Here is my submission:
Herk the Hunched
Herk laid on his bed, in the room he used, above the tavern he runs. No matter how much he tried, sleep alluded the man. A storm raged outside his cramped little room, thunder pealed in the distance, and rain steadily beat down on the roof. The ever strengthening wind howled trying to find its way through the drafty window. He laid there and wondered, Is tonight the night they come for me?
It was a night like this when they came for him and his brother. Fortunately, I don’t remember much about it, other than the infernal weather, Herk told himself.
<Stop lying to yourself. You remember, you’ll never forget,> the other worldly voice in his head stated mater of factly.
It’s right I still remember most of it, Herk conceded to the voice.
Herk’s earliest memories are of the night he and his brother were kidnapped. It was quick and brutal, one moment they were taking a short cut down a deserted alley. The next moment he had a sack thrust over his head, and was being carried away by rough hands. He and his brother were soon separated and Herk was put in a small stone room with another boy. The room was bare except for a small barred window about six feet off the ground and a bucket filled with excrement. He could tell by looking up and out the window that he was in a basement. As the door closed Herk heard one of the men say, “We’ve got a few hours before we deliver this lot. Got a good bunch here we sho…..” the man’s voice was lost as the door closed behind him. In spite of everything that happened Herk found himself exhausted and soon collapsed into a deep sleep on the stone floor of his cell.
He awoke on the stone floor cold and whimpering, rain poured down outside the window to his cell, and flashes of lightning light up his cell every so often. He continued to lay there feeling hopeless when the door to his cell is opened. One of his jailers entered the room and grabbed the other boy. The jailer said with an evil grin on his face, “Time for me to have a little fun. You’re next chubby,” his jailer said with sneer toward Herk as the screaming boy was dragged from the room.
Herk stood there frozen, not sure what was going on, but even his young mind is certain it is something twisted and evil. That is when he heard the voice <Stop your sniveling and do something you fat fool.> Herk looked around but saw no one else in the damp cell. Herk didn’t know what to do but he was positive that he wanted to leave this room before his jailer came back. So he decided to take the voice’s advice and do something.
A bit of inspiration came to him and he moved quickly, afraid that his captor would return soon. Without hesitation he removed his cloths, balled them up and threw them out of the barred window. Next, he overturned the bucket of excrement and moved it over to the window so he could stand on it. It took every bit of self-control to do what he did next, he bent over and smeared the waste from the bucket on his shoulders, chest, and hips. For lubrication, he thought. Using the bucket he was able to reach the bars on the window and pull himself up. Thanks to the lubrication he was able to painfully squeeze his way through the bars.
<You’re a smart one,> the other voice comments.
I am smart, Herk thought as he picked up his drenched cloths.
< I died in this alley,> the otherworldly voice resounds in his head.
“Who are you,” the boy asked in a whispered voice as he made his way out of the mist filled alley into the down poor.
Herk eventually made his way to his uncle’s house, who ran an underground pub complete with music and dancing, some of the cities forbidden pleasures. In this environment Herk was forced to grow up quickly. His uncle saw to it that he was trained him in the art of brewing and mixing of chemicals. In this free thinking environment he learned to read and debate philosophy, history, and religion. This is where he grew up and where he spent the rest of his youth looking over his shoulder and listening to the otherworldly voice. That is until the authorities came and took his uncle, closing the pub and forcing Herk to find his own way on the streets of Castorhage.
It was some years after this and Herk was failing at running a tavern in the slums of Castorhage when he began a discrete investigation business out of the tavern to help make ends meet.
In the back alleys of the oppressive city, nestled between rows of buildings of similar size and disrepair is a narrow two story structure. With a tavern on the first floor and rooms on the second story. Above the door hangs a sign depicting a man being hanged with his legs kicking and a large empty mug on the ground below him, At the top of the sign in faded yellow lettering it reads, The Dancing Drunk. On the bottom of the sign is the more recently added, No Dancing Allowed!
