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Hello! I'm the player DM Lament Configuration was referring to. First things first, let me say I considered receiving DM Lament Configuration's invite a pleasure, and doubly so once I quickly perused through this thread and saw all the great submissions he got. So - nice to be one of you!

As for the PC, I first considered rolling some kind of party face, but eventually realized Lovecraft's mythos isn't exactly choke-full of people being nice to would lead anywhere, so I'm now considering an Inquisitor of Desna (or of the Black Butterfly, which would more or less be the same thing, both mechanics- and flavor-wise) with the Void domain. Of course, I'm open to suggestions, especially when teamwork feats are concerned.

Ok I think I nailed the crunch down. If you have any advice, or suggested features for better synergy and coordination – they would be more than welcome!

Ahnika, Championess of Falyna:

Female Angel-Blooded Aasimar dual-cursed Oracle 9 / Unchained Monk (scaled fist) 2
LG Medium M outsider (native) / humanoid (human)
Initiative +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12
AC 28, touch 22, flat-footed 24 (+6 armour, +2 Dex, +6 Cha, +3 deflection, +1 dodge)
hp 69 (9d8+2d10+11)
Fort +10, Ref +12, Will +7 (+15 vs. charm and compulsion effects); +2 vs. sleep, paralysis, and stunning effects
Defensive Abilities evasion Resist acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5
Speed 30 ft.
Melee unarmed strike flurry of blows +17/+17/+12 (1d10+14/+11/+11)
Special Attacks flurry of blows, stunning fist (4/day, DC 21)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11th; concentration +17)
    1/day—alter self
    3/day—divine favor
    at will—light
Oracle Spells Known (CL 11th; concentration +17)
    4th (5/day)—air walk, cure critical wounds, divine power, ethereal fists
    3rd (7/day)—bestow curse (DC 19), cure serious wounds, dispel magic, prayer, remove curse
    2nd (8/day)—bear’s endurance, cat’s grace, cure moderate wounds, inflict moderate wounds, ironskin, oracle’s burden (DC 18)
    1st (8/day)—bless, cure light wounds, embrace destiny, entropic shield, ill omen, inflict light wounds (DC 17), protection from evil
    0 (at will)—create water, detect magic, detect poison, enhanced diplomacy, guidance, mending, read magic
Mystery ascetic
Strength 22 (+6), Dexterity 14 (+2), Constitution 12 (+1), Intelligence 12 (+1), Wisdom 7 (-2), Charisma 22 (+6)
Base Atk +8; CMB +14 (+25 grapple); CMD 36 (42 vs. grapple)
Feats Celestial Obedience (Falyna), Dodge, Dragon Ferocity, Dragon Style, Greater Grapple, Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike, Power Attack, Stunning Fist, Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike)
Skills 64+22 ranks (36 oracle, 8 monk, 11 Int, 9 favoured class, 22 background); ACP
    Acrobatics +21 (+11 rank, +2 Dex, +3 class, +5 competence)
    Craft (jewelry) +10 (+6 rank, +1 Int, +3 class)
    Diplomacy +15 (+6 rank, +6 Cha, +3 class)
    Intimidate +20 (+11 rank, +6 Cha, +3 class)
    Knowledge (planes) +9 (+3 rank, +1 Int, +3 class, +2 racial)
    Heal +0 (-2 Wis, +2 racial)
    Linguistics +6 (+5 rank, +1 Int)
    Perception +12 (+11 rank, +3 class, -2 Wis)
    Perform (dance) +20 (+11 rank, +3 cha, +3 class)
    Stealth +16 (+11 rank, +2 Dex, +3 class)
    Spellcraft +15 (+11 rank, +1 Int, +3 class)
Traits Irrepressible, Magical Knack
Languages Celestial, Common, Minkaian, Osiriani, Polyglot, Tien, Vudrani
SQ oracle curse (clouded vision, tongues), revelations (ascetic armour, martial disciple, misfortune, spellstrike)
Alternative Racial Traits halo
Worn monk's outfit, amulet of mighty fists +2, armbands of the brawler, belt of giant strength +4, boots of elvenkind, cloak of resistance +3, gauntlets of the skilled maneuver (grapple), headband of alluring charisma +4, ring of protection +3

For simplicity's sake, boni from Dragon Style are already accounted for, and so is Prophetic Armour (it's not permanent, but it lasts 1 hour/level and I assume we won't be fighting for more than 9 hours straight).

If given time to prepare, she would cast/activate the following spells/effects: Divine Power, Prayer, Bless, Ironskin, Cat's Grace, Bear's Endurance, Alter Self (for +2 size bonus to STR) and Power Attack (she has enough spell slots to do it 3 times per day).

In order not to recalculate her stats every time, I pre-copiled an updated character sheet which factors in all the buffing.

Ahnika, Championess of Falyna (Super Sayan mode):

Female Angel-Blooded Aasimar dual-cursed Oracle 9 / Unchained Monk (scaled fist) 2
LG Medium M outsider (native) / humanoid (human)
Initiative +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +13
AC 36, touch 24, flat-footed 30 (+6 armour, +6 natural, +4 Dex, +6 Cha, +3 deflection, +1 dodge)
hp 102 (9d8+2d10+44)
Fort +13, Ref +14, Will +8 (+16 vs. charm and compulsion effects); +2 vs. sleep, paralysis, and stunning effects
Melee unarmed strike flurry of blows +22/+22/+22/+17 (1d10+25/+21/+21/+21)
Strength 22 (+6), Dexterity 18 (+4), Constitution 16 (+3), Intelligence 12 (+1), Wisdom 7 (-2), Charisma 22 (+6)
Base Atk +8; CMB +18 (+29 grapple); CMD 39 (45 vs. grapple)

Also, this is embarassing but I have to ask: is clothing free? :)
(Because I managed to spend exactly 82000 gp and I was left with no penny to spare)

I'm a bit puzzled: shouldn't 1d6 average to 3.5, rounding up to 4? Same with 1d8 ==> 5 and 1d10 ==> 6...

(with alternating between rounding up and down amounting to going for non-rounded average)

There's a table right under your quoted text which should clarify the issue: having +0 BAB gives you no bonus, between +1 and +5 gives you +1, +6 to +10 results in a +2 and so on. Same with ranks in Perform.

In your example, your dwarf should have +2 (CHA) + 3 (+11 BAB) + 3 (11 ranks in Perform) = +8

Hope that helped ;)

Jereru wrote:
Then I'll have to ask the rest of the team. Guys, do you want me to play an archer or would you rather not raise bad feelings among the public?

No problem with going ranged (actually, since dealing with flying creatures is a not-so-uncommon occurence at 11th level, I'd go as far as saying that having a ranged specialist is something of a must-have). If you want to give it a martial vibe, you might want to consider the Zen Archer archetype.

If it's dealing lethal damage to your opponents you're worried about, you can pick a bow with the merciful special ability and that should do the trick ;)

The concept I was considering revolved around a warsighted ascetic oracle dipping into scaled fist unmonk.

If you go for brawler, Saashaa, we could use Martial Flexibility to pick up teamwork feats on the spot.

  • How much experience do you have with Pathfinder rules?

    I've got a good grasp on the basic mechanics and I can usually quote the more commonly brought-up rules off the top of my head. In the occasional circumstance when a more obscure point of contention arises, I more often than not know my way around the PRD or well enough to dig up the appropriate reference.

  • How much experience do you have with Roleplaying in general?

    My familiarity with the Pathfinder ruleset stretches back 10 years, make it 20 if we count the old 3rd ed. days. Recently (meaning, the last 5 years or so), my roleplaying experience has mostly been confined to the forums, a medium which I've grown to like more and more due to its flexibility and its potential for a broader, deeper narrative-driven approach to gaming.

  • Are you familiar with PbP formatting and how to?

    I am. (Example combat post)

  • Have you ever played the Ruby Phoenix Tournament before, even just a little? (please be truthful)

    I've heard it deals with some kind of martial arts tournament, which immediately piqued my curiosity back at the time of its release. Alas, I've never had the chance to play it – but I've had a concept for a shaolin monk-type build running around in my head for a while now, and I figure such a module would be the perfect fit.

  • How many PbP games are you currently active in? Do you GM any?

    I'm currently not participating in any game, having been on hiatus from the forums for a year. Having learnt my lesson, I don't want to overcommit and I figured applying for a module (as opposed to a fully-fledged AP) and sticking to just a single PbP at a time would be the perfect way to make my return.

  • Will you be able to check the game at least daily or every other day to post? If not explain and we can work with you.

    Yes. In every game I played, I managed to post at least once per day and sometimes significantly more as the case dictated (fast back-and-forth between two characters, for example). One disclaimer: I live in UTC+1, so my posting hours might align oddly with everyone else's.

  • What type of characters do you like to play? Personality, Class, Themes!

    I usully skew towards martially-oriented characters who can nonetheless contribute to the party in meaningful ways in a wide array of situations. I also enjoy the options that being able to cast spells opens, both in and out of combat. So all in all, I'd say I like complex characters who aren't afraid to tackle situations head on or get physical should the encounter require, but are also able to overcome or even circumvent an obstacle through subtlety or sheer willpower. Just to give an idea, the favourite characters I've played on the forums so far are probably a bastard sword-wielding, stealth-focused secret agent and a honour-bound shield-maiden and warrior-poetess.
    (I've never GMed in a PbP).

    Thanks for the consideration!

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    Even though it looks like I'm late to the party, Momo's background is so inspiring I wanted to try my hand at it just for the sake of it (even though Alfen and Christian have rightfully gotten first dibs on it).

    The Encounter:

    It’s nearly lunchtime before the Dulines make it to market, but they are able to finagle a space to sell their wares. Michaus is slightly surprised to see some of the items. It’s obvious that the elves had gifted his village a few things to be able to afford the swords. The contents include: preserved fish from their river, small dolls carved by the catfolk out of the forest’s wood, and a few items gifted from the neighboring elves.

    Before Michaus and Sari can finish setting up, their blanket of items is swarmed with potential buyers. Their catfolk race, rarely seen in Zobeck, seems to spark interest in the market and curious shoppers circle the blanket to take a gander at the “rare and exotic items” Michaus peddles. Michaus turns up his charm, bluffing about the integrity of their merchandise, finagling customers into spending a few extra silver. While Michaus speaks, Sari handles the money and watches their goods in fear of thievery.

    Unfortunately, by the time the market dies down and most of their goods are sold, the couple notices their child is missing. Grief and regret strike them both. After a few minutes of panicked discussion, it’s decided that Sari will stay put in case Momo ventures back, while Michaus sniffs the air and checks nearby stalls. The couple makes sure they can always spot and hear one another during their search. The city is large and unfamiliar for oddities such as themselves.

    Sometime during the chaos, Momo had slipped between the legs of a particularly large human and wiggled her way through the forest of legs. She crawls on her hands and knees, sniffing the cobblestone, legs, feet, puddles, everything. Before she knew it, Momo had sniffed her way into an alley. Scared without her parents, little Momo sits on her rear and her eyes fill with tears. She is utterly and completely lost.

    ”Uuuuuu,” Momo prepares her incoming waterworks. After a few moments, she stands up and starts running in a random direction, bawling loudly. She eventually sees what looks to be other children and runs towards them, crying unintelligently, ”Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” Momo takes a breath only to continue wailing, ”Waaauuuuuuuuu!” Her face is streaked with tears and snot is running out of both nostrils and into her mouth.

