GM Doom!'s page

40 posts (45 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 5 aliases.


RSS


Hey all I caught the flu and its slowing my posting a little. I will get a post up today but it may be hit or miss for a few days.

Didnt want anyone worrying that I was bailing!


As Pietro addresses the two older boys they shrink back fearfully. The one who had been muttering falls silent and both boys pale visibly.

The boy holding the bow appears to be slightly older than his companion. Maybe 12 or 13 years old and fairly tall for his age. His face is covered in an unfortunate amount of acne and his voice breaks slightly as he responds.

I swear it was an accident! We didnt meant to hurt nobody! Why was Arend crawling around in the bushes, he shouldnt have been there!

The second boy is a little younger and quite a bit smaller than the first. He is standing behind the larger boy silent. With a closer look you see that he is on the verge of tears, his lip quivering and his eyes shining brightly with barely contained wetness.

As Touch joins the group and gently urges the boys away the younger boy moves gladly. He seems eager for any guidance and happy to relinquish control to anyone else. The older boy refuses to move though.

The boy nearly yells at touch Leave me alone! Why arent you helping Arend! We have to get him to the doctor!


Pietro as you approach the boy and examine him more closely you see that he is still breathing but only shallowly. There is a significant pool of blood in the grass and dirt next to him and the wound itself is smeared with a black liquid. Leaning in closer you notice a foul smell coming off the boys abdomen, sulfuric and rotting. Without magical healing you suspect he will be dead in minutes.

As Ben casts stabilize the wound seems to pucker slightly and the bleeding slows to a trickle. Almost immediately the boy takes a deeper breath and slumps back into a more peaceful slumber. The spell seems to have paused the boys death, at least temporarily, but without additional healing you aren't confident he will ever wake.

Ralleck, you recognize the woman sobbing over the boy from your youth in Wicken. Amalia Weber is a few years older than you and you didnt know her well growing up. From what you recall she was a quieter girl, more likely to sit with a book than engage in games or dancing at the few social occasions where you crossed paths. You dont recognize the injured boy but there is an undeniable resemblance to Amalia leading you to believe its her son. You dont recognize either of the other two youth who appear to have accidentally injured the younger boy.


Thanks for letting us know Ben. The campaign will be gearing up fully on Wed and Thursday so if you cant check in just make sure you go back and reread what happens to catch up!


As quickly as the cry started it fades away and as you push your way to the edge of the crowd the scream is replaced with a somber silence.

Moving in closer you start to hear the mingled sounds of sobbing and prayers. As you get closer you see a group of four or five people on their knees huddled around something on the ground. Just to the side of this group stand two ashen faced young boys, no older than 11-12 at a guess, one of them fidgets slightly with a bow propped against his leg and both look intently at the figures on the ground.

Looking past the kneeling figures you see a third boy laying flat on the ground. This one is younger, probably 7 or 8 years old but small for his age. His front and thighs are soaked dark with blood and a long arrow shaft is protruding from the center of his abdomen.

One of the older boys is speaking the same thing over and over but no one seems to be paying attention to him

"I...I didnt mean to. I thought he was a fox. Just rustling in the bushes... I... I couldnt really see... I didnt mean to"


As the musicians take a short break from playing to grab another tankard and a plate of food, you hear a cry go up on the north edge of the green. Some kind of commotion has come up from that direction and a few moments later you hear the alarmed, and distraught, scream of a woman rising up from the crowd.


Morning turns to afternoon as you mingle and greet one another and old acquaintances. More and more kegs of ale are opened and the crowd is soon roaring, dancing, singing and making merry.

A large table full of the harvests bounty comes out and even after your time in the city you are impressed by the sheer variety and quantity of produce harvested from Wicken. Roasts, a whole pig, multiple kinds of fowl, dozens of vegetables and every single variety of apple based dessert imaginable are on display.

With Touch and Faith egging them on the quarter has kicked up to a livelier melody and several more musicians have joined the stage, probably far to many for its small size really.

The festival looks like it will be one for the ages. After the hot summer it would seem that the whole region is ready to let loose. The only thing that seems out of place is Father Gromwell. He is conspicuously absent from his standard master of ceremonies role, actually you dont seem to see him anywhere at all.


Wicken hasn’t changed much in recent years. The two dozen or so single story homes that make up the center of the town are neatly maintained and tended and the small gardens in between homes lay in neat rows that would have been bursting with vegetables just a few weeks ago. The village green looks as out of place as ever, far too large for a town the size of Wicken – really more of a field than a green and yet already this morning it is getting crowded with activity as final preparations for the festival are underway. On the far side of the green, the second and third story of the Chubby Tankard Inn rise up from behind the wall of white pavilion tents set up by its proprietor, Dreu Arentz, to handle the many visitors that wont fit inside the inn proper.

