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Hi all,

In all the upheaval of a new pathfinder edition I have found myself feeling really drawn towards Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition.

I'm interested in running an adventure module to learn the ropes of a system that is new to me. I'd like to make it open to new players so we can all learn together.

I'm making this thread to gauge the interest level. It would not be a full campaign that goes into high levels, and it will not take years of real-life time to complete. Just a short module that would only take one evening of gaming if we were sitting around a table, but in PBP I guess it will be a matter of months.

The Adventure:

The adventure I have my eye on takes place in the Southlands setting of Midgard. It's written by Richard Pett who I have to say is my favorite adventure writer out there. The guy is the best. He's known for horror but this is an intrigue based jaunt in a city believed by it's inhabitants to be the birthplace of the Cat Goddess Bastet.

The setting has an egyptian and arabian nights feel and it's also very pulp fantasy. If you've ever read those Zothique stories of Clark Ashton Smith, full of gnolls and necromancers, that is what this place feels like to me.

About me:

I've run some fairly long running games here in the past. I dropped the ball and didn't finish some things I started due to some personal issues but if you ask around I think folks will hopefully tell you I made an effort to be communicative under the circumstances.

I used to bill my games as "old-school" and try to recruit for fans of such but at some point I realized everyone has their own idea as to what that means and really I just wanted to recapture a lost feeling from childhood which is nothing but the pure joy of imagination and collective story telling.

Who's it for?:

I usually try to look out for people that are really enthusiastic and excited to game, that's the main thing. I've had a few experiences on here that were pure magic. It's lightning in a bottle, you can't force it to happen but you can give it a chance. The trick seems to be chemistry between the characters, so you need people who really enjoy role playing, and since this is a written medium it doesn't hurt if you like to write.

Some of my best experiences were with people who were new to the rules and even new to the boards, but they were passionate. Anyway this time I'm new to 5e myself and new to the Southlands setting so maybe we can all discover something new together. And we're not signing on for the next ten years like an Adventure Path recruitment!

Well, let me know if it sounds cool. I can't start right away but I'm here to answer questions.


I am prepping for a camapaign set in the awesome world of Midgard by Kobold Press.

I'm making this thread to discuss some of the lore with other people who may enjoy this setting.

In particular there have been a few points where I could use some clarification. There's a lot of product out there spanning multiple systems and I know some of you have been collecting it and using it for a while.

I may return to this thread periodically as questions arise in my research. Hopefully it can provoke some discussion.

I have the 2012 setting book in PDF and the more recent Midgard Worldbook in hardcover. I also have the 5e Zobeck Gazzetteer. I'm hoping to tie together the upcoming Margreve hardcover with Courts of the Shadow Fey. I have not settled on a system yet.

My first question is about the timeline. If ten years have advanced between the two hardcovers, have the events of Courts of the Shadow Fey already transpired? Is it therefore impossible to run CotSF in a campaign set in the up to date Midgard?


I don't know if it's because of the forum changes or because I'm stuck on mobile only (traveling abroad) but I can not for the life of me remember how to change my avatar.

Long time site member.


Hey guys,

My familiy and my gaming group recently suffered a tragedy. My younger brothers best friend, a core member of our longtime gaming group, took his own life. His mother asked me to dispose of a collection of magic cards that were causing her pain by reminding her of her son. When I went through the cards it turned out that many of them had belonged to my brother... and among them in a box of basic lands were 25 revised dual lands (also one beta) which I had collected during the only three years of my life in which I played MTG. 1993-1995. The rest of the valuable stuff I had, power nine and everything, is gone, but these duals made their way back to me after sitting forgotten for a long time.

Coincidentally, I have been playing magic again since christmas, when my other brother and his wife suggested I give the game as a gift to my nieces and nephews so we all could play together. I'm really enjoying it and when I saw those dual lands I had a huge urge to convert them to cash and buy a boatload of sealed product and go nuts cracking packs.

Luckily I I did some reading before I acted on that impulse.

I understand now that converting these cards into almost any other cards will be financially inadvisable but I still feel inclined to indulge myself to some extent. I like the idea of having a good sized collection and a nice trade binder and diving into this hobby. I really think I want to sell a few of these reserved list cards and buy some more enjoyable cards even if they are less stable in value. I just want to do it in a smarter way than cracking a case of one of the printed into oblivion recent or forthcoming sets. I have thought about buying a small collection or two on craigslist, with the aim of getting into some playsets of modern staples and having some nice trading fodder. Would that be a crazy idea?

What are the best resources for evaluating and inventorying cards? Would it be better to try to trade cards for cards rather than cashing out and trying to buy singles?

Any thoughts?


OK if I have a Barghest using blink and he was in dim light to begin with, would you stack the two miss chance sources for a total of 70% miss chance?

Or would it just be the greater of the two.

Trying to come up with a fair ruling for this situation.


This is not an FAQ request just a friendly question. I'm trying to rule correctly on this in a game I'm gm'ing. The NPC made the save, will he feel that the bard was trying to target him with a magic effect?


Courts of the Shadow Fey

The lands in and around the Old Margreve Forest are alive with tales both light and dark. One scarcely begins a conversation with a Margrevian when they will say, “This reminds me of a story that my grandmother once told...” And then you are on a journey through a landscape peopled by mighty warriors, tragic lovers, unspeakable horrors, and a seemingly endless array of fools who offended the forest and met terrible ends.

How Mikhail the Woodcutter Gave the Moonlit King His First Taste of Good Forest Beer:

One day when Mikhail the Woodcutter was coming home after a hard day’s work in the forest, he heard the sound of merry-making deep in the woods and smelled the fine smell of meat on the spit. As I said, it was the end of the day, and Mikhail had a powerful hunger and thirst on him. His stomach growled like a dragon, and his mouth watered as he thought of the good food that lay beyond the trees. “I will go see who it is,” he said to himself, “and maybe they will share their meat and drink in exchange for a good tale or service.” And so he went.

Soon he came to a clearing, and what did he find but the Moonlit King and his court resting after a day’s hunting in the Old Margreve. The king and his courtiers lay on silken pillows beneath a canopy of midnight blue and drank fine wine from silver goblets, while deer and boar roasted over magical fires on spits turned by the king’s slaves.

As Mikhail stood wondering what he ought to do (for he knew tales of poor mortals who crossed the Moonlit King’s path and regretted it), the king’s courtiers saw him. “This human has stumbled on us unawares,” they said to each other. “Let us call him over, and we will have some sport with him.” And so they did. Mikhail went when they called, but he said to himself, “I will keep my wits about me.”

When Mikhail stood before the king and his courtiers, the courtiers laughed at his simple clothes and the dirt on his hands and the mud on his boots. They said to him, “Come, man, and rest your weary body on one of our fine pillows.”

But Mikhail said, “Ah, generous lords! I cannot rest upon your fine pillows, for as you see, I am covered in filth and would spoil them.”

The courtiers laughed and said, “You are wise to refuse, for if you had rested on one of our pillows you would have fallen into a deep sleep and never awoken.” (The Moonlit King said nothing because he was a king and Mikhail was only a woodcutter.)

Then the courtiers offered Mikhail a plate saying, “Come, man, and sate your hunger with our fine food.”

But Mikhail said, “Ah, most excellent of lords! I cannot accept your kind offer, for you see, as a poor woodcutter, I live on naught but stale bread and ill- cooked mutton, and your food would be much too fine for me.”

The courtiers laughed and said, “You are wise to refuse, for if you had tasted our food you would have become our slave, and we would have carried you back to Shadow to serve us for 100 years.” (The Moonlit King said nothing, because he was a king and Mikhail was only a woodcutter.)

Then the courtiers offered Mikhail a silver goblet brimming with wine saying, “Come, man, and slake your thirst with our fine wine.” And full of mischief they said, “But perhaps you will tell us that you have no stomach for strong drink.”

This, Mikhail could not abide. He took the goblet offered him, drank it to the dregs, and gave it back to the courtiers. In a voice all innocence he said to them, “Ah, greatest of lords! Thank you for that most refreshing drink. Truth, it is as mild as the milk given by my village’s best goat.”

The courtiers were astonished at this and called for stronger wine. When Mikhail drank it he said, “Ah! This reminds me of water dipped from the clear brook next to my house.”

The courtiers were again astonished and called for the strongest wine they had. When Mikhail drank it he said, “Ah! My lords, this draught reminds me of when, as a boy, I would beg my parents for a taste of strong drink, and they gave me fruit-juice saying, ‘This is strong wine.’”

At this the Moonlit King could not remain silent. “Sir!” he said. “You have drunk three goblets full of our strongest wine and call it milk, water, and fruit- juice. How can this be? ”

Mikhail said to him, “Oh king, I am born of the Old Margreve, where men drink good, strong forest beer. It nourishes us when we are weaned from our mothers’ breasts, and it is the last thing to pass our lips before we close our eyes for the final sleep. For taste and potency, I tell you that it surpasses all other drinks in the world.”

