DM Lament Configuration's Carrion Hill

Game Master electricjokecascade

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.”
― H. P. Lovercraft, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories

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Walk, if you will, the claustrophobic alleys of the Tangle, the Middenstone vats of the Filth, and the cobbled white roads at the summit of an ancient hill. Know that this is but the latest of cities to crown this summit, a monument to the decay and grime and waste of civilization. The city was built upon the battlefields of history past for many have sought to control this key feature, this lonely hill in a sea of mud and mire. Only its name has remained constant through the ages - Carrion Hill.

This classic Lovecraftian module was so good James Jacobs brought it over from Dungeon Magazine and implanted Carrion Hill in the dark wastelands of Ustalav. At only 36 pages, I'm hoping to finish this game in under a year, and plan on accepting 4-5 submissions.

The module’s mood is one of gritty horror and madness, the setting is urban, the scope is mostly investigation and dungeon delving.

What kind of adventure is this?:
Think classic Lovecraftian horror. The only module to ever fully embrace cosmic dread and some of the original tropes from H.P.'s tales, it will reward the desperate efforts of flawed heroes. As such, I'm looking a strongly character-driven game, and will put some serious effort into the atmosphere and creating compelling NPCs.

Who am I?:
I'm a professional fantasy author with over twenty years of experience playing RPGs. I began in 8th grade with MERP, moved to AD&D in 10th grade, and have spent the following years since alternating between Pathfinder and World of Darkness.

I'm lucky enough to still play via Google Hangouts with my original high school crew, but find that adult life has slowed our rate of play to the point where I appreciate the constant fix that PbP affords me.

Fair warning: I prefer RAI over RAW. A great story trumps punctilio with the rules, and while I'll always appreciate your pointing out a mistake on my part, there may be times where I rule in favor of drama, atmosphere, or the Rue of Cool.

I'm located on the East Coast, and can post frequently during the day. I'll usually drop a large post first thing in the morning, but will post much less during weekends due to having little ones that don't appreciate my spending time in front of a screen.

What are my player expectations?:
I really want to build up a head of steam and tear through this adventure. One of the reasons I've picked a 36 page module is because I think it's doable, and having folks who can commit to one post a day during the week is key. Of course real life happens, but please give us all a head's up so we can bot you and not stall out.

As I said above, this is a game of classic Lovecraftian horror. As such, eastern themed characters (samurai, ninjas, monks) will have a steeper hurdle to getting in, as will gunslingers. Mount based characters will have difficulties with dungeons and interior scenes.

Most importantly, I'm looking for characters that will contribute to and appreciate the mood of horror. Any class and archetype can work if the concept behind it would fit into a Lovecraftian tale.

What I expect in your application:
I don't require crunch or an alias, but tell me about yourself, your gaming history, and why you'd like to jump into a game of Carrion Crown.

Also give me your character concept and background - preferably in spoilers to void walls of text. Feel free to include dark secrets, regrets, phobias, biases and prejudices, and linking me to a post or posts that you're proud of from another PbP game.

Character creation:
20 point buy, +1 to a stat for fourth level, official Paizo sources only - no 3PP. Unchained where applicable except Summoners.

I'll be honest - I've got a bias against summoners, as it tends to complicate games - but if you think you can sell me on your unchained concept, go for it. Further, being pretty old-school, I have an ingrained preference for CRB characters. Not essential, but what I tend to gravitate toward. No custom races. Monster races can be submitted, but prob won't have a high chance of making the cut.

No variant multiclassing.

We'll be sticking to the published rage powers.

The characters start at 5th level. Max HP at first level, average plus 1 for the remaining four.

We won't be leveling in game, though there's a chance I'll roll over to Pett's other classic module 'The Styes' if this one goes well, which is 9th level.

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

All traits are fine, can take a drawback for a third trait.

We'll being using Background Skills. This is the only Optional stuff I'm including.

Alignments: I'm open to all alignments minus chaotic evil. If you choose to go LE or NE, I'll want you to explain why the group will be able to trust you, as I don't want PvP rp.

Gaming 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 midnight EST Sunday, November 24th. I'll take a day or two to pick the team, and we can spend Thanksgiving week getting to know each other before starting play on Dec 2nd.