It should be cool this morning. This late into fall the weather should have turned long since and the orchards surrounding Wicken should be alive with color but their reds and oranges have been replaced with pale yellows and sickly greens while the village green lays as brown and brittle as you would expect at the height of summer. Even just casually walking around the village you can feel the first beads of sweat building on your brow and neck as the heat builds around you.

Nonetheless, its clear the people of Wicken aren’t letting a late heat wave detract from their festival. Everywhere you look people bustle about, many already dressed in their festival finery – and sweating profusely for it. The stagnant air is absolutely filled with the smells of baking pies and roasting meat and large stacks of wood are being prepared for the bonfires to be held this evening.

On one corner of the green a small stage has been set up and a small handful of the younger adults in town have started up a slightly lethargic dance as Ortzi Bonnard and the towns really rather good quartet begin to warm up.

A little ways away from the stage, sitting on an upturned stump, Arus Quodd sits with a pack of younger children surrounding him. No doubt he is carving one of his wooden toys and regaling them with stories of magic and heroism just as he did for you when you were young.

A cry goes up from a small crowd about 40 yards away and at first you fear someone was injured but it looks like the cry was celebratory as the first of a dozen kegs is opened. The crowd is mostly men but you cant help but notice Rosemunda Adenay, taller than nearly all the men and apparently just as much a tomboy now as she was when you were growing up, looking fully intent on drinking all the rest under the table.

With the alcohol beginning to flow you know it wont be long until the days games commence and the rest of the village and its visitors begin to flock to the green.

What would you like to do?


Okay, I will give everyone one additional feat to use at first level and one additional feat at 4th level. That should allow a little flexibility to take feats you otherwise couldnt fit in.

I do like ABP but in this case Castorhage is definitely NOT low magic. Magic might be a little controlled and constrained but the bureaucracy uses it widely for every day life.


For whatever reason the PBP boards crash every time I try to add anything to the campaign info tab. So until that is fixed here are a few things that might be relevant to your planning

- We arent using XP points. You will just level at the end of each chapter. Assume that this means you will level a bit slower than is standard.

- Crafting. There is plenty of opportunity for downtime and at many points of the adventure it only moves as quickly as you want it to. Even so I usually play with faster crafting. Mundane item crafting I usually just drop everything by one time increment. Week crafting time shortens to day. Day to Hour etc. For crafting magical items I just lump values together. 1-5k in value takes a day. 5-10k takes two days. 10-15k 3 days. Etc.

- I have been thinking about this and because we are playing to a lower level AND leveling will be slower (and no one is playing a fighter) I am thinking I will either give out a couple extra feats or use feat tax rules to help feat dependent builds come online a little sooner. Would everyone be okay with this? I dont want a big power creep but I also dont want someone to have to spend the first 9 months of our game waiting on that one feat that unlocks what they want to play.

- City resources are available. There is functionally no cap on item value that can be acquired. An expert in damn near anything can be found with enough research and time. Help can be hired (trusted help could be tougher). In particular this is valuable for skill allocation. Keep in mind that you can find an expert in just about any field within Castorhage. It may take a while to hunt them down and they may not be cheap if its truly obscure but they are nonetheless available.


Game play thread is up for people to tag. I will get the actual first play prompt up on Wednesday morning.


Game play thread for the campaign


Why doesnt everyone post an intro to start. Give us a brief overview of who you will be playing both in terms of character and mechanics. Let us know what their strengths are. Then we can figure out what is missing from the party and see if any adjustments are needed.

If your Alias isnt built out yet this would be a good time to start doing that also! Please make sure your full character including mechanics is available in your alias. Its a lot easier than having to go to an external sheet to look things up.

At the moment I dont have a single format you have to use. That might change later though in interest of keeping things easy to track.


This is the discussion thread for the Blight Campaign.

Keep all Out of Character conversation to this thread!


Okay so it seems like everyone put a LOT of thought and time into their applications and a few people weren't able to get them in on time.

Normally I would take 5-6 players for this but in this case I am going to assume the usual PBP fall off will take a person or two out of the game at some point and go ahead and take 7 so that everyone who completed a character gets to play.

So here is what I have as the roster:

Kapenia – Seducer Witch
Touch – Mesmerist
"Ben" Mharjaek – Occultist
Ralleck - Ravener Hunter/Monster Tactician Inquisitor
Pietro Morvan – Paladin
Valeriana Vane – Sorceress
Faith in the Rain - Arcanist

So here is my plan moving forward.

1. Take a day or two to discuss characters in the Discussion tab. This is a chance to make mechanical adjustments to make sure things like skills and abilities are covered.