The king said, “Let us taste this good forest beer, and if it is not as you say, we shall drag you into Shadow where our hunting-dogs will bite and tear your flesh for all eternity, yet you shall not die.”

The king bade his servant to fetch some good forest beer. This he did at once, returning in the blink of an eye with seven great kegs. He tapped the first of these, and soon, the king and his courtiers and Mikhail all held great tankards of good forest beer. When the brew passed their lips, the king and his courtiers looked at each other in amazement and said, “We have drunk at the hearths and tables of thousands of worlds, from the abodes of the gods to the devils’ own inn; and we have never tasted ought as fine as the beer of the Old Margreve!”

And so the king and his courtiers and Mikhail made merry throughout the night, singing and joking and dicing and dancing, and when the seven kegs were empty, they cried for seven more. So lively were they that no creature of the forest got a wink of sleep that night. Even Baba Yaga at last put her head out of her hut and shouted for peace.

In the hour before daybreak, the king called for an end to their revels. Before the king and his company returned to Shadow, he said to Mikhail, “With my own hand I give you this axe. It is called Woman’s Scorn, for there is nothing so sharp in all the world. With it, you can cleave anything that stands before you, whether ‘tis wood, flesh or stone, as if you cleft the air.” Then he blew his hunting-horn, and he and his courtiers and their horses, slaves, and servants, were gone.

That is how Mikhail the Woodcutter gave the Moonlit King his first taste of good forest beer. And once a year since that day, when the Moonlit King comes a-hunting in the Old Margreve, he always stops at the inn where they serve the best beer, and drinks his fill of that fine brew.

And that inn is my inn, and devils take the man who calls me a liar!


Welcome to the OOC Discussion thread for Courts of the Shadow Fey!

I'm hoping that this thread remains lively and active throughout the life of the campaign.

For those of you who have already been accepted, this can now be a place to talk about party composition, and carry on connecting backstories as you have been doing.

Not all the PC's need backstories woven together. It's fine to save some introductions for RP. We should all start thinking about what brings us to a tavern in Lower Zobeck though, because that is where the gameplay thread will open.

Let's see, what else... Oh!

I know some GM's are walking encyclopedia's of the rules... I am not that guy! Luckily PbP affords me time to look things up before making rulings, but if I make a mistake I don't mind having it pointed out to me politely. Let's just try to do that mostly here in OOC so we don't disrupt the narrative in gameplay.

The same goes for rules questions and interpretations. Don't be afraid to ask here. This is the thread where pretty much anything goes.

I'm going to say some words by way of introduction in my next post.


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Courts of the Shadow Fey is a location based sandbox mini campaign dealing with a curious fey society and their collision with the mortal realm. The adventure begins in the Free City of Zobeck in Midgard, the very rich and flavorful setting published by Kobold Press.

About Zobeck:

Some 80 years ago, the Revolt made the Free City one of the few places in Midgard not subject to a feudal lord. Across eight decades the busy merchants, arcanists, and followers of Rava the Gear Goddess built their sleepy, backwater river town into a nation with clout far beyond its borders. Zobeck is now a mercantile powerhouse known across Midgard for its gearforged constructs and its clockwork technology. Its industrious people trade, bargain, gather, and scheme to make themselves rich, powerful, or wise.

As one of the few Free Cities in Midgard, Zobeck answers to no king or noble lord. Instead, its Free City Council rules from secret chambers, its Watch is both human and gearforged, and its people know what makes a life worthwhile: freedom, trade, and the blessings of the Goddess of Fate and Industry. The city ticks and tocks; its people trade up and down the River Argent, out the Dwarven Gate to the Ironcrags, north through the eldritch Margreve forest, and south to Harkesh and Siwal and the distant cities of spice and silk.

Behind the hard work lies a darker city, a place built on kobolds enslaved in silver mines — a city still scarred by an autocrat’s diabolical rule, and corrupted by pacts of blood, temptations of the flesh, and untrammeled greed. The people of Zobeck lust for power, wealth, success, and pleasure. To get them, they bargain with Kariv gypsy fortunetellers, strange cults, harsh gods, and other unscrupulous schemers. The people’s hungers draw devils like crows to a corpse.

Yet the city prospers. Its heroes avert disaster again and again. Somehow, Zobeck’s heart keeps ticking.

This is an adventure of intrigue, social interaction and investigation. It is written in act’s and scenes, with some acts containing very little in the way of combat encounters. Within each act, the scenes can often occur in any order. There will be sections of the adventure with nothing to spur the players on but their own curiosity. This adventure does not always lead you around by the nose to the next encounter. Therefore this adventure would be best for players who like to push the story forward on their own by following their own motivations and taking pleasure in the interaction with each other and the NPC’s.

This adventure uses a unique status system, with PC’s vying for social standing in order to overcome many of it’s challenges and unlock it’s mysteries. Knowledge skills, social skills, and player driven problem solving are of primary importance, but other feats of heroics are not neglected. The adventure is not without traditional pathfinder challenges and a well rounded party is still advisable, but well rounded PC’s are more important here than ever in my opinion. "One trick ponies” would seriously risk getting left out of important aspects of play in this unusually structured adventure.

Many plot central challenges in this adventure are solved with a system of complex skill-checks inherited from 4th Edition D&D. Without flavorful role-play, these skill challenges would be a dry series of dice rolls, so I think it is important that this PbP campaign is joined by posters who enjoy creative writing to some extent, and immersive role-play. That said, I do not believe in forcing the success or failure of social encounters to hinge on role-play at the expense of the dice. You will not find me requiring you to compose an actual sonnet in order to use a relevant skill, but you will need to think of creative uses of your skills to achieve successes in these skill challenges.

There are factions to join, courtesans and consorts to woo, and rituals to unlock. In some cases, the narrative sweeps across time in broad strokes, with players describing what they do for the day or the week rather than for the next round. As written the adventure makes allowances for romantic and sexual encounters to occur, which I am fine with although I would prefer that the consummation be implied rather than explicitly described. That’s just where my comfort level is in my RPG’s.

Some scenarios could potentially lead to party members being separated, aligned with factions at odds with one another, or even in rivalries themselves. There are even individual XP awards in this module that could lead in extreme cases to level discrepancies within the party. If you can’t tell by now, this isn’t like most published modules I’ve run or played in, and I’m trying to introduce it in a way that highlights every potential red-flag that might send you running for the hills! If you’re still here, maybe this game is for you. It has certainly been a pleasure to read and I think with the right cast of characters it could be something really special.

So let’s get on to the nitty gritty of recruitment.

==========

First of all, please read these two guides.

PbP Basics
Advanced PbP

PbP is a big investment in time and energy for everyone, and so often games don’t succeed! I really believe that these guides are right on the money, and I would really appreciate it if you read them and bring them up during recruitment, something you agreed with, something you disagreed with, maybe just let me know you checked them out and we’re on the same page.

Submissions

This adventure is designed to take PC’s from levels 6-10. I am recruiting for 6 PC’s to play through a short introductory 2nd level module as a prologue to the main adventure. This prologue will serve to establish the city of Zobeck. At the conclusion of the prologue adventure, the scene will cut forward to a reunion at the same tavern where the first adventure began. It is 3 years later, the hero’s have advanced in stature to 6th level, and the inciting incident of Courts of the Shadow Fey calls them to action once more.

Therefore, you should submit a 2nd level character with a description of your plan for advancing that character to 6th level.

Character Creation:

Stats: 20 point buy
Races: All core races plus aasimar, catfolk, fetchlings, ratfolk, tengu, tieflings, changelings, kitsune, samsarans, kobolds, minitaurs and gearforged.
Sourcebooks: All classes, class features, spells, feats etc from CRB, APG, UM, UC, ARG and ACG are permitted. I have not had a chance to get acquainted with Occult Adventures or Ultimate Intrigue so material from those books will not be permitted for this campaign.
Unchained: Rogues and Summoners should be Unchained, Monks and Barbarians may be either.
Wealth: 250 GP at 2nd level, increasing to standard 16,000 GP at 6th level
HP’s: PFS style max at first, average after that.
Traits: You can have two traits or a bonus feat. These can be taken from Kobold Press material or standard Paizo material.
Background Skills: Everyone gets 2 background skill ranks per level.

Backstory:

This recruitment is weighted heavily on writing and posting style, so I would like to see some effort here. If you need setting details to riff off of, I’m adding info about Midgard races, regions and deities to the campaign info tab.

Please provide at least a couple paragraphs each detailing the characters Background and History, Personality and Motivations, Appearance and Mannerism's. Or however you want to do it. It’s your story just let me know who your character is ;)

Posting Requirements:

What do you guys think? I find that a PbP needs to keep up a certain pace or it stalls. I would like to see 1-2 solid posts a day, at least until we find our established groove. By solid posts, I mean posts that contain push’s or hooks as defined in the guide I linked above. Posts that leave something for someone else to riff off of. Posts that let us know what your character is thinking or feeling. Posts that refresh the image of the current scene in everyone’s mind.

