GM XaveTheNerd's Circus of Wayward Wonders! - Extinction Curse

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Hero Points: Hush 2 | Finn 1 | Honey 2 | P'oxtan 2


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Discussion is for extensive out of character talks, and should be used more for clarification purposes. Anything relating to active gameplay should go in the Gameplay tab with [ooc] if it's not about rule questions.


Male CG Halfling (observant) Blow-in Swashbuckler 1 | HP 17/17 | Resistances: none | AC 18 | F: +4, R: +8, W: +5 | Perc. (e): +6 (+1 circ. to Perc. DC; +2 circ. to Seek undetected creatures) | Speed 25ft (30ft while in panache) | Class DC: 17 | Active conditions: None.

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Female Human Freelancer

Hi everyone! Happy to be here and can't wait to see who joins us!


Emerald Spire - Slides | Extinction Curse - Slides | Blooming Catastrophe - Slides

Recruitment is now closed. Let's set up some things here:

A few ground rules:
1. Please use discussion for discussing what to do, unless it's in smaller quantities. (For example, discussing whether to go to area A or area B should happen in discussion, but discussing whether or not a party member needs haste should probably happen ooc in gameplay).

2. Due to the nature of play by post, I expect a post every weekday from every player unless notice is given. I'll try to make time to update twice a day on weekdays, but I can only promise one consistently. You will be botted and rolled for even out of initiative if you do not post frequently. This may not always be in your best interest, but I try to stay fair with how I bot a character. I don’t know if you’re saving that fireball for the big bad final fight, though.

I also play 2-3 irl games through the weekend, so I cannot make any promises about posting through the weekend. I will do what I can.

3. When combat comes up, you will have approximately 24 hours from the time I post you're up to respond. If you take too long, I will likely bot your character. I have a specific Alias for "DA BOT" so you'll know if you or somebody else got botted without having to read too deeply into my posts.

4. I use block initiative in combat, and though enemies go in the order specified, players go in the order posted. If you wish to wait for something to happen (for example, for the bard to start the Inspire Courage that he always does [the drama queen!]) you must specify so in your post. If the event does not happen, we revert back to the initial rule.

5.Lastly, have fun!

Now, a bit about me: I’ve been GMing Pathfinder for over 3 years now, having started with the Beginner Box. I’ve grown all the way into an official, self-labelled min-maxer (though to some I go too far and must accept the title Munchkin). I work in a super lax Software Engineering job, and typically have time to post while I’m at work. I am currently involved in several long term play by post adventures, as well as several long term in person adventures. Needless to say, I’m knee deep in Pathfinder, and I ain’t turnin’ back any time soon.


Female Human

Thanks for the invite. Hello everyone. I look forward to playing. Today is a little busy but I’ll post as soon as able with character ideas.


Female Human

Ok. I looked over the player’s guide and I’m thinking:
1st choice - cleric with aerialist background. Worshipper of Desna or Callistra with some kind of insect stage name who puts their trust in their deity with every high flying trapeze leap even without a safety net
2nd choice - alchemist with the butcher background. A vendor of fizzy pop drinks before shows and can contribute to pyrotechnics or patching up fellow performers. Also a collector of oddities found along the road.
3rd - I’m open to filling any gap we might be missing


Jeez. This is what happens when I schedule my home game on the same day as the one day a week that I work: I saw the GM's Discussion post within an hour of him posting it and I'm only just now getting around to responding.

Anyways, hey guys! I suppose that I should introduce myself as well. I’ve personally been playing Pathfinder for…three years? I was introduced to it through a friend of mine who knew NOTHING about the rules other than the basics, and even then was really sketchy on it. When my primary hobby went off the deep end (card games will do that), I switched over to Pathfinder and I honestly don’t know what I would do without it anymore.

I’m kinda in the same boat as the GM: power gamer that balances on the Munchkin line but tries not to cross it unless I have to. I’ve actually been playing 2e since the Playtest, and while I was really hyped at first, I’ve been humbled after the…trainwreck isn’t the right word, so let’s say “trial,” that was the Playtest (played through the roleplay test with the least-roleplaying-GM I’ve ever had). Seeing the final product in action, though, has made me realize just what I love about this new version—to the point that I am definitely switching my home group to 2e AP conversions after we finish Tyrant’s Grasp (I would’ve done it with that AP, but it’s very much a system-mastery-to-not-die AP).

I’m also an offline friend of the GM, so we’re pretty understanding in how we think (and I have his contact info if you can’t reach him on the forums for one reason or another). I tend to check these forums almost obsessively (that’s what actual OCD and a slew of other mental illnesses will do to you), so I’m pretty much guaranteed to post daily (sans Sundays; I need a day to myself). I’m your resident rules lawyer (by which I mean I’m very familiar with the rules, not that I’m always “No, this is how it works,” only sometimes do I do that), so I’ll likely be able to answer any rules questions that you may have—you know, when the GM doesn’t want to. I’m currently going to college for mechanical engineering and eventually into patent law, but with the current COVID-shutdown and all my classes switching to online, I’m finding myself with quite a bit more time on my hands. EDIT 2: But I swear, I use more freaking trigonometry in Pathfinder than I did in my actual trig class (I even, god as my witness, had to calculate the optimal volume of a truncated cone for one of my Seeker-tier PFS games, because the Whirlwind ability is absolutely insane).