    The children Momo ran towards are a group of juvenile delinquents that had been preoccupied with throwing small rocks at glass bottles, attempting to make the containers shatter all over the cobblestone. They hear Momo’s crying at a distance and plan a cruel prank. After luring the small defenseless catfolk closer, the kids begin pelting rocks at the unfamiliar creature. ”Ten points if you hit the head!” one calls out in Common. A rock lands painfully on Momo’s left ear, causing it to bleed. ”Yes, got it!” another kid cheers, indifferent towards the pain they’re inflicting on Momo.

    Something warm and smelly trickles down the side of Momo’s leg. She’s peeing herself in fear. At this point, Momo is too scared to make any noise. Momo turns away from her assailants, trying desperately to claw up the wall but she isn’t strong enough. She curls defensively into a ball covering her ears with her hands, which were now exposing tiny little claws. Momo waits helplessly for her life to come to an end.

    “Hey! Why don’t you pick a fight with someone your size?“ a voice different from the attacking children is heard. A tall figure has come out from a nearby squat, two-story building, and is now approaching the gang with a threatening stare in her eyes.

    ”Oh yeah? And who would that be? asks one. ”Not you” mocks another. ”I can’t even tell if you’re the ugliest girl I’ve ever seen, or the most effeminate boy” chimes in a third. ”My mother told me only whores live in that house. It must be hard to make ends meet, with a face like yours” replies the first, followed by a raucous burst of laughter from his friends – which ends abruptly as the newcomer deftly manoeuvres besides the meanest-looking boy and swiftly unleashes a well-placed kick in his nether regions.

    A chaotic tumult immediately erupts, as the gang presses in to avenge its fallen leader. The figure almost seem to dance around the blows coming her way, until a particularly clever – or lucky – young thug manages to sneak in a blow from behind. Another punch in the ribs quickly follows, and then a loud THUD marking a nasty punch in the face. Momo watches horrified, as it appears her would be saviour is poised to suffer her same fate, when her champion finally regains her balance and retaliates with a vicious flurry of blows which leaves one, two, three opponents writhing in pain on the ground.

    The mischievous youngsters stop pelting Momo and disperse. Momo slowly lifts her head, her ears revolving to the source of the noise. The scrape on her ear is starting to clot. It’s hard for Momo to smell and see with the blood, urine, and dirt currently covering her.

    Momo’s eyes are wide in fear and her heart is beating as fast as a bunny rabbit’s. She isn’t sure if the new creature is here to help or hurt her, but she’s too terrified to do anything about it. Her ears are back and her tail in down between her legs in fearful defeat.

    When the creature approaches her, she gives a tentative sniff, her nose wiggling, sampling the air. Her assailants seem to be far enough away, but the smell of Momo’s urine was overwhelming to Momo’s sensitive nose. She detected the smell of an elfmarked on her savior.

    ”You… should really be more careful about which fights you pick” the figure tentatively interjects, trying to break the ice. From up close, Momo finally realizes she is no boy, but actually a rather tomboyish-looking girl, lanky as a beanpole, whose elven blood makes appear even younger than her thirteen years. ”Grovar Vann and his friends might not be the Cloven, but even rats can find courage in numbers.” Getting no answer, she decides to go for a different approach. ”I’m… Írwen, by the way” she introduces herself, trying her best to put on an awkward smile. ”And you?”

    ”I’m Momo,” Momo replies in a wavering voice, strained from crying. After a few moments, tears begin to swell in her eyes again: ”I can’t find my parents.” The waterworks begin again and a fresh line of snot travels out of Momo’s nose and over her mouth. ”Uuuu,” Momo whimpers pitifully as her savior helps her out. Momo answers all of her questions with child-like honesty and nods or shakes her head fervently to simple questions. ”I’m 6 years old. My parents and I were at the market.”

    "Hush Momo" Írwen replies half sternly, half gently. ”You should never let a bully see you cry. Never give the world the satisfaction to see your weakness, or it will never stop exploiting it.” She then looks around nervously, as if pondering a difficult decision. ”It’s not far from here, but you can’t walk around the streets like that.” She bites her lower lip, then appears lost in thought for a couple of heartbeats. ”It’s no place to bring a 6-year old girl – Lada knows if I know – but with Tyron gone out for errands and the Scabbard not opening before sunset…” She turns around to look Momo in the eyes; ”Follow me” she proclaims almost solemnly. ”Try to keep a low profile… and don’t look around too much, will you?”

    As Írwen leads the way, Momo reaches for her hand for comfort. It only takes a few steps for the elfmarked to lead her into the same building she came out earlier, and Momo can briefly make out the letters The Silk Scabbard on a sign just above the main door before they enter. They stride across a large hall and reach what appears to be a changing room where half a dozen succinctly dressed women pay them little heed, busy as they seem in their ablutions and preparations.

    Momo is completely docile as Írwen cleans her up – Momo doesn’t even complain if the bucket of water is cold. She eyes Írwen curiously, her ears are perky and upright listening to the different sounds in the area. She doesn’t attempt to clean herself and lets Írwen do all the work. As she reaches over Momo to clean a spot, Momo leans her head closer to curiously sniff Írwen.

    Even if Momo is reprimanded and instructed to stop, she will continue to sniff after a few seconds have passed. With the pee washed off, Momo's sense of smell is improved and she is able to assist in finding her parents. ”You smell interesting. I won’t forget your scent,” Momo promises Írwen . Her light green cat-like eyes stare at Írwen unabashed with childhood innocence.

    It’s hard to tell Momo had been yelling her lungs out, making a waterfall of tears, and covered in urine a few minutes earlier. Momo is already back to her perky, inquisitive self. She grabs for Írwen ’s hand, her actions indicative to her age. She follows dutifully behind Írwen as if she were her own little shadow.

    When her savior makes it to the market with Momo in tow, Momo grabs Írwen as tightly as she can around her waist. ”I will never forget you,” Momo muffles into his/her shirt. The shirt feels a little wet after the hug. Pulling back, Momo’s eyes glisten with tears ”We are friends now.” It was a proclamation, not a request. Momo decides they are going to be friends.

    Momo removes the necklace she made seven days ago and hands it to Írwen. “This is proof of our friendship. Now you can’t forget me.” Momo’s tail swishes anxiously, waiting for Írwen to accept her token of friendship. ”If you don’t take it you might not remember me. Your race can’t smell as well as catfolk.” Momo’s ears bend slightly in anticipation, waiting for Írwen to accept the offering. The necklace is of poor quality and it looks like a child made it. It’s a string with seven baked clay beads of various sizes and shapes. The necklace doesn’t appear to be worth anything.

    Írwen appears as if taken aback by Momo’s sudden offer, as if herself unaccustomed to gestures of genuine goodwill and generosity. Still, she graciously accept it while giving the young catfolk a vigorous pat on her head. ”It’s not just the fights, even when it comes to picking friends your judgment could benefit from additional wisdom” she jokingly quips, though there’s a veneer of sadness in her voice as she utters the words. ”You should really think twice before calling someone like me a friend. A proper young girl like you can do much better in her associations, you know?” At Momo’s quizzical look, she decides to drop the issue entirely and dons the necklace with an elaborate gesture, as if it were the most precious thing this side of Midgard. ”But if we are to be friends, then you should start calling me Allegra. It’s my special name, a name Elves only share with their closest acquaintances. Do you understand, Momo?”

    Momo’s ears straighten and she grins widely, showing all of her baby teeth are still intact. She grapples Allegra around the waist for another hug and rubs the side of her face against her showing the respect and affection of a comrade and friend.
    ”Momo!? Momo! and extremely concerned mother and father catfolk approach Momo and her savior. The female catfolk looks like she’s been crying and she continues to sob as she grabs Momo into a tight hug. The male catfolk looks more composed and thanks her savior appreciatively.
    ”Would you allow me to buy you dinner? As a small thank you - that nowhere near compensates you for returning our Momo here safely,” the male catfolk addresses Momo’s savior. ”My name is Mithaus and this is my lovely mate Sari.”

    If her savior allows Mithaus to buy her dinner, they exchange pleasantries and Mithaus keeps the conversation light. Dinner turns out to be steaming buns filled with meat from a nearby bakery. Mithaus avoids crowded areas like taverns because he and his family already stick out. Mithaus talks about their catfolk village and answers any questions Allegra has as long as they are not too personal. Before departing, Mithaus and Sari rub their cheeks against the top of Allegra’s head out in gratitude and affection. They take the time to sniff Momo’s savior so they can remember her scent.

    DMG wrote:

    Wow I just noticed... so many non-good alignments! This will be interesting.

    I know some GM's are scared of CN but I have a feeling this group can RP that in a mature way and still find reasons to co-operate with each other.
    I just might need to get you guys to touch a bit more on your motivation so I can make sure I have suitable plot-hooks to draw you in. One of the big plot hooks at level 6 sort of assumes you want to save the city.

    Írwen is CN though leaning on CG, and I pictured her as a worshipper of Lada, though not a particularly devout one, with emphasis on the love and might aspects. She simply believes that people should save themselves rather than look for heroes to fight their battles in their stead, though that obviously doesn't apply to those who are too weak to defend themselves with their own strength – children particularly come to mind.

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    So this is Írwen at level 2. She's around 22 years old, and it's been three years since she left the Silk Scabbard with the gold she earned from her fights to work independently as a Courtesan. By now, she's been known to associate with some of the most daring and audacious young scions of Zobeck's elites, and people are beginning to whisper about a young elfmarked Courtesan who not only requires her suitors to issue and accept challenges in her name (as it is customary in such things), but also eagerly and personally takes part in Zobeck's duelling scene, sometimes even challenging would-be suitors herself – a deliciously scandalous disruption of tradition, so all the more enticing to the avant-garde Zobeckian youth.

    Allegra Írwen Larentil

    Female Elfmarked Brawler (snakebite striker) 1 / Unchained Rogue (rake) 1
    CN Medium humanoid (elf, human)
    Initiative +10; Senses low-light; Perception +7
    AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+3 armour, +4 Dex)
    hp 17 (1d10+1d8+2)
    Fort +3, Ref +8, Will +0; +2 vs. enchantments
    Immune sleep
    Speed 30 ft.
    Melee unarmed strike +5 (1d6/x2)
    Ranged shortbow +5 (1d6/x3)
    Special Attacks bravado's blade, sneak attack +2d6
    Strength 11 (—), Dexterity 18 (+4), Constitution 12 (+1), Intelligence 12 (+1), Wisdom 10 (—), Charisma 14 (+2)
    Base Atk +1; CMB +1; CMD 15
    Feats Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike, Skill Focus (Bluff), Weapon Finesse
    Skills 16+4 ranks (8 rogue, 4 brawler, 2 Int, 2 favoured class, 2 background); ACP
        Acrobatics +9 (+2 rank, +4 Dex, +3 class)
        Bluff +11 (+2 rank, +2 Cha, +3 class, +3 feat, +1 trait)
        Diplomacy +8 (+2 rank, +2 Cha, +3 class, +1 trait)
        Escape Artist +8 (+1 rank, +4 Dex, +3 class)
        Intimidate +8 (+2 rank, +2 Cha, +3 class, +1 trait)
        Lore (Zobeck) +5 (+1 rank, +1 Int, +3 class)
        Perception +7 (+2 rank, +3 class, +2 racial)
        Profession (courtesan) +5 (+2 rank, +3 class)
        Sense Motive +5 (+2 rank, +3 class)
        Stealth +9 (+2 rank, +4 Dex, +3 class)
        Use Magic Device +7 (+2 rank, +2 Cha, +3 class)
    Traits Extremely Fashionable, Reactionary
    Languages Trade, Dwarven, Elven
    SQ brawler's cunning, elf blood, finesse training
    Weapons shortbow (20 arrows)
    Armour mwk studded leather
    Worn courtier's outfit
    Backpack grooming kit
    Belt Pouch 10gp

    By the time she's hit level 6, I picture her as having established herself among the more prominent Courtesans in Zobeck, not quite a Consul's semi-permanent companion but probably quite close to it. She's also become quite a famous duellist in her own regard, sometimes even acting as a powerful patron's champion when matters of honour are to be formally resolved – as well as using her infiltration and espionage skills for other, more personal goals.

