Diners and Dragons: A Modern Fantasy Campaign

Game Master VixieMoondew

A modern campaign with heavy fantasy flavor; our heroes decide to take a break from desk jobs, retail, and food service to take a chance on the original gig economy: becoming adventurers!

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Howdy folks! So I'm considering running a game I've been thinking about for ages now. The setting is a blend of Modern and Fantasy; for example:

-Casters gesture on their smartphones (with different apps/models for different casters; for example, sorcerers use a free-but-limited app, whereas wizards pay a small price (to approximate a spell component pouch) for an app that, while clunky, can keep a much broader catalog of spells.

-A trip to your local WindoMart might have you pass an elf eyeing a greataxe, which is just a few aisles down from super soakers and across the store from the grocery department (which itself is currently having a buy-5-save-5 sale on trail rations!).

-You play as folks who recently decided to give adventuring a shot (a weird hobby, but vital and-- if you're good at it-- rather lucrative). You've saved up just enough to invest in some starter gear.

-Combat never really got beyond flintlocks, aside from the odd inventor making Advanced Firearms. Why invent a machine gun when you can just slap a Wand of Fireball in your local wizard's hand? (Yes, there are good reasons to invent a machine gun anyway; no, it doesn't matter.)

On a related note, this is a separate question, but I may as well ask it here:
If I want our adventure to romp through an actual real-world property (like, say, a 7-11 or a Quizno's), is that going to cause any legal problems? Do I need to stick to CostMo and Bullseye?


ALSO worth noting:

-I'm a first-time PBP GM but I've run a couple of short games IRL. That said, I've been playing on the boards for like... a solid 1-2 years now, so I'm familiar with the basics.

-Ideally, anyone joining would also join a Discord server so we can talk out-of-character, discuss any specific questions (about the setting, about "is it feasible for me to climb this wall?", quick questions like that). It wouldn't be a hard requirement, though.


I am interested...


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VixieMoondew wrote:

On a related note, this is a separate question, but I may as well ask it here:

If I want our adventure to romp through an actual real-world property (like, say, a 7-11 or a Quizno's), is that going to cause any legal problems? Do I need to stick to CostMo and Bullseye?

You're fine - This is a good article about it, but especially since this is just on the Paizo forums and isn't something shooting for publication or that will net millions of views, and it's unlikely to say anything about the brands and is merely set dressing, you haven't anything to worry about.


YoricksRequiem wrote:
VixieMoondew wrote:

On a related note, this is a separate question, but I may as well ask it here:

If I want our adventure to romp through an actual real-world property (like, say, a 7-11 or a Quizno's), is that going to cause any legal problems? Do I need to stick to CostMo and Bullseye?
You're fine - This is a good article about it, but especially since this is just on the Paizo forums and isn't something shooting for publication or that will net millions of views, and it's unlikely to say anything about the brands and is merely set dressing, you haven't anything to worry about.

Good to know! A few will get renamed anyway, but only if either their primary function has changed or I can think of a pun I really like (Bersurger King, anyone?).

Thanks much!


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You know I'm eternally interested in all the games, and I trust you not run off after two weeks.

Scarab Sages

You have my attention.


Three PCs is technically enough for a party! I'd be happy to have around 5; if interest explodes past 6, I'll hold applications.

My inclination at the moment, rules-wise, is this:

-Background Skills in play

-All Paizo material (classes, archetypes, feats, equipment) is allowed, probably

-Considering Feat Tax rules??? I like how they open things up. Might make a tweak or two, though.

-One free feat at first level! HOWEVER, it cannot be a combat feat. That way you can flesh out your PC a little more outside of combat without worrying about delaying your combat ability. I may give more of these out as the campaign progresses, as well.

-If you have a good idea for setting-specific rules, feel free to run 'em by me.

-I'd rather avoid Evil PC's, but I can be convinced.

Silver Crusade

I'm curious. This sounds like I could try for a fluffier character than most of what I do.

I tend towards melee centric characters, whether full martial or gish.


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I... I really should try to play more noncasters. But the idea of being a wizard who frequents all the crowdsourcing websites for new spells, in an attempt to bypass the “Big Magic” corporations and forge their own path, seems too good to pass up.

Does the Spell app function as the spellbook/component pouch, it seems? Or are you unable to cast without your device?