Anyways, you guys probably saw me dot in before—my character is Finnace “Finn” Cailean, halfling juggler, swashbuckler, and new arrival to the circus, as well as the half-fighter-half-skills person. I worked with the GM and he said that it would be within the realm of a 1st-level class feat to allow me to add my Precise Strike damage to thrown attacks (barbarians get something similar, after all). I do have this whole thing written out for Finn, but the rest of the PCs probably just know him as that young newcomer who just kinda appeared one day. I am pretty dead-set on the build, so sorry if I stole someone’s concept, buuut…I was here first. ;)

Anyway, recently AoN had a massive update to the 2e section, so right now I think it would be a good idea for folks still in their character creation phase to look through some of the character options from the Extinction Curse AP that has been added to the archives—more specifically the new archetypes: animal trainer and staff acrobat. Well, there’s also the juggler archetype, but you can’t have that it’s mine! (I also tend to have a weird sense of humor that, in text, seems to border on confrontational, but it’s all in good fun and teasing, so if any of you need me to take it down a notch then please tell me and I will oblige.)

If I may put in some input: This may sound strange, but I want to see how a party without a cleric (or rather without a cleric with a healing font) plays out, because every table I’ve played at has had one, and I think not having 4 extra slots for heal would go a long way in making me kick the 1e combat habit of full-attack every round out to the curb. That said, I do have this hilarious character concept in mind of the circus strongman being a cloistered cleric of Kurgess who has an 18 Str. but a terrible Con. and so goes nowhere near the actual combat itself. It would be a really tough build to pull off, but the juxtaposition of the buff strong guy just cowardly staying in the backline is just so funny to me.

EDIT 1: Wow. I started three paragraphs with "Anyways,". Jeez.


Female Human

Well instead of cleric, I can do angelic sorcerer. I think I was going to go that route anyway. Here's some basic stats I threw together. I can finalize details and backstory if this works. If this doesn't work, I can put together an alternative.

How many players are we?

Honey Wasp:

Honey Wasp
Sorcerer 1 (Angelic Bloodline)
CN Female Half-Elf (humanoid (human, elf))
Perception (Wis) (T) +3

===============
DEFENSE
===============
AC (T) 16
HP 15

Fort (T) +4
Ref (T) +6
Will (E) +5

===============
OFFENSE
===============
Speed 25 ft.
Spell Attack Roll +7
Spell DC 17

===============
STATISTICS
===============
Str 12 (+1)
Dex 16 (+3)
Con 12 (+1)
Int 10 (+0)
Wis 10 (+0)
Cha 18 (+4)

===============
SKILLS
===============
Acrobatics (Dex) (T) +6
Athletics (Str) (T) +4
Deception (Cha) (T) +7
Diplomacy (Cha) (T) +7
Religion (Wis) (T) +3
Rope Lore (Int) (T) +3
Languages: Common
Deity: Calistria

===============
FEATS
===============
Adapted Cantrip (Ancestry 1)
Cat Fall (Skill 1)

===============
PROFICIENCIES
===============
Simple Weapons (T)
Unarmed (T)
Unarmored (T)

===============
SPELLS
===============
Cantrips
Daze, Detect Magic, Divine Lance, Guidance, Light, Prestidigitation, Produce Flame

1st
Bless, Create Water, Heal, Mending

===============
EQUIPMENT
===============
Dagger, slingshot, sling bullet (20), adventurer’s pack, bandolier, caltrops (2), sheath, silver religious symbol, rope, writing set, minor healing potion

Gold
6 gp, 4 sp

Bulk
1 bulk, 9 light

===============
DESCRIPTION
===============
A lean dark haired half elven woman. She wears a black and yellow skin-tight acrobatics outfit.

===============
BACKSTORY
===============
Honey Wasp has traveled with the Celestial Menagerie for years and transferred over to the Circus of Wayward Wonders upon its formation. She was adopted into the circus as an orphan and the circus is the only home she’s ever known. While her high flying acrobatics often brought in large crowds, the Celestial Menagerie always skimped on safety measures such as nets so each of her jumps was literally a leap of faith. As she aged, Honey Wasp took up the worship of Calistria and eventually learned that she had an innate talent for drawing upon divine magic. Honey Wasp attributes her abilities to her strong faith but other members of the troupe tell her that one of her parents may have had celestial origins.


Human Bard 3

Thanks for the invite! I’ve had this idea of a lizardfolk ranger or fighter kicking around, and they could function as the strongman/exotic stranger of the group. Basically


Female Human

I'm not opposed but is there rules of a PC lizardfolk in 2nd edition? Just curious.


Human Bard 3

Yep! They're one of the three non-core races, along with hobgoblins and leshies.


Emerald Spire - Slides | Extinction Curse - Slides | Blooming Catastrophe - Slides

Lost Omens Character Guide. That's where those new ancestries came from! Was wondering where that talk was from.

So far: I'm seeing the following

Simeon appears to want to play a Ranger or a Fighter.
Peachbottom is wanting an Angelic Sorcerer.
Trey will be playing a Swashbuckler. This one is final.
And Meloriel is still undecided, due to having just moved.

If we're going through the usual group of PCs: Peachbottom has "cleric", Trey has "Rogue", Simeon has "fighter", which leaves some kind of arcane/occult/primal caster "wizard" role for Meloriel. If she's willing, that is.


Female Human Freelancer

Hi, everyone! I'm Jessica. I'm an at-home mom, child caretaker, and freelance author for Paizo, Dungeon in a Box, Rusted Iron Games, and others. I'm also the founder of the d20diaries blog.