This can also be a chance for all of you to think about and finalize any pre-play relationships between your characters.

2. Wednesday I will put a prequel type opening in the gameplay tab. My plan is to give everyone a week or so of opportunity to roleplay the harvest festival and get to know each others characters. After a week I will transition us to the actual campaign and we will get started! (This will also give me time to make the adjustments needed to accomodate a larger than expected group)

So welcome players and get ready to play!


My flight tomorrow is delayed so I won't be able to review submissions until Monday. If you are planning to submit a character get it done by midnight tomorrow!


Okay the completed characters that I see are:

Kapenia – Seducer Witch
Touch – Mesmerist
"Ben" Mharjaek – Occultist
Ralleck - Ravener Hunter/Monster Tactician Inquisitor
Pietro Morvan – Paladin
Valeriana Vane – Sorceress

If you are planning on submitting and not on that list you have until Sunday. If you are still planning on submitting or if you have submitted and I overlooked it send me a PM so I know roughly what to expect.

Thanks!


Doing good things for selfish reasons is appropriate. I am definitely not looking for a campaign of noble do-gooders. This can be a much more morally ambivalent campaign than any standard rpg campaign. Mostly I just want to make sure everyone understands that its a morally grey campaign and not a full on evil campaign.

I definitely dont need peoples motivators to be "doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing" but the party as a whole should be generally interested in helping people (or at least specific people they care about) even if for all the wrong reasons.

This just is not the campaign for people who are going to primarily be lured by loot and power. Greed is a fantastic secondary motivator. And it can make for some very interesting flawed heroes. But if thats your only motivator all of the interesting moral quandaries that the world of Castorhage presents quickly get boiled down to "what will make me richer" and that misses a lot of the potential.


djdust wrote:
djdust wrote:
I should add that I changed craft(alchemy) to craft(herbalism) and changed the languages known to reflect more obscure, arcane tongues. just, whatever's under the alias when time is up is my final submission :P
After reading over the rules again, it looks like Profession(Herbalism) is for gathering herbs in the wild, and Craft(Alchemy) is used to prepare them into useful items. So, I've made those my two background skills. I understand this is an urban adventure, but I'm hoping there will be opportunities to purchase medicinal plants and herbs in the city. Perhaps the herbalism skill can be to identify the right plants to buy.

There will be abundant opportunity to find sellers of herbs and components. Castorhage has a booming trade in alchemical items and all the components there of.


For everyone -

The world of Castorhage is a dark place of moderate horror and very grey morality. That said I think the adventure works better if the PARTY has at least a bit of a moral compass.

I will absolutely take C/N, and Evil characters but overall I will probably balance the groups outlook to at least lean slightly towards the good. While this campaign is a great one for the anti-hero, it does still need the hero part of that pairing and not just the anti.

A lot of people have posted some really fascinating C/N type self interested character and I fully intend to take a few of those but I probably wont select an entire party composed of them.

I will probably give a few bonus points to characters that lean towards good or at least have the potential to grow into a more socially interested viewpoint.

I just want everyone to know in advance that it will probably be a factor in the selection. I apologize if I didn't make that clear enough in the initial post.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
GM Doom! wrote:
A few things to keep in mind. As written the AP is something of a tour of castorhage with each volume taking part primarily in a new district. This could mean that your reknown will only be really useful in one or two of the 10 volumes unless you are going to take it multiple times for multiple districts. You arent heavily constrained by this and the party will be free to move around the city should they so choose, but the bulk of each chapters action will be contained within a single district.

Actually you're allowed to change your area of renown by spending time and effort in a new area. The ability describes how this work, which I've copied into the character alias. It normally takes a week of socializing with the locals.

GM Doom! wrote:
Second because your character has to have grown up in Wicken if he is going to be of high standing in Castorhage he will have to be self made. Cant rely on a family name or family wealth.

Understood. I was going back and forth on the noble upbringing, and I think making him lowborn like the vast majority of Castorhage will ultimately be the better choice anyways.

GM Doom! wrote:
Third because the city of Castorhage is essentially a lawful evil bureaucracy with many of the leaders and figure heads being of evil alignment I would think that Chaotic Good might actually make a better alignment for your Vigilante side. A Lawful Evil vigilante really would not find much to rebel against in Castorhage.

Hmm, interesting idea. A CG vigilante persona that the social persona is using for personal gain. Oh yes the establishment is corrupt and needs to be overthrown! Of course somebody must take over afterwards, we can't let the anarchists have their way...

However that would come into conflict with the Serial Killer archetype, which states the vigilante identify must be evil. Would you...

