Heroes of Lastwall

Game Master Tilnar

The epic tale of the characters who answered the call of young Lord Kalthun, the would-be heroes who seek to deal with the growing orcish threat -- to win back some of the land that has been lost, and inspire others to take up the fight.

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You approach Castle Firrine, a small parchment in your hand, and are surprised to see that you're not the only one who's shown up for this hair-brained idea. "Adventurers Wanted", they said - offering the chance at fame, fortune, power, glory -- both personal and in the service of the greater good and the nation of Lastwall. You're not so sure that -- or even if you want it (at least, not all of it) -- and yet, here you are.

Your reasons, of course, are your own.

Your note gets you through the gate, and after some waiting, you're led to an old human, probably in his early sixties by the look of him - someone who's once-powerful build has started to shrink with age.

"Another applicant for Kalthun's would be heroes..", he mutters, his voice weary and laced with just a touch of annoyance - whether at the interruption or the whole idea, you're not sure. He sighs, and he looks at you sternly, his expression as rigid as the mithral symbol of the Stag he wears over a breastplate worn with age. Finally, he speaks, his tone clearly tentative, but less hostile than you'd expected from his reaction to your arrival, "Very well... you'll be subjected to some tests to ensure you've an honest assessment of your abilities, of course.. But before that, we need to make sure that you're a suitable candidate. To that end, I'll be asking you a few questions about yourself and why you think you should be here... and, I should warn you against lying. I cast a Zone of Truth just a moment before they let you in."


Hopefully, if you're here, it's because you were invited (although if you're a curious looky-loo, welcome -- this is a closed recruitment, but I don't mind people lurking about). Anyhow, welcome to the Heroes of Lastwall campaign.

This campaign is not following any pre-created adventure path or module, but rather, is a somewhat fluid one where the actions (or inaction) of the PCs and their allies will shape the nature of the future challenges and help decide the ultimate fate of this little pocket of the world.

While the future events are not pre-ordained, a large number of things have happened, are happening, and will happen "off camera" (many of which are reactions to things that the party has done), with the effects of these various things having minor or major effects on the party. In addition, all aspects of the characters, including their selected campaign traits, will play a part in how everything plays out.

All that to say, I have a Plan (more than one) - but I also realize that plans are often the first things to go -- especially when dealing with clever players -- and, honestly, I'm really hoping that you make me change it. :)

As you probably figured out by now, this is happening in Lastwall --- the ideas behind it predate Giantslayer (and all APs after that) -- so the history of the world is likely to take a turn from what we're all used to -- starting in 4711 (the year we start)

So, I think that'll do for an intro post. I'll be back with more campaign info including the campaign traits and build rules. ;)

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(Yes, I was not invited, but I'm lurking here. Always keeping an eye on these custom ones. Best of luck and have fun, GM and players)


A bit of background information...

The Nation of Lastwall
Lastwall is a relatively young nation when compared to its neighbours, having only existed for approximately 900 years. It was founded in 3828 AR after the seventy-four year-long Shining Crusade finally drew to a close. They defeated the Whispering Tyrant, but not having the power to kill him, they instead imprisoned him beneath Gallowspire. The Crusaders realized that the prison could not be left unguarded, since the Tyrant had already cheated death once before. (His first defeat came at the hands of the god Aroden, and if even death at the hands of a god could not stop him forever, then leaving his prison unguarded seemed to be inviting trouble). The decision was made to keep a permanent presence in the region, creating the nation of Lastwall.

Since its founding, Lastwall has stayed true to its purpose (it's even named the capital "Vigil"), standing guard against the undead horrors of Ustalav... However, it's also been dealing with increasing challenges from the savage orcs hordes from the Hold of Belkzen.

Apart from the near-constant fighting against its stated enemies, the history of Lastwall has been relatively free of wars or external conflicts. It has remained neutral, refraining from getting involved in international politicking,and attempts to remain true to its founding aim of keeping watch over the Whispering Tyrant and the undead ... and now, the Orcs.

That last bit, however, has been particularly troublesome. The Orcs have succeeded in pushing back the borders of Lastwall twice since its founding. The current border has been holding largely due to an influx of money and troops from Lastwall’s southern border, however, it is nowhere near as heavily fortified as the Sunwall (the first border and its line of fortresses), or even the ramshackle defenses of the Hordeline (the previous border).

Of late, the Orcish pressures have once again been increasing, and the Orcs appear to be stronger and better equipped than they have been in more than a century.