I have a fondness for taking quirky and less-than-optimal options for my characters, while keeping everything tight to their concept or story, so I'm more than a few steps removed from our resident power gamers. Haha.

I will happily roll up an arcane/occult/primal caster of some kind. Feel free to solidify your characters without me, and I'll happily wiggle and stretch to fill any obvious gaps. I'll be another few days before I can get my character up. Schools are gearing up to close around here so I'm trying to prep my new apartment for having my nieces, nephews, and kids all crammed inside it for a few weeks. This means I'll have less time than expected the next few weeks, as I'll be busy minding tempers and tantrums, so I may be less responsive than hoped for the first bit of this campaign. I hope to find equilibrium around here ASAP.

Happy to meet those of you I don't know, and see again those of you I do.

All the best, folks!


Female Human

Works for me. I’ll put together my alias when I get a chance. Nice to meet you all.


CN Half-Elf Sorcerer 1 | 15/15 hp | AC 16 | Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5 | Perc +3 | Spells: 1st 2/3 | Hero Pts 2/3

Alias set up


Male CG Halfling (observant) Blow-in Swashbuckler 1 | HP 17/17 | Resistances: none | AC 18 | F: +4, R: +8, W: +5 | Perc. (e): +6 (+1 circ. to Perc. DC; +2 circ. to Seek undetected creatures) | Speed 25ft (30ft while in panache) | Class DC: 17 | Active conditions: None.

Silly question, but I'm assuming that all of the uncommon options in Extinction Curse (throwing knives, archetypes, etc.) are available to us?

EDIT: Also, any weird character creation stuff that we should be aware of?


Emerald Spire - Slides | Extinction Curse - Slides | Blooming Catastrophe - Slides

Yes. Any "uncommon" tagged options that specifically came from the adventure path's books are available. It would be weird to run a completely normal fighter, for example.

There are no weird character creation tricks. We'll be playing this completely straight, with the above being the only modification to normal rules.

I'm testing out a few of the variant rules from the Gamemastery Guide in my homegroup here in a few weeks, but I don't intend to break usual play for the forums unless I run something fully homebrew. This game will only be modified based on a few...let's call them grievances...I have with the adventure path. But that's all on my end.


Female Human

I know this corona virus has everyone thrown off but do we have a start date in mind?


Emerald Spire - Slides | Extinction Curse - Slides | Blooming Catastrophe - Slides

Meloriel is currently busy finishing up a move, The rest of you may post in Gameplay when you're ready.

I won't ask too many questions about character building. Basically, one of my good friends (and soon to be publisher) summed up my philosophy on the matter: "If you cheat in tabletop rpgs, you've got bigger problems in your life than I need to know about."


Female Human

I feel like 2E streamlined a lot of the character creation rules so there's really not much to cheat on.


Emerald Spire - Slides | Extinction Curse - Slides | Blooming Catastrophe - Slides

While we wait. Let me begin the exposition dump that is the circus performance rules.

Part 1: Your performance - Signature Tricks!
----------***----------
Each PC can design their own signature trick. The player decides their signature trick's trick ehck (which can be a skill check, saving throw, or attack roll), chooses a trick trait, and names their trick. When the time comes, describe the trick as dramatically as possible. Only the PC who created the signature trick can perform it; NPCs and other PCs cannot perform another PC's signature trick. Otherwise, signature tricks do not have additional requirements or challenges associated with them (beyond the obvious GM approval).

PCs signature tricks improve and grow more complex as they go up in level. At 1st level a trick may have only 1 trick check and only 1 trick trait (unless the act is particularly dangerous (meaning it uses a saving throw as at least one of its checks), in which case it gains the automatic Injury trait). The number of trick checks and trick traits increases as characters gain levels.

Performing a trick takes one "Circus action", with each of the four acts having a varying number of PCs and NPCs capable of taking 3 actions. The action has the following effects:

Critical Success You generate Excitement equal to the trick's level; this Excitement is added to the circus' total Excitement for the show. You also generate Anticipation equal to half the trick's level (rounded up); this Anticipation is added to the circus' total Anticipation for the show. (Please note, this isn't always a good thing. We'll get to that later)

Success You generate Excitement equal to the trick's level; this Excitement is added to the circus's total Excitement for the show.

Failure No effect

Critical Failure The circus's Excitement value decreases by a value equal to half the trick's level (rounded up).

Also, critically failing a trick with the Injury trait leaves the performer with an injury. A DC 15 flat check determines if this injury is long lasting enough to affect the next performance. If the character fails the check, they are unable to perform in the next performance as they are still recovering from the previous failure. In addition, the performer cannot use perform a trick for the remainder of the show (this does include the remainder of that character's actions).

Trick Traits:

Pick one of the following:

Aerial: The trick involves flight or something similar to it, like trapeze.

Air: The trick involves manipulation of mist, wind, or another prop with atmospheric properties.

Alchemical: The trick involves alchemy. A performer can expend an alchemical item to gain a +1 circumstance bonus to the trick check, destroying the item.

Agile: Performing the trick again only takes a -4 penalty.

Animal: utilizes trained animals

Audience: The audience participates in the trick

Beast: The trick relies on intelligent beasts

Dance: Involved dancing or coreographed movements. Costarring (another action) is especially effective and stacks for these tricks.

Earth: The trick involves the use of mud, earth, or stone.

Emotion: Uses effects (likely alchemical or magical) that induce emotions from the audience. This allows you to reduce the amount of Excitement or Anticipation the trick creates, for purposes of hopefully getting a critical success.

