Cornerstone Rampart

Game Master Me'mori

A spark of capability earned their passage into a unique school. Now, trained in the basics, they are sent out into the world to hone their skills.


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Character Creation: What stat generation method would you prefer?

My go-to is 4d6, drop lowest, best of two sets, but are there any others that might see merit that can be agreed upon? My goal is story, not number-swinging.


I'm good with whatever, but the stat rolling system I tend to use is as follows (it's a bit complicated, so bear with me):

1) Roll 4d6, rerolling 1s until they are anything but a 1;

2) If, after following 1, your stat is below 10, reroll.

It makes for more powerful characters (which I like, cause that way I feel less bad when I murder them...err...I mean challenge... yes, that's the word....challenge them).

That being said, I am perfectly content to use whichever method you prefer.


I tend to dislike rolling after such a lengthy Recruitment process, so for me 25 Point Buy is a good, solid classic.

If we must roll though, two sets of 4d6 isn't the worst way to go about it. That's a solid chance of at least ending up with the Elite array, though I forget the exact odds.

I do tend to like the rule that when rolling, you can choose to take another player's set if you like. This puts everybody in the same boat so you don't end up with an Adonis with an 18 and no stat below 14 and some pleb with no stat above 12 sharing space in the same party. If everybody rolls poorly, well then at least EVERYBODY has poor stats.


HP 12/12 | AC: 18 /T: 14 /FF: 14 | Perc. +6 | F: +4 / R: +4 /W: +2 | CMB -1 | CMD 13 | Speed 30ft| Init. +6

I'm good with whatever everyone wants but I agree I like a more powerful character as playing an above average farmer looses appeal. It's a dangerous world and most average would die as adventurers.

I am very story driven but have to be invested in the character to want to see them get to where they are going and they have to be fun to play.

4d6 ⇒ (3, 4, 3, 2) = 12 10
4d6 ⇒ (5, 2, 1, 5) = 13 12
4d6 ⇒ (6, 1, 2, 5) = 14 13
4d6 ⇒ (6, 6, 5, 2) = 19 17
4d6 ⇒ (2, 2, 1, 4) = 9 8
4d6 ⇒ (3, 2, 1, 1) = 7 6

This would be a 12 point buy and awful could work for a weak no charisma wizard, but that's about it.

4d6 ⇒ (3, 1, 3, 2) = 9 8
4d6 ⇒ (5, 3, 6, 3) = 17 14
4d6 ⇒ (6, 3, 6, 4) = 19 16
4d6 ⇒ (1, 1, 5, 3) = 10 9
4d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 2, 2) = 12 10
4d6 ⇒ (5, 6, 3, 1) = 15 14

17 point buy. Playable but not great.

If rolling I prefer 2d6+6 reroll 1's. I'm also fine with all having the same stats.

Often in our home games we use what we call the hero array. 18,17,16,15,14,13 So typically by 12th level you have 18,18,16,16,14,14 it allows you to play what you want but with no huge weaknesses. This allows the player to create story weakness for the character. Again I'm open for whatever the group but more importantly the GM decides :) Thanks.

I know for my build I need Str and Cha or Dex and Cha, but I can't get Dex to damage until level 3 being an Aasimar. Unless we are using the Elephant in the Room feat tax rules which are pretty awesome. Then we don't have to worry about weapon finesse and power attack and other taxes :)


25 point buy it is.

We are using Background Skills.

I'll have to look up Elephant in the Room, as I'm not familiar with it.


I assume we're starting at level 1?


HP 12/12 | AC: 18 /T: 14 /FF: 14 | Perc. +6 | F: +4 / R: +4 /W: +2 | CMB -1 | CMD 13 | Speed 30ft| Init. +6

we starting at level 1? Level 3 would be awesome but if we do an AP it could work with only 3 of us. The first few challenges may be easy. Thanks.

