... 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

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:

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 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.

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

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

Buildings and Organizations
General Downtime
Downtime Activities


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


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.

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**
Government Fascistic autotocracy
Population 42,800
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

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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GM TWO wrote:
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.

My apologies, I miscommunicated/misunderstood. When you said not just humans you meant variant fiendish heritage, e.g., oni-spawn. I assumed you meant dwarf or halfling, for example. That was my intended question: if a tiefling was part dwarf (or elf or whatever), could they take dwarf exclusive feats and archetypes, and if not, could they qualify as the same race as their parents by taking a feat resembling Racial Heritage.

By your answer, I know now that I misunderstood and I assume the answer is no, but glad to know about the alternate physical features

Ah -- and I presumed you were speaking about the fiendish side of their heritage. Yes, I will allow tieflings to take what is essentially Racial Heritage as a feat in order to gain access to feats/archetypes of their 'normal' heritage; it is, however, something you need to take at 1st level.

GM TWO, you mention use of the Artistry skill and how it may be used to greater effect than a character's voice. (Which is wonderful.) In considering a character who would attempt to use paintings for such communication and influence, would the creation of the paintings fall under Artistry, Craft, or both somehow?


Thank you for pointing out the Masked Personas system. I'd missed that initially when looking through the Intrigue systems. Mama Lily has now dropped her lvl 5 feat to take Convincing Persona instead and better leverage that system. Would you like those of us who are planning to use that system to add additional info in our profiles in reference to the "mask, clothing, or iconic equipment" that they would wear in each persona?

When I get really excited about a character, like I am with this one, I tend to just keep adding more detail to them up until selection. I'm wondering if you would find things like persona information useful or if it's really just more detail than you are interested in sifting through at this point.

Heard, I'll be going with the Order inquisition. Thanks for your thoroughness in answering questions, it's very helpful! I have one more;

I've ended up going for a Constable Cavalier/Inquisitor and was considering taking the Tactical Leader Inquisitor archetype for the bonus to diplomacy (and also, it's thematic for a soldier). The Tactician ability it grants is identical to the Cavalier ability of the same name; they stack for the purpose of regular multiclassing, but is that still the case for a Gestalt build?

Tactician Ability:
Tactician (Ex): At 3rd level, 9th level, and 18th level, a tactical leader gains a teamwork feat as a bonus feat. He must meet the prerequisites for this feat. As a standard action, the tactical leader can grant one of these feats to all allies within 30 feet who can see and hear him. Allies retain the use of this bonus feat for 3 rounds plus 1 round for every 2 inquisitor levels the tactical leader has. Allies do not need to meet the prerequisites of these bonus feats. The tactical leader can use this ability once per day at 3rd level, plus one additional time per day at 6th, 9th, 15th, and 18th level.

If the tactical leader also has cavalier levels, these levels stack for determining the number of uses of this ability per day.

HP: 4d10 + 10 + 5 ⇒ (10, 9, 6, 4) + 10 + 5 = 44 46 total


@GM - That sounds great, thanks!

I think I'll skip on the being an actual barrister (though not necessarily the Profession itself), since the backstory becomes a little too convoluted.

The last elections being 20 years ago is a little bit of an issue, though I'm assuming that if a senator was given a summary trial by mob in the meanwhile, there'd be someone else taking their place for their district? (namely, my character)

The half-orc answer is pretty much what I expected, and I'll still roll with it!

Just so its clear I've made up a tiefling Daring Champion/Bladebound-Kensai for the Military Genius. Working on background at the moment then I'll get him posted up.

Liberty's Edge

Thank you very much, I'll go with Barrister and let my archetype hide my faith for me. Only one thing to roll so that I can finish crunch,

HP, d8: 4d8 + 8 ⇒ (6, 6, 4, 1) + 8 = 25 with a minimum of 5, this means 6, 6, 5, 5 for 30 HP before Constitution.

Dark Archive

Hi GM, nice recruitment you have here!

I'm working on a PC for the Military Genius spot. Thinking about a human cavalier (constable)//ranger (dandy), and a have a couple questions:

-How good do I need to be in combat? Asking this because this spot suggests someone very capable at fighting, while the others do not. Is your intention for the military genius to be someone able to carry the others in combat?

-How law enforcement is carried in Galt? My intention is for my PC to be a member of the 'police', a constable. If you are ok with this idea, how up in the ranks of such organization would you allow a PC to be?

Think Mama Lily is pretty much done, I'll probably tweak her 10 more times since I'm insane but it's time to work on a statesman now. Just here to roll dice.
HP: 4d10 ⇒ (8, 4, 9, 6) = 27

One important question: If we submit for multiple roles, do you want us to post what our preference is? I'm sure many people who submit more than once will have one role/character we would prefer to play over another.

So... I don't have any questions or anything. Just posting to say that I'm still in the running. Since the deadline isn't until May 12th and due to the nature of the campaign, it seems a rare opportunity to consider the feats and traits that reference some of the additional systems being used. So I'm taking time to become more familiar with with those rules and see if any of the feats or traits are worth taking.

My mesmerist/gunslinger is going to be a merchant who will obviously be submitted for the Influential Merchant role, but could just as easily be re-colored for the Reliable Statesman role.

HP Level 2: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
HP Level 3: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
HP Level 4: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
HP Level 5: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3

...wow. OK, so that's 7 per level for 34 total HP.

Artistry, Craft, and Political Change:

Consider ... the lowly pencil. This weapon -- yes, weapon -- can create something both political rabble-rousers and great painters alike rely upon:

The Cartoon.

For great painters, this is a sketch upon the base material, setting down what goes where; some painters create endless sketches of their artwork before ever setting a brushstroke to canvas, wood, plaster, or whatever base they happen to be working upon; others do vast amounts of work on the base, sketching over and over until they throw a fresh coat of plaster across the surface and get to painting.

For those in search of political change, it's a one-and-done situation, keyed to the issue of the moment, aimed generally or specifically. Like the others, however, they do endless sketches -- it's just that each time they're done, it goes out, gets printed, and they turn their pencil to the next target.

And then there is a very narrow area where the two intersect: a great painter seizes upon an issue, is driven by it, and creates a masterpiece that brings the issue -- or rather, The Issue -- into stark reality, a creation of both great artistry and great effect.

In '... Ou la Mort', in order to get across one's point, one needs a basic ability to work in a way in which your message can be delivered: The Medium. This is usually going to be the Craft skill, and can be any one of several different sorts -- calligraphy, mapmaking, or painting will all get the job done, and you can even argue successfully that certain Professions (architect, engineer, librarian, scribe, and teacher all come to mind) have a baseline skill of 'put pencil to paper' -- though you'd be taking a penalty with Profession. You can even create your own, depending on how you imagine your character doing it; Androk Jeggare, for example, has Craft (drawing/sketching), because he or one of his nearby minions always carries a folio for him to do a fast sketch of a building, a doorway, a person's face, or a street scene in order to remember it. If you're going to work in a more ... permanent medium, pottery or sculpture might be the Craft skills for you ... but sculpture, at least, tends to take considerably longer. You can also use other Artistry skills -- Literature and Playwriting being the two key ones there, though Musical Composition can be extremely useful if you're writing catchy little ditties with nasty little points to them.

Once you have established some level of skill in your medium, it's time to decide what to say: The Message. Typically, and especially for this campaign, this will rest in two things: criticism (i.e. telling people what the government is doing, and whether it's right or wrong) and philosophy (i.e. telling people how government should work). These two are the essence of the work to be done: education, in one manner or another, with a consistent thrust and a goal that is clear to at least your own minds. (Other people can be brought along by the work itself.)

When it comes to the Medium, you're looking for a baseline +5, so that a 'Take 10' nets you a 15. Almost anyone can have that for 2 points of investment: 2 + 3 (class) = 5, and if you have any attribute bonus, you can get that with just 1 point. However, skill at the Medium is what will earn you circulation through the city that you haven't done yourself; yes, you can pay your mooks 2cp/day to spread your cheap printed cartoon around the entire city, but if you do a really good job of it, the people will do your distribution for you.
So if you want something that people appreciate just for the Medium itself (such as this little painting here) and who will thus distribute it just on the basis of how good/funny/thought-provoking your piece is, then obviously the higher your bonus the better. If you're wondering what the 'circulation' of a piece might be, presuming your product is something that can be circulated (i.e. someone actually has scribes creating broadsheets, or a printing press or something), I'll be working off the Perform / Artistry 'Performance / Workmanship / Quality of Work' tables, thus:

DC . . . Quality / Popularity, Circulation, Durability, Example
10 . . . . Routine, no traction. Dies in a day. Self-published screed.
15 . . . . Interesting, some circulation in one district. Dies in 1d4 days. Pulp , dime-store paperback.
20 . . . . Entertaining, strong circulation in one district. Dies in 2d6 days. Mass-market paperback.
25 . . . . Impressive, strong circulation in one district and some in the rest on that side of the river. Dies in 2d4 weeks. Well-received / popular novel.
30 . . . . Memorable, ubiquitous in one district, strong on that side of the river, and some in the rest of the city. Dies in 3d6 weeks. The novel spent a year on the best-seller's list.
35 . . . . Extraordinary, ubiquitous on one side of the river, strong in the rest of the city, some in the rest of Galt. Dies in 2d4 months. Considered a modern classic.
40 . . . . Masterful, ubiquitous in Isarn, strong in the rest of Galt. Dies in 3d6 months. Will be considered a classic in a hundred years as well.

A piece's 'durability' is how long people seek it out, buy it, still read it, and the like. While a few interested parties may continue to read it past the 'expiration date', the main targets will have moved onto something else by then.

Of course, y'all aren't here just to get your thing out there, you want to effect change through it, and that's where your Artistry (criticism or philosophy) comes in. Embedding the message in the medium is the usual sort of test, with the resulting DC functioning in many ways as a Diplomacy test. I will not line out the way it works (in part because I haven't entirely decided, or even decided where the heck Galt is that you have to slowly work it to where you want to be), but it will be similar to the 'starting attitude' and duration setup of Diplomacy; the crowd can be easily whipped up to go do something, but for them to keep to a principle is going to take serious work.

You can Take 10, but not 20, on both of these tests; if you have a feat, trait, or ability that allows you to Take 20, you can do so once per month on the test of your choice -- not on both of them.

More as I think about it.


Masked Personas:
If you want to come up with the details of a masked persona, you may.


A few caveats first:
* At game start, only those who are using the Vigilante class will have active Masked Personas.
* I discourage the Military Genius from having a Masked Persona; while I concede that it can be done, with injuries being fought through or explained away (see this scene from 'Zorro the Gay Blade'), it will generally be better to not have such a public 'alternate self', and simply remain in his Social Persona; being utterly reliable, dependable, available, trustworthy, all that sort of thing, the uncorrupted and uncorruptable paragon of the state who follows the spirit of the orders, does what the government (meaning Chairman Goss) wants him to do, will solidify his position far better than any galavanting over rooftops.
* The Masked Persona of the Distressed Prelate will be that of a Gray Gardener -- which, functionally, is what all Gray Gardeners have, a Masked Persona. This being gestalt, a PC can have a Vigilante persona, but it must be established right now that the Vigilante persona is not and cannot be the same as the Gray Gardener Masked Persona.

These caveats having been said, and the end of the first adventure/mission being the point at which your Masked Personas will have been finally firmly established enough, by all means come up with the 'mask, clothing, and iconic equipment' appropriate for your Persona.

Tactician Stacking
Unfortunately, no, for Gestalt -- or rather, for this Gestalt -- you effectively lose the stacking, as one or the other class is going to be going 1-20. You do gain the extra teamwork feats, but that's as far as it goes.

Senatorial Vacancies
If a senator dies (old age, executed, murdered, assassinated, lynched) for whatever reason (pain in the @ss, annoyance, too pointed in his comments, didn't get things done for his constituents), his seat remains empty until the next election. This is, in part, why some elements of the city are drumming up unrest -- the Senate is considerably down from what it used to be ...

Skill in Combat
Every single PC can expect to get into a desperate fight in a catacomb passageway or a back alley against multiple attackers when they're all alone; the murder of a rival is practically de rigeur, par for the course, the orders of the day. No character will be able to rely upon any other for combat effectiveness; no character will be able to reliably 'save' another character's tail except, perhaps, after the fact.

Law Enforcement in Galt
Law enforcement in Galt -- or rather, in Isarn -- is that of any mostly-lawless city. The Isarn City Guard are functionally just another street gang; beyond the area they usually protect (La Rue du Pain, 'Bread Street' in English, and Vieille Ville, the Old City), the police are somewhere between laughably inept and rank cowards, in part because those who do their jobs against the worst offenders are assassinated, and those who try to maintain order against the various street gangs are typically outnumbered 30-to-1 when outside their own territory. Add into the mix the fact that in previous times, the 'civilian' officers were used by House Thrune and the Chelaxians as shock troops and jack-booted thugs and, well, here we are. 'Police' and 'policeman' are something of swearwords; a spit (real or pretend) typically follows the usage.

