GM Blake's PF2 Extinction Curse Campaign

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Welcome! It will be my pleasure to serve as your gamemaster and guide you through a fun and dangerous adventure. Thank you for joining me here.

The Boring Real Life Disclaimer

My occupation periodically--usually predictably--requires me to spend more time on it than I would necessarily like. The other responsibilities that draw on my attention are my two children, my wife, and occasionally my elderly parents (although don’t tell my father that is how I described him). Even under these abnormal circumstances, this usually does not interfere with my ability to progress a game. However, this is a long term endeavor, and thus there will inevitably be moments where I do not have time to craft a post with the quality that I would like or, sometimes, days that I don’t stop moving from fire to fire until it is time (or past) for bed.

All that is to say that I am committed to giving you a quality experience, but when I stumble, I preemptively apologize and ask for your patience and understanding. Should I not be providing you with a fun experience--for this or any reason--please do not be afraid to bring it up publicly or privately. I may not be able to resolve the problem, but if I believe that I can, I will certainly try.

More Fun Campaign Information

I recommend that you download and read the free Player’s Guide: LINK

The adventure begins on the Isle of Erran off the northern shore of the Isle of Kortos and will eventually lead to many of the communities around the Isle of Kortos.

Your characters are all members of the Circus of Wayward Wonders. Not every character needs to be a circus performer seeking to dazzle crowds in the big top. After all, even a small traveling circus needs many roustabouts, animal tenders, mechanics, healers, chefs, and others. Nevertheless, each character should consider the Circus of Wayward Wonders to be home, and the other circus members to be friends or even family.

Many of the circus performers and workers are former employees of the Celestial Menagerie, a circus in the nearby port city of Escadar. The manager of the Celestial Menagerie, a cruel catfolk named Mistress Dusklight, is abusive to her employees and downright sadistic to the many animals she exhibits. The Circus of Wayward Wonders was formed one year ago by Myron “Thunder” Stendhal who is as thoughtful and compassionate as Mistress Dusklight is cruel. The circus has been gathering supplies, recruiting members, and developing routines, and entertaining small, remote communities to pay for the supplies since then, and the first day of the adventure is the circus’ very first performance in front of a significant audience.

Any alignment is permitted, but your character should have reason to risk their lives to protect and rescue other people, investigate crimes, and explore dangerous places without undue reliance on your fellow players (or the NPCs, i.e. me) to convince them to do so.

I think the backgrounds provided in the Player’s Guide align excellently with the Adventure Path and encourage you to seriously consider them; however, you are not restricted to those backgrounds.

Your party will need to be able to navigate challenges of the social nature, urban environments, wilderness environments, and underground environments. It is advantageous to have more than one character capable of entertaining a crowd in one way or another. There are scant opportunities for a mount-, extreme range-, or ship-focused character to shine.

While not all of the characters need to be a circus performer, at least one of you should either be a circus performer or, at least, a worker who, when called upon, can perform an impromptu act of entertainment for a crowd (such as a hidden talent they never felt was good enough or a previously unrealized natural talent). All acts should be based on ability/skill and not depend on unusualness of appearance (this is not to say that you cannot have an unusual appearance or ancestry) because Myron and the circus performers by mutual agreement refuse to encourage the spectacle of putting bodies on display for sensational titillation.

It is not required, but if your concept requires a rival, you may find some personal value and entertainment if you had a rivalry with one of the following members of the Celestial Menagerie. It should be a professional rivalry or an interpersonal rivalry of a reasonable magnitude, nothing to the level of “you killed my father, prepare to die!”

Potential Rivals:
Daring Danika (human, she), the lion tamer, and her lion, Leandrus
Jellico Bounce-Bounce (human, he), a clown
Viktor Volkano (human, he), a fire-eater

Crunch (Mechanical Considerations)

Any of the common options from the Core Rulebooks (including Advanced Player’s Guide) and Lost Omen books are available. Any uncommon options that you gain access to by virtue of ancestry or home region are available.

In addition, any uncommon ancestries from the Lost Omen books and the Advanced Player’s Guide are available (e.g. iruxi, hobgoblin, leshy, catfolk, tengu, orc, kobold). I understand that there may be a delay to the start if finalizing characters takes particularly long after release of the book. The variant heritages are probably allowed.

I only ask that as a general rule for the party, there are no more than 2 of any 1 uncommon ancestry. If more than two of you dearly want to play the same uncommon ancestry, we can talk about it as a whole group.