Here you go. Elephant in the room feat tax

Point buy is fine with me :)


HP 13 | AC: 11 (10 base +1 dex); T: 11; FF: 10 | Fort: +5; Ref: +1 | Will: +2 | Init: +1 Spell Points: 6 (6)

Here is my alias and build for Dimitri.


Elephant in the room looks good at first glance, and fits Path of War's concept.

The next step in this world be figuring the degree of connection with each other. At this point, you've been in the school, and are due to graduate soon.


Hm. How much overlap between classes are there? I could see, depending on whether or not there is a core curriculum of some sort, we would either be very acquainted or not at all.


HP 13 | AC: 11 (10 base +1 dex); T: 11; FF: 10 | Fort: +5; Ref: +1 | Will: +2 | Init: +1 Spell Points: 6 (6)

Dimitri would have been enrolled in the arcane "track" at school, given his proclivities, although he would have also taken more socially oriented classes to try and fix his social skill gap.


The school functions much like a trade school with more specialized knowledge. Training is still being given in their professions, as they produce minor items. There is just additional instruction being given in their Paths and Spheres.


Then I feel like we'd be acquaintances at least. Maybe Dimitri and Zacharia know each other because they're both Dhampir, but it wouldn't necessarily make them besties.

I imagine they'd be sharing some classes though; raising undead and saving lives aren't all that dissimilar. Both require biological knowledge and such.


HP 13 | AC: 11 (10 base +1 dex); T: 11; FF: 10 | Fort: +5; Ref: +1 | Will: +2 | Init: +1 Spell Points: 6 (6)

Dimitri is actually Human. His parents were Dhampir though. I agree that we would have likely been in the same classes.


HP 12/12 | AC: 18 /T: 14 /FF: 14 | Perc. +6 | F: +4 / R: +4 /W: +2 | CMB -1 | CMD 13 | Speed 30ft| Init. +6

will finish build today and think about how much she knows or has met with the other 2. Did we decide on what we are doing? AP? Open Sandbox world? Perhaps starting in Sandpoint may work for all. Atsuko could be working at the Rusty Dragon for her cousin Ameiko with aspirations to become and adventurer when she finishes at the school. Perhaps we have all met at the Bar? So we don't know each other but we are acquainted at least.


Shaping some ideas, so I've got a few questions:

· What region does everyone hail from at the beginning of their backstory?

· How does your character perceive their Path/Sphere? As it is outside of the typical fighter/caster training, what's their mental concept of what they do? What does it feel like when they're using their abilities?

· Roll a d4, please. That number is how many years they have been at the school since they arrived.


HP 13 | AC: 11 (10 base +1 dex); T: 11; FF: 10 | Fort: +5; Ref: +1 | Will: +2 | Init: +1 Spell Points: 6 (6)

Are we set on Golarion or another world?

If Golarion, Dimitri would be from Ustalov.

As far as his abilities go, Dimitri doesn't really think about them. To him, it's like breathing water: something that comes naturally and without much conscious thought. When he was a child, there were likely multiple incidents of small animals being turned into skeletons or zombies around him after they died; as he grew, he learned to control that from happening, however.

1d4 ⇒ 2


HP 8/8| AC 13 (Touch 13, FF 10); CMD 13|Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +3|Perception +1, Sense Motive +1|Darkvision| Initiative +3|

I likewise had Ustalav in mind when coming up with names and whatnot. Specifically he would have been born in the relative outskirts of the county of Caliphas (the self-named capital of which has a sizable, though hidden, vampire population). If you wanted a potential ominous plot hook for later, Zacharia could even be indirectly descended of Luvick Siervage (the Elder Vampire of the region who's been chilling around for like 3000 years or something like that).

Zacharia's two Spheres have very different 'feels' to them. Using the Sphere of Life is exactly as complex as performing actual surgery. It requires painstaking attention to detail and an iron will to knit flesh as it is supposed to be, instead of into a misshapen mass of soon-to-be-dead tissue.