In combat I would like everyone to be especially diligent. I don’t like single combat rounds lasting more than 48 hours and I will delay you or give you the total defense action if you don’t post in that timeframe. If you’re going to be away more than a day or two please let us know so we can bot you.

I myself can commit to 3-4 posts a day at the present time, and that will be slightly reduced when my work schedule increases. I reserve the right to take a couple of breaks if needed, to prevent burnout, but I will only do so at appropriate times in the adventure (i.e. between acts) and only after our game feels firmly established and able to survive such a break.

Character Sheet:
A hero-lab sheet is the bare minimum, but if you can make something nicer then go for it! I need to be able to find things easily on your sheet. I require you to use the mini-stat line that has become pretty standard on the boards. It displays a number of relevant stats that I need to refer to frequently. It makes my life so much easier. You enter it into the race or class field of your profile and it displays when you post.
It is formatted like this:

HP xx/xx | AC xx Tch xx FF xx | CMD xx | Fort xx Ref xx Will xx | Init +x | Perc +x |

I'm going to let this recruitment run for as long as it takes before I feel like I have the right mix. I don't know how long it will be but I'm not going to rush this one. I'm actually still doing prep in fact, but I wanted to get the ball rolling so here it is.

Please no role-play in this thread, I want to keep it uncluttered for submissions, questions and answers. Once things begin to take shape I have a “Tavern” thread where applicants can role-play with each other.

Thanks for reading guys, I can't wait to check out some cool characters. I hope this takes off :)

Edit: Oh and I love pictures. If you have any art that matches your character let's see it!


Major Races:

Humans:

Caelmarans: The descendants of the nine magocracies—Allain, Andarre, Barsella, Caelmarath, Carnessa, Cassilon, Molovosch, Uxloon, and Vael Turog—are a pasty lot, with hair from rust-red to moss-green as common as black or brown. Some claim that the Caelmarans are all tainted by association with demons and devils, pointing to the high prevalence of tieflings among the shattered towns and deserts of the West. Caelmarans speak the Trade Tongue, though many also speak the Northern Tongue.

Dornigfolk: The Dornigfolk of the Great Duchy are numerous and strong in their numbers. They have skin ranging from pink-white to a watery brown, and hair from brown to blond, though red hair is largely unknown. The Dornigfolk pride themselves on their hard work and their elven empress, and consider themselves the last bastion of the true Empire of Thorn. Those pretenders in Valera arouse only their pity and scorn. Dornigfolk speak Elvish and the Trade Tongue.

Kushites and Nurians: The people of the great Southern bastion of Nuria Natal are the best known of the Kushites, but hardly the only ones: the desert folk, the Mharoti humans, and many of the Southern reaches are Kushites. Both have mahogany skin, but their rulers and customs are quite different. Kushites take great pride in their status as the first and greatest of the human kingdoms. They speak Nurian and often a Southern dialect or Draconic.

Magdar: Dark-haired and customarily green-eyed, the Magdar are beautiful and relatively tall among humans. They have rich, musical voices and an efficient way with horses and oxen. Though many Magdar ride the Plains or wander far afield as mercenaries or adventurers,
their kingdom is a strong one, and the Magdar are bold explorers and fighters. A few Magdar have a regrettable tendency to drunkenness. They speak the Trade Tongue, and a few speak Draconic or the Northern Tongue.

Northlanders: Pale and tall and strong, the Northlanders are a race of survivors and warriors. Their hair runs to pale blond or even white, sometimes with golden or red streaks. Their eyes are often a piercing blue or purple. They speak the Northern Tongue, and many also speak Dwarvish.

Roshgazi: Dark-skinned and eagle-nosed, the Roshgazi are associated with their friends the minotaurs, and they wander the western deserts as well as dwelling in small villages in Capleon, Kyprion, and Cindass. They speak Roshgazi, a language closely related to Minotaur. Speakers of either language can understand the other.

Septimes: Olive-skinned and dark-haired, the people of the Seven Cities, Illyria, and Kyprion call themselves the Manzaro, but most others call them the Septimes. They are a small and swift people, quick-speaking and sometimes too quick with a blade. They speak the Trade Tongue and a dialect they call Valeran.

Dragonkin:

The dragonkin divide themselves into the Four Elemental Kinds, supposedly purebred lineages of dragonkin, though there is a great deal of mixing among them as well and hybrids are not uncommon. The flame or fire dragonkin (who bear yellow, golden, or orange scales, with red crests) are the most common, followed by wind or storm dragonkin (blue, white, silver, or gray scales, with black crests). The stone or cave dragonkin are relatively uncommon (brown, gray, black, or rarely white scales, with purple or white crests). Rarest of all are the wave or tide dragonkin breeds, gold, blue, or green-scaled with bright green or yellow crests. More common than the purebreds and outside the traditional elemental divisions are the edjet or soldier dragonkin, who sport brassy or tan scales with black or rust-colored crests.

All dragonkin have the following racial traits:
+2 Strength, −2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma: Dragonkin are strong and exude
presence, but they are not quick.
Slow Speed: Dragonkin have a base speed of 20 feet, and their speed is
never modified by encumbrance or armor.
Darkvision: Dragonkin can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Energy Resistance: Dragonkin must choose acid, cold, fire, lightning, or
sonic energy at 1st level. They have DR 2 against that energy type. Armor: Dragonkin have a +1 natural armor bonus.
Presence: Dragonkin gain a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate and Diplomacy
checks. Fly is always a class skill for dragonkin.
Languages: All dragonkin begin with both the Trade Tongue and
Draconic as known languages. Dragonkin who have high Intelligence scores can choose any of the following bonus languages: Dwarvish, Elemental, Elvish, Infernal, Kobold, Minotaur, Nurian, or Darakhul (Ghoulish/Undercommon).

Dwarves:

The dwarves of Midgard live in three great realms: the Northern halls such as Tanserhall and Wolfheim, the cantons of the Ironcrags, and the Southern city of Nuria Natal. The dwarves of the three realms are distinct in their culture, strengths, and style.

The Northlands dwarves are keepers of the old ways and the old gods, smiths and warriors, farmers and traders, stout and strong and able to down a barrel of ale at one sitting. They keep busy fighting
the giants or the werewolves and wargs in the North, but sometimes the Northern dwarves take to the sea in their longships and raid
the coasts, from Vidim through the Donnermark and Krakova to northern Dornig territories, but passing over the magocracy of Allain. The Northern dwarves are especially accomplished at ring-making, smithwork, and (for some reason) berserk shapeshifting. They have a society of especially fearsome bear-shirted berserks.

Ironcrags: The cantonal dwarves are makers, miners, and smiths, digging deep into the Ironcrags for iron and gold and forging items of great wonder, primarily exceptional spears, crossbows, and arrows, but also great artistic works. Singular items are a lifetime’s masterwork: a clockwork steed or wagon, an airship, a returning hammer, or a suit of invulnerable armor. None of these are beyond the grasp of a cantonal smith. The cantonal dwarves serve no kings, but rule themselves. They frequently serve as mercenaries in the Seven Cities, among the Princes of Dornig, and even against the Mharoti Empire, side by side with the Magdar knights.

The Southlands dwarves are distant relatives at best, with different language, magic, and style. In the desert heat the Southern dwarves shave their heads and wrap their beards tightly in gold or copper wire; sometimes these beards are forked or braided as well. They serve a male mask of Rava they call Ptah, and they build clockwork bodies they call shabti, or servants. Their skin is dark as ebony, and—when not shorn—their hair runs to pure black, gold, or (strangely) red. The Southern dwarves are alchemists and mystics, with a particular hatred of dragons and the Mharoti Empire. They have served the King of Nuria Natal well and faithfully as bodyguards and as his heavy infantry for centuries, and as engineers who build his temples, city walls, and step pyramids.

Elves:

The windrunner elves are simple nomads and herders, weavers and masters of archery and the hunt, and quick to speak with the sky spirits. In many ways, they are a fallen people who have abandoned civilization.

The shadow elves have kept a court and a king and queen, but their remaining glory is slight, a reflection full of illusion and trickery and deceit. They no longer draw their power from Midgard, but from Shadow.

Finally, the river elves are what remains of the elves of Thorn, with the River King retaining only slight contact with the Imperatrix on the throne of the Domains of the Princes. The Arbonesse forest is their homeland and the river their highway, and their borders include all the land where the leaves’ shadow falls. The river elves sometimes exile one of their number to wander the world for a time (a span defined in decades), but otherwise, the other races rarely see the elves who built so many castles, roads, and cities throughout Midgard.

Gearforged:

The gearforged are the children of Rava, the Gear Goddess of Fate and Industry. Her priests were the first to forge bodies of brass and copper with cunningly wrought gears and well-balanced mechanisms to support thought and action. Each such body is the safe harbor of a soul that once lived in flesh; a special ritual (see sidebar) is required to transfer a living creature’s soul into the housing that makes it gearforged. Once created, a gearforged can in theory live forever, though in practice most wind down or are destroyed by the ravages of time and the difficulty of surviving as a well-crafted machine.

