestial or fey animal template (your choice).

Secret Identity (Ex): You gain the dual identity vigilante class feature. Your transformation is similar to a magical child’s. At 7th and 14th level, you may select either a social talent or a vigilante talent.

Repent or Die (Su): Once per day, when you score a critical hit against an enemy, you can, as a free action, attempt a Diplomacy or Intimidate check. If you succeed, the target suffers no damage and is compelled to surrender to you, as if affected by a suggestion spell (caster level equals your oracle level) to lay down arms and give up the fight. An enemy that succumbs to this ability remains docile until you or one of your allies injure it, at which point the compulsion to surrender immediately ends and the enemy is free to make his own choices again. If the enemy resists the attempt, the critical hit is automatically confirmed. You must be at least 11th level before selecting this revelation.

Thanks for taking a peek.

Hm. I don't believe I've played/run an Oracle much, so I'm going to turn to the group and ask whether or not the archetype in the spoiler above looks balanced. Offhand it does, and I'm inclined to say yes, but I'd like other opinions before making a firm decision.

Nikolaus de'Shade, glaive Black Blade:

Thanks for laying out your logic on the subject of a Black Blade Glaive, I fully agree its a very cool idea. I appreciate you laying out your thought process too - it's very helpful to see what your thinking is.

Given the level of detail provided I have clarification questions, but figured those could be asked via PM!

1. I assume with the SLA's that I'll only get 1, regardless of the number I submit to you?

2. There's numerous ways to pick up weapon focus. In fact I intend to take the Kensai archetype which grants it at first level (ignoring pre-reqs). On top of that, since we're gestalt I simply have to have a full BAB class on the 'other side' to qualify regardless I believe?

3. Who will determine when/where/how the Black Blade came to be? Also, will we be going by the fluff as written in UM of a 'shadowy creator' or could I decide how it was created? I'm thinking he was tricked into carrying a glaive with a shard of a Final Blade in it with the intention that he would be killed, soul trapped and rendered a non-threat. He won instead and now his opponents soul is trapped in the blade instead - therefore Black Blade. Or possibly the blade was given to his opponent, he disarmed the guy and killed him with his own weapon, and now carries the weapon as a reminder/penitence.

4. How much of the Black Blade's character will I know in advance? I'd like to weave it into the background (I think a good background should reference/explain as many of the mechanics as possible!), should I make some general assumptions and then you can override them as needed if I'm selected?

5. When you say 'merciful' is the first enhancement to be added. Is that absolute (i.e. with the blade at +1 I can't make it +2 until it's +1 merciful, or is it simply the first additional property? So I could make it +2, but not +2 shock, unless it was +2 merciful then shock?) Finally does that apply when using my arcane pool to enhance or only when using the blades pool?

Also, should this be taken as evidence of the blades personality - i.e. it/the soul inside it doesn't like to kill other humanoids? If so I can write it into the backstory!

Should be everything - sorry for going into such detail, I figured that since you'd made the effort, the least I could do would be to do the same!

Answers for that:
1. After you put together your lists, you can roll 1d100 twice; if you roll a 100 on the first, you get two, and I'll even let you pick one. If you roll a 99 or 100 on the second, you'll get two or all three alternative physical features. Otherwise yes, you get only one SLA and feature.

2. You are correct re: full BAB on the other side. However, if you're running with something (i.e. Kensai) that grants Weapon Focus without requiring that +1 BAB, that's sufficient for me -- so long as (one of) your first-level feat is Bladed Brush. The main thing I'm getting after is that you need to have Bladed Brush by 3rd level to acquire the black blade as a glaive, and functionally you really need Bladed Brush at 1st in order to be a decent magus.

3-5: Speaking of these in order of necessity: you can keep the blade's bonus as being strictly numerical (a +5 glaive), but the first additional property must be merciful -- to use your example, you cannot get a +1 shocking glaive, it must have merciful before you can add shocking.

