GM Itzi's Skull and Shackles

Game Master Itzi

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Ahoy Mateys an' prepare t' be boarded!

The weather's good and there's wind in our sails so the time is right to open up recruitment for the classic Skull & Shackles. Does the sight of a loaded-down fat merchant ship get yer blood pumpin'? Does the sway o' the deck beneath yer feet feel like home? Does the smell of pitch and sea air sing ta yer very bones? If'n so then this is the game for you, matey!

The goal is to finish the entire AP, so be expecting a ride of at least a year or two. I'm planning on accepting 3-4 submittals for this game with 2 additional slots pre-allocated for a total of 5-6 players.

What kind of adventure is this?:
Yer gonna be a pirate! What kind o' silly addled question is that?

Yes, this game is for those that want to be a pirate. You can download the free Player's Guide here (that is, if you can get past the bug I keep running into where it sends me back to the 'All Adventure Paths' page sometimes). You'll start out as lowly swabs and eventually captain/command your own ship and crew. There will be ship-to-ship combat as well as boarding actions, merchant ship raiding, and mutinies to quell. Not to leave the land-lubbers out, there will be many land encounters/explorations also.

Please note that as far as the players are concerned, this will be the Golden Era of film's version of piracy; Errol Flynn, Burt Lancaster, etc. For you younger folk, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom. What I mean by that is you may not be the Good Guys, but I'm not interested in anyone playing the Bad Guys. Bloodthirsty Killers need not apply. You may be robbing ships, but you'll most likely ransom back the survivors rather than just kill them. But more on that in the Character Creation section below.

I heavily favor character driven games, so some drama is always nice and romance fits right in. I try my best to give my NPCs personality and have a lot of fun when players interact with them. I don't shy away from romance in my games. If you're looking for a love interest for your character and none of the existing personalities (PC or NPC) appeal, let me know and I can come up with something more to your taste. That said, I'd like to keep the game on the conservative side of an 'R' rating. If romance isn't your thing, that's fine. Just be aware that it will be happening around you. If that bothers you or turns you off, this probably isn't the game for you.

Who Am I?:
I'm an IT professional with a number of years of experience with RPGs under my belt. I cut my teeth on the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook before the Dungeon Master's Guide was published. Yeah, with a little math and a little research that will give you a year and, by inference, my approximate age - we don't speak of numbers that big, though. The majority of that time was spend as a DM. I've played many other RPs as well, but this genre has always been my first love. I moved over to Pathfinder when the abomination known as 4th edition was released and it's now the game I prefer.

Getting older, FtF groups were harder to find. So back in the late 90's and early oughts, I moved into a number of PbE (Play by Email) games which really fired my love for the anonymity of the written game. This eventually progressed to forum games, but I came to that late. I've only been playing in them for a couple of years.

Be warned, I love the structure and detail that the Pathfinder rules provide, but I favor RAI rather than RAW. And I heavily favor story over rules. If I get a rule wrong, feel free to point out my mistake (it won't be the first or last) - I'll most likely correct it. But there may be times when the story plays better without correction and I'll leave it as is.

I'm in California (GMT-0800) and I can typically make small posts throughout the day. I'll most likely be putting up a single larger post later in the afternoon. Weekends get much more chaotic but I'm usually near a keyboard and responded to posts both days.

What Are My Player Expectations?:
I'm looking for players that will commit to one post a day, at the very least, during the week and 1 post on the weekends. A higher availability would be better. If something comes up and you won't be able to post for a few days, that's fine - Real Life happens. Please let us know in advance if possible. In your application, please note what time zone you're in and what time of the day you usually post - if consistent. I would like to see at least a little fluff in every post you make - even the combat ones.

I will probably reserve one slot to give a first timer a chance to get their foot in the door. Otherwise, I will be checking post histories.

Also note, that I will hope, expect?, wish?, that you will have read Painlord's Building a Better Doomed Hero. In fact, if you're wanting to get in on the 'first-timer' slot, I'll expect you to let me know that you have read it. There is invaluable information there.

What do you expect in an application?:
The crunch and alias isn't required in the application, but tell me a little about yourself, your gaming history, your time zone and when you usually post. Give me your character concept and background - preferably in a spoiler to avoid walls'o'text. I don't need a thousand words, but a few paragraphs would be nice. Why does your character want to be a pirate? What role do you see them filling in the group? On the ship? I love personal growth in characters. So along those lines, how do you see this character changing over the next 15-16 levels?

Optionally, if there's a particular post (or posts) you've made in another game that you're proud of, put a link to it in your application.