    Full background and description coming soon. I usually tend to be significantly timelier in my posting, but the more material I read and learn about the setting, the more I get drawn into it, so this is taking a bit longer than I had foreseen :)

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    DMG wrote:
    here's the link.

    FTFY ;)

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    DMG wrote:

    Added the calendar and planets to campaign info tab. Let me know what else you would like to see along these lines.


    @Limnen_euron, this explains why I couldn't find your exotic fighting style:

    Midgard Campaign Setting wrote:
    Two additional regions are not covered in this book. The first are the Kingdoms of Gold and Salt, also more commonly called the Southlands (including Cindass, Saph-Saph, Roshgazi, Omphaya, Lignas, Morreg, Terrotu, Narumbeki, and Kush). The second is the East, including Khandiria, Sikkim, Beldestan, and Far Cathay. Each area is extensive enough to merit its own catalog of wonders.

    Indeed, the more information I gather the more I realize there is to know.

    Perhaps I've found a way to sort of circumvent this point while having all pieces fall into place: Zobeck's largest bordello, the Silk Scabbard, is also its most prominent fighting pit, apparently. My character (still looking for a name!) could have been born there from the union between an exiled elf and a resident courtesan, and perhaps been taken under the wing of on old fighter hailing from one of these lands you mentioned – someone who realised a brothel is a dangerous place for a girl to grow, and taught her all he could about self-defense and the martial arts. Soon, she decided she liked his lessons better than the prospect of following in her mother's footsteps, and left the establishment altogether while still entering the occasional fight to keep herself sharp. I'm incorporating those details into her background right now.

    @Momo Duline: got your PM and thinking about some possible links as I'm fleshing out a background (sorry if I'm answering you here but since it ties closely to what I've just written, I find it conceptually easier to wrap everything up in a single post). I'm visualizing her as a urban half-elf, so very few ties with Old Margreve, but from what I've read elves and half-elves might be uncommon enough for her to stand out as an oddity in a predominantly human city like Zobeck. Momo could have been naturally drawn to her among a sea of stranger faces, and being so young, she could have been taken under her wing or something similar? Their skillsets are also pretty similar and tending towards the stealthy/acrobatic, so some sort of "partners in crime"?

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    Ok I think I've got the crunch (mostly) done. I've built her as a 6th level character as I usually like to plan ahead with my builds, and I'm going to downgrade her to a 2nd level one in the following days.

    Female Half-elf Brawler (snakebite striker) 3 / Unchained Rogue (rake) 3
    CN Medium humanoid (elf, human)
    Initiative +10; Senses low-light; Perception +11
    AC 23, touch 15, flat-footed 19 (+6 armour, +2 shield, +4 Dex, +1 deflection)
    hp 43 (3d10+3d8+6)
    Fort +6, Ref +11, Will +3; +2 vs. enchantments
    Defensive Abilities evasion; Immune sleep
    Speed 30 ft.
    Melee +1 cold iron fighting fan +10 (1d4+5/x3)
       unarmed strike +9 (1d6/x2)
    Ranged mwk. darkwood shortbow +10 (1d6/x3)
    Special Attacks bravado's blade, brawler's flurry, snake feint, sneak attack +3d6
    Strength 11 (—), Dexterity 19 (+4), Constitution 12 (+1), Intelligence 12 (+1), Wisdom 10 (—), Charisma 14 (+2)
    Base Atk +5; CMB +5; CMD 19
    Feats Combat Expertise, Improved Feint, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike, Quick Draw, Skill Focus (Bluff), Weapon Finesse
    Skills 48+12 ranks (24 rogue, 12 brawler, 6 Int, 6 favoured class, 12 background); ACP
        Acrobatics +13 (+6 rank, +4 Dex, +3 class)
        Bluff +16 (+6 rank, +2 Cha, +3 class, +3 feat, +1 trait, +1 morale)
        Diplomacy +13 (+6 rank, +2 Cha, +3 class, +1 trait, +1 morale)
        Escape Artist +10 (+3 rank, +4 Dex, +3 class)
        Intimidate +12 (+6 rank, +2 Cha, +3 class, +1 trait)
        Lore (Zobeck) +7 (+3 rank, +1 Int, +3 class)
        Perception +11 (+6 rank, +3 class, +2 racial)
        Profession (courtesan) +9 (+6 rank, +3 class)
        Sense Motive +9 (+6 rank, +3 class)
        Stealth +18 (+6 rank, +4 Dex, +3 class, +5 competence)
        Use Magic Device +11 (+6 rank, +2 Cha, +3 class)
    Traits Extremely Fashionable, Reactionary
    Languages Trade, Dwarven, Elven
    SQ brawler's cunning, elf blood, fast stealth, finesse training (fighting fan), rake's smile
    Weapons +1 cold iron fighting fan, mwk. darkwood shortbow (20 arrows)
    Armour +1 mithral chain shirt, +1 light darkwood quickdraw shield
    Worn noble's outfit and jewelry, amulet of natural armour +1, boots of elvenkind, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +1
    Mwk Backpack grooming kit
    Belt Pouch 55gp

    Now on to the hard part (that is, getting acquainted with the setting and flesh her out as a full-blown person, rather than just a bunch of numbers adding together).

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    DMG wrote:
    Limnen_euron wrote:

    Still, at the same time my complete lack of experience with it is what makes me insecure about embarking in such a Campaign: I don't know if I'll be able to build a character with enough ties to Zobeck and Midgard as a whole to truly stand out and come to a life of her own, and even if I do, expect a steady stream of questions about the setting's peculiarities and quirks as I try to make her fit as seamlessly as possible in the overall narrative :)

    I am learning the setting myself. This module doesn't range far across the scope of the setting. It is mostly Zobeck, the Margrave, and the fey. The other regions I listed are there for those who want to be from someplace exotic, but a character who only knows a small section of the Crossroads region will work well. I am very happy to have a dialogue about the setting. As the questions come in by PM, my attention is turned to different corners of Midgard in an organic way which I am really enjoying.

    Perfect. I'll follow in your steps, then, and get acquainted with Zobeck first, and then expand from there. So far, I'm seeing things which remind me a bit of Exalted (the Imperatrix court, the flat world), which is good. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't trying to build a character who would have no place in this world. On that note...

    DMG wrote:

    I understand elves are held in a somewhat high regard in Zobeck – or is it a Fey thing? I would probably make her a half-elf, the aftermath of an illicit tryst between some important elf and a courtesan disavowed by her own father: would that make sense (other than being a bit too cliché – but I might work on that)? Also: would there have been a way for her to learn her fighting style (some sort of very swift, DEX-based martial art) in Zobeck I could integrate into her background?

    Thank you for bringing up elves, another player has asked about them via PM so I will speak about them below.

    Your idea is not cliche and I wouldn't mind if it were. As long as you can get inside that characters head it will be worthwhile. Please let me know which elves are appealing to you most so I can read up further. There has been a character submission which is looking for an association with an elven group in the Margreve forest which has yet to have been fleshed out. These would not be aristocratic elves but depending how your concept evolves there could be a tenuous opportunity for a connection to be explored.
    Momo Duline wrote:
    Is anyone planning on being an elf? I wouldn't mind having Momo know someone else who lives in The Old Margrave. Alternatively, maybe someone who is a local in the city of Zobeck. PM me if you're interested and maybe we can work a story out!

    Even though the concept I was fiddling with was a bit more of an urban one in nature, I'm definitely interested in establishing links. I understand most elves living in this forest just north of Zobeck would be of the River variety, so perhaps Momo could know my character's father, who sired her during his exile?

    DMG wrote:

    I personally like a strong, enticing narrative, and if there's no obvious one in sight, I thoroughly enjoy working with my GM to create one myself.
    This one does have a narrative it just isn't linear. There is an inciting event, there are antagonists, but there is not a clear path to proceed on at all times. Things can be done in different orders and in different ways and with different outcomes.

    Just what I wanted to hear.

    I'll be statting her up shortly, and then flesh out her background a bit more in depth as I learn more about the setting.

    EDIT: to determine starting status as defined by 4+CHA, is that supposed to mean one's CHA modifier or his raw CHA score (i.e. would a 14 CHA character start with a Status score of 18 or 6)? (the latter would make more sense IMHO, though as they say, when in doubt, just ask...) Would multiclass character take the best, worst, or average of their individual modifiers?

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    DMG wrote:
    What caught your eye about this campaign? What was it about this particular game ad that made you want to apply? Also, is there anything about it from the description that concerns you?

    The first thing which caught my eye is the solidly written, strong introductory post, detailing in great depths the campaign's structure and flavour as well as the GM's obvious penchant for powerful role-playing. It also showed his willingness to pour a lot of effort into his work, which, coupled with him linking Painlord and Doomed Hero's excellent guides, bodes very well for this PbP's longevity and enjoyability. Truly, I saw (and have myself been part of) many PbPs wither and die during my permanence on these forums, and not once due to poor system mastery and/or a TPK – it was always a long process of apathy and stagnation marked by a conspicuous lack of "pushing posts" and synergized roleplaying towards a common goal; exactly the kind of issues the guides address.

    The second aspect which intrigued me is also the one that partially concerns me: a fresh setting notably distinct from Golarion. Though I enjoy Paizo's work, I've always felt their own Campaign Setting as a whole was more of a patchwork of different ambiences each one tailor-made as the stage of a specific AP rather than a coherent, immersive Fantasy World. On the contrary, the material the GM posted under the Campaign tab speaks to me of a suggestive, complex and vivid world, one I'd be eager to explore with a completely fresh outlook. Still, at the same time my complete lack of experience with it is what makes me insecure about embarking in such a Campaign: I don't know if I'll be able to build a character with enough ties to Zobeck and Midgard as a whole to truly stand out and come to a life of her own, and even if I do, expect a steady stream of questions about the setting's peculiarities and quirks as I try to make her fit as seamlessly as possible in the overall narrative :)

    DMG wrote:
    What are you thinking of playing? You don’t have to wait to have a finished character before you let us hear about your concept. It’s fun to talk about ideas and it might spark something for someone else.

    I was thinking of playing some sort of Courtesan-like character, quick of wit and pleasant to the eye, who could nonetheless turn into a deadly martial artist at a moment's notice. Mechanically, she would be built as a Rogue/Brawler DEX-based martial, using her high Bluff modifier and battlefield mobility to pull off as many sneak attacks as possible. High AC and DPS, average HPs, plenty of skill points in both social and infiltration skills (Bluff, Diplomacy, Stealth, Acrobatics etc.).

    Her primary motivation would be social advancement, though she would not lack a softer side, especially when children are involved. I understand elves are held in a somewhat high regard in Zobeck – or is it a Fey thing? I would probably make her a half-elf, the aftermath of an illicit tryst between some important elf and a courtesan disavowed by her own father: would that make sense (other than being a bit too cliché – but I might work on that)? Also: would there have been a way for her to learn her fighting style (some sort of very swift, DEX-based martial art) in Zobeck I could integrate into her background?

    DMG wrote:
    What is your posting availability like? What pace do you prefer, what can you commit to, and what’s the max you can do if things take off?

    As a teacher, my afternoons are usually pretty free barring special inconveniences. As a disclaimer, however, my time-zone is GMT+1, so that might not work too well with a mostly US-based group.