I'm interested but I have one question.

DM Lament Configuration wrote:
Starting funds will be average per class, and no pre-crafting gear.

We are starting at 5th level, but the above statement seems to suggest we will only begin with the gear of an average 1st level character. Or am I missing something?

Thanks in advance.

Average for fifth level.

Dotting for interest, working on an application. Love me some Lovecraftian horror!

Dotting for interest.

You said you prefer CRB characters, would an occult class be a dealbreaker or just something you'd need to be sold on? I have a vague idea for a psychic drawn to the town by terrifying half-remembered dreams.

Ever_Anon wrote:
You said you prefer CRB characters, would an occult class be a dealbreaker or just something you'd need to be sold on? I have a vague idea for a psychic drawn to the town by terrifying half-remembered dreams.

It's only a mild preference, and an occult class would absolutely be thematic for the setting. Go for it!

Trapper Ranger submission

Character And Background:
Valghaz of Clan Ironhammer: His Clan is part of the militaristic arm of the church of Magrim, specializing in the hunting of the undead and those who would raise them. Pest control, as he calls it. It is a calling and a trade that is most useful in Ustalav.

Valghaz is a dwarf who believes in bringing the right tool for the right job. He wields a planson...a mace with a spear tip. Perfect for smashing apart skeletons and piercing the hearts of necromancers. He also has struck a balance between defense and agility, as he wears a breastplate and carries a heavy shield, while eschewing the full plate armor of more traditional Dwarven warriors. His practical mindset has also lent itself to his study of traps of all sorts, for he knows well enough that any necromancer or vampire worth his graveyard will set traps for the unwary. Being able to find and disable such threats is essential for his profession.

However, while he is a hunter of the dead by duty, that is not all who he is. Unlike most of his kin, he is well spoken, polite, and immaculately groomed. He also finds pleasure in the simple things in life. While Carrion Hill is his home, he left the mountains of his people not just out of duty, but to see the world. He plans to stay in town for at least five to ten years before moving on. He just sees no need to rush to the horizon when he hasn’t fully experienced where he already is.

When not working for the church of Pharasma (as there is not a large enough Dwarven population for there to be a local church of Magrim), he makes a living as a cartographer. It is both a profession and a passion of his to collect and make maps. Which is fortunate, as it would be very difficult to survive only on the bounties offered by the Pharasmites.


Valghaz is a trapper ranger. For the party he can find and disable traps, which should prove useful. He also is something of a tank, as he has AC 23, which is decent enough at lvl5. Throw in +10 to hit and 1d10+13 damage, before Favored Enemy, he should be good enough in close combat. And finally with +13 Diplomacy, he can take part in out of combat events too, as nothing is worse than having to sit out social interactions

Grumbaki, would you be interested in doing a paired entry?

Don’t see why not. What do you have in mind?

Valghaz Ironhammer wrote:
Don’t see why not. What do you have in mind?

I'm still formulating, but if a paired entry is on the table it will color my choices. I was thinking about doing a vindictive bastard/phantom blade, but that's just one of several concepts. I still need to do some backgrounds research, and I'll review your current entry as well.

Hi DM Lament Configuration!

I think I remember something about the Lament Configuration... what was it?

Oh, yes... damn!

Nice alias.

I myself have over 30 years of D&D experience while playing Pathfinder almost exclusively the last 10 years (add some Savage Worlds Rifts in there). I play mostly in person, and some in MapTools. But I am experimenting with PbP, so you can consider me a novice in the format. I am currently mastering Rise of the Runelords in this forums, and trying to get myself a spot as a player, without luck so far.

But I keep trying!

The is no problem on my part to keep a fast game pace. Once a day, at least, is no problem, as I spend almost all of my day in front of the computer.

I once mastered Carrion Crown "live" with a group I had. Nice game. But I can keep player and character knowledge separate. Also, I don't quite recall the adventure details. I would love to experience it "on the other side of the DM screen".

My character:
General character concept and background. Let me see. I am into Wizards at the moment. What about a wizard investigator interested, if not obsessed, into learning the secrets of ages and creatures old forgotten. And investigator of the occult and forgotten mysteries of the world, sometimes even uncovering things that should have been kept secret?

Not a bad guy, but maybe a little, unwise, in his investigations.