Character Creation:
Characters will be a 20 point buy. Official Paizo sources only - no 3PP, so don't ask. Unchained versions of classes where applicable. No sleep-hex witches.

HPs will be maximum at first level and average plus one for each additional HD.

Considering the nature of the game - you'll eventually have a crew, after all - I'll be allowing Leadership as a feat. However, I'll be keeping a close eye on anyone that takes it and won't hesitate to adjust things if someone attempts to abuse it. I expect your cohort to be something other than just a magic item manufacturing shop.

We will be using Background Skills.

Starting funds will be average per class and no pre-crafting gear.

Alignments. No evil please. That includes Neutrals that pretend they're neutral, but like to dance on the line. Yes, you're going to be a pirate, but it should be a pirate with a heart of gold, rather than a black-blooded villain.

Avoid loners, please. To succeed, you're going to need a cohesive group. Along those lines, character backgrounds can be tied together if you wish. If you've read the Players Guide (and if you haven't, get on it ;) ), you know that you're going to be drawn in to the adventure unwillingly (at least at the outset). The adventure will actually begin just before you get shanghaied, so you'll get a chance to meet everyone else if you wish beforehand.

A Warning: Hard-headed, stubborn characters probably won't live long in this game. Characters in this game need to know when to bend the knee and submit to an obnoxious, horribly demanding, NPC, who's in a position of power over them. They'll get their chance for payback when the time's right. :)

I wouldn't recommend taking a mount-based character.

My campaign is at the stage of Emerging Guns, so gunslingers are certainly appropriate and you'll probably see a few guns used by other pirates.

Gameplay Conventions:

I'll be rolling for everyone's initiative in combat and I'll be using block initiatives. Feel free to post your actions as soon as your block comes up. I'll still resolve them in initiative order, however. I make it pretty clear who's actions are pending and I'll do my best to keep combat moving along. I won't hesitate to bot someone if the game is dragging down waiting for someone to post their action. You've been warned. :)

Speaking of botting, it'll be a big help if you put some general botting instructions in your character's profile.

If you think a knowledge roll, Perception roll, or face-skill roll might be needed for the actions in your post, feel free to roll it. If you don't, I might ask you to roll it or I might roll it for you depending on how the pacing's going. Be aware that if you make a roll in advance, please don't get annoyed because you rolled a 20 and then I post that the roll wasn't needed.

Maps will be through Google Docs.


Submissions deadline will be Saturday, November 16th at 10PM (GMT-8.00) and I'll announce the final choices Sunday evening or Monday morning.

Super Dot. Several concepts for this. I've never played a swashbuckler or gunslinger so I'd be super excited to try those. :)

Might get my Parrot loving barbarian up again. Noonan the Barbarian and Pluck the Parrot. Pluck of course wants to be captain.

I am excited to see this. I will put a profile together for Inigo Madlips, former fisherman, now Storm Druid from the Sodden Lands who has a new found respect for the Eye of Abendego.

Dotting in... never got the chance to play this one and the nautical in me is looking forward to it.

Going to give some thought to what to bring.


A few bits:

1) If you peruse my campaigns it looks like I have a lot more going than I do. Right now there are two on my list that are gone (one officially, the other got a new GM and moved on with me deciding that I didn't like some of the changes the new GM was bringing so I dropped) and a few that are in cold storage (GM non responsive) so I am really only active in 3 games right now.

2) Recently had a son, so of late my posts have been shorter than I would like.

3) Currently I am in Eastern TZ, but will be moving to Pacific some time next year for my job.

4) Do you require unchained variants or just prefer them? Not likely to bring a monk, mind you, but I prefer the chained vice the unchained... and similar with barbarian (especially since a lot of archtypes were written for the chained variants and no effort was seemingly given to make them compatible).

5) Is there any legal class or archtype you out and out don't want to see?

I want to play the cook. No idea on class levels, perhaps alchemist or something fun like that? But just the cook. Not a buckler of swashes, who knows what he'll shape up to be? All I know is, you best not complain about his cooking.

EDIT: You said you already had two, from what I'm reading, any idea what those are in case we want to not overlap? Please don't tell me one is the cook.

@The Emerald Duke

I'll take 1-3 into account, thanks for letting me know in advance.

4) In the case of Summoners, yes, I will require the unchained variant. The others, I will heavily favor the unchained versions.