The dedication feats (and associated archetype feats) from the Adventure Path are available.
Animal Trainer
Staff Acrobat

Your characters have access to the following uncommon weapons, in addition to those accessed through other means:
Bladed Diabolo
Bladed Hoop
Fire Poi
Juggling Club
Scorpion Whip
Throwing Knives

Once all of you are assembled, we can begin discussing characters intermittently interrupted by the PF2 Rules Workshop (previously referred by me to some as Bootcamp) activities. Please feel free to ask any questions about the above information. If it deals with content from the Advanced Player's Guide, I will not be able to definitively answer those questions until the book has been released.

Thank you and let us enjoy this adventure together!

? Not much of a speed fanatic, couldn't tell you. Former Retail Worker/13


I am Wei Ji The Learner, AKA 'GM Wageslave'.

My pronouns fluctuate currently between he/him and they/them depending on my mood. My character pronouns will be as per character.

I have very little experience with PF2 (despite having run it during the Playtest and then again at GenCon last year).

Part of that distancing reason was due to the fact of tengu (arguably one of my favorite Ancestries) not being present in PF2, but with the timing of this AP in relation to the release of the APG the possibility of having birdfolk as a character in a longer-term sort of campaign is appealing.

IRL, I am in the 'essential worker' category, and my schedule is... variable at best. I will strive to post at least once a day, if not twice depending on circumstances.

ICly, my immediate thought was of a tengu acrobat (staff or not remaining to be seen) who had run-ins with Daring Danika in the past when Leandrus had to be persuaded away from considering my acrobat (to be named) as food not people repeatedly.

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That's a great concept!

Grand Lodge

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Yay, Wei Ji finally gets to play a Tengu in 2E! Huzzah! From the APG panel, they get Ancestry Boosts in Dexterity and one Free Boost and no flaws -- so they are wide open as to what you get to do with them.

I want to be some kind of Circus performer -- whether a bard, or something else. I was noodling around the idea of also being a Tengu, but I can select something more 'normal' if there is a limit on how many people get to be weird in the group.

Full disclosure: I own the entire AP. At one point a few months back, I lightly skimmed the first book looking mainly at pictures, but the only thing I seriously read was the Players Guide. Since you are going to be running this, I can take a deeper look at Agents of Edgewatch (the Detective Agency) as a GM.


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Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post


I'm Lady Ladile, aka GM Ladile, and I'm very happy to be here!

My personal pronouns are she/her and character pronouns will be determined once I get a firm handle on what sort of character I'd like to play.

Current experience with PF2 is limited to a handful of PFS2 scenarios and the Fall of Plaguestone module, which I'm currently playing in and should hopefully be finished with by the time our game here gets started.

I'm also an essential worker (healthcare) and work nights. You'll be more likely to see posts from me anywhere from mid-afternoon to early AM (CST) for that reason but it's also not unheard of to see posts from me at other times depending on what's going on on my days off.

While I do try to make at least 1 post/day in all my campaigns, my relationship with PbP has changed over the last couple of years (for the better) and so, to be blunt, if I don't feel like PbPing on any given day for whatever reason - I don't. That said, I'll still check in if circumstances will preclude me from posting for more than a day or two at a stretch.

As far as character ideas go - no idea yet. I'll try to do some reading and noodle over the options and see what speaks to me :)

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The only limitation that I'm asking for is no more than 2 of the same Uncommon ancestry. You could all be six different uncommon ancestries if you wanted to. Since your social interactions with the campaign world are as circus performers, I don't feel a need to 'ground' the group to any significant degree.

P.S. I admit that I am kind of excited to be the first person to give Wei Ji a chance to play a PF2 tengu. I had to check the PaizoCon recordings to see if I was going to have to homebrew a tengu or reverse engineer one from the new oracle iconic, because I was completely willing to do that.

Hello all!

Bret here. Thank you for the invite, GM Blake!

Like Hilary, I was looking forward to this AP. The only thing I’ve read is the player guide and the portion of the AP that has background Information for Catfolk.

I did a limited amount of the playtest and just recently earned my first PF2 Glyph. That said, I am still very much still learning the system. It has a lot of things that are not obvious to me and since I still also play and GM PF1 and Starfinder there are times where cognitive dissonance strikes.

I should be able to keep up with the pace. I recently retired so work is no longer an issue, but life still has a way of throwing curve balls.

I tend to like to play the different races. It is doubtful I will play a human or goblins since I already have PF2 characters for those races. Catfolk, Iruxi or Tengu are most likely although it is possible I would choose a core race. I am willing to play any character class, but generally tend towards the rogues, wizards and sorcerers.