Sounds ok? He could be a necromancer...

So, I've been interested in playing a Blossoming Light cleric for a while and a Lovecraftian adventure seems like a fun one to try it in. Basically someone who fights to bring light to the darkness (and struggles to keep the dark from swallowing her). I'm thinking Human or Half-elf for the race and obviously a follower of Sarenrae.

I'll put together a full submission tonight or tomorrow, but I wanted to put it out there as my idea. Thanks.

@Valghaz: thanks for the submission!

@JohnnyBlack: an investigator of the occult sounds right on target... feel free to flesh out his phobias, hang-ups, etc, to give me a slightly better sense of his personality.

@J Scot Shady: excellent idea. God knows Carrion Hill's gonna need all the light it can get...

Let's see...
He is driven by his research. He believes knowledge is valuable, and to refrain from investigating something because is "forbidden", "unholy" or "better left unknown" is cowardice and stupidity.

That is why he was expelled from his school. Driven out! The idiots!

He will show them! One day, he will go back there and rub on their idiotic faces the knowledge they were too weak and too coward to find out. Even "evil" knowledge is necessary to defend and defeat evil, and to keep yourself in the dark is a losing proposition.

So he has a deep grudge against the wizards in his old school. And that reflects even in how he deals with ANY wizard or magic-user. If they refuse or show reservations in investigating "forbidden" knowledge, he will dismiss them as cowards and weaklings.

And on the other side, that drives him to the point of recklessness into investigating even when common sense dictates you shouldn't.

So his phobia would be to find out he lacks the conviction or bravery to keep on. To find himself a coward. To find himself weak. To find himself lacking.

That...might be an issue for Valghaz as I can’t see him working with a necromancer. His Favored Enemy Humans was to represent hunting them.

I’ll see what I can do to rethink the character. Depending on what baggage wants, may scrap him alltogether.

Application and character submission.

About Myself:
I've been playing D&D and Pathfinder for about 20 years now with Pathfinder 1E being my main focus for the last 5. Most of my playing has been online in some capacity (Discord, Roll20, PbP) and have a solid feel of the forums. I have run numerous one shots and modules and made attempts run adventure paths with varying success (Kingmaker is difficult to do online, I find)

I'vebeen a big fan for good lovecraftian adventures (Strange Aeons isn't actually that bad, but is hard to run) and am hoping to learn something from Carrion Hill to use in a homebrew setting I keep returning to.

My Character:
A number of Lovecraft's stories involve an inspector of some kind and Carrion Hill should be no exception.

My concept is Maritine LeGrasse, Relentless Inspector. A graduate of the University of Lepidstadt, Maritine has spent years hunting cults and eldritch secrets, bringing them into the light for study and occasional accolades as a distraction from her personal mission; hunting down her siblings and killing them to bury their secrets to prevent them from revealing the terrible truth to the university, or blackmailing her to provide them with its relics.

The terrible truth being that Maritine is not actually from the prodigious university but is in fact an imposter who stole the originals identity after she was caught and killed by the siblings. Cunning enough to make the charade work it did not take long for 'Maritine' to become the woman she was imitating and soon the mask became her face. Determined to keep the status quo and willing to do what it takes to do so, Maritine has made the dangerous trek to Carrion Hill, determined to arrive before her siblings and to claim what secrets she can for Lepidstadt - and herself.

Look forward to hearing back from you, like the characters coming together already.

Valghaz Ironhammer wrote:

That...might be an issue for Valghaz as I can’t see him working with a necromancer. His Favored Enemy Humans was to represent hunting them.

I’ll see what I can do to rethink the character. Depending on what baggage wants, may scrap him alltogether.

My character would be a "good" necromancer. To know the enemy is the way to defeat it.

Too bad most people don't see it that way.

Dotting in...
(oh hey, it's Grumbaki again!)

Yup! Seeing that I’m getting recognizable. Hopefully in a good way. :p

Hello! Long-time tabletop player, but this is the first time I've ever volunteered for a PbP. I've run several of them under my DMDM alias, including a Way of the Wicked campaign that ran for a couple of years, but I've never played in one before. If picked, I can commit to posting rapidly and regularly, and to RPing just as hard as I can! So here's my proposed PC:

Walter the Spell Sage -- Character concept:
You know how there are wizards who are all about THE KNOWLEDGE? Follow knowledge, wherever it may go, whatever the consequences? Wizards who are certain that their magnificent intellects will see them through, that they'll be able to achieve success by the brute power of pure reason?