5) All Paizo classes are acceptable. As far as archtypes, there are so many that I'll look at any given submission on a case-by-case basis. Off hand, I can't think of any that I would dismiss outright, but, again, there are a lot of them. If there's a specific one you're thinking of, feel free to ask.

Grand Lodge

Most definitely interested!

Character concept to follow...


They'll both post in with more information about what they're running. But currently one will be running a human bard and the other is currently undeclared (at least to me).

Nice to see you, Brother_Guiness. :)

Thank you, that is relevant as I was considering Skald for my cook.

ScorchedOne wrote:
Thank you, that is relevant as I was considering Skald for my cook.

Man cook is hard. Technically, a cook should be the NPC class Expert.

But other cool things are that you will need lots of skill points. So maybe a rogue or alchemist. Vivisectionist for a butcher type person. Or cleric of Erastil or some god/ess of the hearth or hunger. Witch for cauldron stuff.

Barbarian or monk could be cool too especially if you took archetypes or feats for improvised weapon fighting, like ladles and rolling pins and pots, things of that nature.

GM Itzi wrote:
They'll both post in with more information about what they're running. But currently one will be running a human bard and the other is currently undeclared (at least to me).

I am the decreed undeclared!

I will be playing Swashbuckler. You're welcome.

I am a 54 year-old grandfather and a civil servant who manages the IT team responsible for all comm support for USAF medical in San Antonio. I also started with the original AD&D PHB and a red box because the other hardcovers weren't out, yet.

Partial gaming resume:
I have organized a public play group and ran it for a little over a decade. At our high tide (if you will) we met 3 times a month in 3 different stores and would run 4 to 10 tables of major shared campaign adventures per day. I have served as an organized play judge for WotC and Paradigm Concepts at both Gen Con and Origins. I have worked as a booth monkey for WotC at those conventions as well, though in different years. I was a Triad member for the Dyvers region of Living Greyhawk. I was paid by the RPGA for Dyvers-based modules. WotC paid me to write for their web site. Once. Paradigm Concepts let me contribute writing, editing, and play-testing services for multiple Origins award-winning books, and gave me credit in the books themselves, but no money. My very first character in the Paradigm Concepts setting became their example character for normal humans. I moved from Omaha to San Antonio, and haven't been to a convention or played in a FtF game since.

I am in the US Central time zone and normally post after work. I have been active with the Boy Scouts still, but that ends this weekend because my wife needs more help, which means less time gone. Not sure what that will do to my posting time, but it should remain in the evening.

I've tried to get into this AP a couple of times. Would like to run through it. I really would.

"Terry" of Quent is the character I originally made for this, and 6 years later, I still think I want to work with this character. His last build has to be modified for your rule set (He was built using the Elephant in the Room Feat Tax rules, for one). Not sure if I want to change his starting alignment to Good, or if that transition should be part of his growth.

Terry is a mobile, multi-lingual face Rogue with no Disable Device skill, but a variety of seaman skills and a piratical outlook. IIRC, he doesn't have any ability to navigate, but he could handle just about any top-side duty required. He is very likely to take Leadership

The young-looking half-elf seems at ease, even in the rough, boisterous surroundings of a bar filled with toughs. His bright red, thick mat of straight shoulder-length hair frames his soft face, which is currently dominated by a large, care-free smile showing off his well cared for teeth. His features are very effeminate with a small nose, high cheekbones and full lips. His deep green eyes seem to either be set well behind the armor of his cheekbones or serve as a focus for your examination of his face, depending on your relative positions and his expression. All-in-all, he bears a remarkable resemblance to a certain pirate captain (and member of the Pirate Council) out of Quent.

His clothes speak of him having recently come into some money, as the boots, pants, vest and tricorn hat are all matching leather pieces in a dark brown (which will hide stains better in the long run) without any salt damage or marring, yet. The shirt was once bright red, but it has faded through sun and salt, and is now a pale memory of it's former self.

Jon was raised at The House of Stolen Kisses in Quent. Spending a great deal of time in the streets with the rest of his "siblings", he truly does not know who his parents are, but was raised to respect all the employees at The House as his parents. Playing to his inherent strengths, Jon quickly began to embody the typical half-elven ability to get along with nearly anyone they meet. He worked to prevent people taking a dislike to him, and was always careful to provide them opportunities to like him instead. As he got older, he made a point of respecting all of the workers in The House, but he would call only Dindreann "Mom." After all, she IS the Matriarch of The House, so the title belongs to her.
A typical hormone driven youth, Jon went looking for a means to make his way that didn't depend on his in-home authority figures. He ended up joining the "marks" from whom his "family" made their living. He started like anybody else his age, as an "able seaman", which means he spent most of his time cleaning and polishing things that other people got to use, except for quick, panicked bouts of combat. As he did this, though, he learned what he was supposed to learn, and began to understand how a ship operates and why the crew does the things that they do. It was during this portion of his life that someone first commented about how much Jon resembles Tessa Fairwinds.