    DMG wrote:

    Are you ok with encounters that challenge the player as well as the character? That is to say, do you mind if you need to suggest a course of action in order to use a relevant skill check to get a result?

    I ask because this issue divides some gamers. My position is somewhere in the middle, and I adjust somewhat based on who I’m playing with. I believe a reticent player should not be precluded from playing a dashing character, so no one should be required to actually make a stirring speech in order to succeed on a diplomacy check. On the other hand I don’t like dry dice rolls, particularly in PbP. This is a written medium and you must make some effort to describe what you are attempting to do.

    Though I empathize with the argument that goes "I'm not supposed to be an Olympic fencer IRL in order to make an attack roll against an orc, then why should I be expected to be some sort of rhetorician before I'm allowed to roll for Diplomacy?", I also think that if something adds to the game rather than detracting from it, it shouldn't be considered inherently bad, too. On the contrary, just like a vivid description of someone's attack makes for a more enjoyable combat post, a good speech or a cleverly illustrated stunt would be the perfect preamble to a skill check.

    DMG wrote:

    Where does your preference lie on the spectrum between railroad and sandbox gaming?

    To be clear I don’t mean railroad as a pejorative. This campaign will begin a little rail-roady (although if you take it off the rails I will do my best to go with you), and it develops into a very free-form location based sandbox. It’s important that you enjoy that kind of gaming, because the action will stagnate if the party is not engaged in self-directed exploration and investigation. There will not always be an inciting incident making it clear where to go next.

    I personally like a strong, enticing narrative, and if there's no obvious one in sight, I thoroughly enjoy working with my GM to create one myself. As a general reference, I poured hundreds of hours into the various Elder Scrolls games, but eventually never pushed myself to fully complete even one; on the other hand, I found the first Dragon Age a very good compromise between narrative-driven and free-roaming gameplay (as well as the various Obsidian games, from Baldur's gate to Pillars of Eternity).

    Generally speaking, I'm with Painlord and Doomed Hero in that I fully expect the onus of pushing a game forward should fall on both the GM and players alike and in equal measure. I mean, why putting all those ranks in Diplomacy if one never uses them to Gather Information from time to time, right?

    What a nice cozy recruitment we have here. Have been interested in playing Skull and Shackles for quite some time (at least since the Serpent's Skull campaign I was in died on us, leaving me with an unsatisfied itch for southern seas adventures to scratch), and the introduction surely caught my attention!

    Have had a sea-reaver barbarian character concept floating around for a while now, so without further ado – let me challenge the dice gods!

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    Krensky wrote:
    Shisumo wrote:
    Scott Betts wrote:

    It is very, very unlikely that the end of ME3 will be retconned. It is likely that one of the three endings will be considered canon. Safe money is on "Destroy", poor odds on "Control", and "Synthesis" gets a Certificate of Participation and a pat on the back.
    I've got five bucks that says they import your save and modify dialogue for whichever ending you picked.

    Pay up.

    There won't be any save import. If there is a world state import it will be via a questionnaire.

    My money is actually on the fact there'll be no need to import your ME3 finale's decision because it'll have no consequence on the new crew AT ALL.

    Let me explain. The developers have repeatedly stated ME:A is going to take places hundreds of years after the original trilogy; yet, a Carnifex is clearly visible as well as an M40 Mako (a clear evolution of ME1 M35 Mako, superseded by the M44 Hammerhead in ME2 which was, however, a prototype). Add the fact the word ARK is visible during the transitions.

    My guess? This is going to be a cryogenically frozen skeleton crew sent into a century long standard FTL trip (since portals were only for intra-galactic travel) toward the closest Galaxy at the time when the war against the Reapers seemed unwinnable, a Plan B should the Crucible project proved a failure. Probably escorting the genetic material (Interstellar-style) or even a whole sustainable population (Homeworld-style) of all the Citadel species in order to survive the extinction cycle by colonizing a new, Reaper-free galaxy.

    By the time Shepard fired the Crucible, they were probably already out of range of the Portal network, and thus immune to its effects.

    Perdita Imogen wrote:
    Since I don't really have time to go through all the Traits to find the two I'm looking for, can I have one Trait that gives me a +1 to Diplomacy & Bluff and a second that gives me a +1 to two Knowledge Skills?

    Extremely fashionable would probably be your best choice in that regard; it also gives you +1 to Intimidate, as long as you're wearing at least 150 gp in clothing and jewelry (something trivial at 7th level). There's a plethora of traits which give you +1 to two knowledge skills, you can find them on this guide (I should've linked the relevant pages, if not, the various knowledge skills section can be found on page 74 and following).

    Oh and I've got fluff mostly finalized, alas it's been a busy week.

    Ok I've got the crunch done. As I've mentioned via PM, I was torn between a Slayer and a Cavalier, so I went the "why not both?" way around it. Also, to honor my longstanding penchant for submitting sociable, suboptimally-built characters even to combat-heavy PbPs, I've instead decided to pick this particular diplomatic-intensive game to subvert this tradition and craft her as a fairly competent fighter, both defensively and offensively (1d10+1d6+20 dmg when Power Attack, studied opponent and precise strike are taken into account, 28 AC against the target of her challenge, +14 Initiative thanks to swashbuckler's initiative plus the Lookout feat to share this bonus with others). Skill-wise, she's an infiltrator and a very underhanded sort of negotiator – think of her as the secretly planted CIA Twilight Talons attachée within a larger delegation.

    Alysandra de l’Escalina

    Human (Chelaxian) Cavalier (Daring Champion) 4 / Slayer (Cleaner) 3
    LG M humanoid (human)
    Init +12; Senses Perception +9

    AC 26, touch 18, flat-footed 19 (+5 armor, +1 deflection, +6 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 natural, +2 shield)
    hp 53 (7d10+7)
    Fort +9, Ref +11, Will +2; +4 vs. spells and effects cast by evil creatures

    Speed 30 ft.
    Melee +1 bastard sword +15/+10 (1d10+7/19-20)
    Ranged mwk darkwood longbow +14/+9 (1d8/x3)
    Special Attacks challenge (+4, +2, 2/day), precise strike +4, sneak attack 1d6, studied target +1 (1 target)

    Str 10, Dex 22, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 14
    Base Atk +7; CMB +7; CMD 23
    Feats Celestial Obedience (Ragathiel), Deceitful, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword), Improved Initiative, Lookout, Power Attack, Slashing Grace, Weapon Focus (bastard sword)
    Skills 55 ranks (16 cavalier, 18 slayer, 7 Int, 7 human, 7 favored class); ACP
        Acrobatics +22 (+7 rank, +6 Dex, +3 class, +5 competence, +1 trait)
        Bluff +14 (+7 rank, +2 Cha, +3 class, +2 feat)
        Climb +6 (+1 rank, +2 circumstance, +3 class)
        Disguise +16 (+7 rank, +2 Cha, +2 circumstance, +3 class, +2 feat)
        Intimidate +12 (+7 rank, +2 Cha, +3 class)
        Knowledge (local) +5 (+1 rank, +1 Int, +3 class)
        Knowledge (nobility) +5 (+1 rank, +1 Int, +3 class) (+7 when involving the Supreme Elect)
        Knowledge (planes) +8 (+3 rank, +1 Int, +3 class, +1 trait)
        Perception +9 (+7 rank, -1 Wis, +3 class)
        Sense Motive +9 (+7 rank, -1 Wis, +3 class)
        Stealth +21 (+7 rank, +6 Dex, +3 class, +5 competence)
    Languages Common, Celestial
    Traits Acrobat, Reactionary, Scholar of the Great Beyond
    Drawbacks Meticulous
    SQ champion's finesse, nimble, order of the lion (lion's call), panache and deeds (dodging panache, opportune parry and riposte, precise strike, swashbuckler initiative ), slayer’s talent (ranger combat style [two handed weapon]), tactician (1/day, 5 rounds, standard action)
    Gear on body, light load (31,5 lbs. / 33-66-100 lbs.)
        amulet of natural armor +1
        +1 bastard sword 6 lbs.
        belt of incredible dexterity +2 1 lb.
        belt pouch 0,5 lbs.
        boots of elvenkind 1 lb.
        +1 buckler 5 lbs.
        +1 shadow mithral chain shirt 12,5 lbs.
        cloak of resistance +1 1 lb.
        hat of disguise
        mwk darkwood longbow 1,5 lbs. with 20 arrows 3 lbs.
        potion of true strike (2)
        ring of protection +1
    Gear in backpack, medium load (67,5 lbs. / 38-76-115 lbs.)
        mwk backpack 4 lbs.
        banner 2 lbs.
        bedroll 5 lbs.
        blanket 3 lbs.
        climber’s kit 5 lbs.
        disguise kit 8 lbs.
        grooming kit 2 lbs.
        waterskin 4 lbs.
        150 gp 3 lbs.

    I intend to have a Backstory and Description up shortly. Basically, I envision her firmly in that same 'Good is not Nice' camp that Ragathiel epitomizes; loyal, patriotic, and utterly convinced that for the good guys to triumph while also maintaining their moral superiority, someone must be willing to get her hands dirty without anybody knowing. Also, vigilantism (as per

    Ragathiel's Obedience wrote:
    Slay a proven wrongdoer in Ragathiel's name. It is not enough for the sacrifice to have an evil heart or evil intentions; the sacrifice must have committed evil or unlawful deeds. Gain a +4 sacred bonus on saving throws against spells and effects cast by evil creatures.


    Dotting for interest. Will start working on character concept soon.

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    Yani's player here. As preannounced, I came up with another concept which I'm now glad to submit, DM DoctorEvil. I plan on jotting down a couple of lines about her appearance and personality too, but for the time being this should give at least a passable idea of the type of character I had in mind.


    Half-elf cleric 1
    CG M humanoid (elf, human)
    Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +5

    AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+5 armor, +2 Dex, +1 shield)
    hp 8 (1d8)
    Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +5; +2 vs. enchantments
    Immune sleep

    Speed 20 ft.
    Melee whip +2 (1d3-1/x2)
        dagger +2 (1d4-1/19-20)
    Ranged light crossbow +2 (1d8/19–20)
    Special Attacks channel positive energy 5/day (DC 12, 1d6)
    Domain Spell-Like Abilities (CL 1st; concentration +4)
        6/day—dazing touch (1 round), mirror image (1 round)
    Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 1st; concentration +4)
        1st—charm (DC 14), command (DC 14), endure elements
        0 (at will)—create water, mending, purify food and drink
        Domains Charm, Trickery

    Str 8, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 17, Cha 14
    Base Atk +0; CMB -1; CMD 11
    Feats Skill Focus (diplomacy), Weapon Finesse
    Skills 4 ranks/level (+2 cleric, +1 Int, +1 class); ACP -5
        Bluff +6 (+1 rank, +2 Cha, +3 class)
        Diplomacy +9 (+1 rank, +2 Cha, +3 class, +3 Skill Focus)
        Knowledge (religion) +5 (+1 rank, +1 Int, +3 class)
        Perception +5 (+3 Wis, +2 racial)
        Sense Motive +8 (+1 rank, +3 Wis, +3 class, +1 trait)
    Languages Common, Elven, Varisian
    Traits Boarded in Varisia, Calistrian Courtesan, Charming
    SQ aura
    Gear medium load (58 lbs. / 30-60-90 lbs.)
        scale mail 30 lbs.
        buckler 5 lbs.
        whip 2 lbs.
        crossbow (light) 4 lbs.
        bolts (20) 2 lbs.
        backpack (mwk) 4 lbs.
        bedroll 5 lbs.
        holy symbol of Calistria (wooden) 1 lb.
        spell component pouch 5 lbs.
        waterskin 4 lbs.

