How to Defend a Walled City

Game Master Mowque


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The Laws of Man

I Let no man be beholden to a god.
II Suffer not the divine.
III The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
IV Truth stands alone.
V An educated mind is a defended mind

Azir, capital of the atheistic nation of Rahadoum has been admired and despised for over one thousand years. Admired as a bustling metropolis and one of the cleanest, best educated and richest cities in the Inner Sea. Despised because it is the birthplace and keystone of the Law of Man, the atheistic edicts that ban all divine interference and activity. A major trading hub, the city has long been nicknamed ‘Port Godless’ in varying tones of wonder and derision by outsiders. The Pure Legion, the organization dedicated to keeping divine influence at bay and only answerable to the Laws of Man has kept the city safe for centuries, despite many covert attempts by the varied faiths of Golarion.

However, a new challenge is rising. Rumors of a crusade are spreading throughout the Inner Sea like wildfire, whispers of a grand coalition of religious forces to finally end this sad and dangerous experiment to an end. No longer content to merely watch and wait, many now seek to destroy the very city itself and purge the Laws of Man entirely, root and branch. Where piety and conversion have failed, coercion and force may prevail. Can the city stand against the tides of the divine and uphold their own traditions against the so-called will of the Gods themselves?

Welcome to the Recruitment for How To Defend A Walled City, a PF1 Solo Game.

For a long time now I have wanted to run a game that is smaller in scale (but not in stakes), with a tactical angle both in regards to combat and character choices. A pressure cooker of a game in a fixed geographic area with rising stages in both combat and social environment. What fits this better than a city under siege? A situation that will call not only on your brawn but also your wits, leadership skills and luck to defeat a dangerous and cunning foe!

If that sounds of interest to you, read on!

Game Themes, Expectations:

Themes: sort of a mix of Crusades, Siege of Constantinople, with a dash of ancient, heroic Greece. Bright colors, daring deeds, and dueling stratagems.

-War: Yes, this means violence. Obviously assume the same PG-13 standards of the site (I’m not big into ‘shocking gore’ in any case) but people will get hurt, by your actions or inactions. If you want to always win and save the day (and the NPCs) this might not be the one for you.

-Priorities: Shifting goals and aims will be major part of the game, both for you and NPCs. Do you try to relieve an isolated garrison or save the lives of your troops? How do you handle food rationing? Is it more important to wholly trust every ally or do you use ‘any port in a storm’? Often, many circumstances will have several valid but competing answers!

-Heavy Encounters: Most of your tasks will probably involve violence, so expect lots of encounters. That isn’t to say a cerebral character won’t do well (Nothing wrong with hiring/having some meatshields!) just keep the fact you’ll be in combat a fair deal, in mind.

-Religion: Obviously!

Character Creation:

Levels: Starting level is 5, and you will level fairly regularly
Stats: 25 point buy, no stat can be lower than 8 before racial modifications.
Classes: All Pazio. Unchained for all classes.
Races: All Core races are allowed without restriction, along with tiefling and asaimars. Ask about others, Azir is mostly human but room for others.
Alignment: Any alignment is permitted, but I don’t see much role for a CE character.
Traits: Two traits of your choice, which must come from sources other than Adventure Paths.
Hit Points: Hit points will be gained at each level equal to ½ class HD +1. You will receive maximum HP for first level.
Starting Gold: Standard WBL
Skills: We will be using the Background skills system. You will be on your own so use these extra skills wisely!

What I expect:

-A fully finished statblock (you can hold off on minor gear if you wish). An alias is not required but if you want to make one, it won't hurt your chances.
- I look forward to hearing about some driven characters with strong motivations. What drives your character?
-Why do they wish to defend Azir? Is it about defending a land of free of divine meddling? Is it merely home? A desire for power during and after the fighting? Other reasons?
-A sentence on your views (hopes, wishes, doubts, thoughts) of a solo game would be very interesting.[/spoilers]

[spoiler=Optional Rules]
These are some optional rules this campaign will be using! Ask if you don’t know what these are or how to use them.
Background Skills
Automatic Bonus Progression

Solo game:
This is a solo game, so just you and me. That means the pace should be easy to maintain, and avoid the major pitfall of PBPs. I have found the format to be a very good fit for PBP, as it allows one character to get all the attention. It will be a game for and solely about YOUR character. All the limelight and none of the guilt. I plan on posting at least once a day, probably more, so I hope you are too!

About Me:

I am a librarian from PA (which is EST timezone). I have GM'd a number of PBP games and a few live games. I’ve had a great experience with PBP Solo games on this site (several have passed the three year mark). Many of my other players say they greatly enjoy the Solo games and my GM style. Please check out those games, if you want to see what one of these looks like!
I am big on communication both IC and OOC so expect lots of posts in both Discussion and Gameplay!

Ok, that is everything! A lot of information, I know, but it should help you apply with the best character possible and eliminate surprises. If you have any questions, comments and such, please ask below. I will be following this thread closely, and feedback should be swift.

Recruitment will close in two weeks, August 3rd.

Dark Archive

So, Rahadoum being a nation that eschews devotion to dieties, a character who could fake divine events to influence the invading faithful could be interesting.


@Paledim Yes indeed, although even faking divine favor would be dangerous in Azir, unless you have clearance from higher up.....


So. How do you feel about a deurgar? A refugee from the underground. Someone who grew up being taught that his people were abandoned by the gods, and who left in disgust at the raw deal that he sees from Droskar. Azir is his adopted home, and he follows the laws of man with zeal.

As for build...what I’d like to try is this.

Race: Deurgar Tyrant
Class: Elemental Annihilator Kineticist

The race gives basic telekinetic powers, which the archetype loses. And that is something which most people say makes the archetype weak. So the two would mesh well together.


I was hoping to get to wipe Azir out. Oh well.

