Where There's Smoke, There's Firebrands!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

While the Lost Omens World Guide can help answer things like “Where are you from?” and “Where are you going?,” I think that the Lost Omens Character Guide tries to help answer an even more critical question: “Who are you?” The Character Guide offers great information on ethnicities for our core ancestries and even new ancestries to choose from! However, there’s more to your character than your ancestry. Almost as important as your ancestry is the people you know and with whom you associate. Are you a member of the local guard or thieves’ guild? Did you join up with your nation’s army? Are you part of a doomsday cult or a church of an obscure deity?

The crest of the Firebrands, crossed daggers above a red cowl.

Illustration by Rogier van de Beek

The organization or organizations you join can have just as an important role in your character’s life as their class or ancestry. Because of this, we wanted the Character Guide to also take a look at some of the notable organizations in the Inner Sea region. This includes obvious groups like the Pathfinder Society, but also organizations that have had less time in the spotlight over the years like the Magaambya Academy. For the Character Guide, we landed on five spots for major organizations which include the Hellknights (lawful), Knights of Lastwall (lawful good), Magaambya Academy (neutral good), and the Pathfinder Society (neutral). After we decided on these four, we realized that chaotic characters didn’t really have an obvious group to join. Some back and forth happened and eventually I pitched an idea for a brand new organization and thus, the Firebrands were born. (If you missed it, we even had a preview of their shenanigans with some fiction by Chris A. Jackson a few weeks back!)

A fierce-looking gnome with tangled blue-and-purple hair holds a gnarled staff in both hands.

Illustration by Michele Esposito

Who are the Firebrands? Depends on who you ask! Some people say they are rebels and rabble rousers who travel the Inner Sea region to fight tyranny and help the oppressed. Others say that they are just grandstanders with a penchant for fashion and drawing attention to themselves. In a way, they’re both right. The Firebrands began life as rebels when the people of Vidrian reached out to the people of Ravounel in an act of solidarity shortly after the founding of both new nations. In the process, the Vidric rebels and the Silver Ravens met up and realized that they both still had that rebellious fire and wanted to join up and continue fighting oppression. Eventually word of these first Firebrands got out and, in an attempt to ask for their aid, some rebels in Galt publicly declared themselves as Firebrands. While not officially part of the original group, these Firebrands had that same fighting spirit and others believed them to be part of the organization, too.

A female half-elf in a flowing black cloak, tricorn hat and white shirt wields a flintlock pistol in one hand and a rapier in the other.

Illustration by Mary Jane Pajaron

This leads to more and more people declaring themselves Firebrands and things getting out of hand. Eventually, some Free Captains do it to stick it to the man, which in turn becomes a trend among others. This fad of “joining” the Firebrands escalates to a whole movement of people doing so for the thrill of going around and doing daredevil acts and having fun. These Firebrands in turn draw lots of attention away from the rebellious side of the group and then we have the Firebrands of today. If you’re playing a Firebrand, you might choose to go in on the fun and gaudy lifestyle, drawing throngs of people to hear about your latest exploit. In that case, you might end up taking the Entourage skill feat.

Entourage, Feat 7. Rare, General, Skill. Prerequisites: master in Diplomacy, Hobnobber. You have a small group of admirers that tend to follow you around while you’re in civilized settlements. Your admirers are helpful to you, allowing you to make simple Requests of them such as purchasing basic equipment with your funds or finding a room at an inn.

However, drawing and maintaining an entourage takes a lot of work. In fact, only the most well-known Firebrands have the popularity to draw large groups of people. If you’re not popular enough yet, maybe it’s time to go and delve another ancient ruin or wear some more eye-catching clothing! You can always head to the Vaunter’s Carnival—a yearly gathering of Firebrands full of boasting and friendly competition—in hopes of gaining enough of a reputation to build your own entourage.

A half-orc with a cloak concealing the lower half of her face prepares to throw a grappling hook.