The Sphere of Blood, by contrast, is all too easy to use, and seductive in its simplicity. Using it is more akin to letting go and allowing the Hunger to guide Zacharia's actions. Where Life is discipline, Blood is catharsis.

1d4 ⇒ 3


HP 12/12 | AC: 18 /T: 14 /FF: 14 | Perc. +6 | F: +4 / R: +4 /W: +2 | CMB -1 | CMD 13 | Speed 30ft| Init. +6

Atsuko is from Tian Xia. After regaining a bit of honor and receiving the family ancestral sword she was sent to Sandpoint to live with her extended family Ameiko Kaijitsu. Here she has continued study as a member of the Servants of the Secret Hymn and has attended one of the regions top Dance Schools for 1d4 ⇒ 3 years.

Atsuko sees her abilities as an extension of self and discipline. She is able to things others can not because of her training. Taking the Kakita name and being a graduate of the Kakita school of dueling she knows there are many ways to fight, but the others are just inferior :)


There does appear to be a fair amount of individuals originating in or near Ustalav that I honestly should have taken better notice. Any objections to a group reshuffle? It would make regional sense in regards to the schools.

That would mean
Atsuko to table two, with Tanar and Carwyn.
Gharol and Lelache to table one.

Any Objection?


No objection, but I also don't think it's strictly necessary; the school is basically a boarding school, right? So it would make sense for people from all over to be sent there.

If it makes it easier for you to arrange tables and choose a campaign to run to set the school in a location nearer where the characters originate though, have at it. Everybody's characters look interesting and I think we'll all have fun either way.

It is pretty fun we have so many Ustalavians though. I think it's just because it's such an interesting locale with some of the most fascinating lore in the various regions.

Oh, full disclosure if you're considering running one of the Ustalav based Adventure Paths: I have GM'd Carrion Crown twice, and am currently in a live game for Strange Aeons and would prefer if possible to not play in a Strange Aeons game because it's a friend of mine's first time GMing and I want to be completely blind for his game.

Tyrant's Grasp though I'd be SUPER down for.


Storm Dragon wrote:
No objection, but I also don't think it's strictly necessary; the school is basically a boarding school, right?

Not quite. There are multiple schools in existence, operating under various methods and guises. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, students would be pointed to their closest location.

No campaign has been decided yet, right now it is connections and circumstances. I'm thinking the game will start just after graduation, when everyone is finding their way in their journeyman phase.


HP 12/12 | AC: 18 /T: 14 /FF: 14 | Perc. +6 | F: +4 / R: +4 /W: +2 | CMB -1 | CMD 13 | Speed 30ft| Init. +6

I could be anywhere basically as a roaming samurai seeking to regain honor. She has a passion for dance so if Ustalav makes sense that is fine with me. All her family ties were in Tian Xia so anyplace works for her. I don't mind shuffling tables if that's what you want just let me know. I should be easy to fit in.


HP 13 | AC: 11 (10 base +1 dex); T: 11; FF: 10 | Fort: +5; Ref: +1 | Will: +2 | Init: +1 Spell Points: 6 (6)

Did you have an idea of what level you wanted us to start at?


I... *checks* don't have completed sheets from everyone in the group yet. Start at Level 1 for now. The intention is after (or just as), the sheets are finished, I'll paint the school and surroundings in broad strokes, by then the choice of "To AP or not to AP" should also be answered, and we can hit the ground running.

In the meantime, if anyone has any questions, I'll do my best to answer them, but the longer posts will come at night, as my phone has already shown a tendency to misspell things, and work is not the most accommodating of locations in regards to time.

Current questions that I can anticipate right now is the sense of time. At least two years passed from the apprenticeship of your characters to the discovery of their talent, the d4 was a not-entirely arbitrary marker of time to separate the characters' arrival at the school and subsequent instruction, as well as making sense of what they'd nominally be inclined to do.

With a completed sheet, I can add a little more color into the picture of the character that I have, as well as consider threads.