Living among pirates, Jon had already come to an understanding of how bad things could go for him if Tessa found out he was claiming kinship. He had also come to understand how useful it could be to let people make assumptions and associations without actually making any claims. During this period Jon swapped ships and names. He joined the crew of The Drenched Highwayman as "Terry of Quent" and allowed people to take note of his bright red hair, green eyes, and pointed ears to draw whatever conclusions they might on their own. The new name wasn't even that much of a stretch . . .. Jon IS from Quent, after all. He was even raised in an environment where Tessa might have placed her own child for safekeeping! So, while he makes no claims that the stories are true, he also makes no effort to deny them. He justifies this by remembering that he doesn't know the truth himself.

Sometimes, in the quiet of the night, while on watch alone, "Terry" will admit to himself that he doesn't know if he wants the stories to be true or not. He doesn't know if he wants to know who, specifically, his parents are. He understands that his mother was probably just another whore at The House of Stolen Kisses, and that he will probably never know any more than that. This doesn't keep him from wondering, or worrying about the possibilities.

He just left The Drenched Highwayman, and is quickly spending his ill-gotten gains. As he is working his way down to the last few coins he has for drink, he finds his way into the Formidably Maid . . ..

I do have this character who started in a S&S campaign a while back. I can put him back to level 1 without too much troubles.

Dotting for interest! Do you have any rules for allowed races? RP limits? Thanks.

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GM Itzi wrote:
The goal is to finish the entire AP, so be expecting a ride of at least a year or two.

an entire AP in 1-2 years? That's basically one level up per month, i. e. one encounter per week or a full combat round per day. Not including RP breaks inbetween. Never gonna happen (without heaviest enforcement).

My experience is two to three level ups per year in a good running group.

Do you allow Variant Multiclassing? (never used it myself, but there's always a first time...)

Dotting. If my current app falls through, I'll be reusing an Asmodean Advocate (though making him LN, which wouldn't be much of a change) or applying with a wood/hydrokineticist. Will wait til then to make a decision and app, though.

On the subject of Ellioti's post, will this be using XP or milestones for levelling?

dotting, have a couple of characters that didn't get past the first level or may go with a new idea... more to follow.

Quick question, I saw "Characters will be a 20 point buy. Official Paizo sources only" but didn't see specifics about race, are Tengu's ok?

Ellioti wrote:

an entire AP in 1-2 years? That's basically one level up per month, i. e. one encounter per week or a full combat round per day. Not including RP breaks inbetween. Never gonna happen (without heaviest enforcement).

My experience is two to three level ups per year in a good running group.

True, although it can be done. I remember a proud GM at one point announcing in the Flaxseed Lodge that their group had just finished an entire AP in ten months.

Also, dot! I have a concept in mind, so I'll work on a submission.

I am considering submitting a half-orc bloodrager with either the aquatic or naga bloodline. Alternatively, if I make him an UnBarb, are you open to the possibility of ginning up some blood rage powers for one or the other of those bloodlines? I love the concept of those, but Paizo was terrible about adding more rage powers for bloodrager bloodlines made after the APG.

Ellioti wrote:
GM Itzi wrote:
The goal is to finish the entire AP, so be expecting a ride of at least a year or two.

an entire AP in 1-2 years? That's basically one level up per month, i. e. one encounter per week or a full combat round per day. Not including RP breaks inbetween. Never gonna happen (without heaviest enforcement).

Tessa puts her hands on her hips with a quirked brow while shaking her head. "Not with that attitude!"

Tsk, tsk. Here you are already doubting the GM? Do some homework and look at his aliases and you'll discover this is possible with the right group! Have confidence young man! :D

I've got a ship's mage type character that I love for S&S, but we never seem to make it past book 1.

I'm also considering submitting a bird-brained tengu named Jolly Roger.

The Dread Pirate Hurley wrote:
I've got a ship's mage type character that I love for S&S, but we never seem to make it past book 1.

Ahoy, the Butcher of Westcrown! :D

I would love to submit a tatterdemalion witch (ships have sooo much rope).

When you are available, Itzi, do you have any parameters for races or race points?

Hi, I'm relatively new to PbP but I love it and I kind of like it more than F2F in some ways.