All gearforged have the following racial traits.
Medium: As Medium creatures, gearforged have no special bonuses or
penalties due to their size.
Gearforged base land speed is 30 feet.
Clockwork Construct Traits: As constructs, gearforged possess no
Constitution scores and are immune to disease, poison, magical sleep effects, enchantment effects, paralysis, and effects that require a Fortitude save (unless those effects can also affect objects). They cannot become fatigued or exhausted.
Gearforged do not need to eat, sleep, or breathe. As living creatures, though, they do not have any other immunities common to constructs.
Gearforged cannot heal damage on their own. Cure spells, wands, and potions heal gearforged for the minimum amount per charge or dose, and the psionic repair damage power works normally. The mending spell heals a gearforged for 1 point of damage, while the make whole spell heals 2d8 points of damage +1 per caster level (maximum +10).
Rather than sleep, gearforged must rewind their springs, repair gears, and oil and clean their parts each day for a 4-hour period to ensure normal functioning. They are fully aware during this period, but any interruption in their routine during these 4 hours requires them to start again from the beginning. Gearforged can function a number of days equal to their character level without performing this maintenance, but each day without such a repair period applies a cumulative –2 penalty on all attack and damage rolls, saving throws, and skill checks. If a gearforged neglects his repair period a number of days equal to his character level, he becomes immobile and helpless until repaired by someone else. One 4-hour repair period eliminates all accumulated penalties.
Gearforged gain a +2 racial bonus on Craft (clockwork) and Intimidate checks. Gearforged intimately understand how their own race works and can apply that knowledge elsewhere, while most living creatures find gearforged a little unsettling.
Automatic Language: Trade Tongue. Bonus Languages: Draconic and Dwarven.
Favored Class: Fighter.

Kobolds:

All kobolds have the following racial traits.
–4 Strength, +4 Dexterity, –2 Constitution: Kobolds are fast but weak.
Small: Kobolds are Small and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a
+1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their CMB and CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Normal Speed: Kobolds have a base speed of 30 feet.
Darkvision: Kobolds can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Armor: Kobolds have a +1 natural armor bonus.
Crafty: Kobolds gain a +2 racial bonus on Craft (trap making), Perception, and Profession (miner) checks. Craft (trapmaking) and Stealth are always class skills for a kobold.
Weakness: Light sensitivity.
Languages: All kobolds begin with both the Trade Tongue and Draconic as known languages. Kobolds who have high Intelligence scores can choose any of the following bonus languages: Dwarven, Infernal, Southern, and Undercommon.

Minotaur:

All minotaurs have the following racial traits.
+4 Strength, −4 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, −2 Intelligence, −4
Charisma: Minotaurs are powerful and sturdy, but also
relative slow.
Normal Speed: Minotaurs have a base speed of 30 feet. Darkvision: Minotaurs can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Natural Cunning: Minotaurs are never caught flat-footed. Fierce: Minotaurs are sharp-eyed survivors and gain a +2 racial
bonus on Perception, Profession (sailor), and Survival checks.
Survival is always a class skill for a minotaur.
Horns: All minotaurs have a natural attack to gore with their
horns for 1d4, even if otherwise unarmed.
Languages: All minotaurs begin with both the Trade Tongue and
Southern as known languages. Bonus languages: Dwarven, Ishadian (Enochian), Khandirian, and Kobold.

Minor Races

Centaurs:

Centaurs are a scattered race and roam in small clan groups from the Rothenian Plains (where their numbers are great) to the personal guard of the young Emperor in Valera in the Seven Cities. Everywhere they are considered large and dangerous, and they have a reputation for banditry and bullying. Their archery is excellent and their healing arts well advanced, but they are largely a nomadic people without much interest in magic or writing, and other races disregard them as a result. They do so at their peril: Large centaur hordes have occasionally smashed entirely cities and small nations flat.

Gnolls:

Most common in the Southlands of Nuria Natal and points south, gnolls are also found in the Mharoti Empire, Khandiria, and even on the Rothenian plain. They range the desert and plains as hunters and scavengers, and they are expert rangers, scouts, and trackers. Their culture is violent and largely unfriendly to outsiders, but some say they have a small kingdom in the distant South.

Gnomes:

Found throughout Midgard in small numbers, gnomes have a single primary home, the
dark forest of Neimheim and its surrounding territory. They have a terrible reputation as swindlers, kidnappers, diabolists, and charmers. As individuals, the small men in their amusing hats and pointy boots seem silly. However, as a race they have struck one or more diabolical bargains for power with Baba Yaga or archdevils, and this has led them to turn inward. Their only close allies are the shadow fey, though goblins and kobolds and gnolls are not too particular in their choice of friends, either.

Goblins:

Alone among the shorter races, goblins refuse to be conquered or adopt even the pretense
of diplomacy, and so are treated as vermin and exterminated wherever dwarves and men encounter them. Driven into the wilderness by larger races, goblins scratch an existence as opportunistic scavengers. Many goblin tribes have fallen under the sway of worgs and nightgarms, whom they worship as totem beasts. The relationship between goblins and worgs is the reverse of what might be expected: It’s the goblins who are pets and servants of lupine lords, not the other way around.

Some believe goblins are the warped remnants of the gnomes who did not escape to the Wormwood, or perhaps the twisted results of experimentation on halflings or humans during the Great Mage Wars. They are found in large numbers in the Goblin Wastes and the West, though they are hardy travelers and can pop up thousands of miles away from their homeland, from the Northlands to the Dragon Empire. They have a knack for finding ancient artifacts and lost magic, and spend much of their time digging through the dust for such items, then selling them to the mages of Allain.

Halflings:

Rarely seen and a stay-at-home race, halflings are encountered as bargefolk on the great rivers and as the most discreet of servants to the River Court or in the Domains of the Princes. The race was widely believed to have been indentured to the elves before the Great Retreat, and they show a great deference to elves and the elfmarked when the two races meet. Most halflings are believed to have left Midgard for the Elflands or the River Court during the Great Retreat. Those that remained are slightly more adventurous than those who were loyal to the elven masters.

Tengu:

The tengu are scoundrels and not entirely welcome everywhere. Their homeland is
in Beldestan to the East, or on a branch of Wotan’s tree in the North, or on a high cliff of Horus’ hidden temple in the South. They have settlements in Trollheim, Vidim, Domovogrod, Nuria Natal, and the Dragon Empire, but none of these are large.

Their black feathers and long beaks are spotted on the road from place to place, trading information or helping to hatch plots. They are widely viewed as spies, informers, thieves, and troublemakers in Midgard, but when the tengu swear an oath they abide by it. They avoid the West and the Seven Cities most of the time, and are most honored in Nuria Natal, where they serve temples of Horus as sworn guardians, assassins, and defenders.

Tieflings:

Once widespread in the young kingdoms of the human magocracies, tieflings grew to dominate Caelmarath’s and Vael Turog’s noble classes for a time. Those large and public families of tieflings are a thing of the past; they are an exile people, found in families and pairs but
rarely in any larger numbers. Only in Bemmea and Tintager are there significant numbers of the demonmarked, and even there they seem eager to prove themselves as worthy of trust. Many still blame the demonmarked for the destruction of human lands of the West and the retreat of the elves. Shadow elves and gnomes enjoy their company, as do some dragonkin. Elves, humans, and halflings rarely abide them.


This adventure really caught my eye when it was 4e only. The artwork was amazing. I always wanted to convert it, and then the original publisher did the work for me! (partially, see below)

This is an intrigue heavy adventure with lots of social and investigation elements. I don't want to give away too much but it has been a fantastic read so far. The writing is so evocative for an RPG adventure! I would be looking for players who really want to get immersed in a story for this one.

This module goes from levels 6-10. I think that's a nice chunk of time for a PbP, and a nice chance to play at a level that can take ages to reach normally.

Now a bit about me. I've started quite a few games on here and some ended before their time should have been up, but I always gave it my all. PbP is tricky and I made some mistakes and burned out. I used to be quite obsessed with forcing PF to emulate the nostalgic feel of the AD&D I plaid as a 12 yr old, but 5e has scratched that itch somewhat and I realized it's better to embrace PF for what it is, in terms of options.

This would be a 20 pt buy game, using all the hardcovers, and case by case for the splats. Probably ban a couple things like slumber hex and antagonize feat but that's about it. Allow lots of races. Even dream scarred press classes if you can explain how they work to me, I just haven't got my head around them yet.

I do still enjoy seeking different styles of games within PF though, to break away from what you find in AP's and Society. Sandboxes and dungeon crawls are still favorites of mine. In this case it is a social and intrigue heavy game which is outside the norm in it's own right I think.