This is part of the blade's personality, and does not apply only to other humanoids; notice I said 'against anything but an outsider'. (I have since revisited that thought, and am going to change 'outsider' to 'undead'.) I will determine how the Black Glaive came to be (and in fact have already decided); while it would be delicious torture to not say anything more, I will at least say that it is not the 'shadowy creator' of UM's rumor. I will be deciding the blade's personality and everything; by 5th level, you will know enough that the blade is generally peaceable, and is opposed to taking life except in the most extreme of circumstances; even when one is attempting to directly and immediately save another's life, one does not necessarily need to take one life for the other's salvation.

I will reveal more when your character is more revealed to me; while I have an overall concept in mind, the specific presentation ... needs to be tailored. ;)

Re: Slashing Grace: When actually using both hands on the weapon (as compared to using it one-handed with Bladed Brush), you may add Dex * 1.5 to damage. That is the tradeoff here -- you can either use Bladed Brush, one hand, and cast spells as a magus, or you can use both hands and get Dex * 1.5 for damage.

Mat_H / Mama Lily: You can spend your own cash on Buildings & Organizations, absolutely.

Phalera: While Affiliated Agent is useful, it is not strictly necessary; not having it puts the Court at Influence 0 (nonaffiliation), and they may simply not recognize you as anything worth-while (yet). It is, however, up to you.

I will note that the Headstrong drawback is a particularly nasty one in an intrigue-centric game, and will probably get you killed and/or the conspiracy exposed. It isn't necessarily a deal-breaker, but it skirts the edge of it very closely. Might I suggest choosing something else to lower that risk? Perhaps, as you have a large family, you might choose something referencing them? Family Ties is the most blatant, but Oppressive Expectations and/or Secret Shame (perhaps they don't know that you're a Calistrian prostitute?) would work equally as well.

Phalera & Mama Lily: With the pair of you with a similar current status ('madame of a bordello'), you might consider being partners -- one handling the legal side, the other taking care of the illegal. It would definitely be appropriate.

Litejedi: A Skald / 'Oath of the People's Council' Paladin (which is what I am presuming you meant) is not going to be able to sustain both of those effects at the same time, as both of them are, essentially, bardic performances; starting one means leaving off the other, and as Lingering Performance says, 'If you begin a new bardic performance during this time, the effects of the previous performance immediately cease.' You would also need to explain how a paladin who swore an oath to safeguard the Andoran people by preventing abuse of authority by their (Andoran) leaders is doing trying to lead an overthrow of the Galtian government; I don't think you rightly can. Truth is, a paladin of any stripe is a very difficult sell for an intrigue campaign; too many things must be acquiesced to, too many 'lesser of two evils' decisions must be made for a paladin to be able to serve justly. While I appreciate the pursuit of the supernaturally-inspiring orator, you're looking at a LG rabble-rouser -- and since rabble-rousing got Galt into this mess, rousing the rabble is not likely going to get it out of it as well.


Beautiful Champion Oracle: I've played a lot of oracles, and think I'm a relatively good judge of them. That archetype does look balanced, but it also looks quite odd. The Secret Identity and Repent or Die revelations are thematic and make sense, but the Arcane Bond one doesn't really fit the flavor at all. It seems like whoever wrote up the archetype just said "ooh I've always wanted a familiar as an Oracle, let's add this in!!!"

@ GM / Phalera: Being partners would actually be a very good idea if we were both selected. Lily could add the eastern Geisha feel to the bordello and act as a manager to your ownership, and then run the criminal organization out the back. As was stated, the PCs are supposed to already know and trust each other, and this would give us a pre-existing relationship to base that trust off of. It would also allow us to pool our resources and get a much nicer business going from the start.

@ GM: I was doing some future planning for Lily and realized something. To best make use of the Enchanting Courtesan PrC (which is my plan) I will have use of craft(alchemy) and sleight of hand, but still want to work on several other skills in the background area as well. The book says you can use regular skill points on background skills, but I've never seen anyone actually do it. I just want to make sure you're ok with that if I wanted to move 1 or 2 "adventuring" skill points into backgrounds skills each level.