Here is my post history for one of my characters in a Starfinder game.

For Skull and Shackles I'd like to play either a Drowned Channeler Spiritualist (the Phantom would be a former sailor/sea captain) or an Aquatic Druid (what happens when a Pirate gets wild shape?)


Dotting here, I love me some pirates, and I would love to go through this!

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hello! I'm thinking of doing a CN changeling (Brine May) deep shaman of Besmara with all intentions on going into the exalted prestige class. I've only been here on the forums for a few months now but I've been playing Pathfinder since about 2010 with a few years of D&D 3.5 before that. I live in Michigan, so EST/EDT for timezone. Probably my favorite submission that I've put together thus far was Erinara Aurore, though all there is for that is a backstory.

I will take some time either this weekend or early next week to make an alias and backstory. I know we don't need a full submission like that, but I find it easier to have a cohesive backstory if I know everything that my character should be able to do.

Itzi, do you have parameters for traits? Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Tessa Steele wrote:
GM Itzi wrote:
They'll both post in with more information about what they're running. But currently one will be running a human bard and the other is currently undeclared (at least to me).

I am the decreed undeclared!

I will be playing Swashbuckler. You're welcome.


If you could give us an idea of the type of Swashbuckler you are playing (and if the bard can do likewise), that will help me make a character who complements the party.

Brother_Guiness wrote:

If you could give us an idea of the type of Swashbuckler you are playing (and if the bard can do likewise), that will help me make a character who complements the party.

Absolutely. Let me get her scrubbed and reset and I will get a synopsis up for you.

Tessa offers her hand to Ellioti.

I want to apologize if my previous post was combative, I may have slipped too far into character with Tessa already!;). Forgive me.

Back in to answer some questions:

In PM I've been asked regarding when the game takes place.

As written, the story takes place in 4712. To avoid conflicts with the ages of certain characters that are going to be in the game, this iteration of the AP will be taking place in 4739. Which, if you follow sources, will put it twenty years ahead of the currently established date.


I'll accept Neutrals if the plan is to slowly shift over time to the good side of the spectrum. Character growth is a good thing.

@Mr. Rattlebones

Any of the published PC races are possibilities. No custom races. Monster races can be submitted, but probably won't have a high chance of making the cut. If that's what you'd like to play, you'll have to woo me with the submittal. :)

Regarding Traits; Sorry, I missed that in the initial post. Two traits, one of which needs to be a campaign trait. You can take a Drawback for a third trait.


There are certainly games that move along at the pace you've described. I'm currently in a Carrion Crown game that's been in Part 3 of Book 2 for a year and a half. But other games move quicker. One of the games I'm in began in March of last year and we're now on Part 2 of Book 6. Another game was begun earlier this year and we're now beginning Book 3. There are more I can site, but the point is, if you're looking for a faster game, they're out there.

As a more specific example; The previous game I ran which finished up about a month ago, ran from Level 1 to Level 6 in about seven months. It wasn't a full AP, but that's significantly faster than the games you've encountered. And lest you think I'm just pushing people from combat to combat, I heavily favor RP over combat in the games I run as well as the games I play in. And as a GM I will always allow time for characters to interact with each other as well as NPCs - to me, that's what the game is about.

So, in short; I believe it's quite doable to complete this game in two years time. If that's not a rate you'd like to maintain, that's perfectly fine - no one is doing it wrong. Just be aware that that's the rate I'll be shooting for and expecting of my players.

In regards to Variant Multiclassing; I think Background Skills will be the only Optional stuff I'm including.


Lawful Neutral will be a really odd alignment given the circumstances, but you can try to sell me on it. I normally use Milestone Advancement. But in this AP there are some sandbox stretches where it doesn't work very well, so I'll be using a hybrid method. I'll be tracking it, so it won't be something else you have to think about.

@Robert Henry

See my answer to Mr. Rattlebones above in this post.


I think we'll be sticking to the published rage powers.

@Tessa Steele

Down, Girl! :D

GM Itzi wrote:
So, in short; I believe it's quite doable to complete this game in two years time. If that's not a rate you'd like to maintain, that's perfectly fine - no one is doing it wrong. Just be aware that that's the rate I'll be shooting for and expecting of my players.

au contraire. I would love to play in a fast paced game for a change. I have no problem posting twice a day. Posting from phone may limit post length and quality a little, but increases quantity.

Sovereign Court

I will need to fill out the profile for this but I would love to play my Shark Shaman Druid in a Skulls and Shackles game. He was originally an undine but might rework to an aquatic elf.