I don’t have a character concept yet and will want to see the Catfolk and Tengu ancestries before making a final decision. I am perfectly willing to talk about concepts before then.

I intend to take one of the backgrounds from the Player’s Guide and am interested in the specialized tricks they talk about on pg. 6.

I look forward to this!

Grand Lodge

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Blake, what if we all wind up wanting to play Tengu? Couldn't we be from some Tengu circus family?

My pronouns are she / her. I will likely take either a background or an archetype from the Players Guide. I am interested in being an Aerialist, someone who works with Animals (the archetype), Mystic Seer or even the Barker who announces all the acts.

There are so many possibilities here!


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Hmm wrote:
Blake, what if we all wind up wanting to play Tengu? Couldn't we be from some Tengu circus family?

I could work with that.

Silver Crusade

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Male Halfling Sorcerer 7, Rogue 3, Arcane Trickster 10

Thank you so much for the invite to play with y'all!

My first thought in reading Blake's crunchy description was Catfolk, but I can play anything. I usually lean toward CHA and DEX based builds, probably in the CG to NG range of alignment. My characters often have big personalities, as Hmm and BretI might attest. I like the idea of a Juggler who juggles Throwing Knives. Though, Sorcerer also always appeals to me. :)

Tengu are cool, but it wouldn't be my first choice. That said, I will gladly play one if everyone else wants an all Tengu circus family. (It has always been my dream to play in a troop of all halflings or all dwarves, so I get it.)

He/Him for me, not sure about my character.

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

Hello, Fox! Seen and heard lots of good things about you from Hmm - looking forward to playing with you :)

Since we're talking ancestries, hmm...I admit that Tengu also probably wouldn't be my first choice but would also be willing to do an all-Tengu circus family if that's what the majority really wanted to do. Off the top of my head, the ancestries that I tend to be drawn to the most out of the possible options would be (in no order of preference): Leshy, Catfolk, Halfling and maaaaaybe Kobold.

As far as classes go, most of my characters tend to fall into healer/support & utility roles so I often find myself playing Clerics, Oracles, Sorcerers, etc.

Unless a concept really jumps out and grabs me I can say that I'll probably *not* be playing an Alchemist since that's what my Plaguestone character is. I'll also probably not play a Goblin or Gnome since I've got one each as PFS2 characters.

Lil"Eschie here.

Never played PF2 so far, this will be my first test. I think that for a first character I might keep it as simple as possible.

Or not, who knows?

IRL French male, civil servant (when I remember to be civil), works by daylight, definite (warped) sense of humor.

Readying the guide this afternoon to get an idea of what I'm throwing myself into.

Thanks for the opportunity to play.

Greetings Lil” Eschie!

I don’t think I’ve been in a game with you previously. I look forward to it.

It doesn’t sound to me like we will be doing an all-Tengu group. That is fine with me, this AP sounds more like it would have a mixture of people thrown together by circumstance rather than all from a single clan or town.

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BretI wrote:
It doesn’t sound to me like we will be doing an all-Tengu group. That is fine with me, this AP sounds more like it would have a mixture of people thrown together by circumstance rather than all from a single clan or town.

This is true. I have contingencies in my mind for different number players wanting to be a given uncommon ancestry, but I didn't want to overload you with choices and explanations. One of the themes of the adventure is that of being an outcast. The other thing is that, ideally, you should consider the Circus of Wayward Wonders as or very much like your family, otherwise the stakes aren't as great. It looks like at least half want to be something else, so I'll save discussing the family troupe considerations for if later, if needed.

If 3 of you end up wanting to be tengu, I would recommend either a three-tengu acrobat like act or any combination of performer and support (special effects, music, crafting/repairing, cook, other roustabout, etc).

Since all six are checked in, I'll start the rules workshop on Tuesday (unless Monday after a long weekend turns out to be easy (Ha!)).

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I should add: the way PF2 works, you could easily perform as an acrobat and be any class.

P.S. If you have not--I haven't checked--the Gameplay tab is open for dot-deleting in order to register and track the campaign in your Campaign tab.

Working on a probable human sorcerer

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To summarize so far we have:

Wei Ji: Tengu acrobat maybe with the staff
HMM: Circus performer, likely a bard and maybe a Tengu.
The Fox: Charismatic juggler sorcerer
Lady Ladile: Likely a different uncommon ancestry. Support or utility for class.
Lil” Eschie: Human sorcerer likely

Given the above, I will go with something melee focused to help balance the group. I will want to see the Swashbuckler since I’ve had a lot of fun with that class in 1e. I didn’t participate in the APG playtest, but from what I gather people generally liked the 2e playtest version of it.