The Military Genius is meant to have an Army command. This is not to say that the Constable/Dandy idea is a bad one -- it just won't work for the Military Genius position. It could work incredibly well as the Criminal Mastermind.

Applying for Multiple Roles
If you are going to submit multiple applications, it may be useful to indicate preferences. I will not be paying any attention to 'character submitted for X role could work for Y role too', just FYI.

And JonGarrett, your math is off. Presuming that +2 is your Con bonus, and 1d8's 'average + 1' is a 5, then 5 (average) * 4 (levels) = 20 + 8 (1st level) = 28 + Con bonus (5 x 2) = 28 + 10 = 38 HP.


Edited: The Campaign Info, ref: the Reliable Statesman. The Statesman is no longer to be restricted as 'a member of the Senate'; as I've referred in this recruitment and as I meant to have originally, the Reliable Statesman is a member of the Government. That can mean 'Senate', but does not have to be.

The Military Genius:
Nikolaus de'Shade (interest)
rutaskadis (interest)
Sir Longears (interest)

The Reliable Statesman:
Helix Missionary (interest)
Daedalus (interest)
Chapel Ty'El (interest)
The Lion Cleric (interest)
Sapiens (interest)

The Criminal Mastermind:
Helix Missionary (interest)
Vampire Cat (interest)
Mat_H, with Lilli "Mama Lily" Popescu, a Varisian-Human Galtan Agitator Rogue / Lotus Geisha Bard
Simeon (interest)
Daedalus (interest)
Jing the Bandit (interest)
Sapiens (interest)
The Lobster (interest)
Gamer X with Garson Grey, a Half Elf Galtan Agitator Rogue / Bard.

The Influential Merchant:
YoricksRequiem (interest)
rutaskadis, with Phalera, a Half-Elf UCRogue (Snoop) / Cleric (Calistria)
Andostre (interest)

The Distressed Prelate:
Grumbaki, with Dragana Magrimdottir, a Dwarven Inquisitor (Magrim) / Kineticist
YoricksRequiem (interest)
Vampire Cat (interest)
Mat_H (interest)
Sapiens (interest)

General / Undecided / Nonspecific:
Andostre (interest)
Litejedi (interest)
The Lion Cleric (interest)
JonGarrett (interest)
Sapiens (interest)
The Lobster (interest)

Thank you the clarification/expansion. I will also be applying for the criminal mastermind role. My write up for the character, Garson Grey, is almost complete.

-Gamer X

How is the army structured in Galt? Are they a government fixture or more of a private force? Are they popular with Galtan citizens, or simply enforcers for the Revolutionary Council?

And, before I finalize equipment, can stats be boosted past 18 through the use of items or would you rather not at all?

Please include Dragana's archetype choices with the classes they belong to. Your character is, I somewhat presume, incredibly well put together for reconstruction, but an absolute nightmare in regards to actually reading it.

As an aside, as you are using Norse/Icelandic naming conventions, 'Magrimdottir' means your mother's name is Magrim. While I understand you mean for her to have taken as a surname that of her deity, defining herself as a 'daughter of (my god)', I should point out several things that this indicates, particularly as it relates to this campaign and you as a dwarf: that doing so indicates with no holds barred the fact that you are a dedicate of Magrim, and pretty much shouts out that you're concerned with the souls of dwarves (note that the 'dwarf that just got axed by a final blade is not even remotely likely to be the first); that you are absolutely insulting your parents and cutting ties with your clan by naming yourself as such; that you are proclaiming your arrogance and self-righteousness before the world; and any other number of generally-not-good things.

I strongly recommend against having a character that is defined and backgrounded as a bright-shiny character filled with righteous fire.

Edit: Please also explain how you have acquired 'three good saves'. You get the best set, not the best of each one.

Everyone Else: Perhaps I implied it instead of coming right out and saying it, so I'll come right out and say it.

This is a conspiracy.

The decision to overthrow the government the six of you have made is not a snap decision by any stretch of the imagination. You must have known all the other members of the group for at least three years -- the longer the better -- and politics is the daily bread of the Galtian mind. Sure, maybe you have different reasons for deciding to go ahead with this conspiracy, whether that's wanting to free the souls in the final blades, wanting a stable and prosperous city and country so that you and your (illegal) business can thrive, or desiring a government that actually governs instead of ruling by fiat and mob-based politics.

What replaces the current (nonexistent) status quo may well still be up in the air -- the Disgruntled Ex-Nobleman has an idea or two -- but all of the characters agree that 'it's time for the Red Revolution to end,' and that the six of you -- only six of you -- are going to arrange for that to happen. It is a long journey, with many many pitfalls, a considerable amount of extralegal 'obstacle removal', contests against rival groups, subtle manipulation of government (and non-government) individuals, gathering of power and/or pushing power onto someone who as far as any NPC knows is Not Associated With You, an insanely constant risk of exposure, torture, and soul-binding execution, and basically the greyest of the grey of activities (at best!) in order to bring about real peace, real freedom, real stability. A future in which people will be able to build, grow, create, and debate without the risk of getting murdered on the spot or dragged off by the secret police to be executed and their soul trapped forever inside a sharp hunk of cold steel.

Please build your backgrounds and personalities appropriately.

Gamer X: Edited in.

The Galtan Army
The Red Revolution has treated the Army relatively roughly; check here for the general, commonly-known history of the various Councils. The Rane Council saw the Army's most popular general rule more-or-less as a dictator and by martial law; the Imperial Council was more direct rule by (more-or-less) the military. They are a government force, and generally considered to be 'for Galt'; they are definitely not a private force. Peoples' outlook on the Army depends on what it's done to them lately; the Army does not have a significant presence in Isarn specifically, in part because of the 'threat' they present to the Revolutionary Council; once per week Army units ensure that various markets are open, civil, and relatively crime-free, and as their training and unit cohesion tends to be somewhat higher than the various gangs (fighter vs. warrior), the gangs know to keep themselves at arm's length (they have six and a half other days of the week to swagger about).

Otherwise, the Army remains outside of the major cities. Over the past couple of decades it has been kept under relatively tight leash -- while the Army stamps out banditry and the like, their primary function has been to hold the border against possible incursions, patrol for the same, and ensure that harvests actually make it from farm to city.

Military officers that manage to gain some amount of popularity and not display enough political reliability are often considered suspect by the current Council (read: Chairman Goss) and 'recalled', often to trial on spurious charges, followed by execution; evidence revealed in some of these trials implies that there are 'political officers' implanted into the officer corps. Whether they are deliberate undercover members of a secret organization (such as the Gray Gardeners), jealous officers willing to knife a fellow-officer in the kidneys for being more popular or climbing the ranks faster, or just people accepting bribes to give over private information, cannot be said for certain -- and is the main risk the Military Genius faces.

Stats: 18 is the maximum before racial modifiers, much less before items. I expect the functional peak would be 18 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 23 at this point -- 18 base, +2 racial, +1 4th level, +2 item.

Fluff for Lucien Fesch, my tiefling Military Genius. Please do take a look GM and see if there's anything I need to adjust to fit in better with the timelines etc. I think I've got the Councils and so forth in the right order.

The section about him acquiring his Black Blade is very brief but without more information about the blade I don't know what else to write. Perhaps it could be revealed in game, should I be selected? A little 'do you remember when we met?' type scene perhaps.

A chelaxian refugee, Lucien never really knew his homeland. As far as he is concerned his life only truly began when, at the age of thirteen, he lied about how old he was and joined the XXth Revolutionary Militia – one of many ‘citizen’s armies’ devoted to safeguarding Galt and the Revolution under the Imperial Council.

Too young to fight, initially, Lucien applied himself to learning everything he could about being a soldier, aping veteran’s speech, mannerisms and even the way they walked. He also absorbed their values – loyalty, honour and commitment to the People. By the time he was fifteen he looked and sounded like a survivor of numerous wars and was a firm favourite amongst the hundred or so men of his militia company.

Elected Lieutenant, Lucien and his militia company were stationed on the main road near Woodsedge, a quiet posting that shouldn’t have caused any trouble. Unfortunately, as night fell, scouts reported a large force of armed men gathering inside the town, in direct violation of Council edicts. The militia captain, Dijoux, determined to stand and demand a surrender, despite Lucien’s objections.

The following battle was short and bloody. Dijoux was killed in the first volley and Lucien, put in command of the skirmishers on the left flank, extracted the remnants of the militia as best he could and led them into the darkness.

Over the next two weeks, Lucien proved himself to be a charismatic leader – holding his rag-tag forcers together as they harried the Woodsedge forces. He also proved a ruthlessly intelligent tactician, developing hit and run tactics that would strike and disappear from every direction possible. He hoped that his tactics would give the Imperial Council a chance to regroup and respond, but political apathy and military inertia ensured that his efforts were in vain. When the Woodsedge council finally reached Isarn, nearly two weeks late, and declared themselves the Council of Enlightenment, proclaiming a return to the fundamental values of the revolution, they demanded that the ‘rebel commander’ turn himself in immediately to face the ‘people’s justice’.

Lucien determined to remain in hiding and continue the resistance but the militia’s supporting mages, tired of the hardship and deprivation, betrayed him and Lucien was arrested and hauled before the new People’s Council. Surprisingly the Council, under the leadership of Comrade Marat, declined to send him to the Final Blade and instead recruited and promoted him – impressed by both his tactical ability and his loyalty to the Revolution.

Returning to his company as a Lieutenant Colonel, Lucien acted quickly to round up the traitorous mages and dismissed them from the army – confiscating their spellbooks and other goods in the process. In the months of comparative peace that followed Lucien set to study, reading many of the mages books in an attempt to broaden his mind and education.

This led to his discovering his own magical talent. While he struggled with much of the more technical magic, he found a certain aptitude to straight-forward battle magic and actually recalled one of the mages, Dubois, to help train him in the arcane arts. His natural intelligence served him well and Lucien was soon as proficient with magic as he was with his chosen weapon – the glaive.

Originally this had been a matter of expediency – as one of the youngest militia members Lucien lacked the strength and reach to fight with a sword or axe. The glaive and constant movement helped to make up for these shortcomings, giving him a chance of holding his own in actual combat. As he grew older, the glaive simply stuck – he found himself used to fighting with it and he kept it, even when he could have his pick of swords.

Dubois, as well as being a capable battle mage, was a devout Shelynite and volunteered to spar with Lucien. As he learned more of the fluid styles practised by Shelynites Lucien became increasingly fascinated with the teachings of the Eternal Rose. Previously he had paid lip service to the usual gods of soldiers – Iomedae for honour, Torag for Strategy, Gorum for bravery in the fight, but Shelyn’s focus on righteousness and the meaning of actions resonated deeply with a soul which was by now disgusted with the constantly changing Councils and their progressively more brutal policies.

The night after he had officially joined the Church of Shelyn that Lucien found a mysterious gift. A long, ebon black glaive which was waiting for him as he returned from the service. Understandably wary after his betrayal, Lucien applied all of his and Dubois’ magical knowledge to determining what the blade was but eventually took it in hand – only to find that the weapon had a keen intelligence all of its own! Even more surprisingly this new intelligence, ‘Aroha’, shared many of his views on art, beauty and the importance of human life.

This new friend, and refining his steadily increasing magical powers, occupied Lucien’s time and thoughts for some years as the situation in Galt deteriorated. He and his regiment, the XXIst ‘Devil’s Children’ as they called themselves, remained loyal and efficient when the Council of Skulls took over, building a reputation for reliability and trustworthiness. All the while however Lucien and Aroha became, quietly, more and more uncomfortable with the state of his homeland and when the Red Raven unmasked the Council of Skulls as necromancers Lucien finally broke.

Korran Goss seemed like a breath of fresh air, and Lucien held his despair in check for a while as the New Revolutionary Council began its work, but as the bodies mounted and the souls within the final Blades moaned ever-louder Lucien made up his mind. Galt was broken, almost beyond repair. The Revolution had failed, and every council simply took power for what they could snatch for themselves.

That was eight years ago. Now in his early thirties Lucien is a brigadier general of the Revolution, steadily promoted, trusted by the Council and with over a decade of loyal service to the Revolution under his belt. Intelligent and ideologically sound he appears to be everything that a revolutionary soldier ought to be. Beneath that guise, however he has spread his political views slowly, recruiting his lover Dubois first and then carefully sounding out other members of the Devil’s Children until he has a loyal cadre within his own regiment. With those men and women behind him, ready to make the sacrifices necessary, Lucien plans to return Galt to her true rulers – the people. It is time for the Red Revolution to end.

Ideologically he resembles Maximus from Gladiator - determined to return Galt to 'the people', although he's not clear on exactly how that would work.

Crunch and so forth will come after work!

GM TWO wrote:
The decision to overthrow the government the six of you have made is not a snap decision by any stretch of the imagination. You must have known all the other members of the group for at least three years...Please build your backgrounds and personalities appropriately.