Dark Archive

GM Mowque wrote:
@Paledim Yes indeed, although even faking divine favor would be dangerous in Azir, unless you have clearance from higher up.....

In, yes. But the invading believers will be coming from outside. Maybe the character sends a specialized squad of illusionary prophets into their camps to manipulate them.


The clash of secularism in a world quite touched by the divines was always an interest of mine, so I'd like to toss my hat in the ring! I'm thinking the best way to explore that schism would be someone right in the middle, so I have the following idea for a character which could manifest in a few different (albeit related) ways:

Base Concept:
Knowledgeable of magic and respected by those in his inner circle, the individual made a serious faux pas against the local authorities in a proximal land (I'm thinking Osirin, giving the history between the nation and Rahadoum). His subsequent exile imbued him with ire toward his former nation, and his journey eventually took him to Rahadoum. Foreign knowledge was welcome, though more tolerant perspectives on the divines were not, and his more worldly lens tempered his former disdain for Osirion in light of reactions in Rahadoum. It wasn't long before instances of conflict drew his skills and inner moral compass to the fore with the crusade; the secular nation did not deserve to be butchered, but to what end should they consider compromising their views?..

While this character would surely be a caster, I'm not sure which of the following you feel would be most appropriate for the setting:

Type 1:
An instructor wizard focused on industry over battle, utilizing his talents for economic stability. The all-hands-on-deck nature of the conflict had him and his apprentice summoned though, and acclimating to war vs. peace will be an internal and external exploration for this version in particular of the character. This would likely be the most dynamic character of the bunch, albeit with the least amount of relationship conflict.

Type 2:
A collegiate initiate arcanist with intentions of progressing into the collegiate arcanist prestige class. This version would have more nature-based experiences, having received training during exile in the Mwangi Expanse. However, this character branching would see a greater weight for Rahadoum to bend on their ban on religion, having seen a blend of arcane and divine working wonders for good. While not having the apprentice of the first version, this character would probably generate a following with natural charisma.

Type 3:
Last but not least, this would be the most dangerous of the 3 types as an inquisitor, likely of Nethys or Sarenrae, given a bit more information about the crusade. I'd be selecting the monster tactician archetype though, with the character greatly relying on the spell-like ability to serve as temporary allies on the journey from Osirion and fickle "friends" in a land which would be hostile to his true nature. Importantly, as a spell-like ability, this does not require use of the carefully-concealed focus in the character's possession. Counterintuitively though, this version would have a number of close non-summoned friends which, if the magical schism were excised from their views, would be a great step forward in his life as they had essentially become his family. If only there were a way to change their minds...

The concepts aren't that different from each other in personality, and they are in the same ballpark mechanically, but you would know best what would fit in your story. When you have a moment, please let me know your feedback. Additional information about the nature of the crusade would also be helpful!


Mowque have you read K J Parker's (Tom Holt lol) Sixteen ways to defend a walled city? Seems very thematic.


I’ve played in a couple of solo games irl but never on the boards. My Instincts are telling to build an Investigator, definitely human, (not sure what archetype, if any yet) with ties to the Pure Legion.

I’m thinking investigator for the following reasons:
1. I think I can tie it to an interesting background of hunting down, finding, and investigating violators of the Laws of Man.
2. Skills - he will be on his own and skills help advance the plot. An investigator gets plenty of them. Plus inspiration for when you really need it.
3. Action economy -(not as good as a magus or white haired witch) but he has a good mix of actions and free riders to his attacks with the right talents.
4. Resource management- All classes will have problems with this but extracts, talents, and inspiration makes this a pretty flexible class.

I have a couple of questions:
1. Have you thought about using hero points?
2. At 7th level will the leadership feat be in play?

Thanks,
-GR


@Grumbaki- I like the idea behind the durergar but they have lots of pretty crazy OP powers. Invisible, enlarge person and immune to a few things. I will pass for this game. Sorry!

@trawets- I gave a real long thought to leaving it open and just adjusting the game based on the player but I decided, in the end, the city just offered a so much more flexible and social experience. Sorry, maybe next time!

@Paldim- Sounds fun to me!

@Ellion- All are good but Type one speaks to me most. But really that is your call, all fit the game.

@FangDragon_ I have just read it, it was part of the inspiration. I've wanted to do a siege game for awhile but reading that text turned the knob up to 12!

@Gaming Ranger- I have never used hero points but that doesn't mean I won't. I am very open to adding them, if you wish. I have never used the leadership feat and prefer doing stuff like allies and such via RP. That said, I often give my solo characters a sidekick or close friend to help. Investigator is a fun class, can confirm.

Thanks for all the interest, folks!


Mowque I think this is an excellent idea for a campaign, I shall enjoy lurking :)


Thanks for the quick feed back. A sidekick is always welcome!


This is Ellion from above. Zullin Plak is the submission, though I haven't spent every gold piece or fleshed-out the apprentice yet. Take a look at the background/crunch and let me know what you think.

Background:
Not all adventures start with an adventurer.

In the rigid society of Osirion was born a boy who would defy this expectation. His parents of middling means were pleased to learn after a scant few years, their child was sound of body and quick of mind. They mustered all the influence they could to get him into the priesthood. Truth be told, they weren't picky about which diety, though Thoth was what they were happy to finally coordinate; his acolytes were highly-sought for their skill with writing - stable, safe work. In a superficial way now yet important later, Zullin also preferred this decision, for the valuable items in the temple drew his attention.

For years, he worked as a low-ranking clergyman, still an adolescent by his half-elf blood. His mother, Mylah, had aged substantially during this time, and her bones didn't allow her to work as well as she had in her youth, and she'd had a trying one; as a Yerbiran nomad, she came to Sothis as a shattered woman, much of her family captures by Susurex. Mylah eked-out a living as a tailor, but it wasn't until she'd met her husband-to-be, the trader Ekio, that she felt at home in the capitol. Unfortunately, many of the people still saw her as an old desert nomad despite her skill as a tailor (albeit waning). Zullin felt a great deal of guilt at how much work his parents had done for him; his father almost lost several business partners in his attempts to leverage influence in securing the clergy position for his son. This position was about to evaporate though.