Depending on class, the apps provide a combination of spellbook, component pouch, divine focus, and somatic components. I’ve put a little thought into it; it’s still a WIP and very open to suggestions, but here’s what I was musing on earlier:

in no particular order, how modern casting works:
-wizards use a paid app with a fair amount of customization options, but you have to program some stuff in yourself
-sorcerers use a free app that mostly uses gestures
-arcanists use jailbroken phones to access features from both
-bards use a streaming music service (populated mostly by karaoke versions of their favorite songs)
-rangers use fit bits more or less
-clerics and warpriests use a subscription service app that works similarly to the wizards', but the subscription includes dedicated spell programming; each deity has a different app, but they all work about the same
-witches use a similar subscription service app, but it's not entirely clear who runs it
-oracles have somehow managed to jailbreak the subscription service app and use it for free; no deity necessarily owns up to providing the spells, or multiple deities claim to


Wizards use LINUX/Andriod
Sorcerers use MAC/iPhones
Arcanists use Micro$oft.... (And they're looking for a new platform since theirs is no longer supported!)


Alternate spellbook possibilities:
-You keep the spells you know on your PC at home, and have to prepare and upload your daily spells to your device. This process takes about an hour.
-You carry around an actual spellbook and component pouch. Just because they’re the old ways doesn’t mean they don’t work!


Are you expanding the skill list, then? Electronics and science concerns really aren't addressed in the Pathfinder skill list.

A serious thief would need some electronics capability, if not hacking.


All right, I think with 5 people that are interested and 2 more that have chimed in, I can safely say I’m going to put this campaign together!

Those of you who are interested, please feel free to make characters.

The Crunch:
Feat Tax rules are in play. If you’re not familiar with those, let me know; I’ll track down a link.
Additional bonus feat for all PCs, cannot be a Combat Feat or a Metamagic Feat.
Tentatively saying all Paizo races are available for play! If you want something more exotic than the usual (like a third-party race) or particularly high RP, let me know.
20 Point Buy.
Wealth: Roll for it. If you roll lower than average, take average; regardless, add your raw Profession, Craft, or Perform roll (aka, a roll of 23 = 23gp).
Equipment: Have some equipment in mind. That said, you’re still novices who have, at best, cast Guidance under the desk in high school to boost your test scores or sparred with some Nerf swords. Your first quest is going to be shopping for some equipment!
Traits: Two traits or three and a drawback.

The Fluff:
Either acting a lifelong dream or on a whim after seeing a famous adventurer on the news, your character was recently inspired to give adventuring a shot. That said, you had a fairly average life beforehand—you might be a college student, an office drone, a retail worker, an avid role player, star of the local bowling team, etc. You probably have a place to sleep, food in the kitchen, etc. Heck, if you just want to play as yourself with pointy ears, that’s fine!

Please don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any questions!


Fair question! I was thinking of filing those under Disable Electronic Device and Knowledge (Electronic Engineering), and similar. When it comes to situations that will require stat rolls, though, it’s more likely that the bank is going to have their money behind a big angry Minotaur and a tricky, magically trapped lock than a fancy electronic system.

Silver Crusade

Are you thinking Elephant in the Room?

Also, what's the stance on crafting?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Definitely interested. I'm guessing this is first level?


Father Conflict, that’s exactly right!

And yes, we’ll be starting at first level. The temptation to start you all as NPC classes is very real, but I’m not that mean.


So looking over the number of interested parties, I think I’m gonna have to make this an application-based recruitment. Having never GMed in a PBP before, how are these typically done?


VixieMoondew wrote:
So looking over the number of interested parties, I think I’m gonna have to make this an application-based recruitment. Having never GMed in a PBP before, how are these typically done?

You've already given crunch rules, so typically you'll ask applications to submit their crunch so you can make sure characters are built correctly. You'll also typically ask for a character background or a writing sample from another game. The Ten Minute Background is a fairly popular format. Beyond that, you'll see what people come up with. Set a date for Applications to close, and give yourself a day or two to look through them all again at the end, and try to build a balanced (or not!) party of the characters / players that you'd be most excited about.

VixieMoondew wrote:
-Ideally, anyone joining would also join a Discord server so we can talk out-of-character, discuss any specific questions (about the setting, about "is it feasible for me to climb this wall?", quick questions like that). It wouldn't be a hard requirement, though.

The forums do have out of character / discussion threads for games, too, in case you did not know that already!