I assumed that past relationships with other roles would be ironed out after selection among the five that are chosen.

Do you want us to add in theoretical relationships with the other roles, or reasons why we might come in contact with someone of that type to form a relationship? Since I assumed this would be done post selection and pre game I didn't really include anything other than my character's reason for wanting peace.

Sapiens here, with Jean-François Lemaitre, my 70-years old Evil Lawyer From Hell. Fluff and crunch are up, and I built a law office too, including the staff and a hideout with an escape route. Prepared spells and gear are left undeclared for now, with the exception of the armor.
Also, I was hoping that I could buy a custom-made light mace acting like a cane, without having to fork out cash for a glamered one: essentially a simple length of wood with steel reinforcements in the top part. I could just get a quarterstaff or a hanbo, but since the mace is Asmodeus' favored weapon, I'd like if it worked like that.

For what concerns the reason to work together I thought we would have a bit of "session zero". As a lawyer, he may have come into contact with all sorts of people, from any walk of life. Perhaps he could have defended another PC that was accused of sedition, and proved him innocent though discovering that they were actually trying to overthrow the government? Or perhaps the Criminal Mastermind needed some legal assistance for their absolutely legitimate business?

Hey hey hey I don't appreciate that tone. Lily's business IS completely legitimate. It's the rest of her life that isn't. XD

Definitely *very* interested. Vive la révolution!

You wrote in an earlier post that you discourage the Military Genius to have a masked persona... Could I argue that, if the intent is to play an "utterly reliable, dependable, available, trustworthy [...] paragon of the state", having a proper alternate identity would allow the character to act without risking his reputation?

Specifically, I am considering a Fighter/Vigilante, but obviously, if this would play against my chances of being selected, I will reconsider!

I'm intending to try for The Disgruntled Ex-Nobleman position. It's something of a process of elimination, I'm afraid - but it works wonderfully with my Rebellion persona.

Full crunch for Lucien is here, I'll marry them up and make an alias if selected. :)


Black Blade:
NG Medium Glaive
Arcane Pool: 2 (1+Int).
Skills: Knw Arcana: +5 (1 rank, +1 Int, +3 class), Perception -1 (-1 Wis).
Languages: Common, 1.

Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 8
Ego: 8

Alertness (Ex): While a magus is wielding his black blade, he gains the Alertness feat.
Black Blade Strike (Sp): As a free action, the magus can spend a point from the black blade’s arcane pool to grant the black blade a +1 bonus on damage rolls for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, this ability gives the black blade another +1 on damage rolls.
Telepathy (Su): While a magus is wielding or carrying his black blade, he can communicate telepathically with the blade in a language that the magus and the black blade share.
Unbreakable (Ex): As long as it has at least 1 point in its arcane pool, a black blade is immune to the broken condition. If broken, the black blade is unconscious and powerless until repaired. If destroyed, the black blade can be reforged 1 week later through a special ritual that costs 200 gp per magus level. The ritual takes 24 hours to complete.
Energy Attunement (Su): At 5th level, as a free action, a magus can spend a point of his black blade’s arcane pool to have it deal one of the following types of damage instead of weapon damage: cold, electricity, or fire. He can spend 2 points from the black blade’s arcane pool to deal sonic or force damage instead of weapon damage. This effect lasts until the start of the magus’s next turn.

A black blade is independently conscious but features some personality traits reflecting its wielder. A black blade always has the same alignment as its wielder and even changes its alignment if its wielder does. The blade typically works toward its wielder’s goals, but not always without argument or backlash. Each black blade has a mission, and while sometimes two or more black blades will work in concert, each mission is singular in purpose

5 Elite Archers (380gp), 10 Soldiers (440gp), 5 Bureaucrats (200gp)

|HP: 40/40| AC: 21 (21 Tch, 10 Fl) | CMB: +10, CMD: 25 | F: +5, R: +5, W: +4 | Init: +7 | Acro/Slth +10, Blf+14, Dip +7, In +8, Perc/SM +0/+2, Knw A/Spcft +13, Knw D +11, Knw P +10
| Speed 30ft | Challenge 2/2, Arc Pool 7/7, Blade 2/2, Panache 2/2 | +13, d10+7(+2)+5, x3. | Active conditions:

General Lucien Fesch
Male Daemon-Spawn Tiefling Cavalier (Daring Champion)//Magus (Kensai, Bladebound) 5
NG Medium Outsider (Native)

Init +7 (+5 Dex, +2 (if 1< panache))
Senses: Perception +0/+2, Darkvision 60ft.

AC 22 (36), touch 22, flat-footed 10 (14) (+4 ‘Shield’, +5 Int, +5 Dex, +2 dodge)
Resist: Cold/Elec/Fire 5.

HP: 40/40 (10+6+6+7+6 + 5 con)

Fort +5 (4 base, +1 Con)
Ref +5 (1 base, +4 Dex)
Will +4 (4 base, +0 Wis)

Black Blade: +13, d10+7(+2)+5, x3. [-2/+6 with PA]
Spell Combat: +11, d10+7+5, x3 and +11, d10+7+5+spell effect, x3. [-2/+6 with PA]
Shortbow: +10, d6, x3. [-2/+4 with DA]

Spd 30 ft.
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5/10 ft.

Base Atk +5 (+5 Cavalier)
CMB 10 (5 BAB, 5 Dex)
CMD 25 (10, 5 BAB, 5 Dex, 5 Dex)

0: 1, 2, 3, 4
1: 1, 2, 3, 4, +1, +2
2: 1, 2, +1

0: Acid Splash, Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Daze, Detect Magic, Disrupt Undead, Flare, Ghost sound, Light, Mage Hand, Open/Close, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Read Magic, Spark.
1: Burning Hands, Chill Touch, Corrosive Touch, Expeditious Retreat, Featherfall, Grease , Keep Watch, Magic Missile, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, Reduce Person, Shocking Grasp, True Strike, Vanish, Warding Weapon.
2: Cat’s Grace, Elemental Touch, Glitterdust, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Scorching Ray, Spider Climb, Web

Str 10 (0)
Dex 20 (+5) (15 base, +2 racial, +1 level 4, +2 Enhancement)
Con 12 (+1)
Int 20 (+5) (15 base, +2 racial, +1 level 4, +2 Enhancement)
Wis 10 (0) (12 base, -2 racial)
Cha 15 (+2)

Feat Taxes (free): Power Attack, Deadly Aim, Combat Expertise, Agile Maneuvers, Point Blank Shot (for pre-reqs only), Weapon Finesse. Weapon Focus and other feats based on one weapon apply to all weapons in the appropriate fighter group.
Skill Focus (Profession Soldier) [Level 1 campaign bonus]: You get a +3 bonus on all checks involving the chosen skill. If you have 10 or more ranks in that skill, this bonus increases to +6.
Weapon Focus (Glaive) [Kensai 1 bonus feat]: You gain a +1 bonus on all attack rolls you make using the selected weapon.
Stealth Synergy [Cavalier 1 bonus feat]: While you can see one or more allies who also have this feat, whenever you and your allies make a Stealth check, you all take the highest roll and add all your modifiers to Stealth.
Bladed Brush [Level 1 Feat]: You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to attack rolls with a glaive sized for you, even though it isn’t a light weapon. When wielding a glaive, you can treat it as a one-handed piercing or slashing melee weapon and as if you were not making attacks with your off-hand for all feats and class abilities that require such a weapon (such as a duelist’s or swashbuckler’s precise strike).
As a move action, you can shorten your grip on the glaive, treating it as though it lacked the reach weapon property. You can adjust your grip to grant the weapon the reach property as a move action.
Combat Casting [Level 3]: You get a +4 bonus on concentration checks made to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability when casting on the defensive or while grappled.
Slashing Grace [Level 3 campaign bonus]: Choose one kind of light or one-handed slashing weapon (such as the longsword). When wielding your chosen weapon one-handed, you can treat it as a one-handed piercing melee weapon for all feats and class abilities that require such a weapon (such as a swashbuckler’s or a duelist’s precise strike) and you can add your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to that weapon’s damage. The weapon must be one appropriate for your size.
You do not gain this benefit while fighting with two weapons or using flurry of blows, or any time another hand is otherwise occupied.
Alertness [while holding Black Blade]: You get a +2 bonus on Perception and Sense Motive skill checks. If you have 10 or more ranks in one of these skills, the bonus increases to +4 for that skill.
Dodge [Level 5]: You gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC that improves to +4 versus attacks of opportunity provoked by your own motion.
Flagbearer [Magus 5 bonus]: As long as you hold your clan, house, or party’s flag, members of that allegiance within 30 feet who can see the flag (including yourself ) gain a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and saving throws against fear and charm effects. You must hold the flag in one hand in order to grant this bonus. If the standard is taken by the enemy or destroyed, this bonus becomes a penalty, affecting all creatures that the bonus previously affected for 1 hour (or until you reclaim the lost flag).

Rising Star (Campaign): 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.
Bandit Military Genius (Regional): Choose one Profession skill (Soldier) and one ability score other than Wisdom (Intelligence). You add that ability score’s modifier in addition to your Wisdom modifier on checks with the chosen Profession skill.
Defensive Strategist (Religion): You aren’t flat-footed during a surprise round that you don’t get to act in or before you get to act at the start of a battle
Betrayed (Drawback): You roll twice and take the lower result on Sense Motive checks to get hunches. You cannot reroll this result, even if you have another ability that would normally allow you to do so.

Acrobatics +10 (5 ranks, +5 Dex)
Appraise* +13 (5 ranks, +5 Int, +3 class)
Bluff +14 (5 ranks, +2 Cha, +3 class, +4 racial)
Diplomacy +7 (2 ranks, +2 Cha, +3 class)
Intimidate +8 (3 ranks, +2 Cha, +3 class)
Knowledge (Arcana) +13 (5 ranks, +5 Int, +3 class)
Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +11 (3 ranks, +5 Int, +3 class)
Knowledge (Engineering)* +6 (1 rank, +5 Int)
Knowledge (Geography)* +7 (2 ranks, +5 Int)
Knowledge (History)* +7 (2 ranks, +5 Int)
Knowledge (Planes) +10 (2 ranks, +5 Int, +3 class)
Perception +0/+2 (0 ranks, +0 Wis, +2 feat)
Profession (Soldier)* +16 (5 ranks, +0 Wis, +5 Int, +3 class, +3 feat)
Sense Motive +0/+2 (0 ranks, +0 Wis, +2 feat. Must roll twice and take lowest result for hunches.)
Spellcraft +13 (5 ranks, +5 Int, +3 class)
Stealth +10 (5 ranks, +5 Int)

Total Points: 50 [5x(4 Cavalier + 1 Magus + 5 Int)]
AC penalty is 0

Common, Infernal, Dwarven, Hallit, Elven, Halfling, Celestial

+2 Black Blade Glaive (free) [10lbs]
Headband of Vast Intelligence (4000gp) [2lbs] Knowledge Arcana, Celestial.
Belt of Incredible Dexterity (4000gp) [2lbs]
Handy Haversack (2000gp) [5lbs]
Shortbow (30gp) + 100 arrows (5gp) [2+3lbs] (Only carries 20 available, others in HHS)
Magi Kit: This includes a backpack, a bedroll, a belt pouch, a flint and steel, ink, an inkpen, an iron pot, a mess kit, rope, soap, a spell component pouch, torches (10), trail rations (5 days), and a waterskin. (22gp) [31lbs] (all in HHS)
Flag (10gp)
2 Potions of CLW (100gp)
(270 spent on forces.)

77 gold 0 silver 0 copper
Weight Carried: 22lbs.

Beguiling Liar: Many tieflings find that the best way to get along in the world is to tell others what they want to hear. These tieflings’ practice of telling habitual falsehoods grants them a +4 racial bonus on Bluff checks to convince an opponent that what they are saying is true when they tell a lie. This racial trait replaces skilled.
Darkvision: Tieflings can see perfectly in the dark for up to 60 feet.
Fiendish Resistance: Tieflings have cold resistance 5, electricity resistance 5, and fire resistance 5.
Prehensile Tail: Many tieflings have tails, but some have long, flexible tails that can be used to carry items. While they cannot wield weapons with their tails, they can use them to retrieve small, stowed objects carried on their persons as a swift action. This racial trait replaces fiendish sorcery.
Spell-like ability: Daemon-spawn tieflings can cast Death Knell once per day as a spell like ability.