Mat_H: Thanks for the note ref: beautiful champion oracle. I agree that that does seem a bit out of whack; if I had more information on the archetype (and what information I have at the moment is extremely minimal) I might be more comfortable with that element, but I agree that it seems wildly out of place.

Ref: Standard Skills >> Background Skills, you can absolutely do this; with most of my characters, I do this often. (I like playing skill bunnies, honestly.) You can always move standard skill points into background skills; as well, should you gain more background skill points than you need, I allow you to return what you first put there back into your 'standard' pool. So while you can never use Background Skill Points as Standard ones, you can borrow against them, so to speak.

As An Example:

At 1st level, Henri the Artiste has 11 standard skill points and 3 background skill points, but needs to have certain artistic skills early on in order to be considered for a position at L'Palais d'Arte; he spends 8 standard skill points on adventuring skills, and puts the other 3 into background skills (for a total of 6) which enables him to buy all of his necessary his artistic and performance skills.

By 5th level, Henri has earned 55 standard skill points and 15 background skill points, but has had to 'borrow' 3 skill points from his standards in order to continue to pump up those 6 background skills to the necessary 5 ranks in each he needs to gain the highest association rank in the group; he currently has 40 (55) standard skill points, and 30 (15) background skill points. At 6th level, since he only needs 5 ranks in most of those skills, he can instead start to 'give back' skill ranks -- 3 if he wants to at this new level -- so that he'll now be at 54 (66) standard skill points, and 30 (18) background skill points, 'paying back' the standard points he'd borrowed.

Edit
JonGarrett: A prior player of mine has been following along, and made an observation: '(The Beautiful Champion Archetype) is 'balanced' in that is not outright broken, it's just so good that every oracle would take it.' On review, they are right: you replace a few mystery spells, but you surrender nothing in order to access a) a familiar who receives a free 'improved familiar' feat at L11, b) a class ability of a completely different type of class, and c) a 1/day 'save-or-die' 'surrender' ability which, if the target resists, STILL automatically confirms a critical hit.

Giving up one thing in order to get access to another ('this replaces X') is a key element to a good archetype, in which what is given up is of equal value/power to what is gained, or if not that, then what is gained is acquired at a later time. Because this is a 3PP 'something for nothing' archetype, I have decided to not allow it.

Sczarni

I watched as the Galt Gazette was being introduced and written a couple years back, though as much as I was interested, I couldn't think of a concept, so I decided not to try and apply. That being said, I don't have that issue at the moment, and I'm absolutely interested in overthrowing the government... From the inside.

Grumbaki's dwarven diplomancer (and a character I absolutely adore already!) gave me a particular idea, since I do like challenging myself, both in terms of roleplaying and in terms of mechanics. So, for a game focused around stealth, diplomacy and deception, I feel like applying with an individual who has penalties to both Dex and Cha.

I'll tackle the mechanics at a later date, since they're considerably less important. First, I have a couple of questions for our GM.

Question the first, how does one become part of the Senate, and what are the duties of a senator? I imagine they are democratically elected to represent a neighbourhood or a part of Isern, and they mostly meet and discuss laws and the sort - but I wanted to make sure.

Question the second, does one study in a university or by being a legal aide to become a barrister? I imagine that learning is one thing, but receiving the bar is a different thing entirely.

Question the third, what is the Galtan opinion on half-orcs in general? I imagine the usual distrust and fantasy racism, but is there anything else? Just trying to get the idea around in my head for when I go and write the backstory.

I think those are the main questions, but I reserve my right to ask more!


Profile has been updated. I made some changes to the crunch, edited grammar in the background, added an appearance and personality section, and added a buildings and organization section.