I would not rush recruitment for this. I'd keep recruitment open for a while looking for people who are passionate and want to consistently take time to make thoughtful well written posts. By that, I don't mean that I want to recruit only english majors, just people who will get involved and stay involved. So I would be looking strongly at backstories for this, and probably making some kind of "tavern" thread for applicants to interact.

To get some idea what I mean in terms of good posting, check out doomed hero's and painlord's guides to PbP. They are stickies in the online campaigns general discussion forum here. I would want this game to be a haven for people who strive for that kind of quality and want to play with others who do.

Anyway this is only a interest check, not a recruitment thread, because i've only read a third of it yet and already there are a lot of conversion errors. Between that and the unusual freeform social and intrigue nature of large sections, I have a feeling this prep would take me a long time. I have to read it thoroughly, maybe run it in a home game even, before I decide if it's well suited to PbP. A big factor will be the players who turn up though so let me know if this appeals.


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What would be some cool combos to explore, and how would you see them being skinned?

For example, I could see a hybrid with Barbarian and Oracle as it's parents classes, since the Rage Prophet archetype was always sort of a waste of time.


Maybe should have posted this in a different forum section, trying here first.

Been working on this a long time. Have one game on here doing well, up to almost 4,000 gameplay posts. My original plan was to have multiple parties running around in the same sandbox though, and that is something I can't seem to execute without help.

Idea is to use a shared setting and all the gaming that takes place there impacts the setting for other players gaming there as well. Sort of like MMO's.

I originally tried recruiting for multiple parties and running them simultaneously myself and it is just too much work. Plus the games can loose momentum and die.

So I started thinking, what if it was done in much shorter bursts.

Everyone knows PFS works well in PbP. AP's and homebrew can work but they seem to struggle more.

I am looking for someone to help me out with this maybe.

Let me know if you have any questions.

With a little organization it could work. Plus there could be great story and character continuity emerging out of it too. A guild of some sort could form and exchange intel.

It could be really cool.

I am coming up on the busy season at work so I can't really do anything with this until november or so.

TL:DR

Basically I just want to run all this cool material FGG is releasing, but in a way that is ideal for PbP. Since these are not linear adventure paths, it could be tackled in any order, so it could be done in short, intensive bursts like PFS scenarios, instead of drawn out PbP campaign's that risk fizzling and dying after such a huge investment of creative energy on everyone's part.

You can reply here even if you don't want to co-gm it with me too obviously. Just brainstorming.


For IC and OOC journals and accounting.


For IC and OOC journals, and accounting.


.


OK now, this show used to be hosted by my friend Paul Baldwin, but he developed shpilkis in his genechtagazoink. So now he's in Boca Raton, Florida, recovering nicely, thank you very much.

I'll give you a topic. Palmolive - it is neither a palm nor is it an olive.

Discuss.


City of Ashes
Twelve miles outside Bard's Gate lies the City of Ashes. This bleak and desolate locale is home to the city’s largest cemetery. Once well-maintained, it is now a crowded jumble of mausoleums, it's narrow cobblestone paths choked with weeds and thorny vines.

There is a certain peace here — the peace of the lost and forgotten. But even that little comfort vanishes as the sun sets and chill fogs rise to enwrap the headstones and statuary.

It has been thirty years since the March of Bones, in which legions of the dead were raised from the cemetery and set to wander the countryside, some even reaching the walls of Bard's Gate.

Few are buried here today. The wealthy are entombed in private crypts with more pleasant surroundings. Only the poor, destitute and unknown are laid to rest in the City of Ashes now, overseen by the grim Caretaker's Guild. They work only during daylight hours, and are not so foolish as to remain in the City of Ashes after sundown, when the perish blossom blooms.

-A lone survivor returns to Bard's Gate from an expedition to the Valley of Shrines, carrying an unholy mace retrieved from a battle with an evil priest.

-The faithful of an ancient church, long in decline, stir at the first signs of a long vanquished enemies' return.

-A fashion conscious teenage dirge bard notices strange goings on at the cemetery where he hangs out on weekends.

How do the fates of these strange bedfellows intersect?

Campaign Wiki on Obsidian Portal.

Previous Adventure:

Valley of the Shrines

North of the city of Bard’s Gate, in the hills of the Stoneheart Mountains, lie the ruins of twin shrines dedicated to Thyr and Muir — the God of Justice and the Goddess of Virtue and Paladinhood. Near the ruined shrines lies a series of catacombs used as burial halls for the followers of Thyr and Muir. Long abandoned, these catacombs are now home to various evil creatures. The complex has come to be known as the Stoneheart Mountain Dungeon.

Projected Start Date: February 15th 2014

Estimated Players Needed: There should be three PC's continuing on from former adventures in my ongoing sandbox campaign. I am recruiting for 3 or 4 more new PC's, one of which should be a representative of the churches of Thyr and Muir, preferably a cleric.

Mission Statement: This short adventure is part of my ongoing multi-party old-school sandbox campaign, which sets it's sights on eventually delving Rappan Athuk. This chapter is a place for some heroes from earlier adventures to continue their story, and for some new characters to be introduced to the ranks of aspirants to the legendary Dungeon of Graves.

Setting:

The Lost Lands: This is the setting of Frog God Games and formerly Necromancer Games. Of the well known published settings it is probably closest to Greyhawk in feel.

note:

These publishers historically have released only adventures, and did not have an official setting. The adventures were designed to be inserted plug and play into any traditional "old-school" fantasy setting. Over time, an implied setting began to emerge from references in the adventures, and many fans have fleshed it out into a playable state. The official setting is under development by Greg Vaughn for a future release.

For the purposes of this campaign, I am utilizing a map I created and stocked with numerous layers, sites, dungeons, settlements, and one extremely detailed city. Beyond the edges of this map the setting is left vague for now.

Because of the relative paucity of setting information, I am not requiring backstories to be detailed and extensive, but I will do my best to work with you to tie your character into the setting. I do not have answers for every question you might have about the places and civilizations your PC might hail from, but upon request I will scour the material I do have at my disposal.

The players adventuring in other parts of this ongoing sandbox campaign are also keen to develop shared history and connections with the characters of new recruits. My hope is that we can still see characters become very vibrant and alive during gameplay by engaging with the environment I have prepared for the adventures.

Pantheon: This campaign does not use the golarion pantheon. A list of deities can be found here. Some of them have not been converted from 3.5, and none of them list sub-domains. If you see a deity that you like the flavor of, but it doesn't have a domain listed that it probably should, ask. If it makes sense for the deities portfolio, it will be added. Some of the deities who's names are in the list do not have any entries filled out yet. Again, just ask, I probably just haven't gotten to it yet.

Magic/Fantasy Level: On the spectrum of low magic/fantasy to high magic/fantasy, the Lost Lands are somewhat closer to Game of Thrones or Middle Earth than they are to Golarion or the Forgotten Realms. People in settlements would not be accustomed to a summoner strolling into town with his Eidolon. Magic is more rare than the assumed levels in pathfinder. Buying and selling magic items is very restricted. There are specific NPC's you can buy and sell from but they will have to be discovered and they will have a limited selection of items for sale, primarily consumables. Crafting is also mostly limited to consumables for PC's.

Points of Light: The area I have mapped out for this campaign has the characteristics of a "Points of Light" campaign setting. There is a Grand Dutchy off-map to the West, but the realm where the campaign takes place is, as a whole, a very rugged frontier. The two cities in the region are walled and the roads connecting them to each other and the world beyond are very dangerous and traveled mostly by well-defended merchant caravans. People typically live out the whole of their lives in the place where they are born. The majority of the map is trackless wilderness populated by dangerous monster lairs and dungeon sites.

Playstyle:

Old-School: The slogan of Necromancer Games was "Old-School feel, New-School rules!" They published adventures for the 3.x/D20 ruleset which were designed to recapture the feeling of gaming in the era of AD&D. I have found that old-school means wildly different things to different people depending on who you ask. At the outset of this project I was intent on forcing pathfinder to play like AD&D. I am an unapologetically nostalgic gamer, but I have learned that it is difficult to force pathfinder to suit some styles of play because of it's design assumptions. It can cause more problems than it solves. I have reached a kind of middle-ground, choosing my battles and embracing pathfinder for it's strengths. As long as you have some nostalgia or curiosity for old-school gaming I think we will at least be getting off on the right foot.

Sandbox: My campaign is characterized by open-ended exploration and dungeon crawling, supported by a very detailed city sourcebook. The modules I have plugged into the map are primarily site based adventuring locations, that don't have to be tackled in any particular sequence. There are triggers at certain points that lead to more plot driven gaming temporarily, and there are antagonists constantly progressing their own agendas, but there is no over-arching meta-plot. Inciting incidents that spur the players to specific action are few and far between. By and large the campaign is only going to have as much story as we inject into it as a group.

(Un)Balance: CR and APL guidelines have been used as a tool to arrange for different adventuring areas to be more or less appropriate for parties at various stages of their development, but the design of these adventures and this campaign is such that wildly innapropriate encounters can be stumbled into. In some cases provisions are in place so that running away is viable or non-combat alternatives are possible.