Proficiencies: A kensai is proficient in simple weapons and in a single martial or exotic melee weapon of his choice. A kensai is not proficient with armor or shields and suffers normal arcane spell failure chance when casting magus spells while armored.
Daring champions are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, and bucklers. This replaces the cavalier’s weapon and armor proficiencies.
Arcane Pool: At 1st level, the magus gains a reservoir of mystical arcane energy that he can draw upon to fuel his powers and enhance his weapon. Instead of the normal arcane pool amount, the bladebound magus’s arcane pool has a number of points equal to 1/3 his level (minimum 1) plus his Intelligence bonus. The pool refreshes once per day when the magus prepares his spells.
At 1st level, a magus can expend 1 point from his arcane pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
At 5th level, these bonuses can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: dancing, flaming, flaming burst, frost, icy burst, keen, merciful, shock, shocking burst, speed, or vorpal.
Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the arcane pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the magus uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the magus.
A magus can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends.
Canny Defense: At 1st level, when a kensai is wielding his chosen weapon, he gains the canny defense ability. This is identical to the duelist prestige class ability of the same name, save that his chosen weapon may be of any type.
Diminished Spellcasting: A kensai may cast one fewer spell of each level than normal. If this reduces the number to 0, he may cast spells of that level only if his Intelligence allows bonus spells of that level.
Spell Combat: At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.
Weapon Focus: At 1st level, a kensai gains Weapon Focus with his chosen weapon as a bonus feat.
Spellstrike: At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the magus makes this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks. This attack uses the weapon’s critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier.
Black Blade: At 3rd level, the bladebound magus’ gains a powerful sentient weapon called a black blade, whose weapon type is chosen by the magus (see sidebar). A magus with this class feature cannot take the familiar magus arcana, and cannot have a familiar of any kind, even from another class.
Instead of the normal arcane pool amount, the bladebound magus’s arcane pool has a number of points equal to 1/3 his level (minimum 1) plus his Intelligence bonus.
This ability changes the Arcane Pool class feature and replaces the magus arcana usually gained at 3rd level.
Perfect Strike: At 4th level, when a kensai hits with his chosen weapon, he can spend 1 point from his arcane pool in order to maximize his weapon damage. Don’t roll for damage—the weapon deals maximum damage. This affects only the weapon’s base damage dice, not additional damage from sneak attack, magical weapon properties, spellstrike, or critical hits. If the kensai confirms a critical hit, he can instead spend 2 points from his arcane pool to increase his weapon’s critical multiplier by 1.
This ability replaces spell recall.
Bonus Feats: At 5th level, and every six levels thereafter, a magus gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat, item creation, or metamagic feats. He must meet the prerequisites for these feats as normal.
Challenge: Once per day, a cavalier can challenge a foe to combat. As a swift action, the cavalier chooses one target within sight to challenge. The cavalier's melee attacks deal extra damage whenever the attacks are made against the target of his challenge. This extra damage is equal to the cavalier's level. The cavalier can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day for every three levels beyond 1st, to a maximum of seven times per day at 19th level.
Challenging a foe requires much of the cavalier's concentration. The cavalier takes a –2 penalty to his Armor Class, except against attacks made by the target of his challenge.
The challenge remains in effect until the target is dead or unconscious or until the combat ends. Whenever a ronin is the target of a challenge, a smite, a quarry, or similar effect, and he issues a challenge against that character in return, the ronin receives a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls made against the target of his challenge and a +1 dodge bonus to his AC against attacks made by the target of his challenge. These bonuses increase by +1 for every four class levels the samurai possesses (to a maximum of +6 at 20th level).
Champion’s Finesse: At 1st level, a daring champion gains the benefits of the Weapon Finesse feat with light or one-handed piercing melee weapons, and he can use Charisma in place of Intelligence for the purpose of combat feats prerequisites. A daring champion also counts as having the Weapon Finesse feat for the purpose of meeting feat requirements.
This ability replaces mount.
Tactician: At 1st level, a cavalier receives a teamwork feat as a bonus feat. He must meet the prerequisites for this feat. As a standard action, the cavalier can grant this feat to all allies within 30 feet who can see and hear him. Allies retain the use of this bonus feat for 3 rounds plus 1 round for every two levels the cavalier possesses. Allies do not need to meet the prerequisites of these bonus feats. The cavalier can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day at 5th level and for every 5 levels thereafter.
Knight Errant: At 1st level, a cavalier must pledge himself to a specific order. The order grants the cavalier a number of bonuses, class skills, and special abilities. In addition, each order includes a number of edicts that the cavalier must follow. If he violates any of these edicts, he loses the benefits from his order's challenge ability for 24 hours. The violation of an edict is subject to GM interpretation. A cavalier cannot change his order without undertaking a lengthy process to dedicate himself to a new cause. When this choice is made, he immediately loses all of the benefits from his old order. He must then follow the edicts of his new order for one entire level without gaining any benefits from that order. Once accomplished, he gains all of the bonuses from his new order. Note that the names of these orders might vary depending upon the campaign setting or GM's preference.

Edicts: Galt is nothing without its people and it is their will that is paramount. I must always strive to protect the common folk from oppression and tyrrany. I must be merciful to wrongdoers and show unfettered fairness whenever I pass judgment. I must assume that only the most heinous monsters are irrevocably evil, and must deliver all foes capable of fair trial to the appropriate local law enforcers.
Skills: A ronin adds Knowledge (local) (Int) and Survival (Wis) to his list of class skills.
Self Reliant: At 2nd level, the ronin learns to rely solely on himself, even in the most difficult of times. Whenever the ronin fails a Will saving throw against an effect with a duration greater than 1 round, he can attempt another saving throw at the end of the second round of the effect. If he makes this saving throw, it has the same effect as if he had made the original save (negating part or all of the effect). In addition, whenever a ronin is brought below 0 hit points, on his next turn he can roll twice to stabilize, taking the better result.
Nimble: At 3rd level, a daring champion gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC when wearing light or no armor and carrying no more than a light load. Anything that causes the daring champion to lose his Dexterity bonus to AC also causes him to lose this dodge bonus. This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels beyond 3rd (to a maximum of +5 at 19th level).
This ability replaces cavalier’s charge.
Panache and Deeds: At 4th level, a daring champion gains the swashbuckler’s panache class feature, along with the following swashbuckler deeds: dodging panache, precise strike, and swashbuckler initiative.
This ability replaces expert trainer.
[spoiler=Panache] More than just a lightly armored warrior, a swashbuckler is a daring combatant. She fights with panache: a fluctuating measure of a swashbuckler’s ability to perform amazing actions in combat. At the start of each day, a swashbuckler gains a number of panache points equal to her Charisma modifier (minimum 1). Her panache goes up or down throughout the day, but usually cannot go higher than her Charisma modifier (minimum 1), though feats and magic items can affect this maximum. A swashbuckler spends panache to accomplish deeds (see below), and regains panache in the following ways.
Critical Hit with a Light or One-Handed Piercing Melee Weapon: Each time the swashbuckler confirms a critical hit with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon, she regains 1 panache point. Confirming a critical hit on a helpless or unaware creature or a creature that has fewer Hit Dice than half the swashbuckler’s character level doesn’t restore panache.
Killing Blow with a Light or One-Handed Piercing Melee Weapon: When the swashbuckler reduces a creature to 0 or fewer hit points with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon attack while in combat, she regains 1 panache point. Destroying an unattended object, reducing a helpless or unaware creature to 0 or fewer hit points, or reducing a creature that has fewer Hit Dice than half the swashbuckler’s character level to 0 or fewer hit points doesn’t restore any panache.

Dodging Panache (Ex): At 1st level, when an opponent attempts a melee attack against the swashbuckler, the swashbuckler can as an immediate action spend 1 panache point to move 5 feet; doing so grants the swashbuckler a dodge bonus to AC equal to her Charisma modifier (minimum 0) against the triggering attack. This movement doesn’t negate the attack, which is still resolved as if the swashbuckler had not moved from the original square. This movement is not a 5-foot step; it provokes attacks of opportunity from creatures other than the one who triggered this deed. The swashbuckler can only perform this deed while wearing light or no armor, and while carrying no heavier than a light load.
Precise Strike (Ex): At 3rd level, while she has at least 1 panache point, a swashbuckler gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon (though not natural weapon attacks), adding her swashbuckler level to the damage dealt. To use this deed, a swashbuckler cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield other than a buckler. She can even use this ability with thrown light or one-handed piercing melee weapons, so long as the target is within 30 feet of her. Any creature that is immune to sneak attacks is immune to the additional damage granted by precise strike, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also protects a creature from the additional damage of a precise strike. This additional damage is precision damage, and isn’t multiplied on a critical hit. As a swift action, a swashbuckler can spend 1 panache point to double her precise strike’s damage bonus on the next attack. This benefit must be used before the end of her turn, or it is lost. This deed’s cost cannot be reduced by any ability or effect that reduces the amount of panache points a deed costs (such as the Signature Deed feat).
Swashbuckler Initiative (Ex): At 3rd level, while the swashbuckler has at least 1 panache point, she gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks. In addition, if she has the Quick Draw feat, her hands are free and unrestrained, and she has any single light or one-handed piercing melee weapon that isn’t hidden, she can draw that weapon as part of the initiative check.

Banner: At 5th level, a cavalier’s banner becomes a symbol of inspiration to his allies and companions. As long as the cavalier’s banner is clearly visible, all allies within 60 feet receive a +2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear and a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls made as part of a charge. At 10th level, and every five levels thereafter, these bonuses increase by +1. The banner must be at least Small or larger and must be carried or displayed by the cavalier or his mount to function.[/spoiler]

Apologies, I misread that the Nobleman was an NPC. I'll try for the Reliable Statesman.

Synergy- Garson's benefit to the other conspirators.

As a smuggler and black marketeer, Garson provides access to information and items that could prove useful, as well as transportation and dissemination. He also provides contact with certain individuals of the criminal underground, while his Catacombs Dweller aspect provides contact with the actual physical underground of the city.

Beyond this base level, Garson is also a bard and (secret) artist. This can allow him to be the VOICE of the conspirators among the masses and in private corners as well, without drawing attention back to the others or directly revealing their agenda.

Garson (and by extension the thieves and shadow workers of his organization) can also act as the HAND for the conspirators when they need direct action that can not be linked back to the source.

His job is to be both criminal, and mastermind, and to put those aspects to use to help prove the conspiracy successful in ending the Red Revolution and bringing about a new Renaissance for Galt.

I am open to other concepts of synergy that fellow conspirators wish to contribute in regards to working with Garson.

My build is almost up, backstory in the works. Here's the final concept for my tiefling Criminal Mastermind

Andronikos- "dwarf" bartender, gamesmaster, smuggler and the Creature-in-the-Dark: a swarm shifter/gloom chymist, dipping rogue or vigilante. The conspiracy's financial backer and a keen liar and negotiator, uniquely suited to life in the Catacombs.

@rutaskadis here with my submission for the role of Military Genius. I went with a Heretical Inquisitor/Constable Cavalier flavored not so much an actual Constable, but as a soldier willing to do anything necessary to enforce order in Isarn.

Profession: Soldier is by far my best skill at +19, with Bluff and Diplomacy (which I expect will be necessary for a Chelaxian deserter) at +15 and +14.

I'll be adding building/organizations, personality, and appearance sections for both Zephine and Phalera shortly.


As a promising young Armiger, known for her brutal efficiency and unwavering dedication to the law, Zephine was ordered to Galt, where she was to embed herself in their military operations in a bid to secretly gather intelligence and further Chelaxian interests in their former territory.

Compared to the severe training of a Hellknight, the Galtan Army was a disaster that barely passed for a military operation in her eyes. Even so, she eventually grew to have a grudging respect for those few who tried to enforce order amidst the chaos, and the longer she remained among them, the more she awoke to the genuine hatred nearly every citizen had for the Infernal Empire. She began to comprehend that to deliver Galt back into Chelaxian hands would only invite more chaos; law and order would never take hold for long under such despised foreign leadership, especially when the people held a way to permanently and brutally depose such leaders. Despite her doubts, she continued to do her duty, swiftly proving herself to be a capable soldier and earning the respect of her Galtan brothers-in-arms, all the while keeping her Chelaxian masters informed of her progress.

When the Cabinet of Skulls was revealed as a circle of necromancers and overthrown, Zephine expected Cheliax to make a grab for power, and indeed urged them to do just that while Galt’s seat of power was empty. They brushed off her advisement, informing her that the Empire had no plans to retake Galt anytime soon and thus implying that her position there was little more than a formality. Her faith was shaken, and when Chairman Goss took power and ordered the Army to retake the town of Stavintower through force, she threw herself into the task with bloody zeal, pleased that someone was finally willing to bring Galt to heel.

After the strike in Stavintower had been quelled, she destroyed her Wand of Sending and threw the pieces in the river, cutting off all communication with her Chelaxian masters and symbolically committing herself to a newly righteous cause. Cheliax was no longer worthy of her loyalty. She was a Hellknight first and always, and to continue to allow chaos to flourish unopposed in Galt would be a perversion of everything she swore to uphold. Galt was in desperate need of an unyielding hand to stand against the chaos and guide them to a lawful and just society; if the Infernal Empire would not be the one to provide that hand, Zephine would have to take it upon herself to fill the role.

She served the New Revolutionary Council unwaveringly, carving out a reputation as a reliable soldier through a combination of skill and brutal efficiency. She was willing and able to carry out her duty through any means necessary, and had no moral quandaries about sending enemies of the Council to the Final Blades. As she climbed the ranks over the next few years, she naturally gathered a small group of loyalists with similar sentiments who flourished under her severely effective leadership.