Fire: This trick involves fire, smoke, or pyrotechnics.

Injury: We talked about this one. It's automatic if the trick check is a saving throw.

Magical: The trick invovles the use of magic. You can expend a spell slot, and if the performance succeeds or critically succeeds, the trick generates an additional amount of Excitement equal to the expended spell slot's level.

Music: The trick involves musical cues or is somehow augmented by sound effects and/or music.

Plant: The trick uses plants such as trees, flower, or fungi, or uses magic that affects such plants.

Prop: The trick requires the use of some mundane prop or stage setup.

Team*: This trick requires more than one person. Anytime a PC performing a signature trick accepts the Costar reaction, the trick has this trait.

Time: The trick involves distorting time or altering time in some way. A performer whose trick has this trait can perform that trick on additional time per act, taking a penalty to the fourth trick check equal to the penalty to the third trick check.

Water: This trick features water as a primary component of its performance.

Also, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to checks if using a corresponding check for the traits used. For example, a performer whose trick has the aerial trick trait gains a +1 circumstance bonus to Acrobatics trick checks.

Aerial - Acrobatics
Air - Survival
Animal - Nature
Audience - Society
Beast - Arcana
Earth - Occultism
Fire - Intimidation
Musical - Performance
Plant - Nature
Prop - Crafting
Water - Athletics

I will bring up other actions for the circus as they become relevant. For now, I'll let you digest the above and design your tricks.

---

Part 2: The Show (basics of Excitement and Anticipation)
----------***----------

Before a performance, you will usually have the ability to generate a value called Anticipation. This represents the crowd's overall enthusiasm and expectations for the show. The higher the Anticipation, the bigger the payout. However, if you generate more Anticipation than the show can satisfy, the show is a failure.

Excitement represents the crowd's satisfaction with the show. You generate Excitement by successfully completing tricks, and must generate more Excitement than Anticipation in order to earn your full Payout.

To specify, the outcome of a show is:
A success if you generate more Excitement than Anticipation.
A failure if you generate more Anticipation than Excitement.
A show is a Critical Success if the performers generate EXACTLY as much Excitement as Anticipation.

We'll get back to how to generate Anticipation when it comes time to do so. Just note that it involves making checks and purchases prior to a show (specifically using downtime), and that Anticipation is only valid for a week. We'll also come back to what happens depending on the success level when the first show is over.


Iruxi ranger 1 | 20 hp | AC 18 | F +7 R +7 W +5 | Perc +7

Hey folks, sorry for the late post. Character is ready to go, though I'm still sorting out gear. I don't use weapons or armor, so I'm not really sure what to spend my money on.


CN Half-Elf Sorcerer 1 | 15/15 hp | AC 16 | Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5 | Perc +3 | Spells: 1st 2/3 | Hero Pts 2/3

You can buy healing potions or some utility gear. You can get creative with basic tools, hammer, crowbar, rope, etc.


CN Half-Elf Sorcerer 1 | 15/15 hp | AC 16 | Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5 | Perc +3 | Spells: 1st 2/3 | Hero Pts 2/3

So my first signature trick will be:
“The Wasp’s Flight.” I’ll use my light cantrip on a button on the small of my back under my suit. The suit will have four slits, two on each side that will let the light out, to give the illusion of golden wings. Then the trick itself will be a death-defying spinning backwards somersault leap from one trapeze to the next. It would be an aerial trick using Acrobatics.


CN Half-Elf Sorcerer 1 | 15/15 hp | AC 16 | Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5 | Perc +3 | Spells: 1st 2/3 | Hero Pts 2/3

Also, even if you plan on primarily using claws, a ranged weapon is always a good backup.


Male CG Halfling (observant) Blow-in Swashbuckler 1 | HP 17/17 | Resistances: none | AC 18 | F: +4, R: +8, W: +5 | Perc. (e): +6 (+1 circ. to Perc. DC; +2 circ. to Seek undetected creatures) | Speed 25ft (30ft while in panache) | Class DC: 17 | Active conditions: None.

Okay, looking things over, it looks like we’re pretty solid on the social skills between me and Honey. What we as a party needs badly are the intelligence skills (Crafting, Arcana, Occultism, etc.) and someone who can do Medicine. I’m trained in the skill, but I just laid out where I want to go with my skill increases, I just realized that I have no room to be the person who Treats Wounds—that is, unless we don’t want someone with Thievery. So the party is kinda in need of a wizard, a bard with some unorthodox skill selections, or an alchemist. If you guys think that we’d probably be fine without Thievery then I can rework my skill increases to include Medicine instead. Just my two cents on the matter (and hopefully suggestions for what meloriel can play).

Finn’s trick is going to be him juggling a set of beanbags, simple as that. It will be an Acrobatics roll with the prop trait. It’s really simple for the moment, so the trick isn’t going to have a name yet, but as the tricks get more complex then he’s going to make a show of it (likely by juggling blades and such).


CN Half-Elf Sorcerer 1 | 15/15 hp | AC 16 | Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5 | Perc +3 | Spells: 1st 2/3 | Hero Pts 2/3

I agree with all your points, Finnace. I think Thievery is a better choice for Finnace. We can see what Melorial comes up with to see what gaps we have after that.

Yes, I like to have knowledge skills, but this character turned out to be a bit of an air-head and they didn't fit in. I don't have the Wis to use Medicine skill well either. I can cast Heal though.