Though the direction of learning at the temple were somewhat aligned to his talents, Zullin was a touch precocious. He pushed boundaries, bent rules, and questioned authority on an ever-increasing basis. This led him to exceptional talents in magic which made his own talents manifest in unique ways. His elders were impressed, though frustrated, though one day he crossed the line; Necromancy was a topic forbidden to those of his rank, and he'd altered a spell which should simply have altered the rigidity of flesh to one which caused it to decay. A formal hearing before the elder priests had been arranged for him, so Zullin, ever the innovator, hastily wrote a note to his family and paid a messenger to take it, then disappeared under the moonlight. After all, he reasoned, he couldn't be removed without a face-to-face meeting unless the high priest himself ordered it, and surely he wouldn't bother himself with a mere acolyte!

Unknowing of the outcome of that decision, he set-out West from the city into the arid land. Overconfident, he expected the journey with his scant supplies would be one of enjoyment and respite. Instead, it was nearly fatal. Steeping too close to the river nearly saw him devoured by a crocodile. Large scorpions almost slew him when he was careless one evening. Some weeks out, he didn't know what to do; his original plan was to trek to Eto, but he must have gotten lost. His supplies had depleted, and he was almost sure he'd meet his end in the desert. It was just then fortune smiled upon him. A half-orc wanderer encountered him from the South. The young man, Drokmor, had failed to show he could carry his own weight to his band of nomads, so he had been cast-out. He didn't make an expert hunter, though he was substantially better than Zullin in the wilds. Together, they agreed they wouldn't make for Eto, for it was too close to Drokmor's family, but rather head for Shiman-Sekh. Drokmor was, fortunately, well-provisioned for the journey. Though it was difficult, the near-death experiences dwindled.

As the two talked, they discovered they had a great deal in common. Both were half-breeds, and Drokmor was given to the pursuit of learning as well - something his family didn't value. Zullin taught him what he could on the journey of civilization and magic. After many more weeks, they finally reached the small city of Shiman-Sekh. The temple to Sarenrae reminded Zullin not all faiths were the same, and he had some homesickness before recalling they hardship he'd been through for what he saw as religion's fault for exile imposed on him (by himself notwithstanding). The pair secured passage on a trade route through Thuvia to Rahadoum.

The new land was refreshing, though they were both poor. Zullin worked as a scribe while Drokmor toiled as a cook. After some time, the pair pooled their resources for Zullin to open a business providing unorthodox magical solutions to minor problems at a barebones rate. In time, the revenue permitted an expansion into trading of merchandise and allowed Drokmir to put his skills as an apprentice to use there. As the talent became more noteworthy to the common people though, so too did it catch the eye of the military looking to send able-bodied citizens to be useful in the coming conflict...


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Solo campaigns seem ideal for gestalt rules.

I am interested. It would be fun to do a leader-martial type. Maybe a Child of Avecna Fighter? (child of war on d20pfsrd).

Consider me interested.

Dark Archive

Cultivating my seed some more (I have not settled on a race or class yet, but I think that's good?)...

Also, no I didn't write a novella :P, I'm just piecing together components that I think would make for playing and interesting character.

Background My family is a prominent merchant family in Azir. I'm the oldest child of house <TBD>... and we supply religious artifacts to the clandestine Sacred Cobra auctions.

The head of the house groomed this oldest child as something of a "secret weapon", involving training beyond the mere accounting and mercantile business training of their siblings. It was for situations such as this, and for an advantage against the other houses, that they were so trained.

Motivation If religious invaders prevail, our markets will be upended and we won't have near-sole control of religious contraband entering the country through port godless.

Method Convince outside forces and invaders that I'm harboring a small sect of religious faithful (and then using that to influence them) while keep those inside Azir believing that I am free of such influence. Who is right? Are all in my charge part of the ruse, or do some of them believe that I'm faithful?

Clearly this is a fast-talking, two-faced character who has to keep his or her stories straight. Perhaps they use illusion to keep different identities with the different parties, or perhaps they let them believe they are in on just the right secrets in their life.

Behavior / Appearance TBD

Dark Archive

Reads through a bit of your past 1-1 gaming...

Huh, you've really got this mode down. Does anybody ever GM for you?


@Fangdragon- Thanks! Feel free to submit if you think of something.

@Gaming Ranger- Sure thing!

@Zullin- Interesting. While generally I don't like mechanic driven sidekicks (Like, if you anger them or whatever, are they allowed to wander off?) but it has great potential. Neat character, lots of great ideas in there.

@caps- I have used the gestalt rules before and while they work, I find they tend to dull the game a bit when a character is good at lots of things. It makes choices less dynamic. Wasn't planning on using them here. Child of War is a neat archetype and good fit for this game!

@PaleDim- Feel free to share your thoughts but please don't clutter up the thread with a day by day work in progress. Just send them to me in PM if you want to share (which I am happy to read!). As for being player, not nearly as often as I like but some of my players have been generous enough to give me such opportunities.


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I can vouch that Mowque runs some interesting solo games. :)


Dot. I'll see if I can come up with something fun for this.

Might be a chance to try the Castellan archetype for the Cavalier...


@Almonihah- I will try to avoid blinding anyone this time.

@Phntm888- I have to admit, that was the first archetype I thought of when designing this game!

Sovereign Court

I was actually thinking about crunching up a Constable Cavalier.

I might have something for you by the end of today.


Almonihah wrote:
I can vouch that Mowque runs some interesting solo games. :)

Interesting? They're definitely the best. I am looking forward to following along with this one.