I also need to figure out how to get access to Fire Poi for my goblin alchemist in PFS...

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In the campaign header, you'll find a link (Player's Notes) for you to write whatever notes you want the group to remember. I've added a table for you to keep your character ideas all in one place for everyone to see and compare so you're not flipping through what will inevitably be pages of Discussion.

This is someone else's compilation of the rules we've been shown for the APG. It at least gives you a sense of how many skills you'll start with and how many HP you'll gain each level. I do understand that it is probably gibberish to those who have no experience with PF2. We'll get there!

Silver Crusade

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Male Halfling Sorcerer 7, Rogue 3, Arcane Trickster 10

I'm starting to come around on the idea of a Tengu. Wayne Reynolds' art might be a contributor.

If there is a divination focused oracle mystery, that could be a cool fortune teller character. Otherwise I might try to build it with sorcerer instead.

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The compilation that GM Blake linked to above includes the following mysteries:
* Ancestors (hearing voices of generations past)
* Cosmos (open to the influences of celestial bodies)
* Lore (all of the knowledge, but slows you down)

I would expect there to be divinations in those mysteries.

Silver Crusade

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Male Halfling Sorcerer 7, Rogue 3, Arcane Trickster 10

Here is my first pass at a character concept. I'm a little surprised that it is, in fact, a tengu, but that's just how it worked out.

Ancestry Jinx Eater Tengu
Background Mystic Seer
Class Sorcerer (Angelic)

Aurelia is a tengu of unusual plumage. Her brownish feathers have a strong golden tinge to them, and yet they iridesce somewhat across the entire spectrum. This coloration, coupled with her gift of foresight, expose her angelic bloodline.

Though regarded as gifted by her tribe (I'm thinking from Varisia, but I know there are not large tengu communities there), Aurelia never felt like she fit in. She left her murder (is that what a family of tengu is called?) as a young adult and eventually joined the Circus of Wayward Wonders as "Aurelia, Lady of Empyreal Wonder," a harrow reader and fortune teller.

She will begin as an Angelic Sorcerer, specializing in divination and healing. I will probably have her multiclass into Wizard (in the Divination school) or Cleric (with the Fate domain). Wizard is more likely, because I like the idea of her being able to cast spells from both the divine and arcane traditions. I'm also intrigued by the Blessed One archetype from the APG.

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Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

Okay, so I've come up with two basic character skeletons that seem appealing to me:

Clover Montajay

Ancestry: Gutsy Halfling
Background: Animal Wrangler
Class: Ranger

If I go this route I'll probably either take the Animal Trainer archetype featured in the AP or possibly the Beastmaster archetype that will be coming out in the APG.


Ancestry: Vine or Gourd Leshy
Background: Rigger
Class: Monk

Might look into the Staff Acrobat archetype if I go this route.

Figure since at least two or three of us are looking into being some variation of sorcerer/cleric/wizard/oracle/etc. I'd help fill in some gaps elsewhere :)

*edit* Whichever of these concepts doesn't make the cut for the AP might just show up as a slightly-modified PFS character!

? Not much of a speed fanatic, couldn't tell you. Former Retail Worker/13

Character spitball


Ancestry: Tengu Pending more information that could fit here
Background: Aerialist
Class: TBD, watching party composition, probably best best Monk but there's already a Monk candidate out there....

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

^I'm not married to Bugtussle being a Monk if that's the class you truly envision for Leaf! He'd probably also work fine as a Rogue or Fighter. Maybe even a Cleric :)

Do we have a Rogue yet?

It is now looking like we will have enough melee between Wei Ji and Lady Ladile.

Given that, I am now considering an Iruxi Cleric of Kurgess with the Circus Born background. Hatched and raised in the circus, this one isn’t from the High Seas. Ancestry would likely be Cliffscale or Wetlander.

I need to look at the 2e cleric. I haven’t really paid attention to them so far. Try to figure out how much Wisdom they need vs Charisma and Strength. I haven’t looked into the mechanics of making this work, but strongman of a circus running games seems appropriate for a cleric of Kurgess.

What is the circus term for the people running games?

They would not have done well in Mistress Dusklight‘s circus. Likely refused to rig the games. Could have become a cleric because of that.

If we do need melee, the idea would most likely also work as a champion.

Feedback welcome, especially since I haven’t even done a draft of the character yet. Right now it is just a concept.

Grand Lodge

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With Lady Ladile potentially going animal trainer, I think I'd like to go with a Ringmaster-type character -- or aspiring ringmaster!