I was thinking more about the potential partnership with Phalera and I'm not as sure as I was that it is a good idea. The two characters would definitely be able to have a relationship based on their past but in terms of business I'm not sure how well they mix. Phalera is providing a more traditional bordello with Calistrian religion mixed in, whereas Lily's business is more based on social intimacy versus physical intimacy. It's heavily influenced by a historic Japanese teahouse to fit the flavor of her archetype. She primarily uses it to gain influence with clients and leverage any information gained for use by her thieves' guild, to launder profits from her criminal side, and as a public identity for herself. I'm not sure a full business partnership works as both their actual businesses and the intent behind them are a bit too different.


GM TWO wrote:

JonGarrett: A prior player of mine has been following along, and made an observation: '(The Beautiful Champion Archetype) is 'balanced' in that is not outright broken, it's just so good that every oracle would take it.' On review, they are right: you replace a few mystery spells, but you surrender nothing in order to access a) a familiar who receives a free 'improved familiar' feat at L11, b) a class ability of a completely different type of class, and c) a 1/day 'save-or-die' 'surrender' ability which, if the target resists, STILL automatically confirms a critical hit.

Giving up one thing in order to get access to another ('this replaces X') is a key element to a good archetype, in which what is given up is of equal value/power to what is gained, or if not that, then what is gained is acquired at a later time. Because this is a 3PP 'something for nothing' archetype, I have decided to not allow it.

Okie dokie, thank you for thinking it over. It's a bit of a blow as the Secret Identity would be very useful, but it's not the end of the concept I have ruminating.

My guess is that because you lose access to most other Oracle archetypes, loose choices with class skills and spells, and don't actually get any of those Revelations for free (just a choice to take them) the makers felt it would be OK, but I can certainly understand why you aren't up for it. I'll go forth and ponder.


@GM The more I look into what I can do at higher levels with favored terrain and safe houses and such, I'm considering swapping Mama Lily's campaign trait to 'Catacomb Dweller,' but there does not seem to be any information on the catacombs at all.

- Do they count as urban (which includes sewers) or underground (caves and dungeons) if one was to take a rogue talent that gave a favored terrain?

- Can you give us a little information about them? All I can find about them is from the trait itself which just vaguely states that they can be navigated, implies events may occur in them, and it's a DC25 check to find an entrance. That's not really all that much information as to what they really are. The only other place I found anything was in the Additional Systems portion of the Player's Guide, but you mentioned that we wouldn't be using that so I didn't read too carefully into it.

- In terms of renown (from vigilante social talent or one of the several other classes that allow you to have renown in a certain area) would the catacombs be an entirely new area different from the others, or would it be split up along district lines so that, for example, if you had the Theater District as your renown area it would also include the catacombs under that district?

I assume they are some kind of man-made or natural underground system of rooms and tunnels which criminal elements, vigilantes, or mobs may use to move from district to district, and perhaps that they could also be the location for the headquarters or encampment of varying 'secretive' groups. Verification of that and/or any other information that you chose to share would be quite appreciated.


8 + 4d8 ⇒ 8 + (4, 8, 4, 3) = 27

Ok, if I understand correctly, everything below 5 becomes 5. And once I add in a +1 CON bonus, total HP becomes 36.


Both my concepts are coming along nicely, but another question has popped up. With the feat rules for feats like Weapon Focus, would Fencing Grace or Slashing Grace also apply to weapon groups? (Presumably only for light or one-handed piercing or slashing weapons, respectively.)

Liberty's Edge

This sounds amazing. I'd like to compete with either a Pharasmin Inquisitor/Gunslinger(Bolt Ace) as a Distressed Prelate or something paired with a Bard(Wit) to be a Reliable Statesman. Or maybe a Wizard/Rogue(Phantom Thief) Criminal Mastermind... So many ideas, so few characters!


Phalera's backstory has been added to this profile. It will definitely be smoothed over and cleaned up over the next few days. I also gave her Rogue side the 'Snoop' archetype, corrected a bit of math, and removed her drawback altogether since it didn't really fit the backstory she ended up with.

@Mat_H I agree that their aims are very different and while it's a good thought, being business partners is probably not in the cards for them.