For instance, Dimitri:
With two years having passed upon their arrival at the school, the majority of the first year was spent getting to understand the areas in which they were and were not socially able. Philosophically speaking, one had to understand life to make sense of death— or so said the instructors. After all, the profession of Alchemy did take from life to produce the results, whatever the intended effect.

Observation and interaction being somewhat necessary to properly socialize, along with encouraged socialization within the school and its handful of students, their intelligence and force of personality also saw them accompanying the instructors in mercantile interactions and negotiations, often as practical lessons. Though for just what specifically was unclear...

Table Two's Link
1d100 ⇒ 43


I'm almost done with my sheet. I'm just having a brief debate about just retooling Zacharia as an Incanter instead of a Soul Weaver (Dual Channeler), so I can have a couple extra Spheres to dip into. Life takes A LOT of Talents, and I can just take the Channel Energy Incanter spec and take Versatile Channeler as a Feat anyway, since I've grown kind of lukewarm on Blessing/Blight as a mechanic.


I did see that very debate on the Giant in the Playground forums when they were conversing with the creator. I'll try to link the post for their response when I get home, if you don't find it first.


SD, it was pretty early on in the page HERE


I think the tipping point is that Soul Weavers are hard locked into Cha as a casting stat but still only get 2+Int skills. Gonna go Incanter for the extra versatility, even if according to that Soul Weaver is the more powerful class in some ways.


Here now, it seems. Still slapping together Lelache's sheet.


Hello! Just dotting in on the new table. I've got my sheet/alias more or less done and I'll be posting that in just a minute. Only thing I haven't got down is equipment because I wasn't sure how we're handling that/handling wealth.


Male Half-Orc Warlord 1

Anyway, here's Gharol! He's STR-based as you might have expected. Current plan is for him to two-weapon fight with a greatsword (or some other two-hander, greatsword just provides discipline weapon coverage) and armor spikes. Maneuver wise, I'll be spreading him a little bit thin over Scarlet Throne, Thrashing Dragon, Golden Lion, Primal Fury and Broken Blade (took the Unorthodox Method trait for access to that, swapping out Solar Wind).


Gharol Half-Tusk wrote:
Anyway, here's Gharol! He's STR-based as you might have expected. Current plan is for him to two-weapon fight with a greatsword (or some other two-hander, greatsword just provides discipline weapon coverage) and armor spikes. Maneuver wise, I'll be spreading him a little bit thin over Scarlet Throne, Thrashing Dragon, Golden Lion, Primal Fury and Broken Blade (took the Unorthodox Method trait for access to that, swapping out Solar Wind).

Just a heads up, that particular fighting style was FAQ'd away in the infamous "metaphorical hands" FAQ of 2013.

Mind you I don't think it's OP and would allow it as a GM so maybe SIlent Voice would too, but it's always good to have all the rules on the table as a starting point.


One thing I can'find...do you get a Sphere for free, or do you need to spend one of the Talents you gain to get your first Sphere?


Oh, thanks for bringing that to my attention. Well, it's not a big deal, Gharol can run with a pair of longswords or something thanks to prodigious TWF.

The metaphorical hands thing is weird and confusing as hell, though. If the metaphorical hands aren't tied to a character's real hands, can you choose to use only one metaphorical hand (but two real hands) with a two-handed weapon to get 1x your strength bonus and TWF with a real-hands-free weapon that way?


Storm Dragon wrote:
One thing I can'find...do you get a Sphere for free, or do you need to spend one of the Talents you gain to get your first Sphere?

The closest thing I can find to a concrete answer is in the section on "Magic Talents", p8: "Whenever a caster gains a magic talent, they may spend it in one of two ways: to gain a new base sphere or to gain a talent associated with a sphere they already possess"

I would say that one of the talents needs to be spent to grant access to that sphere at start. Though, don't forget that in the following paragraph it says, "...but all characters gain two bonus magic talents the first time they gain a level in a casting class, regardless of which class is chosen."