Lastwall is a small nation by most standards, and technically, it is a military dictatorship, ruled by a single Watcher-Lord who is elected by the Precentors Martial of the War College at Vigil -- however, it has never been a nation given way to tyranny. Recently, the nation has selected a new Watcher-Lord, a 19-year-old Paladin of Iomedae named Ulthun II -- who is an ambitious leader who wants to secure the land and, in fact, win back much of the land lost to the Orcs of Belkzen.

The inhabitants of Lastwall are mainly human, but are willing to accept people of any race who are dedicated to their cause.

Problem is, lately, crusader-types have been harder to come by -- those sorts of folks have generally been heading north to Mendev instead (to try to hold back the horrors of the Worldwound... but that's a whole different campaign...) This is a matter of growing concern and many fear that without new blood (or some other major shift), Lastwall's fall is inevitable. The orcs of Belkzen will continue pushing eastward until Vigil falls. (Not hard to imagine given that that the border has already shifted twice).

Racial Attitudes
The people of Lastwall are hardy and friendly, especially towards any heroic crusaders who have come to help defend their land - regardless of what that person might look like. While there is an inherent distrust and, in many cases, outright hatred of Orcs due to the proximity with the Hold of Belkzen and the effects of raiding, those raids have resulted in a larger number of half-orcs than in other parts of the world. Thus, half-orcs enjoy a slightly greater level of acceptance in the area, and are often treated more with pity or disgust than hatred or distrust... at least until they have demonstrated that they deserve otherwise.

Campaign Start
Each of the characters in the party will have responded (either individually or in small subgroups if some characters want to share a backstory), to a call for recruitment by a young Lord named Kalthun, who is one of Watcher-Lord Ulthun’s inner circle. Accepting the limited resources of the nation, Kalthun is seeking to recruit a small group of would-be heroes who would help deal with the growing orcish threat, and ideally win back some of the lost land, while serving to inspire others to take up the fight. (Basically, he's heard about other groups of heroes saving the world, and figured growing one's own world-saviors could be a very useful investment)

Your characters may be locals to the area (from one side of the border or the other), or outlanders who were drawn to Kalthun’s call (for one reason or another). I will say that it's very much cannon (and may be important later) that Kalthun sent an ally to carry the message and try to intercept some crusaders who would have otherwise been on the way to Mendev.

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Right, so, onto some crunch....

Character Creation Guidelines

Official Paizo material only -- No Third Party If I can't find it on Archives of Nethys, then it's a no
Starting Level: 3 (There's a reason you were picked, after all)
20-Point Buy I don't recommend dump stats - I'm the mean GM who'll make you play a low INT or have people react to low CHA - I'd definitely not recommend a stat under 8 after racial mods
Allowable Races: All core races, plus the planetouched. If you've got a really good backstory for something else, we can talk
Allowable Classes and archetypes: I'm not familiar enough with Occult to run that fairly, so it's out. Unchained Summoners are the only ones allowed. Other than that, if it's official Paizo, it's in.
Exception: No guns. For anyone. So, unless you want a Bolt Ace, that's a no on the Gunslinger.
Alignment: They're looking for heroes, and it's an LG nation with a paladin as it's ruler. So, yeah, no evil. (Also, no Lawful Stupid or Chaotic Stupid. I hate that.)
Traits: 2. One must be a campaign trait drawn from the list in the upcoming post. (Don't worry, they're fun!) You can take a third in exchange for a drawback - but I'll want to talk about the drawback and how it can actually come up in play. Also, the traits need to actually make sense - you can't be the poor kid who grew up on a farm and then pick an urban trait, for instance.
Hit Points: Max at level 1. For every level thereafter, half plus a roll of a die with the same number of sides. (So, that's 3+d3, 4+d4, 5+d5 or 6+d6) Same applies to animal companions (since they're class features) - but not to NPCs (lookin' at you, leadership feat).
Skills: We will be using Background Skills, as described in Unchained. Skill unlocks are also a thing.
Hero Points: They're in. You will all have 2 at the start of the campaign.
Starting Gold: And here's where I get weird. One issues I've always had with creating higher-level characters is that they're always better equipped than ones who develop naturally -- because they spend their WBL on exactly the right things, as opposed to making do with what they got out of the last dungeon or what they could barter/trade or sell. So, that said - please build based on max gold at level 1. Once you've done that, I'll provide a list of loot bags that represent what you found in your previous 2 levels worth of career -- people can then pick the one they want - and then do with it as they will (sell/trade, keep, whatever).
Houserules: I have a few, they'll be in a later post.

Right, so I think that's it. Should be enough to get started. Feel free to pester me if I've missed something.