Sounds about like what I figured! Good, good.

So yes: please submit the crunch and a general idea of your character—personality, interests, lifestyle. I’ve played a game or two with most of you before, so no need to submit a writing sample.

Let’s make the deadline... next Sunday night, the 23rd. Gives a week and a full weekend to think on it, make tweaks, etc., and for other people who might be interested to see the thread.

I appreciate the pointer on the discussion thread, by the way! I’m well-aware of it—but Discord lends itself a little better to a back-and-forth discussion, I feel. But the existence of the discussion thread is why Discord wouldn’t be a requirement—technically, we can make due without it for anyone who doesn’t want to join an IM channel.

Grand Lodge

Wealth check
Starting Wealth: 5d6 ⇒ (4, 3, 2, 6, 5) = 20
x 10
=200 g

-Urzaia

...the name is a terrible joke, based on a title for Hephaestus and a couple things in Spanish.


Excellent! Oh, quick notes I forgot to mention but may come up:
We’re using Pathfinder deities rather than real-world ones. We’re also using racial and real-world languages—so a character might know English, Halfling, Ignan, and Chinese.


Very interested, not interested in joining a Discord, however.


The Lobster wrote:
Very interested, not interested in joining a Discord, however.

Good to know! As mentioned, Discord wouldn’t be a requirement. I just find that it helps keep games moving!


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VixieMoondew wrote:
-oracles have somehow managed to jailbreak the subscription service app and use it for free; no deity necessarily owns up to providing the spells, or multiple deities claim to

There's a "cloud service" joke in here somewhere.

This question is maybe semantic, but has a bearing on what I'm creating for a character as far as background goes - Is this a case like Shadowrun where magic and other races "came into" the world a few decades ago, or is it more like imagining an Earth / Golarion mashup where we've had fantasy races & magic for thousands of years?


Is there any information on the background of this world? Is it a Golarion-esque world where things have simply evolved to something akin to modern day times? Is it the same as our world, but the magic never went away and the British Empire looted magic along with everything else? Or is it the same as our world up to a point, when magic and magical races suddenly made a return?

Or some other twist on the theme I haven't thought of, of course.

EDIT: Whoop, beaten to the punch by Yorick.


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Jon, we are psychically linked.


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Let us be of one mind, one soul...

Turns infinite gaze upon the rest of the thread.


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So the base idea is: it’s modern-day Earth, except with fantasy elements that have been there forever—so you’ve still got Starbucks, except your barista is now a half-orc named K’ralthgar, and you can pay for a pump of CLW in your mocha for an extra 50gp. You’ve still got Great Britain, the US, timeshares, cat videos, etc.

How exactly that interacts with history is a little fuzzy (was Alexander the Great a gnome? are we even going to discuss the implications of historical—not even mentioning modern-day—racism, slavery, etc. in light of the fact that completely separate species exist alongside and amongst humanity? etc.). Major landmarks with historical value and temples, churches, mosques, synagogues, etc. are replaced with equivalents to Golarion’s deities, etc.


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VixieMoondew wrote:
...so you’ve still got Starbucks, except your barista is now a half-orc named K’ralthgar, and you can pay for a pump of CLW in your mocha for an extra 50gp.

...and before anyone asks, no, he cannot spell Lilliadriel correctly, so he’s just gonna write “Lyle” on your cup and call it a day.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I've gotten a rough character idea down. His name is Docta G, he's a gnome undergoing a midlife crisis that has reinvented himself as a rapper.

I have stats for him, and his backstory is coming along.


Hey, it’s either that or get Bleached!


I have a idea for a elf witch...

Questions...

1) What are Feat Tax Rules?

2) What happens with a witch's familiar?

3) What do adventures do in a modern world?


Selene Spires wrote:

I have a idea for a elf witch...

Questions...

1) What are Feat Tax Rules?

2) What happens with a witch's familiar?

3) What do adventures do in a modern world?

1) Elephant In The Playground’s “Feat Tax Rules” are a set of rules that, basically, lessen the amount of feats that people primarily get in order to get better feats—things like Combat Expertise, Improved Unarmed Strike, and Point-Blank Shot. The idea is to make options like ranged builds, maneuver masters, etc. more accessible from the start and avoid taking feats you’ll never use to get to the ones you want.

Here’s a link!