JohnTheSavage wrote:
The metaphorical hands thing is weird and confusing as hell, though. If the metaphorical hands aren't tied to a character's real hands, can you choose to use only one metaphorical hand (but two real hands) with a two-handed weapon to get 1x your strength bonus and TWF with a real-hands-free weapon that way?

Without breaking my brain diving into the thread (and reaching semantic satiation in regards to the word "hands"), the metaphorical hands are, the character's real hands. Unless a feat is taken that lets the character use two-handed weapons as one-handed weapons, then a two-handed weapon requires the use of both hands, otherwise penalties will begin to accrue, per the TWF penalty table. Potentially an additional penalty, as well.

IIRC, Amiri(the iconic barbarian) uses a giant's longsword, and has penalties because of it being inappropriately sized.


The Lost Voice wrote:
...the metaphorical hands are, the character's real hands...

Except for when the character has more than two arms or uses a non-fist unarmed strike, blade boot, armor spikes, sea knife, dwarven boulder helmet, barbazu beard, ratfolk tailblade or kobold tail attachment. :P

God, I hate the metaphorical hands of effort so much. Unwritten rules that are inconsistently and arbitrarily applied.

Just to be clear, we're going with a no on the TWF two-hander/Armor spikes combo, right? I don't actually want to start an argument or anything.


Think of Spheres like a video game skill tree - you need to invest a point (talent) to open up the tree in the first place (base sphere). Class features determine if you *start* with a sphere already opened, and then talents let you take other ones or build ones you've already opened up.

As TLV pointed out, the Casting class feature, in spheres, inherently gives you two bonus magic talents, which let you open up or go further in to a sphere (including the ones you got from class features).


JohnTheSavage wrote:
The Lost Voice wrote:
...the metaphorical hands are, the character's real hands...

Except for when the character has more than two arms or uses a non-fist unarmed strike, blade boot, armor spikes, sea knife, dwarven boulder helmet, barbazu beard, ratfolk tailblade or kobold tail attachment. :P

God, I hate the metaphorical hands of effort so much. Unwritten rules that are inconsistently and arbitrarily applied.

Just to be clear, we're going with a no on the TWF two-hander/Armor spikes combo, right? I don't actually want to start an argument or anything.

Yes. Unless explicitly stated for the item, or a feat grants the ability, that's a negative on the combo.

Peripherally, because access to Broken Blade would grant Pugilist Stance, and Elephant in the room had Unarmed Combatant, there may be a couple of instances that are case-by-case, but we'll address those as they arise. Without proficiency in Unarmed Combat, it's a no-go for being considered.


Eh, I'm good. I don't really see how unarmed feats and such would work differently to other hands-free attack options. Not that I wouldn't take unarmed combatant though, there are some really interesting maneuvers that specifically call for unarmed strikes.

Then again, I'm thinking about maybe ditching the TWF angle altogether. Having a two-hander plays better with all those "make one attack" strikes and it would give me a lot more feats to play with.


Okay, sheet done. Except for gear; I'll determine that depending on starting level.

Sorry for the delay. I think I'll enjoy the Incanter variant more since I can experiment with other Spheres and dabble in stuff like Destruction as an augmentation to Blood.

I found a racial trait for Spheres that gives Dhampir the Blood Sphere in exchange for Manipulative (the +2 to Bluff) and their Spell-Like-Ability. Is that cool?

JohnTheSavage wrote:

Eh, I'm good. I don't really see how unarmed feats and such would work differently to other hands-free attack options. Not that I wouldn't take unarmed combatant though, there are some really interesting maneuvers that specifically call for unarmed strikes.

Then again, I'm thinking about maybe ditching the TWF angle altogether. Having a two-hander plays better with all those "make one attack" strikes and it would give me a lot more feats to play with.

Yeah, that was something I noticed, but pointed out the other issue first. Scarlet Throne is baller if you use a 2H weapon or 1H weapon, but doesn't really function with TWFing. Plus dabbling too much in too many Disciplines makes things harder down the line since there are slight prereqs later (ex. you need two Maneuvers known of a Discipline to take a 5th level Maneuver).