GM Mowque wrote:
@Almonihah- I will try to avoid blinding anyone this time.

Yeah he's going soft, he only half-blinded my character!

Jabs aside, a note to all applicants; unlike many GMs Mowque, WILL thoroughly read and most likely use your backstory extensively. They always say to write your backstory as if everyone in the group will read it, but this time it's true. Put your heart into it and you'll get something special out if you're chosen.


I wanted to ask a little more about the type of combat we should expect. I know it will vary based on our decisions, but are we looking more at fairly large skirmishes, or generally smaller combats looking to complete objectives that will overall affect the siege?

Just trying to get some idea of what you have in mind to flavor a character appropriately, different characters would (generally) do well in each.


@yiannisph- Depends on what sort of stuff the player wants. I imagining more small scale stuff or, to put in more clearly, smaller scales in a larger context. For example- "The enemy is rushing the walls!" Yes, you may (or may not) be giving orders to some units but you will still be on the wall, swinging a sword. That of course is a very basic version.

Does that help?


That sort of answers it. I was just imagining how a sneaky character will approach problems will vary from how a more traditional commander character was going to handle these challenges.

I was just trying to figure out if you had something in particular in mind. Is a more indirect character like a Rogue/Investigator still reasonable for what you have in mind vs something like a Cavalier or Bard that make for natural leaders in these battles? It's clear that all characters need to be useful in battle, I'm not proposing a pure-skill monkey, just trying to understand how often you can use 'alternative techniques' to influence the battles.

It doesn't have to be either/or, just want to make sure I understand if there are particular expectations here.


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@yiannisph- I tailor the game to the PC, not the other way around.


Glad to hear it, and it's sounded like it.

One last question: Would you consider the Elephant in the Room feat changes? I've become a big fan, especially around Combat Maneuvers. I love maneuvers, they make combat feel more dynamic than just hitting things, but they feel so inaccessible with Pathfinder's normal rules.

And with that, I think it's time to start brewing.


@yiannisph- Yes, I would. I don't care for much 3rd party stuff but I generally find those changes good.


Wait, are we using the Elephant in the Room feat taxes? If so, I have to swap a couple feats on the character I'm working on.


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@Phntm888- I'm open to them from players. Mechanics aren't vital so feel free to submit without them and we are re-work those rule changes once you are selected. Trust me, how good you can tackle won't effect you being selected or not (But it can make the game more fun!).


This is like the only game ever, where one could play an Oracle with the Site-Bound curse.

And since oracle's don't need to worship gods, they're not off-topic. He/she could get his divine powers from a particularly mischievous god who thougt it would be funny to have a divine agent in the atheistic city. And to make sure he doesn't leave, he got cursed, so he can't.


Ellioti wrote:

This is like the only game ever, where one could play an Oracle with the Site-Bound curse.

And since oracle's don't need to worship gods, they're not off-topic. He/she could get his divine powers from a particularly mischievous god who thougt it would be funny to have a divine agent in the atheistic city. And to make sure he doesn't leave, he got cursed, so he can't.

I had the exact same thought, but I'm not adventurous enough for a solo game.


@Ellioti- Wow, I've never seen that curse before. Punishing.

@Ithe- You should give it a whirl, it is a blast.


Hello, this recruitment post caught my immediate attention. Before I post a character, I have a statement, a request and a question. Statement first: I haven't really ever learned much about Golarion, so I'm sorry if my ignorance will be a nuisance.

The request: The automatic bonus progression page here states that WBL should be halved by using it, but your Character Creation spoiler states that it is standard WBL. So would you state explicitly how much gold I (we) have available at 5th level, please?

The question: Before I invest time and energy into creating a character stat block, I must decide between two character concepts. In which one should I invest? Spoilering to avoid wall of text.

Concept 1:
In every science based society, progress is an evergrowing flower which is nurtured by experimentation. One of these vanguard is the alchemist Masin, who believes in Rahadoum so blindly that he would use himself as a ginny pig for his experiments if needed. Born in a family of merchants, Masin first tried to join the militia in a teenage rebel act, but gave up after being unable to find a conversation partner who could talk past drinking and women. He joined the alchemy academy due to his firm beliefs that the world should belong to mortals, not gods. Class: Alchemist. Alignment: LN

Concept 2:
Tumina was born in a family who had more money than they deserved. Both their charlatan parents hoped they would use their money to educate their daughter to be better than them, but shortly after her birth, a hound misteriously bearing the symbol of Cayden Cailean was seen guarding the child's crib. This display of divinity struck fear in Lumia's parents as they felt they would be banned from Rahadoum should the land's authorities find out, so they decided to lie and say that she died of a disease, and raised the girl in secret. As Tumina grew, she eventually discovered to be blessed and defied all expectations when she joined the militia keeping her divine powers a secret, hoping to defend the country that had been so good to her parents, without ever really knowning how they made their wealth. Class: Inquisitor. Alignment: CG

So, once I decide (with your help) which of these I should pursue, I will create more of that background and character block. I feel that Tumina is more of a leader than Masin, but Masin will probably gain the respect of his superiors quicker.

About me:
I'm Brazilian and my time zone is GMT-3 (It's 2 o'clock over there when it's 4 here). I usually log in once or twice a day, but I may miss a day on the weekends. I have been playing RPG for 18 years and have played more than DMed (GMed?).

I'm a Statistician and am a few months away from finishing my PhD in Rio. I also teach Statistics for undergrads. In my free time, I hang out with my fiancee, play Heroes of the Storm or Pathfinder: Kingmaker. I'm also going through a physical rehab to go back to playing basketball on Sundays. Hopefully I'll be back on the court in less than a month.


@Ellioti-I'm going to see if I can make a reasonable Oracle with the Site-Bound Curse but if you have an idea you want to work on, I'd want you to get first crack at it since you mentioned it first but I'm going to work on it either way because its a fun exercise whether or not I end up applying.