@Phalera: I've actually been making a lot of fluffy changes to her in the last few days to push her more towards the 'mastermind' part of the criminal mastermind role and The Gilded Lily concept is even more different than yours now. I've gotten her the safe house ability and now the business is still there to make some money but it's a false front to hide her activities more than anything. It will be used to draw people in so she can gather information or coerce people into doing things, as a place to store illicit goods and meet with other criminal bosses, and other similar activities. I'm sure you as a respectable businesswoman wouldn't want to be involved in those kinds of shenanigans even if we are friends and have the same overall goal.

As soon as I get an answer on the catacombs questions I'll be uploading the new improved crunch and profile complete with an updated background as the trait change requires adding catacomb knowledge and removing her connection to The Starving Artists.

@GM: final catacombs question. If she takes the catacombs dweller trait, and has both a business with an escape route AND the safe house talent, can I have the escape route lead into the catacombs underneath her business and establish my safe house there? Out of my love for the details I've already started drafting a floorplan for all of that but want to ensure it's allowed before I link it on her profile.

Liberty's Edge

I've coalesced into an Asmodean Advocate/Hidden Priest cleric of Asmodeus gestalted with a Phantom Thief Unchained Rogue: same classes as Phalera, wildly different implementation. He'd be built for intrigue, skills, social conflict, trials and intimidation, and I'm building a law firm for him. Of course, he'd be the Reliable Statesman.
The idea would be a middle-aged to old survivor of the first Revolutions (I'll have to crunch the dates, but I think he could have been a student at the time). Never actually renouncing his religion, he became a fearsome lawyer with the hope of, one day, restoring Galt to an ordered, lawful society.
Lawful Evil with an emphasis on Lawful, ready to work with any other alignment for the ultimate goal of a new, stable government.

A few nitpicky questions:
1) The Phantom Thief, by background, should be some sort of idle noble. Is it ok to instead be a (possibly retired) professional and politician? Having my own law firm would mean outsourcing the work and leaving me free to pursue a political career.
2) The sum of the archetypes I'm taking allows me to push Profession(barrister) and therefore Bluff and Diplomacy into low orbit. I'm already planning to take it with non-background skill points, but in case you feel that it's too much I'm ready to dial it back (selecting different skills with the Phantom Thief's Refined Knowledge, for instance).
3) Can I take two campaign traits? Both Barrister and Secret Practitioner would fit perfectly in the background. I can take a drawback for free as a balancing factor, if you want.
4) If I take the Pass for Human variant tiefling race trait and roll for alternate SLAs, do I still need to get the alternative physical features?
5) Phantom Thief allows me to "select a vigilante social talent instead of a rogue talent, except for social grace and vigilante social talents that would require her to be a craftsman or professional. For the purpose of vigilante social talents, a phantom thief does not have a vigilante identity and is always considered to be in her social identity."
Is there a way that I could get my Rogue level to count as Vigilante level, at least for the purpose of the Renown talent chain? It's sort of foggy whether it's automatically counted as such, but I'm willing to sacrifice a feat to make it stack, if necessary.


Apologies for not posting; busy RL. Will post answers to questions tonight.


@GM, would you allow a deity-less Inquisitor who worships the Law domain? Considering an Inquisitor/Armiger Fighter for the Military Genius role.


Very interested, likely submitting a hideous Criminal Mastermind tiefling who lives in the catacombs. A 'law-abiding' businessperson who runs an illegal gambling ring and a black market import/export business through the catacombs. Likely owns a s%*~ty tavern or flophouse of some sort as an excuse to traverse the surface, but does most of their dealings underground. A true capitalist whose drive to end the revolution is trapped wholly in self interest and inspired in part by Quark from DS9.

A few questions first:

If tieflings are allowed to be of any racial heritage, do they qualify for feats/archetypes exclusive to their parent race? If not could they take (a version of) Racial Heritage to qualify as their parent race?