I will definitely be a bard, but could see going human, aasimar or tengu for this concept. Still leaning towards the Tengu.

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Place no weight in the following statement: I love the name Clover Montajay. I'd steal it if I was evil (or at least CN). ;)

While there are advantages to having a Rogue for traps and the like, those advantages are optional within the class and so not guaranteed with a given Rogue. You could have any class be a trapper (advantage if it's a class with Expert Perception to start and you plan for some Dexterity).

Two monks can be very, very different from each other.

Bret's iruxi idea is great! That's just the sort of thing Mistress Dusklight would do: buy an iruxi egg on the blackmarket, use the hatchling as some side show "baby dragon," and then force them into manual labor once they weren't "cute." And she would definitely abuse you for failing to rig her games. And Kurgess is an appropriate deity.

Cleric's need more wisdom if you plan on spells with DCs or attack rolls, less if not. Each + in Charisma translates to a bonus heal or harm spell. You can get Strength up there, but Dex and Con suffer a little in the process.

Nabi Sulushu

Ancestry Human (Keleshite)
Background Blow In
Class Rogue

An escapee from a foreign town, she ran away to avoid getting married to someone she didn't love and joined the circus by chance only a year ago.

She is in fact the daughter of a minor noble house, and planned to run away to strike on her own, but her family discovered her illicit activities too soon and she was cast out without much money by her older brother to avoid ashaming her parents. She usually performs minor sleight of hand tricks and games, and has some skills at juggling.
Probable build: Ancestry +2 Dex, +2 Con; Background +2 Dex, +2 Cha, Free +2 Str/Dex/Int/Cha. Total Str 12 Dex 16 Con 12 Int 12 Wis 10 Cha 14

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Your total stat array looks correct, Eschie.

EDIT: Pathfinder 2 Workshop #0: Modes of Gameplay

I decided to start here because it should be relatively brief and quick to grasp. Let me know if anyone needs more explanation or discussion.

PF2 is arranged into 3 Modes of Play: Exploration, Encounter, and Downtime. They are most easily understood by how time flows in each of them. Exploration Mode is semi-free form and measured in vague units of time between 10 minutes to 1 hour. Encounter Mode is the tactical mode (e.g. combat) where time is measured in rounds and actions are resolved turn-by-turn. Downtime Mode is the time between the action measured in days. Each mode has different kinds of actions that can be performed (and then there are plenty of ability or feat specific exceptions).

Pathfinder 2 Workshop #1: Action Economy

I'm starting relatively rudimentary here. If you've paid half an eye's attention to the playtest and discussions on the board, you are probably aware of this difference between PF1 and PF2. But, as I said, this is to make sure we're all on the same page. Also, as you build your characters, understanding the action economy is helpful in judging the relative value of a class ability or feat.

PF1 provided you with 1 move action, 1 standard action that you could exchange for a move action, certain actions that required both your move and standard action together called, as we know, full round actions, and even 1-round actions that took all your attention until the beginning of your next turn. Free actions took no action (speaking, dropping things from your hand). Eventually they added 1 swift action per round, and then immediate actions.

Forget all that.

PF2 gives you 3 action points per turn. You can spend those points however you choose. Different actions have different costs ranging from 1 to 3.

There are still free actions (e.g. Release, let go of something). Some have a "Trigger," a situation that allows you to use the free action (e.g. you are attacked, you take damage, you fail a Climb check). You cannot perform multiple free actions off of the same trigger.

At the beginning of your turn, you also receive 1 reaction (normally). All reactions have triggers. These are things like Attack of Opportunity (note that not everything gets to make attacks of opportunity), Recognize a Spell, and Shield Block.

Here is a LINK to Basic Actions.

Strike is 1 Action
Stride is 1 Action
Step (the new 5 ft step but sometimes more than 5 ft) is 1 Action
Cast a Spell is 1-3 actions depending on the spell (and [i]occasionally[/ii] free or even a reaction, like Feather Fall).

You could, for example, Stride to an enemy, Strike, and then Step away. You could Stride to an enemy and Strike twice. You could spend 3 Strides running away. If you had a bow or were already next to your foe, you could Strike 3 times.

Questions? I suspect Free actions with triggers and Reactions are the trickiest concepts (or spell casting a spell that lets you choose how many actions to use).

Do you want us to try and keep our Exploration activities updated in our headers? I tend to forget it there, but on the other side once decided they don’t tend to change except in response to stimuli. In those cases, it is pretty obvious.