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Campaign Traits

Local Traits
The following traits assume that you grew up in the area, living within the shadow of the Belkzennian border, and growing up with the constant threat of Orcish raids. Selecting any of the local traits gives you a +1 trait bonus to Knowledge (local) checks. In addition, it allows you to make Knowledge (local) checks untrained on matters regarding orcs and the current situation around the Lastwall-Belkzen border -- however, you cannot take 10 on these checks.

* Orcbane: Growing up near the Hold of Belkzen, you have spent your life training to hunting down and defeating Orcish raiding parties. When fighting creatures of the Humanoid (Orc) subtype, you gain a +1 trait bonus to damage rolls and rolls to confirm critical hits.

* Orcblood: (Human only) One of your recent ancestors was Orcish, and while your orcish blood is diluted, it remains within you. You count as both human and Orc for any effect related to race, as if you had taken the Racial Heritage Feat.

*Raid Survivor: When you were young, a raiding party attacked your home, taking what they wanted and leaving almost no survivors. You survived in one of two ways:
• Stealthy: You managed to survive the attack by hiding from the Orcs, and remaining in your hiding spot until long after they had left. Since then, you have taken the lesson of not being seen to heart. As a result, you gain a +1 trait bonus to Stealth rolls, and Stealth is automatically a class skill for you.
• Stoic: You were beaten and left for dead by the Orcs and survived only because of your natural toughness. Since then, you've worked hard to become as tough as possible. As a result, you gain a +2 trait bonus to stabilization rolls, and the DC to intimidate you is increased by 2.

*Belkzennian: You grew up on the other side of the border, your family living in lands that were annexed when the Hoardeline fell, or being one of the inhabitants of Freedom Town. As a result, you were raised in a culture dominated by Orcs. As a result, you have some familiarity with what are normally Orcish weapons. You may choose to become proficient with either the falchion or greataxe, or alternatively, you may treat any one Orcish exotic weapon as though it were a martial one.

*War College: You attended the prestigious War College at Vigil, under the tutelage of the Precentors Martial of Lastwall. Select one martial weapon you are proficient with. You gain a +1 trait bonus to critical hit confirmation rolls and CMB checks made with that weapon. Additionally, your training allows you to anticipate failure - once a day you may re-roll an attack with that weapon if your first roll was a 1.

*Orphaned: Your parents were killed when you were young (likely, but not necessarily, as a result of Orcish raids). You were fortunate enough to be taken in by Mother Kitnan, an elderly gnomish Cleric of Andoletta,who always dedicated herself to protecting and educating as many orphans as possible, fostering literally dozens of children at a time. As a result of your excellent education, you may select any one knowledge skill,which becomes a class skill for you, and you gain a +1 trait bonus on checks that use that skill. In addition, your experience growing up in crowded living arrangements grants you a +1 trait bonus on reflex saves.

*Saved: At some point in the past, you had a very close call with death (most likely, but not necessarily, at the hands of Orcish raiders), and would clearly have perished if not for the timely actions of a young hero who saved your life by rushing to your side, regardless of the risk to themselves in order to deflect the peril that almost did you in. You’ve never forgotten the image of your saviour’s mad rush and have always felt that you owe them a debt of gratitude...as well as a responsibility to pay it forward. As a result of this, you gain a +2 trait bonus to your AC against attacks of opportunity.

*Narrow Escape: At some point in the past, you had a very close call with a dangerous and probably lethal encounter when you believed yourself to be safe (most likely, but not necessarily, related to Orcish raiders). However, luck was with you that day and you caught a sight or heard a sound that gave you (and those you were with) enough warning to get to safety, if only barely. The narrowness of your escape and the feelings of that moment have always stuck with you, and as a result, you are extremely vigilant at all times. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Perception, which becomes a class skill for you. This bonus is doubled for surprise checks.

*Fangwood: You were raised deep in the Fangwood, and are familiar with the lore of the Fey who dwell within, having learned both how to appease and how to resist them. You gain a +2 trait bonus to Diplomacy, Perception, Knowledge and Sense Motive tests when dealing with the fey. Additionally, you also gain a +2 trait bonus to saves made against the spells and supernatural abilities of the fey. If you are a spellcaster, you also gain a +2 trait bonus to caster level checks to overcome the spell resistance of the fey.

Outlander Traits
The people of Lastwall have always been dependant not only on their own strength, but on the strength ofoutsiders, to help them stand vigil over Gallowspire and to keep the orcs at bay. The following traits areavailable to those who (recently) came to the area for one reason or another:

*Mercenary: You have no particular connection to Lastwall, but were lured here by offers of coin for trained warriors. You gain a +1 trait bonus to either Knowledge (Engineering) or Knowledge (Nobility) checks, as well as Profession (Soldier) checks, which automatically becomes a class skill for you. In addition, you begin play with an additional 150gp in starting wealth.