    Her Story:
    The lithe silhouette was standing out against the moonlight rushing in from the window, her footsteps soft on the dilapidated room’s wooden floor. Coming from beyond the moldy walls, the moans and pants were telltale of the usual business going on in that building, an inconspicuous two-story structure perilously clinging to the Seacleft’s base. Lhinneth remembered growing up in a place such as this; her mother, a Forlorn elf, had been eking out a living by exercising Calistria’s holy trade in that same Lowcleft district where she had just lured her ”client”. It hadn’t been the most glamorous of lives, and yet she had always made sure her half-elven daughter wanted for nothing – even if that meant bearing all the beatings and abuses her father, a minor scion of House Vanderale and her most “loyal” patron, would force upon her in exchange for the occasional pouch of gold he’d throw their way, allegedly for her silence.

    But was it worth it, sweet Mother?

    No, it wasn’t. Nothing was worth what he did to her. But there was no time for sentimentalism. The lone figure lying on the bed was seemingly asleep, but a closer look would reveal the uncanny immobility of his body, the tension in his muscles. The sister who’d sold her the scroll had told her the paralyzing spell wouldn’t last long, so she had to act quickly. It had cost her virtually every gold piece she had managed to put aside during the time she’d spent at the temple, but she’d decided it was well worth it. She could think of no other way to do it; none that she could stomach, at least.

    The time for doubts had long past. Afraid he would recognize her, she had woven a spell to conceal her features; but it was her true face he was staring at now. She would have it no other way.

    ”Sleep well, Father.”

    With a sharp gesture of her wrist, a dagger appeared in her hand out of one of the many concealed sheaths she carried hidden among her clothes. She slit his throat even as she placed one last kiss on his forehead.

    *************************************************************************** ************

    Penned in a powerful yet elegant handwriting, the letter had been carefully placed for the High Priestess to find on her own personal cathedra.

        To the Revered One, Favored of Calistria, Grand Abbess of the Dome of the Savored Sting, Most Blessed Ayamyra,

        as you are reading this, I’m on board the first ship departing Magnimar this morning, sailing towards whatever corner of Golarion my destiny has seen fit to direct me. The deed is done. Dormal Vanderale, father of bastards and murderer of lovers, is dead.

        I apologize for the rashness of my actions. Leaving Magnimar as well as the soothing embrace of my brothers and sisters is painful to me, yet necessary. The Vanderales are a powerful enemy, and as much as I took every precaution, I deemed it wiser to have a change of scenery until the dust has settled – both for my own and, more importantly, our own Holy Temple’s safety.

        When I came to the Savored Sting’s doorstep, I was only a little girl who had just witnessed the death of her mother – by the hand of a man she was told was none other than the father who had sired her. At the time, I did not understand the reasons behind it, the blackmailing, the drunken, senseless violence. I was but a lonely, scared creature, whose scream for justice was too weak to reach the lofty halls of the Summit; just as Calistria was only a name I used to hear muttered in my mother’s prayers.

        Yet, I knew the burning sting of injustice all too well, and with it, the all-pervading craving for retribution. You taught me how to draw strength from it. You said that you could either give me my revenge right away, or help craft me in the tool of my own vengeance. Never in my years as an acolyte have I regretted the path I chose. If I acted before my initiation was complete, it is only because my contacts had informed me how his attentions had now shifted towards other lay sister of ours, a plea for help I could not find the strength to ignore. If I let my feelings get in the way of my mission, may Calistria’s frown linger on me but briefly.

        The bliss of the Savored Sting be always upon you,


    High Priestess Ayamyra rolled up the letter and threw it into the fireplace as soon as she was done reading it. As far as the City Watch was concerned, there had never been a half-elf named Linneth among the temple’s acolytes – not in the last few months, at least. From her chambers perched high atop the Dome of the Savored Sting, she cast a quick glance to the west, over the sea, before getting finally ready to attend to her daily duties.

    @BigNorseWolf: not even the heliocentric model had any explanation – nor it was in any way useful to find new planets or such. Because they're both cinematic models. You need dynamics for that. You need Newton.

    And yes, solving Newton's equations in a geocentric frame would indeed give you those weird Ptolemaic motions - which would then revert to (a reasonable approximation of) well-behaved ellipses once you switch back to heliocentric.

    The only objective thing about reality is the (frame-independent) observation of an event, not its (frame, or gauge-dependent if you want to be fancy) description. This statement

    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    By setting a mobile point as your reference system you make an object that is, in objective reality, acting one way appear to be acting in a completely different manner.

    makes very little sense to me. The way an object acts in one reference system is in no way more or less objective than how it behaves in any other. Unless you consider, say, Kepler's Laws a fundamental building block of our reality and thus claim that the only 'right' frame is that which makes them emerge clear and unambiguous for everyone to see. Alas, they are not. They're just a property of the center-of-mass reference frame solution of a two-body system interacting via an attractive, inverse-square force (in and of itself an abstraction).

    You might consider geocentricism mystifying as it prevents one observer to extrapolate easy, general equations describing the motions of the planets with a minimal amount of parameters, and you'd be right. But then again, we'd concur on that one: it'd just be a matter of convenience, or 'mathematical elegance' if you prefer.

    And there's plenty of metaphysics involved in stating where things are absolutely, instead of relative to other things. Saying that something is at the center of the universe assumes that you're somehow able to watch the universe from the outside and assess its center. The fact that you cannot do it is one of the deeper reasons why the universe (intended as the 'collection of all things') is invariant by translation, that is you can put the origin of your reference system in any given point and you'd still be observing the same physics, with the same rules. By Noether's theorem, this implies the global conservation of momentum, by the way, just as its isotropy, or rotational invariance, implies the conservation of its angular counterpart.

    Now: heliocentricism has been been a very fecund idea in that it paved the way for the formulation of the law of universal gravitation, which in turn triggered the greatest scientific advances in the history of mankind. And Galileo's own philosophical ideas about one needing to focus on the quantitative aspects of nature when studying it ('math being the language the book of Nature is written in') are no less to be lauded in that regard. Ultimately, though, the debate between geocentricism and heliocentricism is just one regarding the choice of a particular reference frame. The main advantage of the latter being it provides a very good approximation of the afore-mentioned center-of-mass reference frame of a two-body gravitating system, where Newton's equations are comparatively easy to solve giving conical solutions.

    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    Limnen_euron wrote:

    Incidentally, this approach closely resembles that of General Relativity in spirit. Newton himself stumbled upon a similar problem when he had to justify the 'particularity' of inertial reference systems – he had no other choice but to postulate the concept of 'absolute time and space' (which was made to coincide with an immanent God), in respect to which every other inertial system was moving in a constant, rectilinear motion.

    There is a difference between a planet moving in a circle around a central point and one stopping in mid air and corkscrewing backwards only to go forwards again- which is what you have if you you try to follow a model where the earth is at the center. The correct model is what allowed gravity as it pertained to heavenly bodies to be understood at all.

    There's a difference, but only in the choice of the reference system. Ptolemy's description of the motion of celestial bodies matched empirical observations pretty consistently, and, the tangled mess that it was, nonetheless was imbued with predictive power. Indeed, solve Newton's equations in a geocentric reference frame and you'll see planets stopping in mid-air and corkscrewing backwards.

    Inferring an inverse-square universal law of gravitational attraction in such a frame would be counter-intuitive, but it'd still explain Ptolemaic convoluted orbits, just as it explains the (much simpler) Kepler's laws in a heliocentric frame. The ockhamist claim that the frame where physical laws appear in their simplest form is also the 'correct' one absolutely stands from a methodological point of view, but when turned into an ontological statement (i.e. the sun is at the center of the universe) it means one is starting to dip his toes in the metaphysical pool.

    Which was the Church's playground at the time (and give or take a bunch of philosophers, it still is, only they can't prosecute people for holding heretical views anymore, just excommunicate them), and since Galileo would not step back, they slammed him down.

    If I recall correctly, they even tried to leave him an escape route by means of having him at least publicly paying lip service to Osiander's Instrumentalism (not sure about the translation); a position that states (roughly translated in modern terms) that picking a reference system over another is just a matter of ease of calculations (that is, if you can explain the orbits of the planets without using all of Ptolemy's deferents and epicycles through heliocentrism, kudos to you!), not a hard, ontological stance about the metaphysical structure of the universe itself (which was the Bible's prerogative).

    Incidentally, this approach closely resembles that of General Relativity in spirit. Newton himself stumbled upon a similar problem when he had to justify the 'particularity' of inertial reference systems – he had no other choice but to postulate the concept of 'absolute time and space' (which was made to coincide with an immanent God), in respect to which every other inertial system was moving in a constant, rectilinear motion.

    Galileo refused (a couple of years earlier, Giordano Bruno had also called this position 'asinine'). So let's say that, even though they were both martyrs of free speech, they also tried very hard to achieve that status. Bruno gets bonus points for having been actually burned on the stake – but then again, unlike Galileo he was more jerk than genius.

    Hey... no worries. If I understand correctly, we'll just start doing some exploration; in the meantime, if you like, we might just "freeze" your interaction with Alayi's prospective 5th apprentice in a sort of quantum state, so that you can retroactively pick it up where you left it. Since I assume it should have no repercussions over any further development (at least until we make our return to Oleg's), I think it shouldn't be too much of a narrative stretch...

    Limnen_euron aka Xelani

    Silently eating her dinner, another unfamiliar figure is sitting in a corner, content to just blend in with the background for the time being. And yet, her heavy traveler robes do little to conceal the heavy armor beneath, and the alert eye would have no trouble spotting the glint of an expertly crafted longsword resting in her scabbard.

    However, the words of that same charming bartender who has served her dinner not quite 5 minutes ago, carried over through the dull silence burdening the room, seem to wake her from her thoughts.

    Goblins? Small, pitiful beasts whose only strength lies in numbers. Unworthy of a good battle? Perhaps. But even then... didn't my father teach me that the measure of a battle lies not in the power of your foe, but in the casualties your victory would prevent? If that's so, perhaps this is where Falayna wants me to be, after all.

    Truth be told, I've been having my eyes on this game since its original recruitment thread opened. Being already part of two campaigns, though, had made me reticent to submit a character as I didn't know if my schedule would have allowed me to contribute to this game at that high level of quality that I felt was expected.

    Now that one of it regretfully ended, well, here I am, taking my chances... So without further ado

    Rolling for Hit Points:
    1d8 ⇒ 7


    Aasimar (angel-blooded) oracle 2
    LG M outsider (native)
    Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception -1;

    AC 20, touch 11, flat-footed 19 (+9 armor, +1 Dex)
    hp 21 (2d8+6)
    Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +2
    Resist acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5

    Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)
    Melee mwk longsword +6 (1d8+3/19-20)
    Special Attacks +1 on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls against aberrations and magical beasts
    Spell-Like Abilities (CL 1st; concentration +5)
        1/day—alter self
    Oracle Spells Known (CL 1st; concentration +5)
        1st (5/day)—cure light wounds, divine favor, enlarge person, shield of faith
        (at will)—detect magic, guidance, mending, resistance, stabilize
    Mystery battle

    Str 16, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 9, Cha 17
    Base Atk +1; CMB +4; CMD 15
    Feats Extra Revelation, Weapon Focus (longsword)
    Skills Diplomacy +8 (+9 vs. sexually attracted), Heal +6, Intimidate +8, Knowledge (planes) +8, Spellcraft +6 Racial Modifiers +2 Heal, +2 Knowledge (planes)
    Languages Common, Celestial, Varisian
    Traits Charming, Monster Hunter
    SQ oracle’s curse (tongues), revelations (skill at arms, weapon mastery)
    Gear mwk longsword, banded mail, steel shield, explorer’s outfit, mwk backpack, bedroll, blanket, ink, inkpen, paper (10 sheets), silk rope (50 ft.), rations (10), 88 gp, 9 sp (83 lbs., light load)

    As you can see, I've built her as an Angelkin Aasimar Oracle of Battle.