Since the exploration activity determines what skill is used for initiative, how will you be doing initiative? Will you be rolling them all at once or expecting us to roll them individually?

Since this is to be PbP, how would you like to handle reactions?

When GMing I have asked that the Bot instructions start with any reactions the character has and when they want them used. Another way I have seen it done is the characters post in a spoiler if they anticipate using one of their reactions. In both these cases, the intent is to allow the GM to immediately handle them when they come up rather than needing a response from the character.

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Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

Re: Character Concepts

Given some of the more solidified concepts I'm seeing I'll go ahead and put my focus on creating Clover the Halfling Animal Trainer/Wrangler Ranger, especially if Hmm is good with her Ringmaster angle.

It works since I've got a PF1 Marigold Montajay that's currently in a Shackled City game and a SFS Primrose Montajay. Now I'll have one for every game system :)

And now I've actually got a character concept to work towards over in PSF2 land with Bugtussle. Gotta save up more of those AcPs!

(I'm being much more circumspect with the creation of my PFS2 characters.)

PF1 characters: 17 active, 14 races
SFS characters: 6 active, 6 races
PF2 characters: 3 active, 2 ancestries (only because half-elf is now the same as human)

I also have a few characters in PF1 and SFS that are still GM babies. Never played, although they may have credit on them.


I am also working on the details of my character. Still trying to figure out which would work best, Warpriest or Cloistered Cleric. My inclination is towards Warpriest since the character's dexterity will be low.

Silver Crusade

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Male Halfling Sorcerer 7, Rogue 3, Arcane Trickster 10
Lady Ladile wrote:

Re: Character Concepts

Given some of the more solidified concepts I'm seeing I'll go ahead and put my focus on creating Clover the Halfling Animal Trainer/Wrangler Ranger, especially if Hmm is good with her Ringmaster angle.

It works since I've got a PF1 Marigold Montajay that's currently in a Shackled City game and a SFS Primrose Montajay. Now I'll have one for every game system :)

And now I've actually got a character concept to work towards over in PSF2 land with Bugtussle. Gotta save up more of those AcPs!

(I'm being much more circumspect with the creation of my PFS2 characters.)

All of the halflings that I have played in various systems since around 2003 or so have had the surname Berrythwaite. :) Most have the habit of specifying which line of the family they are in, much like you might expect of Roosevelts or Kennedys.

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I'll get into this more once I lay out my formatting preferences and ready the SOP file for you guys to fill out. However, in regards to Reactions, this is how I prefer actions to be placed:

At the end of the post, place the OOC crunch. You can mark your main actions how you like. I use:

Stride, Strike, Ready Shield
Step, Cast (V, S): heal @ Bob
Step, Cast (2): heal @ Bob
Cast (V, S, M): magic missile @ blue
Cast (3): magic missile @ blue

But I've seen:

(A) Step, (AA) Cast heal @ Bob


(A) Step
(AA): Cast heal @ Bob

You can spoiler the above or not. The really fancy people cut and paste the actual action icons.

If you have 1 possible reaction, you don't need to spoiler it. If you have several conditional reactions, you should probably spoiler it.

This is how I want reactions (so I don't need to go looking):

Reaction: Shield Block 1st Hit

Reaction: Recognize Spell (A/0 +2, N/R +8)

Super Complex Conditional Reactions:

If (character) would take damage from an attack and attacker in range, then:
Reaction: Glimpse of Redemption on the attacker.
Else if (enemy) uses a manipulate action, then:
Reaction: Attack of Opportunity
Else if an incoming attack is a critical hit or the attacker is the last enemy to act before my turn, then:
Reaction: Shield Block

So my PFS(2) druid might do something like this:

Step, Cast (V, S): produce flame @ yellow
Reaction: Shield Block (hardness 5)

There's more, but that's the gist of it.

I guess I forgot to add the class stat bonus (+2 Dex)

Working on building the character

? Not much of a speed fanatic, couldn't tell you. Former Retail Worker/13

Character may be okay working without a net, but player a bit concerned about building on limited information...

As far as action points, sounds good.

Are we going to have some form of 'hero point'? Especially @ 1st level, the chances of crit fail are significant.

@Wei Ji: Hero points are part of the core rules in PF2. They are even used in Society games.


Think I will be going for a Warpriest. I have trouble seeing a priest of Kurgess not having a good strength which generally means I want the heavier armor proficiency.