Wealth: Likewise, WBL will be used as a tool for me to consult when calculating the APL of the party to estimate how they might fare against some of the challenges they encounter, but it will not be used as an indication of how much wealth they are assured to have at any given level. The treasures have been placed, whether they are discovered is up to the players and the fates.

Deadliness: These adventures have a reputation for deadliness. The hardcovers have pages of blank obituaries in the back, Because character development and role-play feature so strongly in PbP gaming, I have mitigated this somewhat by the inclusion of hero points. However, permanent death and loss of a character is still a reality in this campaign, more-so than in typical adventure path play.

Posting:

Pace: I know PbP can't match the pace of table-top, but I don't want to run a game that doesn't progress. I am looking for players that are committed and invested and really want to succeed against all odds in a game that requires more than a good build to achieve.

Posting Rate: You should have a high posting availability. I hate stating a requirement like "1 post/day except weekends" because there will be days when I can't post too. What I'm looking for is someone who can typically visit the thread one or more times/day, and post if needed. Quality counts too. Make posts that push things forward and reflect that you have read everyone else's posts and know what's going on. Please warn of and/or explain absences greater than 48 hours.

Formatting: I am OCD about formatting. Speech in bold with quotations. Internal monologue in italics. Flavor text describing what your doing in plain text. Out of character and mechanics in blue. Dice rolls labeled. One dice roll per line, not an endless string of numbers. Buffs and modifiers indicated.

Character Sheet: As above, I am OCD about formatting. Take pride in your character sheet. I need it up to date and I need to be able to read it. A hero-lab outputted stat block with no text formatting is not quite enough. I need to see that expended resources are being recorded just like they would be on a paper and pencil character sheet. I will link to examples of players that have well organized well formatted character sheets. You don't have to do yours exactly the same way but you have to make it nice. Comprehensible and nice.

Mini-Stats: There are certain lines in your profile that will display under your name next to your avatar when you post. Use these to display a mini-stat line with the most common things I have to refer to as DM, such as your armor class and saves. I require that these all be formatted exactly the same way. It is one of the typical formats that can be seen all over the PbP forums. You can find it on all the PC's in my games. If someone in my games doesn't have it formatted this way at this point it means they actively hate me and want me to suffer :) I post from work often and if this line isn't laid out the way I'm used to I make mistakes, get annoyed, become a grumpy DM, and kill PC's :)

Initiative: I do simple initiative for PbP. It goes in blocks. You don't have to wait for an individual initiative count to take your turn. Actions resolve in the order posted. I place an initiative tracker that shows who has and has not acted, and I update it throughout the round. You can post multiple times during a round, with dialogue and OOC, but when you make the post with your actions for the turn, it should begin with a header in bold stating the round so I can see at a glance who has taken their turn and update my tracker accordingly. If people aren't doing this I will rage quit. End your combat post with a status update indicating resources spent, active buffs and conditions, etc. After combat edit your profile/character sheet/mini-stats to reflect the current status.

Resources: You are responsible for tracking your expenditure of resources, active effects and conditions both in and out of combat. If you spend gold, record it. If you have taken damage record it. If you acquire a turnip record it. If it's not on your character sheet, you don't have it and can't use it. Encumbrance rules are enforced.

Character Creation forthcoming


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I started a big multi-party sandbox mega-campaign on here last year. It was based on the West Marches concept from OSR gaming but played with pathfinder, set in the Lost Lands setting of Frog God Games. The idea was to build up to Rappan Athuk or Slumbering Tsar eventually.

Two out of three of the adventuring groups I had running around in the sandbox lost momentum and folded, and I burned out myself, partly due to IRL circumstances but also due to the challenges of getting the kind of game I want to work on PbP.

I've recently come back after a 3 month hiatus and I'm just running the one adventure group now, the first one that formed when I started the project. They are running through some low level adventures set on the same map as Rappan Athuk.

This is a very preliminary interest check just to see who would be out there if I decide to resurrect the multi-party nature of the campaign and really set my sights on something big like Rappan Athuk or Slumbering Tsar.

It's a big undertaking to get sandboxes and dungeon crawls to work on PbP, and another big undertaking to get an old-school vibe out of pathfinder rules.

I still have a lot of tinkering to do to get it right so don't start sending me build submissions. I just want to get this thread floating to see who's out there.


Obsidian Portal

The campaign I am running started with an urge to run Rappan Athuk as a PbP. I decided to do it the way I have found works best from my experiences with my home games. Instead of just plowing through 20 levels of dungeon crawl, I insert many other introductory modules and a richly detailed city into a big sandbox hex map with Rappan Athuk looming as an infamous site to be eventually visited and revisited.

I launched this project at the beginning of this year as a PbP following the format I have done at home, and I currently have multiple parties of PC's running around in my sandbox discovering the setting and developing their characters.

The multi-party sandbox is something that I have really enjoyed in table-top these last few years after being inspired by an idea that made the rounds of the OSR blogosphere a while back, known as the West Marches style campaign.

I recommend that anyone interest in participating in my campaign follow that link and take a look at the article to get an idea of whether this style of campaign is going to be right for them. Perhaps the biggest adjustment is that there is no pre-determined plot, so it is up to the players to decide what they want to pursue. This requires a lot of engagement and communication to keep things from stalling in the PbP format.

*****

The most recent group to enter the milieu is going to start out by taking on The Lost City of Barakus, which has recently been converted to pathfinder from 3rd edition via kickstarter. The PDF is in my hands now, but while we were biding our time for it's release we began a little introductory module because we were all eager to start gaming together. I haven't said the name of this little warm up adventure yet but I will say that it was penned by Richard Pett who is just a devastatingly awesome writer of creepy adventures like the Skinsaw Murders chapter of RotRL. This will be a very short little intro that will take us rapidly to level 2 before moving on to The Lost City of Barakus.

We are currently down to 5 players as the player of the paladin has had to deal with some unexpected medical issues. I am looking for at least one player to replace him, but I have found that large groups work well for old-school flavored adventures like these, and I would be willing to let the party grow to as many as 8 if the right people apply with the right PC's.

In my next few posts I will put up the character creation parameters and some questions I would like to know about any prospective new friends looking to join our group. I will also describe some of the quirks and peculiarities of the material I'm running and my style as a DM to avoid any surprises since while I am using pathfinder as a game engine my games run very differently from, for example, what is found in adventure paths and PFS. The publisher of the adventures and setting I am using have a slogan, "Old school feel with new school rules!" and that is something I try to cleave very close to in my presentation of their material. It's important to establish this up front to avoid conflicts of playstyle.

So please if you have read this far and aren't scared away, bump the thread and ask questions, but let's start with a dialogue as gamers first before we skip ahead to builds and submissions.

Sorry about the wall of text but I have learned from other recruitment phases that it is more difficult to get some things established if they are omitted from the first post ;)

I have to run now but I will be back shortly with some follow up posts about character creation and my style as a DM.


Two heroic adventuring parties enter the ruins beneath a field where once an ancient evil tower stood.
Each of them are brought here by a different patron, and neither can leave until their purpose is served...

Obsidian Portal

This is a short retro AD&D style dungeon crawl. I'm going for the feel of a convention style game, with two parties competing to complete the dungeon alive and retrieve the most loot.

It ties into my ongoing multi-party sandbox set in the Lost Lands.

If I recruit from the survivors to join my ongoing game they will have a big leg-up on loot vs the miserable starting wealth I normally use (also the character creation guidelines are a little more loose here, as a tournament-style boon).

Each party needs one more PC. Clerics are the most needed but I'm looking at all types of PC's in case of openings elsewhere in my campaign.

This is a very lethal dungeon grind, that challenges the player as much as the character.

Fast paced game, very high posting availability required.

Must be willing to track resources and keep character sheet up to date at all times (nothing gets hand-waived).

Simple initiative.

Character Generation
*150 GP
*20 point buy
*No stat above 18 after racial adjustment
*Roll HP, max lvl 1, re-roll 1's
*Bonus feat at 1st level
*No traits
*Rogues are the exception, they get 2 traits
*Fighters get 4+int skill ranks
*Action points. 2/level, max 5 in the bank.

Books:
CRB pretty much everything but leadership
APG almost all feats and spells
UM feats and spells only
UC feats only
Anything else ask first.
No golarion setting specific or adventure path specific material.
Anything ARG ask first.

Featured Races:
Aasimar
Dhampir
Drow
Fetchling
Ifrit
Oread
Sylph
Undine
Tengu
Tiefling

Uncommon Races:
Dhampir
Samsaran

Paizo Base Classes:
Inquisitor, Cavalier
(Oracle, Witch maybe depends on concept and build and flavor)

3PP Classes:
Tome of Secrets (Knight, Warlock, Spellblade, Priest) ask first, still reviewing
Open Design/Kobold Press Shaman

List of archetypes in next post.