*Exiled: You (or your parents) were cast out of your traditional home as a result of an infraction (real or imagined) against a powerful member of the ruling class. You (or your family) were facing execution, an edict which still stands and prevents you from returning. You ended up here as a result of the welcoming nature of the peoples of Lastwall (or, if you prefer, as a result of chance or fate), though you have sworn to return to your homeland (whether to clear your name or exact vengeance). This stubborn determination grants you +1 trait bonus to Will saves, and your experience in making friends in a new land grants you a +1 bonus to Diplomacy checks (which also becomes a class skill for you).

*Hunted: You didn't so much come to Lastwall so much as escape your homeland, and quickly. Whatever it was that you did (or were accused of doing) in your homeland caused you to have enemies who were powerful enough that you are fleeing their wrath. However, you know that they will not forgive a grudge and you're certain that they are coming for you, no matter where you hide. This has made you paranoid and quick to react to danger even before you're fully aware of it, giving you a +2 trait bonus to Surprise checks and a +2 trait bonus to AC before you have acted in combat.

*Thrill-seeker: There is no shortage of danger and excitement in Lastwall, between the orcs, the blight and Gallowspire -- and that excitement is what drew you here. You have always been impulsive and prone to acting before thinking things through. You gain a +1 trait bonus to initiative, a +1 trait bonus to saves against fear effects, and, if you act in a surprise round, you gain a +1 trait bonus on all attack rolls.

*Gloryhound: The various threats facing Lastwall are such that they offer an opportunity for someone to come in and make a name for themselves -- which is exactly what you're here to do. Your boastful nature and ability to talk about yourself grant you a +1 trait bonus on Bluff and Intimidate checks, and one of these becomes a class skill for you. In addition, because of your strong sense of self, the DC to intimidate you is increased by 1.

*Divine Guidance: You have been troubled by insistent dreams and visions that have drawn you here...although to what purpose, you do not know. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Knowledge (Religion) checks, which automatically becomes a class skill for you. Any spells that you cast of the healing subtype are divinely inspired, allowing you to cast them as if you were one caster level higher, and the save DCs gain a +1 trait bonus.

*Wisp-er: You have come to Lastwall in order to study the phenomena of the Will-o’-wisps of the Ghostlight Marsh, in the land which is now part of the Hold of Belkzen. Unlike most, these wisps were not always part of the marsh, rather, they are believed to be the results of a great sacrifice made while the Orcs overtook the land.You gain a +1 trait bonus to Knowledge (Dungeoneering) and Spellcraft checks, one of which automatically becomes a class skill for you. Because of your intense study of wisps and their weaknesses, if you are an arcane caster, you may add Magic Missile to your spell list (although you must still learn the spell as normal for your class), and when you cast it, or any other spell with the force descriptor, you do so at +1 caster level.

*Seeker of Mysteries: You came to Lastwall in order to gain access to the ruins of the fortresses that once composed the Sunwall – the ancient border that was the first to fall to the Orcish hordes. Whether a result of legends and stories, personal research, or an old family secret that has been passed down, you know that the defenders had an ancient artefact of power which they could not bring with them – and so they sealed away rather than allow it to fall into Orcish hands... You believe that it’s still there, and you want it (whether to study it or to gain its powers, that's up to you, I don't judge). You gain a +1 trait bonus to Knowledge (Arcana) and Knowledge (History) checks, one of which automatically becomes a class skill for you. If you are an arcane caster, your familiarity with ancient arcane lore assists your spellcasting, granting you a +1 trait bonus on concentration checks and caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance

Would a mounted combat character be at all effective in this campaign?

Please consider Sahar Wasem, warpriest of Sarenrae. Born and raised in the deserts of Qadira, she is devoted to Sarenrae and, unable to reconcile the vile practice with the kind dictates of her god, has been fruitlessly campaigning against the Inner Sea slave trade in her native land. She has become quite unpopular with the locals who depend on the trade.

She believes in her cause, but the persistent dreams calling her to Lastwall seem divinely inspired. She answers the call and presents herself to the vetting process with complete assurance of her acceptance.

Scion of the fierce desert tribes, she can fight with scimitar and bow from horseback or afoot with one or two scimitars, backed by the divine power of Dawnflower. Her heritage and divine powers combine to make her a wee bit arrogant and insensitive to others, particularly those who upset her. She's blind to the weakness of that arrogance.