Illustration by Michele Esposito

Maybe you’re not the kind that likes attention. Maybe you prefer to help others and would prefer to use your popularity to inspire others to do good. The Firebrands are the perfect organization for that kind of character. Vigilantes and do-gooders of all types can use the Firebrands as a mask to go around and help those in need. Maybe putting on a persona is still too much. In that case, the Firebrands are also perfect at helping you remain anonymous, as anyone can join the group. In fact, the Firebrands make use of gear to keep their deeds hidden like the insistent door knocker, the unmemorable mantle, and one of my favorite first edition items, snapleaf!

Snapleaf, Level 3. Consumable, Illusion, Magical, Talisman. This small, crystalline carving is in the shape of a tree leaf and attaches to armor or clothing with a simple strap. When you activate the snapleaf, you gain the benefits of feather fall and a 2nd-level invisibility spell for 1 minute or until you stop falling, whichever comes first.

Many of the options featured in the organizations section of the Character Guide are uncommon or rarer options. Some of these, like the snapleaf above, are widespread enough that you can acquire them even without a connection to the organization. For those that are less common, it’s generally a simple matter of joining up with the organization. Each section features details on how to join these groups, allowing GMs and players to work together to get characters membership as their respective stories allow. For the Firebrands, it’s actually a simple process: go somewhere that has a lot of people and publicly declare yourself a Firebrand. You did it! You’re a first mark Firebrand! Moving up in the ranks is a bit tougher than that, though. You have to gain a reputation and eventually have to have a recognized second mark Firebrand officially accept you as a Firebrand. Once this happens, you have become a second mark and gain access to most of the section’s rules options, including the new Firebrand braggart archetype!

A shirtless Firebrand raises a full mug of beer in his right hand while grasping an axe in the other.

Illustration by Michele Esposito

This archetype is all about boasting and trying to do as many death-defying deeds as possible, placing your reputation on the line in the process. Firebrand braggarts can make big boasts about something they’re about to do, such as a Long Jump over a chasm, and if they succeed, gain a bonus to other Long Jump checks for a while as they ride high on their success. If they fail, however, they take a penalty to further checks for some time as their bruised ego recovers. Later feats allow braggarts to taunt their foes to trick them into letting their guard down, do fun stunts that let them dance around the battlefield, and even defy death by their sheer determination alone. The Firebrand braggart archetype is a double-length archetype taking up two pages and the Firebrand Braggart Dedication feat is available starting at 4th level.

Daring Act, Feat 6, Archetype. Prerequisites: trained in Acrobatics or Athletics, Firebrand Braggart Dedication. You attempt death- maneuver to distract your enemies. Select one foe within reach and attempt either an Acrobatics or defying Athletics check against your target’s Reflex DC. If you succeed, you can Stride up to half your Speed (or up to your full Speed if you critically succeed) without triggering reactions from the target due to your movement, and the target is flat-footed against the next melee attack that you attempt against it before the end of your turn.
Daredevil’s Gambit, Feat 12, Archetype. Prerequisites: Daring Act. If you critically succeed at your Daring Act, you can enter the target’s space and remain there until the beginning of your next turn or until the target moves, whichever comes first. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to AC, and your target is flat-footed against your attacks while you are sharing its space in this way. If any creature other than your target hits you with an attack roll while you are sharing your target’s space, attempt a DC 15 flat check. On a success, resolve the attack against the target instead of you, using the same attack roll result that hit you.

That’s just a taste of what the Firebrands have to offer. If you’ve always wanted a group that encouraged adventuring for the sake of adventuring, fun, and prestige, then you should check out the Firebrands! If you think that too many tyrants are up to no good and the world needs more heroes, then you should check out the Firebrands! If you think these Firebrands are too much of a nuisance and should learn their place, then you should check out our preview of the Hellknights next week! Regardless, I think you should check out the Lost Omens Character Guide when it releases on October 16th. It’s going to be fun!

Luis Loza
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Lost Omens Character Guide Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
Dark Archive

Nice :O I'm reminded of the Kurgess' darechaser prestige class for some reason. I'm also almost reminded of leadership's followers... I kinda miss leadership feat :'D I liked cohorts (wow, its rare feat. I guess because you actually need to earn the entourage in character by gathering the group?)