Lastly, regarding your ruling on tiefling's alternate physical features: are we restricted to just one or could we request that you "inflict" several of these upon us? I absolutely adore this table and love rolling on it. Having multiple alternate features would behoove my character's concept as well.


I made the changes I was talking about the other day, so Mama now has the catacombs dweller trait along with what changes needed to be made based on that. Her teahouse is still in the Theater district but the escape route now goes down into the catacombs instead of just out to an alley. I also updated her background to better fit her new build, and added a link to an actual proposed floorplan of the teahouse and the setup of her safe house and organization.

Why she will make a good criminal mastermind:
- She has a legal business that not only serves as a front to her criminal activities, but is based around building influence and coercing people through the courtesans
- She has renown in two districts already giving her legitimate side the ability to make a lot of connections
- She is familiar with the catacombs and already has an active thieves guild working out of them to get stuff done
- She has a safe house ability which hides objects and activity in both her business and underneath it
- Her build allows her to seamlessly change disguises to swap from Lily to Mama and vice versa, and as she moves into her PrC she adds a lot of stealthy touch and caress and kiss attacks with both charms and poison to supplement her already pretty decent rogue abilities.


Everyone, remember to check the Campaign Information page for updates to the original post. Especially critical are likely to be the 'Additional Systems' spoiler, which is gaining links as I go along.

The Lion Cleric: Well, half-orcs don't have penalties to either of those two, but sure, I can understand. I do approve of things taken for style and appropriateness instead of 'how to build the biggest hitter' (or whatever), so ... go for it.

Senators and The Statesman:
First, the Statesman does not need to be a Senator; in some respects, being a Senator may be the worst thing to be; the Statesman needs to be able to manipulate the government, and that primarily means the members of the Revolutionary Council. Either way, however, he will know that Senators are elected directly by citizens of all the various districts of Galt, of both city and countryside. If the player decides to make the Statesman a Senator, where specifically he is from is up to the player; it does not have to be Isarn itself, though the Statesman will likely have been in the city for a fair number of years. It is known by anyone who has actually been in the government long enough to be considered 'reliable' (note the descriptive of the Statesman) that the last election was in the Council of Enlightenment in 4701, almost 20 years ago. Chairman Goss suspended the elections that were about to be held (in 4709, when he took power), and has not yet reinstated them.

Elections were originally intended to be held every 8 years, though the leadership can institute an election any time they desire, as the Golden Council did only 4 years after the one previous.

Senators are meant to debate the needs of the people and create laws and regulations in order to assist with their relief and advancement; typically, they push to get something done for the people to whom they are indebted for election, and hope to not have to return home empty-handed. Due to the political and judicial climate in Galt, more than one senator has returned to their home district relatively empty-handed and wound up swinging on the end of a rope, torn apart, or dragged to the nearest final blade for summary execution, the 'trial' having 'happened' along the way.

Barristers:
Typically it's a combination of study and clerical duties, but for all intents and purposes, if you have the money for the (not insubstantial) fee, and you show up on the day(s) they're doing the (extensive) interviews, you can stand for the exam. If you pass the exam (which I have a vague idea of how to codify, but I won't unless it's absolutely necessary in-game), congrats, you may come past the bar seperating the lawyers from the rabble, and you are a barrister.

Generally, you find a barrister willing to take you on as a clerk, usually for a pittance that's barely enough to keep you alive. In addition to helping them with research and the like, you attend their court cases to listen to arguments, attend lectures given by your attourney and their (current) allies, do research on your own in both their own and in their allies' libraries, do plenty of reading in the Senate records, and the like. After three or six years, once your barrister thinks you're ready (or if you can convince them to send you early), they pay your fee and you stand for the exam. If you fail, the barrister will usually kick you out; if you succeed, you usually give anywhere between a third and half your collected fees to them until you've repaid them. Depending on how good you are and the cases you attract, that can take between six months and six years.