Iruxi ranger 1 | 20 hp | AC 18 | F +7 R +7 W +5 | Perc +7

So I’ve been tossing around ideas for my trick and I think I’ll go for some sort of water trick. I’ve got a good athletics skill and the Breath Control feat from my lizardfolk ancestry allows me to hold my breath for 175 rounds, or seventeen and a half minutes.

Underwater weightlifting was the first thing that came to mind, but I might go for something less nutty.


Male CG Halfling (observant) Blow-in Swashbuckler 1 | HP 17/17 | Resistances: none | AC 18 | F: +4, R: +8, W: +5 | Perc. (e): +6 (+1 circ. to Perc. DC; +2 circ. to Seek undetected creatures) | Speed 25ft (30ft while in panache) | Class DC: 17 | Active conditions: None.

Something that I actually had to remind myself was that we're still first level, so our tricks actually can't be overly complicated. I was getting pretty ambitious about what Finn would do, but I remembered that I, for example, can't do something complicated like juggling knives because that would have both the props AND the injury trait.

For Honey's trick (not to impose upon your idea as a player, just trying to give constructive criticism), the fact that she said "death-defying" means that it would likely have the injury trait, and the wasp wings thing would likely give it the magic trait (though light is a cantrip, so not sure how that would work). That's three traits, so she would likely have to cut it down to something simpler.

All I'm saying is that we're only 1st level and our tricks can only have a single trait attached to them (unless they're a saving throw, then injury is added on), so we kinda have to think a lot more mundane in our tricks before we can really go into the extravagant and mind-boggling.


CN Half-Elf Sorcerer 1 | 15/15 hp | AC 16 | Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5 | Perc +3 | Spells: 1st 2/3 | Hero Pts 2/3

Well yes, I assume my trick is a basic trapeze jump. But the instructions said to describe it is dramatic as possible. Saying it is death-defying isn’t going to add an injury outcome; it just makes it sound more spectacular. And the light effect is just more flare. I’m not considering that a magic trait essential to the trick itself. The trick is still just an acrobatics roll.


CN Half-Elf Sorcerer 1 | 15/15 hp | AC 16 | Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5 | Perc +3 | Spells: 1st 2/3 | Hero Pts 2/3

I like the idea of an underwater trick P’oxtan. A large tank in the big ring will certainly attract attention.


Iruxi ranger 1 | 20 hp | AC 18 | F +7 R +7 W +5 | Perc +7

I think the exact mechanics and the general flavor of the tricks can be separate. You could probably still juggle knives, you could just choose one of the trick traits. Honey’s trick would probably use the aerial trait first, but the aesthetic could stay how she imagined it.

Just my couple of cents.


Male CG Halfling (observant) Blow-in Swashbuckler 1 | HP 17/17 | Resistances: none | AC 18 | F: +4, R: +8, W: +5 | Perc. (e): +6 (+1 circ. to Perc. DC; +2 circ. to Seek undetected creatures) | Speed 25ft (30ft while in panache) | Class DC: 17 | Active conditions: None.

True, but at this level it's more like "I juggle", "I trapeze", "I strongman" than anything else. I'm imagining at later levels our tricks will end up being "I juggle flaming knives while balancing on the edge of a greatsword and throwing them at someone strapped to a spinning wooden wheel without hitting them."

Again, that's my personal reading of the rules, so the GM could prove me wrong. I just like the idea of our acts evolving from those of a basic birthday party performer to something absolutely mind-boggling.


CN Half-Elf Sorcerer 1 | 15/15 hp | AC 16 | Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5 | Perc +3 | Spells: 1st 2/3 | Hero Pts 2/3

While I agree with you that our first trick will be the most basic, I think you are missing the part about being dramatic.

Birthday party juggling just doesn't sound that exciting for a circus performance. Even if that is all it is, throw in lots of exaggerated adjectives to spice it up. Like "Finn's Amazing Heavens-Reaching Multicolored Beanbags of Wonder!"


Emerald Spire - Slides | Extinction Curse - Slides | Blooming Catastrophe - Slides

^^^ That. Your trick can most certainly have some layers to it, and will most certainly need some flair. The main part of the trick is the trapeze, while every other part of her performance is rather aesthetic. Now, if she tried to do something fancier with the light than have it generally appear to be wasp wings, that may be too much. But it's mostly aesthetic. The ONLY thing about it is that the trick isn't TRULY dangerous yet, as we're rolling Acrobatics and not a saving throw. This means that a failure on Honey Wasp's part (at least for now) will not involve injury, so likely there's a net below her to help if something DOES go wrong. Later, Honey Wasp may add the magic trait and have a spell contribute beyond that of Aesthetics, at which point it would gain the Magical trait.

These traits are also guidelines. Do remember that your trick eventually needs to get more complicated, so be sure to leave room open for innovation and improvement.


Male CG Halfling (observant) Blow-in Swashbuckler 1 | HP 17/17 | Resistances: none | AC 18 | F: +4, R: +8, W: +5 | Perc. (e): +6 (+1 circ. to Perc. DC; +2 circ. to Seek undetected creatures) | Speed 25ft (30ft while in panache) | Class DC: 17 | Active conditions: None.

I...guess I didn't think about it that way. I (the player) am very much a lawful person, so the concept of doing something for the sake of whimsy kinda didn't cross my mind. I do actually have some drama and stuff in mind for the later levels, but I think I'm more caught up on the "when does a trick NEED a particular trait?" Because my trick, right off the bat, was juggling knives, and I'm mostly caught up in if my trick NEEDS the prop trait, because I will happily change my trick idea and have it be juggling knives with the injury trait if that's not the case and I'm just reading too much into this.