Ah I missed that you can change your renown. That will make it much more useful. The AP plays out over about a year so you will generally have time to make use of that ability as you go about the city.

I am completely good with doing away with the alignment requirement, generally speaking I hate them anyway. In a city full of evil people there is no reason you couldnt have a good aligned serial killer bumping off the corrupt and tainted.

That said if you envision the vigilante using his persona for personal gain then it could definitely be evil also. I am okay either way.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Rednal wrote:
Castorhage is really big. I suggest trying to have a tie to one or two areas if you've already been to the city, as your background suggests you have. XD Rather than bouncing all over. There are enough problems in any one district to keep you occupied for a lifetime. Gives some opportunity for growth during the camapign, too, rather than being fixed as equally famous the whole time.

Oh I completely agree. The Blight is an entire world in it of itself. It's more detailed than most campaign settings. I did actually read the entirety of the player's guide and my current issue is narrowing down what I want to do. I have about twenty different ideas going on, but I know I should focus on just a couple of them instead of stretching my character so thin he's opaque.

And I'm excited about all the distinct areas of the city. It works really well with the vigilante's "renown" social ability, which I made sure to pick up immediately at level 1.

Also as I sort of implied in my earlier post I just want to make sure you realize that at least for the first chunk of this adventure there is a strong motive for the players to NOT get noticed by those in power. This is going to make life for your social side a bit more difficult and could make abilities like renown a bigger flaw than benefit through the early going.

This definitely isnt a deal breaker but it might lead to a situation where you actually want to spend most your time as your vigilante persona rather than your social persona through large chunks.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Rednal wrote:
Castorhage is really big. I suggest trying to have a tie to one or two areas if you've already been to the city, as your background suggests you have. XD Rather than bouncing all over. There are enough problems in any one district to keep you occupied for a lifetime. Gives some opportunity for growth during the camapign, too, rather than being fixed as equally famous the whole time.

Oh I completely agree. The Blight is an entire world in it of itself. It's more detailed than most campaign settings. I did actually read the entirety of the player's guide and my current issue is narrowing down what I want to do. I have about twenty different ideas going on, but I know I should focus on just a couple of them instead of stretching my character so thin he's opaque.

And I'm excited about all the distinct areas of the city. It works really well with the vigilante's "renown" social ability, which I made sure to pick up immediately at level 1.

A few things to keep in mind. As written the AP is something of a tour of castorhage with each volume taking part primarily in a new district. This could mean that your reknown will only be really useful in one or two of the 10 volumes unless you are going to take it multiple times for multiple districts. You arent heavily constrained by this and the party will be free to move around the city should they so choose, but the bulk of each chapters action will be contained within a single district.

Second because your character has to have grown up in Wicken if he is going to be of high standing in Castorhage he will have to be self made. Cant rely on a family name or family wealth.

Third because the city of Castorhage is essentially a lawful evil bureaucracy with many of the leaders and figure heads being of evil alignment I would think that Chaotic Good might actually make a better alignment for your Vigilante side. A Lawful Evil vigilante really would not find much to rebel against in Castorhage.

If you are going to look for specific districts to have ties to, I would suggest Townbridge (for characters more newly arrived), the Artists Quarter, or Booktown.


Okay. I have PMd a couple of you with questions or suggestions where things looked unclear.

The rest I think your characters looked good and everything seemed solid.

If anyone has questions for me feel free to ask in this thread or PM as desired!

Otherwise keep up the good work and I am planning on shutting down recruitment on Sunday the 21st around noon PST so get those final tweaks in!


I have been reading through characters so far and there is some great stuff being put up! I will send out specific thoughts tomorrow but so far I am highly impressed!


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
GM Doom! wrote:
I dont know vigilante super well. Dont think I have ever had one in a campaign. Let me read through it with a little more attention than I have right now and get back to you. I should have a response for you tomorrow.

I'm new to the class as well, I've just recently become familiar with it. The core concept is explained well in the classes first ability. Essentially they have a secret identity, much like classic vigilante superheroes. Of course my take would be darker, as I have described above.

Looking forward to your thoughts!

I looked through vigilante and I think it will work fine for the campaign. The one thing I would caution is that renown and fame are not always things to be desired in Castorhage. If you stick your head up its far easier for it to get cut off. So you might want to be careful with your social persona and not just your vigilante persona.


Kapenia wrote:
GM Doom! wrote:

For everyone regarding wicken While the details of you time in Wicken are very flexible, it is critical that you are tightly bound to the community. You might have been gone for a while but your childhood and time in Wicken were generally happy and you sincerely care about the village and its people.

Quick question on this. Kapenia is kind of a sociopath, so I'm not sure as written she "sincerely" cares about the village and its people. As she's written now however she does care deeply about the safety and security of Wicken and her reputation there as it's her place to escape back to if her life in the city doesn't pan out.