Well, that used to be Walter. And then something really horrible happened. And Walter had to decide, on the spot, what was more important: mind-blasting cosmic truth, or simple humanity.

Walter is a character who's already had at least one brush with the Mythos. That experience has left him a permanently changed man. He's a little twitchy at the best of times. He doesn't sleep well. He'll have the Haunted drawback (-2 against spells with the Evil descriptor). And if confronted with true abomination, Walter may choke up. He knows just how bad things can get, and it authentically terrifies him. Basically this is a guy who's trying to work through Mythos PTSD... and, uh-oh, now he's thrown into contact with the Mythos again.

On the plus side, Walter's alignment underwent a massive shift. He's now NG. How much of that is because of a guilty conscience remains to be seen... but anyway, it's real: Walter is one of the good guys now. But he's not yet very /good/ at being good. Walter is a super smart guy who used to be an arrogant know-it-all jerkass, and who now is trying to figure out how to be a decent human being. And he's sincere! But since he never paid much attention to stuff like empathy or compassion, he has to work all this stuff out from basics. And since old habits die hard, he'll sometimes slip back into being an arrogant know-it-all, because that's still what comes most naturally.

So: more Mythos is literally the last thing Walter needs in his life. But if innocents are in danger, and there's no one else, he'll *try* to step up and deal with it. He'll put one foot in front of another and walk into the nightmare, trembling with horror all the way, until his will breaks or his mind shatters.

Walter the Spell Sage -- Background and crunch:
Walter is not going to be an optimized character. He's going to dump Str and Con, and he's not going to have more than a +1 in anything else except Int. Yes, he's lopsided. Walter spent most of his life as a huge arrogant nerd who didn't care about anything but the brilliance of his amazing mind. He's trying to be a more complete person now, but it's a long slow process.

Mechanically he's a Neutral Good Human Wizard (Spell Sage). The Spell Sage is a weird little archetype, sort of the opposite of a sorceror: it's starved for spell slots, but it's a great utility caster. If the party already has a couple of utility casters, then Walter could be an Elder Mythos Scholar instead. That's a little bit on the nose, though, and the Spell Sage would be my first choice.

Walter is a Chelaxian from Sargava. He has recently become devoted to some nonevil deity whose portfolio includes peace, courage, and/or redemption.

Thanks for your consideration!

Doug M.

I'm happy to see some great submissions so far, and will post an updated summary of applicants each evening moving forward. I'm won't comment on each submission as it comes in, but know that I'm reading everything carefully.

One thing: don't worry about how compatible your PC is to other applicants; we'll iron out all those details once we put the final crew together.

Character Submissions thus far:

Full concepts:
Walter, Human Spell Sage
Valghaz Ironhammer, Trapper Ranger
Maritine Legrasse, Human Relentless Inspector
Necromancer by Johnny Black

Partial Concepts:

Psychic by Ever_Anon
Blossoming Light Cleric by J Scot Shady
Vindictive Bastard/Phantom Blade by baggageboy

Need something else from me to be considered?

Sounds good, look forward to seeing how it all shapes out. Been in many campaigns, but never a horror themed one.

@JohnnyBlack, apologies, your application was complete but broken up over a couple of posts. Missed that. Got a name for your necromancer?

No problem.
Name? Blame the classics, I would go for Heinrich Faust.

Dotting for interest. Started Carrion Hill a long time back and never had a chance to get more than two encounters in (our GM ran it as a pseudo sequel to Feast of Ravenmoor). I'll get something more of substance up tomorrow morning.

Been playing TTRPGs for the last 15 or so odd years and PBP for about 3-4 ish. Been going strong on a couple of campaigns on the forums here, but am always looking for new games now. I'm a massive fan of horror and atmosphere; I revel in it. I'll consider a concept tonight and definitely get back to this thread tomorrow! I just finished The Return of the Obra Dinn so I'm on a Lovecraft/Gothic kind of kick

East Coast if it matters at all!