Incomplete - I may tweak the ability scores since I haven't built a PF warpriest and have 3 >_< odd scores now. L1 gold build. No rolled HP yet. Also, if mounted combat is unsuitable for this campaign, I will change out some feats. She's still a viable character.

Let me know what you think. If it's a reasonable start, I'll deepen the build and backstory.

There will be a mix of indoor and outdoor exploration -- so it's viable, but I wouldn't recommend making a one-trick pony, as it were. (I usually recommend a small-sized race for budding cavalier-types, a medium mount can go almost anywhere a human can, plus wolves, boars, rams, etc are more suited to rough terrain -- and by level 7 when your mount gets Large, you've usually got magical ways around problems).

All that to say, it's doable, but I don't want to say "Sure!" and then have you feeling nofun-bad because your build isn't working the rest you'd hoped while you're exploring the narrow confines of redacted .

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House Rules

Non-Lethal Damage:

Under the old (pre-PF) rules, even 1 hp of magical healing healed all non-lethal damage. That was deemed to be crazy (as you might expect) -- so, as a result, the default PF rules say that heal 1 point of non-lethal for every point of lethal you heal under a cure spell (for example, if you get a CLW for 6, you heal 6 regular and 6 non-lethal damage. To me, this seems a case where the pendulum went a little too far the other way (especially when non-lethal damage goes away 24 times faster than non-lethal damage, which is to say, you heal 1 point per level per hour, even if you're not resting) -- though it was done to make it so that you actually can subdue a creature.

As such, I'm non-lethal damage healing will now work as follows:

* Natural healing of non-lethal damage (at a rate of 1 hp per hit die per hour) can only happen if you're not fatigued or exhausted.

* The Endurance and Toughness feats each increase the rate of healing non-lethal damage by 1 point per hour. These effects stack.

* As per the current rules, a magical healing spell cast on an injured person will heal 1 point of non-lethal damage for every point of normal hit-point damage it rolls (meaning the 6-point CLW would remove both 6 lethal and 6 non-lethal -- increasing the "before you pass out" threshold by 12 points to the guy with both types of damage).

* However, magical healing can also be focused on non-lethal damage. When targeted this way, these spells and effects remove 3 times as much non-lethal damage as they would have cured normal hit points. (For instance, the CLW that rolls 6 would remove 18 non-lethal damage). Any excess points are lost and have no effect on "real" damage.

Magical Healing:

When healing individuals who are dying or disabled (i.e. - with negative hitpoints), the first point of positive energy returns them to 0 hp, regardless of the negative total. For example, someone at -6 hp receives a CLW for 5 points - the spell would return them to consciousness at +4 hp.

Hero Points:

These rules supplement the standard Hero Point Rules (per the APG)

Leaping on the Grenade
A player in a position to assit another (generally adjacent) may spend 1 hero point to save another character (cheating death on their behalf) by taking the additional damage that would have killed the character

A player with a familiar, mount or animal companion may spend hero points on their behalf to cheat death. This costs 1 rather than the regular 2.

Maximum Hero Points
The limit on hero points increases by 1 for every 5 levels you've attained, to a maximum of +4 at level 20. This stacks with feats, spells or magic items which gain, hold, or whatever hero points.

Magical Crafting and Research:

The following are clarifications/interpretations of the rules for magic item construction.

Crafting: Reagents
Like hitpoints, the rules for the costs of magical items here are an abstraction. While the value of items is expressed in gold pieces, it is not the case that the crafter is actually melting down coins and grinding up gems in order to build the items (which is good, gold weapons and armour would be very heavy and generally too soft to be of much use). Rather, that money is used to buy a the materials to craft the mundane item (the steel, wood, cloth, leather, etc.), and then to buy a host of special reagents that are required to make the magic. This not only includes the many instances the required material components of the spells used in the enchantment (making a wand of Reincarnate, for example, requires the crafting druid to have 50 doses of the special oils on hand as part of the crafting), but also reagents that make sense for the item. For example, a potion of darkvision may require the eye of a cloaker or naga or other creature the posesses darkvision, while a cloak of the bat might require the hide of a celestial or fiendish dire bat, and a ring of greater fire resistance may require a handful of shaved scales from an Ancient red dragon. There are, of course, a number of possible recipes that generate the same effects, though individual crafters will tend to default to the sorts of reagents most commonly used by their mentors (and, in fact, often the same recipe, if they knew it). The more powerful objects to be created, obviously, require more powerful reagents than lesser objects. (A potion of resist energy (fire), for example, may make do with the scale of a salamander or blood of an ifrit, rather than the ancient red scale.)