@Anthorg- Not knowing the canon in depth is not a problem. For gold, full WBL which is...*consults chart* 10,500 gp. Both concepts are solid but #1 is probably more in line with what I expect. But don't let me stifle any ideas.

Also, good luck with the rehab.


go ahead. I probably won't submit

Sovereign Court

Hokay.

It took me a bit longer than I had expected (I kept flip-flopping on concepts) but, I am happy to present the crunch for Leonia Sybillica. A Cavalier (Sister-in-Arms.) Not included in her gear is the purchase of a guard dog. Which is just a combat trained Dog

The concept being that she is one of the Gray Maidens released from Queen Ileosa'a control when she was defeated. Leonia struck out to live her own life for the first time in ages and found that she prefers The Laws of Men over subservience to some "all powerful being."

I could see her going into the Pure Legion Enforcer prestige class but only if it fit the narrative.

I have started work on a full backstory, I just wanted to give a brief synopsis.

Leonia Sybillica:

Leonia Sybillica

Leonia Sybillica
LN Human Cavalier (Sister-in-Arms) 5
Init +0; Senses Perception +6

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

AC 23, Touch 1, Flat-Footed 1 ( +10 Armor, +2 shield, +1 deflection)
HP 44 (5d10+10)
Fort +7 Ref +2, Will +3, +2 bonus on Will saves against any effect that would compel her to attack or betray her allies
Defensive Abilities

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

Speed 30 ft., 20 ft in armor
Melee +1 warhammer+9 (1d8+9/x3) or cold iron dagger +9 (1d4+4/19-20x2) or heavy wooden shield +9 (1d4+4/x2)
Ranged cold iron dagger +5 (1d4+4/19-20x2)
Special Attacks banner +2/+1; half-hearted challenge (2/day) +2
--------------------
Statistics
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Str 19, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 16
Base Atk +5; CMB +9; CMD 20
Feats Shield Focus, Saving Shield, Shield Wall, Godless Healing, Bodyguard, Weapon Focus (warhammer)
per EitR: Power Attack
Skills climb [1] +8; diplomacy [2] +10; intimidate [3] +14; K.(local) [3] +5; perception [2] +6; sense motive [4] +8; survival [2] +6
Background Skills handle animal [4] +10; K.(nobility) [3] +5; lore (infernal dukes); [1] +3; profession (soldier) [3] +7;
Languages Common
Traits Region: Pure Legion recruit
Social: Grim Optimism
SQ Maiden’s Order ( order of the lion [lion’s call] order of the dragon [aid allies], tactician (standard, 2/day, 5 rounds), skilled replaced by silver tongued racial trait, maiden's loyalty, devoted defender
Favored Class +1 skill point/level
Combat Gear fuse grenade (2), lady’s mercy (2), slime grenade (2), potion of clw (3), potion cmw (2), potion of csw
Other Gear grey maiden plate, heavy wooden shield, longsword, cold iron dagger, maiden’s helm, entangling aiguillette, quick metal bracers (silver), ioun torch, silk rope (50 ft), mess kit, masterwork backpack, soldier’s uniform (style of cheliax), animal feed (3, carnivour), belt pouch containing 6 GP 7 SP 4 CP [total weight 114.5 lbs]

Sovereign Court

Gosh darn it.

AC - 24
TAC - 11
FF - 24


Dotting in. I've played solo campaigns before and would enjoy a game with a faster pace right now. I have a phantom blade that I've been itching to play that would work well in this setting I think. Question though, how would you handle classes like phantom blade spiritualist and black blade magus in regards to the automatic progression? Stacking the bonuses get's rediculous fast, but the additional wealth not spent on enchanting the weapons is a balancing factor for those classes.

Personally the best way I've seen is to simply have the bonus placed on another weapon, but what do you think?


Hey,

Quick question: how do you feel about divine types swearing themselves and gaining divine power from ideals rather than from the gods? I'm wondering whether I could have a paladin sworn to uphold the Laws of Man rather than the commands of a god?

Sovereign Court

@Nikolaus de'Shade I know that people tend to have different interpretations, buuuut, RAW Paladins do not need a deity to gain any powers.

Most probably would and in PFS it is required.

Having said typed that, it is entirely up to GM Mowque.


I'd like to submit Iustino, a tiefling of Chelish origins that's found a home in Rahadoum. I really wanted to put a vignette scene, but there weren't enough specifics about really the city nor the Occularium, so I had a hard time finding a good anchor for a scene.

Since spoiler tags can’t be nested, there’s some weird brackets I’m leaving in to make collapsing the sheet easier later.

Flavor:

Backstory: Iustino was born as part of a ritual when a group of young and ambitious wizards at the Egorian Academy of the Magical Arts tried to bind a devil more powerful than they could control... No need to get into details right here. Iustino was used the idea of rejection from a very young age, his mother scorned him as a sign of her own failure and the rest of Chelish society felt similarly about tieflings, whether the diabolists viewing his existence as a failure of control, or the “good” people viewing him as inherently evil. Iustino was sick of the name and fled from Egorian, catching a ship down-river to Otenso. From there he snuck aboard a trade vessel to Azir, Port Godless. When the incoming ship was inspected by the Pure Legion, they found the stowaway and sent him to an orphanage within Azir. Though the orphanage was no utopia, it was a huge improvement over his time in Cheliax, and with education and camaraderie, he would thrive. Showing a knack for learning and experimentation, the state recruited Iustino into the Occularium, the wizard’s college in Manaket. Eager to serve his new home, Iustino travelled to Manaket. He was immediately intrigued by the challenges of the city, and the engineering that kept the forces of nature at bay.