    • Should that particular race not sit well with you (either because you dislike variant heritages or you just don't own that particular book), rebuilding her a standard human should be nothing short of straightforward;
    • I've built her as a melee character as I was planning on choosing the combat healer revelation at 7th level, whose efficiency would be maximized if she were standing right in the middle of the fray. Other than that, she can be a discrete tank, hopefully mitigating the lack of the Channel Energy class feature;
    • Being a CHA-based character, she can provide some social skills when nice (diplomacy) or not-so-nice (intimidate) forms of persuasion are needed.

    As for a background, I haven't had much time to devote to fleshing her out, but I was thinking something along the lines of having her born among Magnimar's Mystery Cults, being given no other name than an omen in Celestial: Adamàs, or "unbreakable". Her oracular powers first manifested as she entered a trance-like state when defending herself from some Sczarni thugs, with heavenly energies pervading her body while leaving her bereft of words save for those she could utter in the Celestial language - a fact that nonetheless her parents perceived as a glorious blessing bestowed upon her by the High Heavens themselves. She now considers all of the more war-like empyreal lords as her patrons, but she holds Falayna, celestial Lady of martial valor and femininity, closest to her heart. Having heard of terrible yer fierce beasts roaming around Varisia, she has taken her leave from her brethren to prove her worth and cleanse the countryside of their presence - or perish in the process.

    Last but not least, a short disclaimer about me. I live in GMT+1, which is not the kindest time zone if one has to play with what I suppose is a mostly US-based group. Also, I'm not a native speaker, so from time to time you might happen to stumble upon some odd choices of phrasing while reading my posts. I apologize in advance (and not-so-in advance for those mistakes I've already committed writing this very post ;) )

    No, thank you for the time you poured into it and the chance you gave us to share this game with each others.

    I'm really sorry for you. Take care, be well.

    To all my fellow players: thank you for this short yet very enjoyable adventure together. I seriously hope to come across as many of you as possible in some future PbP game. See you around!

    A game is only such as long as it's fun, so whatever one's reasons are for bowing out they're always understandable.

    If chief among those reasons is such a wonderful occurrence, not only no apologize is obviously needed, but by all means, allow me to wish both you & your soon-to-be family of three all the best as the short but enjoyable time we've played together comes to an end.

    Goodbye, young princeling ;)

    +1 to what Rysky said. Take care & I hope everything turns out for the best. Other than that, take however much time you need. You've been GM'ing a strong game, and I'll be here for when you come back be it a week or a month or whatever.

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    A Popular Tax Dodge: resurrect a character who's been dead for more than 1 year

    And Then John Was a Zombie: get TPK'd in a fight against Undead

    It Gazes Back: have a gate spell backfire when summoning a Demon

    A Man of Wealth and Taste: take 1 level of Diabolist

    Fly, you Fool: use a fly spell to escape a potential TPK

    Just a Flesh Wound: have a regenerate spell cast on you

    Nice to hear from you Grand Moff Vixen - and with some good news too. Here's to hoping the worst is now behind you!

    Ouch :( Sorry to hear that! I wish her the best - I seriously hope she gets better soon, both for her and your family's sake

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Calistria is one of the best attempts I've seen at creating a truly Dionysian deity - one dedicated to enjoying reality at its rawest, unfiltered by preconceived notions of aesthetics or morality. Basically, her tenets can be summarized as: be your own guide, let no-one be your master. All the hedonism and individualism are merely consequences of this fundamental attitude.

    Also, that doesn't mean Calistrians have to be disruptive, self-centered individuals because of this. I personally see a Calistrian answering a Sarenraenite questioning her morality along the lines of "You do good because that's what your deity asks of you, I do good of my own volition because my deity trusts my judgement".

    Basically, she's a sort of nietzschean deity - which, much like her historical counterpart, has made her easily misunderstood as a Goddess of basic debauchery and petty amorality, if not outright preaching a might-makes-right justification of cruelty.

    Greylurker wrote:

    Seems like an almost ideal choice for an Inquisitor to me.

    This is the church people come to when they have no other way of getting even. Lust and Trickery is the fun side of the church. If you have been wronged Calistria is there for you. Her Inquisitors are probably some of the most terrifying agents of vengeance on the planet.

    "Bandits murdered my husband and sold my children to orcs" - Calistrian Inquisitor is there for you

    "The Local Lord is a brutal evil man who burned our entire village because one man failed to pay Taxes" - Calistrian Inquisitor is on the case.

    Some guy wakes up in the middle of the night facing a man dressed in a Black and Yellow cloak, he's going to wet himself as every nasty thing he has ever done flashes through his mind trying to figure out who wants payback.

    It's like Batman+Ghost Rider+The Punisher in one sexy package.

    Very well put. I picture an inquisitor of Calistria as the ultimate hard-boiled fiction private-eye, dealing in secrets, imparting vigilante/poetic justice and willfully dealing with both the best and worst human nature has to offer.

    Basically the guy you turn to when everything and everyone else has failed you. Scorned lovers, wronged victims whom traditional justice has turned its back on, those whose freedom has been taken away are all people who could seek a Calistrian inquisitor's help.

    I would see such a character very well contextualized in a Sin city-like setting, for example.

    Thymus Vulgaris wrote:
    Limnen_euron wrote:

    Secondly, the imperial system manages to have just the right scaling where it counts. You can't measure a man's height as a multiple of 1 meter (1 is too little, 2 is - usually - too much), you can use centimeters but that would take a lot of them (your average guy being 180 cm tall).

    Decimetres to the rescue! That'd be 18 of them :)

    You can't measure most heights in a multiple of feet either. I'm 165 cm tall, which I guess makes me about five and a half feet? There's a big difference between 5 and 6 feet, so for the most part I just don't see the advantage of saying 5 foot 7 inches rather than 1 m 70 cm or 170 cm (or 17 dm if you want to be slightly weird).

    I guess that was far from the best example (I have to say though, I've NEVER heard decimeters used in real life).

    Of course, once you do have the precise measure, all systems are technically equivalent . What I actually meant is that, should you have to make a rough estimate without having access to a ruler, using feet instead of meters (or centimeters) allows you to make better approximations. For instance, I'd say a plank is about 1 meter long, and then I'd skip straight to 1 and a half meters long if I wanted to convey the information that it was actually a bit longer than a single meter (I wouldn't go for 1.3 or 1.2 meters because that would seem far too precise having just my naked eye at my disposal - think of it as a matter of significant figures). Using multiples of 1 foot, however, seems just right: calling something 4 feet long allows me to use a finer-grained scale without unreasonably narrowing the confidence interval.

    That said, I fully agree with you that nowadays, with very precise measuring instruments becoming commonplace most of the reasons I quoted for the validity of the imperial system are rapidly becoming obsolete. Nonetheless, I hope I was clearer this time about the point I tried to make, even though I highly suspect I was not :) Going to sleep!

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    I hail from Europe, and when I see translated source books talking about dwarves having speed of 6 meters/round... it just feels odd. The fact that, at least in our perception of it, the imperial system comes imbued with a peculiar medieval flavor is, I think, actually a big plus in a fantasy setting.

    That said, I do admit that I have to do my share of mental conversions, as I lack the intuitive feel of how much, say, 100 feet are (pretty close to 30 meters, apparently). The same problem a relative of mine had when he came visiting my family in Europe: his Garmin GPS was set to metric, and he kept underestimating distances while trekking in the woods because he would just mentally consider 1000 meters a short walking distance, when in reality it was almost 2/3 of a mile.

    In my opinion, though, the imperial system is just better suited for measurements (especially those performed in everyday life), while metric is superior when performing calculations.

    To clarify my point: having a foot divided into 12 inches might sound bizarre at first, until you realize that counting in base 12 makes a lot of sense as far as divisions are concerned: 12 you can divide by 2, 3, 4 and 6 (as opposed to 10 only being divisible by 2 and 5), giving a carpenter using of inches a very convenient way to express such notions as half a foot, a third of a foot etc. (in metric, that would force him to use repeating decimals). For similar reasons, Babylonians divided the circumference in 360 degrees.

    Secondly, the imperial system manages to have just the right scaling where it counts. You can't measure a man's height as a multiple of 1 meter (1 is too little, 2 is - usually - too much), you can use centimeters but that would take a lot of them (your average guy being 180 cm tall). The Fahrenheit scale manages to capture between 0 and 100 °F virtually every temperature not exceedingly hostile to human life. And so on.

    However, when it comes to calculating esteems, metric is much smoother. 1 cubic decimeter of water is 1 l, weighing 1 kg (that means a cubic meter weighs 1 ton). Most liquids (no, I'm not looking at you, Hg) have similar densities, so it's very easy to make an educated guess about how much a certain volume of, say, oil, would weigh. Gasses are usually a thousand times lighter - that means 1 g per per liter, or 1 kg per cubic meter. Solids are usually heavier, but most are around 10 kilos per cubic decimeter, give or take - so you just multiply by 10.

    As far as heat is concerned, you would need 1 kcal to raise that liter of water's temperature by 1 °C degree. If you wanted to stay within the boundaries of the International System of Units, here is the first time when you would need to remember a conversion by heart: 1 kcal is about 4 kJ: that is, if you prefer, a 1 kW microwave left running for 4 seconds.

    Luckily, my dwarf fighter never had to perform such calculations. He's more concerned about his movement speed being a measly 20 feet per round.

    GM Jammin' wrote:
    @Limnen_euron: When you get a chance (no hurry), could you try to find an avatar for Yanistah. I've noticed that posts without avatars (especially if it's a small one) tend to get lost sometimes.

    On it. Actually, truth be told I've already been looking for an avatar, though I didn't find anything even remotely resembling the description I wrote for her. I'll just settle for something thematically close.

    Lalaru Thalassa wrote:
    Sorry I haven't posted more yet, down at Dragoncon, the only real free time is right before bed. Going over on everything in the discussion and gameplay thread so I'll hopefully have a post tonight or on the morning.

    Just posted my own. I too was initially planning on recruitment ending during the weekend, and the campaign starting next week, so I'm going to be a little bit busy during the next 48 hours.

    The last thing I'd want would be to dictate a pace for others to follow, but would everyone be okay spending the weekend having a little bit of light roleplaying to introduce our characters, and then really start kicking things off on Sunday afternoon?

    I will still be able to post from mobile, so if you want to go for it earlier, I'll try my best to follow, no problem.

    GM Jammin' wrote:
    Limnen_euron wrote:
    As a side note, might it be possible we're totally lacking in the disable device department? Though I admit I just skipped through the character sheets so it might have eluded me. If so, please disregard my ramblings.
    Yes. You are missing disable device. I admit, I did not choose for a totally balanced party, but I did keep in mind the dangers you will face. And while some of them will be challenging for you, I have full confidence in the ability of this group to survive with the skills they have. That's not to say that you may not want it, and if someone wishes to change for it, feel free to make minor changes like that. It is up to you as a group.

    No problem. It just means that we're going to beat them and kick them until they stop ticking!

    Grand Moff Vixen wrote:

    I planned on a drunken NPC being an issue for Malthu to intervene, so it would probably wouldn't fit Yani's character if I put you in place instead of said NPC.