Emerald Spire - Slides | Extinction Curse - Slides | Blooming Catastrophe - Slides

I guess I didn't make something clear.

Your trick may only be given one trait, but the injury trait can be added for free given the condition of "I use a save as the trick check". This does mean that juggling knives is possible at level one.

It would be like this:

Trick name: Sky High Knives
Trick Check: Reflex save
Trick Traits: Prop (chosen); Injury (Automatically given because of the save in the check);


Male CG Halfling (observant) Blow-in Swashbuckler 1 | HP 17/17 | Resistances: none | AC 18 | F: +4, R: +8, W: +5 | Perc. (e): +6 (+1 circ. to Perc. DC; +2 circ. to Seek undetected creatures) | Speed 25ft (30ft while in panache) | Class DC: 17 | Active conditions: None.

Oh. Well let’s go with that, then!

Although, the name I was going to use was “Blade Cascade.”


Iruxi ranger 1 | 20 hp | AC 18 | F +7 R +7 W +5 | Perc +7

So I think I’ve settled on my idea. I’d wrestle animals. I’d start off with the animal trait, obviously, before moving on to get the water trait. I’ve got this idea of wrestling crocodiles and sharks and other aquatic animals.

I’d use Athletics, probably, though I could maybe do nature as well.

My idea for the name is Battle of the Beasts.


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I've got some time right now. Let's get some more rules out of the way.

TL;DR for previous sections:

Part 1: Your performance - Signature Tricks!
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Each PC can design their own signature trick. The player decides their signature trick's trick check (which can be a skill check, saving throw, or attack roll), chooses a trick trait, and names their trick. PCs signature tricks improve and grow more complex as they go up in level. At 1st level a trick may have only 1 trick check and only 1 trick trait (unless the act is particularly dangerous (meaning it uses a saving throw as at least one of its checks), in which case it gains the automatic Injury trait). The number of trick checks and trick traits increases as characters gain levels.

Performing a trick takes one "Circus action", with each of the four acts having a varying number of PCs and NPCs capable of taking 3 actions.

Critically failing a trick with the Injury trait leaves the performer with an injury. A DC 15 flat check determines if this injury is long lasting enough to affect the next performance. If the character fails the check, they are unable to perform in the next performance as they are still recovering from the previous failure. In addition, the performer cannot use perform a trick for the remainder of the show (this does include the remainder of that character's actions).

Trick Traits: See above.
---

Part 2: The Show (basics of Excitement and Anticipation)
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Before a performance, you will usually have the ability to generate a value called Anticipation. This represents the crowd's overall enthusiasm and expectations for the show. The higher the Anticipation, the bigger the payout. However, if you generate more Anticipation than the show can satisfy, the show is a failure.

Excitement represents the crowd's satisfaction with the show. You generate Excitement by successfully completing tricks, and must generate more Excitement than Anticipation in order to earn your full Payout.

To specify, the outcome of a show is:
A success if you generate more Excitement than Anticipation.
A failure if you generate more Anticipation than Excitement.
A show is a Critical Success if the performers generate EXACTLY as much Excitement as Anticipation.

Part 3: Progressing your trick
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PC's signature tricks improve and grow more complex as they go up in level. At 4th level a Signature Trick is allowed 2 trick checks. At 8th level a Signature Trick is allowed 2 traits. 12th sees the addition of a 3rd trait. 16th sees the addition of a 3rd check. Lastly, a 4th trait may be added at 20th level.

Once a signature trick is created, it is difficult to change. A PC can change their signature trick (including its trick checks and trick traits) whenever they gain a level OR by spending 6 consecutive days of towntime redesigning the trick.

---
Part 4: NPC tricks
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NPCs are also capable of performing tricks, and they must do so within a circus performance. There are simply too many slots for a table of 4 PCs to fill properly. When an NPC performs their trick, a player of the GM can roll the trick checks for that NPC, using the DC and the modifiers listed in the trick description. NPCs can't perform other NPCs' tricks, nor can they perform Signature Tricks. NPC tricks may have any number of trick traits and types of trick checks; these are not limited by their level as PC tricks are.

New NPC tricks become available to the circus as new NPCs are hired. An NPCs' trick never scales based on the players level, and remains the level the trick was initially gained at for the entirety of the adventure. Only Signature Tricks evolve as the PCs do. This means that the acts in the circus at the beginning of the Adventure Path and the acts and NPCs present at the end may be radically different. It IS helpful to have low level tricks in reserve, though, for purposes of attempting to get the Cricial Success condition for circus performances (reminder: Anticipation and Excitement match exactly).

---
Part 5: Anatomy of an Act
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An act consists of one or more tricks, the number depending on which act the circus is currently performing. Act I is the opener and contains but 1 trick. Act II is the Build-Up for the main event and contains 2 tricks. Act III is the Big Number; this is typically reserved for the biggest, most exciting trick the circus has to offer. It only contains 1 trick. Act IV is the finale, and it has a total of 3 tricks happening simultaneously as a final show. This leads to a total of 7 tricks, and no performer may perform more than once during the show.

When a performer is up in an act, they are allowed three actions. It is ONE action to Perform a Signature or NPC trick, and a character may perform more their trick multiple times throughout a single act. Each attempt at performing the trick after the first takes a -5 (or a -10 if the third time performing), unless the trick has the agile trait, in which case the penalty is -4 and -8, respectively.