I guess the only questions which is relevant right now is are you open to using partial BAB and partial Saves for people who multiclass? (ie: Sorcerer 1 grants +0.5 BAB and Rogue 1 grants +0.75 BAB for +1.25 for level 2).

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Ok, I'm still working out a background, hopefully in conjunction with Valghaz. The crunch is done though.

Character Sheet

He's a very tanky dwarf who can talk with people reasonably well and knows a bit about a lot of things. How and why he is the way he is will come in a few days.

Thinking a little bit more about Walter the Spell Sage. I started to stat him up, using the character concept to drive the mechanics. Here are some things I came up with:

Five things about Walter the Spell Sage:

He's squish. A negative con modifier means that even with FCB he has just 22 HP. His armor class won't be great either. Walter is all too aware of this. He's not a cringe-in-the-background coward, but he's... mindful.

He's stubborn. He's taking Iron Will. This is not a macho Triumph of the Will thing. More like, he's able to push himself forward against his own better judgment, nails biting into the his palms as he advances towards the horror.

He's blasty. He'll have Spell Focus (Evocation) and Burning Hands and Fireball. Especially Fireball. You can use Fireball from a distance. A nice, long, safe distance. He'll use alchemical reagents for a bit of extra damage, and he'll take Magical Lineage (Fireball) as one of his traits. It won't be any good until 7th level, but then Empowered Fireballs as 4th level spells will be a thing. Because fire is good. Fire cleanses.

He's kind of a know-it-all. He's got at least one rank in every Knowledge skill. He *likes* making knowledge checks. He used to have a bad habit of pompously over-explaining things. He's trying to get better about that. -- And finally,

He's stealthy. He's taking the Highlander trait (stealth is a class skill, +1 trait bonus) and maxing ranks there. This is not a "sneak into the dragon's lair" type of thing. More like, he's very good at freezing in terror and going unnoticed while the monster slithers past.

Okay, that'll do. Watching with interest, and good luck to all!

Doug M.

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Don't have time for a submission but just wanted to say I love this adventure and usually run it on Halloween for my friends. Good luck to everyone who is accepted cause you're going to need it.

Submitting Captain Neil Brennan, an Ex-Privateer (and Ex-Paladin) at the bottom of a bottle with very little to live for anymore; hoping to find one more chance of redemption in the dark corners of Ustalav... or at the very least some way for him to not suffer any longer.

@Hubaris: I'm fine with fractional base bonuses - makes sense to me.

Submitting an application for Yelena Stanescu, psychic. The full crunch (minus equipment, which I'll worry about if I get selected)can be found in the profile. Also, fair warning, I am apparently incapable of writing short backgrounds. The tl;dr version is "Varisian fortune-teller gets visions (possibly) from Desna that end up sending her to Carrion Hill."

About Me:
My gaming history is fairly short. I started my first-ever D&D game about a year ago and immediately fell in love. Meeting once a month or so wasn't cutting it, so a little over six months ago I joined the Paizo forums and got into PBP. That being said, I have been (and still am) active in a lot of games here, so there's plenty of posting history to check out.

My time zone is EST. I work in a library and have a fair amount of free time, so I do most of my posting at work. Typically I post in the morning, then check in periodically throughout the day. I'm less likely to post in the evening, and weekends vary depending on what plans I've got going on. I do still usually get in at least one post a day on the weekends.

Why Carrion Hill? Because I love Lovecraftian stories. I was playing Eldritch/Arkham Horror long before I got into roleplaying. I also prefer character-driven games, so I'm really interested to see what everyone brings to the table.

Some examples of my posting style:

This post is from a Strange Aeons game which has since ended up with a new GM. The entire intro sequence was a blast, and I love my cynical true neutral character.

I use the preview option liberally so I can appropriately flavor the roleplay around dice rolls. This post is a good example of how I roleplay a failed check.

It requires a bit more context, but on this page me and another character did some bonding over similar tragedies in our backstories. If you don't mind a lot of reading, it's a good example of how I interact with other PCs.

If you have any questions or want more examples, please let me know. I'm happy to provide.

Character Concept:
Yelena is a psychic with the Esoteric Starseeker archetype. Said archetype slows down some of the psychic's regular class features, (namely phrenic amplifications), in exchange for some assistance with every spontaneous caster's biggest problem, versatility. Depending on which constellation she studies each night, she gets access to a different set of spells.