After four years and relatively little progress towards ending the chaos that rules Galt, Zephine’s patience wore thin. The New Revolutionary Council had grown complacent, and Chairman Goss, though admirable in his swift and harsh totalitarian tactics, had become comfortable in his position and cared more for his personal goals and vendettas than ending the Revolution. This time, Zephine has no doubts about where her loyalties lie, and in the name of law and order, has secretly taken the future of Galt into her own hands.

TLDR; Zephine’s only loyalties are to the fundamental truths of Law and Order. It is her duty to enforce those principles through any means necessary, and she answers only to her own lofty sense of justice. Though she arrived in Galt a Chelaxian spy, she was willing to betray her country to bring order to the most chaotic place in the Inner Sea.

@GM I noticed you have me on the list with an intended prelate. I'm actually working on a statesman for my second submission, but I'm so in love with Lily that I'm having a hard time. As I write his background it keeps prompting me to go tweak and improve hers XD

TLDR: you can remove me as a potential prelate and it's up to you if you want to add me as a potential statesman

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... dear god, if you're going to dump your character to the thread, at least have the good grace to spoiler the whole thing -- and use 'preview' to check to make sure you did it right. If it helps, and for those of you who don't know how, spoilers can be nested by using this process:


[spoiler=Title ]
First spoiler info.
. [b ]Title[/b ]
[spoiler ]
Second spoiler info.
[/spoiler ]
[/spoiler ]

I can also see by cross-chatter that I rushed into this recruitment a bit, because what I'm seeing clearly in my mind's eye is not what I've managed to actually put into the recruitment, and this is the cause of some confusion, uncertainty, and internal conflict (the latter on my part). So I'm going to pause on the commenting and get to assemble what's going on inside my skull and put it down here. That'll get posted later tonight.

Very briefly, however, the way the conspiracy is assembled is relatively specific, and while the parts each individual has to play are somewhat flexible, certain elements of them are not. These are what I need to elaborate upon. I'll post again in a few hours with details.

Apologies - I did try to get the whole thing inside a spoiler or two, but the process didn't work very well! I use a lot of independent spoilers and since you can only nest one tier of spoiler at a time it doesn't work very well.

Again my apologies.

@GM No worries, it happens. Take your time and get the details out there and we can adjust fire to fit into the campaign. I'll wait for your updated info to do any more tweaks or a second submission.

Just posting in to say I'm still here, still working on submissions, and now awaiting the new info, as I'm very much interested in the vision you seem to have going here.

Helix Missionary wrote:
I'm very much interested in the vision you seem to have going here.

I agree completely. I'm intrigued, and very excited, by this campaign so if I need to change Lily quite a bit I probably will just to keep my chances alive.

In part of the process of looking at that vision, and the systems in place (particularly use of Artistry and the verbal duel rules), I'm going back and altering my build plans. As part of that, I'm reworking my idea for a social identity for a vigilante build and wanted to check on whether/how the Double Time and In Vogue social talents might apply to the Artistry skill. I'm liking the concept of my criminal mastermind in particular having a social persona as an enigmatic artist (probably a writer) of the revolution who's been recently growing in popularity.

I'd also be interested to know how you feel an Investigator's Inspiration might apply in a verbal duel. It seems like generally you don't apply a bunch of outside bonuses in them, but I was curious if it might be used in any particular way.

EDIT: This should.be the last question for right now: Would the Artistry (philosophy) skill be of potential use in a verbal duel? I'm picturing it for the Rhetoric tactic myself, but wanted to ask.

I did the same thing with my mastermind. Lily is quite good with literature. I'm fluffing it as poetry which could be easily distributed but with her performance skills I'm guessing she might be a decent playwright as well. That's part of the reason I gave her the teahouse, for dissemination of ideas not just info gathering and coercion.

Based on the background she already has, she's not as much of a pure profit criminal, more of the type to have her hands in as many things as possible, sometimes for profit but just as often trading influence and favors as much as goods and money. I saw the title "criminal mastermind" as opposed to just "criminal" so I tried to have her building a web where she can pull all the strings as opposed to someone who is just running a guild or organization. I'm hoping that's similar to what the GM had in mind.

I see her as someone who on any given day could have breakfast with a member of the Court of Bees and then head back to The Gilded Lily where there's policemen in the bar and a cross section of people available because they are enjoying the entertainment in the common room. Later in the day, she and one of her scofflaws have a private meeting with members of another criminal group in the sitting room, her boys and girls are in the safe room down in the catacombs working on the plan for a heist that will be blamed on someone else, all while she has a team distributing propaganda poems.

That's the Mama Lily I see in my head, augmented by her rogue side which has the ability to head out and do jobs herself if necessary.

@Helix: In terms of the verbal duels, it seems to me that Inspiration would apply towards getting edges, not on the rolls itself, but it's not explicitly in the RAW so GM might very well rule differently.

Sovereign Court

HP lvl 2: 1d8 ⇒ 7
HP lvl 3: 1d8 ⇒ 1
HP lvl 4: 1d8 ⇒ 1
HP lvl 5: 1d8 ⇒ 8

So levels 3 & 4 will be the half +1.

That comes to 8+7+5+5+8+10(con) = 43

It took me a while to find some inspiration but I would like to submit Senator Renaud Garreaux for The Relaible Statesman. A LN Bard/Vigilante.

The Reliable Statesman:

Senator Renaud Garreaux aka The Blackwood


Senator Renaud Garreaux
Bard (Wit )/ Vigilante (Gunmaster ) 5
LN Medium half-elf (human & elf)
CN while in vigilante identity
Init +4; Senses Perception +7; low-light vision, darkvision 60 ft.


AC 18, Touch 14, Flat-Footed 14( +4 Armor, +3 Dex, +1 Dodge)
HP 43 (5d8+10)
Fort +3; Ref +8, Will +5; +4 bonus on saving throws made against bardic performance, sonic, and language-dependent effects.

Speed 30 ft.
Melee masterwork rapier +7 (1d6+1/18-20x2)
Ranged masterwork double-barrelled pistol +7 (1d8+3/x4) or spell cartridge +7 (2d4+4/x4) force damage
Special Attacks Bardic Performance 16 rounds/day(Cutting Remark [1d4+5 nonlethal], ], Counterargument, Distraction, Fascinate, Inspire Courage)

Str 12, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 18
Base Atk +3; CMB +7; CMD 18
Feat Tax Power Attack, Deadly Aim, Combat Expertise, Agile Maneuvers, Point Blank Shot
Feats Arcane Strike; Rapid Reload; Spell Cartridges
Bonus Feats Prodigy; Graceful Athlete; Gunsmithing
Skills Acrobatics [2] +8; Bluff [2] +11; Climb [2] +8; Diplomacy [1] +11; Disable Device [1] +7; Disguise [5] +12; Escape Artist [1] +7; intimidate [1] +10; Arcana [3] +5; Dungeoneering [2] +4; Local [3] +5; Nature [1] +3; Planes [1] +3; Religion [2] +4; Perception [3] +7; Ride [1] +7; Sense Motive [2] +8; Spellcraft [2] +6; Survival [1] +5; Swim [2] +8; UMD [3] +10
Background Skills Appraise [3] +8; Artistry [3] +8;Craft (Alchemy) [1] +7; Engineering [2] +4; Geography [1] +3; History [3] +5; Nobility [3] +5; Linguistics [3] +10; Lore (Red Revolution) [3] +8; Perform (Oratory) [3] +12; Profession (Statesman) [4] +10; Sleight of Hand [3] +9
Languages Common, Elven, Hallit, Kelish, Sylvan
Traits : Combat Black Powder Bravado
Campaign: Historian of the Red Revolution
SQ gunmaster, Well-Versed, Way with Words, On the Ball,
Social Talents Social Grace (Profession[Statesman], Perform [Oratory]), Safe House, Case the Joint
Vigilante Talents]/b] Shadow’s Sight, Quick Clear
[b] Favored Class
+1 skill point; +4 human favored for bard
Combat Gear alchemical paper cartridge (12), smoke pellet (3), potion of cure light wounds (3)
Other Gear masterwork double-barrelled pistol, masterwork rapier, cold iron dagger, masterwork lamellar leather armor, headband of alluring charisma +2, boots of the cat, quick change cloak, mask of Blackwood, spring loaded wrist sheath, masterwork thieve's tools, noble's outfit, masterwork backpack, silk rope (50 ft), disguise kit, gunsmith’s kit, oil of silence (2), 10 pp, 47 gp


Senator Renaud Garreaux stared through half-closed eyelids into the crowd as he savored the taste of his wine. Garreaux swished the wine briefly before finally swallowing the mouthful of Summer Red in one gulp. On the other side of the crowd - across the lantern lit courtyard - a young woman in an aquamarine, silk dress tripped over the hem of her skirt, reached for a nearby brick wall, and tore the end of one of her long sleeves. Garreaux watched as she glanced around, hoping no one had seen and then bent over to examine the length of her gown. When the young woman stepped into a small alcove, no doubt to finagle a way to mask her shame, Garreaux peered into his now empty glass and let out a low sigh.

“Apologies, gentlemen, what was it we were discussing?” Garreaux asked. One of the men standing beside the shared table stifled a laugh. He had, of course, been aware of what had held Garreaux’s attention so well. The second man, Senator Delanier, looked as though he might explode at any moment.

You were saying that you do not believe the actions of the vigilantes that plague our nation will have any lasting effect on our society as a whole,”Delanier said. Delanier’s girlfriend or...whomever he had hired for the evening, placed a delicate hand on his forearm. Her movement nearly knocked Delanier’s glass from his hand however, the action reminded the senator of where he was. More importantly, it reminded him of who might be watching. Delanier took a deep breath and, following that with a sip of his own wine, gestured to Garreaux to continue his argument.

Garreaux held his glass out to the side as the servant with the Summer Red came near. He waited until the wine filled his glass just below the rim and waved the servant away. Garreaux held the glass to his lips and took a long sip of the wine.

“While I absolutely love the dryness of this bottling,” Garreaux said after swallowing, “I must admit that I am not a fan of the metallic finish.” He paused as if debating whether or not he wanted to drink anymore of the wine.

“I find myself needing to drink more to keep the taste from causing me to gag. All in all, I prefer the white we had at last month’s event,” Garreaux finished. The Senator turned to the older man, purposely ignoring Delanier - who was growing more heated by the moment.

“From whose vineyard was that wine, Senator Shexlan?”

The portly senator struggled to contain the grin at the corners of his mouth, “I believe that was from Senator Chaus’ vineyard, Renaud.”

Garreaux nodded and turned back to face Delanier, making a mental note to fully enjoy the fury on Delanier’s face. Chaus had long been Delanier’s political rival and giving Chaus any sort of praise, let alone praise while simultaneously insinuating Delanier’s own wine might have a high amount of yeast, threatened to send Delanier over the edge. Garreaux pretended not to notice Delanier’s reaction and studied his wine instead. Delanier opened his mouth to speak but Garreaux cut him off.

“I find it hard to believe that one as educated as yourself, Senator, would so readily accept the notion that an individual could create such a grand upheaval in society. While I concede that Hosetter, no doubt, sparked a desire for change within the very hearts of patriots, had others not coaxed the embers, House Thrune-” Garreaux stopped mid-sentence as the young woman from before stepped back out into the courtyard. The hem of her dress had been raised an inch or two as if she had pinned it up to keep from tripping again and a black shawl now lay across both arms and behind her back in an effort to disguise the torn sleeve. Garreaux turned his attention back to Delanier before the two senators could follow his gaze, “Thrune would have stamped out the Revolution before it even began. It may seem as though I give no credence to these...masked characters,” Garreaux motioned as if swatting away an insect and continued, “I simply believe that unless the people decide to place their faith in the vigilantes, it does not matter what any of these so-called ‘heroes’ do, it will all be for naught.”

When the musicians finished their rendition of “Chant du Pleurer” Garreaux downed the last of his Summer Red and grimaced as he set the glass down on the table, “Truly a terrible finish. But if you gentlemen would excuse me, I think I may need to find a place to sit.” He clasped Shexlan’s hand, “Always nice to see you Torrel.” Garreaux reached to take Delanier’s hand as well but the senator did not offer his own in return. Garreaux flashed smile, “Delanier.”

Garreaux slipped through the crowd. Between the laughing faces and the trays of hors d’oeuvres he caught glimpses of the aquamarine dress. Garreaux made his way to to one of the servants’ entries, took a deep breath, and fell against the swinging door. The door gave and Garreaux slammed face first into a tray of pastries. Face first into a tray of pastries. Completely unprepared for the assault, the young man holding the tray yelped and dropped the few pastries, that had managed to stay on the tray, directly onto Garreaux’s leather boots.

“I’m so sorry, ser!” The waiter said. The youth reached to remove a pastry from Garreaux’s hair, hesitated, knelt to clean the senator’s boots, then stood up straight, unsure of what to do. “Oh, this is gonna get my head on a block for sure!” The servant exclaimed. Garreaux grinned and pulled a miniature cupcake from his coat pocket.