As a result of this, individuals who are crafting items may be subject to limits of availability for their reagents (another factor in the increased price of crafting such items). While this will generally be hand-waved under the assumption that access to a full laboratory will include a stock of the common bits (eye of newt, tiger's claw, toe of frog, etc.), especially when dealing with items have low costs (this includes most low-level consumables and +1 items), there will be a requirement to gain the correct reagents when crafting more powerful items, especially when those items are unique either in terms of using a different slot than the default, or using a spell not normally used for enchanting items (for instance, figuring out how to get the +2 enhancement bonus from Owl's Wisdom into an amulet instead of a headband, or making a spell with a constant bless effect).

One way to bypass this issue this is to make use of residuum (see below) when creating new items.

Spell Research
The rules for independent research of spells by wizards can, in fact, be used by all spellcasting classes (and alchemists). For prepared casters without a limit of spells known (wizards, clerics, druids, alchemists, witches), performing this research automatically adds the researched spell to their spells known (spellbook, formula book, familiar, relationship with deity) and can then be prepared normally. For spontaneous casters (bards, sorcerers, oracles, etc.), this research allows them to gain an understanding of the new spell, such that they can attune themselves to it and learn it the next time they have the ability to learn a spell (or to swap it for another spell).

Researching existing known (i.e. published) spells is generally an easier process, as the researcher likely knows of the spell's existence and, as such, is attempting to figure out the spell pattern and formula based on their knowledge of magics of that school, snippets of spell formulae that they may have seen before, and dealing with other individuals who also have such snippets, or may have access to the spell themselves (and, sadly, not have access to scribe scroll or other methods of sharing that knowledge).

For arcane casters, the spell research process is generally an experimental one, with the monies being used on reagents (similar to those used when crafting items), access to research libraries and sages, failed material components and the like. Divine casters tend to be somewhat less about experimenting to generate a precise formula, and more about learning the correct way to structure and flow the divine energies that their deity grants to gain the new, desired effect. As such, their monies tend to be spent on research libraries and sages, but also time spent burning incense for meditation, and communing with their deity or their deities' servants to explain to them how the desired effect can be reached, to petition for access to such a power, and, in some cases, to convince them that that the desired effect is congruent with the god's ethos.

Researching completely new spells is more complicated (though this is simplified somewhat if the new effect is a greater or lesser version of an existing spell), and the process is therefore likely to take longer (as the individual needs to figure out how to create a wholly new effect) and be more expensive as it will involve more esoteric research an likely more regents consumed due to trial-and-error.

New Materials:

Residuum is the raw stuff of magic itself, the distilled essence of magical items, and is a fine powdery substance more lustrous than diamonds. It can only be created by drawing magical energies from a permanent magical item, destroying that item's enchantment. While the amount of residuum gained by destroying an object generally results in some loss of magical energies, the flexibility and power of residuum generally makes the act of creating it worthwile.

As it is raw, untainted magical power, residuum can be used in place of the material component to power any spell, allowing casters to sidestep concerns about the rarity of various material items, such as diamonds and diamond dust.

Further, and of even more use to most spellcasters, residuum powder can be used as the reagent in constructing all manner of magical items, acting (in effect) like a simple magical short-cut, again bypassing concerns about the availability of various reagents required to create the items. Thus, raw residuum powder (generally mixed with pure water) can always be used to ink scrolls and make potions, or to empower wands, rods and staves, taking on the magical properties of the spell magic used by the crafter. (As a result, crafters without caster levels, by means of the Master Craftsman feat, for example, are not able to make use of residuum).

Residuum powder will slowly bleed away its energies, such that the powder becomes inert and useless a year and a day after it was extracted.

Because of its extreme usefulness, residuum is rarely available for sale, save from the most desperate of individuals. However, as it becomes inert with time, many are loathe to purchase residuum from sources they do not trust explicitly.

Essentially, this is my solution to the problem that truly permanent magic items make - that eventually, the world would be awash in items as mages make more and more things, if only to get the knack of making them -- eventually getting us into a place where there are magic dishwashers, laundry machines, streetlights, etc. However, if magic items can be smashed into their base components in order to make new things that people actually want -- well, then we avoid this problem. It also solves the problem of how the spellcasters haven't destroyed all the diamonds, etc, in the world to power their spells.

Changes to Spells:

Modifications to Existing Spells

* Breath of Life
The within 1-round time limit on this spell when cast on a dead individual is increased to 1 round plus 1 round for every 4 levels of the caster (max 6 at 20th level).