Ultimately, Iustino was not overly well suited to magic, but he was prodigious in the more practical applications of the school’s teaching, excelling in both alchemy and engineering. After graduating, Iustino stayed on at the Occularium as an engineer, helping both create and implement solutions. The now respected engineer decided to quit his post at the Occularium when he overheard that diviners within the school had determined that an invasion of Azir by the faithful was all but certain. Asking a coworker to teleport him over, Iustino returned to the home of his youth, eager to defend it.

Appearance: As a first generation Tiefling, Iustino very prominently shares features with his fiendish progenitor, a cornugon. He has curved horns of a cornugon and spines at the top of his back. His hands and legs have red scales, and the rest of his body has darker, rough skin. He has dark black hair and is quite tall at 6’6”. He tries to keep his clothes neat, but they are often soot stained or bearing alchemical burns.

Personality: Iustino is more self-possessed and well-adjusted than most tieflings. He’s grown acclimated to people considering him more of a curiosity than a true terror, though he acknowledges he’s frightened people from time-to-time nonetheless. He isn’t a zealot for the Atheism of Rahadoum, though he does bear some animus towards the faithful. He wouldn’t join a war to spread The Laws of Man to the rest of the world, but he is dedicated to the continued existence of Rahadoum and protecting this part of the world that serves as his haven. Iustino tries to be a steadfast ally, and remain dependable, though he’s also well versed from his youth in making unsavory choices in the face of terrible stakes.

About me:

I live in Mountain Time. I’m at work most of the day, but can usually check a number of times each day from the office. Evenings are usually a bit harder as I’m commuting and spending time with my kids before they go to bed. Once they’re down, I typically free up again.

Been on the forums for a while, mostly had some games fizzle out, but I’ve been co-GMing a project on here with a friend for over a year.

I think the Alchemical Sapper gives a really fun setup for a city-defense game. Even though the archetype is weak, it comes with serious focus on stonework, engineering, and explosives and traps. Rather than being amazing at direct combat, Iustino’s focus will be on making invaders miserable and giving the defenders a huge advantage.

Crunch:

Iustino (No surname)
Male Alchemist (Alchemical Sapper) 5
N outsider (native)
Init +3 Senses: Perception +8, Sense Motive +0, Darkvision

--------------------
DEFENSE
--------------------
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+3 dex +5 armor +1 deflection)
HP: 38 (5d8+10)
Fort +7 Ref +8 Will +2
Defensive Abilities:
Fiendish Resistances: Resist 5 fire, cold, electricity

--------------------
OFFENSE
--------------------
Speed 30
Melee +1 MWK Light Mace (1d6 + 0 x2)
Ranged +2 Light Crossbow +1 (1d8 + 1 19-20 x2)
Offensive Abilities
Bombs: 3d6+INT+1/2 level Fire Damage | INT+class level bombs per day (12/12)
Demolition Bombs: Double damage and ignore 1/2 alchemist level in hardness.
Spell-Like Ability: Darkness 1/day
FCB Tiefling: Add 1/2 level to bomb damage

[Formulae Book]
1st Level
Heightened Awareness
Cure Light Wounds
Expeditious Retreat
Longshot
Monkey Fish
Disguise Self
Identify
Crafter’s Fortune
Jump
Targeted Bomb Admixture

2nd Level
Cat’s Grace
Invisibility
Barkskin
Aram Zey’s Focus
[]

[Extracts]
Extracts Per Day
1st—5
2nd—2

Extracts Prepared
1st— identify, heightened awareness, expeditious retreat, monkey fish, FREE SLOT
2nd— invisibility, FREE SLOT
[]

--------------------
STATISTICS
--------------------
Str 10 Dex 16 Con 14 Int 20 Wis 10 Cha 10
BAB +3 CMB +3 CMD 16

Traits
Tr: Clever Wordplay (Diplomacy)
Tr: Ease of Faith

Feats
Lv01: Point-Blank Shot
Lv03: Precise Shot
Lv05: Extra Bombs

Discoveries
Alc01: Delayed Bomb
Alc02: Precise Bombs
Alc04: Tanglefoot Bomb

[Skills]
Any skills with no bonus use just the ability score. * skills are trained. (#) = Ranks
ACP -1
Adventuring Skills
Acrobatics (DEX) (1) +7
Bluff (CHA) (0) +
Climb (STR) (0) +
*Diplomacy (INT) (5) +14 (+1 trait)
*Disable Device (DEX) (5) +11
Disguise (CHA) (0) +
*Fly (DEX) (0) +
*Heal (WIS) (0) +
Intimidate (CHA) (0) +
*Knowledge: Arcana (INT) (5) +13
Knowledge: Dungeoneering (INT) (0) +
Knowledge: Local (INT) (0) +
*Knowledge: Nature (INT) (1) +9
Knowledge: Planes (INT) (0) +
Knowledge: Religion (INT) (0) +
*Perception (WIS) (5) +8
Ride (DEX) (0) +
Sense Motive (WIS) (0) +
*Spellcraft (INT) (5) +13
*Stealth (DEX) (5) +11
*Survival (WIS) (1) +4
Swim (STR) (0) +
*Use Magic Device (CHA) (0) +

Background Skills
*Appraise (INT) (1) +9
*Craft: Alchemy (INT) (5) +18 (+class level)
*Craft: Trap (INT) (5) +15 (+1/2 class level)
*Craft: Stonemasonry (INT) (5) +15 (+1/2 class level)
Handle Animal (CHA) (0) +
*Knowledge: Engineering (INT) (5) +13 (+1/2 class level)
Knowledge: Geography (INT) (0) +
Knowledge: History (INT) (0) +
Knowledge: Nobility (INT) (0) +
Linguistics (INT) (0) +
Perform (CHA) (0) +
*Profession (WIS) (0) +
*Sleight of Hand (DEX) (1) +7
[]

Languages: Osiriani, Infernal, Taldan, Dwarven, Elven, Halfling, Gnome
Special Qualities
Prehensile Tail: Tail can be used to retrieve small, stowed objects as a swift action.