Two heroic adventuring parties enter the ruins beneath a field where once an ancient evil tower stood.
Each of them are brought here by a different patron, and neither can leave until their purpose is served...

Obsidian Portal

This is a short retro AD&D style dungeon crawl. I'm going for the feel of a convention style game, with two parties competing to complete the dungeon alive and retrieve the most loot.

It ties into my ongoing multi-party sandbox set in the Lost Lands.

If I recruit from the survivors to join my ongoing game they will have a big leg-up on loot vs the miserable starting wealth I normally use (also the character creation guidelines are a little more loose here, as a tournament-style boon).

Each party needs one more PC. Clerics are the most needed but I'm looking at all types of PC's in case of openings elsewhere in my campaign.

This is a very lethal dungeon grind, that challenges the player as much as the character.

Fast paced game, very high posting availability required.

Must be willing to track resources and keep character sheet up to date at all times (nothing gets hand-waived).

Simple initiative.

Character Generation
*150 GP
*20 point buy
*No stat above 18 after racial adjustment
*Roll HP, max lvl 1, re-roll 1's
*Bonus feat at 1st level
*No traits
*Rogues are the exception, they get 2 traits
*Fighters get 4+int skill ranks
*Action points. 2/level, max 5 in the bank.

Books:
CRB pretty much everything but leadership
APG almost all feats and spells
UM feats and spells only
UC feats only
Anything else ask first.
No golarion setting specific or adventure path specific material.
Anything ARG ask first.

Featured Races:
Aasimar
Dhampir
Drow
Fetchling
Ifrit
Oread
Sylph
Undine
Tengu
Tiefling

Uncommon Races:
Dhampir
Samsaran

Paizo Base Classes:
Inquisitor, Cavalier
(Oracle, Witch maybe depends on concept and build and flavor)

3PP Classes:
Tome of Secrets (Knight, Warlock, Spellblade, Priest) ask first, still reviewing
Open Design/Kobold Press Shaman

List of archetypes in next post.


This is a short, old-school dungeon crawl, already in progress.

It ties into a sandbox hex-crawl I am running, set in the Lost Lands setting. This setting, at least my version of it, is somewhat low-magic, with a gritty, pulp-fantasy feel. It is not as high-fantasy as Forgotten Realms or Golarion, but it is not as low-magic as Middle Earth or Game of Thrones.

There are two parties who have entered the dungeon via different entrances. There is currently room for at least one additional PC in each party. Clerics are the most needed, but I am looking at other character types too, in case of PC death or players withdrawing.

This dungeon is pretty short. It took about 9-10 hours of table top play for my home group to complete - But I might transfer some of the victors (read: survivors) into my ongoing sandbox campaign, depending on how many openings there are when that time comes.

This recruitment is specifically for the short dungeon crawl module "Dungeon of Dread", but I am looking for people who have an interest in eventually participating in my ongoing sandbox, so I will take a minute to talk about that concept and provide some links.

Lost Lands/Stoneheart Valley Sandbox Campaign:

This campaign is something I've been developing for a long time with the groups I play with in my home game. It stemmed from our desire to play Rappan Athuk as more than just room after room of kick in the door dungeon crawling, and our wish to have a sort of living campaign for all the folks we game with to drop in and out of depending on availability.

I've chained several modules together onto one map to give players real agency and freedom to explore and create their own story. I stocked the map with a lot of material, mostly Frog God Games adventures modified just a little to occupy the same geographical region.

There all little things from other 3PP and some nods and adaptations from classic AD&D and Basic D&D modules sprinkled in to fill it all out.

The campaign features a very detailed wilderness, settlements, adventure sites and dungeons that support true sandbox play and afford players the freedom to direct their own fates.

This kind of gaming is very different from the model of modern plot driven adventure design and adventure paths. It took my players at home a long time to adjust before we got a feel for it, but when we did it was one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of our gaming careers. I know it can work for pathfinder, but it will only work in PbP with a special bunch of players who really buy into the idea and set their expectations about balance and adventure design aside.

There's no WBL, limited magic item shopping and crafting, and the world doesn't scale with the PC's. You will encounter things you shouldn't fight, and challenges that can't be overcome with class abilities and dice rolls alone.

I have been running this sandbox campaign for three separate groups online for about six months now, and one of them recently collapsed after at least half of the players stopped posting regularly. After losing that game, I am at a point where I only want to recruit players who I'm sure are really on board and enthusiastic about trying something different. I'm not going to rush or first-come first-serve anymore, I want to hold out for people who are really excited about this project and want to treat it like a real game group, not just another PbP.

I realize part of the appeal of PbP is the ability to join multiple games with a minimal amount of participation, but that just isn't a service that I find rewarding or enjoyable to provide. I want players who will engage actively with the environment, heed every clue, study every map, set and achieve their own goals, and chronicle their adventures.

Most of you probably already know Rappan Athuk and the reputation for deadliness it has. Most of the material I am running in this campaign has at least the potential to be similarly unforgiving. However, I think there's a misconception about what kind of skill it takes to succeed in such games. I have run this stuff for a broad pool of players now, and I have seen over and over again, that you don't need a high level of system mastery or "optimization" to do well. You just need to use your head, and really be immersed in the game instead of always thinking about your awesome build or killer combo of abilities. I can't stress that enough.

So players of all levels of experience are welcome, what I'm looking for is enthusiasm and excitement.

Here's the current draft of the player's map of the area where the sandbox campaign is taking place, without the numbered hex-grid overlay.

Here's the Obsidian Portal Page for the campaign. Look around the wiki to get a feel for the tone of the setting, check out the deities, etc.

I'll put up the character creation guidelines later. I don't want to be inundated with build submissions right away, I just want to see who is out there and hear about you... Posting availability, play-style preferences, and reasons for being interested in this campaign.


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1 person marked this as a favorite.

"Centuries ago, a race of humans built an elaborate underground city beneath the Duskmoon Hills. These were a magic-loving people, and for hundreds of years they dwelled peacefully in their subterranean home, delving into the arcane arts. Eventually, however, one of their number, a necromancer named Devron, rose to great power and transformed himself into a lich. The wizards of Barakus banded together, and after a great struggle, banished him to a prison far below the city. Before his banishment, however, Devron forged the Helm of Power, which he could use to restore him to power at some future point..."

-from Illuminatus Geographica by Master Scrivenar Drembrar of the Temple of Yenomesh in Bard's Gate.


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3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I know concealment makes stealth checks possible but my understanding was that if you begin your turn observed you need to create a diversion to take advantage of the concealment. Have I been interpreting this wrong?


The peanut - it is neither a pea, nor is it a nut. Discuss.


The Thighmaster - it is neither a thigh, nor a master. Discuss.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Lost Lands Sandbox Group 4
Final group for multi-party sandbox set in Lost Lands.
Overview of the structure of the campaign at large can be foun in this post.

Some seats are already reserved, we are likely only needing one or two PC's through this recruitment.

Player: Chillblame
Character: Karl Chillstrike, Staff Magus
Stats and backstory completed

Player: Karl Hammarhand
Character: Cian, Paladin
Backstory completed

Player: Lareg
Character: Okrin Goodspeed, Scrollmaster Wizard/Monk
Backstory completed

I would like to see the following areas rounded out: social skills, restorative magic, ranged damage.

Looking for one or two self-directed players interested in exploration, dealing with maps, gathering information and intelligence.

Character Creation Guidelines
*2nd Level
*150 GP
*20 Point Buy
*No starting stat below 7 after racial adjustment, no starting stat above 18 after racial adjustment.
*Bonus Feat
*No Traits, except Rogues (Rogues get 2 Traits)
*Fighters get 4+ Int skill ranks
*CRB: everything (some changes to leadership and crafting and few spells but nothing that matters at this level)
*APG: Most archetypes, most feats and spells, most rage powers and bloodlines etc.
*UM: Most feats and spells, ask first on archetypes and additional class features like bloodlines.
*UC: Some archetypes, some feats.
*Anything ARG ask first.
*Nothing AP or Golarion specific in flavor
*Races: CRB plus drow, tiefling, aasimar.
*Base Classes: Cavalier, Inquisitor, see spoiler

Exceptions:
Anything else ask first, if I can see that someone is excited about something for RP reasons, and it strongly fits the flavor of the setting and campaign, I will make some exceptions to the above guidelines, but if I tried to explain my rationale we'd be here all day because I'm actually completely nuts, and make no sense to anyone but myself (*_*)

For example, I don't have oracle listed, but if someone wanted to make a Rage Prophet I'm suddenly cool with oracle levels as part of that build. So you have to just run things past me sometimes, just please don't send me builds out of the blue that don't follow the guidelines.

Short backstories are ok.
Present them as three sections: Background, Personality, Motivations. A few sentences for each is enough.
Check out the obsidian portal wiki page for inspiration.
Lost Lands Wiki


This is a short, old-school flavored, convention-style dungeon crawl, with two teams starting at different points in a dungeon with the goal of escaping alive with the most treasure.