Plus I've never been super into Thrashing Dragon; much like Primal Fury and Broken Blade it's abilities are primarily "more damage", which is kinda boring to me.


Storm Dragon wrote:
I found a racial trait for Spheres that gives Dhampir the Blood Sphere in exchange for Manipulative (the +2 to Bluff) and their Spell-Like-Ability. Is that cool?

Certainly.


Thanks a bundle.


Giving the sheets a look-through, so I'll point things out as I see them.

Zachariah:

• Ability Score Total: Check your stats. The total says you're 4pts over before racial adjustments.
• SLA Conflict: Bloodbender and Heir to Undying Nobility both replace the SLA.
• Racial Trait Conflict: Vampiric Empathy replaces Manipulative. Bloodbender replaces Manipulative.

Disregard the Trait conflicts if you're still editing.


Dimitri:

• Magic Talents: A 1st level Soul Weaver starts with 3 Talents, Extra Magical Talent grants one. Unless I missed a source, you've spent 1 talent more than you have. The Drawback grants Spell Points.

+4 Talent Points
(-1) Death Sphere
(-1) Expanded Necromancy
(-1) Greater Reanimate
(-1) Lingering Necromancy
(--) Mass Reanimate.

Nothing for Lelache yet.

I understand Gharol may be undergoing some editing regarding Disciplines.


10 Str: 0p
14 Dex: 5p
14 Con: 5p
16 Int: 10p
14 Wis: 5p
10 Cha: 0p

Looks right to me. are you factoring in that Vetala-Born gets +2 Dex, +2 int, -2 Wis instead of the standard +Dex/Cha, -Int?

Erased the Racial Trait conflict; it was a hold-over from the old version of the character from a previous game (the Harbinger).


Male Half-Orc Warlord 1

Alright, gave it a bit of thought and I've decided to tweak Gharol a bit. I'm ditching TWF and Thrashing Dragon for him and instead of grabbing Broken Blade with Unorthodox Method I'm having him pick up Mithral Current to really lean into the whole master swordsman theme. Current plan is for his fighting style to be with a greatsword and probably using free draws and resheaths to mix in say, a reach and/or ranged weapon for a bit of extra versatility.

Quick list of changes for convenience:

  • Unorthodox method trait: Swapped from Solar Wind for Broken Blade to Solar Wind for Mithral Current
  • One adventuring skill rank moved from acrobatics to perception
  • One background skill rank moved from sleight of hand to perform (dance)
  • Combat training trait replaced with agile dancer trait (would this turn perform (dance) into an adventuring skill rather than a background skill?)
  • Swapped out Inner Sphere Stance for Reaching Blade Stance
  • Swapped out Swift Claws and Flurry Strike for Red Zephyr's Strike and Tidal Blade
  • Swapped out Blade of Breaking for Flowing Creek
  • Lost Shards of Iron Strike due to losing combat training trait. One less Maneuver known overall


  • HP 13 | AC: 11 (10 base +1 dex); T: 11; FF: 10 | Fort: +5; Ref: +1 | Will: +2 | Init: +1 Spell Points: 6 (6)

    GM:

    I think that's an artifact from when I had taken Extra Magical Talent twice. I'll remove one of my talents.


    Hey, super sorry about how long this is taking - things have been a bit busy and setting up the actual sheet at work is tougher than I thought thanks to filters. I'll have it up by the end of the day, hopefully, though.


    Zachariah:
    Yup. Calculator went wonky. All good.

    Gharol:
    Agile Dancer does seem like it puts more of an active focus onto Perform(dance). If you'll be using it in lieu of Acrobatics, it would seem to supplant it... Then again, you did spend something for it, so depending on how your skills budget out we might have to take another look at whether considering it an Active or Background skill would be more beneficial.


    I hadn't realized we were doing background skills, neat. Added kn. History and Linguistics to my sheet based on that.

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