[Worn Gear]
MWK Light Mace
MWK Light Crossbow
MWK Chainshirt
2 Spring Loaded Wrist Sheath
2 Bandolier
Shoulders: Muleback Cords
[]
[Alchemical Weapons]
10 Flask of Acid
4 Pellet Grenade
2 Slime Grenade
2 Tanglefoot Bag
4 Tangleburn Bag
[]
[Traps]
10 Bear Trap
[]
[Potions]
2 Potion of Heightened Awareness
2 Potion of Cure Light Wounds
1 Potion of Invisibility
[]
[Other Gear]
4972 gp
Bag of Holding I
[]


Sorry, folks, on a brief weekend trip.

@baggageboy- Bonuses on another weapon makes sense for me!

@de-Shade- It is an interesting idea. GO for it but do recall there are more conservative factions in Azir that would probably look on that with distrust. Not everyone interprets the Laws of the Man the same.

@yannisph- Very cool entry! I know, there is not much of the city in canon so we both have a free hand. Hope we make the most of it! Geography WILL matter a good bit this game....


Awesome, let me run my concept passed you and if it's ok then I'll put together a 10 minute background.

Borsk Redsteele - Closet worshiper of Torag and resident blacksmith. Phantom blade guided by an ancestor(his phantom) he answers the call to defend the city he calls home.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Been chewing this one over for a bit. I am currently leaning towards Myrmidarch Magus. He follows the Laws of Man but privately thinks the rejection of the gods is overrated; however, he loves Rahadoum and the people who live there and will defend it to the death.

I am nervous about getting something in by the deadline with GenCon being this week, though.


@baggageboy- Go for it, although I am curious why a secret worshiper wants to defend a city that has a all powerful secret police that punishes believers.

@caps- Go for it, if you want.


I had some more thoughts about Iustino to help give him some texture. A bit more about his goals, flaws, and some NPCs from his past, and one from his present. We can always elaborate more on anything that could use more detail if I'm picked.

* I had this whole idea of how to give Iustino a surname. I'd reasoned about all of it, but then I realized that the Garundi don't use surnames at all. So he's just Iustino.
* Though Iustino feels more normal than usual in Rahadoum, he still feels like an outsider at times. Sometimes because of his appearance, others because they know he's not native, speaking with a distinctly Chelish accent, though that has abated over time.
* Iustino is glad Rahadoum exists, but he is not himself fervently anti-gods. Even though several followers have mistreated him, some others helped him flee Cheliax. In particular, Desnans and Caydenites helped with his flight.
* General tiefling struggles aside, Iustino struggles to connect with others. He wants to, but he was raised knowing he was not only borne of a mistake, but a traumatic one. He knows it's not impossible, but it does not come easily for him.
* Iustino is heavily motivated by protecting his home, but he also really wants a sense of belonging with those he'll defend the city with. He's heard of such bonds in war.
* For his various difficulties with inferiority, Iustino takes a lot of pride in his cunning and engineering acumen. He fully believes he's qualified to help repel invaders from his home and it's something he takes great pride in.

Notable NPCs:
There are no specific plans for any of these NPCs, just notable characters from Iustino's past that could make for interesting hooks.

* Aznurak: Iustino's fiendish sire. Iustino knows little enough about the circumstances of his birth. All he knows is the devil's type and name, both learned by sneaking around the Sarini estate he was secreted away in. He's afraid that a devil would only want to sire him is to have an agent on the Material Plane. This fear has abated considerably as Iustino has aged, but it's never gone fully away. He knows devils are not to be trifled with, especially such potent ones.
* Vittoria Sarini: Iustino's mother, though they were never close. Once a very promising student at the Egorian Academy of the Arcane Arts, one of her attempts to bind a very powerful devil and command respect backfired horribly. Instead, she took a leave from the Academy to hide away the boy's existence. Even once the boy was born, between the rumors of the mishap and her own shame ended her rise, instead living out a middling professorship. She did not show open hostility to the boy, but Iustino always knew he was a source of pain and shame.
* Minia and Elian: The Caydenite and Desnan Bellflower Network members that helped smuggle Iustino to Port Godless. Iustino has no doubt the names are fake, why trust a young boy with their real identities? But they were the first to take a genuine interest in him and try to help him. Though he spent little time with them, Iustino still remembers them fondly.
* Ezira: The first proper maternal figure Iustino clung to. She worked at the orphanage. As a half-orc she knew the struggles of trying to fit in and had a soft spot for Iustino. He cares about her deeply amd would still send letters during his time at the Occularium.


Here is my submission, Harul Safan, born and bred in Rahadoum, fervent proponent of the Laws of Man, and member of the Pure Legion. His is an Investigator multiclassed with castellan cavalier, focused on defending his city. The Investigator level is to reflect his experience with hunting religious cults.

Crunch:

Harul Safan
Male human (Garundi) cavalier (castellan) 4/investigator 1
LN humanoid (human)
Favored Class: Cavalier
FCB: +4 Skill Points
Init +2; Perception +10 (+12 in urban environments)
DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 13, flat-footed 20 (+7 armor, +1 deflection, +2 Dex, +2 shield)
HP 42 (1d8+4d10+10)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +8; +2 vs divine spells
Special Defenses castle defender +1, rejection of faith (Will)
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft
Melee +1 scimitar +10 (1d6+5/18-20)
Melee masterwork cold iron morningstar +9 (1d8+4)
Melee masterwork silver dagger +9 (1d4+4/19-20)
Ranged composite longbow +6 (1d8+4/x3)
Special Attacks challenge 2/day (+4, 2 temp HP), tactician 1/day
Extracts Prepared (CL 1st; Concentration +2)
1st-level (2/day) - cure light wounds, longarm
STATISTICS
Str 18, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +4; CMB +8; CMD 20
Traits Armor Expert (Combat), Rahadoumi Disbeliever (Region)
Feats Boon Companion, Coordinated Capture, Godless Healing, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (scimitar)
Skills (ACP -4)
Climb +4 = 4 + 1 + 3 - 4
Craft (alchemy)* +5 = 1 + 1 + 3 (+1 to create alchemical items)
Diplomacy +7 = 0 + 4 + 3
Disable Device +3 = 2 + 2 + 3 - 4 (+1 disarm traps)
Intimidate +8 = 0 + 5 + 3
Knowledge (engineering)* +5 = 1 + 1 + 3 (+2 in urban environments)
Knowledge (geography)* +5 = 1 + 1 + 3
Knowledge (history)* +5 = 1 + 1 + 3
Knowledge (local) +9 = 1 + 5 + 3 (+2 in urban environments)
Knowledge (nobility)* +5 = 1 + 1 + 3 (+2 in urban environments)
Knowledge (religion) +9 = 1 + 5 + 3 (+2 to identify members of religious faith or paraphernalia)
Linguistics* +9 = 1 + 5 + 3
Perception +10 = 2 + 5 + 3 (+1 find traps, +2 in urban environments))
Sense Motive +10 = 2 + 5 + 3
Swim +4 = 4 + 1 + 3 - 4
Use Magic Device +6 = 0 + 3 + 3
*- denotes background skills
Languages Common, Abyssal, Celestial, Dwarven, Elven, Infernal, Osiriani, Polyglot
ABP Armor Attunement +1 (masterwork steel lamellar), deflection +1, resistance +1, weapon attunement +1 (scimitar)
SQ Castle Lore +2, guard companion, inspiration (2), order of the First Law, trapfinding
Combat Gear
Other Gear masterwork scimitar, composite longbow (Str +4) with 40 arrows, masterwork cold iron morningstar, masterwork silver dagger, masterwork steel lamellar, masterwork heavy steel shield, keffiyeh of cooling, cloak of the hedge wizard (transmutation)

Formula Book
1st - cure light wounds, expeditious retreat, longarm, shield

Falcon Animal Companion:

Arshan
N Small animal
Init +4; Perception +9; Low-light vision
DEFENSE
AC , touch , flat-footed (+ Dex, +3 Natural)
HP 36(5d8+10)
Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +3
Special Defenses evasion
OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft, fly 90 ft
Melee bite +7 (1d4), 2 talons +7 (1d3)
STATISTICS
Str 11, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 6
BAB +3; CMB +3; CMD 17
Feats Skill Focus (Fly, Perception), Weapon Finesse
Skills Perception +9, Fly +7
SQ link

Backstory:

Harul was born in the city of Azir, the capital of Rahadoum. Once he was old enough to learn, his father, an alchemist, taught him the Laws of Man, and told the history of how religious zealotry had nearly destroyed Azir. His father staunchly supported the Laws, and the family was wealthy enough that they could afford to have Azir educated on a wide variety of subjects. He was also taught the family business, for his father expected Harul to follow in his footsteps.

His father’s support for the Laws of Man, however, had been passed down to his son, so much so that at the age of 18, Harul decided that instead of following the family business, he would join the Pure Legion, Rahadoum’s military and police force. Though is father was disappointed in Harul’s decision, he understood the call, and gave his blessing for Harul to do so.

In the Pure Legion, Harul was taught how to fight with weapons and wear armor, as well as how to identify religious groups and how to track them down to arrest them. Despite the nation’s adherence to the Laws of Man, cults dedicated to various deities would still sometimes crop up, and it was up to the Pure Legion to hunt them down, in accordance with the law. After three long years, Harul’s training was complete, and he entered the Pure Legion, swearing his oath to uphold the Laws of Man and protect Rahadoum.

Harul remained stationed in Azir, where he was assigned to a patrol that would search incoming merchant ships at the docks for any religious contraband. Those assigned to the docks wore lighter armor than other members of the Pure Legion, in case they were knocked into the water by a desperate fanatic. Though agile enough, Harul never truly felt protected by the lighter armor, and so, after he assisted in breaking up a cult of Besmarans in a warehouse near the docks, was able to get himself transferred to protection of the city gates, where the guards wore heavier armor, despite the heat.

After seven years, Harul has become known as a reliable member of the Pure Legion. He has become quite skilled at searching for religious paraphernalia, learning many of the tricks used to hide it. He is also becoming more skilled at piecing together rumor, overheard conversations, and codes to determine the locations of hidden groups of religious worshippers, and has assisted in locating and arresting Saerenites, Nethysians, and even an Asmodean cult near Kharijite, spread by a Chelaxian priest. The Chelaxian ambassador, of course, denied knowledge of the priest’s actions, as did Her Imperial Majestrix Thrune, and said he was merely a rogue operative, acting without sanction. After that adventure, he got a falcon called Arshan, and has trained him to serve as a scout and to carry messages as needed.

Now, rumors of armies of devoted worshipers of the gods gathering have reached him - word of a grand crusade to end the Laws of Man. Harul does not know the truth of these rumors, but he does know that if they come against his city, he will rout them. If they seek to undermine from within, he will hunt them down. The Pure Legion has kept Rahadoum safe and free from religion for thousands of years, and no crusade will put an end to that. No matter how powerful.

Views on Solo Game:

My views on a solo game are that it’s a great chance to really get into a character’s motivations. It can be fast paced, allowing for a lot of ground to be covered. It also allows the GM to move in different directions according to player backstory, if they so choose, without marginalizing any other players.

Grand Lodge

This is Anthorg, submitting my alchemist. There are a few items missing, such as potions, poisons and alchemical items, as well as adventuring gear, but the main idea is there.

Let me know if there are questions or considerations.

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