“It’s alright,” Garreaux said with just the hint of a slur. “That’s what I get for having too good of a time.” He leaned forward squinted past the man, “Truth be told, I was lookin’ for a washroom. Guess I really need one now, eh? You got one back here?” Garreaux swayed just a bit and the servant grabbed him by the arm.

“Yea-yes, ser. Just around the corner and up the stairs at the end of the hall. D’you need help finding your way?”

“No, no, I can find my own way. The way I see it, we both might not want anyone finding out about this, eh?” Garreaux grinned again and stumbled down the hall.

With the washroom door closed and locked, Garreaux stripped out of his coat and slacks. Revealing a second pair of charcoal leggings as well as a matching lamellar vest over an umber shirt. Tucked into a a belt holster was a double-barrelled pistol carved from wood so dark it could easily be confused with obsidian. Earlier in the evening, Garreaux had applied a magical concoction designed specifically to quiet the firing of the gun to the pistol. By his estimate, the effects of the oil of silence would remain active for no more than twenty minutes.

Garreaux kicked at the baseboard below the single window and one end of the board popped out just enough for him to pull the board the rest of the way with his hands. Garreaux shoved his clothes inside the hole and pulled a cloth bundle from inside the wall. He unrolled the bundle to reveal that the cloth was, in fact, a gray cloak wrapped around a thin sword in its scabbard. Garreaux clasped the sword sheath to his hip - opposite of the pistol. With a flurry, he affixed the cloak to his shoulders and uttered a single command word.

In an instant, Garreaux’s hair darkened from its natural gray coloring to a deep auburn and lengthened to his shoulders. An ebony mask - carved into the likeness of a frenzied satyr - covered Garreaux’s slid into place over his own face and a tuft of hair sprouted on his chin to stick out under the mask.

Garreaux slid the loose baseboard back into place and opened the window.

The masked Garreaux leapt from the washroom onto the veranda.

The clay roof tiles whispered a soft “clink” with each step Garreaux made. Under different circumstances, he would have taken his time. Let every step fall in just the right place. Avoided the looser tiles. Time was not a luxury he had at the moment. Garreaux had spent far too long mingling with the other party guests. Too much time sipping wine and glutting on snack cakes. Now, he would have to risk his neck to pick up the slack.

Garreaux came to a halt on the ledge overlooking the courtyard where the aristocracy sequestered themselves away from the common man.

That’s not fair, he thought, Many of them are decent people trying to help in the only way they know how.

Garreaux scanned the courtyard. Servants carrying trays from the eastern door. The band was returning to the stage at the northern end of the courtyard. Right on time. Most of the aristocrats would be too busy wondering what the musicians would play to notice the disguised Garreaux moving along the western wall. And any that were not watching would have a hard time hearing his movements anyway.

The band began to play. With a grunt, Garreaux dropped from the roof to the ground below, landing in a roll behind a topiary in the shape of a dancing elephant. He crouched behind a low hedge and crept along the wall. When he reached the end of the hedge Garreaux drew his pistol from its holster. No more than thirty feet away stood Senator Delanier. His date held tight against his side. Helevelled his pistol and fired, trusting the silencing effect of the oil had yet to wear off. The flint clicked against the pan and a inaudible explosion erupted from the business end of the gun sending a bullet flying. Right into a statue of Calistria.

The women in the aquamarine dress saw the fingers explode off of the statue and spun to look directly at the crouched Garreaux.

“Assassin!” she shouted.

The party erupted into screams and chaos. Bodyguards ushered their employers out of the courtyard. The musicians fumbled with their instruments. Trays and glass crashed against the ground as servants were shoved to the side. Garreaux pulled his rapier free and charged into the crowd. Someone attempted to grab him but Garreaux managed to pulled free. A senator’s bodyguard was chasing a bonus and swung a longsword at Garreaux’s neck. he batted the sword away and tumbled past the man.

Where are you? Garreaux thought.

An instant later he spotted Delanie alone. Back against the stage. The senator’s eyes went wide as the masked Garreaux broke from the mob and raised his sword.

And deflected the stiletto the woman in the aquamarine dress held.

Garreaux planted a boot in the woman’s sternum and shoved her back. Hard. The woman leapt forward and slashed at her opponent. He ducked but the guard from before was waiting and managed to cut Garreaux's arm. Garreaux ignored the man and returned her attack with one of his own but missed. The guard must have caught on for her turned his attention to the woman. When he farted forward the woman sidestepped and buried her dagger deep into the base of the guard's skull. Garreaux cursed and lunged with his rapier. His blade pierced the fabric of her skirt but found no flesh. The woman spun and the rapier was yanked from Garreaux’s grip. The sword slid across the courtyard. The woman let out a laugh and rolled past the masked man.

Delanier wanted to run. He wanted to get to safety. Just about everyone else had managed to He wanted to be anywhere other than standing in that courtyard. His date had managed to get away. Along with everyone else. thanks That was good. It would be a shame if something had happened to her.

Delanier did not recognize the man in the black satyr mask. A new vigilante? Regardless, the man in the mask had saved him from being disemboweled by a woman in an outdated gown. And now the masked man blocked her path to Delanier.

The senator saw his opportunity and tried run. He heard the woman giggle. It sent shivers down his spine. Delanier turned to see why she had laughed and saw the woman coming straight down at him, her little knife gripped in both hands.

Something exploded and a hole appeared on the woman’s dress. Right in the middle of her chest. Her eyes bulged and the dagger fell from her hands. Her body went limp in the air and she landed in a heap.

Some ten feet away the masked man lowered a pistol. Smoke crawled out of the lower barrel.

“You...you saved my life,” Delanier stammered. He took a step toward the masked man but stopped when his boot touched the corpse of the woman. Blood had stained her dress and had begun to pool underneath her.


Delanier turned to see Clarina, beautiful Clarina rushing to him. She clutched the top of her skirt on one hand as she ran. Her other hand she held outstretched like the was a drowning man reaches for driftwood. She lived. And more importantly she needed Delanier. Just a few steps more and he would hold Clarina close and they could begin to put the terrible night behind them.

Two pops - like a pair of balloons though not quite as loud and close enough together that they could have easily been confused for one noise - came from the masked man. Clarina coughed and blood sputtered out. She fell to her knees. Two, identical scorch marks marked her back where some form of magic had struck her.

Delanier looked up at the masked man with pleading eyes.

“Murderer!” Delanier shouted.

The masked man slipped the pistol into its holster and turned to flee but hesitated.

“The woman in the teal- red dress had a partner,” the man in the black satyr mask said. He over enunciated his words the way someone would when not speaking in their native language. His accent seemed to suggest that the masked man’s first language was that of the fey, Sylvan, albeit far more raspy than what a normal fey creature might produce.

Delanier knelt beside Clarina. In her outstretched hand she held a thin needle, no longer than her own delicate hand.

“What is this?” Delanier asked.

“Insurance,” the masked man said. “You should get to an alchemist in case she slipped you anything earlier.”

The man in the satyr mask kicked up his rapier, caught it by the hilt, and slipped the blade back into its sheath. The man sprinted across the empty courtyard, stepped onto a stone bench, and leapt to an ivy covered trellis. Delanier watched as the man scaled the trellis and hoisted himself onto the roof of the building. The masked man paused briefly in front of the moon before vanishing into the night.

“Renaud, have you heard Senator Delanier’s tale?” Shexlan asked.

“Yes, yes, Varen. Like everyone else I have been forced to listen to multiple retellings of Delanier’s encounter with this vigilante,” Garreaux scoffed. He raised his snifter glass to his lips then paused, “Is it true he dresses up like a dancing satyr?”

“He dresses like a man,” Delanier replied. “It is just a mask of a satyr. Based on the coloration, I believe he means to capitalize on the mystery and fear of those wicked creatures in the Verduran Forest.”

Garreaux sipped his brandy, “The Blackwood Satyrs?”

Delanier nodded and downed the remainder of his own brandy, “Yes...The Blackwood.”

Sovereign Court

I went ahead and created an alias for my submission. Note that under SQ I've added that the half-elf racial trait adaptability was replaced with dual minded.

Renaud's profile

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The Introduction wrote:
A disgruntled ex-nobleman. A military genius. A reliable statesman. A criminal mastermind. An influential merchant. A distressed prelate.
The Recruitment wrote:

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.

. . 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 will be an officer in the Army; you must have your PS: Soldier maxed out; the Campaign Trait 'Rising Star' is highly recommended, as are Feats and Traits that enhance that professional skill. Otherwise, build as you like.
. . The Reliable Statesman: This character will be a member of the government, whether a key (but up to now bland) bureaucrat, a member of the Senate, warming a seat on the Revolutionary Council, or what-have-you, and is likely to 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 -- both Moriarty and Holmes had gofers to do their bidding. 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.

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, so make it so that I can do that.

All right, I confess that as things evolved, it turned out I had some particular ideas in mind for the various individuals, so let me ramble on a bit. If this was an Adventure Path with the traditional six books, in the AP of '... Ou la Mort' you would be starting on Book II. And this AP isn't the story of 'there's a bad guy, go kill him' (or at least not JUST that story), but 'there's a society in a bad way, go fix it'. So you might be wondering 'what happened in Book I?'

Well, let's call Book I "The Instigation of a Conspiracy".

The Instigation of a Conspiracy:
The instigatory character, the one who started the ball rolling, is the Ex-Noble; right now I'm using Androk Jeggare, but I reserve the right to change it to Andressa just in case the game would be better with it. As an Investigator (Conspirator, Empiricist) / Swashbuckler (Inspired/Veiled Blade, Noble Fencer) / Rogue (Phantom Thief -- thank you, Sapiens, for that pointer!!), Jeggare's focus is less on action and more on information. Investigator gets him 'Detect Thoughts' as an extract; Empathy gives it to him 1/day; Phantom Thief's Skill Unlocks gets him 'detect thoughts' as an ability, albeit with some work (and some amount of difficulty -- a -20 to the roll). Sense Loyalties gives him a starting point.

All of this is put out there to show how very, very carefully he worked to winnow through his list of acquaintances to find someone with whom he could conspire; the first individual would have been the Statesman, the Criminal, or the Merchant. The two of them would have begun to plan -- who else do they need? What needs to be done, and in what order? Someone who could collect the various gangs into the palm of his hand, whether by browbeating, murder, or blackmail, and with the gangs the common rabble? A criminal mastermind is required. Someone needs to be able to introduce ideas inside the government, or better yet manipulate someone into 'having' the idea and introducing it? A reliable statesman is needed. What about the middle classes, the ones who do the heavy lifting of creating and running the trade and industry and let's face it, the economic engine of the country -- who do they need to be able to access, manipulate, and in the long run dominate that group? Well, that would be an influential merchant.

Once you have the background individuals, you need the two people upon whom you're going to appear to hang all of this: someone who can be the paragon of law and order and obedience to the government, and someone who can get all the dirt on the worst of the worst of the organizations in Galt, the Gray Gardeners. You need a military genius who is willing to play along with the government until it is time to obliterate it. You also need a churchwoman who can bury her true beliefs deep enough to be presented to the Gray Gardeners as a candidate for induction, and then restrain herself for the years it will take to climb into their innermost councils, mouthing their beliefs and creeds while keeping the fire of that distant goal alive in her heart -- a distressed prelate.

They don't jump into things immediately, of course; no, the feeling-out of each new member of the conspiracy takes weeks, even months. The exploration of possibilities takes longer, the plotting and planning of the shape of the conspiracy longer still. By the end of the three years since the last one joined (which one that happened to be is immaterial), they have discussed the steps necessary, reviewed the methods of communication, considered and discarded thousands of potential directions. The morality of doing bad things for a good eventual conclusion has been argued to death; the ethics, too. Every single one of the six are in it to the end, whatever that end might be; for the Abettors, if it means surrendering to the authorities and being slain by a final blade in order to preserve and advance the conspiracy, they'll do it without a moment's hesitation, without a second thought, knowing that the entire goal is to solidify the positions of the two Agents until they, together, can execute the last steps of the conspiracy, end the Red Revolution, destroy the Gray Gardeners, and free the souls from the final blades. It may not be the New Republic they hope for, but by that point the two of them might be able to produce a good government all on their own.

The Abettors:
The Noble's part in the conspiracy is to gather and disseminate information to and from the other abettors. He is someone who can analyze a person's reliability and figure out which way they'll jump. He's the clearing-house for clues, the spider at the center of the web, the operator in the middle of all the wires, to listen for an opportunity for furthering the goals of the conspiracy and tell one of the others to seize it. Overall he's the one moving the pieces, but he has to move pieces in such a way so that nobody would suspect that this piece did that thing -- because it's just so unlike them. The Noble will not have a specific Masked Persona, instead relying upon instant disguises (both magical and mundane) of ordinary 'faceless' people -- guards, servants, kitchen helpers, midden-cleaners, all the people that do the work.