New Spells
(These spells will be posted in the campaign info tab)[/ooc]
* Recalibrate Object - [i]This spell allows the caster to resize a tool, shield, weapon or piece of armour.

* Cannibalize - This spell allows the caster to destroy a magic item and extract its magical essence in the form of residuum. There are lesser and greater versions of this spell.

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Sorry, I forgot - one additional house rule:


When using Acrobatics to tumble (to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity or to move through an opponent's square), your movement rate is not halved. Rather, the cost to move through the affected squares (and only the affected squares) is doubled. (That part in parentheses there, that's the important bit)

'Yay!' Indeed!

Ooo? Whats this? New rules? Including magicy-item stuff?!?


Tilnar wrote:

• Starting Gold: And here's where I get weird. One issues I've always had with creating higher-level characters is that they're always better equipped than ones who develop naturally -- because they spend their WBL on exactly the right things, as opposed to making do with what they got out of the last dungeon or what they could barter/trade or sell. So, that said - please build based on max gold at level 1. Once you've done that, I'll provide a list of loot bags that represent what you found in your previous 2 levels worth of career -- people can then pick the one they want - and then do with it as they will (sell/trade, keep, whatever).

I like this method of dealing with the WPL inequities for new higher-level characters. Never heard of it before. It's some work up front for the GM, but only has to be done once.

Treppa wrote:
I like this method of dealing with the WPL inequities for new higher-level characters. Never heard of it before. It's some work up front for the GM, but only has to be done once.

I started doing this after a campaign when a new (replacement) player joined at level 9, and was just way, way more effective than the others. (Belt of Dex and Str and a headband of int with just the right skills, etc..)

But yes, it is a bit of work. Not too bad at level 3, when the WBL is low. Less fun at level 10. ;)

Yeah, I bet. But those high levels are where things get ridiculous.

Honestly, it's the same for high level builds. You can skip all those pesky feats you need to survive through low-level play and load them up for high-level bear. But it's not fair to players who DIDN'T die, really.

That's why I liked the introduction of the retraining rules - because it lets anyone do that. (Of course, I still insist on a possible feat chain - you can't pretend all your feats happened at level 10 and have a high BAB, etc.)

Yeah, makes sense.

I like the sound of your house-rules Til. I'll be happy to test-drive them for you! :)

(I'm a fan of ANYthing that helps my wizzie create more magical items in-game!) ;P

Hmmm,... Did you create 'Residuum' on your own? And if so did you base it on the old 3.x rules for Artificers?

This just sounds oddly familiar. (But I read a LOT of stuff I don't always get to play with, they get mixed up sometimes) ;P

The name comes from 4e, actually. The function is rather pieced together from a bunch of different places.

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...and I note that I apparently failed my copy-paste, missing the last local campaign trait... So...

This is a local trait, so the same bonus to knowledge local re: orcs applies..

* Cavalry Academy You attended the Cavalry Academy at the Crusader War College in Vigil, and were drilled on fighting in the saddle and protecting your mount. Your training also taught you to identify superior stock in mounts. As a result of your training, you receive a +1 trait bonus to Ride checks. This bonus is doubled when making checks to use your Mount as Cover (per the Ride skill) and when using the Mounted Combat feat to avoid damage. Additionally, due to your careful eye, your bonded mount (or animal companion) is heartier than most and gains 1hp per hit die.

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Greetings, all. Tilnar, thank you for having me.

I don't have a character planned for this yet, but have caught up with the Recruitment and Discussion threads, and am looking forward to this.

I guess that's all for now!

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Yay, welcome Oladon!

Sorry about advocating for your execution in the last game we played together. Ahem.

'Sokay, I don't remember if I deserved it or not.

Responding to a few questions that I've been asked...

Posting Rate I'm hoping we can post daily during the week. I know that (as a paranoid GM) I'll will be checking more often - and that means my own posting rate will be higher than that. I'm not expecting to be posting on weekends, though. (That said, we can have a conversation in discussion about finding the "right" level of responsiveness between GM and player so that we don't have people checking their posts 12 hours later and see 17 new messages and 3 important decisions made in the meantime.)

Character Choices For anyone choosing a Favoured Enemy, might I strongly suggest "Humanoid (Orc)". Beyond that, as you might guess from the traits, Fey can be a good second choice. And it's hard to go wrong with Outsider (Evil) or Undead. In terms of terrain - the land around Firrine (toward and over the border) is largely of the more scraggly rocky kind -- and, as I said to Treppa earlier, there will be some time spent underground. In terms of deities -- Erastil and Iomedae are very popular (especially with the nobility/leadership) -- and, given the near-constant fighting, so is Gorum.