Is that enough of a connection, or should I redo her background and personality a bit to give her a more emotional base there?

Full sociopath will be tricky. A lot of this Adventure Path relies on relationships and someone that cant build attachments or connections might find motivation wanting. On the other hand someone who is slow to trust and slow to care will probably be fine. Only caring about people for selfish reasons is fine as long as she can genuinely care. I think if she really has no emotional attachment to other humans a lot of the fun and power of this adventure path might go missing. A slightly softer interpretation of sociopath and I think you will be good.


"Ben" Mharjaek wrote:

Ok, looks like I need to rework the backstory a bit. I was thinking the church was more of a cathedral with a clergy and nuns running an orphanage sort of thing.

Further questions then:
Who ran the church before Father Gromwell?
Is St. Alman affiliated with Mother Grace, another diety, or is he his own diety?
Is there an orphanage in Wicken?
Where do the good folk of Wicken bury their dead?

Okay a little more info on Wicken

The village of Wicken is home to about 150 people with perhaps double that number living on farmsteads within a days ride. Its main economy come from the bountiful orchards all around the city and a small weekly farmers / craft market that draws individuals from the surrounding agricultural lands. Overall Wicken is a peaceful and welcoming community that is moderately prosperous.

St. Alman is something a bit less than a diety. He is a local saint roughly on par with a demi-god. In terms of general outlook and the tone of his church I think we can consider him much like Golarions Erastil but with a much smaller power base and really only worshiped in the area right around Wicken.

There is no set orphanage in Wicken as its far to small a community to have more than one or two orphans at any given time. During those unfortunate times when a child is orphaned the community usually collectively fosters them. They may grow up with one family or they may get passed from family to family depending on each families circumstance. They are usually well taken care of and supported, fostering in Wicken isnt quite as abysmal as in the real world.

Most people in and around Castorhage - including Wicken - choose to cremate their dead as it improves the chance they will be allowed to rest peacefully. A small cemetery exists outside the Church of St. Alman but it rarely finds use.


Okay that answers all the specific questions I have seen. Tomorrow I will read through builds and backgrounds that have been posted and give feedback in case anything needs to be revised.


Sapiens wrote:
Dot. What are the rules for guns?

Emerging Firearms but you will find that gunsmiths and machinists are a little more common in Castorhage than is standard for this category. Advanced weapons can be found in the city but could take a little effort to track down and wont be cheap.


"Ben" Mharjaek wrote:

Fluffy bits are started, I did not see mention of Wicken's Church of St. Alman or Father Gromwell in the players guide. I'd like to use that as my campaign trait, did I miss something?

RPwise, Ben is a bookish intellectual, shy and clumsy in social situations, as well as disturbing and creepy. Definitely not a face, but should be fun to play :)

Combat wise, heavy debuffer at first, gaining some light healing and an army of undead minions as time goes on.

Wicken itself is not detailed in the players guide. I think this is to keep it flexible for players to develop backgrounds. In direct response to your question the Church of St. Alman is the main (only) church in Wicken, its good aligned and something of a hub for the community. Father Gromwell is an upper middle aged man who has been the priest at St. Almans for more than 20 years. He is a generally friendly man who cares deeply about the good of his flock, more of a village vicar than a formal priest. Father Gromwell is also something of an artist who has done much of the decorating of the temple

For everyone regarding wicken While the details of you time in Wicken are very flexible, it is critical that you are tightly bound to the community. You might have been gone for a while but your childhood and time in Wicken were generally happy and you sincerely care about the village and its people.


The Vagrant Erudite wrote:

I like this idea.

How quick are you to make a paladin fall? Or if they do, how hard will you make it to atone?

You see, I am thinking of a character loosely based on Samuel Vimes from the Discworld series - gritty, pissed with the system and how corrupted it is, trying to change the world for the better from the inside, and clinging to his own small flame of justice.

I don't want to play, as you say, Stupid Good, though, but it would be neat to see someone struggling with their internal ethics and the horror of the world around them as something they can't change overnight. In short, I'd like to try a sort of candle in the night character. I understand it could be difficult, but hell - what fun would the game be if there weren't challenges? Especially RP challenges!

I am not going to be overly restrictive. There are a LOT of grey moral areas where there really is no RIGHT decision. I think as a general rule as long as the Paladin is trying to do the right thing they wont fall. Its those moments when a Paladin intentionally chooses to do something they know is wrong that puts them at risk.

If a Paladin does fall I will give fast, if inconvenient means of atoning.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:

Wow. A type of setting and atmosphere that I absolutely love. Not to mention exploring the themes of anti-heroes and gray morality. I wouldn't miss this opportunity for the world.