I have played the first book of Skulls and Shackles, but not with this character.

Sovereign Court

@GM Itzi

Not sure how you would feel about this, but would you allow a Shark Shaman druid to take the Blood sub-domain of the War domain. This archetype does allow the War Domain, but the blood theme fits a shark in my opinion. Definitely not a deal breaker, just curious how you would feel on it.

@The Shark

That would certainly fit the theme. I would allow it.

Thank you for the quick response! I will be making a ratfolk witch (tatterdemalion).

Just making sure, would you consider ratfolk to be 'monstrous'?

@Mr. Rattlebones

Yes, I would. So not excluded out of hand, but you'll have to sell me on the submittal.

No sense hampering myself. I'll change the race. Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Mawagi Gun Chemist Toxicant Alchemist, you know you, classic shaman or tribal advisor, who is expected to travel and bring his experience back to the group.

Little about yourself:

I'm an active player I like to move a story along. There is a PBP guide on the boards that talks about posts that 'push' to move the action along, and that idea is pretty central to how I play. I post with suggestion movement and questions to the story. I try to convey as much through dialogue and action as possible, so I don't write a lot of internal monologues or thought processes, instead, of saying he 'thinks that this is a bad idea but says nothing' I would have the character hum and haw about the plan. Finally, I like the story and mechanics of my characters to be harmonious. A fletcher druid who was a raptor-kin druid archer with the eagle domain, or a failed wizard who is a fighter the can make potions, summon a familiar use wands without check. These are a couple of examples of race traits, class skill, build style and archetypes all flavouring a concept so that the mechanics and RP live together.

Your gaming history:

Started playing tabletop RPGs late in life I have been active for the last seven years. I have played with may GMs and GMed for many players. I like adapting to new groups and play styles. As such, I don't have a lot of hangups about how a game is run RAW, RAI, Rule of cool I can make it work can have fun.

Your time zone and when you usually post:

MST I post morning and night for long posts and one coffee breaks or at lunch for short posts to keep things moving.

Give me your character concept and background:

I'm thinking a Mawangi alchemist who joined a crew years ago on a long-hall delivery. He was a healer and potion maker, a shaman (religiously not class wise) within his community, but wanted to travel the world to gain skills to help his people better. He has taken to guns as his weapon of choice as the manufacture of bullets happens to overlap with his abilities. He knows of several highly sulphurous plants from which chemical that can be used to make explosives in a pinch (gun chemist). His traditional fighting style uses poisons (toxicant).

Why does your character want to be a pirate? [/b]

Altruistic wanderlust. He wants to see as much as possible and bring back as much as possible for his people. This means of travel was the best way he could find to see the world and have adventures.

What role do you see them filling in the group?

Knowledge and magic-related skills, artillery, and ranged damage as well as some utility casting. Ranged damage and skills would be starting roles. Control as more bomb options become available, buffer as he is able to pick up and use more infusions.

On the ship?

Cook, medic, ammunition and black powder maker. I'm flexible.

I love personal growth in characters. So along those lines, how do you see this character changing over the next 15-16 levels?

I think he would have the ambition of becoming a first mate or and principal advisor as that will be his role when he gets back home. He would want to be more decisive but will need the confidence to know he can make the right decision. I think he will be consistently tested as to whether he wants to bring back knowledge, which he knows is the most valuable asset to his people, or bring back a pile of gold. The second option would likely devastate the local economy, though he does not understand that yet (i.e. teach a mand to fish). But, it seems like the faster, easier solution to their problems. I also see his view of 'his people' changing expanding far beyond his tribe may be trying to make connections between distant cultures.

Optionally, if there's a particular post (or posts) you've made in another game that you're proud of, put a link to it in your application.


This is a long thread where an academically inclined former Nobel fights about what it means to take away free will and what is the nature of evil and how this impacts the law. The context is this is a Kingmaker game, and we are deciding on the way a kingdom should be run (my characters don't act like this in every game, and I cleared continuing with the other PCs).

Here is one that because of a chase scene, I had to solo an encounter or die. It was a PFS scenario where you are mythic for a short time. I'm not showing this to say, look how good my characters are. What I hope it shows is that I'm fully committed to the character, as this PC does not kill people even faced with life or death maintained this poured all his magic and mythic abilities into maintaining this trait. Then due to a misunderstanding, the GM said one of the characters die, which we remedied through roleplay in a way the group and I really liked.

Both are long; don't feel like you have to read them.