PCs are the only ones capable of Costarring in a show, which is a reaction. Trigger: Another performer in the same act as you is about to attempt a trick check. Requirements: The performer is willing to accept your aid. Result: You help another performer in the act pull of their trick, possibly granting them a bonus to the triggering trick check. Attempt the same check as the trick check you are attempting to aid (this is why having multiple checks is helpful). The DC to Costar is equal to the DC of the trick check. This reaction OTHERWISE counts as the Aid action.

Lastly, a performer may Send in the Clowns. This takes one action. Requirements: You or another performer has failed or critically failed a trick check during the current act. Result: You give the signal for the circus' clown troupe to come onstage and rescue a botched trick. A failed trick becomes a success instead, or if it was a critical failure, it is instead a failure (though tricks with the injury trait still apply their critical failure effect of possibly removing the performer from the next show). The clowns can only be sent in once per act, and only one trick check is affected.

An in depth example:

For the second act of this week’s circus show, the
build‑up, Gerard the rogue is attempting his signature
trick, the Deep‑Sea Dunk, which involves shackling his
hands together before he is dropped in a water tank from
which he must escape. Performing alongside him in the
other ring is Janelle the ranger, who will be performing as
the Incredible Manticore Tamer (with some help from her
lion animal companion in costume).

Because he is a 4th‑level PC, Gerard’s trick can have
one trick trait and he can choose from one of two different
trick checks whenever he performs the Deep‑Sea Dunk.
When he last leveled up, Gerard chose the agile trait for
his trick and decided his available trick checks would be
a Thievery check (representing his ability to undo his
manacles) and a Fortitude saving throw (representing his
ability to hold his breath).

Janelle, also 4th level, has chosen the animal trait for
her trick, and uses either Nature or Intimidation for her
trick checks (representing her ability to keep her animal
under control and her ability to scare the audience with
her stunt, respectively).

The group decides that Gerard will describe his
performance and take his actions first. Gerard describes
his trick—the trapdoor drops, he plunges into the tank
of water!—and rolls a Thievery trick check for his first
action. Including his check modifier, his result is 26,
which handily overcomes the DC of 19 for 4th‑level
characters and generates 4 Excitement. He decides
to attempt two more trick checks, this time Fortitude
saves to hold his breath, taking the –4 and –8 penalties
on his rolls (because his trick has the agile trait) and
getting results of 20 (just beating the DC) and 9 (a
critical failure). His second roll generates 4 Excitement,
but his last roll, a critical failure, subtracts 2 Excitement
from the circus’s running total. Because his critically
failed trick check was a saving throw, Gerard must also
attempt a DC 15 flat check to determine if he is injured
as a result of his trick. Thankfully he rolls a 16, allowing
him to avoid injury.

Janelle attempts a Nature trick check for her first
action, and her result is a 29—a critical success! She
generates 4 Excitement but also 2 Anticipation. She
decides to attempt another Nature trick check for her
second action but gets only a 17—a failure. For her last
action, she Sends in the Clowns, changing her failed trick
check to a success instead and generating a total of 8
Excitement and 2 Anticipation from her performance.


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Because this may come up.

Part 6: Something WILL go Wrong
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It is impossible to account for every possibility before the curtains go up and the show starts. At the beginning of each circus show, the GM rolls on a table to determine a random circus event. These are not always bad, but they ARE always unexpected. These events have different effects depending entirely on what is rolled, but some events may be avoided entirely via a non-performer role.

Part 7: Non-Performer Roles (Copy pasted from the book)
----------***----------

Of course, some PCs might not want to perform in every circus show their troupe puts on. In this case, PCs can take part in auxiliary roles that, while not the focus of the show, can still play a big part in the circus’s success.

Each of the following non-performer roles requires a PC to abstain from performing in the show but grants a bonus to various parts of the performance. NPCs cannot perform these roles; it is assumed that they are fully occupied with preparing for their acts. Once chosen, a non-performer role cannot be changed until the next show. Only one PC can perform a particular non-performer role per show (for example, two PCs can’t both choose the role of animal handler). Some roles can be chosen only after purchasing certain circus upgrades.

The GM can create additional non-performer roles for the PCs, using the roles listed here as baselines.

Animal Handler: Trick checks with the animal trait gain a +2 circumstance bonus, and a PC whose signature trick has the animal trait can perform twice in the same show (though not in the same act). If the animals break loose event is rolled on Table 3: Random Circus Events (below), reroll on that table instead.

Backup Clown: Performers can Send in the Clowns one additional time per act.

Bandleader: After each trick is completed, the bandleader can choose to generate Anticipation equal to half the bandleader’s level rounded up. The circus must have the acoustics permanent upgrade (page 69) before a PC can choose the bandleader role.

Carnival Barker: The carnival barker draws in more audience members as the show goes on and increases the show’s maximum Anticipation. For every successful trick check performed, the carnival barker can choose to increase the show’s maximum Anticipation by 5.

Clown Coordinator: You can Send in the Clowns as a reaction instead of using 1 action. Costumer: Performers get a +1 circumstance bonus to trick checks with the audience trait.

Lighting: Performers gain a +1 circumstance bonus to Deception and Thievery trick checks. The circus must have the spotlights permanent upgrade before a PC can choose the lighting role.

Medic: Performers can’t become injured from critically failing tricks with the injury trait.

Pyrotechnic: Trick checks with the fire trait generate double Excitement.