    That said, I prefer to let the players control their PCs at all times, no exceptions on my part. Too much of a chance for doing something when I don't fully understand the mindset needed to play the PC. I want everyone to be able RP their character and not have any action seem arbitrary.

    Basically, less potential of stepping on the toes of other players. Thanks for the offer, though, I appreciate it. :-)

    Right on point, makes perfect sense :)

    As a side note, might it be possible we're totally lacking in the disable device department? Though I admit I just skipped through the character sheets so it might have eluded me. If so, please disregard my ramblings.

    Grand Moff Vixen wrote:

    I'm trying to finalize Malthu's build. I am leaning towards the athletic feat, though I am only putting a point just now into climb. Swim will be 0 ranks till I can get to next level. Alertness was dropped in favor of the new feat.

    Yeah, I like this better. I will update the alias and have a gameplay post up soon.

    For what is worth, I'm a fan of the direction Malthu's going - this way he and Yani can become the unofficial party scouts (since we lack a ranger or a druid), being both proficient in skills such as perception, survival, climb etc. etc.

    By the way, as I mentioned before I would like to incorporate in my first post something about the two of them having become acquaintances as the "newcomers" among the crew (but I wouldn't overstep my boundaries by forcing such a thing on another PC unless he's explicitly OK with that). Since Yani lacks any points in profession (sailor) though, feel free to have her on the receiving end of Malthu's prompt intervention.

    Corrected some typos and added a "Description" tag in Yani's profile. Should be good to go now.

    Grand Moff Vixen wrote:

    I don't think it's that much of a stretch for Malthu to have joined as part of the crew versus being just a passenger.

    Would it be alright to be a crew member to start?

    If you opt for it and GM Jammin' allows it, he and Yani might have stricken up some unlikely friendship both being the "newcomers" among the crew.

    Being used to standing the tallest among her companions, she would certainly have been very intrigued by the tiefling's sheer massiveness. If she discovered Malthu's holy calling closely mirroring her own, she is also more than likely to have developed a deep sense of respect for the guy.

    Greetings to you all!

    I'm very happy to have been given the opportunity to play Yanistah in a game with you guys, really strong submissions from everyone.

    Sorry for just dropping this few lines but it's almost 2.00 am here in Europe, going to grab some sleep. See you (GMT+1) tomorrow!

    EDIT: everything's neat so far GM Jammin'. Smart way to handle initiative, so the action doesn't get too clogged up if someone's not able to post immediately.

    KBoom wrote:

    A shadowy figure is seen entering the Jammin' Archives late at night. Slowly, the cloaked woman shuffles through sheets and files, setting devious traps on those that look very good and useful to those in charge. About a quarter of the way through, a soft swearing erupts from the shadows and the figure leaves, returning shortly with more supplies. She goes back to rigging the files, skipping over the human ranger section, and finally finishes early in the morning.

    Later that morning, a tired and bedraggled Nadia comes into the waiting room, rooting around for some coffee and stifles a yawn, "G'luck guys... may the gods smile upon you and yours" she manages with a weak smile.

    A well-rested Yanistah walks into the waiting room with a confident stride, trying her best to hide her insecurity.

    "O hey, you too up early this morning?" she greets the single woman currently occupying the chamber, who seems far too intent on enjoying her morning coffee to truly strike up a conversation.

    Curiosity slowly getting the best of her, she starts looking at the half-open door leading to the archives with an ever-growing interest.

    "Psst... I'm going to sneak in to peek into some of the submissions. Cover me, will you?" she asks her quite dozy companion as she goes in, without really waiting for an answer.

    A short while later, a very bruised Shoanti woman walks out of that same door.

    "Okay, I'm not saying we're having some very strong submissions there. Just that merely trying to get a peek at one almost put me at negative hp"

    Okay, I did it. Got a bit carried away with the background though. Would gladly provide a tl;dr version if asked.

    You can put her under the martial category, though with 7 skill points per level (plus that additional one at 1st level you courteously supplied :) ) she wouldn't make a terrible skill monkey either.

    (The Addition Traits feat I picked mostly for rp-flavor - figured if there was something I wouldn't lack as a human monk were feats).

    Yanistah Stands-Tall:

    Female Human (Shoanti) Monk 1 (Martial Artist)
    NG M Humanoid (human)
    Init +2; Senses Perception +7;

    AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 13(+2 Dex, +3 Wis)
    hp 10 (1d8+2)
    Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +5

    Speed 30 ft.
    Melee unarmed strike +3 (+4 if AoO) (1d6+2) or
    ... unarmed strike flurry of blows +2/+2 (1d6+2)
    Special Attacks flurry of blows, stunning fist (1/day, DC 13)

    Str 14, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 8
    Base Atk +0; CMB +3 (+5 if grappling); CMD 17 (19 vs. grapple)
    Feats Additional Traits, Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
    Skills Acrobatics +6, Climb +6, Craft (jewelry) +5, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (history) +2, Knowledge (planes) +5, Perception +7, Sense Motive +7, Survival +8
    Languages Common, Shoanti, Celestial
    Traits Bred for War, Bullied, Charming, Jenivere Crew, Scholar of the Planes
    Drawbacks Doubt
    Other Gear a couple of jeweled gold rings, each engraved with Falayna’s holy symbol


    Blood roared in Yanistah’s ears as she watched her burly half-orc opponent first stagger, then fall to the ground, unconscious.
    I… I did it. I would have never thought I could make it – and now… I won?
    Truth be told, she looked very little like a winner. Her whole body ached, her left eye was swollen and blood was flowing freely from a nasty cut on her right cheekbone. Her foe had been stronger, bigger and more experienced than she was, a fact he had been thoroughly proving by dominating throughout most of their battle. But just as the Shoanti woman had accepted her inevitable loss, something sparkled within her. If she was to be defeated, she would honor Falayna by going down with a bang – or at least, that’s what she thought as she unleashed everything she had and more. Only as she looked upon the prone figure of her opponent, though, she began to realize her outburst had just resulted in the most unexpected of outcomes.
    What now?
    The roar in her ears was gradually fading, only to be replaced by the cheers of the crowd gathered on the balconies above. The Serpent’s Run was suddenly filled with hundreds of voices chanting her name, the little-known underdog who had just managed to overcome all odds to defeat the seasoned veteran. She raised a clenched fist into the air, letting the thundering response of the crowd permeate her, invigorate her. But just as the jubilant sensation of triumph was starting to sink in, it suddenly dawned of her that she had just made the gravest mistake of her comparatively short life.


    Magnimar, the city of Monuments. A city imbued with the whispers of history and dotted with landmarks celebrating the deeds of heroes long gone, a city whose very stones resonate with power and where shrines are erected to honor the Mysteries of the High Heavens. But besides those dedicated to mighty Ragathiel, passionate Arshea, and mysterious Ashava, other smaller, less-known sanctuaries can be found by those who know where to look, scattered throughout dark alleys and passages seldom threaded by the uninitiated. It is in one of these sanctuaries, little more than a small alcove carved into the very foundations of Magnimar’s arena, the Serpent’s Run, that one single Shoanti woman had made her unofficial home.
    The youngest of five siblings born among Magnimar’s Shoanti population, it was made sure Yanistah had to learn fast where she stood: namely, as the runt of the litter within a community of what other city dwellers regarded as second-class citizens at best. As she spent most of her younger years enduring the worst a society can throw at those it considered its pariahs, one of the very first lessons she taught herself was that she could either let such a life break her, or try to become stronger every day. So every time she was punched, she learnt how to punch back; every time she fell, she strove to rise again. Yet for all her determination, few things were more disheartening to her than watching her own people resort to lowly jobs and even petty thievery to eke out a living, proud warrior clans turning into destitute gangs of thugs.
    The few times she experienced the rare sting of pride in her heritage were when she sneaked in into Magnimar’s Arena, up in the lofty Alabaster District, to watch powerful Shoanti gladiators fight and win in the Grand Games that were held there, earning fame, glory, and wealth. Consequently, it came as no surprise that, on the day of her thirteenth birthday, she proclaimed in front of her family that she had decided to leave her house to pursue a career as performer in the Serpent’s Run. There were tears and there were farewells, as stories of long lost cousins who supposedly made it big were recounted, but all in all, they didn’t seem too bothered by her decision. One less mouth to feed, she cynically thought. Her heart hardened, she walked away and never looked back.
    And thus it happened that a lone Shoanti girl, with no reputation nor noble sponsor to speak of, strode along the Champion’s Walk leading up to the Arena’s main entrance. She never knew exactly what passed through the aged Master of Games’ mind when he saw Yanistah’s lanky figure walk in, demanding the honor of competing in the next events – still, the thunderous laughter that erupted from his throat gave her ample grounds to make an educated guess. And yet, what happened next was equally unexpected.
    ”Though I guess I can at least let you stay here, young girl” he added, suddenly turning serious “There are maintenance passageways below the Arena, you can spend your nights there. In the meanwhile, train hard, learn what you can about fighting and performing… and in a couple of years, come back and try making that same requests again, will you?”
    Whether that gesture stemmed from having seen something in her, or was just a way of getting rid of a nuisance, she could not tell. But never one to look the gift horse in the mouth, Yanistah immediately settled in and started her training. A brawler at heart, she started with observing the other fighters as they were practicing, trying to mimic their techniques. Her recent growth spurts had left her freakishly tall for her age (as well as earning her the mocking honorific of “Yanistah Stands-Tall” from her older brothers), so she tried to incorporate that into her style as well. Perhaps even more importantly, she worked on improving her endurance and agility, every day pushing her body a little further. But even then, without a true mentor or even a sparring partner, she soon found with no little vexation that her improvements were stalling.
    That was hardly the only thing occupying her mind, though. One of the first things that had caught her attention upon moving in had been the marbled effigy of a statuary yet beautiful woman, a magnificent long sword held high in her ring-adorned hands, occupying a niche in one of the remotest underground vaults. For reasons she could not yet pinpoint, she felt immediately drawn by the aura of solemn nobility emanating from the statue, an aura seemingly possessing the power to soothe both her body and her soul. She would later discover that it depicted the Empyreal Lady Falayna, patron of martial excellence and feminine beauty alike, and that it was put there as a way to propitiate the goddess’ favor on the newly-erected building – but for the time being, as she laid down a modest pallet right at the statue’s feet, to her it just felt as the sensation of a newfound home.
    That was when the dreams began.
    Indistinct at first, then more and more vivid (though not any less cryptic), her nights were suddenly populated by visions of heroines displaying dazzling feats of martial might, stern yet beautiful, gentle yet strong. Gradually, with each passing night other women seemed to join them, stately and regal, walking proudly in their jewels of every possible craft and fashion. Eventually, she started to perceive another presence: clad in armor and silk and towering above them all, an angelic paragon of both beauty and might was smiling benevolently, all the while challenging them by virtue of her very presence to even higher standards of excellence and skill. Eventually, one night following a particularly frustrating day of training, the radiant figure suddenly lifted her gaze, as if looking straight into Yanistah’s soul, silently testing her resolve by daring her to follow into that same path. Unflinchingly, she stared back. In that moment, the fearful girl who went to sleep was gone, just as a woman woke up.
    Having finally found her holy calling, everything started to swiftly fall into place. By that time, she had already begun doing her own researches. Entering the good graces of the chief librarian, herself a half-Shoanti woman, gained her access to the Founder's Archives, the closest thing Magnimar had to a public library. Slowly but surely, she taught herself the celestial language she had heard in her dreams, and from then on it was just a matter of throwing herself with zealous ardor at the task of unraveling the heavenly mysteries. Every day she would spend at least one hour praying and meditating in front of the shrine, pondering upon the wisdom that was being revealed to her. Indeed, after the fateful night of her initiation, her dreams had been subtly shifting their focus, and she now found herself more often than not engaged in mock fights against a creature of pure light, its voice a jubilant choir as she nonchalantly imparted teachings of both martial and philosophical nature amid their sparring.
    Under the guidance of her divine patron, the Shoanti woman blossomed. The end of adolescence, combined with years of rigorous training, had eventually turned a scrawny girl into a fully-fledged woman. Her sustenance she was getting by having apprenticed herself to an old jeweler, who claimed that having a person touched by the Many-Ringed Goddess herself in his shop ”had been a blessing to both craft and business” – a most welcome respite from the menial jobs she once had to scrounge down in the Dock District. Perhaps most importantly, her fighting techniques were getting more and more refined with each passing day, a fact that had not gone unnoticed in certain places. At first, she was allowed to take part in minor athletics competitions. Then, they cast her as an extra during the yearly mock nautical battles. Eventually, she was given the chance to prove herself in a contest against an experienced fighter, a massive half-orc by the name of Urgash known for his strength, his ferocity and for being backed by none other than the local Sczarni gangs.
    ”No one will remember if a young fighter loses her first match” the flashily dressed man had told her, idly caressing his well-groomed moustache ”On the other hand, I’ve never heard too many questions being asked after a Shoanti body is found floating in the harbor… Alas, how do they call them nowadays? Common occurrences? Oh well, the choice is yours, I suppose.”


