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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.
"Ben" Mharjaek wrote:
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 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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.