From the outside the tavern looks nasty, cheerless and uninviting. Soft wooden planks and oak details make up most of the building's outer structure. It's difficult to see through the dusty windows, but the gloominess from within can be felt outside. In the corner of the window closest to the door is another sign which can hardly be seen beneath the dust which reads;
A heavy wooden door is the only entrance to the tavern and groans when it opens. Upon entering the tavern it appears as dire inside as it is on the outside. Dark squared, wooden beams support the upper floor with rows of small, molten candles dangling from the beams. The common room is long and narrow the walls are bare, with the plaster peeling off in places. The bar is on the left and runs the length of the room with several small tables running along the right wall along with a stone fireplace. Along the far wall are two doors, one leads to the kitchen the other to the basement. The overall layout gives the room a cramped feel.
The tavern is almost completely abandoned the few who are here are dredges of society and lost souls but whoever they are, they give you an uncomfortable feeling of dread. Behind the bar is a large, stooped, overweight bartender who is coughing into a dirty napkin. He makes no effort to acknowledge your presence.
Tap, tap, tap the crow beat on Herk’s head with its beak while his bloated body laid on the ground in a refuse covered alley. Herk tried to scream but no words came out as his mouth is filled with worms. The crow begins again tap, tap, TAP.
Herk's eyes popped open, his head still pounding, but he sighed with relief as he realized that he is in his bed, safe, in his cramped little apartment. He concluded, It’s just that dream again. He laid in his bed breathing erratically with sweat pouring off his obese body. The sour odor of his unwashed body mixes with the smell of alcohol, and his breath, creating something noxious. Herk shook his head as he began to work his jaw, making sure that his mouth wasn’t filled with worms. No I’m still alive, Herk decided as the pounding in his head grew louder. The other voice in his head reminded him as the pounding continued, <True but you're closer to the grave today then you were yesterday.>
It took him a second to realize that it isn’t just his skull that is pounding but someone is also knocking at the door to his apartment. A voice that is not his own echoed in his mind and warned, <Careful, it could be trouble!>
”You always think it’s trouble,” Herk rebutted before he realized what he was doing. I have to stop encouraging it, Herk admonished himself. But admitted, Probably is trouble.
Slowly Herk threw his legs over the side of the bed and moved his ponderous frame into a sitting position. He ran his fingers through his thinning hair as he reached with his other hand for the mostly empty bottle next to his bed. Greedily he brought the bottle to his lips and finished off the contents. He tossed the bottle aside and carefully got up, the bed groaned in relief as his considerable bulk is lifted. Sluggishly he made his way over to the water basin, which is sitting on the dresser against the wall. He splashed water on his face and he looked up catching his reflection in the small dust covered mirror that sat above the dresser.
He scowled at his likeness, it was a look of disgust and surprise. He mused that while he was not yet 40 years old the reflection looking back at him seemed older.
<Weary looking,> The other voice inside his head remarked.
It’s right I do look weary, but it’s more than that, Herk surmised.
As Herk continued looking at his reflection he noticed his eyes, They are same color of the sky right before a storm.
Herk is startled from his reverie by the unrelenting knocking on the door. He admonished himself, Stop admiring yourself, there is business to attend to. He shakes his head thinking, Probably trouble.
His stooped and hunched backed form made its way across the room, the floor creaked in protest, as Herk is large framed, and even stooped over, stands a little over 6 feet tall. He is broad shouldered, barrel-chested and big bellied with thick legs and arms. He is overweight and a layer of fat covers the muscles beneath.
He continued the journey across the small room and he carried himself with an air of confidence. The swagger of a veteran, he thinks.
Another snide comment from the voice, <swagger of a drunkard.>
“Go away,” Herk said halfheartedly not sure if he is talking to the voice in his head or to the person who is knocking on the door.
Again his thoughts were interrupted by the other voice, <Probably someone here to kill you.> Herk hesitated for a second then made a fist as he places his other ham sized hand upon the knob, you’re probably right.