If it’s alright, I think I’m going to submit a scaled fist unchained monk who would mostly level as an okayo corsair swashbuckler. The basic idea would be that he was training as a monk (in Tian Xia) and had a falling out with his master (over the master’s daughter); he joined an unscrupulous crew of smugglers to flee and ended up unemployed in the shackles when his captain lost their ship gambling. The okayo archetype is basically a swashbuckling monk, so it seems like a really natural way to progress for someone trained as a monk but fighting among/against people with that swashbuckling style (and it should be sufficiently different from the guaranteed swashbuckler that we’re not stepping on each other’s toes).

I was also thinking about making him an aasimar (with the scion of humanity option), if that’s ok? It’s not completely essential to the character but they have a trait that allows them to be a neutral good monk, which I would definitely prefer to LG. If I can’t play an aasimar I might still start NG and just plan on never taking another monk level, but I’m not entirely crazy about having something as significant as an alignment change take place before the game starts.

@Giant Halfling

Aasimars are fine.

It just came to me. Latrine, from men in tights. A witch. Who is actually the cook. Something similar and funny. Or Bones from Star Trek. Dagnabbit captain, I'm a cook not a carpenter!

Hey, there's *probably* a Free Captain's Code that a lawyer would just love to dissect and use to solve inter-crew problems.

And besides - the image of a lawyer pirate tickles my fancy greatly.

I will be submitting Gormak Thunderblood, half-orc Stormborn Sorcerer.

A little about myself, my gaming history, my time zone, and when I usually post:

I am also an IT professional, having cut my gaming teeth on my parents' AD&D 2E books in the late 90's, and then moved onto D&D 3.X, 4E, and Pathfinder. I've been active in PbP here on the forums for roughly 5 years. While it looks like I'm in a lot of games based on my Campaigns tab, 2 of them are dead and just haven't gone inactive yet, I dropped from the Mutants & Masterminds one because I wasn't enjoying the game, and some have very slow-moving GMs. The ones I am GMing are active, however. I am typically available to post Monday - Friday between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM, all times GMT-5 (Eastern Standard Time).

My wife just gave birth to our first child, which has slowed my weekend posting down a bit. I can typically get on to make posts in select games from either a tablet or my phone (home PC is disconnected until I finish the new office, as my former office is now the baby's room).

Character Concept and Background:

Gormak Thunderblood is a half-orc Stormborn Sorcerer. His mother was captain of her own ship, on which his father was the first mate, based out of the Shackles. Though his parents were generally honest people, the reality of shipping in the Shackles meant they were also smugglers - typically of Mwangi artifacts or content deemed illegal by the Chelish Navy. While his parents would usually take Gormak along on their voyages, on the more dangerous trips, they would leave their son with one of their former crewmembers, an elf named Farila. Farila had lost an eye to a pirate attack, and her left leg to a shark, and so retired from the sailing life with a modest pension thanks to her loyalty to Gormak's parents.

It was on one of the more dangerous smuggling runs when he was 5 that they were attacked by three ships of the Chelish Navy. A captured pirate, hoping to lessen his own sentence, had ratted out his parents, who were smuggling revolutionary material north to Kintargo. His parents tried to flee, and fought hard, but a diabolist on one of the ships summoned a devil to smash a hole in the side of their ship. The vessel sunk, carrying both his parents down into the deep.

Gormak never learned this, however. He knew his parents had left him with Farila, and never returned. He knew they were dead - his parents would never have abandoned him - but he didn't know what happened. Had they been killed in a storm, or a pirate attack? In some ways, the not knowing made it all the harder for him to get closure. He grew increasingly difficult for Farila to deal with, lashing out in grief and anger. In order to try and give him a focus, Farila decided to try teaching him how to swim.

Swimming wasn't easy for the elf, what with her peg leg, but for Gormak, it was like walking. While swimming in the ocean, the boy felt more at ease than he had at any point since his parents' deaths. Every day, he went swimming in the seas, and every day, he felt a little less anger over his parents' deaths. He couldn't change what had happened - all he could do was move forward. Farila made for a decent surrogate parent, and the stability in Gormak's life didn't hurt.

Once Gormak was 12, he decided that he wanted to follow in his parents' footsteps, and live a life on the seas. So Farila arranged for him to get passage to Bloodcove with a letter of recommendation to an old friend of hers, where he would be able to find work as a cabin boy on a legitimate merchant shipping vessel. Upon arrival in Bloodcove, he was able to find the Valiant Feather, and her captain, Algar Fornwyn, brought him on as cabin boy on a trial basis.