The Statesman's part in the conspiracy is to manipulate the machinery of the government. She's going to manipulate a fellow into recommending troops be sent into a dangerous situation, then manipulate someone else into suggesting the Military Genius for the job. She's going to forge paperwork, buttonhole a messenger and delay them a critical five minutes, and be under the microscope of one of the most paranoid and successful single leaders Galt has seen in 50 years: Chairman Goss. If this person doesn't pick up 'Veiled Contempt' (which helps greatly against Sense Motive vs. Allegiance/Trustworthiness), they should see what they can drop in order to pick it up. The Statesman arguably has the greatest use for a Masked Persona, as his position may well be the most fragile, and any unreliability, even apparent unreliability, could be grounds for capture, interrogation, and execution -- and he has plenty of work that has to be done outside of his public persona.

The Criminal's part in the conspiracy is to keep a finger on the pulse of the commons. Gangs rarely begin amongst the idle rich; they begin when someone hasn't much other choice, it's either break someone's arm for a loaf of bread or starve to death yourself. He's going to constantly have a finger on the pulse of the poor folk; he's going to need to control the heat underneath the pot so that he can make it boil over, keep it from boiling over, or if he can't do the latter, at least push it so that it boils over somewhere useful for the conspiracy. He's going to need to arrange for the occasional demonstration, the frequent theft, and be able to disappear someone -- permanently or otherwise. The Criminal has the least need (among these three, anyhow) for a Masked Persona, because doing bad sh!t is right in his wheelhouse -- and doing bad sh!t will definitely help his reputation. There will come times that the operations he needs to order are going to run counter to what might be popular, though, so a Masked Personal (and an entirely seperate organization for that Persona) can come in handy.

The Merchant's part in the conspiracy is to keep the middle class stable. Galt has had a severe 'brain-bleed' of the middle class; people don't want to invest in Galt, people don't want to make things in Galt, people are no longer considering Galt for anything except 'somewhere to send your Aunt Hyacinth so that she gets accidentally murdered during a charming little riot'. It's up to the Merchant to manage owners of the few manufactories that are left, manipulate the handful of investors, keep merchants -- not just shopkeeps (though he'll be working with them too), but merchants who oversee trade -- such as himself interested and active, and if necessary offer a bribe -- even if the point of offering it is for it to be turned down. The Merchant can put a Masked Persona to great use, and with the Criminal be the most readily placed to be active as such.

The Agents:

The part the Military Genius plays in the conspiracy is to establish a powerful, loyal force structure that no riot is going to be able to overwhelm. Nobody significant from Councils past is going to be trustworthy enough for Korran Goss; the Military Genius has to by all mundane and magical appearances appear to be utterly faithful to Goss. Like with the Statesman, 'Veiled Contempt' is practically a requirement, and the ability to dissemble even in your thoughts would absolutely come in handy. The Genius is going to have to establish a rock-solid reputation amongst his fellow officers for fairness on the one hand and utterly ruthless retribution on the other, so that they understand that any attempt to backstab him or those he cares about, whether literal or figurative, is going to result in obliteration for them -- but that if they are forthright and honest with him, he will respect that and be forthright and honest back, even if he disagrees with their position. In short, he has to build something of a cult of personality amongst the military without it being a cult of personality. And because he needs to rise by the hand of Goss himself, he must be no more than a Captain -- a Major, at most, but a Captain would be better by far, as it offers significant promotions for the Chairman to bestow upon him. While having a Masked Persona is possible, by preference any clandestine work the Genius needs to have done should be performed by one of the Abettors; if he needs to 'discover' something, the discovery should be in clear view of his soldiers so that he can make astounding leaps of intuition to enhance their opinion of him, even though he's been 'cued' to the discovery by one of the others. The true audience of the Genius is the rest of the Army -- and, because soldiers write home to their mothers, his secondary audience is the people themselves.

The Prelate's part in the conspiracy is arguably the most critical: to gain complete information on the identities of every single one of the Gray Gardeners, and to learn the ritual to release beings from the final blades. This may be the worst kind of situation for almost any kind of priest: going undercover and doing the very work that revolts her in order to learn how to reverse it. While the Prelate is very unlikely to be completely incommunicado from the rest of the group, the institutional paranoia and thuggery present in the Gardeners will make it extraordinarily difficult to consistently interact with the rest of the conspiracy. Dead-drops, coded letters, invisible ink -- every tool of the deep-cover spy is likely to be necessary for the Prelate. At the same time, her position is going to be intensely if disturbingly useful; the Gardeners are akin to the 'secret police' of Galt, and the very presence of a Gardener -- which is, note, essentially a 'common Masked Persona' -- can shatter a mob back into a crowd. Given a hint of impropriety, the Prelate will be able to 'pick up' individuals the others have indicated are troublesome, or even those the conspiracy wants to save, snatching them up ahead of the other Gardeners and spiriting them away. At the same time, the Abettors will be hard at work, collating the information the undercover Prelate passes along, smoothing the way for her ascension through the ranks, and hamstringing her rivals in the organization. Obviously, the Prelate will have a Masked Persona -- as a Gray Gardener.


The Disgruntled Ex-Nobleman: Hannibal Smith (from the A-Team), Sherlock Holmes (both original and Benedict Cumberbatch), Nate Ford (Leverage), Aerich/ Temma, Duke of Aryll(The Phoenix Guards, etc.), pretty much any 'mastermind'.
The Reliable Statesman: On the outside, Aaron Burr; on the inside, Alexander Hamilton. Or Benjamin Franklin -- witty, clever, a little self-effacing, but he gets things done, even if someone else appears to be the one doing it.
The Criminal Mastermind: Again, pretty much any mastermind; Prof. James Moriarty if he was patriotic instead of a psychotic; I particularly like the memory of the Mafiosi in the movie 'The Rocketeer', who turn on their employer when they find out he's a Nazi. Lucifer out of the TV show of the same name (which is NOT the same as the comic, oh my god don't get me started); John Travolta's Chili Palmer from 'Get Shorty' (the 1995 film, because I haven't seen the TV show). Any 'reasonable' crime boss who has motives beyond the criminal.
The Influential Merchant: Pick a rich guy from a movie; there you go. Tony Stark before his trip to Afghanistan; any character who knows how money leverages into influence and vice-versa, and is willing to spend one to acquire the other, each at the appropriate time.
The Military Genius: Napoleon is the initial idea, here; Raj Whitehall (from the series 'The General' by David Drake and S.M. Stirling, highly recommended reading) and Thomas Theisman (from the Honor Harrington Books), and D'Artagnan (from 'Three Musketeers', etc., based off Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan) are the three perfect fictional examples, particularly as Napoleon kept the throne instead of giving it up.
The Distressed Prelate: I ... am not sure I have an inspiration for the Distressed Prelate. I suppose any character who has swallowed a great amount of offence in order to lay low and discover everything necessary about their foe before not only killing them, but undoing all their works. Perhaps Edmond Dantès (The Count of Monte Cristo) might be close.

Creating Organizations and Buildings:

The Military Genius is encouraged to build an Organization; this serves as the roster of troops under the command of the Genius. As a consequence, the overwhelming majority (85+%) of this organization should be composed of troops, with the occasional priest, mystic, or bureaucrat thrown into the mix. Creating a building (or a lot of them) is unfortunately rather contraindicated; the Genius and his troops are likely to be moved, reassigned, and the like, and will gain no direct benefit from any particular room/building.

The Statesman might or might not build an organization. If she chooses to do so, it should be composed primarily of individuals involved with the government or high society -- lackeys, bureaucrats, priests, mystics, elite guards, and sages -- lots and lots of bureaucrats and lackeys!! Creating rooms / a building is equally up to the Statesman; early on, establishing rooms for scattered loyal teams of bureaucrats can create advantage for her, while at later stages establishing a manor house of some sort may prove equally advantageous. Doing so too soon might bring the negative regard of the Chairman upon her, though, and what the mob might do to it ... well, best not to imagine too clearly.

The Criminal should definitely have an organization -- lackeys, laborers, cutpurses, robbers, scofflaws, drivers -- even apprentices and craftspeople, not to mention assorted thuggery of both physical and magical sorts. Just remember that these people are in it to make money and feed their families, and don't focus too intensely on information gathering. Having buildings where they can do their work, or to which they can return at the end of the day (and possibly even do some training!) is certainly an advantage, especially if the Criminal manages to insinuate his organization into every section of the city.

The Merchant should have an organization as well; more than anyone, the Merchant can find a use for almost any type of team, from Acolyte to Soldier. Even the criminal sorts can be used to put pressure on a rival, though if that sort of pressure is needed, the task might be better passed off to the Criminal. And of course, having buildings is a benefit -- from warehouses for storing goods to workrooms for various craftspeople, to a place that can be used to impress someone susceptible to it. Getting too prosperous -- or rather, too visibly prosperous -- might have repercussions, however.

The Prelate is least likely to have an organization or a building -- and yet, there is use for both such. For the Gray Gardeners must have informants, and the Prelate is likely to have contacts loyal to her in both her old priesthood and this new one. And with the Gray Gardener being a 'common Masked Persona', that suggests that the Gardeners have ... social personas as well, might they not? Just that the Masked Persona of the Gray Gardener is one in which they spend much of their time. And so a building, a room or five, might be handy as well ...

So where do we go from here? What's Book II called? What's the general outline of the rest of the AP??

The Rest of the AP:
Well, now that the conspiracy is assembled, the real work has to begin. The first adventure has to do with getting the Prelate into the Grey Gardeners; right now he (or she) is only considered a candidate, with there being several other potentials available for the Gardeners to take; the Nobleman has managed to get the list of 'Gardener potentials' that has the Prelate's name on it, and that's where we'll start: needing to discredit the other potentials on the list, so that the Prelate is taken. While it sounds like the Prelate has little to do, don't be fooled; the Prelate has to act in such a manner as to fool the examiners into accepting her for what they think she is -- and the Military Genius needs to help!

So Book II might be called 'The Firebrand and the False Face", as both of the Agents are entering what might be their most dangerous phase -- being under the microscope, the bottom of the hierarchy, the dubiously-trustworthy 'new guys' that need to prove again and again not only their competence but their loyalty. And while they're doing that, they have to dodge any jealous comrades who'd really rather not have such good competition!!

Book III is a long one, and might best be called "Step by Step, A Thousand Miles". It will dwell primarily on solidifying your hold on the true levers of power, on building up resources for the government's overthrow, both in Isarn as well as in the rest of Galt. Pieces must be moved into place, opposing pieces must be converted, shifted, or eliminated, and everything done must be kept secret -- not just from the people against whom you're moving, but secret from the people who are doing your work!! Each piece must be unrelated to every other piece, and set to moving for the benefit of the conspiracy. The Criminal must keep civil unrest at a low boil, still ready to threaten an outburst, but quiet enough so that the Merchant can gain more influence.

Book IV is a tough one, because the issues the Abettors are dealing with increase rapidly; call it "The Looming Axe". Their organizations will be pushed to the limit dealing with rivals, whether those are political rivals that suspect the Statesman is considerably more than she appears, criminal rivals that see the Criminal's organization as ripe for a takeover, takedown, or just a bit sliced off, or economic rivals of the Merchant who see the increase in order that he's created as worthy of elbowing in on -- and perhaps opening up trade with other nations while cutting the Merchant out. Now it's time for the Agents to use their positions to win approval of their 'constituencies' by acting decisively.

Book V is when the final pieces are put into motion: "End of the Red Revolution". The level of distrust of the government and general displeasure with the state of the country amongst the population has been coaxed almost to a fever pitch, the Prelate is becoming one of the top counselors in the Gray Gardeners and learning the ritual to release souls from the final blades, the Military Genius is trusted -- not necessarily liked, but trusted -- by both Chairman Goss and the people; amongst the military, of course, he's indisputably a leader, if not the leader.

Book VI comes after the fall of the perpetual revolution as the characters found "The New Republic". Military dictator for only a matter of weeks or months, the Genius turns the reins of the State over to a well-respected political survivor, and the Statesman calls for a new government to be assembled. Elections are to be held, but the leaders of the conspiracy must find and eliminate multiple other groups who are looking at the elections as an opportunity to seize the reins of the new government and dominate the country once more.


I would like -- I would love -- questions on this. Not so much on 'The Rest of the AP', but the rest of it? Yes, absolutely; the more the better.