What did happen to Children of Westcrown anyway? Were they too Lawful to join firebrands since they were always more of activists than rebels?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Bit of a side question but does that Gnome have a tail or is it just me?

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kevin Mack wrote:
Bit of a side question but does that Gnome have a tail or is it just me?

I thought that was sickle blade?

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Please tell me more about the Freecaptain's Firearm! :)

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Niiiiiice!

Dat gnome.

Dat orc.

Dat braggart.

Love it!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is there an archetype for the sneakier/subtler type of Firebrands? Those are much more my type


It sounds like that's more of a matter of taking the sneakier items. Not every firebrand will take a firebrand archetype.

Paizo Employee Developer

11 people marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
Is there an archetype for the sneakier/subtler type of Firebrands? Those are much more my type

Not yet! I chose to go with the braggart as the sole archetype for the Firebrands because it was harder to replicate the abilities with what the game had available at the moment. It's pretty easy to make sneakier characters with the current skill feats and the like (and there's even a new skill feat you can take in the Firebrands section!) so for now you'll have to make do with those options.

When I get a chance to expand on the Firebrands, I'll make sure to include something that's more fitting for infiltrator types!

Anorak wrote:
Please tell me more about the Freecaptain's Firearm! :)

I will as soon as we get some firearm rules!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Hopefully we can finally get a RAW method of getting access to katanas!


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Definitely excited about the future options for your sneakier firebrands. Our Silver Ravens were so good at OpSec, there was more than one character in the party who had two statues of them erected on that bridge since there was no evidence that these personas were in fact different people.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really dig that skill feat. Kind of getting Leadership without the pain at the table of having Leadership.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Anorak wrote:
Please tell me more about the Freecaptain's Firearm! :)

Firearm? That's just a fancy club she's got there... ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well I know who I’m joining!

I also like that I pegged the silver Ravens as being a foundation this movement was built upon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cyrad wrote:
Hopefully we can finally get a RAW method of getting access to katanas!

RAW, that would be Unconventional Weaponry.


Is it me or Daring Act is just paying two actions to move 1/4 of the distance you would otherwise in a gameplay environment where Attacks of Opportunity (the biggest threat to this kind of action) is not common enough? Seems REALLY steep for a 6th level Feat. If you could at least make an attack at the end of the movement, it would seem more reasonable.

I don't know, it seems like a tax feat for Daredevil's Gambit based only on the information given here. Maybe there's something that will warrant such a steep cost for such little movement and a conditional flat-footed.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It's the flat footed part.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I like what I see, but I'm really, really concerned about the fact a "double length archetype" is a thing (and that it means 2 pages). Many of LOWG's archetypes was really hampered by the fact the archetypes were only 1 page in length. Archetypes should be the size they need to be realised. Standardizing on 1 page length archetypes with anything bugger then that being "notable" is really going to hamper the development of character options. If an archetype needs 3 or even 4 pages, give it that length. Dont get locked into the idea of archetypes should be 1 page (with 2 pages exceptional).


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Lightning Raven wrote:
Maybe there's something that will warrant such a steep cost for such little movement and a conditional flat-footed.

It's pretty much a 1/2 move + Feint but instead of Deception (Cha) vs Perception DC you roll Athletics (Str) or Acrobatics (Dex) vs Reflex DC. This opens up the maneuver to those with 2 different stats/skills and a different DC to target: for rogues that don't care about Cha, this is a pretty good deal.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
Maybe there's something that will warrant such a steep cost for such little movement and a conditional flat-footed.
It's pretty much a 1/2 move + Feint but instead of Deception (Cha) vs Perception DC you roll Athletics (Str) or Acrobatics (Dex) vs Reflex DC. This opens up the maneuver to those with 2 different stats/skills and a different DC to target: for rogues that don't care about Cha, this is a pretty good deal.

Yep-yep.