Her in-combat role will depend at least partly on the party composition. Right now she's a jack-of-all-trades, but I'll probably do some spell-swapping before we start. For example, if we have a lot of big beefy fighters, I'll drop some of the damage-dealing spells and focus more on buffing. The Faith discipline grants her access to a couple of cure spells per day so she can also be a backup healer.

Character Background:
Like many Varisians, Yelena was born on the open road. Her mother died in childbirth, and her father was...well, when she was young her grandmother tactfully said he was ‘away.’ As she grew older she learned the truth; that she was the product of a short-lived affair her mother had with a minor noble from Magnimar. ”I told Imani not to get involved with him. That no good ever came of messing with a married man, or a noble, and that both was asking for disaster. She never would listen to me.” Tereza sighed, then smiled as she gently stroked Yelena’s hair. ”I was wrong though. One good thing came of it, and I wouldn’t trade you for anything.” Yelena listened to the tale with wide eyes, but she knew any dreams of traveling back to Magnimar and having her father accept her were just that, dreams. Besides, who would ever want to live in a city when there was the whole of Golarion to explore?

Tereza worked as a fortune-teller in various caravans, going wherever the North Star took her. Yelena trotted along behind, helping out in whatever small ways a child could. Her free time she spent in the fortune-teller’s wagon, eagerly absorbing whatever lessons Tereza felt she should learn that day. But one of her favorite things to do was to watch as Tereza laid out the Harrow cards. ”See here Yelena? The Eclipse. Normally it would represent a loss of purpose, but do you see where it is in the spread? It’s misaligned. That means something’s about to be discovered.”

Yelena’s quick mind took in the explanations, and she started doing readings of her own. However her first real prophecy didn’t come from the Harrow.

It came from a dream.

Blood. Fire. Death.

Yelena woke screaming. Tereza tried to comfort her, but the girl was inconsolable. ”Bună, they’re going to die! They’re all going to die!” She clung to her grandmother and sobbed while Tereza rubbed her back.

”Shhh, shhh, it’s okay. It was just a dream.”

A dream that recurred the next night, and the next. Tereza consulted the Harrow and frowned at the reading before heading to see the caravan master. ”Gavril, I think we should turn back. My reading revealed Crows, a dangerous card that represents the violent theft of what is loved. Yelena’s dreams-”

Gavril spat on the ground. ”You want us to turn back because of a child’s nightmares?”

”The Harrow agrees with her.” Tereza wasn’t a tall woman, but she nevertheless drew herself up to her full height to stare Gavril in the eyes. ”Are you going to ignore my warning?”

Few Varisian men would deny a fortune-teller’s power. Gavril wasn’t one of them. ”I’ll set extra watches.” Tereza started to protest, but Gavril held up his hand. ”I’m not denying what you’ve seen, but we can’t turn back. It's too late in the season; if we turn back now we won’t be able to leave this country before the winter snows. Extra watches are the best I can do.” Tereza’s lips tightened, but she reluctantly nodded. A caravan operated on a thin margin; being trapped for the winter and unable to trade the goods they’d just picked up would result in bankruptcy. She’d just have to pray to Desna that the precautions would be enough.

They weren’t.

Ulfen raiders struck just before dawn. Even though they were expecting trouble, there’s only so long tired guards can remain alert. They never stood a chance.

Once more Yelena woke to the sound of screaming, but this time it wasn’t her own. Tereza’s white face appeared above her. ”Hurry child, we have to hurry!” She grabbed Yelena’s hand and ushered her out of the wagon.

The scenes from her nightmares played out once again.

Blood. Splashes of it against the wagons, red contrasting sharply with the white cloth.

Fire. One of the wagons was ablaze due to a knocked-over lantern. The raiders were cursing as they tried to put it out. Burned goods weren’t worth stealing, and there was no need for them to fight at the moment. Because…

Death. Gavril lay where he’d fallen, a fletched arrow through his throat. Talric, her favorite of the guards, the one who’d play the childish games that most of the caravan wouldn’t, lay gasping out his last. Mireli, Nandor, Marin, HenricDariusJaelle…

Tereza’s arms scooped Yelana up and turned her away. She started to run, gasping a prayer under her breath, ”Starsong, Goddess of Fortune, help us escape this place…” Behind them one of the raiders noticed the pair and began running after them.