His skin is pale as if he hasn’t spent much time in the sun and is puffy under the eyes. His eyes are gray and deep-set with bushy eyebrows above. He has large pronounced chin, cheekbones and nose, the last appears to have been broken one to many times. His face is framed by receding graying brown hair with long sideburns that connect to his large bushy mustache. His strong chin is clean shaven and his mustache extends below his jaw.
You can tell by looking at him (and sniffing) that cleanliness is not one of his top priories often he smells of liquor, body odor, and bad breath. The remains of a half-eaten meal frequently stain his shirt.
He can often be seen mumbling or talking to himself and frequently laughs at his own jokes.
If there was one word to describe Herk it would be paranoid. He believes the world is out to get him (and at times he is right). He is clever and isn’t afraid to let people know it as well as possessing a cutting sense of humor. Additionally, he frequently gives advice whether or not it is wanted. These attributes don’t win him many friends.
Herk, the Hunched
Male Human Investigator (Empiricist) 5
Neutral Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +3; Senses Perception +11
AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14 [armor 4, dex 3, enchantment 1]
hp 43 (5 HD; 1d8+[2 con, 1fcb])
Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +4
Special Defenses: +2 will saves vs. illusion, Inspiration 1d6
Speed 30 ft.
Melee sword cane +7 (1d6+4/x2) Two-handed
Ranged Crossbow (Heavy) +6 (1d10/19-20x2)
Special Attacks Studied Combat +2, Studied Strike 1d6, Inspiration 1d6, Quick Study
Investigator Extracts Known/Prepared (CL 5th; concentration +8)
. . 1st (5/day) – Anticipate Peril, Cure Light Wounds, Enlarge Person, Heightened Awareness, Long Arm, Monkey Fish, True Strike
. . 2nd (3/day) – Alchemical Allocation, Focused Scrutiny
Str 16, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 19
Feats Power Attack, Extra Investigator Talent, Extra Investigator Talent
Traits Student of Philosophy, Resilient
Adventuring Skills Acrobatics +7, Bluff +12, Climb +7, Diplomacy +11, Disable Device +11, Escape Artist +11, Knowledge (Arcana) +7, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +7, Knowledge (Local) +7, Knowledge (Nature) +7, Knowledge (Planes) +7, Knowledge (Religion)+7, Perception +11, Sense Motive +11, Spell Craft +7, Stealth +7, Use Magic Device +11
Background SkillsCraft (Alchemy) +14, Profession (Brewer) + 4, Linguistics +7, Knowledge (Engineering) +7, Knowledge (Geography) +7, Knowledge (History) +7, Knowledge (Nobility) +7, Sleight of Hand +7
Languages Common (Westerling), Infernal, Abyssal, Necril, Draconic
SQ Ceaseless Observation, Inspiration, Keen Recollection,
Other Gear +1 inspired sword cane, +1 chain shirt, Potion of haste, Potion of Bulls Strength.
Ability Score Racial +2 Intelligence.
Ability Score Level +1 Dexterity at 4th level.
Alchemy +5 craft alchemy, prepare extracts from the alchemist formula list.
Dual Talent +2 strength. Some humans are uniquely skilled at maximizing their natural gifts. These humans pick two ability scores and gain a +2 racial bonus in each of those scores. This racial trait replaces the +2 bonus to any one ability score, the bonus feat, and the skilled traits.
Ceaseless Observation Uses Intelligence modifier instead of the skill's typical ability for all Disable Device, Perception, Sense Motive, and Use Magic Device checks. He can also use his Intelligence modifier instead of Charisma on any Diplomacy checks made to gather information.
Effortless Aid Use an aid another action as a move action instead of as a standard action. Expend one use of inspiration to instead perform an aid another action as a swift action.
Infusion Extracts can be used by anyone.
Inspiration Inspiration pool = 5. Augment skill checks and ability checks by using inspiration. The investigator has an inspiration pool equal to 1/2 his investigator level + his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1). An investigator's inspiration pool refreshes each day, typically after he gets a restful night's sleep. As a free action, he can expend one use of inspiration from his pool to add 1d6 to the result of that check. Can only be used once per check or roll. Can be used on any Knowledge, Linguistics, or Spellcraft skill checks without expending a use of inspiration, provided he's trained in the skill.