It seems kind of backwards for "Uninterested or deficient in Charisma? Join the Firebrands!" to be a thing though.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
... I kinda miss leadership feat :'D

No. No. Just... no.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Entourage: They are travelling minstrels!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
It seems kind of backwards for "Uninterested or deficient in Charisma? Join the Firebrands!" to be a thing though.

"Deficient in Deception" isn't the same thing as "Deficient in Charisma" though.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gisher wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
... I kinda miss leadership feat :'D
No. No. Just... no.

Bah, it has never broken the game in our games! :p


graystone wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
Maybe there's something that will warrant such a steep cost for such little movement and a conditional flat-footed.
It's pretty much a 1/2 move + Feint but instead of Deception (Cha) vs Perception DC you roll Athletics (Str) or Acrobatics (Dex) vs Reflex DC. This opens up the maneuver to those with 2 different stats/skills and a different DC to target: for rogues that don't care about Cha, this is a pretty good deal.

It opens up a different route for feint, yes, but why the half-movement and two-action cost? Or am wrong in thinking that for the same amount of actions you can fully move and make a feint check, without any investment other than having a stat and a skill, and still be pretty much doing the same thing with the only benefit lack being guaranteeing no reactions from the target?

I dunno, I think it would be a nice and flavorful addition if the feat was kept as it is, but the movement also ignored difficult terrain, since your character would be doing some crazy acrobatic movement or expertly moving around the battlefield/enemy. I would be more inclined to pick it up and it's a minor change and also conditional.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It’s a Stride that ignores AoO and lets you FF the target with a Skill other than Deception, so you’re basically doing 2 Actions.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am not a fan of entering the same squre as your opponent.
That can't be depicted on a battle-map and are you still flanking the target?
This doesn't seem well thought through.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Bit of a side question but does that Gnome have a tail or is it just me?
I thought that was sickle blade?

That's what I thought too. That said, the way it is hung at her belt, with no sheath, seems like a serious hazard of getting poked in the leg.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Count me in as not liking abilities that let you share a space. It was already annoying with smaller creatures where it made sense. The ability is really nice and flavourful, but the mechanics are annoying. Could have worked the same way with being in an adjacent space.


Here’s hoping we see, oh, say, a Firebrand Vigilante archetype soon :)


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo blog wrote:
Others say that they are just grandstanders with a penchant for fashion and drawing attention to themselves.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Silver Crusade

I am really looking forward to reading more about them in the book ^^

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Who are you?
What do you want?
Why are you here?
Where are you going?

Paizo Employee Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.

What do you believe?

Exo-Guardians

1 person marked this as a favorite.

looking forward to hearing about the Hellknights next week! somebody has to put hooligans like this in their place...

Shadow Lodge

Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Paizo blog wrote:
Others say that they are just grandstanders with a penchant for fashion and drawing attention to themselves.
You say that like it's a bad thing.

It is. Dilettantism is a plague and a nuisance.

That said, as internationals go, this isn't too bad for a first try. Might even last out the decade.


BTW, anybody think the function of Daring Act is a bit... crappy?
By my reading, if you fail the check, absolutely nothing happens.
Pretty harsh for 2 action activity, whose success isn't even OMG amazing.

IMHO, the movement should just be movement and happen regardless, the check should determine whether or not you evade reactions
and make the target flatfooted against you, but if you fail you just move and provoke reactions, not waste your turn completely. I suppose it's possible to prefer nothing happen on a fail, but that seems against the "daredevil" spirit of ability.

That ties into the next thing, which is 'full speed' movement contingent on CritSuccess. Yet if you can't rely on CritSuccess, your planned usage of the ability will need to rely only on 1/2 speed movement, in which case if you DO get the CritSuccess it probably makes no difference at all, because your target would already be within 1/2 speed range.

So I don't see actual value of this CritSuccess. Probably better to either allow full movement at higher DC (chosen ahead of time, if you fail you just provoke and don't impose flat-footed), or change it to some other effect like further debuff on target.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The value is that you’re using Athletics or Acrobatics to make the target flatfooted to you, and will probably have good odds of doing so.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Paizo Products / Paizo Blog: Where There's Smoke, There's Firebrands! All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.