On that first voyage, the Feather was attacked by pirates, who boarded the ship. One of the pirates saw the cabin boy, and thought he'd be an easy mark. He rushed, cutlass drawn, and the boy screamed as he ducked a swing of the cutlass and desperately lashed out with a fist. He did not expect to hit, nor for the pirate to be blasted back with a crack of thunder when he did, but that's what happened. The pirates, feeling superstitious, chose to break off their attack and flee, for fear of death by this apparent child of thunder. Captain Fornwyn heralded him a hero, and made his hiring permanent.

For the past 7 years, Gormak has been a crewmember on the Valiant Feather, working his way up from cabin boy to crew. During that time, he learned not only how to sail and repair a ship, but also how to control his budding magical powers. Though he doesn't think of himself as particularly powerful, he has learned that if he can bluff a pirate crew into thinking he's more powerful than he really is, they'll leave the vessel alone.

Recently, in port, Gormak overheard a couple of retired pirates in Bloodcove talking about his parents' deaths, and that a pirate had sold them out to the Chelish Navy. Suddenly, all the thoughts of anger at what had happened to his parents came back, and Gormak resolved to find out what specifically happened, and who was responsible. The two pirates didn't know who, but Gormak realized that the only way to find out would be from pirates. It would require playing a long game - after all, he was one person, and going around trying to beat up pirates for information was a good way to get himself killed. He took his leave of the Valiant Feather, and journeyed to Port Peril, with the intent of signing on with a pirate crew, working his way up the ladder, and eventually finding out who had sold his parents to Cheliax, so he could have his revenge. On a dock in Port Peril, staring out at the sea as he thought these plans, he suddenly felt a sharp pain in his head, and as he blacked out, he realized he was probably joining a pirate crew in a way he didn't intend to.

Role in the group and on the ship:

I see Gormak's role in the group as the resident arcane caster, dealing thunder and sonic damage to foes from both range and sometimes getting up close and personal. On the ship, he would probably be a good Captain, but he could also be a navigator or first mate. I'm fairly flexible in this, and willing to work with the rest of the party to determine roles.

How Gormak will change:

Right now, Gormak's entire motivation is finding the pirate who betrayed his parents. Over the next 15-16 levels, I'd like to see him come to realize that this motivation is incompatible with leading others on a pirate ship, and to eventually become more responsible. He will never truly let go of finding out who betrayed his parents, and I'm leaving it open-ended so you can work it into the story, if possible, but it will eventually become a side objective as opposed to his main purpose.

Posts I am proud of:

This one.
This one.
This one.
And this one.

Sarela's got another one a few posts down from there that plays off the last one.

Hi Gm Itzi!

I will submit for the "first time slot". I am not new to Pathfinder, or RPGs in general (started when elves, dwarves and halflings were more like a class than a race), but I am new to these forums. I have played "over the wire" before, but this PbP stuff is still somewhat new. Yes, I read the Doomed Hero guide (I even put a thank you note there a couple of weeks ago) and I am currently starting my first adventure, as a DM, with Rise of the Runelords. Check it out so you can see me "in action".

I am at CST (-6 UTC) and usually post all over the day. I work at IT too, so I can take a couple of minutes here and there around 18 hours every workday, 12 on weekends.

About the character, I want to try something I have not played before. A young teen. The cabin boy. 12 years old, filled with promise and romantic notions of life at sea. He loathes his life of poverty and submission and thinks the sea is his way to escape misery and have a life of adventure, courage and, why not, riches.

And having salt in his blood granting him magical powers can't be bad, right? He would be a sea-themed sorcerer, and I imagine him as the moral compass, young protegee, young naive idealistic member of the party. In time, I would expect him to grow from a landlubber to a leader of a band of freedom-loving pirates (yes, I think of him as becoming the "face" of the group). More than a blaster, a controller, and diplomat for the group.

Please let me know if you like the idea, or you would like changes over it.

Dotting in for interest sake.

So I am still sifting through everything, but I am looking at either building a Shaman (probably a Deep Shaman archetype) or a Warpriest of some stripe. The character I am envisioning would kinda be the ship's spiritual guidance (think chaplains... or the Tide Sages from World of Warcraft's current expansion) as well as the doctor (intent is to take Ship's Surgeon trait... so I guess I would also be a carpenter as well).

Either character would likely not start off wanting to be a pirate per se. I would see him as wanting to be a sailor though, so perhaps the gods or the tides brought him to the crew and ship he needed to be with, pirates or no.

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