Item Creation The whole reason I talked about the house rules for Spell Research and Item Creation is that, yes, there will be some downtime that would allow for item creation... However, there will also be situations where you're literally racing against the clock or opponents.. all that to say, some of the work might need to happen around the campfire or otherwise on the road. (I should also add that while I allow the Leadership feat, I'm not fond of people using it to make themselves an item-creator robot).


As a GM, I think the best way to divide loot in the party is whatever way they all think is fair. (That's to say, it's not really up to me, I don't get a split...)

One thing I will add - not sure if this rises to the level of a "house rule" or not - but I have always played that good-aligned temples will provide a bounty on evil items (unholy water, unholy symbols, etc.) -- so you can basically count on getting the "sale" value on such items. I will also mention that such temples may not have a large amount of coin on hand - so such rewards might take the form of items or services (*cough* healing spells and wands *cough*). (Doing otherwise can very much mess up WBL, really.)

Another thing I should flag is that I tend to believe that the party isn't the only group of adventurers out there. (Amazing, I know....) This has a few implications. One, the nifty-keen item that you saw at whatever shoppe may not still be there a month later as someone else may have snagged it. Two, there may be new nifty-keen items available that someone else sold (to afford to buy that first thing you wanted, no doubt..). Three, if you have the time, it may be possible to connect with other adventurers and work out mutually beneficial trades of magic items (effectively avoiding the selling penalty). For example, maybe none of you can use the +1 Dwarven Waraxe, but that party of dwarves over there would really love it and be more than happy to trade straight-up for the +1 rapier they found -- rather than each of you losing half the value of the item.

Oladon wrote:
'Sokay, I don't remember if I deserved it or not.


Honestly, If you dont remember?
Then you probably did! :P
(At least I would have deserved it. Multiple times, depending on the PC)

Nice to meet you Oladon!

re: loot

I'm in a game right now where we divvy the by party need. Healing stuff is all party stuff to be handed out at need. Wands go to casters, naturally. If we're having trouble hitting the bad guys, the best fighters get the useful weapons. If we're not, the worst fighters do to even up the attack (according to proficiency, naturally.) We trade things around a lot, too. My monk got bracers of armor +2, so handed the bracers of armor +1 to the mage. Only proceeds from the stuff we sell gets divvied up evenly. Items that would equally benefit multiple players get rolled for if nobody relinquishes their claim.

I've been in groups where every cp was tracked and divided, and it was more like Dungeons & Ledgers than anything else. I don't like that too much. We're not clerics of Abadar.

re: death

It was a Mafia game and I was a mafiosi. It was my duty to kill people or arrange for their deaths.

re: party roles

My warpriest build is currently balanced between fights and heals. I can shift her more to either side if we need one of the roles bulked up.

She will not be a good Face.

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Ugh, I just noted that the last part of that post didn't happen. See what happens when you preview, kids?

..continued from Treasure/Loot

I'd also like to take this time to remind folks that coins have weight (which is why gems are a popular way of carrying one's wealth -- and why I've always personally been annoyed by GMs who try to impose the 50% sell thing on gems and trade goods - literally negating why they exist), and that most merchants are pretty unlikely to accept you dumping 12 pounds of copper on their tables to buy something. (In the same way that real-world merchants won't let you dump thousands of pennies on them..) This is why there are convenient folks called money-changers, who will (for a fee) convert smaller coins to larger, or convert large sums of money into Letters of Credit. (Of course, each of these solutions have their own issues -- poor hamlet farmers will be skeptical of gems since they can't know the true vlaue, Letters only work in certain geopolitical areas, there's no coin smaller than a copper, so you just have to buy apples a dozen at a time, etc..)

Do we have a feel yet for who's playing what? I'm looking at a [melee] build that assists and protects melee allies, but it'd work best if more than one other person is planning to be in the fray.

I plan to slice'n'dice.

I'm leaning towards my usual Caster-y self, or for a martial/caster if we need more 'Oomph'. :)

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Hey all - posting here just in case. Trying to decide whether I have time for a pbp campaign. Had a great time playing with Tilnar in multiple games a long time ago. I have not played 1ed in almost a year - although with 5GM stars, I played enough that I can probably remember. (Yeh, I actually have 5 stars, Paizo does not appear to know how to check the box to have the 5th star show up on my avatar). If I play, it will probably be something simple. I have had a lot of fun playing oracles in recent times, so that is an option. Will have to see what else people are considering.

Cool deal,
Nice to meet you Tirion!

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