I skimmed over all the player resources, and as the week goes on I'll have time to go through them in detail. However I do have one quick question: Would the Vigilante class be a good fit for this campaign? I have an idea in my head for a Skinwalker Vigilante who uses his social identity as somebody who tries to go through the right legal channels to improve the city, but at night uses his vigilante persona to shift into beast form and...dispose of the problems that can't be dealt with legally. Very much adheres to the idea that society needs parentalism for the masses, who should be taught that doing things the right and official way is how to enact change, and thinks that a number of more able-bodied and minded people should shoulder the burden of dealing with the dark complexities of humanity. Of course, such individuals should be granted more prestige and power for their efforts and sacrifice. Although he is trying to do good for those around him, it comes from a condescending and self-serving worldview.

I dont know vigilante super well. Dont think I have ever had one in a campaign. Let me read through it with a little more attention than I have right now and get back to you. I should have a response for you tomorrow.


Kapenia wrote:

I originally made this character for a different campaign. She has been rejected at several tables since just due to the more adult nature of the archetype (seducer witch).

I'm happy to reskin or remove the sexual aspects of her if you want, I'm really just attached to her as I wanted to play a CHA based witch with major face skills. This seems like it might be the PERFECT campaign to put her in.

Please let me know if you're OK with the archetype, and if so I'll reskin her to meet the character creation guidelines you put out.

I am fine with seducer witch. We will keep the "adult" side of the archetype within tasteful bounds but those themes are already present in the adventure path.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sickened walls jut from the green waters like jagged teeth, their brickwork hemorrhaging from the strain of the towering load above. Centuries of rebuilding, repairing, shoring and praying teetering on the edge of ruin above a poison ink bay of arsenic-toxic waters. Brick walls rise from the dead waters of the Great Lyme River—Sister Lyme as they call her—lying in a bay seemingly bereft of natural life where slurry licks the footings of this failing domain. Timbers rise and jut across streets—joists shore up walls and iron bars lash whole avenues together—the endless sinking decay and toil making the city a giant endless building site. Bamboo scaffolding lashes around every structure, walls are propped against others by vast beams crossing rivers and the whole place is like a house of cards—waiting for the fall to commence. Nothing is still, and everything will one day collapse.

This city continues to rise from its vile depths—buildings lashed on other buildings, with a lace of piers and ladders, rope bridges and stone structures heaved between its various confusing levels. It is a cat’s cradle of interwoven wood and stone and hemp where a trip of fifty feet can take an hour on foot. Older buildings are crushed under the foundations of their children and gaze up weakly, senile structures being trampled to death in the struggle for air.

Bright boats of all sizes ply the sluggish bays and streams between the houses offering a quick but costly way of getting from one street to the next avoiding the perilous crossings and drops below. These boats compete for garishness, whilst their owners compete for attention— shouting, crying and even singing the safety and pleasure of their wares. Above their heads, a treadmill ferry creaks by, lumbering on despite the abuse from the boatmen, hateful of yet another invention in this city of renaissance.

The city is also alive with birdsong—the singing of canaries, which seem to be as populace as the people, who throng the streets and bay and bridges in their tens of thousands. And outwards and upwards the city spreads, like a blighting mass of architecture—towers rise in distant BookTown, the garish lights dance over Festival, and the echo of sounds and life in a dozen districts drifts lazily towards you. And high, high above all towers the grey ramparts of the Capital—a schizophrenic mass of tastes and styles, decrees, orders and tyranny.

Welcome to the greatest city in the World: Castorhage—“the Blight” to many of its inhabitants, a metropolis dancing on its own grave…

The Blight is a dark and rather twisted campaign setting and adventure path that was released by Frog God Games a few years back. It draws heavily on the influences of Victorian horror to present a massive, corrupt, gritty urban setting within which to play
I have played through the entire campaign once in person and as it relies very heavily on setting, detail, and roleplay I am increasingly convinced that it is a near perfect candidate for Play by Post.

The Blight is a predominantly urban-based horror adventure path with a few jaunts to some pretty terrible places along the way, but at its heart the PCs are going to be based in and explore the city of Castorhage, known as the Blight. Each of its 9 adventures is based in a different district of the city, and the adventure path as a whole takes characters from 1st level to 10th level. You’ll not encounter many dungeons or many black-and-white examples of good and evil. Indeed, the knowing-who-to-trust part makes up some of the campaign’s more-demanding sections.

To that end I am seeking 4-6 mature players that are willing to brave the seedy underbelly of a grotesquely corrupt city and maybe, probably not, just maybe find a way to shine a little light in the darkness.