Yelana looked up at the bright stars overhead. The Wagon twinkled in the sky, safely carrying the other constellations across the sky. Please, carry us too…

Tereza wasn’t a young woman, and she was carrying a child. She shouldn’t have been able to outrun a man in his prime. But with a sudden burst of speed, she left him far behind.

Four days later, the two of them managed to stumble into the town of Eldentre. ”A miracle,” people whispered after hearing their tale. ”They must have been guided by the North Star herself.”

They’d certainly been guided by something. Fed, clothed, and sheltered by a sympathetic tavern-owner, (”Eh, the rooms are empty this time of year anyway, you might as well use them”), Yelena finally had the time and energy to think about the strange sensation she’d had while staring up at the sky. She shyly mentioned it to Tereza, who nodded solemnly. ”The Starsong guides us all in different ways. I’ve long suspected you had the Sight, but perhaps there’s more to it than that.”

Eldentre was small, but they had a cleric. Tereza consulted with him, and together they began exploring Yelena’s strange new abilities. It was immediately obvious that whatever she was doing wasn’t anything like the magic Asbjorn knew. ”I don’t think it’s divine, but it doesn’t feel like a wizard’s power either.” He shrugged his shoulders helplessly. ”It’s not evil, I can tell that much. I guess I’ll teach her what I can?”

Working with Asbjorn, Yelena learned some of the limits of her new powers. She could move things just by willing them to move. She could tell what people were thinking, if she concentrated. And if she studied the night sky and asked for Desna’s favor, she was sometimes blessed with new, stranger abilities. Asbjorn never did figure out exactly what her magic was, but ultimately decided that it must be some sort of blessing from the gods.

They spent a little over a year in Eldentre before Yelena began growing restless. When she admitted as much to Tereza, the old woman simply smiled and signed up to work for another caravan. ”We’re Children of the Open Road, you and I. Servants of the North Star. We’ll never be content to stay in one place for long.”

They didn’t. They continued to go wherever the road took them. Over the next few years Yelena honed her skills with both magic and fortune-telling. As Tereza grew older, Yelena began taking over most of the duties of a Varisian fortune-teller, supplementing her Harrow readings with the prescience Desna sometimes granted her. Together the two of them continued to wander, most often as part of a caravan, but sometimes alone.

Recently Yelena has been having more bad dreams. Dreams of something stirring beneath the ground. Of foolish mortals awakening an ancient evil. Of death and destruction on a level she’d never before imagined.

Of a place known as Carrion Hill.

The Vindictive Bastard ex-paladin is a cool concept that I haven't seen played before. For a module like this one, it's mechanically weaker than a paladin, but thematically it's probably a much better fit!

Doug M.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

The Vindictive Bastard ex-paladin is a cool concept that I haven't seen played before. For a module like this one, it's mechanically weaker than a paladin, but thematically it's probably a much better fit!

Doug M.

Oh for sure. I'm normally against Paladins in horror adventures but I couldn't resist the temptation. I should probably find at least one class feature, item or feat that leverages neutral or not being wholly good. I was looking for an Archetype that guts Aura of Courage but none stack with the Paladin archetype sadly.

Also @Lament if you'd like some post examples I have plenty to scrounge up after work.

It would seem like cheating to have immunity to fear in such a campaign.

Valghaz Ironhammer wrote:
It would seem like cheating to have immunity to fear in such a campaign.

I'll be happy to dump the class feature for something else but no Archetypes stack that do so without GM Handwaving.

Hubaris wrote:
Valghaz Ironhammer wrote:
It would seem like cheating to have immunity to fear in such a campaign.
I'll be happy to dump the class feature for something else but no Archetypes stack that do so without GM Handwaving.

Some quick research shows split opinions on the question of the Aura of Courage per the Vindictive Bastard archetype. This post here however makes a convincing case along the following lines:


I would first apply the Ex-Paladin rule i.e.

A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin’s mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see atonement), as appropriate.
Then apply the Vindictive Bastard archetype. So effectively anything not explicitly stated in Vindictive Bastard is not granted. Including spells and the 2 auras mentioned

Thoughts, Hubaris?