So, a few thoughts concerning the above:

- I'll amend my backstory to add Androk Jeggare. The details of meeting the other Agents and Abettors look like they would be best added in a Session Zero, once we are selected: in my experience, linked backgrounds lead to some problems for selection.
- I've taken Veiled Contempt, I didn't even know the feat existed.
- Despite being of Lawful alignment, Jean-François (I'm thinking of changing the name) is perfectly OK with forging paperwork, lying to the government, stealing and all of that. He won't break a pact or violate his freely given word, but he sees "respect lawful authority" as invalid when concerning Chairman Goss and the whole Revolutionary Council: they are inept, incompetent and unfit to rule, therefore to depose them is an end justifying the most terrible of means.
- The Evil part is meant to be downplayed: it's meaning to represent his willingness to do anything necessary, and achieve a noble goal by any means. To put it in the words of Terry Pratchett, he doesn’t believe in unnecessary cruelty, while being bang alongside the idea of necessary cruelty, of course.
- Related to the above: I'm not familiar with the Founding Fathers or Hamilton: the main inspiration for Jean-François was Havelock Vetinari, if he had studied in the Guild of Lawyers instead of Assassins, and hadn't seized power. He isn't meant to be appreciated because of being likeable, but because of being necessary: few or no people can navigate the conflicting laws of Galt as well as him. If a higher social status is needed, I can easily add to the backstory him being Chief Prosecutor or something similar. If you are familiar with the Laundry Files series,

Spoiler for The Fuller Memorandum:
the idea is Iris Carpenter: trusted, effective, excellent manager, and yet a cultist that nobody would have suspected, committing horrible acts because she believes it to be for the best.

Thank you for your update as to your vision for the campaign. It's not too far off from what I'd thought, I just didn't realize you had the specific roles that defined. My thoughts on the above:

I think I can very easily modify Mama to fit in with what you're looking at here, especially as most of her would remain pretty much the same. It seems I just need to focus more on the safe house and less on upstairs. I think she probably still can make use of the teahouse for meetings with the other conspirators, and with more "high brow" criminal elements like The Vice (who I see as a mafia type group from the writeup) but as she won't be doing as much spreading of influence as I pictured I can shift more focus towards the boys and girls. In terms of inspiration I actually used Moriarty as one of my main influences so I think I'm on the right track.

-I'll redo her background as appropriate and add in the nobleman.
-I agree with Sapiens here, we probably need to have a session zero just to figure out the inter-PC relationships, but that'll be fun anyways
-A couple feat changes, reducing the size of her teahouse, adding a couple teams and maybe a couple underground rooms should do the rest of the fix.

Reading your update I don't have any immediate questions, but I'm sure some will come up as I tweak her setup today.

Sovereign Court

I woke up this morning and realized that a few changes needed to be made to Renaud's profile. Specifically, I Bard Spells Known and tweaked his backstory a bit so that his vigilante identity is alluded to be something that Renaud had given up years ago. Something of a Dark Knight Returns.

The backstory is more of am example of his two identities in action. I imagine we could work something out regarding his interactions with Jeggare.

I also swapped out rapid reload for veiled contempt.

Mama Lily didn't seem to need too much of an update. I dropped Convincing Persona as it didn't seem needed any more and I'm picking up Criminal Reputation instead. NOTE: Criminal Reputation has been FAQ'd to have additional benefits. LINK

I also swapped around some skills as my previous vision did not have as high a focus on Intimidate but now I think it's more necessary.

I'm going to redo her background and her building/safe house/organization but before I can do that I do have a couple questions since they might result in additional changes.

Question the first: With your updated vision I don't see quite as much use of the Artistry skills in the criminal mastermind role versus the other roles. What are your thoughts on the use of Artistry as a mastermind?

Question the second: Depending on your answer to the above, if I do keep an Artistry skill I'm considering swapping from literature to criticism for Lily. I'm having a hard time figuring out what use criticism would have alone without some other skill to support it. Would buying and staffing a Printer room (to get flyers out for some rabble-rousing) be enough to make use of it or would it require a craft or profession skill to go along with it?

Question the third: In terms of crafting in an organization, can we make use of this? In the downtime rules where buildings and organizations are found, crafting mundane items is part of PC downtime and it's not mentioned elsewhere. As an example, if one were to buy an Alchemy Lab room and staff it with a team of craftspeople would they be able to work on creating poisons, tanglefoot bags, smoke pellets, etc on their own while the PC was doing other tasks or does that room exist only to supplement the PC rolls during downtime crafting?

Question the fourth: The Favored Community feat - would this apply to the city as a whole or would I have to pick a single district?

Question the fifth: The Safe House talent (found in Vigilante Talents) states that it can be "arranged any way he likes and it can be part of a larger building, like a secret room or an underground cave." ... As part of this, if I wanted to create a room in the catacombs that did NOT have any "downtime" benefit would I be able to just arrange however I wanted to without needing to purchase the room? As an example, a room with cots as a flop house for thieves wouldn't have any mechanical benefit for earnings, so could I just put in a room with cots in my safe house area without having to actually purchase a "lodging" room?

For my Military Genius build, I went ahead and switched out a feat for Veiled Contempt (was considering taking it anyways). I hadn't actually chosen her rank in the military, so she can easily be a Captain.

I also added Building/Organization sections for both Phalera ('The Temple') and Zephine (Military Force). Exactly how they were recruited to the conspiracy will of course depend on party comp and the other characters' backstories, but here are some potential ideas for others to consider;


Phalera was likely among the first recruited; one of her regular clients (the ex-nobleman?) could have figured out that she has no love for the state of things and eventually decided to recruit her. If there's another courtesan in the party, they could have been friends or even business rivals for years before one of them recruited the other.

Once she was part of the conspiracy, she would have been in a unique position to influence and recruit other members of the party if they visited The Temple at some point in their history.

Remember, it isn't just a brothel; besides the obvious sexual encounters she offers, there's also a common room for people who simply want company and conversation, an altar and confessional for those seeking spiritual guidance, and I might give her a rank or two in Profession: Midwife and expand on the idea of The Temple also being a place where women and couples seeking healing, counseling, or sexual education can safely receive it.


Zephine was probably among one of the last people recruited to the conspiracy. If there's a Chelaxian or Asmodean in the party, perhaps they could have had a previous relationship and leveraged knowledge of her past to convince her to join. She also may have had dealings with the Reliable Statesman while serving the government, or even the Criminal Mastermind; maybe they consistently eluded her attempts to find evidence of their activities, and it eventually developed into a relationship of antagonistic respect.

I made the changes I was thinking about to better bring Lily into line with the updated vision. All changes are in the profile. The only part that hasn't been updated in the buildings and organizations section which will be done over the rest of the weekend.

At the moment Alertness and Dodge are there as very useful feat placeholders; they might be swapped out if I find something that works better for the whole picture as we progress towards selection.

In terms of recruitment, the final paragraph of the new background discusses her desire to make changes to Isarn and Galt, and makes the assumption that Androk heard of her goals through the rumor mill or a shared acquaintance and then approached her directly. It could very easily be changed as needed.

Sovereign Court

Lilli Popescu / Mama Lily actually hit on several of the questions I had. Especially the one regarding Artistry.

I had intended Renaud's artistry to be philosophy. Producing works in the same vein as Thomas Payne's “Common Sense.” Perhaps even having them distributed under a pseudonym.

I'll go and revisit my background (and a little lot of the build) then!

I was drawing inspiration from Napoleon too, just slightly later in his career (more post 'Whiff of Grapeshot' than 'just commissioned second lieutenant). That can easily be fixed though - I will adjust accordingly!

Is there any way I could be allowed to combine Daring Champion and Daring General? It seems like a great progression from bold and charismatic fighter, growing into bold and charismatic general, but RAW they're incompatible because they both replace Supreme Charge at level 20. I'd happily accept a GM ruling on which capstone I'd receive (or neither if that's the trade-off required), they just seem to combine so well! [And I believe you suggested earlier that the campaign would cap in the high teens so we wouldn't even get level 20 abilities?]

Also - regarding saves, doesn't one take the best for each individual save (so if one class has good fort and ref and the other has good will then you end up with all three good)?

How public is Androk Jeggare? I ask because the Second Decree reads:

Second Decree:
Any member of the following houses shall have all their assets seized, save for a dwelling with no more than two rooms and 100 gp."

Arionne, Arvanxi, Asgavan, Atenaar, Aulamaxa, Aulorian, Cemaine, Chard, Charthagnion, Chillarth, Ciucci, Davian, Delronge, Dioso, Drovenge, Etrovain, Ghival, Grulios, Henderthane, Ici, Imvius, Jarvis, Jeggare, Jentis, Jhaltero, Julistarc, Khollarix, Leroung, Lorialn, Mezinas, Mhartis, Mironeth, Missepe, Napaciza, Narikopolus, Nolmon, Nymmis, Oberigo, Phandros, Rasdovian, Rosala, Rufano, Rustachas, Salisfer, Sarini, Seidraith, Starnon, Tanessen, Thrune, Tilernos, Ucarlaar, Ulvauno, Vashnarstill, Victocora, Vitaron, Xerysis

So, was this decree a one-time thing when the Red Revolution first started, or is it ongoing? If it's the latter, does that mean that Androk Jeggare had to publicly renounce his nobility, or does he remain in Galt in secret?

My original vision for my character was to be related to a former ruling house of Galt and/or Cheliax, but I worry that the First and Second Decrees made that character concept unfeasible.

Andronikos is coming along, should be ready in the next few days.

Phew. Plenty to try to answer. And I am indeed working on it; my apologies for the delay. And while I will have a full post for you tomorrow, a couple of things I had a chance to work on now:

Backstories and Roles:
Nobody needs to revise anything to include Jeggare or each other; first meeting each other, at least for the first few encounters, might be entirely in the 'safe space' controlled by Jeggare (i.e. a portion of his safe house), with interactions outside of the Verifier's reach only carefully developing beyond that, as you each grew to trust each other. If you want to include 'Due to PC's interaction with the government / middle class / commons, he knew the Statesman / Merchant / Criminal by reputation and occasional greeting' -- and if, after selection, the other person wants it to be more than just facial recognition at parties, you can do that.

The roles and activities ... I suppose may seem pretty well-defined, but there's a lot of wiggle room in each -- especially since the Masked Personas of these three are going to be doing the dirty work of both each other and of the two Agents. The areas-of-focus have a lot of overlap, and it is expected that they will form contacts in each others' 'social class domains', and potentially have contacts in them even now. The criminal can have a business for a 'front', no matter whether that front is a bar, bordello, bakery, or butcher shop. What I mean to say is, 'Don't slice off a major part of your idea just because you don't think it fits into the above' -- because it probably does anyhow. Though I am an assh0le, I am flexible, and recognize good ideas when I see them.

I'm perfectly good with a Lawful character being a rebel; point of fact, the Nobleman is/will at the very least have leanings towards LG, and will be a devotee of either Eritrice, the empyreal lady of debate (who is all for passing secret messages if necessary), or else of Kelinahat, the empyreal lady of spying. And if I'd not wanted Evil, I wouldn't've allowed it. Sapiens, I do like your sense of it, the difference between unnecessary and necessary cruelty -- and your example of Vetinari, which is a very good one.

As a note, players should not make their PCs Notable Anyone, whether that's General, Colonel, Guild Head, or Chief Prosecutor; if you do that, it'd be like starting this campaign out the day of the overthrow: there's practically no story left to tell. If you're going to be in the public eye, be someone who's dodged the promotion, who hasn't put themselves forth, who's allowed others to take credit for their ideas and victories -- and who as a result has kept their head on their neck when someone or another pointed a finger at the fellow who stuck their neck out too far. So if you're going to be Havelock Vetinari, be him before he took over from the previous Patrician.

Artistry / Perform / Craft Skills:
Everyone can have reason to possess the background skills; all three Manipulators are in position to craft messages specifically for the classes with whom they most interact -- and as all three Manipulators are interacting with great frequency, they can create things that may resonate with the other two levels of society. In my personal opinion, the one who can use the skills the most will actually be the Criminal, whether by putting out a cartoon a day or by writing a weekly ditty -- the 'Ou la Mort' version of 'Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!' -- in support or mockery of recent events; the Criminal has the largest audience to develop influence over, and using these skills is one of the most effective tools to do this. As an aside, buying a Printer room and staffing it (craftspeople are probably the best team for this, but bureaucrats are as good -- while a team of laborers overseen by a sage could make use of two Printers) would be an excellent use of resources in this vein.

Regarding the two 'message' skills (Criticism and Philosophy) as compared to what I've put down as 'method' skills (literature, musical composition, playwriting, the various appropriate Craft skills), and the Performance skills, a few notes. You can use Crit and Philo straight-up as Method as well; you'd then not be concealing your intent at all, and everything would depend on that one skill. Instead of writing a mocking song, you'd be writing directly about your topic, as was done originally by Hosetter and Darl Jubanich to write their essays and screeds attacking the divine right of kings in general and Cheliax in particular; both of them would have been using Criticism without shrouding it at all. It is notable that both of them wrote against the current status quo without writing about what should replace it.

However, all of the characters, even the Prelate, can make use of the skills in swaying the individuals in their particular 'area of concern', even if they don't actually produce an actual product. The Prelate (and to a lesser extent the Military Genius) really need to watch their step, and can take these skills to use in conversation instead of actually writing something down. Perform, of course, could be especially useful for these two, particularly the three Perform skills that play into verbal duels: Act, Comedy, and Oratory.


That's all for now; more tomorrow.

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