Half-Orcs:
Orcs and half-orcs are typically considered (with reason) uncultured and thus are generally unwanted; if you prove and display that you have appreciation for art and the like, you can win over those who know you. While their starting attitude is normal, you might face a -1 penalty to your roll here and there, particularly with those some form of racial prejudice (e.g. dwarves) or who consider themselves to be protectors or particular appreciators of art.

JonGarrett: To lose access to other archetypes, you have to lose something they replace; arguably, you could say that the spell replacement is that loss, but it certainly isn't sufficient to grant access to class abilities from two different classes. Otherwise, as Beautiful Champion doesn't lose anything, it could likely stack with everything.

Understand that, given the snippet I saw in some interview or another, those three features do replicate rather well the 'Magical Girl' archetype -- a cute little animal assistant, a transformation into your 'magical girl' form, and the ability to make the foe surrender if you're imposing or bright-shiny enough. But 'Magical Girl Sami' is definitely not something that I'm looking for in this campaign.

Since you're looking for access to 'Secret Identity', permit me to direct you to the Masked Personas information we're using. The 'Secret Identity' ability is essntially just an improved version of the Masked Persona.

Mat_H: Ah, yes.

The Catacombs:
The inspiration for the catacombs is likely theMines of Paris, a stupefyingly extensive series of galleries, tunnels, and the like that extend some distance beneath and about the city, which has grown above them, and the Paris sewers (images). Add in private sub- and sub-sub-basements that have since been boarded up, collapsed, or generally lost and forgotten about, tunnels (secret or not) dug to connect a sub-basement to a mine or the sewer, and similar construction, mining, and natural fissures, and you have a bewildering complex of what Victor Hugo called "a Paris of sewers; which has its streets, its crossings, its squares, its blind alleys, its arteries, and its circulation, which is slime, minus the human form."

As a consequence, there are people living down there (generally close to an entrance), there is still some mining being done (typically not being brought out actually inside the city), and people are constantly bricking or opening up new passages, making for an ever-changing maze to be navigated. Because of all that, yes, events can occur, it takes some effort and knowledge to go from one area to another (else you wind up either somewhere you didn't mean to be or simply and entirely lost), and even knowing where the nearest entrance is can be sometimes ... difficult.

Note that a few passages of the catacombs do extend underneath the river; so far, there have been no significant ... issues. But you can get from any part of the city to any other part of the city. Knowing of a route to and from a specific location, whether below or above-ground will have DCs dependent on the secrecy of the location, the exit, the amount of time you want to take (e.g. faster is higher) -- not to mention whether or not it exists at all!!

Theoretically, while the Favored Terrain could shift from Urban to Underground damn near at a whim, for simplicity's sake I'm going to simply make all the Catacombs urban. In terms of Renown, you can have it either way -- Renown in one of the districts and the catacombs beneath it, or Renown across all the catacombs. As a piece, the catacombs are significant enough to be considered another district, but there is comparatively little enough beneath each district to be able to be counted as part of that district. Note that when it comes to districts, each seperate color on the map of Isarn) is considered a district (with Le Commune including much of the agrarian land just outside the south walls of the city).

As many of the interconnecting passages are extremely narrow (i.e. a human has to squeeze to get through them), general movement through them by 'mobs' is fairly well nonexistent; people can and do get permanently lost in the catacombs; most who go down there do not stray far from the entrance that they know about.

Anyone can (and many people have) created hidden chutes, escape routes, and secret passages into and out of the Catacombs; if a PC is using the Buildings/Rooms systems and creates an escape route and/or has a safe house, these can connect to or be entirely within the catacombs as they like.

This information will be copied across to the clone of the Galt Gazette the originators, Renard and Le Quatrième Voile, were gracious enough to give to me.

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Sapiens:
Fencing / Slashing Grace:
These still apply only to specific singular weapons, as do the rogue 'finesse weapon training' at 3rd, 11th, and 19th levels.

Phantom Thief: I'm good with the Statesman being a Phantom Thief; like the military genius, he has to be politically reliable, not evidently influential. As a matter of fact, being politically reliable but clearly not influential is considered, by Chairman Korran Goss, to be an excellent recommendation.