GM question: How do you feel about ioun stones and resonant powers?

I'm currently equipping my character while working on his background with Valghaz off thread.

@baggageboy: If you can afford the ioun stone, then it's fair game. I'd keep it at classic ioun stones, however, and not extend their abilities into resonant powers/wayfinders.

Ok thank you, that's what I wanted to know. Not the answer I was hoping for, but that's ok.

I'm fine with not being Immune to Fear and losing spells personally (I will drop the Scrolls and Wand if that is the case). If you think it's too crippling I can switch to a non mounted Cavalier and flavour it as someone who has fallen.

I'm very easy when it comes to these things.

@Hubaris: Ultimately I'm more interested in the fluff than the crunch; if you're OK with the VB sans aura and spells, and it works for your backstory, then run with it. If you'd rather switch over to non-mounted cavalier, that can work, too. Your call, and whatever you think best serves your concept.

I have the impression that the Vindictive Bastard is supposed to be somewhat underpowered compared to a paladin. Otherwise, paladin players who got tired of playing a paladin might just shrug and say, fine, I'll dump my alignment and play a VB now -- it's different but just as good!

Doug M.

Done deal!
VB it is!

I talked to Lament and I'm building a Master Chymist :) Trying to slowly come back to the forums, just some very selected games.

An LN Android Monk.

Beyond Good and Evil:
Prone to introspection as he makes his way in the world trying to answer questions regarding the definition of existence, the understanding of emotions, the meaning or life, alignment, what makes people horrified and this inexplicable force that urges being to continue... this - will to power.


35+ years:
East Coast. I avoid super lengthy posts, but try to move forward with each post and give everyone a chance to contribute. I'm in several games with varying rates. Would love a deeper cerebral RP.

Theme: I am Machine - Three Days Grace

I am Machine - Lyrics:

by Three Days Grace

Here's to being human
All the pain and suffering
There's beauty in the bleeding
At least you feel something

I wish I knew what it was like
To care enough to carry on

I wish I knew what it was like
To find a place where I belong, but

I am machine
I never sleep
I keep my eyes wide open

I am machine
A part of me
Wishes I could just feel something

I am machine
I never sleep
Until I fix what's broken

I am machine
A part of me
Wishes I could just feel something

Here's to being human
Taking it for granted
The highs and lows of living
To getting second chances

I wish I knew what it was like
To care about what's right or wrong
I wish someone could help me find
Find a place where I belong, but

I am machine
I never sleep
I keep my eyes wide open

I am machine
A part of me
Wishes I could just feel something

I am machine
I never sleep
Until I fix what's broken

I am machine
A part of me
Wishes I could just feel something

It wasn't supposed to be this way
We were meant to feel the pain
I don't like what I am becoming
Wish I could just feel something

I am machine
I never sleep
I keep my eyes wide open

I am machine
A part of me
Wishes I could just feel something

I am machine
I never sleep
Until I fix what's broken

I am machine
A part of me
Wishes I could just feel something.

Prepping a sheet to get a feel for the class and the build, GM do you have a preference for where all the info is? I use mythweavers mostly because I can't quite get the sheets to work on the Paizo forums. It's a personal failing.

@Maritine: I greatly prefer crunch to be in the Paizo character profile, but am open to alternatives. I'm not familiar with mythweavers. Can you link me to an example?

I'm getting quietly excited over the caliber of the submissions.

Here's what we have so far:

Full concepts:

Walter, human Spell Sage
Valghaz Ironhammer, dwarf Trapper Ranger
Maritine Legrasse, human Relentless Inspector
Heinrich Faust, human Necromancer
Yelena Stanescu, human Psychic
Captain Neil Brennan, human Vicious Bastard Ex-Paladin
Gabriel XIII, android Monk

Partial Concepts:

Blossoming Light Cleric by J Scot Shady
Gray Paladin/Phantom Blade dwarf by baggageboy
Master chymist by Archlich

I'm pretty sure I can get most of the crunch/important stuff in the profile, I just like to use mythweavers for the entire sheet mostly because I make less of a mess of all the data.

Here's an example for another character I have on the forums - Cassidia.

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