Survivors get a chance to move to the bench for my ongoing multi-party sandbox campaign set in the Lost Lands setting of Frog God Games/Necromancer Games.

I suppose it's ok if a few participants are only interested in this as a one-shot, as long as the majority are motivated to eventually join one of the teams in the mega-campaign with the boon of additional treasure earned in this tournament.

Character Creation Guidelines:

*2nd Level
*20 Point Buy
*No starting stat below 7 after racial adjustment, no starting stat above 18 after racial adjustment.
*Bonus Feat
*No Traits, except Rogues (Rogues get 2 Traits)
*Fighters get 4+ Int skill ranks
*CRB: everything (some changes to leadership and crafting and few spells but nothing that matters at this level)
*APG: Most archetypes, most feats and spells, most rage powers and bloodlines etc.
*UM: Most feats and spells, ask first on archetypes and additional class features like bloodlines.
*UC: Some archetypes, some feats.
*Anything ARG ask first.
*Nothing AP or Golarion specific in flavor
*Races: CRB plus drow, tiefling, aasimar.
*Base Classes: Cavalier, Inquisitor, see below

Anything else ask first, if I can see that someone is excited about something for RP reasons, and it strongly fits the flavor of the setting and campaign, I will make some exceptions to the above guidelines, but if I tried to explain my rationale we'd be here all day because I'm actually completely nuts, and make no sense to anyone but myself (*_*)

For example, I don't have Oracle listed, but if someone wanted to make a Rage Prophet I'm suddenly cool with oracle levels as part of that build. So you have to just run things past me sometimes, just please don't send me builds out of the blue that don't follow the guidelines.

Short backstories are ok. Present them as three sections: Background, Personality, Motivations. A few sentences for each is enough. Check out the obsidian portal wiki page for inspiration.
Lost Lands Mega-Campaign Wiki

*I will connect a "Campaign Info" tab shortly, so I can add things that should have been in this first post if I think of them after this post is closed for editing.

*For more info about the ongoing campaign, a good summary post is here. But this recruitment is specifically for the short tournament.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

There will probably be another recruitment in July, after I get some material prepped, and possibly an opportunity to participate in a smaller one-off sooner then that.

The one-off thing would be a tournament style dungeon raid, with two teams starting at different entrances, goal is to survive with the most treasure. Maybe survivors get to take the treasure haul into the big campaign? Could be new players, existing players with alt PC's, or even existing PC's. Not sure yet.

The July recruitment will probably be for a fourth group. The current three groups may get condensed down to two groups. Probably not. Have to see who bites at which plot hooks over the next couple of months. (don't worry no one is getting "fired")

I'm attaching this recruitment thread as a place to hear from any lurkers out there who may want a chance to get in on this campaign at some point.

Think of this as an interest check for now.

Also this may be a place for existing players to recruit for "raids" as the campaign evolves. Still hashing out how all of that is going to work.


Using a bluff check to attempt stealth from observation to concealment. What is the action cost of the bluff check?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Dot


This is going to be the place for everyone in the Lost Lands Mega-Campaign to participate in discussion about the campaign at large.

Right now that means all the players in "The Wizard's Amulet", "The Mouth of Doom", and "Valley of the Shrines".

There's no gameplay thread attached to this discussion thread.

This thread is going to serve several important purposes as the structure of this campaign takes shape but for now it's just a place you guys can chat if you want.


The Old Temple district is quiet as ever on this crisp autumn day. Those few passing through are mostly here for a free public performance in the amphitheater, not on their way to a religious service.

Many of the old temples stand empty, some taken over by new cults or other occupants. The district is even dotted with businesses and inns.

Elsewhere, in the cities Market District, the long tables and benches of the Sell-Sword Tavern seem to have more mercenaries lining up then there are potential employers. The booths for talking private business are empty, curtains drawn back.

The smell of roasting meat wafts through the place, making many of these swords for hire wish someone would come along with something to discuss.


Grapenuts. They contain neither grapes nor nuts. Discuss!


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***This is a lead-in adventure for a campaign I will be running in FGG Lost Lands setting. The campaign will proceed through a series of modules. The freedom of the players to select their challenges and direct the course of the plot will increase as the campaign progresses.

When the PC's are high enough level, challenges like the legendary Dungeon of Graves, Rappan Athuk, and the Slumbering City of Tsar will certainly loom before them if that is what they choose to face. However, by that time, there will also have been opportunities to become embroiled in intrigue in the City of Bard's Gate. In my experience, this is the best way to add dimension to a hack-and-slash dungeon crawl.

There will be future recruitment threads at different intervals in the campaign, so participation in this lead-in adventure is not required for those who just want to test their mettle against Rappan Athuk later (or some of the other quests and adventures along the way). However, participants in the lead-in adventures will be given preference for inclusion. Plus, there might be some treasure you won't want to miss :D.***

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OK I wasn't going to post this yet because start of gameplay is a little way's off but I may as well get the interest check rolling.

This will be the third and final group running through my Lost Lands mega-campaign. See "The Wizard's Amulet" and "The Mouth of Doom" for examples of the style and pace and tone of this campaign.

These three parallel adventures serve as proving grounds for characters interested in taking on the challenges of Rappan Athuk, Slumbering Tsar, the lower levels of the Stoneheart Valley Dungeon, and the Cyclopean Deeps of the Underdark.

Details and character creation rules to follow shortly.


Have a player interested in playing something like this.

Anything out there been published?


So this is Zelkor's Ferry. The gate doesn't look like much. What must be a captain of some sort hails you from some kind of crows nest above the short palisade.

"Hail traveller's. Before I open this gate I'll say right now you won't find a free meal or free board within, so save the sob stories. I've heard them all.

If there are spellcasters among you, might as well get that out of the way too. We won't take magic books and bat guano from you, but only cast spells on yourself, and no flying around or making yourself blink in and out of god's-knows what plane of existence.

Speaking of God's we don't care what you believe in or worship. Just don't tell anyone else here what to believe and we'll all get along fine.

What'll it be then? You coming in?"


You have traveled two days from Reme with your newfound companions. Rain and cloudy weather have marred your travels since you left, slowing your pace and forcing you to keep off the main road and travel under the eaves of the light woods to the north of the tradeway.

It seems odd at this time of year to have such strange weather. Sunshine can be seen on the far horizon, and you all have a feeling that something is amiss, as if a dark cloud is following you from Reme.

Each of you thinks back to the Starving Stirge — the inn where you formed your fellowship. You shift your packs, which seem even heavier in the rain, and recall Janna’s notice: “Seeking companions for the road, to share in glory and gold.” As you look down at your muddy boots, perhaps some of you would gladly trade Janna’s promises of gold for dry clothes and a warm fire.


The jelly-bean - It is neither made of jelly nor is it a bean. Discuss!


I've seen google docs spreadsheets, that was nice and simple. What else do people use?


***This is a lead-in adventure for a campaign I will be running in FGG Lost Lands setting. The campaign will proceed through a series of modules. The freedom of the players to select their challenges and direct the course of the plot will increase as the campaign progresses.

When the PC's are high enough level, challenges like the legendary Dungeon of Graves, Rappan Athuk, and the Slumbering City of Tsar will certainly loom before them if that is what they choose to face. However, by that time, there will also have been opportunities to become embroiled in intrigue in the City of Bard's Gate. In my experience, this is the best way to add dimension to a hack-and-slash dungeon crawl.

There will be future recruitment threads at different intervals in the campaign, so participation in this lead-in adventure is not required for those who just want to test their mettle against Rappan Athuk later (or some of the other quests and adventures along the way). However, participants in the lead-in adventures will be given preference for inclusion. Plus, there might be some treasure you won't want to miss :D.***

Hi guys, this is an interest check to see if there are enough of you to run a seperate group through a related adventure in parallel to my current adventure "The Wizard's Amulet".

This entry point into the campaign will probably appeal more to people who like some straight up hack-and-slash and dungeon crawling. Of course in the long term the campaign will evolve to be more multi-dimensional.


The chick pea... It's neither a chick nor a pea. Discuss!


This is a lead-in adventure for a campaign I will be running in FGG Lost Lands setting. The adventure will proceed through a series of modules. The freedom of the players to select their challenges and direct the course of the plot will increase as the campaign progresses.

When the PC's are high enough level, the legendary Dungeon of Graves, Rappan Athuk, will certainly loom before them. However, by that time, there will also have been opportunities to become embroiled in intrigue in the City of Bard's Gate. In my experience, this is the best way to add dimension to a hack-and-slash dungeon crawl.

There will be future recruitment threads at different intervals in the campaign, so participation in this lead-in adventure is not required for those who just want to test their mettle against Rappan Athuk later (or some of the other quests and adventures along the way). However, participants in the lead-in adventures will be given preference for inclusion. Plus, there might be some treasure you won't want to miss :D.

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