2) Good question! The app casting doesn’t really account for familiars; rest assured you can keep your black cat and get spells from him. I’m not super familiar (pun not intended) with how witches’ stuff works; if you have ideas, I’m all ears! Keep in mind that Traditional Methods are still available—spellbooks, scrolls, wands, divine focuses, etc. The app casting is just a modern alternative!

3) Much like Golarion, adventurers pick up quests, solve problems, and slay monsters. While it’s not common for creatures to attack settlements, it does happen; on the low end, adventurers might be hired to investigate a rash of thefts that seem in line with kobolds’ habits, where on the high end a band of adventurers might get called in to uproot the dragon that’s perched on the Eiffel Tower.

Most people’s day to day life isn’t affected by this sort of thing, but where it would be, adventurers are there to help!

That said, it’s commonly seen as more of a fanciful hobby than a legitimate career—like athletes, only the best make great wages off of it. That said, there’s something of a gig economy sprouting up. Haven’t thought of names for those services yet, but something like Uber or GrubHub.


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Gotta hash out the background a bit more but I'm toying with a Fey Skald.


I like what I’m seeing so far! I’m with you on not having seen that class before—and yeah, I’d rule that Lingering Performance could affect it. It seems in spirit of the feat and the class, so that’s fine by me!


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So, adventurers are sort of like musicians or pop stars? The dream job of a lot of kids, the best tend to have fans, and despite a lot of people trying to break into the field, not many actually last and make money, but those who do become absurdly wealthy?

Seems about right.


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Very apt comparison!

“Anyway, here’s Wondrous Wall,” says the wizard at the house party who just happened to bring his acoustic spellbook.

Grand Lodge

Klyto is coming together. A wayang gloomblade fighter. He is able to use his bond to the home of his ancestors to form his weapons and tools out of the very shadows around him. He's reached the limit of the small forge he works at and has decided to try adventuring to build some capital, meet some new smiths, and expand his repertoire.


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Klyto Ememar wrote:
He is able to use his bond to the home of his ancestors to form his weapons and tools

Curiosity here! When you say “the home of his ancestors,” are we talking a plane, or (as I recall you mentioned some Spanish influence) Spain, or somewhere south of the US?

Grand Lodge

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Wayangs are descended from a group that left the Plane of Shadow.

The Spanish thing is from me irl. My grandmother's family left Spain, through Africa, and settled in Puerto Rico.

But now that you mention it, it's going into the character. Tizona and Colada are coming... eventually. Can't be making the legacy weapons of a legendary hero at level 1, now can we.


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Dotting. Thinking about making a cleric of Cayden Cailean.


TheWaskally wrote:
Dotting. Thinking about making a cleric of Cayden Cailean.

As a formerly Wisconsinite, I’ve definitely seen my share of these!


Cleric of Cayden Cailean? That would be the Frat Leader for the Alpha Beta's in what college? LOL!

And I think I will toss a hat in with a deadbeat engineering student that accidentally discovered a couple of shareware apps for his smart phone and figured out how to make things happen. Human wizard that was just about to fail out of engineering school due to lack of interest! I'll try to get the submission worked up tomorrow. Sounds like a great twist on the game!


AGM Lemming wrote:

Cleric of Cayden Cailean? That would be the Frat Leader for the Alpha Beta's in what college? LOL!

And I think I will toss a hat in with a deadbeat engineering student that accidentally discovered a couple of shareware apps for his smart phone and figured out how to make things happen. Human wizard that was just about to fail out of engineering school due to lack of interest! I'll try to get the submission worked up tomorrow. Sounds like a great twist on the game!

That's exactly the kind of thing I had envisioned for this campaign! :D


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm toying with the idea of a worn-out retail worker that was required by company insurance to get a broad-spectrum immunity booster (because customers are disease-carrying menaces) and they are manifesting the side-effects of said booster that only occur in .01% of cases. OF course Corporate blames them for it, it's not Corporate's fault, after all!

To pay their mounting legal bills, they've turned to adventuring.

Crunchy Thoughts:

Considering base race of human, but using Legendary Games Legendary Shifters Dragon-Touched (Copper) archetype. Alternatively, a Dragon-mystery Oracle if PF material is desired.


Wealth (cleric): 4d6 ⇒ (6, 4, 2, 4) = 16 x 10 = 160


Wei Ji, is that available anywhere online? Anything 3PP I'm going to need to look over and approve.

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