Basic Campaign Info:
The Blight is a little different than your usual Adventure Path. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering applying.

1. The adventure path takes place mostly within the city of Castorhage. Urban focused PCs will have a chance to shine here and wilderness focused ones will truly struggle through large portions. Additionally Castorhage is what I would consider a fairly firmly Lawful Evil city, at least in terms of its institutions, characters that rock the boat and are too obvious in breaking the many laws and customs are likely to find themselves under constant threat.

2. This adventure path is DARK. It deals in themes that are far, far more mature than any that would be presented in a Paizo adventure path. I generally wont allow things to get too graphic or explicit (though a bit is necessary in some points) but themes of slavery, child murder, prostitution, torture etc are significant elements of the story. I expect these to be handled in a mature manner by all players

3. The adventure path is low magic (Sort of… read on for explanation) and low level. This adventure path starts at level 1 and only goes to level 10. Additionally levelling is slow. Don’t choose a build that doesn’t come online until level 5-6 because you will be spending months or years feeling useless. On the reverse side martial characters and lower power classes will never get outclassed by casters the way they do in a 1-20 campaign.

Castorhage is semi low magic. The whole city runs on alchemy and necromantic magics and yet magic is tightly controlled. Most arcane magic is controlled by a few guilds and divine magic is generally kept out of sight in the temples. Don’t expect massive magic item markets (Any item you need is available, it just might take some contacts to find it) and don’t expect flashy displays of magic around you.

4. Roleplaying! This adventure path runs on relationships and roleplaying. Building contacts, growing attached to each other and NPCs, having motivations for your characters beyond those that are directly provided for you. These are critical to the success of the game. There is plenty of combat in the AP but expect it to be about 70/30 in terms of a RP to Combat split.

Commitment::

While this Adventure Path is only designed to go to level 10 it is still nearly 500 pages long. This is a full adventure path and will likely take several years years. Whats more the campaign is really built on relationships and so having players fade in and out will be a challenge. Please be considerate of others when deciding whether or not to play in this campaign.

Posting: As the GM I will post at least once a day but most days I will try to post far, far more. I want this to be a high paced game to try and keep up progress.
I also expect players to post a minimum of once a day but really the average should be much higher than that. If you cant post for a few days because of life that’s fine. Generally it will just mean you are going to fade into the background. But you MUST let us know. If you cant generally average multiple posts per day this probably isn’t the game for you.


How it works:

This adventure will be done as play by post on the Paizo messageboards.

Maps and combats will be run through roll 20 as I already have almost all the maps and creatures created in there.

A wiki will be provided with details on places the characters have been, and people they have met.

I will build a treasure / loot spreadsheet but I expect each player (or a chosen party representative) to track their own loot and expenditures.

Character Creation::

Initial character tips and guidelines – As I said above this is a largely urban campaign and wilderness based characters are likely to struggle. Same with mounted characters - just don’t do it. This adventure path favors subtlety and subterfuge in many parts, that doesn’t mean we need 6 rogues, just be aware that loud combat and open battlefields are the exception rather than the norm.

This is a great campaign for the anti-hero (note not a villain, here is an explanation of anti-heroes if you aren’t familiar with the term Anti-hero ).

I will allow any alignment as long as its not stupid good or stupid evil. Real people have shades of grey and so should characters. A lawful good paladin may be a challenge in this AP but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a hell of a lot of fun to roleplay. Evil is ok also but it MUST be able to work within the group and it should accept the overarching motives of the story which have to do with undermining corrupt institutions and making the city more just.

Backgrounds and personalities

Here is a link to the players guide for the Blight. It’s a long read and I don’t require that you read it all now but it provides a lot of good background and context.

Backgrounds are slightly constrained. Every character grew up or spent a large portion of their youth in the town of Wicken. Wicken is a small, pastoral community several days ride from the capital city of Castorhage. You may have spent recent years away from Wicken pursuing your own path or fortune but you have just recently returned to the city for the annual end of summer harvest festival.

Give me a background that fills in some details of your time in Wicken and what you have been doing in the years since you left. Attachment to your childhood, the community, and other players are important.

Give me at least one close relationship to someone in Castorhage. This can be someone you met during trips to the city as a child or someone you met during your time away from Wicken.

Even more important than a background, give me an idea of who your character IS. What are their values, their foibles, their key dreams and desires and relationships, what are their personality quirks and outlooks. Flesh this out as much as possible to make a well rounded person with their own personality and motivation. Give me an idea of who they are going to be.

Crunch

We will use a 20 point buy. Nothing below 8 or above 18 AFTER racial mods.

Paizo material only, no exceptions other than those presented here.