Can also be used on attack rolls and saving throws, at the cost of expending two uses of inspiration each time from the investigator's pool. In the case of saving throws, using inspiration is an immediate action rather than a free action.
Keen Recollection Make all knowledge checks untrained.
Mutagen When brewing a mutagen, select one physical ability score—either Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution. It's a standard action to drink a mutagen. Upon being imbibed, the mutagen causes the alchemist to grow bulkier and more bestial, granting him a +2 natural armor bonus and a +4 alchemical bonus to the selected ability score for 10 minutes per alchemist level. In addition, while the mutagen is in effect, the alchemist takes a –2 penalty to one of his mental ability scores. If the mutagen enhances his Strength, it applies a penalty to his Intelligence. If it enhances his Dexterity, it applies a penalty to his Wisdom. If it enhances his Constitution, it applies a penalty to his Charisma. A non-alchemist who drinks a mutagen must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the alchemist's level + the alchemist's Intelligence modifier) or become nauseated for 1 hour—a non-alchemist can never gain the benefit of a mutagen, but an alchemist can gain the effects of another alchemist's mutagen if he drinks it. (Although if the other alchemist creates a different mutagen, the effects of the “stolen” mutagen immediately cease.) The effects of a mutagen do not stack. Whenever an alchemist drinks a mutagen, the effects of any previous mutagen immediately end.
Resilient +1 fort saves
Student of Philosophy Use Intelligence modifier in place of Charisma modifier on Diplomacy checks to persuade others and on Bluff checks to convince others that a lie is true.
Studied Combat +2 Use a move action to study a single enemy that he can see. Upon doing so, he adds 1/2 his investigator level as an insight bonus on melee attack rolls and as a bonus on damage rolls against the creature. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) or until he deals damage with a studied strike, whichever comes first. The bonus on damage rolls is precision damage, and is not multiplied on a critical hit. He can only have one target of studied combat at a time, and once a creature has become the target of an investigator's studied combat, he cannot become the target of the same investigator's studied combat again for 24 hours unless the investigator expends one use of inspiration when taking the move action to use this ability.
Studied Strike 1d6 Can choose to make a studied strike against the target of his studied combat as a free action, upon successfully hitting his studied target with a melee attack, to deal additional damage. The damage of studied strike is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit; creatures that are immune to sneak attacks are also immune to studied strike. Can be used to deal nonlethal damage and he must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. An investigator cannot use studied strike against a creature with concealment.
Trapfinding +2 Add 1/2 his level to Perception skill checks made to locate traps and to Disable Device checks and can use Disable Device to disarm magical traps.
Trap Sense +1 bonus on Reflex saving throws to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks by traps.
Unfailing Logic +2 insight bonus on all Will saving throws against illusion spells or spell-like abilities that allow a save to disbelieve their effects. In addition he can spend one point from his inspiration pool as an immediate action to use his Intelligence bonus instead of her Wisdom bonus on all such saves for one round.
Sapiens – Investigator
@Wiggles I like the idea of something control focused with healing. While I'll look at front-line options.
GM Mowque wrote:
Sounds good, I agree with your assessment about mounts and if I go that direction the mounts won't be central to the team and its dynamics.
Not to be too picky but you also lack a rogue. Just saying, trap finding is a thing.
If Angrywiggles makes a divine toolbox support caster and Sapiens goes with a bloodrager I could jump in the rogue roll with an investigator or something (or Nature Fang druid gets slayer talents at 4th level).
Wiggles what do you think?
Just took a peek at your other Solo games and it looks like fun. I can post at least twice a day and I am on Eastern Standard Time.
Now this sounds like a job for Gnomish Special forces. G.R.A.S.P. (Gnomish Reconnaissance Aeronautical Scouting Posse) or G.R.I.P. (Gnomish Reconnaissance and Investigation Posse). Thinking something like Sherlock Homes meets Don Quixote thrown in a blender with the A-Team in move by Quinten Tarantino.