    I have to flee.
    And flee she did. She didn’t even stop by the Master of Games’ office to collect her winnings - that’s the obvious place they’d be waiting for her, she figured. Instead, she run straight to the Docks.
    It was late afternoon already, and she quickly found out there was only a single ship still waiting to depart for that day, a cargo ship headed to Sargava – a name that didn’t ring any bells in Yanistah’s head. O well, beggars can’t be choosers, I guess, she thought as she approached the wharf.
    ”Hold on there, miss. What’s your business aboard the Jenivere?” a rugged sailor guarding the boarding plank asked her.
    She didn’t bother to lie. She knew she was horrible at it, anyway. ”My name is Yanistah. I’m looking for a passage out of Magnimar. I’m afraid I currently lack the required gold, but I’m more than willing to pay for the voyage in sweat and hard work.”
    ”You look in quite a hurry miss. You Shoanti always have a penchant for picking the wrong fights, huh?” he replied, pointing at her face still bearing the marks of her recent fight.
    ”You could surely say so.” Still, no lies.
    ”Well, consider yourself lucky – the old lady here is quite undermanned as of now. Do tell me though, what would your experience as sailor be anyway?”
    Here it comes, she thought. For a moment she considered to drop the whole sincerity thing, but she eventually decided against it. The truth would come out soon enough anyway. ”About that… I admit I have none. But I work hard, I’m a good climber, and I rarely get tired” she opted to retort, trying her best to conceal the direness of her need ”Most importantly, I never complain about the jobs I’m assigned to or…”.
    ”So you claim” he cut her short, as he gave her a long look from head to toe. To her relief, she could tell he was liking what he was seeing. ”Though there might still be some truth in it. We’ll see. It turns out the life on the seas isn’t made for you, you get off first time we get to port. In the meantime, welcome aboard, lass.”

    (Also, I'm not a native speaker, so please consider any quirkiness in the prose as a side-effect of her being a Shoanti and having learnt Common as a second language :) )

    Obviously, I'd be more than happy to provide any kind of clarification if required.

    In the meantime... Good luck everyone!

    GM Jammin' wrote:
    Bob Evil wrote:
    Limnen_euron wrote:
    By the way, does anybody know how much a standard (i.e. non-magical) jeweled ring costs? Wearing two is required to perform the obedience, but the closest thing I've found was a signet ring costing 5 gp on the Player's Handbook...

    According to Adventurer's Armory, the price of non-magical jewlery varies widely by its quality, from a few copper pieces for a commoner's ornaments to at least 100 gp per item for the stuff nobles wear.

    In the Gamemastery Guide, a low-quality gem (azurite, tigereye, turquoise, etc.) is listed as being worth 10 gp. I think it would be a fair assessment to add 5 gp to that for the cost of the ring, making it 15 gp for one ring, or 30 gp total for two.

    Of course, that's just my take; GM Jammin' says what actually goes.

    Yeah, it's hard to price jewelry. You could pretty much have any price for it, just try to make the description fit the price you pay.

    Thanks, will do. Since Falayna is the Empyreal Lord of martial training and rings, I was thinking about putting that free skill point in craft (jewelry) and have my character having crafted them by herself to honor her goddess. So it appears I'll spend my 30 gp to "buy" 2 low-quality gem rings which I'll need for...

    Chronicles of the Righteous wrote:
    Obedience: Don a jeweled ring on each finger and strike a practice dummy barehanded until the impression of the rings is left in your skin. Gain a +4 sacred bonus on grapple checks and to CMD.

    Of course, you're right when you say that even if selected, I'd have to wait for level 3 in order to get it. In the meantime (or even should you disallow it), I was thinking about performing the obedience just for role-playing flavor.

    EDIT: ninja'd. Thanks for the prompt answer :)

    Also dotting for interest. I was thinking about a martial artist monk devoted to the Empyreal Lord Falayna. Speaking of which - it hasn't been specified otherwise, but it never hurts to ask: would you allow the Celestial Obedience feat from Chronicles of the Righteous? In this specific case, it allows a character to perform a ritual every day to obtain a +4 sacred bonus on grapple checks and CMD... plus other abilities which however only kick in at much higher (12+) levels.

    In the meantime...

    starting gold: 1d6 ⇒ 3

    Horay, I'm average! (Actually 0,5 below average, darn)

    By the way, does anybody know how much a standard (i.e. non-magical) jeweled ring costs? Wearing two is required to perform the obedience, but the closest thing I've found was a signet ring costing 5 gp on the Player's Handbook...

    Limnen_euron wrote:

    [...] once the presence of a non-negligible amount of high-level NPCs has been established [...]
    JCAB wrote:

    If we assume some fairly simplistic - but nor unrealistic giving healing magic – demographics. Roughly 1/3 of the citizens (413) of Sandpoint are children, who by default are going to be 1st level. Of the remaining roughly 800 people who are adults let us say that half are too young, incompetent, unambitious or boring to have advanced to the 2nd level, that gives us an additional roughly 400 1st level characters. However, that still leaves us with nearly 400 adults who are 2nd level or above and some indication that of these maybe 1/10 are 4th level or higher.

    I think that is fairly convincing evidence that Golarion from the get go was designed to be a relatively high level campaign setting. Unlike many previous D&D setting which assumed than maybe less than 10% of all adulated ever advanced beyond the 1st level, Pathfinder mostly like takes place in a world were as much as half of all adults have gained at least one level. Moreover, even marginally competent or experienced individuals are likely to have advanced to the 3rd level. The following people in Sandpoint are all 3rd level: Naffer Tosk (Grave-Digger, Gardner at the Bone Yard), Maver Kesk (Town Jeweler), Gorvi (Garbage Man), Vachedi (Jailer), Savah Bevaniky (Armsdealer), Larz Rovenky (Tanner), Nisk Tander /Alchemist), Jesk Cracktooth Berinni (Innkeeper), Banny Harker (Sawmill Foreman), Bilivar Wheen (Wheelwright), Chod Bevuk (Butcher) and Gressel Tenniwar (Innkeeper).


    So with these things in mind I must say that I find it quite plausible that most leaders of nations or major city-states/tribal confederacies/international organizations are going to clock in at, at least 8th level (as to be more competent than a random frontier town baker) and maybe are going to cluster around the 12th to 14th level. However, unless they seized power by might or trickery (and thus are likely to have adventuring class levels), they are mostly going to be “high level” aristocrats and experts. Having levels in the double digits ensure that they are not total pushovers, as they can muster reasonably okay Saving Throw bonuses and HP, and the same time enforce them as being well above average in pure competence, without making them into personally unstoppable swordsmen or mages.

    Yeah, precisely that. I was about to write a similar post but I'm very glad you beat me to the point. My laziness thanks you :)

    Nearyn wrote:

    It appears to me (though I may be wrong, so pardon me) that I'm hearing alot of "If you're not high enough level, some unscrupulous person within your organization will take you out, by virtue of being higher level", but does that generalization not avoid the 'human' aspect of the characters?

    Perhaps I am a level 2 commoner trying to make a name for myself with the local guild, and maybe I -could- be easily outdone by Brian over there, who just happens to be level 6. But what if Brian likes me? What if Brian wants to see me succeed? What if Brian is non-confrontational, and achieved his level through a series of reactionary behavior, rather than proactive behavior? What if I am high in my hierarchy by virtue of lucky circumstance, and there -is- a person lower down the rung, who is gunning for my position, but he does not have the right skill(knowledge:local, or somesuch) to actually put together the pieces he needs to advance? Or perhaps he is so far down the rung, that despite him knowing in his heart of hearts, that he is better than me, he cannot make himself go through the effort it would take to deal with all the other people on the ladder, and then deal with me, not to mention the pre-planning? Again, this could be argued to be a corner-case, but don't the corner-cases deserve some love every now and again? That is, provided it even is a corner-case and that the human-element does not (should not?) seep into the explanation of how character A managed B?

    I think that the scenario you depicted is surely possible, just as your previous posts were when you described how a "fluffy"/narrativist mastermind could still very well work even if not necessarily backed by a corresponding "crunchy"/simulationist character sheet.

    Indeed, Eberron (at least 3.5 Eberron, I don't know about 4E) is a setting built (among other things) on the premise of subverting the very Asskicking Equals Authority trope, and to your credit many of the mechanisms put to work to create a self-consistent DnD setting where rulers were NOT high-level, all-powerful characters resemble very closely some of the situations you depict.

    The problem is, Eberron was envisioned to be a generally low-level setting, with PCs being the exception. Thus, there weren't too many high level NPCs around, and those few that there were usually had better things to do than publicly ruling kingdoms (often, however, that included being grey eminences behind a throne or two).

    On Golarion, however, once the presence of a non-negligible amount of high-level NPCs has been established, your "low-level NPC using a combination of personal relations and a devious mastermind to achieve lofty goals better suited crunch-wise to more powerful characters" becomes, in my opinion, an unstable equilibrium situation. Whatever he can achieve through guile and long-term planning, there's a higher-level guy around who could do with a much smaller effort (or much better, should he decide to put the same effort and time into it). Perhaps he might out-gambit his rivals a couple of times, or more, but according to the law of large numbers he is sooner or later bound to fail and be replaced (or at least his leadership questioned).

    Given a set of laws governing its evolution, every system is bound to follow its path of least resistance. This is why, though I believe there's certainly room for a couple of comparatively lower-level rulers of the kind you described, I feel they should be the exception rather than the rule.

    Nearyn wrote:

    Surely there is more to the game than what is on your character sheet.

    Of course there is. But statistically speaking, which category would you be more surprised to see having the largest representation among Golarion's rulers:

    - those naturally imbued with social skills AND/OR strength to claim / maintain their offices (in such countries where martial might is considered an important factor in that regard) OR

    - those that, DESPITE comparatively lacking those skills, are able to tip the scales in their favor through what we would call "smart role-playing"?

    In the end, it's very much like asking yourself: "Who's more likely to defeat a CR 19 Ancient Red Dragon? The 20th level paladin or the 7th level expert who crafted a devious plan?" I wouldn't rule out the latter a priori, but I feel like it should be the exception, not the rule.

    As Deadmanwalking very eloquently put it, simulationist and narrativist viewpoints are supposed to go hand in hand as a rule; otherwise in the long run the whole setting would kind of feel lacking in self-consistency.

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