All classes and sources are okay but I reserve the right to veto anything as we go along (I will let you know if I don’t like something so that you can rebuild before the recruitment is over).

Max hp at first level average thereafter

Average starting wealth

We will use background skills. You may choose two.

Two traits one of which must come from the campaign traits below, can take a disadvantage for a third but I will make it hurt.

Campaign traits:

I am going to detach the mechanics from the traits. Choose a trait below and one of the following mechanical benefits to go with it.

+2 initiative, +1 to any skill and that skill is a class skill, +1 to a saving throw of your choice,

Alman Artist: You spent many hours in Wicken’s Church of St. Alman, helping Father Gromwell to paint scenes of celestial glory and listening to his stories of the afterlife.

Alman Preacher: You spent many hours in Wicken’s Church of St. Alman, absorbing Father Gromwell’s religious stories that filled your head and heart with dreams of Heaven and Paradise.

Ciderwright: Wicken’s copious crop of apples always appeared in late summer or early autumn, and you became an expert at climbing the orchards to retrieve the choicest fruit. Working under the guidance of the local brewer, Tully Redmane, you also mastered the art of cider-making.

Grog’s Trapper: You spent a lot of time with Wild Grog, Wicken’s local poacher, who tracked with dogs and his pet pig, Olive. You have happy memories of the wild-haired giant of a man, laughing as he bagged rabbits and told wild stories of adventure at the campfire.

Wicken Farmer: You grew up and worked on a farm in Wicken. The land was fertile, the water clean, and the harvests were invariably good. Your farm thrived and, in time, became yours.

Wicken Shepherd: Your family farmed sheep on the hills above Wicken. Life could be tough, especially in the winters, but it was rewarding.

Many races are slightly changed from their Paizo standard. Here are the acceptable races.

Human
Blighted Human*
Elf
Primitive Elf*
Half-Elf
Gnome
Tradelord Gnome*
Dwarf
Shadowlamp Half-orc*
Halfling
Gypsy Soul Halfling*
Dhampir
Changeling
Skinwalker
Tiefling
Aasimar

Also here is a link to a document outlining changes to the races and new acceptable races.

Here is a link to a document outlining the deities we are using

I will keep recruitment open at least one week and will give 48 hour notice before it closes for people to finish things up. Good luck to all and I look forward to playing with you!


Addison Lane wrote:

GM Doom, I just started my first PbP on this site (not first ever).

After I created a thread under Recruitment, the site gave me some options to set up a campaign. The thing I don't know how to do is close recruitment, but I'll make my own thread to ask that rather than hijack your thread.

Check out the Recruitment forum to see how others are attracting players.

Thanks! I am not as worried about the technical side of how to actually start a campaign on the boards so much as I am thinking of the tips and tricks that separate a failed campaign from a successful one. I have however gone through the stickies at the top of the forum and they have some great suggestions!


Hi and thanks to all who provide some guidance!

I am a Looooong time D&D and Pathfinder GM with a lot of hours of in person and online (roll 20) campaigns under my belt. With the pressures of adulthood adding up I find that my time to game has diminished. I still have plenty of free time but its awfully hard to find consistent 3-4 hour blocks on a weekly basis for live games. Thus I am thinking that Pbp might be a way to scratch that gaming itch that will fit into my current life a little better.

I would mostly like to GM pbp adventures / campaigns but before jumping into the leader seat I feel like I need to sit on the other side of the screen a few times and just see how pbp really works and what leads to successful campaigns.

That said, the process of getting into a Pbp game or campaign seems to be incredibly tricky! I am wondering if there are any GM's out there that have room in a game, even just as a guest PC for a month or two, and would be willing to provide a little guidance / mentor ship.

Barring that I am hoping for some advice on best ways to get into a game or two to learn the format and be ready to start GMing.

Thanks for your input!


4d6 ⇒ (4, 1, 4, 6) = 15
4d6 ⇒ (6, 3, 6, 6) = 21
4d6 ⇒ (5, 6, 5, 1) = 17
4d6 ⇒ (6, 5, 6, 6) = 23
4d6 ⇒ (5, 4, 4, 1) = 14
4d6 ⇒ (5, 3, 1, 1) = 10

Well I was hoping for a warrior or melee of some sort but that pretty clearly screams Wizard or Alchemist.

Will ponder it


1d10 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
1d10 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
1d10 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
1d10 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10

leaning towards a skill monkey investigator type. Still working on options.


I think part of the problem is a game like this can really only be considered lightly related to standard pathfinder. When you start looking at tristalt, mythic, extra feats, and high levels you are on a scale so far from what the rules intended that the GM is very nearly building a new ruleset in terms of encounter and campaign design along with running the game. It just takes a ton of extra work.