Looking at using a stat array of:
Str 16 Dex 10 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 16 Cha 14


Str 16 ABF
Dex 10
Con 12 F
Int 10 A-A
Wis 16 ACF
Cha 14 BF

The favored weapon of Kurgess is the javelin. Too bad thrown weapons use Dexterity on the attack roll. His chances of hitting with it are going to be miserable for all of the character’s career. I will carry some, but with no Dexterity bonus they will not hit. I have thought about moving the bump to Con over to Dex, but figured the chances of hitting would still be so bad it really wasn’t worth it.

Although not the best, he should still be capable of hitting in melee. His Athletics skill will be respectable so I will probably look at a weapon with the shove ability to make use of that.

Still need to work out equipment.

Skills to start will be:
Athletics +6 T
Lore (Circus) +3 T
Medicine +6 T
Nature +6 T
Perform +5 T
Religion +6 T

A lot less skills than most of my characters go for. I plan to use the skill increases on Athletics and Religion.

It may not be the best cleric out there, but it will definitely scream Kurgess to anyone who meets him.

Pronouns will be he/him/they/them mostly because they don’t expect most people to be able to tell the gender of an Iruxi. Still working on the background, but right now I am thinking they ran away from Mistress Dusklight’s circus a little earlier than others left, and that is when they got their training as a Warpriest.

I can see a priest of Kurgess protecting someone leaving her circus. I can’t really see one working in her while training an acolyte.

A few question about skills:
you get Trained when you spend one skill point (o whatever ot might be called) , but can you start at level 1 with Expert? How many points do that cost and what is the difference/benefit between Trained and Expert? As a Rogue I do have plenty of skills points.

Is juggling a perform skill or does it falls under Athletics or some kind of Sleight of hand?

(I might require your help in overseeing/building my first PF2 character)

The rules differentiate between becoming Trained in a skill and getting a skill increase which allows you to either become Trained in a new skill or improve your proficiency in a skill you already have Trained.

Your starting skills as a Rogue (or any class really) are Trained. Rogues get a skill increase at every level, other classes only get them at odd levels starting at 3rd. This means the only class that can become Expert at a skill at 2nd level is the Rogue.

Skill increases are much more rare than becoming Trained at a skill. I recommend people always use them to improve the proficiency of an existing skill rather than get Trained in a new one. If you want to become Trained in a new skill, use the Skill Training feat or raise your Int when you get an Ability boost.

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@ Eschie: You had it in your total. Since I'm not a math teacher, I didn't criticize your formula. :)

@ Wei Ji: Of course! We're not starting play until I'm off service mid-August, ~2 weeks after APG is released. Nothing anyone says now locks them into a build.

I had planned the character building workshop for later because of several reasons, including the release date of the APG, but if you want me to move it up, let me know.

Bret has answered the immediate question: is there a way to start a skill at Expert at 1st level? No. (Perception and Saves? Yes)

Grand Lodge

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Hey everyone, two of the ancestries that I am interested in looking at are locked behind APG, so I am waiting to solidify character background, name, choices etc until then. So if it seems like I'm doing nothing, that is because I am... doing nothing. I am eagerly reading all your posts, though!

I do intend to take a charismatic character that could be a Barker / Ringmaster. If I'm tengu, it's possible that I also had the aerialist background, but have changed course given more opportunities in the new circus. If I go with aasimar / human not sure what my background will be. My build will most likely be a bard.


Silver Crusade

Male Halfling Sorcerer 7, Rogue 3, Arcane Trickster 10

@ GM: Are you open to homebrew?

Another idea that I had was playing a Lyrakien Sorcerer, or something similar. It seems like it could fit into a circus really well.

The following is my proposal as a homebrew ancestry and homebrew Sorcerer bloodline (Azata). Don't worry, I won't be offended if you say no. :)


2 flaws to Str
Boost Dex, Cha, and one other
Size Tiny
Speed 25 feet, fly 50 feet
Languages Celestial, Common, plus Int modifier
Natural Attacks fists; deal 1d4 base damage, plus 1 chaos plus 1 good; has the traits agile, chaotic, finesse, good, magical
Innate Spells none; or detect alignment (evil only)
Hit Points 4 or 6
Weaknesses cold iron 3, evil 3

Sorcerer Bloodline (Azata)
Spell List divine
Bloodline Skills Performance, Religion
Granted Spells cantrip: starlight ray (the lyrakien ranged attack, basically); 1st: heal; 2nd: ?; 3rd: ?; 4th: read omens
Bloodline Spells initial: starlight burst (the lyrakien special ability, but as a focus spell)
Blood Magic An azatan aura protects you or one target, granting the benefits of freedom of movement for one round, unless the effect is magical and of a higher level than half your character level (rounded up).