Profession (Barrister): Remember that 1/2 of 5 is still 2, and the most skill points you can add to one skill is still 5; PS (Barrister) will have a 5 +3 (Class) + X (Wis) + 2 (insight, Cleric) + 2 (untyped, Rogue) = 12 + Wisdom bonus. Which is certainly good, and I have no problem with this; you are going to need insanely good Bluff and Diplomacy. There's another point to be made here, though: you don't get the skill unlocks for those skills (Bluff and Diplomacy) unless you've a) selected those skills with Refined Education, [i]and[/b] b) actually have appropriate skill points in those skills.

Two Campaign Traits: No; one only.

Pass for Human + Alternate SLAs: Alternate SLAs represent, among other things, your blood being closer to the Lower-Planes source of your abilities than other tieflings. The two are incompatable; pick one or the other, you can't have both, because the physical feature is liable to be a dead giveaway.

Renown social talent chain: Going by the reading of Phantom Thief, I would presume that for the specific purpose of when you can gain certain vigilante social talents, your rogue level counts as vigilante levels.

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Rutaskadis: Yes, you may hold Law to be your ideal. For the purposes of this campaign, and for the purposes of that character slot, you are restricted to one of the following: of Domains, Law, Judgement, and Loyalty; or of Inquisitions, Justice, Order, and Truth.

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The Lobster:
Tiefling parentage feats/archetypes:
Tieflings do not naturally qualify for feats/archetypes exclusive to their parent race; you aren't even a half-blooded fiend, much less a full-blooded one. The 'Racial Heritage' feat tweaks the character into a cross-breed with another humanoid race, not a planar race; it would take at least two, and possibly three, feats to bring a tiefling close enough to qualify for such.

Alternate physical features: If you want them, you can have them. Understand that 'standard' tieflings are already near to being second- or third-class citizens; too extensive of unusual physical features will disqualify you from the game, as you would have long ago been murdered / hung / burned / whatever for being too clearly touched by devils, and thus you MUST be in league with Cheliax.

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Everyone: Remember that Galt overall and Isarn in particular exists as a particularly volatile blend of popular anarchy and totalitarianistic fascism; these six characters must have managed to survive by being political neutrals and/or non-entities, mildly popular /well-known for good works but not promising too much, having created few enemies, no enemies, or enemies on the wrong side of whatever portion of the government happened to succeed the last. If they are young enough, that might simply mean having not come to Chairman Goss's negative attention. In short, they must have not stuck up far enough to be nailed by the hammer when it's come around time and again, for however long they've been around.

Speaking of age, I have decided to suspend the effects of aging; while this can mean that you can create a Venerable character with a Dex or Strength that's apparently through the roof, try not to go overboard, and remember that this thematically means that you'd've been a truly witless, foolish brat when you were young. ;)


Thank you, I'll make sure to read that soon. It was mostly the ability to switch between two costumes rapidly, but I think a combination of Glamoured Armour and Sleeves of Many Garments, along with using a Phantom Blade Spiritualist as the other part of my Gestalt should get most of the flavour I was hoping for - of someone who could go from a simple healer to Freedom Fighter in a short period, and back again.

The basic idea is that the character is a worshipper of Milani who was aiding some of her fellow rebels, and ran into a...poor situation. I haven't decided on the details (or if it would be better to keep them back for a suitably dramatic reveal) but while she escaped, the rest of her group didn't...and now she has a Phantom Blade made from the souls of her friends. Because a ghostly brain sword is just the thing.

But yes, with the Masked Persona rules I would be happy to drop the archetype. It really doesn't stack with most of the official Paizo ones, as almost all of them alter either spells or skills, but thank you all the same for the consideration. I'm actually tossing up between the Prophet and Divine Herbalist archetypes. More healing vs better information? Normally I'd be all over more healing, but in this campaign, I feel getting occasional feedback from a God might be really useful...

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