Security Guard: Any rolls of hecklers or scalpers on Table 3: Random Circus Events are negated and have no effect on the performance.


| HP: 13/13 | AC 17 | F:+4 R:+5 W:+6 | Speed 25 ft. | Hero Points: 1 | Focus Points: 0/1 | Spells: 1st: 2/3 | Drain Bonded Item: 1/1 | Halfling Luck: 1/1 | Perc +4 | | Acrobatics +5, Arcana +7, Deception +5, Diplomacy +2, Intimidation +2, Lore (Circus) +7, Medicine +4, Occultism +7, Performance +5, Society +7, Stealth +5 | Active Conditions: Shield, Protective Ward

Hi, everyone! My character is ready to go.

I made a second generation clown so sick and tired of all the noise she decided to become a mime. She hopes that a combination of silent stage magic and buffoonery will enthrall the audience and make everyone finally be quiet for a change. (She's a mix of Mr. Mime and Teller from Penn and Teller). (Wizard Abjurer)

Gotta run for now, but wanted to let you know I'm here. I just need to make her trick.

@GM: Quick question for you: My character has two more languages than she has access to. I'd like to take draconic and sylvan for those languages. Is that alright?


| HP: 13/13 | AC 17 | F:+4 R:+5 W:+6 | Speed 25 ft. | Hero Points: 1 | Focus Points: 0/1 | Spells: 1st: 2/3 | Drain Bonded Item: 1/1 | Halfling Luck: 1/1 | Perc +4 | | Acrobatics +5, Arcana +7, Deception +5, Diplomacy +2, Intimidation +2, Lore (Circus) +7, Medicine +4, Occultism +7, Performance +5, Society +7, Stealth +5 | Active Conditions: Shield, Protective Ward

Hush and The Incredible Shrinking Prison
Traits: Audience; Trick Check:
The Act: Completely silent, Hush acts out walking into invisible walls to great comedic effect, eventually finding she's trapped in an ever shrinking invisible box! The atmosphere turns intense, as Hush seems to shrink and shrink, compressed by the ever compressing walls! She gestures for aid from a strong audience member who attempts to help her up, only to find they can't move her tiny body! With time running short, she gestures for aid from a child, who easily pops her up off the ground and saves her. Crisis averted, Hush spends the rest of the performance silently thanking both audience members, and overacting to emphasize the child's great strength, ending with comedy.
Notes: Hush captures the audiences interest with her buffoonery, honed from a lifetime of clowning, gains their attention (and finally makes everyone shut up) during the middle with expert miming and contorting, and ends with comedic audience interaction.

@GM: Because her trick primarily relies on comedic timing and buffoonery honed by her life at the circus, can she use Circus Lore for this trick? Or should I make it Perform? Or because it has the audience trait, should I use society? Just curious if it's my choice as long as I can justify it, or if we need to select the most applicable skill. I feel like Perform is the most applicable, but I'd prefer to run it off circus lore or society.


CN Half-Elf Sorcerer 1 | 15/15 hp | AC 16 | Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5 | Perc +3 | Spells: 1st 2/3 | Hero Pts 2/3

I love mimes. And that avatar is perfect!


Iruxi ranger 1 | 20 hp | AC 18 | F +7 R +7 W +5 | Perc +7

Man, I suppose it's inevitable that we'd end up with a mime.

I see you've got floating disk, you could use that in your act to maybe use arcana for the check?


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@Hush: I'll happily allow any of those checks. Using society on the check would give you a +1 for having the check match the trait, and we can flavor it as recognizing which audience members are most likely to give the best performance. If you so wish. Circus Lore would work as well.


| HP: 13/13 | AC 17 | F:+4 R:+5 W:+6 | Speed 25 ft. | Hero Points: 1 | Focus Points: 0/1 | Spells: 1st: 2/3 | Drain Bonded Item: 1/1 | Halfling Luck: 1/1 | Perc +4 | | Acrobatics +5, Arcana +7, Deception +5, Diplomacy +2, Intimidation +2, Lore (Circus) +7, Medicine +4, Occultism +7, Performance +5, Society +7, Stealth +5 | Active Conditions: Shield, Protective Ward

Wonderful! Thanks.


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Some GM input here. The two actions aside from performing a trick (costarring and sending in the clowns) are a very important key to success in the circus performance. You actually are looking to get 15 total successes on tricks across 4 acts, and each act can only send in the clowns (raising the degree of success) once. This can turn a critical failure into a failure or a failure into a success. To help get the iterative checks to work, costarring becomes necessary, and only a PC can costar. NPCs are incapable. So, try to match up PC performances with NPC performances that the PC would be good at. The DC to aid in the costar is lowered to the DC of the trick, so it should help to alleviate that off chance of a critical failure.

Speaking of which. HERO POINTS! I'll be using my friend's way of doing hero points on the forums. Hero points will reset at the beginning of every month, excluding this one. Hero points are tracked above. They may be used in circus performances, but note that a failure for a performance isn't the worst thing.


CN Half-Elf Sorcerer 1 | 15/15 hp | AC 16 | Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5 | Perc +3 | Spells: 1st 2/3 | Hero Pts 2/3

Ok, so we actually want similar performances then.

So we can pair:

Hush looks like the hardest to match up, with maybe the Feather-Fall Five with Acrobatics +5.
Honey with the The Flamboni Sisters with Deception +7.
Finn with Mordaine the Magician with Thievery +7.
P'oxtan with the Dwarven Throwers with Athletics +7.


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I've got a sheet at the end for tracking who does what during a performance. Let me know when you guys have that all filled out and ready; we'll proceed from there.

There are more shenanigans to come! *laughs in evil*

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