I’ll have a more fleshed out idea in a few but looking for classes with synergy for the PC and Sidekick, like Bloodrager and Skald. Maybe bat riders, flying around telling everyone, ”I’m bat man”. Let me do some research and see what I come up with.
Ideas or suggestions appreciated (or if it is to crazy let me know).
Sapiens – Arcanist, Alchemist, Bloodrager,
@Sapiens I crossed Monk (Unchained) off your list because Spazmodeus expressed a desire to run one and Kineticist because Tundran expressed interest in one.
I was leaning toward alchemist but it looks like we need some divine casting help as well as some front-line help. Paladin, Warpriest, Inquisitor, or Naturefang Druid. Any ideas or suggestions?
Okay so that leaves:
Sapiens – Arcanist, Alchemist, Bloodrager, Kineticist,
I'll have an alias and a solid choice put together by tomorrow night eastern USA time.
@Sapiens I crossed Monk (Unchained) off your list because Spazmodeus expressed a desire to run one.
I am going to suggest hunter for the 1st 4 levels, you can get a flying mount at level one if you want and with teamwork feats you can overcome your low Bab problems. Feat suggestions (combat expertise [feat tax], outflank, pack flanking, and escape route). So at 4th level when mounted you will not provoke attacks of opportunity from movement and attack with +4 to hit. You will have the ability to cast lead blades on your lance and put your animal focus into strength. Plus you get some other good spells too.
After 4th level you can go in a number of different directions and start picking up your mounted combat feats.
Also, I am going suggest gnome because they are flavorful and can get darkvision or cool spell like abilities.
I can envision a gnome bat rider flying around telling everyone, "I'm batman."
bitter lily wrote:
Destined works fine without steel soul I would definitely recommend taking the fate's favored trait to increase the luck bonus by 1.
bitter lily wrote:
Fey bloodline is a little wimpy but it is useful if she is going to use a high crit rage weapon (like the elven curved blade) to get the most out of the 1st level ability (keep in mind that the save DC is based on constitution something she will take a hit on as an elf).
It is also a useful bloodline (4th level ability) if she does a lot of charging and the GM uses difficult terrain.
Overall I think Arcane is a better bloodline and can fit the elf pretty well. I would make one other suggestion and suggest she play a half elf as you get the floating stat bonus and don't take the hit on constitution (which will effect her hip points and rage rounds).
Another option is if she is set on elf could be go with Urban Bloodrager and go with a ranged weapon and/or finesse build. But this is pretty feat intensive.
Great idea my son's first PC was a Bloodrager and it worked out well. Perfect for a beginner! For a beginner It is important to have fun and smashing things with rage is fun.
I like the destined bloodline combined with the steel blood archetype although the arcane bloodline is the best in my opinion. I like destined for a beginner because rage is a limited resource and destined strike will allow her to have an ability to use when she runs out of rage rounds and it has a simple level 4 ability straight bonus to AC and saves.
Love the idea. I was going to try to talk you into doing E6 but I really like the idea of no 4th level spells and using the slots for metamagic. I also like your choice so 3rd party material. However, I'm not sure how well SOP will translate into P8 as I am not that familiar with the system. Also, mythic might unbalance the game but I've never tried it with E6/P8 so it is just a guess on my part.
I played in an E6 game once that used gestalt rules and it was fun, still low magic and gritty but allowed us to build a better character concept. I think your players will enjoy this
As a fellow gnome aficionado he is my 2 coppers. Now a lot depends on the level you are starting at but, in general, with a 15 point buy you want to:
1. Avoid classed that are MAD.
So with that said I like classes that will use your CHA,
If you give more info I'll be able to give you more specific advice.
Either get rid of the shield or take a different 7th level feat. Furious Focus only works when you are wielding a weapon two-handed. As far as equipment goes Lady-J makes some good suggestions.
Also, instead of cleric did you consider warpriest for your dip? You lose channeling and 10ft of movement but gain a free feat [weapon focus] and if you went a second level you get fervor.
I have to look a little more at equipment before I make a recommendation.