(Apparently, I want my circus character to be vibrant, bright, and flamboyant.)

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@ Fox: For a number of reasons I won’t take pains to enumerate but most significantly this system is too new to me to claim the proficiency needed to adjudicate homebrew rules and options, the answer is respectfully no, we will be sticking with the source material from the Paizo material noted in the top post. This campaign will take a while, so if Paizo publishes a new rules line books, I’ll assess as we go.

Silver Crusade

Male Halfling Sorcerer 7, Rogue 3, Arcane Trickster 10

Sounds good. Thanks. :)

? Not much of a speed fanatic, couldn't tell you. Former Retail Worker/13


Leaf-On-Wind could have been a partner to a possible tengu Aerialist but decided to stick with the acrobatics after your proposed character hung it up after *yet another* 'close call' because Dusklight was cheap on the rope maintenance?

Not necessarily romantic (though that could be an option) but more 'work together' partners?

Grand Lodge

Romantic, working partners, or family (cousins, siblings, twins?) And yes... That was what I was thinking of. I had a close call, and realized there were other things I wanted to do. I may even still fill in occasionally when all you need is acrobatic set dressing, but I've diversified.

Circus people do sometimes shift out of their original niches.

? Not much of a speed fanatic, couldn't tell you. Former Retail Worker/13

OOoh. *TWINS!* Then Leaf could go in for a 'secondary' in Admin to fill in for your character :) (Probably not very well, but again, circus! If people can't understand it, they're not fam!)

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Meet Some of Your Circus Troupe

Members of the Sideshow of Everyday Marvels

Zarlian "The Professor" Kyosophus: Formerly a juggler and fire-eater, the Professor has grown old and frail, and few people now realize he ever had a name other than “the Professor.” Years of fire damage to his throat have rendered him hoarse and unable to raise his voice, but he remains a compelling speaker to small crowds. The Professor is both the narrator and organizer of the sideshow. He introduces each performer to the audience and augments their stories with funny and incredible historical anecdotes that “prove” the veracity of each story.

Gidarron Elbus, “The Bearded Man”: A 6-foot-tall, broad-shouldered man with long brown hair, a full beard, and thick mustache that thoroughly obscure his features, Gidarron is skilled at portraying accents and mannerisms from all across Avistan. The Professor claims the “Bearded Man” is an exact double of a significant political figure who must conceal his identity and live on the run. Assassins want to kill him and rival agents want to kidnap him for their own nefarious purposes. The Professor tells exciting stories of the Bearded Man’s many narrow escapes, but he will not confirm which important figure Gidarron is purported to look like; the Professor teases several potential candidates (the most common being the missing Gyr of House Gixx), and Gidarron is swift to adopt matching accents and mannerisms as needed.

Tahala Roadwatcher, the “Tattooed Woman”: Tahala is a middle-aged Shoanti who left her quah, or clan, in Varisia years ago, acting upon omens she received. Like many Shoanti, Tahala is bald, fit, and covered in complex tattoos—notably the roc that spreads across her back and several resembling gemstones. She normally wears a simple cloak with a hood, revealing each of her tattoos before explaining what the illustration represents. A gifted storyteller, Tahala does more than show off her elaborate tattoos to sideshow gawkers; she has wise and witty stories to tell, each with morals about caring for the earth, revering ancestors, and other aspects of Shoanti spiritualism.

Hesper and Meitas Jaxis, “The Unjoined Twins”: Identical twin sisters in their thirties, Hesper and Meitas enjoy the traveling life of the circus. The Professor spins elaborate tales of how the Unjoined Twins were separated at birth and never knew the other existed until very recently, when they met at the circus (a lie, as they grew up together). According to the Professor, the twins’ lives have nevertheless seemed incredibly parallel as a result of bizarre coincidence. The list of strange coincidences goes on and on—and grows with every telling.

Cubby, “The Dog-Faced Dog”: This large male beagle was just a puppy when he was the subject of an awaken animal ritual that gave him human intelligence and the ability to speak Common. Cubby is offended by the idea that he might “belong” to anyone, but the Professor has been his best friend for years. According to the Professor’s outlandish tales, Cubby has traveled the world; survived uncounted amazing adventures; and dined with heroes, villains, religious leaders, and monarchs. Cubby doesn’t dispute anything the Professor claims, but he’s also quick to lavish praise on his traveling companions. The dog therefore comes across as lucky, brave, and humble. He enjoys encouraging others to live their lives to the fullest.

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Could you please clarify which of these were also part of Mistress Dusklight's circus?

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